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Old 07-01-2013, 07:03 PM   #151 (permalink)
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Raw Feedback


Strong promo from The Miz to start this one out. You’ve really got to grips with his character beautifully and I could totally see this as a Miz promo during his title reign. His words, him defying expectations again, everything just fits with him right now and at the minute, as long as he keeps on growing, I don’t see why he shouldn’t hold that title for a little while longer.

Solid match between he and Christian, bit of a tricky one to book considering they’re both in strong positions right now but I think you made the right call in giving Miz a pinfall win. Coulda gone with a DQ but the Corre’s presence made a lot of sense. First draft pick being Edge shocked the hell out of me, must be honest. I really did see you going an Edge vs Christian route at Summerslam in Edge’s farewell match but here we are now with him going to Raw. First thoughts? Don’t like it, doesn’t make sense. Second thoughts? You’ve got something lined up that’ll work so I’ll shut up.

I didn’t quite know what to make of this Cena-Trips promo. Why are they going at it No Holds Barred? And why is Trips putting his title shot on the line? They need a winner sure but No Holds Barred is more for a real brutal rivalry, not a bit of a ‘Who’s better than who’ contest. Match will be excellent no doubt about it, stipulation probably not necessary though and it also makes last night’s match a little pointless now Cena may just get his shot anyway.

Only one team winning this one and I’ve got no problem with that, can’t have big showdowns every contest. Mysterio and Cara becoming a more permanent tag team would be good to see, I think they’d be a nice fit in the division and give both men something solid to do.

D-Bry to Smackdown? BIG PICK. On the one hand I’m a little disappointed as now he doesn’t really get to react to that Miz defeat but on the other hand, very excited to see what this fresh start brings him. Could be the perfect setting for you to thrive in developing him in terms of both character and positioning.

Interesting exchange between T-Lo and Edge. The line from Edge about it meaning more to him had me thinking. I’m probably reading too much into it but yeah, Edge/Barrett should be good anyway.

Nice little promo from Dolph here. Throwing out the ‘I didn’t lose’ card was anticipated but it’s definitely the right move. Him making it crystal clear this is only the beginning and whatnot has me looking forward to where you go next with him. Wouldn’t mind a feud with Edge to be fair or someone of that stature. Always gonna beat Masters, nothing much to say on that front.

This next segment though? I got one word for this one…awesome. Absolutely loved it. Kane coming back, big reaction, big stage…BAM. Michael Tarver baby. Now this is how you make an impact, how you get a newcomer/returning star over, how you get a crowd reaction, just fantastic stuff. I read the review from Rated RKO31 and he said he thought Kane looked weak. For me that’s not the case at all. If you want a guy debuting to really look strong then this is how you do it, take a guy like Kane, a guy like Jericho, somebody in that fashion who can have something like this happen and it doesn’t affect them whatsoever while it makes Tarver looks an absolute beast. Everything from the knockout to that neckerchief, the fact it was Kane, he’s got a real aura about him now. Can’t wait to see how Kane responds and how this feud develops, excellent job with this.

Can imagine Kofi and Regal being a real solid match and despite Regal losing last night, I think he had to lose tonight also, what with Kofi’s recent surge up the card. Certainly interested in your next move with Kofi, it’s probably gonna be a defining one with regards to his position.

Alex Riley’s a solid choice for a fresh start. I think he’ll add nicely to the mid card mix on Smackdown, be interesting how you utilise him on his own and whether you’ll have him take the ‘Varsity Villain’ gimmick.

Cena and Trips in the Battle Royal? That’ll end well…

Good win for Black to continue to establish himself now that he’s got the U.S Title over his shoulder, expecting big things in this title reign from him. Shame McIntyre’s not got a whole bunch going on though, hopefully you find something to do for him on the SD side of things once the draft’s done and dusted.

Beth as a draft pick, I can live with that. Title feud would be nice, not too many better options for you.

Ah and there’s that ever developing Kofi character, nicely done here. The desperation from him was sold really well as was Long’s hesitation. I’d expect more from this in the battle royal.

Bit surprised at just how long this one went to be honest. I’d expect the Convoy to walk right through Watson and Young but nevertheless, a win’s a win. I think these two guys will hopefully make even more impact in the coming weeks, be it by Punk’s side or on their own. I think you could portray them as even MORE destructive…do it.

Swagger to Raw could be a shrewd move from you there. He’s been a really well booked character in this thread and I’d expect his momentum to continue over to Monday nights. Cole as annoying as ever I see, him and J.R/King could well produce a few moments already it seems. Swagger/Black for U.S gold would be a nice programme, hint hint.

Enjoyable contest beween Barrett and Edge though I was very surprised with the outcome. I thought with Edge now out of sight you’d give him the win here, perhaps thanks to Christian and he could move on from this with a victory under his belt and at least some satisfaction. Big win for Barrett though and I’d assume he carries on with Christian for the time being until Taker comes back into the fold.

Bourne and Sheamus to Friday nights are really good choices. After his loss last night, a change of scenery was probably just what the doctor ordered for Sheamus. I’m interested to see if you’ll turn him face as in real life or if you’ll keep him heel and see where you can take him. Bourne meanwhile will no doubt be a strong hand in the midcard and keep your match quality sky high I’m sure.

Really didn’t like the finish to this next one…until the draft pick. Orton really could’ve done with the momentum of a win after his loss to Punk but with the way it all panned out and Gabriel being drafted it did make a lot of sense. Maybe you could’ve picked a different opponent for Slater though as this really didn’t do a whole lot for Orton. As for Gabriel and Slater, obvious tension between the two and I was a little surprised you did it. These two have been excellent as champions and you’d have to assume they’ll drop those straps soon now that Gabriel’s on the red brand. A Gabriel singles push would be sweet though, you’ve done more enough for him to warrant it.

Nice early showing of the Kofi we all wanna see moving forward. The new found aggression and point to prove is really great to see and while the tension between Cena and Trips was always gonna be evident you still played it up nicely. Was pleased you didn’t make this a Cena and Trips dick measuring contest as to who makes the most eliminations, giving guys like Swagger and Cody eliminations is definitely the right call. Also, I hope your Kofi and Black passage was a shout out to a certain AOW writer .

Bryan/Rhodes possibly starting up after this? Would be an exciting feud for sure, count me in although I would like to see a bit more than just Cody’s mask being a bit of a key point in things. The Cena and Hunter eliminations were well booked, also makes Del Rio look really smart in catching Cena off guard like that, had an Edge Ultimate Opportunist feel about it. Some really gripping action now and hey, this is ‘In New Talent We Trust’ and you’re taking every opportunity to show it in giving these men the platform to get to this final stage. Kofi and Del Rio as the final two? Clever. I didn’t exactly expect it but it certainly makes them look equals and as though a rematch is indeed in order. If you can keep this up with Kofi then I’m really excited at that prospect.

Regal to Friday nights? I hope you give him a nice push although Smackdown really does seem stacked now with a lot of fresh options, where Regal fits in I don’t know but I certainly look forward to seeing. And there he isssssssss, Orton was probably the only guy who I thought was a ‘given’ in being drafted and I was pleased to be correct, it’s exactly what he needs and I’d expect he moves into the title picture fairly soon. Smackdown certainly needed a big name and Orton was the right call.

But the show’s not over…didn’t anticipate this. Must admit I wondered just where the hell Punk had been and thought maybe a week off after the match with Orton but this was some impact indeed. Your take on the Pipebomb it would seem and it was a pretty damn strong one at that. A fair bit of it was reminiscent but I’ve got no problems with that as it was necessary to get over his point. You capture Punk better than anyone, especially in this role and this was no different. Only gripe I have about this promo is that I’d have liked to have heard a bit more on why he wants to face The Rock or his buddy Dwayne as you put it. I know it’s as you put, he’s like the heart of what McMahon wants but I’d have liked a little bit more on just exactly why he is that McMahon mould of a superstar and why Punk hates him specifically for it.

I’m certain we will get more on that front next week but yeah, only complaint to a really captivating promo. The line at the end was chilling also about coming after Vince’s family. Punk against the machine, Punk versus the McMahon’s was an angle that had so much potential and didn’t get fulfilled, I’ve no doubts you’ll pull it off. Great job with this show, matches were a little predictable but for TV I don’t mind, it’s about developing things and you did just that. The draft picks were near enough all strong and they all certainly have a different dynamic with this being a huge fresh start for a lot of them. Can’t wait to see where you go next, should be a cracking read whatever route you take.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #152 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Quote:
SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT RESULTS

RAW


Brodus Clay
Curt Hawkins
Darren Young
JTG
Percy Watson
Trent Barreta


SMACKDOWN

Gail Kim
Jey Uso
Jimmy Uso
Mark Henry
Primo
Tamina
Yoshi Tatsu
Zack Ryder


---

DEL RIO AND KINGSTON REMATCH IN WASHINGTON; BEAT THE CLOCK CHALLENGE THIS FRIDAY

Huge news coming out of Monday Night Raw – following Kofi Kingston’s victory alongside Alberto Del Rio in the main event Battle Royal, Theodore Long has come good on his ambiguous promise. At Capitol Punishment, Kingston will have a chance to right the narrow wrongs of their Over The Limit match in which the challenger’s top-rope hesitation cost him, because the World Heavyweight Title will be on the line for a vital rematch between the two. Kofi maintains that he was ‘inches away’ from winning the World Title, and another impressive performance on Monday night despite his fatigue shows his true desire to capture the strap. This Friday night, the two men will compete in a Beat The Clock Challenge, as set up by Theodore Long, with the winner having the opportunity to choose a stipulation for the match in the nation’s capital. With that possibility hanging in the air, both men will want to deny the other man an advantage… a future World Title Match could be decided as early as this Friday night.
Hopefully just enough to keep things ticking over.

Thanks to cp954 and RatedRKO31 for their feedback. The whole Triple H-Cena issue is because they always wanted to fight for the title shot, but Lawler (stupidly, I'd hasten to add) made them team together in Tag Team Attraction. A month ago HHH tried to smash Cena's head against the steel steps with a sledgehammer - these guys want to prove who's the better man, and they want to do it by any means necessary. It also sells the idea that they have to do Lawler's job for him, making the match he was too afraid to make. Hope that clears the issue up a tad.

SmackDown preview coming soon; the following Raw is coming along well.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #153 (permalink)
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I owe you some reads man, will be reviewing your next show for sure. Reading the Raw draft now.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:34 PM   #154 (permalink)
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WWE Superstars
Spokane Arena, Spokane, Washington | 26th May 2011

Melina bts. Kelly Kelly via Last Call at 5:40
Evan Bourne bts. David Otunga via Shooting Star Press at 7:13
Drew McIntyre bts. Chris Masters via Future Shock at 2:56
DZP bt. Yoshi Tatsu and Goldust via Rough Ryder to Goldust at 10:38


---

Friday Night SmackDown
Spokane Arena, Spokane, Washington | 27th May 2011



We’re still in Washington state, just five nights after Over The Limit and a mere four since the WWE saw a shake-up like no other in the 2011 WWE Draft. Monday night saw World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and his unsuccessful challenger Kofi Kingston outstay fourteen other men to win the main event Battle Royal for SmackDown, and since then General Manager Teddy Long has issued a rematch; it’ll be Kingston and Del Rio one more time at Capitol Punishment in a few weeks’ time. That crucial World Title Match will have a stipulation, however – a stipulation to be decided tonight, by either Kingston or Del Rio. As for who decides, that will be determined tonight as SmackDown welcomes back the Beat The Clock Challenge! Both Del Rio and Kingston will face an opponent, looking to post the quicker win, and the man that does will select the all-important stipulation for their match in Washington D.C. The question is – who will win that right? And can Kofi get past criticisms that he choked?

Elsewhere, Wade Barrett will share some thoughts after his distraction saw long-time rival Edge drafted to Raw. The English bare-knuckle fighter also beat the Rated R Superstar later in the night, to the surprise of many in attendance, but this will only fill Barrett with confidence as he returns home to a SmackDown void of his biggest threat. As Barrett looks forward to pastures new, it may only be bittersweet – for a man who loves to have everything mapped out in his own design, seeing Corre member Justin Gabriel drafted to Raw too on Monday may yet throw a dampener on his celebrations. Gabriel and fellow Tag Team Champion Heath Slater will be on SmackDown tonight, scheduled to be at ringside to watch tag action as new SmackDown superstars the Usos take on Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio, who were victorious on Monday. Might one of these teams stake their claim to the precious titles with a win here?

That’s not all, as Daniel Bryan takes to the ring on his first night as a SmackDown superstar, and who knows what else as the new SmackDown recruits look to make their mark! It’s sure to be an interesting show as SmackDown embarks on a new era, so don’t miss out!


Announced For SmackDown

Beat The Clock Challenge; Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston will compete
Words from Wade Barrett
Tag Team Contest; The Usos versus Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio
Daniel Bryan in action


Nearly done with Raw bar the obvious huge main event. It's also Promo City, as a warning. Slowly seeing my format shift closer and closer to that of Legend's whilst writing it, but the more I read his thread, God rest his inactive soul, the more I can't help but think he was on to something. No Big Show pushes or ECW invasions yet though. Anyway, in the meantime, here's a preview. Superstars and weekly previews will be shortened from now on because as soon as the actual show's up, who really minds. Until then, go read the Newsletter again, or I hear TKoW's back...
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:43 PM   #155 (permalink)
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Friday Night SmackDown
Spokane Arena, Spokane, Washington | 27th May 2011




‘Beat The Clock’


SmackDown opens with a brief run-through of Over The Limit’s major matches on the blue side of things; we get highlights of Edge and Christian beating The Corre after the lights go out on Wade Barrett again, then the sight of Cody Rhodes overcoming Rey Mysterio to retain his Intercontinental Championship. Rhodes tries to bludgeon Mysterio with the title belt, but Sin Cara makes a surprise appearance to save his fellow luchador. The main focus is, unsurprisingly, on Alberto Del Rio’s title defence against Kofi Kingston, in which the two men go back and forth, trading huge moves… but in the end it’s Del Rio who wins it when an exhausted Kofi loses his footing momentarily on the top turnbuckle, and the champion capitalises with a huge Enzuigiri to retain his title. As Kofi looks desperately at the floor, Del Rio finds himself surrounded by his Administration in celebration…

…and now we see some footage from Monday night, flashing through a couple of SmackDown’s draft picks (former WWE Title challenger Daniel Bryan included) before we see Kofi Kingston beating William Regal. Kingston’s talk with Teddy Long is shown, in which he asks for one more shot at the World Heavyweight Title, and Long says if Kofi can impress in the main event Battle Royal he might be able to do something. Of course, this leads us into Kingston’s performance in said match, taking on pretty much everyone on the Raw team and chucking people from the ring. This includes in the dying embers of the match, when he and teammate Del Rio are all alone against Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Tyler Black, but the pair of them come up with a huge effort to overcome the numerical disadvantage. Del Rio boots Black off the top turnbuckle, while Kingston kicks Ziggler out, then sends Jack Swagger flying over the top rope when Del Rio pulls it down. This means SmackDown wins the match, but of course, the focus remains on champion and former challenger in the ring, as the pair of them stare one another down…

We sweep into the SmackDown opening video, now with an updated series of superstars after the new haul of competitors from the Draft show, but crucially still ending on the sight of Del Rio kissing the belt moments after he won it at Extreme Rules. Del Rio’s image zooms out of sight and we’re taken to the Spokane Arena, where fireworks explode all over the stage, and we head to ringside for our usual three-man announce team.


Josh Matthews: Welcome to Friday Night SmackDown, folks, I’m Josh Matthews with Matt Striker and Booker T… we’re five days out of Over The Limit, while we have a new crop of talent on Friday nights after the 2011 Draft that occurred earlier this week on Raw.

Matt Striker: Absolutely Josh, and you can’t forget the Supplemental Draft which helped fill out the SmackDown roster – headin’ forward, things look pretty good for the blue brand, and tonight, things get even better.

Josh Matthews: Indeed, tonight sees the return of the infamous Beat The Clock Challenge, with so many memorable incidents in the past, and tonight it means even more. Kofi Kingston and Alberto Del Rio will face off one more time at Capitol Punishment for the World Title, but tonight Book, one of them gets to pick the match stipulation.

Booker T: Awww, ya gotta love it, dawg. Time fo’ one of dese two guys to get creative ‘bout dis, maybe take a big step to makin’ sure dey win dat rematch. Hell, if da first match was anythin’ to go by, things are gonna be GOOD in a couple weeks.

Josh Matthews: Also tonight, it’s the SmackDown debut of Daniel Bryan, who got on the wrong side of Cody Rhodes on Monday night, and we’ve got Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara teaming up again, so the action should be as entertaining as ever tonight.

*BORN TO WIN*


A decent cheer goes up as the stage flashes red and black, and Evan Bourne jogs out with a big smile on his face! The bell rings as he runs side-to-side, making sure to get the fans as involved as he can here, then runs a hand through his hair and sprints down the ramp, leaping feet-first into the ring as usual.

Tony Chimel: The following contest is part of the Beat The Clock Challenge, and it is set for one fall! Introducing first, from St. Louis, Missouri, weighing in at one hundred and eighty-three pounds… EVAAAAN – BOOOOUUURNE!

Josh Matthews: It’ll be Evan Bourne making his first SmackDown appearance tonight, and guys, what a way to start out your time on Friday nights, by facing the World Heavyweight Champion.

Matt Striker: And needless to say, Josh, that a win over the World Champion in your first match on SmackDown would mean a whole lot… I have nothing but respect for Evan Bourne, he’s a talented competitor who actually beat yours truly in one of his first matches in the WWE.

Josh Matthews: Erm… I’m not sure it’s that great an achievement, Matt, but yes, that’s true.

Bourne tests the ropes, clearly fired up for this big match, then leaps up to the second rope and throws up the peace sign as usual. His grin is as wide as ever, but it fades a little when he hops down and shakes out his arms. He knows this could be monumental, so he bounces on the balls of his feet and waits, his music dying down in the meantime.

Tony Chimel:
Please welcome Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer… Ricardo Rodriguez!

Boos for the swagged-out Ricardo Rodriguez, standing with a huge smirk on his face. He tugs on his bow tie and turns to the stage.

*REALEZA*


The heat builds in the Spokane Arena, as the stage turns gold and a car horn starts honking away… prompting the appearance of the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, driving a sensational white Lamborghini. He pulls the car to a stop and gets out, his title over his shoulder, and starts to walk towards the ramp, the golden rain falling as he gets there. He gestures to himself, not so much arrogance as it is an instinct – he smells the air, grits his teeth and begins to walk towards the ring. It’s almost as if he’s angry to even be in this position.

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!!!

Josh Matthews: And Alberto Del Rio’s title reign goes on after Sunday’s events, a narrow win taking him past Kofi Kingston, but we know that this isn’t over, and we know that Kofi Kingston is going to get one more chance.

Matt Striker: After his performances earlier this week, you can understand that, Josh.

Booker T: Mah boi Kofi wants dat title bad, and hell, Del Rio ain’t gotta like it, but he got it done on Raw and naw he got himself another shot. Just comes down which man can pick dat stipulation tah-night, give themselves a chance goin’ into D.C., ya feel dat?

Del Rio heads up the ring steps and swings inside; he takes half a look at Bourne then heads to the buckles, gesturing to himself to make sure all focus is on him. He wants everyone to know that he’s still SmackDown’s top name, as if there had been doubt recently, then slaps his title and stands down, giving his title to Ricardo as the announcer leaves the ring. Bourne looks pretty game, so Del Rio throws his silk scarf to the outside and gears up, knowing that the faster he wins, the better chance he has of selecting that stipulation. Charles Robinson checks that both men are good to go, then calls for the bell.

Match One – Singles Contest – Beat The Clock Challenge
Evan Bourne vs World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez


Del Rio seems to dominate this at various stages, but he can’t keep Bourne down for the crucial three seconds. He’s the bigger man, and it shows as we join the match with Del Rio trying to force a submission on a basic Armbar. Bourne sells it like he’s having his arm torn off as usual, but he refuses to tap out – this frustrates Del Rio, who really needs a quick win, but the clock is ticking and the high-flyer is working to get out of the hold… and here we go as Bourne swivels out and locks his legs around Del Rio’s neck to haul him off! Both men get up, with Del Rio throwing a clothesline, but Bourne ducks it and slams into the ropes – ALL AROUND THE WORLD, THERE’S THE HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN TO DEL RIO! The crowd pops as Del Rio goes rolling across the ring, but he gets back up… right into a series of kicks from Bourne, each one sharper than the last, and now the Spinning Back Kick to send Del Rio into the corner. Every hit from Bourne is good news for Kofi Kingston, and here goes the high-flyer again – BUT THE CORNER DROPKICK MISSES, MEANING BOURNE COLLIDES WITH THE BUCKLES! Bourne’s body bounces back and collapses to the floor, so Del Rio gets back to his feet, stalking his opponent as he fights his way up to his knees… AND NAILS BOURNE IN THE JAW WITH THE SUPERKICK! Evan goes down in a heap, almost lights out from the huge hit, and Del Rio falls over Bourne, looking to secure as quick a victory as he can… one… two… but Bourne kicks out!

A pop goes up, but Del Rio looks flushed. He was hoping for a squash, an easy win, but he’s not getting it because of Bourne’s resilient and bright efforts. The high-flyer puts a hand on the ropes and begins to struggle to his feet, while Del Rio moves over to grab him, knowing that every second is precious. He grabs the left arm and goes for the Double Knee Armbreaker… but Bourne gets a hand on the ropes and Del Rio lands back-first on the canvas! The World Champion struggles up, copping a fair few hard kicks from the fan favourite, who now heads to the ropes and leaps into the HURRICANRANA – NO! Del Rio shoves him off, so Bourne lands on his feet… ducks a clothesline… THEN CRACKS THE MEXICAN ARISTOCRAT BETWEEN THE EYES WITH A KNEE! Del Rio goes stumbling away, but he manages to stay upright to turn to face Bourne again, his eyes unfocused – BUT BOURNE COMES ALIVE WITH A ROUNDHOUSE KICK, TAKING HIM DOWN! The crowd goes wild as Bourne puts the World Champion on his back, and now he covers, sensing a famous victory… one… two – no! Del Rio kicks out! Bourne looks to the ceiling briefly, but then he sees that Del Rio hasn’t the energy to get up, so he heads to the outside apron, and begins to head up top! The noise in the arena builds, as Bourne clambers slowly to the top, and in the background the fans are getting to their feet to get a good view… HERE’S THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS – NOOO!!! Del Rio rolls sideways, meaning Bourne lands awkwardly on his feet, staggering across the ring – the Mexican Aristocrat is up, having the wherewithal to hunt Bourne down before he can recover… AND FLIP HIM INTO THE CROSS-ARM BREAKER! The crowd groans in disappointment, giving way to some boos, but Bourne screams in agony… he’s surviving, maybe looking to get towards the ropes, heaving both of them an inch sideways… but Del Rio WRENCHES on the arm again – AND BOURNE HAS TO TAP!

Result: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio bts. Evan Bourne via submission at 8:20

*REALEZA*


Ricardo Rodriguez:
Aquí está su ganador como el resultado de una presentación… ALBERTOOOO – DEL RIIIIIIIOOOOOO!

Loud heat fills the Spokane Arena as Del Rio releases the hold and stands, immediately turning to the crowd and gesturing towards himself. His hands are frantic, yelling “ME! ME!” to keep all eyes on him, and he heads up to the second rope to slap a hand against his own chest – he remains unhappy about the past week’s events, but if nothing else, he has a victory here.

Josh Matthews:
Folks, the clock reads eight minutes twenty seconds – that’s the time Kofi Kingston will have to beat later tonight if he wants to pick that stipulation for Capitol Punishment.

Matt Striker: A solid time against a brave opponent in Evan Bourne, Josh, but you look in the eyes of our World Champion – I think he’s not as confident as we’ve seen before. Kofi Kingston pushed him to the limit on Sunday and if he gets to pick the stipulation too… well, the pendulum might be swinging.

Booker T: Da more I think about it, da more I gotta believe Kofi got what it takes, but take nuthin’ away from dat boi Del Rio, he got it done on Sunday and he got it done tah-night. He done his job, naw Kofi gotta try to do his.

Josh Matthews: And there’s still questions to be asked about whether or not Kofi Kingston can win the title on the second try, but I look forward to finding out. For now, as you say Booker… the champion has done all he can.

Ricardo enters the ring to hand Del Rio the title – the Mexican Aristocrat takes a second to shove Evan Bourne spitefully out of the ring with his boot, garnering some more boos in the process, then takes the title and kisses it deliberately. This is all just a message to one man, ahead of one of Del Rio’s sterner tests in the near future.

SmackDown heads to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

We’re backstage when we return, with SmackDown’s new man Alex Riley being the focus of the camera. He get some heat as he storms down the corridor in his Varsity Villain jacket, shoving open a backstage door and heading inside without knocking. Unlike Monday night there can be no ambiguity; this is home to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, who looks up in surprise as Riley bursts in.

Alex Riley:
Teddy, you better be callin’ me in here for a good reason.

Theodore Long: I am, playa.

Riley holds up a hand to stop him, then folds his arms.

Alex Riley: Wait a second. I just want you to know somethin’, alright? Now that I’m your newest star, you need to start caterin’ to my needs, Teddy. I was tutored personally by the WWE Champion – hell, I’m a prodigy.

Teddy looks unimpressed.

Alex Riley:
So goin’ forward, we need to lay down some ground rules. You can’t just call me in here whenever the hell ya feel like. Unless it’s for like a bonus or somethin’. You hear me?

Long raises his eyebrows.

Theodore Long: (a little sarcastically)
Loud and clear. Anyway – you know Miss Lee.

He gestures sideways, with the camera tracking out a little to accommodate AJ Lee into the shot. The petite Diva folds her arms. Riley looks unsure.

Alex Riley:
How long has she been in here?

Theodore Long: AJ here is the newest SmackDown Diva, ya see. And luckily for her, she’s got herself a mentor to show her the ropes. That’s you.

A pop, somewhat mocking, as Riley’s face turns sour.

Alex Riley:
Are you kiddin’? Me stuck with some chick who… what, came third on NXT?

AJ tilts her head to the side.

AJ Lee:
Er… didn’t you come third on NXT?

A long pause. Riley’s head slowly turns towards her.

Alex Riley:
Shut up.

Some heat as AJ looks at the floor.

Alex Riley:
Teddy, tell me this is all a joke.

Theodore Long: ‘Fraid not, playa. See, what you did to Gail Kim back on Raw was pretty bad, but you haven’t got any punishment for that… well, I’m jumpin’ in before the Board of Directors do. But rather than just fine ya, you’re gonna help AJ out.

Riley folds his arms.

Alex Riley:
What if I refuse?

Theodore Long: Ya won’t be stayin’ here on SmackDown for long.

A-Ry scowls.

Alex Riley:
And how long exactly am I doin’ this for?

Theodore Long: As long as it takes. And tonight, you’re gonna be at ringside for AJ’s first match.

Silence. AJ looks awkwardly around the office while Riley stares into the GM’s eyes. Finally, he turns on his heel, opening the door… but he stops, considering his options – and turns back to AJ.

Alex Riley:
We don’t have all day.

AJ hears this and goes scurrying out the door. Riley takes a moment to stare back at Long, who shrugs…

Theodore Long:
Holla holla.

Riley gives him a look that says ‘I hate you’ and walks out.

To the arena, then. The bell chimes…


*GET UP*


There’s some small heat, and the rather-generic music heralds the arrival of Jimmy and Jey Uso, who crouch on the stage and yell out at the crowd in unison. It’s their first appearance away from Superstars in a while, so they look pretty pleased, high fiving then heading for the ring, their heads bouncing to the beat of the music.

Tony Chimel:
The following tag team contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Samoa, at a combined weight of four hundred and fifty-five pounds… THE USOOOOS!

Josh Matthews: The Usos looking fired up tonight ahead of this tag team affair, they moved in the Supplemental Draft in mid-week… but in the meantime, we’re joined at ringside by special guests Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel.

We cut to the announce desk to see WWE Tag Team Champions, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, indeed, tagged on to the end of the now-five-man announce team. Slater’s grinning.

Heath Slater:
That’s TAG TEAM CHAMPS, Josh, don’t forget it.

Matt Striker: Gentlemen, there’s been a lot of debate since Monday night, when Heath, you essentially got Justin here drafted by throwing away your match with…

Heath Slater: Lemme just stop ya right there, Matt. See, Justin may be ‘officially’ a Raw superstar, but these shiny belts here, they mean we can go wherever we want. And seein’ as we don’t plan on losin’ ‘em, this team ain’t goin’ anywhere.

The Usos are in the ring now, taking a moment to taunt the crowd – Jimmy points to the champions, likely suggesting they want the belts. Their music dies down, so they trash talk a little to the champs and to the crowd, until the stage turns into a rainbow…

“BOOYAKA, BOOYAKA…”

*619*


The crowd pops big, and it’s totally understandable – Rey Mysterio leaps into view, pointing out at the cheering fans, as Sin Cara slowly joins him in his usual longcoat, which he shrugs off and raises his arms. Behind him rushes the blue mist, and now the luchadors turn to each other, getting a high five in before Sin Cara goes charging down the ramp – and LAUNCHES into the ring with the springboard! The pyro goes off, with Sin Cara rushing around the squared circle now, but Rey takes a jog down the ramp because he has business with anyone wearing a replica mask. Once he’s done, he goes to join his partner in the ring.

Tony Chimel:
And their opponents… at a combined weight of three hundred and fifty-five pounds… the team of Rey Mysterio, and SIIIIN – CARA!

Josh Matthews: Well, these two men joined forces at Over The Limit to fend off Cody Rhodes, and after their performance on the Draft show on Monday, they’ve really turned some heads with their impressive aerial offence.

Heath Slater: ‘Aerial offence’, Josh? How about my man Justin here? He’s got all the skills ya could possibly need!

Booker T: Naw I gotta dig Rey and Sin Cara – dey turned it ON, dey put on a SHOW on Monday night, dey got what it takes to make some waves.

Matt Striker: Certainly they’re a unique pairing, Booker; Justin, I know you grew up watchin’ guys not unlike Rey Mysterio, your in-ring style is very similar to his… what are your thoughts on these two as a tag team?

Justin looks across at Striker, then back to the ring, not saying a word.

In the meantime, Rey joins Sin Cara in the ring, and the pair exchange some words in Spanish ahead of this contest. Sin Cara opts to start when asked by referee Scott Armstrong, while Jey steps up for the opposition, leaving Jimmy and Mysterio to step to the apron; Slater and Gabriel are watching intently from ringside, and the bell chimes.


