Monday Night Raw
Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia | 6th June 2011
Without any highlights from last week, we go right into footage tagged as “EARLIER TONIGHT”, in which we see Triple H, with a kit bag slung over his shoulder, entering the arena. He looks to be in a foul mood, scowling as he walks down the arena corridors… but he’s stopped suddenly by someone running up to him. It’s just some random worker, but the Game looks pissed anyway.
Hunter, I need you to come with me.
Tripper looks at him for a moment, snorts, and keeps walking. The worker follows him, though.
Er – Hunter, this is important…
Listen, I just could really use you – I really think you have to –
Triple H turns, grabs this young man by the scruff of his polo shirt, and SLAMS him up against the corridor wall. A couple of other people in the background look at him in astonishment.
Triple H: (growling)
can listen. Did you know that I’m the new number one contender? Did you know that? How about my father-in-law wanting to have a match with CM Punk, ya hear about that?
The worker’s mouth opens and closes without a word, blinking.
And then there’s how I’m feeling right now. I still haven’t recovered from Cena from last week. Somehow, I gotta put all of this behind me… ‘cause if I don’t, The Miz will capitalise. If that wasn’t bad enough, people are callin’ it my last shot, too – I gotta win at Capitol Punishment or Vince wants me back at HQ to be a businessman instead.
He pauses, the worker just shaking his head, trying to pry Triple H’s iron grip off him, but failing.
So don’t you think… with all this on my mind… maybe I don’t want people like you followin’ me around? What could you possibly say that could top all the problems I already have? Huh? Why don’t you tell me that?
The worker finally finds his voice, making sure to gulp dramatically beforehand…
H-Hunter… your wife is here.
Triple H’s animated face freezes. For a moment, he keeps his grip around the worker’s scruff… then drops him and walks away. The worker is left clutching at his neck, trying to recover from that rough approach by the Game…
…and now we’re into the Raw opening video, culminating in The Miz, before the feed takes us to the arena floor of the Richmond Coliseum. Fireworks explode from the stage, then the camera sweeps across this cheering crowd, and finally we turn to ringside to see Jim Ross and Byron Saxton starting the show together for the first time as a team.
We’re live, folks, and welcome to Monday Night Raw – Triple H’s already got a lot on his plate tonight, that much we know for sure, but we’ve got some other questions to be answered before the night is done! I’m Jim Ross, alongside Byron Saxton in the best seats in the house for tonight’s action.
Oh it’s gonna be explosive alright, JR, it’s gonna be huge! Hell, we’re lookin’ at Mister McMahon versus CM Punk in the main event tonight!
Well, nothing’s confirmed, Byron, and I’d hate to start tonight’s show by spreadin’ rumours, but certainly there will be repercussions for what CM Punk did last week. Laying your hands on the boss is a sure-fire way to havin’ a bad time on Raw.
Hey now, JR, Mister McMahon got me this gig, so I won’t say a bad word against the man, but if he goes up against Punk tonight? Well, I know who I’d put my money on, is all.
That aside, ladies and gentlemen, we’ll also see some of the fallout from last week’s chaotic main event, with Triple H the new number one contender to the WWE Title and set to go face-to-face with The Miz tonight –
“I AM PERFECTIIIIIIIOOOOOON!!!”
It’s mostly loud heat, with a couple of cheers from the smarks mixed in, as Dolph Ziggler struts on to the stage, with Vickie Guerrero applauding as loudly as she can muster beside him. The Perfection Artiste runs his hands through his slicked-back hair, then heads down the ramp, flicking water at the front rows. He looks very, very pleased with himself, but doesn’t he always?
Well talk of the devil, ‘cause last week’s main event was interrupted by this man, Dolph Ziggler, apparently furtherin’ his own agenda by playin’ God and costing John Cena the match.
Maybe you should listen to what Dolph has to say before you go judging him, JR. I’m sure the man has his reasons!
That’s what I’m afraid of, Byron. Ziggler has a scary sense of entitlement that won’t go away, a huge ego –
Ya realise you don’t have to tell me about Dolph Ziggler, right JR? The guy was my Pro on NXT, a guy who once yelled at me after I was eliminated – and you know what? It made me stronger! It made me more determined! And since when was John Cena the ideal guy to take on The Miz anyway? He’s already lost more times than I can count!
Ziggler climbs up to the apron, stepping inside only to swing back out and stare into your soul through the hard camera. He cracks another grin, then finally enters the ring, pacing it leisurely as Vickie collects a mic from ringside. After a few moments of Dolph showing off, as you’d expect, his music dies out – and immediately you can hear the boos from this Richmond crowd. They don’t approve of what he did last week, but he’s not explaining himself just yet, not since the mic hasn’t quite passed into his hands…
The nuclear heat begins.
Allow me to… I said EXCUSE ME!!!
The boos roll in again, with a sign saying ‘You’re excused’ being the brief focus in the crowd. Vickie turns to Ziggler, looking exasperated, but it seems nothing could spoil Dolph’s mood at this point and he just motions her on.
Allow me to introduce my boyfriend – perfection itself… Dolph Ziggler!
Some more fierce heat as the mic is handed over, and Ziggler waits for a moment to soak in the reaction, which includes more of that annoying applause from Vickie.
Everyone’s kinda mad, but you gotta admit… that’s how you show off.
You ain’t gotta like it, but last Monday night, Dolph Ziggler turned all heads back his way, and that meant there isn’t a damn soul on the roster who could FOLLOW – THAT.
A shot at Punk? It’s unclear, but regardless the crowd boos again.
In fact, I have been totally untouchable for a while now. I have been – PERFECTION
– for a while now.
Ziggler runs a hand through that bleach-blond hair and smirks.
Not so long ago, I became World Heavyweight Champion. And as soon as that happened, I should have been elevated to the status I deserve. I should have been the WWE’s golden boy, but there’s always one more guy. There’s always… one… more… guy.
A singular finger he raises, shaking his head in disgust.
Why is that, huh? Why am I always waiting for my chance? Why is it that Teddy Long takes away my title? Why is it that John Cena –
He pauses for even a half-second and the crowd cheers (mostly). Ziggler stops talking and scowls momentarily, then brushes it off and goes again.
Why is it that John Cena and Triple H get to play cards for the title shot while I’m sat around in the locker room? I wasn’t pinned at Over The Limit! It was Cena
who messed up, and suddenly I’m forgotten about?
Dolph spits on the deck.
Dolph Ziggler: I’m
supposed to be the focus on Raw. Not Triple H, not Miz, not Punk, not even McMahon, not any name you can think up, and definitely NOT John… Cena.
Looking a little flushed, Ziggler flattens a few stray hairs back against his head.
Any of you know how frustratin’ it is to see Cena get my opportunities? My athleticism makes him look like an elephant on ice skates. Every interview he’s ever done makes me gag, every movie he’s in BOMBS at the box office…
Groans from the crowd, and now Ziggler cracks a grin.
Fact is, people, I should be the WWE Champion, because I – AM – PERFECT.
Heat, but as usual lately, Ziggler is too pissed off to stay his bright cocky self.
I am stuck behind jokes like John Cena, and I’m sick of that. So I stopped him doin’ the same song and dance last week. And I’d do it again. In fact, I would –
*MY TIME IS NOW*
A big pop RIFLES through Richmond, but Ziggler’s face scrunches in annoyance. Vickie is scowling as usual, folding her arms as she and Dolph turn towards the stage… and here comes JOHN CENA, in his red gear and looking none too impressed. He paces both sides of the stage, taking it all in, then turns to the camera for the salute. That out of the way, he sprints down the ramp and slides into the ring.
We knew it wouldn’t be long until John Cena said his piece, and thank God for that too. Monday Night Raw has enough big egos without Ziggler’s inflatin’.
Let’s not be too judgemental here, JR, the man’s reasoning is on the money! Do you wanna see Cena with more WWE Title shots? My man Dolph’s been waitin’ for his shot at The Miz and he ain’t getting a damn thing!
No Byron, Cena earned
his shots, every last one. Cena worked every second to get to where he is, and if Ziggler were in Cena’s place –
Oh spare me the propaganda, JR! I’ll get enough of that from Cena himself…
Ziggler and Guerrero step back as Cena slides in. The ex-“Champ” immediately collects a mic from ringside, then tilts his cap at the hard camera. The disgust is there in Ziggler’s eyes, but regardless he holds back as Cena points at him with the mic. When the music subsides, the noise in the Coliseum builds, mostly in support of Cena, but the obvious usual haters still do their part. Cena and Ziggler engage in an unhealthy staredown, until finally the former speaks.
You got balls, Dolph. You ain’t got much else goin’ for you, but you got balls.
Vickie’s protests fall on deaf ears as Ziggler steps forward.
By the sounds of it, you know what you cost me last week. But what you might not know… is just what the WWE Title means to me. You act like I never deserved to be at the top, but son, I earned that. Which is more than I can say for you.
Some cheers and whistles. Ziggler narrows his eyes.
You’re sure quick to sweep it under the rug, Dolph, but the only reason you were World Champion in the first place was because you and the GM there had… some sort of arrangement, somethin’ I’m not gonna touch ‘cause – well, no-one should touch THAT.
A couple of laughs, and Cena shrugs. If looks could kill from Guerrero, but Ziggler holds her back this time.
So don’t get superior on me, man. I’ve never seen you do a damn thing, so don’t come out here and tell me that I don’t know what I had… BECAUSE I HAD IT.
A smattering of cheers, but mostly the crowd is shocked silent by Cena’s outburst.
You don’t think I miss that? Every second of the day? Dolph, it meant everythin’ to me. Everything.
Totally serious now, Cena shakes his head.
A few weeks back, when I had that title in my sights, The Miz said he didn’t understand how a guy like me could enjoy bein’ here. He’s bitter because the WWE locker room never greeted him with open arms – the reality is, the locker room doesn’t greet anyone
with open arms. But he said he never got a rush from this… hell, all I ever get is a rush.
He thumps his chest once, and the crowd cheers.
I lived for titles, for Wrestlemania main events, for the big moments. This year, I have watched that spiral away from me. You call me the ‘top guy’, like I should be a target? I’m no top guy, Dolph. I wanna be, I wanna be SO bad, but I’m not. That kills me.
Ziggler’s shaking his head. He doesn’t accept a word of it, but there’s pain in Cena’s face.
And I’ve had a rough couple of months tryin’ to get back to it. The Rock ruined my shot at Wrestlemania, then The Miz took the back door outta Extreme Rules. Triple H edged me a couple weeks back… and then you took your shot last week. You gotta know you’re nothin’ special, Dolph. You gotta know that this is just another setback.
Eyes burning, he takes a step forward and measures up to Ziggler a little.
If I keep this up… I might just snap.
The crowd groans here and there – Cena means that as a threat, and Ziggler spies it.
Real touching, John. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of crying kids and charity appearances outta that sob story, but you don’t intimidate me.
Heat for that, but Cena shakes his head. “You’re not on the same page as me, man.”
No, whether you like it or not, your name still means something. I don’t think it SHOULD, but it does. And as long as that’s true… you’re in my crosshairs.
Cena removes his cap and throws it into the front row. That catches Ziggler off-guard, with the crowd getting excited instantly, but the Show-Off raises a hand.
I told you, you don’t freak me out, John. You can’t get inside this head. I’ve been out here every single week bustin’ my ass to get noticed, and now I’m gonna claim your scalp as well. I am gonna prove that I am a STAR, and once I have… John, I’m on a ticket all the way to the WWE Title I so richly deserve.
Back to the boos for Ziggler’s words.
Once I’m done with you, Cena, all those memories of when you were champion… they’ll slip further and further away. I’m gonna leave you so far at the back of the line, you’ll never sniff a title shot again for years. That’d be poetic justice, right?
Chuckling a little, he looks to Vickie, who nods with a sickly sweet air.
Forget Rock, forget Miz, forget Triple H. Soon all these people will. John, I wanna fight you, not because I need
to prove that I’m star potential, but purely because I AM
star potential. Because I should be top of the mountain.
Cena shakes his head and raises the mic.
John Cena: (sarcastically)
Star potential? Star potential. You have to be a big star, or else why are you here? If you’re not famous, why even be in the WWE? It’s all about bein’ on talk shows and magazine covers, it’s all about cars and money. Yeah Dolph, you’ve got it all figured out.
