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Old 04-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #141 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

~ Prediction Template ~

8WWE Championship

The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

4World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston

6The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

1Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

3United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

5Four-On-Two Handicap Match
The Corre versus Edge and Christian

7Tag Team Attraction; No. 1 Contender
John Cena and Triple H versus Dolph Ziggler and William Regal

2Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show

~ Bonus Questions ~
1. Predict the match order. Done.
2. Who will score the falls in the Handicap and Tag Team Attraction matches? Wade Barrett and John Cena.
3. How many titles will change hands? None.
4. What will be the shortest match? Swagger/Show.
5. What will be the longest match? Punk/Orton.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:09 AM   #142 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

~ Prediction Template ~

8. WWE Championship
The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

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

6. The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
CM Punk versus Randy Orton

1. Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

5. United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

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

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

3. Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show

~ Bonus Questions ~
1. Predict the match order. Done
2. Who will score the falls in the Handicap and Tag Team Attraction matches? Christian to pin the Slater. John Cena to pin Regal.
3. How many titles will change hands? None
4. What will be the shortest match? Swagger/Show
5. What will be the longest match? Stretcher Match
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:45 PM   #143 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Over the Limit Predictions:

This is my first time looking at your thread so OTL is gonna be my first review of this thread. My predictions are based off of the quick reading I have done of the thread so far.

WWE Championship
8.The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

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

The Final Encounter – Stretcher Match
7.CM Punk versus Randy Orton

Intercontinental Championship
1.Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

United States Championship
4.Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

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

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

Singles Contest
2.Jack Swagger versus Big Show

~ Bonus Questions ~
1. Predict the match order.
2. Who will score the falls in the Handicap and Tag Team Attraction matches? Christian and John Cena.
3. How many titles will change hands? None
4. What will be the shortest match? Sheamus/Tyler
5. What will be the longest match? Punk/Orton
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:27 AM   #144 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Pre-Show Dark Match:
Curt Hawkins bts. Chris Masters via Heat-Seeking Elbow at 5:10



Key Arena, Seattle, Washington | 22nd May 2011

***

Thousands of people, all walking in the streets.

Narrator:

It is said that we are judged in life not for what we say, but what we do.

The Miz cashing in Money In The Bank to win the WWE Title.

Michael Cole:

MIZ – IS – CHAMPION!

CM Punk ties Randy Orton in the ropes and beats Ted DiBiase lifeless.

Jim Ross:

Is there nothing this man won’t do?

Narrator:
The question is – how far will you go?

Alberto Del Rio is hauled from the steel cage at Extreme Rules.

Booker T:

Awww, dammit!

Narrator:
What are you willing to do in order to find glory?

Dolph Ziggler and William Regal stand above John Cena.

Narrator:

Will you stoop to the lowest of lows… or be able to take pride in your choices?

Sheamus brutally assaults Mark Henry with a title belt; Jack Swagger tries to break the Big Show’s ankle.

Josh Matthews:

That guy doesn’t have a conscience!

Narrator:
How far would you go to acquire something precious to you?

Tyler Black charging down the ramp to stop the Irishman; John Cena makes the save for Triple H six nights ago.

Jim Ross:

Thank GOD for John Cena!

Narrator:
At what point do you have to take responsibility for your own actions?

Daniel Bryan almost crying beside Gail Kim after Alex Riley’s heinous attack.

Narrator:

Amongst the chaos… can you keep your head?

Edge and Christian stare furiously at The Corre.

Narrator:

When you hit the wall, do you have the courage to keep going?

Rey Mysterio watches Cody Rhodes’ title celebrations at Extreme Rules.

Josh Matthews:

Rey Mysterio… I thought he had it…

Narrator:
What will drive you to go that little bit further?

Daniel Bryan marches down the ramp and goes nose-to-nose with The Miz.

Jim Ross:

Showin’ tremendous courage, tremendous fortitude!

Narrator:
What will take you…

The Miz raises the WWE Title, in various places.

Narrator:

…over the limit?

The WWE Champion smiles in the face of his challenger…

Narrator:

And now, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown present…



Narrator:
WWE – OVER THE LIMIT!!!

***

That said, we sweep RIGHT into the Key Arena in Seattle, where fireworks sparkle and explode all over the steel stage and Tron, and this crowd goes mad! We sweep over the waving arms and signs – ‘SNAP OR TAP’ is a popular one – before the camera takes us to ringside… where the three-man team of JIM ROSS, JOSH MATTHEWS and BOOKER T wait for your enjoyment. Booker’s smiling his face off.

Jim Ross:

The big night is upon us, ladies and gentlemen – this is Over The Limit, live from Seattle, Washington, and tonight’s gonna be explosive! I’m Jim Ross, sat with Josh Matthews and the five-time WCW Champ Booker T – gentlemen, a pleasure.

Booker T:
Ya gotta love da atmosphere in dis building about now, man, ya gotta love it. Things are gonna get good, business is gonna pick up as you’d say JR, and by da end of da night, dis company might never be the same. Who knows what’s gonna happen?

Josh Matthews:
Indeed an unpredictable night, folks, but one thing we can promise you is this – Daniel Bryan takes on The Miz for the WWE Title, it’s old rookie versus old mentor, title on the line here in Seattle, for the right to be the top dog on Raw.

Jim Ross:
We really saw things heat up, and not really in a good way, this past Monday night, Josh, but we’ll get to that a little later… in the meantime, I’d just like to welcome you all, everyone watchin’ around the world, and thank you for joinin’ us tonight, the action’s gonna be fast-paced and there are rivalries to be settled.

Booker T:
Fast pace? Hell, it’s Over Da Limit, BABY!

As Booker sets the tone for a night of YOU, the reader, not being able to understand him, the bell chimes, and we go to the ring to see JUSTIN ROBERTS standing with a mic.

Justin Roberts:

The following is a tag team contest, set for one fall, billed as TAG – TEAM – ATTRACTION!

A great pop for that – Booker whistles at ringside, we’re starting big.

Justin Roberts:

Now, in this match, the competitor who scores the winning fall… will become the new number contender – to the WWE – CHAMPIONSHIP!

Another healthy pop, as our eyes turn to the stage…

“I AM PERFECTIIIIIIIIOOOOOONNN!”


*PERFECTION*

Boos fill the Key Arena as Over The Limit is opened by a man who consistently goes above and beyond – DOLPH ZIGGLER makes his way out with a focused expression on his face tonight, ready to break out in this very moment. Alongside him arrives VICKIE GUERRERO, wearing a hideous leopard-skin dress for the occasion, and clapping wildly for her boyfriend; Dolph flicks water from his hair and tugs at his silver vest on his way down the ramp. “I’m on first? You mean the WHOLE SHOW’s gotta try to follow me?”

Justin Roberts:

Introducing first, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero… from Hollywood, California, weighing in tonight at two hundred and thirteen pounds… DOOOLPH – ZIGGLER!

Jim Ross:
Looks like we’re kickin’ off Over The Limit in style, guys, ‘cause this is a match with huge implications goin’ forward.

Josh Matthews:
Undoubtedly, JR – whoever scores the fall in this contest will earn themselves a WWE Title shot, and as we’ve seen, all four men desperately want that opportunity. No-one has been more vocal about their chances than this man, the so-called ‘Perfection Artiste’, Dolph Ziggler.

Booker T:
Dolph came so close at Extreme Rules to bein’ the next numbah one contender, but Daniel Bryan beat ‘im to it; tah-night, he gets another bite at da cherry, and wit everythin’ that’s been goin’ on on Raw… hell, he could just make it count dis time, ya know what I’m sayin’?

Ziggler heads around ringside, hopping up to the hard camera-side apron. He swings inside the ropes, then back out to stare into the camera. Finally, he steps inside the ring, and hits the turnbuckle, trash talking at the crowd, before he hops down and settles in the corner. As Vickie Guerrero takes a place at ringside to watch, Ziggler holds the top rope either side of him, psyching himself up as his music fades away.

*VILLAIN*

As with Ziggler, there’s some loud heat as the pompous tune strikes up, and WILLIAM REGAL strolls out in his usual purple robe, wearing an expression that says he truly doesn’t care about the crowd’s reaction. The Englishman observes the Key Arena, taking a good look around to disapprove of as many fans as possible, then sets his eyes a little suspiciously on Ziggler in the ring. He takes a leisurely pace down the ramp, as English fans everywhere thank God he’s on pay-per-view.

Justin Roberts:

And his tag team partner… from Blackpool, England, weighing in tonight at two hundred and forty-three pounds… WILLIAM – REGAL!

Jim Ross:
As you said, Josh, we’re about to see four men with different reasons for wanting that title shot, and William Regal explained this past Monday night that this was his chance to reclaim his past glories.

Josh Matthews:
William Regal is regarded by many people as one of the greatest in-ring technicians never to hold a World Title, JR, but that could change very soon, and starting tonight. We’re looking at a dangerous competitor here.

Booker T:
And more and more, guys, we seein’ dat aggression from Regal. He constantly seems to be turnin’ it up a notch just to cause his opponent dat little bit more pain, ya know? Hell, I’m startin’ to think he more focused on hurtin’ guys than winnin’ dat title.

Regal heads up the ring steps, of course wiping his feet on the apron like a true gentleman, before he steps inside. He casts a measured look at Ziggler, who watches him silently – a rare change – as he tests the ropes and explores the ring space. Satisfied, Regal removes his robe and hands it to ringside, before breaking the silence with a quiet remark to Ziggler, to which the Perfection Artiste nods. Ziggler takes his vest off and chucks it as well – the two stand united, for the most part, in their corner to await their opponents.

*MY TIME IS NOW*

The arena goes MAD! The reaction is heavily towards cheers, but there’s the usual underlying heat from the Seattle fans, as JOHN CENA steps out to accept the ovation! The ex-“Champ” looks up for it tonight, nodding his head as he surveys the arena, then turns to the camera – “Game on, Seattle!” he shouts before he heads sprinting down the ramp, sliding into the ring and throwing up ‘Word Life’!

Justin Roberts:

And their opponents… first, from West Newbury, Massachusetts, weighing in tonight at two hundred and forty pounds… JOOOOOOOHN – CEEEENAAAA!!!

Jim Ross:
Ya talk about your justifiable reasons for gettin’ a WWE Title shot, folks – and ya talk about your fan reactions, God above I can barely hear myself – then look no further than John Cena.

Josh Matthews:
Yeah, JR, we saw what happened at Wrestlemania Twenty-Seven, where The Rock cost Cena his match with the gold on the line, then again at Extreme Rules when The Miz caught him from behind on the Skull-Crushing Finale… John Cena hasn’t had the best of starts to 2011, but that all changes tonight if he can secure that big match for Capitol Punishment.

Booker T:
Ya know dat boi John Cena, he always give one hundred ten percent, he always ready to do what he gotta do to win da title – ya better believe dat tonight, he’s gonna step it up even more, man, he wants dis shot BAD.

In the ring, Cena hits the ropes, hurling his cap into the crowd. In the corner, neither Regal nor Ziggler have moved, refusing to give Cena the satisfaction of seeing them run, though they stay on their guard. Cena himself is pumped up, testing the ropes again and throwing up the ‘Word Life’ sign again for good measure, before he paces the ring and allows himself a small smile at the crowd laid out before him. Tonight, he opens a pay-per-view for the first time in a while; he has the pleasure of working a hot crowd and he knows it. His music dies out, so he retreats to the corner, whipping off his shirt and sending it into the first few rows, as the crowd buzzes and we await the fourth man.

“IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME…”


*THE GAME*

And once again, the arena gives an ALMIGHTY pop, because the frenzied lights are flashing, the beat is pumping through every man, woman and child in here… and here comes TRIPLE H, looking as prepared as ever to make a huge impact here tonight! The white spotlight profiles the Cerebral Assassin as usual, water dripping from his hair as he stares into the ground… then SPITS water everywhere, ROOOAAARS with adrenaline and starts to head for the ring!

Justin Roberts:

And his tag team partner… from Greenwich, Connecticut, weighing in tonight at two hundred and fifty-eight pounds… the GAME… TRIIIIIPLE ‘AIIIIIITCH!!!

Jim Ross:
And this man might not have been here if it weren’t for Cena – Triple H walked into the lion’s den not once, but twice on Monday, facin’ off his opponents here by himself, and just as Ziggler and Regal were lookin’ to put the Game on the shelf, Cena intervened.

Josh Matthews:
It’s the only example of cooperation we’ve seen between the two guys, JR, but make no mistake, they do NOT get along. Cena mentioned how the respect they used to have is gone… personally, I just wonder if their issues are going to cost them a very precious title shot.

Booker T:
Well man, you about to find out. I gotta have faith dat da Game and Cena know how to get it done when it counts, I think dey got what it takes to put their differences aside… just gotta get past Regal and Ziggler, dey two nasty muthas right dere.

Not even giving you a chance, am I? Anyway, Triple H heads round ringside, taking another swig of water and hurling his bottle into the crowd. He steps up the apron, throwing his arms around the top rope and observing the Key Arena with his trademark watchful stare… before he spits the water into the air, the glaring light streaming down, and the crowd ROARS as he does! The Game steps inside the ring, ignoring the other three as he heads for the corner, stepping up to throw his arms into the air, flexing his muscles to another big ovation! Under the furious lights, we catch Cena’s face, watching from his team’s corner, but there’s no emotion there, not yet. Triple H stands down, as Justin Roberts leaves the ring, and his music fades away just as he turns to face John Cena.

The crowd is split, chanting “LET’S GO CENA!” “TRIPLE H!” in duelling rhythm, and the pair turn their heads, surprise crossing Cena’s face at just how hot this crowd is. Ziggler is pacing across the ring, clearly the man aiming to start us off, while Regal leans against the turnbuckle and frowns at his opponents. The referee is Scott Armstrong, who asks Cena and Triple H who will start for their team, and they stare at each other for a few moments. It’s a staredown of epic proportions, one which the Game eventually wins out when Cena, closer to the corner anyway, holds up his hands, shrugs, and heads to the apron. Triple H watches him leave, clearly uncomfortable with this scenario, then turns his attention to Ziggler. The Perfection Artiste is bouncing on the balls of his feet, raring to go, but Triple H is distracted, casting glances at Cena as the pairing begin to circle, and some cheers build as Armstrong kicks us off.



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

Here we go with Over The Limit, then, as the bell chimes and a buzz runs through the arena. Triple H and Dolph Ziggler continue to circle for a few seconds, then move in for the first lock-up of the evening. Inevitably, Triple H has the upper hand strength-wise, but Ziggler wraps a side headlock in place before the Game can force him anywhere. He drops to a knee to attempt to halt Hunter’s forward movement, too, but Triple H struggles back up and shoves Ziggler to the ropes. He bends down, but cops a stinging kick to the jaw from Ziggler to send him reeling back up! He blinks in shock, as Ziggler hits the ropes again – and gets floored, because Triple H recovers and stands firm with the Shoulder Block! Ziggler goes down, but he scurries back up, warily watching the Game as he begins to circle again. Not for the first time, we get the angle on Cena as Triple H looks his way briefly, the ex-“Champ” nodding and saying “S’good, s’good…” to his partner. It’s more a statement of a bystander than a tag team partner, but nonetheless he must stand there as the legal men go to work. Ziggler mixes things up with a waist lock this time, though Triple H worms his way back out, and swings with a right hand – Ziggler under it, so Triple H turns… Dropkick! Ziggler caught him there, showing off that athleticism in the early going, and now he’s back to his feet, allowing himself a smirk to both Regal and Cena on the apron. Content that he’s brought the attention back his way, Ziggler welcomes Triple H back to his feet, then knocks him down with another sweetly-timed Dropkick, this time leaping over him for the cover…

ONE…

BUT TRIPLE H KICKS OUT!

Ziggler rolls out of the cover and looks to Regal; not a person in the arena expected the victory there, but Ziggler’s content with recording the first fall of the event and gets to his feet. Triple H is up, shaking out his shoulders but otherwise unimpressed, and he catches Ziggler with a right hand before the Perfection Artiste can react. Sending Dolph reeling, Hunter adds a couple more right hands and forces him back to the corner. Triple H begins to amp up the pace, firing a series of blows, until Scott Armstrong counts him away at four. The crowd cheers as Triple H moves back into the centre of the ring, only to go for the CORNER CLOTHESLINE – NO! Ziggler dives heroically out of the way, leaving Triple H to crash into the neutral turnbuckle – so Ziggler turns it around on him, leaping to crush him beneath the CORNER SPLASH! A groan goes up as Ziggler flattens the Game into the corner, and now he staggers back, putting Hunter in his cross-hairs again. He leaps up into a Leaping DDT attempt, but Triple H uses that massive strength to stop him, and shoves him away! Ziggler lands on his feet, heading into the corner but turning and charging back at the King of Kings… who sends him for a ride on the BACK BODY DROOOOOP… ALL THE WAY DOWN! Ziggler’s back arches in pain, with Vickie Guerrero looking concerned at ringside, and now Triple H shakes out the cobwebs, Ziggler struggling back to his feet… kick to the gut – FLOWING DDT FROM TRIPLE H! The Game plants his opponent, immediately turning him on to his back…

ONE…

TWO… BUT ZIGGLER’S OUT OF IT!

Triple H sighs, a breath heavier here and there, and forces himself up. He finds himself face to face with William Regal on the opposite apron – the Englishman stares at him, tilting his head to the side a little… until Triple H throws him the CROTCH CHOP and turns to meet Ziggler again! A cheer goes up in unison with Regal’s scowl, and even Cena cracks a small smile there as Triple H grabs Ziggler and hurls him into the corner. Cena shouts something, so Triple H looks at him with a frown – Cena’s offering the hand, in case the Game wants the tag, but inevitably, he ignores the offer and throws a knee to Ziggler’s gut to force him to keel over. Cena’s asking again, but Triple H tells him to wait his turn (or words to that effect) and turns back to Ziggler – WHOSE BOOTS MEET THE GAME’S FACE! Hunter stumbles away in shock, not expecting that at all, and Ziggler calls for a breather, keeping a hand on the top rope as he staggers back to his own corner and gets the tag to William Regal. The Englishman smiles, eager to enter the fray, and fresher than Triple H to boot. He meets the Game with a couple of well-placed left hands, then whips him into the ropes. Triple H rebounds, then comes back into a big European Uppercut! That sends the Game reeling into the ropes again, straight into another European Uppercut, and another, and again and again! Regal’s pounding his opponent here, all the way to the ropes, then sends him to the other side… knee to the gut… then the arms hooked – DOUBLE UNDERHOOK SUPLEX. He hits those well, as sweet as you could ask for, and now he stands again, asking the question of this tag team by giving Tripper the time to look to Cena.

Regal shines up that left fist, measuring the Game as he stands… caught him, right to the stomach. Hunter gasps for air, bending over, but Regal follows smoothly up with a Hammer Lock, twisting the arm tight. Triple H’s hair is already a little messed up, straggled in places across his face, and Regal makes sure to cinch the hold in a little more to keep up the pressure. Triple H squirms a little, then eventually finds his way out, whipping Regal to the ropes… no, the Englishman sets his feet and sends him instead. The Cerebral Assassin rebounds, right into Regal’s clutches for a suplex, maybe Exploder… but Triple H hoists him up suddenly – INVERTED ATOMIC DROP! A groan resounds in the arena as Regal stumbles backwards, finally into the corner where Cena is waiting for his chance! Triple H is ignoring him, though, as he raises a hand and asks “Now?” with a slight sarcastic tone… CORNER CLOTHESLINE FROM TRIPLE H TO REGAL!!! That punches the wind from Regal’s lungs… but Cena refuses to wait any longer, and catches the TAG off Triple H’s shoulder! “Ohhh!” say the crowd, as Cena enters the fray, totally blanking Triple H despite the Game staring at him incredulously. It makes no difference for William Regal, who just cops some right hands from a different big hitter, before Cena drags him to the centre of the ring… FISHERMAN SUPLEX, AND HE STICKS THE PIN…

ONE…

TWO… BUT REGAL KICKS OUT!

Scott Armstrong, rising after the cover, looks to Triple H and points to the apron. The Game isn’t happy, but he does so reluctantly, as Cena crouches and plans out his offence. The crowd is chanting his name, the mixed duel of “LET’S GO CENA!” “CENA SUCKS!” echoing here in Seattle, but Cena’s in the zone here, watching Regal to his feet and sending him to the ropes. He tries the Hip Toss, but Regal jams it and shoves Cena away. Cena on the rebound, so Regal tries the Hip Toss in response, but this time Cena stops it, spinning around, kicking Regal in the back of the knee and finding those ropes… RUNNING ONE-HANDED BULLDOG TO REGAL! Cena scores with a trademark there, but as soon as it hits, he’s on his feet to charge into the heel corner – and send Ziggler FLYING off the apron with a right hand! Vickie Guerrero screams “CHEAP SHOT!” but the crowd loves it, because Cena can do no wrong for Cena fans, and now he turns to face William Regal, the Englishman wobbling to his feet… Cena peppers him with right hands, then steps back and weighs up a bigger shot. Cena throws it, but Regal’s quick on the draw, grabbing the arm and transitioning… he gets the Half Nelson, then frowns – “Wait, that’s not right” – and spins Cena, transitioning into a series of furious knees to the face! Regal gets MAD, throwing those knees until Cena’s in no shape to reverse anything, then transitions back into a Neckbreaker position! Cena’s eyes are unfocused, so Regal takes a moment, looking at Triple H as he holds up a solitary finger, as if to say ‘Not yet’… he waits… then hits the Neckbreaker when HE’S good and ready! Down goes Cena in a heap, but Regal wants more, so he leaps and adds a Knee Drop before he’s happy to make the cover…

ONE…

TWO…

BUT CENA KICKS OUT!

Regal frowns – this wasn’t his plan. Up to the apron crawls Dolph Ziggler, who wants the tag, still pissed about Cena’s cheap shot. Regal looks down at the CeNation leader, evidently considering whether he should stay in the ring and work him a little longer to try for the pin again, but he sighs and opts for a rest, giving Ziggler the slap of a shoulder; not quite perfect teamwork. Ziggler shoots him a look – his hand was outstretched – then clambers up to the top rope as Cena wavers up to his feet… MISSILE DROPKICK FROM ZIGGLER!!! The crowd sits in awe of Ziggler, hitting the great moves on the money as usual, and Cena flips sideways, ending up on all fours with a dazed expression. Ziggler gets up, steadying himself on the ropes, then heads for Cena, pulling him up and answering the previous cheap shot with a stinging right hand of his own. The crowd groans, so hard does Ziggler bitchslap punch his opponent, forcing Cena to reel a little, then following it up by getting in behind him… INVERTED POWERSLAM!!! That could do it, a couple of big moves chained there, as here goes Ziggler into the cover…

ONE…

TWO…

NO! CENA ON THE KICKOUT AGAIN!

“C’mon now, do you job!” complains Ziggler, glaring at a bemused Scott Armstrong, and gets up. He lays a couple of stomps into Cena’s side, then stalks him and prepares his next move. We catch Triple H on the apron, still clearly annoyed by this whole situation, but namely that he’s not in there to claim ‘his’ title shot. Ziggler figures out what he wants to do, hitting the ropes as Cena sits up – NECK SNAP. Cena goes face first into the deck, a move he’s used more than once, but Ziggler executes it even better, to perfection you might say, and stands back to admire his handiwork. Circling the ring, Ziggler soaks up the heat from the crowd, then invites Cena to stand again… HERE’S THE FAME ASSER – NO GOOD!!! Cena shoves Ziggler away mid-move, so the Perfection Artiste goes stumbling in the opposite direction, then turns – FLYING SHOULDER BLOCK! Some boos build from the Cena haters who know what’s coming, but it’s mostly a series of pops as we follow the formula… Ziggler stands into another Shoulder Block, but both men get up – clothesline misses wildly from Ziggler… SPIN-OUT POWERBOMB!!! Cena drops the Show-Off, then raises the hand to another big pop! The CeNation leader looks to Regal, then to Triple H, both watching with frowns from their respective aprons… then throws the “You can’t see me!” to Ziggler, hits the ropes and – FINISHES UP WITH THE FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE!!! Ziggler spasms dramatically as Cena hits it, then stands and prepares for the end, crouching and waiting for Ziggler to join him. The Perfection Artiste wobbles up, so here’s Cena to scoop him up, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT TIME… NOOOO!!! Ziggler escapes out the back, then Dropkicks Cena away… RIGHT INTO TRIPLE H’S REACH, WHERE THE GAME TAKES HIS TAG!!!

A huge pop goes up from the fans who’d rather see a Triple H win, but Cena is stunned, watching the Game step into the ring like a FLASH and head after Ziggler! The Perfection Artiste is caught a little off-guard by it all, holding up his hands innocently before he turns towards his corner… but Triple H gets his hands on him, and just THROWS him into a different corner! Ziggler cannons off the turnbuckle, staggering right back into Triple H’s sights… WHERE THE GAME CAN MAUL HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE! John Cena steps to the apron, shaking his head and breathing heavily, but he’s helpless now, the illegal man, as Triple H watches Ziggler to his feet – he shoves him to the ropes… and ZIGGLER REBOUNDS RIGHT INTO THE HIGH KNEE!!! The Show-Off collapses, selling like a pro as usual, but Triple H isn’t done, turning to Regal to glare at him, a warning to stay out of it, then to Cena to say the same. Cena watches him all the way, the mind games continuing, as Triple H yanks Ziggler up by his hair… HOOKED ARMS – PEDIGREE INCOMING… NOOO!!! Ziggler gets the arms free, shoving Triple H away and seeing him come back – CRACK!!! HE SENDS HIM INTO NEXT WEEK WITH THE SUPERKICK!!! The Game tumbles to the canvas, and Ziggler hooks both legs, screaming “HE’S DONE IT AGAIN, PEOPLE…”

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NO!!! TRIPLE H KICKS OUT!!!

Ziggler can’t believe it! He escaped both his opponents’ finishers, came back with a huge move there, and it still wasn’t good enough! Regal runs a slightly-shaking hand through his hair on the apron, his usual composure wavering a little now that the tension is building in the arena. Likewise, Cena runs a hand over his head on the apron, eyes locked on Triple H and saying “You want an out, Hunter, I’m right here – you hear me?” though the Game ignores him on the canvas, trying to recover. Ziggler stands, looking to Regal – who WANTS the tag, stretching over the ropes for Ziggler! “C’mon sunshine, I did it for you…” he says, but Ziggler looks at the Game on the mat and senses victory – so he shakes his head at Regal! The Englishman’s eyes bulge as Ziggler basically tells him where to go, the Perfection Artiste measuring Triple H for the finish… the Game forces himself to his feet, so Ziggler winds up on the ZIG-ZAG… BUT WAIT! Hunter brings his arms up, locking them around Ziggler’s to jam the move, then tries to buck him off by tilting forward – BUT ZIGGLER GETS HIS ARMS FREE AND LOCKS IN THE SLEEPER HOLD!!! Terrific improvisation from Ziggler, putting the Game right into the lion’s jaw yet again, and this time, you see the expressions on Cena and Regal’s faces change – Regal frustrated, Cena concerned, because this could be the end right here! Triple H falls to a knee under Dolph’s weight, his face scrunched up under Ziggler’s grip, and now the Perfection Artiste begins to taunt him, screaming “TAP HUNTER! TAP FOR ME!” as he increases the pressure as much as he can! The Game begins to fade under this always-deadly hold, and the crowd screams in protest as he raises a hand to tap… but he finds a second wind and stands again! Ziggler starts shaking his head furiously, trying to wrench Triple H down again, but the Cerebral Assassin is alive now, attempting to get out of the hold… THEN JUST CHARGING BACKWARDS INTO A CORNER AND SLAMMING ZIGGLER OFF THE BUCKLES!!! Ziggler is forced to release the hold after the big impact, and Hunter reels away from him, gratefully breathing in… but Ziggler got slammed into his OWN corner, so Regal takes his chance and tags himself in!

Some boos resound as Regal steps inside, not even looking at the stunned Dolph Ziggler, whose face is a picture of exhaustion and bemusement, and here goes Regal after Triple H, getting a couple of forearm shots to the back. Ziggler must step to the outside, as Triple H comes back with a right hand to the gut, then to the face. Regal loves a fist-fight, even when he’s a little tired, so he wallops Triple H with a stinging left hook, only to get a shot back… and here we go, the two men trading blows as the crowd cheers and boos as the Game and the Englishman get the hits respectively. Triple H starts to get the upper hand, throwing the furious bombs, eventually hitting a slug so big Regal staggers back, hitting the ropes… AND WALKING RIGHT INTO THE DOUBLE A SPINEBUSTER!!! The crowd pops BIG, as Triple H drives Regal into the canvas, and here’s the cover, as the crowd chants along…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOOO!!! REGAL KICKS OUT!!!

No good! The men separate there, Regal wincing in considerable pain, as Triple H sweeps that trademark hair out of his eyes, and clenches a fist. He pumps it a little, standing though he staggers, and telling Regal to get up. The Englishman is pained, struggling to his feet, and here’s Triple H, kick to the gut – HOOK OF THE ARMS, PEDIGREE... NOOO!!! Regal spins out as Triple H goes for the kill, then he’s got the leg hooked up – REGAL-PLEX ON THE MONEY!!! He doesn’t stick the pin, letting the Game suffer on the canvas as the crowd groans with the impact, but Regal’s rolling to his feet now, crawling over to Triple H and grabbing him by the legs… tying him up… THERE’S THE REGAL STRETCH APPLIED!!! The crowd screams with protest as Regal hooks the Game into one of the WWE’s most vicious submissions, and almost immediately, it looks like Hunter will tap, roaring with pain! Cena is stretching over the top rope, reaching out to Triple H despite the Game being centre of the ring… that’s how deadly the hold is, that Cena knows the title shot could be in serious jeopardy here! Triple H is frantic, stretching out with a right hand of his own, searching for a rope, a hand, anything to get out of this hell! Slowly, he puts a paw on the canvas and drags himself and Regal towards the ropes… it’s the only direction he sees, right towards Cena, the outstretched hand still there as Triple H tries not to tap, tries to ignore the pain. Regal is desperate here, seething through gritted teeth, trying to force the submission… but Triple H’s edging closer to the corner, reaching for the ropes – BUT NO… CENA’S FOOT IS IN THE WAY!!! “What the hell is he doing?” asks Jim Ross, and the crowd is booing… Cena has his foot on the inside of the ring, his ankle in front of the bottom rope to stop Triple H escaping the hold! The Game is stunned, still in the hold and gasping, so he tilts his eyes up to Cena… AND THE CENATION LEADER IS OFFERING THE HAND INSTEAD!!! If it’s any consolation, Cena doesn’t look happy about it, a face a picture of seriousness as it becomes apparent just how much he wants the WWE Title… SO TRIPLE H TAKES THE TAG TO ESCAPE THE HOLD!!!

The crowd is split, cheers and boos, as Cena storms into the ring – he charges across and sends Ziggler flying AGAIN with a right hand! The Perfection Artiste sprawls to the outside, as Vickie Guerrero throws up her hands in frustration. It’s been one of the stories of the contest, Cena’s issues with the man who beat him two weeks ago… but Cena has bigger fish to fry, turning to see the floored Regal, because the tired Englishman had to release his hold on Triple H when the tag was made. Regal tries to grab the ropes to get up, but Cena is on him, quick as a flash – he grabs him by the ankle and hauls him to the centre of the ring… STFU ON REGAL!!! Now the Englishman has to face a submission hold of storied effectiveness, the man himself screaming in pain as Cena does likewise with adrenaline! Ziggler is down on the outside, Triple H is down on the apron – he’s taken a bit of a beating too – and the focus is on Cena, who might just have the win here, STFU centre of the ring on Regal! Hell, Regal’s no slouch, he’s been in plenty of submissions in the past and he’s dished plenty out, but this could be it, as his arms flail just like Triple H’s did moments ago – but the question is, WILL HE TAP? The answer is “NO!”, a screeching response when Armstrong asks him, but slowly, slowly, Regal’s heading for the ropes, hauling himself to salvation! It’s in sight, though Cena wrenches the hold in even harder… ONLY FOR REGAL TO STRETCH OUT AND GET A HAND ON THE ROPES!!!

Cena’s forced to break the hold, eyes bulging in disbelief, and he sits in the middle of the ring to wonder how that wasn’t enough. Regal is breathing heavily, but Cena frowns and goes over to the Englishman and pulls him up. Cena’s still on the hunt for the vital win, but Regal slugs back with a left hand and shoves him away. Cena tries again, but Regal nails a European Uppercut this time, then lines up the EXPLODER SUPLEX… AND HE NAILS IT!!! Both men go down, the fatigue in this bout showing a little, but Regal’s up again, panting, and he hauls Cena up too. A couple of left hands, then he shoves his hair out of his eyes and sweep in behind for the Regal-Plex… NO! Cena throws a couple of elbows, then wheels out of the hold and hoists Regal up for the ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT… BUT REGAL’S OUT OF IT AGAIN! The Englishman escapes, bringing a thumping left hand into the gut of Cena from behind him, then hitting the ropes… AND WIPING OUT CENA WITH THE KNEE TREMBLER!!! Regal RUNS through Cena there, sending him to the canvas in a heap, and now he makes the cover, the arena silenced as the Englishman sees that title shot, this is his moment…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE – BUT NOOO!!! TRIPLE H OUTTA NOWHERE TO BREAK IT UP!!!

The crowd goes wild as the Game saves the match-up! Cena rolls to the side, as does Regal, but the Englishman’s eyes are glazed over, just amazed that he couldn’t secure his shot, but Triple H is standing above him with a face that says he knew exactly what he was doing. Cena struggles up, casting a look at the Game through his exhaustion – is he thanking him? No, he just stares… Triple H looks back at him in equal measure, as Regal collapses into the corner and slumps his head against the turnbuckle. Just as Cena gets up, however, there’s a flash of blonde… BECAUSE DOLPH ZIGGLER’S BACK IN THE RING, AND HE CHARGES AT TRIPLE H INTO THE FAME ASSER… BUT NOOO!!! Triple H shoves Ziggler on a little further… AND ZIGGLER WIPES OUT CENA!!! Cena catches the Fame Asser from the Perfection Artiste, who didn’t mean that at all, but he stands up with a growing smirk… ONLY FOR TRIPLE H TO CLOTHESLINE HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!!! Ziggler clatters to the outside hard, and now Triple H’s attention shoots to William Regal as the Englishman tries to recover on the canvas! Cena’s down and out, so Triple H grabs his own partner by the shoulders and draaaags him over to the corner… he steps to the outside apron, hauls Cena up again and TAGS himself in off a dazed man, a man unable to stop him! The King of Kings wastes no time, stepping right back inside to go after Regal… the Englishman stands to throw a sluggish left hand, but Triple H comes back with a thumping, determined punch in response – THEN KICKS HIM IN THE GUT, HOOKS THE ARMS… AND DRILLS REGAL INTO THE FLOOR WITH THE PEDIGREE!!! THE CROWD ERUPTS!!! Cena is coming around, looking up and crawling towards Triple H with a raised hand, maybe trying to stop him… but the Game rolls Regal on to his back, and as Cena watches, the crowd counts along in jubilation…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE!!! THE GAME HAS HIS SHOT!!!

WINNERS: TRIPLE H AND JOHN CENA VIA PINFALL AT 16:39
TRIPLE H IS THE NEW NUMBER ONE CONTENDER TO THE WWE TITLE


*THE GAME*

Justin Roberts:

Here are your winners… the team of John Cena… and the NEEEEEW number one contender to the WWE Championship… the Game – TRIIIIIPLE ‘AIIIITCH!!!

A big pop echoes around the Key Arena, and Triple H stands with an exhausted expression; referee Scott Armstrong raises his arm, and the Game, hair all over his face, allows himself a tired smile. On the outside, Dolph Ziggler has Vickie Guerrero’s doting presence, but the Perfection Artiste is out of his MIND, throwing a tantrum on the ramp! Vickie tries to calm him down, but he’s inconsolable, having lost his chance… but that being said, no-one in this arena is as devastated as John Cena, who slumps back against a turnbuckle and looks to the ceiling. Meanwhile, Triple H heads to a different corner, stepping up to the second rope and posing as he always does, letting the adrenaline SURGE through him!

Jim Ross:

We wondered if these two could team together tonight, and by gawd we have our answer… no, but hell, it doesn’t matter, because Triple H took advantage of the situation – looks like he’s goin’ to Capitol Punishment!

Josh Matthews:
At times, I thought that lack of teamwork really could cost them, JR, but in the end, Ziggler and Regal couldn’t work as a unit either, and when push came to shove, Triple H got himself the last tag of the duels and nailed the Pedigree to end this as a contest.

Booker T:
Awww, da Game got it done tah-night, he got past all dose issues, he got past two big guys in Ziggler and Regal, and whether John Cena like it or not, it was dat boi Triple H who came out on top tonight. Da Game played it smart, dig?

Triple H stands down and turns around… to face CENA, who stares at him under the pain of some heaving breaths. It’s not quite the torture these two went through at Extreme Rules, but they exchange a look that says it all – they know that’s not how they should have settled the issue. The Game throws up his hands vaguely, and leaves the ring under the red and green flashing lights, though Cena watches him all the way. With Ziggler out of the way, Triple H heads up the ramp, holding up a fist to acknowledge the crowd… but in the ring, Cena’s shaking his head.

“We’re not done. We’re not done.”

He keeps saying it, almost trying to convince himself, while the focus heads back to Triple H, obviously pleased with pulling out the win, but it seems a little bittersweet for him here tonight. At ringside, William Regal recovers in a heap against the barricade, before our final shot of Over The Limit’s opener… Triple H on the stage, raising his arms high in celebration, as Cena stares him down coldly from the ring.


Jim Ross:

The Game victorious in the big match-up here at Over The Limit, but still to come, we’re gonna find out his future opponent – I imagine it’s gonna be Triple H versus The Miz, or versus Daniel Bryan for the title, but for now, congratulations to that man, because we may have had our doubts, but he answered the call tonight.

We’ll fade away from the Game’s triumphant pose…

---

A black screen. The clinking of metal in our ears. Footsteps.

The image fades into view – the clinking is handcuffs, around a man’s wrists. He is being escorted down a corridor by two guards, the sound distorted as the footsteps echo off the walls. A man is saying something that we can’t hear.


Voice:

You have been found guilty of heinous crimes and for that you will...

It fades. The man in handcuffs is wearing orange prison overalls, his head tilted down.

Voice:

I hereby sentence you…

The man does not struggle against his chains.

Voice:

May God have mercy on your…

Finally, they come to a room at the end of the corridor. The man tilts his head up to face what lies inside; a smirk on his lips. He is not afraid. One of the guards turns to look at him, his grip tightening around the prisoner’s arm.

Guard:

Strap in, boy. It’s gonna be electric.

The man, and the camera, turn back to the room… where the electric chair awaits. The prisoner tilts his head up to the skies as they lead him towards it…

…and when he’s uncuffed and made to sit, it’s CM Punk who closes his eyes and smiles.


Narrator:

WWE – Capitol Punishment.


WWE CAPITOL PUNISHMENT
19TH JUNE 2011 | VERIZON CENTER | WASHINGTON D.C.

---

Back to the arena now.

Jim Ross:

In just four weeks’ time, ladies and gentlemen, we’re headin’ to D.C. for Capitol Punishment – what a night it’s set to be, guys.

Josh Matthews:
We already know that Triple H will be there, JR, challenging for the WWE Title yet again, and undoubtedly the debut of Capitol Punishment to the pay-per-view schedule will be absolutely… electric.

Jim Ross:
One hell of a pun, ain’t it? Wonder who gets paid to come up with those…

To the ring, where the bell chimes, and standing by is Tony Chimel.

Tony Chimel:

The following contest is set for one fall… and is for the Intercontinental Championship!

A healthy pop there.

“BOOYAKA, BOOYAKA…”


*619*

The stage lights up with a startling rainbow, and the crowd pops BIG as REY MYSTERIO launches into view, raising an arm to the cheering arena! The Ultimate Underdog looks fired up, wearing a shining orange mask tonight to match the Over The Limit logo – of course, I’m not writing in orange, that would look ridiculous. Mysterio heads to either side of the stage to set off his pyro, then heads down the ramp, touching heads with kids in replica masks along the way.

Josh Matthews:

Early this year, Rey Mysterio accidentally broke the nose of young Cody Rhodes… it seems a long time ago, JR, but the new Intercontinental Champion hasn’t forgotten.

Jim Ross:
And he hasn’t let poor Rey Mysterio forget, either, but I tell ya, it all comes to a head tonight – Mysterio and Rhodes, only one man can be champion.

Booker T:
Rey Rey’s had to put up wit a whole lot from dat crazy sucka Cody Rhodes, but tah-night’s his chance to pay him back. He can dat title, right outta his hands, and finally prove himself da better man, and I can’t wait, man!

Mysterio enters the ring, heading around the turnbuckles to bless each corner of the corner with his traditional sign of the cross. When he’s done, he heads to the corner and waits for the champion, as his music dies out and “619!” chants make him smile a little.

“WOOOOOOOAAAAAAAHHHHHH…”


*DISFIGURED*

In stark contrast to the jubilation for Rey, the crowd lets their hate be known for the INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION, CODY RHODES, who walks out slowly with his hood covering his face as always. His head is tilted down, but that title belt is on full view, his hands caressing it like it’s all he cares about anymore. With the music rocking the booing Key Arena, the Disfigured One keeps his head down, his mask just about poking out from beneath the hood, and trudges down the ramp.

Jim Ross:

A disturbing sight we saw on Friday folks, when this man removed his trademark mask… but there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with that face of his, showin’ just how far gone Cody Rhodes is when it comes to his mental state.

Booker T:
Da guy is outta his mind, man.

Josh Matthews:
Cody Rhodes claims that everything that has happened is Rey Mysterio’s fault – from the day his nose was broken, Rhodes’ mind started to decline into insanity, and what you see in front of you is the end result. He’s an unstable man, and he said he’d do whatever was necessary to ruin Rey Mysterio’s life here tonight.

Rhodes steps up to the apron and swings gingerly inside. He keeps his head down, all the way to the corner, as Rey moves around to join the ‘face’ corner, drawing no attention to himself as the crowd focuses on the dark image of the champion. Rhodes, under the much-dimmed lights of his entrance, turns to the corner and puts his forehead on the top buckle to remove his jacket, flipping off the hood. He throws it to ringside, then detaches the title and stares a hole through his own belt. His music subsides, leaving us with Rey’s pacing in the background, while Rhodes’ bulging eyes behind the mask remain locked on his title. Tony Chimel realises that Cody isn’t turning, and makes the introductions.

Tony Chimel:

Introducing first, the challenger… from San Diego, California, weighing in tonight at one hundred and seventy-five pounds… RRRRREEEYYY – MYSTERIO!

BIG pop for the Master of the 619, who raises both arms to acknowledge the crowd and bounces on the balls of his feet.

Tony Chimel:

And his opponent… from Marietta, Georgia, weighing in tonight at two hundred and fifteen pounds… he is the current Intercontinental Champion… COOOOODY – RHODES!

Rhodes raises the belt into the air, still not facing Mysterio, nodding his head in spite of the loud booing that follows his intro. Finally, he turns, his head jerking to the side as if he wants to stop Mysterio looking at him, then hands referee Charles Robinson the belt without looking at the official either. There’s something eerie going on in Rhodes’ mannerisms, even more so tonight, but Rey isn’t deterred, bouncing like a man with a spring in his step. Robinson raises the title so we all know what’s at stake, and he hands it to ringside before he calls for the bell.


Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (c) defends against Rey Mysterio

Rhodes brings his head up and finally looks at Mysterio – those eyes couldn’t burn with hatred more if they tried. Rey stares back at him without the same hate, almost a sympathy for the wild-minded champion… but that stoicism is broken straight away, as Rhodes goes right after him with a series of right hands, driving the luchador back to the corner! The crowd is booing, Rhodes unleashing kicks and punches at the smaller man, who was caught off-guard by Cody’s lurching movements! The Intercontinental Champion is unpredictable, a shaking mess of rage and flurried blows, and it takes the count of Charles Robinson to force Rhodes back! Finally, he manages to tear himself away from his enemy, stepping back into the centre of the ring and running his hands over his mask like a man tormented by too many memories. He falls to a knee and breathes heavily, even snarling like a dog, before he lurches up and THROWS himself towards Mysterio again… but Rey dodges this time, and Rhodes has to stop himself colliding with the buckles! He’s got energy to burn, though, turning and going for the luchador once more – ONLY FOR REY TO DROPKICK HIM IN THE KNEE! That brings the frantic champion down, gasping, but Rey looks stunned, witnessing an aggression even he hadn’t expected! Rhodes sits up, baring his teeth… AND REY LEAPS ON TOP OF HIM WITH A SERIES OF RIGHT HANDS! The crowd pops as Mysterio’s fists bounce off the mask, the high-flyer trying to take the fight to the champion… but Rhodes shoves him off!

Mysterio rolls backwards, smoothly finding his feet, and he rocks Rhodes with another right as they meet in the middle. That sends Cody towards the ropes, so he rebounds and catches Rey on the Irish whip, into the corner… Rhodes follows up, but Mysterio uses the ropes to leap back over him, grabbing his wrist on the way and throwing the champion with an Arm Drag! Rhodes goes tumbling, but again he’s up, charging at Rey… who gets imaginative, using the momentum to wring the arm – AND FIND THE INSIDE CRADLE ON THE CHAMPION!

ONE…

BUT RHODES KICKS OUT!

Both men spring up again, still fresh, but Rhodes composes himself this time. Rey has his fists raised, ready for another reckless charge, but the Disfigured One is breathing a little too heavily, realising that he’s throwing this contest away. He turns, slamming a hand off the top turnbuckle with a yell, then shakes out his arms and faces Mysterio again. The luchador hasn’t lowered those hands, always wary of the champion’s threat, especially in the state he’s in now. Rhodes is muttering something… “He doesn’t deserve this match… hurt him slow, hurt him slow…” and paces much more methodically towards his opponent this time. Rey drops a shoulder and meets him with a waist lock, but Rhodes spins out and gets a waist lock of his own. He brings an arm around, forcing Rey sideways, and hooks in an Abdominal Stretch – Rey gasps for air, but the champion finally looks a little more comfortable, enjoying making his enemy suffer. Charles Robinson asks Mysterio the big question, but he won’t tap, not yet – this is more for Rhodes’ state of mind than a submission attempt, however, as Cody tries to wear the smaller man down somewhat. Rey withstands the pain and comes back with a left hand to the head, then again, and swivels out of the hold. He throws a kick to the side, then another, causing Rhodes to wince, then heads for the ropes… Rhodes bends down for the Back Body Drop – BUT REY GOES OVER THE TOP WITH THE SUNSET FLIP – ONLY FOR RHODES TO ROLL THROUGH… DROPKICK TO THE FACE!!! That’s one hell of an impact, Rhodes clattering through the luchador there, and now he makes a cover, still frustrated behind the plastic…

ONE…

TWO – BUT REY KICKS OUT OF IT!

A pop goes up, but Rhodes’ fingers are jerking about as he gets up, the little things getting into his mind. He circles Mysterio, as if looking for something unusual about him – as if Rey is somehow different, something malicious that would drive him to break Cody’s nose. He finds nothing, and watches him wobble up, before whipping him to the ropes. Rey comes back at speed, scaling on to Rhodes’ shoulders for a HURRICANRANA – NO! Rhodes shoves him off, desperate to avoid more high-flying antics, and kicks Mysterio in the gut as he lands… before he HURLS him under the bottom rope to clatter to the outside floor! The crowd boos – Rhodes didn’t try to outwrestle him, he just wanted to hurt the luchador, and hurt him he did. Rey is wincing on the outside, holding the elbow he landed on, and Rhodes wastes little time, heading to the outside apron to prepare his next move. He waits for Mysterio to get up, then leaps at him – but the Ultimate Underdog ducks, and Cody has to stop himself charging into the fan barricade… when he turns, Mysterio has found his way to the apron – SO HE WIPES RHODES OUT WITH A SEATED SENTON! A big pop goes up, especially the cheers from the nearby fans, as Rey lands on his feet and raises an arm to enjoy the ovation! It’s not all business for the high-flyer, who feels he owes the crowd a win just as much as he wants it himself, and now he trots to the ring steps. Rhodes lethargically staggers back up, so Rey grabs him by the head when he gets close, and looks to FACEBUSTER HIM INTO THE STEEEEPS – NOOO!!! Rhodes wrenches his head away, possibly saving his mask, and Mysterio lands on the steps hard! The crowd groans with the impact, and now it’s on Rhodes, who leaps up – AND DROPKICKS REY OFF THE STEPS!!!

Rey crumples to the hard floor again, gasping in pain, as Rhodes takes this chance to re-enter the ring for a breather. The referee’s count is at six, so Mysterio hasn’t much time – at eight, he manages to haul himself up, though he struggles, and rolls back inside at nine. The crowd is relieved, but Cody Rhodes moves over to him with a scowl, pulling him up and dealing a couple of hard shots to the gut before he sends him to the ropes, hitting the adjacent ones himself… AND CATCHING MYSTERIO WITH A KNEE LIFT! That flattens the high-flyer, but rather than cover, Rhodes slumps against the ropes and stares down at his challenger with a shake of the head. Rey is in a heap, truly crumpled by that big shot, but he has the resilience to put a hand on the canvas, trying to get up again. There’s a frown behind the mask from Rhodes, who would much rather Rey just stay down, but he recognises he must do more. Mysterio’s shaky frame finds its way up, but Rhodes grabs him and hoists him all the way into the Vertical Suplex! Rey is held at the perfect 180 degrees by Rhodes, who shows the flicker of a smirk as he executes the move with a careful consideration, looking to drop Mysterio to complete it… but Rey shakes and falls down again, landing on his feet! The luchador knocks Rhodes away with a right hand to the mask, then heads for the turnbuckles, his instincts kicking in, and he clambers speedily to the top rope… BUT RHODES DIVES ON THE ROPES TO MAKE HIM LOSE HIS BALANCE! Rey tumbles off, his head bouncing off the ropes as he clatters to the canvas, but he winces and tries to get up… only for Rhodes to grab him – AND DELIVER THE BULLDOG! That plants Mysterio, and Rhodes rolls him on to his back, nodding at his own opportunism…

ONE…

TWO… BUT NO! REY KICKS OUT AGAIN!

As he gets up, Rhodes is scowling again. Behind the mask is the face of a man frustrated that he hasn’t inflicted enough damage, his eyes flickering around the arena as the crowd chants Rey Mysterio’s name. He writhes a little, his head wafting side to side as he loosens himself up, then exhales and goes to pull Rey up again. The high-flyer was by the ropes, but he’ll have no time to recover, as Rhodes throws him into the corner and lays in a few kicks, turning into stomps when Mysterio slumps to the floor again. He drags him back to the centre of the ring, then gets his trademark Knee Drop on the money. Rey is reeling here, so Rhodes crouches and looks for something bigger. The Ultimate Underdog finds a vertical base, a hand against his mask to sell the last few hits, and finds himself in position for a Russian Legsweep – no! Mysterio spins out of it suddenly, feeds the leg… CRACK! ENZUIGIRI TO RHODES, RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES! Rhodes collapses in shock, blinking frantically after copping a stinging kick from Mysterio there, but he manages to struggle back up, shaking his head… but here comes Mysterio again, launching up into the HEADSCISSORS… ALL AROUND THE WORLD HE GOES – AND THEN THE TAKEDOWN! Rhodes takes a trip again, but once more he’ll stand, still thinking he can stem the tide of offence – ONLY TO GET MYSTERIO LEAPING INTO THE WHEELBARROW… AND THE FACEBUSTER! The sight of Cody Rhodes getting hammered into the deck gets a hefty cheer from this crowd in Seattle, and Mysterio heads to the outside, raising an arm to signal he’s going up high! Looks like the Ultimate Underdog wants to up the pace, clambering to the top rope and taking a deep breath… THEN HE FLIES OFF WITH THE DIVING HEADBUTT – AND NAILS IT, TO THE CROWD’S DELIGHT!!! Rhodes has used his mask consistently as a weapon, but tonight, Mysterio does just the same, answering in kind – he reels after the impact, but he has the energy to haul himself into the cover…

ONE…

TWO…

BUT RHODES GETS A SHOULDER UP! THERE’S LIFE IN THE CHAMPION!

The focus is with Rhodes – even when he’s trying to sell, he’s still working the character, one eye wide open whilst the other is closed and his hands raking his mask to check that it’s still intact. There’s a look of ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ about him, not able to understand how Mysterio managed to spark into life there when he seemed to be in control, wondering where the Ultimate Underdog gets his spirit from. He grabs the ropes and yanks himself up, shaking out the cobwebs and turning back to Mysterio… but the luchador is up, and he lashes a few kicks off his side. Rhodes takes each shot with a grunt, but comes back with a mask-aided headbutt, sending Rey stumbling back to the ropes! Mysterio is seeing stars, so the Intercontinental Champion shakes out his aching muscles and charges again… BUT REY PULLS DOWN THE TOP ROPE, SO RHODES CRASHES TO THE OUTSIDE!!! The crowd cheers Rhodes’ awkward fall, and now Mysterio takes a moment to recover in the ring, a smile crossing his face at the sight of Rhodes crawling about beneath him. Rey wraps his hands around the top rope, prompting a buzz in the arena… Cody struggles to his feet, so Rey slingshots… RIGHT INTO THE CORKSCREW PLANCHAAAAA – NOBODY HOME! MYSTERIO LANDS ON THE OUTSIDE FLOOR!!! Groans fill the Key Arena on the harsh impact – Rey lands on his stomach, taking the full force of the fall, with Rhodes safely out of the way, having dived sideways rather than face another hit. The Intercontinental Champion is up again, however, wasting no time in grabbing the hurt Mysterio and throwing some blows across his face.

The crowd boos Rhodes’ aggression, but as always, he doesn’t care, his attention focused purely on the luchador now. After each shot, he adds the trash talk – “I said I’d hurt you, here it is, Rey, right here…” as he throws his next punch. His voice is much lower, a gravelly, angry tone. He pulls Rey up and hurls him at the barricade, an impact jarring through his ribs. Mysterio falls to a knee, gasping for air, but Rhodes lays in some boots, some clubbing forearms, and DRIVES his shoulder into the luchador’s gut to continue the onslaught! Rey staggers away, in considerable pain as the referee’s count reaches five, but Rhodes isn’t done, grabbing him by the head and bashing it off the top of the ring steps! Down goes Mysterio again, but Rhodes STILL won’t let up, falling on him and bludgeoning him with right hands! The champion catches the “EIGHT!” call from Charles Robinson, so he rolls Rey’s tired body back into the ring, and follows him in. A cover seems likely, but Rhodes doesn’t do things conventionally – not anymore, anyway – and hoists the high-flyer up to his feet again. He drives a knee into Mysterio’s gut, letting him feel every last moment, every last hit he has to offer, before finally he looks for something bigger… hoisted on to the shoulders, and now Rhodes looks around the arena, scowling at the sight of the booing fans – BEFORE HE SCORES WITH THE ALABAMA SLAM!!! That takes all the air out of Mysterio’s lungs, and he lies motionless as Rhodes falls into the cover…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOOO!!! MYSTERIO GETS A SHOULDER UP!!!

Those eyes bulge again, slowly becoming a Rhodes trademark – he’s always pissed off these days – but more than that, he just doesn’t understand. He expected the three count there, but as he stands, there’s a shake of the head. Frustration begins to seep in, and he paces left and right, watching Rey trying to find his feet. Mysterio eventually manages it, keeping his footing just about, but catches a right hand from Cody. He falls back into the ropes, then answers with a right hand of his own. Rhodes weighs up the response, and FIRES the right hand into thin air, Rey ducking and heading for the ropes. Mysterio’s got that springboard, he SOARS INTO THE MOONSAULT – NO! He lands on his feet despite Rhodes ducking the move, so he lets the momentum carry him back to the ropes – he’ll try again, this time on the SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY… AND HE GOT HIM, SHOULDERS INTO THE MAT…

ONE…

TWO…

NO! KICKOUT BY RHODES!!!

Rhodes shoves Rey away, and both men get up, but Cody is PISSED and he drives the luchador into the corner! Right hand, right hand, right hand, again and again as the Intercontinental Champion lets the aggression out; he’s making good on his promise to hurt his enemy here. He goes to send him out of the corner, then pulls him back and THROWS him, slamming him right into the top turnbuckle Snake Eyes-style! “Ohhh!” cries the crowd in time with the impact, head off buckle, and Rey slumps, his body a ragdoll against the corner. Rhodes’ breathing has got heavier, staring at Mysterio’s suffering with a vacant expression – he’s losing it. He clenches both fists and runs them down his mask, giving in to the inner urges inside him… and as Mysterio turns himself sluggishly around, Rhodes goes lurching forward with a clothesline – BAM! He meets turnbuckle, Mysterio’s gone! Rhodes staggers back to face the Ultimate Underdog, who grabs him with both hands, one on either side of the mask… then SKEWS it, giving himself an opening – so HE BLUDGEONS RHODES WITH A SERIES OF HEADBUTTS!!! Rey’s giving back everything he gets, the crowd cheering along, and though he has to shake out the pain of delivering the shots, Mysterio heads to the ropes to gather some pace… then it’s ALL AROUND THE WORLD on the beautiful Headscissors… RIGHT INTO THE DDT, DROPPING RHODES MASK-FIRST INTO THE MAT!!! The crowd cheers as Mysterio refuses to give up, and now he hauls himself into yet another cover, just about managing to equal his demented opponent; maybe he finally has him beat here…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOO!!! KICKOUT!!! RHODES GETS OUT!!!