Match Two – Tag Team Contest
The Usos vs Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara


Even with the obvious distractions sitting at the announce desk, both teams manage to stay on task – this much is evident from Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio showing no fear in executing their usual aerial skills throughout. As we jump in, Sin Cara and Jimmy Uso are going at it, swapping blows – Jimmy hits the ropes and swings with a clothesline, but Cara ducks it and goes for the HANDSTAND into those same ropes… HANDSPRING BACK ELBOW! Both men go down, but Sin Cara’s quickly up to accept the cheers of the crowd, while Jimmy takes a moment to hold his face before he struggles up… and Sin Cara leaps, spinning all around Uso’s head… TO BRING HIM DOWN WITH THE HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN! Again, the crowd cheers as Jimmy goes sprawling, but it’s towards his own corner, so he gets the tag to Jey! Here comes the other Uso, to some boos from the crowd; Sin Cara seems undeterred by Jimmy escaping (quite how he’d show it anyway is unclear), so he meets his brother with a couple of hard kicks. Jey answers back with a right hand, then another, and shoves the Mexican Idol into the ropes. Sin Cara rebounds… and leaps into the Crucifix hold on the Samoan! Jey yells in pain as he finds his arms spread wide, and he momentarily falls to a knee, but forces himself back up. His face is scrunched up as he tries to recover himself, maybe find a way out… we get a couple of shots of people watching, from the impressed Rey Mysterio on the apron to the reigning champions at ringside, then back to the competitors – AS JEY FORCES HIS ARMS BACK IN, AND SLAMS SIN CARA WITH THE SAMOAN DROP! The crowd groans in awe, and Jimmy punches the air on the apron as his brother makes a tired cover… one… two… NO! Kickout by Sin Cara!

Jey looks surprised, but he shakes his head and gets up. Sin Cara struggles up too, but Uso flattens him again with a sharp forearm to the face. Jey turns, exchanging a glance with his brother, and heads out to the apron, then up top! The crowd begins to buzz, every eye on Jey Uso now as he measures Sin Cara… DIVING SPLAAASH – MISSES! A huge groan goes up in Spokane as Jey Uso collides with the mat, Sin Cara rolling sideways… AND NOW HE TAGS IN REY MYSTERIO! The crowd pops as Rey slingshots over the top rope, stalking Jey as he struggles inch by inch to a vertical base… Rey hits the ropes and brings him down again with a Dropkick to the knee! Jey’s up again, wincing and staggering back to Rey, who peppers him with a few kicks, then hits the ropes again to roll into the Hurricanrana… GOT IT, AND THE PIN… one… two… NO! Jey kicks out of it! Both men get up, stumbling to opposite sides of the ring, but Rey’s the fresher man and he moves quicker, charging at Jey – WHO NAILS HIM WITH A BIG BOOT! The Ultimate Underdog goes down in a heap, so Jey takes a moment to recover. His brother wants the tag, but he tells him to wait, clearly envisioning another hit of his own – Rey’s up, so Jey whips him to the ropes… AND SCORES WITH THE SPINNING SIDE SLAM! That’s Rey down, so Jey hooks a leg… one… two… THR-NO! Kickout by the little man! Uso gets up, pulling Rey up as well – he takes him to the corner, laying in the right hands, then takes a few steps back… but the Stinger Splash MISSES! He collides with the corner, so Rey comes alive, charging into the ropes… but Jimmy Uso tugs him back! The crowd boos, Rey turning around in surprise – Jimmy has his arms in the air, protesting his innocence… so Rey DECKS him with a right hand! A cheer goes up as Jimmy tumbles off the apron, and Rey turns around… BAM! JEY USO DROPS HIM WITH A SUPERKICK! Jey falls to a knee, selling the hits he’s taken himself, while Sin Cara watches with his hands on his head… Jimmy Uso scrambles back to the apron, meanwhile! He’s holding his jaw and scowling, his other hand over the ropes to beg for the tag…

…so Jey hands it to him! Mysterio is down, so Jimmy immediately heads up top, pointing to the luchador to signal the end… BUT SIN CARA CHARGES ACROSS THE RING, LEAPING TO THE TOP – AND SENDING THEM BOTH OFF WITH THE MOONSAULT SIDE SLAM!!! Rey Mysterio rolls towards the corner at just the right moment, taking him well away from Sin Cara as he drills Jimmy with that awe-inspiring move, and the Mexican Idol gets up just in time to be clotheslined over the top rope by Jey Uso, both men tumbling to the outside! It’s pure chaos here, but crucially, we’re back to the legal men, as Rey Mysterio rolls to the outside apron and hauls himself up the buckles… the crowd begins to cheer, with Jimmy Uso motionless on the canvas – Rey takes a quick, meaningful look at the champions at ringside, then soars… WITH THE NO-HANDED SPLASH, RIGHT ACROSS JIMMY USO’S STOMACH! The crowd pops BIG, and Mysterio takes a moment to recover, before he manages to hook a leg… one… two… three!

Result: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara bt. The Usos via pinfall at 6:51

*619*


Tony Chimel:
Here are your winners… the team of SIIIIN CARA, AND REEEEY – MYSTERIO!

The crowd cheers as the bell chimes, and Sin Cara rolls back into the ring, stumbling a little when he stands but ultimately staying upright. He and Rey have a quick embrace and allow Scott Armstrong to raise their arms, Mysterio smiling as they soak up the cheers from the crowd. At ringside, something goes ‘clunk’ and we cut to see Justin Gabriel getting up and leaving. Heath Slater is caught off-guard and drops his headset too to hurry after him, calling his name repeatedly. All the while, they’re watched by Rey and Sin Cara, two men now standing on the turnbuckles to thank the crowd… but their eyes remain on the champions as Gabriel heads for the stage.

Josh Matthews:
Another impressive win for Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, guys – their teamwork is really beginning to pay dividends, but talking about teamwork, you can’t help but wonder what’s going on with Gabriel and Slater.

Matt Striker: There still seems to be some frustration on Justin Gabriel’s part about what transpired Monday night, Josh, but still, with future challengers all around them, they need to be on the same page.

Booker T: Especially if dey gotta contend wit Rey and mah boi Sin Cara, ya dig? Dese two guys are lookin’ HAWT, dey got it done tah-night and da champs saw every last second of it.

Slater turns on the ramp, trying for one last intimidating gesture by raising the title, but Gabriel has already walked backstage and it just looks desperate. The One Man Band looks around, very aware that he’s now alone, while Mysterio and Sin Cara point to him from the ring, and Heath quickly decides he’s had enough and makes his exit.

As Rey and Sin Cara go back to their celebrations, SmackDown 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.


---

*ALL ABOUT THE POWER*


When we return, David Otunga is in the ring with his hood up, shades on. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he turns around to show the ‘A-LISTER’ written on the back of his hoodie, then pulls it off and throws it to ringside, as well as his sunglasses. Turning, he flexes his muscles for the crowd’s benefit, a sly smile forming as he admires himself. The bell rings.

Tony Chimel:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Hollywood, California, weighing in at two hundred and thirty pounds… the A-Lister… DAVID – OTUNGA!

Josh Matthews: Capitol Punishment already looks like being another famous night, guys, with Kofi Kingston having one more chance at the World Heavyweight Title, and tonight, he’s got to beat eight minutes and twenty seconds in our main event to earn the chance to pick the stipulation for that contest.

Matt Striker: We know Kofi Kingston’s got a big few weeks ahead of him still, Josh, but we’ve got David Otunga set to go here… SmackDown’s A-Lister.

Booker T just chuckles at that. Otunga continues to pose as his music dies out.

*RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*


The crowd goes WILD! In the ring, Otunga stops his flexing and starts frowning instead, because his opponent walks out to a great ovation – for his SmackDown debut, it’s Daniel Bryan, with a smiling Gail Kim by his side, and the submission artist raises an arm! He’s happy to be here, looking pretty confident ahead of this contest, as Gail kisses him briefly on the cheek and he begins to sidestep down the ramp with that arm still raised.

Tony Chimel:
And his opponent, accompanied by Gail Kim… from Aberdeen, Washington, weighing in at two hundred and ten pounds… DANIEL BRYAN!

Josh Matthews: Now here’s a man we’ve been looking forward to seeing on SmackDown – Daniel Bryan may have lost on Sunday night but it was by pure twist of fate, The Miz tapping out to the LeBell Lock while referee Mike Chioda was incapacitated.

Matt Striker: I’m surprised we’re not looking at the new WWE Champion, Josh, but Daniel Bryan has a bright future ahead of him, and that starts tonight, with his first match on Friday nights.

Booker T: Mah boi D-BRY was robbed on Sunday, but he gotta get his mind right, he gotta beat da guy in front of him, he gotta put Over da Limit behind him. He a SUPA-HERO, he got what it takes to go far on dis show… and baby it all starts tah-night.

Bryan heads up the steps, wiping his feet briefly on the apron and stepping inside, climbing immediately to the second rope and raising that arm again. He throws a look at Otunga after he’s stepped down, thanking all sides of the crowd for their support and then testing the blue ropes for good measure. Now a SmackDown superstar, he takes a moment to soak up the difference in the atmosphere, then turns to look at his opponent again. With Gail Kim watching from ringside, the two former Nexus members step forward to face each other, with referee John Cone telling them to separate before he’ll call for the bell. They do, with Bryan throwing some shadow punches just to finish his warm-up, and now we’re underway.

Bryan’s small smile vanishes.


Match Three – Singles Contest
David Otunga vs Daniel Bryan w/ Gail Kim


We’re into the action as the clock ticks past two minutes, with these two trading some barbs but Bryan undoubtedly having the better of it. Otunga has managed to slow Bryan down, however, pressing him into the corner and delivering some shoulder thrusts. Bryan gasps with each one, so Otunga takes his chance and whips him across the ring, following him to the corner… but Bryan BACKFLIPS off the turnbuckle, landing behind Otunga! The A-Lister turns in horror as the crowd livens up, with Bryan now slamming into the ropes and coming back… TO NAIL OTUNGA WITH A FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Both men get up, Otunga counting the stars as they flicker in front of his eyes, then turning to face Bryan – WHO BLASTS HIM WITH ANOTHER FIERCE CLOTHESLINE! This time, Otunga stays down, so Bryan heads out to the apron, feeding off the crowd as they begin to cheer. The submission expert, having an easier time here than he did against The Miz on Sunday, hauls himself up to the top, then measures Otunga as he begins to get up… BEFORE BRYAN THROWS HIMSELF OFF THE TOP – AND BRINGS OTUNGA DOWN WITH THE FRONT MISSILE DROPKICK! That gets the crowd on its feet, while conversely Bryan and Otunga collapse to the floor, with Bryan pumping that arm to keep himself going. Slowly, he manages to find the energy to force himself over Otunga for the cover… one… two… but Otunga rolls a shoulder at two and a half!

Light boos from the crowd, but Bryan remains confident, rolling back smoothly to his feet and stalking the A-Lister. Otunga’s searching on the canvas, clearly shaken but able to find a vertical base and turn around to face his opponent… who kicks him in the side! Otunga reels back, but he sidesteps the next kick, knowing where those could lead, then grabs Bryan by the wrist and whips him away… no, he pulls him back and THROWS him into the Flapjack! The crowd groans as Bryan rolls sideways in pain, and Otunga adds an Elbow Drop before he hooks a leg… one… two… but Bryan kicks out! It takes him a moment to recover, pressing his hand to his jaw to sell the Flapjack, but Bryan finds his way up – only to get put in a front facelock by Otunga. The A-Lister wants control over this bout, but Bryan can out-wrestle him any day of the week, transitioning out of the hold and layering a kick or three into Otunga’s side! Each kick is greeted with a shout of pain from Otunga, as Bryan starts to fire up, taking out the lawyer’s knees with those sharp hits and bringing him down… BEFORE HE STARTS FIRING AWAY WITH KICKS TO THE CHEST, GETTING THE CROWD ROARING WITH APPROVAL! Bryan’s kicking like a madman, remembering the hardships that he’s faced this past week, but now he stands back, leaving a dizzy and battered Otunga to rest on his knees… the crowd is buzzing… AND BRYAN KICKS HIS FUCKING HEAD IN! A huge pop goes up as Otunga collapses in a heap, and Bryan wastes no time, rolling the A-Lister on to his back and hooking a leg… one… two… three!

Result: Daniel Bryan bts. David Otunga via pinfall at 4:06

*RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*


Tony Chimel:
Here is your winner… DANIEL – BRYAN!

The crowd loves it – Bryan stands with a nod, evidently pleased with his SmackDown debut, and has his arm raised by John Cone. Otunga’s body slumps to the outside floor, totally out of it after that mind-bending kick to the skull, while Gail Kim enters to congratulate her boyfriend. She throws her arms around him, as Cone exits the ring, and Bryan thanks each side of the crowd.

Josh Matthews:
Impressive start to a SmackDown career for Daniel Bryan, and he may be all smiles now, but we saw him unleash a real mean streak there, possibly prompted by what we saw on Sunday night.

Booker T: Mah boi knows he got it done, Josh, he ain’t gotta worry ‘bout it… naw he just gotta keep da momentum rollin’, and before long he’ll be back in da game, back in for dat success he deserves.

Matt Striker: Daniel Bryan continues to show us his true ability, putting David Otunga away in as emphatic fashion as you could imagine there… indeed, the future could be bright.

Bryan opens the ropes for Gail to step out, and she does; he takes one more lap of the ring for the cheering crowd… but suddenly there’s a buzz… and a figure is charging down the ramp! Bryan doesn’t clock the change in noise quickly enough – SO HE TAKES A TITLE BELT TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD FROM CODY RHODES!

The crowd ERUPTS with furious heat as the Intercontinental Champion decks Bryan, the submission expert going down in a heap and clutching his head! Rhodes throws his black hood off to reveal those demonic eyes behind his mask… he’s just as angry as the crowd, staring down at Bryan with pure hatred.


Josh Matthews: Cody Rhodes – what kind of welcome to SmackDown is this?

Booker T: I keep tellin’ you guys, dis boi is insane in da head!

Gail Kim tries to re-enter the ring, but Rhodes turns towards her and she has no choice but to retreat. Rhodes falls beside the writhing Bryan, letting the title unfurl in his hands so Bryan can see it through his wincing eyes. With his other hand, Rhodes grabs Bryan by the jaw and forces him to look through the mask, right into his bulging eyes, and spits “NEVER… TOUCH… MY MASK – AGAIN.” With that, he slams Bryan’s face back into the deck, and walks out to a chorus of heat.

*DISFIGURED*


Matt Striker:
We saw Daniel Bryan mock Cody Rhodes on Monday night… I think we’ve realised that the demented Intercontinental Champion doesn’t take jokes well.

As Rhodes walks up the ramp, he throws up his hood and obscures his face once more, giving Gail Kim the space to check on her boyfriend. Bryan grits his teeth and nods to say he’ll fight through it, managing to get up to his knees… as we fade away…

COMMERCIAL BREAK

And when we come back…

“I’VE HAD ENOUGH! I MAKE ‘EM SEE…”


*END OF DAYS*


Here comes the heat again, almost as loud as any we’ve heard tonight, for Wade Barrett, all alone tonight in front of his blood-red electronic curtain. Wearing a shirt with The Corre’s logo on it, the Englishman takes a long, long observing look of the thousands here, then raises a slow arm and marches down the ramp. His eyes flicker left and right, as always on lookout for anyone who could cause him harm.

Josh Matthews:
Well, Wade Barrett’s ghost came back to haunt him on Sunday night, guys, costing his men of The Corre their match against Edge and Christian, but he got the last laugh on Monday’s Draft show when not only did he get Edge drafted to Raw, but beat him emphatically later in the evening.

Matt Striker: Just when you thought Barrett had finally got what he almost ‘deserved’, Josh, he came right back and surprised us all on Raw… he’s content knowing that he’s got one annoyance out of his life, and he got it out with no punches pulled.

Booker T: Wade Barrett scarin’ me recently, man, he gotta have everythin’ his way, and if he don’t get his way… bad stuff goes down, dawg. People gettin’ laid out, chairshots, who da hell knows what else…

Barrett walks up the ring steps, leaving his hand on the top rope briefly as he stares out at the Spokane Arena yet again, before he steps inside and paces the ring. He heads to the side, collecting a mic from the ringside staff, and twirls it in his hand as he walks, waiting for his music to subside. Eventually it does, so he tilts his eyes up to the fans, most of whom are chanting “YOU SUCK!” repeatedly, but he ignores them and brings the mic up.

Wade Barrett:
Maybe you’ve all finally learned.

Immediate heat.

Wade Barrett:
What you’ve learned… is that no-one messes… with The Corre.

Again, heat for that.

Wade Barrett:
And specifically, no-one messes… with Wade Barrett.

He tilts his head up to accept the boos this time.

Wade Barrett:
And knowing this, I had no need for the rest of The Corre tonight. If they have other business to attend to, that’s fine by me. Because now I’ve sent a message, and for once, I can stand here knowing I am completely safe from assault.

His head turns sideways briefly – seems like bullshit here.

Wade Barrett:
I have proved again and again how dangerous I can be. I think you all know, here tonight and in that locker room (he points), that every movement I make, every punch I throw, has been measured. I am a trained professional, capable of inflicting real damage.

As on Monday, a topic crosses his mind that prompts a rare smile from the Englishman.

Wade Barrett:
Edge learned that on Monday night.

Heavy boos for Barrett’s actions on Raw.

Wade Barrett:
That’s right, you’ll never see Edge here again, because he crossed The Corre, and we punished him for it. I beat him into the ground.

Again, heat for that. Barrett is far more willing to smirk here than he has in months.

Wade Barrett:
And more than that, I enjoyed it. I’d been waiting far too long to hurt him, and hurt him I did. So now he’s on Raw, and I’m a million miles away, ready for a new dawn.

He adjusts one of his elbow pads.

Wade Barrett:
That new start I’m owed – well, it begins now. I’m not done hurting people if that’s what it takes, and if I have to prove my point once again, believe me… I’ll do it.

Boos in Spokane as Barrett stares out, falling back into his serious self fully now.

Wade Barrett:
I may have had a few setbacks on the way, but I have pulled every string necessary to keep my enemies down, to get to here. I am not just a fighter, I am a thinker, more so than anyone else here, but I’m missing one thing. One thing I’ve deserved since day one.

The bare-knuckle fighter pauses to let his eyes flicker about the arena, waiting for someone to interrupt, checking each of the light fixtures. There’s nothing but a few boos, so he continues.

Wade Barrett:
The World Heavyweight Title.

Heat; the crowd want Barrett nowhere near the big one.

Wade Barrett:
I don’t care who else Teddy Long has lined up to shoot for it next, but the time is right for Wade Barrett. Kill the pretender to the throne.

This time the initial heat descends into chants of “KOFI! KOFI!” to attempt to rile Barrett, but he ignores them.

Wade Barrett:
There is no-one left to stop me getting what I deserve. My mind operates at too high a level, my fists hit too hard… for me to be halted now.

Barrett is now faced with a series of “YOU SUCK!” chants, but he just purses his lips and waits as the heat rolls in…

“…GO!”

*JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES*


BUT THE CROWD GOES NUTS! Barrett turns with a frown as the stage lights up several shades of gold… and there’s one Canadian he’s forgotten about, the crowd noise peaking as Christian walks out! The Livewire is in his ring gear, looking less than impressed tonight, and though he briefly looks out for his peeps, he locks his eyes back on Barrett and starts for the ring. In the squared circle, Barrett takes a step back, but stays collected; he’s going nowhere.

Josh Matthews:
Wade Barrett staking his claim to the World Title, but even though he got rid of Edge, he didn’t get rid of this man, guys. He didn’t get rid of Christian.

Booker T: Damn right, dawg, dis is probably da one guy dat Barrett didn’t wanna see – da only guy left who can hurt him, and I ain’t seein’ the rest of da Corre here to help him!

Matt Striker: And we all know about Christian’s heart, his desire when it comes to both the World Title he’s never won, and his best friend Edge. Monday night stung him, but credit where it’s due, he’s out here to make things right.

Christian heads up the ring steps and swings inside quickly. He stares momentarily at Barrett, then walks past him and grabs a mic. Barrett seems surprised that Christian didn’t go for the jugular, stepping well back as Christian moved, but now he just looks wary and stays out of the Canadian’s immediate reach. As always, the Englishman trusts no-one, thinking through everything he does. Christian’s music dies out, leading to hundreds and thousands of fans chanting his name, and he briefly acknowledges them with a nod before turning to look at Barrett again.

Christian:
Wade…

He stops briefly to listen to the chants again. Barrett’s gaze doesn’t move an inch.

Christian:
Wade, ya talk about what you deserve?

Captain Charisma raises an eyebrow.

Christian:
What you deserve is a con-chair-to symphony.

BIG pop for that, but Barrett folds his arms, refusing to step back and ditch what he said before.

Christian:
On Monday night, no matter how you try to swing it – what you did were the actions of a coward.

Boos from the crowd, but Barrett scoffs.

Christian:
And so my best friend is on Raw, because you were scared to deal with him. Scared to deal with us.

Barrett spreads his arms – “Did I look scared when I beat him?”

Christian:
It’s not the first time you and your buddies have tried to ruin this team, either. But facin’ facts, Wade, you can’t break up Edge and Christian.

A cheer for that.

Christian:
We might be on different shows, but it doesn’t mean we’re any less of a team. We’ll always be like brothers, even if you scheme and plot against us a thousand times.

Another pop, but Barrett remains unfazed.

Christian:
So the team may be split for now, but The Corre’s power over me ends right here. You can’t hold me back any longer. You can’t stop me going for the World Heavyweight Title this time.

That riles Barrett a little; the crowd cheers for Christian’s ambition, but the Englishman scowls.

Christian:
For seventeen years, I’ve wanted the big one, but I’ve never got my hands on it. I’ve watched as countless guys have won it, and every time the title changes hands, I wonder why I wasn’t there to be that guy. To be THE guy.

Some real emotion in Christian’s face here, taking glancing looks at the floor. He looks up, however, fire in his eyes.

Christian:
And while Edge was becoming one of the greatest, I sat by and did nothing. I applauded from the sidelines, waiting for that moment that he and I would have that match for the biggest prize in the world. That was the dream.

He stops, looking away with gritted teeth. This stings.

Christian:
Too many times, someone’s wanted to take that away from us, from me. And too many times, you’ve been that guy. So tonight, let me repay the favour.

The two men are locked in a deadly staredown now, as Christian swings his head back at the Englishman.

Christian:
You don’t deserve that famous moment, so I’m stepping up. I will do whatever I have to, just to make sure that I get that next shot… and you don’t.

Barrett tilts his head up and looks down his nose at the Livewire. The crowd is chanting Christian’s name again, but this time, the Canadian doesn’t acknowledge it, staring at his enemy.

Wade Barrett:
Edge? I broke him.

Immediate heat again.

Wade Barrett:
You can talk him up all you like, Christian, but I’ve had plenty of bare knuckle fights that were tougher than the beating I gave to your… friend.

A smirk as Barrett watches his words get under Christian’s skin.

Wade Barrett:
And the question is… if I can do that to a guy you call ‘one of the greatest’, to a guy who’s won all those titles, to a guy that you spent seventeen years in the SHADOW of…

A seething Christian has to hold himself back here.

Wade Barrett:
…just how much of a threat are you?

The boos roll in from the crowd, and Christian immediately steps forward. Barrett clenches his free fist, more than happy to fight after those big words – has he finally conquered his paranoia, his demons from before? The crowd begins to chant for Christian once again, as the two look set to face off, a real hatred in Captain Charisma’s eyes…

“I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD…”

*VOICES*


AND A MASSIVE POP FILLS THE SPOKANE ARENA! The two men in the ring turn in unison, looking at the gold-and-red stage in similar shades of shock… to see RANDY ORTON walking out for his first SmackDown appearance in a long, long time! One of SmackDown’s new headliners, still a little bandaged up from Sunday’s events, takes a look around the Spokane Arena with a small smile, then throws up the traditional pose to another pop. He turns his attention to the ring, licking his chops and heading down the ramp towards two very surprised men.

Josh Matthews:
Orton? The Viper out here, folks, the final pick of the 2011 Draft on Monday night… I couldn’t wait to see him on SmackDown, guys, and it looks like he’s making his own introductions!

Booker T: Awww, things were gettin’ heated in dat ring, but now it’s gettin’ REAL good, throw da Viper into the mix!

Matt Striker: The issues between Christian and Wade Barrett are a real talking point, considering what we’ve seen in recent weeks, but this throws me – what’s Randy Orton’s business with these two?

Orton heads around ringside, making sure he takes the full attention of Barrett and Christian, then grabs a mic and walks up the steps. He enters the ring, pacing back and forth slowly as he observes the men in front of him. Barrett has stepped away a little, providing some separation between the three, and forming a bit of a triangle as Orton’s music dies down. The Viper briefly shakes out his strapped-up shoulders, then brings that mic up.

Randy Orton:
I hate to make things difficult, but someone mentioned World Title shots and I just smelled blood.

A pop there. Orton looks from Barrett to Christian, trying to gauge their reactions a little.

Randy Orton:
Now, I may still sting a little from Sunday, but it didn’t stop me Monday night and it won’t stop me now… if I have to fight you both.

Christian looks wary at that, but Barrett’s gaze flicks between them both, as if he’s internalising a situation in his head.

Randy Orton:
Having gone through hell in that Stretcher Match, against three guys… then being drafted to SmackDown… and getting wiped out at the end of the show – I’ve had a big week. But if I have my way about it, it’s gonna be even bigger.

A sly smile from the Viper.

Randy Orton:
See, if there’s one thing I know how to do – it’s survive. CM Punk may have put the snake down for a moment, but he didn’t cut off the head.

Pop from the crowd; Orton is, indeed, still standing against all odds.

Randy Orton:
And now I have an agenda, to get back on track. To put that psychopathic, ugly mess behind me – and that begins… my time on SmackDown begins… with me setting my sights on the title, and RKOing everyone in the way.

Another cheer there, though Christian’s eyes have turned steely. Barrett tilts his head sideways, and it’s clear that neither of these men are intimidated by Orton. Not yet.

Randy Orton:
The only question is… are you in the way?

Orton leaves that to hang, his gaze swapping between the two, as the “RKO!” chants inevitably begin. The Viper is clearly confident, knowing he’s made an immediate impact on the first show, and once again, it looks like we might have a confrontation as Christian limbers up and Barrett clenches a fist…

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

*WRITTEN IN MY FACE*


Matt Striker:
What now?

There’s a stunned silence at first, then boos building in Spokane… as the FORMER United States Champion, Sheamus, title-less for the first time in this thread, arrives on the scene as well. Wearing a shirt with a Celtic pattern over his trunks and gripping the chain around his neck with his right hand, the Irishman takes a disapproving look around at his new surroundings, then begins to walk down the ramp. The three men in the ring look even more confused than before, though Orton seems a little pissed off that his thunder was stolen.

Josh Matthews:
And if there’s one man on SmackDown who I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of tonight, it’s this man right here – Sheamus gave everything he had, threw the kitchen sink at Tyler Black, but he just wouldn’t stay down, and now Black is the United States Champion as a result.

Matt Striker: We saw on Monday night too just how talented young Tyler Black is, Josh, beating Drew McIntyre and reaching the final four of the main event Battle Royal… Sheamus was drafted to SmackDown that same evening, and well, you just have to look at his face to know his feelings about that.

Booker T: Well how would you feel, dawg? Sheamus was undefeated, man, undefeated. Then da title’s on the line and BAM, Tyler Black comes up wit da performance of a lifetime, title changes hands, naw Sheamus ain’t gettin’ another shot at da title. He gotta move on, but he ain’t gotta like it.

Sheamus makes quick pace to ringside, wrenching his own mic away from the ringside staff, who are incidentally running out of mics, and heads up the steps to join the other three. His music dies out pretty sharpish, so the crowd largely boos the Celtic Warrior, who takes a brief survey of the other three before he raises the mic.

Sheamus:
I think I’ve heard just about enough.

A trademark frown from the Irishman as the crowd boos him. The four men have formed a bit of a square, a sort of stand-off occurring here.

Sheamus:
I was sat backstage, takin’ in the new surroundings and all… then I heard you three flappin’ yer gums and frankly it got real borin’, real fast.

Again, heat as the other three watch him with a mild dislike.

Sheamus:
‘Cause Orton, ya think a few chairshots hurts ya… Christian, ya think losin’ yer friend hurts ya… Barrett, ya think a light show hurts ya…

Barrett twitches a little.

Sheamus:
Nah. What hurts is losin’ yer title to a no-name hack… by a fluke, and not gettin’ a fair rematch ‘cause of some stupid Draft. Now that hurts.

A few “Tyler Black!” chants in the crowd, maybe just an attempt to spite the Irishman… but Sheamus is dead serious and won’t be riled.

Sheamus:
And I don’t know if you three were watchin’ or not, but Black goes dancin’ up the ramp cryin’ about his little ‘code’ and all that trash… well, I don’t work by a code. And that means if I’m angry, I’ll take it out on whoever I want, however I want.

A buzz in the arena.

Sheamus:
So it’s a damn good thing I’ve got meself an outlet for my anger roight here… three guys who want somethin’ that I want just as bad.

The Irishman steps forward, and suddenly it’s eyes all around the place, no-one certain of who might lurch into a first move…

Sheamus:
Hell, at this rate fellas… I might even like SmackDown.

With that, Sheamus throws his mic to the ground – and Barrett does the same. Orton and Christian know the time for talking is over, tossing their mics aside too, and now the crowd comes alive, chanting a mixture of the babyfaces’ names, and all four men begin to square up… Barrett and Christian look ready to go for one another’s throats once again…

*MACMILLITANT*


But the party is put on hold, with the arrival of the SmackDown General Manager, Theodore Long, raising his free hand whilst using the other to hold a mic to his mouth. None of the four men have moved or turned, wary of the others, and it’s only when Long begins to talk that they glance towards the GM.

Theodore Long:
Hold on a minute playas…

You can see where this is going. I’m not even ashamed.

Theodore Long:
Nah, it ain’t gonna go down like dat.

Christian and Barrett exchange another hateful look, forgetting Teddy for a moment.

Theodore Long:
We’ve already got ourselves a World Title Match for Capitol Punishment, but… well, we’ve got four guys in the ring, and seein’ as y’all wanna prove ya-selves as title contenders, I say I give you dat chance…

Long briefly consults the chart…

Theodore Long:
It’s gonna be Randy Orton and Christian… against Sheamus and Wade Barrett… in a TAG TEAM MATCH!

A good pop from the fans who want to encourage this reckless habit.

Theodore Long:
Get me a referee, let’s do this! Holla holla!

Having got his fix, Teddy walks backstage, with referee Rod Zapata replacing him after a few moments. The official rushes down the ramp, making sure that nothing can kick off just yet in the ring, separating the men into corners. The tag team partners look in no way happy to be teaming together, with Barrett and Sheamus clearly mistrusting the other and Christian throwing furtive glances at the hungry, forever unpredictable Randy Orton beside him. As Zapata tries to get both teams to retreat to their corners, the crowd begins chanting for the face team…

Josh Matthews:
Well, it looks like these four men are going to get a chance to prove themselves after all tonight – it’s impromptu tag team action, coming your way in just a moment!