Cena pauses to let that sink in. His look is of pure disapproval.
You know why no-one ever kicked me off that pedestal? It’s ‘cause everyone who stepped up was some wannabe ‘star’ like you. People so obsessed with fame that they forget the competition. They forget why they loved it in the first place. Dolph, ya head’s so far up your own ass ya can’t see the light, man.
A resounding cheer from the crowd.
It ain’t about bein’ a star. It’s just about bein’ good at what you do. And the reason I won titles, and became
that star you think it’s so great to be… it’s because I was GOOD at it. Not because I was picked, not because I talked about doin’ it, but because I DID IT! I WENT OUT AND I DID IT!
The crowd cheers its loudest yet, but Ziggler smirks. Cena’s breathing heavy.
Then why, Cena, if you’re so damn special… aren’t you the WWE Ch–
– BECAUSE OF THE ROCK.
Ohhhhh. The crowd whistles and groans in their thousands. Ziggler tilts his head up, and Cena’s breathing eventually slows. He looks at the floor, then up at Ziggler again. He changes the subject.
Son, if you want your shot at me… take it. Capitol Punishment, where the lights are bright enough even for a ‘star’ like you. If you want some… come… get some.
A pop goes up, but everyone’s still focused on Cena’s previous outburst. The ex-“Champ”, looking fairly harrowed now, turns and walks out. There’s some boos as Cena heads to the outside, shaking his head, but apparently he can’t even look at Ziggler anymore. Ziggler, however, waltzes over to the edge of the ring, leaning against the ropes.
Yeah, take a walk. You might not be able to let go of the past, Cena, but it doesn’t matter, ‘cause in Washington, I’m gonna write you some history. For you, John, and not a moment too soon… it’s SHOW…
As Cena turns on the ramp, scowling up at Ziggler, the Perfection Artiste flips him a thumbs down.
Cena turns and walks away. His mind is elsewhere.
Boos fill the arena as Ziggler’s music plays, but Vickie Guerrero is applauding. We get a camera angle from the ramp, showing Cena’s sourest face as Ziggler taunts him in the background.
John Cena as passionate as he’s ever been tonight, but there ya have it confirmed – Ziggler messed with the bull last Monday and now he’ll get the horns next Sunday!
Cena’s not focused, JR! He’s too busy thinking about his messed-up year to care about Dolph Ziggler, and that’s a recipe for disaster against the Show-Off!
When Cena hits the top of the ramp, he slowly swivels. In the ring, Ziggler’s running both hands through his hair, flicking water on the ground, so Cena just shakes his head… and walks backstage.
It’s gonna be another heated contest at Capitol Punishment, folks, but we’ve still got plenty to come here tonight, so don’t go away!
Raw fades away from Ziggler’s taunting of the crowd.
We’re back, and the bell rings…
*ONE TWO THREE*
A fair pop goes up from this Richmond crowd, with the Florida coastline lighting up the Tron and the stage, as the South Beach Party Boys arrive, made up of Darren Young and last week’s hero, Percy Watson. This time around, Watson’s in street clothes, with Young being the man in his ring gear to perform tonight. The bell chimes, so the pair exchange an elaborate high five and head for the ring, slapping hands.
The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by “Showtime” Percy Watson… from South Beach, Florida, weighing in at two hundred and thirty-nine pounds… DAAAAARREN – YOUNG!
Hot off the heels of one of the upsets of the year, the South Beach Party Boys are here in Richmond, folks, so welcome back to Raw, and let’s see who’ll win the rubber match.
I’m still rubbing my eyes to wake up from the dream where Percy Watson beat Mason Ryan last week, JR, but I’ll give the man his credit, he really pulled one out. Now tonight, his tag partner gotta do the business too, and I’d say it’s an even bigger task.
Even so, Byron, I won’t count out Darren Young. Hell, I wouldn’t count out you
after what we saw last week.
Don’t make jokes, JR, I’m lethal in that ring. Semi-retired for the health and well-being of champions everywhere.
Young and Watson finish greeting the fans, then head into the squared circle. Young does some last-minute stretches, while Watson, complete with his shades whilst not competing this week, fires up the crowd with his usual flamboyant antics. The pair meet in the corner and discuss some tactics as their music dies away…
And now boos, plenty of them, ring out for the arrival of The Convoy, Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan. As usual, both men are dressed for action, but it’s Sheffield who marches almost immediately down the ramp, while Ryan storms for the ring in his wake. The pair seem to be having a contest to see who can pull the angriest face; Sheffield looks like he could kill a man.
And his opponent, accompanied by Mason Ryan… from Las Vegas, Nevada, weighing in at two hundred and eighty-three pounds… SKIP – SHEFFIELD!
Last week, we saw The Convoy at one another’s throats following that loss, and this man Skip Sheffield promised to make the Party Boys ‘pay’ for what happened… he’s looking scarily like living up to his word, Byron.
Skip Sheffield’s a huge presence, JR. It’s no wonder CM Punk called on him to help him in his crusade – who exactly is supposed to stop this guy when he’s in form?
I asked the same of Mason Ryan last week though, Byron.
As CM Punk would say, setbacks happen, JR, but they make ya stronger. Skip Sheffield won’t underestimate Darren Young, but he’s also out to make his mark tonight. He has to prove to Punk that they’re still valuable soldiers.
Sheffield makes quick time to the ring; unlike the Party Boys, only one member of the Convoy enters the ring, with Ryan pacing around on the outside. Purely because of last week’s mishap, there is tension between the Welshman and his equally-huge partner, while the Party Boys look totally in sync. Young receives a last minute pep talk from Showtime, who then high fives him and leaves the ring. Our referee is Jack Doan, who checks both men for discrepancies and gets us underway…
Match One – Singles Contest
Darren Young w/ Percy Watson vs. Skip Sheffield w/ Mason Ryan
Like last week, it’s the bigger man who takes control before too long, despite Young having the better of it in the early going. The Party Boy is buoyed by Watson’s victory last week, but that knowledge just makes Sheffield more aggressive, as we can see as we jump into the action. Skip has Young down, throwing in a couple stomps before he hauls him up by the hair and chucks him into the corner. He follows up with a THUMPING clothesline in the corner, mashing Young against the buckles! The crowd groans, but Sheffield isn’t done, sending Darren into the ropes and flattening him with a Shoulder Block. Sheffield follows up with a series of stomps to the back of Young’s head, continuing to wear him down. Watson’s looking worried on the outside, while Ryan just looks blank – this is exactly how well he was doing last week.
Bringing Young up to his knees, Sheffield bludgeons him with a couple of cross-the-face forearms. He then slaps him back roughly to the floor, and heads to the ropes… for a Running Splash, squashing Young into the deck! Sheffield makes a rough cover, snorting… one… two… but Young kicks out! A cheer goes up, but Skip is unfazed, grabbing Young by the hair and lumping him into the corner. His massive strength is plain to see here, as he drives some huge shoulder thrusts right into Young’s gut, again and again, grunting with every shot he delivers! Young’s looking in particularly bad shape here, so Sheffield leaves him to suffer as he turns and paces the ring. He smacks his palm against that bald head, firing himself up… then goes for the BIG BOOT – NO! Young dives out the way, so Sheffield hangs himself up on the top rope!
At ringside, Percy Watson is trying to liven up the crowd – Young’s collapsed to the floor, but he’s looking for the ropes, and he has the fans on his side! Sheffield’s wincing as he detaches himself from that rope, and now Young’s heaving himself up to meet him… Young peppers him with right hands, trying to build some momentum, then hits the ropes. Sheffield throws a big clothesline, but Young ducks it and hits the other side… then takes out Sheffield’s knee with a Low-Angle Dropkick! That floors Sheffield, giving Young some time to clear his head as he gets up… he shakes out the cobwebs and turns to meet a rising Skip – so he turns him and NAILS a Neckbreaker to take them both down again! The crowd cheers and Watson claps his hands with typical delight… but Young’s down, still selling Sheffield’s earlier stretch of dominance, until finally he can force the big man’s shoulders to the canvas… one… two… kickout by Sheffield!
Sheffield shoves Young off from the cover, so now both men struggle to their feet. Skip throws the first shot but Young ducks it, booting Sheffield in the knee and then the gut. The big man brushes them aside, however, and shoves Young to the ropes – he comes back with a clothesline, but Sheffield’s a towering figure and won’t fall. Young tries again, hitting the ropes – MEAT HOOK CLOTHESLINE FROM SHEFFIELD – NO! Young darts in behind, getting the Full Nelson to attempt THE HEAT WAAAAVE… BUT SHEFFIELD TOSSES HIM OVERHEAD! A groan goes up from the crowd as Young goes tumbling, but he scrambles back to his feet… right into Sheffield’s clutches, then he’s thrown into the corner! Skip takes aim, then charges – INTO THE BUCKLES AS YOUNG DARTS AWAY… AND NOW HE ROLLS SHEFFIELD UP, EXACTLY LIKE WATSON LAST WEEK… one… two… THR-NO!
The crowd thought that was it! Sheffield is on his knees, eyes wide as he came so close to doing exactly what he chewed Mason Ryan out for… and on the outside, the Welshman watches with an unmistakable look of disapproval. Young can’t believe it either, but he’s now getting up behind Sheffield – so he moves in, leaping instinctively and applying the Sleeper Hold to try to bring down the big man! The crowd believes a second huge result in as many weeks could be on the cards, cheering as Sheffield falls to a knee, while Watson drives up the fan support on the outside! Showtime’s dancing about, while Skip Sheffield conversely seems to be losing energy! Jack Doan’s asking the question of Sheffield, who’s in no condition to answer… “Are we witnessin’ the collapse of The Convoy right here, right now?” cries JR as dramatically as he can! Sheffield reaches up lethargically, grabbing Young by the hair – to press his head into his shoulder? Young’s still got the hold cinched in, but now his face is being forced into Sheffield’s collarbone, and the big man is rising – TO DELIVER THE BACKPACK STUNNER OUT OF NOWHERE!!! WHAT A COUNTER!!!
“Where’s your faith, JR?” asks Byron Saxton at ringside, as both men fall, but the man coming worse – WAY worse – is Darren Young! Sheffield shakes out the effects of the Sleeper and stands, wobbling momentarily, before heading into the corner. Ryan no longer looks bored or disapproving, while Watson’s joy has evaporated, as Sheffield now prepares for the Meat Hook. He stretches out his right arm, rotating it to hype up the big hit… as Young (somehow) struggles to his feet – AND EATS THE MEAT HOOK CLOTHESLINE, FLATTENING HIM!
Well this is over. Sheffield stands again, roaring out to a deflated arena, and receives some heat for his efforts. He’s got adrenaline and a whole lot of rage running through him, so he takes a moment to pace the ring, knowing this is done, but still wanting to send a message. Skip glances briefly at Ryan, then grabs Young by the hair to haul him up again. For anyone else, Young’s dead weight might have been a problem, but not so for Sheffield, who yanks him up and lifts him on to his shoulders as you’d expect. Ignoring the boos, Sheffield marches around the ring, adding the unnecessary after-touch to this display… BEFORE NAILING YOUNG WITH SHELL SHOCK! That flattens Young and the crowd yet again, with the Convoy man staying undefeated by hooking a leg… one… two… three.
Result: Skip Sheffield bts. Darren Young via pinfall at 5:59
Here is your winner… Skip – Sheffield!
Boos are Skip Sheffield’s prize as he has his arm raised… and he, inevitably, pulls it away immediately. He tells Jack Doan to take a walk, and though the referee would quite like to check on Darren Young, he doesn’t protest when Sheffield presses the issue. Doan makes his exit, so Sheffield heads for the turnbuckles to roar out at the crowd.
Skip Sheffield said he’d get The Convoy back on track tonight, and that he did. Darren Young fought bravely –
Said it once, I’ll say it again, JR; the Party Boys are good, but they’re just not good enough against The Convoy. Power of faith right there.
I think Sheffield’s power comes from generations of selective breeding, Byron, but even so, tonight he was impressive. Mason Ryan take note.