Mysterio sighs, pushing himself up from his knees and using the ropes to keep himself upright. He takes a deep breath and runs a hand over his mask. Rhodes’ head spasms sideways, an animalistic motion as he tries to shake out the pain of that DDT. Nevertheless, he’s still in the game, and he gets up, baring his teeth once more. Rey meets him with a right hand, tries to drive him back to the ropes, but Rhodes shoves him away and Mysterio has to regain his footing. Rey comes back to try again, but Rhodes ducks under it this time and hooks up CROSS RHODES – only for Rey to worm his way free amidst the protestations of the crowd – and Dropkick Cody in the back… SO HE FALLS OVER THE SECOND ROPE! The crowd pops BIG, as Mysterio raises an arm to dial it up… BUT RHODES SHOVES HIMSELF FREE, AND BLASTS REY WITH A CLOTHESLINE!!! A groan goes up in the arena as Mysterio’s body folds into two, and now Rhodes is furious again, his eyes widening as he stands. He senses the end, pulling Rey up and towards the corner. He gets the Russian Legsweep, then turns to the turnbuckle, ignoring the crowd’s boos as he steps up to the top rope… AND SOARS INTO THE MOONSAAAAAUUUULLTT – HE ABSOLUTELY NAILS IT!!! This could be it – Rhodes gasps and holds his stomach, but slowly he crawls back over his challenger…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOOO!!! NO! MYSTERIO’S SHOULDER IS UP!!!

Rhodes’ head hits the canvas. He can’t believe Mysterio’s resilience, the fact that the luchador just won’t stay down for three; the sight of Rey pulling his tired body towards the ropes to start again sickens him. He slaps his hands against his head, trying to focus, but he’s evidently in a bad way, his thoughts bouncing off the insides of his head and driving him crazy. He gets up, his right hand twitching into a fist – he stumbles, realising suddenly how far Rey has pushed him here, but he turns and welcomes the fatigued Rey Mysterio yet again. It’s not a warm welcome, Cody booting Rey in the gut and setting up a Powerbomb. He pulls Mysterio up… but the luchador comes alive with a series of punches, then turns it into a HURRICANRANA… SENDING RHODES ON TO THE ROPES AGAIN!!! The crowd goes NUTS as Rey feeds off the energy in Seattle, scrambling to his feet and then to the ropes… BEFORE HE SCORES WITH THE 619!!! The Key Arena is ROCKING, as Rhodes staggers back into the centre of the ring – Rey springboards… BUT RHODES DUCKS THE SENTON… TO THE ROPES – BEAUTIFUL DISASTER KICK, RIGHT TO THE FACE!!! The sickening ‘CRACK’ echoes around the arena, as hundreds of Mysterio fans cover their mouths in horror, and now the Ultimate Underdog is DOWN, unmoving on the canvas. Rhodes stumbles as he stares down at him, trying to calm his breathing, but there’s a look in his eyes that says the punishment just wasn’t quite enough. This man said he would ruin Rey’s life, and he wants more… so he pulls the luchador up, a lifeless man held up by a man with no regard for life… inverted facelock – AND NOW CROSS RHODES CONNECTS!!! For the second pay-per-view in a row, Cody lays out Mysterio with Cross Rhodes just to prove a point, and now it’s a done deal, the Intercontinental Champion kneeling beside his challenger and making the cover…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE!!!

WINNER AND STILL INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: CODY RHODES VIA PINFALL AT 13:04

*DISFIGURED*

Tony Chimel:

Here is your winner and STILL the Intercontinental Champion… CODY – RHODES!

Rhodes rises to his feet and has his arm raised by an unsure Charles Robinson – the referee is a little disturbed by the sight of Rhodes, as we all are, and he quickly drops the arm, hands him his title and makes a hasty exit. Rey Mysterio is still down, while Rhodes slings his title over his shoulder and heads for the turnbuckle. He clambers to the second rope and tilts his head to the ceiling, letting the heat rain down from this disapproving Seattle crowd, but the title is raised by the Disfigured One regardless. There’s a bizarre regality to a man who spent much of that match frothing like a feral dog, but now he seems at peace…

Jim Ross:

Once again tonight, these two men gave us some back-and-forth action like only they can – they know each well, they wanted to hurt each other, and just look at Rey Mysterio… Cody Rhodes sure hurt him tonight.

Josh Matthews:
This was about more than just the title, JR, and… well, they both gave their all, and not only has Cody Rhodes won tonight – he may have ended Mysterio’s challenge once and for all.

Booker T:
Ya know I love to see dem great matches, guys, but that was just… Cody Rhodes sure sent his message tah-night, he had a point to prove and he PROVED it. Maybe dese guys settled da score, maybe dis is the end.

…but that being said, Mysterio struggles up, though he falls to a knee – and Rhodes’ head SNAPS back to the ring, as if he could sense Rey getting up. The Intercontinental Champion steps down from the turnbuckle and turns to face his beaten foe, frowning. Mysterio holds up a hand, exhaustedly nodding and saying “Okay man, you did it, you did it. Enough.” Rhodes stares at him coldly, once again brimming with hatred for this man, as the crowd begins to chant “619! 619!” to show their support for the WWE’s biggest little man. Mysterio forces himself to two feet, and pants as he again holds up that hand to signal a ceasefire... BUT RHODES SHAKES HIS HEAD – AND SUDDENLY DRILLS HIM WITH THE TITLE BELT!!!

Jim Ross:

Oh come on!

The crowd boos the HELL out of Cody Rhodes, the demented S.O.B walloping Rey with that harsh steel, and now he stalks his enemy again, hissing “I can hurt you, I have to hurt you more…” Rey is a wreck, his hands splaying against the canvas as he tries to get up, but he’s exhausted, and he’d only have to contend with Rhodes weighing up another shot with that belt. Rhodes’ eyes are once again bulging – the Intercontinental Champion still wants to take things to another level…

*ANCIENT SPIRIT*

BUT THE CROWD GOES WILD!!! Steam rushes up from the stage, the lights turn that deep azure, and SIN CARA comes sprinting out!

Josh Matthews:

Wait a sec – Sin Cara!

The Mexican Idol wastes no time, hurtling down the ramp and SLIDING INTO THE RING… Rhodes swings with the title belt, but Cara ducks it, HANDSTAND INTO THE ROPES… HANDSPRING BACK ELBOW!!! Down goes the champion, but both men scramble back up, Sin Cara pinging back at the Disfigured One… AROUND THE WORLD – AND SIN CARA SENDS RHODES FLYING WITH A HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN!!! Cody really gets some distance, tumbling through the ropes to the outside, and in the ring… Sin Cara helps Rey Mysterio up to a HUGE pop from this Seattle crowd! Mysterio slumps against his fellow luchador, who slaps him a couple of times lightly on the chest to show his support. Turning to the crowd for the first time, Sin Cara raises Mysterio’s arm, and the pair get a loud ovation here in Seattle, as Rhodes backtracks with his title, still champion but scowling, heading up the ramp and out of this scene.

Jim Ross:

Just when ya thought Cody Rhodes was gonna a step too far here, folks, I gotta hand it to Sin Cara – that was brave.

Josh Matthews:
Bravery not a foreign experience for Sin Cara though, JR – for weeks we’ve seen him on SmackDown putting his body on the line, and perhaps for the first time tonight, he put it on the line for someone else.

Booker T:
Ya gotta love it when two guys watchin’ each other’s back, man, I mean ya look at three weeks ago in dat Battle Royal, dese two guys eliminated dat boi Cody Rhodes, and tah-night we saw dat teamwork again. I like dese two, I really dig it.

As Sin Cara leads the crowd’s ovation for a beaten challenger, Mysterio thanks him through his exhaustion… and we fade backstage.

We join the locker room… of EDGE and CHRISTIAN, who get a BIG pop from these fans! The classic pairing are deep in conversation, words that fade into our hearing shortly after we cut into the locker room of the crowd’s favourite tag team…


Edge:

All I’m sayin’ is, bro, the haircut was uncalled for.

He points to Christian’s ‘do, slightly trimmed since we last saw him. The Livewire touches his head.

Christian:

What’s so bad about it?

Edge:
Well, nothin’, I just thought we were tryin’ to get a little old school here, take a trip down memory lane… ya hurt my feelings a little.

He folds his arms and looks away, holding back crocodile tears.

Christian:

Dude, dude, don’t take it personal. Let’s just say… well, the ‘Rated R hippie’ look just isn’t me anymore.

Edge shoots him a look as the crowd laughs. Christian holds up his hands innocently.

Christian:

But hey, that’s not to say I’m not up for relivin’ the old days, BRO.

He turns to pick up something out of shot, and holds up two KAZOOS (~!), much to the crowd’s delight. He tosses one of the inflammable instruments to Edge, who finally cracks a grin in response.

Edge:

Forgot how much I used to love these things, man!

Christian:
Long live the ‘zoo?

Edge stares at him… then grins.

Edge:

Long live the ‘zoo.

He puts it to his lips and starts playing “Just Close Your Eyes”, to which Christian does a quick little dance, grabbing his own kazoo and joining in… but the door clicks open, and the men stop. They turn to face KOFI KINGSTON, who gets his own fierce pop from the crowd, but he looks less than peppy tonight. A few “KOFI! KOFI!” chants can be heard in the arena. They stand in silence for a second, before Christian strikes up with “SOS” on the kazoo, the beat of Kingston’s tune making him turn his head, and Christian squeals to an early stop. Some laughs in the arena.

Kofi Kingston:

Someone said you were looking for me, Edge.

Edge can see Kofi’s a little on edge, no pun intended, so he puts the kazoo to one side. He holds up his hands.

Edge:

Hey. Look, I just wanted to say good luck tonight.

Kofi nods, a little awkwardly.

Kofi Kingston:

Er – well, thanks.

The Rated R Superstar tilts his head apologetically.

Edge:

Okay, so it was more than that. Thing is, the dude here and I are a little tied up, y’know, beatin’ the livin’ tar outta The Corre.

Christian grins as the crowd pops.

Edge:

What I wanted to let you know is… Del Rio can’t hold that title another day.

A smaller pop of agreement, but Kofi gives him a weak smile.

Kofi Kingston:

Edge – look, man, I appreciate it, but I already know –

Edge:
Alright, alright, you know that. I just wanna know… are you ready for this tonight? You game?

Kofi takes a moment, then smiles at the Rated R Superstar.

Kofi Kingston:

I’m ready, Edge. Trust me.

Edge exchanges a look with Christian, and relaxes.

Edge:

Okay. Maybe, I don’t know, maybe I’m still gettin’ over Extreme Rules. But if you’re good to go tonight… well then, the world can look forward to Capitol Punishment, for the World Heavyweight Title… Kofi Kingston versus Edge.

Christian coughs loudly. Edge blinks.

Edge:

versus – ya didn’t let me finish – Kofi versus Edge versus… Christian right there, in a Triple Threat Match for the title. That’s what I meant.

Some obvious shifty eyes from Edge, but Christian lets it go and pats Kingston on the shoulder. The Ghanaian acknowledges that Edge is just trying to help and extends a hand.

Kofi Kingston:

I’d be honoured.

Edge shakes the man’s hand to another pop, and Kofi gives Christian a light slap on the arm on his way out. Christian turns back to his partner.

Christian:

Nice save.

Edge:
Don’t know what you’re talkin’ about, dude.

Edge slips back into BRO-TALK, then grabs his kazoo back off the nearby table and starts up “Metalingus”, getting a smile from Christian as this cheesy scene fades out.

We’re back to ringside.


Jim Ross:

Three men with a lot ahead of ‘em tonight, folks, but over on Raw, it’s time to talk about a man with as big a task as anyone – young Tyler Black.

Josh Matthews:
I think a lot of questions were raised about Tyler Black’s pretending to be a ‘special agent’ when he first arrived on Raw, but more and more, we’re beginning to see another side to him, a man who just wants to do good.

Booker T:
Ya know it, Josh, and if he can take dat US Title offa Sheamus, he’ll be doin’ ERRBODY a huge favour tah-night, ya feel me?

Jim Ross:
Certainly a dangerous man is the champion, Sheamus, and this isn’t going to be an easy task for Tyler, but I’m starting to think if anyone can do it… well, let’s take a look at the astonishing start to the career – of Tyler Black.

---

*ROLL VIDEO PACKAGE*

The black screen. JR’s voice, contorted as if he’s on the phone.

Jim Ross:

This Tyler Black character, seemingly a competitor but still obsessed with askin’ questions of the Raw roster and fulfillin’ this so-called ‘agent’ role – gotta wonder where he’s goin’ with it, what his motives are.

SNAP into the face of Tyler Black, pacing left and right in the ring.

Josh Matthews:

I think this is what we’re beginning to learn about Tyler, JR; he’s not stubborn as much as he is principled.

Across from him, United States Title on his shoulder, a disapproving Sheamus. We cut to their first in-ring confrontation on Raw.

Sheamus:

I didn’t call ya out here to talk to the wannabe agent, fella. I don’t want that side of ya, the fake side. I wanna hear from the little man on the inside.

The Rock turns around after Wrestlemania… and there’s Black in his suit and shades.

Sheamus:

You’ve been hidin’ behind yer mask, but I know just what you are, lad.

Black chasing down Santino Marella and ‘arresting’ him.

Sheamus:

You think you’re all high and mighty, Mr. Righteous, Mr. Black. Well, I say to hell wit it.

Now Black turning up in his ring gear to shock Ted DiBiase.

Sheamus:

I know you really just wanna beat the hell outta me, and that doesn’t fit yer policy, so I think you’re all confused.

Black rushes down the ramp to stop Sheamus attacking Mark Henry; the Yakuza Kick that knocks the Irishman down.

Tyler Black:

You know, maybe I did lie about who I am. Maybe I made up some stupid ‘agent’ thing and maybe it was a little corny, but it meant something.

Sheamus scarpering up the ramp in horror.

Tyler Black:

Let’s cut to the chase, ‘cause I’m not afraid to admit this – I was scared. ‘Cause lots of people have got bad things to say about the WWE.

Various shots; the Montreal Screwjob, Edge and Lita’s live sex celebration, John Cena put through a spotlight, Alberto Del Rio pulled from a steel cage to become World Champion… then Sheamus Brogue Kicking John Morrison over a fan barricade.

Tyler Black:

What if everything I’d ever dreamt about just crashed and burned around me – can you even begin to imagine what that’d feel like, man?

As his voice echoes, these shots continue. Chris Jericho throws Shawn Michaels into a TV screen. The scream of a jobber as Sheamus nearly breaks his back with the Irish Curse. CM Punk drops Jeff Hardy with a GTS. Sheamus bludgeons Mark Henry with the United States Title.

Tyler Black:

So when I got here, I just tried to inject as much… as much ‘good’ into this place as I could.

Black on the top turnbuckle, pointing up the ramp at the champion. Eddie Guerrero’s WWE Title win under the confetti. Black getting the three on Tyson Kidd. The Undertaker goes 19-0. Black, exhausted, raises an arm to the crowd. Austin storms down the ramp, the crowd roaring. Black forms a smile after a win.

Tyler Black:

The problem with that is – you, Sheamus. You embodied everything I was scared about in the first place.

Sheamus and Black, nose-to-nose.

Tyler Black:

But I’m not scared anymore.

Brogue Kicks, faster than you can even count them.

Sheamus:

Well that’s all a real tear-jerker, fella, but to me, that’s all a load of hot air.

Black tilts his head to the sky through his fatigue.

Sheamus:

It doesn’t matter to me… what you think of me.

The Irishman beats his chest, raises his title.

Tyler Black:

I’m here, I’m ready, and yeah, I’m gonna beat the hell outta you, Sheamus. Beat you so hard that you’re never gonna even think about hurting an innocent guy again.

The shots get quicker, the two men face-to-face, trading blows, every ounce of their anger for each other displayed in just seconds.

Sheamus:

I want everybody to be watchin’. I wanna see the look on yer face when you realise that ya don’t hold a candle to me, fella.

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

Sheamus:
So ya want a title match? By all means, mate.

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

Sheamus:
But when ya step in the ring wit me, and when that bell rings… being a ‘good’ guy… it ain’t gonna help ya at all.

“TYLER BLACK! TYLER BLACK!” chants the crowd. Black stands on the top turnbuckle and closes his eyes.

Tyler Black:

…and welcome to the world of BLACK.

Sheamus stands on the ramp, title clutched to his chest, eyes wide as Black embraces the roars of thousands…

*END VIDEO PACKAGE*

---

…and now we head smoothly to the arena, where the bell chimes. We’re in the ring with Justin Roberts.

Justin Roberts:

The following contest is set for one fall… and it is for – the UNITED – STATES – CHAMPIONSHIP!

Very good pop there, as the crowd prepares for the arrival of their newest favourite son. The United States Title graphic swings into view for the fans at home, then the music strikes up and we head to the stage.

*BATTLE ON*

And a BIG pop goes up in Seattle, these fans rising to their feet, as TYLER BLACK storms out to a thumping ovation! His hair cascades down his face, an arm raised to the crowd as he leaps up and STOMPS on the stage to send a burst of pyro out from behind him. As always, perhaps all the more poignant tonight, his ring gear is jet black, from his trunks to his knee pads to his boots. He takes just a second to soak up the crowd’s reaction, then heads down the ramp, slapping a few hands but mostly focused on the squared circle.

Jim Ross:

This young man has really made an impression, guys – Tyler Black, a man who has done nothing but try to make a difference in the WWE, hunted and brutalised by the United States Champion… tonight’s his chance to really make a change.

Josh Matthews:
Tyler’s an individual with some real promise, JR, but he’s especially different in that he has a code – he does things a certain way, and that code is a total opposite to the code that Sheamus has.

Booker T:
I believe in Tyler Black, man. I gotta feeling dat dis boi’s got dat somethin’ special, like his way of doin’ things is da RIGHT way. He makin’ da stand to Sheamus, and dat’s somethin’ dat ain’t nobody done for real yet. Tyler bringin’ change – hell dawg, I’m ready fo’ change! More power to ‘im!

Black heads to ringside; he trots up the ring steps and swings inside the ropes. He immediately heads for the turnbuckle, letting the lights flash all around him as he springs up to the second rope and raises his arms again. There’s a nod, several, as he enjoys the reaction, then hops down and runs a hand through his hair, psyching himself up for the match ahead. His music subsides, giving way to a series of “TYLER BLACK!” chants from the crowd – he smirks and nods his head. He’s ready tonight.

“IT’S A SHAME THAT THEY – LOST THEIR HEAD…”


*WRITTEN IN MY FACE*

A chorus of boos begins as the stage springs up in colours of green and white, and here comes the UNITED STATES CHAMPION, SHEAMUS, with his chain around his neck and the title over his shoulder. He wears an expression of pure indifference, a clear sense of a man calmed before a storm. The Irishman watches Black in the ring, simply breathing in and out… before finally, his frown crosses his face, and he beats his chest into the usual wide spread of the arms. Amidst the inevitable boos, Sheamus ignores the thousands in attendance and heads for the ring, keeping a firm grip on his title as he walks.

Jim Ross:

And across the ring from Black, you have Sheamus. The first Irish-born WWE Champion, a dangerous competitor, undefeated since collecting that United States Title before Wrestlemania… but more than that, we’re talkin’ about a man who will do whatever it takes to send a message.

Booker T:
Awww, he can send a message aight, and he been sendin’ it week in, week out. He does things his way, and ain’t nobody gonna tell him otherwise, ya know? But it’s about time somebody stand up to him, and ya got ya man right dere – my boi Tyler.

Josh Matthews:
Sheamus has been very vocal about Tyler Black’s crusade, guys. He feels he’s earned the right as champion to do his business however he chooses… only Tyler Black didn’t agree with that, and now two undefeated men are going to fight until one of their streaks snaps, just like Tyson Kidd’s did on Monday night.

Jim Ross:
That was at the hands of Black, Josh, indeed, and he has a chance to break another streak tonight. The question is… does he have the killer instinct he’ll need to beat Sheamus in this kind of form?

It seems we’re about to find out, as Sheamus heads up the ring steps, taking a moment on the apron to stare at Black before he steps inside. The referee for this bout, Chad Patton, stands between the two men so they can’t get at each other just yet, and allowing Sheamus the time to find a corner. He removes his chain and tosses it to ringside, waiting as Justin Roberts remains in the middle of the ring for the intros. The music dies down, and the two men stare at each other amidst the continued chanting.

Justin Roberts:

Introducing first, the challenger… from Buffalo, Iowa, weighing in tonight at two hundred and six pounds… TYLER – BLACK!

Fierce cheers from the crowd, but Black seems focused on the task now, the big contest finally here.


Justin Roberts:

And his opponent… from Dublin, Ireland, weighing in tonight at two hundred and sixty-seven pounds… he is the current United States Champion… the Celtic Warrior – SHEEEAAAAMUS!

Inevitably, boos are the response as Sheamus beats his chest twice and spreads his arms wide, title in hand. He snarls at Black, who keeps that steely gaze locked on the Irishman and begins pacing again. Chad Patton takes the title from a reluctant Celtic Warrior, raising it into the air as the crowd buzzes… Black looks ready to go, fingers splaying and limbering up. Sheamus beats his chest once more and moves a little closer; he’s just as eager to get at his opponent, having been denied the chance on Monday night. Patton hands the title to ringside, then calls for the bell.


United States Championship
Sheamus (c) defends against Tyler Black

Black shoves himself away from the ropes and meets Sheamus head-on; it’s immediate right hands, Black taking it right to the champion! The crowd pops as Tyler goes right after his opponent, but Sheamus comes back with a stinging right hand of his own, sending Tyler back into the ropes. Black returns to Sheamus bent over – BAM goes the kick to the Irishman’s jaw, making him reel upright again! Sheamus staggers, blinking in surprise, so Black takes aim… he throws right hands, more and more until Sheamus falls back to the corner – and now Black DRIVES his shoulder into the champion’s gut! Sheamus groans in pain, but as Black goes to try again, the Irishman moves sideways, forcing Tyler into the corner himself – and coming RIGHT back with a series of shoulder thrusts of his own! Sheamus throws far more shots than Black had done, not giving his opponent even half a chance to respond, showing just how more aggressive than Black he’s willing to be. After he’s dealt a couple more thrusts, jarring shots into the stomach, he sends Black out of the corner, to the opposite one in fact… and squashes him into the buckle with a Running Shoulder Block! It’s unorthodox, but it works, as Black and the crowd groan with the impact, and now Sheamus takes a moment to pace the ring. The Irishman glares at Black, who currently rests on a knee, but manages to force himself up to go again.

It’s time for a different tactic; Sheamus can out-brawl Black all day, and that’s exactly what he’s happy to do – a nod from the Irishman after that previous exchange. Black, however, will wrestle his own game, and meets Sheamus head-on with a lockup… which he transitions almost right away into a side headlock. Sheamus winces, but he’s got sixty pounds on Black and he’ll always be able to escape that – which is exactly why Black transitions again, keeping the Irishman guessing by moving into a front facelock. Sheamus tries to drive him into the ropes and send him off to the other side, but Black has a grip cinched in and he falls to a knee to halt the movement. From there, it’s into a waist lock, and Black will try for that Belly-to-Back… but Sheamus knows it’s coming, and he sandbags him a little, getting in an elbow and spinning out – boot to the knee. Black winces and falls, but he struggles right back up and gets sent into the ropes – ONLY TO BE BLUDGEONED DOWN WITH THE AXE HANDLE! Black is up again, only to cop ANOTHER of those thumping blows from the Irishman, and he stays down the second time of asking – Sheamus into the cover, hooking the leg…

ONE…

BUT BLACK GETS OUT!

Sheamus pulls Black back up and tosses him into the corner. He’s getting rougher now, looking to brutalise his challenger a little to send the intended message, hitting Tyler with a couple of elbows to the jaw. He blasts him in the gut with his knee, then hauls him to the centre of the ring and begins to club him to the mat. Black goes down, but he won’t stay down, trying to get up but getting clubbed further for his troubles. Sheamus scowls, then pulls him back up and hoists him on to his shoulders! The Irishman walks around the ring, absorbing the heat from the crowd, then takes a step forward for the ROLLING HILLS – but no! Black slips out, landing behind Sheamus, then catches him with a big Dropkick to the spine to send him staggering across the ring! Sheamus finally stops in the corner, steadying himself on the ropes, but here comes Tyler Black across the ring, NAILING THE CORNER FOREARM! Black gets a stiff hit on him there, then charges to the ropes to meet Sheamus in the middle – YAKUZA KICK… MISSES WILDLY!!! Sheamus ducks, then comes back at Black as the challenger clings to the ropes – BUT BLACK LOWERS THE ROPE AND SHEAMUS CRASHES TO THE OUTSIDE FLOOR!!! The crowd pops as Sheamus goes tumbling, and Black turns to face these Seattle fans, pumping his arms! Tyler is breathing in the atmosphere on his first pay-per-view, loving the reaction he gets on such a big stage, and now he turns, looking to turn it on even more… he charges into the SUICIDE DIIIIVE – AND COMPLETELY WIPES SHEAMUS OUT!!!

The crowd is cheering wildly again; Black is on those outside mats, hauling himself to his feet using the fan barricades and receiving plenty of pats on the back from the nearby fans. “TYLER BLACK!” chants are ringing around the Key Arena yet again, and he can’t help but grin, before he heads over to Sheamus and pulls him sluggishly up. The Irishman looks dazed, so Black gets a few right hands in for good measure, and heaves all two-hundred-sixty-five pounds back towards the ring. He shoves Sheamus back inside, then clambers up to the apron. While the United States Champion recovers in the ring, Black prepares to give the fans a show, and as Sheamus gets up, it’s time for a springboard… AND WHAT A SPRINGBOARD, BRINGING SHEAMUS DOWN WITH A STUNNING CLOTHESLINE!!! The crowd pops big, and now Black senses that first title win, scrambling back over a motionless Sheamus…

ONE…

TWO… BUT SHEAMUS KICKS OUT!

Away spirals Black from the scene of the pin, purely by Sheamus’ force on the kickout, and as the Irishman gets up, you can see the look of frustration on his face. As JR notes at ringside, Sheamus thinks so little of Tyler Black’s ‘good guy’ nature that to lose to him here would be seen as a sign of weakness. That said, Sheamus shows no signs of that fragility, dusting himself off, shaking out the cobwebs and standing to fight again. Tyler Black regards him with a wary expression, nodding as he realises just how tough a man the Celtic Warrior is. Black’s willing to try his hand again, though, moving in and looking for an opening. You can see his mind working, thinking back on all those years in the independent circuit for some kind of game plan, something to wear down the bigger man. He opts for a couple of kicks, then darts away again, not sure. Sheamus follows him, saying “Ya tryin’ to play games wit me, fella?” and using that big reach of his to catch Tyler with a few forearm shots. Black retreats to the corner, but he’s aware of his surroundings and dances right back out again. He goes on offence, getting within Sheamus’ grasp just enough… so the Irishman lunges forward, and Black slides through his legs! Sheamus turns – there’s his opening – JUMPING ENZUIGIRI!!! Black wipes out the bigger man, and now he heads to the corner, hoisting himself up to the second rope! He raises an arm, keeping his eyes locked on the dazed Irishman, who sells the Enzuigiri like a shot with a tire iron, but wavers to his feet… Black launches on the Crossbody for one more blow – BUT SHEAMUS SUDDENLY CATCHES BLACK IN MID-AIR… AND TOSSES HIM ACROSS THE RING WITH THE FALLAWAY SLAM!!! “OHHH!” cries the crowd as Black collapses in a heap, and Sheamus has to turn on the canvas, wincing but knowing he’s got the upper hand back again. The Irishman slaps a hand on Black’s arm and hauls him on to his back, here’s the cover…

ONE…

TWO… KICKOUT BY BLACK!

“Sheamus sucks!” chants the crowd, and for a second, it looks like the Irishman is about to say something back, but he restrains himself and as always, focuses on the task in front of him. Putting on his business face, the Celtic Warrior shakes out his shoulders and examines Black as he recovers… before he starts dropping those fierce knees, now a Sheamus trademark, right to Tyler’s spine! There’s some boos for Sheamus’ intensity, getting louder as the United States Champion drops those knees faster and faster, until finally Chad Patton steps in with a count – there’s four, and Sheamus takes a step back. At ringside, JR sells just how aggressive the Irishman is willing to be in order to retain his title, and we may be about to see more of that, as he grabs Black by the roots of that long hair and hauls him up. Patton yells “Watch the hair, Sheamus!” but the champion completely blanks him and tugs Tyler to the ropes. He hoists him up – with total ease – and dumps him on the apron, with his back to the ropes… then curves him back over the top rope, holding him there with a left-handed grip on his jaw! We’ve seen this a few times from him recently, and here we go – Sheamus starts thumping Black’s chest with those clubbing blows, again and again! Some sick bastards in the crowd count along with the hits, but most people are booing Sheamus’ aggression, getting ten shots in before he shoves Black to the outside floor! That was partly due to Patton starting another count, so Sheamus turns and shoots a glare at the official once he’s done. The Irishman steps to the apron, then hops to the floor, where Black is gasping for air.

Black has one hand on the fan barricade, the other on his back, and through heaving breaths he gets up. He slumps against the barricade, a total change from the last time he got up here – his face is wrecked with pain, his previous grin replaced. The crowd still chants his name, trying to fire him up, but here comes Sheamus again, wasting no time with a thumping hip attack to the gut. He drags Black towards the ring post, then lifts him into a Powerslam hold, horizontal to the steel. Again, the crowd begins to boo as Sheamus lines it up – AND DRIVES BLACK’S SPINE INTO THE POST, ONE, TWO, THREE TIMES!!! Groans echo around the Key Arena with every blow, and now Tyler’s back spasms, a yell of pain escaping his lips as Sheamus dumps him on the floor. The Irishman lets him suffer, keeping an ear on the count from Patton and once again forcing his challenger to his feet, a firm grip around the head. He takes him across to the announce table, presenting his dazed challenger to the commentators – “IS THIS YER GOOD GUY? HUH?” – BLACK’S HEAD CANNONS OFF THE ANNOUNCE DESK!!! Sheamus slams Black into the hard cover of the desk, then turns to look at Patton – the count is seven, so he rolls back into the ring and waits for his win. That’s because Black is floored, his eyes unfocused, surely nowhere near getting to the ring… but no, he finds a knee, gasping as he tries to breathe and slinging an arm over the announce desk. The count goes to eight, and fans are yelling, trying to get him back to the ring in time, so as “NINE!” echoes, Black turns and staggers… Patton’s about to say it – NOOO! BLACK DIVES UNDER THE BOTTOM ROPE!!! The crowd pops, and Black clenches a fist as he keeps this match going, then fights through his exhaustion and gets up… right into the clutches of Sheamus – IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER!!! Black’s spine is contorted, nearly snapped completely in two, and as he collapses into the canvas, Sheamus will cover him again, scowling…

ONE…

TWO…

BUT NO! BLACK KICKS OUT AGAIN!

Brilliant fighting spirit from Black – he’s taken a fair amount of punishment from Sheamus in this spell, but he refuses to stay down, and the crowd remains behind him, those chants kicking into being yet again. Sheamus, on the other hand, is looking more and more pissed off as this match goes on, and he stands with another frown. He heads to the turnbuckles and hits it with a fist, growling under his breath, then turns to face Black – the challenger is actually getting up… he beckons him on, as if to say ‘More’. Sheamus grits his teeth; he wasn’t expecting this level of resilience. The Irishman moves over to Black and throws a knee into his gut, but Tyler gets the crowd cheering by knocking Sheamus away with a huge right hand! Sheamus reels, then fires a punch of his own, but Black takes it in his stride, grappling around… WHAM! BLACK’S KNEE DRIVES RIGHT BETWEEN SHEAMUS’ EYES! Back stumbles the Irishman, all the way to the ropes, as Black heads to the opposite side… AND CANNONS THROUGH SHEAMUS WITH THE YAKUZA KICK!!! DOWN GOES THE CHAMP!!! The crowd pops BIG for the huge boot, but Black isn’t done, heading to the outside, fighting through the fatigue to find his way up top… Sheamus is still down, trying to recover after a couple of furious hits from his challenger – speak of the devil, Tyler collects himself on that top rope… THEN SOAAAARS – DOWN INTO THE FROG SPLASH, RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!! The crowd comes alive again, the atmosphere building as Black leaps halfway across the ring to deal a huge blow, and though he spasms on impact, he crawls back to the champion – and hooks a leg…

ONE…

TWO…

BUT SHEAMUS KICKS OUT OF IT!!!

Black runs both hands through his hair, shaking his head. A hand goes to his stomach, selling what he gave up to hit the Splash, as he tilts his head a little to look at Sheamus, surprised that wasn’t three. He exhales, feeling the strain of Sheamus’ previous dominance, but he’s still got an opening here if he can take it – up he gets to continue. Sheamus is pounding the mat with a closed fist, trying to light a fire inside himself once more, and forces himself up to face the music. Black tries to whip him to the corner, but the bigger man sets his feet and Tyler collides with the turnbuckles. Sheamus tries to move in, but he waltzes right into a raised boot, allowing Black to clamber to the second rope… BLACK LEAPS FOR THE CROSSBODY – RIGHT INTO SHEAMUS’ GRIP… THEN ON TO HIS SHOULDERS… ROLLING HILLS FROM THE IRISHMAN! The crowd groans as Sheamus drills his challenger into the canvas, then faces the arena with a look of satisfaction… but the smirk fades, because he turns to the sight of Black struggling back to his knees! The former ‘agent’ has some fight left in him, but that only serves to piss the Irishman off, so he heads to the outside and… grips the top rope? It’s rare that Sheamus ever looks to get airborne, but that may be about to change… up gets Black – AND SHEAMUS FLIES INTO THE BATTERING RAM, THE SLINGSHOT SHOULDER BLOCK!!! “OHHH!” cries the arena in awe, both men going down – but Sheamus has flattened his challenger there, and this could be it as he hooks both legs…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NO! BLACK KICKS OUT SOMEHOW!!!

A big pop greets Black’s kickout, the arena cheering their approval, and finally, Sheamus looks stunned – he’s breathing heavily, possibly being pushed further than he has before. The undefeated champion stands, looking down at Black – this time, Tyler finds it hard to get up, that last shot and kickout possibly taking the remainder of his energy. Sheamus leans against the ropes, telling him “Stay down, fella, stay down...” but Black continues to fight, finding his way to his knees. Sheamus beats his chest, slowly at first, but begins to speed up, panting “Brogue… Brogue…” again and again. Black has a hand on the ropes, unaware of what’s coming his way, and the crowd screams warning as he wobbles to his feet – BROGUE KICK TIME – NO! Black ducks it, then grabs Sheamus from behind… BELLY-TO-BACK LIFT – AND THEN TURNED INTO THE REVERSE STO!!! INCREDIBLE COUNTER!!! Once again, both men are down, but the crowd is chanting Tyler Black’s name, egging him on as he crawls to Sheamus – but he forgoes the cover, and begins to pull the Irishman’s dead weight up. It’s a little surprising, but Black wants the decisive finish, a true statement about the power of ‘good’, and hooks up the inverted facelock… PAROXYSM – NOOO!!! Sheamus gets out of the hold, then heads into the ropes – HE COMES BACK WITH THE BROGUE KICK… BUT TYLER DIVES SOUTH AND CATCHES SHEAMUS’ STANDING LEG WITH A LOW-ANGLE DROPKICK!!! “WHAT A COUNTER!” cries JR, as Sheamus goes tumbling, but he’s up to his knees – so Black ROOOAAAAARS to the crowd… AND KILLS SHEAMUS WITH A SUPERKICK!!! It’s an insane strike, as true a hit as you could ever expect, and now he collapses over Sheamus’ lifeless body…

ONE…

TWO…

NEW CHAMPION – NOOOOO!!! SHEAMUS KICKS OUT AT THE DEATH!!!

Black’s face falls against the canvas – he’s thrown the kitchen sink at the champion, but even that incredible Superkick won’t beat him! This is a man unbeaten since before Wrestlemania, a real titan between the ropes, and now we see him on all fours, trying to haul air into his lungs. It’s clear from his facial expression that he isn’t used to this level of effort, being pushed quite like this, but his pure power is what defines him and he manages to heave that tired frame into action again. He has to lean against the ropes, giving Black time to struggle up as well, sweeping his straggled hair away from his eyes and smacking his fists against his temples to keep him going. They meet in the middle, slugging back and forth with slow shots, but Black chains a couple of hits together, then grabs Sheamus’ scalp in his left hand… “OhhHHH…” buzzes the crowd, building to Black landing one more right hand! A pop goes up again, as Sheamus stumbles back, and now Tyler turns to rebound off the ropes – BUT SHEAMUS SCOOPS HIM UP – FRONT POWERSLAM OUT OF NOWHERE!!! The ring shakes, gasps filling the Key Arena, and Sheamus rolls sideways, truly feeling the effects of this bout now. Nodding his head, he gets up with a shudder of the knees, and rests in the corner, with his back to his opponent. He’s trying to focus, pressing his fingers against the bridge of his nose… but the crowd is cheering – Tyler Black, the tough bastard, is on his feet! Sheamus turns when he hears the noise, and he can’t believe it! Black is struggling with his breaths, even clutching at his back, but he beckons Sheamus on regardless! The Irishman is momentarily lost for words, then shakes his head – “Enough, fella. Lie down again. Get down.” Black shakes his head, hair splaying everywhere, and motions him on; he still wants to fight!

“C’mon, hit me! C’mon, show me what I’m doin’ wrong! DO IT!”

Sheamus shakes his head for the umpteenth time. He’s stunned by the performance Black has brought, but this problem won’t go away unless he makes it. For a moment, these two men, men made to FIGHT, stand and stare, before Sheamus bares his teeth… AND HAMMERS BLACK WITH THE BROGUE KICK!!! Tyler goes down in a heap, as the crowd gasps in horror – Sheamus landed that FLUSH, but he collapses as well, falling to his hands and knees and staring across at Black’s body. The Celtic Warrior barely has the energy, but he accepts that this is the end and hauls his body over Black’s, nodding his head with the count…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE – NOOOOO!!! SHOULDER UP!!! BLACK’S SHOULDER IS UP!!!

“WHAT DA HELL?” is the exclamation from the Bookerman, and Sheamus’ face tells the same story! The United States Champion hasn’t seen the Brogue Kick fail in months, maybe YEARS, but tonight, something inside Tyler Black, some distant defence in his mind, told him to kick out! The crowd is loving it all, however – those “TYLER BLACK!” chants are louder than ever, the fans at ringside slamming their hands against the barricades, and somehow, someway, the challenger begins to crawl for the ropes! Sheamus puts his hands on his knees and forces himself up, his face scrunched with anger – he wants off the carousel. He circles Black, watching his slumping journey for the ropes like a ten-year-old about to fry an ant with a magnifying glass. The Irishman stands straight, letting out a brief yell of frustration, then turning, shuddering from rage, and tells Black to get up one more time. His hands are splayed, fingers wide as if he’s going to wring Tyler’s neck, and as the challenger pulls himself up, it seems that may well happen… Black turns into Sheamus’ grip, and gets slotted between the champion’s legs. The Celtic Warrior hoists Tyler up – into the CRUCIFIX – and this will surely end the challenge, as Sheamus takes a few steps back to get a run-up on the High Cross… he runs – BUT TYLER TURNS, FALLING WITH AN ARM AROUND SHEAMUS’ NECK FOR THE INVERTED FACELOCK… NO WAY – UP GOES SHEAMUS, AND BLACK DRILLS HIM WITH THE PAROXYSM!!! STUNNING COUNTER FROM THE CHALLENGER!!! The crowd’s pop is HUGE – where in the hell did THAT come from? Black wastes no time at all, staggering desperately to the turnbuckle and clambering up on the inside of the ring… BEFORE HE THROWS HIMSELF BACK OFF – AND NAILS THE PHOENIX SPLASH AGAINST ALL THE ODDS!!! The arena is in raptures, Tyler Black truly turning on the style – he rolls sideways on the impact to sell the pain, but now he slumps back over Sheamus…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE!!!

WINNER AND NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION: TYLER BLACK VIA PINFALL AT 15:22

*BATTLE ON*

Justin Roberts:

Here is your winner… and the NEEEEEW United States Champion – TYLEEEEER… BLACK!

HE’S DONE IT! The Key Arena goes MAD, because Chad Patton is helping up a NEW champion, and he’s got a grin the size of China! The title is passed from ringside, and as Patton hands Black the belt, Raw’s newest superstar lofts it high with a roar of adrenaline! It’s a fierce ovation in Seattle for Tyler Black, who fights through his exhaustion to hit the turnbuckles, raising his strap and soaking in the cheers!

Jim Ross:

By gawd, what a performance – Sheamus played rough tonight, but Tyler Black withstood it all and gave it back tenfold! Black is champion!

Booker T:
Mah boi! He got it DONE tah-night, Tyler Black came to Seattle to end another streak, lookin’ for dat title, and Sheamus didn’t know what hit ‘im, dawg!

Sheamus has slumped to the outside, his eyes unfocused after that hugely tiring bout, but there’s no reaction yet – he’s too busy trying to recover, clutching his stomach and wondering what went wrong. Black, meanwhile, remains ecstatic, heading to each turnbuckle individually to thank the cheering crowd! He clutches the title to his chest, feeling it against his skin and enjoying every second – he earned it tonight.

Jim Ross:

I can still feel my heart poundin’ against my chest, folks – Tyler Black took a beating, he took everything Sheamus had to offer, but this man would not stay down!

Josh Matthews:
Tonight we saw why Sheamus had been such a dominant champion, JR. It would take something special to dethrone him, but Tyler provided that. He left it all in the ring and now he’s made good on his word – just amazing, guys.

Black finally leaves the ring, nearly falling to a knee on the ramp from fatigue, but he stays upright and thanks a few fans stretching from over the barricades. At ringside, Sheamus doesn’t look angry – just blank-faced, breathing hard as he stares up at Black. The new champion heads up to the ramp, raising that title to a very healthy pop indeed, and as the camera moves in, he turns and pants – “This one’s a win… for the good guys.”

Amongst the cheers, Black presses the title to his chest yet again, and we fade away.


---


MONDAY NIGHT RAW – THE THREE-HOUR DRAFT SPECIAL
TOMORROW NIGHT | TACOMA DOME, TACOMA, WASHINGTON

---

Over The Limit returns backstage… and we’re in the locker room of the WWE CHAMPION, THE MIZ, who gets some absolutely NUCLEAR heat from this Seattle crowd. The self-proclaimed ‘most must-see WWE Champion of all time’ is warming up, stretching out, but he stops and sits down on the nearby bench… purely so he can pick up the WWE Title that sits there, and stare at it. It’s clear that the title is his livelihood, something that validates him, as we’ve heard from him on many occasions… but this pensive moment is interrupted by the sound of the door opening. The Miz is jolted out of his thoughts, looking up… and boos, though lesser, greet the appearance of ALEX RILEY on our screens. Unusually, his arrival makes the WWE Champion frown. He stands.

The Miz:
What are you doing?

A-Ry, clad as always in his Varsity Villain jacket and chewing on a meatball sub, shrugs.

Alex Riley:
(through mouthfuls)
What? A man’s gotta eat.

The Miz isn’t impressed.

The Miz:
No, I meant – why are you here?

Another shrug from the protégé.

Alex Riley:
I’m here to help ya out.

The Miz pokes his head around Riley, as if checking for someone.

The Miz:
No, you’re not. Take the night off before Lawler finds out you’re here.

Alex Riley:
What? You’re not scared of ‘im, I’m not scared of ‘im –

The Miz:
Maybe not, but I’m not takin’ the flak for what happened on Monday, and neither… are… you. I can beat Bryan without you; he’s still just an amateur posing as a pro.

Riley takes another bite of the sub and looks sceptical.

The Miz:
I’m serious, Alex. I can beat him alone, I will beat him alone, and I’ll continue to be the most must-see champion of all time. So take a rain check.

For a moment, the two partners in crime stand in silence, before Riley swallows his bite.

Alex Riley:
You’re the boss.

Tearing off another bite of the sub, A-Ry heads out the door. The Miz looks a little relieved, and he settles down to inspect the title once again…

…as we cut back to the arena, and the bell rings.


Tony Chimel:

The following contest is set for one fall!

“CHECK, ONE TWO… OH YEAH!”

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*

The crowd boos heavily as JACK SWAGGER storms brazenly into view. The All-American American is pounding his chest, totally geared up for this contest, and behind him comes MICHAEL COLE, the suited-up assistant getting his own little negative reaction from the fans. The former commentator wears a snickering little smile, showing just how much he’s enjoying himself tonight, ahead of one of Swagger’s biggest – no pun intended – challenges. The Phenomenal Athlete, on the other hand, isn’t smiling, but looks completely in the zone, dropping down for a few focused push-ups on the ramp to let off his pyro. Standing, he sets his eyes on the ring and nods his head.

Tony Chimel:

Introducing first, accompanied by Michael Cole… from Perry, Oklahoma, weighing in tonight at two hundred and sixty pounds… he is the All-American American, the Phenomenal Athlete… JAAAACK – SWAGGER!

Jim Ross:
The Miz going it alone tonight, as is the Big Show, looking for a measure of payback on this man – the young, brash, talented Jack Swagger.

Josh Matthews:
Swagger calls himself the Phenomenal Athlete, JR, and two nights ago on SmackDown he showed that when he beat three men in the same ring. Sure, they weren’t much of a challenge to anyone, but it was message sent; Jack Swagger told Big Show not to be a hero, threatening to ‘end him’ if he showed up tonight.

Booker T:
Jack’s really been turnin’ up the danger side o’ things recently, guys, he been layin’ people out, gettin’ creative with his offence and just lookin’ to break some ankles, man. I just gotta hope da Big Show’s got what it takes to challenge dis young boi before he gets da chance.

[i]Swagger heads up the steps and enters the ring with another thump of the chest. He goes for the second rope, telling the crowd “ON – YOUR – KNEES!” in time with the music, before he finally steps down. He crouches, turning his eyes to the ramp… is Big Show truly cleared to compete? Has he heeded Swagger’s warning or is he really going to show?





Swagger turns to Cole on the outside – “He ain’t coming.”



“WEEEEEEELL… IT’S A BIG SHOW!”


*CRANK IT UP*

Pyro BURSTS from the stage… and the crowd pops big as BIG SHOW walks out from behind the curtain! Swagger turns back to the stage, his face souring as he spies the World’s Largest Athlete, who raises that killer fist at Swagger and looks PISSED. The All-American American limbers out his shoulders, takes a step forward, and beckons him on.

Tony Chimel:

And his opponent… standing seven feet tall, weighing FOUR hundred and fifty pounds… he is the World’s Largest Athlete – THE BIG SHOW!

Jim Ross:
Well, I tell ya, Swagger can make all the threats in the world, but if there’s one man you’re never gonna intimidate, it’s the Big Show.

Booker T:
Awww, da big man lookin’ MAD tah-night! Jack gotta deal with an angry giant – he got him angry, now he gotta face da music!

Josh Matthews:
Never for a second did I think the Big Show wouldn’t be here tonight, guys. This is a man with a storied career, and he’s not about to give up on a lifetime of success for a series of threats from Swagger. The All-American American is as good between the ropes as they come, but this is about more than just the match for Big Show.

Wearing his usual beanie, Big Show heads along the ramp to slap a few hands, but he keeps his eyes on Swagger, letting him know that tonight, he means business. Cole’s telling Swagger to stay focused, but the All-American American waves him down without even looking at him. He doesn’t need Cole’s advice, watching Big Show as he climbs to the apron and steps over the top rope. The music still blaring, Big Show heads to the ropes, then propels himself to the hard camera side… and LOFTS that Chokeslam taunt into the air, roaring out and getting a big pop from the Seattle fans! Swagger seems as yet undeterred, raising his hands and saying “You’ll regret this one, son, let’s do it…” He points to referee Jack Doan, who checks that the Big Show is ready – of course, he is, and so the official calls for the bell.


Singles Contest
Jack Swagger versus Big Show

Right from the bell, the crowd tries to get on Swagger’s back a little with some “Let’s go Big Show!” chants. The All-American American ignores them and steps forward, loosening out his fingertips to ready himself for some grappling. Michael Cole slaps his hands against the apron and settles down to watch, as Big Show also takes a step to meet Swagger. The two men square up, the bigger man bristling with a furious look on his face – even though Swagger gives up some height, he doesn’t look intimidated in the slightest, staring right back into Show’s eyes. He takes a moment to let it sink in that he’s not afraid despite Show’s return… then SHOVES him. The World’s Largest Athlete steps back, but no further – it’s possibly he’s even MORE pissed off now, so he wields the lethal right hand and SWINGS FOR THE FENCES… but Swagger ducks under it! The All-American American slams into the ropes for some pace, then launches back into Show with a fierce Running Shoulder Block! Big Show staggers, but again, the man is an oak. He doesn’t fall. Swagger takes a long look at him, trying to gauge a weak spot, then ducks under the giant’s paws headed his way. Show turns in surprise, and here come the right hands, peppered into the big man’s jaw. Swagger winds up – BOOM goes the next shot, more of a lariat attempt than anything, so Big Show wobbles again… Swagger into the ropes AND THE FOOTBALL TACKLE TO THE KNEE! Finally, finally, down goes the World’s Largest Athlete, and Swagger shakes out his shoulders with a scowl – that was harder than the last time he tried.

The camera follows Swagger’s gaze as he looks down… there. Just poking out from Big Show’s left boot, running up from his ankle, is WHITE TAPE. “Uh-oh,” murmurs JR’s voice at ringside, and Swagger’s eyes widen. Big Show tries to get up again, wincing… but Swagger BOOTS him in the ankle to send him back down! There’s a roar of pain from the World’s Largest Athlete, who clutches at the ankle desperately, and now Swagger allows himself a smirk – it isn’t healed yet. Swagger exchanges a look with Cole, an acknowledgement of Big Show’s mistake, then takes not a moment longer to think. He starts stomping on the ankle, again and again, enjoying every gasp of pain from the bigger man. Show rolls towards the corner, his face now troubled as the pain sinks in, and Swagger waits in the centre of the ring… he heads for the corner, looking for the SWAGGA BOMB – NO! He leaps to the second rope, but Show is moving away, hauling his giant body away from the corner, so the Phenomenal Athlete stops himself. Turning back, he steps down, and moves towards Show, who raises a hand as if to say ‘Stay away’. Jim Ross starts questioning how smart it was for Show to return, as Swagger grapples around Show’s arms to get him in a front facelock. He’s trying to tip him on to his back to get at the ankle again, but this time, Big Show shoves him away.

Swagger stumbles back, but before he can go back on the offensive, Big Show’s forcing himself up. The All-American American moves in, but Show growls through the pain and wraps his hands around Swagger’s throat… before he THROWS him into the nearest corner! Swagger collides with the buckle, so Show hobbles over there – and CAVES Swagger’s chest in with the huge chop! The crowd cries out in awe, as Swagger falls to his knees and his eyes bulge in agony. He’s clutching at his chest, giving Show the time he needs to pull him back up – and SLAP him again, sending another craaack around the Key Arena! Swagger is delirious, trying to get his head straight as he staggers forward, but Big Show sends him to the ropes… AND SENDS HIM FLYING INTO THE AIR WITH THE BACK BODY DROP! Swagger crashes to the canvas in pain, and it’s at this point that Show falls to a knee, selling the ankle. His forehead is sweating, his cheeks flushed, but he forces himself back up rather than let Swagger see his weakness when he tilts his head up. The All-American American fights through his pain to get up, but gets immediately nailed with a headbutt to send him wavering back to the ropes. Show follows it up with a thundering right hand to the gut, forcing Swagger over. He whips him across the ring, fighting off the ankle pain to move to meet him… SIDEWALK SLAM! He lets out a heavy breath, then hooks a leg…

ONE…

TWO – KICKOUT FROM SWAGGER!

Out of the pinfall, Show forces himself back up. He doesn’t look comfortable at all between the ropes, trying to disguise the way he limps around the ring but failing. He realises how he looks, and instead crouches to wait for Swagger – the Phenomenal Athlete is up, shaking out the cobwebs and meeting him head on. Show is caught off-guard by Swagger not taking a break, but he rocks him with a sharp right hand to the stomach – only for Swagger to go after the left ankle with his boot! Show gasps in pain, more of a deep bellow than anything, but shoves Swagger away and throws a clothesline – only, he’s a little too clumsy and the All-American American ducks it. Swagger turns and dives instinctively with a Chop Block; it’s not to the ankle, of course, but it brings Show to a knee, allowing him to hit the ropes… AND DRILL SHOW ACROSS THE FACE WITH A BOOT! The impact sends Big Show reeling to the side, but he growls to himself and struggles up – no, Swagger’s off to the ropes again… RUNNING KNEE LIFT! Show’s eyes are wide, pain shooting through him, and this time he falls down, stopping himself going all the way with his right paw on the canvas. He refuses to stay down, though, getting up to face Swagger coming at him again – THE SECOND KNEE LIFT TAKES BIG SHOW OFF HIS FEET!!! THE MAN HITS LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN!!! The Big Show collapses in a heap, blinking in shock, and Swagger throws his body on top of that heap…

ONE…

TWO… BUT BIG SHOW KICKS OUT!

Is that… is that a smile on Swagger’s face? It’s almost a real grin, but he holds back the teeth – in a way, it’s like he’s happy the big man won’t end it there. He stands to think about where to aim next – but of course, that’s not a thought process that takes very long. Swagger pulls Show’s left leg up, then falls on it with a Leg Drop, giving him the freedom to hammer on Show’s injured ankle with the heel of his boot! Each shot makes Big Show yell in pain, so Swagger transitions to grab the ankle – he SLAMS it against the canvas, and again! As Show writhes in pain, Swagger winds up, then grinds a knee into the ankle, leaving it there as a submission. Jack Doan falls beside Show to ask him if he’s had enough, as Swagger allows his beastly side to come out; it’s a change from the technical proficiency he’s used to showing, but when Show won’t tap, he returns to classic Swagger. He flexes out his fingers, then grabs the ankle for the ANKLE LOCK – but Show turns in desperation AND CATCHES HIM IN THE FACE WITH THE OTHER BOOT! Swagger stumbles for half a moment, then realises just how much that hurt and TOPPLES down to the canvas. Big Show, face covered in sweat and pain, throws a hand towards the ropes and hauls his huge frame up. The crowd starts chanting “Big Show! Big Show!” to spur him on, so the World’s Largest Athlete nods his head… then raises the Chokeslam taunt to the ROAR of the Key Arena! He hasn’t landed many shots, but Big Show is preparing to bring this to a swift end! He’s feeding off the atmosphere, channelling his disgust at Jack Swagger… and here comes the All-American American, shaking out the cobwebs – right into the CHOKING GRIP OF THE BIG MAN! The crowd pops, ready to see Swagger ended, but the All-American American KICKS HIM IN THE ANKLE! Big Show yells in pain, letting go of the hold, and now Swagger hits the ropes – THEN CAREERS THROUGH BIG SHOW WITH THE BIG BOOT!!!

Once again, the big man tumbles to the deck, gasping through his exhaustion; he wasn’t ready for this, and now Swagger’s taking advantage. He lays a few forearms to Show’s back, then realises that’s not really his market here, and goes back to the ankle with a stomp or three. The Big Show begins to crawl, his ankle almost unusable at this point, but Swagger watches him all the way to the ropes, and stands on the ankle with a sick smirk. Big Show groans and yells in pain, and Jack Doan protests with a count of five… he gets to four, so Swagger steps up to the second rope to stop it. Doan makes a noncommittal gesture and moves back, but Swagger gets some air, springing up – and then DOWN on the ankle again! The height off the second rope makes it all the more painful, and now Swagger does a slow, measured lap of the ring to watch Show suffer. He heads towards him and pulls the big man up, wrapping his arms around him to maybe – this can’t work – attempt the Gutwrench Powerbomb… but before he can even try, Big Show hoists him up into the MILITARY PRESS… NO! The ankle gives out, and Swagger lands behind him – the All-American American dives for the injury, but Show is hobbling sideways to get away. Swagger is right on his tail, but the big man shoves him off, only for him to come back… Show grabs him, then turns it – FINAL CUT!!! It’s clumsy and it’s tired, but it’ll do the job, as Big Show presses his four-hundred-pound-plus body on to Swagger’s…

ONE…

TWO… BUT SWAGGER KICKS OUT OF IT!!!