…and SmackDown goes to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Match Four – Tag Team Contest
Christian and Randy Orton vs Sheamus and Wade Barrett


As we jump in to this tag team bout, as decreed by Teddy Long (knew I’d finally get a chance to do one of those), it’s Sheamus in control of the still-recovering Randy Orton. The Viper is still only five days away from one of his toughest ever career matches, so he’s not quite one hundred percent yet, and the Irishman is looking aggressive after his own loss on Sunday night. In fact, the only man to win at the pay-per-view is Christian, a man who didn’t score the fall, and he watches on with a slightly concerned expression after several minutes of extended pressure on Orton. This isn’t concern for Orton, but concern for their efforts as a team should the Viper take the fall under this period of domination; that said, Orton at least tries to fight back with some right hands to Sheamus’ abdomen. The Celtic Warrior’s face scrunches as he withstands the blows, but now he pulls Orton fully up to his feet, rocks him with a forearm, and throws him out of the ring… no, he yanks him back by the head, and ties him in the ropes, out on the apron! We’ve seen this come into play more and more recently, and Wade Barrett, ever thinking ahead, begins to smirk just a tiny bit as Sheamus pulls his arm back… AND STARTS BLUDGEONING ORTON’S CHEST IN WITH THOSE SIGNATURE CLUBBING FOREARMS! There are some sadistic freaks (smarks) in the crowd who count along with every shot until Orton’s ordeal is over, but mostly it’s boos as Sheamus fires away, letting out all of his aggression on the Viper here! Finally, Sheamus reaches ten hits, letting go of Orton just as Rod Zapata closes in on four or five in his count. Orton slumps to the apron on his hands and knees, so Sheamus kicks him off with a hard boot and the Viper collapses to the outside. Randy looks in a bad way, breathing heavily as Zapata goes to lecture Sheamus on obeying the count… during which time Wade Barrett leaps from the apron, grabbing Orton in a single underhook and laying a series of punches into his ribs!

There are screams of protest in the Spokane Arena, and rightly so; Barrett moves away just as Zapata turns around to see the Englishman with his hands in the air. Orton is gasping for air, and knowing he got away with it makes Barrett a very successful fellow once again… but CHRISTIAN has scaled the turnbuckle – AND WIPES OUT BARRETT WITH HIS TRADITIONAL PLANCHA! The crowd pops as both men go sprawling, while the commentators wonder if Edge is watching this unfold at home, and now it’s Sheamus who steps to the outside, trying to ignore what’s just happened so he can pull Orton up and take him back towards the ring. He pulls the Viper back and goes to slam his head against the apron, but Randy stops himself – BAM! He drills Sheamus right into it instead, and now he shoves the Irishman back into the ring, hunting him down immediately after! Orton falls on Sheamus with a series of right hands, answering back in kind following Sheamus’ aggression for much of this contest, and now the Viper stands, looking to his corner for the tag… but Christian’s still laid out on the outside! The Livewire is hauling himself up, wincing after landing awkwardly, and looks to Orton – they share a look that says they know they’ve made a mistake, and suddenly, Sheamus flattens Orton with a clothesline… just as Barrett floors Christian with a thumping BIG BOOT RIGHT TO THE SKULL! Christian crumples on the outside mats, with the crowd booing both heels as they take advantage of Christian and Orton’s hesitation there… but Barrett is furious that Christian tried to ruin his planning, and falls on him with those vicious right hands of his! In the ring, Sheamus heads to the corner, baring his teeth and running a hand through his fiery red hair… before he starts to beat his chest. We know what’s coming, but Orton might not, pulling himself up at a sluggish pace – BROGUE KICK – DUCKED! The crowd cheers wildly, Sheamus turning right into the RKOOOO – NO GOOD! Sheamus shoves Orton away, then grabs him… AND NAILS THE IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Orton’s fragile body gets bent into two halves with that one, the Viper yelling in pain, and Sheamus wastes no time throwing him to the deck and making the cover… one… two… thr-NO! Orton rolls the shoulder!

Barrett turns in awe on the outside – both he and Sheamus thought they’d got it won! The Englishman leaves Christian in his heap, heading back to the apron and asking Sheamus what’s the matter with him, as if it’s entirely the Celtic Warrior’s fault. Sheamus points to himself and says “Ya talkin’ to me, fella? Huh?” to basically tell Barrett that he answers to no-one; Orton’s crawling towards the corner in the meanwhile, getting the crowd buzzing. Sheamus and Barrett continue their back-and-forth, the accents clashing in the process, and finally Sheamus turns away to return to business… only to get swung into the Snap Powerslam by Orton! A big pop resounds in Spokane here, the tables turning in the process, and now both men are down… just as Christian hauls his body back on to the apron! You can see Barrett’s eyes widen on the opposite side, as a sluggish Sheamus crawls towards the Englishman, now desperate to stop Orton slipping out of his clutches… there’s the tag to Barrett, so he goes charging – BUT ORTON LEAPS TO TAG IN CHRISTIAN, WHO LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT BARRETT LIKE A MANIAC!!! Wade throws a right hand, but Christian ducks under it… AND NOW HE SHOOTS BOTH LEGS ON THE TAKEDOWN AND GOES STRAIGHT FOR THE FACE WITH RIGHT HANDS!!! The crowd is losing their minds here, finally glad to see Barrett getting some form of comeuppance, but despite the “CHRISTIAN!” chants that resound in the arena, Barrett manages to shove Christian away, with the Canadian stumbling back to the corner. Barrett’s up, so he shakes out the cobwebs furiously and charges in… NO! Barrett’s face meets the turnbuckle – then BAM, there’s insult to injury with the Pendulum Kick from Christian! Back staggers the Englishman, trying to recompose himself, but Christian’s already finding his way up top, telling the crowd to keep the noise going… then he launches off – AND FLOORS BARRETT WITH THE FLASHPOINT!!! It’s really flowing here for Christian, and the crowd is sure he’s got it, counting along in their thousands on the cover… one… two… THR-NOOO! Barrett kicks out!

Christian can’t believe it, his hands on his head as he stares at referee Rod Zapata, who can only hold up the dreaded two fingers! Barrett looks confused, crawling about and clutching at his jaw after the Diving European Uppercut cleaned his clock, but now Christian has the crowd going again, getting to his feet and raising the pincer motion! On the apron, a fatigued Sheamus has his arms slung over the top rope, shaking his head as Christian looks to bring this to an end and stake his claim to the World Title… Barrett’s up, so Christian swings him round – NO! Barrett shoves Captain Charisma into the ropes, then watches him rebound back… FOR THE WINDS OF CHANGE OUT OF NOWHERE!!! It’s the move that ended Edge’s efforts on Monday night, and it’s coming back to haunt his best friend now, as Barrett forgoes the Wasteland he added on Raw and just hooks a leg… one… two… thr-but NO! Christian’s out of it, and now both men are up… but Barrett puts Christian emphatically back down with a fierce right hand! Christian goes tumbling, his eyes searching for the ropes to help himself back into the fight, but Barrett comes back at him, putting an arm around his neck and pressing him into the corner, leaving his abdomen exposed to as many punches Barrett can get in! Rod Zapata’s on that unorthodox shit immediately, cleaning it up with a count of four, so Barrett leaves Christian to gasp for air through his beaten lungs on the canvas. Barrett points to Christian’s body for Sheamus’ benefit, though the Irishman looks unfazed, more concerned with regaining his own breath. Wade turns his attention back to Christian, a man whose face is wrecked with sweat as he tries to find the energy to get back to his feet… so Barrett begins to stalk him… ONLY TO GET DUMPED WITH THE OLYMPIC SLAM BY RANDY ORTON!!! The crowd cheers with approval as Orton scores with a real game-changer while Barrett was focused elsewhere, and now Orton looks to fire up, pounding the mat despite being the illegal man! The Viper gets up, baring his teeth and beckoning Barrett up for the RKO… BUT SHEAMUS GRABS HIM BY THE SCALP AND HURLS HIM FROM THE RING!

Orton collides awkwardly with the outside floor, but he puts a hand on the barricades and tries to pull himself up, receiving various pats on the shoulder from the nearby fans for his trouble. In the ring, Sheamus nods after taking out the trash, scowling at Orton as he turns around – DROPKICK! Christian sends the Irishman sprawling suddenly, meaning he tumbles from the ring and lands on the outside! He takes a moment to recover, but before he can get up, Randy Orton’s back on him with a bunch of clubbing blows… but we go back to the ring amidst this chaos, because Christian now turns around himself, and is too late to stop Wade Barrett SCOOPING HIM UP FOR THE WASTELAAAAND – BUT NOOO!!! Christian wriggles free and lands behind Barrett, shoving him to the ropes – Barrett grabs the top one and stops himself rebounding into Christian’s clutches, but the Livewire was prepared, sprinting forward at his enemy… AND SENDING THEM BOTH CRASHING TO THE OUTSIDE FLOOR WITH THE CLOTHESLINE! Rod Zapata is the only man left in the ring now, as Barrett and Christian go tumbling across the mats, not really selling the impact but instead absolutely going at it with flurried right hands! Barrett hits harder, but Christian hits quicker, and now the crowd is going crazy… as both scramble to their feet, and Barrett goes to hurl Christian into the barricade – no, the Canadian puts his foot on it! He turns, then ducks a right hand from Barrett that could have decked a fan in the front row! Barrett’s up against the barricade now, so Christian throws punches like a man possessed, before he steps back – AND CLOTHESLINES BARRETT INTO THE CROWD!!!

The two enemies go for a ride again, as the nearby fans make an absolute racket, and security has to keep them a decent distance from these two as they go brawling up the stairs, away from the ring! Rod Zapata’s count is at six, as we cut elsewhere to see Sheamus and Randy Orton trading blows in equal measure as well! All four men in this match have got the brawl they were gunning for earlier, as Sheamus slams Orton into the barricade near the announce desks, copping a few right hands in response… then LEATHERING Orton between the eyes with a forearm that nearly sends his head cartwheeling into the crowd! A groan goes up as Orton reels sideways, barely sure what state he’s in anymore, and Sheamus takes the run-up of a lifetime… BEFORE HE CHARGES FORWARD AND DRIVES ORTON THROUGH THE BARRICADE!!! HOLY SHIT!!! Both men go crashing into a pile of cables and broken barricade – these guys are bloody crazy! It’s absolute CARNAGE here, as Barrett and Christian go brawling through the crowd like there’s nothing else, their faces exhausted but their punches just as blunt as ever… and Rod Zapata, who’s lost all control here long ago, reaches a count of ten! There’s no-one near the ring still standing!

Result: Christian and Randy Orton vs Sheamus and Wade Barrett ends in a draw via double count-out at 17:19

Tony Chimel:
Ladies and gentlemen, this match has ended as a draw, as a result of a double count-out!

The fans aren’t quite sure how to react to that, but many of them are still watching Christian and Wade Barrett go at it up in the stands – Orton and Sheamus are dead, there’s no need to watch them. Christian drives Barrett into one of the steel hand railings, making the Englishman grunt in pain, then come back with a thumping right punch, knuckles sending Christian’s head whipping sideways and to his hands and knees on the steps. Barrett falls on him, trying to go to work, but Christian HEADBUTTS him, sending him reeling off into the distance! Barrett staggers away, with Christian hot on his heels as they head out of frame…

Josh Matthews:
What – what did we just see? These four men couldn’t find a winner, because – well, just look at it! Sheamus put Randy Orton through that barricade just a few feet away from us here at ringside… and Christian and Wade Barrett went fighting into the crowd and through this arena!

Booker T: What da hell are we lookin’ at us fo’? I wanna watch Wade Barrett get his!

Indeed, we cut elsewhere, to see Christian and Barrett still trading blows like absolute madmen, but here come security, EMTs and referees to break things up wherever the hell they tumbled out to in the arena. Both men are red in the face, scrabbling to get back at one another, but they’re quickly swarmed and well separated. We see Teddy Long in the mix as well, martialling the pair apart. Back down at ringside, Rod Zapata leads another small group of EMTs in checking on Sheamus and Randy Orton.

Matt Striker:
Welcome to SmackDown, Sheamus and Randy Orton…

Josh Matthews: Something tells me this issue hasn’t been resolved, guys, especially after these four came out to prove themselves as World Title contenders, and all they proved was their disregard for their own health and safety.

Booker T: Sometimes ya gotta be a little nuts to get whatcha want, dawg, but y’all are right, dis was too much tah-night. Dese are four guys who have gotta lot to prove, but maybe dat’s for another day. For now, just somebody stop ‘em killin’ each other again!

That seems to be safe, with Sheamus and Orton in no state to continue fighting – Orton’s head slumps against the outside mats, while Sheamus shoves aside the EMTs who try to help him, and only accepts their help when he stumbles to his knees upon trying to walk away. Backstage, Teddy Long is saying something at a rapid pace to Christian as he’s marshalled well away, something about “Ya can’t just go off on a guy like that, playa…”

…and SmackDown goes to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

We return backstage, to the sight of Todd Grisham with a mic. Is he about to rap?

Todd Grisham:
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time… the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio.

Apparently not. The crowd boos immensely as Grisham proves to be no liar, with the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio being panned into shot with his title over his shoulder, all suited up. In the background, he’s attended to by Rosa Mendes, Chavo Guerrero, Ricardo Rodriguez and the trumpeter Hunico. No Brodus Clay tonight – he’s been drafted.

Todd Grisham:
Alberto, tonight you set a time of eight minutes and twenty seconds for Kofi Kingston to beat later tonight in his Beat The Clock Challenge Match. If he fails to beat that time, you’ll be picking the stipulation for your World Title Match at Capitol Punishment. Can you give us some insight into what you might pick if that happens tonight?

Del Rio looks unimpressed as the mic comes his way.

Alberto Del Rio:
A better question, amigo, is why I’m defending de title against him… at all.

Boos from the crowd.

Alberto Del Rio:
You all watched on Sunday. Like so many men before him, Kofi Kingston fell to me. Not only that, but like I promised… he choked.

Again, heat for the recurring accusation. Del Rio puts some real emphasis on that one word, elongating the ‘o’ for good measure.

Alberto Del Rio:
And I won’t lie, because I am a fair man. Kofi Kingston was more of a challenge than I gave him credit for, dis much I admit.

He nods.

Alberto Del Rio:
He might have pushed me to my limit, he may even be good… but know dis. Know dat I am better.

Heat for that.

Alberto Del Rio:
Kofi Kingston had his chance, dat split-second… just like I did. But de difference is, I didn’t choke when destiny called – and he did. Because destiny does not cater to men like Kofi Kingston. He is de man history will forget.

Chavo and Ricardo are nodding in the background, as the crowd boos again.

Alberto Del Rio:
So what? Teddy Long caved and threw de dog a bone. Out of pity.

Del Rio shakes his head, then looks at the glistening gold.

Alberto Del Rio:
It changes nothing. I will still be champion after Capitol Punishment, dis much is true. Tonight, I showed Evan Bourne how dangerous I am… on Sunday, Kofi, I showed you. You have not learned that you can’t compete at de very top, and dat… dat is a shame, si.

A smirk.

Alberto Del Rio:
I answered my critics, peso. I won without dese men, my Administration.

“DAH-DAAAAH DAH-DAH DAH-DAH-DAH!” cries Hunico’s trumpet. Del Rio nods.

Alberto Del Rio:
But you did not answer yours, because you are a choke artist. What, you think dis will change?

He laughs a little, though totally humourless.

Alberto Del Rio:
I should be moving on. I saw tonight what SmackDown has in store for a true champion… Celtic Warriors, Vipers, bare-knuckle fighters… even de scum of SmackDown, a man like Christian, showed some spirit tonight for de lustre of my title.

Loud, intense heat there for Del Rio’s individual jibe at a man who gave him so much trouble earlier this year.

Alberto Del Rio:
But no. You linger, Kofi. So I will detach you, no matter de cost. I will punish you for having de stupidity to ask for more chances to choke.

Boos again as Del Rio really lays it on.

Alberto Del Rio:
And tonight, if you choke again… believe me, amigo – I will punish you for dat too.

Small heat, Del Rio now staring down the camera lens.

Alberto Del Rio:
Viva Alberto.

“Viva Alberto!” agree the foursome behind their champion, their leader. Del Rio stares a hole through you for a moment, then walks away, the Administration by his side once more.

Back to the arena, then, where the bell rings.


“HOLLA, HOLLA…”

*HOLLA*


A small pop goes up in Spokane, for a woman who probably isn’t far off SmackDown’s number one face Diva now… it’s only Kelly Kelly, looking fairly pleased to be out here to enjoy the fans’ company. She waves to the arena and bounces down the ramp, while the sound of hundreds of people getting up to go to the toilet hurts your ears more than her reaction.

Tony Chimel:
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Jacksonville, Florida… KELLY – KELLY!

Josh Matthews: So nice they named her twice, Kelly Kelly set for action tonight, but looking at Alberto Del Rio’s reaction to Kofi Kingston… is it justified, guys?

Matt Striker: I rarely say Alberto Del Rio is justified in many things he believes is his ‘destiny’, Josh, but maybe, maybe. Kofi Kingston had his moment on Sunday and didn’t take it, so the question remains – will he get a better chance?

Josh Matthews: Could all hinge on tonight’s Beat The Clock Challenge.

Matt Striker: Mm-hm, definitely. If Kofi picks the stipulation, he’s walking in with the high card in a few weeks, that may be the edge he needs to put Del Rio down for three seconds.

Kelly bounces to the ring and tours the turnbuckles, raising her arms and playing to the crowd with that cheesy smile of hers. Her music dies down…

*SAY IT TO MY FACE*


There’s some decent heat for the theme debuted a few weeks back, but arriving first to the tune is AJ Lee, who actually gets some applause from those who remember her spirited performance and peppy attitude from Season Three of NXT. Following that theme, she has a spring in her step here, bouncing up and down to fire herself up on the stage, and raising both arms to the crowd to say hello on her first SmackDown appearance. In the ring, Kelly Kelly’s nodding her head, as if she’s seen AJ at work before, and now AJ takes a step down the ramp…

Tony Chimel:
And her opponent… accompanied by Alex Riley…

Those boos return as, right on cue, here comes Alex Riley in his classic jacket… but what the hell is lugging over his shoulder?

Tony Chimel:
…from Union City, New Jersey… AJ – LEE!

AJ stops, turning around with a confused expression – under Riley’s arm is a basketball, and over his shoulder, he’s hauling a basketball hoop on wheels! There’s some laughter in the crowd, though barely audible over the music, as Riley starts wheeling the hoop down the ramp, and AJ looks completely stunned! She looks around, trying to gauge what’s happening, then follows Riley down the ramp, tapping him on the shoulder and asking him what’s going on – he just looks at her like she’s mad and keeps lugging it down to ringside.

Josh Matthews:
It’s a night of SmackDown firsts, with AJ Lee making her debut as well tonight, but that’s… guys, tell me I’m not seeing things.

Matt Striker: A-Ry bringing the old ten footer down to keep him company during the match? I like it, Josh, he’s just trying to keep himself in good shape! You can’t be an athlete like Alex Riley without practice!

Booker T: Aww hell, da guy’s supposed to be helpin’ AJ out! He supposed to mentor her and stuff, naw he bringin’ dis down here? What’s da guy’s problem?

Josh Matthews: Of course, earlier tonight we saw Teddy Long charge Alex Riley with AJ Lee after his actions a couple of weeks back against Gail Kim, but as you say, Booker, this isn’t exactly what he would have had in mind. We know that Alex Riley is cocky, he’s ready to prove himself on SmackDown, and now that’s he being forced to ‘babysit’ in his eyes, apparently he’s going to stage a protest.

Matt Striker: This isn’t a protest, Josh! The man’s just shooting some hoops!

Riley wheels it down to the hard camera side, meaning it obscures part of the ring, then cheekily adjusts the height so it’s a bit lower, around nine feet or so instead. Meanwhile, AJ Lee’s on the apron now, stepping in tentatively to face an equally-confused Kelly Kelly, while Riley tests his handling on the outside. AJ heads to one of the turnbuckles on the other side, raising her arms to the crowd again and smiling weakly as she actually gets a small ovation, then steps down… to see Riley challenging the commentators! AJ looks totally lost, those big anime eyes coming into play for the first time in her SmackDown career, as Riley holds the ball up and says “Who’s got game then? Bookerman?” but the 5-time World Champion is in no rush, so Striker puts his hand up!

Josh Matthews:
We – oh Matt, you’re not serious.

Matt Striker: Game on, Josh! You haven’t seen my reverse dunk yet, this is so cool!

It’s a bit of Striker’s ‘I’M MARKING OUT BRO’ persona coming out here, as he leaps out of his seat and goes to join Riley, the pair having a bit of a fist bump as they head over to the hoop. Riley pulls up the outside mats, revealing the concrete underneath so the ball will bounce, and dumps the mats out of the way. Striker doesn’t remove his waistcoat, saying he’ll play on without it, and takes the rock from Riley to have a quick jumpshot… which bounces off the rim and into A-Ry’s hands. Striker shrugs, and it looks like they’re gonna play one-to-one here, as AJ Lee tries to forget about it and measures up to Kelly Kelly in the ring. These two happy-go-lucky Divas have turned serious here, with Justin “The Pimp” King – of course – ending his streak of men’s matches by gearing up to officiate this one. The bell rings, and it’ll be Striker to start with the ball…

Match Five – Singles Contest/One-on-One Basketball
AJ Lee vs Kelly Kelly (Alex Riley vs Matt Striker)


Here we go then, as AJ Lee gets set for her first SmackDown match, circling with Kelly and going right into a lock-up. Kelly gets the side headlock, giving AJ something to think about immediately… but Striker’s backing down Riley, getting to the outside and putting it up – off the window and in for two! A cheer goes up from the nearby fans, as Striker slaps a few hands with a grin, and Riley shrugs it off, knowing he’ll have to play better defence. AJ worms out of the headlock and shoves Kelly to the ropes… then puts her down with a clothesline! That’s a good start, but Kelly’s up, answering ably back with an Arm Drag, and another – just as Riley works it past Striker and sinks the lay-up to level it at two apiece! At six foot three, some things just come easy to A-Ry, and that was one of them, but as Striker holds up his hands, they start up again and we go to the ring, where Kelly Kelly sends AJ to the corner with an Irish whip. AJ collides hard, but manages to get out the way when Kelly charges in, meaning she crashes into the turnbuckles! Kelly Kelly turns with a gasp of pain… so AJ takes her down with a Dropkick! A small pop goes up for AJ’s athleticism, keeping K-Squared down after the sweet execution, and now she’ll go for the cover, as a Striker jumpshot bounces off the rim… one… two-kickout from Kelly!

The ball is in Riley’s hands, and he moves forward… but the crowd are chanting “LET’S GO STRIKER!” which makes him stop, still dribbling all the while with a small smirk. In the ring, AJ Lee is again working the big sad eyes as she stares at the crowd, realising that Riley’s hauling all the attention his way, as well as not technically helping her at all. She turns around and gets caught by Kelly Kelly suddenly, who spins all around the world – HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN! That sends AJ sprawling into the corner, stunned by the instant turnaround, and now Kelly presses her into the canvas… one… two – but AJ puts a hand on the bottom rope to stop it! On the outside, Riley doesn’t care that his new charge is still going in this match, instead getting to the rim with ease and laying it in off the glass! Striker takes the rock, saying “Just that one time, man” before he goes on offence, and likewise, Kelly’s doing the same by yanking AJ to her feet. Kelly throws a few clumsy right hands, then goes for the K2 – BUT NO! AJ ducks the Leg Drop Bulldog, seeing Kelly land on the other side… THEN HAMMERING HER WITH THE SPINNING HEEL KICK! The crowd groans in awe for that, AJ taking no prisoners as she tries to get attention back on her, but now both women are down to recover… as a Striker jumpshot bounces off the rim, and flies into the crowd! Someone catches it a few rows back, and Riley and Striker turn to each other looking a little sheepish… but the crowd are chanting “THROW IT BACK!” again and again, until the ball finds its way back through the fans and back to them!

Riley can’t keep a grin off his face, and neither can Striker really, as A-Ry takes the rock and immediately misses due to an unlucky bounce at the basket. AJ’s back to her feet, slumping against the ropes and looking sideways at Striker and Riley – “Aren’t you supposed to be helping?” she asks, but as Riley looks at her, Striker nips in behind and sinks the easy two to level it at four points each! Riley throws his hands in the air – “Ya see what this chick’s doin’ to me, huh? Get back to fighting,” he adds to AJ – and takes the ball. Miss Lee narrows her eyes at Riley and turns, pulling Kelly Kelly slowly up… but K-Squared kicks her in the gut, and NAILS the Sitout Facebuster! AJ gets planted, leaving both women down momentarily, and Kelly Kelly hauls herself into the cover… one… two… thr-no! Kickout! Riley actually looked away from the game briefly to watch AJ’s resilience in action, but now he goes to work on Striker – crossover… AND RILEY LEAPS TO DUNK OVER THE TEACHER WITH BOTH HANDS!!! STRIKER GETS POSTERISED!!! The crowd roars “OHHH!” as Riley hangs on the rim, nearly bringing the whole thing down before he lands on his feet, raising his arms into the air! Striker’s standing with his hand over his face, truly facepalming, while Riley goes along the front row, slapping the outstretched hands and hailing the highlight reel moment! In the ring, Kelly and AJ meet in the middle again, exchanging some blows and trying to ignore the crowd’s reaction to the Riley dunk, but AJ sweeps under a right hand and GOES FOR THE SHINING WIZARD – NO! Kelly ducks that, so AJ keeps running, right into the ropes where she and Riley lock eyes… BUT KELLY KELLY ROLLS HER UP… one… two… three!!!

Result: Kelly Kelly bts. AJ Lee via pinfall at 3:06 (Alex Riley bts. Matt Striker 6-4)

*HOLLA*


Tony Chimel:
Here is your winner… KELLY – KELLY!

A small cheer goes up, but also some boos – Kelly Kelly leaps to her feet, hitting the turnbuckles to celebrate! On the mat, AJ kneels in desolation, having lost her SmackDown debut under dubious circumstances here, and Alex Riley puts the basketball under his arm, looking less than impressed by what he’s seen.

Josh Matthews:
I was trying to call the action there, but there was a Diva’s match going on at the same time, very distracting…

Booker T: C’mon, man. AJ gave her all, but da guy supposed to be helpin’ her was too busy shootin’ hoops! Some kind of mentor Alex Riley is!

Josh Matthews: Okay, okay. I’m not endorsing what Alex Riley did, I’m just saying it was funny to see Matt get beaten. At least, I think he got beaten. The dunk speaks for itself.

Matt gives Riley another brief fist bump, though he’s looking a bit embarrassed after what happened there, and he trudges back to the announce desk. Kelly Kelly heads up the ramp, so Riley dumps the ball by the hoop and slides into the ring to see AJ. She’s still kneeling, so he stands and stares at her for a time, the pair of them looking fairly displeased with the other. Striker’s sitting back down.

Josh Matthews: (chuckling)
The Spurs called, Matt, they said don’t hold your breath on a contract.

Matt Striker: I could still make it in the pros, you never know, Josh.

Booker T: Am I da only one who thinks dat boi A-Ry’s just lookin’ for some attention and AJ’s gettin’ da short end of da stick from it? Degradin’, man.

Matt Striker: From day one, Alex Riley’s always been about making a name for himself, Booker. He’s got the talent, but maybe tonight was just about his own way of teaching – he’s showing AJ that if you want respect, if you want attention in this business, you have to earn it –

Josh Matthews: (interrupting) Or he’s just immature and had nothing better to do than spoil AJ’s debut, Matt.

Matt Striker: Or that, yeah.

Riley and AJ continue to look at each other for several moments; neither of them look all that happy, but oddly Riley is the one who softens. Finally, he offers his hand to her, pulling her up to her feet, and opens the ropes for her to leave the ring. He does likewise, grabbing the basketball and telling the ringside staff “Someone take care of that for me,” referring to the hoop, before he joins AJ on the ramp. She looks at him again, still uncertain, and folds her arms as she heads for the stage – the Varsity Villain walks alongside her, making a series of hand gestures as he speaks to her under his breath.

As Riley apparently gives AJ some kind of lecture, making sure he’s technically ‘mentoring’ her as per the GM’s instructions, we fade backstage… to see Kofi Kingston walking on one side of a split-screen, and William Regal on the other – and they’re both WALKING~! The crowd pops for Kingston, and the caption reads ‘UP NEXT’…


Josh Matthews:
Certainly a night to remember for AJ Lee, maybe for the wrong reasons, but still, we’ve got one more match coming your way, as Kofi Kingston looks to Beat The Clock… and he’ll have to do it against the man he beat on Monday night, none other than William Regal! That’s coming up after the break, don’t go away!

…and we fade away.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Raw Rebound this week is the footage of CM Punk’s ominous promo at the end of the Draft show on Monday night; it all starts with Punk dropping Orton with a GTS. Punk says he regrets his passivity in years gone by, refusing to acknowledge his status as the “one in a million” and seek out change in the WWE. He denounces the WWE’s focus on ‘entertainment’ because he doesn’t want to be entertaining – he just wants to be the best in the world. The Second City Saint promises that change is coming, but he will do it his way, and that’s the most violent way possible. In order to begin his crusade against the system, he wants to strike a blow to its heart, and therefore demands Vince McMahon returns to give him a match with The Rock at Capitol Punishment. If this doesn’t happen, Punk’s ultimatum is that he’ll leave the company forever – and then he’ll come after Vince’s loved ones. As Punk leaves to the abuse of thousands, it’s clear that he doesn’t give half a damn… and Raw Rebound comes to an end.

NEXT WEEK ON RAW – THE RETURN OF THE BOSS, VINCE MCMAHON!


---

After that, we’re back to the arena, where A-Ry’s hoop is gone and the stage turns gold…

*REALEZA*


For the second time tonight, the crowd boos furiously at the sight of the Mexican flag flying on the TitanTron, completed by the arrival of the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, still wearing that suit from earlier. He’s not driving now, mostly because he’s not competing, just heading down the ramp to soak up the heat without really taunting. He has other things on his mind, namely the main event he’s about to watch first-hand.

Josh Matthews:
We’re still reeling from the announcement that Mister McMahon will be back on Monday night, but in the meantime… well, welcome back to Friday Night SmackDown, folks, where Alberto Del Rio’s going to join us at ringside for our main event, and this is a match that could have huge implications going forward for our World Champion.

Matt Striker: No two ways about it, Josh, because if Kofi Kingston can beat Alberto’s time of eight minutes and twenty seconds against William Regal, he can pick any stipulation he wants for the fatal rematch at Capitol Punishment – that could be the match won already in prospect.

Josh Matthews: But don’t forget the reverse is also true… if Kofi can’t beat the time, Del Rio gets his pick of match, and that would obviously favour the champion. This could be vital – and Alberto, thanks for joining us.