Speak of the man, Ryan is now in the ring to congratulate his partner – he does this merely with a pat on the arm, but Sheffield understands and nods. Across the ring, Percy Watson checks on the eventually-massacred Darren Young… but when Ryan takes a step towards him, Showtime’s quickly to his feet to protest. Hands in the air, he shakes his head – “We ain’t gotta do this, man.”
Oh, what now?
With Sheffield at his elbow, Ryan looks more dangerous than ever, but Watson steps over Young, showing no signs of backing down and abandoning his partner. He still has his hands in the air, but when The Convoy don’t leave, he ditches his lens-less shades. Those are chucked from the ring, as Watson warns the pair to stay away… but when Ryan moves in, WATSON LAUNCHES FORWARD AND FIRES AT HIM WITH RIGHT HANDS!
Here we go again, baby!
The crowd cheers loudly as Watson takes on Ryan, but the bigger Welshman pounds him with harder blows in response, and then Sheffield joins in! The cheers turn to boos as Watson’s situation turns sour, with both members of The Convoy beating Showtime into the dust. Once he’s subdued, Ryan drags him to the centre of the ring, strapping an arm across his chest. Boos surround Ryan as he lines it up… but he won’t be dissuaded – FROM ADDING THE POINTS AFTER BY HITTING THE HOUSE OF PAIN ON WATSON!!!
Talk about your sore losers! Ryan couldn’t let last week go?
You kidding me, JR? Mason’s showing that The Convoy are no pushovers! Last week was a fluke! And did ya see Watson tryna jump
Ryan there? He could have seriously hurt somebody!
There’s no talkin’ to you sometimes.
The Convoy stand above their victims to a chorus of boos; Sheffield slaps Ryan on the chest to tell him that their problems are behind them, and now they both raise their arms. Ryan cracks the smallest of grins, while Sheffield just nods to the beat of their music.
We cut away from them, and now we’re in the office of Raw General Manager, Jerry Lawler. King stands to the side, away from Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, who are involved in some kind of argument as we tune in. A pop goes up for the sight of them.
-and it’s not your
decision, gawd DAMMIT!
Vince FLINGS a nearby water bottle against the wall. The crowd groans; everyone’s trying to talk at once here –
Daddy, just listen–
I’ll fight who I want! I’m the Chairman of the Board, I’ll fight who I want!
Vince, think for just a sec–
And nobody embarrasses VINCENT – KENNEDY – MCMAHON!
Silence after that outburst. Red in the face, Vince eyeballs his heirs.
I didn’t inherit this company to let some PUNK run it into the ground. I didn’t come all this way to let it go to hell.
He shakes his head.
I’m stepping up… I’m facing Punk – TONIGHT.
A HUGE cheer greets that in the arena, but Triple H puts a hand on Vince’s chest.
No Vince, you’re not. I’m not letting that maniac near you.
Hunter, you’ve made it very clear you don’t wanna run things around here, so don’t… (shoving the hand away)
tell me what to do.
Silence again. Vince and the Game go into staredown mode.
Stephanie steps in between them.
We can’t let this happen. We can’t let him get into our heads.
The staredown continues.
Don’t be an idiot, Vince. Don’t give him what he wants.
I’ll do it.
Lawler, standing awkwardly to their right, is stony faced.
I’ll face CM Punk tonight. He… he wants a match, that’s fine. But Hunter, you’ve got enough on your plate, you’re going face-to-face with the WWE Champion later. You need to focus. Punk… Punk’s always had a problem with me and he wants to send a message… he won’t turn down this chance.
Vince stares at the GM with cold detachment. King shrugs.
Honestly? If anyone doubted my commitment to this company, now they’ll think twice.
Again, the room is quiet. Steph and Triple H exchange a look. Vince stares at Lawler, but just as he goes to speak again –
There’s no way –
Just let… the man… fight!
The camera pans sideways – and standing there all this time has been THE ROCK, who gets a MASSIVE cheer from the arena! The Great One whips off his shades.
Vince, listen to your daughter. Listen to your son-in-law. Listen to the MILLIONS –
“AND MILLIONS!” cries the arena.
- of The Rock’s fans, and listen to The Rock. You think you brought The Rock in just so you could hog the best part? You think The Rock’s gonna let you lay the smackdown on CM Punk two weeks before he gets to do it himself?
Clearly attempting to save Vince’s bruised ego, Rocky points at the Chairman. Vince looks displeased, but he looks away.
Nah, nah. You do what you do best, that’s steady the ship. Triple H, later tonight you’re gonna do what you do best, that’s teach The Miz that he’s a dumb-luck, too-slow jabroni. And King? You wanna prove a point, The Rock says you do that.
Vince looks at Rocky, then his daughter, then Triple H, then finally… to Lawler. He looks defeated.
He walks out the door – a series of security guards are his escort as soon as he’s out into the corridor. Back in the GM’s office, looks are exchanged all around. Clearly Vince isn’t in the best place after last week, and the silence continues… into a 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.
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.
I hereby sentence you…
The man does not struggle against his chains.
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.
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.
WWE – Capitol Punishment.
WWE CAPITOL PUNISHMENT
19TH JUNE 2011 | VERIZON CENTER | WASHINGTON D.C.
We’re backstage on our return, but only briefly… as we see Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan walking down the corridors like last week. This time, however, they both seem pleased with their work, walking without arguing and with an undeniable confidence in their walk. They’re muttering under their breaths to one another…
…but they stop as CM PUNK appears in the shot. The Second City Saint gets hugely abused by the arena crowd, but it doesn’t affect him; he just smirks, and touches each man across the forehead, almost like a blessing. Both members of The Convoy nod.
Faith, gentlemen. You answered the call.
Smirks all round.
Punk leaves the shot, and just like last week, Ryan follows him. Sheffield pauses a moment, though, looking around this fairly empty backstage corridor. Finding nothing, he walks away, leaving us with just an empty shot… until a large, dark silhouette appears in the distance.
…it’s back to the arena, with Trent Barreta bouncing around in the ring. The bell chimes.
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Mount Sinai, New York, weighing in at two hundred and fifteen pounds… TRENT – BARRETA!
Welcome back to a heated episode of Monday Night Raw, folks; it’s been confirmed that in our main event, it’ll be our General Manager, Jerry “The King” Lawler, putting the tights back on to take on the upstart CM Punk.
It’s all happening tonight, JR! Lawler’s stepping up to face Punk instead of Mister McMahon – he’s just tryna get in the Chairman’s good books so he doesn’t get fired next weekend!
Well, regardless of King’s motivations, he’s got a big task ahead of him, especially because the Chairman wanted a fight tonight, and now both King and Punk have something to prove. In the meantime, it’ll be Trent Barreta set for action here, and he’s a promising talent…
Barreta’s music dies down, but it doesn’t stop him trying to fire up the crowd with a raised arm.
*AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE*
The stage turns into a psychedelic rainbow, and for once in a long while, this music is greeted by fairly decent boos from the crowd. John Morrison swaggers out in his fur coat and his big shades, keeping a straight face as he pulls off the slow-mo pose.
And his opponent… from Los Angeles, California, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… JOOOOHN – MORRISON!
Now last week, Byron, this man John Morrison showed his true colours when he came out and berated young Ted DiBiase –
Kicked his teeth right down his throat, JR.
Well, I was getting to that. DiBiase’s goin’ through a transition period since his father cut off his trust fund, but last week we saw him turn a corner, a change in attitude if you will –
Oh it’s all PR
, man. You’re not telling me you actually
think Ted DiBiase wants to please the paying fans? He’s probably just waiting for a chance to steal a win over a respectable guy like John Morrison here.
As JR sighs, Morrison heads down the ramp; he peers over his shades momentarily at Barreta, then chuckles and trots up the steps. Referee John Cone waits for Morrison to tour a couple of turnbuckles, both times soaking in the heat from the crowd with his typical one-armed pose, then takes the shades and coat to hand outside. Morrison and Barreta are bouncing on the balls of their feet, both ready to showcase their high-octane offence… we’re underway.
Match Two – Singles Contest
Trent Barreta vs. John Morrison
Barreta opens this match like a house on fire, getting the crowd excited with some big kicks and using his agility to keep away from Morrison’s. He lays in a few Dropkicks, showing off his own talent and maybe suggesting that Morrison underestimated him, but soon afterwards the Shaman of Sexy catches him with a hard elbow and turns it around. Morrison then takes his opportunity to work some offence, but the key difference from recent performances is how he takes his time, making sure that the audience knows he can dominate Barreta. He unleashes a series of sharp kicks to wear Barreta down, as well as a couple of nearfalls after moves like the Russian Legsweep.
However, Trent being the promising talent he is, he won’t stay down, kicking out from a Morrison Crossbody and fighting back into the contest. From here it’s more back-and-forth, with both men showcasing some impressive aerial moves as they try to best the other, but even in the dying throes of the match, the most fast-paced moments, Morrison always finds a way to gloat. At one point, he stands above a floored Barreta and throws up his usual pose, but suddenly gets rolled up by Barreta for a narrow two count. After that, Barreta goes up top, looking to end it spectacularly, but as he flies off – he gets CRACKED in the face by a Superkick! Morrison gets up and stands above Barreta’s unmoving body yet again after that, this time more confident in the grin he throws to the hard camera… then falls into the cover and takes the three.
Result: John Morrison bts. Trent Barreta via pinfall at 7:38
*AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE*
Here is your winner… JOHN – MORRISON!
Morrison rises to the sound of heat, but it’s clear he doesn’t care. He immediately throws up his pose, grinning his face off as he stands above Barreta… then toes the youngster from the ring and demands something from ringside. One of those things is his jacket, which he throws on, and the same can be said of his shades.
Clinical performance from John Morrison there, Byron, but you’ll notice he’s far less concerned with his opponent’s welfare than I remember…
Ted DiBiase changed his attitude, JR! The Monday Night Delight realised last week that other people just hold ya back, and John Morrison’s best friend is John Morrison!
To tell you the truth, Byron, it’s not Ted DiBiase’s fault if Morrison’s a questionable human being.
The other thing Morrison receives is a mic from ringside…
Cut that music…
The tune fades out, giving way to more boos. Morrison points out of the ring, to Barreta’s attempts at recovery on the outside floor.
Now THAT… is a loser.
Heat for that. Barreta’s too busy holding his jaw to respond.
I’d like to thank Ted DiBiase for opening my eyes last week. Ted, you made me see life under a different perspective. You made me realise that there’s no point going through life… sucking
, like you do.
More boos. Morrison shrugs it off, his old 2008 smarmy voice returning here.
I was treading water, but all I was really doing was – and I’m gonna coin this as a phrase right here – pulling a DiBiase.
A chuckle from the Shaman of Sexy as the crowd boos even louder for that.
Now, my career’s headed in a different direction. While you crash and burn, Ted, tonight the Guru of Greatness, the Shaman of Sexy, the Monday – Night – Delight… is on the up and up. And I gotta thank you for that.
Morrison paces the ring, flashing an irritating smile at the crowd.
Maybe someday, you’ll get a little closer to where I am. That means mentally, but also… physically. And in every other department.
Boos as Morrison gestures to his abs.
You might learn at some point that it doesn’t matter what these people think of you, and it doesn’t matter what you
think of yourself… a loser is still a loser.
More heat, Morrison now leisurely running a hand through his hair.
And like John Morrison, it’s so much better – to be a winner.
Spreading an arm out wide, Morrison welcomes the heat, grinning once again…
*I COME FROM MONEY*
But now a good pop goes up… and Ted DiBiase walks out purposefully on to the stage! Morrison’s wide smile fades away as DiBiase paces into view, holding a mic in his hands. He’s wearing the same faded shirt he wore last week, and the same grim expression. He hasn’t shaved.
Well thank God for that. Ted DiBiase may be winless but at least he knows when the audience has heard enough.
Are you kidding, JR? Look at this guy, he looks like he just rolled outta bed! Or whatever cardboard box he’s living in now…
Say what you like about his finances, Byron, but there’s no shaking DiBiase’s mindset now. He’s in it to look himself in the mirror again, and I think that’s somewhere we’ve all been in the past. More power to him.
Saxton snorts at that, but DiBiase’s music fades away, and, remaining on the stage, he raises the mic.
‘Pulling a DiBiase’… a few decades ago that meant something else.
A weary smile from the Unfortunate Son.
Back when my dad was around, ‘pulling a DiBiase’ meant being the best. And I don’t care if he’s left me out in the cold now… it doesn’t change the fact he’s still a great man.
