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June 18th, 2008

The Hammerstein Ballroom – Manhattan, New York City, New York

“Changing the Questions”


*Online SPOILERS*

Greetings, everyone. This is your backstage reporter extraordinaire known only to you as “The Informer”. Okay, sorry, maybe I’m getting a big head on myself. But yes, this is me and I’ll be continually updating this post over the course of the next few hours with the results and happenings of this week’s edition of Wednesday Night Oblivion that’s being taped on a Tuesday. I ramble a lot, so I apologize in advance for the results’ lack of directness. I’m rambling already because I prefer to be called ‘backstage reporter’ rather than ‘dirtsheet writer’ because dirtsheets are rather cryptic and ambiguous with their information while I choose to investigate and have sources of direct information. But tab this post and keep up with my ‘spoiler diary’, as I might call it. I promise to use my investigating skills to not just sit on my ass in the crowd and bring you direct results, but also see if I can wander around backstage and catch some juicy gossip as it happens. Prepare to be Informed.

[8:10] – Rendezvous
Gates to the Hammerstein opened at 7:50, but several of the concessions don’t get up and completely operating until about 8:30, so there’s no drunk people yet. As one would imagine, AOW has pretty much sold out every show they’ve had in this building and all of us like to get here early, so fighting through 2,500+ fans took a little bit of time to find my seat. I’m not directly on the front row, but just a little bit back from it, so I’m still close enough to see and whatnot. I’m also on the main camera side, so if they play to the camera, they’ll be playing to me, so hopefully I won’t miss any of the little details.

But being on the camera side means I’m not so close to the commentary booth, and I wanna get you guys all the coverage I can. That’s why I took some time after finding my seat to have a little meeting with one of my sources, who is also attending the show, but he’s sitting directly behind JBL and Styles and will be relaying me any information regarding commentary notes and possibly even what they do during the commercial breaks. Camera coverage? Check. Commentary? Check. Now all I got to do is not lose my wi-fi and hope the people sitting in front of me don’t have signs and I (and therefore, you) should be good.

[8:41] – The Most Suspiciously Convenient HealthCare Package
JBL and Joey Styles came down to the commentary area. Joey, predictably, got an enormous pop from the people who hadn’t left for the now functioning concessions and even more predictably, an “ECW! ECW!” chant kicked up. Styles played with it and smiled and even slapped a few hands on his way over. One fan even offered him a can of beer, although when he caught Joey’s attention, the fan asked him to take the can and “pull a Sandman”. I couldn’t hear if that’s exactly what he said, but when a fan in a rabid ECW-esque crowd takes a can and mimes pounding it against his forehead, there’s really only one conclusion. Joey gladly denied, but then came JBL, who to my surprise, also got a huge pop. He didn’t get “ECW!” chants, but what he did get were “YOU SUCK DICK” chants, which only makes sense to anyone who saw one of the WWE’s One Night Stand shows when the crowd chanted that at him and he responded by calling the entire crowd gay. Never seen a guy get cheered and then told to suck a penis. He got a kick out of it, apparently.

But as fun as that was, I wanted to do a little more pre-show investigating. I weaseled through the crowd (I only say ‘weaseled’ because, I shit you not, I saw someone with an “I Am Weasel!” tattoo. I miss surreal 90s cartoons.) and managed to score a peek at what looked like EMTs rolling in and getting some stuff set up. I’m sure they’re there every show just in case something goes horribly wrong (and even moreso because AOW is no longer paying for health expenses out of pocket. Sponsors are awesome). Although this meeting looked a little suspicious. I’m not sure if personnel are given scripts to the show, but it looked like a production manager of sorts handed the EMTs something that looked just like that. They talked for a bit and the production manager pointing at a certain part. Do they get scripts so they know when matches are going on so they can be prepared? Or is someone going to be getting “hurt” tonight…? Must investigate further. But for now, I gotta head back to my seat.

[8:54] – Nachos and Zebras
It’s almost time for curtains up! The place is buzzing like crazy and there’s all sorts of random chants going on all over the arena. The best one is probably the ubiquitous “WOOOOO!” chant that echoes all over the place. But my favorite one was probably the “WE WANT BANKS!” chant that was kicked up by a section of guys who looked like they had homemade “We Want Banks” t-shirts. Looks like people know Banks’ problems aren’t his fault at all. Of course they know; this place is full of smarks. Also, scored a whole plate of free nachos from one of the guys sitting next to me. Said his fiancé didn’t want them, so I was just like “hell yeah!” I love nachos. Don’t judge me. His fiancé was pretty hot, too. He said they come to Oblivions every other week. Dude has a hot fiancé that likes wrestling? Lucky sumbitch.

Aside from my personal endeavors, it looks like Earl’s son, Brian Hebner, is out to referee the first match, which it looks like will open the show. According to my commentary side source, he was talking to a production person sitting by the timekeeper’s area, who said something about making sure “nothing blocks the EMTs”. Hebner nodded and said “I’ll tell Ramsey”. Things get even more cryptic about the prepared EMTs. Again, not sure if this is a standard message and Brian gets it because he’s still relatively new to AOW or if it’s a standard message and Ray Ramsey, the Senior Official, needs to know all things like that OR if Ramsey is the one calling the match the ‘injury’ will happen in. So many thoughts about something that probably isn’t as big a deal as I’m making it.

[9:01] – CURTAINS UP!
There’s still no opening video package and just the new crowd chanting “AOW” signature to kick things off, but this place is still rabid. Fuck, it’s one thing to see this place unglued this early when it’s on TV, but damn, it’s surreal in person. I was losing my voice 30 seconds in! As I figured, a match is up first. Will write details about it as it happens and put it up in one big post when it’s finished so I don’t spam my own feed.

[9:16] – Outer Limits Rematch
Carlito is out first with his dad, who seems to be telling Carlito pull his tights up before trying to pull them up for him. It was pretty funny watching them come down the ramp, Carlito trying to be all serious and Carly Sr. looking like he’s trying to get a piece of his son’s ass while he’s just screaming “DAS NOT COOL!”. Carlito acted like he had a wedgie and tried to play it off all tough once he got in the ring. He gets a solid array of heat. Not sure where this Carlito/Carly pairing is going, but I like it so far.

I forgot the fact that all the matches are ‘random’ tonight for the last time, but Carlito’s opponent is…REY MYSTERIO! Sweet! A rematch from The Outer Limits kicks off the night and the crowd couldn’t be happier to see Rey, although the same couldn’t be said for ‘lito. His dad certainly liked it, though.

The match kicked off much differently from their PPV match, obviously, with Carlito going for a bit more on the offensive in the early going, although the more cheap shots he got, the more his father got onto him. Didn’t their whole thing start because of the way Carlito was disrespecting Rey…? Whatever it was, it gave Rey the opening he needed to get the upper hand and hit Carlito with a FRONT DROPKICK so hard, Carlito flopped through to the floor by the ramp. When Carlito got up, all he saw was Rey HITTING A SLINGSHOT PLANCHA HURRICANRANA. Rey then started playing with his knee, saying “I’m 100%, mijo!” whatever that means. Rey tried to get Carlito back in the ring, but Carlito RAMMED him into the ring lip and rolled him back in, only to go for that KNEE LIFT/CLOTHESLINE combo, but Rey countered it at the last minute and turned the clothesline part into a CRUCIFIX COVER, but it didn’t end there.