Big Show looks to the side – he’s taken a beating and God knows if he’ll get a better chance. Swagger is furious, almost embarrassed with himself as he struggles to the ropes. He pulls himself up and turns to the Big Show, for whom it’s a trek up Everest to even get to his feet. Sweating, the big man cocks the WMD, the killer blow, and fires at Swagger… BUT THE PHENOMENAL ATHLETE DUCKS IT WITH EASE – THEN AS BIG SHOW TURNS, SWAGGER HEAVES HIM OFF HIS FEET… AND DRILLS HIM WITH SOME KIND OF SPINNING POWERSLAM!!! SWAGGER SLAMS BIG SHOW!!!

“HOGAN JUST SLAMMED ANDRE!” screams Jim Ross – Swagger may have outdone himself this time! The All-American American is down, but he’s crawling, trying to recover after exerting a load of energy to chuck the big man. Replays show that it was a mixture of every kind of slam imaginable, somewhere between a Double Leg Takedown and a Spinebuster, turned ninety degrees as well. Swagger struggles up, amidst a few light “Holy shit!” chants from the smarks in the distance, and surveys the wreckage. Content with his handiwork, he looks to Cole – who’s applauding, of course – then catches a replay of his own athleticism on the TitanTron. He can’t help but smirk there, but as he turns to Show, it fades. The World’s Largest Athlete has rolled to the corner, breathing heavily as he tries to recover, but he’s got more to deal with… because Swagger’s psyched up – AND HE CHARGES TO DEAL THE SWAGGA BOMB!!! Big Show takes another thumping hit, maybe his death knoll, but rather than cover him, Swagger’s up again, returning to the centre of the ring. He stands and looks around for a moment, garnering some loud heat from the fans here in Seattle, before he winds up his motor once again… AND NOW ANOTHER SWAGGA BOMB LANDS!!! Swagger is just compounding Big Show’s misery here, but he doesn’t care, removing himself from the debris to stand again. Show is almost lifeless, beaten down considerably here, and Swagger wants to go even further, grabbing the ankle… and heading to the outside, just like he did on Friday night!

This is totally unnecessary, but Swagger won’t hear a word of Jack Doan’s protests – CRACK goes Big Show’s ankle off the ring post! The World’s Largest Athlete comes alive with a furious roar of pain, his arms flailing as he tries to stop Swagger, but he’s helpless here. Swagger slams the ankle into the ring post again, and again, until Doan’s count reaches four, and Swagger holds up his hands. The referee stops, giving Show a chance to hold his ankle in agony… but with the count stopped, Swagger reaches back under the bottom rope, grabs the ankle – AND GOES BACK TO WORK. He adds one more shot, then contorts the ankle around the unforgiving steel – it’s sickening, but despite Big Show’s deep shouts of pain, it’s not a legal submission, and Doan again has to count Swagger off. In the break, the official tries to urge Swagger back in the ring with a ring-out count, but the All-American American just rolls in and out again. Doan throws up his hands, asking Swagger just to end it if he’s going to; the Phenomenal Athlete will hear none of it, and goes right back to hammering Show’s ankle off the post! At this point, it’s getting uncomfortable to watch, as Big Show’s career becomes a true consideration, and this is exactly what’s on Swagger’s mind, too – “I TOLD YOU I’D END YOU, SON, AND HERE WE ARE…” The ring post greets Show’s ankle thrice more, before Swagger re-enters the ring to stop any kind of count.

Big Show is a wreck. The big man has his hands wrapped around his ankle, his face soaked in sweat from the pain he’s been through. Once again, Michael Cole is applauding as Swagger falls beside Show to engage in a few deadly-serious push-ups. Swagger locks eyes with Show on every single one, showing how easy he’s finding this, but this is not gloating – it’s just… dominance. Swagger stands, towering over Show in a way that the seven-footer simply isn’t used to, then lowers himself enough to grab the ankle… AND THIS IS IT, THERE’S THE ANKLE LOCK!!! Heat fills the Key Arena, this crowd truly despising Swagger’s sick apathy to his own actions, and he roars with adrenaline as he wrenches on the ankle, threatening to snap it! He said he would, and we’ve seen this man tear people to pieces in recent weeks, although maybe not quite in this sickening fashion. Big Show is beside himself, flat out YELLING for some respite, his arms flailing towards the ropes as if someone might step in and help him… but all he sees at ringside is Michael Cole’s impish grin. Swagger bares his teeth – THEN WRENCHES ONCE MORE ON THE ANKLE, ALMOST CERTAINLY BREAKING IT THIS TIME!!! Big Show ROARS to the heavens and slams his right hand into the canvas repeatedly… Jack Swagger has come true on every single promise!

WINNER: JACK SWAGGER VIA SUBMISSION AT 7:35

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*

Tony Chimel:

Here is your winner as the result of a submission… the All-American American, the Phenomenal Athlete… JAAACK – SWAGGER!

Sickening. The crowd boos loudly as Swagger dumps Show’s ankle to the floor – unlike previous occasions, he has no need to keep the hold on; what more could he do? Big Show’s body writhes in pain, his hands clutched around the ankle. He’s been torn apart here tonight, and the crowd isn’t happy. Michael Cole is though, giving Swagger a hearty round of applause as he walks up the ring steps, while the All-American American stares down at Show, then heads for a turnbuckle to simply point to himself. “Phenomenal.”

Jim Ross:

His ankle – Big Show’s ankle might be broken, we gotta get some help…

Josh Matthews:
Jack Swagger… he knew that the Big Show wasn’t fully healed – so he exploited it just to make him suffer… I mean…

The camera turns to the ramp, where EMTs are rushing down to the ring, sliding under the bottom rope. Jack Doan is already beside Big Show, trying to calm him down, while Swagger and Cole now watch from the edge of the ring. Finally, Swagger seems to have seen enough, so he leaves the ring; Cole follows him like a lost puppy, trying to pat him on the shoulder but being ignored. Swagger heads up the ramp, splitting a small Red Sea of referees and EMTs, some of whom are carting a stretcher. Big Show is still gasping in pain, his ankle almost certainly broken, as the EMTs surround him and try to calm him down. The stretcher is unfolded on the outside, just as Swagger turns to admire what he’s done. For a moment, he stands and watches with that emotionless, cold face, then nods his head and heads behind the curtain.

As the EMTs and referees try to help Big Show towards the ropes, we fade away.


---

A man strapping on a pair of fighter’s gloves.

Narrator:
For a year, he’s been held back.

He throws punches, left and right, left and right.

Narrator:
He hasn’t shown his true colours...

He bounces up and down, preparing himself.

Narrator:
...yet.

The man throws back his head and roars out, though no sound can be heard.

Narrator:
But he’s been watching you. Waiting in the shadows.

A dark smirk through the darkness from this man.

Narrator:
Now, Monday Night Raw must prepare...

We see the flash of this man’s eyes, then his bared teeth.

Narrator:
...for when he gets let off his LEASH...

The man, towel over his shoulders, laughs as he storms around the place, free.

Narrator:
...and runs rampant.

Flashing shots of men falling to the ground in boxing matches.

Narrator:
It won’t take long to see that this man is the future.

The man spreads his arms wide and roars once again.

Narrator:
In fact...

For the first time, the man steps into the spotlight...

Narrator:
...it’ll only take you 1.9 seconds.

HE IS UNLEASHED

SOON

ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW


---

We return to ringside.

Jim Ross:

Welcome back to Over The Limit, folks, where we just saw a disturbing act from Jack Swagger, who may have broken the Big Show’s ankle… the World’s Largest Athlete is being transported to a local medical facility as we speak.

Josh Matthews:
And despite that huge statement from Jack Swagger, JR, the show must go on, and things may be about to get even more violent… because it’s the next chapter, possibly the last, of the saga between Randy Orton… and CM Punk.

---

*ROLL VIDEO PACKAGE*

We open with the sight of Randy Orton, tied up in the ropes.

CM Punk:

Faith.

The camera slowly moves in, as something seems to be happening at the edge of the shot; a moving shadow.

CM Punk:

Faith is stronger than any man.

Orton is beaten, his head slumping to look at the canvas.

CM Punk:

Now, faith can mean many things. It can mean religion, it can just be a belief… but I prefer to think of it as something bigger. Something much more concrete. I prefer to think of it as complete, unequivocal trust.

Cut; now it’s Orton, looking tentatively across at Ted DiBiase.

CM Punk:

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

DiBiase being torn apart during a Tag Team Match with The Convoy.

CM Punk:

I believe in C – M – PUNK.

Now the post-match beatdown, Orton’s writhing against the ropes as The Convoy pick DiBiase’s bones.

CM Punk:

The Convoy believe in me. I believe in them. Ted DiBiase? He never believed in you. You never believed in him. He doesn’t even believe in himself, because that’s what people with a lack of drive do.

Orton beside DiBiase’s body – “I failed, man, I failed…”

CM Punk:

Randy… 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.

Now Orton storms out of his truck on Monday night – the chairshots to The Convoy.

CM Punk:

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

Punk and Orton separated by legions of security guards, both snarling and flailing to get away, just for one moment to hurt the other man.

CM Punk:

Randy, that’s just the power of FAITH.

“JUST WAIT! YOU’RE A DEAD MAN, PUNK! DEAD!”

Josh Matthews:

What has CM Punk unleashed?

Orton paces the ring like a caged animal.

Randy Orton:

This is no longer about retribution for me. This is about pure… PAIN.

A series of RKOs, quick as a flash.

Randy Orton:

I don’t care how many –

*END VIDEO PACKAGE*

---

“I SAID SHUT IT OFF!”

We’re out of the VP for some reason, and now we’re in the production booth? The darkness is a total change from what we were just seeing… the only standing figure turns around... and it’s CM PUNK! Immense heat rains down from the Seattle crowd, but the Second City Saint just tilts his head – and raises his right hand, holding a MIC. He tilts it to inspect it for a moment, then brings it to his mouth.


CM Punk:

What… terrible practice.

Heat from the crowd.

CM Punk:

I mean sure, I’ve been here a while, I’ve done some things… but any idiot can take these images, this footage of me, and craft it any way they so please. And I find that degrading. Who are YOU to make me seem like a monster?

He turns to cast a hateful look at the production crew, almost disapproving of them because they rolled the VP. He turns his eyes back on us.

CM Punk:

There shouldn’t be any authority on what I’ve done to Randy Orton… other than ME. I refuse to stand here and let someone else collect some… some random footage… and totally misinterpret who CM Punk is, and what CM Punk stands for.

Punk shakes his head, and steps out of the production booth. The camera dutifully follows.

CM Punk:

Tonight, I am your video package. I tell you what to believe about CM Punk, because only I have that right. Then, and only then, can you begin to understand what I’m creating here.

“The man’s gone wrong in the head,” murmurs JR. As Punk walks, he smirks.

CM Punk:

No editor can truly demonstrate the power of faith.

In spite of the heat from the arena, Punk raises a finger, and places it to his ear. In the background, there are people shouting.

CM Punk:

No. There are only two ways to understand – by the power of my words…

He begins to walk again, turning his back briefly as he leads the camera around the corner. The Second City Saint spins and looks deep into the lens.

CM Punk:

...and through action.

Punk steps aside… and in the background, the first thing we notice is the ambulance. The doors are splayed open, with various EMTs and referees, backstage workers etc. spread about the scene. Punk raises his hands and makes an unnerving beckoning motion, bringing the camera closer to the scene…

…a stretcher has toppled on its side, and on the floor, yelling in pain – is BIG SHOW. Standing above him, SKIP SHEFFIELD and MASON RYAN are stomping away at the injured ankle, before Ryan begins to yank him up. The backstage staff are shouting their protests, but the two big men are too intimidating to be stopped by the medics and referees. Ryan holds Show up momentarily, then shoves him to Sheffield – WHO FLATTENS HIM WITH THE TRADEMARK LARIAT!!!

Punk nods his head and turns back to us.


CM Punk:

If you were horrified by what Jack Swagger did… you haven’t seen anything yet. I am in the process of doing more. I am the architect of something far more violent than you people have seen in many, many years.

Looking down at Show, he shakes his head and motions The Convoy on. Sheffield grabs the injured ankle and SLAMS it against the steel of the stretcher. An EMT tries to get in the way but Ryan sends him sprawling.

CM Punk:

Tonight, that starts with Randy Orton.

Big mixed reaction in the arena. The referees start to pull the stretcher up, but Sheffield wrenches it single-handedly out of their grasp – “We’ll be needing this.”

CM Punk:

Randy, I told you that faith had driven me to go further. Faith in myself, faith in an ideal that I can do something unforgettable. Well, tonight I’m gonna do that. Tonight, I’m going to cause you REAL pain.

That sick smirk again. He begins to walk, away from the carnage of Big Show’s agonising roars of pain, away from the ambulance, away from the dumbstruck backstage workers. Sheffield wheels the stretcher behind him, as Ryan lays one more shot to Show’s ankle before he joins them. “C’mon, there are other stretchers!” calls one of the desperate EMTs; the others fall beside Big Show to help him.

CM Punk:

And when I say REAL pain, I mean it. Pain in every facet. Pain in your body, in your mind, in your spirit.

Punk stops, and hops on to the stretcher. He folds his legs, making sure he’s in his classic position so he can continue; Sheffield nods his head and pushes the stretcher along, presumably towards the Gorilla position.

CM Punk:

Believe me, when I’m done with you, Randy, you’ll understand too. Everyone will understand who I am, what I’m capable of.

A nod, totally self-assured.

CM Punk:

Everyone will understand what I came here to do – but the one thing you will never understand…

He places a finger against his slicked-back hair.

CM Punk:

…is how to be an individual quite like me.

There’s some vicious heat from the arena, as Punk stares deep into the camera, as Sheffield continues to wheel him along, and Ryan…

…wait, where’s Ryan gone? Sheffield notices this, and stops the movement of the stretcher. He turns and looks behind him, while Punk frowns and wonders what the hold-up is… AND RANDY ORTON RUSHES INTO SHOT TO CANE A STEEL CHAIR OFF SHEFFIELD’S BACK!!! The crowd goes MAD as Sheffield collapses in a heap, the chair spinning to the side, and now Orton DIVES on to the stretcher, tackling Punk off it and onto the floor! The Viper has gone flat-out crazy, throwing himself on top of Punk and firing away with unrelenting right hands… but now he gets up, grabbing Punk by the hair, and leading him away!

The camera follows them for just a moment, then we cut – because Orton is dragging Punk through the lower curtain, ON TO THE ARENA FLOOR! The crowd pops as the two men arrive into plain sight, but just as they do, Punk weasels his way free, staggering and tumbling comically to the floor… but then he scrambles up, and heads for the ring! Orton storms after him, ignoring the backstage workers (God they breed like rabbits) setting up a couple of stretchers here and there. For all his talk, Punk wasn’t quite expecting the ambush, and now he slides under the bottom rope, past stunned referee Rod Zapata and into the corner.


Jim Ross:

CM Punk has totally lost his mind, people, but if ya wanna talk about what the man stands for, I just hope Randy Orton makes sure he isn’t standin’ by the end of this…

Josh Matthews:
I don’t know about Punk causing the Viper much pain – looks like the shoe’s on the other foot at the moment! And we’ve got a Stretcher Match to come!

Orton rolls into the ring as well, and poor Zapata has to step between the two men, as Punk rolls his hands over one another, recollecting himself. Orton darts from side to side, trying to get around the referee, but Rod holds up his hands to tell him to step back. Reluctantly, the Viper does, but he points across the ring, behind the official at Punk – “I’m gonna tear your damn head off!” The Second City Saint spreads his arms wide and replies “You go ahead and try, I’m the best in the world!” It seems like an instinctive response, but also note that it’s the first time he’s said those words.

Justin Roberts:

Uh… the following contest is a Stretcher Match! The winner of this bout is the man who can put his opponent on a stretcher, and wheel them past the yellow line at the top of the ramp!

A small pop, but the focus is on Orton, who gets a series of “RKO! RKO!” chants.

Justin Roberts:

Introducing first, from St. Louis, Missouri, weighing in tonight at two hundred and thirty pounds… THE VIPER… RAAAAANDY – ORTON!

The pop is HUGE for Orton, who steps forward. This is it – he’s shooting to kill tonight, as is Punk, and the hatred in his eyes is unmistakeable.

Justin Roberts:

And his opponent, from Chicago, Illinois, weighing in tonight at two hundred and fifteen pounds… C – M – PUNK!

And now the furious heat surrounds the ring, all aimed at the Second City Saint. Punk shakes his head, to show he doesn’t give half a shit, and keeps his eyes locked on Orton as Roberts leaves the ring. Zapata checks around the squared circle – on the outside, we have several stretchers, including those fibreglass backboards as well, so the referee thinks we’re set to go… this can’t end well… the bell rings.


The Final Encounter; Stretcher Match
Randy Orton versus CM Punk

AND THE PAIR COLLIDE LIKE CAGED DOGS!!! The crowd immediately pops as the men charge into the centre of the ring, Orton tackling Punk to the floor, and now they start rolling around, throwing right hands all the while! It’s chaos beyond Rod Zapata’s control, who can only stand and watch as the brawling pair roll under the bottom rope to the outside – the impact as they fall means they separate, but as Orton stands, he gets caught with a sharp kick to the side from Punk. The Second City Saint turns away, and gets his hands on one of those fibreglass backboards… he raises it – AND BRINGS IT CRASHING DOWN ON ORTON’S BACK! The CRACK echoes around the arena, much to the crowd’s awe, and Orton crumples to the floor in pain. Punk lofts the backboard again, but it’s a heavy beast, and when he brings it down, he falls with it… but it’s a THUMPING shot nevertheless, and both men sprawl to the floor again! Punk shoves the board to the side and gets up, stinging Orton with another nasty kick to the ribs. The fans nearby are on Punk’s back, chanting “YOU SUCK!” in their droves, but his focus is on Orton – for now, at least, his ideals and his crusade are put aside. He pulls the Viper up, copping a right hand but answering back in kind, then leads him towards a stretcher and tries to slam his head off the steel edge… no! Orton stops himself, then comes back with a sharp elbow to the face – then grabs Punk around the waist and DRIVES him back into the ring post!

A pop goes up as Orton slams Punk into that unrelenting steel, and the Second City Saint groans in pain. Orton lays in a few right hands, then goes to whip Punk into the barricade – but he gets a foot up onto it! Punk turns and fires back with a right hand to send Orton away, then grabs his head to try again with the stretcher – and CLANG goes Orton’s head off the steel edge this time! The crowd groans in awe as Orton reels off it, blinking, but he shakes out the cobwebs and grabs Punk to answer back… so he slams him off the edge of the stretcher to the crowd’s delight! Punk staggers, but he’ll go right back at Orton and SLAM his head off the steel… so Orton recovers, and sends Punk into it again as well! These two men are sadistic, past the point of caring about their own welfare, and now they’re only looking to hurt their opponent! Punk is dazed, but not truly out of it, because he grabs Orton by the head and CANNONS his forehead into the steel once more… and again, and again! Here goes Punk, fired up now and willing to prove he’s as dangerous as Orton, bouncing the Viper’s head off the steel until the stretcher falls over, and Orton falls to his knees. The Second City Saint nods his head, then pulls Orton up and rolls him back under the bottom rope… but before he follows him in, he heads to the timekeeper’s area and goes rummaging for a chair! Of course, the place is littered with them, so he gets one and snaps it shut, heading back into the ring… but as soon as he steps inside, Orton finds his feet – AND WIPES PUNK OUT WITH THE LOU THESZ PRESS, UNLEASHING A SERIES OF FRENZIED RIGHT AND LEFT HANDS!

Orton has pretty much lost his mind, but all he sees is red at this point, lashing those blows off a helpless Punk, and the crowd absolutely loves it! Punk finally manages to shove him aside and gets to his feet, smarting and rubbing his face, but when he turns, he gets knocked down by a BIG Orton clothesline! The Viper stands over Punk’s body with bared teeth, then his eyes turn to the chair on the canvas… so he picks it up, staring at it for a few moments before he drops it beside the ropes. He pulls Punk up by his hair, making him suffer as much as he can, then forces him through the ropes to the outside apron – and yanks him back inside with a front facelock! The crowd pops as Orton hangs Punk’s legs off the ropes here, his eyes sweeping the arena as he feeds off the energy, preparing for the Rope-Hung DDT on to that chair… but the crowd is screaming and protesting – BECAUSE HERE COMES SKIP SHEFFIELD!!! Orton hears the buzz and drops Punk, turning to face the big man as he slides into the ring – BUT SHEFFIELD’S QUICKER ON THE DRAW AND HE ANNIHILATES ORTON WITH HIS KILLER LARIAT!!! “OHHH!” cries the Key Arena as Orton goes down in a heap, and Sheffield helps Punk up to a chorus of boos; we catch a couple of replays as Skip props Punk up against the ropes and goes back to work. Sheffield grabs the chair from the mat, then heads to another corner and RAMS it between the top and middle buckles. Again, this gets a buzz from the crowd, with Punk watching his associate all the way as Sheffield pulls a dizzy Orton to his feet… AND CHUCKS HIM INTO THE CORNER, THROUGH THE CHAIR!!! Orton crashes through the steel, lying motionlessly in the debris now, and Punk manages to stand on his own two feet to admire Skip’s results.

Nodding, Sheffield turns to Punk and gets a pat on the shoulder from the Second City Saint. Punk looks impressed, a dark smile on his face as he looks at Orton, but notices that he’s down a man and turns back to Sheffield – “Where’s Ryan?” he manages between some heavy breaths. Skip points to Orton’s lifeless body in the corner, then to the stage, and says “Chairshots.” Punk shrugs and heads to the outside, grabbing one of the beefier stretchers from the ramp and wheeling it up to the ring. Meanwhile, Sheffield pulls Orton out from the wreckage, and lets him slump to the canvas beside the ropes. This allows Punk to put the stretcher against the apron, rolling Orton under the bottom rope on to it… and now, to some loud heat from the Seattle fans, Punk begins the journey to victory, wheeling Orton towards the fatal yellow line. As he does, Sheffield paces the ring, taking the (rather bent) chair out of the corner and throwing it leisurely to the floor. He then looks up the ramp to check that the win is secure… but the crowd is cheering, because Orton STARTS FIGHTING BACK! The Viper has come alive, leaping forward on the stretcher to knock Punk back with a right hand – he shoves himself off, and starts catching Punk completely off-guard with these stinging shots! He forces Punk back down the ramp, as the stretcher rolls back to the end of the slope, and now the Viper grabs Punk by his neck… BEFORE HE HURLS THE SECOND CITY SAINT INTO THE NEARBY BARRICADE!!! A big pop echoes around the Key Arena, Punk writhing in pain on the ramp, but Skip Sheffield is stunned into action and he exits the ring – so he can FLOOR a turning Orton with a stiff forearm blow! Orton’s head bounces off the outside floor in a bad way, but Sheffield doesn’t care, embracing the heat that rains down in response. The beastly man paces back and forth, trying to restrain himself a little, but then he stops beside one of the smaller, more flimsy metal stretchers. Orton’s starting to pull himself up, but Sheffield puts his hands on the edge of that stretcher… AND HAULS IT ABOVE HIS HEAD! It’s not the heaviest stretcher, but still it gets the crowd groaning in awe, as Orton looks to Skip and THE BIG MAN HURLS A STRETCHER AT HIS HEEEAAAD…

…BUT ORTON DUCKS! The Viper dodges a bullet there, diving to the deck as the stretcher clatters up the ramp, and Sheffield staggers a little. He’s furious that Orton got out the way, but things are about to get worse for him, because when he turns – Orton scoops him into the SNAP POWERSLAM ON THE OUTSIDE FLOOR! The crowd cheers at the sight of Sheffield holding his back, but now he’s turning back to all fours, and even begins to get up! The man is an absolute tank, he won’t stay down easy, so Orton turns his stumbling frame back to the ring… and grabs the steel chair from under the bottom rope! There’s a clear dent in the weapon, but it’s all kosher for Orton, who weighs it up in his hands – THEN CRASHES IT OFF SHEFFIELD’S BACK!!! Groans are the response from both the crowd and from Skip, who falls to a knee but no further, so Orton grabs him by the head and slings him over the nearest barricade… BEFORE HE UNLEASHES CHAIRSHOT AFTER CHAIRSHOT, LIKE A LASHING! The nearby fans are all for it, but Orton’s actions are verging on those of the psychopath CM Punk has always claimed he is! This is the first time we’ve seen Sheffield truly suffer, his face wrecked with agony as Orton canes the dented chair off his back, again and again… until finally, Sheffield slumps off the barricade and collapses to the floor. CM Punk has struggled up in the meantime, a hand gingerly against his back, and sees Sheffield in a heap; he’s shocked, but not as badly as when Orton comes for him with the butt of the chair, right to the stomach. Punk keels over – so Orton STINGS the chair off his back and brings him to his knees! Punk gasps out, but Orton hauls him up again and lays him on to that stretcher from before… AND NOW THE CHAIR ONE MORE TIME TO THE CHEST! With that, Orton throws the chair aside and begins to wheel it up the ramp… but as the crowd begins to cheer, those pops disappear again – because… BECAUSE A FUCKING AMBULANCE IS REVERSING INTO VIEW NEXT TO THE STAGE!!!

Orton stops; what the hell is going on? The ambulance’s back doors are flailing about, as if someone was in a rush, and two stretchers fall out! Both of them go wheeling across the lower arena floor, as the ambulance – reverse lights flashing like crazy – appears in full view, then stops, and out steps the driver… IT’S THE GOOD DOCTOR MASON RYAN, AND ORTON CHARGES AT HIM, SENDING THE CROWD WILD AS THEY BEGIN TO BRAWL!!! CM Punk takes the opportunity to fall off the stretcher, making sure he’s completely safe for now, but he’s taken a few heavy hits so he’s staying down for the moment. All the while, Orton and Ryan are exchanging blows like madmen, before the Welshman wins out with a surprise kick to the gut, before he scoops Orton up and lines himself up with the open ambulance doors. It’s set up for a Fallaway Slam, possibly into the vehicle itself, but just as Ryan yells through some beastly adrenaline, Orton fights out with a series of mad elbows! Ryan releases the Viper, who takes note of his surroundings and SHOVES Ryan back – so the Welshman slams into the bottom ambulance bumper! The impact makes him stop for a moment so he can recover, wincing, but Orton has other plans, grabbing the closest ambulance door – AND SWINGING IT INTO RYAN’S HEAD AND TORSO!!! The thump echoes around the arena and the crowd comes alive with a mixture of cheers and groans, as Orton gets even more creative here. Ryan falls down, as Randy allows himself a satisfied smirk and turns around – BUT CM PUNK IS UP, AND HE WIPES ORTON OUT WITH A ROUNDHOUSE KICK!

Down goes Orton, so the camera swings round to catch the look on CM Punk’s face – pure hatred from the Second City Saint. He looks back down the ramp at Skip Sheffield, still motionless after Orton gave him a serious beating, then to Mason Ryan, who looks more capable of helping Punk in his dirty deeds so he goes and helps him up. The Welshman takes a moment, leaning against the ambulance door that didn’t just get slammed across his face, then nods and waits for his orders. Punk inspects the scene, liking what he sees from Ryan bringing the ambulance into play, so he hops inside and has a root around. Mason Ryan falls on Orton with some harsh blows across the face, paying him back for that shot with the door, until we sweep back up to see Punk hopping out of the ambulance… and he’s got sterile gloves on, with a roll of bandages over his shoulder and carrying an oxygen tank! A mixed reaction goes up, as Ryan pulls Orton up and Punk mutters “Real pain…” – BEFORE HE CLANGS THE OXYGEN TANK OFF ORTON’S HEAD! The crowd groans as the Viper crumples again, so Punk nods and rolls the tank away. Next up is the roll of bandages, which Punk slides down his arm and helps himself to a generous amount… AND NOW HE WRAPS THEM AROUND ORTON’S NECK. Things take a turn for the sadistic yet again, as Punk gets several loops around Randy’s neck and begins to choke the life right out of him! Rod Zapata is out of the ring, but he’s pretty much helpless in this match, asking Punk if this is really necessary but being totally blanked by a very high and mighty Second City Saint. Punk pulls Orton to his feet, still choking him with the bandages as the Viper’s eyes bulge in pain, but he’s a little too obsessed, caught up in his own little world for a moment, until he remembers Mason Ryan and he says something that we don’t catch. The Welshman goes over to the stretchers that fell out of the ambulance, and swivels one of them towards Punk and Orton. Punk nods, so Ryan wheels it forward… AND DRIVES THE STEEL HARD INTO ORTON’S GUT!

Groans in the arena yet again; if there’s one thing CM Punk knows about, it’s making a scene through violence, and it’s another disgusting, vile display here. Punk lets Orton struggle for breath a little longer, then dumps him to the floor, where one hand goes to his neck, ripping the bandage-chain off, and the other to his stomach. Ryan comes over, looking very pleased indeed, as Punk turns to the camera to show that the gloves are coming off, and tells Ryan to heave the Viper up once more. The Welshman does as he’s told, holding Randy up almost by his own strength entirely, as the limp Orton struggles to figure out where he is. For Punk, though, it’s not about the victory for the moment, but about the message he sends, so he heads back towards the ring and tells Ryan to drag Orton there too. When they get to the ring, Punk heads up the steps to a chorus of “YOU SUCK!” chants, but he smirks and says “You won’t be sayin’ that for much longer…” before he steps inside. Mason rolls Orton into the ring and joins him, while Punk grabs Orton’s lifeless body up… and begins to TIE HIM IN THE ROPES, JUST LIKE TWO WEEKS AGO! Suddenly, the crowd and Orton come alive, the latter flailing desperately not to have this horrific experience repeated – but there’s two men against one, so Punk throws a few stiff right hands to stay him, and heads to the outside. He checks briefly on Sheffield (now resting against a barricade, and holding up a hand to say he’s fine) then heads back to the timekeeper’s area to wrench the ring bell out of his hands… but we cut back to the ring – WHERE ORTON’S FIGHTING BACK AGAINST RYAN… AND HE NAILS THE WELSHMAN WITH A LOW BLOW! Ryan collapses in a heap following a boot to the crown jewels, and Punk looks horrified, because Orton’s struggling, freeing his arms and getting back to his feet!

Punk slides into the ring with the bell and SWINGS for the fences – NO! Orton ducks under the shot, then leaps up – TO DROPKICK THE BELL BACK INTO PUNK’S FACE! The clang echoes around the arena to the delight of the Seattle fans, and as the bell falls by the wayside, Mason Ryan is seen rolling from the ring… and Orton is INCENSED! The Viper starts pacing around the ring, trying to contain his rage but failing on a massive scale – he smacks the ropes, the buckles, writhes like a snake… THEN FALLS BESIDE PUNK AND STARTS POUNDING THE CANVAS! The crowd goes wild, but Orton is oblivious now… or so it seems, because here comes Skip Sheffield into the ring, only for Orton to launch to his feet and strike with the R – K – NOOO! Sheffield shoves Randy away, into the ropes, and kicks him in the gut; he hauls him into the air, maybe looking for Shell Shocked – but Orton’s out! The St. Louis native wriggles free, landing behind Skip… and catching him with the Inverted Headlock Backbreaker! Sheffield tumbles to the side, face scrunched in pain again, and maybe Orton’s finally getting the better of the Convoy! The Viper is red in the face, hurt quite considerably in the course of this match, but his blood-lust knows no bounds and as Punk wobbles up, it could be that time… no, he forgoes the RKO and grabs the ring bell off the mat – BEFORE HE CLEANS PUNK’S CLOCK WITH A SWEEPING SHOT TO THE FACE! Punk goes down with unfocused eyes, again garnering a sizeable pop from the crowd, before Orton hurls the bell through the ropes to the outside. Orton bares his teeth, really letting that anger surge through him now… but his head shoots to the side – because Mason Ryan, the cheeky bastard, has fished out A TABLE from underneath the ring, and he’s setting it up!

Infuriated by even the nerve, Orton exits the ring as quick as his battered body will let him, and meets Ryan with a clubbing blow across the shoulders, and again. The Welshman takes those, however, and answers back with his own, before he tries to slam Orton’s head off the wooden table surface – to no avail, as Orton puts his hands on it. Orton elbows his way out of Ryan’s grip, then grabs the Welshman by the hair and leads him over to the Spanish announce table… before he slams HIM off the cover! As usual, the poor Spanish announcers have to go running for cover, as Orton starts stripping the desk purely so he can sling Ryan over it… and sandwich him in between the table and its plastic cover! Skip Sheffield, meanwhile, has rolled his muscular frame from the ring and grabs one of those fibreglass backboards. He stalks Orton, who is still busy squashing Ryan, but the crowd’s protestations are too loud for Orton to not check his surroundings, so he turns – and gets CLOBBERED with the board! That shot really rocks Orton, who goes tumbling to the floor, and Sheffield helps Ryan out of his predicament. The Welshman slaps his comrade on the shoulder as thanks, then chases down the crawling and dazed Orton. He rails the Viper with several fierce forearm shots, then drags him back to that announce table, rolling him on there and leaving it to Sheffield. The big man beats Orton up a little more, as Ryan slides into the ring to check on Punk, who is leant against the ropes. Skip even stands on the desk, pulling Orton to his feet and getting the crowd buzzing as they sense a huge spot coming. Skip pulls Orton on to his shoulders for a Powerslam, so the boos start raining down, while CM Punk leans against Ryan and a smirk grows on his face… Sheffield lets out a huge roar and prepares to drill Orton through the table – BUT AS HE STARTS, ORTON FALLS DOWN… AND CATCHES SHEFFIELD WITH THE RKO… THROUGH THE TABLE!!! RKO THROUGH THE TABLE!!!

THE CROWD GOES NUTS! CM Punk’s face is an absolute picture of disbelief, a man who thought he had this locked down, as Orton scores with the RKO and Sheffield crashes through the table to boot! We get several replays of Orton’s incredible improvisation, while Skip is pretty much out for the count now… and somehow, some way, Randy Orton is heaving his tired body out of the wreckage! CM Punk’s eyes bulge even further in shock, and he furiously motions Mason Ryan out of the ring to do something, following him out. Orton puts his hands against the ring apron to try to pull himself up, but Ryan is on him with those hard shots again, while Punk runs his hands through his hair and tries to figure out where Orton’s found this resilience from! As Punk paces, a frown steadily grows as this becomes less of a ‘showcase’ for him and more of a genuine trial. He looks to Skip Sheffield, a tough bastard torn apart by Orton’s rage, then to a tired but frustrated Mason Ryan, and clenches his fists. “Leave him to me,” he says, pushing Ryan away and shoving Orton into the ring. He slides in as well, watching Orton struggle to his knees and pulling him up. He shoves him a corner, then follows up with the Shining Wizard, rocking Orton… then the BULLDOG to complete the move. Mason Ryan looks unsure, so he paces the outside of the ring and wheels one of the stretchers to the apron, so it’s there if Punk wants it. The Second City Saint, however, looks down at Orton and apparently doesn’t know what he wants. There’s some kind of line here, a question hanging in the air that asks why CM Punk is really here – is he here for the victory, or is he here for the metaphor, the message? Ryan stands beside the stretcher and waits, while a bruised Orton finds the energy to kneel before Punk. For a moment, Punk just stares, doing nothing to stop Orton’s slow, arduous attempts to get to his feet; when he manages it, however, Punk lashes a kick to his side, and again. He mixes it up with right and left kicks, then spins into the Heel Kick as well, adding a couple more kicks to wear the Viper down. He lines up another big Roundhouse, taking aim at his weary opponent… but the Roundhouse MISSES, and Punk spins wildly around into the RKO – BUT NO!!! Punk jams it and shoves Orton… WHO STUMBLES THROUGH THE ROPES, TAKING OUT MASON RYAN AND TIPPING THE OUTSIDE STRETCHER OVER!

The awkward collision and landing has the crowd groaning, as Punk slumps into his typical cross-legged position in the ring. His hair has become un-slicked, falling across his face in ugly bunches, and he looks pissed off. On the outside, Orton and Ryan find their feet, either side of that fallen stretcher, with that menacing steel edge glinting beneath them… SO ORTON LEAPS WITH THE RKO OUTTA NOWHERE – AND DRIVES MASON RYAN’S CHEST INTO THE SIDE OF THE STRETCHER IN THE PROCESS!!! THE CROWD ERUPTS AGAIN!!! Randy gets up, shouting with a mixture of pain and adrenaline, then turns to look at the sight of Ryan lying across the stretcher… the Welshman is out COLD, taking a nasty impact there, and Orton starts to look like he’s turned things around – ONLY FOR CM PUNK TO THROW HIMSELF THROUGH THE ROPES, TAKING ORTON DOWN WITH A SUICIDE DIVE!!! Both men go sprawling to the outside floor, the crowd popping out of instinct, the typical response to any dive of the sort… but now CM Punk has a hand on the barricade. That’s all it is, at first, but as he begins to pull himself up, the boos fall in from the crowd, and a dizzy Randy Orton looks lost on the floor. Punk checks briefly on Mason Ryan, noting the effectiveness of that steel edge, so he shoves the Welshman to the side, out of his way. Ryan’s limp frame lies beside the ring; it’s not that Punk doesn’t appreciate the man, but right now he’s no help at all. The Second City Saint grabs Orton next, pulling him up and towards the toppled stretcher for a taste of his own medicine… BEFORE HE PLANTS ORTON INTO THE STEEL EDGE WITH THE REVERSE STO!!! WHAT A SICKENING SHOT!!! It’s possibly the loudest reaction of disgust we’ve heard all night, a horrible impact as Orton’s body slumps against the stretcher, and CM Punk forces himself up with a cobweb-clearing shake of the head. He sees another stretcher, this one on the ramp, so he staggers towards that, wheeling it back to Orton… who rolls over – and the man has been BUSTED OPEN.

We have blood. It’s no crimson mask, but for the second match in a row between these two, Randy Orton has a red streak running down from his forehead. The Viper’s eyes flicker open and closed, barely able to tell Seattle from Tampa, and this time, getting up is one step too far for him. Instead, he slumps back to the mats, trying to keep the blood out of his eyes. Punk, meanwhile, heaves that stretcher back up, placing it next to the one he just wheeled down the ramp; what’s he thinking now? There’s no denying that Punk is a maniac anymore, not after this, and as he pulls Orton’s dead weight up and throws him over the double stretcher setup, we could be about to get some more evidence. Punk heads back into the ring, with somewhat difficulty himself, then struggles on his way… to the top turnbuckle. A buzz runs through the Key Arena as Punk raises both arms into the air – a tribute to Randy Savage, who passed away two days ago – then waits, staring down at Orton. Maybe he’s expecting the Viper to move, or come alive with an RKO, but there’s no sign of life from the bleeding St. Louis native, so Punk crouches… and LAUNCHES WITH A DIVING ELBOW DROP TO THE OUTSIDE… BUT ORTON ROLLS OFF THE STRETCHERS, AND PUNK CRASHES AND BURNS!!! NO GOOD!!!

The padding on those stretchers is nothing special – THAT STUNG. Punk bounces off those stretchers, an awkward and jarring impact that has the Second City Saint tumbling off the stretchers on to the floor. Orton is in no hurry to get up – hell, his evasion of the big elbow was more exhaustion than ingenuity – and he has to take a moment, despite the “RKO! RKO!” chants in the arena that try to inspire him to take advantage. He finally hauls himself up, resting against a barricade on the ramp and hearing the support of the nearby fans. The Viper staggers back towards the stretchers, resting against them and staring down at Punk – he lays a couple of nasty stomps into Punk’s chest, then reaches down and grabs him by the roots of his messed-up hair. Punk gasps in pain as Orton unceremoniously heaves him up, forcing him on to the nearest stretcher of the two and dragging it towards the ramp. Some cheers go up, the reaction building to a peak as Orton changes sides and now pushes Punk towards defeat, inch by inch. As he starts to get close, however, Punk suddenly comes alive again, catching Orton with the sole of his boot! Needless to say this stops Orton wheeling, so Punk wavers back to his feet, standing on the stretcher… THEN HE LEAPS ON TO ORTON’S SHOULDERS AND TOSSES HIM DOWN THE RAMP WITH A FRANKENSTEINER! That’s how you save a match-up! Both men are down now, as again that stretcher rolls gently off the sloped part of the ramp, but Punk seems the more alive, at least on all fours while Orton lies flat and holds his head. The bloodied Viper seems to be slowly losing his energy, that unstoppable will to fight… no, he’s crawling for the ring apron again! Punk sees him and forces himself up, moving down to ringside and lashing one of his signature kicks off Orton’s side. Turning, he finds the other stretcher that he landed on previously, and… shoves it over?

Punk’s almost certainly lost it now. The Second City Saint takes the stretcher off its side and flips it fully upside down, with the wheels turning to no avail as they face the ceiling. The stretcher struts collapse, not built to function this way up, as Punk now grabs Orton and drags him along the outside floor, forcing him – beneath the struts! Punk makes sure to open the stretcher just long enough to slip Orton between them, but now he closes them like a vice, trapping the Viper’s neck beneath the steel as he presses down on the stretcher wheels! Orton’s legs flail in desperation, this being ten times worse than being choked with bandages, but Punk wants to make things even worse, clambering back up to the apron. Orton still seems trapped, trying to loosen the steel grip against his neck, but Punk’s eyes are on the main beam of the stretcher… SO HE LEAPS WITH A LEG DROOOOOP – NOOOO!!! Orton ESCAPES just in time, and Punk crashes into the main beam, the struts snapping violently shut on the place where Orton’s neck was seconds beforehand! CM Punk truly is as sick as they come! Luckily, Orton managed to free himself at the last second, and now Punk’s taken some damage, his legs bouncing off the steel in a nasty fashion. Nevertheless, he uses the upside-down stretcher to prop himself up – but the man looking at him is an ENRAGED Randy Orton, blood running down his face… he LUNGES for Punk, but the Second City Saint darts backwards, and starts moving away around ringside! Mason Ryan, meanwhile, has begun to find his feet elsewhere, and though he’s dazed, he’s still a human wall, so Punk moves behind him, with that wooden table from before still lurking behind them both. Orton stops his pursuit for a moment, the fatigue taking over somewhat as he stares at the frowning Ryan… BUT HE CHARGES AT THE BIG MAN ANYWAY! Punk hobbles away in surprise, as Orton and Ryan trade exhausted bombs, until the Welshman throws a BIG clothesline – NO, ORTON DUCKS IT, GETTING IN BEHIND… AND HE SCORES WITH THE OLYMPIC SLAM, SENDING RYAN CRASHING THROUGH THE TABLE!!! INCREDIBLE!!!

Randy Orton may have finally slain the Convoy! He’s put both men through tables, and the crowd is going absolutely MENTAL for the Viper; what an effort! CM Punk turns for help, but all he sees is Skip Sheffield, still pretty much down and out from the RKO through the Spanish announce desk earlier, unable to give him any assistance. Orton, meanwhile, takes a half-second to look down at Mason Ryan in the wooden debris, then goes back after his main target. Punk shakes his head, as if this wasn’t meant to happen, but Randy’s tired frame urges him on to make him suffer regardless, so the Viper reaches down… and PULLS UP THE OUTSIDE MATS! Punk is horrified, but Orton moves over to him, blocking Punk’s right hand, and boots him in the gut, getting the front facelock. Orton draws on the energy of this hot crowd, hoisting Punk up so his legs rest on the ring apron… “Oh my God…” murmurs Josh Matthews… AND ORTON DROPS CM PUNK INTO THE CONCRETE WITH THE APRON-HUNG DDT!!! SICK BUT BRILLIANT!!! That garners our first real “HOLY SHIT!” chants of the night, as Orton really goes deep into his locker with that move, and now Punk surely – yes, he’s bleeding, and Orton, though he falls to a knee, allows himself a subtle, dark smirk. Punk may be out for the count, as Orton hauls his dead weight up and shoves him under the bottom rope. We get our first real shot of Punk’s face; he’s not cut as badly as Orton, but there’s definitely the red stuff across his forehead, smeared down a little. The Second City Saint shudders and tries to put a hand on the canvas to get away, but he hasn’t the energy as an exhausted Randy Orton stands above him. The Viper takes a long look at his opponent… then begins to step back, bit by bit, until he’s in the corner – AND HE BEGINS TO TUG ON THE ROPES! Just when you thought Orton couldn’t devise a worse punishment for CM Punk’s disgusting actions, here we are – it’s time for the return of the PUNT. In this one moment, Orton forces his body to forget everything he’s been through in this bout, focusing purely on ending Punk’s career… his teeth are bared, the crowd is baying for blood… and all the while, CM Punk is huddled in the mat, close to the corner and surely praying for mercy… as Orton lines up the deadly shot and CHARGES IN –

- BUT SOMETHING GETS PASSED TO PUNK… AND THE SECOND CITY SAINT RUNS THROUGH ORTON WITH A SHOT TO THE FACE – FROM THE RING BELL!!! The crowd ROARS out in despair as Punk topples Orton before the death knoll could be delivered, and the Chicago native now smirks, counting his lucky stars… before he looks to ringside, where SKIP FUCKING SHEFFIELD FINALLY LEARNS TO GRIN. The big man shows no signs of remorse, having grabbed the bell that Orton threw aside earlier and saved Punk’s part in this match, maybe his whole career – what a contribution. Randy Orton is bleeding more and more now, the ring bell well and truly busting him open, as he struggles furiously for air on the canvas. Punk bends down, grabbing Orton by the neck and forcing him up to look into his eyes… he wants Orton to see his conqueror. Holding the Viper’s neck with one hand and the bell in the other, he presses the cold metal against Randy’s bloody face, making him feel the chill… BEFORE HE WHIPS THE BELL ACROSS ORTON’S FACE AGAIN, SENDING BLOOD ACROSS THE CANVAS! Orton’s head snaps violently to the side, the broken man collapsing yet again, as Punk raises his arms above him and proclaims… “This… this is C… M… PUNK.” Inevitably, the crowd boos the shit out of this sick individual, undoubtedly unlike anyone else we’ve ever seen… but Randy Orton’s hand is on his knee pads. Punk looks down, frowning suddenly.

“You wanna win… you’re gonna… you’re gonna have to KILL ME.”

The fans at ringside who heard that start cheering and chanting “RKO!”, but those chants are already kicking off anyway, filling the arena. Punk looks disgusted, shaking his head at what must be Orton’s last stand, before he pulls him up – AND HOISTS HIM ON TO HIS SHOULDERS. That kills the chanting, replaced by fierce boos and protests… because Punk may not be able to kill Orton – BUT HE CAN CERTAINLY PUT HIM TO SLEEP, THERE’S THE GTS TO THE VIPER!!! Orton collapses again, this time without protest, without remark or fight, and Punk nods to Skip Sheffield on the outside. The Convoy man is leant against the only remaining announce desk, nodding back through his own selling of the shots he’s taken from Orton. Punk heads to the outside, grabbing the nearest stretcher that stands the right way up, and presses it against the apron. He manages to haul Orton’s dead weight on to it, and forces his tired body to wheel the Viper towards the stage. Each step is a trial – Punk’s been through the ringer, just like Orton, but the scent of victory has driven him maybe that one step further – but he’s making progress, slow enough to give the crowd hope. As he gets closer to the yellow line, there are fans screaming in protest, telling Orton to fight back, but this could be it, as the first two wheels slide over the line… BUT AS THE STRETCHER GETS HALFWAY, ORTON GETS A LEG OFF IT, AND PLANTS IT AGAINST THE RAMP!

A big, big pop goes up for Orton’s resilience, as the Viper suddenly throws a sluggish right hand to stop Punk’s route to victory, and that’s enough to knock the surprised Second City Saint away! Orton is a busted and broken soul, but he manages to force himself off the stretcher, which skews sideways so it can’t roll down the ramp, and now Orton wipes the blood out of his eyes. He’s coming for Punk, stinging him with a couple of stiff right hands, but the Second City Saint is ready this time, and he answers back by KNOCKING ORTON’S LIGHTS OUT WITH AN INSTINCTIVE ROUNDHOUSE KICK! Orton falls to his knees and slumps against the ramp barricade, practically on the verge of unconsciousness now, but Punk doesn’t care. The Chicago native grabs his opponent by the neck, shaking out his own fatigue as blood trickles down his face, and does something drastic. Standing beside the stretcher, basically at the top of the ramp, he puts Orton on his shoulders with the last semblance of strength he has left… AND CONNECTS WITH A SECOND GO TO SLEEP, SENDING ORTON REELING – SO HIS BACK CONTORTS AWKWARDLY ON TO THE STRETCHER!!! An awe-inspired groan goes up in the arena, and now Punk tips Orton’s legs up on to the stretcher too… BEFORE HE TURNS THE STRETCHER AND SHOVES IT, SENDING IT ROLLING OVER THE YELLOW LINE!!! PUNK WINS THE WAR!!!

WINNER: CM PUNK VIA STRETCHER AT 27:45

*THIS FIRE BURNS*

Justin Roberts:

Here is your winner… C – M – PUUUNK!!!

Punk collapsed as soon as he shoved the stretcher, but the immense heat tells you the whole story – he’s won the hard-fought one tonight, by no means fairly, but he’s done it. Mason Ryan still lies in the wreckage of a wooden table, but Skip Sheffield is walking again, shoving a cameraman out of his way as he hobbles up the ramp to join Punk. In fact, he’s the man who keeps him upright as the music plays; poor Randy Orton collapses off the stretcher and lies against the steel stage grating, beaten and bloody.

Jim Ross:

In all my years… folks, I thought we’d left treating your fellow man like that behind in the stone age, but… that was disturbing. That was war.

Booker T:
CM Punk said he was gonna go even further tah-night, and he did, dawg, he did.

Josh Matthews:
Indeed, CM Punk’s prophesising ringing eerily true tonight in Seattle, with the so-called ‘power of faith’ giving the Second City Saint a three-to-one advantage… Randy Orton fought valiantly, but… but CM Punk would not be denied tonight.

Jim Ross:
God knows what CM Punk’s doin’ this all for – it’s past vengeance now, it’s gotta be. God help us all if this continues, Josh, I don’t know if I can put up with that every week.

Punk stands – barely – on the ramp with Sheffield, an arm raised into the air. The crowd boos with everything they have, but this night cannot be stolen from CM Punk, who finally cracks a smirk. Faith has carried him through tonight.

Josh Matthews:

CM Punk said he’d show us what he stands for tonight… well, I sure don’t like what I see, folks.

CM Punk’s harrowing celebrations above Randy Orton’s shattered body is our last shot before we fade away…

---

John Cena on the top turnbuckle, waving “You can’t see me” at the retreating Nexus in 2010.

Narrator:

Summerslam.

Brock Lesnar raises the Undisputed Title in New York, standing above The Rock.

Narrator:

Where stars are made.

Randy Orton becomes the youngest World Champion of all time in 2004.

Narrator:

Because in the WWE, to make an impact… you have to go BIG.

Hogan and Michaels stare each other down.

Narrator:

You have to push the boundaries.

Goldberg SPEARS Chris Jericho through the Chamber pod at ‘Slam 2003.

Narrator:

But there’s no better place for that… than Hollywood.

CM Punk in 2009, hauling down the World Title to the disgust of the L.A. crowd.

Narrator:

The city of superstardom.

Sweeping shots of the bright famous city.

Narrator:

This is your chance for greatness.

Cena stares at the belt in his hand in 2007.

Narrator:

And this year… FIVE hours of the biggest party of the summer.

Shots of various up-and-comers and new stars; Miz, Black, Barrett, Del Rio, Ziggler, Kingston, Swagger, Bryan, Gabriel, Slater, Rhodes, Riley, Morrison.

Narrator:

But with every taken chance… there’s a risk.

The Undertaker tosses Edge to ‘Hell’ at 2008’s event.

Narrator:

When the heat is on, when the world is watching… you may only have one shot.

The Rock slings his title over his shoulder in 2000, sniffs the air.

Narrator:

So if you fly close to the Sun – make sure you don’t get burned.

The shots of various superstars flash past, until we settle on Wade Barrett, raising an arm with an evil smirk into the camera…


WWE SUMMERSLAM – A FIVE HOUR SPECTACULAR ON PAY-PER-VIEW
LIVE FROM THE STAPLES CENTER, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
21ST AUGUST 2011 | THE BIGGEST PARTY OF THE SUMMER


---

Backstage – in the distance, the camera spies DANIEL BRYAN, in the middle of his pre-match preparations… well, if you can call it that. A large punching bag is hanging from the ceiling in one of our backstage areas, set out for Bryan’s preparations, but he’s kicking it like he’s LOSING HIS MIND, again and again! We can just make out a frown on his face, the man clearly in a bad place after what we saw on Monday night, and rather than go closer, we stay right here as he kicks away. Slowly, we fade out from Bryan’s distant aggression.

We return to a silent arena, but the Summerslam theme, Cee Lo Green’s ‘Bright Lights, Bigger City’, strikes up in the background, and we’re with the announcers. Booker T looks like he’s just been to the Fireworks, Candy and Puppy Dogs Store.


Jim Ross:

Daniel Bryan definitely in the zone tonight. He’s got a lot to contend with later, but speaking of big things to come… folks, this year Summerslam goes bigger than ever, it’s gonna be incredible in L.A. in August for sure.

Booker T:
(holding up the Bookerman hand)
FIVE HOURS! FIVE HOURS! FIVE HOURS!

Josh Matthews:
Er – thanks Booker, that’s absolutely right; this year already, we’ve seen the biggest Royal Rumble in history, as well as The Rock hosting an unforgettable Wrestlemania – next of the Big Four is Summerslam, a five hour special event.

Jim Ross:
It’s never been done before, folks, but Staples Center is no stranger to history bein’ made inside its doors – ya don’t wanna miss when Summerslam gets even hotter.

At ringside, the unlucky Spanish announcers are still trying to organise their notes, while the wreckage of the last match has now been removed, including the absence of the ambulance that might have got in the way.

“I’VE HAD ENOUGH! I MAKE ‘EM SEE…”


*END OF DAYS*

And here we go then with match number six, as heralded by the stage lighting up in that glorious red… and now the arrival of THE CORRE. Leading the pack is WADE BARRETT, trying his hardest to put on a believable poker face despite a few twitches, while EZEKIEL JACKSON walks at his shoulder with a pumped-up expression. To the side of these two, we have the WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, JUSTIN GABRIEL and HEATH SLATER; Gabriel seems pensive, but the One Man Band lofts his title into the air and grins his face off. Barrett stands to observe the ring, empty but for Tony Chimel and referee John Cone… then he begins to walk down the ramp, followed by the other three members of the WWE’s most potent stable. The bell chimes.

Tony Chimel:

The following is a Four-on-Two Handicap Match, set for one fall! Introducing first, the team of Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson and the WWE Tag Team Champions; Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel… THE CORRE!

Jim Ross:
And ya think back to Summerslam last year and you’ll see three of the men from its main event; Wade Barrett, then leader of the Nexus, now the orchestrator of some similar crimes as a member of The Corre.

Josh Matthews:
Loyal to the end, JR, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel followed him on his exit from the Nexus earlier this year – these guys have done some questionable things on SmackDown with Big Zeke Jackson, but possibly nothing was worse than their attack on Edge and Christian a few weeks ago.

Booker T:
Ya know, dat night gets replayed a helluva lot for a good reason, guys… Edge or Christian coulda been challengin’ for the World Title tah-night, but Wade Barrett an’ his boys took dat away from ‘em – dey got a little payback but dey want a piece of the main man.

Jim Ross:
Indeed, the cruel mastermind in Wade Barrett inspired all of this, and even though the bare knuckle fighter comes into this match with a two-on-one advantage, don’t think he hasn’t got an ass-whippin’ comin’.

Barrett heads up the ring steps, while Gabriel hops up to the apron and slingshots inside. Slater goes round to the announce desks to show Booker T his title belt – “I’M-A BE IN THE FAVE FIVE AFTER THIS, BAH-BAY!” – before he slides in, and Big Zeke takes the only side of the ring not used. This allows the four men to take a turnbuckle each, scaling up for four different taunts… Slater holds his title high with both hands, Jackson flexes his muscles, Barrett is distracted but raises a slow arm, and Gabriel just stares from beneath his dark fringe. They step down in unison, then meet in the centre of the ring to talk tactics. Barrett shoots a look all around, watching his angles, then sticks his head in the middle of the pseudo-huddle and speaks in a tone so cold and emotionless that we can’t pick up what he says. When he’s done, the other three nod, then turn to link raised arms, with the tag champions at either end. It’s a classic Corre pose, which Barrett breaks and they head to the corner.

*YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME*

THIS CROWD JUST LOSES IT!!! Here we go, it’s nostalgia time, and we see Wade Barrett’s scowl deepen, before he tells the other three to watch all around them, paranoid of attacks from anywhere and everywhere. On the stage, EDGE AND CHRISTIAN come storming out to a HUGE reaction, and finally, Barrett can focus on one part of the arena. The haunted Englishman is really in no condition to wrestle, partly because he’s trying to mastermind a total beatdown, but Edge and Christian don’t mind, wearing their SHADES and leaping all about the stage to fire up the crowd! Edge is blowing on a kazoo, but it’ll do no good in this pumping arena, so he hurls it into the crowd and turns back to the Livewire – they do an awesome high five, and now they head for the ring, slapping dozens of hands on their way!