In the ring, Morrison’s right hand feigns a mouth flapping. He’s already bored.
DiBiase turns to the nearest camera and stares down the barrel.
So Dad, ‘cause I know you’re watching to see if I do something stupid, or I lose again… I just want you to know – thank you.
Some whistles in the crowd. DiBiase holds his stare for a moment, then turns to face the ring again.
But John, you really are something else. ‘Cause when I was at my lowest, when I was just ready to turn my career around, you came and ruined it. You’re exactly why I’m the Unfortunate Son – I can’t catch a break. So it’s time to start makin’ my own luck.
A few cheers, as Morrison casually leans against the ramp-side ropes.
A few weeks ago, I found out what it’s like to be beaten so badly you think you’ll never come back from it, but I’m standing here. Last week, after that Superkick, I didn’t think I’d have the heart to come back from that… but I’m standing here.
He stops as the crowd cheers, applauds, chants. The fans are really beginning to get behind him.
John, you’re not half as special as you think you are. And I want to prove that… because as little as you might think of me, and as little as I think of myself right now… it’d still kill you
if I beat you.
Another decent pop there. Morrison holds up a hand.
Hold up there, Ted. Chill that thought.
Boos from the crowd.
Taking me on… again
… and losing – again
– would be the worst decision you could make. That’s career suicide.
Again, heat. DiBiase shakes his head.
You gotta move on, man. Because if you don’t… I’ll Superkick you so hard, all the money in Daddy’s account won’t be able to put your chin back together.
Ooooooh. DiBiase seems unfazed, but the crowd still groans. Morrison smirks at his own threat.
You don’t get it yet, John, but this isn’t about winning. This is about pride. One of us has too much… one of us doesn’t have enough. But that’s gonna change soon.
Morrison adjusts his shades nonchalantly.
While you were having your match, I was in the General Manager’s office. It’s all a little crazy in there, ‘cause it’s packed, and the GM’s preparing for his big match tonight… but I still got five minutes to talk to him.
And just like that, Morrison whips off his shades and frowns.
At Capitol Punishment, man, it’s John Morrison – versus Ted DiBiase.
A good cheer goes up, but Morrison looks understandably pissed. “Which clown thinks WE’RE still on the same level?” we just hear off-mic.
And like I told you, this is about pride. So John, if I can’t beat you at Capitol Punishment… I don’t wanna be around for the fallout. If I lose… THEN I QUIT.
“OHHH!” cries the crowd, and suddenly Morrison’s eyes light up. He shakes his head – DiBiase must be insane. DiBiase drops the mic and spreads his arms out wide, though, clearly confident… but Morrison just keeps grinning, letting his shades fall back on to his face.
*I COME FROM MONEY*
W-what is Ted DiBiase thinking? If he loses in Washington, he quits the WWE – the man hasn’t won a match in five months!
What happened to it not being about winning, huh? I told you, JR, this DiBiase guy’s a total hypocrite!
Folks, Capitol Punishment continues to get bigger and bigger – Ted DiBiase’s future will apparently be on the line, because if he can’t prove John Morrison wrong, he’s outta here… what has that man just done?
DiBiase and Morrison continue their staredown; the crowd is definitely on the side of the former, chanting his name just audible above the music… but Morrison looks like he’s anticipating the easiest pay-check of his life, and just grins all the way.
I… this is unbelievable, ladies and gentlemen, but still to come – the WWE Champion, The Miz, has some words for his new number contender, a man we’ve already seen in the Game, Triple H… they’ll come face-to-face later tonight, and it’s gonna be heated as hell! You don’t wanna miss out!
The DiBiase-Morrison staring continues… into a break.
We’re back, but not on the arena floor –
Welcome back to Raw, folks, we’re in Richmond, and… oh god.
No, we’re in the arena corridors, the lobby if you will… we’ve been here a couple of times in the thread, but never this loud… because some idiot gave Michael Cole a clipboard and time to speak. Alongside him is Jack Swagger, arms folded and evidently bored, as Cole bounces around the place…
-and frankly, ladies and gentlemen, you deserve better than Jerry Lawler!
Cole is surrounded by fans, many of whom are waving into the camera. Swagger is the only stoic face among dozens. Someone takes the clipboard away from Cole and signs it…
Yeah, yeah! Let’s see some signatures, people! Today is your chance to take back Monday Night Raw for YOU, the fans!
The clipboard continues to be passed around, some people simply passing it to the next person.
I want as many of you as possible to tell the brass what YOU think! This will be sent to the Board of Directors, and they will KNOW that Jerry Lawler is not good enough as a General Manager! Next weekend, when it comes to his Performance Review – enter that petition as evidence that we deserve better!
In the arena, there’s a few boos for Cole’s antics. As Cole bounds around the lobby, it should be noted that only a few random people are actually signing the petition…
Thank you, thank you! Now, my associate and I, the Phenomenal Athlete Jack Swagger, have only been back on Raw for a couple of weeks, and already we’ve been forgotten about! Well, we won’t be shoved to the back of the line, and neither should you!
Swagger looks like he doesn’t really agree, but instead he just ‘harrumph’s and keeps his arms folded.
Sure, we’ve heard plenty about Lawler taking on CM Punk tonight – hey look, I’m not gonna say somebody doesn’t have to stop that psycho, but if the Chairman wants to fight, you let the Chairman fight! Let’s not forget about Lawler’s crimes just ‘cause he’s putting himself in the firing line instead! Am I right? Huh?
No-one seems to be on the same page, apart from a couple of random people. Cole straightens his tie.
Folks, this is about justice for Jerry Lawler’s poor management, and I urge you to help me, thus helping the Board of Directors, in pursuit of that justice. It’s dark days for this show and this company’s management, but you CAN make a difference, ladies and gentlemen! Down with Lawler! Down with Lawler! C’mon!
Again, the clipboard gets passed around the various people trying to get on camera, and as Cole’s campaigning goes on, we cut back to ringside…
A load of Hollywood hogwash for you there, folks… Michael Cole may think he’s doin’ things for the good of Monday Night Raw, but somehow I doubt he knows what’s best for business.
Let’s not be too harsh on the guy, JR! Maybe he’s on to something! Who doesn’t want what’s best for the WWE, anyway?
Anyone who’s willing to face CM Punk so the Chairman of the Board doesn’t throw himself headfirst into danger is a man I’d like to see in charge, Byron.
I’d like to see him manage this show after what Punk’s gonna do to him!
You’re a sick man.
The bell rings.
A decent cheer rings in Richmond as Beth Phoenix makes her way out, raising the usual pose. She smiles at the reaction, then begins to head for the ring.
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from Buffalo, New York… the Glamazon, BETH – PHOENIX!
Well, to take discussion away from the complicated state of affairs at the head of WWE politics… Byron, last week Beth Phoenix returned to Raw with a bang.
No doubt about it, JR, the Glamazon was dominant last Monday night. She’s always capable of big performances, but last week she kinda beat both Bella Twins, and then dealt with the Diva’s Champion right after! I told you, she’s MEAN.
As you say, Byron, no-one can seem to stop Beth right now, and should she win tonight, her march towards a title match would surely continue…
Phoenix poses on the turnbuckles as usual, then backflips into the ring and paces it. She nods at Justin “The Pimp” King, our referee, then turns to wait for her opponent.
*SHAKE YO TAIL*
There’s very little in the way of a reaction as Alicia Fox swaggers into view. She seems blindly confident, arms wide as she walks down the ramp, while Phoenix watches her and waits patiently.
And her opponent… from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida… ALICIA – FOX!
The woman looking to stop Phoenix’s roll in 2011 is Alicia Fox, who we all know wants her own shot at the Diva’s Title… Byron, things are really heating up across all fronts here on Raw, but Melina remains the champion despite that.
And with good reason, JR. Ever since she won the title, the Hollywood Diva’s been running the show in the Diva’s division, and until Beth Phoenix came to Raw, no-one could match her. Personally, I think Melina’s got what it takes if they went head-to-head, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t pay big money to watch it.
A sparkling recommendation from you there, Byron.
Gals like Phoenix and Melina don’t need me to say their pieces for ‘em, JR.
Alicia steps into the ring and dances briefly to her music. She still seems confident, while Phoenix just paces her corner… and once the music has died out, Justin King checks everything’s legal and calls for the bell.
Match Three – Singles Contest
Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox
This one is hardly competitive, although possibly more so than Phoenix’s destruction of both Bella Twins last week. Fox tries various tactics, including scrappily grabbing at Beth’s hair in the early moments and even trying to bust out some of her ‘bigger’ moves, but when she tries a Neckbreaker, Phoenix easily reverses out of it and floors her with a big clothesline. With Fox’s hopes becoming slimmer and slimmer, the Glamazon takes her chance to do what she did last week, and use this to make her case for a Diva’s Title Match. This begins with her showing off her strength with a Military Press Hold (and subsequent Drop), then a Fisherman Suplex, but only for a two count. Beth tries to lift Fox back up, but she comes back with a big slap, then tries to launch a comeback, bouncing into the ropes and attempting a Scissors Kick – but Phoenix dodges it, then puts Alicia on her back again with another HUGE CLOTHESLINE! That rattles Fox to the point that she’s unable to fight back, meaning Phoenix can peel her from the canvas… AND NAIL THE GLAM SLAM! The crowd cheers as you’d expect, firmly behind her as the next contender, and now Phoenix puts the lifeless Fox on her back… for the three count.
Result: Beth Phoenix bts. Alicia Fox via pinfall at 3:35
Here is your winner… the Glamazon… BETH – PHOENIX!
Phoenix rises and has her hand raised by the referee; that was relatively simple for her, as her confident smile will tell you. As King leaves, Phoenix goes to thank the fans, doing a routine tour of the turnbuckles and raising her pose at each one.
This purple patch – well, the entire year has been purple for this woman – continues for Beth Phoenix, and if she has to defeat all the women on Raw to get a title shot, don’t think she won’t, folks.
May not take that much, JR. The question is: if she gets that chance, can she overthrow the queen on Raw? I’m just not sure yet!
As Phoenix continues her celebrations, we cut backstage…
…to see the Diva’s Champion, Melina, watching this all unfold on a TV screen. With her title over her shoulder, the Hollywood Diva ignores the semblance of heat she gets from the arena, and keeps her focus firmly on the Glamazon. Her expression is one of pure annoyance, face scrunched up, and all because tonight she’s taking the smart decision.
And there you see, as Byron would put it, ‘the queen’ indeed, but notice tonight she’s staying put. Melina won’t be trying any sneak tactics this evening, not after what happened last week – has the Glamazon got inside her head?
Melina, after a few seconds more of watching Phoenix, huffs and puffs and storms out of the shot. We cut elsewhere…
…to see Scott Stanford with a mic.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I’m Scott Stanford, and with me tonight is my guest… the United States Champion, Tyler Black.
A pretty good cheer can be heard as indeed, the United States Champion, Tyler Black arrives into the shot with his title on his shoulder. He’s wearing a nondescript black tee.
Now Tyler, you’ve had a good couple of weeks, of course winning your title at Over The Limit and winning several times since then… how are you finding life as a champion?
Black tilts his head a little as the mic goes his way.
Pretty good, Scott, but I haven’t really had a chance to talk since Over The Limit, so if it’s okay with you I’m just gonna let loose.
A shrug from Stanford is all Black needs.
Well first, lemme talk about what got me here. And that’s my code.
Black sweeps that long hair out of his eyes.
When I signed my contract, I made a promise to myself that I’d fight with honour. I came here for competition and once I’d got over my opening charade, I got to realise that. Every match I’ve had so far – it’s been a thrill. It’s been a helluva ride and it’s not gonna end for a long time, not if I can do anything about it.
A small pop from the arena.
‘Cause I worked so hard to get here. Every thought I ever had was about coming to the WWE – I mean, Jesus, you’ve all heard this before.
He chuckles and looks sideways.
No, I won’t force my life story on you. But what I will say… is that I’m here to be a fighting champion. I can’t be Sheamus, ‘cause he’s the man I threw down. I don’t attack people from behind, I don’t fight past the bell, and if you want a match and you deserve
it… then I’m right here, I’m Tyler Black, let’s DO it.
