Friday Night SmackDown
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa | 3rd June 2011
We start with a brief video package detailing the events of last week’s Beat The Clock Challenge; this begins with Alberto Del Rio forcing a submission out of the spirited Evan Bourne in eight minutes and twenty seconds. It’s punctuated by Del Rio’s labelling of Kofi Kingston as a ‘choke artist’ once again, as Kofi gears up to face a man he’d beaten four days before in William Regal… but fails, in part due to Regal’s time-wasting. This means that Del Rio gets to pick the stipulation for his World Title defence against Kingston at Capitol Punishment – and he chooses a Submission Match in an attempt to take the Ghanaian out of his depth. Del Rio soaks in the boos from the crowd as he backtracks up the ramp, and Kofi looks disheartened about his chances, as the VP fades out…
…and now the usual SmackDown opening video appears, taking us all the way to Del Rio’s kiss of the belt and then to the Wells Fargo Arena. A series of white and blue pyro explodes from the stage, getting the crowd fired up too, and now we sweep across the crowd. Signs abound, as you’d expect, but the focus turns to the announce desk instead, where we’re met by Josh Matthews, Booker T and Matt Striker.
In just sixteen days, we’ll be in Washington for Capitol Punishment, folks, but tonight we’re in Iowa, Des Moines specifically, and what a night it could be! I’m Josh Matthews, with your teacher and the Bookerman – and guys, we’re yet to hear from Kofi Kingston following the announcement of a Submission Match for the World Heavyweight Title last week.
Can’t lie, Josh, I thought for sure that Kofi would bounce straight back from Del Rio’s announcement and tell us that he’s ready for anything this past week… but we’ve heard nothing on WWE.com, and Facebook, Twitter, it’s all silent. It’s unlike Kofi, but maybe for once he’s been rattled!
Naw man, I gotta believe in da boi, I know he got it in ‘im to beat Del Rio no matter the stipulation, he just takin’ some time to get to grips, some time to himself to keep his head in the game, dawg.
Well while this is going on, ladies and gentlemen, the wolves are at the door, because…
“I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD…”
THIS CROWD GOES WILD! Opening SmackDown with a big pop is Randy Orton, getting the crowd fired up from the very beginning, as the arena turns a glistening gold and red and he stares out at the roaring fans! The Viper looks fairly confident tonight, glad to get his time back on SmackDown in singles competition going again, and the bell rings as he begins to walk down the ramp.
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, from St. Louis, Missouri, weighing in at two hundred and forty pounds… the Viper… RAAANDY – ORTON!
Well, I was about to say the wolves are at the door because of four very ambitious men, but you’re looking at one right there – Randy Orton was taken through our ringside barricade last week by Sheamus, resulting in a double count-out draw in tag team action. Tonight, he’ll get his chance against the Irishman… one-on-one.
Dose four guys all wanted to get closer to da World Title, dawg, but endin’ in a draw like dat meant we at a stalemate. All about da two matches tah-night.
We’ve got Christian versus Wade Barrett later tonight as well, which should be a heated contest, but where the Viper is concerned, this one’s going to be just as intense. After what Sheamus did last week, Randy has a message to send…
Orton hits ringside, then clambers up into the squared circle to raise the old Legend Killer pose from the turnbuckles. He smirks a little, as always enjoying the big reaction he receives, then stands and paces the ring. Resembling a snake waiting to snap forward and bite, he tries to contain himself as his music dies down, the “RKO!” chants already beginning…
“IT’S A SHAME THAT THEY – LOST THEIR HEAD…”
*WRITTEN IN MY FACE*
And now the boos, building and building into a full-on reaction, are the response as Sheamus marches out with narrowed eyes. He stands and stares at Orton for a moment, then slams his fists into his chest and bellows out in his usual fashion. Tugging on his Celtic chain, the Irishman shakes out his shoulders and heads for the battleground.
And his opponent, from Dublin, Ireland, weighing in at two hundred and sixty-seven pounds… the Celtic Warrior… SHEEEAAAMUS!
And guys, we know how frustrated Sheamus was after losing his United States Title to Tyler Black at Over The Limit. Last week he tried to take that out on the other three men who laid claim to World Title shots, especially Randy Orton when he drove the Viper through that barricade.
Sheamus was a terrific United States Champion, and he could yet be a great World Heavyweight Champion, but it was about making a statement last week… and make a statement he did. Tonight’s just another chance.
Sheamus climbs the steps, taking a moment on the apron to stare at Orton; the Viper looks coldly back at him, knowing that they’re both as capable of causing serious damage as the other. Eventually, the Celtic Warrior steps inside the ropes and measures up to him, then turns and roars out at the crowd again. He takes off the chain and throws it to ringside, while referee Chad Patton does his usual checks and calls for the bell.
Match One – Singles Contest
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Into this hard-hitting bout we go then, with both men eager to hurt the other to make a point in their first SmackDown singles bout this year; this is evident in Sheamus’ aggression here, driving Orton into the corner again and again with shoulder thrusts. He makes Orton yell out with every pointed shot, really laying it on before he whips him off to the other side. Orton collides with the buckles, then watches Sheamus coming hurtling towards him… but the Viper dives sideways and Sheamus runs right into the corner! A groan goes up as the Irishman cannons off, and walks right into Orton – CLOTHESLINE! There’s cheers now, with Orton shaking off the cobwebs to try and fire up with the usual routine… there’s the second clothesline as Sheamus gets up! Orton’s feeling it now, writhing from side-to-side as Sheamus struggles up again, but Orton throws a third clothesline and gets ducked… Sheamus into the ropes – SCOOP POWERSLAM FROM ORTON!
Orton rolls sideways, gasping as he tries to get his breath back, then hauls himself up again. Sheamus is down, a hand on his back to sell the Powerslam, while Orton watches with a bizarre fascination… THEN DROPS DOWN TO POUND THE MAT! This crowd comes alive as Orton bares his teeth, fists slamming against the canvas… and now Sheamus begins to heave himself up – RIGHT INTO THE RKOOOO… BUT NO! Sheamus shoves the Viper away, and he tumbles over the top rope! Orton clutches on to the rope and lands on the apron, but he’s dizzied by the reversal and this gives Sheamus a chance to grab him by the jaw! The Irishman tugs Orton back against the ropes, and even though Patton admonishes him, Sheamus won’t hear a word of it, bringing back his arm and just LASHING Orton with those vicious forearm shots! Sheamus keeps bludgeoning away until the referee’s count of four, then dumps Orton to the outside floor, where he lands awkwardly and clutches his chest in pain.
It’s not long before Sheamus steps out of the ring to join Orton. The Viper tries to get up, but those monstrous shots took him out of his comfort zone and now he’s too dazed to stop Sheamus grabbing him and throwing in some cross-faced blows. He hauls Orton up, running him over to the barricade and slamming him off the edge of it. Taking a chance with Orton on the defensive, the Irishman throws knees to the ribs, then brings him over to the ring post and shoves him against it… then DRIVES his shoulder into Orton’s lower spine! The crowd groans as Sheamus wears Orton down in the most violent way he can manage, then takes the reeling Viper and shoves him under the bottom rope.
Orton’s face is scrunched in pain when Sheamus climbs to the apron and steps inside. The Celtic Warrior falls on him almost immediately, dropping those signature knees to the head like a man possessed, aiming to beat Orton into absolute submission. Like only the blunt Irishman can do, Sheamus keeps going until Chad Patton almost has to tackle him away with his count of four and a half, and flips Orton on to his back for the cover… one… two… but Randy fights out! Sheamus scowls, having dropped enough knees to knock out a deer, but yanks Orton up regardless and lines up the Irish Curse Backbreaker… no, Orton spins out, grabbing Sheamus by the head and introducing his own – that being the Inverted Headlock Backbreaker! There’s a pop as Sheamus falls, with Orton rolling sideways and looking to rearrange his focus after those hard blows from the Irishman.
The crowd is building in noise again, those “RKO!” chants firing up once more, and Orton gets to his feet, stalking the man who wants the World Title just as much as he does. The Viper’s eyes narrow again, a hand rubbing the bristles on his jaw as he waits for Sheamus to stand… but he rolls on the apron instead! Eventually the groggy Irishman finds his feet, but of course, Orton is right on him, tugging him through the ropes… and SPIKING HIM INTO THE MAT WITH THE ROPE-HUNG DDT!!! A big cheer surrounds Orton as he seethes, relishing every second of hurting another man in the name of World Titles, then drags Sheamus away from the ropes… and flips him over – one… two… thr-NO! Sheamus kicks out!
Turning his eyes momentarily to the ceiling, Orton exhales heavily and stands. The crowd is on his side, but Sheamus is proving resilient as you’d expect, so Orton looks to up the pace by dragging him up by his hair. Sheamus suddenly shoves him to the ropes, but the Viper comes back with a stinging kick as the Irishman bends down. Sheamus reels up, so Orton darts in behind and looks for the OLYMPIC SLAM – but no! He can’t heave Sheamus off his feet, the Celtic Warrior fighting back with some clubbing shots in behind, and now they separate… just so Sheamus can strap an arm across Randy’s chest – AND NAIL THE IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER!
A groan goes up in the crowd as Sheamus near snaps Orton in two, leaving him on the knee for a moment before he shoves him sideways. The Viper writhes in pain, while Sheamus stands, his mouth hanging open from exhaustion as he puts a hand on the top rope. He watches Orton suffer for a second, then brings his spare hand across… and thumps it against his chest. Ignoring the boos he receives, he begins to speed up, setting the pace as Orton tries to find some semblance of an upright position… he’s up – THERE’S THE BROGUE KICK – NOOO!!! Orton ducks the massive shot, so Sheamus gets himself tangled in the ropes – and Orton takes them BOTH to the outside floor! The pair go sprawling again, as if these two can never contain themselves to a ring, and though Sheamus tries to push himself up, he’s taken off-guard by a stinging uppercut from Orton.