Carlito had to keep barking at his dad to “SHUT UP!” because he didn’t like the way he was treating Rey in the match. Carlito kept trying to shrug him off and eventually locked Rey up in an ABDOMINAL STRETCH and tried to drain him. But we all started the whole clapping thing to get Rey back in things. It took a little while, but Rey managed to flip Carlito over with a hip toss and land him sitting down before KICKING HIM IN THE SPINE so hard, it almost shook the whole arena. Then he hit one of his patented DROPKICKS TO THE FACE, but it didn’t get him the win. Rey followed that up with more of his ‘pace-quickening’ moves, but then he got caught in a TILT-A-WHIRL BACKBREAKER. Rey shows his resiliency and didn’t have it end there, but Carlito was gaining more confidence as opposed to getting more pissed.

He started slapping Rey around and whipped him HARD into a corner at one point, getting his father more irate. Carlito just started to not care and started torturing little Rey, stomping on the surgically repaired knee to a lot of heat. Then he hoisted him onto his shoulders for some kind of FIREMANS CARRY move…only for Rey to slip off, regain life and HIT CARLITO WITH A BACKCRACKER!! I got a huge kick out of that one as did the rest of the crowd, as Rey showed he can be as much a dick as Carlito was being. Of course, the move hurt Rey’s knee that had been targeted a bit, slowing him down enough to where he couldn’t get the three count. This still softened ‘lito up enough that Rey got him in a corner and Rey was able to execute a FULL 10-PUNCH, and then immediately followed up on that with a drop toehold…RIGHT OVER THE MIDDLE ROPE. The crowd was pumped and all into this one as he went for the 619, but Carlito CAUGHT HIM WITH THE SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW as he was running to hit it! That didn’t finish the match either, but it was a spectacular sequence to watch.

Carlito was back on top, again trying to wear Rey down with a rest hold, but Rey was able to fight his way out, but before he could completely get out, Carlito pulled him right into a vicious COOL SHOT! That still didn’t end things, surprisingly. It was here Carlito started getting pissed and tugging at his afro, but his dad started barking at him about something, which irritated ‘lito even more. He turned back to Rey, who tried to surprise him with a ROLL-UP, but he escaped. He softened Rey up some more before whipping him into the ropes, but Rey countered by KICKING HIM IN THE FACE when his head was down. Never understood the logic behind that move, but if it works, it works.

This turned into some SPINNING HEADSCISSORS for Rey that plopped ‘lito right on the middle rope again and he went for a second 619 and it looked like he got it, but Carlito moved and sent Rey spinning all the way round…AND WENT FOR A BACKCRACKER…but Rey held onto the top rope and sent Carlito’s head crashing down. He followed that up with his INVERTED BODYSCISSORS BULLDOG…that reversed into a WHEELBARROW FACEBUSTER from Carlito. These guys were just going back and forth like hell. This still didn’t get the winning fall for the Puerto Rican, who was really getting pissed here. His dad was yelling at him again, in Spanish this time, so you knew it was serious shit.

Carlito had had enough and went over to argue back at his dad in one of those heated angry Spanish people arguments that sounds like someone’s gonna get stabbed really soon. It got so bad that Carlito actually dipped his head through the middle ropes to get in his dad’s face. And they Mysterio saw that and promptly answered all arguments by finally CRACKING CARLITO WITH THE 619. Rey followed that up with the WEST COAST POP…but Carlito dodged it! That one caught everyone off guard, even Carly Sr. Carlito tried to follow that up with a BACKDROP/GERMAN SUPLEX of sorts, but Rey flipped out of it, landed on his feet, and caught Carlito in a STANDING HURRICANRANA, almost like a stationary West Coast Pop. He grabbed both legs…AND FINALLY GOT THE THREE! Mysterio beat Carlito at (13:40) in one of the better opening matches in the fed and definitely more exciting than their PPV encounter.

Post-match, Carlito was pretty upset and his father was giving him this ‘I told you so’ finger while the commentators evidently played up that Rey got his revenge from The Outer Limits. We cut to commercial afterwards after the commentators hyped up the rest of the card, er, the potential card. They kept flashing graphics on the screen for the plug, and of course, we cheered or booed because we’re wrestling fans and we’re predictable.

[9:21] – No Matches for the Wicked
Apparently, we’re back from the commercial break and we look up at the Yin-Yang-Tron to see Steve Romero in the Green Zone. He looks nice in a brown suit. Anyway, he’s standing by with his guests in William Regal and Brent Albright. No Paul Burchill? Strange. Romero asks Albright how he feels about the randomness of the Dynasty Tournament. Albright doesn’t even say anything. Instead, he hocks up a lugie and SPITS ON ROMERO’S NICE SUIT! The hell!? As Romero reels from getting spit on, Albright just leans into the microphone and says “That’s what I think about it.” Really, Brent, tell us how you really feel. But then I guess being forced to face your mentor will make a guy bitter.

Regal steps between the two and admonishes Albright, albeit with a very empty tone. He reminds him that Mercs, Inc. are “civil first, savages second”. Regal then mutters something about being “able to take the boy out of Oklahoma, but you can’t take the Oklahoma out of the boy”. Interesting that this is the first time they reference Albright’s upbringing to my knowledge. Regal goes on to say that the randomness isn’t so bad, considering that by luck of the draw, he’s one of the three men who will get byes in this round and go straight to Rise of a Dynasty. But then he also notes that he and the Mercenaries also make their own luck in the randomness, so we can be assured one of them will make it to the finals.

[9:23] – Byes, Byes, Byes…
An update from my commentary area source. He says Styles and Bradshaw ran down the list of reasons why there are three byes and the men who got them. There were vacancies in the bracket because of one draw (the SOD’s match together), one which saw a health induced no-contest (I presume was the Sydal/Kidman match that never happened) and a competitor disqualification (knocking Tarver and Banks out). The byes were assigned at random, just like the other places on the bracket, although the men that got them were Regal, Finlay, and Shawn Michaels. Styles then evidently reported how ‘convenient’ it was that two guys like Regal and Finlay got into the Supershow so easily, but then went on a rant about how Michaels was probably Heyman’s doing himself trying to advance the chances of having his own champion. Personally, I hope HBK doesn’t win, but hey, I’m supposed to be unbiased.

[9:37] – A War Machine Meets a Gray Area
When the focus went back to the ring, Tyler Black came out through the curtain in his really cool trenchcoat. I’m not sure if this is intended or not, but at the moment, no one is actually entirely sure how to react to Tyler Black. He’s getting mostly heat, but there’s a noticeable mixed reaction. I mean the guy is advertised as the ‘One Man Gray Area’ or whatever and I’ve always thought that while antiheroes work great in wrestling, if the crowd is too confused with your alignment to know what’s up, it might be bad. Would he be an antivillain, then…? I assume he’s still a heel and from the way he played to the crowd I see he still is, but I kind of find it hard to dislike this guy (the Blessed Giver of Nachos’ fiancé thinks so too and says she loves his new hairdo). I’d like to know what to do because he’s becoming one of my favorites.

Of course as soon as I say he’s one of my favies, the next sound I hear is the freakin’ Godzilla horn. Samoa Joe came out to the biggest pop of the night and damn he just radiates intimidation. On TV, Joe looks so natural in his badass role, but in person, it’s not just natural, it’s an entire aura. I just saw a behemoth with a towel on his head cut on down the ring with no nonsense, step in, rip it off, and then play up a little bit.

The match actually kicked off in quite the unexpected fashion, because Black was in control from the early goings. He was going after Joe with all kinds of kicks and elbows. The way Black delivers his offense is chaining strikes together, so Joe actually didn’t have much time to react to a lot of stuff. I also didn’t realize how much Black likes to talk smack when he’s on offense. He’s quite the cocky little shit. He got too cocky and gave Joe a little bit of room, which Joe quickly closed up by hitting a RUNNING SINGLE LEG DROPKICK. This put Black in the corner, where we all got to chant along as he raked Black’s face with the OLE KICK.