Del Rio’s paced fairly sharpish over to ringside, so he sits beside Matthews and puts his headset on. He looks along the line at the commentators, then back to the ring.

Alberto Del Rio:
Gentlemen.

The music fades away…

*VILLAIN*


A few cheers try to undermine the fairly decent heat that William Regal receives on his way out, but he’ll never admit for a second that a few smarks appreciate him, putting a hand on his black robe and taking a disapproving look at the crowd. He starts to walk down the ramp, focusing his eyes on the ring as he prepares for his first night on SmackDown since being drafted. The bell rings.

Tony Chimel:
The following contest is part of the Beat The Clock Challenge, and it is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Blackpool, England, weighing in at two hundred and forty-three pounds… WILLIAM – REGAL!

Josh Matthews: William Regal may not have forced his way into the WWE Title picture at Over The Limit, losing out to Triple H and John Cena in Tag Team Attraction, but there’s no doubt he’s a great steal for SmackDown from Monday night’s Draft.

Booker T: Yeah but he lost out to mah boi Kofi on Monday night, naw he wanna get his time on SmackDown off to a good start, gonna shape up to make up fo’ dat tah-night.

Matt Striker: And Alberto, a lot rests on Regal’s efforts lasting longer than the time you took to beat Evan Bourne earlier tonight – do you think he can get it done?

Alberto Del Rio: Eh. De man is technical, precise. If de clock ticks out, it makes no difference to me how he does it.

As Striker concedes that it’s a fair shout with a shrug, Regal walks up the steps, wiping his feet on the apron like a classy motherfucker before he swings inside. He stands dead centre of the ring, keeping his disapproving eyes moving around, before he shrugs out of his robe, throwing it to ringside and setting up shop against the ropes. His music subsides, as the crowd begins to buzz…

“SOS… I HEAR DEM SHOUTIN’!”

*SOS*


And a MASSIVE cheer goes up in Spokane, heralding the arena brightening up in shades of stunning green and gold… and here comes Kofi Kingston, leaping into view and punching the air! He’s a man on a mission tonight, throwing his hands into the air to entice the crowd to join in on his thunderclaps, each one greeted by a burst of fireworks, and now he jumps on to the ramp.

Tony Chimel:
And his opponent, from Ghana, West Africa, weighing in at two hundred and nineteen pounds… KOOOFI – KINGSTON!

Josh Matthews: Now, it took Kofi Kingston about ten minutes to overcome a determined William Regal on Raw, but he’ll have to do it quicker if he wants to choose the stipulation for his World Title Match. Alberto, you and Kofi were the sole survivors for SmackDown in Monday’s Battle Royal, and a fine performance it was… people have agreed with Kofi in that he was only inches away from beating you, but you still think this rematch is unjustified?

Alberto Del Rio: Whatever helps him sleep at night, Josh.

Matt Striker: I think we’re seeing Kofi Kingston hit a new level at the moment, guys. He knew he didn’t quite take his chances on Sunday night, but his performances on Raw were highly impressive, and no disrespect intended, Alberto, on any other night he might have won the World Championship five days ago.

Alberto Del Rio: But he didn’t, amigo. He choked. And I don’t, for a second, believe dat he is a bad competitor, I saw dat much first-hand… but he is no World Champion. He’s not at dat level that men like me are. Dat is de truth, and he will learn dat at Capitol Punishment, for good.

Kofi rocks to the beat of his music, nodding his head as he looks at Regal, then slaps a few outstretched hands on both sides of the ramp… before he goes sliding into the ring, immediately facing up with Regal! The Englishman looks just as fired up now, clearly eager to right his wrongs from Monday night, but Kofi turns away, heading to the turnbuckles and getting the claps going again! The crowd joins in, so he hops down and does the same on the opposite corner, before he starts bouncing on the balls of his feet and measuring Regal once more. It’s the second time they’ve faced off this week, and they’ll be kept in line on the rematch by referee Chad Patton, who makes sure the big timer clock is on the TitanTron before he calls for the bell. The timer reads ‘8:20’, now it begins to count down…

Main Event – Singles Contest – Beat The Clock Challenge
William Regal vs Kofi Kingston


Regal rolls from the ring again as we jump in, prompting the crowd to boo loudly once more as Regal looks to run down the clock. Clearly the loss on Monday night antagonised the Englishman, and now he wants to get under Kofi’s skin to make him just as reckless as Regal was when he lost on Raw. It’s an interesting reversal of roles, with Regal now the one acting the more composed, though he doesn’t spot Kofi charging – TO WIPE HIM OUT WITH A SUICIDE DIVE! A pop goes up from the crowd as both men go sprawling across the outside floor, right next to the announce desk, and as Kofi gets up, he exchanges the briefest of looks with Del Rio, knowing time is against him and forcing Regal up too. The Englishman is dazed, so Kofi shoves him under the bottom rope and follows him in. The clock has already passed four minutes left, so Kofi grits his teeth and pins Regal to the mat… one… two… but that’s all, with Regal kicking out, and now both men get up. Kingston has the momentum, so he throws a couple of right hands to stop Regal making another infuriating escape, forcing him back to the corner. Kofi takes a run-up, then leaps – for the KORONCO BUSTER, LAYING INTO REGAL WITH RIGHT HANDS! The crowd cheers with every hit, and Kofi rolls down, before sending Regal flying with the added Monkey Flip! The British Brawler goes tumbling across the ring again, but he starts rolling to the edge of the ring, so Kofi has to go grab him for another cover… one… two… but no! Regal kicks out again!

‘3:14’ reads the clock on the TitanTron, and we get a shot of Kofi looking concerned before we head to ringside to spy Del Rio watching pensively. The World Champion is seeing a possible advantage get closer with every passing second, though he’s still weighing in on the discussion about Kingston’s ‘choking’ on Sunday night. In the ring, Kofi’s tried to pull Regal up in the meantime, but the Englishman answers back with a European Uppercut, and now he’s going on offence. Regal’s done a fair bit of time-wasting ‘til now, looking to rile up the Ghanaian, but now Regal wants to show his own worth against the number one contender, laying in the European Uppercuts and driving him back to the ropes. Regal presses Kofi up to them, then sends him running to the opposite side – Kofi misses with a clothesline, so Regal sweeps in behind and hooks him up… FOR THE REGAL-PLEX ON THE MONEY! Regal drops Kofi on his head, sticking the pin as well… one… two… BUT NO! Kofi kicks out, he wants this too much! By no means is this the only offence Regal’s managed, but still Kingston has the resilience to keep going, even after such an exhausting week. Regal looks a little frustrated, throwing his hair out of his eyes and yanking Kofi back up. He forces the Ghanaian over, driving his knee repeatedly into his face until Kingston can’t remember where he is, then whips him across the ring… but Kofi ducks the left hand! They turn around to meet one another, and Regal boots him in the gut quickly, going for the EXPLODER SUPLEX – but no, Kofi elbows his way out of it, then spins and lurches forward, knocking Regal down with the double-handed chop! The crowd pops as Regal goes down, and Kofi looks momentarily at the descending clock in the time it takes the Englishman to struggle back up… into another chop, and then a big Dropkick on the third meeting! Regal stays down now, so Kofi begins to fire up, jogging around the ring then going right for it… “BOOM!”… “BOOM!”… BOOM DROP CONNECTS! Kofi rolls backwards, but dives immediately back into the cover… one… two… thr-NO! Regal’s out of it!

Kofi holds his head in his hands, then pounds the mat and gets back up – he can’t waste time. We’re down to ninety seconds, and things are getting nervy now, with Del Rio watching intently all the while, so Kingston heads to the corner and raises the thunderclaps! The crowd claps along, all hoping this will end it, as Regal gets to his feet… AND KOFI GOES FOR TROUBLE IN PARADISE – NOBODY HOME! Regal ducks under it, then slides from the ring again, looking to kill the clock! It’s cowardly, sure, but Regal’s still sour about Monday and he just wants to anger Kingston… which he’s managed quite well, because the Ghanaian takes a look at the clock – ‘1:02’ – and rushes out of the ring to meet Regal. The Englishman moves around ringside, casting a disapproving look at Del Rio – he doesn’t like the World Champion either – then slides back under the bottom rope as Kofi lurches for him! The heat rains down from the crowd as Kofi has to rush back in, only to have Regal fall upon him with left hands, and as the brawling goes on, we’re down to thirty seconds now! Regal stands back, lining up the Knee Trembler on the groggy Kofi, who casts a dazed look at the clock, as Regal GOES TO PUT KINGSTON DOWN AND OUT… BUT KOFI STANDS UPRIGHT! Regal misses the killer blow, nearly colliding with the ropes, then turning into TROUBLE – IN – PARADIIIIIIISE… YES, KINGSTON NAILS IT, THIS CROWD GOES NUTS!!! The roar is deafening as Regal collapses in a heap, Del Rio standing up on the outside, and Kofi scrambles to his feet… TO SEE REGAL’S BODY ROLLING OUT OF THE RING!!! Regal’s dead weight lands on the outside, and Kofi looks horrified – he slides to the outside, but time’s disappearing… 5… 4… 3… 2… Kofi forces Regal back inside… 1… it’s done! The buzzer sounds!

Result: William Regal vs Kofi Kingston ends in a Time Limit Draw at 8:20

Tony Chimel:
This contest has ended in a Time Limit Draw… therefore, the winner of the Beat The Clock Challenge… the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio!

Boos fill the arena as Del Rio finally begins to smirk again, standing up at ringside looking very pleased indeed. In the ring, Kofi kneels beside Regal, looking at the dazed Englishman and shaking his head, disconsolate. This was supposed to be his night to change things. Del Rio dumps his headset and walks around ringside to demand a mic.

Josh Matthews:
Kofi Kingston… once again, just moments away from things being so different, but William Regal was still hurting from Monday night and he made sure that Kofi had to work for every last second there…

Matt Striker: We know how proud, how spiteful William Regal can be on occasion, Josh, and it really worked against Kofi Kingston there. And now Del Rio gets to pick the stipulation for –

That mic is in the World Champion’s hands.

Alberto Del Rio:
How… unlucky for you, amigo.

Loud heat for Destiny’s Darling. He begins to walk away from ringside, passing the ring as he goes. Kingston now stares a hole through him, as Regal rolls to the outside again and recollects himself.

Alberto Del Rio:
Such a – valiant effort, but not good enough. Remind you of anything, heh?

Again, that small smile.

Alberto Del Rio:
For so much of dis week, I’ve been a little sour, you see. Ever since you and I won de Battle Royal, everybody wanted to see us fight one more time… except for me. Because only I seemed to realise dat you would just choke all over again.

Heat as Kofi shakes his head.

Alberto Del Rio:
But now, I get to teach you a lesson, Kofi. I get to make de difference between us, really, really clear. So it’s no longer about me proving… dat I don’t need de Administration.

Del Rio, now on the ramp, welcomes the daggers that Kofi shoots through him.

Alberto Del Rio:
Now… now it’s about me proving – that you can’t compete at de very top. And to do dat… well, I want de world to see you in a match where you’re very… very far out of your depth, peso.

Kofi stands from his kneeling position, barely able to keep upright after this week, but doing his best.

Alberto Del Rio:
Dat match… is a SUBMISSION MATCH.

“OHHHHH!” cries the crowd, and Kofi looks dumbstruck. Del Rio’s smirking, tossing his mic to the side and backing up the ramp until he reaches the stage. Once he’s there, Alberto brings the belt up to kiss it as usual; Kofi, with his hands on his hips, looks at the floor.

*REALEZA*


Booker T:
Awwww hell.

Josh Matthews: ‘Out of his depth’ is an understatement… Kofi Kingston’s World Title shot will be in a Submission Match? Can you remember Kofi ever making someone submit?

Matt Striker: If it’s happened, Josh, I don’t remember it. We said this Beat The Clock Challenge might make a huge difference tonight, and it has, it really has.

Josh Matthews: Alberto Del Rio might have tried to be the ‘noble demon’ heading into Over The Limit, but now the light stuff is done, folks. Del Rio knows what Kofi Kingston is capable of, and now he’s stacking the deck.

Booker T: As if it wasn’t tough enough da first time? Mah boi Kofi ain’t a submission specialist like Del Rio, dis is tippin’ da scales way in da champ’s favour, dawg.

Kofi shakes his head, pacing the ring, providing us with a great contrast between his desolation and the smugness of the World Heavyweight Champion. It’s clear that Del Rio thinks he’s got this locked down, raising that title into the air and enjoying the sound of his own music, as Kofi looks around the arena, and for the first time… he looks unsure of himself.

Josh Matthews:
It’s been a huge night for SmackDown in so many ways, but this is the biggest news – if Kofi Kingston wants that World Title he’s been dying to win since he was a boy… well, in Washington D.C… he’s going to have to make Alberto Del Rio tap. I’m Josh Matthews, with Matt Striker and Booker T, we bow out with the advantage firmly in the champion’s camp tonight.

Del Rio finds himself booed and jeered from every direction… and SmackDown fades to black.

END OF SHOW



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


---

Okay so Raw is finally done, so this is up. Hope to spread some feedback around soon, but we'll see how it goes. I can see Raw splitting opinion again but in the meantime, have this fallout show. Until the next one
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In New Talent We Trust | Raw NOW POSTED

Last edited by Melvis : 07-31-2013 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:23 PM   #156 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

A small preview for what is by no means a small show...

Monday Night Raw
Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska | 30th May 2011



‘The Return of the Boss’

One week after CM Punk made an ultimatum the likes of which the WWE has never seen, Raw is in Omaha, Nebraska tonight. The Qwest Center will bear witness tonight as Raw welcomes back the Boss himself, the Chairman of the Board in Vince McMahon. The question on everyone’s lips is; will McMahon give CM Punk what he demanded, and make a match at Capitol Punishment between the Second City Saint and The Rock? Or will he invoke the other option of Punk’s ultimatum, and allow him to leave the company? After Punk’s threats last week on the Draft Special, Mr. McMahon will have to think about the possibilities of Punk living up to his word and coming after the McMahon family should he not get his way… just how will the Chairman respond? And is there even a chance The Rock would really come out of many years of ‘retirement’ for McMahon if the match was made?

Elsewhere on Raw, there could be no bigger main event; last week, John Cena laid down the challenge to Triple H to determine once and for all who was the better man, with the WWE Title shot that the Game won in Tag Team Attraction on the line. Knowing they needed a definitive winner, and to get their frustrations out, they agreed on a No Holds Barred Match, meaning these two can go to any lengths necessary to beat the other tonight. Waiting in the wings for the winner is The Miz, who proclaimed that ‘Monday Night Miz’ is only going to get bigger following his successful, albeit controversial, title defence at Over The Limit. Tonight, the Awesome One will be at ringside to watch Triple H attempt to protect his title shot against the man The Miz already defeated at Wrestlemania XXVII… but no matter what, this match will be brutal as Cena and the Game look to label themselves the number one contender to a title they both live for.

Also on Raw, we’ll hear from Edge on his first night back as a Raw superstar, following that demoralising evening he had last week. Similarly, Beth Phoenix and Jack Swagger will get their spells back on Raw underway too in separate matches, and Tyler Black looks to continue his good form against new Raw man Curt Hawkins!


Announced For Raw

Mr. McMahon answers CM Punk’s ultimatum
Words from Edge

No Holds Barred Match; John Cena vs. Triple H
Non-Title Singles Contest; Tyler Black vs. Curt Hawkins
Jack Swagger and Beth Phoenix both compete
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:46 PM   #157 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

This is one of the best threads on the go right now. I just hope Capitol Punishment doesn't take forever haha.


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I love that Kofi is getting another run against Del Rio, and I am hoping for a title change. Not that it will last long, because I think it is better for Kofi to chase than to hold it for long periods of time. In terms of the Beat the Clock Matches, it did its job showing how Kofi can "choke" and that Del Rio is a strong champion. The fact its a submission match means either Kofi goes in as an underdog with no submission move showcased ahead of time or goes in there showing off a new submission move to his arsenal. Either way, I am excited for this.

I might be alone in this, but Alex Riley goes from attacking a Diva to managing a diva...while playing basketball...confusing. Not that it was bad, but I think I need to see where this plays out in the future.

Strong tag match with Christian, Barrett, Sheamus, and Orton declaring they want a World Title Match...well I approve of the tag match and its ending. I also approve of a four way between these four at Capitol Punishment for dibs for being next in line for the World Title. All four of these guys are running strong in my opinion, and having one of the younger guys come out on top in a four way would rove their worth in having a shot at the title.

I loved the bit with Slater and Gabriel on commentary. I am surprised by how much I am enjoying this and I can't wait to see what you do with it. The question is when you pull the trigger on this feud and what happens with the Corre. Will it be a slow death or an ignored death where it just ends with no repercussions.



Looking forward to the CM Punk bit with McMahon on RAW
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:48 AM   #158 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Since I'm the one who basically bullied you into bringing this thread back and posting your latest shows, you'd think I'd have left feedback by now. Sorry about that, there's this little thing called life that has a way of getting in the way. I'm not going to pick one show and go through it segment by segment, since you've posted several shows that I haven't commented on (even if I have given you some feedback through PM). So bare with me as I ramble on your latest efforts in an incoherent fashion.

Let's start off with Over the Limit. Just skimming back through the show now, I think that despite my prediction, you made the right choice to kick off the show with the HHH/Cena vs. Ziggler/Regal match. To me this match was all HHH/Ziggler rather than Cena/Regal, but I guess that was your aim anyway. I am intrigued to see whether or not you will put the strap on HHH or whether he's just a stepping stone for Miz.

Tyler Black winning the US Title belt is fine. It may be a little too early, but if you're high on him, go with it. Sheamus is beyond that championship and can now move up into WWE Title contention whilst Black has a nice little run as US Champion. I can't say I'm necessarily 'into' his gimmick though. I don't really get it if I'm being honest.

The Punk/Orton match was indeed disturbing, and this match has now undoubtedly catapulted Punk to the position of top heel in the WWE (as if he wasn't already). I don't think Orton loses anything from this match since it was practically a Handicap stretcher match, but Punk gains so much from it. Orton now looks almost like a 'sacrifice' in Punk's journey for 'faith.' More on Punk later.

Booker T, in general, is hilarious in this thread. He's such an easy character to write for. YA GOTTA LOVE IT!

Not much to say on the Corre/E&C match other than the lights going out obviously signalling the imminent return of The Undertaker. Considering Barrett is on the SummerSlam poster, I'd imagine you are planning for the match at that event. I will be mighty interested to see how you go about that feud - will it just be a tale of revenge or will we get some elaborate explanation as to why The Nexus buried Undertaker in the first place? Will it have any relevancy now that The Nexus angle has ended? If you can use Undertaker to elevate Barrett to main event level, I'll be impressed. It's one thing to simply write that 'this guy is a main eventer now', it's another thing completely to make your audience believe it.

Onto the draft show...

I wasn't a fan of Tarver's debut, and not just because it was Kane who he took out. Kane's just come back from not being seen since Extreme Rules, right? The audience still thinks of him as being hurt, because they haven't seen him back in action yet. What good does it do for Tarver to take out Kane at this point? Why not give Kane a few weeks to build himself back up, then have Tarver take him out? I just think you jumped the gun here.

Why did Alex Riley come out smiling about being drafted to Smackdown, if he's buddies with Miz and they help each other out? And why is Michael Cole so gleeful about being back on Raw when Jerry Lawler could just fire him? Those two things didn't make sense to me at all.

I'm not going to comment on the draft picks themselves too much because time till tell where everyone fits in on their new shows. I'll just say that there weren't really any "shocks" in the Draft, and anyone who I thought might've switched shows did, the likes of Sheamus and Bryan going to Smackdown was to be expected.

And now we come to the biggest thing in this thread so far: the CM Punk promo. The promo of which about 70-80% comprises of Punk's 'real-life'(if you can call it that) tirade. Like I said in the PM, I think it came out of left field. Reading again I can see how you've somewhat tied it in to CM Punk's whole 'I have faith in myself' gimmick, but I think you could've gone down a different route to the one you've chosen. Fair enough, it's done now, but it could've been better. You're going to have to work hard now to not make this entire storyline feel like a rip-off of what we saw back in 2011. On a side note, with Punk now at the focal point of this thread, I really think Miz has no business still being WWE Champion. If you could somehow get the belt involved it would make things more 'real.'

More to come soon.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #159 (permalink)
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Monday Night Raw
Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska | 30th May 2011



‘The Return of the Boss’


We start with footage of last week’s Draft show, including the big-name picks like Edge, Kane (complete with a brutal Michael Tarver beatdown), Jack Swagger and WWE Tag Team Champion Justin Gabriel. We focus mainly, however, on the final moments of the broadcast, in which CM Punk drops the drafted Randy Orton with the GTS and proceeds to air his grievances on live television. Punk speaks about the state of the WWE as we know it, even going as far to threaten Vince McMahon’s family… unless he gets a match at Capitol Punishment with The Rock. With the entire arena booing CM Punk’s hateful words, the Second City Saint walks out…

…and we head into the Raw opening VP. We end with The Miz’s face as usual, then sweep to the Qwest Center in Omaha, where pyro explodes over the stage! A cheer goes up around the arena, leading us to observe this excited crowd and their numerous signs before we head to ringside, where Jim Ross and… no-one else await us.


Jim Ross: Er, boomer sooner, welcome to Monday Night Raw, I’m Jim Ross… as you can see, I’m a bit by my lonesome over here, my broadcast colleague Josh Matthews apparently unable to join me just at this moment…

He looks to the empty seat beside him, then to ringside, as if he’s expecting someone to explain the situation to him. Ever the professional, he puts it behind him.

Jim Ross: Well, regardless, folks, we’ve got a big show ahead of us tonight, especially after what we heard last week – CM Punk said some things that shouldn’t be said in any context, let alone on live broadcast, and I’d like to apologise if anyone found his words offensive or – or insulting.

A brief pause to clear his throat.

Jim Ross: I think we’re all interested to hear what repercussions he’ll face after that ultimatum at the end of our Draft show, but it’s even bigger than that tonight…

Again, he pauses as a graphic sweeps into view, with Vince McMahon’s face greeting us.

Jim Ross: That’s right, the boss is back in town! The Chairman of the Board, Mr. McMahon, is scheduled to appear here in Omaha to address CM Punk’s actions last week, as well as performing a general tour of the grounds, if you will, for the first time in months. Always entertainin’ when the boss is in town, gotta look forward to what he has to say.

*THIS FIRE BURNS*


The crowd ERUPTS with heat, and rightly so, as CM Punk walks out on to the stage, almost inevitably twirling a mic in his hand. He soaks up the furious reaction from the crowd, a man who only seven days ago threatened an old man’s family and ripped on the entire system, but seems totally calm here. He’s got the smallest of frowns on his face, continuing to play with the mic as he starts a slow walk down the ramp. Justin Roberts doesn’t introduce him.


Jim Ross: Well, I was speakin’ about ‘im a second ago, but here he is in the flesh… CM Punk promised ‘change’ last Monday night, not that I’m sure anyone else really wants whatever ‘change’ he’s givin’ us, but frankly, the man is delusional.

If only because he’s by himself, we get a quick shot of JR shaking his head.

Jim Ross: He’s in the trade of convincin’ people that his way is THE way, folks, but all he’s done so far is delude himself. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’s out of the WWE, and I wouldn’t lose any sleep if he was, I tell ya.

Punk reaches ringside, and stares up the ring, possibly for the last time tonight. He stays there for a while, then brings the mic into the air to signify that he wants to speak; the monkeys in the back cut the music rather than face his wrath. This gives way to the inevitable loud heat and “YOU SUCK!” chants from the fans in Omaha, but Punk raises the mic and cuts through them all.

CM Punk: I… have to apologise.

He’s greeted immediately by loud boos. Punk looks at the ground, looking a bit sheepish… then cuts it out and puts on his serious face.

CM Punk: I’m apologising because you people came here tonight to be entertained… and let me promise, you will not be entertained by what I say, or what I do.

Anyone in attendance who was expecting an apology for last week, naïve though they may be, still boos Punk here. The Second City Saint heads up the ring steps and rests against the turnbuckle, pausing to raise the mic in the meantime.

CM Punk: And honestly, I could try, I could put on a forced smile like so many others and dance a little dance for you, but that’s not CM Punk. That’s not who I am, that’s not who I’ve ever been. So you don’t have to like what I say tonight, what I said last week, but it makes no difference to me. You are not the people I believe in.

Heat the natural response there. Punk steps inside the ring.

CM Punk: I believe in a simple concept called faith.

Some more boos as Punk flogs the dead horse on this one. He falls to his cross-legged position, centre of the ring, and looks around the arena.

CM Punk: Faith means throwing aside the morality that holds back other people. Weaker people. I have faith that if I had one shot to change this whole system, make a whole new WWE from scratch… if I had that one chance, I would do whatever it took to get that. Anything at all. I could make you forget Vince McMahon and his twisted family with one moment of violence… violence so sick it would make your eyes hurt to watch it.

He shakes his head.

CM Punk: Violence so sick you’d go out of your way – to make sure your sons and daughters never saw it.

Some heat for this demented man.

CM Punk: It takes something special in a man to accept that. I have to believe that I could do that, if I had the one shot, to pull the trigger and change it all. Because if I can’t go further than anyone else… I am no best in the world.

Again, heat – the crowd begin to tell him “YOU SUCK!” like last week, but he ignores them. Standing, he begins to elaborate, pacing around the ring as he does.

CM Punk: Now, I know that I ruffled some feathers last week, so much so that tonight’s show has been labelled ‘Return of the Boss’ on every front, but… there’s more.

He actually smirks a tiny bit there, proud that he’s had an effect.

CM Punk: Makes no difference to me that I had some vocal minority on the internet agreein’ with what I said, ‘cause they’re just as bad – they give Vince McMahon his ego boost as much as anyone. And the talk show hosts who got in touch, who I sent away because where the hell were they when I beat Randy Orton to a pulp on Sunday, or when I won World Titles…

There’s a real bitterness to Punk’s tone now.

CM Punk: All of you contribute to Vince McMahon’s construct, in your own special way, and while he sits there on his ivory tower and ignores any and all criticism, you’re all here clapping and cheering and egging him on. Well, I’m here to change that, and it starts with a very simple ultimatum.

Boos as Punk loosens out his shoulders.

CM Punk: Quite simply, tonight could be my last night on Raw, but frankly, it doesn’t matter to me either way… because havoc will be wreaked, no matter what.

Inevitably, more heat from this hostile crowd.

CM Punk: Last week, I asked Vince McMahon to come here tonight – and he came, bade like a dog, or so the promoters tell me… because in Vince McMahon’s world, only Vince McMahon truly sells tickets and he was more than happy to come pad his ego again.

Punk raises a disapproving eyebrow as the boos roll in.

CM Punk: So Vince, the question is, if you really are here… either you have the balls to hand over your prized pup to me – or you have the balls to let me walk out, and see how safe you and your kids feel after that.

Massive, massive heat for that comment. A mixture of “ROCKY!” and “YOU SUCK!” chants are hurled at the unfazed Second City Saint. He turns to the stage, but there’s no movement, nothing but silence. Punk scoffs and walks around the ring a bit more.

CM Punk: Okay, so the very idea of Vince McMahon actually facing his critics, in hindsight, may have been a –

*NO CHANCE IN HELL*


It’s a HUGE pop that interrupts Punk there, with the crowd rising to its feet as one… and Vince McMahon comes strutting out, swinging his arms as usual! Punk tilts his head back so he can look down his nose – the Chairman of the Board marches left and right on the stage, soaking up the reaction with a small smile. He doesn’t actually walk down the ramp, almost as if he’s wary of getting too close to the unpredictable Second City Saint, but Vince has a mic, and he points it at the crowd as his music continues to mix with Nebraskan cheers.


Justin Roberts: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome… the Chairman of the Board, Mister – McMahon!

Jim Ross: You’d hope that’d shut the man up, but I doubt it – there’s your Chairman of the Board, the boss himself in Mr. McMahon, and after what we’ve just heard… well, I realise I’m meant to be impartial, but excuse my French, I hope he sends Punk out on his ass.

McMahon’s marching comes to an end, as does his music. He stands for a moment, just looking out at the crowd in attendance; he’s pleased with the turnout, so he turns to face the ring instead. The corner of his mouth was curved upward with the crowd starting up sporadic chants of “Vince! Vince!” and so on, but it disappears when Punk enters his vision. The mere sight of the man who threatened his family makes his blood run cold.

Vince McMahon: Punk…

He takes a decent pause, making sure the cameras catch the hatred, the disapproval in Punk’s expression as he waits.

Vince McMahon: After what you said last week, I was very tempted to come out here tonight, and well – I was gonna call your bluff.

Some cheers as Punk folds his arms.

Vince McMahon: I’ve done a helluva lotta things in my time as Chairman. Hell, I’ve done some things I’m not proud of, but there’s always been (holds up a finger) one rule, that everyone knew.

McMahon raises a hand and gestures as he speaks, boisterous as he ever was.

Vince McMahon: Don’t – cross – THE BOSS!

Another pop as Punk shakes his head.

CM Punk: And why, huh? Because it all has to be your way –

Vince McMahon: SHAAAAAADDDDDUUUPPP!

The crowd cheers loudly as Punk scowls in silence.

Vince McMahon: Ya wanna know why I was gonna call your bluff, Punk? Because if you threaten my family… you’ll pay with two words I’ve used plenty of times in the past.

“YOOOOU’RE FIIIIRED!” drawls the crowd. VKM raises a finger, however.

Vince McMahon: But just before I was gonna tell you to get the hell outta my company… I got a phone call.

Punk is staring at McMahon with eyes on fire.

Vince McMahon: And the guy on the end of the line – well, he said ya could say whatever ya liked about who you think I am, all that propaganda that comes spillin’ outta that giant mouth of yours…

McMahon shakes his head.

Vince McMahon: But no matter what you think about me, Punk, you don’t threaten a man’s family. That’s just… that’s just basic. But we both know you were looking for a ripple effect, and you’ll get one now.

Punk’s now standing on the second rope, watching the Chairman with disgust.

Vince McMahon: You’ll get it, and you’ll see the consequences for it, too. Because the only man who could save you from being fired – well, that was the man on the end of the phone line.

From that turnbuckle, Punk narrows his eyes and awaits what’s coming. Vince turns to the stage and spreads his right arm out, beckoning something…

“IF YA SMEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLL…”


*ELECTRIFYING*


AND THIS CROWD GOES MENTAL!!! Punk seemed to always know this was coming, paying no attention to the roaring fans in their thousands around him. He shakes his head a little, eyes locked on the stage… WHERE THE ROCK STORMS OUT AND WATCHES THE FANS GO INTO RAPTURES! Sunglasses on indoors, wearing his ‘I BRING IT’ shirt and looking fired up tonight, Rocky turns briefly to McMahon, and for a moment, the two men are united against Punk and his outbursts in the ring. McMahon stares furiously at Punk for a moment, then points to The Great One as if to say ‘I hope he kills you’ and heads backstage.