Cheers for the pumped-up champion.
Honestly, if I can’t be a good champ, then there was no point winning it at all. So I’ll take on all comers, yeah. Hell, I’ll take on the janitor if he can pull off a decent Armbar.
A couple of laughs from the crowd. Black’s hair has already fallen back across his face a little.
Over The Limit’s in my rear view, Scott. In the future… well, I don’t have a clue yet. But my code got me this far. So… Curt Hawkins.
Some boos for the Rule-Breaker. Black turns to the camera and sweeps his hair away again.
Curt, I beat you last week by the skin of my teeth, and man, I actually enjoyed myself. You pushed me to the wire. But you didn’t want my respect… and that’s not okay with me. When you lose, you should lose with grace.
Black shakes his head.
So here’s my deal for you, if you wanna try it. Next week, I’ll put this title on the line against you, and we’ll do it all again, stakes raised.
Whistles and groans in the crowd. Even Stanford seems taken aback.
Yeah, you heard right, you try me again. I’ll give you a chance to back up all the talking you did last week… but you lose, you have to shake my hand like a man.
Again, a small pop for Black adhering to his code.
I may not have proved myself as a champ just yet, but I won’t stop ‘til I do. And next week, Hawkins, if you’ve got the stomach for it – you’ll see just what happens when guys like you, and guys like Sheamus – enter the world of BLACK.
Ending with his semi-signature line, Black slaps his title and walks out. Stanford thanks him for his time, and we head into a break.
We’re back, now at the announce desk a few minutes into the second hour.
Welcome back, one and all, this is Monday Night Raw, and what a show it’s been so far… we heard just before commercial that Tyler Black will put his title
on the line next week against young Curt Hawkins, if the so-called ‘Rule-Breaker’ will shake his hand should he lose.
Tyler Black’s tryna prove that he’s a fighting champion alright, JR, but it’s also a pretty dangerous move – I’ve seen championships lost for less. A lot less.
We could have a new United States Champion as soon as next Monday night, that’s for sure, but given what I’ve seen from Black so far, I wouldn’t count him out. And speaking of champions…
A graphic hyping Triple H versus The Miz at Capitol Punishment swings into view.
Folks, this one’s huge. After Triple H beat John Cena in questionable circumstances last week, he’ll head into Washington to face the biggest ego in the company – that’s the WWE Champion, The Miz.
‘Biggest ego’ is subjective, JR, let’s not get judgemental here. Nah, The Miz is top of the pile because he deserves it
, plain and simple – he says he’s the most must-see champ of all time, I’m inclined to agree.
Certainly the man has been the headline act on Raw for a while now, since November in fact, but many of his title defences have been suspect, and in Triple H next weekend he faces one of his biggest challenges yet.
Eyes to the stage…
*I CAME TO PLAY*
As the second hour kicks off properly, it’s the WWE Champion, The Miz, who steps out in his ring gear. The Awesome One takes the classic belt from his shoulder and raises it high, enjoying the large negative reaction he receives from the crowd. Once he’s taunted them enough, he throws it back into place and starts to walk down the ramp.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome… the WWE Champion – THE MIIIIIIIIZ!
And y’know, The Miz sat at ringside last week and told us that it didn’t matter who won the right to face him – Byron, this is a man whose confidence is sky high.
When is The Miz’s confidence NOT sky high, JR? And rightly so, he’s the longest reigning champ in the company, he’s THE champ, and honestly, I don’t even think the Game can stop him! Do you see any distractions for this man right here?
Certainly less than Triple H has, granted, but I feel it factors into it; surely The Miz must have one eye on the CM Punk situation, because it goes to the root of this entire company, the company that, rest my soul, Miz is on top of.
You’re not wrong, JR, but The Miz has dealt with pressure before, let’s not forget. He’s a professional. And honestly, so what if Punk wants to change the system? It doesn’t change that The Miz has consistently been the best competitor around this year. At the end of the day, this is still HIS show.
Though JR would dispute that, by now The Miz has done his preparations. He raises his title from the turnbuckle by the steps, then steps inside the ring and collects his mic (complete with upside-down ‘W’). His music fades away, giving way to chants of “YOU SUCK!” from the crowd, but he just pouts at them and waits.
“TIME TO PLAY THE GAME…”
It’s one of the pops of the evening, a HUGE one as you’d expect, as the arena plunges into red and green… and here comes TRIPLE H to another big ovation! Dressed in his ring gear and a merch tee as he was earlier, the Game smoulders with his hair tied back and storms down the ramp. The Miz’s smirk has gone, just watching the Cerebral Assassin now as he marches towards him.
And please welcome… THE GAAAAAME – TRIIIPLE ‘AAAAAIIIIITCH
And now, we know Jerry “The King” Lawler put this face-to-face session together to let these two men say their piece… but we were under the impression that King himself would be out here to play intermediary, and he’s a bit busy preparing for Punk.
Y’know, I could do it, JR!
Keep your seat, I don’t think the paying fans deserve that. No, I’m sayin’ that we know The Miz likes to antagonise, and we know that Hunter’s got a lotta business to deal with at the moment…
Hey, if we get a preview of Capitol Punishment, JR, I’m not complaining! Ten dollars on Miz!
Triple H makes quick time, heading up the steps without the usual water routine, but taking a moment to look out at the crowd before he swings inside. He does the usual pose from the turnbuckles, while The Miz watches him with no hint of intimidation, and once he’s stepped down he receives a mic of his own.
The Game paces the ring under the flashing lights, already visibly angry because of how distracting his night has been, but nevertheless, the crowd support is incredible when the music dies out. The “TRIPLE H!” chants BOOM through the Coliseum, not that the King of Kings will take his eyes off The Miz for a second to acknowledge them. Finally, it’s the champion who raises the mic first, his morose tone cutting through the chants…
Well, well, well.
That tone, as expected, attracts heat like flies on manure.
Hunter, I may think very little of Jerry Lawler… but I’m glad he put this together. I think you and I needed to talk face-to-face, if only so I could try and pick that brain of yours.
Triple H just stares and stares, icy cold.
We all know that last week… when McMahon came back and did what he always does, try to flaunt authority…
He pauses, trying to see if he got a rise out of the Game, but failing, he continues.
…when he came back, he offered you a choice. It’s public knowledge. In fact, this has been going on for a while. You could either keep trying to get at me, and my title, and scratch and claw and shout… until people forgot about your loss to the Undertaker…
Immediate groans and boos there. This time, there’s a twitch of Triple H’s eyebrow, but still not what Miz was looking for.
You could do that, or… you could run on back to Titan Towers and be the Chairman’s new protégé. You chose to keep fighting.
Miz turns his head momentarily as the crowd cheers.
I’m here to tell you… what a grave error you made.
And now the boos roll in. The Miz waits for a moment, but Triple H continues to stare him down.
Hunter, you were offered what many of my opponents in the past weren’t
. You were offered a way out – and you turned it down. That was a mistake.
Now? Now you’re in a corner. You could have gone back to Stamford and been a family man, you could have tied on an apron and helped your wife cook on Sundays, you could have cut your hair and sat at a desk… but you didn’t. Why?
The Miz tilts his head, inviting a response. Again though, no dice from Hunter.
That’s right, you can’t let go of the past. You don’t want to forget the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, you can’t imagine a world without Royal Rumbles and Wrestlemanias. You can’t imagine a life without competing for this, this right here.
With that, Miz lifts the WWE Title up – Triple H’s eyes follow it.
But like I said… you made a mistake. Because if you’d gone home and sat in an office, you would have been safe. That Hall of Fame ring would have been locked down. Now… now you’ve signed a match contract and you’re pencilled in for a humiliation in under two weeks’ time.
Some heavy boos as The Miz returns the belt to his shoulder.
And what if, after you can’t get it done… what if then, once you walk back to Stamford with your tail between your legs and your father-in-law leads you inside… what if no-one takes you seriously anymore? What if you’re no longer… ‘The Game’, huh?
Triple H blinks and exhales heavily, but still no response. The mic remains by his side.
Your entire career will mean nothing, Hunter. That’s why you have to beat me, or all it goes wrong for you. Problem is, I beat you plus one… at Extreme Rules. I know what I’m getting in Washington, and it doesn’t scare me. Know why?
Since Triple H’s music first hit, The Miz hasn’t smiled, and that continues here.
Because while I rose the top against the odds – while I was the skinny kid who was never supposed to make it BUT DID… you’re nothing but a moniker. If it wasn’t for Vince McMahon hand-picking you, hell, if it wasn’t for you screwing his DAUGHTER –
And that does it. Hunter SURGES forward, stopping just before he collides with the champion…
…and The Miz’s grin is HUGE. The champion doesn’t flinch; knowing he got inside the Game’s head was all the confidence he needed to stay put.
The two men stay face-to-face, almost touching… but in Triple H’s eyes, there’s doubt. He can see The Miz’s huge smile, he knows he’s been played, and he knows he’s not in the right mental state.
The Miz: (slowly)
If it wasn’t for that… you wouldn’t even be here.
The boos rain in, and eventually, Triple H shakes his head. He steps back and forces a smile.
Not bad. Not bad, but on any other day… no dice.
The Miz pouts, mocking him.
Think I haven’t heard it a thousand times? Think you’re the first guy to say I don’t deserve it? That I married my way up the ladder? Nice try.
This is the Game finding his footing again. For the first time, he begins to pace left and right.
Nah, the reason I won that title so many times… is because I am – that… damn… GOOD.
A pop for that.
Miz, you’ve done a lot this past year. But for all you’ve done, there’s one thing you’ve never had to deal with… that’s losin’ a WWE Title.
Again, a cheer, though Miz raises his eyebrows – surely that’s a good thing.
And in about… (he checks an imaginary watch)
thirteen days, you’re gonna know what that feels like. Lemme tell you in advance, it hurts worse than anything. And I’ve had more injuries than I can count.
Another pop, louder this time.
It’ll consume you, like it consumes me to this very second. It’ll get into your bones until you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t stop shaking. Ya heard Cena earlier… it’s all we know. That – that right there… that’s when you know you’d do anything to get that title back. Even if it means going toe-to-toe with Cena when anything goes. Even if it means turnin’ down the Chairman.
The Game narrows his eyes.
Even if it means dealin’ with scumbags like you.
A few whistles and groans, but again The Miz, king of the mind games recently, can’t be riled. He raises a sceptical eyebrow, however.
And I mean, sure, I’ve dealt with liars and cheaters before. Hell, some of my best friends are liars and cheaters!
Some chuckles in the back rows.
You know what? I was in Evolution, I was a brother
… of the dirtiest player in the game, Ric Flair.
Triple H pauses as half the arena screams “WOOOOO!”, and even in his poor mood, Hunter cracks a smile at that. Off-mic, he mouths exactly the same sentiment to The Miz.
What I’m tryin’ to say is that your racket, your style… I’ve seen it done before, and I’ve seen it done better. You try to take advantage of where my mind’s at, you go right ahead. But don’t… don’t
– think that you’re invincible.
A good pop for that, as The Miz tilts his head sideways. He’s unimpressed.
In fact… you don’t realise it, but the only reason you wish I’d left… is ‘cause you don’t think you can beat me, kid.
That touches a nerve. The Miz steps forward now, but when he sees Triple H smirking a little, he restrains himself. There’s a pause in which the crowd starts chanting “TRIPLE H!” again, but The Miz shakes his head. Clearly Triple H can play mind games, too.
That’s rich, that’s really rich. See, this title reign… one Miz title reign is worth more than anything you’ve ever done, Hunter. Combined. And while you fret about your father-in-law and the company you secretly wanna inherit so bad, but you won’t admit it… I don’t give a damn either way. If I don’t make you part of MIZ-STORY… then someone else would be there instead.
Some heat there.
The good thing about being champion is that I don’t have
to care, either. I don’t have to care about your empty threats about me losing this title, I don’t have to care about what you think of me… all that matters is that I’m WWE Champion.
The crowd boos again, but The Miz ignores it.
I don’t care about this show, either. Frankly, if Jerry Lawler gets beaten within an inch of his life tonight – I won’t lose sleep. And if he’s fired – good riddance, I move on. If he stays – who cares… I… move… on. I have the mindset of a champion that you just don’t anymore, Hunter. Because you’ve become attached.