Orton hunts the Irishman down again, thumping him with right hands even as he tries to stagger away. The Viper stalks him all the way to the announce desk, but Sheamus won’t be slammed into it and catches Orton with a left hand to the gut instead. Few men hit like the Celtic Warrior, and that sends Orton away, before Sheamus ducks down… and drives him into the barricade! Orton gasps out with the impact, but Sheamus reels away, pounding his chest to fire up. The crowd buzzes, as Matt Striker muses “I’m watching re-runs!” and SHEAMUS CHARGES… BUT DRILLS HIMSELF THROUGH THE BARRICADE WHEN ORTON DIVES OUT OF THE WAY!!!
The fans cry “OHHH!” in awe as Sheamus ploughs himself into the middle distance, with Orton turning his eyes up… he can’t believe he escaped there!
Sheamus is lying face down in a mess of black plastic debris here, and slowly, Orton begins to edge himself across ringside. We catch some replays of Sheamus’ huge crash and burn, then the image of him clutching at his shoulder – before we cut to the sight of Orton, teeth clenched, pulling himself up against the apron, and slowly rolling himself under the bottom rope! Chad Patton’s count was at six, now seven as Orton flops against the deck, with Sheamus only just crawling out of that wreckage he created… as Patton counts to ten!
Result: Randy Orton bts. Sheamus via count-out at 10:49
Here is your winner as the result of a count-out… RANDY – ORTON!
There’s a few cheers as Orton puts his hands on the ropes and pulls himself lethargically up. He slumps against those same ropes, turning his head to raise his eyebrows at Patton; he knows that this win means very little in this fashion, yet the fatigue takes over and he lets it go. As Sheamus hauls himself up on the outside, wincing heavily in his own pain, Orton resigns himself to the turnbuckles, throwing up a half-hearted pose.
Randy Orton narrowly avoided suffering the same fate he did last week, folks, but even that count-out win hasn’t quenched his thirst, I think.
Hell, you ain’t gettin’ no World Title shot unless you lay a sucka out, man. Randy did da first thing that came to his mind, dat’s gettin’ back in da ring, but he wanted more tah-night. Dis ain’t over.
Orton keeps his pose going for a moment, but the small ovation he was receiving fades away… and is replaced by boos, screams, as the Viper steps down and turns – RIGHT INTO THE BROGUE KICK FROM SHEAMUS!
Boos fill the Wells Fargo Arena as Orton goes down in a heap, with Sheamus staggering into the ropes himself to stay upright this time. He casts a sideways glance at Orton, mouth agape as he shakes his head, then dusts off his hands and exits the ring. With Orton lying face down, the Celtic Warrior storms back up the ramp, throwing an occasional scowl at the ring.
I think it’s fair to say these two haven’t settled their issues just yet, especially because again… well, Randy Orton wanted a decisive win to get himself into the title picture, and neither man got that tonight.
Sheamus once again leaving Orton laying tonight, proving that he’s still as dangerous on Friday nights as he was on Mondays – I’d be afraid of what more else two are capable of, Josh.
As Orton drags his head off the canvas, Sheamus retreats backstage… and despite the lack of closure in who deserves a World Title shot more, we go to a break.
Back we come to SmackDown, then – we’re backstage with Alex Riley, in his Varsity Villain jacket and looking pretty pleased as he struts down a corridor. He winks and points at various people, mostly the rare female worker or Kaitlyn and Tamina talking – they track him with their eyes as he walks past – and now he rubs his hands together, ready for his second episode of SmackDown.
He stops, however, and his face falls… when AJ Lee walks into the shot, in her ring gear, with her hands on her hips.
Forget about someone?
Riley stares blankly at her.
Last week, Teddy Long said you were supposed to help me out. So instead, you… you what? Played basketball? I mean, what’s the matter with you, are you –
She stops when Riley holds up a hand, silencing her mid-rant.
First of all… shut up.
AJ’s little face scrunches.
Second, remember who you’re talking to here. I’m a prodigy, I’ll coach you how I want. If you don’t like it… maybe you just run to Teddy and tell him it’s not gonna work out.
Hands on hips again, AJ narrows her eyes.
You’d like that.
Yeah, yeah I would. But seeing as I’m stuck with you, here’s a little lesson, alright?
He takes a step closer.
My job, even though it should be showin’ off my talent to this roster, is to get the best out of you
, which is a little difficult for me… because I’m not sure you’re old enough to drive
, let alone old enough to wrestle.
Some laughs in the arena. AJ huffs a little.
Once I’ve done MY job, I can dump you off on someone else. In the meantime, I’ve gotta make you think about turnin’ on the style. You know why no-one cared about you last week?
Because you were playing b–
Because you were BORING!
A couple of boos as AJ does her best indignant.
What do you expect people to look at, huh? You’re busy losin’ in the ring, while everyone else is remembering how cool A-Ry is! Chicks dig the Varsity Villain!
His head turns sideways briefly when the crowd boos loudly from the arena. AJ doesn’t look impressed.
If you wanna get better, if you think there’s even a chance
that you and I might get somewhere… you gotta prove that you’re entertaining. Got it?
Silence for a moment. AJ’s eyes bulge, but she calms down.
AJ Lee: (a whisper)
She turns on her heel and walks out of shot. Riley is quiet momentarily, but then breaks out into a grin again, shaking his head and making his own exit.
Back to the arena…
The bell chimes. Standing in the ring is Yoshi Tatsu, who throws some kicks as part of his preparations, and bounces around a little as well.
The following contest is scheduled for one fall! In the ring… from Tokyo, Japan, weighing in at two hundred and six pounds… Yoshi – Tatsu!
Tatsu raises an arm to the miniscule cheer he receives, and his music dies out.
The cracked mirror jumps on to the electric curtain, and the boos roll in as the hooded figure of the Intercontinental Champion, Cody Rhodes
, makes his way out. He keeps his head down, obscuring the mask we know is there, and makes a slow pace towards the ring. Even the normally-peppy Tatsu looks a little disturbed by the menacing figure headed straight for him.
And his opponent… from Marietta, Georgia, weighing in at two hundred and fifteen pounds… the Intercontinental Champion – COOODY… RHODES!
Every passing week I question Cody Rhodes’ mental capacity, guys, but perhaps no more than last week when he attacked Daniel Bryan for making fun of his mask.
Well don’t tell ‘im I said it, dawg, but he don’t need no mask!
Indeed, he doesn’t take well to hearing it, but Cody Rhodes’ face is unblemished, gentlemen. We saw that a few weeks ago when he showed us, but he’s still as sensitive about it as the day he strapped the mask on.
Daniel Bryan saw that aggression, that mental instability, first-hand last week… now Cody has to cope with Yoshi Tatsu tonight to keep his position as champion secure.
Nothing about Cody Rhodes is secure, Josh.
Rhodes scales the steps and keeps his head down as he traipses along the apron. Keeping his eyes to the floor, he enters the ring, then moves immediately into the corner and puts his back to Tatsu. First off is the title belt, which Cody lays across the top turnbuckle, before he whips off his jacket and passes it out of the ring. The mask is there as always, his eyes burning beneath it as he stares into his own reflection in the belt… then finally turns and allows Rod Zapata to pass the title away. Rhodes finally looks at his opponent, and Tatsu’s smile is long gone… here we go.
Match Two – Singles Contest – Non-Title
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes
Say what you want about Tatsu, but you can’t accuse him of not trying every time he steps between the ropes – he’s giving his all to take the fight to Rhodes, but there’s times where the champion doesn’t even guard himself so he can be more aggressive. For instance, when Yoshi fires a flurry of punches here, each one glancing off the mask, Rhodes takes them on the chin and drives the Japanese superstar back into the corner instead. The champion kicks him repeatedly in the gut, then goes wild with overhead punches, again and again until Yoshi falls to the floor. Rhodes keeps going, kicking like crazy until Zapata shouts “FOUR!” and the Intercontinental Champion retreats with bared teeth. Tatsu struggles back up… but Rhodes charges back in and catches him with a knee to the ribs, and again – then starts bashing him with headbutts, driving the mask right into the back of Yoshi’s head!
Again, Rhodes has to be ushered away by Zapata, but his aggression is clear to see. The Disfigured One shoots the official a filthy look, then waits as Tatsu staggers out of the corner – he falls to a knee briefly, but Rhodes hauls him back up and hoists him over his shoulders… FOR THE ALABAMA SLAM! That leaves Yoshi flat out, so Rhodes falls into a cover… one… two… but no! Yoshi kicks out! To his credit, the Japanese superstar doesn’t stay down, but Rhodes seethes again and drags him up by the hair. Yoshi throws some right hands, however, then throws himself into the ropes and goes for the SPINNING WHEEL KICK – NO! Rhodes ducks, then shoves Tatsu out of the ring… no, Yoshi skins the cat!
A small pop goes up as Yoshi swings himself back into the fray, though Rhodes is oblivious and that gives Tatsu an opening. Rhodes turns in surprise to see Tatsu right on him, catching a kick or two to the side, then another to the stomach, and a BIG Shining Wizard to send him reeling back into the ropes! Rhodes is staggered, so Tatsu feeds off the crowd, who liven up as Yoshi gets back into the contest… Rhodes stumbles forward again – AND TATSU GOES FOR THE ROUNDHOUSE… BUT RHODES DUCKS IT! The Intercontinental Champion sprints into the ropes, shoving himself off the middle one – AND NAILING THE BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! Somehow, someway, Rhodes still finds a way to kill Tatsu’s momentum just as he was firing up… and now the champion hauls him up again. He applies the inverted facelock, knowing that he’s got it locked down, and he stares deep into the barrel of the camera for a moment… BEFORE DROPPING YOSHI WITH CROSS RHODES!!! A groan goes up from the crowd as Tatsu gets spiked, and Rhodes makes the cover… one… two… three!
Result: Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes bts. Yoshi Tatsu via pinfall at 4:35
Here is your winner… the Intercontinental Champion… CODY – RHODES!
Not much of a match in terms of action, but certainly enough to show just how disturbed Cody has become – rising to his feet, he pulls his hand away from Rod Zapata as he tries to lift it, and immediately demands his title. He lofts the belt into the air, his head suddenly snapping downwards so no-one will look at his face again.
Cody Rhodes victorious again tonight, but guys, just look at some of these highlights… Cody has seemingly no regard for his own welfare, just looking to hurt his opponent more than he’s hurt himself.