Jim Ross: The Great One! The Rock is here! By gawd, live on Monday Night Raw, The Rock has come to face the man who insulted the company he helped build! This man put the WWE on his shoulders, and he’s not gonna sit back while Punk drops conspiracy theories! What a way to kick off Raw!

The Rock takes a moment to look around the arena, then strides towards the ring as the lights flash, with Punk not stepping down from the buckles or breaking his gaze. The Second City Saint looks at him with an unbridled hatred, only finally hopping down when The Rock circles the ring and forces Punk to turn in the process. Finally, The Great One takes a mic from ringside, and heads up the steps before he joins Punk in the ring. His music dies down, to be inevitably and immediately replaced by “ROCKY! ROCKY!” chants in the thousands, though Punk ignores them all and stares ice cold through the Brahma Bull. Rocky whips off his shades to look right back at him, then raises his mic.

The Rock: FINALLY…

BIG cheer there.

The Rock: The Rock – has come back… to OMA-HA!

Another cheer following the crowd’s chanting along.

The Rock: And The Rock’ll tell ya why he’s back here – it’s so he can tell you (pointing) exactly what you are.

Punk stares at that pointed finger like it’s crawling with disease.

The Rock: You think you can march your roody-poo ass down this ramp, insult the GM, every guy in that locker room, say you’re comin’ for the boss man’s family… all so you can change it all, huh? So you can become (air quotes) the ‘best in the world’?

Rocky doesn’t look impressed; neither does Punk.

The Rock: Well, let The Rock explain something to ya, Punk. The reason you’re not best in the world, not champion, not even worth cleanin’ the dog turd off The Rock’s boots, isn’t ‘cause Vince is holdin’ ya back… it’s because you SUCK.

The crowd cheers. Punk just stares back at him.

The Rock: And hell, even The Rock tried this one time or another. Even The Rock made fun of Vince McMahon, believed for a while that he was better than everyone else… but the difference between you and The Rock is that The Rock went out and proved it.

Another hearty cheer from the crowd, but Punk scoffs.

The Rock: Over the years, The Rock came to learn a little humility. So The Rock’s standin’ here, knowing my place – but no-one seems to have come out here yet and told you to KNOW YOUR ROLE AND SHUT YOUR MOUTH.

Punk actually turns away now, shaking his head. He turns back sharply and considers saying something, but stops himself and waits.

The Rock: See last week, The Rock’s sat back at home, sitting on The Rock’s couch, eatin’ The Rock’s popcorn, watchin’ Raw on The Rock’s big-ass TV. And he laughed – LAUGHED – at you hobblin’ your psycho monkey ass down that ramp and actin’ like a big shot. You challenged The Rock?

The Rock stops for a moment, hearing the “ROCKY!” chants building again and letting them ring around in Omaha. He continues.

The Rock: You challenged The Rock? After everything you said, all that trash you talked about this company, the people who are just doin’ their jobs, putting food on their family’s tables… you still went and invited The Rock back into this ring? Are you crazy? Do you want a beating?

Punk doesn’t answer, but the crowd is eating this up.

The Rock: And The Rock can’t lie, ever since you interrupted his Birthday Special and talked about your ‘faith’ mumbo-jumbo, The Rock was tempted. The Rock was tempted to do it all over again, step back into this ring for the first time in years, and show you a thing or two about respect, jabroni.

Another pop.

The Rock: But you seem confident. You believe more than anythin’ that you’ll beat The Rock, turn this company on its head in the process… but The Rock wants you to think about that. You really think that if The Rock steps in this ring again and that bell rings… that you stand a chance? You think you can go one… on one… WITH THE GREAT ONE?

The crowd chants along with him there, then begins to cheer.

The Rock: Tell me – tell The Rock, Punk… is that what you honestly think?

Punk stands and stares at him for a moment. The mic comes up.

CM Punk: No.

The Rock: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU –

“-THINK!” finishes the eager crowd, but The Rock turns his head back to look at Punk. He frowns.

CM Punk: No, it’s not what I think, Dwayne. I don’t think I stand a chance… I think I stand more than a chance. Hell, I’m one hundred percent certain that I can leave you laying, and prove just how much of a phony you really are.

Boos as Rocky takes his turn to listen, looking repulsed by Punk’s words.

CM Punk: I genuinely didn’t think you’d come here, but somehow I’m glad you did, because all you’ve done is prove my point. Y’see, it’s easy for you to come out here and spout your catchphrases, put on a brave face and support the man who made you filthy rich.

Another frown from The Rock, another round of heat from the crowd.

CM Punk: You’ve made a pretty good life for yourself out of it, but you epitomise this obsession McMahon has with ‘entertainment’. Sure, these people eat it up, but at the end of the day…

Punk cracks a rare smirk.

CM Punk: …you can’t wrestle in the same league as I can.

The Rock raises the famous eyebrow. Boos from the crowd.

CM Punk: I’ve wrestled men ten times as good as you, names you’d never know because you’re blinkered. Because while you tried so hard to make yourself a Hollywood name, I was putting my knee between people’s eyes and telling myself that someday I would be in a position… like this.

We get a wider shot of the pair of them, standing face-to-face with the tension clear for everyone to see.

CM Punk: I knew I’d need that skill someday, so I worked at it, while you were busy making movies and kissing Vince’s ass to make sure you could come back whenever you wanted… but these people still eat out of the palm of your hand. And you’re exactly the man that I need to put down… if I ever want to kill Vince’s perverted regime. That’s the truth of it.

Rock tilts his head up, the crowd booing again.

CM Punk: Call it what you want, I don’t care. I know the reason you came out here, I know the reason you called McMahon, and so do all of those people. You and me, in the capital, until you lie still on this mat.

Ooooh, that strikes a nerve. Rocky steps forward, but Punk doesn’t budge.

CM Punk: And when I’m done, Dwayne, all your fans and your entertainment value won’t mean a thing – exactly how it should be. They won’t save you, and Vince won’t save you.

Punk stares right back into The Rock’s eyes.

CM Punk: I’m the bullet that killed Franz Ferdinand. The architect for change. When Capitol Punishment rolls around, you’re gonna realise that choosing to dance for Vince McMahon… didn’t help you at all.

Heat from the crowd as Punk steps forward a little.

CM Punk: In Washington… you will be faith’s first casualty.

With the boos raining in, Punk heads for the ropes and leaves the ring. The Rock watches him go as Punk throws his mic to the ground on his way, but the Great One heads to the edge of the ring and raises his own mic.

The Rock: Punk – you talk big, but ya don’t act big.

A pop, but Punk just keeps walking, smirking after he sent his message.

The Rock: But you’re right. The Rock wants back in, because whippin’ jabronis like you is what he does best!

Again, the crowd cheers, but Punk won’t even look at the Great One.

The Rock: So Capitol Punishment, you and The Rock – IT’S ON.

Rocky absorbs the cheers once more, now gripping the top rope as he shouts up the ramp after the walking CM Punk. “I can’t believe my ears,” says JR.

The Rock: But if ya think for a second that all your threats are gonna scare The Rock, ya got another thing comin’, ‘cause The Rock doesn’t cave. No, you take your conspiracy theories, shine ‘em up real nice, turn ‘em sideways and shove ‘em STRAIGHT UP, YOUR CANDY ASS!

Another BIG cheer as Punk reaches the stage, but stops to listen.

The Rock: In D.C., The Rock’s back in the saddle, and he’s gonna teach you what happens when you run your mouth to the Great One! IF YA SMEEEEEEEEEELLLLLL…

The crowd ROARS along with him, as Punk slowly turns on a dime to watch him…

The Rock: …WHAT THE ROCK – IS – COOKING!

*ELECTRIFYING*


Another fierce cheer greets that, but Punk seems unfazed, just shaking his head… and then looking at his wrist, the imaginary watch, and looking knowingly at The Rock. The Brahma Bull himself is fired up, looking fairly pissed off by everything Punk has said and done, but slowly, the Second City Saint backs away, heading behind the curtain and leaving Rocky by himself. The crowd begins to chant his name, but it takes him a moment to acknowledge them, still trying to calm himself down after dealing with Punk’s insolence.

Jim Ross: Nothing but tension, but disrespect between CM Punk and The Rock, and after that confrontation on Rocky’s Birthday Special, maybe we shoulda guessed that these two would collide again… I just didn’t think it was gonna be this soon! Rock’s gotta try and stop Punk’s insane ‘crusade’ before it can start, and it’s gonna go down in Washington, folks!

As The Rock salutes the fans on every side, thanking them for their support tonight if a little distracted, we spot JR looking around at ringside.

Jim Ross: But would someone tell me where Josh Matthews is?

We go to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

*GOLD-LUST*


As Raw returns, this arena is gold, and walking the ring is Goldust, getting a surprisingly decent amount of cheers as he takes a sharp intake of breath. He goes about the place making the facial expressions you’d expect of the Bizarre One, and the bell rings.


Justin Roberts: The following contest is set for one fall! In the ring, from Hollywood, California, weighing in at two hundred and forty-three pounds… GOOOOOLDUST!

Jim Ross: Welcome back, folks, this is Monday Night Raw, we’ve got Vince McMahon in the building and unbelievably, The Rock and CM Punk are gonna let their frustrations at each other out at Capitol Punishment, we heard that much just before the break… but now we’ve got Goldust set for action, which apparently I’ll be callin’ myself…

Goldust turns to face the stage, his music dying out, and he breathes dramatically in and out as he waits for his opponent…

“CHECK, ONE TWO… OH YEAH!”


*GET ON YOUR KNEES*


Heat fills this arena, loud boos indeed, as the American flag waves on the Tron and here comes Jack Swagger, beating his chest slowly as he returns to singles action on Raw for the first time in a long while. Behind him struts out Michael Cole, wearing a red tie to mark his own return to Raw, though possibly after a shorter absence, and grinning his absolute face off. Swagger leads him down the ramp, stopping to fall into a series of push-ups that release his pyro on the stage.


Justin Roberts: And his opponent, accompanied by Michael Cole… from Perry, Oklahoma, weighing in at two hundred and sixty pounds… the Phenomenal Athlete, the ALL-AMERICAN AMERICAN… JACK – SWAGGER!

Jim Ross: Jack Swagger drafted over to Raw last week, much to my personal chagrin, but you can’t deny what he’s capable of, and we saw that at Over The Limit when he put away the Big Show in dominating fashion.

Swagger heads up to the ring, swinging inside and taking only a glance at Goldust before he heads for the turnbuckles. Cole’s walking around ringside to watch.

Jim Ross: Of course, the man known as the Phenomenal Athlete, could yet reclaim the success he had a year ago, now in a great vein of form and looking to make his mark here on… what – what are you doin’? Don’t sit down here, don’t come anywhere near me, ya little –

Cole spreads his arms wide upon reaching the announce desk, saying “Looking a little lonely there, JR?” but Ross raises his hands in protest. Cole starts walking closer, and JR frowns, but as Swagger jumps to the second rope and shouts “ON – YOUR – KNEES!” in time with the music, Cole slides into Josh Matthews’ empty seat and gets his paws on the headset…

Michael Cole: Well, ain’t this convenient, huh JR? Almost like it was written in the stars, am I right? The band is back together!

Jim Ross: There’s no band, we’re not friends. You’re nothin’ but, but a parasite –

Michael Cole: Hey now, where’s all this hostility comin’ from? Aren’t you glad that Jack and I are back on Raw? Now I get to call the action with ya!

Jim Ross: I must have done somethin’ pretty damn bad in a previous life…

In the ring, Rod Zapata looks between the two men, with Swagger stepping down and observing his opponent with a frown. Nevertheless, he begins to pace, forcing Goldust to circle, and Zapata gets our opening contest underway.

Match One – Singles Contest
Goldust vs. Jack Swagger w/ Michael Cole


Here we go then, with poor Jim Ross having to put up with Michael Cole’s grating voice at ringside, and Swagger immediately locks up with Goldust, forcing him into the corner and driving with some shoulder thrusts. He delivers each one to the gut with outstanding drive, huge force, then sends Goldust to the other side – and MAULS the Bizarre One with a Corner Avalanche! The crowd groans as Goldust does, falling to his knees, but Swagger just pulls him up, scooping him into the Oklahoma… but Goldust slips out before he unleash the Stampede, and SHOVES Swagger into the turnbuckle! A pop goes up as Swagger reels back, and suddenly Goldust ROLLS HIM UP… one… two – NO! Kickout by Swagger, so both men get up, Goldust ducking a clothesline – and then doing the classic pose, breathing in sharply to taunt the All-American American!

Swagger’s eyes narrow, launching forward, but Goldust sidesteps him again, then works in the right hands, shuffling like his father with the peppering shots… but Swagger ducks the last blow as Goldust winds back and misses. Swagger grabs him by the wrist now, sending him to the ropes and bending down… but Goldust drops down and UPPERCUTS him right in the jaw! Swagger reels back in shock, and Goldust gets a run-up for the clothesline – DUCKED! Goldust keeps running, stopping himself in the corner… and Swagger drives into him with a shoulder thrust, right to the lower spine! Goldust gasps in pain, so Swagger wraps his arms around his waist and tugs him back… BEFORE HE DUMPS HIM WITH A GERMAN SUPLEX!

The crowd cries “OH!” as Goldust goes sprawling, and Swagger gets up with a ROAR of frustration, not happy that his opponent got even the slightest of offence in. Cole’s blabbering on about Swagger’s unbeatable competitive spirit, how he hasn’t been pinned in months, while Goldust’s hands scrape the mat as he tries to get up. The fight’s been wrenched right out of him with that German, but there’s still a fire inside Swagger, who yanks Goldust back up and into that Oklahoma again… this time he bashes Goldust into the turnbuckle, and completes the Oklahoma Stampede! That lays Goldust out emphatically, and now Swagger circles him, scowling before he pushes him towards the corner with the toe of his boot.

Goldust rolls where he’s bidden, fairly lifeless after Swagger’s chained big hits, and now the All-American American barrels into the corner… FOR THE SWAGGER BOMB ON THE MONEY! That takes the air out of Goldust for sure, so Swagger gets up, bringing the Bizarre One with him. He drives a hard knee into his gut, keeping him from fighting back, then wraps the arms around the abdomen… AND DRILLS HIM WITH THE GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB!

Down goes Goldust yet again, like Swagger’s knocking around a ragdoll, as Swagger falls beside him, doing some focused push-ups to observe the pain on Goldust’s face. This gets Swagger some strong heat, but as always, he’s not doing it to gloat, but to make a point… before he gets up, AND LOCKS IN THE ANKLE LOCK! Goldust suddenly comes to life, yelling in pain, and for all his unorthodox offence and mind games, the Bizarre One has no answer here… Michael Cole’s singing all kinds of praises at ringside, as Goldust raises a hand – AND TAPS!

Result: Jack Swagger bts. Goldust via submission at 2:16

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*


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

Swagger dumps the ankle to the ground at Rod Zapata’s behest, leaving Goldust to suffer on the canvas as he walks calmly to the turnbuckles and raises himself to the second rope. With the crowd booing, the All-American American spreads his arms wide, knowing that Raw re-debuts don’t get much better than that. Stepping down, he sees Zapata checking on Goldust, but tells the official that he doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring, and pulls the Bizarre One up to THROW him through the ropes to the outside!

Michael Cole: Take a look at that guy, JR! What a man, totally unstoppable!

Jim Ross: Jack Swagger indeed victorious in his first night back as a Raw superstar, but ya look at him showin’ no respect to a veteran in –

Michael Cole: Ya know what, JR? I think the world needs to hear from Raw’s new biggest threat, I’ll catch ya later. Don’t miss me too much, alright?

Jim Ross: No danger there.

Cole indeed drops his headset, rushing over to ringside to grab a mic from someone, as Swagger continues his celebrations in the ring. As JR shakes his head in the background, Cole goes rushing past and joins Swagger in the ring. The so-called ‘Voice of the WWE’ pats Swagger on the shoulder, though the All-American American doesn’t exactly grin at the sight of him. His music subsides, and the boos become all the more audible as Cole raises a hand.

Michael Cole: May I have your attention please…

Inevitable boos there.

Michael Cole: It’s a great honour for me to re-introduce you, Monday Night Raw, to a man who is going to take you by storm.

Heat as Swagger folds his arms behind Cole.

Michael Cole: It doesn’t matter that the General Manager is still sour that he lost to me at Wrestlemania, and therefore hates every step I take on this earth…

The boos mix with “YOU SUCK!” chants in an attempt to shut Cole up, but nothing doing.

Michael Cole: And I’m sure Jerry Lawler would love to screw my associate Jack Swagger out of every match he participates in, but just because he can’t do his job right, doesn’t mean we can’t do ours.

Wearing that little smirk again, Cole gestures to himself, then to the man behind him.

Michael Cole: So Lawler, I hope you enjoyed watching Jack here destroy his opponent, because there’s plenty more where that came from, and as for you personally –

Yoink – Swagger wrenches the mic out of Cole’s hands.

Jack Swagger: This ain’t about the GM. I don’t give a damn who he is.

Some heat there.

Jack Swagger: Nah, this is about a man who as an athlete… well, he is just PHENOMENAL.

Boos again as Cole holds up his hands and backs away a little.

Jack Swagger: Last Sunday – I backed up everything I said, when I broke Big Show’s ankle and put him where he belongs… on the shelf.

More heat. Swagger smirks.

Jack Swagger: I warned him not to show up, but he tried to be brave – and I punished him for it.

Cole nods in the background.

Jack Swagger: Somethin’ you people are gonna learn about me is now I’m on Raw, things are gonna be even worse for my opponents. I can take down any man, of any size, of any skill, at any time. You just name ‘im, I will beat him.

Some applause from Cole as the crowd boos Swagger’s arrogance.

Jack Swagger: And before long, I’m-a prove that, because these ain’t just words, this is gospel. I am an athlete the likes of which y’all have never seen…

Swagger points to the camera.

Jack Swagger: So prepare yourselves for a whole lot more dominance.

*GET ON YOUR KNEES*


Swagger hands the mic to Cole, telling him to pass it to ringside. The All-American American himself takes a walk, making sure the crowd knows how good he is before he heads out of the ring, and up the ramp. Having given the mic back, Cole goes scurrying after him as Swagger paces up towards the stage, nodding his head.


Jim Ross: Big words from the All-American American tonight, ladies and gentlemen. He thinks he’s got a bright future here on Raw, and like him or not I’d be inclined to agree after performances like that… but I’d rather be his next opponent than call another match with Michael Cole, I tell ya.

As Swagger and Cole head behind the curtain, we fade away…

…to see the Raw General Manager, Jerry “The King” Lawler in his office. The Hall of Famer gets a cheer from the crowd and a few “Jerry! Jerry!” chants, even more poignant after Michael Cole’s criticisms of him just now, but at the moment he’s indifferent to it, with a mobile phone pressed to his ear.


Jerry Lawler: Josh, look, the show has been going for –

A pause.

Jerry Lawler: You were what?

And again.

Jerry Lawler: Wait, wait. Sent home? By who?

Again, he waits for an answer, then tilts his head up and frowns. Turning around, he stares… right into Vince McMahon as the camera pans out. A small pop from the crowd.

Jerry Lawler: Right. Bye, Josh.

He hangs up and pockets the phone.

Jerry Lawler: Mister McMahon… it’s good to see you, but –

Vince McMahon: Jerry, I tell ya, it’s good to be back. It’s been a while since I’ve been here first-hand, so I can see how things are being run, deal with CM Punk… and see if myself and the Board made the right choice in appointing you General Manager.

Lawler was about to speak, but he hesitates. McMahon puts a hand on his shoulder and smiles.

Vince McMahon: Y’see Jerry, sometimes in management you just gotta make the tough choices. Like earlier tonight, I brought The Rock back to deal with CM Punk, because I knew it would be good for business. Or looking at your announce team – Josh Matthews works both Raw and SmackDown, right?

King doesn’t answer, possibly because it feels rhetorical. McMahon’s hand is still there; he leans in closer as if he’s telling a secret.

Vince McMahon: But King, you know as well as I do that the WWE… it’s about variety. So I sent Josh home… and found someone else for ya, starting tonight, to spice up proceedings just a little.

Mixed reaction from the crowd. Lawler considers speaking up, but again he hesitates and Vince jumps in.

Vince McMahon: And another thing, just a tip between… colleagues. It’s hard to do your job… when half your acting roster is unhappy.

Jerry Lawler: Sir, I wouldn’t say –

The hand comes off the shoulder.

Vince McMahon: I’ve heard a lotta complaints, Jerry. And you know what complaints do? They take time to deal with. Time I don’t have a lot of.

Silence for a second to let that sink in.

Vince McMahon: You’ve had since Wrestlemania. And King, there’s been one too many attacks, one too many matches that the people don’t wanna see… one too many times when you let things get outta hand. That’s not what I expect – it’s not what the Board expects.

Jerry Lawler: Mister McMahon, sometimes it’s just been out of –

Vince McMahon: So the Board and I, as Chairman, have had some time to think about it… and we’ve decided to put you on probation, pending a full performance review the weekend of Capitol Punishment.

The crowd groans in surprise, and Lawler goes a little pale.

Vince McMahon: That gives you the time to turn it around… but if you don’t…

A shrug from VKM. He goes to leave, but turns briefly.

Vince McMahon: And Jerry? Don’t make me have to manage your personnel again.

Vince walks out, leaving Lawler to stare after him; the GM is stunned, but for the moment there’s nothing he can do. After a few moments of staying with King, we hear a few “Jerry!” chants from the arena, and we fade to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

When Raw returns, we’re at ringside… and sitting with Jim Ross is Byron Saxton, grinning his face off and wearing a casual suit. A little caption comes up with their names to boot.

Jim Ross: This is Raw folks, live from Omaha – and apparently my new broadcast partner for the evening is Byron Saxton –

Byron Saxton: Ya bet all the barbeque sauce in Oklahoma I am, JR! And it ain’t just this evenin’, either, I’m here for the long haul! I come with the Vincent Kennedy McMahon seal of approval!

Jim Ross: No-one likes a braggart, Byron, but takin’ a look at what we saw before the break, that very man Mister McMahon has put Raw GM Jerry “The King” Lawler on probation ahead of a full performance review…

Byron Saxton: And damn right, too, JR! Lawler should have hired me when he first got his dirty hands on that office!

Jim Ross: I don’t wanna get this announce team off to a bad start, but you’re talkin’ about a Hall of Famer, a close personal friend of mine. You show me your Hall of Fame ring and then we’ll talk about if King can do his job right, he’s doin’ just fine.

Byron Saxton: Hey, ask the WWE Champ if he agrees with that, JR. Ask CM Punk, ask guys like Cena and Triple H who had to go out of their way to get the match they wanted, just ‘cause Lawler forced ‘em to team together. Ask Gail Kim how she feels that Lawler never punished Alex Riley. Want me to write ya a list?

Jim Ross: I’m not gonna get into an argument with ya, Byron, if only ‘cause we’ve got a show to call and I’d take the devil himself for a colour commentator rather than Cole…

*BATTLE ON*


A strong pop goes up here, the crowd rising to its feet to applaud the United States Champion, Tyler Black as he makes his way out. Black’s looking as game as ever tonight, hair a ruffled mess across his determined face and the title in his right hand to loft it into the air. He throws that belt over his shoulder, then points out at the crowd and leaps on to the ramp, a two-footed stomp letting off a burst of pyro behind him. The bell rings, and now Black slaps the outstretched hands of the fans along the ramp.


Justin Roberts: The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Buffalo, Iowa, weighing in at two hundred and six pounds… he is the United States Champion… TYLER – BLACK!

Jim Ross: Here’s a man with a lot to be happy about, folks. Tyler Black stuck to his code at Over The Limit, beating Sheamus to the United States Title, and last week he got that title reign off to a great start, victory over Drew McIntyre and lasting to the final four of the main event Battle Royal.

Byron Saxton: Ya gotta respect what Tyler Black did in Seattle, the man stuck to his guns and he came out with the title, great resilience for sure – but as for that code of his… well, ya know what they say about nice guys, JR.

Jim Ross: Well Sheamus saw what a ‘nice guy’ like Tyler is capable of, Byron. He wouldn’t stay down, now he’s champion. Sheamus’ first loss in months mean anythin’ to you?

Byron Saxton: The guy used to dress up like an FBI agent, JR. Don’t tell me I have to take him seriously after that.

JR doesn’t really have an answer for that, so it’s eyes to the ring. Black’s there by now, having swung into the squared circle and hoisted himself to the second rope. He raises his arms, the title once again in one of them, enjoying the reaction he gets before he steps down and waits for his opponent. His music fades, so we’re left with just Black pacing the ring, the crowd chanting his name in the background.

*IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW*


There’s some heat as the rock tune strikes up, and Curt Hawkins is the man pacing out to accept the negative reaction. Cane in one hand, he spreads his arms wide and spins to show the ‘RULE-BREAKER’ emblazoned on the reverse of his jet-black jacket. He takes a few steps backwards down the ramp, then spins and punches the air, screaming “ENGAGE HAWK MODE!” from behind his shades. With Black measuring his opponent from the ring, Hawkins points briefly to the bald eagle’s head on the breast of his jacket, then heads for the squared circle.


Justin Roberts: And his opponent… from the BIIIIIRD’S NEST, weighing in at two hundred and twenty-three pounds… THE RUUULE-BREAKER… CURT – HAWKINS!

Byron Saxton: Now here’s a guy ya can get behind! The Rule-Breaker in the house!

Jim Ross: It remains to be seen exactly how ground-breaking Curt Hawkins is as a competitor, Byron, but certainly he’s been impressive in recent weeks, several wins under his belt.

Byron Saxton: You kiddin’ me? He doesn’t have to break the rules in the ring, he’s talented enough to win by himself – he’s redefinin’ standards, pushin’ the envelope! It’s about bein’ your own guy, which is more I can say for Tyler Black, huh? Anybody can call themselves a ‘good guy’ and go around kissin’ babies!

Hawkins trots up the ring steps and immediately clambers up to the top rope, spreading his arms wide and showing the world his wingspan. Black looks a little uncertain why Hawkins is doing this, but waits patiently until his opponent has swung himself down into the ring. Hawkins points across at him, saying “Get ready to face the eagle, I don’t play by your rules, dude” before he slips out of his jacket and hands it, plus his shades and cane, to ringside. The United States Champion hands the title out of the ring too, trying to gauge exactly what Hawkins’ deal is, and as the Rule-Breaker starts to shake out his arms, these two begin to circle. It’s Hawkins’ biggest challenge to date, and he makes sure to talk as much trash as possible here, trying to get into Black’s head as Scott Armstrong gets us underway.

Match Two – Singles Contest – Non-Title
United States Champion Tyler Black vs. Curt Hawkins


We join this one after roughly six minutes, with Hawkins having the slight upper hand, keeping Black down and laying in some cross-faced right hands. He steps away for a moment, leaving Black seated to hit the ropes… but the United States Champion slides to the deck, leaving Hawkins to run over him. Black’s up, leapfrogging Hawkins this time, and when they meet a third time, Black stuns him with an elbow and tries to go for the ropes himself – but Hawkins is on him, charging after him and sliding from the ring, taking Black’s ankles out from underneath him as he does!

Black’s head bounces against the mat awkwardly, and the crowd groans, but Hawkins has no sympathy, spreading his arms and saying “Redefinin’ standards, people!” before he heads over to ringside… and fist bumps Byron Saxton! These two know each other pretty well from their FCW days, and Saxton wears his million dollar smile proudly after the shout-out, while Hawkins now swings back up to the apron. Black’s hauling himself slowly up, wincing after his surprise fall, then turns to see Hawkins flying like the eagle on the springboard – NO! Whatever he was going for, it’s not there, Black ducking under Hawkins as he flies past, and now they turn to face each other… kick to the gut from Black, then shoving Hawkins’ head between his legs – TO SCOOP HIM UP, AND DRILL HIM INTO THE TURNBUCKLE WITH THE POWERBOMB! The crowd gasps as Hawkins goes tumbling to the deck, and now Black dives over him for the cover… one… two… no! Kickout by the Eagle despite the big hit!

Black runs a hand through that straggled hair and pushes himself up. He’s a bit surprised by Hawkins’ resilience, but he’s undeterred and welcomes the Rule-Breaker up with a couple of kicks to the side. Hawkins shrugs them off and answers back with a kick or two of his own, backing Black up to the ropes, then whips him to the other side… no, Black sends him instead, then throws a clothesline – ducked by Hawkins, who doesn’t turn but just LEAPS INTO THE PELE KICK – GOT IT! That puts Black down in sensational style, so Hawkins covers… one… two… no! Black kicks out this time! Hawkins can’t believe his luck, now shoving himself up and beckoning Black to rise, limbering up that right arm to take Black’s head off with one of his signature huge clotheslines… Black’s up – but the clothesline MISSES, Black dodging the bullet before he leaps himself… AND NAILS HAWKINS WITH HIS OWN LEAPING ENZUIGIRI, ALMOST IDENTICAL TO THE PELE! Both men go down, the crowd’s cheering ringing in their ears… before Black hauls himself into the cover… one… two… but no! Kickout by Hawkins!

Only two fingers held up by referee Scott Armstrong, which Black winces at as the pair go crawling away from each other. They haul themselves up almost at the same time, both feeling those huge spiralling kicks to the head that they traded, and now they meet in the centre with right hands. The crowd cheers, the crowd boos, Black strikes, Hawkins strikes, and back-and-forth we go with the alternating cheers and jeers… until Black gets the upper hand, forcing the Rule-Breaker back to the ropes and whipping him across – ONLY FOR HAWKINS TO REBOUND AND MURDER THE CHAMPION WITH A GIGANTIC CLOTHESLINE!

What a hit from the Rule-Breaker! Hawkins goes rolling across the mat, even a little surprised himself that he put so much force into that, while Black’s body folds over on the canvas. The United States Champion was well and truly rattled by that, but he’s on his knees, while Hawkins staggers over to him and yanks him up. Black’s in no position to fight back just yet, so Hawkins scoops him up high – AND SCORES WITH THE UPSIDE DOWN MICHINOKU DRIVER! The crowd cries out in awe, Hawkins rolling backwards on impact, but now the Rule-Breaker dives into the cover, thinking surely he’s got the champ down and out… one… two… thr-NO! Black rolls a shoulder to the delight of the crowd!

Hawkins looks a little sour, but nevertheless he picks himself up and begins to stalk the champion. He’s back to trash talking again, something about eagles and rule-breaking and envelope-pushing, but Black’s too busy trying to shake out the cobwebs to pay attention. He struggles back up, putting a hand on the ropes to steady himself, then turns into the clutches of Hawkins… he’s got the front facelock, maybe thinking Laugh Riot – no! Black spins out of it, then hooks the Rule-Breaker up with the Belly-to-Back… THEN UP AND DOWN INTO THE REVERSE STO! A cheer goes up as Black turns on the style, with Hawkins’ mind getting jumbled there, and as he staggers blindly sideways, Black has time to collect himself… AND HE BRINGS HIM DOWN FOR GOOD WITH THE YAKUZA KICK! What a thumping hit from the champion, getting the crowd excited in the process, and now he covers, looking to put an end to it here… one… two… thr-but NO! Kickout by Hawkins yet again!