Joe’s offensive efforts only netted him a pile of 2-counts, but he did keep countering Black and stopping his momentum. When Black nailed Joe with a STANDING ENZEGUIRI, he tried to bounce off the ropes at Joe, only to get caught in a SCRAPBUSTER. It didn’t end the match there and Black managed to get in another position of advantage after avoiding an ISLAND DRIVER and even drove Joe’s face right into the second turnbuckle with a sick STO. That’s when Black took control of the pacing again and smashed Joe with a BRILLIANT YAKUZA KICK. But that didn’t get Black the win either.

Joe got back on top when Black tried to nail him with a CORNER FOREARM SMASH, but Joe did that one-hand catch thing he does in the corner. The ST JOE I think is what it’s called. Joe managed to his one of his sick combos and ended it with a RUNNING SENTON. That still didn’t end things and when Joe tried to force things, Black lowered the top rope when he charged at him and sent him outside. Then Black made me love him even more when he nailed a beautiful PLANCHA SHOOTING STAR PRESS. It got the crowd chanting and perhaps again put his alignment in question, but when he tried to follow it up with a suplex on the outside, Joe managed to reverse it and SUPLEX HIM ON THE PADDING. This led back into the ring where Joe locked in THE CLUTCH…but Black thrashed around like a dying fish trying to find a way out. He actually managed to get to his feet, only for Joe to pull him back under again. Joe won with the rear naked choke at (10:41).

Post-match saw Joe actually nod his head at Black as perhaps a small sign of respect, but didn't help him up or anything.

[9:40] – WE WANT NACHOS
Close to around the time we went to a commercial break, that section of guys started up with a “We Want Banks” chant again, although since this is a taped show, I don’t know if that’ll stay in or be muted. Not that AOW would mute that; they don’t seem nearly as “crowd control Nazi” as the WWE does, but maybe if FX doesn’t even want a mention of him on the air, they might force them to edit it out. But yeah, around the commercial break, I decided to sulk in one of my rising favorites losing out and seek refuge in a new plate of nachos, however this one I’d have to pay for.

The commercial breaks are shorter in AOW than in general, but this week, the commercials are really short because they’re trying to fit all these lengthy matches in. I guess they could fix that in post-production with editing and whatnot if they needed to, but kudos to AOW for not actually changing their show formula JUST because it’s being taped this week and next. They’re still treating it like a live, organic performance. Anyway, there wasn’t much of a concession wait, so I didn’t have to wait in line long and thank God, Yahweh, Allah, and all the animal spirits I didn’t because holy shit there were some annoying fans in that line. And I mean I know this is a pretty great wrestling hotbed, but you also have those fans that make you embarrassed to be a wrestling fan even when you’re amongst other wrestling fans. Like the guys in line in front of me talking about the WWE and how they’d ‘fire Cena’ and ‘hire Nigel McGuinness’ and ‘get CHIKARA on a TV deal’. Dudes, you’re at an AOW show which is trying to fill all of those holes. And to make matters worse, the nacho maker didn’t look a thing like Justin Gabriel. Whatever.

[9:56] – The Ace Meets an Ace Steel Student
AAWWW YEAAAAH~!!! IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!! Sorry, had a mark out moment there. Punk was on his way out and got a reaction pretty similar to Joe’s. I really wonder what they have in store for this guy. He’s got a lot of tools and can do lots of things well and out of all the perceived ‘mid-carders’, he’s gotten the biggest and best reaction by far. Suffice to say, Punk might hold that Dynasty title for a while. He actually threw his “One Dark Flame” t-shirts into the crowd RIGHT TOWARDS ME, but the Bestower of Nachos actually got it and gave it to his fiancé. He was fangirling pretty hard. As cute as the two of you are, watch yo girl, dude. She might just be into wrestling for the hunky guys.

There was a little bit of a wait for his opponent, which was…SHELTON BENJAMIN! Benji was getting some surprising heat, considering that I don’t feel like he’s made a full-on heel turn quite yet, but he’s certainly more than going that way. He was wearing one of the hoods he had in the WGTT, but it didn’t have the WGTT design on it and it was a deep red.

This one was hot out of the gate, mostly because these two have met each other before in both the WWE and AOW, but Christ, Shelton was on FIRE. His whole ‘Ace aggression’ thing he’s had recently in his heel-ish turn really showed out here. He gave Punk NO room for anything. Punk backs away to whip off the ropes? Shelton follows him, knees him in the gut, and nails him with a GUTWRENCH SUPLEX. Punk tries to whip Shelton into the corner and go for the HIGH KNEE? Benjamin reverses the whip, short arms it, and destroys Punk with a SHORT-ARM LARIAT. After almost every move, Benjamin would ask the referee (who was Black Referee, btw) “what’s my time”, like he was obsessed with maybe beating his own time from the first round. Punk managed to create some space with a NIFTY NECKBREAKER, but it didn’t down Benjamin enough to stop his offense at all. He kept Punk down and grounded him with his amateur wrestling skills for a while after that, slowing him down considerably.

It wasn’t until Punk was able to surprise Shelton with one of those cool ROUNDHOUSES he has that he was able to mount any substantial offense. He managed to pull off a very crisp SNAP SCOOP POWERSLAM, but it didn’t get him closer to the three count. Punk tried to pick up some more steam and go for the CORNER HIGH KNEE, but Benjamin freakin’ caught him during the move, turned around, and hit him with the TURNBUCKLE POWERBOMB. I’m telling you, the guy is mean. He got the advantage again, but still couldn’t quite put Punk away, even after a nasty OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY. He then tried to go for a SUPERPLEX, but Punk knocked him off the top rope and looked like he wanted to hit a big move from up top…until Benjamin recovered and did that clean leap to the top rope and SLAMMED PUNK AGAIN!

That still didn’t end it, but Punk managed to dodge a STINGER SPLASH in the corner and successfully turn it into his HIGH KNEE/BULLDOG combo. He couldn’t get the winning cover there, but then tried for his SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE, only to fall flat and for Benjamin to try his DRAGON WHIP…but then Punk dodged the second kick and put him up for the GTS. I couldn’t see cleanly from my angle, but other people said they saw Benjamin push his feet off the ropes behind him and force Punk to fall, Shelton landing on top and then locking in that SCISSORED ARMBAR he’s introduced. It took a while, but Punk got to the ropes to break it. Benjamin was really pissed about that, but when he got Punk back up, Punk tried for a PEPSI TWIST, only for Shelton to get behind it and go for a GERMAN SUPLEX, but Punk kept the pace up and forced it into a WHEELBARROW VICTORY ROLL…AND THEN GOT THE THREE COUNT!! Punk won at (13:32) in what’s been one of the better matches of the night so far. Shelton was super pissed and tried to deck Punk, but Punk ducked it, took his title, and kept going up the ramp all smiles.

…but Shelton was not all smiles. At all. Since he couldn’t get his hands on Punk, he turned around to Justin King and CRUSHED HIM WITH AN EXPLODER SUPLEX!! If there was any doubt in my mind that Shelton Benjamin was just heel-ish or just being more aggressive and not turning full heel, those were promptly squashed. Heel Benjamin has arrived and God help Charlie Haas because I’m pretty sure that’s his first target.


[10:05] – “God” Shoots the Moon
So my commentary source said JBL and Joey were plugging the “Fan Bracket Showcase” at the talkie table and putting over Benjamin’s mean streak while Benjamin himself left the ringside area, but then suddenly the arena’s lights just shut off. I think by this point we all know what was going down and who was responsible. The arena was groaning into a great deal of heat, but then it erupted to a huge pop when the Yin-Yang-Tron lit up to show the full moon outside. I think everyone in this arena had seen the ‘Man in the Moon’ promo to know that image means something. The camera then panned back…to show Chris Jericho outside on a roof, as opposed to Christian Cage. This was met with ungodly heat that didn’t get any better when he smirked like the smug bastard he is.