It’s a war of attrition mentality, Josh, and to be honest, I try not to be too surprised by how unstable Cody Rhodes is these days. He’s a man who cast aside
all care and respect for who he is when he put on the mask – he’s a shell of a man, by his words, and that means he no longer cares if he gets hurt… as long as he wins.
He’s one twisted mutha, alright.
As Tatsu rolls to the outside to recover, Rhodes continues his disturbed ‘celebrations’ by keeping that title aloft as he takes an ominous walk around the ring. He receives a good amount of heat for his efforts, but when he finally lowers the title to his waist, he’s interrupted…
*RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*
THE ARENA LOVES IT! Rhodes’ head whips sideways in fury, as the majestic tune strikes up… AND DANIEL BRYAN STORMS OUT! The Intercontinental Champion clutches his precious title, shaking his head as Bryan points down the ramp – then makes an absolute BEELINE for the ring!
Here we go! Daniel Bryan’s throwing himself in with the madman!
DA SUPA-HERO, BABY!
Rhodes’ eyes bulge in classic fashion, weighing the belt in his hands like last week… and now Bryan slides into the ring – TO TACKLE RHODES TO THE GROUND! The crowd goes wild as Bryan floors the champion, the belt spilling to the side, and Bryan goes MAD with a frenzy of right hands! Rhodes forces them both across the ring, answering those shots back in kind, and they go rolling across the deck. Rhodes suddenly shoves him off, so they separate, and Bryan drives Rhodes into the corner… NOW HERE COME THE KICKS!
Bryan lays in the shots, one after another, again and again and again… and somehow he manages to up the pace, driving that right boot into Rhodes’ gut until the champion falls to his knees! Bryan turns away, ROARING out with adrenaline and hearing the crowd echo right back at him! This is where Bryan excels, feeling the momentum rise with the crowd and watching as Rhodes crawls on all fours towards him… and now up to his knees…
…so Bryan can KICK – HIS – FUCKING – HEAD – IN!
Rhodes collapses – the mask offered no protection against the lethal kick and the champion is DOWN! Bryan pumps his arms to the crowd, feeling the cheers coming at him from all directions, but then he sobers up, and just stands above Cody’s body. He takes a look at the title, then slowly raises an arm – and makes his exit.
*RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES*
Daniel Bryan obviously not taking kindly to how Cody Rhodes welcomed him last week – he struck back tonight!
Undoubtedly, Josh, and we saw how close Daniel Bryan came to becoming WWE Champion at Over The Limit – he’s not a man you attack from behind and just get away with it, even if you’re as sick as Cody Rhodes.
Bryan goes marching back up the ramp, slapping a few hands with his spare hand while he raises the other arm into the air. In the ring, Rhodes is still re-piecing himself together after that mind-bending kick, a sight that pleases Bryan when he turns. The smallest smile remains on the submission expert’s face, while Rhodes’ fingers claw his own mask…
…and SmackDown goes to 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 back, there’s the bell…
*NOT ENOUGH FOR ME*
There’s some light heat as Layla and Michelle McCool, or Team Lay-Cool as you’ll remember, make their entrance with a swivel and a raise of the arms. They turn to one another with a high five, and begin to head for the ring.
The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by Michelle McCool… from Miami, Florida… LAYLA!
Layla of Team Lay-Cool set for action, guys, and she’ll be looking to emulate Kelly Kelly from last week, get an important win against SmackDown’s newest Diva.
Hell, I say AJ Lee was lookin’ good last week, but da guy supposed to be helpin’ her was too busy shootin’ hoops!
What’re you looking at me for, Book? I can’t turn down a challenge!
Josh Matthews: (laughing)
You got dunked on so hard, Matt…
Lay-Cool enter the ring, waving sarcastically at some of the front-row fans and strutting around for a bit. Michelle tries to get her best friend fired up, both of them bouncing on the balls of their feet… and the music dies down. They turn to the stage, arms folded and scowling in almost perfect synchronisation…
*SAY IT TO MY FACE*
Like last week, the tune merits some heat from the crowd, but when AJ Lee turns up, the NXT bronze medal winner gets a fair few cheers. She doesn’t look quite as peppy as she did last Friday, bouncing out in front of the green and black curtain and raising both arms in her signature fashion; crucially though, there’s no bright grin and she stays focused on her way down the ramp.
And her opponent, accompanied by… Alex Riley…
The figure of Alex Riley indeed comes walking out, without the basketball hoop this time… instead he has a bottle of champagne and a couple of glasses! The Varsity Villain raises the bottle into the air, ignoring the nearby fans that boo him, and he heads for the ring too, though AJ is up the steps by now.
…from Union City, New Jersey… AJ – LEE!
Well, we heard the issues between AJ Lee and her forced mentor Alex Riley earlier tonight – that basketball skit last week really got under this young lady’s skin.
With good reason, I’d argue, Josh. As a former competitor myself –
Awww hell Matt, you was part of da problem! Naw A-Ry out here wit his drink, lookin’ to stir it up again, and it’s only ‘cause he wants to ruin da girl’s concentration.
Certainly we saw Riley’s resentment at Teddy Long choosing this as his first SmackDown venture last week, but who knows, maybe this baptism by fire might yet mean something. For everyone involved.
Where do you find champagne around here?
As AJ goes to a couple of turnbuckles to raise those arms to the crowd, Riley tours ringside. The Varsity Villain nods at Matt Striker, then calls something to Michelle McCool that she raises her eyebrows at, before he settles… and starts hitting on female fans in the front row!
In the ring, AJ turns to look at this, as Riley tells some random blonde about his charge and points up at the squared circle… where Miss Lee shoots daggers and turns back to Layla. The referee is – you guessed it – Justin “The Pimp” King, who checks both ladies involved, while Layla makes a couple of scathing remarks across the ring at AJ… and the bell chimes…
Match Three – Singles Contest
Layla w/ Michelle McCool vs. AJ Lee w/ Alex Riley
The bell isn’t even done ringing before AJ sprints across the ring – and takes Layla first to the corner, then to the CLEANERS with a series of right hands! The crowd enjoys that no end, with Miss Lee going all out to make an impression, but Layla drives her forward… so they tumble to the floor and somewhere Joey Styles is screaming CAAAAATFIIIIIIIIIIGHT! The two ladies go scratching and clawing across the ring, as Justin King does his best to pretend he’s not loving it by trying to separate them… but they hit the bottom ropes and do that themselves. Both women are up, so AJ ducks a right hand and knocks Layla down with a Dropkick on the money! AJ crawls into the cover… one… two… but Layla kicks out! At ringside, POP goes the cork out of the champagne bottle as Alex Riley meets a different woman and hands her the glasses – AJ gets up from the cover to see Riley pouring this fan a glass of the bubbly, and he shrugs.
AJ shakes her head and turns around, grabbing Layla in a side headlock as she rises. Riley toasts the fan and nearly necks the entire glass, chatting to her about something that isn’t
AJ while this woman’s boyfriend or brother or whoever that is looks awkward beside them. Layla fights out of the headlock and shoves AJ into the ropes. Miss Lee walks into a clothesline, then another, before Layla sends her into the corner and follows up with a big Dropkick – which meets the BUCKLES instead of AJ’s face! The crowd groans as Layla falls backwards, eventually hauling herself up again so AJ can FIRE THE SPINNING HEEL KICK – NO! Layla ducks it, then drags AJ to the deck with the School Girl! One… two… but AJ kicks out of it!
With that, Alex Riley ditches his flame and nicks the glass back. He now hops the barricade, because the few chicks they have at ringside clearly aren’t hot enough, and takes his slowly-draining champagne bottle up the first few rows! In the ring, AJ’s a bit preoccupied to notice, using the ropes to pull herself to her feet. Layla meets her with a couple of sluggish, slap-style blows, marshalling AJ into the corner. She takes a few steps back, then charges in… there’s the Drop Toe Hold, though, and Layla’s face BOUNCES off the middle buckle! Michelle McCool has her hands on her head in horror, with the crowd groaning behind her, but unfortunately Alex Riley’s attention can’t be shifted away from the brunette a few rows into the crowd. The pair of them are doing fairly well to remove a good portion of the champagne, while Layla pulls herself up… right into the path of AJ Lee – WHO MAULS HER WITH THE SPINNING HEEL KICK THIS TIME! Layla gets flattened by that, and Riley turns his head this time to see AJ hooking a leg… one… two… thr-NO! Layla rolls the shoulder!
AJ sits on her haunches and huffs a little. Layla rolls from the ring, needing a breather (and a word in the ear from McCool), as Riley finally returns over the barricade. He’s left the glasses and the bottle with the brunette, as if he’s actually interested by the sight of Layla holding her head in pain. He looks up at AJ, who clearly isn’t pleased by the previous kickout, and leaves the ring to go after her opponent. She shoots a look at A-Ry, then yanks Layla away from her partner by the roots of her hair and hurls her back under the bottom rope. She follows, but Layla dives on her with a bunch of stomps, and turns the tables by yanking AJ up with a chin lock. She adds a few right hands, then whips her to the ropes… BUT AJ LEAPS TO THE MIDDLE ROPE, THEN SPRINGS BACK TO WIPE LAYLA OUT WITH THE CROSSBODY! The crowd pops at the sight of AJ getting airborne, and now she leaps to her feet, screeching “C’MOOOOOOON!” like her life depended on it…
…but Alex Riley has his arms folded – he’s unimpressed! The fire goes right out of AJ’s eyes as she sees that, leaning against the ropes; she exhales heavily, trying to get her breath back, while Riley merely shrugs. Narrowing her eyes, she turns around, stalking Layla as the English-born Diva struggles back up… AND AJ SPINS UP AND SUDDENLY LOCKS HER IN THE OCTOPUS HOLD! The crowd groans and whistles at the excruciating move, with Layla almost immediately falling to a knee and yelling in agony… “HAVE I GOT YOUR ATTENTION?” comes the scream from Miss Lee, the adrenaline surging through her as she wrenches back on Layla’s arm and threatens to snap it – AND LAYLA CAN STAND NO MORE! SHE TAPS!
Result: AJ Lee bts. Layla via submission at 3:51
*SAY IT TO MY FACE*
Here is your winner as the result of a submission… AJ – LEE!