Tony Chimel:

And their opponents… from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, weighing in tonight at a combined weight of four hundred and eighty pounds… the team of the Rated R Superstar, EDGE – AND CHRIIISTIAN!

Jim Ross:
I tell ya, it’s like we’re back at the turn of the millennium, folks… turn back the clocks, by gawd, we’re in for a slobberknocker right here! Scalded dog, government mule, it’s 2000 all over again!

Josh Matthews:
Yup, the year is two thousand and eleven, ladies and gentlemen, but we are watching Edge and Christian team together on pay-per-view… the odds may be stacked against them, but they’ve sent their own message to The Corre, narrowly missing out on the WWE Tag Team Titles two nights ago.

Booker T:
Hell, da Corre ain’t to be laughed at, man – Gabriel and Slater been champs since February, dey been gettin’ it done in every title match since, and dat 450 Splash from Justin been doin’ all kinds of damage. Edge and Christian got a TASK on their hands tah-night, ya better believe it.

Jim Ross:
Indeed, it’s not gonna be easy, but Edge and Christian are one of the greatest tag teams in all of WWE’s history – I believe in them, and so do all seven thousand men, women and children in attendance here tonight.

Approaching the ring, Edge and Christian exchange a glance – then the Rated R Superstar slides under the bottom rope in trademark fashion, while Christian heads up the steps, slingshotting in and heading straight up top to search for his peeps. Edge, meanwhile, is contractually obliged to do the rock star pose from the second rope, with all the fans in that corner of the arena joining in. They turn back to face each other, then look at The Corre, who haven’t moved under the flashing lights of the Canadians’ entrance. Almost simultaneously, they whip off their shades, tossing them into the crowd, then retreat a little so they can talk over some last minute issues. Tony Chimel’s out of the ring, and now John Cone asks both teams for a starting man. Hot off taking the losing fall two nights ago, Christian moves forward – this was a discussion they must have had earlier – while Ezekiel Jackson steps in for The Corre. Gabriel and Slater’s titles are handed to ringside, as Edge tells the crowd to make some noise (not that they need the motivation) on his way to the apron. We’re set to go, so Cone calls for the bell in this Handicap bout.


Four-on-Two Handicap Match
The Corre; Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson and WWE Tag Team Champions Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater versus Edge and Christian

The crowd buzzes, and Ezekiel Jackson shakes out his huge muscles, as this opening exchange between the last two ECW Champions looks to begin… but Christian’s shaking his head? Captain Charisma moves towards Big Zeke, but he’s pointing behind him… “You pinned me, let’s do this…” and it’s Justin Gabriel who stares at that pointed finger! Barrett’s looking at Christian with a scowl, telling Gabriel “Don’t get suckered in, he’s playing with your head,” but of course, that’s what Barrett thinks about everyone these days. Jackson doesn’t look pleased, but this is a team game, so he asks “You want in?” and offers the hand… Gabriel looks from Barrett to Christian, then to Big Zeke – and SLAPS the hand for the tag! A pop goes up as Gabriel steps inside, accepting Christian’s challenge, but Barrett looks less than pleased. Already it seems events are running away from him, out of the puppeteer grip he longs to have, as Christian nods his head at Gabriel’s courage and the pair lock up.

They struggle for a moment, before Christian’s slight weight advantage lets him drive Gabriel back… no, the South African puts a foot up on the middle turnbuckle pad, stopping himself being pinned in. He’s in a neutral corner, so he takes a moment to think through his options, choosing to slide into the corner a little so he can dart out of Christian’s grip and head back into the ring’s empty space. Christian turns and meets him, but the Tag Team Champion grabs his wrist and gets the Arm Wringer. Captain Charisma winces, but he spins, bringing the pressure shooting back through Gabriel’s arm instead… only for the South African to roll forward, getting some relief, then kicking Christian in the gut, and then the side! Gabriel’s kicks are sharp as always, so he uses that time to maybe hook up the Reverse STO, get the early Koji Clutch… NO! Christian elbows his way out, then knocks him down with a Dropkick! Both men get up, having tested each other suitably, and Gabriel decides he’s found out all he needs to know; he tags in Slater, while Christian remembers the importance of staying fresh and retreats to bring in Edge.

A pop goes up as Edge steps into the fray – across from him, the brash Slater spreads his arms and talks all kinds of trash, but the corner of Edge’s mouth curves upwards; he remembers when he was just as cocky. Now, however, he’s focused on the task at hand, baiting Heath in with a couple of feigned punches, then capitalising when Slater fires back by ducking and PUMMELLING him with right hands, all the way back to the corner! The Seattle crowd cheers as Edge picks his spots, waiting for Slater to try to cover up and pounding him wherever he leaves open. Eventually, John Cone steps in with a count, so Edge steps back, pacing left and right again. He glances briefly at his real target, the now-stoic Barrett, then back to Slater, a man who only works to his full potential when he concentrates… and he’s not concentrating. The One Man Band lunges for Edge again, but the Canadian ducks again, grabbing Slater by the hair and throwing him on to the second rope… he rebounds, then slams into him with a Crossbody to the back! That chokes Slater nicely, so Edge forces him to the mat and makes a cover…

ONE…

BUT SLATER KICKS OUT!

Okay, so maybe Slater’s not as big as pushover as Edge thought. The Canadian shrugs, pulling his younger opponent up with him and whipping him to the ropes. He bends down and gets CRACKED with a kick to the face from Slater, who now shoves HIM into the ropes and brings him down with an Arm Drag. Slater keeps a hold on the arm, putting the pressure on Edge, who gasps in surprise and has to struggle, trying to find a way out of the quick hold. The One Man Band, meanwhile, takes a chance to recover somewhat, knowing he underestimated Edge a little in the early going there. Nevertheless, he has control for a moment here, that is until Edge starts forcing his way up again. Slater throws a couple of jabs, but they seem ultimately useless as Edge shoves him away, then knocks him down with a clothesline. Up gets Slater, so Edge whips him to the Canadians’ corner, then follows up with a MUCH BIGGER CLOTHESLINE, THIS TIME AGAINST THE BUCKLES! Edge soaks up the cheers for a second, then takes the tag from Christian. The Livewire steps into the ring, so the twosome bring Slater out of the corner, then whip him to the ropes… Heath comes back – AND GETS PLANTED WITH THE DOUBLE FLAPJACK FROM EDGE AND CHRISTIAN! The crowd cheers as the Canadians continue to roll back the years, Edge leaving the ring as Christian measures Slater and plans his first move in his stint between the ropes.

Up gets Slater, so Christian hits the ropes for some pace – the One Man Band ducks the clothesline, so Christian slams into the ropes on the other side… AND KNOCKS HIM DOWN WITH A FOREARM SMASH! As always, Christian yells with adrenaline straight after hitting that, then welcomes Slater up yet again. The Tag Team Champion looks dazed, so Christian hooks the inverted facelock, going for the DDT… but Slater spins out of it – THEN CAREERS INTO CHRISTIAN WITH A BIG CLOTHESLINE! As clotheslines go, Slater’s right up there with the best of them, and Christian’s the one to look dazed now, crawling on the canvas for his corner. Before he can, however, Slater pulls him up to his knees, dragging him a few yards closer to the Corre’s corner… then drops him with the Arm DDT, keeping him down this time around. On the apron, Edge looks a little concerned, Christian getting dropped there, and now Slater has an out, heading to the corner and tagging in Jackson. Big Zeke steps into the fray for the first time, just as Christian tries to force himself up again – but unlike Slater, Jackson doesn’t really work in a series of moves, he just aims to hurt, using his gigantic frame to wear down Christian with a couple of hard elbows to the neck. He then pulls the Livewire up and hurls him into the corner, following in with a few shoulder thrusts, each one taking the air from Christian’s lungs.

Jackson grabs Christian’s wrist and whips him furiously across the ring – Captain Charisma SLAMS into the buckles opposite and collapses to his knees in pain. Big Zeke flashes his teeth in trademark fashion, grinning as he enjoys hurting a man he’s faced a fair few times before. Credit where it’s due, however, as Christian begins to get up again… only to be hauled into the air by Zeke for the Scoop Slam. He picks Christian up again, though – for another Scoop Slam, another trademark of his in the repetition here, so we have a third slam to leave Christian on the mat for good, and now Jackson’s happy to cover…

ONE…

TWO… BUT CHRISTIAN KICKS OUT!

Jackson gets up, shaking out his huge shoulders, but Christian doesn’t have the same willingness to get up and take more punishment as he did last time. He stays pressed against the mat, holding his ribs and trying to recover, focusing on his breathing, while Jackson throws a couple of stomps his way and turns to see… Wade Barrett, who is happy to tag in, now that he knows he’ll have it easy! The Englishman has an outstretched hand, and Jackson doesn’t want to piss the bare knuckle fighter off, tagging him in without a second thought. Almost immediately, loud boos fill the arena, but Barrett ignores the fans’ hatred and gets to work. Christian bares his teeth and tries to get up, but he’s immediately met by Barrett’s knee to his jaw and he reels to all fours. Barrett works an arm under one of Christian’s for a single underhook, then begins to POUND the Livewire with a series of left hands, reminiscent of a boxer working the bag, and each shot beats Christian a little further into submission. He drags him towards the ropes with that underhook and slings him between them to trap him – then starts rocking Captain Charisma with a series of hard, hard knees, until John Cone’s count of four intervenes. Barrett moves away, then decides he won’t let Christian detach himself, so he grabs him by the neck and dumps him on to the canvas. Again, Christian struggles for air, taking a pounding but refusing to give up, so Barrett hauls him to his feet. He watches the Livewire stagger for a second, enjoying the sight of a weakened opponent, then picks his spots, throwing some punches and chaining some combinations off Christian’s jaw. Barrett’s channelling his bare knuckle roots, and he finishes up with a thumping right hand to send Christian into the ropes… then scoops him up and DRIVES HIM INTO THE CANVAS ON THE SIDEWALK SLAM! That’s a ring-shaker, so Barrett sticks in position and hooks a leg for good measure…

ONE…

TWO… BUT NO MORE! ANOTHER KICKOUT BY CHRISTIAN!

Barrett doesn’t look pleased by that. When he gets up from the cover, he looks down at Christian with a frown – then, as if by instinct, he glances sideways and meets the gaze of Edge, staring a hole through him from the apron. For a moment, you could cut the tension with a knife, as Barrett stares down a man who’s achieved so much in his career, achieved so much that Barrett wants for himself… but rather than lurch, rather than let anger get the better of him, the Englishman pulls Christian up, looking at Edge all the while. Barrett shoves the Livewire into the ropes… THEN KNOCKS HIM DOWN WITH A LEAPING ELBOW SMASH! Christian collapses again, Barrett locking eyes with Edge to gauge his reaction, then the Englishman retreats to his corner and tags in the first man he sees; that’s Gabriel. In comes the South African, slingshotting in without being asked twice, while Barrett heads to the apron, but keeps his stare aimed right back across at Edge. Wade seems more relaxed, now that things are under his control again, as Gabriel rolls Christian to the edge of the ring and heads to the apron. The Tag Team Champion takes a moment, measuring his move, then slingshots into the SENTON BOMB, taking the wind out of Christian’s lungs yet again. He stands, getting some heat from the crowd as his dark glare surveys the Key Arena, then looks to Edge – and what a difference. When Edge looks at Barrett, we have tension, two men completely different, but Edge and Gabriel have some sort of respect, the look in Justin’s eyes that strikes a different chord. Edge and Gabriel had that killer back-and-forth main event several weeks ago, as JR reminds us, but Wade Barrett’s shouting something and Justin snaps out of it. Christian is on his knees, so Gabriel exchanges one more glance with Edge, then his own corner… he mutters “C’mon, c’mon…” at Christian like he’d rather be anywhere else – then as he gets up, HE BRINGS HIM DOWN WITH THE HURRICANRANA, WITH THE LEG HOOKED ON LANDING!

ONE…

TWO…

BUT NO! CHRISTIAN KICKS OUT!

Both men go rolling away on kickout, and Gabriel shakes his head. He’s not feeling it, and he tags out – off the shoulder of Barrett! The Englishman doesn’t look pleased, seeing as he only just tagged out, but he steps back in regardless – “What’s that about?” he asks, only to have Gabriel shrug. “Stay fresh,” he says noncommittally, but that’s flimsy and Barrett knows it. The bare knuckle fighter heads back to Christian, who’s trying to crawl towards Edge for a saving tag, and drags him back by his ankle. In the centre of the ring now; Barrett pulls Christian up and starts throwing the hard rights into the Canadian’s gut, again and again, making sure everyone, on both teams, knows what his agenda is here. Edge tries to get the crowd fired up, and to a degree it works, with the “CHRISTIAN! CHRISTIAN!” chants just kicking up in Seattle, as Barrett sends Christian to the ground in the corner. He steps to the second rope, raising both arms as a sign of his dominance, then FALLS WITH THE DIVING ELBOW DROOOP – BUT NOBODY’S HOME!!! Christian rolls away, and Barrett’s deadly elbow meets nothing but canvas – and now the crowd are cheering, as the other three members of The Corre look stunned and Edge starts stretching for the tag! This could be it, with both legal men down, both slightly crawling for their corners; Barrett’s forgotten any issues he might have with Gabriel’s previous hesitations, just looking for an out as the threat of Edge entering this bout looms… Christian’s into the corner, so is Barrett – SO WADE GETS THE FORGIVING TAG TO GABRIEL, ONLY FOR CHRISTIAN TO LEEEAAAP… INTO THE HOT TAG FOR EDGE!!! HERE WE GO!!!

Edge comes in like a HOUSE ON FIRE – Gabriel slingshots in and rushes the Rated R Superstar, but Edge knocks him down with a clothesline, then charges into the corner and sends Jackson off the apron with a right hand! Slater flails to get a grip on Edge before he can go back to Gabriel, but he misses, so the Canadian measures the high-flyer back to his feet, then spots the right hand a mile away to duck it – EDGECUTION CONNECTS!!! The crowd pops BIG as Edge drills Gabriel into the canvas, and now he rolls him on to his back…

ONE…

TWO…

BUT SLATER DIVES IN TO BREAK IT UP!

We have boos as Edge gets up holding his back, wincing, then turns to Slater – the One Man Band was smiling, but that smirk vanishes as soon as he sees Edge coming… he staggers back to the ropes, holding up his hands – SO EDGE CLOTHESLINES HIM OVER THE TOP AND OUT!!! The crowd cheers at the sight of Slater clattering to the outside floor, but now there are screams, warnings, as Edge turns around… AND JUSTIN GABRIEL KICKS HIS TEETH DOWN HIS THROAT!!! The CRACK of the Superkick echoes here in Seattle in unison with the crowd’s groans, and Edge goes down like a ton of breaks, inviting the cover from a blank-faced Gabriel…

ONE…

TWO…

NO! KICKOUT! EDGE OUT OF IT!

Gabriel brushes his hair out of his eyes and sighs to himself. Edge has rolled away, possibly looking towards the ropes for some support, not that he’s really taken much of a beating himself other than that stinging kick to the jaw. The Canadian gets up, but immediately finds himself kicked in the gut by Gabriel, who drags him over to the corner with a front facelock, his head turning to look for a helping hand… and there’s Ezekiel Jackson, who’s back on the apron and is content to tag in, mostly so he can pay Edge back for the cheap shot before. Stepping inside, Big Zeke has a helpless opponent as Gabriel impatiently holds him, so he throws a clubbing forearm to the spine and takes over the grip. He slams Edge into the corner and fires a few shoulder thrusts, then whips him to the ropes. Edge rebounds – LARIAT – NO! Jackson looked for a big hit there, but he gets nothing but air as Edge ducks and heads for the ropes, opposite side… THEN THE SPINNING HEEL KICK TO WIPE JACKSON OUT COMPLETELY! That’s an inspired choice of move, catching Zeke off-guard, and Edge falls to a knee momentarily. Jackson is fighting his way up, somewhat foolishly because he evidently needs a little longer to recover, and as he keels over in pain, Edge sees the opportunity. He sparks into life, charging into the ropes and taking Jackson with him on a little journey – HALF NELSON BULLDOG, DRIVING ZEKE’S FACE INTO THE CANVAS!!! A pop goes up as Edge plants the big man, as a sour-faced Wade Barrett watches his plans in tatters from his corner, and Edge hooks a leg for the count…

ONE…

TWO…

BUT JACKSON SHOVES EDGE AWAY!

The force on the kickout has both men finding their feet a little quicker this time, so Edge charges in, maybe for the SPEEEAAAR – NOOO! Jackson bends down, and sends Edge FLYING through the air with the Back Body Drop, and Edge has snow on him when he comes down, that was some height from Zeke! The Rated R Superstar writhes in pain on the floor, hand against his spine, as Jackson snarls at how close he came to losing this for The Corre… so when Edge struggles up, Big Zeke channels that anger – AND BLASTS EDGE WITH A MONSTER LARIAT TO TAKE HIM DOWN! Edge again goes down in a heap, much to the dismay of the exhausted Christian in that far corner, as Jackson spits furiously to the outside, and hands a frustrated tag to the nearest man without even looking. That’s young Heath Slater, who’s always game to step inside the ropes; he considers making an immediate cover, but Edge is already lugging his tired body towards the ropes and like hell is Slater going to let someone else hog all the glory. Why, this is the One Man Band – he deserves more credit. He begins to circle Edge, forgoing the trash talk on this occasion as his ginger hair lies messed up against his forehead, and when Edge finally wobbles to his feet, Slater whips him to the ropes – AND DRILLS HIM WITH THE SLATER SPINEBUSTER!!! The crowd groans in awe, because God does Slater hit that flush, as the commentators question if The Corre’s numerical advantage will finally end this contest, and now the One Man Band hooks both legs, thinking he’s certainly done it…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOOO!!! EDGE KICKS OUT!!!

Incredible! Slater’s had the longer rest, the luxury of bringing in other men to fight his battles, yet he can’t put Edge away… and no-one’s more annoyed than Wade Barrett, who looks completely exasperated on the apron! Wherever Edge gets his energy from, he’s putting it to good use, and Slater exchanges a glance with Barrett before he continues. There’s no chance of the Englishman stepping in there to face Edge, not when he’s still a threat, so Slater shrugs and accepts he’ll have to end this himself. Gabriel and Jackson, both looking fairly tired, look on as Slater stalks Edge, the crowd buzzing as a big move approaches. Edge, hair straggled all over his face, has lost his bearings and no longer knows where Christian is, isolated from his partner and the saving tag, so he merely tries to stand, with a hand on the ropes to help him – HERE COMES SLATER, GOING FOR E MINOR… ONLY FOR EDGE TO GRAB ON TO THE TOP ROPE!!! Slater crashes and burns into the canvas, much to the delight of the crowd, but he gets up again as Edge wavers back into the middle of the ring – Slater wobbles his way… AND EDGE TAKES HIM DOWN WITH THE BIG BOOT! That’ll do the job, keeping Slater down this time, as Edge looks to Christian – the Livewire asks the question, but Edge declines the tag for the moment. In fact, he’s got something else entirely in mind, as he heads for a neutral corner, crouches… AND FRANTICALLY TELLS SLATER TO GET UP!!! The Key Arena comes alive, roaring “SPEAR! SPEAR! SPEAR!” in their thousands… Slater, somehow oblivious, starts to haul his body up, about to be cut in half – BUT JACKSON’S IN THE RING! The big man steps inside, looking to make a beeline for Edge… ONLY FOR CHRISTIAN TO COME CAREERING IN, TAKING ON THE BIG MAN WITH RIGHT HANDS! Zeke gets pressed back all the way to the ropes, so Christian takes a run-up; and clotheslines the big man OVER AND OUT!

Christian smiles as he sends Jackson sprawling, but he hasn’t got eyes in the back of his head, allowing Justin Gabriel to storm into the fray! Christian turns, and before Edge can make the save, Gabriel now CLOTHESLINES CHRISTIAN OVER THE TOP, taking him out of the equation! Boos echo as Gabriel looks down at Christian, neither pleased nor saddened, but he spends less time debating because he knows Edge is there – but it’ll make no difference, because as he turns to face the Canadian with some right hands, Edge brushes them aside, and grabs Gabriel by the neck… HE SENDS THE SOUTH AFRICAN FLYING THROUGH THE ROPES TO THE OUTSIDE FLOOR AS WELL!!! The ring is being well and truly cleared now, leaving us with Edge and Slater again, as the Rated R Superstar gears up for his killer blow once more… but there’s one more man. Edge’s head whips to the side, but he can’t stop Wade Barrett’s interference, as the Englishman scoops him up on to his shoulders before he spots him! Barrett let his henchmen do the dirty work, and now he looks to pick up the pieces, ROARING out to the booing crowd as he looks to slam Edge with THE WASTELAAAND…

…ONLY FOR THE LIGHTS TO GO OUT!!!

THIS CROWD GOES NUTS! We get a few bulb flashes in the darkness, but mostly it’s pitch-black as this WALL of sound hits us from the cheering crowd… and when the lights finally come back on a few moments later – Wade Barrett is on the ramp, punching thin air with bulging, furious eyes! The Englishman is totally alone; no-one is here, no-one’s attacking him, but he’s darting about, closer to the stage than the ring, raising his fists at absolutely nothing! In the ring, both Edge and Slater remain down for the time being, but the focus is all on the crazed face of Barrett, who seems to have lost his mind. His face is pale, his hair falling out of its slicked-back collected style, and slowly, he begins to calm his breathing. The match at hand is the last thing on his mind, but in the ring, Christian’s rolled back inside, and he’s helping Edge up! The crowd cheers as the best friends show their unity again, while the bruised Gabriel and Jackson are too busy trying to understand the light situation on the outside… so when Heath Slater gets up, Edge and Christian exchange a glance – THEN HAMMER THE ONE MAN BAND WITH A SPECTACULAR DOUBLE SPEAR!!! The crowd pops HUGE yet again as the Canadians drill Slater into the canvas, and Christian rolls from the ring to allow Edge to make the cover – referee John Cone looks confused, but he’ll count… on the stage, Barrett puts his hands on his head and falls to his knees…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE!!! BARRETT’S GHOST STRIKES AGAIN!!!

WINNERS: EDGE AND CHRISTIAN VIA PINFALL AT 12:38

*YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME*

Tony Chimel:

Here are your winners… the team of EDGE – AND CHRIIISTIAN!

The crowd LOVES it! Christian’s right back into the ring as soon as the bell chimes… and the two best friends embrace to the roar of the Seattle masses! On the stage, we get the obligatory shot of Wade Barrett on his knees, his hands wrenching against the roots of his black hair in desperation – that man can’t believe what happened. He’s incensed; once again, his plans are in ruins, his plotting out the window.

Jim Ross:

Folks, I’m startin’ to think someone upstairs doesn’t like Wade Barrett.

Booker T:
Haha, ya gotta love it! All da plannin’ in da world couldn’t save Wade from dat again tah-night… somebody tryna get inside his head, JR, and believe me, dawg, it’s workin’.

Josh Matthews:
Of course you have to spare a thought, if only a fleeting one, for Wade Barrett, who’s been guilty of many heinous acts over the past few weeks, but guys, I think the real story here is about Edge and Christian overcoming the odds. This is a moment for the ages here.

Jim Ross:
Indeed, the history books will read that Edge and Christian beat a legion twice their size, and helpin’ hand or not, they deserve credit for what was a heart-felt performance. This is… well, let’s just say Seattle got a trip down memory lane tonight and there’s not a thing wrong with that. Not a thing.

John Cone raises Edge and Christian’s arms to another pop, and the two Canadians can’t help but grin. Edge’s hair is a mess, they’re both sweating, they’ve been through the ringer but crucially they don’t care. Edge heads to the turnbuckle to raise the rock star pose, as Christian goes to raise an arm to his peeps, and the ovation, while no 2001, is still fantastic for two men who’ve given tag team wrestling a whole lot.

The Corre are in ruins, however. Justin Gabriel has hauled Slater’s body from the ring, trying to make him come around on the outside, having to literally keep him upright. Jackson’s on the ramp, his frown switching between Edge and Christian’s celebrations and Wade Barrett’s lost expression. Jackson wants answers, Barrett’s still in some kind of denial or maybe he’s just frozen to the spot, while Gabriel looks pissed that he came off looking inferior again tonight. His face softens a little when he looks at Edge and Christian playing to the crowd again – maybe even he is willing to let this one slide tonight. His performance wasn’t from the heart and he knows it. Slater, meanwhile, holds himself up against the fan barricade, holding his ribs after the Double Spear; he copped the most offence and is selling it like a pro. Gabriel is handed the title belts but he looks apprehensive. All of that said, it’s all about Barrett, who barely has the strength to pull himself off his knees; Jackson has to help him.

When he’s up, the Englishman stares at Edge and Christian’s jubilant celebrations… and slowly, he begins to shake his head. He’s still unwilling to believe what just happened, but he has some time to work it out, because we’re fading away from another bizarre Barrett pay-per-view outing.

Backstage we go then, to see a locker room door open – and it’s that of the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, ALBERTO DEL RIO. He gets a series of boos from the crowd, as do the people who walk out behind him – inevitably the Alberto Administration; BRODUS CLAY, HUNICO, CHAVO GUERRERO and ROSA MENDES. They follow the champion down the corridor, but suddenly Del Rio stops.

He turns back to the four… and shakes his head. Clay steps forward, but Del Rio raises a hand, and points back to the locker room. Begrudgingly, Hunico, Chavo and Rosa slink back in, while Clay stands and stares at Del Rio as he leaves, looking considerably pissed off not to get his hands on Kofi Kingston again tonight.

We cut away again, this time to the locker room of… TRIPLE H, who gets a great pop from the crowd as you’d expect. The Game is in street clothes, standing beside a screen with a small smile at the sight of Edge and Christian’s victory. He turns away, picking up his kit bag from the bench and slinging it over his shoulder. As he goes to leave the room, his mobile phone rings and he takes it out of his pocket; he looks at the number or the ID, frowns, and jabs a button to silence it. Putting it back in his pocket, he goes to leave, but again he’s stopped by the door opening… and JOHN CENA walking in. Again, there’s a pop in the arena, but neither man looks particularly happy. Cena looks at the bag.


John Cena:

Not stayin’?

Triple H:
Makes no difference to me.

He goes to leave again, but Cena steps in the way.

John Cena:

Let’s talk. ‘Bout what happened out there.

The Game looks away, to the side, as if this was the last thing he wanted. Back to Cena.

Triple H:

Tomorrow.

At first, Cena stops him leaving again, but Hunter stares into his eyes and finally Cena steps aside. The Game walks out of the room, stopping briefly to turn around and look at his long-time rival before he leaves for good. Cena looks frustrated, running a hand over his head, then we fade swiftly back to the announce desk.

Jim Ross:

Tensions runnin’ high between John Cena and Triple H, folks, especially after their victory earlier tonight. Josh, what does Cena have to do to get back on track?

Josh Matthews:
I think it’s difficult, JR, because – not to take anything away from Jerry Lawler – because the decision to make Cena and the Game team together… well, only one of them could win. And I think that no matter what happened, these are two guys who wanted to settle the score one-on-one… they might do it whether Jerry wants them to or not.

Booker T:
And c’mon – why da hell not? Errbody in dis arena wanna see dem go at it, y’know, so I say let ‘em get it on!

Jim Ross:
Somehow I doubt Cena or Triple H will rest easy until they know who’s the better man, for sure guys – we’ll see how things play out tomorrow night on the three-hour special for the WWE Draft.

Booker T:
Time to shake things up again, dawg!

Jim Ross:
Gonna be an unpredictable night, no doubt about it, but we’ve still got two huge matches left to bring you – and for all the men involved in them, there’s a lot to fight for, but especially these two. Kofi Kingston and Alberto Del Rio have some myths to dispel tonight, and this is their chance.

---

*ROLL VIDEO PACKAGE*

Del Rio and Kingston stare each other down, movements in slow-motion. Over the top come their voices, their barbs…

Alberto Del Rio:

How do I know… how do you know… how do these people know… that you – won’t – choke?

At Elimination Chamber this year; Kingston collapsed in pain after his loss to Del Rio.

Kofi Kingston:

I don’t buy what you said – you wanna hide behind your buddies because you can’t beat me without them.

And now to Extreme Rules; Del Rio pulled from the cage, surrounding himself with the Administration so he can raise his new title.

Josh Matthews:

Folks, take a look at Kofi Kingston. He’s unorthodox; he’s no ordinary challenger.

Kofi off the top rope to hit someone with a Crossbody.

Kofi Kingston:

If you rewind all these years and take me back to bein’ just a little kid, growin’ up in MA, all I ever did was watch this company.

In the ring, he bounces left and right.

Kofi Kingston:

Hell, some of the best years of my life were watching Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels wrestle each other and sayin’ to my friends – ‘that’s gonna be me some day. I could do that, I know I could.’

The Ghanaian stands and applauds at this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony, as Shawn Michaels waves to the crowds. Kingston smiles at the sight.

Kofi Kingston:

I think all these years, I’ve wanted to make that big step and be one of the greatest, just like those heroes I used to watch as a kid.

Kofi on the top turnbuckle, staring down at Alberto Del Rio at ringside.

Matt Striker:

Guys, it’s no understatement to say that this is all Kofi Kingston has ever wanted.

Kofi Kingston:
To get that big gold belt, all I gotta do is beat… what, six guys?

Suddenly we CUT sharply to the sight of Alberto Del Rio, surrounded by his henchmen.

Alberto Del Rio:

De Administration may embody my class, my influence on dis show – but dey do not make me who I am.

Chavo Guerrero’s arrival to screw Edge a month ago.

Alberto Del Rio:

Alberto Del Rio is made by Alberto Del Rio. Never fool yourselves into thinking dat I am not the best, simply because I have men behind me.

Brodus Clay, Guerrero and Hunico storm the ring to put Kofi down, counteracting those very words.

Alberto Del Rio:

I would be just as unconquerable… by myself.

Clay’s interference to cause a DQ in Del Rio’s first defence.

Josh Matthews:

Brodus Clay saving the match-up for Alberto Del Rio tonight, guys, but more than that, he’s just saved him the World Title as well!

Alberto Del Rio:
If I am a demon to you all… well then, I am a noble… demon.

His signature smile under the gold rain.

Kofi Kingston:

Tell the world about your noble demons and your daddy issues, but we all know who you are.

Kingston pins Rhodes two weeks ago – the crowd joins in with his thunderclaps.

Alberto Del Rio:

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

Del Rio makes Sin Cara tap out inside the cage.

Kofi Kingston:

Me? Well, every word I say… that’s not “wrestling royalty” and big displays talkin’… Alberto, that’s just me. That’s who Kofi Kingston is, plain and simple.

Kofi slapping the hands of dozens of fans along the ramp, all stretching to greet him.

Matt Striker:

These two men don’t just wrestle differently, speak differently… they see the world differently. And only one can be champion.

Del Rio kisses the belt amongst his smiling Administration. Brodus and Guerrero’s victories on Superstars.

Alberto Del Rio:

We are a group of individuals cut from de same cloth. Classy, strong, efficient – successful.

Kofi Kingston:
You couldn’t beat Edge without them.

A desperate, beaten Rated R Superstar.

Alberto Del Rio:

I took him out back and shot him like a DOG.

Kingston stares into the dull glow of a TV screen, watching his loss to Del Rio again and again. His face falling in disappointment.

Kofi Kingston:

We are different, you were right when you said that. You don’t deserve to be World Champion, but every inch I’ve crawled to get here, it makes me very deserving indeed, man.

Shots of Kingston moving up the ranks, his various title wins.

Alberto Del Rio:

Tag Team Titles, United States Titles, Intercontinental Titles… dey might have meant a lot to you back when you had dem, Kingston, but nothing stands out about you at dis level.

Del Rio wins the Rumble on his first try.

Kofi Kingston:

I’ve been livin’ for this Sunday for a long time, so I’m gonna do it right, and take you off that pedestal.

Kofi makes a title belt motion at Del Rio, who kisses the belt in reply. The shots get quicker; Del Rio making men tap, Kingston showing off his high flying offence, the brawl they had two nights ago. The music pounds at a quicker pace, building...

Booker T:

We’ve seen shorter title reigns than Alberto’s, dawg. Don’t mean a THING.

Josh Matthews:
Folks, I can’t call it… Over The Limit…

Kofi Kingston:
Once we get there, we raise the stakes, man. And when the dust settles, I’m gonna do all these people proud… and I’m gonna be the NEW – World – Heavyweight – Champion.

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

Matt Striker:
Kofi Kingston asking the valid question tonight, of just how dangerous Alberto Del Rio is without his henchmen…

Alberto Del Rio:
I… am no… coward. With them, without them – you… will still… CHOKE.

Kofi Kingston:
Bring everyone you got, Alberto. Bring cars, bring money, bring your ‘A’ game. Just make sure you bring that title…

Kingston and Del Rio, face-to-face, as if the Administration were never a factor.

Kofi Kingston:

…‘cause I’m walking out of Seattle with it.

Del Rio leers into the camera, from beneath the fierce Mexican flag.

Alberto Del Rio:

Viva Alberto.

As Kofi watches, Del Rio brings the belt up for one more trademark kiss of the gold…

*END VIDEO PACKAGE*

---

And now it’s back to the arena, where the bell chimes.

Tony Chimel:

The following contest is set for one fall… and it is for – the WOOORLD – HEAVYWEIGHT – CHAMPIONSHIP!

Decent pop from the crowd.

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


*SOS*

The Key Arena gives a rousing, BIG cheer as the stage lights up in green and gold, and that music can only mean one thing, as KOFI KINGSTON comes bouncing out, wearing a huge smile for such a huge () stage! Kofi stops himself, taking a long look around the arena and winding up the thunderclaps – BOOM goes the pyro, once, twice, three times, then he LEAPS through the air and sets the largest burst off! The crowd cried “BOOM!” with every clap, and Kofi looks pretty pleased with the involvement he’s inspiring, certainly more than he’s had to date, as he now jogs down the ramp and slaps the hands of nearby fans.

Jim Ross:

It doesn’t get any bigger for Kofi Kingston, but he looks ready for the occasion.

Josh Matthews:
For weeks, Kofi Kingston has promised to overcome the odds and bring Alberto Del Rio’s time on top of SmackDown to an end… what he’s done and what he’s said on his road here really make me think – well, maybe this is his time, guys.

Booker T:
Hey, no doubt he up against a tough opponent, but mah boi Kofi – who leadin’ the Fave Five, by da way – gotta prove that he ain’t no choke artist, and dis is it. Gotta win dat big first World Title, ain’t no better feelin’ in da world.

Kofi jogs lightly up the steps and swings inside the ropes. He high-knees it across the ring, up to the turnbuckles so he can get the thunderclaps going again, enjoying the sight of the fans joining in as always. He hops down again so he can tour the corners, making sure he milks the occasion a little to sell the ‘big match’ feel. There’s much closing of eyes and soaking up the atmosphere, before he bounces on the balls of his feet and retreats to a neutral corner. He shakes hands briefly with referee Justin “The Pimp” King, in charge of a big match for a change, rather than just officiating Divas contests. He looks quite pleased, while Kofi has bigger things in his mind, namely the thought that with his music dying down, we’re about to be treated to an appearance from Destiny’s Darling.

*REALEZA*

Gold is the colour, in many senses of the word, as the honking of a car horn punctuates the theme tune and HUGE heat greets the silver Aston Martin that slides into view. The electronic curtain is a striking gold, as is the tint on the Tron video, while the man who steps from the car is, of course, the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, ALBERTO DEL RIO, wearing his gold trunks and boots to complete the theme. Over his shoulder, note the big gold belt, which Del Rio adjusts a little so it won’t slip off, and as he heads to the ramp, the sparkling rain falls from the ceiling, in the obvious colour. Del Rio brings his hands up, swinging them towards his face and away again, as only he can, then begins his walk down the ramp under the golden showers.

Josh Matthews:

Kofi Kingston may have faced some questions about his so-called ‘choking’, but Alberto Del Rio has been under fire as well, because he won that title from Edge under dubious circumstances, and – to be honest, guys, we’re still waiting on Del Rio to prove that he can win the big matches by himself.

Booker T:
Ya know it, Josh. Gotta prove da Rumble was no fluke.

Jim Ross:
I’m not doubtin’ Del Rio can be successful by himself, but the question is; is he brave enough to show that? Kofi raised a good point – if Del Rio only has that title ‘cause of his Administration, what does that make him? He needs to beat Kofi tonight to solidify himself as a fighting champion… but only time will tell if he can do that.

Rather than head for the ring, Del Rio strolls to ringside, where he slings an arm around RICARDO RODRIGUEZ and whispers something in his ear. The announcer, swagged out and dressed to the nines yet again, chuckles; they both look up, however, to see Kingston on the second rope beckoning them inside! It shows just how much Kofi is raring to get going, but Del Rio’s grin fades. The World Champion pats his friend on the shoulder, so Ricardo heads up the steps to open the ropes at the apron. Del Rio waits for Kingston to step down and move away, only heading up the steps when the Ghanaian is well clear. He swings into the ring, helped by Ricardo, who follows him in. With the crowd booing again, Del Rio heads for one of the turnbuckles, just so he can stare out at the Key Arena and pat the title on his shoulder.

Stepping down, Del Rio looks across the ring at Kingston, who’s now bouncing on the balls of his feet. Del Rio removes his scarf and throws it from the ring, as Ricardo stands beside Tony Chimel and we ready ourselves for some announcements.


Tony Chimel:

Introducing first, the challenger… from Ghana, West Africa, weighing in tonight at two hundred and nineteen pounds… KOOOOFI – KINGSTON!

It’s a great pop for Kingston, who raises his hands and leads the crowd in a series of thunderclaps for good measure. He puts his hands on the top rope and gears himself up for this huge contest, tonight clad in a mix of red, green and black ring attire, including those classic kickpads.

Tony Chimel:

And please welcome Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer… Ricardo Rodriguez!

Boos as the camera moves over to the boss that is Ricardo; he raises a savvy eyebrow and raises the mic.

Ricardo Rodriguez:

Damas y caballeros… bienvenido a las grandes ligas. Antes de que usted se encuentra en un héroe, un verdadero campeón. Él es el más grande entre nosotros… La Esencia de la Excelencia… Él es… ALBERTOOOOOOOOO – DEL RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Huge heat here as Del Rio brings the title into the air and kisses the gold, making sure that Kofi sees the whole thing. Finally, he hands the belt to Justin King and steps back to make his last mental preparations. King raises the title, as the crowd buzzes, the announcers leaving the ring; Ricardo stays at ringside, as you might expect. Del Rio and Kofi step forward, as the title gets handed between the ropes to the outside, and now King calls for the bell for one of the biggest matches in the short careers of both these talented men.



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

We’re underway, as the crowd begins to cheer and the two men circle one another. Kofi looks apprehensive, but that said, so does Del Rio, who’s been under a lot of pressure recently to perform in this match without his associates. The two men keep moving, then suddenly lurch forward into a lock-up, with Kingston losing his footing for a second then attempting to drive Del Rio back. The champion just has the edge in weight, so he’s the man doing the shoving, but Kofi puts the brakes on before he can be pinned into the corner. He turns, forcing Del Rio the last stretch into the turnbuckles, but the champion gets his hands up and Kofi can’t get any shots in before Justin King steps in with a count. The two men are tied up, so they have to detach limbs out of the stalemate, and now Kingston returns to the centre of the ring. Del Rio looks unfazed, moving back to meet him and they lock up once more; this time it’s Kofi who gets the jump on his opponent, but Del Rio turns him into the corner at the last second and catches him with a couple of knees to the stomach. Kingston groans, but shoves Del Rio away – the Mexican Aristocrat charges back in but gets caught with the point of Kofi’s elbow! Back staggers the champion, so Kofi steps up to the second rope… THEN COMES CRASHING INTO DEL RIO WITH THE FLYING FOREARM SMASH! The crowd cheers as Kofi gets the first big move of the match, but the floored Del Rio isn’t as happy about it… and he’ll roll out of the ring, he’ll take a breather.

We have the inevitable boos as Del Rio walks around ringside – he’s a little flustered, a hand against his face to sell the forearm, so he heads towards the announce desks to have a conversation with Rodriguez. The announcer puts a hand on his friend’s shoulder, babbling under his breath in Spanish, and Del Rio nods a couple of times, agreeing on a strategy of some kind… but when Del Rio turns back to the ring, KOFI SLINGSHOTS TO THE OUTSIDE AND WIPES HIM OUT WITH A CROSSBODY! Kingston’s athleticism gets a great pop from these Seattle fans, though Ricardo looks horrified! Kofi gets up again, a smile flashing across his face as it occurs that he might be able to exercise his unique offence in this match. The crowd are still cheering, clearly game for a second title change of the night, so Kofi looks pleased and goes to pick Del Rio up. Before he can, however, he’s stopped by the protesting Rodriguez, getting in his way and holding up his hands! There’s a little heat as Kofi tells him to move, so eventually he does – but Alberto’s used the time to recover, surprising Kofi with a Dropkick to the knee! Kingston falls to the sound of boos, a clear cooperation move from Ricardo helping out his boss, and now Del Rio grabs Kingston by the hair… BEFORE HE RUNS HIM ACROSS RINGSIDE AND THROWS HIM INTO THE STEEL STEPS!!! It’s a thundering collision that gets the crowd groaning with sympathy, and Kofi, who flipped into the move and crashed back-first into the steel, now lies on the outside floor. Del Rio wastes no time, glancing momentarily at Ricardo (to tell him not to pull that again?) before he yanks Kingston up and shoves him under the bottom rope. The World Champion rolls in too, laying a couple of stomps to the arm – maybe preparation for later – before he heads to the corner. Second rope it is, from where Del Rio observes his challenger, waiting for him to rise… then dropping the DIVING DOUBLE AXE HANDLE, knocking Kingston down again! The tables have turned, and now Del Rio is the man feeling the early momentum, dropping into a cover…

ONE…

BUT KOFI KICKS OUT THERE AND THEN!

Del Rio pushes himself up, ignoring the cheers in the crowd at Kofi’s kickout, and paces around the ring to recompose himself. Kingston begins to get up as well, but he takes a kick to the gut, then Del Rio looks to work the arm again, grabbing Kofi’s left wrist and wrenching it into the Arm Wringer. We see Kofi wince in pain as Del Rio fires a couple of kicks, targeting the arm again and again, until Kingston manages to spin himself out – DROPKICK! Both men get up, so Kofi launches into another Dropkick to bring Del Rio down for a little longer. The Ghanaian gets up, shaking out his left arm to sell Del Rio’s high ring IQ, setting up for a possible Cross-Arm Breaker later. That said, Kofi’s got the upper hand now, as Del Rio uses the nearby ropes to get up, and the challenger immediately grabs him, pressing him into those ropes and sending him to the other side. Del Rio rebounds, so Kofi sweeps to the floor to let the champion run over him; the Mexican Aristocrat springs back at him, but Kingston leapfrogs him this time. It’s some good athleticism from Kofi, though we’d expect nothing less, as Del Rio pings back a third time… KOFI GETS UP ON THE HURRICANRANA – AND HOOKS A LEG TOO!

ONE…

TWO… BUT DEL RIO KICKS OUT!

Kofi gets shoved away there, but he won’t be deterred – Del Rio gets up, shaking out the cobwebs and staggering into the corner to get his breath back. Kofi tries to keep the pace up, charging in for the KORONCO BUSTER – BUT NO! Del Rio darts out the way, so Kofi lands awkwardly on the top rope! There are groans in the Key Arena as Kofi’s huge leap takes him up to the top buckles… and now he falls back, hanging in the Tree of Woe! It’s rare to see it these days, and it’s not even by Del Rio’s design, but the World Champion won’t argue, taking a look at Kofi’s vulnerable position for a moment – THEN DIVING WITH A NASTY DROPKICK TO THE FACE!!! Kofi’s body crumples off the buckles, a violent hit from Del Rio doing the business there, and the champion moves over to drag Kofi back to the centre of the ring. Once he’s left Kofi lying still, he drops to his knees and presses the Ghanaian to the canvas…

ONE…

TWO… BUT NO! KICKOUT BY KOFI!

That’s impressive – it looked like Kofi’s first title challenge was going to end after a moment of fortune and a moment of ingenuity from Del Rio, but we’re still going, much to the pleasure of the crowd. Del Rio is fairly surprised, but after some reflection he forces himself up; Kofi, on the other hand, is on his hands and knees. The Ghanaian is having to shake his head, trying to find his feet, but certainly he’s been rocked by that jarring Dropkick and it may take the ropes for support. Del Rio wants control of this as a contest, though, so he’ll walk over to Kofi and pull him up with a front facelock – he fires a couple of knees into Kingston’s stomach, trying to wear him down, then goes back to the arm by bending it around the top rope. Kofi gasps as Del Rio works the hold, like a Hammer Lock but blatantly illegal, so Justin King steps in with some sturdy officiating work, a count… which reaches the inevitable four. Del Rio backs away, so Kofi detaches himself and tries to get back into the game, but Alberto’s there again, sweeping in behind on the waist lock. He drags Kofi so he’s a little more central, then looks for that German Suplex – but Kofi resists once, twice… then throws an elbow and sweeps out. It gives him a little room to hit the ropes, coming back with a clothesline – but no, Del Rio ducks it, then grabs that arm… FOR THE DOUBLE KNEE ARMBREAKER! The crowd groans at the sight of Del Rio executing that sweetly, and Kofi staggers away into the ropes, clutching at his arm. Del Rio stays on it, pressing Kofi into the ropes and whipping him across the ring on that hurt arm… Kingston rebounds and meets Del Rio again – TILT-A-WHIRL BACKBREAKER FROM THE CHAMPION! Down goes Kofi once more, his face really showing some pain now, and Del Rio again turns him on to his back…

ONE…

TWO… BUT KOFI KICKS OUT ONCE AGAIN!

Again, the crowd cheers as Kofi keeps this contest going – after a good early spell, the Ghanaian has somewhat fallen away in the face of Del Rio’s smart and aggressive offensive work. Nevertheless, he’s forcing himself up, using his right hand to hold his back rather than his hurt left side; Del Rio notices this and goes back to the left forearm with a couple of hard right hands. It’s unorthodox by most people’s standards, but not by Del Rio’s, as the champion keeps the end in mind and tugs on the arm to bring Kofi to his knees. He places the arm on the canvas and stomps on it a few times, then yanks him back up and whips him into the corner. Rather than charge in, the World Champion takes his time, getting hold of the arm again and tying it around the top rope. Kofi groans in pain, instigating another count from Justin King, until Del Rio lets him suffer and steps away. We see Ricardo Rodriguez clapping wildly at ringside, pleased with what he sees, as Del Rio measures the recovering Kingston… then looks to inflict some pain again – BUT KOFI SLIPS THROUGH THE ROPES AND NAILS THE PENDULUM KICK TO DEL RIO’S FACE! The crowd pops loudly as Kingston turns this around suddenly, Del Rio staggering away, and now Kofi heads to the outside, hauling himself to the top rope. The buzz builds in the arena as Kofi prepares for something big, and a dazed Del Rio turns… SO KOFI GETS AIRBORNE – AND DRILLS THE CHAMPION WITH THE TORNADO DDT!!! DEL RIO GETS PLANTED! Both men go sprawling across the ring, as we see a couple of replays of Kofi doing what he does best… and now it’s back to the ring, where Kofi is pulling himself over Del Rio’s body…

ONE…

TWO… KICKOUT BY DEL RIO!

Kofi tilts his head up and lets out a heavy breath. Del Rio doesn’t look any happier, now on his knees with a hand on his head. The Mexican Aristocrat really felt that last move, and it nearly cost him the World Title too. Kingston gets up, using his right hand to hold his left arm, maybe just trying to limber it up and forget the pain running through it. In the meantime, Del Rio gets up, only to get turned by Kingston and rocked with a right hand. A pop goes up as Del Rio reels, stumbling back into the ropes, and Kofi follows up, throwing several right hands. His left hand isn’t capable of much offensively, but he’s got his legs, and he lashes a hard kick off the champion’s side. Del Rio winces in pain, as Kofi starts working the educated feet by continuing the stinging shots – this gets the crowd cheering, as Kofi keeps going, forcing Del Rio all the way back to the corner! The champion looks pained, so as he covers up, Kofi takes a run-up… AND FINALLY GETS THE KORONCO BUSTER! A pop goes up as Kofi shows off his incredible leap, and now he lays in the punches, getting the crowd counting along – all the way to ten, where Kofi rolls back down to his feet… THEN SENDS DEL RIO FLYING WITH THE MONKEY FLIP! Alberto crashes down on his back, pain wrecked across his face, as Kofi finds his feet with the help of the buckles. Once again, he hoists himself to that second rope, as Del Rio heaves his body up, and staggers for the corner… SO KOFI LAUNCHES WITH THE CROSSBOOOODY – ONLY FOR DEL RIO TO PICK HIM OUT OF THE AIR WITH A DROPKICK!!! OUTSTANDING!

Both men are down here, but it’s probably a good thing, because this crowd needs a moment to recover! In a match thought to be made by Kingston’s unique offence, it’s Del Rio who comes out with the biggest moment of the match so far! Ricardo’s away from ringside now, coming right up to the apron to bang his hands against the mat, trying to stir Del Rio into action, but the champion acted out of instinct after taking a string of offence and he’s not quite ready yet. Kingston, meanwhile, is huddled against the bottom rope, holding his stomach in what looks like severe pain. Naturally, it’s Del Rio up first, though he takes a moment to steady himself. He grabs Kingston and pulls him up, throwing him into the corner and going for the left arm again with a couple of boots. Kofi winces, so Del Rio takes charge by pulling him out of the corner… simply so he can force Kofi through the ropes, holding on to him to keep him on the apron. Del Rio ties his opponent up by forcing the top rope over his head – Kofi’s trapped here, so Del Rio winds back… and starts BASHING him in the lower spine with a series of forearms! The crowd groans as the shots build, putting poor Kingston through considerable torment before Justin King counts him off. Smirking for what might be the first time in this match, Del Rio steps back, leaving Kingston to try to get his tired body out of the ropes. He can’t, at least not before Del Rio moves in again, pulling Kingston back through the ropes so he’s suspended a little on that middle rope – THEN GRABS HIM BY THE SHOULDERS AND NAILS THE BACKSTABBER! Groans of sympathy echo in Seattle again as Del Rio lays Kofi out, and the Ghanaian writhes in pain, but not for long… because Del Rio wants his win, forcing Kofi away from the bottom rope a little before he hooks a leg…

ONE…

TWO… BUT NO! KOFI FIGHTS OUT YET AGAIN!

Del Rio looks out into the distance for a second, then down at Kofi – the challenger is gritting his teeth, his left arm shuddering as he puts it against the canvas to try to push himself up. He gives up and reaches for the nearest rope, but Del Rio is up, throwing the stomps to Kofi’s back, then the arm, before he drags him over to the bottom rope. Naturally, the champion cops some serious heat as he slings Kofi over it, and now he rams his boot into Kingston’s neck, choking the life out of the challenger! Del Rio is deadly serious at this point – Kofi called him out on SmackDown, and now the Mexican Aristocrat has an agenda to prove his proficiency without outside help. After he’s sure he’s made his point (that and King is protesting with a count), Del Rio lets him go and steps back. Yet again the World Champion is heavily booed by the crowd, as Kofi retches and gasps on the mat. The Ghanaian slowly brings himself up, looking fairly weakened by Del Rio’s harsh display so far – the champion isn’t done, either, stalking Kofi and lining up that big German Suplex yet again by getting him round the waist… but Kofi resists for a second time, pulling himself down and sending Del Rio across the ring in the process! It’s Snapmare-esque, maybe not quite the actual move but Kingston will take it, as Del Rio scrambles back to his feet – and Kofi knocks him down the two-handed chop!

Up gets Del Rio, but Kofi gets another two-handed chop to the chest to send him down again! The crowd cheers as Kingston begins to fire up, though he’s certainly leading with his right hand as he hits a third of those chops. The left arm might be troubling him a little, but he’s feeling it now, as he turns smoothly on his heel to welcome Del Rio up once again… then DROPS him with an excellent Russian Legsweep! Another pop goes up as Kingston puts the champion down, and now he’s jogging around the ring, feeding off the Seattle atmosphere as the cheers begin to build! Del Rio is down, centre of the ring, so Kofi ends his circling and hits the ropes… “BOOM”… “BOOM”… BOOM DROP – MISSES! DEL RIO ROLLS AWAY! Groans ring in the Key Arena – how often does Kingston miss the Boom Drop? It’s rare, if ever, and as Kofi rolls sideways, his face is a mixture of pain and surprise. He gets up to a knee, wincing to sell the pain of the miss, and now Del Rio finds his feet, taking a step to set his shot – BUT THE SUPERKICK MISSES, WHISTLING PAST THE HEAD OF KINGSTON AS HE DUCKS… AND ROLLS DEL RIO UP!!!

ONE…

TWO… BUT DEL RIO KICKS OUT OF IT!

After the kickout, the crowd groans as Kofi’s surprise pin doesn’t get the three, and both men scramble to beat the other to a vertical base – they get there at the same time, so they meet in the middle. Del Rio’s marginally quicker on the draw, getting a kick to the gut in, but Kofi soaks it up and answers back with a right hand. Del Rio steps back, then throws his own punch; that glances off Kofi’s chin, so the Ghanaian replies in kind… but Del Rio goes back to the left arm with a stinging kick. Kofi winces, then throws a couple of kicks too, a good striker of those himself… but Del Rio keeps aiming for the left arm and that stings Kingston long enough to give Del Rio a window. The World Champion whips Kofi to the ropes, then lines up a Dropkick – but Kingston grabs the top rope and hangs on, meaning Del Rio crashes into the mat! A pop goes up as Kingston outsmarts his opponent there, and as Del Rio hauls himself up, Kofi turns to the ropes, getting high on the springboard – AND WIPING DEL RIO OUT WITH A FLYING BACK ELBOW! It’s a beautiful piece of work from Kingston, who gets another strong pop from the Seattle masses, and again, he throws himself over Del Rio to make a cover – this time, the Ghanaian might have won himself a title…

ONE…

TWO…

NO! DEL RIO GETS A SHOULDER UP!

Kofi can’t quite believe it this time – he thought he’d won it with that smart reversal and the subsequent big move, but Justin King holds up an apologetic two fingers. Having moved away from the apron, a worried Ricardo Rodriguez tries to keep his distance at ringside, and Kofi shoots him a brief look as he gets up, making sure it stays that way. The crowd is chanting “LET’S GO KOFI!” in their droves, which inspires Kingston to keep up his offence. As Del Rio wavers up, he’s met swiftly by a European Uppercut by Kofi, then again, and once more. Del Rio gets rocked with those shots, sending him back to the ropes – Kofi sends him off to the other side, but Del Rio turns it around and sends Kofi himself, by the head… it has enough force that the Ghanaian goes over the top rope, but sticks to the apron. Del Rio darts in to knock him off, but Kingston gives him a rough elbow for his troubles, so the Mexican Aristocrat staggers away. Ricardo looks like he wants to get involved, but he restrains himself in case Del Rio will snap like he did on Friday when his authority was undermined. With that decided, Kofi’s free to springboard, looking for a Springboard Clothesline – NO! Del Rio ducks under the arm, so Kofi rolls as he meets the canvas, and now he gets up, spinning to face the champion… Del Rio scoops him on to his shoulders, turning and looking into the hard camera – BUT KOFI ESCAPES! The Ghanaian hits the ground running, heading for the ropes and rebounding back at Del Rio… only for the World Heavyweight Champion to sweep in behind Kingston – AND FINALLY SCORE WITH THAT RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX!!! Kofi get tossed like a ragdoll on that one, and the crowd groans as he lands in a heap… Del Rio has no such sympathy. The champion simply seems pleased he finally connected with the German, nodding his head and crawling over to Kofi to hook a leg…

ONE…

TWO…

BUT NO! KOFI KICKS OUT!

A pop goes up, but Del Rio scowls. He thought Kofi would go down with less of a fight, and he’s not seeing that here – he’s having to work to earn every move, without a pay-out for that work so far. Exhaling, he gets to his feet and takes a brief walk around the ring to clear his mind, prepare himself… but Kofi is crawling for the ropes! Del Rio looks lost for a moment, then snaps out of it and falls on his challenger with some cross-faced blows, before he forces his left arm behind his back for a grounded Hammer Lock and drops some knees to it. He turns and leaves Kofi to suffer, running a hand through his messy black hair while his mind works. Obviously, he’s just been working the arm, so one move sticks out to him for his next venture… Kofi uses his right hand to pull himself up, his head resting against the top rope to recover some strength before he turns. Del Rio is not a patient man, however, moving over there and tugging Kofi to the centre of the ring by that arm… AND NOW HE GOES FOR THE CROSS-ARM BREAKER – BUT KOFI SHOVES HIM AWAY! Del Rio stumbles away to cheers from the crowd, hitting the ropes and coming back – KOFI HOOKS HIM UP, SOS TIME MAYBE – BUT NO! This time it’s Del Rio who gets out, spinning out and LAUNCHING THE ENZUIGIRI – DUCKED! Del Rio hits nothing but air with the deadly kick, so he stumbles sideways, giving Kingston the room to measure the champion – Del Rio turns, so Kofi RUNS right through him with a big clothesline! A pop goes up again, and Kofi wastes no time finding the ropes… “BOOM”… “BOOM”… AND THE BOOM DROP CONNECTS THIS TIME!!!