Jericho went on to actually recite the beginning of that ‘Man on the Moon’ promo. But then he stopped and chuckled. He factiously asked Christian if he still believed in that nonsense he spewed months ago. He went on to say that he must still believe it because Christian’s head is still on the moon. Because, he said, Christian says he’s for the people; that he’s this “Savior” character when he’s really in it for himself and that that’s the reality. The reality is that this “Man on the Moon” persona is empty because the Moon, in reality, is not made of cheese. It’s not some kind of god in itself and it doesn’t have divine powers. It’s simply a giant piece of rock in Earth’s orbit.

And that’s what Jericho says he is. He’s a ‘god that has fallen to the Earth. I am the Earth’. He says Christian exists because he’s in Jericho’s orbit. That he made Christian. And that the sick truth is that if Christian were any kind of man on a mission that he says he is, he’d try and rid himself of ‘the Earth’ so that he can become his own being. I sense that he’s still trying to entice Cage into a rematch hard. He finished off by saying this world is not big enough to leave either man left standing while the other is and that the ‘Earth can be without a moon…but the Moon cannot survive on it’s own.” This guy is one glorious bastard.

[10:07] – Give Us Video Package Footage
Another commercial break pause, this time Tony Chimel played up to us and told us to hold up our signs so they could show them on the big screen. I’ve always thought this part of shows was so they could get footage for their future video packages regarding signs. There were some real nifties in the crowd tonight, but the one that caught my attention the most was one small one (not like ‘If Cena Wins We Riot’ size) draped over the balcony that said “AOW Please Tour Japan” that looked like it was from a legit Asian dude. It got me thinking if AOW really would do an oversees tour of sorts. I would think Japan would be pretty far up there on Paul Heyman’s radar of places to go should that be a possibility.

[10:18] – Silent Killers and Masked Thrillers
Aero Star is out after the commercial break and it makes a great deal of sense considering how low we probably were after the deconstructive promo. Star is probably the most fun guy to watch and I’m glad they’re potentially giving him the ball, especially after upsetting Bryan FREAKIN’ Danielson. Makes me wonder who they have in store for him this week…

YES! A cruiserweight match for a second week in a row! It’s Low Ki! I wonder how this is gonna work out, actually, considering one of the defining characteristics of both guys is that they don’t actually talk. I’m sure most of these people have seen the Offseason stuff and saw Ki rap, but that still leaves the number of times both of these guys have spoken on screen being able to be counted on one hand.

As anyone would expect, it was pretty furiously paced at the very beginning. Star showed off some of his technical, mat-based prowess last week and had to do so again to keep up with Low Ki. The two had a couple of stalemates that I couldn’t even begin to describe the sequence of in the early goings, flipping and rolling all out of each other’s clutches, grips, and wrenches. Things stayed at this high-paced stalemate until Ki got a good lick in on Star’s face (or where his face should be) and got to whip him into the ropes, only for Star to try the HANDSPRING ELBOW, but as he feet slingshot off the ropes and he was on all fours for a split second, Ki saw that and KICKED HIS LEGS FROM UNDER HIM.

That incredibly observant move that only a dedicated warrior could pull off got him the upper hand for a little while, but no matter how hard he kicked the masked bastard, the match wouldn’t end. I think Aero is inheriting some of that Rey Mysterio resolve. But it looked like Ki had it when he nailed the BLACK MAGIC and snapped the back of Star’s head open, but things didn’t end there either. I think Ki went for the JOHN WOO, but Star actually sidestepped it and caused Ki to fall on the back of his head. This gave Star all the room he needed to start upping the pace in his favor, but when he tried to go for a hurricanrana, Ki kept him from finishing it and actually pulled him up and looked like he was gonna hit him with a POWERBOMB…until Star somehow slipped his legs up under Ki’s arms, got him by the ropes, and flipped over, sending Ki ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR. Star himself flipped right onto the apron and waited for Ki to get back up, only to spring up for an ASAI MOONSAULT, but from the top rope…but instead, he bounced up and came crashing down on top of Ki with some kind of FREE-FALL CANNONBALL kind of move.

It was incredible to see, especially the elevation he got on it, but it took out as much of him as it did Ki. He stayed on him, though, and tried to get the win, bud couldn’t. He then managed to counter one of Ki’s sick kicks the same way he countered Danielson last week with a LEG WHIP. Ki ran into a kick to the gut and Star hit a beautiful FLOAT OVER SUPLEX that went right into a pin, but couldn’t end it there. Star was actually countering Ki trying to get back on his feet entirely, using his speed to his advantage. He arm whipped Ki so hard he went onto the ring apron, only to be DROPKICKED IN THE FACE and sent to the floor.

Anytime the opponent lands outside with Aero Star, the whole crowd lights up because I think the Tope Torpedo just might be one of, if not the, most over move/spot in the company. But we were disappointed tonight because when he went to try the TOPE TORPEDO, Ki actually ROUNDHOUSE KICKED HIM SQUARE IN THE HEAD JUST AS HE FLEW THROUGH THE ROPES. It was one of the stiffest, most non-hardcore brutal counters I’d ever seen and it knocked Star out cold. It KO’d Star so bad, it let Ki get to the top rope and go for the WARRIOR’S WAY…but Star rolled out of the way at the last minute, though Ki was ready for it and landed so that he rolled when he hit.

Star still wasn’t fully conscious, so he got up woozy to a still prepared Low Ki, who successfully delivered the JOHN WOO KICK that Star sold like an effin’ champ. This was followed up by the TIDAL CRUSH, which is also one of the most over moves in the promotion. This didn’t get him the win either, but then he went for the KRUSH KOMBO, only for Star to dodge the last kick and ROLL HIM UP, but that didn’t end things either, but right afterwards, Ki FINISHED THE ROUNDHOUSE COMBO anyway. That couldn’t finish things either, so Ki got a little desperate and looked like he was going for a DRAGON SLEEPER, but Star managed to fight out to his feet, twist out, and hit a PERFECT ENZEGURI. That set Ki up perfectly by the turnbuckle and looked like he was going for the AERO STAR PRESS, but Ki got himself up and hit a SPRINGBOARD ENZEGUIRI that got Star right in the back of the head that caused him to fall from the top and get caught in a Tree of Woe. Ki then went up to the top rope and stood over the Tree of Woe and got us all buzzing…THEN KI NAILED THE WARRIOR’S WRATH, THE TREE-OF-WOE HUNG DOUBLE FOOT STOMP. Needless to say, this got Ki the three count at (11:45) in one of the more exciting matches of the night. So much so, they got a ‘Standing O’ from a lot of people.

[10:20] – A Noble Reward
We went backstage to Paul Heyman’s office. As usual, he was with Shawn Michaels, but HBK really looked miserable being there. Heyman just kinda kept glancing over at Michaels with these uneasy eyes. He’s still in his wheelchair and trying to get work done when he can feel Michaels’ eyes hit him and he actually says “You should be thanking me you’re not competing tonight”. Or he would’ve finished that sentence before Jamie Noble walked in the office. I think it goes without saying, Joey Styles’ suspicions were right.