There’s some cheers in the crowd, but the last thing on AJ’s mind is the ovation she receives. As McCool tugs Layla from the ring to console her, Miss Lee storms to the turnbuckles to get some extra height… so she can stare a hole through Riley, who looks stunned. The shadows beneath AJ’s eyes give her a real menacing air, not to mention what she just did… “Entertaining enough?” she asks coldly, but A-Ry has no answer.
Alex Riley asked young AJ Lee to prove herself entertaining tonight, but she did more than that, as Layla’s arm will tell you… your thoughts, Matt?
The deadly Octopus Hold that I remember from AJ’s days on NXT, ever the potent submission, Josh, and tonight, I daresay she earned Alex Riley’s attention all right.
And how, man! Riley tryna’ forget about her, tryna’ distract her wit all dem women in da crowd… nah dawg, AJ made her own statement tah-night. She got it DONE.
It begs the question, gentlemen… what else is AJ Lee capable of that we never realised?
AJ finally steps down, so Riley clambers up on to the apron and slowly, tentatively, steps inside the ropes with her. She has her hands on her hips, waiting for his judgement, not that it seems she cares either way – he takes a long moment to observe her, then nods.
“We could work with that.”
She raises her eyebrows, then spins on her heel, a carbon copy of her exit earlier – but this time she stops at the foot of the ramp, waiting for him. The Varsity Villain shrugs, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his jacket as he joins her. Like last week, he goes into an animated lecture of sorts, leading her back up the ramp, as she folds her arms and pouts. Clearly she’s not got the A-Ry stamp of approval just yet.
We head backstage…
…to see Todd Grisham with a mic. He adjusts his blue tie briefly.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time… Daniel Bryan!
The crowd pops HUGE as Daniel Bryan appears in shot as promised, with girlfriend Gail Kim at his elbow with her head politely bowed.
Daniel, tonight you repaid Cody Rhodes for his actions on last week’s episode of SmackDown… can we get some thoughts from you on this situation?
That vague question sends the mic Bryan’s way, and his face hardens…
See Todd, it’s very simple. At first, I was just kidding around with Cody Rhodes. I was having a laugh, ‘cause I’d been drafted to SmackDown and knowing I wouldn’t get another WWE Title shot… well, I had to keep myself smiling.
For a moment, he nearly exhibits one of those smiles, but it fades.
I quickly found out that Cody Rhodes? He’s a little too serious for jokes. He’s a little too crazy to reason with.
A shake of the head.
I lost to The Miz at Over The Limit even though I made him tap out. He submitted but I’m not WWE Champion. That hurts more than I can even put into words, Todd, givin’ my all but not being at the top of the industry that I love like a son. Like a brother.
Some boos from the arena.
So when I came to SmackDown lookin’ to stay positive, I didn’t expect the welcome I got from Cody Rhodes. I didn’t take to that too well. That’s not gonna help me stay positive… no, that’s just gonna make me MAD.
A small cheer at that prospect.
Cody – Cody, you’re holding a title that dozens of great men – legends
– have held in the past. But you’re too obsessed with your own face to worry about your place in history. Me? I’m always thinking about it. I think about what I do every single day, because for me… for me there’s nothing sweeter.
Another pop there. It’s right there in Bryan’s eyes, the love of what he’s doing.
Yeah, I like to enjoy myself while I’m at it. I can act the joker sometimes and I can be serious as hell, too. But this past year, maybe I’ve been wearing my own mask a little too much… so here’s the lowdown for you, Cody, so you can understand it.
Hard as fucking nails, Bryan turns and glares right into your soul.
Daniel Bryan knows nothing else but wrestling. Do not
try to ruin that for him… or he will ruin YOU.
Some groans in the arena. Bryan’s not fucking around here.
Rhodes, you better know – if you come at me again, I will kick your DAMN head in, and I will take your title away from you. Like THAT, in an instant. I will leave you empty, man.
A pause to let that sink in. Bryan takes a couple of heavy breaths.
And there’s not a thousand masks you can wear that will stop me.
He stares into the barrel of the camera for a moment… then leaves. Gail follows him without a word. Todd stands a little stunned, and SmackDown goes to a break.
We come back to a quiet arena, but the bell rings…
*JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES*
The crowd pops BIG! The ovation builds in an arena now bathing in gold light, until finally Christian walks out to soak in the reaction! The Livewire puts a hand to his brow to search for his peeps, pacing both sides of the stage as he does, then flashes a bright smile to the fans and heads down the ramp.
The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, weighing in at two hundred and twelve pounds… CHRIIISTIAN!
And here’s a man who has every right to smile that big, guys, because tonight, Christian gets his chance at facing Wade Barrett one-on-one, man-to-man.
Dere’s some bad blood here, dawg, like we caught last week when dese two guys kicked off into the crowd and da arena – hell, Teddy Long had to separate ‘em before dey went MAD!
And this has been going on since Wade Barrett and the Corre denied Edge and Christian their chance at a World Title shot, something that carried to Over The Limit and even to last Monday night when Edge got drafted thanks to the bare-knuckle fighter. This is personal.
Absolutely, Matt. Christian has a lot of reasons to want a measure of revenge on Barrett… tonight, we might finally see the mastermind get what he deserves.
Christian takes the steps up the apron, pointing out at a couple of fans in the front row before he swings inside the ropes. He scales the buckles to search one more time, then finally settles into a different corner to wait for his chance at one-on-one revenge. Shaking out his shoulders, Captain Charisma looks eager to go…
“I’VE HAD ENOUGH! I MAKE ‘EM SEE…”
*END OF DAYS*
Heat SWARMS Wade Barrett as the Englishman paces out into his field of Corre-coloured blood red, but it’s clear that he doesn’t give half a damn. On the contrary, he almost smirks, though those are often hard to come by of late, given the kinks in his various plans. He’s twirling a MIC in his right hand, pulling an elaborate thoughtful expression as Ezekiel Jackson turns up alongside him. Big Zeke’s in his ring gear too, as the Corre always are, both men in matching tees, and Jackson shakes out his arms with a devilish grin. Ominous.
And looking at Wade Barrett tonight, you see the face of a competitor who truly believes he’s above
Christian after he beat Edge on the Draft show.
He sure had some harsh words for him last –
Now, hold on a moment.
The music cuts sharply and the boos roll in within seconds. Barrett paces the stage, while Christian invites him down to the ring with a raised hand.
Christian, I know that after what happened last week, you want your one-on-one chance against me… but life isn’t fair.
His eyes flicker briefly at the lighting fixtures of the arena.
If it wasn’t for Teddy Long and his men, I would have shown you exactly what these fists can do. Count yourself lucky there.
Boos as again, Christian steps forward, past the protesting Scott Armstrong. The Livewire pushes up against the ropes, still trying to tell Barrett to get in the ring, but the Englishman’s in no hurry.
In fact, it would be easy for me to fight you tonight and show you now, instead. But as I told you, if I can beat Edge as easily as I did… then you wouldn’t last long at all. You would be my personal
… punching bag.
A frown from Christian as the boos continue.
But, rather than do that… no, you’re not worth the effort. A man of my stature should be looking at the bigger picture. So because I don’t consider you a threat – at all – I’m going to save my energy ahead of the World Title Match that I’m owed.
Heavy heat now as Barrett takes a step back; Christian looks pissed as hell.
Seeing as Kofi Kingston has vanished off the face of the Earth this week, too, clearly he doesn’t want his shot. In the meantime, I am happy to step up and face Alberto Del Rio in Washington instead. I can make him tap… just… fine.
A mixed reaction. The Englishman’s starting to look very smug.
As for you, Christian, allow me to delegate to another impressive member of The Corre for your match… Ezekiel Jackson.
Again, the crowd boos and jeers as Jackson starts to walk down the ramp, shaking out his arms.
While he deals with you, I’m going to discuss the specifics of my World Title shot with Teddy Long – and once you’ve lost… maybe you’ll realise how futile it is, to shoot at The Corre.
God knows we’ve hurt you enough already.
With that, Barrett heads backstage, and Scott Armstrong has to restrain a furious Christian from going straight for Jackson when he climbs to the apron. The crowd is booing, almost as frustrated as Captain Charisma is that he’s not going to get his hands on Barrett.
This is low, even for Wade Barrett, guys.
Barrett spends every second of every day plotting his next move, Josh, and once again tonight he’s plotted his way out of this confrontation. If I didn’t know any better, I might say he was avoiding Christian…
Sure as hell, man. He ain’t got what it takes to beat mah boi Christian, no matter what he says, and naw he just runnin’ SCARED.
Say that to his face, Booker.
Bet yo ass I would.
As someone probably says in Booker’s earpiece not to say ‘ass’ unless it’s a really serious promo, grr, Jackson enters the ring. Removing his shirt and tossing it from the squared circle, Big Zeke looks eager to fight, but now Christian looks just as set to go, scowling and raising his fists. The Livewire was expecting this to be a great night, maybe do his best friend a service, but now things are going downhill… and he doesn’t like that one bit. Scott Armstrong shrugs at the competitor change and calls for the bell.
Match Four – Singles Contest
Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson
As we jump into this bout between the last two ECW Champions ever, it’s the big man in control. He has Christian down, working the old Bow and Arrow Hold, with a knee into the Canadian’s back for good measure. Christian winces to sell Zeke’s power, but the crowd is on his side, clapping and building the noise as Christian begins to find his feet. Jackson still has the arms, trying to force Christian back down, but the Livewire weaves left and right, spinning out and taking Jackson towards the ropes with repeated right hands… he presses the big man into those ropes and sends him off to the other side – no, Jackson sends Christian instead, then drops him with a thumping Shoulder Block. Big Zeke chuckles for a moment, then grabs Christian by the scalp and yanks him right back up. Christian tries to answer back with a sluggish right hand or two, but the Corre’s attack dog clubs him down to a knee, then hoists him up into the Military Press! Jackson parades him around the ring… THEN DROPS HIM DOWN TO EARTH! Christian crashes down, the crowd groaning in the background, as Jackson flips him over and hooks a leg… one… two… no, kickout!