Triple H frowns.
You’re so invested with your wife, your children, the shadow of Titan Towers… even CM Punk. Politics, returning “stars”, maybe, but the only thing you don’t pay attention to… is the guy calling the shots. You can’t focus on me, and even if you could… I’d still beat you.
If you were half as cerebral as you say you are… you’d have made the smart call and hidden in Connecticut. But because you didn’t – you’ll be embarrassed by the most must-see WWE Champion of all time. Even though you don’t like to think about it, Hunter, the show will go on without you… and that show…
A smirk from the champion.
…is called Monday… Night… MIZ.
Some BIG heat is the response to that, as The Miz flashes his trademark ‘Be jealous’ smile. Triple H stares at him with contempt, evidently disgusted by the champion’s arrogance.
And seeing as your wife is attracted by power –
– TRIPLE H GOES FOR HIM – BUT NO!!! The Miz hits the deck and rolls out of the ring, quick as a cat! He saw that coming a million miles away! In the ring, Triple H careers into the ropes, trying to contain himself, while The Miz’s eyes are lit up; he knows he got under the Game’s skin, far more than he was riled himself… and now he backtracks up the ramp.
*I CAME TO PLAY*
Both men said their piece tonight, but lookin’ at Triple H… this is a guy known for keeping his cool when all around were losin’ their heads, Byron, but – what has happened to the Game?
He’s yet another victim of The Miz’s skills on a microphone, JR, and hey, The Miz is right – Triple H is
distracted! You can’t go into a WWE Title Match like that!
All I know is this… this isn’t the Triple H I know. What we heard from him was confident, assured – but folks, the Game seemed more interested in fighting The Miz tonight than putting up with his trash talk.
This was a face-to-face, JR! If Hunter didn’t wanna talk and listen, he shouldn’t have come out here! Can I start betting on The Miz for next Sunday? Do we have an office pool going?
As Byron tries to pitch this to the ringside staff, The Miz raises his title on the ramp. He puts a hand to his cheek and makes the classic ‘boo-hoo’ face to the scowling Triple H… taking us to commercial.
*LAND OF FIVE RIVERS*
Raw returns to the arena to the sight of The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh, the latter of whom has a mic in his hands. To the side stands Rod Zapata. Both Singh and Khali are bopping to the music, and the camera briefly cuts to a couple of people in the audience doing the same. Once that’s done with, the music fades away, and Singh raises the mic.
The world’s cheapest pop.
The Great Khali says… are you all ready to party?
Someone pops. I don’t know who it was, probably Renegade, what a jobber.
Well you’re in luck, because tonight, one lucky guy in the Raw locker room is gonna get a chance to party… with The Great Khali, one-on-one in this ring!
Half a pop. Saxton groans at ringside.
The Great Khali wants to know if anyone can beat him… because if there’s no-one who can, The Great Khali says – he will party all the way to a WWE Title!
Even this relatively non-smarky crowd doesn’t have too many cheers for that.
So… who can stand up to the might of the Punjabi Playboy? Who will –
There’s noise – it’s mostly boos, but there’s a fair amount of awed groans and whistles… BECAUSE IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN, HERE COMES MICHAEL TARVER!!!
Not this again! I refuse to believe it, that’s Khali we’re talking about!
Ohhhh baby, when that music hits I get chills!
The Tron reads ‘1.9’, the barbed wire is shaking on the curtain… and with his neckerchief over his mouth and nose, the merciless eyes of TARVER are unblinking as he marches down the ramp. Singh and Khali have (obviously) stopped dancing, standing stock-still as Raw’s newest beast storms up the steps and enters the ring.
I don’t think he’s here to dance, JR!
Folks, the past two weeks we have seen Michael Tarver destroy two of the WWE’s longest-standing competitors in violent fashion… his pace, his power, his hitting ability, the use of those steel steps… Tarver is out to send a message but we’re yet to know why.
He’s doing all his talking with those big Kill Shot right hands!
TARVER removes his towel from around his shoulders and drapes it on the bottom rope. For some reason, though, he doesn’t march up to Khali and take him on… no, he’s waiting on Rod Zapata – he wants the bell to be rung! Zapata looks confused, but he shrugs and ushers Ranjin Singh out of the ring…
Wait… is Tarver gonna compete? He’s answerin’ the challenge?
I just thought he was out here to go nuts on people, like the last two weeks! Nah, the bad, bad man’s at it again, JR! He’s totally unpredictable, it’s great!
Once Singh’s made his tentative exit, eyes turn back to Tarver. The man is waiting patiently, bouncing on the balls of his feet like a hound readying for the kill… and as Khali frowns, Zapata reluctantly calls for the bell.
Match Four – Singles Contest
The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh vs. Michael Tarver
The bell chimes, so Tarver steps forward. Khali doesn’t really understand Tarver’s deal, walking slowly to meet him. They have a face-off briefly, in which Tarver’s bulging eyes stare out from behind the neckerchief at the Punjabi Playboy… BUT THEN KHALI SWINGS WITH THE CHOP… MISSES! Tarver’s off to the ropes, getting some power – AS HE GORES KHALI INTO THE GROUND!!! It’s awkward as fuck, with the towering Khali taking ages to fall as Tarver takes out his legs and drives him down, but nevertheless – what a hit! Khali gingerly rolls on to his side, wincing where he can, but Tarver is right back to his feet, storming around this ring! The crowd is booing for the most part, as Tarver fires up again, this time pulling his neckerchief away from his face… Khali struggles to all fours, then his knees – SO TARVER PUTS HIS LIGHTS OUT WITH THE KILL SHOT!!! Down goes Khali again! Groans of awe echo around the Coliseum, but Tarver toes him on to his back and makes a cover, pulling up his neckerchief but not bothering to hook a leg… one… two… three.
Result: Michael Tarver bts. The Great Khali via pinfall at 0:40
Here is your winner… MICHAEL – TARVER!
Dominant. Even by Khali’s greatly lowered standards, that was impressive. One look from Tarver tells Rod Zapata to beat it, so he makes a hasty exit.
This man is unstoppable.
Byron Saxton: (a little too pleased)
Damn right, JR! That’s three statements in three weeks – oh but wait a sec!
Ranjin Singh’s up on the apron, wanting to check on Khali as soon as Tarver leaves… but now Tarver goes over to HIM too! Singh puts his arms up innocently, because he wants no part of it – but it doesn’t stop Tarver choking him by the collar – AND THROWING HIM BACK INTO THE RING TO JOIN HIM!
Oh c’mon! How far does this guy have to go?
The crowd groans as Singh collapses to the mat, but he scrambles back up… RIGHT INTO A KILL SHOT OF HIS OWN FROM TARVER!!! Singh goes down and he may not move for several years, while Tarver, no wasted movement, hits the deck and rolls from the ring. We know exactly where he’s headed.
The hell did Ranjin Singh do wrong, Byron? Tell me why this is necessary!
Byron Saxton: (enjoying himself)
He shouldn’t have got in the way of ‘Mr. 1.9’, JR! Stop giving him excuses and he won’t knock you out!
Of course, Tarver puts his hands on the ring steps now. He tugs them away from the ring post, and as he hauls the bottom half up, the Great Khali finally recovers from taking the Kill Shot moments ago. The clumsy big man finds his way to all fours again, just as the ‘thud’ of the steel steps being shoved into the ring can be heard. Khali turns his head to see Tarver joining him in the ring again, with Ranjin Singh’s corpse lying face-down elsewhere.
This can’t continue, Byron. This company isn’t just about power, or speed, or the ability to hurt a man.
Maybe not, but it sure helps!
Khali tries to wobble to his feet. He doesn’t sell it all that well, but eventually he gets up, turning as Tarver lifts the steps into the air in unison with him… THEN CANNONS THE STEEL SURFACE RIGHT INTO KHALI’S FACE!!!
NOW THE STEPS! Dammit, enough! When… when does this man stop?
Tarver lets the steps clatter to the floor, the sound coupled with the horrified groans of the crowd, just the same as the last two weeks. Neither Edge nor Kane will arrive to stop this, as if they were in any condition to do so, so now Tarver hauls the steps back to the centre of the ring and prepares the final part. Reaching over, he grabs Khali by the hair and drags his dead weight back up, with considerable effort.
Look, JR… you might not like it, but are you impressed?
Dammit, yes, but this isn’t about –
Then Tarver’s doing something right!
Khali doesn’t make it easy for Tarver, but eventually ‘Mr. 1.9’ hauls him up, horizontal. The Punjabi Playboy is even heavier than Kane, so Tarver wobbles briefly, then secures the dead weight as he stands above the steps. As he’s done previously, he takes this moment to stare deep into the hard camera, those cruel eyes showing no remorse…
…BEFORE HE DROPS KHALI ON TO THE STEPS WITH TARVER’S LIGHTNING!!!
Once again, the scene: Michael Tarver stands on the steel steps, his victim lying in a broken heap beneath him. He stands to observe his kill momentarily, ignoring the boos that roll in, then finally he heads out of the ring. Like last week, he pulls the neckerchief down, but staring into the nearest camera, he still doesn’t say a word since that pit bull comment two weeks ago. Once he’s sure he’s unnerved everyone at home, he walks up the ramp, past a series of EMTs who make sure to steer well clear of him.
Tarver makes an eerie exit once again, leaving wreckage in his wake… and Raw takes another much-needed break.
When Raw returns, the camera faces the floor of the interview area… but slowly pans up past an ‘I BRING IT’ shirt… to the face of THE ROCK! Not for the first time, the arena crowd goes wild at the sight of the Great One, who has a mic in his hand.
FINALLY – The Rock… has come back… TO RIIIICH-MOND!
The classic, unabashed cheap pop. Rock gets serious.
C… M… Punk.
Heavy boos from the crowd.
You lay hands on the Chairman? That’s brave, but it’s also real stupid, jabroni.
Rocky shakes his head.
What The Rock saw last week weren’t the words and actions of a revolutionary… no, what The Rock saw was a psychopath with an ego the size of his two meat-jockey, grease-peddling attack dogs.
Some cheers from the arena.
You wanna know why The Rock wants to get back in the ring to face you? ‘Cause y’know, The Rock’s been outta the game for a long time, Punk, a long time. It takes somethin’ special to bring The Rock outta retirement… and it ain’t ‘cause you’re so good The Rock had to test you out, nah. That’s not why.
The shades come off.
It’s ‘cause you wanna change somethin’ that don’t need changin’. You think the WWE’s screwed you over, but facin’ facts, it ain’t Vince, it ain’t King, it ain’t even the poor woman who birthed your monkey ass…
…it’s all on you, Punk. And sooner or later, you’re gonna have to face up to that.
The crowd groans a little.
But you got The Rock’s attention. You wanted The Rock, you get him in Washington. And don’t think The Rock hasn’t been training, because The Rock takes you real seriously. Don’t worry, The Rock wants to see if you can back up all that talk. You said you’d been working towards a moment like this all your career?
A flash of that Hollywood smile, but it fades.
Well, you’re in luck, pal, The Rock’s gonna make you famous.
More cheers as Rocky turns on the charisma.
The Rock didn’t get where he is ‘cause of Vince McMahon. Once or twice, The Rock got where he is in spite
A few laughs.
But that doesn’t change who the man is, and what he stands for, and the billion-dollar company he built on his shoulders. You may not like it… you don’t have to, Punk. But when you go one… ON ONE… WITH THE GREAT ONE…
The crowd chants along, then cheers.
…The Rock will put you flat on your back and kill you off with the most electrifying move in AAAAAALLL of sports entertainment! And after that, when you have a little inquisition to figure out where it all went down the toilet… just know it wasn’t just wrestling, it wasn’t just entertainment – but a little of both. It was THE ROCK.
Another raucous cheer. Rocky’s breathing slows.
Have a good one against Lawler tonight, jabroni. If you survive, The Rock’ll be waiting to whip your candy ass right around the corner. Not just for Vince, or his family, or even the WWE… but for the MILLIONS…
…of people who wanna see your faith crash and burn. IF YA SMELL –
The crowd chants along again, but halfway through, Rocky lowers the mic and frowns.
The camera pans out… to reveal JOHN CENA now standing across from him. Another huge mixed reaction goes up, though again leaning towards pre-pubescent cheers, as the two men briefly stand in silence.