Heyman welcomed Noble before telling him that he had a reward for him because of his hard work in the Offseason. He told him he isn’t at liberty to give him something like an AOW World title shot, but he can give him something just as good and that’s that Jamie Noble now has the right to face off for any other championship that he desires. Noble was pretty psyched and even tried to celebrate the news with Shawn Michaels…but Michaels wasn’t having it. So Noble just “Yee-Haw”ed to himself on out of Heyman’s office…

My commentary accomplice told me that Joey and JBL went over the fact that the brackets for Rise of a Dynasty will be finalized before the next show on aohdubya.com, meaning this will be the first leg of the Tournament where people who know who they're facing.

[10:43] – Technical Knock Out
So onto the main event of the evening, which to a lot of people, still has four names up in the air, but with my commentary knowledge, I know there’re only two distinct possibilities. So it was of no surprise to me when Charlie Haas was the first man out, looking more intense than usual, but not more than he did last week. He was paying a little bit to his left shoulder which might have been hit hard last week. Coming in after him as his opponent was none other than…Brent Albright, who came out with William Regal to the entrance stage. Regal just saw him off and didn’t come down the ramp with him, the Tournament’s ‘honor code’ or whatever being in effect.

So just as everyone would expect, this one got off to be a very technical grappling affair, both guys pretty much schooling the rest of the roster and showing them just how guys like Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit would do it in their heyday. Albright was playing the heel obviously, so he was the more aggressive one on offense, but the more aggressive Albright got, the more it brought out the aggression in Haas to try and match him and not let him overtake him. Things reached such a technical fervor, that the two were reversing each other’s moves at a lightning pace to the point where their rolling pin attempts kept countering one another and caused them to fall out of the ring.

They got back in, but not before Albright abandoned his technical style for a more brutish and brawler one for a moment, opting to smash Haas RIGHT UP AGAINST THE GUARD RAIL before clubbing him in his back and rolling him back into the ring, only to have his upper body hanging off of the ring lip. He started clubbing him more and then drove an elbow into the back of Haas neck before KICKING THE SHIT OUT OF HAAS’ SHOULDER. No doubt he saw Charlie tending to it earlier and probably the match last week and with Burchill and Regal in your ear, you’re not gonna let that slide with no punishment. He would get back in the ring and fail to get the three count by pinning the hurt shoulder down, but he kept working at it, only for Haas work his way out of what looked like a GERMAN SUPLEX attempt…and HIT HIS OWN GERMAN SUPLEX! But the damage had been done, as Charlie wasn’t able to hit the rolling Germans or even keep the bridge for a count attempt.

Still yet, it gave him the upper hand and with his unhurt shoulder, started delivering a series of fierce European uppercuts, flashing his physical side now. Haas then went on to deliver a pair of vertical suplexes to Albright that didn’t net him the win, only to get up and look like he was going for a third one…only to HANG ALBRIGHT TO DRY ON A ROPE!! Albright’s body dangling halfway into the ring opens up new pastures for him as he ventured to the middle rope of a nearby corner…AND NAILED A SECOND-ROPE DIVING KNEE TO A ROPE HUNG OPPONENT!! Albright might’ve been knocked out cold, but Haas didn’t do himself any favors by hitting Albright so that he fell outside of the ring and not inside.

Haas retrieved his prey from the outside edge, but not before casually CHUNKING HIM INTO THE RING STEPS! Was wondering when those would get displaced tonight and I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed. Haas rolled Albright back into the ring and waited for him to get up so he could springboard, and then went for the SPRINGBOARD BULLDOG…but Albright must’ve felt it coming because he dodged it pretty swiftly, forcing Haas to come down hard in a somewhat seated position, which Albright quickly picked on and pulled into a REGAL PLEX! He kept the bridge, but couldn’t’ quite the get the pin for it, but the meticulous one was back on the offensive. He started working over the shoulder a little bit more, even busting out a SHOULDER BREAKER, but didn’t get him the pin, so he followed that up with a really nasty SLINGSHOT SUPLEX that still didn’t end things.

Albright then went for another GERMAN SUPLEX, but again, Haas fought out of it enough that he could turn around while still in Albright’s grip, but Brent never let go, opting instead to throw Haas over for an OVERHEAD BELLY TO BELLY. Haas maybe looked like he landed on that left shoulder, worsening things for him, but not so bad that the match ended, as he kicked out. Albright didn’t’ show much frustration at all, opting instead to take Haas and ram him into a corner before taking him up for what looked like a SUPERPLEX. But still not dead in the water, Haas started fighting back and eventually had enough in him to knock Albright off the top to the canvas. Then he waited until Albright got up…AND HIT THE LEAPING TOP ROPE BULLDOG!! A huge move that put him right back into it, but it BARELY didn’t end the match, Albright raising a shoulder at 2½.

Both men were feeling it at that point, both of them slow to get back to their feet. That’s when Haas started hitting a series of arm drags that really started upping the pace until Albright came back for more, only to get hit with a mean BACK BODY DORP. The crowd was really getting into Haas here, and he was really starting to feel invigorated. So much so, that when Albright sought refuge in a corner, Haas happily showed him a STINGER SPLASH. Perhaps he and Shelton aren’t so different after all. After Albright was knocked around from that a bit, he lifted the Mercenary up to the top rope and set himself…BEFORE HITTING A FRANKENSTEIR!! CHARLIE FREAKIN’ HAAS HIT A FRANKENSTIER!! This got one of the biggest pops of the night, Haas pumping his fist on fire and went for the cover, but just couldn’t manage to get it there. Still with a lot of momentum, Haas waited for Albright to get up, where he caught him in a PAIR OF ROLLING GERMANS, though he had to wait between each one because of his shoulder. When he paused for the THIRD one, Albright hit a standing switch and finally hit his own GERMAN…THAT SENT HAAS’ SHOULDER RIGHT INTO A RING CORNER!!

Again, Albright showing just how meticulous he could really be, killing Haas’ momentum and possibly his shoulder. He then went high up to the top rope and somewhat surprised us all…AND NAILED THE DIVING HEADBUTT!! It looked like maybe that was aiming for the shoulder too, but that didn’t get the winning fall either. Even so, right after Haas threw his shoulder up, his arm was grabbed and PUT INTO THE CROWBAR!! Haas was fighting struggling like a motherfucker to try and get to the ropes before he FINALLY did. That shoulder was probably ripped to shreds by that point, but Haas got up to try to keep fighting. Albright tried to press the issue, but Haas caught him in the ONE-MAN FLAPJACK…AND THEN ROLLED IT INTO THE HAAS OF PAIN!!

It was Albright’s turn to scream in pain, but being another submission advocate, he could withstand the pain for a long time; so long that the One-Minute Warning clock appeared. Long enough for him to be able to move his body around…and roll through the HoP…AND LOCK IN ANOTHER CROWBAR!! That’s probably one of the coolest and most seamless submission sequences I’ve ever seen, and we were whiplashed right back into having to root for Haas to get out of it alive…when he FINALLY reaches another rope!! We were definitely into the match hardcore at this point, Haas having to get up in the corner. Albright pulled him out then tried to get him in the HALF NELSON SUPLEX, only for Haas to spin out and try for the TOTAL HAASTILITY, but then Albright dropped out of that and went for ANOTHER HALF NELSON SUPLEX…but then Haas spun out of that too and pulled him in for a SUPERKICK!! Not too long afterward, the fired-up Haas managed to pull him up and finally nail the TOTAL HAASTILITY and Charlie Haas got the most definitive, but pumped, pinfall of the night at (14:40).