A cheer resounds in Des Moines upon Christian keeping himself alive, but the one man who isn’t as pleased is Big Zeke, who stands with a scowl. He paces the ring for a moment, giving Christian a chance to begin getting up, but the big man immediately grabs him… and begins with the Scoop Slams, a trademark of his. There’s one, two… and a third, taking all the air out of Christian’s lungs with every time he lands. Jackson, the freak, can’t get enough, and pulls Christian back up again – for a fourth
Scoop Slam! Zeke falls beside him now, observing his handiwork for just a second, before he makes the cover… one… two… but again, Christian fights out! Jackson looks pissed again, kicking Christian in the side a couple of times before heading to the corner. He mutters something under his breath, flexing those huge muscles as Christian rises, and now he’ll go for the TORTURE RACK…
…NO! Zeke hoists Christian up for the Backbreaker Rack, but the Livewire squirms out and hooks the arms suddenly, thinking Killswitch – only for Jackson to spin out, there’s the clothesline… no, again Christian ducks it… AND GETS IN BEHIND FOR THE REVERSE DDT!!! A huge pop goes up for that, with both men hitting the deck and Jackson coming off badly… but Christian’s up, punching the air! He’s feeling it now, stumbling into the corner with hair matted down his face by sweat, and his arms go up against the turnbuckles. Gritting his teeth, he shakes the buckle momentarily, then hauls himself up to the second rope. Ezekiel’s slowly pulling himself to his feet, grunting through the pain and putting a hand against his wounded stomach… he tilts his eyes up – TO SEE CHRISTIAN FLYING THROUGH THE AIR, FLOORING THE BIG MAN WITH THE FLASHPOINT! The Diving European Uppercut knocks Jackson sideways, and though Christian takes a difficult landing, he heaves himself back over his opponent… one… two… but Zeke shoves him off!
Here we go again then, with Jackson doing Wade Barrett’s dirty work emphatically on the big kickout there… but both men are up, and though Christian looks worse for wear, it’s the Canadian who fires away with the pre-emptive right hands! He drives Jackson back, then hits the ropes and nails the Forearm Smash! That doesn’t take Jackson down, so Christian slams into the ropes again and hits another… and as Zeke staggers back, Christian gets the momentum one more time. He charges at Jackson, ducking under the big man’s clothesline, then leaps off the second rope – RIGHT INTO JACKSON’S RAISED BOOT! There are some groans in the crowd as Christian reels away, luckily wobbling into the ropes rather than collapsing in his fatigue, but when he’s shaken out the cobwebs he turns right into Jackson’s grip – FOR THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL – NOOOO!!! Christian elbows his way out, then darts behind Jackson… GRABBING THE ARMS AND SPINNING HIM… TO NAIL THE KILLSWITCH!!! The crowd comes alive with cheers, with Christian immediately turning the big man on to his back for the cover… one… two… three!
Result: Christian bts. Ezekiel Jackson via pinfall at 7:28
*JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES*
Here is your winner… CHRISTIAN!
Christian rolls off the cover, immediately punching the air – he’s even happier than the crowd is! A solid ovation surrounds the Livewire as he heads for the corner, hoisting himself up top and looking for his peeps. He takes his hand away now, instead just pumping his right arm to let the adrenaline rush through him after the hard-fought win. Wincing heavily, Big Zeke Jackson rolls to the outside.
Christian may not have got his hands on Wade Barrett, guys, but the message was sent nonetheless – Ezekiel Jackson hasn’t been pinned in a long time, and that means Barrett’s plan just backfired.
Awww, ya better believe it! Christian got it done tah-night! He beat da man put in front of ‘im, and that’s aaaaaall ya can ask.
But the question remains, guys – how long before Christian and Wade Barrett finally go one-on-one?
If Christian has his way, Matt, not long, not long at all.
Christian continues his celebrations, though they become a little muted as he sees Jackson backtracking up the ramp… as if the thought of The Corre kills his celebratory mood.
We fade away…
We’re back, and we’re in the office of SmackDown General Manager, Theodore Long, who’s deep into an argument with Wade Barrett. As we join the broadcast, we can’t quite catch what they’re saying, but it seems animated as Randy Orton suddenly bursts in to a big pop from the arena.
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE HAS BEEN APPROVED
BY THE ULTIMATE BROSKIS
DOWN WITH ZACK AND PRIMO
We’re in sunny California, on the boardwalk next to a bronze beach that rolls into the far distance. Waves are hitting the beach, there are surfers and sunbathers in their droves, and it’s just generally pretty picturesque.
The camera pans sideways to see two men walking, and of course these two men are Zack Ryder and Primo Colon, both wearing shirts and board shorts. They’re both rocking the shades and Ryder can’t stop grinning, the Internet Championship over his shoulder.
Zack Ryder: Broskis and… er, broskettes of the Zack Pack, this is your main man, the Internet Champion – Zack Ryder.
Primo: And I’m de Pride of Puerto Rico, Primo.
A fist bump between the two. Ryder shines up his title, Primo takes off the shades.
Zack Ryder: Now, my top bro and I have a few words for ya, and we were gonna do it from the arena, but when we heard we weren’t even gonna be on the show this week… well, forgive us for not leapin’ to fly out to Iowa. Nice one, Teddy Long.
Primo: Leaving us off the show? Dat’s not cool, Teddy. Dat’s not cool.
The pair keep walking – a couple of female joggers run past, and Ryder takes a moment to lower his shades and watch them leave.
Zack Ryder: Nah, but I’m not too upset, man, not at all. ‘Cause we get to extend our vacation in Cali for another week, and we’ll just hit the public up from beach side.
Primo: Gotta love it, Zack. See, when I’m not surfin’ de bars, you know what I’m thinking about?
Zack Ryder: Tell me, broski.
Primo: Oh I will. I’m thinkin’ about how we’re now SmackDown superstars.
Zack Ryder: Food for thought alright.
Primo: Got dat right. And since we’re on Friday nights now, we gotta set our eyes on de big money, y’know?
Zack Ryder: You must mean those sexy Tag Team Titles, dude.
Primo: Read my mind, Zack. But dere’s two guys… two guys who think dey’re pretty hot. But dey’re just posers.
Ryder nods dramatically. The pair turn the corner and head down some stairs to the beach front, Primo sliding down the handrail as Ryder half-faces the camera.
Zack Ryder: Y’know bro, I think you’re talkin’ about Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. And you’re right, ‘cause The Usos are a pair of nerds who let them win last week, and on the Draft Show? Talk about luck.
On to the beach now – in the background, some kind of party is going on, with lanterns hanging above an evening barbeque. DZP turn to face the camera, however, talking like a pair of infomercial hosts. BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!
Primo: Dey got real lucky alright, Zack. But amigo, it ain’t gonna happen again.
Zack Ryder: Not if we can help it, buddy. See, Down With Zack and Primo is the hottest new duo on SmackDown, NOT them. Good people, we’re here to ask you not to be… er, brainwashed by flashy moves and the fact they’ve obscured their ugly faces.
Ryder stops for a moment; a woman walks past a few yards away.
Zack Ryder: Hey baby! I’m the Internet Champion!
She turns and looks at him like he’s crazy, then leaves the beach as fast as she can.
Zack Ryder: Whatever. But folks, we’re here for a serious cause – support a team with REAL staying power, a pair of real cool broskis.
Primo: DZP, baby. We’re out to top dat tag team division, because de titles? Well, dey’re de ultimate babe magnets.
Zack Ryder: And it’s time for Zack Ryder to become a double champion.
Ryder nods with a huge grin, lofting his Internet Title into the air.
Primo: Yeah – dat too. Dat’s cool, man. Real cool.
“Hey guys! Come get a drink already!” shouts someone in the background. DZP turn their heads briefly, both grinning, then turn back to the camera.
Zack Ryder: Well, we’ve got a party we gotta own, but SmackDown, we’ll see you next week. From the Internet Champion, Zack Ryder…
Primo: And de coolest broski in de Caribbean, Primo –
Zack Ryder: We’re on our way back, people. Woo woo woo – you know it.
The pair of them freeze with cheesy grins on their face, as a DZP logo slams into the corner… and we fade out.
You wanted to see – oh c’mon.
Barrett turns to face him, scowling.
What’s he doing here, Teddy? This was supposed to be –
The crowd builds when the door slams open again and here’s Sheamus, looking none too pleased to have company either.
The hell is this, fella? You said you wanted to see me by meself.
Now hold on a minute, playa –
The door opens once more, and inevitably it’s Christian who joins the fray. He looks furious, as does Barrett, who steps backwards instinctively.
Teddy, I’m listening for about two seconds, then I’m getting what I came for tonight.
The arena cheers at that prospect. Barrett puts his guard up, ready for him if necessary. Long steps between the four.
Nah, nah, stop. Stop it right there, people. Now I called y’all in here to talk to you about this… well, this situation you got going on, and I figured out the only way to settle it.
The four men wait impatiently, with Orton and Sheamus looking just as ready to go off as the other two.
I know all four of you ain’t had the best of it recently. You all wanna shot at the World Championship to change that.
Well, at Capitol Punishment, the four of you are gonna go at it in a Fatal Four-Way Match… and whoever wins – is gonna be next in line to the title. That good enough for ya?
A pop from the arena, but silence in the room. The four men exchange looks, and Orton shrugs…
Suits me fine.
…BEFORE HE LURCHES FORWARD AND SPEARS SHEAMUS OVER TEDDY’S COUCH!!! The sofa topples to the ground, the crowd going wild as Teddy darts backwards in surprise – AND CHRISTIAN TAKES DOWN BARRETT!!!
The arena crowd is loving every second of this, with Christian and Orton going after their enemies, but the Englishman and the Irishman are no pushovers and they brawl right back at them! Long has lost all control, no longer even in the shot as these four go medieval on each other… but Barrett CRACKS Christian with an elbow shot to the face, and scrambles out the door!
Christian goes to follow, once he’s got his mind back, but Teddy’s returned, with security guards to break apart Sheamus and Orton! The guards spread into the room and separate the three superstars that remain at Long’s command. The crowd is chanting for a mixture of Orton and Christian, but apparently we’ll see no more action as Long tells the guards to get them out of his office…
…and we’re back to the arena, where the bell rings. It’s MAIN EVENT TIME…
A grand cheer goes up in the Wells Fargo Arena, the stage lighting up in a rainbow as Rey Mysterio bounces out with Sin Cara in tow!
The following contest is set for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by Sin Cara… from San Diego, California, weighing in at one hundred and seventy-five pounds… RRRRREEEEEEY – MYSTERIO!