A sigh from the crowd – Tyler is stunned, staggering over to the corner and turning his head back to look at Hawkins in shock. That Yakuza Kick has a habit of leaving men broken on the deck, but Hawkins won’t stay down despite the United States Champion’s best efforts so far. Black, never one to dwell too long, heads out to the apron and clambers up to the top rope, knowing he has to amp it up as Hawkins gets up… but the Rule-Breaker dives on the ropes, shaking them so Black loses his footing! The crowd groans as Black near-on crotches himself, giving Hawkins the chance to join Black up high, throwing a couple of right hands and looking to send him flying with the Superplex – no good! Black fights back with right hands of his own!

Hawkins and Black are going at it now, looking fairly precarious up on that turnbuckle, as Hawkins hauls himself up so the two are parallel on the top tier… Black gets a right hand that sends the Rule-Breaker teetering towards the edge, maybe down to the outside mats – but no, Hawkins holds on! Black desperately wants to fight Hawkins away, throwing another right hand, but Hawkins finds a second wind, swinging back towards the ring and LASHING out with a kick, catching Black across the face and sending him careering back down to the mat! The crowd cries out as Black crashes, and now Hawkins has to recollect himself up top, measuring the champion up and screaming “FLY LIKE THE EAGLE!” before he stands, and LAUNCHES WITH THE HEAT-SEEKING ELBOOOOOOOWWWWW… NOOOOOO!!! BLACK PUTS A FOOT UP, AND HAWKINS REELS AWAY LIKE HIS HEAD’S BEEN TAKEN OFF!!!

Hawkins could be out cold! The Rule-Breaker’s body goes rolling sideways, and Black crawls away too, blinking repeatedly as he tries to prepare himself to continue – that was just instinct from the United States Champion! Hawkins is barely moving, his face wrecked with pain, as we spy Black hauling his body up in the background… and now he pumps his arms, bringing the crowd to life! He goes over to Hawkins, pulling the Eagle’s dead weight up and letting out a HUGE roar of adrenaline before he lines up the inverted facelock… AND SCORES WITH THE PAROXYSM!!! The crowd pops big, with Black wasting no time in covering a great competitor in Hawkins… one… two… three!

Result: United States Champion Tyler Black bts. Curt Hawkins via pinfall at 11:25

*BATTLE ON*


Justin Roberts: Here is your winner… the United States Champion… TYLER – BLACK!

Black gets to his feet, soaking in the cheers and pumping an exhausted arm. That arm is raised by Armstrong, with the delight clear on his face after yet another hard-fought victory. He yells out, heading for the turnbuckles to egg the crowd on, those fists firing again as the thousands applaud his efforts. Behind him, Hawkins stays down with a hand across his back, wincing heavily to sell Black’s offence.

Jim Ross: Another steep challenge navigated by the new United States Champion, folks, but Curt Hawkins sure as hell pushed him to the limit.

Byron Saxton: Pushed him to the limit? Hell, the Eagle had him beat, JR! He got lucky with that raised boot and he’s escapin’ with a dubya tonight!

Jim Ross: Ya seem to be goin’ outta your way to land the champ in it, Byron, but if one thing’s for sure, it’ll take a helluva effort to keep ‘im down – always enjoy seein’ this bright young man in action, making sure he’s earning that title.

Back to the ring, where Hawkins is up, evidently smarting by that hand he has pressed to his spine. Black has stepped down, still a little fired up but calming as someone hands him his title and he throws it over his shoulder. He takes a step forward, closer to Hawkins now, and nods his head, impressed with the Rule-Breaker’s performance there. Hawkins looks at him through suspicious eyes, then narrows those eyes down… at the handshake Black offers him!

Byron Saxton: Don’t do it, Curt! Who knows where that hand’s been?

A mixed reaction goes up as Hawkins stares at the hand for a moment… then slaps it aside and walks out!

Jim Ross: Oh what’s this guy’s problem?

Byron Saxton: Ha! He’s a smart man, JR, he doesn’t want Black’s pity!

Hawkins finds boos thrown at him by hundreds of people, but he doesn’t care in the slightest as he steps to the apron – “Screw you, I don’t play by your rules!” he shouts with a pointed finger at Black, then steps down and snatches his jacket and shades from ringside. Throwing the eagle-crested jacket back over himself, he slides the glasses on and heads for the ramp. Black, exhausted, rests two arms against the top rope and watches Hawkins leave with a shake of his head.

Jim Ross: Well, I’d hardly call it ‘pity’, but whatever it is, Hawkins ain’t buyin’ – still, Tyler Black rolls on here in Omaha… we’re taking a short break but we’ll be right back, don’t go anywhere.

Byron Saxton: Y’know, I could get used to this job, JR…

Hawkins storms backstage, evidently frustrated by his narrow loss here, while Black stands with his hands on his hips in the ring… and we take that 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.


---

When Raw returns, this arena is silent…

“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME!”


*METALINGUS*


…but not for long, because this arena goes NUTS, smoke rushing up from the stage to hail the arrival of EDGE, clad in his leather jacket and crouching to stare out at the arena! The Rated R Superstar looks dead serious tonight, a bit of a shift from how sunny his outlook was during his reunion with Christian on SmackDown – nevertheless, he throws up his arms and lets the pyro EXPLODE behind him in emphatic fashion. He slaps the fans’ outstretched hands on his way towards the ring.


Justin Roberts: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome… the Rated R SUPERSTAR… EEEEDDDGGGE!

Jim Ross: A bit disheartened he may be, but Edge is here on Raw nonetheless, and maybe now he can begin to put that mess with Wade Barrett behind him.

Byron Saxton: Ya mean when Barrett beat him to a pulp with his bare knuckles like a champ, JR. If Edge doesn’t wanna play with the boys on Monday nights, he can take a walk – I know sure as hell that I’m happy to be here!

Jim Ross: I’m reservin’ my judgements on your personal involvement so far, Byron, but if there’s one thing I can agree on, it’s the danger factor behind Wade Barrett. That aside, that match meant a lot to the Rated R Superstar, so much riding on the retribution he deserved… it remains to be seen what kinda mindset the poor man is in.

Byron Saxton: Oh cry me a river, JR, he’s a big boy, multiple-time World Champ, how much trouble does this guy really have sleepin’ at night?

Reaching ringside, Edge takes a slow jog and slides under the bottom rope, taking a quick look around before he stands. He does the rock star pose again from the corner, though he looks a little distracted, and from there he takes a mic from the ringside staff as he steps down. Walking the ring, the Canadian twirls the mic in his hand and listens as the music dies out – the fans are chanting his name, so he sweeps his hair out of his face and waits. When the chants die down, he smiles weakly and brings up the mic.

Edge: I’m gonna do something I haven’t done much in my time here… and that’s be honest.

Small pop.

Edge: I’ve spent some time sneaking around, making a dishonest buck bein’ the guy who takes the easy way out… but I also hope I’ve given you some laughs, and been a good champion when you really needed me to be.

Some applause, though there’s a bit of buzz considering the way Edge is talking.

Edge: And it’d be easy for me to stand here and pretend that all these titles, all this success… well, that it defines me. But I can’t do that, because titles and matches are just that. I want you all to know that if my career ended tomorrow, it’d be the memories I’d treasure the most. And the memories – are made by every one of you.

A good cheer goes up there, but again that buzz remains.

Edge: This isn’t me bein’ dramatic, it’s just a thought that hit me sometime last week when I was laying on the mat, beaten by Wade Barrett.

Boos immediately for that.

Edge: After I got drafted last week, all I could think about was how my dream was over. Me versus Christian, for the World Heavyweight Title… it couldn’t happen anymore, neither could the team, and – well, that was difficult for me, honest to God. And I thought…

He stops, putting a hand to his mouth – the “EDGE! EDGE!” chants build in the meantime.

Edge: I thought that because of that, I had nothing to work for. I thought all I could do was beat Wade Barrett, and somewhere in that show last Monday the fight went outta me and… Barrett took advantage.

Heat.

Edge: So I was left all alone in that ring to think about it, while the Draft went on without me. I was thinkin’ about a guy like Christian, who deserves a World Title more than anything – more than ANYTHING – and how that dream match was dead in the water. I thought I’d let him down. I knew I’d let him down.

Baring his teeth, Edge looks away for a moment, trying to calm himself down.

Edge: But Christian’s flying the flag for himself pretty well on SmackDown, and the Corre aren’t gonna have a moment’s rest until he’s done with ‘em. The man has a fire lit inside of him that just won’t go out, and dream match or no dream match, he will be a World Champion someday.

Pop for that.

Edge: Once I’d stopped feelin’ sorry for myself this past week, I made the sensible decision… and went and saw my doctors. Because y’know, I’m not as spry as I used to be, and keepin’ up this pace can get to you sometimes…

He chuckles half-heartedly.

Edge: But like I said, I promised to be honest… and what the docs told me wasn’t good.

Immediate, loud boos as Edge’s face falls.

Edge: I’ve taken a lotta hits in my career, I’ve faced tables and ladder and chairs. I’ve faced future Hall of Famers and current ones, I’ve done it all. But that all comes at a cost, and for all my great memories… you don’t need a PhD to know that memories won’t keep your back in one piece.

Again, he looks to the ground… but looks up again to see a crowd rising to its feet, giving him a standing ovation. He can’t help but crack a smile, as the “THANK YOU EDGE!” chants build in one corner of the arena, seeing where he’s going with this, and he holds up a hand briefly.

Edge: I’m not done. Honest, honest, honest, I can’t be done.

A hand over the mouth again, but he soldiers on amongst the chants.

Edge: Not yet. But when the experts talk, you’d do well to listen… so for once, I’m going to listen – and that means taking a break. As long as necessary.

Some cheers at the lack of him saying ‘I retire’ in there. Boos for him taking a break.

Edge: And in that time, I’m gonna sit down with the people I care about, and together we’re gonna figure out – and at the end of the day I’m gonna figure out – what’s best for the future. I don’t know what that is yet, I don’t know if there’s more… ah…

Again the chants have built to a huge level, with almost the entire crowd on their feet here. Edge winces and tries to stop himself smiling.

Edge: All I can say is, I pray I get to come back and do it all again, but until then, I –

*CHOPPING SPREE*


OH. The crowd ERUPTS with heat and groans of awe, with an almost teary-eyed Edge turning to face the stage, that barbed wire jerking on the electronic curtain and ‘1.9’ on the Tron… AND HERE COMES MICHAEL TARVER, MARCHING FOR THE RING!

Byron Saxton: Ohhhh man!

Jim Ross: No! Just – just for God’s sakes, have some decency, man!

Edge’s face contorts into a frown, as Tarver makes quick time straight for him, that neckerchief around his mouth and nose to give us no indication of his emotions… other than those heartless eyes. He pounds two gloved fists together as he hits ringside, towel over his shoulders as always.

Jim Ross: Tarver – the man has no conscience, interrupting a moment like this –

Byron Saxton: Get the hell out, JR! The man’s making sure no-one forgets his name!

Jim Ross: (furious) And at what cost exactly?

Tarver up to the apron now, with heavy boos following him all the way… and the tension builds as ‘Mr. 1.9’ steps inside the ropes, staring right into Edge’s eyes. The Rated R Superstar takes a step back, throwing his mic to the side and raising a fist. Tarver walks from side-to-side, observing that fist – clearly Edge saw what he did to Kane last week, and won’t be caught off-guard. He stops and stares at the Canadian, measuring him.

Jim Ross: Edge, his pride won’t let him leave… but Tarver, what this man did to Kane – w-wait –

...BUT EDGE JUMPS THE GUN WITH THE RIGHT HAND – DUCKED!

Tarver evades the blow, slamming into the ropes… THEN DRIVES EDGE OUT OF HIS BOOTS WITH A SHOULDER-FIRST GORE!!!


Jim Ross: NO!

Byron Saxton: Oh baby what a hit!

Saxton’s nearly on his feet at ringside, eyes wide in adulation as Tarver sends Edge sprawling with what many might call a more powerful Spear… Tarver’s up immediately, not caring how Edge reacts to his expanding the repertoire. The Rated R Superstar’s face is scrunched in pain, gasping before he tries to find his way up… but Tarver is stalking him again, emotionless behind that neckerchief… Edge struggles up, a hand across his abdomen – AND NOW TARVER KNOCKS HIM OUT COLD WITH THE KILL SHOT!!!

Jim Ross: OH! Ya gotta be kiddin’ me, how is that possible?

Byron Saxton: (with glee) He’s a bad, bad man, JR!

Tarver wrenches the neckerchief away from his face briefly… but just like last week, he’s stoic, observing the kill and weighing that gloved killer fist up high. Edge lies flat on the canvas, while Tarver hits the deck and rolls from the ring.

Jim Ross: Somebody’s gotta help Edge, he never asked for this…

The heat rains down on Tarver as he hits ringside, those piercing eyes staring out at the arena momentarily before he heads to the corner… and once again, pulls the RING STEPS away from the steel post! He separates them, grabbing the top half and shoving them under the bottom rope, but he waits, turning to look at the booing crowd again. Even Saxton’s silent at this point, all eyes on this needlessly aggressive man, who turns and rolls back into the ring. Edge is down still, hair splayed on the canvas, and Tarver pulls that neckerchief back up over his nose… and begins to haul those steps into the air!

Jim Ross: This maniac… Edge was on his way out, dammit!

Byron Saxton: One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, JR!

Tarver’s waiting for Edge to get up, but even though the Canadian’s eyes are flickering open, he seems too dazed after that massive strike. Tarver grows tired of waiting, and dumps the ring steps to the ground. He heads over to Edge, that huge paw reaching down to haul the Rated R Superstar up by the hair… and now he just throws him into the corner, making sure he’s kept upright by the top rope. Edge’s face shows signs of life, but otherwise he’s looking pretty weak, as Tarver returns to his steps, pulling them up again and putting Edge in his sights… the Rated R Superstar grits his teeth and staggers aimlessly out of the corner –

Jim Ross: GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY!

CLANG – AND GETS PUT DOWN BY THE STEEL STEPS TO THE FACE FROM TARVER!!!

This time, Edge won’t be getting back up. The crowd groans and boos and protests, but there is no shaking the will of Tarver, who let go of the ring steps and now they rest on the mat. He paces the ring, once again relishing being let loose on Monday nights, if only by the way he moves than by any kind of emotion. Turning, he grabs the steps again and drags it dead centre of the ring… before he goes to observe his handiwork on Edge again. The Rated R Superstar is just about unconscious, if not entirely so.


Byron Saxton: JR, we are witnessing the birth of something special.

Jim Ross: There’s not a damn thing special about it. Evil is what it is.

Tarver’s head winds left and right, eyes burning holes through his motionless victim, then he reaches over and pulls him up again. Like Kane last week, Edge is all dead weight, but Tarver’s a big guy and he has no trouble bringing the Canadian horizontal. Powerslam hold in place, Tarver brings Edge over to those steps again, staring into the hard camera from behind that neckerchief and soaking in the huge heat… BEFORE HE DROPS EDGE ON TO THE STEPS WITH TARVER’S LIGHTNING!!!

The crowd groans in disgust, but needless to say, Tarver doesn’t care in the slightest. Standing, he shoves Edge’s carcass from the steps and leaves him lying on the canvas, standing on the steps himself for a moment to emphasise his superiority. Finally, he turns and exits the ring, sweeping down to the outside mats and once again ignoring the abuse from the crowd… before he turns to the nearest camera – but this week, he says nothing, just staring and staring through you, until finally he storms off towards the stage. EMTs and referees go rushing past him as he marches.


Jim Ross: Michael Tarver’s been unleashed alright… but who else is gonna have to suffer so he can make his impact?

Before Byron Saxton can interject, we go to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Raw returns backstage, to see Vince McMahon talking to an EMT. In the background there are the flashing lights of an ambulance, and McMahon shrugs, tilting his head sideways before he turns and walks away… but only briefly, because he nearly walks straight into TRIPLE H, who gets a great cheer from this crowd! In his ring gear with a t-shirt on, the Game looks none too impressed to see him, and goes to turn the other way, but Vince puts a hand on his shoulder.

Vince McMahon: Hunter – Hunter, hold on a sec.

The King of Kings turns fully back to face the Chairman.

Vince McMahon: (quietly) Now, now I know you’ve been a little preoccupied, I know things haven’t been great around here… but you don’t even pick up your phone now? To your own father-in-law? The Chairman?

Hunter looks at him coldly.

Vince McMahon: Vincent Kennedy McMahon doesn’t stand for that kind of conduct.

Triple H scoffs a little.

Triple H: Yeah, you’re a real saint, Vince. But you have my answer. We’re done with this.

Again, he tries to leave, but this time McMahon steps in front of him.

Vince McMahon: I don’t know if you’ve noticed before, Hunter, but I don’t take ‘no’ very well, so hows-about you reconsider…

He puts his hands together and looks at the Game blankly.

Vince McMahon: I’m not asking the world. All I want is for you to come back to Titan Towers, take a bigger role in the business side of things –

Triple H: You… have… my… answer.

Silence; Vince is genuinely taken aback.

Triple H: Tonight, I’m gonna prove to John Cena that I’m better. That I’ve always been better. And then in Washington, I’m gonna win your title.

Hunter puts a finger on Vince’s chest. The Chairman looks at it.

Triple H: You can’t change that. I’m no businessman – I’m just the Game.

A pop goes up in the arena, as Triple H turns and leaves. Once alone, Vince’s expression hardens, a frown forming as he watches the Game’s exit.

Back to the arena now, with the bell chiming…


*ONE TWO THREE*


A decent pop goes up as the TitanTron lights up with the image of a sunny Florida coastline, and here come the South Beach Party Boys, Darren Young and Percy Watson. They turn to one another and exchange a big high five, then head for the ring. Young’s in his plaid shirt over some beach shorts, looking chilled out as ever, while Showtime Percy is a bit more in the zone, bouncing to the beat of his music but not smiling. He adjusts those lens-free shades and shakes out his arms as the pair of them hit ringside.


Justin Roberts: The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by Darren Young… from South Beach, Florida, weighing in at two hundred and forty-five pounds… “SHOOOOWTIME”… PERCY – WATSON!

Jim Ross: Percy Watson set to go here tonight, just a week after that demoralising first appearance on Raw last week in which –

Byron Saxton: - they got POUNDED into the dust by the Convoy, am I right?

Jim Ross: Still not sure I want a relationship with you where ya finish my sentences for me, Byron, but yes, there was something impressive about the Convoy’s performance last week. Take nothin’ away from Watson and Young, terrific potential in those two.

Byron Saxton: Gotta respect my brothas from South Beach, JR, but last week they were outclassed, we’re talkin’ about Sheffield and Ryan who just look unstoppable right now.

Watson rolls into the ring and goes to the buckles, pointing out at the crowd, as Young takes up a position at ringside. Young tells his partner “You got this, bro” and Watson nods, removing his shades and limbering up fully as their music dies out.

*MEAT*


Groans echo at first in the arena, followed by the heat as The Convoy, Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan make their entrance, neither looking particularly pleased. Ryan heads immediately for the ring, while Sheffield paces behind him listening to the boos of the crowd. Watson continues his warm-up, not allowing himself to look intimidated, while Ryan licks his chops and heads up the ring steps. Sheffield stands and observes briefly from the ramp.


Justin Roberts: And his opponent, accompanied by Skip Sheffield… from Cardiff, Wales, weighing in at two hundred and ninety-five pounds… MAAAASON – RYAN!

Jim Ross: And the Convoy, pair of guys who have just been runnin’ rampant since they turned up to help CM Punk, lookin’ to build on last week’s victory here.

Byron Saxton: Believe in the power of faith, JR. These guys have got it all, they’ve got the right mind for it, the aggression, the power, the speed – Mason Ryan’s about to steamroll Watson.

Jim Ross: Now don’t be too quick to count out young Showtime, Byron. The Party Boys have a lot goin’ for them too, a lot of creative offence, both quick thinkers in the ring – it’ll be a task but this is the WWE, anything can happen.

Byron Saxton: And the weatherman says it’s snowing in hell, JR.

Ryan storms up the steps and enters the ring – it’s one quick glance at Percy as he marches across the ring, hopping to the second rope and flexing his arms with a rumble of “FAITH!” He stays there for a moment, glowering at the arena, and by the time he steps down, Skip Sheffield’s left the ramp to pace ringside. Watson’s told to stay back by referee John Cone, giving Ryan a moment to actually genuinely look at his opponent before this one – Ryan snorts, having dealt so emphatically with Showtime in tag action last week. Nevertheless, Percy seems game, those hands jiving left and right as if by instinct as he and Ryan square up… and we’re underway…

Match Three – Singles Contest
Percy Watson w/ Darren Young vs. Mason Ryan w/ Skip Sheffield


Ryan has the physical advantage, and even the mental advantage to a degree after what happened last week, but Watson fights on, layering some kicks into the big man’s side as we jump in. Ryan has had the better of the action thus far, but Watson is no slouch and keeps on his toes, trying to keep out of the Welshman’s reach, avoid more of those huge blows of his. Dancing away again, you can see the strain in Showtime’s eyes as he feels the weight of Ryan’s offence so far, but he trades a look with Young and carries on. Here comes Ryan again, fighting past the kicks to whip Watson to the ropes, but Percy comes steaming back and answers with a clothesline – no good, Ryan’s huge!

Watson stumbles back, but he goes again, throwing another clothesline to no avail. He turns and rebounds off the ropes, building some momentum to throw at the wobbling Ryan… AND BRINGS HIM DOWN WITH A SUPERB LEAPING CLOTHESLINE! The crowd pops big as Ryan rolls sideways, forcing himself almost immediately back up, but his face shows the frustration of seeing Watson come back at him. Percy seems surprised that Ryan wouldn’t stay down longer, but he gears up the engine and rocks Ryan with a right hand, and another… but Ryan shoves him back into the ropes – only for Watson to leapfrog over the Welshman! Ryan turns – RIGHT INTO THE DASH ELBOW TO THE JAW FROM WATSON! That keeps the Welshman down for good this time, the elbow knocking his lights out, and Watson leaps over him for the cover… one… two – NO! Ryan SHOVES Watson into the air before the three!

A sigh of disappointment goes up as Watson gets sent flying across the ring! That’s an emphatic kickout if you ever saw one, and as Ryan gets up he lets out a HUGE yell of anger, beating the ropes and stomping against the mat. Sheffield’s watching with a scowl from ringside, while Watson puts a hand to the ropes and pulls himself up. He shakes out the cobwebs, but he’s in the instant of turning around when Ryan drives into him, bludgeoning him with clubbing blows and forcing him into the corner! Ryan keeps hammering away until Watson’s on the floor… then begins laying the boots in to his stomach! Only John Cone’s count of four will make him step away, bristling once again…

…but Percy’s getting up, fists pumping to fight through the pain! He slumps against the buckles, so Ryan turns with bulging eyes… and nails him with a Running Knee Lift! Watson gets mashed into the corner, but Ryan isn’t done, rampaging around the ring before he hits the ropes, Percy stumbling towards him – BIG BOOT TO SHOWTIME’S FACE! Percy collapses in a heap, the crowd groaning as Ryan shakes out his arms and makes a cover… one… two… but no more! Watson rolls a shoulder! Ryan’s up again, growling and grumbling, shooting a glare at Darren Young as the Missing Link shouts some encouragement to his partner. Watson’s crawling towards the ropes, stopping and managing to find his feet anyway, looking fairly out of it. Ryan lines him up again, scooping him up as he turns and getting the Military Press! ‘Ooh’s and ‘aah’s are the crowd’s response, Ryan marching around the ring, then… SNAKE EYES!

Buckle meets face with a hard impact, and Showtime goes staggering away in pain, but Ryan keeps his eyes on the prize and hooks him up into the Vertical Suplex… holding him there, letting the blood rush to the head! Again, the crowd sits in awe of Ryan’s pure strength, as the Welshman leaves Watson hanging for a few moments… NO! He was going to complete the suplex, but Watson suddenly comes alive, wriggling his way and landing behind Ryan! Showtime hits the ropes, and Ryan spins on a dime – TO MAUL HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE! Mason has nothing but anger for Watson, turning him inside out with that one, and now he hooks both legs… one… two… thr-NO! Watson’s still got fight in him!

Ryan clenches a fist and yells out again, thumping the mat before he stands. He begins to pace, unable to stay cool under pressure, while Skip Sheffield watches him with a conversely cool stare, though it’s obvious he’s not happy. That said, he rarely is, so back to the ring we go, where Ryan’s crouching, trying to gauge what makes Watson tick… Showtime begins to get up, but the Welshman hauls him up instead and straps an arm across his chest for the HOUSE OF PAIN, JUST LIKE LAST WEEK – NOOO!!! Watson escapes as Ryan lifts him, landing to the side – THEN GETTING AIRBORNE AND CRACKING HIM WITH AN ENZUIGIRI RIGHT OUT OF THE TOP FUCKING DRAWER!!! Mason Ryan goes down like a sack of potatoes! Watson rushes into the cover… one… two… BUT NO! Kickout by Ryan!

That won’t send Watson flying on this occasion, but it’ll deny him a big upset in his first night as a Raw superstar – he struggles up with a stunned look, but even more stunning is that Ryan is finding his feet AGAIN, the behemoth seemingly unstoppable at this venture! Snarling, Mason runs a fist along his temple and turns again, immediately taking a series of desperate right hands from Showtime… but Ryan headbutts him away! Watson nearly loses his footing, but comes rifling back with a beautiful Dropkick… but the Welshman doesn’t fall, just stumbling into the ropes and running back through him with another big clothesline!

The Welshman exhales loudly, moving over to the ropes and shaking the top one violently! He’s pissed, as he well might be after being taken to the limit far more than last week, and now he picks Watson up. He applies the Backbreaker grip, dropping Watson on to his knee twice before he moves into the corner… AND THROWS WATSON WITH THE FALLAWAY SLAM! Showtime’s body goes rolling and rolling across the ring, the crowd groaning and Sheffield nodding his head… and now Ryan throws Watson on to his back for the cover, he’s sure he has it… one… two… THREE – NOOOO!!! Watson’s out of it!

What the hell has Watson been eating? The Fallaway isn’t enough to put Showtime down for three, and we get a shot of Darren Young punching the air at ringside – Watson’s on his knees, the crowd cheers, but Mason Ryan is fuming! The Welshman doesn’t understand, not that JR or Saxton do, not that the crowd does or Sheffield or Young either… and now Watson’s up! He shakes his head, trying to clear his thoughts, but here comes Ryan again, digging some punches out to the ribs, then sending him away. The ropes fire Watson back at him, but the Big Boot misses when Showtime sweeps under it as if by instinct – THEN RIFLES A DROPKICK INTO THE UNDERSIDE OF RYAN’S CHIN! Both men go down, but it’s Watson up to the cheers of the Omaha faithful, Showtime pointing to Young and starting to clap those hands!

The crowd is up, clapping along as Watson begins to feel it, pacing around the floored Ryan and stopping to finish this, his body jerking left and right… “UH – UH – OH YEAH!”… SHOWTIME SPLASH – RIGHT INTO THE RAISED KNEES OF RYAN! Groans echo in Omaha as Watson rolls away in agony, clutching at his midsection, and Ryan forces himself up. Sheffield’s looking just as infuriated at ringside, yelling “FINISH HIM!” up at the Welshman, who swiftly shakes out his shoulders, grits his teeth and stalks Watson… Showtime’s up… INTO THE GRIP OF RYAN FOR THE HOUSE OF PAIN – NOOOO!!! Watson spins free again, kicking Ryan in the gut and going for THE FLOAT-OVER DDT – ONLY FOR RYAN TO SHOVE HIM AWAY TOO!

Watson staggers into the corner, hitting the buckles a little too roughly, giving Ryan the time to recollect himself… he CHARGES – BUT DRILLS HIMSELF FACE-FIRST INTO THE BUCKLE! The crowd pops as Ryan reels backwards… AND WATSON ROLLS HIM UP, CLINGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE… ONE… TWO… THREE!!! HE GOT HIM!!!

Result: Percy Watson bts. Mason Ryan via pinfall at 7:30

*ONE TWO THREE*


Justin Roberts: Here is your winner… “SHOOOOOWTIME” – PERCY – WAAATSON!

THE CROWD POPS HUGE! Ryan shoves him off a millisecond after the three, but the bell rings and Watson’s off, scrambling from the ring and into the embrace of the roaring Darren Young!

Jim Ross: HE DID IT! By gawd he did it!

Byron Saxton: What the hell happened?

Jim Ross: He pinned ‘im! SHOWTIME PINS RYAN!

Byron Saxton: No way! I mean, no way!

Mason Ryan turns with FURIOUS eyes at John Cone, who doesn’t know what to say – Skip Sheffield is struck dumb at ringside, no words from his stunned exterior either! Ryan grabs the referee by the shirt, shouting bloody murder… but the South Beach Party Boys are dancing up a storm on the ramp, getting the crowd celebrating with them!

Jim Ross: What an upset! Ya didn’t give Showtime half a chance, Byron, but take a look at these scenes! Ryan can’t believe it!

Byron Saxton: Neither can I, JR! This was a lock – I mean, credit to Percy Watson, maybe I misjudged the guy’s chances here… what the hell did I just see?

Watson and Young are retreating up the ramp, arms raised with huge grins; Showtime looks exhausted from his efforts, but it’s all worth it here! Sheffield slowly enters the ring to pull Ryan away from Cone, asking him what happened but seeing the Welshman turn to the ramp with a snarl instead.

Jim Ross: Make no mistake, we know that Percy Watson and Darren Young are nothin’ to be laughed at, but tonight, Percy turned some heads!

Byron Saxton: Turned some heads? He pinned Mason Ryan, JR! The Convoy don’t lose – maybe that wasn’t three, maybe he had a handful of tights… there’s gotta be somethin’!

Despite Saxton’s incredulous tone, apparently the result will stand, as Watson and Young bask in what might be the upset of the year so far…

…and Raw goes to a break.


COMMERCIAL BREAK

When we return, it seems the arena has calmed down…

*I COME FROM MONEY*


…and now a respectful pop, if not much more, can be heard as the stage turns gold. After a few moments, we’re greeted by Ted DiBiase, walking out in jeans and a faded merch t-shirt from long ago. He raises a half-hearted hand to acknowledge the crowd, then walks tentatively down the ramp – he looks less than half the brash, arrogant man he used to be.