Del Rio gasps in pain and holds his stomach – is the tide turning? The crowd certainly think so, as Kofi gets the better of that last exchange, and now he rolls smoothly backwards, on to his feet and into the corner to wind up the thunderclaps! Kingston is as focused as ever, clapping his hands without crying “BOOM!” as usual, but the crowd is happy to fill that space for him. Del Rio looks in a bad way, trying to find his feet with a tortured frown, while every Kofi thunderclap shoots a little pain through his left arm and he has to hold back somewhat from actually slapping his hands. Nevertheless, the end result may well be the same, as Del Rio struggles to his feet and Kofi channels the crowd noise as he goes for TROUBLE – IN – PARADISE – NO GOOD! Kingston winds the kick into action, but Del Rio ducks the blow and gets underneath the Ghanaian – so Kofi lands on his shoulders! The cheers turn to boos as Kingston struggles furiously, but Del Rio does a little adjustment and gets Kofi into the Fireman’s Carry properly… THEN THROWS HIM OFF AND BRINGS HIS KNEES CRUNCHING INTO THE CHALLENGER’S STOMACH FOR THE DOUBLE KNEE GUTBUSTER!!! Kofi spirals sideways, out of the ring, and he lands awkwardly on the outside floor – Del Rio looks frustrated by that, but he’s got the upper hand now, especially after that possibly-decisive counter.

On the outside, Kofi’s teeth are bared, trying to ignore the pain coursing through him and maybe just attempting to focus. Del Rio has a hand on the middle rope, looking down at Kingston from a knelt position, as the Ghanaian crawls for the barricade and begins to force his broken frame into action. His left arm, which he unfortunately fell on seconds ago, is slightly limp and won’t do what he tells it, so he uses his right hand to prop himself up. Champion and challenger stare at one another, both breathing heavily, as Justin King starts a count to usher an exhausted Kofi back inside. Kingston has his right elbow against the barricade, the forearm across his stomach as he tries to breathe, while Del Rio’s face is red and he seems just as fatigued. Slowly, Kofi forces his body back towards the ring, rolling inside at a count of seven… and back to the shenanigans we go, as Del Rio goes for his opponent and starts nailing him with nasty stomps! It seems Del Rio has lost his ‘rich man’ composure, but Kofi rolls sideways and finds the ropes again to make Del Rio give him some respite. Justin King steps in front of the champion, forcing him away, but Del Rio darts around him and pulls Kofi up by the hair. He tosses Kingston across the ring, treating him like dirt, but the Ghanaian forces himself up to his knees, then starts to struggle up to his feet. Del Rio shakes his head, and now he grabs Kofi by the left arm to whip him into the corner. Kingston hits the buckles hard and comes back across the ring, as Del Rio charges for a decapitating clothesline… BUT KOFI GRABS THAT ARM, SWINGING AROUND DEL RIO’S NECK AND DRIVING HIM INTO THE CANVAS WITH THE FLOAT-OVER DDT IN ONE MOTION!!! SENSATIONAL FROM KINGSTON!!! The Ghanaian gets the crowd ALIVE again, giving them what they paid to see, and now he forces Del Rio on to his back, tasting that World Title…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOO!!! DEL RIO GETS A SHOULDER UP!!!

If you doubted him, there’s your answer – incredible resilience to fight out from Del Rio, and though the crowd doesn’t like it, it’s impressive stuff from the Mexican Aristocrat. Kingston, on the other hand, is stunned, thinking he’d won his first World Title there, but he swallows his disbelief and gets up once again. He stumbles, his body shuddering under the strain of this difficult match, but he props himself up against the ropes and listens. All around the Key Arena, the “LET’S GO KOFI!” chants have begun again, making him nod his head – he leans down to adjust a kickpad, then bounces lethargically on the balls of his feet and gets back to business. Del Rio’s in the corner, trying to forge a recovery of his own, but behind him crouches his challenger, gearing up for what must surely be the finale now. The World Champion shoves himself away from the turnbuckles and meets Kingston, who HOOKS UP THE SOS AGAIN – NO! Del Rio gets a hand on Kofi’s throat and shoves the Ghanaian away, into the ropes… Kofi ducks a clothesline on his return… DROPKICK PUTS DEL RIO DOWN! Both men struggle slowly back up, the Mexican Aristocrat retreating back to the corner, but Kofi follows him in and hoists him to sit on the top rope. Kingston steps up too, surely looking for a big ending, but as he hooks up a possible Superplex, Del Rio fights back with a series of flurried right hands to the ribs! You can just make out Kofi’s face contorting in pain from this camera angle as Del Rio aims a few blows at the left arm, for good measure, then puts his foot on Kingston’s chest – AND SENDS HIM FLYING OFF, DOWN TO THE HARD CANVAS BELOW!!! Kofi crashes and burns, a horrible slam into the deck, but Del Rio isn’t done, hauling his frame to stand on the top buckle… THEN THROWING HIMSELF OFF WITH A SENTON BOMB, LANDING RIGHT ACROSS KOFI’S STOMACH! Just like Extreme Rules, Del Rio pulls out the rarer moves when he’s desperate and he has an opening, so Del Rio leans back and grits his teeth, trying to ignore the pain as he makes the crucial pin…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOOO!!! KOFI WON’T STAY DOWN! KICKOUT!!!

Ricardo Rodriguez has his hands on his head – what will it take to keep Kofi Kingston on the mat? Alberto Del Rio looks just as stunned, but the crowd cheered as Kofi kept this alive, and Justin King confirms that it was only two! Del Rio rests his back against the ropes, still seated, while Kofi Kingston stares out of the ring, attempting to find some kind of way to get up. No doubt, he’s tired, he’s hurt, his left arm has taken a fair bit of punishment and that could yet come into play, but he’s still in with a shot, especially with Del Rio looking just as tired. That said, it’s the champion who’s first to his feet, scowling at the sight of Kofi as he tries to put a hand on the middle rope and get up – no, Del Rio wants it his way, pulling Kingston up by the neck and getting the front facelock for the Single Arm DDT – BUT KOFI KINGSTON SUDDENLY BURSTS TO LIFE, HOOKING UP THE SOS – AND ABSOLUTELY NAILING IT, COVER INCLUDED…

ONE…

TWO…

NEW CHAMPION – NOOOO!!! HE KICKED OUT!!! DEL RIO KICKS OUT!!!

Kofi can only look to the heavens. He nearly made a moment for the ages there, but Del Rio denied him as Justin King’s hand came down a third time – the crowd are still trying to catch their breath, but that’s something both men can sympathise with. Kofi heaves himself up again, running a hand over his head and pacing a little, as Del Rio forces that tall body of his into action as well. The two men meet in the middle again, and for a moment we’re back to trading blows – perhaps in times like this you know nothing else but attack with anything you have. However, Del Rio knows where to go for an easy out here, lashing a trademark kick to Kofi’s left side, that arm taking the brunt of the impact. As Kofi cries out and stumbles to the edge of the ring, Del Rio stays on him, pressing him into the ropes and whipping him to the opposite side. Kofi rebounds somewhat weakly, coming back to a clothesline that takes him down, then a crisp Back Heel Kick when he tries to get up again. This has him staying on his knees, holding his chest and stomach in pain, and it gives Del Rio the opening he wants… TO SUPERKICK KINGSTON RIGHT IN THE JAW!!! The CRACK rebounds off the arena walls, much to the dismay of the thousands of Kofi’s fans here in Seattle, and Kingston lies flat after that mind-numbing shot from the World Heavyweight Champion.

The question is – is Del Rio content there? Evidently not, because although Kofi seems a little lost, he’s still awake, just in considerable pain and finding it difficult to recollect himself. Del Rio frowns at the sight, as Kofi slaps his right hand into the deck and – the guy won’t lie down – begins to struggle up. He’s not very successful, but the intent is there, so Del Rio weighs him up, then yanks him up and TURNS… RIGHT INTO THE CROSS-ARM BREAKER, DRIVING KOFI BACK DOWN AND LOCKING IT IN!!! The crowd screams in protest, while Kofi just screams, the hold tormenting him as the pain shoots through that arm! It’s the very same appendage that Del Rio spent precious time working on, preparing for this very moment, and it shows in Kofi’s face, possibly signalling the end of his first World Title challenge! Del Rio is frantic, breathing in every second of making the Ghanaian suffer in this killer submission, tugging on the arm and trying his hardest to force as clean a win as he’ll ever come across! Kofi’s free arm, his right side, flails desperately as he tries to find the bottom rope, and although this crowd would love nothing more, it must feel like miles away! Kingston bares his teeth, trying to silence his roars of agony for his own benefit, trying to refocus despite the pain he’s forced to endure… and now he begins to edge himself, bit by bit, towards the bottom rope! Del Rio shakes his head, tearing on that arm as if his life depended on it, but Kofi refuses to let this famous moment disappear out of his hands… so he keeps his slow movements going, trying to haul both himself and his opponent towards that decisive rope – ONLY FOR DEL RIO TO LET GO, DRAGGING KOFI BACK TO THE MIDDLE OF THE RING AND LOCKING IT IN AGAIN!

The crowd groans in disappointment – Del Rio knew Kingston was going to slip out, so he corrected, and now it’s only a matter of time! Kingston is in living hell, maybe the only solace being that this is the longest anyone’s endured this hold – fuck it, that means NOTHING to Kofi Kingston right now, who’s watching his dream disappear with every passing second! The crowd, encouraged by the fact he hasn’t tapped yet, begins to chant “KOFI! KOFI!” again and again, trying to inspire him, but Kofi looks helpless, his right hand searching the mat but inevitably finding no bottom rope, nothing that might help him. The Ghanaian raises that hand, maybe finally considering the fatal submission, but he ROARS with some bizarre mix of agony and adrenaline, and clenches it into a fist instead! Kofi presses the fist against the canvas and gets his shoulders fully off the canvas, turning on to his side… AND SUDDENLY FLIPPING DEL RIO ON TO HIS SHOULDERS, THAT’S A LEGAL COVER!!!

ONE…

TWO…

THREE – NOOOO!!! DEL RIO BREAKS THE HOLD AND ESCAPES THE PIN!!!

The arena thought that was it, and so did Kofi Kingston – both men roll sideways, and lie still; that was intense. Kofi’s left arm is across his stomach, clutched by his right, and the expression on his face isn’t relief… at this point, it’s just pain. Del Rio is breathing heavily, his eyes wide as he realises how close he came to losing the title there, but the damage may be done regardless. Kofi rolls sideways, albeit at a snail’s pace, and lumps that right arm against the sacred ropes to try to find his feet. Every step takes a heaving breath, his left arm damn near unusable at this point, but he still wants to secure this match, and he’ll face the seething Alberto Del Rio. The World Champion shakes his head, genuinely confused as to how Kingston endured the hellacious hold, but he moves forward to grab Kofi before he can attack – HE GOES FOR THE CROSS-ARM BREAKER AGAIN – but Kofi SHOVES him away before he can put it beyond all doubt! Del Rio turns around, and Kofi nails him with a big European Uppercut, knocking him down! With the champion floored, Kofi heads to the apron as if by instinct, maybe looking for a classic Kingston Crossbody of some description… but it takes him a bit of time to get up top, what with the usage of only one arm. In that time, Del Rio manages to wobble back to a vertical base, so the crowd buzzes as Kofi looks to launch… but he stumbles for a second, losing his footing, so he has to recompose himself on that buckle – AND THAT ALLOWS DEL RIO THE TIME TO CHARGE OVER, LEAPING UP… AND CRACKING KINGSTON IN THE TEMPLE WITH THE ENZUIGIRI!!! WHAT A HIT FROM THE CHAMPION!!! Kofi takes a caning shot across the face, and lifelessly he careers off the top turnbuckle – he CRASHES to the mat, and he might be out cold, as Del Rio dives over him and hooks a leg…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE!!! DEL RIO BY AN INCH!!!

WINNER AND STILL WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: ALBERTO DEL RIO VIA PINFALL AT 25:32

*REALEZA*

Ricardo Rodriguez:

Aquí está su ganador y todavía el más grande de todos los tiempos… ALBERTOOOOOOO DEL RIIIIIIIIOOOOO, ALBERTO DEL RIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOO!!!

Heat rains down from the crowd as Del Rio gets the three, but as the champion gets off Kingston, he stays on his knees. He’s exhausted, pushed to his limit, and he shows no real signs of the joy we saw at Extreme Rules. Kofi rolls from the ring, too hurt to actually sell the angle just yet, collapsing to the outside and trying to recover his senses. In the ring, Del Rio heaves his body back up and receives his World Title – Justin King raises his hand but he doesn’t seem too happy about it; Kingston gave him far more of a fight than he expected and he’s not happy just yet. He manages to crack a smirk as an exuberant Rodriguez slides into the ring to raises his arm instead of King, and finally, Del Rio remembers that he’ll remain on top of SmackDown after this and hoists his title up to absorb the heat.


Jim Ross:

An outstanding performance from both men tonight, guys – ya gotta wonder if that slight hesitation at the end there mighta cost young Kofi Kingston a famous win.

Josh Matthews:
Maybe, JR, maybe, but after everything Kofi went through in that match, it’d be hard to blame him… I’m just trying to comprehend having to put up with Alberto as champion for longer than I was expecting.

Booker T:
Del Rio lookin’ pretty dazed after dat marathon fo’ sure, Josh – soon as he figure out where da hell he is, he’ll be gloatin’ and tellin’ us all how easy it was. But don’t believe ‘im, dig? He got pushed to the edge tah-night.

Jim Ross:
Alberto Del Rio maybe havin’ the definin’ moment of his young career tonight indeed, Booker, pushed over his limit at the very pay-per-view for it. Del Rio… still champion.

On the outside now, we see Kofi Kingston trying to calm his breathing, but his hair is mangled across his forehead and he’s struggling to understand what went wrong. Del Rio and Ricardo exit the ring, being joined on the ramp by BRODUS CLAY, CHAVO GUERRERO, HUNICO and ROSA MENDES to more heat from the crowd in Seattle. Surrounded by his Administration, all of whom look thrilled bar Clay’s tiny smirk, Del Rio finally realises that he’s won this match by himself, and begins to crack a REAL Del Rio smile, the kind he’s famous for. As the six of them approach the stage, the Mexican Aristocrat turns back to the booing arena, surrounded by the very symbols of his success… and kisses the belt. At ringside, an exhausted Kingston is checked on by Justin King, but he looks sick to his stomach. Close but no cigar for the Ghanaian tonight.

Backstage we go then, where we’re in the office of SMACKDOWN GENERAL MANAGER, THEODORE LONG, which I can say with confidence because he’s the man on our screens. He’s watching one of the backstage monitors with the slightest of frowns, maybe not so happy with Del Rio remaining as World Champion, but his attention is soon taken elsewhere as the door opens… and the sound of KAZOOS fills the office! Indeed, it can only be EDGE and CHRISTIAN, who walk in to a pretty strong pop; they look a little down (in the interests of continuity they’ve just seen Del Rio win) but at the same time, they’re rocking the kazoos and wearing party hats, so all is not lost.


Edge:
Teddy. What’s up, dude?

Long can’t help but smile at the pair of them.

Theodore Long:
Not much, playa. First off, I wanted to congratulate ya both on your win tonight.

The Canadians exchange a glance.

Christian:
Cool.

Apparently there was more than that. Long continues.

Theodore Long:
And I got some good news for ya too. Ya got it done tah-night, so Edge, ya gonna get a chance to do it again tomorrow night, when we’re headin’ to Raw for the Draft.

Edge frowns.

Edge:
Erm… wanna elaborate for us, Teddy?

Christian now frowns – at Edge.

Christian:
Elaborate? That’s not surfer talk – dude.

Edge:
Just tryin’ to expand my vocabulary – bro.

Christian:
No-one says vocabulary, either – man.

Edge:
Oh yeah, and since when did you become an expert – bud?

Christian:
I’m not. I’m tryin’ to keep it fresh.

Edge:
I’m pretty sure ‘fresh’ is a little too 2001. Maybe earlier. Hell, I don’t know if anyone’s ever actually used that.

Long doesn’t know what to say, so he says quiet.

Christian:
I’m starting to think you don’t appreciate me, broseph.

Edge:
What are you talkin’ about, big guy? I got streamers and party hats for our win!

Christian thinks.

Christian:
(shrugging)
Okay, so party hats and streamers ARE awesome.

Edge:
Long live the stream?

Christian:
And long live the HAT, compadre.

They high five and turn back to Teddy; the GM looks at them blank-faced. Edge coughs uncomfortably.

Edge:
You were saying, Teddy.

Theodore Long:
Well… well, it’s pretty simple, playa. Tomorrow night on Raw, you get your man. Edge, you one-one-one… with Wade Barrett.

BIG pop in the arena; Edge grins his absolute face off.

Edge:
You won’t regret it, man. Thanks.

Christian:
Sounds pretty good. Now all we gotta do is dance, I guess.

Edge looks at him quizzically.

Edge:
What’re you talkin’ about?

Christian shrugs.

Christian:
Don’t these segments usually end with people dancing like Teddy?

Edge thinks about it, then nods.

Edge:
Yeah, I guess they do. Teddy?

Teddy shrugs too – then busts out THE TEDDY LONG SHUFFLE. Edge and Christian join in, the three men engaging in some serious Macmillitant dancing, as we fade back to ringside to see Josh Matthews and Booker T trying to contain their laughter… JR has sort of a light chuckle going on.

Jim Ross:

Always entertainin’ with Edge and Christian, but that’s big news – tomorrow night, Edge and Wade Barrett get a chance to settle their differences, and most importantly, Edge gets his hands on a man who’s cost him so much.

Booker T:
Can’t wait fo’ tomorrow night, dawg. Gonna be off da CHAIN.

Jim Ross:
Stole the words right outta my mouth, Booker, but speakin’ of differences that need settling… well, this is it, folks. Daniel Bryan and The Miz have a score to settle nearly a year and a half long.

Josh Matthews:
Indeed, from the moment Daniel Bryan set foot in the WWE he’s been subject to The Miz’s disapproval and abuse… tonight that could all change. At Extreme Rules, I had the pleasure of Daniel’s company in the week ahead of his big match, and I’m proud to say that I got a chance to speak to him privately, and the WWE Champion, this week in the build-up to tonight’s showdown.

---

*ROLL VIDEO PACKAGE*

A slow piano tune plays, and we open with the sight of the Key Arena, a sweeping camera shot that carries us around the maroon seats as a Matthews voice-over begins.

Josh Matthews:

Several weeks ago, when I spent some time with Daniel Bryan before his match at Extreme Rules, I noticed a fire inside him we hadn’t really seen before. Here in Seattle, the Key Arena is being prepped for Over The Limit, and I thought there would be no better place to interview a man who finds himself very much at home, close to a ring.

We cut to ringside, where Matthews sits with Daniel Bryan – both men are dressed casually, shirts and jeans, in the announcers’ chairs. We get a camera angle that shows the ring being set up in the background by a group of backstage workers.

Daniel Bryan:

When this started, Josh, it was about the title. That was it. It was about proving I was the best wrestler on the planet, nothing more.

Josh Matthews:
Obviously that changed.

Daniel Bryan:
I’m not happy about it, but yeah, yeah it did. It became personal – Miz made it personal.

A quick shot of Bryan on his knees beside Gail on Monday night. Back to the arena, where Bryan and Matthews ignore the hustle and bustle of the workers setting up the ring to continue their discussion.

Josh Matthews:

Tell me, Daniel… explain how it felt when Alex Riley – did what he did.

Daniel Bryan:
I…

Bryan takes a long moment to look around the arena, a very pensive moment. Matthews’ voice-over returns.

Josh Matthews:

I wanted an interview with The Miz, but I was told that he wouldn’t step inside the arena until Sunday night… so I had to go to him.

With that, we cut to The Miz in his lavish tour bus, clearly what he uses to travel. Matthews is sat across from him at a little table on board; Miz is wearing a tweed suit as he does so often these days for ‘casual’ occasions, his title deliberately in full view from his shoulder.

The Miz:

I can’t be held accountable for what happened Monday night, Josh. Legally, I had nothing to do with it. But let me say this – this match wasn’t made on Monday. It wasn’t made when the contract was signed, not even when he won at Extreme Rules…

He tilts his head.

The Miz:

It was made February 23rd, 2010.

We flash back suddenly, with a helping hand from the NXT logo, to that very date, with the inaugural eight NXT Rookies standing in a line. Three of them now in The Corre, another spending his time texting backstage, another teaming with Percy Watson, one following CM Punk’s faith and one jobbing on Superstars… but the man we settle on is young Daniel Bryan, in his dark red robe with his good boy haircut.

Then – THAT moment. The Miz strides into view and observes the eight.


The Miz:

Daniel Bryan is an internet darling. He has travelled the world, became a star in the minor leagues, in the independents. People say… you’re great, that you’re a star, that you’re ready for the WWE… do you think you’re ready?

Daniel Bryan:
Yes, yes I do.

The Miz:
Well the one thing you have to learn about the WWE is that you have to expect ANYTHING.

Bryan pushed to the limit by World Champion Chris Jericho in that night’s main event, forced to tap out.

Back to Bryan in the Key Arena, modern day.


Daniel Bryan:

Back on NXT, The Miz didn’t want to train me, but that’s fine, I didn’t need training. I didn’t need guidance. I needed half a chance to kick his head in.

The Miz on NXT again.

The Miz:

What Daniel Bryan… doesn’t know, is that compared to me, Bryan’s personality is as dry as the Mojave Desert. So – if Daniel Bryan doesn’t show you all personality, I’m gonna slap some personality into him.

Bryan stares at Matthews, shakes his head.

Daniel Bryan:

I remember his problems, sayin’ I had no personality, that I was green – but nothing’s changed, that’s still how he sees me. I don’t care, though. Because no matter what he thinks, Over The Limit – I’m gonna kick his head in. I promise.

The Miz in his tour bus, hand pressed against the title belt.

The Miz:

Those days on NXT, I learned something about Daniel Bryan.

SLAP goes The Miz’s hand across Bryan’s face in NXT’s first ever segment.

The Miz:

Even though he’s fighting for my title now, he’s still the same rookie I met on day one. And what I learned about him then, is exactly what you see in him now. Incompetence.

Bryan makes Alex Riley tap two weeks ago.

The Miz:

Myself, on the other hand – well Josh, you know as well as I do that I’ve always been a star. I’ve deserved to be at the top of this company for far too long.

Josh Matthews:
And that’s what you’re fighting for?

The Miz:
It’s what I’m fighting to save, Josh. ‘Cause I earned my place here, as the WWE’s newest icon. And I’ll be damned if Daniel Bryan, of all people, takes that away from me. This title is the reason I stay at the top.

At the end of the NXT pilot, The Miz falls on Bryan with rapid left hands.

Josh Matthews:

Daniel… what are you looking to prove?

Bryan thinks for a while.

Daniel Bryan:

The Miz is obsessed with staying famous – for me, it’s past that. I don’t want to play his games… I just wanna pay him back. For Gail, for me, for everybody. For…

He stops, looking out into the distance, the thousands of as-yet empty seats.

Daniel Bryan:

I want him off his pedestal. I want to – to see the look on his face, when he knows I’ve taken his fame away from him. Josh, I… it’s not about proving anything, it’s about…

The Miz smirks on his tour bus.

The Miz:

What am I trying to prove? Josh, I don’t have to prove a thing.

Back to Bryan, trying to find the words.

Daniel Bryan:

Maybe it’s not about the tap. It’s about the SNAP.

Miz’s sly smirk.

Josh Matthews:

Then what…

The Miz:
Enough with the wannabe journalism, Matthews. Let me explain it very simply… at Over The Limit, the gap between pro and rookie, champion and challenger, becomes very clear… I am going to embarrass Daniel Bryan. Because I’m – AWESOME.

Bryan turns his eyes to the ring, which is finally being tied up and finished.

Daniel Bryan:

A year and a half to now. Let’s end it – the reign, the rivalry… having to doubt myself whenever he talks… the mind games… done.

Bryan frowns, maybe thinking of his girlfriend, or how far he’s come.

Daniel Bryan:

Let’s end it all.

And now that shot from Monday, the two men almost nose-to-nose…

*END VIDEO PACKAGE*


---

To the ring, where Justin Roberts stands. The bell rings.

Justin Roberts:

The following contest is set for one fall… and it is for the W – W – E… CHAMPIONSHIP!

A good cheer echoes in the arena; the usual title animation swings into view.

*RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*

THE ROOF COMES OFF! This Seattle crowd has their hero, and they welcome him with an ovation worthy of one, as DANIEL BRYAN walks out to a Key Arena in raptures! Better placed than anyone to end The Miz’s tyrannical reign on top of Raw, Bryan has the crowd’s full support, and he brings an arm into the air as he walks towards the ring. He looks completely in the zone tonight, easily the biggest match of his WWE career ahead of him here. Many fans are holding up signs with his name on, or slogans like “NO WORDS” or “TAP OR SNAP” to support him, as the chants battle the music and Bryan heads for the steps.

Jim Ross:

That’s honesty if ya ever saw it, folks – Josh, Bryan’s cookin’ with gas tonight.

Josh Matthews:
I really felt that too, JR. Daniel Bryan has wrestled all over the world, trying to make his name as one of the greatest in-ring competitors in the modern era… I believe this is his time, guys.

Booker T:
Mah main man D-Bryan! Ya gotta know, da boi does some sweet stuff inside da ropes, he armed and ready to make a difference. He gotta put in da effort, but he always does – da boi is DAT SUPA-HERO!

Jim Ross:
And Bryan without his girlfriend, Gail Kim, for this bout after what we saw on Monday, the horrible actions of one Alex Riley… that’s as big a motivation as any for Bryan to win tonight, as if the title itself wasn’t enough.

Bryan trots up the steps and heads into the ring; he makes his way purposefully to the corner, stepping up to the second rope and raising that single arm to accept the raucous cheers of the fans. Nodding his head, he steps down, then runs off the ropes, giving them a good test. As his music dies out, he paces the ring, readying himself for a massive contest, as the “DANIEL BRYAN!” chants fill the arena, and the submissions expert rubs his beard in anticipation. The atmosphere is pretty good, this crowd all believing that Bryan will become the champion tonight, but there’s a man who wants to contest that, and he’s about to arrive…

“AWWWWWWESOOOOMMMMEEEE…”


*I CAME TO PLAY*

On the stage, the bubble letters spell ‘AWESOME’, but they’re soon split by the charging figure of the WWE CHAMPION, THE MIZ… who gets BOMBARDED with some huge heat from the crowd! As always, the Awesome One doesn’t care, clad in his usual bad-ass pay-per-view longcoat and the most crucial addition of all, the WWE Title, in his hands. As soon as he bursts through the lettering, he brings the title into the air and stares around the arena, using his free hand to make his classic ‘boo-hoo’ face. It’s clear The Miz wants to antagonise everyone here, no-one more so than his challenger waiting to face him in the ring.

Josh Matthews:

I hate to say it, guys, but as much as The Miz has been trying to pad his ego, this match is huge for him – not just the title, but personally. If The Miz loses tonight, he loses everything that makes him who he is, and that’s exactly what the thousands of fans here in Seattle want, it’s what Bryan wants.

Booker T:
Gotta huge ego problem fo’ sure, Josh, but never forget how long he’s held dat belt – dis a man who knows how to get out wit his title when it counts.

Jim Ross:
The Miz looking to cement his legacy indeed. My only question is how far The Miz is willin’ to go – he made it personal, and now he may have more from Bryan that he expected. This could be a slobber knocker.

Miz heads for the ring, taking his time at the foot of the ramp to stare down Bryan. Taking his eyes away, he takes a run-up and jumps up on to the apron, turning at the end to face the camera and show off that glistening title. Once he’s content that he’s shown off enough, he stands and swings himself inside, though it’s barely a couple of moments before he heads up top. From there, he stares out at the arena and slowly brings his title into the air with both hands, garnering some of the loudest heat we’ve heard all evening. He smirks, knowing that he’s on top of the world in this very moment… but as he steps down, that smirk fades away, because across from him stands the man who could take it all away. His music subsides, so he lays the title on the turnbuckle and removes his coat.

Justin Roberts:

Introducing first, the challenger… from Aberdeen, Washington…

HUGE cheer there, with so many people in attendance either from the place or knowing it well. This is a Washington crowd, through and through, and in a way, Bryan isn’t just a man looking to dethrone The Miz, he’s also a hometown hero.

Justin Roberts:

...weighing in tonight at two hundred and ten pounds… DANIEL – BRYAN!

Bryan raises a singular arm to the roars of the crowd; a genuine smile still evades him, as if every time he tries, he’s reminded of Gail Kim, not even in the arena tonight.

Justin Roberts:

And his opponent… from Cleveland, Ohio, weighing in tonight at two hundred and twenty-one pounds… he is the current WWE Champion… THE MIIIIZ!!!

Heavy, heavy boos now as The Miz hoists his title into the air, staring at his challenger all the while. Finally, he lets it down into his hands and gives it to the official, the head referee Mike Chioda. The striped man heads to the centre of the ring and raises it into the air – Bryan has his eyes on Miz, but the champion’s gaze is locked on his title belt, a prize more precious to him than anything. Bryan now looks at it too, as the belt gets passed to ringside and the two men finally step towards one another. Bryan’s bristling, eager to give The Miz the beating of a lifetime and take the title, while the Awesome One gears up to add another notch to his already-impressive reign… it’s former ‘pro’ versus former ‘rookie’… and Chioda kicks things off.


WWE Championship
The Miz (c) defends against Daniel Bryan

The chime of the bell gets the crowd cheering, and Bryan immediately darts forward… but The Miz backtracks and gets between the ropes, making sure Bryan can’t touch him! We have some heat as Chioda steps in front of The Miz, telling Daniel he’s got to step away, and with a frown, the challenger does as he’s asked. The Miz detaches himself, smirking a little… but Bryan rushes him again, getting a few sharp kicks in and driving him sideways across the ring! A pop goes up at the sight of The Miz reeling, the champion scurrying to get away from the hard shots, and now he gets a foot over the middle rope to get the rope break again! This time, Bryan’s considerably frustrated, laying in another kick before Chioda counts him off and forces him away. The submissions expert takes a quick lap of the ring, growling under his breath, as The Miz slyly gets himself free again and returns to the fray. The champion looks pretty pleased to be getting under Bryan’s skin, circling now and inviting him on; Bryan darts in for a lock-up. This is somewhat smarter, but The Miz transitions, deliberately grabbing a handful of Bryan’s hair to get an upper hand! Chioda complains in his direction this time, but The Miz ignores him, using that opening to force Bryan back into the corner. Miz throws a few left hands to the gut, then gets a hand up in Bryan’s face, pushing his left palm against his challenger’s cheek and forcing him to look away! It’s pretty low from The Miz, but it’s always been the way, as Chioda counts him off with four. As The Miz steps back, Bryan turns his head to glare at the champion… AND NOW HE CHARGES, TAKING HIM BY SURPRISE BY TACKLING HIM TO THE FLOOR AND THROWING RIGHT HANDS! The crowd cheers as The Miz gets his for the first time, but the two men roll sideways and separate… so The Miz keeps rolling and heads to the outside!

It might seem cowardly at first, but that said, Miz isn’t getting much respite, as Bryan comes speeding after the champion, sliding out of the ring and kicking him in the side from behind. The Miz winces and tries to move away again, around the ring post and back into the ring… so Bryan follows him back in – and gets AMBUSHED again with a series of clubbing left-handed shots! It’s been more of a cheap brawl in the early going, as these two men get out some of their aggression at the other, and that’s very true of The Miz here, going red in the face as he blasts Bryan with some really stiff blows. He pulls the challenger up, throwing him into the corner, and wastes no time in slamming into Bryan with a series of shoulder thrusts to the gut! As always, The Miz gets some real driving force on those, cannoning into Bryan again and again, then whipping him out of the corner to the other side – Bryan slams into the buckles and collapses to the mat! Face scrunched in pain, the submissions expert gets to his knees, but The Miz is insistent on giving him a real beating, so he shoves him back towards the ropes, and gives him as many boots as Mike Chioda will allow him. He moves away, his head looking out at the jeering fans – then he turns back to Bryan, who is struggling forward again, and gets grabbed by Miz for the SNAP DDT – BUT NO! Bryan shoves him off, leaping from his knees and heading for the ropes… BUT THE MIZ TURNS AND BRINGS HIM DOWN WITH A BIG BOOT! Bryan goes crumpling to the floor, much to the dismay of the fans, but now The Miz senses an early win and covers…

ONE…

TWO – BUT BRYAN KICKS OUT!

Immediately after the kickout, Miz goes back to the left hands, trying to subdue his challenger. He lays in the stiff blows, then gets up, yanking Bryan up too and rocking him with some knees. The Awesome One is really trying to brutalise his former ‘rookie’ here, but as he takes a step back, he winds up a clothesline and MISSES – Bryan ducks, then brings The Miz down with an Arm Drag! Up gets Miz, but Bryan executes the Arm Drag excellently again to bring him back down. Once more, The Miz scrambles to his feet, holding his back this time, so Bryan takes aim and MAULS the champion with a Discus Elbow Smash! The crowd cheers as The Miz takes longer to get up, with Bryan watching him, hands up to prepare for work. Finally, The Miz shakes his head to clear the cobwebs and turns, throwing a boot to the gut – but Bryan catches the boot and WHIPS HIM TO THE FLOOR WITH THE DRAGON SCREW… AND NOW THE HEEL HOOK! Bryan applies the hold expertly, getting a good pop from the crowd as he puts the champion under immediate pressure with his first submission hold of the day! Mike Chioda falls beside Miz to ask him the vital question, but the champion, flailing for the ropes, tells him where to go. Bryan stares right at Miz, trying to gauge whether or not the champion will tap, but evidently he won’t, so Bryan tries to crank up the pressure… and gets turned suddenly by The Miz – who then catches him with a boot to break the hold!

Both men up – The Miz hobbles for a moment but shakes it off and meets Bryan with a boot to the gut. This time, Bryan can’t reverse and deck him, so the submissions expert keels over, allowing Miz to hit the ropes and go for the big Knee Lift – but no! Bryan stands upright, so The Miz meets the ropes and rebounds back… and gets scooped on to Bryan’s shoulders, spun around and around and around on AIRPLANE SPIN! It’s been a while since we’ve seen that, but the crowd begins to cheer as Bryan’s motor whirs into action, getting some real pace until he lets Miz down, and both men go staggering to opposite sides of the ring! The Miz has obviously taken the brunt of the disorientating technique, wobbling about in the corner and trying to steady himself – but Bryan’s recovering, and he takes a good run-up… INTO THE CORNER ELBOW SMASH, ROCKING THE MIZ INSIDE AND OUT! Bryan spins along the ropes, allowing The Miz the space to stagger into the middle of the ring, his feet flailing to find purchase in his dizzy state. With the crowd buzzing, Bryan stalks the champion again, so when Miz turns, the Aberdeen native takes hold… AND EXECUTES A PERFECT NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX, NAILING THE PIN AS WELL!

ONE…

TWO… BUT NO! KICKOUT BY THE MIZ!

Already in these first falls, the two men are utilising some effective moves, as Bryan stretches into his sizeable arsenal to try to keep Miz down. That suplex, neatly hit as it was, won’t win it, so Bryan gets up. He sprawled sideways after the kickout, while The Miz shoves himself to his knees, then his feet. Shaking out his head, the Awesome One attempts to recollect himself, then turns and gets whipped to the ropes – no, he sends Bryan instead. Bryan transitions off the Miz clothesline attempt, swinging smoothly under it and attempting a suplex of some kind, but The Miz jams it. He throws a couple of left hands to Bryan’s ribs, then tries to turn the hold around, but Bryan keeps his grip on and the two end up spinning towards the ropes. Miz grabs Bryan by the head and throws him over the top, but the challenger finds a hand on the top rope and lands on the apron. As Bryan finds his footing, The Miz winds up and sprints… but Bryan hauls the rope down and the champion tumbles to the outside floor! A pop goes up as Miz lands awkwardly, and this gives Bryan a chance to measure him; The Miz furiously rubs his face, then gets up – RIGHT INTO THE HIGH KNEE OFF THE APRON FROM BRYAN!

That sends The Miz spiralling off to the side, and as Bryan’s feet touch the ground, he’s feeling it, pumping his arms as the crowd begins to cheer! After everything The Miz has put him through in recent weeks, Bryan’s stiff strikes are his way of answering back in kind, and he takes a moment to observe the WWE Champion’s pain before he pulls him up. The Miz puts his hands on Bryan’s face, trying to shove him away, but Bryan frowns and SLAMS his head off the apron! Miz reels upwards, again selling Bryan’s no-nonsense style, and finds himself forced back under the bottom rope again here. Bryan climbs back to the apron, then looks to go UP TOP, getting a great pop from the fans here in Seattle – they paid to see Bryan do something extraordinary, and they might get their wish! The challenger takes a moment to breathe, enjoying a spell in control here, as the limp figure of The Miz struggles back to his feet… SO BRYAN LAUNCHES WITH HIS TRADEMARK MISSILE DROPKICK – ONLY TO CAREER DOWN INTO THE CANVAS!!! The Miz dives sideways, leaving Bryan to crash spine-first into the deck, and almost immediately, the WWE Champion follows up by grabbing the kneeling Bryan… and just SPIKING HIM INTO THE CANVAS WITH THE SNAP DDT!!! The one thing you can say about The Miz, he knows when to take his moments, and he might have just taken this match with that! Heaving a sigh out of his lungs, Miz falls on Bryan and hooks both legs…

ONE…

TWO – BUT BRYAN KICKS OUT!

The Miz’s eyes widen, but soon his surprise turns to anger – Bryan has just been giving him a bit of a leathering in the last stretch, and that’s not how a ‘pro’ takes his title matches. He looks frustrated as he paces the ring, circling Bryan and watching his recovery; in all this time, Miz was envisioning being on easy street in this match, but Bryan has shown how efficient he can be, and the WWE Champion doesn’t like it. As Bryan puts his hands on the ropes and begins to get up, The Miz moves in, putting his harsh grip around Bryan’s jaw and forcing his neck back to a nasty angle. He throws a couple of left hands across the face, really trying to send a message to his challenger about tough HE can be when he turns it on… and now he hauls him up, throwing him into the corner. Bryan takes a moment to breath, facing out of the ring and wincing after his chest collided with the buckles, but The Miz grabs him by the hair and HAMMERS the challenger’s face off the turnbuckle to boot! He gets a few more of those shots in, spitting “YOU… ARE NOT… BETTER… THAN ME…” furiously, then pulls him away from the buckles and shoves him unceremoniously to the floor. Bryan wavers up to his knees, narrowing his eyes at The Miz, who moves across and kicks him in the gut. Bryan keels over, to all fours as he wheezes for air, but The Miz grabs him by the arm, tugging him to the side and applying an Armbar! The WWE Champion cinches it in, proving that he can work the submissions as well, as Bryan gasps in pain and tries to stay calm. Miz’s face is a picture of concentration, making sure he’s got the hold in perfect, as Bryan squirms and tells Chioda that he won’t tap.

Finally, Bryan starts to move sideways, getting some momentum to swing out of the hold, and he locks his legs around The Miz’s neck, bringing the champion down and choking him! The crowd cheers as Bryan shows why he’s the specialist, but suddenly, The Miz shoves his legs off his neck, and transitions sharply into a chin lock! Daniel’s wince is as much of pain as it is of pure surprise that The Miz is apparently capable in this situation, but Bryan’s a master of the art and he spins his body into motion, getting out and answering by locking in the CROSSFACE CHICKENWING! This gets The Miz’s arms flailing about, a desperate look in his eyes as Bryan ties up the arm with one hand and wrenches his head to the side with the other, and the crowd cheers, thinking this could be the end! Bryan’s really turned the heat up with a few of these effective submissions, just as he said he would… and maybe The Miz is considering the tap here! The champion looks in a bad way, moving about the ring but kept expertly away from the ropes by Bryan, who tries to drag Miz to the floor… BUT THAT’S WHERE THE MIZ DIVES TO, THROWING BRYAN OVERHEAD IN THE PROCESS! Bryan scrambles to his feet, meeting the Awesome One again – BUT THE MIZ PUTS BOTH MEN DOWN WITH A DROPKICK! It’s not all that common that The Miz busts it out, but when he does, it’s a pretty good hit, and now the two crawl for opposite sides of the ring. Miz is first to the ropes, heaving himself with a scowl, while Bryan remains totally focused, slapping himself lightly to stay in the game as he gets up. Bryan’s the man who stumbles, losing his footing a little, and now he turns to face a Miz CLOTHESLINE – NO! Bryan ducks under it… THEN GOES TO KICK HIS HEAD IN… ONLY FOR THE MIZ TO DUCK THAT, AND HAUL THE CHALLENGER DOWN WITH A ROLL UP!

ONE…

TWO… NO! BRYAN SHOVES HIM AWAY! KICKOUT!

A pop goes up, and so do both these men, the contest’s pace quickening. Bryan rolls smoothly to his feet, but retreats momentarily to the corner… SO THERE GOES MIZ ON THE SWINGING CORNER CLOTHESLINE – NOBODY HOME! The WWE Champion crashes into the turnbuckles, getting another cheer from the crowd following the clumsy impact, and now Bryan lines it up, clenches his fists… before he starts LASHING The Miz across the back with those frenzied kicks, again and again! The Miz is jammed between the turnbuckles after his missed clothesline, and now Bryan is making him pay! Poor Mike Chioda has to step in again in a match full of these little incidents, and finally, Bryan steps away, muttering “I have ‘til five…” under his breath before he lets it go and gets back to modern day business. Face crumpled in pain and fatigue, The Miz allows his body to fall out of the turnbuckles, a lazy hand meeting the ring ropes to pull himself up. Luckily, he’s avoided any of Bryan’s biggest killer blows, but as yet, the challenger still seems game, breathing a little more heavily but still raising his fists to go again. Snarling, The Miz shoves himself out of the corner, and gets Bryan right on his case again with those kicks – this time, however, The Miz can fight back, throwing some left hands to the stomach to match Bryan blow for blow, then thumping him with a knee and shoving him away! Bryan comes back with a right hand, but The Miz ducks it, so they turn to meet each other and the WWE Champion just swings – SLAP. “Oh, oh no,” says JR, as The Miz smirks a little, but Bryan holds his face in absolute fury… AND NOW HE SNAPS, GOING AFTER THE MIZ AND TACKLING HIM TO THE GROUND!!!

The crowd LOVES it, but Bryan’s lost his mind – he’s throwing all kinds of flurried punches, ignoring the protests of a kneeling Mike Chioda, and now The Miz fights back, rolling Bryan over and chucking a series of his own left hands! The two men begin to roll, just trading blows as this descends into a brawl again… but they separate, scrambling back up – Miz catches Bryan with the Inverted Facelock Backbreaker, swinging for the combination Neckbreaker too but seeing Bryan’s momentum swing them both round. The Miz turns back – AND BRYAN SLAPS HIM SO HARD, THE MIZ COLLAPSES IN A HEAP! What a stinging hit from Bryan, getting the crowd roaring their approval, but Miz looks like he’s been scorched by hot metal, rolling to the outside with a hand against the injured cheek. That was practically a punch, as Bryan paid The Miz back in kind for the disrespect he’s been shown over the past eighteen months… but now he’s off the ropes, targeting The Miz on the outside… SUICIDE DIVE LAUNCHED – BUT THE MIZ SWINGS HIM AND TURNS, SENDING BRYAN COLLIDING WITH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!!!

Bryan’s body folds on the outside floor, and the crowd groans; that was an awkward, nasty-looking collision. We’re taken back to Bryan’s first ever WWE match, in which Chris Jericho did the exact same thing to him, leading to a submission loss… as JR kindly reminds us. The Miz, of course, remembers that night well, and as he backtracks away, a smirk flickers across his face again – he remembers that feeling of superiority too. Bryan is on the floor, a hand against the announce desk cover but otherwise looking pretty worse for wear, his other hand clutching at his back. The replays show us that horrible impact, Bryan’s body contorting off the desk for the second time in his WWE career, in exactly the same way – perhaps crucially, it could be called the exact same mistake. The Miz, sniffing a win, hauls Bryan’s lifeless body up and shoves him under the bottom rope. Once again, his willingness to escape the heat has paid off, and his eyes light up as he re-enters the ring, thinking he’s got it won. In fact, for a moment he stands over his broken challenger, talking a little trash, telling him he’s the most must-see WWE Champion of all time and he always will be… but as he reaches down – BRYAN LOCKS HIS LEGS AROUND THAT ARM, AND SUDDENLY GOES FOR THE LEBELL LOCK!!! The crowd comes alive with huge cheers, but The Miz is FRANTIC, trying to crawl away, trying to get his arm loose before he can lock it up – AND HE DOES. He gets off towards the ropes, to a chorus of boos from the crowd, and hauls himself up – but the bruised, angry Daniel Bryan is already up, fighting through the pain to join him… AND HE HOOKS UP THE ARMS FROM BEHIND, TOSSING THE MIZ DOWN INTO A BRIDGING DRAGON SUPLEX, AND THE COVER…

ONE…

TWO…

KICKOUT! MIZ KICKS OUT!

In kickouts past, these two had the energy to get up and go for the other’s throat, but we seem to have reached a turning point. Both men stay down this time, as the “DANIEL BRYAN!” chants boom into our ears again, but Bryan is holding his back, and The Miz has his head against the bottom rope, trying to comprehend how close he came to losing the title there. His overconfidence nearly cost him, first from the submission, and then by not expecting Bryan to be hot on his heels. The champion looks desperate, his hands slipping off the ropes as he tries to get a grip, while Bryan pounds a fist into the canvas and forces himself up, though at first he bends over to sell his exhaustion, his back in particular. He bounces against the ropes lightly, as if they might give him some spring in his step, then moves towards The Miz as the champion finds a vertical base. Bryan smacks him with a European Uppercut, but The Miz answers back with a left hand. We’re almost immediately into the two men trading shots, from the cheers of Bryan to the boos of The Miz, as champion and challenger go toe-to-toe in yet another aspect of the in-ring experience… pure striking power. Bryan mixes it up, switching between those uppercuts and his trademark stinging kicks, while The Miz slugs away with his southpaw strike… until he wins out, forcing Bryan back to the ropes, then sending him into the corner – BUT BRYAN BACKFLIPS! It’s a sudden, breath-taking injection of energy from Bryan, flipping back over The Miz as the champion follows in, and now Bryan heads to the ropes – FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Both men get up, the crowd feeling it as much as Bryan is – AND THE CHALLENGER DEALS ANOTHER!

This time, The Miz stays down, seeming a little bit lost, as Bryan begins to fire up, clenching his fists and ROARING out to get the crowd behind him! Finally, The Miz struggles up, so once again Daniel Bryan goes to KICK HIS HEAD IN – but again, The Miz ducks – AND HOOKS UP THE FULL NELSON WHEN HE TURNS! The crowd screams, but Bryan’s struggling against the hold, desperately backtracking to SLAM The Miz against the turnbuckles! The champion has no choice but to let go, so Bryan turns – and whips a kick off The Miz’s stomach, and again and again, trying to incapacitate the Awesome One! These two men are showing real signs of fatigue now, but Bryan’s here to win, and he keeps going until Mike Chioda steps in for the umpteenth time! The Miz staggers out of the corner, so Bryan hooks him up for a Double Underhook Suplex – but the champion struggles, fighting his way out and getting that Inverted Facelock Backbreaker, before he swings round… and NAILS the Neckbreaker this time around! The Miz completes the combination, a trademark move from the WWE Champion, and once again we have both men on the mat… Mike Chioda begins a count, but at three, Miz is crawling, slowly managing to hook a leg…

ONE…

TWO…

NO! KICKOUT! BRYAN STILL WANTS THIS!

The Miz grabs a handful of his own hair and looks like pulling it out. He’s infuriated, and no-one pulls off that look quite like The Miz, especially with the Key Arena cheering following the kickout. Bryan is tired, clutching at his neck after that last move, but heaving himself to his feet anyway. He’s not upright to attack, more to just convince himself he’s still fighting, but as The Miz stalks him again, that may not have been the sensible choice. Bryan turns, but catches a boot to the stomach from The Miz, who heads for the ropes for that KNEE LIFT – but again, Bryan reverses, this time sliding to the mat, and as The Miz rebounds, the challenger is up… he grabs Miz for a Belly-to-Belly, but the Awesome One shoves him to the ropes and bends down – SO BRYAN GOES OVER THE TOP WITH THE SUNSET FLIP, AND BRINGS MIZ TO THE CANVAS!

ONE…

TWO…

BUT THE MIZ SWINGS FORWARD, PINNING BRYAN

ONE…

TWO…

ONLY FOR BRYAN TO KICK OUT!

A pop rings in Seattle as both men go sideways, and as they get up, The Miz swings a tired left-handed clothesline, but Bryan ducks it. Miz turns, getting immediately greeted by more of those kicks from the challenger, but this time they’re steadier, like the thumps of a beating heart. Bryan has the crowd cheering, as he kicks The Miz in both knees to bring him down, and keeps the shoot kicks going, an absolute BARRAGE to the champion! The Miz takes a series of strikes to the chest, unable to guard himself, so Bryan takes a breather, gearing up and letting the crowd build the suspense… BEFORE BRYAN GOES FOR THE KILL – AND THE MIZ DUCKS THE FINAL KICK, TRYING TO ROLL BRYAN UP AGAIN… but Bryan rolls back to his feet instead of the pin, hitting the ropes as if by instinct to charge back – RIGHT INTO A MIZ FLAPJACK! The WWE Champion sends Bryan up and down, a great piece of counter work, and now the crowd groans at the sight of Bryan’s body flipping on to his back, eyes glazed over. He’s given his all, but even now, Miz is finding a way to keep control. The Awesome One grabs Bryan by the head, pulling him up slightly and smacking him around with a couple of hard left hands. Bryan’s head snaps sideways with each blow, but he refuses to fall over, to stay down, and now Miz forces him into the corner again. Those left hands keep coming, but the crowd is chanting Daniel Bryan’s name, keeping the dream alive – The Miz goes to whip Bryan out of the corner, but the submission artist grabs that wrist, tugging Miz back… AND THROWING HIM WITH THE BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX!!!

The crowd comes alive yet again, a great pop as Bryan chucks the champion across the ring, and once again, both competitors find themselves on the mat, opposite sides of the ring. Bryan tilts his head up, his hair matted against his forehead, and looks across at The Miz, a man with a pained expression after that impressive suplex. The WWE Champion has to take a moment, while Bryan’s face grinds against the canvas before he can start his rise – these two are really beginning to feel the strain of a lengthy bout, but it’s Bryan up first, the hometown hero getting a rousing cheer to egg him on. He breathes out, baring his teeth and watching his opponent; he’s been through a lot and he’s tired. Nevertheless, he knows he has to amp things up, so he heads to the outside, and begins a slow climb to the top turnbuckle. A buzz fills the arena, as The Miz starts to waver to his feet, and takes a fatal step towards the corner – FROM WHERE BRYAN SOARS DOWN AND CATCHES THE MIZ IN THE CHEST WITH THE FRONT MISSILE DROPKICK!!! The Miz falls flat, as if he’d been clanged with a chair, and now Bryan pumps a fist, his face scrunched in pain and trying to find the will to heave his body across… he finds it, and now he falls across the champion, hooking a leg too…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NOOO!!! THE MIZ KICKS OUT!!!

That’s as close as we’ve come today, but it wasn’t good enough! Bryan’s hard landing may have cost him the precious seconds that The Miz needed to recover, and now Bryan’s faced with the two fingers of Mike Chioda. Running a hand through his hair, the young challenger shoves himself up and thinks about his options; The Miz is still down, a recovery in progress, so Bryan takes a look at the corner AGAIN – and he’ll go for it! A groan goes up as Bryan steps to the apron for a second time in quick succession, as JR questions how smart it is for the challenger to take another huge risk, but Bryan is undeterred, hauling himself to the top once more. This time, The Miz won’t be rushing to greet him, so it’s no Missile Dropkick – IT’S THE DIVING HEADBUTT, FLYING DOWN ON TO THE MIZ… NOOOO!!! NOTHING BUT CANVAS, BRYAN CRASHES AND BURNS!!! We get images from the crowd, like a young fan with his hands on his head, watching in horror after The Miz rolled away, and once again both men are down, though Bryan looks far worse for wear. The Miz has moved towards the ropes, so his eyes strain open and he lumps a hand against them to help himself up. For a moment, longer than a moment, the WWE Champion leans his body weight on the ropes, feeling the effects for sure now, while a dizzy and shaken Daniel Bryan drags himself towards the corner. Again, the crowd is chanting Bryan’s name, but the momentum has moved The Miz’s way after the huge miss… and as Bryan’s hands claw against the turnbuckle to get up, the Awesome One goes hunting – AND THERE’S THE SWINGING CORNER CLOTHESLINE! Finally, The Miz hits the trademark, staying in the corner just a second to stare out the crowd… for once though, it’s not an arrogant smile he shows, but the face of an exhausted champion. Nevertheless, he throws Bryan’s body back to the floor, and detaches himself so he can make a cover…

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NO!!! KICKOUT FROM BRYAN!!!

That gets the crowd cheering – Bryan won’t go down without a fight! Hell, you could argue he’s already been given a fight here, but as The Miz’s stunned expression tells you, he refuses to stay down for the vital three! Bryan lies on his side, counting his lucky stars and putting a hand on the canvas, maybe looking to find the ropes. The Miz has his hands against his face, selling the shock of it all, but he soon forces himself off his knees and paces the ring. It’s by no means an easy walk, but at least he’s up – his eyes narrow and he crouches to prepare his next move. Bryan’s hands nearly slip against the ropes but he’s up, so Miz grabs him from behind, GOING FOR THE SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE – BUT NOOO! Bryan spins out, shoving The Miz away and bending down… ONLY FOR THE WWE CHAMPION TO NAIL HIM WITH THAT RUNNING KNEE LIFT!!! Bryan goes down clutching his face, but he tries to sit up – so The Miz adds a HUGE BIG BOOT as well, laying Bryan flat out! The Awesome One’s rough but effective hits keep Bryan down for good, so he falls beside the challenger and hooks the leg…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE? – BUT NOOO!!! NO! BRYAN WITH THE SHOULDER UP!!!

The Miz looks incredulous. He’s thrown the kitchen sink at Bryan, but the challenger is just too determined, too resilient. Miz slumps momentarily to the mat, but refuses to give up any more than Bryan does, standing on two feet and stomping on Bryan clumsily a couple of times. He yanks the submission artist up, throwing several left hands to the stomach, consistently adding pain on top of pain, then winds up and goes to knock Bryan into next week with a haymaker – BUT BRYAN DUCKS IN BEHIND, GRABS THE LEG… AND DRILLS THE MIZ WITH A SENSATIONAL REGAL-PLEX!!! The Miz lands on his neck, but the crowd is cheering, and Bryan has the pin on landing…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE – NOOO!!! THE MIZ KICKS OUT AS THE HAND COMES DOWN!!!

This time it’s Daniel Bryan who can’t believe his luck, rolling sideways out of the cover and resting on his knees. His hands are against the canvas, his eyes cast downward at the crawling, slumped figure of The Miz, who moves inch by inch towards the ropes. That was right to the neck, and the champion evidently feels that, but Bryan’s just as exhausted and it’s a struggle even to get up. That said, Bryan’s fought for titles the world over, and he knows the importance of every second – up he gets. The Miz uses the ropes to haul himself up, and it seems we’re getting into it yet again, as Bryan meets him with a kick, only to take a left hand back in return. Bryan shakes it out and heads for the ropes, trying to transition around the champion, but The Miz jams it and locks his arms around Bryan’s. He slings his arms over Bryan’s neck and tries the side headlock, but the challenger slips out, getting in behind and going for a German Suplex – NO! The Miz swings out and whips Bryan to the corner – then a shoulder thrust, right to the stomach from Miz! Bryan gasps at first, then frantically clubs at The Miz’s back, letting his rage boil over and losing his cool – Miz grimaces and goes for another shoulder thrust, but Bryan steps sideways, so the WWE Champion nearly drives himself into the steel ring post! The Miz stops himself, but he’s left himself open as he turns, so Bryan starts firing those mental kicks, each one harder than the last, as if this was the last of his energy and he wanted to use it all to hurt the champion! Once again, Mike Chioda has to step in, shouting his count of “one, two, three, four…” and Bryan stops himself mid-kick, turning his head as Chioda goes to call “FIVE!” Bryan stares at the referee, then to The Miz, realising how he nearly lost his chance, and moves back a little. Chioda nods and takes a step back too, but The Miz explodes out of the corner with a CLOTHESLINE – BUT BRYAN DUCKS… AND THE MIZ CLEANS OUT CHIODA!!!