Guys, it’s kicking off all over again between those four superstars, and what an announcement from Teddy Long – we’ve got a Fatal Four-Way to look forward to come Capitol Punishment, with the winner becoming next in line to the World Title!
Teddy knew he had to try to defuse this situation, Josh, but evidently they’re not satisfied by his solution alone. We’ve still got sixteen days ‘til we’re in Washington, who knows what could happen between them before then?
A very good question, Matt, but looking forward here, we’ve got Rey Mysterio set for action against one half of the Tag Team Champions, and after what we saw last week, Rey and Sin Cara could well be on their way to challenging for the titles.
If dey keep up dat form, why not, dawg? My bois are clickin’ as a team, gettin’ the crowd outta da seats, and most important – dey WINNIN’, man.
Rey goes blessing the fans wearing replica masks, then slides into the ring to tour the turnbuckles. He does the rounds, giving each side of the arena a blessing, and steps down. His music dies away, with the crowd chanting “619!” sporadically as Rey leans through the ropes, having some last minute words with Sin Cara. They slap hands – they’re dancing to the same tune.
“I’VE HAD ENOUGH! I MAKE ‘EM SEE…”
*END OF DAYS*
Boos, and fairly heavy ones, swarm the WWE Tag Team Champions, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel as they arrive… well, certainly Slater, who leads the pair down the ramp with his usual obnoxious flair, while Gabriel just looks out at the arena from under his dark fringe. Both men have their titles, Slater slapping his as he talks trash at Mysterio upon reaching ringside.
And his opponent, accompanied by Justin Gabriel… from Pineville, West Virginia, weighing in at two hundred and sixteen pounds… he is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions… HEATH – SLATER!
We sat with these two gentlemen, or should I say one gentleman and Heath Slater, last week on SmackDown to watch Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeat The Usos, guys, and it’s fair to say they saw an impressive performance first-hand.
Without a doubt, Josh, but if you thought that meant Heath Slater would show any sign of restraint or caution ahead of this main event, you’d be wrong.
Hell, Slater and Gabriel ain’t had it easy since Justin became a Raw superstar, but dese guys have still been champs fo’ months, dey won’t lose da titles easy, and all Heath gotta do tah-night is beat Rey and da momentum is like – BAM – done.
Gabriel quietly walks to a place at ringside, while Slater enters the ring… but not as quietly. Rey hears no end of Slater’s bold taunts, gesturing again and again to the title on his shoulder. Eventually, referee Charles Robinson takes that from him to hand to ringside, as Slater bounces on the balls of his feet, and the bell chimes so the One Man Band can back up all his big talk…
Main Event – Singles Contest
Rey Mysterio w/ Sin Cara vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Heath Slater w/ Justin Gabriel
These two have a lot to fight for in regard to the Tag Team Championship situation; Mysterio knows that a win could earn his team a title shot, while Slater is fighting to keep the impressive luchador duo from mounting a future genuine challenge to the straps. With that in mind, it’s Slater who takes control after about seven minutes of back-and-forth action, wearing the slightly-smaller Mysterio down with a series of elbows to the lower spine. Rey winces, but fights back with elbow shots of his own, freeing himself so he can bounce into the ropes – Slater bends down, so Rey dives over the top with the Sunset Flip… NO! Slater rolls back to his feet on his momentum, then sets his feet and throws himself forward… DROPKICK, RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES!!! Rey’s head whips backwards, and Slater dives over him without a second thought… one… two… but no, Mysterio rolls a shoulder!
The crowd cheers as Rey fights out, but as yet he hasn’t taken back control, with Slater immediately slapping on a headlock after the kickout. He cinches it in tight, then forces Mysterio into the corner of the ring and throws some knees to the gut. After he’s sure he has Rey worn down, Slater takes a lap of the ring, stopping momentarily for a bit of air guitar – Justin Gabriel looks unsure at ringside – before Heath charges forward… and THROWS himself into the top buckle when Rey darts out the way! Another pop fills the arena, with Mysterio now heading to the ropes for some added speed, then meeting Slater in the middle of the ring… Rey spins up, going all around the world… THEN SENDING SLATER ACROSS THE RING WITH THE HEADSCISSORS TAKEDOWN!
Slater goes tumbling, but staggers back to his feet, throwing a clothesline and missing as Rey heads for the ropes again – this time to spring back for the CROSSBOOODDDY – GOT HIM! The crowd pops as Mysterio takes down the champion, and Sin Cara slams the apron in excitement as Mysterio hooks a leg… one… two – but no! Slater kicks out, and both men scramble back to their feet to collide in the centre of the ring… Mysterio slides through Heath’s legs, then Dropkicks him in the back – meaning he falls on to the second rope! The crowd bursts to life again now, with Mysterio seeing what he’s done and grinning as he dials it up… but no, Slater hits the deck desperately and rolls from the ring! Boos are the inevitable response as the One Man Band takes a breather, heading round ringside to consult with Gabriel. The South African gives him some advice under his breath, but as he does so, Mysterio’s suddenly on the top rope – AND HE LEAPS OFF WITH THE PLANCHA… WIPING OUT ONLY GABRIEL AS SLATER DIVES SIDEWAYS!!!
The crowd groans in awe as Mysterio and Gabriel come together on the outside, both tumbling to the floor in pain… but Slater runs a hand through his hair and counts his lucky stars! We catch a replay, showing quite clearly how Slater sees Mysterio coming… and rather than warn or help his tag partner, he saves his own
skin first! Gabriel tilts his head up, wincing, and then frowns as he sees Slater still standing – but his fellow champion doesn’t seem too guilty, only spying a vulnerable Mysterio on the ground as SmackDown goes to a break…
After commercial, Slater is in charge of a weakened Rey Mysterio, with Justin Gabriel looking fairly sullen on the outside. Certainly Rey and the South African are both still feeling the effects of what happened before the break, and now Sin Cara’s responsibilities are, as usual, to liven up the crowd. Slater’s working the Abdominal Stretch on Rey, so on the outside, the Mexican Idol starts clapping his hands, getting the fans invested. The support builds in the arena, so Mysterio begins to fight his way out with some left hands, his only free limb… then spins out of the hold and hits the ropes – he ducks the clothesline, then comes back – NO, SLATER SUDDENLY DROPS HIM WITH A FLAPJACK! The air is taken from the lungs of Mysterio, the momentum taken from the comeback in equal measure, so the One Man Band makes a cover… one… two… kickout!
Slater runs a hand through that bright hair of his, then forces himself up. Mysterio’s crawling for the ropes, but the Tag Team Champion catches him with a sharp kick to the ribs. Rey rolls sideways with a gasp, so Slater takes a moment to lay in some trash talk – “Ya ain’t goin’ near MAH title, bah-bay!” – before he adds some stomps to keep Rey on the defensive. He grabs the luchador by the mask and hauls him up, throwing a few knee shots to the gut as the onslaught continues, then hooking him up… to nail an Inverted Suplex, dropping Rey right on his stomach! Slater immediately turns, taking Rey and throwing him on his back for another cover… one… two… but Rey kicks out again!
Slapping the deck in frustration, Slater gets up. He looks to ringside, where Gabriel is in no disposition to hand out advice this time, so the One Man Band turns away from his frosty partner to go by his own judgement. His thought process leads him to yank Rey back up again, but this time he drives him into the corner and fires away with some right hands. Again and again he catches the smaller man, until Charles Robinson counts him off, so now Slater adopts a different tactic and heaves Rey to the top turnbuckle. Mysterio’s really feeling Slater’s offence by now and doesn’t resist, so Slater goes to join him after another couple of stinging shots. The crowd buzzes as Slater stands on the second rope, time standing still for a moment as he goes to end this big… no, Rey suddenly comes alive and fights back! A pop goes up at the sight of the Ultimate Underdog’s right hands, firing into Slater’s gut to kill his momentum… but Slater elbows him in the jaw and hooks up the SUPERPLEX… NO! Mysterio jams the move, then lashes a couple of right hands to the jaw… Slater goes limp for a moment, allowing Rey to stand on the top rope – AND DIVE OFF, TAKING SLATER DOWN WITH HIM FOR THE SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB!!!
The crowd goes wild! Slater’s body bounces off the canvas in typical well-sold style, with Rey lying beneath the bottom rope now to recover. Sin Cara is firing up the crowd, inciting a series of “619!” chants as he claps his hands again and again… and slowly, slowly, Rey heaves himself up on the outside apron! After being under so much offensive pressure for so long, Mysterio may just see an opening, exhaustedly putting a hand on the top rope. Slater struggles up too, definitely feeling that last landing… so Rey springboards – and gets the Seated Senton! Rey keeps running as his feet touch the ground, heading right for the corner, scaling up – AND SOARING BACK ON THE MOONSAAAAAUUUULLLTTT – HE GOT IT!!! The crowd pops HUGE, Rey turning this match entirely on its head, and now he crawls back to Slater to hook a leg… one… two… THR-NOOO!!! It’s not enough, it’s not enough!
Rey looks to the ceiling in disbelief – he thought he had it! This match is suddenly wide open, only a short while after Slater was in complete control, and now the focus returns to Mysterio, trying to heave Slater off the mat. The One Man Band shoves the littler man away, but Rey comes back with some kicks to the side, forcing him to the ropes. Mysterio tries to whip Slater across the ring, but the champion turns on his heel and sends him instead… THEN DROPS MYSTERIO WITH A SPINNING SPINEBUSTER! Slater makes that look incredible every time he hits it, no less so here, but both men are down… that is, until Slater whips his head up, sees Rey down, and begins the slow crawl into the cover… one… two… thr-NO! Mysterio still has it in him to kick out! We’re still going!
On the outside, Justin Gabriel has his hands on the apron. The South African has his Tag Team Title still over his shoulder, and just for a moment he looks at it, then to Slater, as both competitors struggle up in the ring. This is indeed what it’s all about, just the possibility of a chance to maybe even get a taste
of the gold for Mysterio and Sin Cara… and you can see that in Mysterio’s desire here, as he lands the first blow. The right hand staggers Slater, but he slogs back in equal measure, before the blows come thick and fast, traded between the two men… the crowd has no time to pick sides, just cheering as the action heats up again! Slater forces Mysterio back to the ropes, then sends him off to the other side… Slater charges at him for good measure, but Rey sparks into life with a Dropkick to the knee – and Slater tumbles over the second rope!