Haas’ received a pop like he’s never heard before, but as Ray Ramsey raised his hand, we could see someone running down the ramp. The ramp was actually shadowed a little so unless you were in the right spot, you couldn’t see it and I couldn’t until he popped into the ring. But just as Haas was getting his hand raised, SHELTON BENJMANIN CAME IN, TOOK HAS, AND SHOVED HIM SHOULDER-FIRST INTO AN IRON RING POST!! The heat for Shelton was, in direct correlation to Haas, getting the most heat he’d ever gotten before. He looked pretty pissed, but Haas hit the corner so hard, he flopped through the ropes to the floor, where Benjamin continued the punishment by RAMMING HIM SHOULDER FIRST INTO THE REMAINING STEEL STEPS!!

The not a lot of us were booing anymore, we were just watching Shelton to see what’d he’d do next, which was even worse. He slung Haas back into the ring and loomed over him…BEFORE LOCKING IN THAT SCISSORED ARMBAR AND KEPT DESTROYING HAAS’ SHOULDER. Haas was screaming bloody murder and there was no one helping him. Ramsey had fled the ring, I assume because he attacked a ref earlier. He was also signaling to the back to get help/security/other, as Benjamin was not letting up. And maybe it was because I was sitting so close to the ring, but I could swear I heard something *POP* all the way where I was. It wasn’t until then that Ramsey and other officials got onto Benjamin and pulled him off, leaving Haas to roll around in some of the most pain I’ve ever seen anyone be in. I saw a kid break his leg in fifth grade once and he looked just like Charlie is right now, but with his shoulder. Officials started pulling Benjamin away from the carcass…and then I saw the EMT’s I saw in the lot earlier rushing down the ramp. Dammnit, I should’ve seen this coming. I guess Ramsey did his job, because there was nothing blocking them from getting a gurney and putting Haas on it and keeping his shoulder raised. I think we kept hearing them mutter “there's no way it’s not dislocated”. We’re heavy in overrun, but I think that’s the way they ended the show. Shelton Benjamin being detained as his former tag team partner was carried away with a dislocated shoulder…

Until next time, this has been The Informer...


-------


~RISE OF A DYNASTY~
June 2nd, 2008 - MGM Grand; Las Vegas, Nevada
*Confirmed Card*

~2008 Dynasty Tournament~

~Quarter Finals~

TBD v. TBD
TBD v. TBD
TBD v. TBD
TBD v. TBD

~Semi-Finals~
TBD v. TBD
TBD v. TBD

~The FINALS~
TBD v. TBD

*Fan Bracket Showcase*
Whomever has the most fan votes will compete





Spoiler for Fan Bracket Showcase Options & Voting Template:

Aero Star
Brent Albright
Brian Kendrick
Bryan Danielson
Carlito Colon
Harry Smith
Jack Evans
Jack Hagar
Jamie Noble
Kofi Kingston
Manu
Matt Sydal
Nick Nameth
Paul Burchill
Paul London
Shelton Benjamin
Siaki
Super Crazy
TJ Wilson
Tyler Black


Who would you like to see compete in the Rise of a Dynasty Showcase?
1.
2.
3.



Alright, so here’s how the “Fan Bracket Showcase” is gonna work – it’s basically my mini-version of ‘Cyber Sunday’, I guess. And yes, you, fair BTB reader, get to vote!! If you wish to vote for any certain competitor that you wish to see compete at Rise of a Dynasty, send me via PM (NO spamming up the thread) the above template with your three choices and yes, the order does matter, sort of like a mini-BTB Mega Standings ballot. You’re able to pick from all the above losers of the Tournament so far, so that’s why some names aren’t there in particular. Depending on how many votes I get and for whom will determine the match type (1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, or a Trios match). Voting is open now, but remember there’s one more show before the Supershow. On the post for that show, I’ll probably post a deadline for your votes. Oh – and your votes may have an impact on the booking in the near future because if I know who you wanna see, I might feature them more. Maybe even some title implications might be involved in this…

Or if I don’t get enough people to vote, I can always fabricate the results Hope all don’t hate me for the recap style.
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AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair
.:Origins & Endings NOW POSTED!!:.

Last edited by 619IDH : 11-18-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:01 PM   #272 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

Yes, it's time for ramblings. I haven't given you some proper thoughts in a while, so hopefully this'll provide that somewhat. As you've said before, King and Curator, EN GARDE~!

DAT OBLIVION FEEDBACK


First off, of course, I'll say my piece on the format. I like how you're sort of fleshing out The Informer a little, given that you used him as a expository tool in the past and now he can accomplish the same thing, just with more atmosphere to it. He provides that fan's viewpoint which means you can recap the show but we still get the drama from it. I also like how similar The Informer's report was to real life dirtsheets (the pre-show focus on the arena fans, the commentators, the prepared EMTS etc.), it gives it an authentic feel and that keeps in line with how realistic the world you've created is. My slight issue is that at times I did feel a little detached; obviously this is always going to happen with recapped shows somewhat, but especially in losing the usual JBL-Styles banter (the discussion about the byes included) I felt like the show lost something there. I saw this with the Jericho promo, too - which I'll gush about in a bit - because the language was excellent but it had even greater potential had it been in full. Overall though, you got the information across, and whatever's easiest for you is preferable. Seeing as I'm recapping my own weekly matches now, I certainly know how helpful it can be.

So that I don't forget, let's talk Jericho. Obviously his bit in the hospital was chilling as all living fuck, but better minds than I have already pointed this out, so you know that. Heading to this week's goodness - the Earth vs. Moon metaphor was beautifully lyrical, exactly what I've come to expect from you, and I love the implication that Jericho is the man of real substance while Christian is empty, selfish. It's classic poetic, cruel Jericho. What really struck me though, and I've really had this impression for the last few weeks (I just don't tell you, sorry <3), is this idea that without Jericho, there is no Christian, and though Jericho would never say so, it works the other way around. These two, despite your insistence on using Michaels prominently, have been the spine of AOW, the blood feud, and they are the Batman/Joker - they need one another, because without the other their life has no meaning. Had Jericho not become the Worthy Man and seized A-O-Dubya by the throat, Christian could never have risen to 'power' if you will, he never would have been able to save the company and become the man he is. It's exactly the kind of thing that made me write my article in the Summer Newsletter; sometimes we're not just here to book matches, sometimes we're here to tell stories. All that said, this is exactly why I wish we'd had the 'I am the Earth' moment in full, because it epitomises one of my favourite feuds in all BTB and solidifies the re-rise of challenger Jericho. Still, excellent little piece to keep this feud haute couture. Bon.

Obviously the main content of the show is the Dynasty Tournament, which I was pumped for during the Offseason as you know, but I haven't had a chance to discuss it so far. I see you're using TARVER/Banks as another branch to your realism tree rather than having them stick around in the tourney, but having the GOAT on Oblivion in the future is always promising. Similarly, the other main stories so far have been pretty entertaining, even if in other places it feels like just going through the motions; the Sons eliminating one another but Burchill being smarter and handing Albright his chance to go on is a nice little dichotomy, for instance. I'd agree with the above poster who said that Kidman's odds of getting Sydal made that segment a little too far-fetched, but to answer your question from before about general opinion regarding it - I love the Sydal/Kidman angle. I asked for a character-driven Sydal angle, and you delivered. Fear not there. Not sure where you take him next, especially now with the debut of DAT MUSCLE (who you've now made an interesting tag team with a unique gimmick, which is what I dared you to do a long ass time ago but hey ), but I imagine Matt's first win is on the horizon.