I hear you’re getting back in the game.
Nothing gets past you, huh?
All this time, I thought you were just holding off for somethin’ big. Turns out you were just the big red phone sat by Vince McMahon’s bed.
There’s a few groans of “Ohhh” from the crowd. The Rock’s face doesn’t shift from his amused smile, however.
Guess The Rock should have known… round here, it’s still all about you.
Another set of groans. Cena tilts his head up.
Did The Rock hurt your feelings? ‘Cause you weren’t his first call? Some things are bigger… than John Cena.
Rocky takes a step forward.
But maybe no-one told you yet.
The two men stare at one another for a moment… before The Rock steps back, and turns to walk out of shot. We’re left with Cena’s humourless expression until we fade away.
SmackDown Rebound this week is all about Alberto Del Rio’s bragging following his decision to make a Submission Match for Capitol Punishment against Kofi Kingston. Alongside his Administration, he says that he has the ability to “break a man” that Kofi simply doesn’t, as he proves by inviting Chris Masters to the ring and promising him a World Title Match if Del Rio fails the Master Lock Challenge. The World Champion breaks out of the hold after a brief scare, however, and then makes Masters suffer with the Cross-Arm Breaker for good measure. This brings out the previously-absent Kofi Kingston, who says that at first, Del Rio’s stipulation threw him… but in the past week, he found the answer. He brings out the man who will supposedly ‘train him until he’s the best’… and that man is none other than Bret “The Hitman” Hart, sending the crowd wild and the Administration reeling.
Raw returns to a briefly quiet arena, but the bell rings, it’s MAIN EVENT TIME…
The following contest is set for one fall!
A small cheer as we wait…
*THE GREAT GATE OF KIEV*
And so cue the chants, cue the cheers, cue the noise, as the Raw General Manager, Jerry “The King” Lawler, makes his way out in his ring gear… and holding the classic crown! This crowd evidently appreciates what he’s doing tonight, in his usual black singlet and red tights, and he raises an arm to acknowledge them in kind. The GM looks apprehensive, but nevertheless he puts one foot in front of the other and makes tracks to the ring.
Introducing first, from Memphis, Tennessee, weighing in at two hundred and forty pounds… the General Manager of Raw – JERRY “THE KIIING” LAAAAWLER!!!
Earlier tonight, folks, Jerry “The King” Lawler accepted CM Punk’s challenge that he’d aimed at Mister McMahon, looking to silence any critics regarding where his heart is when it comes to this company. He’s stepping into lion’s den for a good cause.
You might be friends, JR, but let’s have some unbiased journalism! Lawler knows that Punk wanted McMahon – we all know that! Punk’ll fight anyone to further his crusade, sure, but don’t start calling Lawler a hero; he’s doing this so he doesn’t get fired in thirteen days’ time!
The man might be on probation, but there’s nothing wrong with his management, Byron. These things take time to get right, and I can only hope that the correct decision is made when the results of his Performance Review are revealed next weekend. A sad state of affairs.
Lawler walks up the steps, waving to the crowd from the apron, then stepping inside. He hands his crown to ringside, and completes a few warm-ups… his music subsides…
*THIS FIRE BURNS*
For the first time tonight, we are greeted with the music of a madman, and he gets the reaction of one from the crowd – it’s NUCLEAR heat from Richmond as CM PUNK arrives. The Second City Saint twirls a mic in his hand, as you’d expect, but the Convoy are nowhere to be seen after their exploits earlier tonight.
And his opponent… from Chicago, Illinois, weighing in at two hundred and fifteen pounds… C – M – PUNK!
If you were in any doubt about this sick man, folks, you need only listen to this crowd’s reaction tonight. CM Punk threatened Mister McMahon’s family, he promised change we don’t need… and now in just thirteen days, he will face the man he drew out of retirement, perhaps the greatest of all time… in The Rock.
Look, JR, CM Punk might be a little bit warped in his thinking. He might have some crazy things bangin’ around in that head, but if nothing else, he’s got ambition!
Ambition? The man’s got the ambition to hurt people! He’s got ambition to bring this company to its knees! He wants to be the so-called ‘best in the world’ because he thinks somebody’s had it out for him since the start? He’s a psychopath!
The commentators can say no more, as Punk’s music dies away and the boos flood in. He wastes little time.
At heart… I am a violent man.
The inevitable choruses of heat from all sides.
I see clearly, I have vision and I am smarter than anyone in that locker room… but at the end of the day, I am always angry on the inside.
Punk narrows his eyes at the booing crowd, then strokes his beard and continues.
Fortunately, that anger drives me. It allows me to be capable of violence, and violence is how you get things done around here. And though Vince McMahon would like you to believe he’s running Connecticut’s personal Disneyland, this company has a dark side that would scare you all. That’s why I’m trying to change it.
He pauses and receives another huge negative reaction. Lawler paces the ring, looking disgusted by Punk’s very presence.
A few weeks ago, I put my body through a trial to prove what I’m capable of. I beat Randy Orton, one of the most twisted men I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet… and in doing that, I proved that I am the architect of change. I proved that I can do whatever I have to.
More heavy heat. Punk starts to meander down the ramp.
Even Orton, a man that Triple H hand-raised from a pup to be his own personal project… fell to me. I made him bleed. I punished Randy Orton not only because he crossed me… but because you all idolise him. Like The Rock, or like Triple H, Orton was one of the chosen few. The men chosen to be top of Vince McMahon’s empire. Well… so fall the dominoes.
A smirk at the memory of Orton’s defeat. The crowd abuses Punk as he heads for ringside.
But turning to you… Lawler.
“JERRY! JERRY!” instinctively chant the crowd. Lawler beckons him inside, no nonsense.
Jerry, I could stand here and list your mistakes, but I’m hoping that I’d only take the words out of the mouth of whoever fires you next weekend.
Boos for that, but Lawler grits his teeth and ignores it. Punk walks up the steel steps and leans against the top rope.
When I was told that you were willing to fight me instead of McMahon… first, I was disappointed. I thought what I had done to him last week – well, I thought maybe I’d scared him into having some balls, but I was wrong. No, instead I wrestle a man who desperately wants to kiss his ass… but don’t worry, Jerry, you’re not the first.
Relishing the heat he receives, Punk steps inside. Lawler’s bouncing on the balls of his feet, trying to block out Punk’s words.
The question is, Lawler… you think you’re doing Vince a favour, and hey, I’m not gonna say no to hurting you, I’ve been waiting far too long… but what happens when you fail, huh?
Lawler steps forward, but Mike Chioda has to tell him to back down. Punk smirks and folds his free arm against his chest.
Somewhere back there, Vince is watching this. And when you lose, he’s gonna realise you’ve let him down. And then it’s one more strike against your name for judgement day.
Again, heat from the crowd; Lawler is shaking his head.
You might be the General Manager for now, Jerry… but like Vince last week, that old man coughing and gasping on the ground… you’re about to learn what power really is.
Punk throws the mic from the ring and runs his hands over one another. The crowd is alive, a mixture of boos and “Jerry!” chants, as Punk and Lawler begin to circle. Lawler’s totally in the zone, knowing this match could be crucial to Vince’s opinion of him… while Punk just smirks, enjoying every last second of tormenting him.
We cut backstage… and it seems most of the ROSTER is watching this, grouped together in one of these random backstage areas. There are some notable absentees, namely Cena, the Convoy, Michael Tarver, etc. but otherwise it seems that this match, and Punk’s crusade in general, really has caught the attention of the entire WWE. Even Michael Cole and Jack Swagger have stopped appealing for signatures to come backstage and watch this.
Chioda calls for the bell.
Main Event – Singles Contest
Raw General Manager Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. CM Punk
Especially in the early going, the atmosphere is pretty good in the Coliseum, with everyone behind Lawler to put a huge dent in the Punk crusade – although Punk really takes it to the GM with his trademark kicks, it’s not long until Lawler finds some space and starts to wrestle
Punk to the ground. Scowling, the Second City Saint won’t be proven a hypocrite after he called himself the best wrestler in the world last week, and immediately transitions to answer Lawler in kind. This goes on for a bit, with the pair seemingly on the same level… until CM Punk gets creative, twisting and turning his way out of a side headlock and getting a big takedown on the Hall of Famer. Pleased to be showing off his credentials, Punk puts Lawler through his paces with a few submission holds and some forceful pinfalls.
Lawler is resilient, however, and he fights back. Wrangling out of a neck-scissors hold, he and Punk get to their feet, and the pace quickens. Here sees Lawler begin to fire up, knocking Punk down with a couple of clotheslines, then taking him into the corner… and rising up high to get the crowd involved again by nailing the punches as the crowd counts along! The arena starts to have a bit of fun at Punk’s expense, but the Second City Saint shoves Lawler off and swings with one of those big kicks – no, only to have Lawler duck and shove Punk towards the ropes. Punk grabs the ropes and doesn’t rebound, so the General Manager charges in – only for Punk to lower the ropes and send him over! Punk sees him clatter to the outside, but rather than revel in his misfortune, the crusader stays right on track, hitting the ropes and leaping out of the ring to hit Lawler with a Suicide Dive! That takes both men down, though naturally Punk is first to scramble to his feet, spitting “Faith!” at the nearest camera; Jim Ross asks whether Lawler can weather the storm, and that takes us into a break.
Back from commercial, it’s Punk in clear control. He’s not content with just keeping Lawler down – it’s almost vital that he live up to his own ‘best in the world’ moniker. With that in mind, he takes every opportunity to make sure Lawler knows
he’s being hurt, delving into as many holds he can remember from the independent days he told The Rock were so important to his development. He gets a nearfall with a Double Underhook Backbreaker, but after Lawler’s kickout he attempts the high knee in the corner – and misses.
Not for the first time, Lawler tries to fire up the crowd and makes a comeback. Weary from Punk’s prolonged offence, but not ready to give up, King comes alive with some of those classic rights and lefts of his, and starts to pepper his opponent with blows. He takes Punk back to the corner, then charges in – to nail a Corner Elbow! That gets the crowd cheering as Punk staggers into the centre of the ring, and Lawler lines it up… before decking him with a big right hand to the delight of the fans! This breathes new life into Lawler’s chances, and when Punk rises, he whips him to the ropes. There’s a brief sequence in which the pair trade leapfrogs and hitting the floor, but Lawler shows his ring awareness by gripping the ropes as Punk attempts a Dropkick. Punk gets up… so Lawler busts out a Dropkick of his OWN, getting a big pop as he falls into a cover… but it’s only two!
At this point, it becomes all about Lawler; we cut backstage once again to see those Raw employees watching in a crowd, then to the GM. JR asks if Lawler can put the madman away, maybe stem the tide of the ‘revolution’ no-one wants… but as Lawler tries to line up the famous Piledriver, Punk suddenly drives forward and slams King back-first into the corner. This leads to Punk getting the Shining Wizard he was looking for earlier, then the obligatory Bulldog that follows, but that’ll only get him two. Punk’s hair is straggled across his face, showing that he’s not had it exactly easy against Lawler in this one, but then he heads up top, and prepares for that big Diving Elbow Drop. He used this for the first time at Over The Limit against Orton, but now apparently it’s coming too – ONLY FOR LAWLER TO ROLL OUT THE WAY, AND PUNK CRASHES AND BURNS!
The back-and-forth continues in the latter stages of the match; Lawler tries to take control, getting moves like a clumsy Belly-to-Back Suplex that only finds a two count, but then he brings the wrath of Punk upon himself when the two meet again after the kickout. Punk fires up in his own regard, getting some clotheslines and then ducking a right hand to deliver a BIG kick to the back of the head. That gets him his window to LAND the Diving Elbow on this occasion… but it’s only TWO.
This keeps the crowd alive – they believe Lawler can still upset Raw’s sickest man. Punk, however, wipes sweat from his brow and calls for the end. He gets Lawler up for the GTS, but the GM escapes and shoves Punk face-first into a turnbuckle. There’s a gap of about twenty seconds as Lawler sells his exhaustion, then clambers to the second rope for the FIST DROP – BUT IT’S NO GOOD. Punk rolls sideways, meaning Lawler slams into the canvas, and now the Second City Saint uses the ring ropes to pull himself up on the apron. He waits with a crazed expression, stalking Lawler with his eyes, then springboards… TO TAKE KING DOWN WITH A SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE!