Cheers fill the arena here, with Justin Gabriel looking stunned – but Mysterio’s feeling it, pumping up the crowd before he hits the ropes… no! Slater pushes off the ropes and suddenly charges with the clothesline – ducked by Rey… AND THE PAIR COLLIDE WITH A DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE, TAKING THEM BOTH DOWN! Slater wanted that clothesline, and Rey wanted to stay on offence, and that meant that the pair collided heavily, leaving them both collapsed on the deck! The crowd is on its feet, every last one of these fans behind Mysterio, but just for the moment, this match has found the tiniest of lulls. Slater is the first man to move, crawling towards the ropes inch by inch… and – he’s saying something? Gabriel is the target, the South African frowning… Slater’s gasping “Gimme…” – the slimy fucker’s asking for the title belt! The One Man Band crawls to the edge of the ring, holding out a hand and trying to formulate a plan with Gabriel…
…but Gabriel shakes his head! Slater’s eyes are wide, but Gabriel won’t do it, keeping his title clutched on his shoulder! Slater’s partner won’t let him cheat his way to a win here, and he’ll be no part in any scheme to distract the referee either! Gabriel steps away from the apron, meaning that Slater has to haul himself up without his weapon of choice – the One Man Band tries one more time to ask his partner again, leaning over the top rope and almost pleading with his fellow champion… but Gabriel won’t be swayed! Stunned, Slater turns around… and inevitably, Rey Mysterio’s recovered, leaping into the HURRICANRANA… SENDING SLATER ON TO THE SECOND ROPE AGAIN! The crowd rises as one, all cheering as Mysterio dials it up for a third time – AND NAILS THE 619 THIS TIME AROUND!!! A big pop fills the arena as Mysterio stays on the outside, scaling up the turnbuckle as Slater topples to the floor – AND REY THROWS HIMSELF OFF WITH THE NO-HANDED SPLASH, RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!! Gabriel shakes his head at ringside, more in disgust than disappointment, and now Rey forces himself back over Slater for the cover… one… two… three!!!
Result: Rey Mysterio bts. WWE Tag Team Champion Heath Slater via pinfall at 15:10
Here is your winner… RRREEEEEY – MYSTERIO!!!
It’s a great cheer that echoes here in Des Moines as Mysterio bursts out of the cover – the Ultimate Underdog punches the air with a grin the size of China! The crowd is hailing a momentous win for Rey and Sin Cara, the latter of whom slides into the ring to congratulate his partner! Sin Cara and the referee each raise one of Rey’s arms, while Slater slumps out under the bottom rope.
We knew a win for Rey Mysterio tonight could change the outlook of the tag team division – guys, the champions may be entering crisis mode!
Heath Slater wanted to use his partner’s title belt to gain an advantage in the dying embers of the match, Josh, but no dice from Gabriel! These two used to be on the same page, but now… now their tactics are worlds apart.
And ya look at my bois Rey and Sin Cara, dey KNOW what dis means!
On the outside, Slater tilts his head up from the floor… to see Justin Gabriel, arms folded around his title, watching him from the bottom of the ramp. The South African is in no hurry to help his partner to his feet, observing him with a cold stare, while Slater spreads his arms wide to ask “What the hell just happened, man?” Gabriel narrows his eyes.
Behind the champions’ discord, Mysterio and Sin Cara continue their celebrations… and we cut backstage to the sight of the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, walking with Rosa Mendes, Chavo Guerrero and Hunico (with trumpet). The arena crowd boos him a little, though mostly they’re still focusing on the ring…
Speaking of interesting title situations, we’re about to hear from Alberto Del Rio… but is Kofi Kingston in the building?
…and SmackDown goes to a break.
Raw Rebound this week shows the scathing back-and-forth between CM Punk and The Rock after the latter promises to return to the ring at Capitol Punishment. Coming out to defend Vince McMahon, the Great One lays into Punk for his arrogance in thinking he can truly ‘change the system’ if he beats him. Punk, on the other hand, vows to hurt Rocky for being the focal point of Vince McMahon’s entertainment empire. The stage is set for an upstart-versus-legend showdown in Washington, but later in the show, we see Punk and the Convoy ambush McMahon, making this about a lot more than just one match. Punk says that no-one is safe anymore, leaving McMahon lying in disgrace as Raw goes off the air.
We’re back in Des Moines…
Boos FLOOD the arena as the stage turns gold, and here comes the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, still flanked by the men we saw just moments ago, Chavo Guerrero and Hunico as well as the secretary Rosa Mendes. In the ring, Ricardo Rodriguez is in his tux and smirks out at the crowd before he raises his mic.
Damas y caballeros, por favor póngase en tus pies y respetar el mayor… ALBERTOOOOO – DEL RIIIIIIOOOOOO!!!
Last week, ladies and gentlemen, this man won the Beat The Clock Challenge, and he chose to play at home field come Capitol Punishment, as was his right… Kofi Kingston is looking at a Submission Match if he wants the World Title.
Alberto says it’s past Kofi ‘choking’ now, Josh; now it’s about a showcase. Del Rio wants to hurt the number one contender, to prove that he’s a dominant champion, but even if Kofi’s not a submission specialist, he still won’t go down without a fight.
Well befo’ we can find out, Kofi gotta get down here, dawg. He gotta speak his mind, but since Del Rio opened his mouth last week, we ain’t heard a thing.
In his ring gear and with the usual scarf around his neck, Del Rio leads his unit down the ramp and enters the ring. Chavo and Hunico open the ropes for Rosa, while Alberto greets Ricardo as friends do, with the announcer handing the mic over after. Once the five of them are arranged, the music fades away, leaving us with the crowd’s hatred as the new soundtrack. Del Rio doesn’t seem to care, however.
Alberto Del Rio:
I’m gonna tell you all… about courage.
Boos for so much as ADR opening his mouth.
Alberto Del Rio:
And you know why I want to tell you about courage? It’s because it’s not long, not long at all… until my Submission Match at Capitol Punishment. And when de only way to win is by making your opponent give up… you have to have de courage to survive.
A shake of the head.
Alberto Del Rio:
I don’t believe Kofi Kingston has dat courage… and neither should any of you.
Heat for that.
Alberto Del Rio:
Any belief you people had for Kofi Kingston should have expired… when you saw his failure last week. Or at Over De Limit, when he failed dere. Every time he chokes, you people look past it.
He pauses, narrowing his eyes a little.
Alberto Del Rio:
So I took de next step. De only way to make you see how he cannot cut it… is to break him. A Submission Match is how I do it.
Alberto Del Rio:
I’ve made so many people tap… I lose count. To break a man physically, to break a man mentally – dat is de sweetest way to win. Kofi Kingston cannot break a man.
In the background, the Administration are all smiles and nods.
Alberto Del Rio:
You all saw how Evan Bourne fought bravely last week… but he still lost. De same way Kofi Kingston fought well but still choked. And now, he’s so afraid of me and my choice of match dat he can’t even show his face. De actions of a cowardly man.
Boos from the pro-Kofi crowd.
Alberto Del Rio:
In his absence, it falls to me… it falls to me to give you all a taste of what’s coming at Capitol Punishment. I am going to show you all – dat in de world of submissions, no-one can overthrow me.
Some more heat, Del Rio firmly at the top of his pyramid now.
Alberto Del Rio:
An example. A few years ago, dere was a man famous for his submission skill, of one specific hold… and he remains on de SmackDown roster to dis day. Dis man – dis man used to be able to break someone, just like I can, but I am going to show you all how much more dangerous I am than the man you used to fear. A man who used to impress you all so.
He turns to the ramp with a smirk.
Alberto Del Rio:
Earlier tonight… I invited you to meet me in dis ring. Now we will see how you measure up… Chris Masters.
A pause, allowing the crowd to build a buzz for just a few moments.
That pop could not be milder – the camera swings up to face the stage, where Chris Masters lives up to Del Rio’s word by pacing out into view. He forgoes his usual dramatics, no flexing of the muscles or confident smiles, instead just walking towards the ring. His eyes flicker between the Administration members, and evidently he’s unsure of what he’s doing.
Well that’s Chris Masters alright, folks, but that’s another four men in the ring, I’d be careful…
Chris Masters hasn’t had a successful 2011, Josh, but that could still change, and I tell you something; when the World Champion invites you to his ring, you gotta consider the exposure.
What kinda exposure is it when a boi gets jumped by fo’ guys, Matt?
Why would Del Rio go out of his way to hurt a random member of the roster?
That’s the question that hangs in the air, and in Masters’ mind, as he approaches ringside. He hops up to the apron, hesitating there, then steps inside when Del Rio motions the Administration back. Standing alone, Masters’ eyes flicker amongst the champion’s men (and Rosa), as his music dies out and Del Rio raises the mic again.
Alberto Del Rio:
Now Chris, you used to run something called… de Master Lock Challenge, no?
Masters acknowledges that.
Alberto Del Rio:
Dis was how you made a name for yourself, by showing off, however possible… dat you could make a man give in. In itself, dat is impressive.
Some slight, almost-mocking applause from the World Champion.
Alberto Del Rio:
But those days where you were championed for your prowess… dey are gone, amigo.
Masters shakes out his shoulders and mouths “Why don’t you get to your point, buddy?”
Alberto Del Rio:
I want to test… how good you are. I want to take the Master Lock Challenge, and prove dat not only am I a champion… but dat even the best submissions cannot stop me. Do you understand?
Again, Masters limbers up, nodding his head with raised eyebrows. He stops and looks at the other men in the ring.
Alberto Del Rio:
But of course…
He motions for the Administration to step back. They do so, though Chavo looks a little suspicious of a man he’s faced every so often on Superstars. Del Rio hands the title off to Ricardo, and his scarf as well, then steps forward to square up to Masters.
Alberto Del Rio:
Chris, dis is your chance to impress dese people… and taste, even for a second, de glory dat I experience every day. And because I am so sure of the outcome – peso, if you make me tap… I will put dis title on de line tonight.