Making sure I give feedback on all fronts here; elsewhere in the tourney, I agree with Wolfy (I think it was he) who said that Regal over Noble was a surprise, given Noble's heroic effort against Christian in the Offseason. Admittedly, that performance was as much to suggest Christian hasn't earned the title yet as to put Noble over I imagine, but regardless, to see Noble go out in the first round was a shock. Likewise, to see Heyman (of all people) give Noble a title shot of his choosing is odd, because Paul E. generally doesn't seem like the guy to do that for people he's not working in cohesion with. I imagine that's your way of setting him up to maybe have another crack at Danielson, and that brings me to what was undoubtedly the shock of the tournament so far... I'm not so sure about it all. I was willing to give Danielson being eliminated a chance, but I was under the impression that you were launching Aero Star into the upper tiers of the tourney to apply him as the 'wild card', 'surprise package' of sorts... then Low Ki murdered him in their match this week. No doubt the action was spectacular (though I'd say Ki got a heavy amount of offence in the ending sequence without much reply), and that kick off the Tope Torpedo is a monster of a spot, but I was surprised to see a couple of these result decisions. While I'm here, losing Kofi so early caught me off-guard too. My only thought is that you're preparing for a sneaky Danielson/Noble rematch MOTN attempt on the undercard of Rise of a Dynasty, but then I still think if Aero was going to beat AmDrag, perhaps he shouldn't have been knocked out right after. I get you're going for 'It's AOW, anything can happen' and all, and I know not everyone can be on the Supershow, I just think it was a peculiar decision in the grand scheme of things. You know me though, always making mountains out of molehills.

I'm surprised it took me so long to get around to it, but the second-hottest thing on your show (behind Batman and the Joker) is undoubtedly Haas/Benjamin, and I think you did a clever little job - don't think we missed it - by having The Informer be unsure of Benjamn's alignment prior to his match, then deliberately make it very clear for all of us reading. The Punk/Benjamin match read very well, especially in Benjamin's character of constantly going mad with aggression and then asking Justin King what his time was, that's cool as fuck. He reminds me a little, in different way I suppose, of my Cody Rhodes - capable of great aggression at any cost to win, though mine's lost his mind and yours can't fathom a world where he's not the best athlete on the planet. It also makes him a huge scalp for Punk, but that's a point for another time, tonight wasn't really about him. I think tonight was a big turning point for the feud, even without the big post-match attack, because it solidifies that this isn't just Benjamin and Haas playing at competition anymore - it stopped being light-hearted and it got serious, like an argument that starts as a joke and ends with someone being shanked with the end of a broken bottle... wait, maybe that's just us English I think the feud has a whole lot of potential, even though Haas/Benjamin feuds are done to death, and that's why it'll be all the more impressive if you pull it off well. The question is now how Charlie "Kills in Cold Blood" Haas responds, especially in the aftermath of the attack, and that's where the feud could possibly come into its own, so I await that. The other question, with Haas putting away a big threat in Albright, is how you handle him heading into RoaD, and whether the 'dislocation' will prevent him from competing. More on that in a second. I like how you somewhat focused on these two in this episode, briefly referencing the Michaels and the Jericho/Christian issues but mainly putting the cameras on your other feuds under the banner of the tournament. And you say I pay attention to my midcard, geez.

So looking at Rise of a Dynasty, we obviously have one more show before then; this is where I wonder about the Haas issue, seeing as he could technically fight heroically back to make it for the quarter-finals by then, only to be picked apart by Regal or Finlay because he's not yet ready, or be assaulted again by Benjamin, or whatever. I think you'll try to sneak Jericho into the frame somewhere - in fact I'm almost certain of it - so I think there could be a window there, but you've made a point of establishing thus far that when someone gets knocked out, there's no loopholes, so I wonder how you'll bring Jericho into the picture, or if you'll just have him collapse the entire tourney structure by ruining the Final. Lots of possibilities. The only thing you didn't do on this show, which I assume you'll do next week, is highlight the people who have made it to the big one, but with Haas' uncertainty I can understand why you didn't put your cards on the table right away. So far I'm seeing Joe, Punk, Mysterio, HBK, Regal, Finlay, Low Ki and Haas (with a BIG asterisk by his name), but Regal and Finlay are your only heels, which is a surprise. I maybe expected Danielson there, and Black and Kingston in there to tease yet another rematch, because you're you, but that might be the card you're playing by having Joe and Finlay in there under the radar together. The 6-to-2 face-to-heel is what makes me think Jericho's jumping into the fray somewhere, but as I say, you have lots of possibilities and that's what makes it exciting. Oh, and evidently you have the Fan Bracket Showcase thing too, so that's a bit more unpredictability. Actually that's probably why you won't do Noble/Danielson, you've only got so much time. And I may have been wrong about that anyway. I'm useless.

Overall, things are starting to heat up. I think perhaps the new season didn't kick off with as much of a bang as I expected, but things are up and running now and it looks good. I had a couple of gripes here and there, but don't we all, and tbh I know you've got something big planned for RoaD. Haas/Benjamin and that 'I am the Earth' promo stood out, and I eagerly await what happens on next week's show if only because there are a few things I'm unsure about: Low Ki, for instance, is a total boss but I'm amazed he's in the final 8. It might be after the Supershow that the tag team divison regains its spotlight, too, because American Made's interaction in the exclusives was excellent (Wilde shows promise as a character) and DAT MUSCLE obviously either have issues with Kidman/Sydal or they'll be on the tails of the Sons before too long. That's a lot of rambling, but to summarise, AOW has a lot of interesting stuff going forward, and I'm glad we'll get the Supershow before the year is out. Bon stuff good fella, stamp of approval and all that jazz. On to the next one
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:44 PM   #273 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

Can't thank the MelvisKnight enough for the blurb of welcome feedback. Lots of stuff for me to think about and digest going forward. Also, a big thanks to everyone who has voted so far for the Fan Bracket Showcase. Even with one more show to go, I've already gotten some early ballots that make me feel a little better about opening ballots up to people.

Since there was plenty news last time and it covered a lot of things, there's not any this go 'round, but a couple key things from the website...



Quote:
Originally Posted by aohdubya.com
CHARLIE HAAS DISLOCATES SHOULDER;
PROMISES TO STILL COMPETE AT RoaD


After defeating the meticulous Brent Albright this past week on Oblivion and punching his ticket to Las Vegas, Charlie Haas was assaulted by his former friend and tag team partner, Shelton Benjamin. After his shoulder had been picked apart by Albright, Benjamin would continue to play to the shoulder and eventually shove it into steel numerous times before forcing the shoulder out of place with the scissored armbar he introduced against Haas months ago.

Despite having to be carted out of the Hammerstein last week and against medical advice, Charlie Haas has made a vow to attend Rise of a Dynasty and take his spot in the Supershow. Haas has promised that he will be better by the time the quarterfinals roll around in two weeks. He won’t be in competition this week, but Haas definite inclusion rounds out the opening bracket of 8 for the Supershow. Will Charlie Haas be at 100% and actually be able to finish up the Dynasty Tournament?


RISE OF A DYNASTY QUARTER-FINAL BRACKETS ANNOUNCED!!

The uncertainty is finally at a standstill! For the first time in the entire bracket of the AOW Dynasty Tournament will be up for display and known before the matches actually take place!

Dynasty Champion CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio
Low Ki v. Finlay
Shawn Michaels v. Charlie Haas
Samoa Joe v. William Regal


These men are all that’re left from a field of 32 and they’re more than ready to tear into each other to figure out who is gonna be the man to earn an AOW World Heavyweight Championship match.

AOHDUBYA.COM EXCLUSIVES

This week on the .com Exclusives, (and in going with this week’s episode theme) we’ve got a trio of videos from four men who are in the running for the Fan Bracket Showcase who won’t be able to let their voice be heard on this week’s edition of Oblivion, but who are more than ready and apt to compete on the big show.