“OHHH!” comes the groan in Seattle – the referee goes down like a tonne of bricks! The Miz is speechless, looking down at Chioda following the accident… but Bryan wastes no time, grabbing him by the arm – AND TUGGING HIM TO THE MAT TO APPLY THE LEBELL LOCK!!! The crowd goes WILD as Bryan locks it in, and now The Miz is in total agony, not for the first time in this bout, as Bryan cinches in his most deadly submission! The palm of The Miz’s free hand traces across the mat, trying desperately to find the ropes, anything to get out of this hell, but Bryan’s got it in to absolute perfection! Around the arena, the seven thousand cry for The Miz to give in, to tap out… and it seems like he might, trying to crawl for the ropes to no avail – is Bryan about to become champion?





YES – MIZ TAPS OUT!!!

…BUT CHIODA’S STILL DOWN!!! Bryan lets go of the hold, standing in jubilation as cheers ring from the crowd – but then he realises that the bell never rang, and he looks across the ring, to the sight of Mike Chioda, still lying in a heap! The crowd is beside itself, booing as The Miz escapes, though as he holds his arm and sells the pain of the LeBell Lock, he doesn’t look that pleased with his stroke of luck. He turns his head, catching sight of Daniel Bryan, who’s beside Chioda, shaking him and trying to force him back up! Chioda’s pretty groggy, but his eyes flicker open momentarily, so Bryan turns, grabbing his opponent by the head… LOW BLOW!!! THE MIZ LOW BLOWS HIM!!! The cheating bastard rightfully gets an absolute rain of heat from this crowd, as Bryan falls to his knees, face scrunched up in pain! The Miz takes another quick look at Chioda, then hauls poor Bryan back to his feet, finding the Full Nelson… AND DRILLING BRYAN WITH THE SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE!!! The crowd is incensed, booing the absolute HELL out of the champion, but he doesn’t care in the slightest – “NOT THIS WAY!” roars Jim Ross – Miz turns Bryan over, on to his back, and Chioda’s figure begins to crawl across the canvas, seemingly aware of his surroundings now! The Miz makes the cover, hooking the leg, and here’s Chioda to make a pained, slow count…

ONE…

TWO…

THREE!!!

WINNER AND STILL WWE CHAMPION: THE MIZ VIA PINFALL AT 23:46

*I CAME TO PLAY*

Justin Roberts:

Here is your winner… and STILL the WWE Champion – THE MIIIIZ!

IMMENSE heat fills the Key Arena, and with good reason – once again, The Miz steals a title match back his way at the death, but this time, he’s really got away with one. The Awesome One is handed his title from ringside, and he immediately falls to his knees, equally from jubilation and from exhaustion. He uses one hand to bring the title into the air, almost identical to the day he first won the belt on Raw. Daniel Bryan is in the corner, body folded over, as if the pain is just too much to bear.

Jim Ross:

The Miz – Miz has done it again, folks – he’ll walk outta here as champion, but by gawd, don’t underestimate what Daniel Bryan delivered here tonight. He made The Miz tap – in a perfect world, we’d have a new champ. I… I can’t believe what I’m seein’!

Booker T:
Mah boi gave his all, but it don’t matter to da Miz – he don’t care how he wins, as long as he wins, and hell, he shouldn’t be champ. He STOLE it, dawg.

Josh Matthews:
I can’t help but feel sorry for Daniel Bryan too, guys… this is sick.

Matthews is referring to The Miz’s celebrations, which may be through heaps of fatigue, but there’s no stopping that smile… he knows exactly how he’s done his business, and he slaps the title, heading out of the ring and up the ramp. The fans are booing, heat surrounding the champion from all sides, but he just raises the title and makes the ‘boo-hoo’ face, enjoying every second of taunting this entire arena. It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t legal… but he’s still champion. That’s all that counts. On the outside floor, Daniel Bryan’s head hangs in shame.

Jim Ross:

Proud celebrations from The Miz here tonight at Over The Limit, but I… ya gotta spare a thought for Daniel Bryan – he could do no more, folks. He won this match. He won it.

Josh Matthews:
The Miz has made a career out of winning when it was least expected… he’s snatched another one out of the lion’s jaws again tonight, JR.

Jim Ross:
And what makes me feel worse than anythin’ else… ladies and gentlemen, this will not stop. The Miz will not cave, he will not change… and men like Daniel Bryan get thrown under the bus.

The Miz stands on the stage, soaking up the furious heat from the crowd, while Daniel Bryan can’t take any solace from the chants of nearby fans trying to rouse him. His eyes are on the floor, not on The Miz, and he’s shaking his head, crestfallen after tonight’s events; he can’t even face his tainted conqueror. That said, our cameras certainly can, as we stick now with The Miz, STILL WWE Champion by hook or by crook…

Jim Ross:

Well, I’m sorry to say that this is the end, and believe me, I don’t want it to end this way. I’ve been Jim Ross, with Josh Matthews and Booker T… you’ve been watchin’ Over The Limit, and all I’ll say is – who can stop The Miz?

To the boos of seven thousand strong, The Miz smirks and raises his WWE Title…

…and Over The Limit fades to black.


END OF SHOW

---


I wasn’t expecting to make as good pace as I did with this – I definitely went overboard but not as much as I did at Extreme Rules, and it didn’t take me five months to write either. That said, I think ER was slightly stronger, though I maintain that this is a filler pay-per-view and Capitol Punishment, Money in the Bank and (obviously) Summerslam will be better cards. I hope I can write more consistently from here on out, especially as things start to get a bit more creative after the Draft and I’ll look forward to every show a little more. Thanks.

And, like last year, a shout out to TKoW/KING., whose abusive PMs motivated me to finish writing this. Now write EoD old man.
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Yes, I'm aware of this being quite tardy. But I've got a crown. And you had Swagger powerbomb me. So bite me.


KING KIRBY'S FEEDBACK FOR MELVISKNIGHT'S OVER THE LIMIT



First of all – has your thread always been ‘In NEW Talent We Trust’ and not just ‘In Talent We Trust’? Why the living fuck have I just realized that? Where in the blue hell have I been?

Opening video did its job. Poetically showed every match on the card in some form. A bit by-the-numbers for my taste, but this is a ‘filler’ PPV (I loathe that phrase, btw) so it’ll do.

I really liked the booking behind this match. I’m not a fan of throwing guys into clusterfuck caliber matches like Fatal-4 Ways and this allows every participant to breathe and have his own little spotlight. The problem with starting with a match this big with this kind of implication is that the winner may spoil the main event later. And by ‘English fans’ that’re happy Regal is on PPV, I assume you mean ‘three-quarters of the BTB section’. On that note – am I the only non-European who consistently posts here? Must investigate further. Not the topic. Onto the opening match at hand.

I’m not surprised to see Ziggles as the man with the early advantage and showboating, highlighting his craft. I’m also not surprised to see Trips as a guy who would play ‘face in peril’ for too long, getting his blows in on the heels in good flow. The snarkiness exchanged between both members of the face corner is entertaining for the most part, seeing as how Trips is a huge smartass all the time anyway. It fit, but didn’t stick out if that makes sense. I also like how both Cena and Trips almost look like they’re shitting on the match, having their pokes and fun with it, it seems, but Regal is the one they’re doing it at the expense of and he’s just not having that. A passive-aggressive Regal is a good Regal. The faces hitting their ‘five moves of doom’ sequences early surprised me, seeing as how I imagined this one getting a good length, but nice to see you not jobbing Ziggles completely out. But big character moment that was absolutely beautiful was Cena forcing Trips to tag him in while in the Stretch. Wonderful display of cleverness, if desperation, from a guy who has become quite infamous for never really letting anything get to him. Regal being the guy to nail his finisher and a whole bunch of moves was clutch, seeing as how I mentioned before how he was the weakest guy coming into this match. Trips having to go all Stone Cold and drag Cena to the tag was also a wonderful character display moment, even if it led to what I felt was a bit of a rushed ending. Big win for DA GAME and this almost guarantees a Miz win later (not because of the face/heel dynamic, but because Bryan isn’t ready for DA GAME). All four men had great displays, even if Ziggles came out of it looking the weakest, but not a BURIED person in sight.

I can only imagine what wickedness Punk will have done by Punishment.

DAMN YOU AND YOUR REDICULOUSLY ACCURATE BOOKER DIALOGUE

Interesting that you would delay the introductions to a title match that late, but it adds a layer of ‘big time’ feel, even to just the second match on the card. Your continuation of playing up Rhodes as a genuine psycho radiates with the opening minutes. The eeriness of having him not look up until the bell is a fantastic, if terrifying, mental image. Dare I say what you’re doing with Rhodes is what made many people fall in love with Dean Ambrose – amusingly unstable, if I had to whip up a phrase. No surprise with the semi-no holds barred opening, but nice way to cut the flow of the madman and get Rey some offense off the enzeguiri. Jesus, Rey is taking some abuse here. It’s fun writing him getting the snot beat out of him, isn’t it? Rhodes just looks not just maniacal on the outside, but smart. Nice storytelling with Rey being forced into the headbutts, having to be just as unpredictable and aggressive as the Disfigured One abusing him. Great finishing sequence, although the way Rhodes sold the 619 started to bother me, but then I remembered – the guy’s got a mask on. Of course it’d hurt him less. The pretty straightforward finish leads me to believe that this is the end for these two unless you want to throw a ‘mask’ stipulation on their next contest. Either way, a very solid match that further disturbs the Undashing one.

OH SHIZ~!! DAT SIN CARA AZUL~!! Very interested in what you do with this now, seeing as how you’ve been building this fella up for a good while now. I don’t think Cara will take it from him immediately, but this could definitely be a step in a Mysterio/Cara relationship if no lucha gold. Tag division could use more ‘ooomph’ anyways.

DEM KAZOOS~!! Nice little segment for all involved here, although I will commend you not just on reuniting (if temporarily) E&C, but for the fact that with these guys, you’ve captured something that sometimes I think people lose in BTB and that’s the fun. You seem to have almost too much fun writing these two and it clearly shows. It’ll be a sad day when they have to go back to their day jobs and y’know, kill each other.

Following that package, I just remembered what this Sheamus/Black feud sort of reminded me of – Riley/Miz from the same year. The dynamics are a bit different because you’re playing up a guy who is essentially a cruiserweight on the level of one of Vince’s “BIG GUYS” products, but the idea is still there. Black having command in the early goings displayed a lot of his heart, that big suicide dive being a poignant example. I was starting to think that maybe he was getting too much offense, but Sheamus showing the definitive power game was good. Sheamus is practically killing the guy here, goodness. I would expect for Black to take a great deal of blows given the sixty pound weight difference between them and you did a great job of making an audience/reader follow him through that pain. Freakin’ love that backdrop-to-reverse STO move and a nice sequence to counter the Brouge Kick with it. Aaaaand I’m gonna stop you at the finish. I love Black/Rollins. It’s evident that you do to. But the Brouge kickout was a bit too much for me. Yes, it set up the finish with the finisher reversals, but unless you’re looking to perhaps downgrade Sheamus a bit, this may be more harm for Sheamus in the long run than telling the great story here for one night. A near superhuman comeback from Black adds onto that. But I’m gonna stop the badgering there. Why? Because not only am I okay with Tyler Black as champion, but because you’re making a new star. I’m sure you won’t catch as much flak for Black’s win as iMac seems to have for Caesaro’s booking thus far, but as sudden as they have turned up, I commend both of you for going and trying to make someone new and doing it in your own ways. All that said, Black is STILL a very vulnerable character, even after getting the title. I STILL think he got the title just a little bit too early and despite me appreciating your enthusiasm, I STILL think the final minutes were a bit much. But hey – I light kazoos on fire, use ring ropes as nooses, and have men repeatedly refer to themselves as ‘gods’ and ‘Latino Saviors’. What would I know about subtlety, limits, and toning things down? With a show that’s about to become entrenched in heels, this was big and needed. Perhaps it does pay to be a good guy.

Well this was just brutal. Despite being the lightest match on the card, this once was definitely the most morbid and possibly draining for a live crowd. Thorough domination in every sense of the word from Swagger, although you could’ve gone for even more brutality by having him hit a grapevining ankle lock for the finish, but either way, a disgustingly powerful match for Swagger. Just don’t turn this guy into 2002 Brock Lesnar plz

Antonio Banks: What the hell is this?? We all know who Mr. 1.9 is, Melvis! And here you are talkin’ about ‘shadows’ and whatnot. It’s ‘cause he BLACK, ain’t it? You can’t come up with a better modifier than ‘shadows’ for a brotha? And don’t even get me started on this ‘unleashed’ metaphor. You gotta keep yo black guys on leashes? HUH? He is ‘unleashed’ as opposed to ‘leashed’? You sayin’ all black people gotta be on CHAINS??
OOC: Btw, I still think its Sting

Fuck you for making Punk this evil. Jesus, this was a blast to read as twisted as that sounds. Great creativity to have Punk cut off the package and then the ensuing Big Show demolition. Do I need to go into any more Punk analysis? I’ll spare you, but this was nothing short of a phenomenal opening and for once, the introductions seemed very out of place. This probably could’ve started as it was, and unsurprisingly, these two tearing into one another is entirely to appropriate. And holy shit on this becoming essentially a handicapped match mugging at some points. What I find funny in reading this is how uninteresting Orton has become. Not to say he looks weak in any of these developments in the slightest – the guy just beat the living crap out of Sheffield – but aside from that lashing, he hasn’t really done a whole lot to measure up to Punk (or what I’m just anticipating Punk will become). This was all quelled later by Orton finally getting the upper hand on the Convoy, which was done very well I might add. Taking out the variables in big ways makes everything seem that much more dire and just how much Orton really has in him. The Frankensteir on the stretcher spot was kind of insane and hard to visualize completely for a moment, but I think I got it. Christ, Punk is cruel. I’ve noticed this maybe moreso in this show because it’s shown up everywhere, but you using audible dialogue in plenty of the matches has been good to this point. Orton and Punk said a lot in these matches and I kinda felt their equally disturbing actions should do most of the talking, even when one of these men is the Smartass of Smartasses in Punk. I didn’t get lost in what they were saying, but some of it did get a little distracting at times. Not really a big deal though. Punk countering the PUNT was HUGE, especially given what the punt would mean and what it has meant symbolically in the feud (mostly pre-‘Mania). A breathtaking display of ring psychology and storytelling from this one and damn near the level of brutality to match it to boot. P.S. Keep “This Fire Burns”, plz. So I can mark out inside my mind when he’s being the dark messiah I know he’ll be for the months following. I’m more than certain Orton has to leave RAW following that one, but one hellova match here. Bon.

DAT SUPERHERO D-BRYAN~!! KICKIN’ DAT BAG WIT’ AUTHORITY~!!

As brutal as the last two matches were, reading Booker talking about it and totally stealing my promotional tactic just makes me crack up

Again, you’re just teasing me with the individualities of The Corre as they simply walk to the ring. Aw, you missed out on an opportunity to have E&C come in through the crowd. Oh well. Gabriel and Christian ordering him in shows that this is a nostalgia thing, but he’s still Christian of today. He and Edge both, really. And YET again you tease me with the Corre, as even in their tag outs they’re individuals. Jackson is pretty obedient, Gabriel is testy, Slater is…Slater and Barrett is just so in control. Lots of Superkicks popping up tonight. Not complaining, just an observation. Wade’s ghost couldn’t come at a more opportune time and I was wondering when it was gonna show up again. DAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT when Wade actually goes up and tries to fight the specter. Double Spear is a little trying to imagine, but I follow. Would’ve marked for a legitimate Con-Chair-To, but oh well. This was well booked to follow the two disgusting displays we saw before them. E&C have their nostalgic win, Barrett is preoccupied with Undertaker or The Boogeyman – it’s a coin flip on that one – and the Tag Champs show some signs of fission, if not form each other from The Corre. Dominoes set to fall for all of these men in coming months, so all is looking well here

Quick thought: I wonder if Edge is the one who gets drafted back over to RAW. It would be a shame if that career-ending neck injury were to happen to him at the hands of a certain Second City Saint…

DAT NOBLE DEMON~!!

Don’t think Cena’s triggered enough for a heel turn, but he’s definitely frustrated. But the REAL question is – who was callin’ Trips? Was it TARVER…??

Pretty straightforward package and introductions to set up the WHC bout, but now it’s Kofi’s turn to test the threshold. Kofi plays the Mysterio card and eats plenty offense early on, just trying to prove he’s in the same league as Del Rio from an endurance perspective at the very least. The champ dominated a huge portion of the match, which perhaps has something to do with Kofi’s moveset than anything. I love the visual of Kofi spinning right onto anyone’s shoulders. Saw it for the first time in one of his matches with Barrett and it’s looked damn good ever since. Great to see Del Rio forced to do something like going all the way to the top rope to show just how much fight Kingston’s putting up. Kofi’s looking like a million bucks here with shit like that happening to him. This match had a lot of parallels with Sheamus/Black, right down to both faces being up against McMahon pet projects. It’s quite interesting upon analysis of both, especially concerning how both managed to sustained established finishers and found some kind of fight left, but alas, Mighty Casey can only come to bat and succeed once in the night. Kingston’s final pinfall attempt was very well done, almost had be believing he had it won after he had struggled for so long. It’s not the end of the road here for Kofi – he’s still got plenty to establish himself on. Don’t think a draft is in the cards, but I’ll be watching both he and Black closely because of their possible developments as top midcard stars.

E&C are too priceless. Their meter on the ‘that’s not surfer talk’ back-and-forth was perfect.

A very interesting way to go about video hyping this. I like that it was different, it just took a moment to wrap my head around what was going on to an extent. Of course, tying up all the loose ends the WWE refuses to do so is something of a trademark of this thread and tying everything back to those days in NXT is another example of that. These two were destined from day one to have an altercation this serious, so kudos on bringing that all to light. A ‘cheap brawl’ ensuing is as fitting an opening as ever, so good on that. Also good on pretty much every match starting in a different way. It also contrasted with a lot of other matches on the card in that the face was in focus and dominant for the opening minutes, only for the heel to weasel some offense in. Telling, as Miz is that kind of chickenshit heel. I caught him talking shit to Danielson’s face, too. Another good shout out to Danielson’s infamous words to John Cena on the Nexus debut. Nice little touch there. Freakin’ LOVED Danielson holding back and finally snapping on Miz after the slap. And yet ANOTHER damn good shout out as Miz countered the same way Jericho did on the day this feud ‘started’. You’re just tying everything together, aren’t you? A fantastic match-up unfolded here, and you captured both men’s in-ring characters perfectly. Miz was ridiculously outmatched when it came to ring prowess, but all those little heel things eventually added up. I’m not surprised to see a ref bump, making Danielson look all the more stronger and possibly setting up for a rematch, but he did accomplish something – he did make the Miz tap. Perhaps next time he’ll go for the SNAP…? Either way, terrific way to maintain the heat on Miz that may have been diverted to Riley for some of this feud. You’re turning Miz into not a legitimate champion, but one that I legitimately want to be destroyed. So kudos on that one and kudos on being able to pull a main event caliber match out of The Miz once again.

---

Overall, Extreme Rules meant more and was bigger, but I will say I probably enjoyed this one more. Maybe it’s just all the potshots you took at me during the whole thing. Or maybe it was because this was straight up had DAT STRETCHER. But to clarify, I still think ER was the better overall show, but I’m just saying I liked this one more. Maybe because it was lighter in tone (excluding the middle of the show). There’s some fantastic dominoes set up all over the place that I’m sure The Draft will further set up. Exciting times for this thread – Barrett is on the hunt, E&C could be at each other, Gabriel is obviously looking for something new, Miz and Del Rio are established champions, Tyler Black and Kofi Kingston have their thresholds to mess with, Cody Rhodes keeps up his disturbia, and of course that Punk fella should continue his disturbing rise. I’ve said it repeatedly going into this PPV that I saw it as a ‘threshold’ for the younger guys. I’m happy to say they all passed, even if Black left me grimacing a little and Kingston’s disappointed me just a hair. But in the end, another terrific show and effort that more than anything displayed how great a storyteller you are. That’s what this was. A vast storytelling threshold. The King approves. And you, Kirby? Well, he’s napping. So you get the King Seal of Approval from me and I’ll find you and the little round masked one Kirby’s seal when he wakes up. Until then – bon from all angles, my good friend
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:55 PM   #146 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

With Wolfy, iMac and hell, even Stoj getting back into the game recently, I think it’s time to get back to business. I believe this counts as Act Three…

Prediction Contest Results
KING. – 10/14
FandanGOAT – 11/14
HollywoodNightmare – 8/14
Jamjam22 – 8/14
C3K – 11/14
Wolf Beast – 11/14
cp954 – 12/14
Gaz. – 9/14
619IDH, King and Curator – 11/14. I hope those three marks keep you up at night.
ThatWeirdGuy – 9/14
CNew2 – 11/14
Stoj – 10/14
OML – 9/14
Heroes – 11/14
DroidHD – 7/14

So, for the second pay-per-view in a row, cp954 takes it. In the decade since posting Extreme Rules, they’ve done away with credits, probably for the best, so you’ll just have to make do with pride in beating all these famous names… and TKoW. I would give you some little creative decision but the Raw after Capitol Punishment is Viewer’s Choice so there’s going to be possible forum input for that anyway – I’ve always wanted to try it.

The Draft is done, with SmackDown on its way. Thank you to any predictions and feedback I received, I wouldn’t have wanted to tackle all that text. I’d promise not to go overboard next time, but the more I look at the CP card, the more I think I just might. I was going to do a full on breakdown of your feedback, 619IDH, then it occurred to me that I would just ramble on and no-one would care. That said, I’d just chime in to say the Sheamus/Black match is leading to an angle, so fear not, I would have had the same concerns about the slightly superhuman finish. Oh, and I’m insulted by the use of Antonio Banks regarding the 1.9 VP… Sting is white.

I’ll update the OP regarding titles and rosters after the draft show. Ten house points to C3K/Calum, the only guy to weigh in on the font situation; unfortunately, he favoured a return to the Dark Ages of the Tahomasexual and Stoj might lose his mind if I do. Usually I drop a little news post here, but tbh I’ve already said what I needed to say just before the pay-per-view, so I’m going to be brave and hit you all with the bare-bones preview for the night that everything changed…

---

Monday Night Raw
Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington | 23rd May 2011



The 2011 Three-Hour WWE Draft Show

Twenty-four hours on from the excitement of Over The Limit, Raw’s in Tacoma, just down the road from where it all happened last night in Seattle. Tonight’s show is a three-hour special, and sees the return of the annual WWE Draft as things look to get shaken up all over again. Anyone is eligible to be drafted, even The Miz, still WWE Champion and probably the man least wanting to be sent to SmackDown, after remaining on top of the WWE’s flagship show under dubious circumstances last night. With the Awesome One so very focused on staying the WWE’s ‘poster-child’, the Draft could yet spell disaster in his eyes if he sees himself drafted tonight, as many champions have in the past. Like past shows, the picks will be determined by matches between representatives from both shows, and The Miz will be one of those competitors as he looks to keep at least one draft pick out of SmackDown’s hands. After his narrow escape with title in hand after Daniel Bryan’s great effort, what are The Miz’s thoughts on yet another ‘successful’ title defence? The reign continues for the ‘most must-see WWE Champion of all time’, and we’ll hear from him to open the show tonight, no doubt to hear about his state of mind after nearly losing what he holds most dear to him.

Elsewhere tonight, we’ll have a 16-Man Battle Royal to determine two draft picks, giving one brand or another a real chance to shine and swing the Draft their way in our main event. Similarly, it’s grudge match time – last night at Over The Limit, SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long gave Edge his shot at his and Christian’s mortal enemy, Wade Barrett, and finally it seems the Rated R Superstar will get the retribution he deserves. It could be a great night in prospect for the Canadian team, two men who had a winning reunion on pay-per-view against all the odds last night to defeat The Corre. Wade Barrett has a job ahead of him, having tried so hard to avoid Edge in recent weeks and plotting against him at every turn… does that all change tonight?

Also on Raw this evening, it could the beginning of a beautiful friendship as Rey Mysterio teams with the man who saved him from being beaten to a pulp last night, Sin Cara, with a draft pick on the line in what should be a real spectacle. The two famous luchadors team together tonight, but whether it’ll be a winning effort remains to be seen. We’ll also see fallout from last night’s other title matches, with both new United States Champion Tyler Black and Kofi Kingston set to compete. It should be a hectic night, as Raw and SmackDown collide for a whole three hours, and who knows how the rosters will stand when the evening is done…


Announced For Raw

WWE Champion The Miz to open the show
16-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royal for two draft picks
The 2011 WWE Draft matches
Grudge Match; Wade Barrett versus Edge
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Last edited by Melvis : 06-26-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:33 AM   #147 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

I'm not going to lie and say that I read that LONG PPV, because I didn't. You damn sure know how to write and book though, so what better time for me to start following again then from the draft show?
Funnily enough, I probably won't still be around when the show actually gets posted, but at least I'm voicing my support now, right?
The show should be awesome, really looking forward to it. Don't disappoint Melvis, I'll be reading... if I'm still here... which I should be... perhaps...
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:37 PM   #148 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Monday Night Raw
Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington | 23rd May 2011




The 2011 Three-Hour WWE Draft Show


We begin with a highlights package from last night’s Over The Limit pay-per-view; that VP begins with John Cena and Triple H’s win over Dolph Ziggler and William Regal, when the Game hauls a dazed Cena to the corner and tags himself in. Hunter then steps back into the ring, drilling Regal with a Pedigree to have himself named Number One Contender… but later, he and Cena come face to face yet again. We see Tyler Black’s outstanding win against Sheamus to claim the United States Title, somehow overcoming immense pressure and pain to topple the Irishman with the Paroxysm and the Phoenix Splash.

Next is the Stretcher Match between Randy Orton and CM Punk, with both men attempting to kill the other to win; a collection of spots is shown, as Punk chokes Orton around the neck with bandages and the stretcher struts, various chairshots to Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan, Orton ducking a stretcher thrown at his head from Sheffield, and Punk crashing and burning on a top rope Diving Elbow Drop. Orton drills Punk into the outside concrete floor with an Apron-Hung DDT, then the sight of Skip Sheffield going through the Spanish announce desk with an RKO, even to Ryan taking an Olympic Slam through another table. Eventually though, it’s Punk who bloodies Orton more, hitting him with a second GTS to keep him down long enough to be placed on the stretcher and shoved over the line.

From Punk’s sick victory, we turn to the main event, as Daniel Bryan and The Miz brawl across the ring, forgoing the ‘wrestling’ element at first. When things get a bit more technical, we see a variety of Bryan’s submission holds, and The Miz’s sweeping combinations, hard strikes. At the death, both men are exhausted, but Bryan goes crazy, managing to channel some energy to get a series of kicks in… only for The Miz to retaliate and clothesline referee Mike Chioda by accident. This means that when Bryan hauls the champion down and applies the LeBell Lock, the champion’s tapping-out is totally missed by the official; Bryan goes to revive Chioda, but The Miz capitalises with a low blow. As the crowd boos wildly, The Miz scores with the Skull-Crushing Finale, and the roused Mike Chioda sluggishly makes a three count. Bryan can scarcely believe how close he came… but The Miz remains champion, lofting his belt high to the disgust of the Seattle crowd.

Sweeping away, we see the Raw opening video, taking us past various superstars before the feed swings into the Tacoma Dome, where fireworks explode all over the stage! The camera tilts to encompass all the pyro, and now the crowd roars their approval, as we pan across the thousands in attendance who hold up a plethora of signs.


Jim Ross:
Welcome to Monday Night Raw, ladies and gentlemen, this is a big one! We’re twenty-four hours out of Over The Limit last night, and now we’re headin’ for Capitol Punishment… we’ve got three hours of action tonight to set that journey into motion.

We head to ringside, where Jim Ross’ voice gets a face to it.

Jim Ross: Tonight, we’ve got the Draft show ahead of us, and with me, my partner Josh Matthews and from SmackDown, happy to welcome the five-time Dubya-See-Dubya Champion, Booker T.

Matthews and Booker both grin, looking game for tonight’s events.

Josh Matthews: Absolutely JR, anything can happen on Draft night, and as an announcer for both Raw and SmackDown, I’m going to try to stay impartial – if possible, and just enjoy what should be a blockbuster evening of surprises.

Booker T: Awww, ya know I love it here on Raw, but my heart gotta stay with my brothas on SmackDown, so I’m hopin’ we get some serious star power tah-night.

Jim Ross: And that’s not all, ‘cause we’ve still got some issues to deal with from last night’s pay-per-view in Seattle… guys, what were your moments of the night?

Josh Matthews: It’s hard to beat Tyler Black’s incredible win to become United States Champion, JR, but I’d also point out the hellacious bout we witnessed between Randy Orton and CM Punk. I think the Viper’s going to be in action tonight, but I can’t imagine it’s that smart to do it.

Booker T: Sure ain’t, but da biggest story – da Miz walkin’ out with dat WWE Title, dawg. I thought mah boi D-Bryan had it, but da Miz weaselled his way outta it again, he still da champ and his reign still goin’.

“AAAAWWWWWESSSOOOOMMMMEEE…”

*I CAME TO PLAY*


Boos ring around the Tacoma Dome here, as the WWE Champion, The Miz, arrives with his title over his shoulder, inevitably smirking his face off. In his ring gear, he twirls a mic in his free hand – before he speaks, though, he takes his time to soak up the heat, walking from one side of the stage to the other so he can loft his title into the air. The bell rings.

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall, and is for the first pick of the 2011 WWE Draft! Introducing first, representing Raw… from Cleveland, Ohio, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… he is the WWE CHAMPION – THE MIIIIIIIZ!!!

Jim Ross: And speak of the devil, there he is – Miz kept his title reign alive last night by defeating Daniel Bryan under dubious circumstances, gettin’ a low blow in on his challenger when the referee was incapacitated… should we expected anythin’ less?

Josh Matthews: Wouldn’t say so, JR. The Miz showed his athletic prowess at Extreme Rules, but at Over The Limit, he showed his will to win – unfortunately for Daniel Bryan, his will to win doesn’t exactly fall within the rules. He tapped out to the LeBell Lock, but the official never saw it.

The Miz’s music fades away as he stands and observes the arena. A few “You tapped out!” chants try to build, but they subside pretty quickly and the Awesome One raises the mic, the ‘W’ turned upside down to make an ‘M’ as always. He cuts through the boos…

The Miz:
I knew it.

More loud heat from the crowd.

The Miz:
From the very beginning, I knew I would win last night. Don’t think I didn’t hear you all, either – you thought Daniel Bryan would beat me, you were sure. How… wrong… you were.

He begins to walk down the ramp, another smirk flashing across his face as the crowd boos again.

The Miz:
So another challenger falls by the wayside – so what, that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. It surprises all of you, because you never thought anything of me. You people constantly wait for me to fall at the next hurdle, but then I do something extraordinary.

Approaching ringside, The Miz takes a moment to circle the ring, bringing all eyes on him.

The Miz:
I am a man who beat John Cena and Triple H in one ring, in the middle of a warzone. I am a winner of the main event of Wrestlemania. I am the longest reigning champion in the WWE… by a long, long way. Every man put in front of me, I have beaten. Those are the facts.

Again, the heat comes in, as The Miz circles around, back to the ring steps, and begins to walk up to the apron.

The Miz:
But frankly, all of that doesn’t make me feel nearly as good… as knowing I put Daniel Bryan in his place.

Big heat for that. The Miz slaps his title belt and swings inside the ropes.

The Miz:
Daniel… you’re not at my level, and that showed. It really showed.

More heat. The Miz paces left and right.

The Miz:
So regardless of how you people cried for your hero, allow me to stress how little it bothers me. I’ve always said, I’d rather you hate me for everything I am, than love me for something I’m not, and what I am… is this company’s poster child.

Now THAT gets a big negative reaction, this Washington crowd letting The Miz have it.

The Miz:
I’m gonna stay here, right at the top, because I deserve to. You people wanted Daniel Bryan on top, but I won’t cave, I won’t budge. He’s not entertaining – you’re witnessing MY definition of entertainment, my idea of MIZ-STORY.

Boos for The Miz’s horrible tilting of everything his way.

The Miz:
Now… now we look forward. Daniel Bryan is behind me, and Capitol Punishment is ahead. Four weeks’ time, in Washington D.C., I don’t know if Triple H has the guts to face me, or if he’s even paying attention to me – but I’ve beaten him once, and I’ll beat him again. I don’t care if it’s him, Bryan, Cena, the freakin’ Brooklyn Brawler – bring on Washington. I will defy your expectations yet again.

He adjusts the title on his shoulder; the camera zooms in briefly on ‘THE MIZ’ engraved into the gold.

The Miz:
As for tonight… Lawler wanted everyone to wear big red Raw t-shirts. What the world’s least successful Hall of Famer doesn’t understand… is that I don’t go well with other people’s labels.

He gestures to the ‘BE MIZ’ slogan across his t-shirt.

The Miz:
I’m not wearing a Raw shirt, because I don’t have to – I AM Raw.

Heat for that arrogant comment.

The Miz:
So let tonight be just the next step. I win here, and that’s just one less pick SmackDown has to try and draft me… where my talents were never appreciated in the past.

A dirty scowl at the stage, where his opponent will come from.

The Miz:
Over The Limit was just another notch in the belt – because Monday Night Miz is just gonna get bigger. I am STILL the most must-see… WWE Champion… of all… TIME.

The Miz smirks into the hard camera momentarily, then turns to the crowd.

The Miz:
Because I’M THE MIZ… AND I’M – AAAAAWWWWWESSSOOOOMMME!

The heat rains down once again, as The Miz hands the mic and his title to ringside. He takes off his shirt, throwing that out as well, and paces the ring, limbering up after enduring twenty-plus minutes of difficult action last night at Over The Limit. He seems largely okay, having had twenty-four hours to recover, as all eyes head back to the stage…


“…GO!”

*JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES*


THE CROWD GOES WILD! The Miz tilts his head back, frowning, as the stage turns gold, and Christian walks out – with Edge in tow as well! The two Canadians get a HUGE ovation from the crowd, many of whom watched live as they won last night, and they’re wearing the shades again! Christian whips his off momentarily to search the crowd for peeps, while Edge tries to pump up the nearby fans – what an opening contest we’re in for!

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent, accompanied by Edge… representing SmackDown, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada… weighing in at two hundred and twelve pounds… CHRISTIAN!

Jim Ross: This should be a good one, folks, with Christian takin’ on the WWE Champion for a draft pick, but… well, ya heard from The Miz there, he’s not exactly humble about what happened last night.

Josh Matthews: I’m not sure The Miz understands the concept of humility, JR, but one thing he does understand is how talented Christian is, and even the Draft isn’t his number one concern, he won’t want to lose this match after all that talk.

Booker T: Makes sense, dawg, and especially after what went down last night – Edge and Christian came out wit da big win against da Corre, dey feelin’ da momentum too, and tah-night, we know dat Edge is finally getting’ his hands on dat connivin’ mutha Wade Barrett. I can’t wait to see it, man.

Edge and Christian exchange a glance, then begin to walk down the ramp; Christian leads the way slightly, now content to turn his eyes to the ring, knowing that a win over the WWE Champion could speak volumes. He heads up the steps, swinging between the ropes and removing his ‘Flip The Switch’ tee (apparently no-one was game for the coloured shirts tonight) before he gears up for a fight. Edge takes up a position at ringside, hands against the apron, giving Christian a bit of last-minute encouragement in a low tone, and referee Chad Patton checks both men before calling for the bell.

Match One – Singles Contest – Winner Receives A Draft Pick
WWE Champion The Miz
vs Christian

These two guys get a bit of time to put on a strong opening bout, and as we join the match after eight minutes or so, The Miz is in control with a chin lock. Edge is a little concerned, but he slaps his hands against the apron and tells Christian to soldier on; in the ring, the Livewire does just that, moving about on the deck and getting enough space to throw a couple of elbows. He manages to force them both to their feet, then spins out and hits the ropes – to knock The Miz down with a Running Forearm Smash! The Miz struggles back up as Christian yells out, feeling the adrenaline rush, and when the champion’s at a vertical base, Christian sends him to the corner… no, The Miz reverses it and sends him instead. Miz follows in – but Christian gets the Back Heel Kick, and jumps to the second rope, twisting around and leaping back over The Miz… AND HAULS HIM DOWN WITH THE SUNSET FLIP! Shoulders to the mat, the crowd pops… one… two – but no! The Miz kicks out, rolling back to his feet in the process, as Christian also finds his feet. The Canadian frowns, thinking he’d won it there, but The Miz is still going, as he proves by kicking Christian in the stomach. He gets a few clubbing left-handed shots in and lines up the front facelock, maybe for one of his impactful DDTs, but Christian shoves him away – he goes for the Flapjack, but The Miz jams it and lands on his feet, on the other side. The WWE Champion grabs Christian by the head, nailing the Inverted Facelock Backbreaker, spinning around – AND NAILING THE NECKBREAKER TO COMPLETE THE COMBINATION! Down goes Captain Charisma, so The Miz can hook a leg… one… two… but Christian kicks out!

Good pop from the crowd there – the SmackDown man keeps this match alive, but he’s pained, and he hauls himself up again with considerable effort. Of course, both men were competing last night, so they’re by no means at one hundred percent, and the slow strikes they exchange are evidence of that. Christian gets the upper hand, the cheers building in the arena as he forces The Miz back to the ropes with rapid punches… then whips him to the other side – BUT CATCHES A KNEE LIFT FROM THE CHAMPION! Christian reels sideways, blinking after he got his clock cleaned, falling all the way back to the corner… so Miz charges in, for the SWINGING CORNER CLOTHESLINE… GOT IT! The crowd groans as Christian falls to the canvas, while The Miz wears a momentary smirk before he detaches himself from the ropes. Christian stays down this time, definitely feeling the effects of The Miz’s offence, so the champion falls beside him and hooks a leg… one… two… but Christian kicks out there and then! The Miz scowls, getting up to a knee and shoving himself to a vertical base, while Christian grabs the ropes and pulls himself up too – but here comes The Miz, blasting the Livewire in the gut with a series of left hands. He adds in a couple of those big knee shots, then forces Christian into the corner and charges in – no! Christian slips between the ropes; PENDULUM KICK TO THE FACE! Back stumbles The Miz, so Christian resets, getting back into the ring and stepping up to the second rope – AND HE SCORES WITH THE FLASHPOINT! The incredible Diving European Uppercut takes The Miz down, and Edge clenches a fist on the outside as the crowd cheers… and finally, Christian begins to crawl back over the champion, hooking a leg as well… one… two… thr-NO! The Miz won’t stay down!

The Miz struggles to his feet, amongst some booing from the crowd. Christian kneels beside the ropes, pressed against them, exchanging a few tired words with Edge, then getting up – Miz misses on the left hand, so Christian peppers him with a couple of good shots, then hooks Miz’s arms for the KILLSWITCH… NO! The Miz spins right back out, applying the Full Nelson for the SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE – BUT NOW CHRISTIAN SPINS AWAY, hitting the ropes… AND DRILLS THE MIZ WITH THE SPEAR! The crowd pops BIG, and Edge looks impressed, but Christian doesn’t cover, instead walking around the ring and pumping up the crowd with the pincer motion! At ringside, Edge really seems to like what he just saw, wearing a wide grin as the fans continue to chant “SPEAR! SPEAR!” in favour of Christian doing it again. That said, the groggy figure of The Miz is staggering about on the canvas, looking to find his feet as Christian prepares to hit the Killswitch… but the crowd is booing…

…BECAUSE WADE BARRETT AND EZEKIEL JACKSON ARE WALKING DOWN THE RAMP! Christian immediately turns, scowling at the sight of both men, while Edge also sparks into motion, heading round ringside to stand at the bottom of the ramp! Things are about to heat up, as Barrett folds his arms, while Big Zeke actually grins, looking pretty pumped to maybe get his hands dirty here. Edge raises his hands, telling Barrett to “Bring it on,” while Christian does something very similar, standing on the second rope to back up his friend, pointing up at The Corre duo. Barrett holds up a hand, telling Jackson not to move an inch, staring with a cold expression at Edge all the while… but suddenly, THE MIZ is up, grabbing Christian from behind – SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE!!! The crowd comes alive with boos, as Edge turns in shock, and The Miz hooks both legs… one… two… THREE!!! The Miz steals it again!

Result: WWE Champion The Miz bts. Christian via pinfall at 12:10

*I CAME TO PLAY*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner, and obtaining a draft pick for Raw… the WWE Champion, THE MIZ!

Beside Barrett, Big Zeke’s smile widens, but as The Miz rolls from the ring, no-one’s grin is any bigger than his – he WRENCHES his title out of the hands of the ringside staff member who was going to bring it to him, and lofts it into the air! Edge rolls back into the ring, kneeling beside Christian and checking on him, shooting furious looks at The Corre to make sure the two men don’t move off that ramp. They don’t – Barrett only wants to get inside Edge’s head, not hurt him physically yet. The Miz, title over his shoulder now, heads up the ramp, not even looking at Barrett or Jackson, while the camera cuts between the staredown of Edge and Barrett, their conflicting expressions; fury and an eerie stoicism.

Jim Ross:
Wade Barrett and Big Zeke have made their mark, gentlemen, and Edge’s face says it all… Christian got the short end of the stick right there.

Josh Matthews: Once again, The Miz walking out with a win on Raw, JR, no matter how he got it, and that can only pad his ego. Can’t help but think this makes Edge and Wade Barrett’s match later tonight that little bit more heated too – The Corre not happy with what happened last night.

Booker T: And now Raw gets da first pick of da Draft! What if Wade just got himself drafted to Raw, dawg? He puttin’ his own business first, he tryin’ to send a message to Edge.

Jim Ross: Message sent for sure then, Booker, and it looks like we’re about to find out who’s comin’ to Monday nights…

Indeed, as Barrett and Jackson stare at the Canadians, the TitanTron comes alive behind them. The screen flashes up the WWE Draft logo, then begins flashing through various superstars… until finally, it settles on…







***

PICK #1 | DRAFTED TO RAW

EDGE

***


NO! Wade Barrett looks like his Christmas has come early, smirking for the first time in God knows when… but the crowd is booing, as Edge turns to a stunned Christian – Wade Barrett has split up the famous tag team! The fans in attendance can’t believe it, and neither can the Canadians… this is one of the biggest negative reactions The Corre has ever gotten. Edge is shaking his head, consumed by rage, but Wade Barrett folds his arms… the mastermind has done it again.

Jim Ross:
Edge – Edge is comin’ to Monday Night Raw, but… but I can’t lie, that’s not what I wanted at all, it’s not what Edge wanted at all…

Josh Matthews: Edge, a multiple-time World Champion, normally a huge coup for Raw, but I can’t help but feel bad too, JR – he and Christian were in the middle of a tag team resurgence on SmackDown, and to see it end this way… Wade Barrett has got his wish, he might just be rid of the Rated R Superstar.

Booker T: Hell, dis ain’t ovah – anybody can get drafted tah-night, dat means dat boi Wade could still be comin’ to Raw, or Christian to keep da team alive! It’s just pick numbah one – it’s a BIG one, sure, but dis is not the end, dere’s more to come.

Josh Matthews: Even so, this is… how far is Wade Barrett willing to go to get inside a man’s head? To have control over everything?

In the ring, Edge turns to Christian and looks lost. Captain Charisma doesn’t know what to say either, still tired from his match just now, still panting and with his hair matted from sweat. He shakes his head, disbelieving that this has actually happened, but we get another shot of Barrett on the ramp, who slowly begins to head back up towards the stage, still smirking all the way. Big Zeke looks just as pleased, knowing they’ve rid themselves of one of their biggest SmackDown obstacles… but in the ring, Edge and Christian embrace to a big ovation from the crowd – they’re not happy to see it end this way, but their disapproval is aimed towards Barrett, not the famous Canadian team.

As Christian raises the arm of his infuriated partner and friend, the crowd continues to give both men their best… and Raw goes to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

We return backstage… to see Scott Stanford standing with a mic.

Scott Stanford:
Ladies and gentlemen, Scott Stanford here… with the Game, Triple H.

HUGE pop from the crowd as the camera pans to see TRIPLE H indeed. The Game’s hair hangs down against his face, the menacing competitor we’ve come to know in every sense. He stares into the distance, the slightest of frowns on his face as he waits for a question.

Scott Stanford:
Hunter, last night at Over The Limit, you were the man of the hour in Tag Team Attraction, getting the pin to establish yourself as the number one contender to the WWE Title… you just saw The Miz victorious moments ago as well. What are your…

Before Scott can even finish his question, he’s immediately crowded by the arrival of JOHN CENA, who gets a hefty pop of his own, but his face is all business tonight. Triple H looks up a little, making sure to stare right into Cena’s eyes, showing no signs of backing down. Stanford looks a little intimidated, keeping the mic in between the two of them to pick up anything they say.

John Cena:
I don’t have to say it.

A long, long awkward silence. Triple H stares right back into his eyes.

John Cena:
Maybe I do.

Another long silence; Stanford looks awkward.

John Cena:
Last night… is that really how you wanna decide the better man?

Again, Triple H doesn’t speak, but this time it’s a shorter pause.

Triple H:
Honestly, John… not in my book.

The corner of Cena’s mouth curves upward.

John Cena:
Hunter, you wanna settle this, all you have to –

The Game raises a hand.

Triple H:
Enough. Name a time… name a place.

BIG pop in the arena, and Cena nods. He takes a moment to think, but it’s not long. He knows what he wants.

John Cena:
Next week. No matter where we stand, no matter the show… you and I do what we do best. And with that title shot on the line.

For the first time… Triple H smirks.

Triple H:
Y’know… it’s about time you understood that I… am better. That the title is mine.

Mixed reaction.

Triple H:
So you got it.

But that gets a massive cheer from the fans! Cena nods his head, as Stanford continues to stand awkwardly in the background, just there to hold the mic. Triple H goes to leave…

John Cena:
But we need a winner.

The Game stops – and turns.

John Cena:
We do this, we do it right.

Again, a pause.

Triple H:
Cena… just think about what you’re askin’.

John Cena: I have thought about it. Every day for the past month.

Hunter nods, as if he feels the same.

Triple H:
No… Holds… Barred.

The crowd gives another huge cheer, and Cena stands momentarily still, before he nods his head. Triple H turns and leaves Cena to come to terms with the enormity of what just happened.

Back to ringside, where the announcers are stunned.


Jim Ross:
Now that’s a confrontation… are we really gonna see Cena versus Triple H under No Holds Barred next week?

Josh Matthews: We’ve heard a lot from Raw General Manager Jerry Lawler about how he wanted to keep these men apart, JR, but after the tension we saw last night in Tag Team Attraction… he might not be able to do that anymore.

Booker T: Hey, if dey wanna get it on, can ya really stop ‘em?

Josh Matthews: Maybe not, Booker, but one’s thing for sure – no matter which show John Cena and Triple H find themselves on, they look set to go head-to-head to decide who’s more deserving of that WWE Title shot… could be an explosive match.

Jim Ross: If it really goes ahead, Josh. Nothing’s official.

The bell rings.

“OHHH, RADIOOOO, TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU KNOW…”

*RADIO*


Some light heat, though nothing spectacular, greets the arrival of Zack Ryder and Primo, more commonly known as Down With Zack and Primo; the pair do a quick fist bump, then head down the ramp, Ryder telling various members of the crowd to “Call me!” Primo heads for the ring, slingshotting over the top rope into the ring, but Ryder takes a little more time to enjoy the exposure, spiking up his hair and flashing that classic grin from behind his shades.

Justin Roberts:
The following tag team contest is set for one fall, and it is for the second pick of the 2011 WWE Draft! Introducing first, representing Raw… at a combined weight of four hundred and twenty-nine pounds… the team of Zack Ryder and Primo… D – Z – P!

Jim Ross: Regardless of what’s going on between Cena and the Game, that match could have a spanner thrown in the works right now, ‘cause we still have the rest of the Draft ahead of us… hell, one of ‘em could get drafted to SmackDown right now.

Josh Matthews: I’m not so sure JR, you heard them there – Cena and Triple H have a history, and they have an agenda. They wanna settle these on-going issues, and I think this goes above and beyond the Draft. That said, Zack Ryder and Primo have a chance to pick up a second draft pick in a row for Raw tonight, so let’s see what happens.

Booker T: Gotta hope dat SmackDown get on da board right here, but DZP are a talented couple of guys, dey know what they’re doin’… one of Raw’s best tag teams, always like watching ‘em go to work.

As Primo heads to the buckles, Ryder finally gets into the ring, doing the same as his partner by going up top and raising the Long Island taunt, that grin unmovable from his face. Stepping down at the same time as Primo, the two men exchange a high five and head to the edge of the ring. Their music subsides, but it doesn’t stop Ryder trying to lead the crowd in a group fist pump… unsuccessfully, of course.

“BOOYAKA, BOOYAKA…”

*619*


The crowd gives a big, healthy cheer, as the lights flash into various rainbow shades… and here comes Rey Mysterio, bounding all over the stage – and behind him, pacing slowly out to remove his sleeveless longcoat, it’s Sin Cara! Both men get a tremendous ovation, as the WWE’s very best luchadors gear up for their first match together, and in the ring, Ryder and Primo don’t look too keen about being their first opponents.

Justin Roberts:
And their opponents, representing SmackDown… at a combined weight of three hundred and fifty-five pounds… the team of Rey Mysterio, and SIIIIN – CARA!

Jim Ross: Rey Mysterio may have been unsuccessful last night in capturin’ Cody Rhodes’ Intercontinental Title, but when Rhodes went to attack him after the match, Mysterio found a new ally in the savin’ grace of Sin Cara… tonight, they’ll team together, and this is a spectacle I can’t wait to see, guys.

Booker T: Dese are two guys wit pretty similar styles, dey know who dey teamin’ with… dis ain’t no rag-tag duo, man, dese two are on da same page, and we could be in for a SHOW.

Josh Matthews: Tremendous bravery on Sin Cara’s part to intervene at last night’s pay-per-view, stopping the demented Cody Rhodes from giving Rey Mysterio a serious injury; if they can co-operate tonight, and as you say Booker, they have all the right tools to do it, not only could we have a new tag team on the block, SmackDown would receive its first draft pick of the evening.

Mysterio rushes to either sides of the stage to let off his bursts of pyro, then exchanges a glance with Cara… so they can sprint down the ramp! Sin Cara gets a huge trajectory off his springboard, leaping over the top rope and in as the fireworks explode from the ring posts, while Rey slides into the ring in the normal way. Rey heads straight for a turnbuckle, as does the Mexican Idol to his right; Mysterio blesses the crowd, while Sin Cara raises both arms, and once they’ve both toured the ring a little, they must acknowledge the brash taunts of Zack Ryder, who has his arms raised as if to suggest to Primo that this new team is nothing special. The music dies down, giving way to a bunch of “619!” chants, but DZP don’t seem to mind, as Ryder opts to start… against Sin Cara, as Mysterio quickly slips outside to touch heads with a kid wearing a replica mask. Once he’s done, Rey’s up to the apron to support his new partner, while John Cone nods and gets us underway.

Match Two – Tag Team Contest – Winners Receive A Draft Pick
Down With Zack and Primo
vs Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara

Despite some impressive moves in the early going from the luchadors, DZP manage to get Rey Mysterio isolated, and as we join the action, it’s Ryder going to work with a bunch of stomps. He pulls Rey up, throwing him into the corner and nailing a series of right hands to force the Ultimate Underdog to a seated position. Cone steps in with a count to stop Ryder, but Long Island Iced-Z steps away, asking “The hell’s up, bro?” before he lines up the LI crosshairs… and SMASHES Mysterio with the Broski Boot! The crowd groans as Zack’s boot drives across the side of Rey’s face, and now he drags the luchador back to the centre of the ring to make the cover… one… two… but that’s all it’s worth! Rey tries to get up, but Ryder applies a rough front facelock and tugs him to the corner to allow Primo to tag in. The Puerto Rican slingshots in, kicking Mysterio in the stomach and whipping him across the ring – Dropkick! Rey goes down again, so Primo heads to the ropes and soars on the MOONSAULT – NO GOOD! Primo bounces off the mat, careering back to his feet from the momentum, but Rey’s heading for the ropes – AND NOW HE TAKES PRIMO DOWN WITH THE WHEELBARROW BULLDOG! Both men go down, as the crowd cheers, this match turning on its head here. Mysterio’s crawling towards Sin Cara; the Mexican Idol is stretching to make the save for his partner, while Zack Ryder looks desperate on the apron, watching their golden opportunity slip away… Primo gets the tag to Zack… BUT REY TAGS IN SIN CARA, HERE WE GO FOLKS!

Sin Cara leaps up to the top rope, quick as a flash, and Ryder comes rushing in – RIGHT INTO A MISSILE DROPKICK! A pop goes up in the arena as Sin Cara bursts back to his feet, while a stunned Ryder staggers and wobbles up too… but he’s immediately met by the Mexican Idol again, so he throws a clothesline – Sin Cara inevitably ducks that, heading to the ropes for the handstand… AND THE HANDSPRING BACK ELBOW! A big cheer goes up as Ryder, conversely, goes down, and now Sin Cara’s circling, pumping up the crowd with a raised arm! Zack puts his hands against the turnbuckles and wavers to his feet… so Sin Cara goes sprinting in – but he charges into the buckles! A groan is the soundtrack to Sin Cara’s toppling fall to the canvas, but the high-flyer gets up – right into the path of Ryder, who grabs him by the head… AND DRILLS HIM WITH A FACEBUSTER! Sin Cara gets planted, and he rolls sideways, his body language selling the pain that his face can’t, while Ryder stands, telling Primo that “I’ve got this for real now, broski…” as he heads to the corner, and sets up the Long Island taunt yet again. Rey is back to the apron, his arms slung over the top rope as he recovers, while Sin Cara stands right into the firing line… ZACK GOES FOR THE ROUGH RYDER – NOOO! The Mexican Idol ducks under the leg, and now bounds with pace off the ropes to spin up into the Headscissors, all around the WORLD – AND HE BRINGS RYDER DOWN WITH LA MISTICA!!! He’s got the killer Armbar locked in, and as Ryder yells in pain, the crowd cheers for the impressive style of Sin Cara… Primo darts in break it up, but Rey Mysterio sends him sprawling with a Dropkick before he can! Ryder’s left all alone, centre of the ring with no help… so finally, HE TAPS TO THE ARMBAR!

Result: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara bt. Down With Zack and Primo via submission at 6:21

*ANCIENT SPIRIT*


Justin Roberts:
Here are your winners by the result of a submission, and obtaining a draft pick for SmackDown… the team of Rey Mysterio, and SIN – CARA!

Sin Cara lets go of the submission, and he immediately hits the turnbuckle to the cheers of all the fans here in Tacoma! As always, he throws his arms into the air, clearly enjoying his victory, but this time, he has to remember that it wasn’t a solo effort, so he steps down and sees Rey Mysterio – the Ultimate Underdog is applauding, a small smile on his face out of admiration. Sin Cara points to him, and the two men shake hands, with Mysterio being the one to raise Sin Cara’s hand this time around. The crowd give them a great ovation, as DZP look bemused on the outside.

Jim Ross:
Very impressive from those two men, an exciting performance that we just saw, and that’ll get ‘em a draft pick for SmackDown.

Josh Matthews: Absolutely JR, Rey and Sin Cara are exactly what the fans like to see, and if this is more than a one-match deal… let’s just say I wouldn’t be complaining, and neither would anyone here tonight!

The luchadors continue to celebrate, heading out of the ring and slapping the hands of the fans along the ramp. Eventually, they walk behind the electronic curtain after a quick high five, as the music fades away… and the crowd now look to the TitanTron, lighting up with various superstars to see who’ll be heading to SmackDown…







***

PICK #2 | DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN

DANIEL BRYAN

***

*RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*


A great pop goes up in the crowd! There’s a pause for a few moments, before Daniel Bryan walks out, wearing a small smile and raising an arm to acknowledge the crowd support. Now a SmackDown superstar, Bryan looks undeterred from his narrow loss in last night’s main event, holding that arm high and nodding. For now, it seems, his quest for The Miz’s title is over.

Jim Ross:
Well, things just get better for The Miz, and dare I say for SmackDown – Daniel Bryan headin’ to Friday nights, a whole new landscape in which he can ply his trade.

Josh Matthews: The controversial ending to his WWE Title Match last night will have stung him, JR, but make no mistake; Daniel Bryan lives for good competition, and he’ll find that on SmackDown. I’m glad for him, I think he’s a great addition.

Booker T: Mah boi D-Bryan on his way! I get to see ‘im every Friday night, dis is great! Toppin’ the fave five right now, and it ain’t gonna be long until dat supa-hero D-Bryan is back in da hunt for titles, I just know it, dawg. BIG pick right dere.