A pop, and THAT definitely gets Masters’ attention. For the first time, he steps forward, looking genuinely interested to be here now. Del Rio cracks a smirk.
Alberto Del Rio:
So… try to break Mexico's pride.
Masters takes another glance at the Administration, as Del Rio hands his mic to Rosa. The champion turns back, meeting Masters in the middle of the ring again. The Masterpiece asks him something under his breath, perhaps growing in confidence here, but Del Rio ignores him and raises his arms to have the hold applied. As Masters positions himself behind Alberto, he takes one last glance at the Administration, and Del Rio winks into the hard camera… moments before Masters applies the Master Lock!
Whoa, Del Rio wasn’t bluffing!
The crowd immediately pops, with Del Rio’s head SNAPPING downwards sharply, and Chavo almost intervenes. Del Rio wasn’t expecting quite the aggression he received from Masters there, with the Masterpiece going all out to break the champion… but there will be quick no submission from Del Rio! We have no referee here, so it’s all down to Del Rio to let Masters know if he’s had enough… but as yet there’s nothing, with the champion wincing but refusing to give in!
Guys, could – could Masters make Del Rio tap here? Does the champion know what he just let himself in for, all to send a message?
Masters begins to throw Del Rio from side to side, rattling his brains, and the crowd is fully behind him now! The Masterpiece is no slouch, still in fine physical condition, and he’s putting the World Champion through the ringer… but STILL no submission! Del Rio gasps for air, but grits his teeth and survives. He makes his first attempt to fight back, worming left and right a little and trying to break Masters’ grip, but as yet it’s ironclad, watertight.
Can you imagine if Del Rio taps? With his own men right there?
And has he underestimated Chris Masters?
Just yards away, Chavo Guerrero exchanges a glance with Hunico. Ricardo’s hands are all over the World Title, clutched to his chest as Del Rio is put under more pressure by Masters. The big man really wants to seize his opportunity, throwing Alberto around a little more… and momentarily, the champion loses his footing, with Masters looking to take control! Del Rio saves it, scrabbling to stay upright, but the crowd is on its feet, roaring for the submission!
G-guys, I think – I think Del Rio’s on the ropes!
Da boi goin’ tap!
Alberto is flailing now, the crowd noise surging in here… but the champion scrambles with some left footed shots to Masters’ knee, distracting him! Masters growls to shake off the pain, but suddenly Del Rio is fighting back in full, knowing he can’t overpower Masters to break the grip… but he can transition just fine, tilting sideways to get some more of those boots to the knees!
Alberto – he’s… he’s fighting!
Masters keeps the grip, but you can see he’s struggling now – Del Rio keeps firing at the knee, then swivels sideways… BREAKING FREE – AND CRACKING MASTERS IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH A HUGE ENZUIGIRI!!!
The crowd gasps as one, with Masters collapsing to the floor in a heap, and Del Rio’s face lights up! That trademark grin appears again, seconds after transitioning out of Masters’ best efforts, and now he turns to take the mic from Rosa. The men of the Administration are applauding.
I thought – guys, I really thought Masters had Del Rio there, but the World Champion has proved us wrong… and gone a step further, too. That was uncalled for.
As the mic comes up, you can hear the heavy breaths of Del Rio, who takes a long pause. His breathing slows a little, as Masters clutches at his head, and finally the champion speaks again.
Alberto Del Rio:
A good effort, amigo… but now it’s my turn.
Suddenly, Del Rio dumps the mic… AND LOCKS IN THE CROSS-ARM BREAKER ON MASTERS!!!
Speaking of uncalled for, Josh!
Da hell is da boi doin’? Enough, he already had enough!
The crowd is booing furiously and Masters writhes in pain. Del Rio wrenches away on the arm, with the Administration (especially Chavo) watching in admiration – Masters is in hell, yelling out and trying to escape, but to no avail! Del Rio is merciless, making sure he applies as much pressure as Masters did to him, and more… until finally, Masters taps repeatedly! Boos resound in Des Moines as Del Rio finally lets him go, rising to his feet and taking the title from Ricardo. Standing above Masters, he mouths something we don’t catch, raising the belt high.
Guys, Chris Masters was tempted by Alberto Del Rio tonight, but he ended up paying for it, like so many others.
Never trust a snake, Josh…
Chavo and Hunico are patting Del Rio on the shoulder. Ricardo and Rosa are applauding, with Masters continuing to clutch at his arm in agony, and now Del Rio turns to wink once more into the hard camera…
“SOS… I HEAR DEM SHOUTIN’! SOS… I HEAR DEM CRYIN’!”
BUT THE CROWD GOES MENTAL! Del Rio turns with narrowed eyes, shaking his head… because for the first time since this segment last week, Kofi Kingston walks out! The Ghanaian has no explosive entrance this week, just pacing out in a brand new merch t-shirt (“HERE COMES THE BOOM” on a bright green sunset) over his ring gear. His hair is tied back, his face almost blank, and in his hands, he of course holds a microphone. He paces out slowly, then stands still to stare down at the ring, where Del Rio motions to the injured Masters.
We haven’t heard from him all week, folks – he wasn’t available for interviews, he didn’t give us anything on social media, but Kofi Kingston is here on SmackDown!
I knew Kofi would say his piece eventually, Josh, but perhaps he just needed a little time to focus on the task he’s got ahead of him. Del Rio wasn’t expecting him, but Kofi Kingston has never backed down from a challenge…
Kofi waits for his music to die out. Once it has, the “KOFI! KOFI!” chants strike up in their hundreds, looking to spite Del Rio as much as encourage his future challenger. Del Rio, no longer focused on Masters, lets the big man roll from the ring, and slaps his title as Kofi raises the mic.
That sure was impressive, man.
Boos of disagreement from the crowd.
Yeah, you sure showed me. You sure showed everyone here.
He shakes his head.
Is that what you wanna hear, Alberto? You want us to be impressed? Or scared?
Some heat as Del Rio just smirks.
Well bad news, man. You didn’t scare me away. You can call me a choke artist if you want, ‘cause that bounces right off… but don’t go callin’ me a coward.
Fact is, ever since I stepped into the WWE, people have been tryna label me. People think they know Kofi Kingston. But sooner or later, Alberto, you’re gonna realise that people have the capacity… to change.
A few cheers for that.
So just because you think
your plan was fool-proof, doesn’t mean it is. Because sure, you caught me off-guard with that stipulation, and sure, I’ve never been a submission kinda guy. But man, that doesn’t mean I can’t still beat you.
Del Rio’s smirk fades, and the crowd cheers again.
This past week, I’ve been tryna collect my thoughts, because this challenge is gonna be the biggest yet. I went home, took it easy, and while I was there… well, I found some stuff. I found boxes and boxes of stuff from my childhood. We’re talking programmes and action figures and signs here. I had it all because I loved the WWE, and I wanted to be a part of it someday. I lived it.
Kofi smiles a little, thinking fondly back on those days. The crowd is fully behind him.
But I haven’t just been reminiscin’ all week, Alberto, no… I’ve been training.
Some whistles and “ooh”s from the crowd. Del Rio says something in Spanish to Ricardo, frowning.
See, whilst I was looking through all my old stuff, I remembered the guys who made me love this business so much. I remembered jumpin’ off the couch and cheerin’ for all these guys. There was nothing else for me. And while I was thinking… I realised there was one man who could change things.
A buzz builds now, with Del Rio frowning in the ring. His henchmen look none too pleased either.
The potential was always there for me to do the impossible, Alberto. I always knew that someday I’d be a World Champion, but this time, I’m not afraid to say I needed a little help. So I went and asked for it, from a guy who’s gonna train me… until I become the best.
The crowd is on edge here, waiting, but Kofi just smiles. He folds his arms, apparently not speaking again, while Del Rio is muttering something to his troops, not fully understanding…
*RETURN THE HITMAN*
THIS ARENA LOSES ITS SHIT! The stage turns pink and black, and Kingston just continues to smile… AS BRET HART WALKS OUT ALONGSIDE HIM!!! Del Rio looks like he’s seen a ghost, his eyes bulging in disbelief, and the Administration are in a state of PANIC!
OH MAH GOODNESS!!!
The HITMAN! Kofi went to the Hitman!
Hart takes a few moments to soak in the reaction from behind those shades, clad in his usual leather jacket and Batman shirt… before he turns to Kofi, and raises his hand to the delight of the crowd! It’s all a message to Del Rio, saying that these two really are working together – and the champion is furious!
Ohhhh, the game has changed, gentlemen!
Kofi Kingston grew up watching this man! Bret Hart was his idol… and now Kofi’s going into a Submission Match, alongside the greatest submissions expert of all time!
Dis is INSANE!
In the ring, Del Rio is holding an inquisition, asking his Administration why no-one knew about this ahead of time, but all this does is give confidence to Kingston. At the top of the ramp, the Ghanaian is talking to Hart under his breath, with the Hitman cracking a little grin in response. Del Rio pings into the ramp-side ropes, pointing to Kofi and Bret and screaming “DIS CHANGES NOTHING!”, but he’s riled…
Alberto Del Rio tried to stack the deck against his challenger… but Kofi Kingston went out and got himself the best possible coach! In just sixteen days, Kofi’s gonna have to make Del Rio tap – but if there’s one man who can make it happen… it’s Bret “The Hitman” Hart!
As Del Rio tries to calm down, slapping his title belt to make a statement, Bret turns to point at Kofi, while the Ghanaian just nods his head. He knows he may have levelled the playing field tonight, and Hart looks very happy to be alongside him… which only bodes ominously for Del Rio’s title reign…
…as SmackDown fades out.
END OF SHOW
The Return; Grudge Match
CM Punk versus The Rock
World Heavyweight Championship; Submission Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) defends against Kofi Kingston
The Miz (c) defends against Triple H
Fatal Four-Way; The Shot At Redemption
Christian versus Wade Barrett versus Randy Orton versus Sheamus
Back to business then. Cheers BkB for the kind words here, and Wolfy too in the Discussion Thread, it’s very humbling. I’ve recapped all matches but the first one from Raw, which means it got done a lot faster, hopefully without losing any of the impact either, so I’ll probably keep doing it for a while. I also hope to throw out some feedback to the good people who are inspiring me to write faster, but don’t hold me to that, I have a reputation to keep up