Jim Ross: Well this is a surprise, folks, on a night of surprises – Ted DiBiase hasn’t been seen since CM Punk orchestrated a violent beatdown of the man they’ve dubbed the ‘Unfortunate Son’, after a long losing streak prompted his father to cut him off from his trust fund.

Byron Saxton: Hey now, don’t question the parenting of the Million Dollar Man, JR, he knows what’s best for his son. And I know the littler DiBiase from my days on NXT, so I can honestly tell you… he sucks, he deserved everything he had comin’ to him.

Jim Ross: You’re tellin’ me he deserved to be beaten bloody by a group of psychopaths, Byron.

Byron Saxton: Well don’t put words in my mouth, JR.

DiBiase makes his way to the ring without any pageantry or playing to the crowd, just nodding where fans shout his name or stretch out a hand to greet him. On the whole, it’s a fairly muted response from the Unfortunate Son, who looks unwilling to waste time and heads into the ring, asking for a mic from ringside. On a night of big speeches, it looks like DiBiase’s next, taking the mic and staring at the floor until his music subsides. The crowd buzzes, but not much more, as DiBiase tilts his eyes up and raises the mic.

Ted DiBiase: My name is Ted DiBiase Junior… and I haven’t won a singles match on Raw in 2011. I haven’t won at all… in maybe five months.

A mixed reaction, leaning towards boos. DiBiase stares at the ground again and clears his throat. He winces and awkwardly tries again, clearing it properly this time.

Ted DiBiase: I say that out loud because… I’m – I’m still trying to get to grips with it.

Clenching a fist, he takes a few steps around the ring.

Ted DiBiase: A couple years back, I came down to this ring and I said that I was the future. Well, I’m standing here in the future, and I don’t feel all that special.

Another mixed reaction as DiBiase shrugs.

Ted DiBiase: When my dad came here and told me I was losing my trust fund, that hurt… but it didn’t hurt as much as realising that I wasn’t going to have the world handed to me on a plate. It hurt because I realised that I was spoilt. I was lazy. I was… a loser.

Full on ‘dying duck in a thunderstorm’ from Mini-Ted here. Some boos of disagreement.

Ted DiBiase: I used to be the Fortunate Son, but it went downhill. I’m the Unfortunate Son, and that’s what I deserve, because I haven’t tried hard enough. I haven’t fought like the guys who paved the way for us. Guys like my own dad – say what you like about him, but one thing money can’t buy is a Hall of Fame ring.

A small smile as he looks into the distance.

Ted DiBiase: And the other thing it can’t buy you… is wins.

Minor pop from somewhere.

Ted DiBiase: For a while, people, I thought that wins were all that mattered. I started to fixate on it, and it let me down. Trying to bite off more than I could chew got me beat within an inch of my life a few weeks ago.

Boos for that hideous beatdown from Punk and the Convoy.

Ted DiBiase: What I’ve learned is that money doesn’t matter. But family matters, and if my father won’t speak to me again ‘til I win, maybe that’s for the best. Being able to look at yourself in the mirror, that matters.

A smattering of applause, with DiBiase tilting his eyes up to take it in. The camera pans around to see the fans on the hard camera side, showing just how many people are here to listen to him.

Ted DiBiase: And I don’t care if everywhere I go, people look at me funny. I don’t want pity. The only thing I want… is your support, because some day this will change.

A small pop there, and Ted nods.

Ted DiBiase: So call me what you want, call me a loser, call me the Unfortunate Son, I know what I am. All I want you to know – is that I will not give less than a hundred percent. Not anymore.

He shakes his head.

Ted DiBiase: I am unfortunate, and my father knows it. But someday…

DiBiase taps his temple.

Ted DiBiase: …someday I’ll be able to tell him that cutting me off was the best parenting decision he ever made. And I’ll tell him with a title on my shoulder. I’ll tell him as a winner.

He raises the mic to the crowd, as if toasting them, and he gets another decent cheer from the fans here in Omaha. Nodding at the response, he heads for the ropes –

*AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE*


But now he stops in his tracks. Ted looks up to the stage, a hand on the top rope as he frowns… and John Morrison walks out to a decent set of cheers! Wearing that huge fur jacket and his typical shades, the Shaman of Sexy throws his hair back in slow-motion, as DiBiase continues to look confused in the ring.


Jim Ross: An inspiring change of attitude from Ted DiBiase which may see him turn his streak of bad luck around, but that’s John Morrison – Byron, I’m not entirely sure where he fits into this.

Byron Saxton: You got me, JR, I’m stumped, but don’t get too teary about DiBiase, will ya? I don’t care how he labels himself, he’s still a loser to us!

Jim Ross: Speak for yourself, Byron. It’s nice to see some passion from a man I thought was only interested in his next pay check.

Byron Saxton: Passion? Give me a break, man, DiBiase would sell his own grandmother to get a win at the moment. Pfft. Passion.

Morrison heads speedily for the ring, keeping his shades on for once rather than passing them to a young member of the crowd, but stops briefly on the apron. DiBiase’s taken a few steps back, retreating away from Morrison as the Prince of Parkour swings inside the ropes. He’s passed a mic, which he twirls as he walks around the ring – again, we’re shown DiBiase, who doesn’t know what to think. That funky music fades out, so it’s all eyes on Morrison as he brings the mic up.

John Morrison: Ted, sorry for interruptin’ ya, but rather than wallow in self-pity I thought maybe you’d like someone to help you brighten up a little.

“Wallow in – what, were you listening?” asks DiBiase off-mic.

John Morrison: Now, I know that when you lost to me, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and all that, your pop cut you off… so I figured who better to lighten the mood?

Walking a little closer, Morrison points out to the crowd.

John Morrison: Whaddya say, who wants to hear some Shaman of Sexy comedy?

Most of the crowd cheer, though the smarks at the back can’t imagine anything worse; understandable, given the cheesiness that smiley Morrison has been known for in the past.

John Morrison: Back in the locker room, Ted, there’s a few jokes that just do the rounds, and understandably, you might find a couple of them pretty sweet if you hadn’t heard them already.

Ted’s frown deepens.

John Morrison: The decent ones goin’ at the moment are – ‘Ted DiBiase couldn’t win a match if’ jokes. For instance…

He cracks a million-dollar smile.

John Morrison: Ted DiBiase couldn’t win a match if his opponent was hogtied in the centre of the ring!

A chuckle from Morrison, but barely more than that from the crowd. Some boos actually for the insult.

John Morrison: Not a fan? Okay – Ted DiBiase couldn’t win a match if his opponent had gone twelve rounds with Apollo Creed!

Again, Morrison laughs, seeming to find that brilliant, but Ted looks back at him with a stony face.

John Morrison: No? Still, man? Alright, alright, my personal favourite. Ted DiBiase couldn’t win a match if his dad paid off the referee!

A few laughs at the back. No, not really. Morrison’s grin fades as DiBiase takes a step forward. The Shaman of Sexy raises a hand.

John Morrison: Whoa, whoa, okay. So you’re not into the comedy, that’s cool. Just thought I’d try to raise your spirits, man.

Ted DiBiase: Well I don’t need your help, John. But thanks.

That icy response is Ted’s last contribution before he heads for the ropes… no, Morrison sweeps in front of him and marshals him back.

John Morrison: Now wait a sec, Ted. Don’t ya think that’s a little selfish? I mean, you’re not exactly in a position to be turnin’ down someone who’s out to help ya… are ya?

Some groans from the crowd, Ted tilting his head up and looking down his nose at Morrison. The Prince of Parkour taps his shades knowingly.

John Morrison: Just ‘cause you don’t dig my jokes, doesn’t mean I can’t at least drop you some hints. Seein’ as I beat ya and all.

A bit of heat, a couple of cheers, but mostly buzz as the arena waits for DiBiase’s response.

John Morrison: And hey, I’m not here to antagonise you, I’m just here to help, like I said. We’re all friends here. But I got told once that I didn’t have enough of an ‘edge’… so I went out and got one, and now look at me, huh?

Another flash of a smile from Morrison.

John Morrison: So why don’t you take a leaf outta my book, and stick up for yourself, huh? Show people you’re not just some spoilt –

Ted DiBiase: I already said that –

John Morrison: Chill, chill. All I’m sayin’ is, right now you’re a loser, words from your mouth. And hell, we’re not gonna argue with ya…

He tails off to chuckle again, but the crowd’s in no hurry to laugh along. That smile fades away once more.

John Morrison: …but if ya wanna stop bein’ a loser, you need a change in mentality, man. You need to be more like –

Morrison shrugs, and removes his shades. He smiles nervously, almost wincing.

John Morrison: Well, John Morrison.

Actually some decent heat there for the babyface Morrison. DiBiase looks to the side – he can’t believe what he’s hearing. Morrison puts a hand up to calm the crowd.

John Morrison: No, I didn’t mean it like that, I just –

Ted DiBiase: John.

Morrison looks across at the Unfortunate Son, mic back up.

Ted DiBiase: You might think you’re being helpful, but in all honesty, I don’t need this.

Small pop.

Ted DiBiase: I already said, man. This isn’t about what other people think about me… this is about what I think about myself. That’s what’s important.

Morrison laughs for half a second, but again he realises he’s misjudged DiBiase.

Ted DiBiase: And sure, you beat me a couple weeks back… but you don’t think that makes you better, do you?

Again, a grin from Morrison. He shrugs.

Ted DiBiase: Maybe you do. But to be honest with you, anyone who has to come out here and make jokes about me – they probably don’t feel too good about themselves either.

Oh. That one doesn’t make Morrison smile. The crowd’s leaning one way only here.

Ted DiBiase: I’ve looked in the mirror plenty of times, John. Maybe you should too.

Taking a step towards the Shaman of Sexy, Ted narrows his eyes.

Ted DiBiase: Then you might see who the real loser in this ring is.

“OHH!” cries the crowd, as Ted shrugs, and Morrison frowns properly for the first time. The crowd is beginning to chant the Unfortunate Son’s name, if only sporadically, and something’s getting on Morrison’s nerves about this whole situation. He turns to look at the arena, trying to understand why they’re supporting this ‘loser’… then turns back to Ted, and sees that DiBiase isn’t embarrassed in the slightest. Morrison came out here to make light of the situation – but is it a laughing matter?

The crowd’s chants build now, taking over much of this audience in the Qwest Center, and DiBiase almost manages a smile as he turns his head to look at them –

- AND MORRISON KICKS HIS TEETH DOWN HIS THROAT WITH THE SUPERKICK!


Jim Ross: HEY NOW!

Byron Saxton: Whoa! That’s one way of doin’ things!

DiBiase goes down like a sack of potatoes, but the crowd absolutely SHITS on Morrison, and rightly so! Morrison looks down at Ted with a scowl, standing above his body and absorbing the abuse of the crowd. Slowly, he looks out at them and shakes his head. He can’t believe any of this.

Jim Ross: I’d hardly say that was called for!

Byron Saxton: Me neither, JR, but it sure makes things interesting!

Morrison reaches down and grabs one of the fallen mics. He swings his shades back on.

John Morrison: I don’t know and I don’t care what you think of yourself, Ted. To me, and to all these people… you’ll always be – a loser.

He dumps the mic on Ted’s stomach and leaves the ring. The crowd’s boos follow him up the ramp, shaking his head as he walks, while Ted suffers on the mat. Irrational from Morrison maybe, but he certainly doesn’t seem to see it that way.

Jim Ross: Well John Morrison apparently not agreein’ with Ted DiBiase’s new outlook on his career, that huge Superkick there – so what, he saw things differently and that means he’s gotta resort to somethin’ like that?

Byron Saxton: Morrison was just calling it like it is, JR, but hey, maybe a winner woulda seen that kick comin’. I know I sure did.

Jim Ross: Oh please, you were as clueless as the rest of us.

Byron Saxton: Ground-breaking guys were made on surprises, JR. Big moments you remember. CM Punk, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Malcolm X, Michael Tarver, Martin Luther King, the guy who made The Usual Suspects – John Morrison may not have meant it, but I reckon he’s just put the coffin nail in Ted DiBiase’s comeback before it could even start!

Morrison turns on the stage, frowning as he watches DiBiase grasp agonisingly at his jaw… undoubtedly, he doesn’t understand what drives the Unfortunate Son, but regardless he throws his jacket fully over his shoulders and makes his exit. Raw heads to a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

We return backstage, to the sight of Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan marching along, apparently in a heated argument. The two are growling at one another, but we can’t quite catch what they’re saying as we fade back to Raw –

Skip Sheffield: – BUT YOU LOST.

The two stop and turn to the other. Both look as angry as the other.

Skip Sheffield: We… don’t lose. EVER.

He smacks his hand against his bald head, Ryback-style. ‘Basics’.

Skip Sheffield: (snarling) Unstoppable… force.

CM Punk’s initial blessing to the pairing ringing back here. Ryan nods begrudgingly, teeth bared.

Mason Ryan: He caught me off-guard… but I’ll make them pay for it.

Skip Sheffield: No. I’LL make them pay for it.

Some whistles and groans in the crowd as Ryan bristles. The two beasts stand staring into one another’s eyes, their fighting habits clear in the very way they stand. Into the shot appears CM PUNK, however, before they can continue their argument, getting a huge amount of heat from the arena. He steps between them and puts a hand on the shoulder either side of him.

CM Punk: Enough.

He pauses to let them calm down.

CM Punk: Only the enemy is fractured. Men of faith think as one.

Sheffield and Ryan nod, as if he’s said this to them before. Punk takes a few steps away, turning back and looking at them; Ryan gets it and follows him out of shot. That just leaves us with Sheffield, who huffs and puffs for a moment, but looks slightly up and sees someone. Skip frowns, as the camera pans out… and standing there with his arms folded is BRODUS CLAY.

The new Raw man gets a smattering of boos from the crowd, but it’s Sheffield’s reaction that matters – he shrugs out his shoulders, looking like he’s tempted to square up to the Man of Mayhem. You could almost say he looks impressed, if Sheffield actually knew the expression, while Clay snorts in the silence…

…but “SHEFFIELD!” comes the shout down the corridor from Punk. Clay looks away from Skip for the first time… and the Convoy man backtracks away. We’re left with just Brodus in the meantime, no longer under Alberto Del Rio’s thumb, and he watches Sheffield leave to end this segment.

After that, we fade back to the arena…


*YOU CAN LOOK*


The bell rings, and we’re in the squared circle with the Bella Twins, Brie and Nikki, wearing matching red outfits. One of them stands a little further forward, though I’m not entirely sure which one, and I’m the one writing this.


Justin Roberts: The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by Nikki Bella… from Scottsdale, Arizona – Brie Bella!

Jim Ross: Welcome back, folks. It’s been a chaotic night so far, but we’ve got our No Holds Barred main event still to come, and Brie Bella set for action here as well.

Byron Saxton: Damn right it’s been one hell of an evenin’, JR. You talk about what you’ll remember, and I say put aside Punk versus Rock. Put aside Michael Tarver. Put aside everythin’ else for a moment and let’s remember what’s important – that I’m the new colour commentator.

Jim Ross: We’re all privileged.

Brie does some last minute stretches, and it’s eyes to the stage…

*GLAMAZON*


A small pop goes up from the crowd, and in the ring, we see the Bellas looking fairly intimidated… because it’s the Raw return of Beth Phoenix, lofting her arms into the air for the usual pose and marching for the ring. She means business tonight.


Justin Roberts: And her opponent… from Buffalo, New York… the Glamazon – BETH – PHOENIX!

Jim Ross: Now I mentioned that No Holds Barred Match, and no doubt that’ll be brutal, but talking of people who do their job well… well, look no further than the Glamazon.

Byron Saxton: Every Diva on Raw started shaking in their boots when she got drafted back to Monday nights last week, JR, she’s MEAN. Like, real mean. Even I’m afraid of her, and I don’t scare easy.

Jim Ross: I’m sure, Byron. That said, Beth Phoenix has put herself firmly in the hunt for the Diva’s Title with a good winning streak over the past few months, and now she’s here on the same show as the current champion… if I was Melina, I’d be a little on edge.

Byron Saxton: If you were Melina, JR? I don’t think you could pull off the feathers.

Phoenix marches right on to the apron, climbing to the top rope and raising the pose again. Once she’s done, she flips down into the squared circle and measures up to Brie. She takes a look to the outside, pointing a warning finger at Nikki before she begins to circle the other twin, and Justin “The Pimp” King checks we’re good to go before he calls for the bell.

Match Four – Singles Contest
Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella vs. Beth Phoenix


Into the fray we jump, with the Glamazon taking Brie to town in the corner. Phoenix dabbles in a little bit of everything offence-wise, just grabbing Brie and bashing her into the buckle a few times, then throwing right hands that seem a bit too stiff to be in a Diva’s match. Justin King intervenes with a count of four, putting a hand on Beth’s stomach to urge her away (or because any excuse, the absolute pimp), leaving Brie to unscramble her brains. The Bella finally stumbles out of the corner – but Phoenix WASTES her with a clothesline! At ringside, Nikki’s making all kinds of a racket trying to egg her sister on, reaching under the bottom rope but getting stepped on by Phoenix as a result! Nikki shrieks and withdraws the arm, while Beth snaps “Don’t even think about it” and returns to business.

Poor Nikki begins to find her feet again, but Beth immediately lays into her with right hands again, sending her to the ropes and hoisting her into the Military Press! There’s a couple of awed groans from the crowd as Phoenix marches her conquest around the ring, barely even struggling with the weight… but suddenly, Brie Bella escapes out the back, and dives with a clumsy Chop Block to bring Phoenix down! As soon as the Glamazon tumbles to the floor, Brie goes crazy with a series of stomps, trying to keep the superhuman Phoenix down, and that’s probably the best tactic. Phoenix wavers to her knees, but Brie puts her down again with a Dropkick to the face! Cover, could it be another upset? One… two… never mind, Phoenix sends Brie flying with the kickout!

Both women up: Brie charges like a bull, but Phoenix keeps her head, showing strategy as well as power to sidestep… Brie crashes into the turnbuckles, and now Phoenix scoops her into the air, bouncing the Bella into the ropes and nailing the Slingshot Suplex! Phoenix floats over into the cover… one… two… but Nikki Bella is up on the apron! Justin King sees the flailing other Bella and rushes to see what the issue is – or maybe to tell her to get down, the hell do I know – as Phoenix stands up and shakes her head. She finds this embarrassing, disbelieving that the Bellas think so little of their chances…

…but when Nikki finally gets down, King turns around to find Brie Bella writhing in pain! Phoenix now looks down at her with disgust, throwing her arms up and moving away as King gullibly falls beside Brie – who’s claiming she got raked in the eyes! It’s all BS, of course, but King can’t resist a pretty face… wait, Phoenix is actually intervening now, telling King that she’s making it all up. She reaches down to grab Brie and continue the match, but King backs her away, telling her she has to give Brie a moment! This often happens with severe injuries, not that King knows that Brie is telling tales… AND NOW NIKKI AND BRIE SWITCH PLACES FOR TWIN MAGIC!

The crowd boos, trying to inform King, but Phoenix sees ALL of that, as Nikki slides into the ring and starts feigning the same injury! It’s all a ploy, but Phoenix just laughs it off, saying “Oh, I warned you” and yanking Nikki up by the hair! Bella comes back with fresh energy with a stinging SLAP round the face, but Phoenix brushes it aside – AND SLAPS NIKKI SO HARD SHE’LL SEE STARS! The Qwest Center fills with groans as Nikki gets polarised, and on the outside, Brie watches in frozen horror… as Beth drags Nikki up again, and hooks it up – GLAM SLAM!!! That’s just brutal, with Nikki lying flat, and Phoenix pinning someone who wasn’t even in this match… one… two… three. Murder.

Result: Beth Phoenix bts. Various Bellas via pinfall at 3:43

*GLAMAZON*


Justin Roberts: Here is your winner… the Glamazon… BETH – PHOENIX!

Phoenix stands, having her arm raised by King, with the crowd cheering partly out of adulation and partly out of immense fear that they’ll be next. She hauls Nikki to her feet and throws her from the ring, nearly wiping Brie out in the process; as those two go clattering to the outside floor, Phoenix goes to the second rope and raises her pose once again.

Jim Ross: Not even the Bellas combined could stop Beth Phoenix tonight – that’s how to make your mark on your first night back.

Byron Saxton: The Glamazon wastin’ no time alright, JR! But technically she pinned the wrong girl, so I’m just gonna go inform the referee –

Jim Ross: Oh keep your seat, for God’s sakes. Phoenix wasn’t gonna be beaten tonight.

Byron Saxton: Well maybe not by the Bellas, but I know someone who could give her a run for –

After Beth steps down, she does one more lap of the ring, but the crowd is booing suddenly… BECAUSE THE DIVA’S CHAMPION, MELINA SPRINTS DOWN THE RAMP AND SLIDES INTO THE RING! Melina goes stalking the Glamazon, her face scrunched up with anger…

Jim Ross: The champion! Wait a second!

Byron Saxton: This is who I meant, JR! Beth didn’t count on the Hollywood Diva!

Phoenix turns – SO MELINA SWINGS WITH THE BELT – DUCKED!

Melina swings into thin air! Phoenix feels the crowd cheer as the shot with the belt misses… THEN RUNS THROUGH THE CHAMPION WITH A CLOTHESLINE!


Jim Ross: OH! You were sayin’, Byron!

That gets a BIG cheer as Melina goes tumbling, immediately rolling from the ring and clutching at her jaw… but she’s left her title behind, and now Phoenix picks it up! Melina goes backtracking up the ramp, and now Phoenix clambers to the second rope to raise the belt into the air!

Jim Ross: Are we lookin’ at the future? We’ve seen Melina catch Divas from behind on countless occasions like that, but Phoenix is no slouch! Is that the face of the next champion?

Byron Saxton: Hey! Someone tell her to put down that title, that isn’t hers!

Jim Ross: Not yet, Byron, but Phoenix is unbeaten in months, Melina’s been runnin’ the show on Raw… these two would tear the house down!

Melina’s screeching “GET OFF IT! GET OFF!”, but Beth is the picture of composure, watching the champion’s tentative retreat from her place on the turnbuckle. Melina almost wants to go back and wrench her title out of the Glamazon’s hands, but for the first time as champion, she seems genuinely intimidated by the woman in front of her. A rare sight, but the Hollywood Diva doesn’t seem confident – as always, only the back alley way will do.

Jim Ross: It’s all heating up in the Diva’s division, but still to come, we’re decidin’ the WWE Title challenger at Capitol Punishment – it’s Cena and the Game, No Holds Barred, we must have a winner, that’s next!

As Phoenix throws the title to the outside and says “Soon,” Melina scrambles to clutch at her most prized possession… and Raw fades away from the champion’s new biggest threat.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

SmackDown Rebound this week shows the Beat The Clock Challenge from Friday night, in which World Champion Alberto Del Rio beats Evan Bourne in a tough match… and then proclaims that Kofi can’t compete at the top level. Kingston, fighting to prove he’s not the choke artist that Del Rio has labelled him, goes up against William Regal in the main event – but comes up short when times expires, shortly after Regal rolls out of the ring following Trouble In Paradise. This gives stipulation-choosing duties to the World Heavyweight Champion, who declares that he’s now out to prove that while Kofi may be a good competitor, he’s not good enough. He wants to face Kofi in a world he just knows nothing about, to show how helpless he is against the Mexican… a Submission Match. As the commentators question whether Kofi can make Del Rio tap – or make ANYONE tap – the recap comes to a close.

---

Raw returns to the arena, where the bell rings…

Justin Roberts: The following contest is set for one fall… and is a NO – HOLDS – BAAAARRED – MATCH!

A good pop from the crowd for that.

Justin Roberts: Now, in this match, there are no count-outs, no disqualifications, and we must have a winner. The winner of this bout will become the number one contender… to the W – W – E – CHAMPIONSHIP!

Another pop. We head to ringside…

Jim Ross: Welcome back, folks, this is gonna be huge – it’s No Holds Barred, the winner goin’ on to Capitol Punishment to face the man to my right…

He looks along the line to see the WWE Champion, The Miz, sat beside Saxton. He looks even more smug than Byron does.

Jim Ross: That man being the WWE Champ, The Miz – Miz, thanks for joinin’ us of course, who do you wanna win this match?

The Miz: (drawling) Honestly JR, it means so very little to me… because if I can beat these men in the same ring at the same time, I can beat them just as easily one on one.

Byron Saxton: He’s got a point, JR.

*MY TIME IS NOW*


THE CROWD GOES WILD! The boos in the background are barely audible amongst the cheers of thousands, as the three famous rules appear on the electric curtain and JOHN CENA storms out! He takes a step back from the ramp, spreading his arms wide and turning to the camera to say “THEY’RE ON IT TONIGHT!” before he charges down to the ring!

Justin Roberts: Introducing first, from West Newbury, Massachusetts, weighing in at two hundred and forty pounds… JOOOOOOHN – CEEENAAAA!

Jim Ross: And here a man who got very unlucky in Tag Team Attraction, putting in just as much work as Triple H did to get the victory – but by the rules of the match-up, he wouldn’t be rewarded, and to be honest, that didn’t sit well with either Cena OR the Game.

The Miz: JR, it’s obvious that Jerry Lawler’s poor choice of match-up was always gonna create problems, and even though I’m gonna enjoy watching them tear each other’s throats out, even you have to admit that it was a stupid idea.

Byron Saxton: Damn right, man! Triple H and John Cena wanted nothin’ more than to just fight it out and decide who was better for weeks and weeks, but they never got their chance… it’s only now that Jerry’s running scared for his job that he’ll let them go at it!

Jim Ross: I’d argue this is a bigger issue than Lawler himself, but no doubt we’re in for a huge match here – the winner’s gonna earn it for sure.

Cena slides into the ring and goes about testing the ropes. He throws up the ‘Word Life’ symbol to the crowd in time with the music, then paces the ring – his music dies down, giving way to the usual “LET’S GO CENA!” “CENA SUCKS!” duels, and Cena cracks a small smile in response. Taking off his hat, he flings into the first few rows, then removes his shirt as we turn back to the stage.

“TIME TO PLAY THE GAME…”


*THE GAME*


AND THE FANS GO MAD AGAIN! This pop might be even bigger, the arena absolutely ROCKING under the flashing greens and reds… and they herald the arrival of TRIPLE H, cast in the white light of the Qwest Center stage and looking set to kill. He stares out at the arena for a moment, then SPITS water out, spraying it through the white air before he starts for the ring. We get a brief shot of Cena, walking the ring in anticipation, but never taking his eyes off the Game.


Justin Roberts: And his opponent… from Greenwich, Connecticut, weighing in at two hundred and fifty-eight pounds… THE GAAAME – TRIIIIPLE… ‘AAAAIIITCH!!!

Jim Ross: What an ovation! Every man, woman and child in this arena is on their feet for the Game, and whether you’re a fan of him, or you’re a fan of Cena, you are gonna see a slobberknocker of a contest tonight, folks!

Byron Saxton: All for a shot at the biggest prize in the business, JR! These guys said they would do whatever it takes, and I think they’re about to live up to it, somebody’s gonna get HURT.

The Miz: Don’t forget what they’re fighting for. They can go through Hell and back to get a shot at this title… but they’ll still fall when they walk into Washington. Makes this match redundant.

Jim Ross: I tell ya, the man who can keep the other down for three seconds in this environment, he can stay at my house and drink my beer, Miz. If you can win this match, you deserve a shot at the title, and I daresay he can give ya a run for your money, that’s for sure.

Hunter heads around ringside, taking another swig from his water bottle before he chucks it into the crowd. He clambers up to the apron, that white spotlight profiling him again, then cannons himself back against the ropes and spraying water upwards with a ROOOOAAAR of adrenaline out to the crowd! The fans in Omaha are red-hot, feeding off Triple H’s energy as he does from them, and now the Game swings inside, glancing briefly at Cena before he steps up to the turnbuckle. From there it’s the regular pose, getting one last strong pop, and now he turns, his music dying down as he squares up to Cena. The official is head referee Mike Chioda, adding to his list of monumental matches he’s officiated in his time, and he checks both men are good to go… the chants are split between the two men, but this arena is buzzing as the bell chimes…

Main Event – No Holds Barred Match – No. 1 Contender to the WWE Title
John Cena vs. Triple H


As we join this bout, we’re about six minutes in, and it’s been mostly contained so far, almost cagey – the two have fought outside the ring, but not really brought anything usually illegal into play, and the crowd is on edge waiting for it. The support is still mostly split down the middle, and neither man has taken the advantage despite a few hard-hitting moves or shots. Hunter has the slight edge as we jump in, stomping on a grounded Cena then pulling him up to send him across the ring… Cena turns it around, though, sending the Game with the whip instead – he bends down, and gets NAILED with the Facebreaker Knee Smash! A pop goes up as Cena reels, staggering back to the ropes – and now Triple H sends them both careering to the outside with a big clothesline!

The pair go tumbling to the arena floor, much to the buzz of the crowd as things spill into a more unpredictable area – it’s Tripper who’s up first, wincing but still good to go, and he immediately gives the fans what they want by hoisting up the apron… and grabbing a STEEL CHAIR! The crowd cheers their approval, as Cena hauls himself up apparently unaware of the impending pain… he turns – THERE’S THE SHOT – MISSED! Cena ducks under the blow, so Triple H turns and raises the chair… BUT CENA BLASTS HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE! Down they both go, that chair clattering sideways, but this time it’s Cena forcing himself over to the announce desk, using that to struggle up again. The ex-“Champ” blinks a few times, showing us just how close he knows he came, then turns and meets the Game with several right hands.

Triple H reels with every stiff shot, and now Cena drives him back to the barricade. He throws a couple of shoulder thrusts to the gut, then grabs that steel chair and just THUMPS it into the Cerebral Assassin’s gut! Gasping out, Hunter falls to his knees, and Cena clambers up on to the barricade for some reason, dropping the chair and seeing a group of fans slapping him on the calves for his troubles. As Triple H gets up to a bent-over position, Cena goes to leap off with the LEG DROP BULLDOG TO THE OUTSIDE… NOOO!!! The Game stands, leaving Cena to crash and burn into the outside mats! Cena groans and lets his face collapse into the floor, while Triple H finds that chair again… RIGHT OFF CENA’S BACK IT GOES! That merits a yell of pain again from Cena… and now Triple H throws it into the middle distance at ringside, turning his attention to the announce desk and wrenching the cover off it!

That gets the crowd excited – we’ve been waiting for these two to get properly aggressive, especially given their history and what’s at stake here, so it comes as no surprise when Hunter yanks a TV monitor out of the desk and weighs it in his hand! Cena’s still on his knees, trying to recover from the hits he’s received so far, as we spy JR, Miz and Byron Saxton attempting to move away from their disintegrating desk. Cena’s up, staggering over to his opponent, but the Game catches him in the gut with a kick… THEN SENDS CENA SPRAWLING WITH THE MONITOR TO THE FACE! The crowd groans as Cena gets sent to the deck again, but this time he slumps onto the ring steps, eyes unfocused. Triple H leaves the monitor to hang, then shoves Cena under the bottom rope and joins him. The Game senses a huge moral victory, a huge victory by any label in fact, and here’s the cover… one… two… but no, Cena rolls the shoulder!