As Bryan waves to the crowd, we fade away…

…to a backstage office, where SmackDown General Manager, Theodore Long, is watching a TV with a small smile. He’s happy with his coup, certainly a great competitor to have on his show, and now he turns… to face EDGE, who gets a huge cheer from the crowd! Note the red text; of course, Edge is now a Raw superstar once again, but he doesn’t look pleased in the slightest, fuming as he stares at Teddy. What a difference twenty-four hours makes.


Edge:
Wanna tell me what happened out there?

Teddy holds up his hands.

Theodore Long:
Believe me, playa, this ain’t what I was expectin’ either.

He pauses as Edge looks to the side; this one hurt.

Theodore Long:
And I know you’re angry, Edge. I’m sorry, really I am. But you’ve been around a long time, ya know that the Draft ain’t up for debate.

Edge shakes his head, trying to come to terms with this. Some heat from the crowd as this injustice seems set to stick.

Theodore Long:
But that said – I’ve spoken to Jerry Lawler, and you’re still gonna get your one-on-one match against Wade Barrett.

A pop goes up as Edge nods. Maybe he expected that to still be a lock.

Theodore Long:
Except now… it’s gonna be for a couple of draft picks too.

A small mixed reaction there for Long and Lawler’s dealings. Edge frowns.

Edge:
You know what? Good. I get my chance to make him pay, Teddy. But just know… this is about more… than just a draft pick… to me.

Teddy nods.


Theodore Long:
I understand, playa.

He holds out a hand.

Theodore Long:
It’s been a pleasure to work with ya.

That’s sincere, and Edge sees that. Softening up, the Rated R Superstar shakes Teddy’s hand, getting a decent pop from the crowd for it, and leaves the office. Raw heads to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

When we return, the bell rings again…

*OVERDRIVE*


In the ring, we have Chris Masters, who’s flexing his muscles all over the place. His jobber entrance gets him little to no reaction, not that he would have got much without it. Is it bad that I sometimes forget this guy even exists?

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall… and it is for the third pick of the 2011 Draft! In the ring, representing SmackDown… from Los Angeles, California, weighing in at two hundred and sixty-five pounds… the Masterpiece, Chris – Masters!

Jim Ross: Welcome back, folks. Chris Masters in the ring here, lookin’ to pick up the third pick of the Draft, but crucially, we heard before the break that another pick would be decided in the grudge match between Edge and the man responsible for sending him to Raw earlier, Wade Barrett.

Booker T: ‘Bout time dat connivin’ boi Wade Barrett got his, JR, and draft pick or not – Edge is gonna give ‘im a whuppin’, ya dig?

As Masters finishes up his posing, his music dies away.

“I AM PERFECTIIIIIIOOOOOOOON!”

*PERFECTION*


It’s strong heat for the arrival of Dolph Ziggler, who runs his hands through his hair and flicks the water sideways. He waits momentarily for Vickie Guerrero to arrive beside, applauding as loudly as she can, before he storms down the ramp – he’s not happy tonight, and he wants everyone to know about it. In the ring, Masters is pacing, flexing out his arms again, this time in preparation rather than displaying, knowing he has a good test ahead of him.

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

Jim Ross: Ya don’t have to like him, but let me tell ya, when you have guys with Dolph Ziggler’s talent on Raw, you start to feel better about the show you’re working on.

Booker T: Sure, da boi has talent, but he also got a mouth da size of Texas, you know what I’m sayin’ JR? Ziggler love to talk ‘bout himself, he love to say how perfect he is… don’t look so perfect after what happened last night.

Josh Matthews: Indeed, Dolph Ziggler was unsuccessful in winning himself a WWE Title shot during Tag Team Attraction, which means he’s still looking for his chance to really prove himself on the top level, which is where he feels he belongs.

Ziggler heads up to the apron on the hard camera side; he swings in halfway, then back out to stare into the camera as always – if possible, his stare is all the more piercing tonight. He steps inside, shouting something to Vickie, then takes a moment to head up top and point to himself. By the time he’s stepped down, Vickie has done what he asked… which was to get him a mic. This gets the crowd booing, as his music subsides and he brings the mic up.

Dolph Ziggler:
I’m gonna clear something… right up.

Masters looks confused.

Dolph Ziggler:
I know what the world is thinking… but I want to set the record straight. What happened last night – well, some of ya might think that losin’ that match makes me worse than someone like John Cena or Triple H.

Small pop there, the crowd definitely thinking that.

Dolph Ziggler:
Well shut those thoughts down, people. I did not get pinned, I was not made to submit – if I wasn’t for William Regal I’d be standin’ here right now as the WWE Champion-elect.

He paces across the ring, throwing dirty looks at Masters.

Dolph Ziggler:
Lemme tell ya, it’s not gonna be long before I’m on top of the entire WWE, no matter who tries to step in my way, no matter who tries to hold me down… it’s happening, people.

Boos as Ziggler points at the Masterpiece.

Dolph Ziggler:
And to be put up against a guy like you… there is nothin’ about you that merits bein’ in the same ring as me, Masters.

Masters steps forward, but referee Charles Robinson stops him going after Ziggler.

Dolph Ziggler:
I have a point to prove, which puts you right in the firin’ line… and I’m gonna pick you apart, just to prove to all the nay-sayers, that I’m not just as good as I say I am – I’M BETTER.

Masters says “Big talk”, but Ziggler is dead serious.

Dolph Ziggler:
I am still on track to get everythin’ I deserve… because I am PERFECTION, and perfection is coming for a World Title. So follow – THIS.

He throws the mic out of the ring, and tells Robinson to ring the bell. The referee checks with Masters – needless to say the Masterpiece is ready to go – then Ziggler, as the Perfection Artiste steps forward to face the bigger man… and we’re underway.

Match Three – Singles Contest – Winner Receives A Draft Pick
Chris Masters vs Dolph Ziggler


Masters gets a few shots in here and there, but Ziggler’s on a mission – the Show-Off has Masters grounded as we join things, leaping to deliver yet another big Elbow Drop. With Masters in pain, Ziggler spies his chance to grip him into a side headlock, almost entirely so he can then pull off the inevitable headstand, getting a few whistles of awe from the crowd. Finally, he brings himself out of it, doing it almost entirely to prove that he can, but Chris Masters is a strong competitor and he forces both men up… he actually scoops Ziggler on to his shoulders, and then into the Military Press! The crowd cheers as Ziggler flails about, but he gets free, landing behind Masters… the Dropkick to the back sends Masters into the corner, where he collides with the buckles but stays up – so here goes Ziggler… LEAPING INTO THE STINGER SPLASH! A groan goes up as Ziggler dazes Masters without a doubt, then heads to the ropes… BUT MASTERS SURPRISES HIM WITH A HUGE CLOTHESLINE! Ziggler’s head bounces off the canvas, but the crowd enjoyed it, and now Masters covers… one… two – but Ziggler kicks out! Masters shrugs and pulls Ziggler up again… but the Show-Off shoves him away – CRACK! SUPERKICK TO MASTERS’ JAW! This time it’s the Masterpiece who goes down in a heap, and Ziggler rubs his face furiously, angry that Masters caught him off-guard somehow, then makes a cover of his own… one… two… kickout by Masters!

Ziggler ignores the small pop from the crowd and gets up. Vickie Guerrero is applauding his efforts at ringside, so he holds up a hand to acknowledge her and stalks Masters. Eventually, the Masterpiece gets up, though he’s a little groggy so Ziggler can charge in for the SLEEPER HOLD – NO! Masters puts that strength to good use, grabbing on to Ziggler and hauling him overhead and down into the canvas! Ziggler sells like a pro, his back contorting in pain, but he gets up, right into the MASTER LOCK – BUT NO! Ziggler spins out before Masters can get the hold in; FAME ASSER FROM ZIGGLER! Masters goes down and stays down, so Ziggler stands above him and snorts with derision. He runs his hands through his hair and flicks water down on to Masters’ face, making the Masterpiece frown and try to get up. As he does though, Ziggler begins to stalk him again, bending his knees a little to make sure he gets adequate spring… up struggles Masters – AND NOW ZIGGLER NAILS HIM WITH THE ZIG-ZAG! Masters gets left in a heap, as the crowd begins to boo Ziggler, who doesn’t care in the slightest, hooking a leg and holding up three fingers… one… two… three! Ziggler wins it with relative ease!

Result: Dolph Ziggler bts. Chris Masters via pinfall at 3:44

*PERFECTION*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner, and obtaining a draft pick for Raw… DOLPH – ZIGGLER!

We have the obligatory heat for Dolph Ziggler, who pretty much kept his promise there, and stands with pursed lips to have his hand raised. He walks to the front of the ring, leaning against the ropes and staring into the hard camera, pointing to himself – “Keep watchin’, I keep doin’ it, every single night – FOLLOW THAT.”

Jim Ross:
Dolph Ziggler said he wanted to prove how good he is, well he did just that, folks – I don’t think much of his ego, but he made quick work of a very game Chris Masters, and now Raw receives the third pick of the draft.

Josh Matthews: No two ways about it; Dolph Ziggler isn’t happy about how things turned out last night at Over The Limit… maybe tonight was just his first step in making amends for that.

Booker T: All ya can do is beat da guy in front of ya, dawg, and boy, did Dolph do that… but hey, da kid could still be lookin’ at a great year. Chips have just gotta fall for ‘im.

Jim Ross: Dolph Ziggler seems to me like a man who can make the chips fall for himself.

As Vickie Guerrero applauds her boyfriend wildly, Ziggler leaves the ring, making sure he’s got her tagging along before he heads back up the ramp. He’s not really interested in showboating any more than he already has, just making sure that everyone got the message. He heads behind the curtain without looking back, as Chris Masters continues to hold his neck on the ring floor…

Jim Ross:
Raw’s got a new man headin’ our way – find out who, when we return!

…and we go to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

When we come back LIVE…

Jim Ross:
Welcome back folks – Raw has a draft pick courtesy of Dolph Ziggler’s win, and we’re about to find out the results of that…

Once again, the TitanTron is where we turn, superstars flashing into view… the suspense…







***

PICK #3 | DRAFTED TO RAW

KANE

***

BOOM!

*MAN ON FIRE*


The crowd goes NUTS for a third time! The first two names in the Draft were huge… but what a pick is number three, although he hasn’t been seen in weeks… BUT HERE COMES KANE TO THE DELIGHT OF THE CROWD! The Big Red Machine looks as good as ever, as pissed off as ever too, and he adjusts his elbow pads… on his way to the RING! Yes, the big man is walking down the ramp, getting a great reaction on his return to the WWE, now apparently on Monday nights!

Jim Ross:
It’s KANE! The Big Red Machine is back on the big red show, folks – we haven’t seen that man since Extreme Rules, but here he is, flesh and blood, fire and brimstone!

Booker T: Awwww hell, things just got HOT.

Josh Matthews: Another incredibly high-profile pick in the 2011 Draft, guys, and the night’s only just begun… Kane was put out of action at Extreme Rules, but he seems raring to go, back where it all began for the Big Red Machine! What a night this is turning out to be!

Kane heads up the ring steps, swinging one of those huge legs over the top rope to enter the ring. He paces around, getting to grips with his new-ish hunting ground, staring around the arena through narrowed eyes; the man rarely looks truly happy, and this is no different, but the fans are pleased, so that’s something. The Big Red Machine stops in the middle of the ring, bringing his arms into the air… and down again with a BOOM of the pyro from the ring posts! He motions to ringside, so someone gives Kane a MIC, and slowly, the red lights fade back to normal, as well as the music subsiding. Kane paces the squared circle yet again, seemingly restless, but the crowd is chanting “KANE! KANE! KANE!” at a fast pace, building a good atmosphere as Kane brings that mic up for the first time in months. A menacing tone follows…

Kane:
It’s been a –

*CHOPPING SPREE*


But that tone suddenly gets cut off by some other music… and Kane turns to the stage, frowning. The electronic curtain has lit up with some kind of black and red design, like barbed wire being shaken violently, and the TitanTron reads – just the numbers “1.9”. In the ring, Kane doesn’t understand what’s going on, and neither does this crowd… but there’s a few boos as MICHAEL TARVER storms into view, towel across his shoulders and neckerchief over his mouth and nose! Tarver stops for a moment, a fire burning in his eyes, then he SLAMS his fighting gloves together and starts to walk down the ramp!

Josh Matthews:
Uh, folks, that’s Michael Tarver… formerly of the Nexus, we’ve saw him lingering around a little backstage after Wrestlemania… but what’s he doing out here?

Jim Ross: If it’s pickin’ a fight with Kane, the man hasn’t done his homework.

In the ring, Kane has the mic by his side now, head tilted as if this is just a minor annoyance. Tarver ignores the nearby fans, a few of whom boo him but mostly it’s a surprised silence, heading straight to the ring and trotting up the steps. He immediately steps inside the ring, and his fast-paced theme music fades sharply away. Tarver walks up to Kane, showing no signs of fear whatsoever, and stares him right in the eyes, his head tilted a little upwards to face the taller man. Kane mutters “You must have a death wish…” but Tarver just continues to stare, his mouth obscured by that intimidating bandana around his face and neck.

Josh Matthews:
Give him one thing… I can’t remember the last time anyone voluntarily got that close to Kane…

Jim Ross: Might be a reason for that, Josh. He’s either brave or stupid.

Kane throws the mic to the side and squares up to Tarver again – the pair are pretty much nose-to-nose now. The crowd is chanting Kane’s name again, but Tarver doesn’t budge, refusing to back down from the Big Red Machine for some reason. Kane says something under his breath, his mouth curving upwards into a small smile, the kind he gets before he sets someone on fire… but Tarver blinks, stepping back momentarily and looking to the side…

…BEFORE HE FLOORS KANE WITH A KILLER RIGHT HAND!!!


Jim Ross:
WHAT IN GAWD’S NAME?

Booker T: DA HELL?

Kane goes crashing to the deck… and stays down, totally unmoving! The crowd groaned with the initial shot, a fierce one at that, and now that Tarver stands above a motionless body, they begin to boo… Kane might be out cold! Tarver finally brings up that gloved right hand, the one that executed the Kill Shot as it’s known, and pulling down his bandana to reveal his mouth… but he’s not smiling, not pleased at all. He just stares down at Kane, nodding his head slightly – and now he rolls from the ring!

Jim Ross:
What the hell does this maniac think he’s doin’?

Tarver heads around ringside… and puts his hands on the RING STEPS, pulling them away from the ring post and separating them! Ignoring the boos he’s now getting from the crowd, Tarver pulls up the upper half of the steps and heads back towards the ring, shoving them under the bottom rope. Kane is still down, giving Tarver all the time in the world to turn, making sure he stares out at the jeering arena to take it all in. He rolls back inside the ring, as Kane begins to stir, putting a hand against the canvas as his eyes flicker open. Tarver stands behind him, watching him all the way, then pulls the neckerchief back over his nose and mouth… and picks up the steps, heaving them into the air!

Josh Matthews:
The strength, the aggression… I don’t remember Michael Tarver like this… at all…

Finally, Kane seems to have the wherewithal to force his body up, truly looking like a man who was just knocked out, but he’s a tough beast and he manages to stay upright. The crowd, however, is screaming in protest… he turns…

Jim Ross:
No – NO!

…AND TARVER NAILS HIM IN THE FACE WITH THE STEEL STEPS!!!

The horrifying impact echoes around the Tacoma Dome, and Kane collapses like a sack of potatoes – Tarver clanged the steel off the big man’s face, letting go as he did, and now the steps rest on the mat too. Tarver is pacing, relishing every second of being let loose in this fashion, shoving the steps into the middle of the ring with the toe of his boot.

Jim Ross:
What the hell possessed this man… this man Tarver… why?

Booker T: I ain’t nevah seen Kane like dis, dawg.

Tarver isn’t done. His towel, which fell by the wayside when he landed the initial punch, lies on the mat, so he picks it up and slings it back over his shoulders. He uses it briefly to wipe his face, not that he’s broken a sweat, then crouches beside Kane and inspects his work, his head turning this way and that like an animal after a kill. Finally, he reaches over with that deadly right hand and grabs Kane by the head with it. He pulls Kane back to his feet, though the man is all dead weight, and HEAVES him up into a Powerslam position, horizontal across his body.

Jim Ross:
What now… haven’t ya done enough? C’mon, for God’s sake…

Tarver stands above the steps, looking dead into the hard camera… before he swings Kane sideways… THEN DRIVES HIM DOWN INTO THE STEPS WITH TARVER’S LIGHTNING!!!

Another sickening shot from Michael Tarver there; the Reverse Scoop Powerslam sees Tarver leap off his feet to deliver it, just spiking the big man… and Kane has been wrecked, his spine contorted against the steel! Tarver stands again, soaking in the growing heat from this Tacoma crowd, and leaves the ring, his business completed. Kane is a broken man.


Josh Matthews:
That was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Michael Tarver came to this ring and made his mark… on one of the most dangerous men in WWE history.

Jim Ross: Horrific, is what it was. Makes me wanna be sick.

Tarver lands on the outside floor, then turns with those menacing eyes to stare into the nearest camera. He pulls down that bandana – “PITBULL. OFF THE LEASH.”

In the ring, Kane’s body finally topples off the steps to lie in a folded heap on the mat. His eyes are glazed over, his face scrunched in agony, but on the stage, Tarver has pulled his bandana back over his mouth, looking completely stoic about the atrocity he’s just committed. Turning, he heads backstage without another word or action, leaving us with just the shattered body of Kane.

We go to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

Raw returns to a quiet arena. The ring steps are back where they should be.

Jim Ross:
Ladies and gentlemen, before the break, Kane was drafted to Raw as the third pick of the 2011 WWE Draft, but… Michael Tarver was unleashed, guys. And how.

Josh Matthews: We saw Tarver almost certainly knock the Big Red Machine out, JR… that’s something we’ve never seen before. And then the use of the ring steps to further brutalise – I… I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

Booker T: Me neither, man. Da man just put ERRbody on notice.

*VILLAIN*


The heat builds in the Tacoma Dome once again, and the bell rings as William Regal enters, wearing his purple robe and trying his hardest to stay refined despite last night’s rage bubbling under the surface. He brushes his hair behind his ear and presses the other hand against his robe, heading down the ramp with as calm a face as he can manage.

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall, and it is for… the fourth pick, of the 2011 Draft. Introducing first, representing Raw… from Blackpool, England, weighing in at two hundred and forty-three pounds… WILLIAM – REGAL!

Jim Ross: And despite what we saw, the show must go on, as William Regal looks to rebound from last night’s disappointment in a similar fashion to how Dolph Ziggler did before… lookin’ to help Raw push ahead in draft picks for the night at the same time.

Josh Matthews: William Regal put on a great performance last night, and I won’t lie, I thought he had that title shot in his sights when he applied the Regal Stretch to Triple H… you gotta ask what else he had to do to win.

Booker T: Hell, even I don’t know – sometimes in dat ring, things don’t go your way. All ya can do is come out firin’ da next time, and Regal’s gotta rebound tah-night.

Regal walks up to the apron, wiping his feet as usual, then steps inside. He takes a moment in the middle of the ring, staring wistfully out at the arena, his gaze sweeping every section of the arena that he can see without turning. His music fades away as he heads for the edge of the ring, removing his robe and handing it to ringside. He tries to remain calm and collected, resting against the ropes, as we turn back to the stage.

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

*SOS*


A strong pop goes up as the stage turns green and gold, and Kofi Kingston bursts into view! The Ghanaian isn’t grinning like he usually does, favouring a more serious approach tonight as he brings his arms up for the thunderclaps. Many members of the crowd join in, as the pyro shoots up with every clap, and now Kofi leaps up, setting off a final burst behind him as he lands. He jogs down the ramp, slapping some hands before he turns his attention to Regal.

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent, representing SmackDown… from Ghana, West Africa, weighing in at two hundred and nineteen pounds… KOFI – KINGSTON!

Josh Matthews: Another man who had a disappointing evening was young Kofi Kingston, who came within inches of beating Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Title, but a moment’s hesitation may have cost him, allowing Del Rio to capitalise with an Enzuigiri.

Jim Ross: I really think Kofi proved a helluva lot last night, Josh, he’s an exciting young man and he has the potential to be a World Champion – sometimes the stars just don’t align for ya, and for these two men, last night it just wasn’t to be.

Booker T: Would make ‘em both feel better if they could win dis match – can only be ONE man for dat though, and I gotta believe in mah boi Kofi, he’s gotta get back in da hunt.

Indeed, Kofi looks more than ready, jogging up the steps to the ring and heading to the turnbuckles once he’s inside. In recent weeks, he really lapped up the crowd reaction, enjoying every last second of the world joining in with his claps, but this time, he hops down and doesn’t tour the four corners. Instead, he does just the one, and now he squares up to Regal, the two men measuring the other as they begin to circle. As they do, referee Rod Zapata gets things going, as the two competitors lurch to meet one another with an immediate lock-up…

Match Four – Singles Contest – Winner Receives A Draft Pick
William Regal
vs Kofi Kingston

After about seven minutes, these two are going hammer and tongs to use the other as a stepping stone after their disappointments last night. Kofi competed for longer, perhaps allowing Regal the slight edge, but apart from a few shots it’s been pretty even; here goes Regal, pinning Kingston into the corner and working the left hands. The hard shots get Kofi wincing in pain, as Regal sends him across the ring with an Irish whip – Kingston collides with the buckles but stays upright. Regal goes charging in, looking for a running knee of some kind to the stomach… BUT KOFI SLIPS BETWEEN THE ROPES AND HITS THE PENDULUM KICK! Regal staggers back to a chorus of cheers from the Tacoma fans, and now Kofi moves fully to the apron, heading up top! The Ghanaian takes a moment getting up there, but when Regal turns, make no mistake, there’s no hesitation from Kofi tonight – THERE’S THE CROSSBODY, BRINGING REGAL TO THE MAT – one… two… kickout! The impressive move from Kingston wasn’t quite enough, so both men struggle up after a slightly tiring contest – Kofi still has a bit of the momentum, so he’s first on the strike with a right hand, but Regal comes back with one of his own, and a sharp one at that. Needless to say, Regal can brawl and slug it out with the best of them, so he forces Kingston back by stringing a few of those blows together… forcing Kofi all the way back to the ropes, so he sends him off to the other side – Kofi rebounds, but Regal bends down and cops a kick to the face in response! A pop goes up as Regal reels sideways, shaking out the cobwebs, but Kingston stays on it, hooking up Regal for the SOS – NO! Regal slips in behind him, grabbing the leg – AND SPIKING KINGSTON WITH THE REGAL-PLEX!!! The move lands flush, keeping Kofi on his shoulders for the emphatic cover… one… two… BUT NO! Kofi kicks out of it!

Regal turns to look at Rod Zapata, incredulous – “You’ve got to be joking, sunshine.” He certainly thought it was three, but the official doesn’t, and that’s all that matters, so Regal stands. Kofi gets up to a knee, breathing a little heavily, but immediately finds himself peppered with rough left hands. Regal leaves alone briefly, allowing Kingston to get up by his own shaky power, then heads for the ropes and looks to ROCK HIM WITH THE KNEE TREMBLER – NO-ONE THERE! Kofi hits the deck, then meets Regal when he spins on a heel – double-handed chop to knock the Englishman down! Up gets Regal, but Kofi throws another of those chops to keep the momentum going – and an explosive Dropkick when they meet again! This keeps Regal down, so Kofi starts jogging round the ring, feeling the building cheers of the crowd running through him… to the ropes, then he stops for the “BOOM”… “BOOM”… BOOM DROP TO REGAL! Kofi rolls effortlessly back to his feet, heading for the corner, while Regal holds his stomach in pain and the Ghanaian winds up the thunderclaps! The crowd immediately joins in, crying “BOOM!” in their thousands with each one, and now Regal, still clutching his torso, tries to find his feet. Eventually, he does that, but the Englishman looks groggy… SO KOFI SCORES ON TROUBLE IN PARADISE!!! A huge pop goes up, the massive kick sending Regal’s head snapping to the side, and the tough bastard falls… so Kofi wastes no time, hooking a leg… one… two… three!

Result: Kofi Kingston bts. William Regal at 10:05

*SOS*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner, and obtaining a draft pick for SmackDown… KOFI – KINGSTON!

The crowd cheers for that fantastic string of offence to pick up the win, and Kofi Kingston finally looks pleased with himself, maybe forgetting last night’s pain a little by having Rod Zapata raise his hand. Slowly, Regal rolls to the outside, definitely smarting as sweat makes his hair straggled across his face and he gasps for air; he’s pissed off and hurt that once again he couldn’t do the job tonight. Kofi, however, heads to the top rope, raising the thunderclaps to get the crowd doing it too, but it’s evident that no draft pick will make up for what happened in Seattle last night.

Jim Ross:
Some great action there, but Kofi Kingston was ruthless in the end game there, folks – ordinarily, William Regal could have dispatched most anyone on this roster, but Kofi would not be denied tonight.

Josh Matthews: A second win for SmackDown brings the draft picks to two apiece, JR, and you’re right, that was inspired from Kofi Kingston after a back-and-forth match-up… there’s a man who still wants to make up for his so-called ‘mistake’ last night at Over The Limit.

Booker T: Awww, gotta love it when mah boi’s in full swing! Regal gave his all, we got a great match right dere, but Kofi walkin’ out wit da draft pick, and maybe a lil’ confidence boost as well. Gotta love dat.

Kofi heads for the ropes, stepping out as a frustrated Regal kicks the barricade, his left arm rubbing his jaw and chest after the shots he took in that match. Kingston’s nodding, happy to have recovered some face, and he slaps a few more fans’ hands before he reaches the stage. He turns, making sure to acknowledge the crowd and the good reaction they offered him, before his music fades away as he heads backstage. In the meantime, the TitanTron lights up, because SmackDown has a draft pick…







***

PICK #4 | DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN

ALEX RILEY

***

*SAY IT TO MY FACE*


We have a few boos, but nothing to tire out the crowd – it’s the first heel drafted so far, the brash and multi-talented Alex Riley, who walks out with a huge grin on his face. Wearing his Varsity Villain jacket as usual and nodding his head to his immense theme song, A-Ry raises his arms to welcome any and all boos.

Jim Ross: A-Ry off to Friday nights, and that might be where he can really ply his trade, away from The Miz’s tutelage… well, we’ll see how much the WWE Champion really taught him.

Josh Matthews: I’m still a little shaken by what we saw last Monday, JR, when Riley dropped Gail Kim with Varsity Blues… we know Daniel Bryan is now a SmackDown superstar too, and they might meet again – I certainly hope so, seeing as Riley escaped punishment for his actions.

Riley continues to taunt the crowd, enjoying his moment in the spotlight, ESPECIALLY as he knows he’s now untouchable by Jerry Lawler for his actions last week. He paces the stage in his jacket, the Varsity Villain heading to a new home…

…and speaking of the man, we head backstage to the office of Raw General Manager, Jerry “The King” Lawler, watching a television screen with a hand over his mouth. King gets a small pop from the crowd, but he looks genuinely stunned by the pick, and what it means going forward; regardless, before he can mull over his error, the door opens… and JOHN CENA stands behind the GM! Cena gets another great pop from the crowd, as he did earlier, with a few boos, and Lawler turns to greet him with a raised hand.


Jerry Lawler:
John, thanks for coming.

John Cena: What’s on the brain, King?

King doesn’t look happy about it, but he sighs.

Jerry Lawler:
I’ve decided to make your match for next week. You and Triple H, one-on-one, No Holds Barred – and the winner gets the shot at The Miz in D.C.

HUGE pop from the crowd, as Cena begins to smile.

Jerry Lawler:
But you have to promise me something. This can’t go on. You blow off your steam and you leave it there, John. For the good of the show, and for both of you.

Cena stares at him, then shrugs.

John Cena:
If the match is on, you got a deal, Jerry.

He offers his hand, but Lawler hesitates.

Jerry Lawler:
And… I’ve got one more piece of business. I’m still learning the ropes with the GM thing, but if there’s one thing I’m slowly getting, it’s when to ask a favour. Right now, John, I’ve got something you want…

John Cena: Name it.

Lawler blinks; easier than he thought.

Jerry Lawler:
I need you and Hunter to fight for Team Raw tonight in the Battle Royal.

Cena takes a moment to think, looking around the office and sighing. He runs a hand over his head.

John Cena:
Can’t vouch for him, but I’m in.

This time, he shakes Lawler’s hand and leaves. Lawler sighs with relief, still getting to grips with the slightly tougher side of being a GM… and Raw goes to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

When we come back, that’s a chiming bell…

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall… and it is for the fifth pick of the 2011 Draft!

Minor pop as we turn to the stage.

*BATTLE ON*


What a GREAT pop for this man! The Tacoma Dome is on its feet, cheering their new conquering hero, as the United States Champion, Tyler Black, walks out with a very chuffed expression! The man is thrilled, raising his title belt and taking it all in; a wonderful scene for a man who worked his ass off last night to claim the belt that he now places over his shoulder. He leaps up, a big two-footed stomp setting off a burst of pyro behind him, and now he heads down the ramp, greeting eager fans on his way.

Justin Roberts:
Introducing first, representing Raw… from Buffalo, Iowa, weighing in at two hundred and six pounds… he is the United States Champion… TYLER – BLACK!

Jim Ross: A great ovation here tonight for Tyler Black, a man who really gave his all last night against Sheamus, and came out victorious to win the United States Title. Truly an unforgettable moment, guys.

Josh Matthews: It really was, and I think last night was just the beginning for Tyler – he’s a very talented individual, gives one hundred percent every time he steps between the ropes… don’t be surprised if last night was just one of many famous moments for this young man.

Jim Ross: I know you’re a fan, Josh, and it’s hard not to be. Tyler Black set to represent Raw here – draft picks are tied at two each for tonight – and if I was pickin’ men to help me out, he’d be one of the first names down. Lookin’ forward to seein’ his first match as champion.

Black enters the ring, stepping up to the turnbuckle and raising the title into the air. This gets him another big cheer, and it’s hard to keep the smile off his face – he steps down, bouncing on the balls of his feet, and keeps the title over his shoulder as his music dies down. The crowd is chanting his name, so he points to someone in the front row as he waits.

“WHAT’S THAT METRONOME I HEAR, PERHAPS THE END IS DRAWING NEAR…”

*BROKEN DREAMS*


The stage turns a dull gold, and there’s some light heat in the arena as Drew McIntyre appears, wearing his usual longcoat and staring down at Black with disgust. He turns his eyes to the arena, glowering at the fans whether they boo him or not, then begins to walk to the ring, tugging on his coat as if he’s pumping himself up.

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent, representing SmackDown… from Ayr, Scotland, weighing in at two hundred and sixty pounds… DREW – MCINTYRE!

Josh Matthews: JR, SmackDown has a great competitor in Drew McIntyre, who narrowly missed out on beating Sin Cara last Friday… he has a chance to really raise his stock if he can beat the new United States Champion, and he’ll secure SmackDown’s third draft pick if he does.

Booker T: Drew Mac’s lookin’ a little down after what went down last week, but dis is a boi who knows how to get wins, and I gotta think da Sinister Scotsman can get back on track tah-night.

McIntyre heads up the steps to the apron; he takes a moment to glare at Tyler, then steps inside and removes his coat, throwing it to ringside. He paces the ring, looking pretty pissed off, but he always does – Black looks confident despite Drew’s angry stance, passing his title to ringside and squaring up to the Scotsman. The referee is Justin “The Pimp” King, setting a record for most non-Divas contests officiated in a row with TWO, and he calls for the bell, with Black looking very ready to fight for the second time in two nights.

Match Five – Singles Contest – Winner Receives A Draft Pick
United States Champion Tyler Black
vs Drew McIntyre

Despite wrestling last night, Black looks pretty good, moving well against a hard-hitting opponent in McIntyre. The Scotsman seems to be doing best when he has Black on the ground, from where he can’t get his more exciting offence going; as we join, that’s what he’s doing, throwing a bunch of stomps to prevent him getting up. Black tries to crawl for the ropes, but McIntyre falls on him and pulls his head up by his hair, smacking him with some right hands across the face. He pulls him up, solely to whip him to the ropes – no, he tugs him back and gets the Short-Arm Clothesline! McIntyre runs through Black there, bringing the United States Champion down again, but he’s not done, circling him and stomping on him a couple of times. Once again, he grabs Black roughly to yank him up… then drops him on to his knee with the Hangman’s Neckbreaker! Black bounces off the knee, clutching his neck in pain, and McIntyre makes a quick cover… one… two… but Black kicks out to keep us going! McIntyre looks frustrated, dropping a couple of knees to Black’s side as the champion tries to roll away, then yanking him up and forcing him to the corner. The crowd is chanting for Black again, but McIntyre’s having none of it, roughly getting his hands past Black’s guard to grab him by the hair, shaking him violently! The Scotsman’s trying to wear him down, but Black shoves him away with a hand to the face! McIntyre scowls and moves in again – but he catches a boot to the face from Tyler! Back stumbles Drew to cheers from the crowd, and now Black slips to the outside, always keen to springboard… McIntyre turns, holding his face, so Black gets airborne – AND WIPES THE SCOTSMAN OUT WITH A SUPERB DIVING CLOTHESLINE!!! The crowd cheers as Black rolls to the side, but now he crawls back over his opponent for the cover… one… two… NO! Kickout by Drew!

Black rolls back to his feet, sweeping his hair out of his eyes. McIntyre looks pretty groggy, so Black throws a couple of kicks, making sure he stays on offence. The Sinister Scotsman starts to force himself up, so Black whips him to the ropes – no, McIntyre sends him instead – Black rebounds, then ducks under a clothesline. Drew turns, but Black doesn’t, getting the jump on him with the LEAPING ENZUIGIRI… and taking McIntyre down in style! A pop goes up, so Black gets up and heads to the ropes without a second thought… MOONSAULT TIME – but McIntyre rolls away… and Black lands on his feet! McIntyre stays down momentarily, so Black has to think fast, charging as soon as he lands – AND HITTING THE RUNNING SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!! An outstanding piece of thinking from the United States Champion gets the crowd popping again, and Black hooks a leg… one… two… thr-NO! McIntyre kicks out! The Scotsman forces Black off, then begins to struggle up – he walks into a front facelock from Black… but he gets loose, throws a kick to the stomach and hooks the arms for FUTURE SHOCK…

…NO! Black spins out of the grip, getting in behind to kick McIntyre sharply in the back of the knees twice. The Scotsman falls to all fours, then struggles up to his knees – only for Black to ROAR out with pure adrenaline… AND DROP MCINTYRE WITH A SUPERKICK TO THE JAW!!! The Scotsman’s brain gets rattled with that one, but rather than cover, Black heads for the corner. This gets the crowd on their feet again – Black’s always one to try to give the fans a show – then lines up a big finish – THERE’S THE PHOENIX SPLASH, RIGHT ON THE MONEY! A pop goes up as McIntyre gets totally mashed into the deck, so Black makes a cover, wincing a little after the outstanding high-risk move… one… two… three!

Result: United States Champion Tyler Black bts. Drew McIntyre via pinfall at 7:27

*BATTLE ON*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner, and obtaining a draft pick for Raw… the United States Champion, Tyler… BLACK!

Another good cheer is the response in Tacoma, as Black heaves himself back up and has his arm raised by King. His title is passed through the ropes, so he eagerly takes it in his hands and heads around the ring, yelling out with adrenaline and showing it off to the crowd! He throws his hair away from his eyes, then rests in the corner, staring into his title belt and nodding. He’s proud of his work as a champion tonight, but he knows this is just step one for his reign; he casts a look at the beaten McIntyre for a moment, then leaves the ring and heads for the stage.

Jim Ross:
Tyler Black startin’ his title reign out the right way tonight on Raw, and a great performance to knock off the talented Drew McIntyre.

Josh Matthews: For all of Drew’s good work in that match, I think the Sinister Scotsman came up against more than he could handle in the new champion Tyler Black… as you say, JR, he’ll be happy with how he kicked things off.

Booker T: First Sheamus, now Drew Mac… dat’s some big guys to be beatin’, dawg. Naw ya got another draft pick for Raw, things are lookin’ up for da whole show.

Jim Ross: Tyler Black included, Book.

With this praise comes the obligatory shots of the man himself; he smiles, raising his title to enjoy the crowd reaction, then heads backstage. At ringside, Drew McIntyre shouts at a couple of the fans nearby, clearly angered by his loss tonight, and he trudges up the ramp with a scowl on his face, throwing his longcoat back on. He stares up at the TitanTron, which has started to flash – we skip to the Tron’s image, while McIntyre disappears backstage…







***

PICK #5 | DRAFTED TO RAW

BETH PHOENIX

***

*GLAMAZON*


A small pop goes up as the familiar tune begins, and it heralds the arrival of Beth Phoenix to both the stage and back to Raw – which she seems VERY pleased about, smiling broadly as she brings her hands into the air in the usual fashion. The Glamazon walks across the stage, taking the reaction in, and while it’s nothing special, there’s no dampening her mood; she radiates confidence, all the more now that she’s back where the action is.

Booker T:
Da Glamazon!

Jim Ross: Beth Phoenix is the newest member of the Raw roster – Josh, you and I were talkin’ about this last week when she arrived to scare the current Diva’s Champion, Melina.

Josh Matthews: Absolutely, and we asked the question of what would happen if one of those women was drafted… Beth Phoenix has seen off all comers on SmackDown, there was very little left for her to do, and now she must surely be in the hunt for the title going forward.

Booker T: Melina better watch out, all I’ll say. Beth gotta mean streak in her, one of da best, and Melina got dat too – can’t wait to see what da Glamazon’s gonna do on Raw, gonna miss her on SmackDown fo’ sure.

As Beth raises the signature pose again, we head backstage.

Once again, we head to an office; it’s not the red-walled one of King, though. Instead, we’re back in the peaceful blue world of SmackDown General Manager, Theodore Long, who is deep in conversation with Daniel Bryan. The submission expert gets a good pop from the crowd, but we don’t catch what they’re saying before they shake hands and Bryan leaves. As he walks out, however, his presence is quickly replaced by that of Kofi Kingston, who walks in and also gets a big pop, but his demeanour is slightly less cheery than Bryan’s had been.


Theodore Long:
Kofi – good to see ya. Great win tonight, playa.

Kofi shrugs.

Kofi Kingston:
Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about, see…

Long’s smile fades a little; Kofi usually seems a little happier to see him.

Kofi Kingston:
Look Teddy, I got you the win there. You have your draft pick – and I don’t like to put you in a difficult position or anythin’… but now I gotta ask a favour.

Theodore Long: Ya want another shot at the World Heavyweight Title.

Long lowers his glasses, and Kofi’s struck dumb for a moment. He tilts his head apologetically.

Kofi Kingston:
Teddy – ya gotta understand, I didn’t choke last night.

Theodore Long: No-one’s sayin’ that, playa –

Kofi Kingston: Yes. They are. I was inches out, inches away from winnin’ the title. I just one more shot. I need one more… one more go at it.

A pause.

Kofi Kingston:
I won’t slip up this time.

Teddy looks unsure, but he throws the dog a bone.

Theodore Long:
Kofi… man, I can’t promise you anything. We’ve got new guys comin’ in tonight. But you’re in that Battle Royal later, that’s two draft picks. If you impress… I might just be able to find something for you.

Kofi thinks about that, then slaps Long on the shoulder.

Kofi Kingston:
Thanks, Teddy. That’s all I need.

He turns and leaves; as soon as he’s gone, Long’s face falls. Maybe he’s not so sure.

Raw goes to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

Back to the ring…

*ONE TWO THREE*


The TitanTron comes alive with a picture of a sunny beach, and unsurprisingly it’s then followed by the arrival of the South Beach Party Boys, Darren Young and Percy Watson. The pair are dancing to the beat of their music, both grinning at the chance to make their first Raw appearance as a tag team, and they head down the ramp after an elaborate ‘secret handshake’-style high five.

Justin Roberts:
The following tag team contest is set for one fall… and it is for the sixth pick of the 2011 Draft! Introducing first, representing SmackDown… at a combined weight of four hundred and eighty-four pounds… Darren Young and “Showtime” Percy Watson… the SOUTH BEACH – PAAARTY BOYS!

Jim Ross: We’re back, you’re watchin’ the 2011 WWE Draft… SmackDown’s own Darren Young and Percy Watson set to go, a bright and upcoming tag team – Booker, I know you’ve liked what you’ve seen so far from these two.

Booker T: Awww, ya got dat right, Showtime and da Missin’ Link, dey a smart pairin’ and dey know each other well… I’m feelin’ it wit dese two, I like SmackDown’s chances right here.

As Watson and Young walk towards the ring, they slap the outstretched hands of the fans along the ramp, then head up to the ring apron. Watson slingshots in, while Young walks to the hard camera side, still on the outside of the ring, and Showtime climbs to the second turnbuckle. Young spreads his arms wide, and Watson leans his head into shot, practically lying on the top rope in the process. He’s wearing those amusing specs as usual, giving us a great shot of the two as they gear up for a great Raw debut…

*MEAT*


Think of it as Ryback’s first theme; at first, the crowd sits in silence, then begins to boo as The Convoy storm into view, made up of Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan as you’d expect. They’re without the man you’re thinking of, hence the theme being different tonight, but they’re fired up – Sheffield ROARS out at the arena, while Ryan has wrapping around his shoulder after what happened in the Stretcher Match last night. Turning to one another, Ryan slaps Sheffield on the chest and they storm down the ramp, towards the ring in which Watson and Young’s smiles have vanished.

Justin Roberts:
And their opponents, representing Raw… at a combined weight of five hundred and seventy-six pounds… Mason Ryan, Skip Sheffield… THE COOONVOY!

Jim Ross: Er… how ya feelin’ about their chances now, Book?

Booker T: Hell, I didn’t know dey were against da Convoy! Dese are some mean muthas…

Josh Matthews: Of course, The Convoy were partly responsible for helping CM Punk beat Randy Orton in a Stretcher Match last night at Over The Limit… both men were put through tables, but it says a lot about them to say that they’re even competing tonight.

Jim Ross: Randy Orton also gonna wrestle tonight against medical advice, we’re runnin’ a show of maniacs around here, but you got it, these two men are like a pair of brick walls, and no doubt they’re part of the reason CM Punk got his hard-fought win last night. Good luck gentlemen…

JR is talking to the Party Boys, who are now stood next to each other, pressed up against the back ropes. This keeps them out of the way of Sheffield and Ryan, who enter the ring and hit the turnbuckles – Ryan crosses his arms and then raises them quickly as a pose, while Sheffield just roars “FAAAAIIITHH!” to the thousands in attendance, most of whom are booing him. Both men step down, exchanging a look and standing side-by-side, an indestructible unit that Watson and Young seem more than a little intimidated by at the moment. The teams head to their corners, as Scott Armstrong asks for a man to start from both sides; it’ll be Mason Ryan versus Percy Watson, draft pick on the line, here we go.

Match Six – Tag Team Contest – Winners Receive A Draft Pick
The South Beach Party Boys (Darren Young and Percy Watson) vs The Convoy (Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan)


This match doesn’t fill in many criteria of most tag team matches, with The Convoy certainly looking to assert their dominance. That’s true of what we see as we jump in, with Sheffield throwing Watson about with a right hands, clubbing blows and then a big Exploder Suplex to drive him into the canvas. As soon as he stands, Sheffield grabs Watson by the head and yanks him up too, rather than covering, and throws him into the faces’ corner, telling Young to “TAG IN! C’MON!” The crowd boos, and it seems a fairly odd thing to do, but the fact is that Sheffield wants to hurt both members of the Party Boys – Young will hardly leave Watson to take more punishment, and tags in off his shoulder. The so-called Missing Link steps inside, looking apprehensive, taking it slow as he squares up to Skip… and starts with a kick to the gut, throwing a bunch of right hands, but Sheffield shrugs them all off… then shoves Young into the ropes, scooping him up when he comes back – there’s the Military Press – THEN DROPS HIM TO EARTH! Young plummets into the canvas, the crowd groaning as his body folds over in pain, and Sheffield circles his hurt frame, heading to the corner and feigning punches, baring his teeth! Young begins to struggle up, wincing all the way, then turns around… SO SHEFFIELD RUNS THROUGH HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE! This is one-way traffic, as Sheffield turns and tags Ryan in; the Welshman wants a piece of the pie and he eagerly heads in.

Young’s up again, though he leans against the corner to stay upright. Ryan measures him – a MASSIVE Body Avalanche follows! Ryan uses his huge frame to his advantage there, as Young staggers out of the corner, allowing the Welshman to hook up the Pumphandle Slam… but no, Young gets out, and knocks Ryan down with a Dropkick! A pop goes up as Young gets his team back in contention, and now he crawls to tag in Watson, who heaves his tired body back between the ropes, having suffered just as much despite this match not running for that long. Ryan’s up to a knee, so Watson gets a run-up – AND CRACKS HIM WITH AN ENZUIGIRI! Watson gets a great strike in, sending Ryan down, so he makes a cover… one… two – only to get FLUNG into the air by Ryan! Watson falls by the wayside, as Young grits his teeth as if to say ‘Oh shit’ on the apron… and as Showtime gets up – he gets scooped into the grip of Ryan, who drops him with a couple of Backbreakers, keeping hold of him the whole time… THEN THROWS WATSON WITH THE FALLAWAY SLAM! Watson crumples to the floor, but Ryan isn’t done, getting up without any real strain and hauling him up again. There’s no resistance from Showtime here, as Ryan throws his arm over his shoulder, freeing him up – FOR THE HOUSE OF PAIN!!! The Sitout Side Slam leaves Watson in a heap again, but the Welshman makes sure to head to the ropes, bringing Young back inside by hauling him over the top rope! Young scrambles back to his feet, but he walks into Skip Sheffield, who kicks him in the gut… up on to the shoulders, and Sheffield marches around the ring to boos from the crowd – BEFORE HE DROPS HIM WITH SHELL SHOCKED ON TO WATSON! The young team have been massacred here, despite some good work in the early going, and now Sheffield leaves the ring so Scott Armstrong will stop complaining at him… Ryan covers Showtime… one… two… three.

Result: The Convoy bt. The South Beach Party Boys via pinfall at 5:39

*MEAT*


Justin Roberts:
Here are your winners, and obtaining a draft pick for Raw – The CONVOY!

Well that was ugly. Sheffield returns to the ring, slapping Ryan on the shoulder to tell him ‘Good job’ in a way. Armstrong raises their arms, but in unison they pull them away and Sheffield shoves him towards the ropes. The referee doesn’t want to get in their way, so he makes his exit, allowing Sheffield and Ryan to stand victorious above their opponents.

Jim Ross:
Watson and Young did the best they could, and I still believe they have a good future, but they were mismatched tonight – Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan would have gone to Hell and back tonight to send a message; they just didn’t have to go that far.

Josh Matthews: My question to you, JR, is that this is the first time we’ve seen The Convoy operate independently… so where was CM Punk in all of this?

Sheffield and Ryan leave, largely content with their performance – in the ring, Watson and Young aren’t really the focus, but they recover regardless, resting against the ropes. The Convoy head up the ramp, with Sheffield yelling “POWER – OF – FAITH!” as he does, again and again on those words, while Ryan limbers up his strapped shoulder and nods his head. They disappear, ignoring the heat they receive…

Jim Ross:
Regardless of that valid question, Josh, The Convoy got the job done tonight, and while I suspect their motivation had little to do with the Draft, Raw now presses ahead by four picks to two… let’s see who’s on their way to Monday nights…

Eyes to the TitanTron, as the process begins again…







***

PICK #6 | DRAFTED TO RAW

JACK SWAGGER

***


“CHECK, ONE TWO… OH YEAH!”

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*


Jim Ross:
Oh no.

The heat immediately bursts forth in the Tacoma Dome, and with good reason… Raw’s newest recruit is Jack Swagger, who walks out with a slow beating of his chest. He falls to do some push-ups, the heat raining in, and that reaction gets all the louder when Michael Cole turns up, wearing his suit and a huge smirk to boot. Swagger stands, spreading his arms wide and heading around the stage, not caring in the slightest that this crowd hates him.

Josh Matthews:
Coming to Raw… well JR, a man from your very own Oklahoma, the man who broke the Big Show’s ankle last night… the All-American American, the Phenomenal Athlete, Jack Swagger.

Jim Ross: He can live in my damn neighbourhood for all I care, this man disgusts me. He put on one hell of a display last night, the kind that can make a career, but he threw it all away with how he acted to finish things off. He coulda pinned the Big Show, he coulda ended it, but he went ahead and broke the man’s ankle, that doesn’t sit right with me.

Booker T: Looks like he’s YOUR problem naw, JR – gotta believe dat Swagga got da talent, but he also got dat mouth, he like to talk, and he like to do things HIS way… dat means people get hurt.

Jim Ross: If Michael Cole comes anywhere near this announce desk I’m leavin’.

Swagger soaks up the boos, his gaze steady as he keeps those arms spread wide, while Michael Cole talks all kinds of trash in the background. Swagger thumps his chest a couple of times, and Raw fades to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

In an evening all about management and roster change-ups, it’s suitable that we’re back in the office of Raw General Manager, Jerry “The King” Lawler when we return, a man who gets another decent pop and is charting up his roster, it seems, on a piece of paper. He’s nodding, seemingly happy with the way things are going, but when he turns around, any smile he had immediately disappears… and the camera pans out to see Jack Swagger and Michael Cole standing across from him. The boos build in the arena again; Swagger’s totally stoic, but Cole’s basically giddy, nearly bouncing up and down with how pleased he is. His grin is huge, and he rubs his hands together.

Michael Cole:
Can’t wait to work with ya again, Jerry.

He holds out a hand, but of course, there’s no way in Hell that King will shake that. Cole shrugs and heads out, knowing he’s got under the GM’s skin, while Lawler turns his eyes on to Swagger. The All-American American glares right back at him, the dangerous man apparently showing some restraint here, before he steps away and exits too. Lawler shakes his head, inevitably saddened to have to deal with these two menaces again.

To the ring, then, where Justin Roberts is once again. The bell chimes.


Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall… and it is for the seven and eighth picks of the 2011 Draft!

A cheer goes up for the apparent magnitude of this upcoming match.

“I’VE HAD ENOUGH! I MAKE ‘EM SEE…”

*END OF DAYS*


Indeed, it’s a big one, as the stage turns violent red and Wade Barrett walks out alone for this fairly monumental grudge match. He gets some heavy boos from the crowd, especially after his actions earlier tonight, but it seems he really doesn’t mind, raising two arms and then punching thin air to set off some pyro behind him. It’s slightly bizarre to see Barrett without being surrounded by his fellow Corre members, but as he walks for the ring, the bare-knuckle fighter seems just as paranoid, shooting looks left and right, even staring up at the arena lights to see if someone’s up there playing with the fixtures.

Justin Roberts:
Introducing first, representing SmackDown… from Manchester, England, weighing in at two hundred and forty-six pounds… WAAADE – BARRETT!

Jim Ross: The bare-knuckle fighter in Wade Barrett always drives him to be aggressive, but earlier he really took the bull by the horns, getting Edge drafted in the process.

Josh Matthews: We knew that Edge and Barrett would be competing tonight, but this was supposed to be an all-SmackDown affair, one to finally allow Edge his chance at revenge for what Barrett did to him weeks ago… but now the rivalry between the Corre and Edge and Christian has stepped up a notch.

Jim Ross: Well, Edge and Christian are no longer a unit, Josh, so that’s hard to say, but there’s definitely a score to be settled here.

Booker T: First Wade screws mah man Edge outta his World Title shot, then he turned up in dat match earlier and got da boi drafted… dis guy ain’t gotta conscience, he just does what he wants and enjoys watchin’ errbody else get da sharp end of da stick.

Barrett walks around ringside, shooting looks at the fans, even stopping beside the announce desk and glaring at the commentators. He goes for the ring steps, trotting up to the apron and swinging into the squared circle; he hits the back ropes and throws a bare-knuckle punch through the air, careering into the ropes as he does. The Englishman paces around the ring, as his music dies down and he throws a couple of shadow punches as he waits.

“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME!”

*METALINGUS*


It’s a HUGE pop as smoke rushes up from the stage… AND HERE COMES EDGE TO THE ROAR OF THOUSANDS INSIDE THE TACOMA DOME! The Rated R Superstar forgoes the shades and the kazoo here, even forgoing his best friend here, opting to do this alone, but he’s just as frantic as he ever was, crouching as he heads from side-to-side! Sweeping his hair out of his eyes, he walks back to the centre of the ramp and throws up the rock star pose… launching a tonne of pyro behind him, the classic fireworks, before he makes for the ring, turning narrowed eyes on Barrett. The Englishman is still testing out his arms, clenching his fists as he waits.

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent, representing Raw… from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, weighing in at two hundred and forty-one pounds… the RATED – R – SUPERSTAR… EEEEDGE!!!

Jim Ross: And a man who indeed got the sharp end of that stick, Booker, is the Rated R Superstar, now employed on Monday nights… he and Christian won last night, but only after Wade Barrett saw the lights go out again, and Edge still hasn’t had his one-on-one shot. This is it.

Josh Matthews: Edge deserves a lot better than he’s got of late, JR. Losing his World Title, then circumstances conspired against him, or should I say Wade Barrett and The Corre conspired against him, to stop him getting a proper shot at the belt – winning this match won’t change that, but it’s what he deserves.

Edge stops halfway down the ramp – then SLIDES smoothly under the bottom rope to pose as the lights flash all around him. He springs to his feet, looking briefly at Barrett then heading to the hard camera-side to step up to the second rope, throwing up the rock star hand yet again. When he turns he throws off the classic jacket, shoving him from the ring with his boot and moving towards Barrett with purpose – Mike Chioda has to step between the pairing. Barrett seems focused, undeterred that he’s still been forced to fight the Canadian, bringing his fists up and circling around Chioda… the referee realises he can’t contain these two for much longer and calls for the bell.

Match Seven – Singles Contest – Winner Receives Two Draft Picks
Wade Barrett vs Edge


In this match, every punch, kick and suplex means more; the two men have plenty of reason to win, no more so than Edge given how long he’s been waiting to actually face Barrett between the ropes. Edge looks angry whenever he throws a punch, selling just how much Barrett has hurt him over the past month or so. Jumping into the action, Wade has Edge pressed against the ropes, throwing those thumping closed fists like few other men can, then whipping him across the ring. Edge grabs the ropes to stop himself rebounding, then charges forward at Barrett, throwing his own right hands at a quick pace, showing the Englishman that he’s happy to just fight him if he has to. He hits the ropes and goes for the Big Boot – no! Barrett ducks under it, then we’re back to those blows, Barrett picking his spots and weaving side-to-side after every hit, before he sets Edge up in Powerbomb position! Barrett gets some heat as he takes a moment to prepare… but Edge just THROWS him with a Back Body Drop! A pop goes up, with Barrett wincing after a hard landing, but he manages to turn on the mat and find some semblance of a vertical base… but Edge is off to the ropes, pinging back – AND TAKING BARRETT INTO THE DECK WITH THE HALF NELSON BULLDOG! Not for the first time, Edge gets a small measure of what he was looking for – Barrett in pain, only this time the Canadian will roll him into a cover… one… two – but Wade kicks out!

Up gets Edge, once again brushing his hair away out of his face as he does. Barrett gets to his knees, then shoves himself up and clenches his fists, trying to refocus himself – but Edge loses his cool and rattles him in the back with a clubbing forearm! Barrett falls across the second rope, looking somewhat weakened, so Edge slams into the ropes yet again and leaps – RUNNING CROSSBODY! He drives Barrett’s neck into the ropes, and the Englishman detaches himself with a clutching grip at his own neck, gasping for air. Edge puts his hands on Wade’s shoulder, trying to heave him into a cover, but Barrett rolls away suddenly, getting himself out of the ring! The crowd boos as a breathless Barrett heads around ringside, still holding his neck a little, and Edge is just as furious, rolling from the ring and meeting him with a right hand! Barrett stumbles away, trying to put some distance between them, but the Canadian hunts him down and grabs him by the back of the head to shove him towards the RING STEPS – BUT NO! Barrett gets his hands on the steel to stop himself, then spins on a heel and wallops Edge back with a right hand! The bare knuckle fighter really can hit a man for six, and while it’s by no means the biggest right hand we’ve seen tonight, Edge goes staggering across the outside mats. Barrett shakes out the cobwebs and goes after him, treating him the way he just was by grabbing a lump of Edge’s hair… and using it to SLAM the Rated R Superstar face-first off the nearby steel ring post!