The crowd groans and boos as Punk lands that, the only saving grace being that he can’t make a quick cover. Instead, he hauls himself up, legs splayed apart as he tries to stay upright. He scowls, knowing the GM has shown glimpses of brilliance here and there, but now he checks his imaginary watch. He puts two hands against the side of his head, calling for Lawler to sleep, then brings him up by the hair. Lawler is too exhausted to fight back, so Punk lays in some rough, stiff right hands. Baring his teeth, he hisses “This show… is MINE…” then brings Lawler up – TO DELIVER THE GO TO SLEEP!!! That deflates the crowd like nothing else, so Punk savours the moment, closing his eyes and nodding… before he kneels beside Lawler, making a cover and exhaling with barely-concealed enjoyment as the three count is made.
Result: CM Punk bts. Jerry “The King” Lawler via pinfall at 10:29
*THIS FIRE BURNS*
Here is your winner… C – M – PUNK.
Even Roberts sounds a little deflated in his announcement. More to put on a decent match on a wrestling-light show than to put Lawler over as a huge challenge, Punk has won the main event with a sickening final sequence, and he smirks as his arm is raised. Mike Chioda checks on Lawler afterwards, while Punk heads to the turnbuckles to raise his arms – “BEST IN THE WORLD!”
Backstage, the crowd has thinned as superstars walk away. Others simply stand and stare. Only Michael Cole really seems at all pleased rather than stoic.
“This show is mine,” he says. Well folks, he might be victorious here, but I assure you, CM Punk owns nothing of Monday Night Raw, owns nothing of the WWE. He’s an outcast, a degenerate, and nothing he can do to anyone in this administration will change that.
He’d disagree with you there, JR, and so would I. CM Punk knows what he has to do to make a statement around here – he knows that he can hurt anyone, at any time. Now, I don’t mean to scare anyone or be overdramatic… but Punk is making Raw crack at the seams.
Punk steps down… but the crowd is awake, alive, cheering suddenly…
I don’t know about – OH HERE WE GO!
…BECAUSE HERE COMES VINCENT KENNEDY MCMAHON LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN!!!
Punk’s eyes bulge wide, beckoning the Chairman to join him – and he makes quick time, sprinting down to the ring… TO TACKLE PUNK TO THE GROUND, AND NOW THEY’RE GOING AT IT!!!
THE CHAIRMAN! He wanted a piece of Punk AND HE’S GETTIN’ IT!
It’s all gone to pieces, JR!
The crowd is ON FIRE! Punk and McMahon go scrambling and rolling about the ring, bludgeoning one another with right hands! These two have the baddest of blood between them – Punk wants to topple McMahon, but VKM isn’t going down without a fight! The pair get to their feet, still trading bombs… UNTIL MCMAHON DRIVES PUNK INTO THE CORNER, HE’S THE FRESHER MAN, AND STARTS UNLOADING!!!
The BOSS is here, Byron! HE’S NOT TAKIN’ THIS CRAP LYIN’ DOWN!
This noise is incredible, with every last soul in the building egging McMahon on… BUT THE BOOS BEGIN, AS THE CONVOY COME BELTING DOWN THE RAMP TOO!!!
I don’t think it’s that simple! Here comes the cavalry!
Skip Sheffield and Mason Ryan slide into the ring, and they just DIVE on McMahon, pulling him away from Punk and beating on him, two-on-one! The crowd, overjoyed moments before, begin to rain heat on these two monsters as they pound the Chairman…
NO, DAMMIT, NO! Sheffield and Ryan, the numbers game! That’s the Chairman in there, somebody’s gotta stop this!
As CM Punk detaches himself from the corner, hair straggled in every which direction, he begins to smirk his evil, demented smile again. He directs traffic, enjoying every last second of the old man being beaten… before he drags him to the outside, and heads – FOR THE ANNOUNCE DESK.
This isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen! Get – get away from us, you sick son-of-a-bitch! Where do you draw the line? Where do you draw the damn line?
Punk, smiling as devilishly as he can, slams Vince’s weak frame against the desk cover… then pulls it off. Sheffield and Ryan step to the apron to join him, as the crowd chants for one man, dying for someone to stop what Punk has in mind for the bruised and beaten Chairman…
This is sick. Ya can’t just sit here and watch, that’s my boss, that’s the man who – OH FOR GOD’S SAKE, STOP! SOMEBODY’S GOTTA MAKE A STAND, SOMEBODY’S GOTTA –
“IF YA SMEEEEEEELLLLL…”
THE CROWD GOES INSANE!!! The arena just loses its mind, the biggest pop in weeks, as Punk turns round in horror, and the Convoy speedily return to the ring…
…JUST IN TIME TO WITNESS THE ROCK AND TRIPLE FUCKING ‘AITCH RUNNING DOWN TO THE RING!!! THE ARENA POPS HUGE!!!
ROCKY! AND THE GAME! THE DREAM TEAM IN ACTION! NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON!
OH BABY! It’s SO on!
Rocky and Triple H sprint to the ring like men possessed – BUT THE CONVOY ARE OUT OF THE RING TO MEET THEM, IT’S A HUGE COLLISION… AND HERE COME THE RIGHT HANDS!!! Rocky’s music cuts, the entire arena chanting “ROCKY! ROCKY!” as he and the Game take the fight to the Convoy –
This crowd has come UNGLUED! The fight is on!
– but Punk’s making tracks! At first he was frozen to the spot, with Vince McMahon collapsed gingerly in pain against the announce desk beside him, but now, as Rock and Triple H bludgeon the Convoy with everything they have, he’s OUTTA HERE! Punk hops over the nearest crowd barricade and starts backtracking, eventually running, up the arena steps!
Punk doesn’t want a part of it, JR! He’s gotta keep fresh for next Sunday!
He doesn’t want his comeuppance, Byron! He lit the SPARK, now he’s scared to deal with the FLAMES!
Despite JR roaring down the mic, it’s still hard to hear him over this monster crowd reaction – AS THE GAME AND THE GREAT ONE FORCE THE CONVOY BACK! The two legends take a look at one another, then grab their man simultaneously… DRIVING THEM EACH FACE-FIRST INTO THE NEAREST RING POST!!! The crowd goes nuts yet again, as now Rocky measures Ryan, and Hunter’s got eyes for Sheffield…
…SO THE ROCK DRILLS RYAN WITH THE ROCK BOTTOM – AND SHEFFIELD EATS A PEDIGREE ON THE OUTSIDE FLOOR!!!
ROCK BOTTOM! PEDIGREE! Even the Convoy couldn’t stem the tide! These two are out for BLOOD tonight, by gawd! And would ya – LOOK IN THE ROCK’S EYES!!!
Indeed, the eyes of The Rock are BURNING, he wants more – he sprints over to the barricade, seeing Punk staring at him from high up in the ranks of the crowd… AND HE’S GOING HUNTING!
The hell is The Rock doin’? Doesn’t he know to quit when you’re ahead?
On the arena floor, Triple H stands from the carcass he left of Skip Sheffield, and looks with a frown at the sight of The Rock going after Punk. He rolls into the ring, no longer really the focus, but we get a shot of him as he asks Vince if he’s okay. The Chairman gives him a groggy nod, so the Game heads to the second rope to stare down Punk… who immediately turns on his heel as he sees Rocky climbing the steps! The Second City Saint wants no part of him after what he’s just seen!
HE’S RUNNIN’! The Rock said he’d come for Punk, and now he’s comin’! The Great One laid out his enforcers! He and the Game put the dogs down! Now he wants a piece of ‘im, he wants a piece of Punk!
As Rocky gets to the top of the steps, soaked in sweat but still desperate to lay the hurt on Punk, we cut to another camera – we’re in those arena corridors where a few fans look at the Great One with confusion and surprise. He looks around, frowning as he tries to find Punk, then walks down the corridor in search.
Back in the ring, Triple H shakes his head. He, too, looks like shit, but he fights off the pain and steps down. The arena crowd nearby has started booing – like CRAZY, in fact – as the Game pushes himself away from the corner…
B-but NO! WAIT A MINUTE!
…AND HE GETS NAILED BETWEEN THE EYES WITH THE WWE TITLE BELT – BY THE MIZ!!!
Triple H goes down in a heap. The crowd absolutely shits on The Miz, who stands above him with one hand on his title belt… and breathes heavily, loudly. His face is turned down, staring at his own handiwork with a perverted delight – because he’s back in the spotlight, raising the title two-handed into the air to welcome the crowd’s furious heat.
Miz! The… the champion’s so obsessed with fame he couldn’t let it go!
It’s the mark of a true champion, JR! He’s directed attention right back to himself, where it should be! Forget about Triple H, he’s not got his head in the game, it’s all about MONDAY – NIGHT – MIZ, baby!
As The Miz raises the ‘M’ on his WWE Title belt, he broadens his unbearable grin. “Because I’m The Miz, Hunter… and I’m… AWESOME.”
But we cut.
Back up in the arena corridors, The Rock’s hunt goes on. One of those fancy empty skyboxes has got its light turned off… but the door is ajar. Looking around briefly, the furious Great One wrenches the door fully open and steps inside – “Ya better get your ass out here, jabroni –“
…BUT HE’S BLINDSIDED OUT OF THE SHADOWS, AND AS THE LIGHTS FLICK ON – THE SICK BASTARD CM PUNK IS STANDING ABOVE HIM WITH A FOLDING CHAIR FROM THE SKYBOX!
Out the window of the skybox, you can see fans turning round to boo Punk, but he’s in his own little world and he doesn’t notice. We get a shot from the arena, where The Miz’s eyes turn away from taunting Triple H, and he frowns at the sight of Punk’s silhouette in the box.
I can’t… he has no soul.
JR refers to Punk, who tosses the chair aside. He turns to a glass panel that lines these sort of skyboxes, the kind that separate one half from the other… and runs his hand along it, staring at his own reflection. Blinking, he turns back to the Rock, and hauls him sluggishly up.
God dammit – what’s this maniac got in mind now?
I don’t know, but even I’m a little freaked.
Rocky, reeling from that chairshot to the spine, can’t fight back as Punk grabs him by the neck. Down at ringside, we get a shot of Jerry Lawler lying with his back to the crowd barricade, then Vince kneeling weakly beside the ring steps. Sheffield and Ryan are face-down outside. Without looking at The Miz or Triple H, we cut back to the skybox, where Punk stares into Rocky’s eyes.
“I hear music. Do you… do you hear music?”
Punk turns, his hand on Rocky’s neck…
Don’t – NO! DAMMIT, NO, YOU’D HAVE TO BE CR-
…THEN HE CHUCKS THE GREAT ONE THROUGH THE PLATE GLASS WINDOW!!!
There are screams in the crowd. The window in the skybox shatters with ease, possibly weakened deliberately before the show, and The Rock collapses in a pile of glass. The groans of horror echo around Richmond, but the focus returns to CM Punk, who sits cross-legged and gazes… transfixed… at what he’s done. The Rock hasn’t moved an inch, and he won’t for a while, so Punk slowly nods. He stays there, with his hands in his lap, and stares and stares.
In the arena, The Miz stands above Triple H with his title in hand… but even he hasn’t the power to smirk anymore. He stares at the WWE Title, then back up at the skybox, where he could just about see what happened. Turning, he finally looks down at Triple H.
Stephanie McMahon rushes down to ringside. The Miz’s presence prevents her from seeing her husband, so she goes to check on her father. She looks like she’s been crying.
The… the monsters have got their way. Punk wants to change the system, Miz wants to rule it… th-the GM’s down, the Chairman’s down, the Game’s down… god, the Great One’s down…
And in the skybox, Punk sits, legs crossed, as the EMTs begin to rush in. No-one will go near him, hair in clumps across his face, all alone as he stares at his own violent masterpiece…
What… wh-what is this company coming to…?
…and Raw fades to black.
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
The Miz (c) defends against Triple H
Fatal Four-Way; The Shot At Redemption
Christian versus Wade Barrett versus Randy Orton versus Sheamus
John Cena versus Dolph Ziggler
All Or Nothing; If Ted DiBiase loses, he quits
Ted DiBiase versus John Morrison
Jerry “The King” Lawler’s Performance Review