A mixed reaction there as Cena keeps his title hopes intact, and Triple H has seen enough kickouts in his career not to be too disheartened. He stands, then almost immediately rolls out of the ring to find something else to secure the shot at Capitol Punishment instead. He takes a menacing glance over at The Miz, then turns his attention to the ring steps, which played such a vital role in the Awesome One’s title defence at Extreme Rules. As if knowing this, The Miz’s eyes remain locked on them as Tripper hauls them away from the post and shoves them into the ring. Cena’s wavering up, his sneakers angled against the canvas as he wobbles briefly, but here comes Triple H again with a series of knees to the gut and now dragging him towards the steps.

Triple H goes to slam Cena by the neck into those steps, but the ex-“Champ” puts a foot on them and manages to hold him off. The Game wraps him up in a side headlock, trying to wear him down and attempt it again, but Cena uses his fighting strength to slowly, slowly work his way back out of it… and now he gets the arms free and unleashes the elbows in response! Several pointed shots to the gut will give Cena some space, so he immediately goes for the KILL, there’s the Attitude Adjustment attempt – no, Hunter clubs him in the back before he can even lift the Game into the Fireman’s! The two men separate, so Triple fires instinctively with a right hand, which Cena sweeps under… then hits the ropes and gets the Flying Shoulder Block!

The buzz in the arena, a mix of boos and cheers, begins as Cena kicks off the routine, taking Triple H down with a second Shoulder Block when it comes around. Both men are up again, Hunter throwing a clothesline and seeing Cena duck it – FOR THE SPIN-OUT POWERBOMB! Triple H stays down for good this time, allowing Cena to turn to the crowd, throwing up the hand! The CeNation leader has a fire in his eyes, knowing that this is his chance to swing the bout his way, but instead of bending down he turns to the announce desk… and waves “You can’t see me!” along with the crowd at The Miz! The WWE Champion, slowly returning to his chair, says absolutely nothing, just watching as Cena runs back to the ropes… brushes it off – FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE!

A pop goes up from the Cena fans here, with Triple H rolling sideways and Cena toeing the steel steps to the side, making sure he’s got a clear run at it for when Triple H struggles up… FOR THE ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT – NO! The Game worms out, landing behind him and shoving him into the ropes… right back into the High Knee! Cena collapses, tumbling awkwardly and accidentally from the ring as he falls, and goes wandering around ringside to remove the cobwebs. Triple H follows him out, grabbing him by the neck and running him all the way to the steel post… BAM! Cena goes face-first off the steel, tumbling to the deck, and now Triple ROARS out, firing up! The crowd gives him back noise in equal measure, so now the Game storms around ringside, taking his own look at The Miz – this man already won his shot once, and now he wants to do it all again, this time in front of the champion.

Slapping the apron, Triple H turns back to Cena. His chest puffs out, showing how he’s fought through the fatigue thus far, and he does so again as he brushes his straggled hair out of his eyes and puts a hand on Cena’s head. He pulls the West Newbury native away from the apron skirt… BUT CENA LASHES OUT AND THE GAME GOES DOWN IN A HEAP! The crowd groans as Triple H collapses, and now Cena is struggling back up… HOLDING TRIPLE H’S SLEDGEHAMMER! There are groans and whistles in their thousands from the crowd, and Cena looks at the deadly hammer – he cracks a grin, not intending to use this particular weapon but apparently lucking out… and now Hunter is just ruined, lying motionless on the outside mats! Cena throws the sledgehammer to the side, using that famous strength to heave Triple H off the floor and force him back under the bottom rope. He rolls inside too, exhaling heavily on his way, then throws an arm over the Game and takes a step towards saving his 2011… one… two… thr-but no! Kickout by Hunter!

We’re not done just yet! The Game won’t stay down even after a huge blow like that, especially not to his own weapon, and he manages to find his way up to his knees. In the meantime, Cena takes a look at Mike Chioda, a man who just eight days ago was incapacitated as Daniel Bryan made The Miz tap out, but a man who can only raise two fingers to Cena tonight. Resigning himself to the task ahead, Cena grabs Triple H by the top of the head and pulls him up, but the Game comes right back with a fierce right hand! Cena stumbles back, only to be whipped into the corner and SLAMMED with a Corner Clothesline! Hunter paces the ring, soaking up the crowd’s cheers, then watches Cena out of the corner to kick him in the gut – PEDIGREE ON THE HORIZON… NOOO!!! Cena hurls the Game overhead and he lands RIGHT ON THE DAMN RING STEPS! The crowd cries out in awe, as Triple H’s body creases on the canvas, and Cena falls in exhaustion, slumping against the ring ropes. Triple H clutches at his back, and ends up rolling involuntarily from the ring… so JR asks the question of which man will be able to go the extra mile, and Raw takes a break.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Raw’s back with these two going at it again; Hunter has Cena pressed up into the corner once more, throwing those right hands, but Cena sweeps out of the position and forces the Game there instead. Cena begins to pepper him with his own shots, only for Tripper to come back with a knee to the gut, forcing Cena back in… it’s back and forth here, both men showing signs of exhaustion but unwilling to give an inch, as Triple H just PUMMELS his opponent here, until Cena falls to a seated position, and the Game catches the top buckle with a grasping blow, yanking the cover off! That hangs loose, getting some ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s as Triple H pulls Cena out of the corner and whips him to the other side. The Corner Clothesline misses this time, with the crowd gasping as Tripper meets the buckle, and we catch Mike Chioda taking a longing look at that exposed turnbuckle, unable to go and fix it.

Cena meets the Game this time around, throwing a couple of jarring right hands, then hooks up a Fisherman’s Suplex with those steel steps lurking… but Hunter spins out of it, then HURLS Cena towards the exposed buckle as if by instinct – NO! Cena dives to the mat, sliding out of the ring! He looks back to the ring, where even Triple H is somewhat impressed by Cena’s ring awareness, but now the Game comes after him. Both men are feeling the strain here, with those ring steps still in the ring as well that exposed buckle, some chairs (and a sledgehammer) on the outside and the elephant in the room of The Miz sat at the stripped announce desk. Triple H gets kicked in the gut when he comes too close, then SLAMMED face-first off the apron, buying Cena some time to get creative. He paces ringside slowly, the fatigue clear in his face, then wraps his hands around the first thing he finds – a chair.

Triple H is back. His hair is a mess across his face, nearly obscuring his vision, but he fights on, stumbling about ringside to meet Cena, but the West Newbury native drives the butt of the chair into his stomach! The Game gasps and keels over, so Cena brings the chair up – AND CRASHES IT OFF HUNTER’S SPINE! A huge mixed reaction goes up as Cena topples his opponent, then brings the chair down again like an executioner, eliciting another CRACK around the Qwest Center. He turns to the announce desk, tipping the chair in the direction of The Miz, who finally looks a little intimidated. Cena manages ‘I’ll do whatever I gotta’ through a series of hard, heaving breaths, then throws the chair into the ring and grabs Hunter for the next part.

John marshals Triple H back to the ring, and forces him inside. He rolls in too, making a cover – one… two… thr-NO, the Game fights on! Cena wanted it to end there, but it won’t, so he crouches and calls for the Attitude Adjustment! The Cena fans go wild, the Triple H fans boo, but no matter what the arena is alive, and so is the Game, hauling himself up to face the music. Cena goes for it, hoisting him up on to his shoulders… BUT NO! Tripper gets out of it, then drives Cena forward… RIGHT INTO THE EXPOSED TURNBUCKLE! There’s groans of sympathy in the crowd as Cena staggers backwards, his clock truly cleaned… AND TRIPLE H IS UP TO BAT, GRABBING THE CHAIR AND BLUDGEONING IT OFF CENA’S LEFT SHOULDER! “OHHH!” cries the crowd as Cena goes down, and now the Game takes a moment, getting his breath back. He dumps the chair to the deck, then kneels beside Cena to make the cover… one… two… THR-BUT NO! Cena still kicks out as the hand comes down a third time!

Back and forth we go! Cena won’t stay down, Triple H won’t stay down – what is it going to take for one of these men to go to Capitol Punishment? At ringside, Jim Ross finally concedes (at Byron Saxton’s obnoxious behest) that maybe this is what these two needed; Tag Team Attraction wasn’t enough, they just had to go at it, there’s no better way to decide who deserves the title shot! In that vein, The Miz is watching with eyes wide open here, observing every last movement as Triple H wipes the sweat from his brow and pulls Cena up. The wannabe “Champ” comes back with a right hand, so Triple H answers back just the same, and now we’re into a slogfest, the crowd split practically down the middle! The cheers and boos, punches and punches, are traded in equal measure, until finally it seems that Cena has the upper hand, sending the Game back to the ropes after a series of chained punches… before he takes them BOTH to the outside yet again, this time leaping off the ring steps to take them over the top rope with the clothesline!

These two have nothing left to give, and it’s about twenty seconds before either of them can haul themselves off the outside mats to try and continue. When they do, they do so almost simultaneously, but Triple H is closer to the nearest weapon, and that weapon couldn’t be more perfect… the Game has his old friend back. The crowd whistles as the Cerebral Assassin tiredly weighs the sledgehammer in hand, and Cena fights through exhausted breaths as he watches. John stares at the weapon that nearly ended his career at Extreme Rules, all for the pursuit of the WWE Title, and nods… before he darts sideways, to the announce desk, and grabs one of those monitors! It’s not much, but it’ll knock you clean out if you use it right, just like the hammer, and Cena is on guard here, the two men ready to duel.

Taking a deep breath, it’s Triple H who throws himself into the lion’s jaws, swinging the hammer – but missing, as Cena ducks, then SWINGS FOR THE FENCES… ONLY FOR THE GAME TO DUCK TOO, MEANING THAT MONITOR SMASHES OFF THE STEEL RING POST! Plastic meets steel with a groan from the Omaha crowd, that monitor spinning off sideways, and now Cena turns, defenceless… RIGHT INTO A SLEDGEHAMMER SHOT TO THE STOMACH! Cena’s yell of pain is only matched by the ‘ooooh’s of the fans here, and now he falls to his knees, clutching the midsection in agony. Just like Cena before him, it’s now Hunter who turns to ringside, toasting The Miz but with the hammer instead, before he lines it up like a tee shot… AND BRINGS THE POINT OF THE HAMMER INTO CENA’S STOMACH AGAIN!!! CHRIST ALMIGHTY!!!

“What the hell are these two doin’ to each other?” cries JR at ringside, “All for a shot at that damn title!” Even The Miz looks a little horrified by Triple H’s last shot, as Cena slumps to all fours and for once, he looks genuinely broken. The Game shakes his head, as if to say Cena made him go this far, and throws the sledgehammer aside. Hauling Cena’s almost-dead weight up, he forces him back under the ropes, and takes a second before his tired body will follow. Eventually, he falls on top of Cena for the cover… one… two… three-BUT NOOO!!! Cena gets a shoulder up right at the death! Incredible resilience!

Triple H turns his eyes to Chioda, then to Cena – he can’t believe it! He thought the title shot and the bragging rights were his, but somehow Cena fought out of it… did those extra seconds cost him? After a couple of moments trying to understand, he slaps the mat and heads to the outside, knowing that he can only end it one way… and that’s by putting his hands back on the sledgehammer. Once again, he hoists it into the air and inspects it, staring at the problem solver from so many occasions, but the crowd is buzzing… because Cena is hunting him down, face contorted in pain as he grabs the Game from behind! Tripper drops the hammer when he’s spun around, and now Cena grips him by the wrist… BEFORE HURLING HIM OVER THE ANNOUNCE TABLE AND NEARLY WIPING OUT THE MIZ!!!

The WWE Champion got out the way seconds before, seeing it coming, but Triple H takes out his chair for sure, and JR and Saxton just escape as well. In the meantime, it’s eyes back to Cena, fighting off the strain of a long bout to haul Triple H back across the table. The Game took a bad fall there and isn’t so quick to fight back, so Cena lays some clubbing blows in and leaves him to rot. The West Newbury native’s off back to the ring, despite the fact he can’t win by count-out… no, he’s looking for the ropes instead, climbing to the top! The crowd buzzes, rising to its feet almost simultaneously, as Cena balances his tired frame on the top rope, and Triple H begins to struggle up… SO CENA LAUNCHES OFF, SAILING DOWN – AND DRILLING TRIPLE H THROUGH THE TABLE WITH THE LEG DROP BULLDOG!!! THE CROWD LOSES THEIR MINDS!

The table is caved in, and both these men lie in the wreckage… The Miz is standing against the crowd barricade, eyes wide in horror as he looks at the lengths Cena will go to. We get a half dozen replays of Cena sending himself off the top rope, and now both would-be title challengers are lying still… until finally, finally, it’s Cena who begins to put a hand against the ground and force himself back towards the ring. His eyes turn back to The Miz, then to the Game, then to the apron that helps him back to his feet. Triple H has a hand against the panels of the collapsed desk, trying his hardest to ignore the crippling exhaustion and fight his way back into this…

…until finally Cena staggers over to him and pulls him up. The pair of them are hardly even able to stand, but Cena has that superhuman strength somewhere deep in him that allows him to keep fighting, starting with dragging Triple H back towards the ring. He works in a sluggish slam of Hunter’s head into the apron, then shoves him under that rope and hurls himself in too. He’s feeling the force of it all for sure, so much so that he falls to a knee and watches Triple H crawling about, stretching for the chair from earlier. Knowing that could be the difference, Cena drags him away by the leg… THEN GOES FOR THE STFU ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, BUT TRIPLE H TURNS AND KICKS HIM OFF! The Game once tapped to that on the Grandest Stage of Them All five years ago, but he wants no repeat tonight, shoving him away… both men scramble to meet each other – BUT TRIPLE H EXPLODES OUT OF NOWHERE WITH THE DOUBLE A SPINEBUSTER… AND DRIVES CENA SPINE-FIRST ON TO THE STEEL CHAIR ON THE CANVAS!!! The crowd goes CRAZY, with some “HOLY SHIT!” chants building in the upper tiers as they did for the table spot, and now it’s Triple H who crawls and crawls, throwing an arm over his long-time rival to take this home… one… two… THREE-BUT NOOOO!!! KICKOUT SOMEHOW BY CENA!!!

Triple H collapses beside Cena and stares at the ceiling. He’s thrown the kitchen sink at Cena, no more so than with that last move, and now both men are down, wondering how the hell they’re going to put the other away! Cena’s blinking, rolling on to his side to try to recover, but a hand goes to his back to sell the huge impact of the Spinebuster. He tries to put his hands on the chair… but Triple H puts his boot on it and shoves it out of the ring! The Game falls on to the ropes for support as he does it, but he takes away Cena’s advantage there and now he reaches down to pull him up. It takes him a moment, but finally he brings John to his feet, then drags him sluggishly into the middle of the ring and hooks the arms… the crowd comes alive with cheers and boos again… PEDIGREE – NO, CENA LIFTS HIM INTO THE FIREMAN’S… AND SCORES WITH THE ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!!! GOT IT!!!

The crowd is split right down the middle yet again, but the noise is HUGE nonetheless, with the CeNation going wild as both competitors go down, begging for Cena to make the cover! John doesn’t have the energy, but Triple H is laid out – surely a cover would end this? Cena begins to edge his way back across the ring, inch by inch, until he can hook a leg… one… two… THREE – BUT NO, THE GAME KICKS OUT! NO GOOD! We’re still going, not that Cena can believe it, and now – now he turns to the ring steps. They’re the last weapon still really in play, and so he grabs them to drag them across the floor. He’s exhausted, but he finds the strength to bring them centre of the ring, and sits on them for a second to recover. He slaps a hand against the steel, knowing this is how he could take the title shot, then begins to force his body up again. Triple H remains down, still feeling the effects of the Attitude Adjustment, as Cena stands…

…but the crowd is screaming protest, roaring approval, all kinds of noise – BECAUSE SOMEONE’S IN THE RING – DOLPH ZIGGLER!!!

The Perfection Artiste slides under the bottom rope, just as Cena moves an inch away from the ring steps… AND ZIGGLER DRILLS HIM INTO THE STEEL PLATFORM WITH THE ZIG-ZAG!!! The crowd roars a furious series of boos to overpower the few cheers from the Cena haters, and Cena gets absolutely wrecked by that! He goes down clutching his head, shortly after it bounced off hard steel, and now Ziggler stands on the steps, looking down at Cena… and he runs his hands through his hair to flick water on him! “Didn’t forget me, huh John? DID YA?” he belts, then slowly backs off the steps and out of the ring.

Ignoring the heat from the crowd, Ziggler flicks water one more time at the squared circle, and keeps a slow pace as backtracks up the ramp. In the ring, Cena lies flat now, seeing as the Zig-Zag on the steps nearly knocked him clean out, and it’s eyes back to Triple H. The Game is heaving his body across to Cena, and whether or not he saw Ziggler’s actions is unclear – but now he’s throwing an arm across Cena’s chest, and Mike Chioda has no choice but to count… one… two… THREE!!! The bell rings – Ziggler’s screwed Cena!

Result: Triple H bts. John Cena via pinfall at 22:55

*THE GAME*


Justin Roberts: Here is your winner… the GAME, TRIIIIPLE… ‘AAAAIIITCH!!!

The music plays, but all Triple H does is collapse off Cena’s body. On the ramp, Ziggler’s smirk is as big as China, shaking his head and running casual hands through his hair. “Absolute perfection,” he purrs, as Chioda checks on both men, and it’s Triple H who finds his way up to his knees first, hair draped across his eyes. Chioda tries to help him up and raise his arm, but the Game stumbles away and has to use the turnbuckle to keep himself upright.

Jim Ross: Ya gotta be kiddin’ me! Dolph Ziggler just cost John Cena the title shot, and for what? Attention?

Byron Saxton: Great contest, JR, gotta love that, but we shoulda seen that coming – everyone knows Ziggler should have been up for this title shot!

Jim Ross: You come up with a new agenda every two seconds, Byron, but after that chaotic ending let’s at least hear from The Miz –

But ‘clunk’ goes the headset on the arena floor, because The Miz has ditched the announce team and stands at ringside. He’s staring up at Triple H, who stares right back through his sweat-stained hair at the champion. Whether or not the Game knows how he won is still unclear, but for now, there are no words between champion and his future challenger.

Cena’s still down, but Ziggler finds that hilarious. He can’t stop grinning, standing on the stage now and enjoying every second of Cena’s suffering. The CeNation leader still holds his head, face wrecked in pain on the canvas, while Chioda kneels beside him to see if he needs medical attention.


Jim Ross: Tense as it gets on Monday Night Raw, folks – Triple H is going to Capitol Punishment to face The Miz… but what has Dolph Ziggler done?

Byron Saxton: What a night, JR! Ziggler rights a couple wrongs, and Cena ain’t going near a guy who’s already beat him on the biggest stage! I reckon this is the best possible outcome!

Jim Ross: I have dozens of questions that need answerin’, but all I know is that Triple H and Cena left it all in the ring tonight, and if Triple H can’t take down The Miz, I’m beginning to wonder who can… I’ve been Jim Ross, here with Byron Saxton, and – huh…

Suddenly, we’re away from The Miz’s icy stare, and we’re backstage.

The sight we cut to is Vince McMahon watching a backstage TV… and his face is ice-cold. He turns, muttering something at a WWE security guard behind him, and now he walks out, the camera following him. He has two guards with him, apparently, and he keeps walking, still muttering something under his breath, until he reaches the indoor parking lot. A black SUV is waiting with an open door for him…

…BUT HE GETS BLINDSIDED OUT OF THE SIDE OF THE SHOT!

The arena crowd immediately groans in awe as someone wipes out McMahon, and suddenly, the two security guards are beset by an attacker each as well… we can spot Skip Sheffield beating down one, and Mason Ryan on the other! The boos from the arena begin to rain in as the Convoy overpower the two men, driving them sideways and beating them to the ground… and now we can see CM PUNK laying the right hands into the Chairman of the Board!

Punk hangs back for a moment, letting Vince cough and splutter after taking those shots, and suddenly someone yells something nearby and the camera TIPS sideways, swerving down as someone wrenches it out of the cameraman’s grasp. The Convoy are out of shot, so one of them must have the camera, getting in close as Punk crouches beside the gasping Chairman.


CM Punk: Look me in… LOOK ME IN THE EYES!

Punk, breathing a touch heavily himself, grabs Vince by the jaw and forces him to look at him.

CM Punk: I promise you, I promise… you can surround yourself with guards, you can find a thousand of ‘em, but I promise – if I want to hurt you, I will always find a way. ALWAYS.

Vince tears his head away, but Punk observes him with disgust.

CM Punk: You can’t look me in the eyes because you’re afraid. That’s natural, you should be. You’re not safe, no-one is.

A shake of the head from this madman.

CM Punk: I will change it all no matter who gets hurt. And if you thought that you could fire me tonight and get it all over with… just know how wrong you are. The last thing you want… is to take me off the radar.

A sly smirk as Punk gets in close to Vince’s ear.

CM Punk: And in the past, when things go wrong for Vince McMahon, he can call on his personal saviour and Dwayne will come and help. But if you use him to save you as your last resort, Vince… what happens when I bring him – to his knees?

Spine-chilling from the Second City Saint, who gets some heavy boos from the arena crowd. There’s shouting in the background, but Punk ignores it.

CM Punk: Vince, if you truly hate me… the way I hate you, just the way faith works, that… that ability to wake up in the morning and just KNOW about it… what happens next is out of our hands. What happens next is – look me in the eyes, you COWARD.

Eyes bulging in anger, the red-faced Chairman turns back to him.

CM Punk: What happens next is beyond us all. So if you hate me that much, you’ll meet me in the ring next week, and your ivory tower will fall and fall… and fall… and fall… until it shatters into so many pieces.

Punk is inches from Vince’s face now, the camera inches from them both. Vince’s eyes turn back to the floor, unable to speak.

CM Punk: Or are you really the coward I figured you for? Huh?

A pause.

CM Punk: What happens… when a million-dollar businessman… can’t even look his grandchildren in the eyes… out of shame. Maybe someday I’ll ask them.

Vince tries to mutter something, but he’s a wreck.

CM Punk: (quietly) I think we’ve all learned something about power tonight.

He puts a hand around McMahon’s throat, and tightens the grip for a moment… but before McMahon can even begin to gasp for air, Mason Ryan grunts something in the background, and Punk looks up. The shouting has got louder, and there are footsteps… so Punk leaves McMahon to rot in his misery, with the camera tilting out of (we assume) Sheffield’s grip and to the floor.

Jim Ross: Good God in heaven.

The camera, on its side, shows a shaking, emotionally drained Vince McMahon. In the background, someone who looks a bit like The Rock is leading a group of EMTs down the corridor. Vince splutters and touches gingerly at his throat, as Punk and the Convoy’s footsteps disappear…

…and Raw fades out.


END OF SHOW



The Return; Grudge Match
CM Punk versus The Rock

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

WWE Championship
The Miz (c) defends against Triple H
__________________
In New Talent We Trust | Raw NOW POSTED

Last edited by Melvis : 09-10-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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Default Re: WWE 2011: In New Talent We Trust

Sorry if a lot of this isn’t too accurate. I have had a look over your thread, but I’m sure there are subtleties that I’ve missed.

Straight off the bat, I like that you’re starting the show with Punk. His character has become the standout of this thread very quickly, and it almost seems like he doesn’t need the belt. While Miz is champion, Punk is the biggest heel, and I guess that kind of suits Miz at this stage because he’s still fresh as a top level main eventer here. Honestly, I’m not sure about Punk admitting he’s not entertaining. I get that Punk previously said he’s not all catch phrases like The Rock and that you’re going with the angle of him wanting change, but acknowledging yourself as not entertaining still isn’t right to me. Especially when we know Punk thinks he’s entertaining and that he is. Perhaps the better line would have been them not liking what Punk had to say, as you went to a few lines down. I do like this faith gimmick you’ve given him, which fits in well with what happened previously to this thread and Punk taking over Nexus, going all the way back to when Ryan made his debut and Punk sacrificed himself like Jesus on the cross. The whole thing is quite intelligent, and the feud over Orton has elevated him, as opposed to in reality when it kind of sucked. The Punk walking out angle is a good one to tweak from reality, considering he made his contract situation at the time quite known and that it allows him to rage against the machine. The lines about Vince were good too. Similar to real life, but it’s going to be a similar angle, at least in terms of a starting point, so there’s nothing wrong with that. Vince using an actual excuse as to why he didn’t fire Punk was great, because too often things like that are just swept under the rug. I’m glad you’re actually using The Rock too, because him not showing up while Punk called him out would have been very weak. The Rock’s position was explained well too, justifying why he was siding with Vince, which, again, is something that all too often can just be skipped over. He ran through his catch phrases in a way that actually worked too, rather than just reeling them off for the sake of reeling them off. I’m a bit surprised you ended up actually making this match for Capitol Punishment because it’s far too big for a throwaway event, but maybe you’re trying to make these events less throwaway. Apart from the questionable first few lines from Punk (which I get is a result of Punk not liking the sports entertainment stuff rather than wrestling, but I still don’t really like as a direct line), I think everything was on point here and lived up to a confrontation between Punk and Rocky.

As much as you’ve built up that Josh Matthews isn’t there, I don’t think anyone would be missing Matthews in reality.

Cole jumping on commentary to put over just how damn annoying he is during the Swagger match is clever. A dominant win for Swagger to bring him to RAW makes sense, although you’re definitely crowding the uppcard in terms of heels, especially when your two major faces seem more interested in feuding with each other. I’m not really sure how you’ll be able to balance it out, but someone probably needs a face turn. I’m not sure who exactly, but Miz, Punk, Ziggler and now Swagger are all very prominent as heels.

The permanent pairing of Swagger and Cole is a good idea to get Swagger some heat. Like in past promos, I like that you have Swagger intensely grab the microphone and talk. It makes him look more monstrous and intimidating in a way, while Cole is just plain annoying.

Getting rid of Matthews from RAW to really emphasise the brand split is a good idea, and something I think you’ve done well in this thread. In reality the lines became very blurred around this time, but the two shows allow for more talent to be showcased if used right. I’m a little surprised you’re using the probation angle so soon in Lawler’s tenure, but it makes sense considering the chaos (mainly surrounding Punk) on RAW, and it gives another reason for Vince to be there.

Saxton straight onto RAW is a bit of a surprising move. I know you’re looking for a strong heel presence, as shown by the bickering between Saxton and JR, but it’s a big sudden move for a guy who I believe had only been on NXT to this point.

Another very quick push is Tyler Black’s. I’m happy you’ve got a face champion, because you’ve been lacking them, but you’ve put him over very strongly very quickly. I know Matt Striker highlighted it on SmackDown too, so it’s probably intentional, but I don’t quite get the Curt Hawkins rulebreaker gimmick right now. It just seems like a bit of a name that means nothing. I’m surprised you had Hawkins so competitive against Black, although I get that you’re trying to build up a lot of midcarders at once. I guess the rejected handshake means we’re getting a bit of a rivalry between these two for now too, so an even match between the two builds that.

I was wondering if you were going to retire Edge, and while you stopped short of it here, I wouldn’t mind if you did. I guess the Tarver beat down indicates Edge will be back, because I can’t see him going out like this, but I would probably prefer to see him go sooner rather than later because I like realism to a degree. It’s interesting to see you going with Tarver – another heel looking monstrous in his first two weeks of actually doing something. As I said before, you’re going to have a tough job building credible faces to keep up with them, because right now your least dangerous looking featured heel is probably the WWE Champion.

You’re certainly making the most of Vince’s appearance, and I think this angle works well to possibly set up a corporate Triple H down the line. We know there’s a possibility of it now.

While I understand you’re putting on longer matches, I don’t really like Mason Ryan being put in a match over seven minutes. While he looks badass, his main weakness is that he, well, sucks. I think if you give him singles matches that last too long, you expose that, even if you try to make up for it with the writing. I do like that you’re having a little feud between The Convoy and The Party Boys – a good way to establish both teams and keep them busy, especially while the tag titles get most of their attention of the other show.

The DiBiase Jr storyline is somewhat similar to the one from real life with the face turn, but I think that you’ve done a decent job building sympathy for him. Having him take that beat down from Punk and The Convoy really made him someone you can like a little more, and the faded merchandise t-shirt is a good way to show what his current situation is again. The face turn was always coming, especially when he teamed with Orton, but I hope that you give him a real character, rather than the lack of character he had after turning face around this time in reality. This promo did a really good job stripping him down as a basic face, and recreating him as someone who is trying to impress the fans, so I think you’re in a good position for the next step. The Morrison heel turn is interesting. There’s the good use of Morrison beating DiBiase that led to the face turn here that I like, but as I’ve said before, I’m a bit worried about the number of heels you have. That Morrison is being turned against DiBiase is a pretty good way to ensure he’ll stay in the midcard though, and I guess this means you have someone to play with against Tyler Black. I’m a bit surprised the turn didn’t come with the Melina stuff from the last month, but this has maybe foreshadowed that we’d see a Morrison turn. It’s a different type of turn too, with Morrison revealing himself to be a jerk, rather than just beating up someone, which I like. Morrison jumping DiBiase after not being able to take what he was given was a good way to solidify it, and while there’s not a whole lot of character between the two, it was still a well written promo. It’s also a pretty good idea to build both men up in their new roles against one another.

I’m a bit surprised you took Brodus away from the Alberto Administration. While he doesn’t fit in with the rest, I still like the idea that Del Rio has a bit of hired muscle (or fat, I guess). It’s an interesting way to introduce him to RAW, perhaps as a face, while also showing the influence that Punk has over The Convoy.

Phoenix is the obvious next contender for Melina, so having her pick up a comprehensive win on debut is a good way to go. I’m a bit surprised that Melina would try to involve herself with Phoenix, but I guess you’ve tried to have her assert herself over Phoenix. Phoenix looking dominant is the obvious way to go, setting up the feud with Melina trying to snake her way out of it with the title.

I’m a bit surprised you’ve gone with what seems like the Triple H/Cena blow-off on RAW, but I guess it can always continue on later. You did build it up as the big blow-off, so I’m not surprised to see the match go on so long, but a crappy ending also wasn’t a surprise. You’ve booked Ziggler as a strong upstart for the past month or so, so having him interfere to get Cena’s attention is a good use of him. Triple H obviously needs the win too, heading into a WWE Title match.

The Punk propaganda to end the show by attacking McMahon is a good way to both show how serious he is, and also really solidify him as the top heel. He’s the guy looking strong, he’s the one looking like a threat to The Rock, and he looks like he’s actually got a chance of achieving his vision. Having two guys who aren’t great wrestlers alongside him while he tries to turn it into a show about wrestling is something that just dawned on me as strange, but a great way to make an impact to end the show.

You’re still pretty great at this. Keep posting shows once every few months.
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