Edge goes clattering to the floor here, but Barrett shows no remorse. He takes a moment to watch Edge’s suffering, then pulls him up with those paws of his and forces the Canadian under the bottom rope. He steps up to the apron, deliberately treading on Edge’s left arm as it hangs out of the ring, then swings back inside and again finds some pleasure in watching his opponent’s attempts to recover. Edge tries to get up, but Barrett gets a single underhook and pounds his ribs with right hands, stiff shots to take the fight out of the man. He lets go, then hauls him up with a hand either side of his head… and THROWS HIM WITH A BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! Edge gets driven into the canvas, and Barrett frowns, his face remaining all business and no pleasure… here’s the cover, trying to secure this bout… one… two… but Edge kicks out! The crowd pops, and Edge takes heart from that, his head snapping to attention as he heaves himself towards the ropes. Barrett pulls him up, however, rocking him with a right hand to the gut and denying him any chance to start a comeback. He whips the Canadian into the ropes – BAM! BIG BOOT TO THE SKULL! Edge collapses in a heap, and Barrett surprises everyone by walking away from his rival, instead leaning his arms against the top rope. His head turns to the side, looking a little exasperated, while Edge crawls about aimlessly on the mat behind him. Barrett’s frustration leads him to turn around, to see Edge on his knees, maybe even trying to get up, so the Englishman pulls him properly and shoves him into the ropes again. Edge comes back, so Barrett swings him up for the WINDS OF CHANGE – NO! Edge gets free, landing behind the bare knuckle fighter, and grabbing the front facelock when he turns… EDGECUTION! The crowd cheers as Edge plants his rival, and now the cover… one… two… thr-no! Barrett kicks out!

Edge thought he had it! We all know this isn’t about the draft picks – Edge knows a win would hurt Barrett, maybe enough to make up for the hell he’s been put through, and he came close there. Standing, he begins to frown, anger building as he watches Barrett recover… so he heads to the corner, crouches, and starts frantically beckoning the Englishman back up! The noise peaks in the arena as the crowd roars “SPEAR! SPEAR! SPEAR!” in unison, as Barrett wobbles back up and EDGE CHARGES… BUT BARRETT SIDESTEPS – THEN DRILLS HIM WITH A LEAPING ELBOW SMASH! That nearly knocks Edge clean out, tumbling to the canvas, and Barrett nearly falls too, heaving a breath and resisting the urge to go down. He staggers into the corner, stepping up to the second rope and measuring Edge’s motionless frame… DIVING ELBOW DROP – MISSES! Edge comes to life, rolling back towards the corner and leaving Barrett to crash into the canvas! Edge gets his hands on the buckles and pulls himself up… right into the crouched position again, turning with straggled hair like a madman to prepare for the Spear again! Barrett’s face is wrecked with pain as he tries to get up, and it takes him a moment, giving Edge all the time in the world to get set… then charging in again – BUT BARRETT SCOOPS HIM UP AND NAILS THE WINDS OF CHANGE! Barrett crawls away on all fours, clearly tired, and shoves himself up. The heat is building in Tacoma, all of it aimed at the Englishman as he observes his handiwork, nodding, then slaps the top rope with his right hand. Firing himself up, he adjusts his elbow pads, then goes over to Edge. The Rated R Superstar is up to his knees, yanked up fully by Barrett… before he hoists him on to his shoulders for the Fireman’s! The crowd boos furiously, but Barrett bellows with adrenaline… AND FINALLY DROPS EDGE WITH THE WASTELAND!!! Edge collapses in a heap, with Barrett immediately falling across the Canadian’s lifeless body… one… two… three!

Result: Wade Barrett bts. Edge via pinfall at 16:53

*END OF DAYS*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner, and obtaining two draft picks for SmackDown… WAAADE – BARRETT!

Barrett immediately rolls from the ring. The crowd are booing, but their abuse falls on deaf ears; Mike Chioda never got a chance to raise Barrett’s hand but the Englishman doesn’t care, raising his own as he walks for the stage. He’s fairly exhausted, but that arm stays in the air, perhaps telling the crowd… or someone else, that no-one messes with Wade Barrett.

Jim Ross:
Well, I thought that Edge had this match-up, I really did, but… out of nowhere, that pure power, that incredible ability to see one step ahead – Wade Barrett walks out tonight with a win, and it’s one hell of a win, gentlemen.

Booker T: Da hell… Edge had da Spear in his sights, how did –

Josh Matthews: That’ll get two draft picks for SmackDown, but this was more than that – this was Edge’s chance for retribution, but it slipped between his fingers the moment Wade hit the Wasteland. Whether you like it or not, maybe The Corre aren’t on as shaky ground as we thought… Wade Barrett landed on his feet.

Jim Ross: On his feet indeed.

Barrett heads backstage, so we’re left with the man in the ring – that man is, of course, Edge, leant up against the ropes with his hair resting against his face and his eyes cast downward. He throws his arm over the top rope and shakes his head.

Jim Ross:
But where does Edge go from here?

Edge doesn’t leave the ring, but the TitanTron sparks up again.







***

PICK #7 | DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN

EVAN BOURNE

***

*BORN TO WIN*


A decent pop goes up, as the stage comes to life with red and black waves, and out steps Evan Bourne, raising the peace sign like you’d always expect. The high-flyer heads all over the stage, waving with a big smile on his face; he’s happy with the switch, but then again he’s happy with everything he does. Ever.

In the ring, Edge seems lost. This all means nothing to him.


Jim Ross:
See-ya-bye Evan Bourne, he’s on his way to SmackDown, and to be honest that’s a good pick, Teddy Long’ll be happy about that.

Josh Matthews: I’ve always thought Evan Bourne has just been waiting for a ripe opportunity to shine on a big stage, JR, and maybe he’ll have the chance in a new home.

Bourne waves a bit more, then heads backstage.

The TitanTron’s into action yet again…







***

PICK #8 | DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN

SHEAMUS

***


“IT’S A SHAME THAT THEY LOST THEIR HEAD…”

*WRITTEN IN MY FACE*


At first there’s a brief, small pop, but it’s quickly replaced by the inevitable heat as Sheamus walks out, looking pretty pissed off after his loss last night. No longer United States Champion but still fairly intimidating, the Celtic Warrior beats his chest and spreads his arms wide, welcoming the hefty negative reaction these fans give to him. He tugs on his chain, almost impatient as he stands on the stage, letting his music play and tilting his head up.

Jim Ross:
SmackDown evenin’ out the playin’ field on their fourth pick of the night, and former United States Champion Sheamus is one of the biggest they coulda hoped for.

Booker T: Sheamus is MAD, JR. He lost dat title last night and naw he headin’ to SmackDown – hell, maybe dat’s what he needs, but don’t mean he gotta be happy about losin’ his chance to make things right here on Raw.

Josh Matthews: The first Irish-born WWE Champion has a long list of accolades for such a short time in the WWE, JR, and you’re right, this is another stroke of luck for Friday nights. Well, I mean the quality of the show… I’m not so sure if the SmackDown locker room will be so thrilled.

Again, we get a shot of Edge, who is sat in the ring with his back against the turnbuckles. He actually looks quite hurt, wincing as he tilts his eyes to the ceiling; on the stage, Sheamus beats his chest and takes a slow walk back behind the curtain. His music fades away, leaving us once again with just Edge… the Rated R Superstar gets his name chanted by the crowd, still acknowledging him, but he looks to be in pain, both physically and emotionally.

Raw goes to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

A black screen. The clinking of metal in our ears. Footsteps.

The image fades into view – the clinking is handcuffs, around a man’s wrists. He is being escorted down a corridor by two guards, the sound distorted as the footsteps echo off the walls. A man is saying something that we can’t hear.


Voice:

You have been found guilty of heinous crimes and for that you will...

It fades. The man in handcuffs is wearing orange prison overalls, his head tilted down.

Voice:

I hereby sentence you…

The man does not struggle against his chains.

Voice:

May God have mercy on your…

Finally, they come to a room at the end of the corridor. The man tilts his head up to face what lies inside; a smirk on his lips. He is not afraid. One of the guards turns to look at him, his grip tightening around the prisoner’s arm.

Guard:

Strap in, boy. It’s gonna be electric.

The man, and the camera, turn back to the room… where the electric chair awaits. The prisoner tilts his head up to the skies as they lead him towards it…

…and when he’s uncuffed and made to sit, it’s CM Punk who closes his eyes and smiles.


Narrator:

WWE – Capitol Punishment.


WWE CAPITOL PUNISHMENT
19TH JUNE 2011 | VERIZON CENTER | WASHINGTON D.C.


---

Raw returns to the sound of a chiming bell…

Justin Roberts:
The following contest is set for one fall… and is for the ninth pick of the 2011 Draft!

Jim Ross: Welcome back, one and all – we’re four weeks away from the big night in D.C., Capitol Punishment, and so far all we know is The Miz will be defendin’ his title… against one of two men.

Josh Matthews: Unbelievably JR, we’re getting a huge match sometime next week, when Triple H and John Cena compete for that right in a No Holds Barred Match…

He’s cut off…

“I’VE HAD ENOUGH! I MAKE ‘EM SEE…”


*END OF DAYS*


Considering what we just saw from Wade Barrett, this theme gets another loud chorus of heat from the crowd, but this time it’s not the Englishman, but his fellow Corre members… I refer to the WWE Tag Team Champions, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, who walk out with their titles in hand. Slater’s playing air guitar on his belt, while Gabriel looks around the arena, looking considerably less evil tonight and a bit more reserved; his hair is swept across his face, not down in front of his eyes. Slater starts jogging down the ramp – Gabriel eventually follows, at a slower pace.

Justin Roberts:
Introducing first, accompanied by Justin Gabriel… representing SmackDown, weighing in at two hundred and fifteen pounds… he is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, the One Man Band… HEATH – SLATER!

Jim Ross: If I didn’t know any better, I woulda said we just heard this song…

Josh Matthews: The Corre looking to make it a very successful evening, JR, but quickly back to that match-up next week – whoever wins there will go on to face The Miz in Washington, and they’ll have to earn that right in an unforgiving match.

Jim Ross: Cena and the Game have been waitin’ a while to settle their differences and find out who lives and breathes for the title more… they’ll settle that in as emphatic fashion as you can, and that’s No Holds Barred.

Booker T: No doubt, dawg, but ya talk about big time guys, dese Tag Team Champs are on a ROLL, man, dey seein’ off all comers right about now.

Josh Matthews: Gabriel and Slater have had a series of impressive title defences, none perhaps more so than what we saw at Extreme Rules, with THAT 450 Splash. Tonight may be just the next step in a memorable reign, as Heath Slater’s set to go for SmackDown.

The two men head for the ring; obviously, Gabriel heads to ringside instead of the squared circle, while Heath endeavours to make as big a show as he can out of the whole affair, dancing about in the ring and yelling “ONE MAN BAAAAND, BAH-BAY!” to whoever will listen. Yes he got pinned last night and he doesn’t care. Their music dies down, but it doesn’t stop him throwing himself about the ring like a lunatic…

“I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD…”

*VOICES*


And the crowd goes NUTS, Slater’s grin fading somewhat as we turn to the stage… and the heavily bandaged Randy Orton walks out, a little slowly maybe but still as menacing as anyone we’ve seen tonight! He’s got bandages tightly around his stomach, then a little more over his shoulders, selling the hellacious effects of last night’s match, but he begins a walk down the ramp, smirking a bit at the sight of Slater – he wants to get back on track and he has his target.

Justin Roberts:
And his opponent, representing Raw… from St. Louis, Missouri, weighing in at two hundred and forty pounds… the Viper, RAAANDY – ORTON!

Jim Ross: God above, they found loads of little pieces of Randy Orton and what you see is the stitched-up result. He’s more bandage than man.

Josh Matthews: Randy Orton went through a lot in his match last night with CM Punk, JR, and it really shows, I mean… the Viper might be hurt but he’s putting on a brave face.

Booker T: He gotta RKO dat boi in da ring right naw, he gotta get himself back on da straight an’ narrow, do what he does, man. Tah-night’s a big night for him.

Orton heads up the steps, swinging a little gingerly into the ring and heading for the turnbuckle. He begins to raise his arms for the Legend Killer pose but he’s still in pain somewhat and he brings them down, shaking his head to free the cobwebs. Gritting his teeth, he steps down, trying to loosen up his shoulders, then turns to face Slater, who likes what he sees. Naturally, he spies an opportunity, passing his title to ringside and circling the Viper. Orton hesitates, then begins to move in equal measure, watching Slater… as referee Jack Doan calls for the bell.

Match Eight – Singles Contest – Winner Receives A Draft Pick
WWE Tag Team Champion Heath Slater vs Randy Orton


Needless to say, Slater has an easier time of it than he usually would – everything he does is effective when he’s against a man who went nearly half an hour against a psychopath wielding chairs and tables. As we join things, Slater’s got Orton in a seated position, aiming the point of his elbow repeatedly into the Viper’s neck and shoulder. Orton gasps in pain, and now Slater gets up, hitting the ropes and jumping to floor him completely with a Dropkick! Slater’s boots drive right into Orton’s injured chest, and he immediately makes a cover… one… two… but Orton kicks out! A pop goes up at the sight of Slater’s dirty scowl, and the One Man Band shoves himself up with a stomp or two to Orton’s side. He pulls him up, with Orton going a little limp to sell his pain, then finds himself whipped to the ropes – AND FLOORS SLATER WITH A CLOTHESLINE! The Tag Team Champion collapses, but he stumbles up and cops ANOTHER blast from Orton, taking him down again. Slater scrambles to his feet once more, though it’s not particularly smart because Orton measures him and TAKES HIM INTO THE CANVAS WITH THE SNAP POWERSLAM! A cheer goes up as Orton swings the momentum his way, hooking a leg in the process… one… two – but no! Kickout by Slater! Orton’s head falls against the mat and he breathes out heavily; this is taking a bit of a toll on him and he struggles on his way up.

Slater’s mouth hangs open, a traditionally over-the-top sell, but it’s one of his finer points so we’ll let it go. He turns to meet Orton with a right hand, but the Viper comes right back with one of his own, making Slater’s head snap sideways. Orton chains the blows, forcing Slater back to the ropes… so he kicks him in the gut to make him keel over, then slings him through the ropes! He yanks Slater back through, draping his legs on the middle rope – the crowd begins to cheer, as Jack Doan starts a count… but Slater throws a couple of right hands in the hold, stinging Orton in the hurt ribs, and gets his legs free! He shoves Orton away, so the Viper comes back – AND GETS FLAPJACKED ON TO THE TOP ROPE! The crowd groans as both men roll sideways; these are two men who both lost last night, both hurt, and though this match hasn’t gone on for very long, they look quite tired. Slater’s up, staggering over to the ropes and sticking his head to the outside – Gabriel holds up his hands, walking around ringside and observing, using this as a learning experience. He has no real advice other than “Stay on him,” so Slater sticks his head back between the ropes – and Orton’s wobbled to his feet, his hand against his neck. He walks towards Slater, who throws a clothesline… but Orton ducks… AND DRILLS HIM WITH THE OLYMPIC SLAM! The crowd comes alive with cheers, as Orton begins to fire up, falling beside the Tag Team Champion and slamming his fists into the deck! Gabriel’s up against the apron, eyes wide, as Orton pounds the mat, telling Slater to get up… BUT THE ONE MAN BAND ROLLS OUT OF THE RING! Slater heads around ringside to a chorus of boos, but Orton looks furious, slowly getting back to his feet and shaking his head. Slater heads to see Gabriel, who’s asking him what he’s doing, but Heath says something we can’t hear… and heads up the ramp! Gabriel follows him, hands in the air, while Orton lays his hands against the turnbuckles and scowls… but Jack Doan keeps counting, all the way… to ten. Orton and Gabriel share similar expressions of disgust.

Result: Randy Orton bts. WWE Tag Team Champion Heath Slater via count-out at 5:06

*VOICES*


Justin Roberts:
Here is your winner as the result of a count-out… the Viper, RANDY – ORTON!

It’s actually pretty strong heat here for Slater’s cowardice, as the One Man Band backtracks up the ramp holding his arms up. Gabriel’s at the foot of the ramp looking disappointed, while Orton puts his hands on his hips and walks around the ring to calm himself down.

Jim Ross:
Heath Slater wanted no piece of Randy Orton tonight – he’s outta here, folks, which means Randy Orton gets the win for Raw… somehow I doubt Slater cares about the Draft any more than he cares about his own ass.

Booker T: Dat boi was about to get taken DOWN, man, but he escapin’, he runnin’ for da hills… hell, I don’t blame him, Randy Orton was gonna hurt ‘im tah-night.

Slater refuses to leave the stage, yelling “GET THE TITLES, JUSTIN!” down the ramp at his partner – Gabriel doesn’t move so luckily there’s a ringside staff member who brings the South African both belts as a courtesy anyway. He takes one of them and slings it over his shoulder, then begins to walk up the ramp holding the other, as the TitanTron wakes up…







***

PICK #9 | DRAFTED TO RAW

JUSTIN GABRIEL

***


Ohhhh shit. Gabriel stops walking up the ramp, speechless. In the ring, even Orton can manage a smile at that, while the crowd doesn’t quite know how to react… Slater looks like he’s just stepped in it, which is reasonable because he sort of has. Gabriel stands and stares at his partner, trying to gauge how he should react.

Josh Matthews:
Did… did Heath Slater just get his own partner drafted?

Booker T: (laughing) Awww man, dat’s some bad luck right dere…

Jim Ross: Well, The Corre was lookin’ at a great night, but I think something went wrong there – Justin Gabriel’s comin’ to Raw, but he’s still a Tag Team Champion, he can go to either show regardless of tonight’s results.

Josh Matthews: Somehow I don’t think that makes much difference to Justin Gabriel right now, JR.

Slater starts to walk down the ramp, albeit tentatively because he’s still wary of Orton in the ring, holding up his hands and telling Gabriel that it was an accident. This means very little to the South African, who holds out Slater’s title… but deliberately DROPS it when Slater reaches for it! An “OHH!” is the response from the crowd, and now Gabriel walks around his partner, not saying a word or looking back. He heads up the ramp and behind the curtain, while Slater stares down at his title, reflecting on a fairly major mistake. Orton’s shaking his head, still pressed up against the turnbuckle and watching the entire scene…

…and Raw heads to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

Main Event – 16-Man Battle Royal – Winning Brand Receives Two Draft Picks
Team Raw; Triple H, John Cena, United States Champion Tyler Black, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, John Morrison, Zack Ryder and Primo
vs Team SmackDown; World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, Curt Hawkins, Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara

As we come back, we’re right into the action; the biggest story is inevitably Triple H and John Cena both wearing Raw shirts to fight on the same team. That said, the SmackDown side also has some issues, with Kofi Kingston being joined by the World Champion, Alberto Del Rio, and his lackey Chavo Guerrero in blue shirts. Cody Rhodes makes his first appearance of the night with his title reign still intact, shooting dirty looks from beneath his mask at Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara whenever he gets the chance. In the flurry of red and blue punches in the early going, Kofi Kingston just goes CRAZY, throwing right hands at every red-shirted man he sees, until he gets the upper hand on Primo Colon and sends him flying over the top rope for the first elimination.

Elimination #1: Primo by Kofi Kingston at 0:52

A pop goes up as Kingston makes the first impression, and as he turns away from the ropes, he catches the eye of Del Rio, who stops throwing stomps on John Morrison to stare at him. The two men eye each other up, then Del Rio turns away again, going back to his work as if Kofi’s not worth his attention. Dolph Ziggler comes to fight Kofi; it’s just mindless brawling from the fifteen remaining men for a few moments, then John Cena catches Chavo Guerrero away from his owner and overpowers him, chucking him over while Del Rio’s back is turned.

Elimination #2: Chavo Guerrero by John Cena at 1:31

That evens the scores, with Chavo taking a hard fall to the outside, and now Cena looks for someone new to fight… all he finds is his own teammate, both tonight and from Sunday, in the form of Triple H. The noise builds in the Tacoma Dome as the Game and Cena step towards one another; Hunter points to the shirt on his back, as if to ask why he’s doing this, but Cena just shrugs. It’s evident that the two men want to fight right here and now, as the crowd splits its chants between them, and Cena clenches a fist… but here comes CURT HAWKINS, knocking Cena down with a Dropkick! Boos echo in the arena as Hawkins sends Cena to the deck… but Triple H immediately grabs him by the hair – and THROWS the Rule-Breaker roughly over the top rope, sending him crashing out of this contest!

Elimination #3: Curt Hawkins by Triple H at 2:07

Down to thirteen then, with Raw having a slight edge, and Triple H smirks a little, having matched Cena with an early elimination of his own there. Cena gets up, shaking out the cobwebs, and notices Hawkins on the outside; he nods. Before they can square up again, however, Alberto Del Rio clubs Cena down from behind, while Cody Rhodes gets a Chop Block on Triple H… the SmackDown pair lay the stomps to Raw’s biggest weapons, getting a chorus of heat from the crowd for their efforts. In the corner, SmackDown’s new boy Daniel Bryan has Zack Ryder pinned in, unleashing those trademark kicks again and again… then steps back, and clotheslines a helpless Ryder over and out!

Elimination #4: Zack Ryder by Daniel Bryan at 2:35

The next elimination takes a little longer; these Battle Royals are often a flurry of punches and almost-moments, but Jack Swagger apparently doesn’t agree. Maybe looking to prove something tonight, he has Daniel Bryan in the corner, so he rocks him with a few knees to get him down to the mat. He takes a run-up, then charges in – SWAGGER BOMB TO BRYAN! That gets the crowd groaning, but Swagger gets up immediately, turning to see Rey Mysterio coming at him with a Headscissors… NO! Mysterio gets all around the world, but Swagger suddenly grabs him and hauls him on to his shoulders properly – FRONT POWERSLAM. Again, Swagger gets a big move in, showing off his power here in his new Raw shirt, as Kofi Kingston leaves John Cena to take the All-American American on – but Swagger scoops him up in the Oklahoma, slamming him into the turnbuckles… AND DRILLING HIM WITH THE OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Next is Sin Cara, who takes Swagger off-guard with a Headscissors Arm Drag, but both men get up… so the Mexican Idol tries to roll up into a Hurricanrana… only for Swagger to jam it – AND POWERBOMB THE HIGH-FLYER TO THE OUTSIDE FLOOR!!! WHAT A LANDING!

Elimination #5: Sin Cara by Jack Swagger at 5:15

Jack Swagger isn’t big on loyalty – SmackDown offered him very little other than breaking ankles and slamming people, and he’s happy to do that again, just on a different show now. Michael Cole is applauding at ringside, trying to stay out of the way of Vickie Guerrero, who’s busy telling Dolph Ziggler to try harder against Cody Rhodes. The Perfection Artiste has Rhodes pressed slightly over the top rope, but the Intercontinental Champion comes back with a mask-aided headbutt and Ziggler reels away. Daniel Bryan is up, however, meaning he can measure his old foe Ziggler – AND KICK HIS FUCKING HEAD IN! Ziggler sells it like a chairshot to the head, going down in a heap, as Rhodes and Bryan meet in the middle. Bryan has a little smile on his face, so Rhodes tilts his head sharply downwards and heads sideways to help Alberto Del Rio eliminate Tyler Black. The United States Champion is fighting back hard, but now he’s joined by John Morrison, who heaves Rhodes off and drives Del Rio into the corner. Morrison takes the fight to the World Champion, throwing punches at a faster pace than you’d expect from him, and he keeps going until Del Rio’s on the floor! Morrison sees the chance to make a name for himself off the champion here, so he yells out for some crowd support – he doesn’t get much – then leaps up for STARSHIP PAAAIN… ONLY FOR CODY RHODES TO DIVE INTO THE FRAY AND SHOVE HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!!! Morrison clatters to the outside; what improvisation from the Intercontinental Champion!

Elimination #6: John Morrison by Cody Rhodes at 6:18

We have ten remaining, then, with five from each brand going at it here. Rhodes walks away from Del Rio, who hauls himself up by the ropes and scowls, not happy that he needed any kind of help. Rhodes’ help probably wasn’t out of compassion as much as he wanted to hurt Morrison, but nevertheless the World Champion is slightly insulted. Meanwhile, Tyler Black and Kofi Kingston are trying to tip one another over the top, with Rey Mysterio taking the fight to Jack Swagger after the All-American American’s unceremonious removal of Rey’s new tag partner earlier. Triple H is still recovering – God knows people sell for far longer in Battle Royals – after a previous Del Rio kick to the face, while Dolph Ziggler presses Daniel Bryan into a corner and John Cena now takes the fight to Rhodes, pummelling the Disfigured One with right hands to the stomach, staying away from the mask. This is five of the best either brand has to offer, with a few exceptions, making for some decent action in prospect, especially as Del Rio gets up and goes over to Triple H with a hard kick to the ribs. He pulls the Game up, throwing a couple of shoulder thrusts to the gut, then tries to tip him over the top rope… Hunter inevitably resists, his face strained with the effort as we turn our attention elsewhere. That’s the sight of Kofi Kingston getting whipped across the ring by Tyler Black after a stalemate between the two… but he knocks the United States Champion down with a double-handed chop!

Black gets up again, only to be met by a second chop, and a Russian Legsweep from Kofi on the third time! Kingston starts to fire up, jogging around the ring and getting the crowd on their feet… so he hits the ropes for the BOOM DROP – NO! Black rolls to the side, meaning Kofi crashes into the deck legs-first, and as he rolls back to his feet, he’s wincing – WHICH MEANS BLACK CAN TAKE THE GHANAIAN DOWN WITH THE YAKUZA KICK! Black’s huge signature sends Kofi down in a heap, with the crowd mostly cheering for how impressive the hit was, but Black turns around… and gets NAILED with a Double Knee Armbreaker from Del Rio! The United States Champion goes tumbling to the floor clutching his arm, as Del Rio points to himself and gets some heat from the crowd… BUT HE TURNS AROUND AND GETS DRIVEN INTO THE CANVAS BY THE DOUBLE A SPINEBUSTER! The crowd cheers wildly, as none other than Triple H stands above him, punishing the World Champion for giving up his pursuits to eliminate him. Meanwhile, John Cena winds back, then clotheslines Cody Rhodes over the top, but the Intercontinental Champion hangs on! Cena turns away, yelling out, but he stops, coming face-to-face with Triple H once again… it’s still Bryan/Ziggler and Swagger/Mysterio in opposite corners, with Del Rio and Kingston down, so it seems no-one will stop them going at it this time – they continue to trash talk, as Cody Rhodes steps back inside the ring and Daniel Bryan knocks Ziggler down with a big kick to the head. The SmackDown pair see Cena and the Game squaring up again, so they both move in – Rhodes grabs Hunter, Bryan on Cena… FOR CROSS RHODES ON THE GAME, AND THE REGAL-PLEX TO THE EX-“CHAMP”! Once again, Cena and Triple H’s issues cost them, as Bryan and Rhodes get to their feet… and look at one another. Bryan’s looking pretty agile, pleased that he’s reinventing himself somewhat here, but he looks at Rhodes and chuckles at the mask.

Needless to say, Rhodes isn’t particularly happy at that, nor that Bryan stole his own measure of momentum with his move on Cena – the Intercontinental Champion steps forward, eyes bulging as usual, and asks Bryan if he has a problem. The submissions expert is still smirking, assuming that Rhodes isn’t serious… but then Cody shoves him! Bryan’s smile disappears as he takes a step back… then grabs the mask and pulls it back, SNAPPING it against Rhodes’ face! The crowd cheers as Rhodes stumbles comically backwards, holding his face in agony… but Tyler Black is up, and he takes his opportunity, charging forward to clothesline Rhodes – AND THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION TUMBLES TO THE OUTSIDE!

Elimination #7: Cody Rhodes by Tyler Black at 9:23

“Whoops” says Daniel Bryan, not particularly concealing his amusement, while Tyler Black just looks pleased to get an elimination. On the outside, Cody Rhodes gets up and looks absolutely FURIOUS, stomping around ringside and having a complete mental breakdown! His fingers scratch against his own mask, still in total disbelief, then looks up at Bryan and points to him… but his fellow SmackDown teammate is wearing a classic full grin, deliberately touching his face and making a wise crack we don’t catch. Rhodes isn’t a happy camper, but he’s out of the match, taking his title and heading round ringside, shooting filthy looks at Bryan all the while. Back to the action we go, with four men from SmackDown going up against five from Raw. Bryan and Black exchange a look, two old independent circuit veterans happy to go at it; they lock up, with Bryan forcing Black into the corner, and now the two engage in some grappling, trying to get away from the ropes to push the other over. Mysterio finally falls to the apron from Jack Swagger’s pushing, but he slides back under the bottom rope; before Swagger can do anything about it, Kofi Kingston helps his teammate out by clubbing the Phenomenal Athlete in the back. Cena takes some stomps from Del Rio, still grounded from before, while Triple H gets up and rests against the ropes in an empty corner. Ziggler is still selling, motionless on the floor.

Leaving Kofi to his business with Swagger, Rey Mysterio heads over to Triple H and throws a couple of punches – not your traditional match-up, not one we’ve seen very often either, but we get a little taste here as Mysterio lays the right hands in and tries to press the Game up to the ropes. In the meantime, Alberto Del Rio pulls Cena up and tries to force him over the top rope, but the ex-“Champ” shows some signs of resistance. He sends the World Champion away with a right hand, then waits for him to turn around – Flying Shoulder Block! There’s a mixture of cheers and boos as Cena fires up, getting another Shoulder Block as Triple H fights back against Mysterio, forcing him into the corner and trying to flip him over… Del Rio throws a clothesline and gets DUMPED WITH THE SPIN-OUT POWERBOMB! Cena stands to the building noise in the arena, throwing up a hand… Triple H winds back and clothesline Mysterio over the top – ONLY FOR REY TO WRAP HIS LEGS AROUND THE GAME’S TORSO AND PULL HIM OVER… AS CENA GETS THE FIVE-KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Triple H and Mysterio land on the apron, both grabbing the middle rope in a mess of limbs… but Rey dangles close to the outside floor! Cena stalks Del Rio, a man looking dazed by the previous chain of moves – but he turns to see Triple H and Rey Mysterio both struggling up on the outside… SO HE CHARGES CLUMSILY TO KNOCK MYSTERIO OFF, ONLY TO SEND THEM BOTH FLYING TO THE OUTSIDE MATS!

Eliminations #8 and #9: Triple H and Rey Mysterio by John Cena at 11:31

The crowd is in uproar, and Triple H gets up with a furious expression – Cena looks stunned, apparently thinking it a freak accident! Rey took a worse fall and he stays down, but the Game is looking through Cena with blazing eyes, while Cena just shrugs… BUT DEL RIO SNEAKS UP BEHIND AND TIPS HIM OVER THE TOP!

Elimination #10: John Cena by Alberto Del Rio at 11:50

Cena lands almost beside Triple H, but he too is up quickly; he’s embarrassed, but he doesn’t show it, taking a look back at the smirking Del Rio then to the Game. Hunter’s scowl softens, becoming just a powerful stare across ringside at Cena – they know that they’ve made a mess of their chance to impress here tonight, but it doesn’t matter to either of them. They move towards one another, trading some trash talk under their breaths, until referees get between them to divert them away from one another. Cena walks away first, heading up the ramp, but Triple H follows him, saying something that we can’t catch – Cena turns, and the two go nose-to-nose once again. Del Rio watches briefly with amusement from the ring – the actions of people without titles – then turns back to see Kingston moving away from Swagger, and Bryan away from Black. It seems that we’re down to three on three, as Ziggler gets up and joins his Raw comrades. Cena and Triple H are still trading barbs, so once again the referees have to separate them, because otherwise they’ll start fighting, and apparently we’re saving that for next week. Cena throws off his shirt and flings it sideways, so the Game does the same… Cena’s saying something along the lines of “I don’t care if I have to hurt you…” but Triple H is answering back in kind…

…and it’s back to the ring, where three red shirts are lined up against three blue ones. It’s the World Champion with Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan, last night’s two big title challengers, while the Raw side is made up of the United States Champion, alongside the talented but very different pairing of Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. The crowd begins to buzz, as the men look along their lines to consider tactics – then they decide to forgo it, meaning we’re underway again! Del Rio takes on Black, driving him back to the corner, while Swagger meets Bryan head-on with some kicks and clubbing blows… but Kofi Kingston goes mental again and LEAPS into contact with Dolph Ziggler, knocking him down with a double-handed chop! Up gets Ziggler, but Kofi knocks him down with a Dropkick, then jumps on to him and throws flurries and flurries of mad punches! Dolph doesn’t know what’s hit him, but he manages to scramble back up and finds his way to the corner for some respite – but here comes Kofi again, leaping into the Koronco Buster, and getting ten punches as this crowd counts along! Once he’s done, he rolls back down, then sends Ziggler FLYING through the air with the Monkey Flip – as usual, Ziggler gives an immense sell, flipping on to his face, and this crowd loves it! Kofi gets to his feet… but Jack Swagger barrels through him with a ferocious KNEE LIFT, right to the face! Down goes Kofi, while Swagger’s previous target Daniel Bryan rests in the corner after some strikes. Swagger hoists Bryan up into the Oklahoma, bashing him against the turnbuckle – THEN COMPLETING THE OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! That leaves Bryan down in the corner, so Swagger hauls Kofi’s body on top of the submission expert and makes his charge… SWAGGER BOMB TO THE PAIR OF THEM!

The crowd groans; Swagger’s really making his presence known tonight, and he looks almost unstoppable like this… BUT HE STANDS AND GETS SMACKED BY ALBERTO DEL RIO’S CLASSIC ENZUIGIRI!!! That cracking sound echoes through the arena, a mixed reaction greeting the heel-on-heel action there, and Swagger goes down in a heap. That leaves Tyler Black, who was down from Del Rio’s relentless offence but wavers up, forcing him into the ropes and sending the World Champion off to the other side. Del Rio comes back, caught unawares – AND BLACK NAILS THE YAKUZA KICK! The Mexican Aristocrat gets levelled, rolling off to the side, so Black grabs the groggy Kofi Kingston off the mat and tries to hurl him over the top. Kofi sluggishly resists, giving Dolph Ziggler a chance to get up – he tells Black that “I got this” and grabs Kofi’s other leg, but Daniel Bryan struggles to his feet, his arms resting over the ropes as he tries to recompose himself. The submission expert main evented a pay-per-view last night, and he’s still fairly tired, but he has the energy to save his teammate by clubbing Black in the back and then Ziggler as well. He sends Black across the ring – no, the United States Champion reverses it… only for Bryan to tug himself back, ducking under a clothesline – AND KICKING BLACK’S FUCKING HEAD IN! An astounding hit puts Tyler on the deck, and Bryan shakes out the cobwebs – but a moment’s hesitation is a moment too long, because Dolph Ziggler darts in behind… to send his former Extreme Rules opponent flying over the top… AND BRYAN’S OUT!

Elimination #11: Daniel Bryan by Dolph Ziggler at 15:36

There’s some strong heat for Ziggler as he tosses out the former number one contender to the WWE Title, but he’s proud of himself, flicking some water out of the ring before he goes back to business. That business is Kofi Kingston, who greets him with a slow right hand, but Ziggler boots him in the gut and hits the ropes – Kofi’s keeled over, giving Dolph the chance to nail the FAME ASSER! That plants the Ghanaian, while Ziggler gets back to his feet to accept Vickie Guerrero’s applause from ringside… GERMAN SUPLEX FROM DEL RIO! The World Heavyweight Champion had wobbled up while Ziggler was otherwise occupied, and now he tosses the Perfection Artiste with a beautiful move! Del Rio turns, pointing to himself with the hint of a smile… but there’s Jack Swagger, who scoops Del Rio into the air – AND SLAMS HIM WITH THE SPINNING DOUBLE LEG TAKEDOWN! God knows that was easier than slamming the Big Show last night, but nonetheless an impressive hit from the All-American… he only has two men to deal with, and because Kofi Kingston is crawling to the ropes, Swagger grabs him by the ANKLE… NO! Kofi desperately turns and kicks him away, refusing to let Swagger damage him permanently, so the Phenomenal Athlete stumbles away, giving Kofi a chance to haul his exhausted body up – HOOKED UP – SOS TO SWAGGER, SURELY PURE INSTINCT HERE! The crowd cheers as Kofi plants the bigger man, punching the mat to fire himself up and forcing those tired legs into action again to get up. Dolph Ziggler has rolled to the apron, but at the behest of Vickie Guerrero, he staggers back to his feet, clutching the top rope. Kofi turns, so Ziggler looks to springboard – BUT KOFI LEAPS UP AND NAILS HIM WITH A DROPKICK AS HE DOES, SENDING HIM BACK ON TO THE TOP ROPE… AND BOUNCING OUT TO THE FLOOR! The referees say Ziggler was back in the ring, meaning he went over the top… and he’s eliminated, much to Vickie’s horror!

Elimination #12: Dolph Ziggler by Kofi Kingston at 17:14

The crowd is cheering, and you can’t blame them – Kofi Kingston really turned on the style there, but Dolph Ziggler is sprawled on the outside, looking more dazed than angry! That’s probably because he loves to sell things to the extreme, especially after a fall like that, but we’ll turn back to the ring… where things are now two on two, with Kofi teaming with his opponent last night in Del Rio to keep SmackDown’s hopes of a decent Draft alive. In charge of giving Raw a 7-4 lead in picks are Tyler Black, having a great couple of nights, and Raw’s new man Jack Swagger, already showing his prowess on his first night back in the red. The pace has slowed now, if only because these men are trying to sell the variety of big moves they’ve all been trading in the past few minutes, and Black is the first man up to meet Kofi. The United States Champion is still shaking out the pain of having a Daniel Bryan kick land flush to the temple, but he measures Kofi Kingston, a worthy opponent, and tries with a clothesline. Kofi ducks it, though, then starts throwing those double-handed chops across the chest, trying to force Black back to the corner. Tyler sees himself getting pinned in and swerves to the outside, shoving Kofi hard into the buckles… then getting a run-up to land a Corner Elbow Smash! That stiff shot has Kingston reeling, so Black looks to clothesline him over the ropes to get the two-on-one advantage… BUT KOFI SENDS HIM UP – NOOO! BLACK GRABS ON TO THE TOP TURNBUCKLE AND HOLDS ON!

Kofi staggers away, out of the corner, maybe even thinking he’s done enough to remove Black from the contest. Alberto Del Rio is up, frowning as he sees Kofi, then his gaze shoots behind the Ghanaian… to the top turnbuckle, where Tyler Black is trying to reset his footing to maybe get airborne! Del Rio moves forward, so Kingston brings up his hands, expecting a fight… BUT DEL RIO RUNS RIGHT PAST HIM, LEAPING TO THE TOP ROPE TO CRACK TYLER BLACK IN THE FACE WITH THE ENZUIGIRI! The United States Champion reels back, absolutely driven somewhere into next week, and he has no chance to staying there… he topples off the top, bouncing off the apron and slamming awkwardly on to the outside floor! There’s not a man in the world who could have seen that kick coming!

Elimination #13: Tyler Black by Alberto Del Rio at 19:20

Del Rio heaves himself up, and walks over to a speechless Kingston; “Dat’s why I’m de World Champion, amigo!” he yells, making sure his face consumes Kofi’s entire field of vision. Black holds his neck on the outside, showing just how bad a fall that was, while in the ring, Del Rio continues to make his point, gesturing to himself as Kofi stares at him. The former challenger looks a little stunned, maybe coming to terms with how good Del Rio actually is… but they’ve both got caught up in their own issues, because this match isn’t over – JACK SWAGGER shoves Del Rio into Kingston, knocking the Ghanaian down, and now Swagger hurls the World Champion over the top rope! We’re jolted out of that exchange, with Swagger rudely interrupting, but crucially, Del Rio isn’t out – he’s held on! Swagger hoists Kofi up, getting the dazed man in the hold for the GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB… BUT NO! Kofi spins out of it, then launches TROUBLE IN PARADISE – NOTHING BUT AIR! This time it’s Swagger who evades, scrabbling for the trailing leg – and he catches it as it whizzes past, looking for the ANKLE LOCK… ONLY FOR KOFI TO DIVE DOWN, THROWING SWAGGER ACROSS THE RING! Swagger scrambles back to his feet, throwing a clothesline, but Kofi ducks it, then grabs him by the wrist to HURL HIM FOR THE ROPES… AND ALBERTO DEL RIO OF ALL PEOPLE IS THERE TO HAUL THE TOP ROPE DOWN… SO SWAGGER CRASHES TO THE OUTSIDE!!! SMACKDOWN WINS!!!

Elimination #14: Jack Swagger by Kofi Kingston at 20:24

Result: Team SmackDown bt. Team Raw; World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston are sole survivors

*IT’S YOUR LAST SHOT*


Justin Roberts:
Here are your winners, and obtaining two draft picks for SmackDown… Kofi Kingston, and the World Heavyweight Champion… ALBERTO – DEL – RIO!

What a turnaround from Team SmackDown! From a three-to-two situation, Kofi Kingston and Alberto Del Rio have won it for the blue brand, and that gets them two draft picks! The crowd cheers as Jack Swagger collapses on the outside, with Michael Cole holding his head in his hands, but although it’s supposed to be a moment of celebration, Kingston and Del Rio don’t look pleased. The World Champion stays momentarily on the apron, then steps inside to face the man who helped him to this victory; nothing but cold stares.

“One more shot, man. You can’t beat me twice.”

Del Rio doesn’t reply.


Jim Ross:
What an effort from Kofi Kingston and Alberto Del Rio of Team SmackDown, guys, that means the final two picks of the night go to Friday nights, and I tell ya, if that’s not impressive from Kingston, I don’t know what is.

Josh Matthews: JR, we saw effort from Kofi last night like nothing we’ve seen from him before, and once again he’s overcome the odds tonight – he’s combined for three of the six picks SmackDown will have in total, and he’s made his case. Maybe that one second was the only difference between him becoming the new World Champion after all.

Jim Ross: Indeed a very narrow margin that stopped Kofi Kingston achievin’ his dream, but on the back of that match, he may not have far to look for that sought-after rematch. Keep dreamin’ kid, that’s all I’ll say – ya gotta believe he’s got what it takes.

Booker T: Gotta respect da boi’s spirit, JR, but ya gotta respect da champ’s performance tah-night too… dese are two guys who know what’s up and down, dey know each other. Dis is personal naw.

Del Rio has his title passed to him from ringside. His blue shirt is torn from some kind of scuffle during the match, while Kofi’s eyes are naturally drawn to the gold. Del Rio looks around, acknowledging Kingston’s efforts… then shakes his head and leaves. Kofi turns on his heel, watching Del Rio’s stoic exit… and he nods once. The Ghanaian knows he has impressed.

Jim Ross:
I tell ya, I can’t wait for some more answers come Friday night, but for now, SmackDown has two draft picks…

Here goes the TitanTron for the penultimate time…







***

PICK #10 | DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN

WILLIAM REGAL

***

*VILLAIN*


A chorus of heat greets that pick, evening the brands at five apiece, and William Regal makes his appearance with a degree of calmness, a degree that we didn’t exactly see earlier. He’s spent plenty of time on the blue brand, so he tries to keep a poker face… but as Alberto Del Rio passes him, he shoots a longing look at the title, then turns to face the figure of Kofi Kingston in the ring. Of course, Kingston beat him earlier in the evening, and a frown begins to form, as if the Englishman’s still not happy about that.

Jim Ross:
We spoke about William Regal earlier tonight, guys – ya gotta think he’s ready to make another charge for glory on Friday nights.

Josh Matthews: I think he’ll fit in well there, JR. He’s been there before, he’s got all the tools, and he was unlucky to lose tonight to an in-form Kofi Kingston.

Booker T: Regal’s a tough dawg, he’s gonna be hard to take down – can’t wait to see him do his thing on SmackDown, baby, see if dat aggression can take ‘im to da big one.

Regal stands dead still, not pacing or waving. He stares coldly around the arena…

Jim Ross:
The final pick of the 2011 Draft comin’ your way in just a sec, folks, don’t go away.

…and Raw goes to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

We’re back to a quiet arena, with the ring and stage now empty after the main event we just saw. That said, the atmosphere perks up as the TitanTron bursts into life and the crowd buzzes…







***

PICK #11 | DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN

RANDY ORTON

***


“I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD…”

*VOICES*


THE FANS GO CRAZY! It’s a gigantic pick to finish the night, and out walks Randy Orton, still heavily strapped up but unable to stop smirking at the huge reaction! The Viper paces from side to side on the stage, mouthing “Yeah!” to show how impressed he is, as if he’s acknowledging how much he knows that he’s a big coup.

Jim Ross:
Orton! Now that’s what I call a final pick!

Josh Matthews: Without a doubt in my mind, JR, that’s as big as it gets – SmackDown has hit the jackpot in the lottery tonight, because the Viper is heading to Friday nights… he’ll be missed.

Booker T: Awww, things just got a HELLUVA lot more interestin’ dis Friday! Can ya dig it? It’s goin’ be da Viper wit D-Bryan, Sheamus, Riley, Regal, Bourne all comin’ over from Raw – it’s gonna be tight, man, it’s gonna be BIG.

Jim Ross: I daresay both shows will be pretty pleased with what they got tonight, and ya look at Randy Orton right there, I’d say the Draft means a little bit more, folks. This is a fresh start for him, away from the issues that had troubled him on Raw… Orton knows it.

Indeed, Orton looks pleased to be heading the other way, stroking his jaw as he observes this cheering crowd, all giving him a great ovation… but the mood changes…

*THIS FIRE BURNS*


IMMENSE heat fills this arena, and Orton turns… but he can’t stop the storming figure of CM PUNK, who scoops him up – AND DRILLS HIM WITH THE GO TO SLEEP!!!

Jim Ross:
Oh C’MON!

The music cuts almost immediately, giving way to some massive, massive heat from the fans in Tacoma, as a very cold Second City Saint turns his head in a circle, almost loosening up his neck. He’s wearing a t-shirt with his logo on it, so we can’t see how hurt he is from last night, but all the pain you need to see is in the face of Randy Orton. Punk stands above the Viper’s body for a moment… then shakes out his arms and walks for the ring, ignoring the huge heat he receives on his way.

Jim Ross:
For God’s sake – CM Punk couldn’t just let sleepin’ dogs lie, he had to have his last laugh…

Punk stops at the foot of the ramp, studying the ring for a moment, then paces around it to head towards the ringside area. The commentators, the fans, even the ringside staff are eyeing him with disgust, as he walks through the jungle of wires and yanks the mic out of Justin Roberts’ hands. Turning, he heads up the ring steps, not using the mic just yet, but takes another long look around the arena before he steps inside. He doesn’t approve.

Josh Matthews:
I don’t understand, JR. CM Punk didn’t need to come out here, he didn’t need to do this… why…

Punk takes a little longer to soak up the reaction, still stoic as ever, before he falls into his usual cross-legged position in the centre of the ring. On the stage, Randy Orton remains collapsed, his face wrecked in pain as he lies against the steel grating. The crowd is chanting “YOU SUCK!”, but Punk brings the mic up and cuts through it all.

CM Punk:
They’ll say it began tonight.

He tilts his head down as the crowd continues to chant; he holds the mic where it was, nodding a little to take his time. He looks up again.

CM Punk:
I have one regret about my time in this company, and it’s a big one… it’s that I have been a spectator. I have been passive.

His eyes scan the arena, then he looks forward once more.

CM Punk:
From day one, when I signed a contract, I made a mistake in thinking I would be working with people like myself. I was wrong – I am one in a million.

Boos for that statement. Punk, however, is not bragging – he truly believes that.

CM Punk:
See, in another day, in another time, I would have become the best wrestler… that’s wrestler… in the world – by my own merit. But by pure chance, I grew up in the day and age in which the number one wrestling company in the world… has ‘entertainment’ as its mission statement.

Some heat as Punk points to the stage, where Orton is still lying in a heap.

CM Punk:
Does that look entertaining to you? Do you all enjoy what I just did?

Inevitably, the crowd boos, but Punk shakes his head.

CM Punk:
That’s not entertainment, that’s just faith. That’s the ability that I have to believe whole-heartedly that I am capable of more. More than anyone else on this roster, more than so-called ‘Hall of Famers’, and certainly more than the people who run this place.

Punk takes a moment, breathing deeply and loosening up his neck again.

CM Punk:
Fact is, I am sick of playing to the rules of this company.

A little heat but mostly stunned silence there. Punk lets that sink in then continues.

CM Punk:
I have sinned because I sat back and did nothing, while this company did things wrong. They stopped professional wrestling as it once was and made it about something else – they made it for you, not for me. They made it for the consumer, and something about that… makes my skin crawl.

Heat as Punk heaves himself up, maybe showing the strain of last night, and moves over to the corner. He leans his arms against the top buckle and stares out at the arena.

CM Punk:
I am sick of it all. I am sick of the WWE – the corporation, the money-making machine. That’s not what it was supposed to be about, not when I started out, not when I was just a kid wanting to be the best.

He sighs.

CM Punk:
More than anything, I am sick… of Vince McMahon.

Mixed reaction there, mostly boos again as Punk stares briefly at the canvas.

CM Punk:
Men like Vince McMahon and his messed-up family ruined something that I love.

Heat from the crowd once more; on the stage, Orton has been helped up by a couple of referees.

CM Punk:
It doesn’t make a difference to you people, but I expect nothing less. YOU’RE the ones buying the t-shirts, the music, the signs they want you to hold, the tickets to come here and clap and cheer for guys who haven’t got the BALLS to stand up and say what they really feel!

The boos get louder, as Orton hobbles backstage, and now Punk begins to pace around the ring.

CM Punk:
You all disgust me.

“YOU SUCK!” reply the thousands.

CM Punk:
And ya look at last night – Randy Orton damn near killed me, but I came out on top. I did that because like I said… I am capable of MORE, and I deserve better.

The chants continue, mixed with the heavy booing, but it doesn’t bother the Second City Saint.

CM Punk:
I deserve better than the constant mistakes, the little diseases that plague this place. You take a guy like Jerry Lawler, a man who isn’t fit to do a damn thing around here, and even after ten years, maybe more, of sittin’ at ringside and watchin’ this company tick along, he still can’t do his job right.

Boos – a few “Jerry!” chants die out pretty quickly.

CM Punk:
But this is about more than him – it’s bigger than him. What makes me different from everyone else is that not only do I understand the system, but I know why it’s broken.

Punk brings a finger up to press against his temple. He leans over the ropes and stares into the hard camera.

CM Punk:
Vince McMahon has spent a long time craftin’ that system the way he likes it, but this is bad news for him – because I don’t wanna be a part of his twisted vision. And I don’t have to be, either, I’m better than that.

The crowd boos, but Punk stares right back into the barrel of the gun, taking it all in.

CM Punk:
For some of the guys in the back, this all might be a little hard to swallow, but I’ll be damned if I spend one more day here and be a stooge. ‘Cause I’ve met a lotta people in my time who were just in it for the money – I’m not one of those guys.

Punk shakes his head, pacing left and right a little.

CM Punk:
No, from the day I was put on this earth, it was because I was going to be the best at this. I was going to be the best in the world.

Heat from the crowd as Punk stands still.

CM Punk:
Somewhere in that… that hell last night, I realised that this company would never let it happen. A guy like me would never get that chance, not the way things are now.

For the first time, a little smirk begins to form…

CM Punk:
So I’m going to change it.

…but it fades and he turns deadly serious again.

CM Punk:
I am going to change it violently, and I am going to change it my way. People will bleed, people will suffer for that change if they have to. It’s change whether you people want it or not. And I know that there’s no better way to do that… than striking a blow right to the heart.

He stands dead still now, staring into the hard camera.

CM Punk:
I want Vince McMahon to come to this ring next week, and give me a match at Capitol Punishment… with Dwayne Johnson.

OH. The crowd gives a huge mixed reaction, soon giving way to a series of “ROCKY! ROCKY!” chants to spite the Second City Saint.

CM Punk:
And Vince, if you don’t, I will leave this company for good…

That actually gets a pop, but Punk isn’t done.

CM Punk:
…and then I will come for your family.

‘CLUNK’ goes the mic against the canvas.

Punk turns and exits the ring, as the crowd boos furiously after that last threat. He hops off the apron and strides back up the ramp, a scowl on his face as he goes, but the noise is incredible; Punk has just about every fan on their feet. The fans along the ramp are telling him what they think, shouting abuse as he walks, but it doesn’t faze the Second City Saint, who finally stops when he gets to the top of the stage. Orton is long gone, so Punk is all alone – he turns to stare at the hatred of thousands…

…and Raw fades to black.


END OF SHOW



*NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED*


---

Supplemental Draft coming soon. I’m fully aware I’ve probably split opinion on a few of the above decisions, but rest assured it’s all been planned out. Thoroughly. Over about two years. And in the words of our King, I’d remind everyone that people on PPV posters mean nothing.

I’m gonna go see if TKoW has burned all evidence that he’s ever spoken to me.

EDIT: Fuck, he clearly hasn't. It was late when I posted this - yes, this is 2011. How did I keep doing that? And why did no-one tell me?
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:39 AM   #149 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Dat 2013 draft in 2011
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #150 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

So glad to see you’re trying to continue this BTB. You’re one of my favorite writers. Let’s see what you got.

Very happy with the promo and match that preceded the Miz promo. Good opening match as well, with Christian and Miz. Like the interference from the Corre and the separation of Christian and Edge as a tag team. Yes, it’s great having them together as a tag team, but they benefit more if they are split up and are competitors in single competition.

While the HHH and Cena match should be a hell of match next week on Raw, it’s sort of a waste of a match from the night before. Why have Triple H win the #1 contendership only to have to put it on the line a week later?

Like the match and like the draft pick as well. With Bryan losing the night before to Miz a change of scenery for Bryan should be good.
I’m sort of peeved by the fact you make obvious Masters has no chance of winning a draft pick for Smackdown. I want some suspense, even if I know Masters has no shot, I want to at least want to keep reading on. The way you wrote his entrance, I automatically skipped the match because I knew Ziggler was going to win.

Kane as a draft pick great! Tarver debuting great! Tarver debuting against Kane, I’m really on the fence about. Tarver looked great and really made a statement, but I can’t picture Kane at his stature and his character just getting floored to the ground after one shot, even if Tarver is 1.9 seconds. I do believe this feud can be great for Tarver’s character, but Kane came off a bit weak for my tasting.

Probably one of the more underrated matches on the card I really enjoyed. Both were desperate for a win after their losses at OTL, but Kofi picks up the win. Good way for him to maybe get back in the championship hunt on Smackdown.

Once again I felt predicable with Black picking up the win considering he just beat Sheamus for the title one night ago. However, for Black’s progression in the WWE this is another high profile win for him. Please, Melvis in the supplemental draft move Mac. He’s too good to be wasted and right now it seems like he could get lost in the shuffle on Smackdown.

Again, much like the Ziggler/Masters match, the way the announcers (Jim Ross) seemed to put down Watsons and Young’s chances I didn’t need to read on. I do appreciate they mentioned the tables both members of the Convoy went through, but personally against it had a jobberish type match feel to it.

I take back what I say about Mac moving to Raw. Adding Swagger is a great move. I see him potentially going after Black’s title and maybe even being a player for the WWE title. Michael Cole, by his side as well should be interesting especially with Lawler being the general manager.

Interested that there were two draft picks on the line. I’m not complaining, but it was intriguing. Once again a great match and I’m glad with Edge losing there is no hope of Edge and Christian continuing their feud with the Corre. With this match, it’s put to bed or so I hope. The draft picks, pretty much swapping Swagger with Sheamus is good with me. Bourne to Smackdown, I fear he might get lost in the shuffle.

Capital Punishment promo was simply amazing. Can’t wait for the show….in two years.

Orton competing? I must say I am very surprised. Even though it was a short match, I felt the effects from the night before would surly keep Orton out, even if he is going against someone lower than him. As for the result I love it, but what do we do now? Is Gabriel/Slater still champs? I’m guessing so. The more I think about it however a little part of me wishes you kept the Corre. Would have been nice to see what you would do with them. With Gabriel moving to Raw I think, the Corre starts to split slowly.

Some people competing twice I don’t mind but three matches like Kofi/Mysterio I really think it’s a bit of overkill. Would have just had Kofi go in the main event and someone replace Mysterio in the main event (Sheamus?) possibly. First couple of eliminations were fine, the Cody Rhodes/Bryan elimination I am so intrigued by. Bryan needs a nice feud to start him off on Smackdown and Rhodes would be perfect. The Cena elimination of Mysterio and HHH was perfectly executed and sets up perfectly for next week’s huge match-up. Ziggler eliminating Bryan makes me think he’s a favorite for MITB winner. Considering he beat a jobber like Masters earlier I wasn’t impressed, but now he has favorable momentum. Keep up with that. Last three eliminations I’m a huge fan of. Kofi gets the win for his team. While I’m not too sure if I want to see Kofi/Del Rio round two, I’m happy Kofi is hanging around the main event scene for now especially with Christian/Sheamus/Bryan all possibly hanging around the main event scene as well.

Your own take on CM Punk’s famous Raw shoot promo eh? I enjoyed it did not see the swerve with Punk challenging the Rock, which I beg of you not to do and I think you won’t do. Capital Punishment is not the place to do it although, if it is true Punk leaves, you could be setting up for a possible Summerslam match. The one thing I was a bit meh about was him leaving and talking bad about Vince and his family. It reminded me TOO much of the shoot promo. You spiced it up well, until those things came of Punks mouth. All in all though it was a great promo.

Overall, this was a good show. As I said some of the matches and the way they were written during the entrances, made me skip a bit, but all in all a good show. Both Smackdown and Raw got an even split of talent. New talent (Black/Tarver) is emerging onto the scene on Raw. Smackdown right now seems to be missing some youth; but seems very stacked on the Main Event scene especially with faces (Bryan/Kofi/Christian/Orton). Keep it up man.
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