Spoiler for The Rewarded Want More:


The standard exclusive white backdrop. The man standing before it is decked out in his redneck best and is not very good at hiding his smile. Jamie Noble rubs his hands together before he starts to talk

Noble:
Y’know, I think I’m startin’ to know what it feels like to be in control. I mean, before the Offseason? Let’s be honest – how many people were talkin’ about Jamie Noble?
~Noble stops and purses his lips and lifts up a “0” with his fingers

Noble
:
But after the Offseason? The only man people are talkin’ about…is Jamie Noble. The Dynasty Tournament is good an’ all. But there’s only one guy that can even stand up to Christian Cage. An’ he’s not even in the bracket anymore.
~Noble’s confidence actually loosens up

Noble
:
I messed up in my match. Left a body part open for William Regal to work me over on. But that doesn’t undo the fact that I took the AOW World Heavyweight Champion to the absolute limit.
~Noble’s back to his energized, cocky self

Noble
:
An’ yeah. Paul Heyman granted me a title shot at any title of my choice. So y’know what? Maybe it doesn’t even matter. If you vote for me, you’re gonna see me. If you don’t, you’re gonna see me in a title match. I guess it’s win-win for me, huh? But that’s why you should vote Jamie Noble in the Showcase. Because we all like winners. An’ I know what it takes to win. ‘cause now, I got the power.
~Jamie gets closer to the camera

Noble
:
An’ now you have the power to give me more power. A country boy can survive, an’ he can thrive! Vote for me – JAMIE FREAKIN’ NOBLE! YEE-HAW!
~The Virginia native makes a lasso with his arm as he yells, grinnin’ up a storm as he rides out of frame…


Spoiler for Half a Hooligan:


We’re on the Green Zone interview set, Steve Romero all set and ready to go

Romero:
Ladies and gentlemen, my guests at this time, he is one half of the high-octane tag team known as The Hooliganz…PAUL LONDON!
~The camera pans to our right…to see no one coming in or standing there.

Romero
:
Uh…PAUL LONDON!
~…and Romero’s conjuring spell still isn’t working

Romero
:
Where is he? He was here a minute ago…

London:
BLAAAAHHH~!!
~London suddenly JUMPS IN from the left side of the screen, a silly face plastered on and his tongue sticking out after startling Romero

Romero
:
OH shit…um…well Paul, it’s nice to see you.

London:
It’s nice to see you.

Romero:
Are you…feeling well?

London:
Are you…feeling well?
~London looks quite spaced out as he repeats everything Romero says

Romero:
Um…okay…well, Paul, we’re here because you won’t be competing this week on Oblivion to maybe make your case for being voted into the Fan Bracket Showcase. Your tag team partner, Brian Kendrick, is competing, however. Can you tell the fans why they should vote you in?

London:
It’s simple really, Stevie – I’m a Hooligan. Well, technically, I’m half a Hooligan, but that’s why you shouldn’t just vote for Paul London, but you should also vote for Brian Kendrick.

Romero:
But why exactly should they vote for you?

London:
Why not? I mean, who doesn’t wanna see two wacky white guys kick some ass?

Romero:
Well said, I guess. Any other reasons?

London:
How about some tag teams getting the spotlight, huh? The Dynasty Tournament’s put a big focus on who we are individually, but some of us like to be seen two at a time.

Romero:
Well, you heard him, folks. Save two of those spots for some well-to-do tag teams and maybe we can make this Showcase a little bit more interesting.

London:
As interesting as me.
~London gazes like he’s lost in space again, staring directly into the camera. He gets closer and closer to it…until we go up his nostril and hear his breathing

Romero
:
Um…cut?
~…as we fade away…


Spoiler for Summer of Samoa:


Back to the traditional white backdrop with a pair of big bad Samoans in the way. Siaki and Manu still have never looked ‘happy’ since they set foot in this company.

Siaki:
This is Siaki and Manu. Two of the baddest sons of bitches on this entire roster. We are the Samoan Fight Club. And you know what the first rule of Samoan Fight Club is? ALWAYS talk about Samoan Fight Club.
~Siaki jabs thumbs at he and the heavily-breathing monster beside him

Siaki:
But the problem is…nobody is. Nobody’s talkin’ about the Club. We’re just an afterthought. How can you call two guys who can beat any man on this roster to a bloody pulp ‘afterthoughts?’
~Manu is breathing harder

Siaki:
See, that’s why we need to be in the Fan Bracket Showcase. Because nothin’ gets people talkin’ like breakin’ some bones and destroyin’ some dudes. Trust me – you vote for us, and we’ll get you talkin’.
~Siaki steps a little closer to the camera

Siaki:
And I’ve been hearin’ some people say that without Carlito, we don’t have much of a leg to stand on. I say Carlito’s gone soft. But we? We’re just as crushing as we’ve always been. So give us the chance to prove that. ‘cause we’re the Samoa Fight Club. And when all is said and done, no matter who is in our corner, there’s always one thing we love to do.

Manu:
WE DESTROY!!
~Siaki points to his monstrous partner, who keeps breathing heavy as we fade away…




June 25th, 2008

The Hammerstein Ballroom – Manhattan, New York City, New York

“Mêlée à Trois”


~Just one week away from the biggest Supershow on the AOW calendar, we have not one, not two, but a TRIO of TRIOS MATCHES!
~The main attraction is a big six-man tag between the men who will tear into each other next week in the Dynasty Tournament! CM Punk, Samoa Joe, and Rey Mysterio tag up to face Finlay, William Regal, and Low Ki.
~Will Charlie Haas, despite being not medically cleared, show up? Also, what role will Paul Heyman and Shawn Michaels play?
~Two other six-man tags remain! Brian Kendrick, Super Crazy, and Kofi Kingston team up to face the men who eliminated them in the Dynasty Tournament – Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, and Tyler Black!
~And finally, the Cruiserweight Champion and the Tag Team Champions team up to face men who have been thorns in their side – American Made and possibly hoping for another upset, Aero Star!
~ALSO – Chris Masters competes in his first match since his return
~The Fan Bracket Showcase will be full display, as lots of men compete in lots of matches to get your attention for votes!
~…but before all of that, Christian Cage has a special decree!
~All this (and more!) on the next Oblivion!


.:Confirmed for Oblivion:.

The Return of Chris Masters

PLUS…

~A Trio of Trios~

~Dynasty Tournament Clash~
Dynasty Champion CM Punk, Samoa Joe, & Rey Mysterio
v.

2008 Trios Tournament Winner William Regal, Finlay, & Low Ki


~Dynasty Revenge~
Kofi Kingston, Super Crazy, & Brian Kendrick {w/Paul London}
v.
Shelton Benjamin, Tyler Black, & Carlito Colon {w/Carly Colon, Sr.}


Cruiserweight Champion Bryan Danielson & World Tag Team Champions Sons of the Dungeon
v.
Aero Star & American Made
{w/Taylor Wilde}

BUT FIRST…

Christian Cage demands time to speak


Refusing to go out today and tomorrow with the whole 'Black Friday' thing not being my thing, so hopefully I can get the next show (which will be in the same recap style as the last show) polished in that time. Also, don't forget, the Fan Bracket Showcase is still up and open, so keep those PM's coming, seeing as how the deadline isn't even set yet. Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating and good fortunes to the section as a whole for the increased activity. Show should be up over the weekend hopefully. Don't hate me 'til then
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AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

Sorry this is nearly an entire week late. Life got caught in the way. But here it is anyway, in I think shorter form than last show




June 25th, 2008

The Hammerstein Ballroom – Manhattan, New York City, New York

“Mêlée à Trois”


*Online SPOILERS*


What’s going on, good people? This is your reporter extraordinaire “The Informer” and I’m back with another batch of spoilers for the take-home show before RoaD. Just like last week, I’ll have a ringside partner so you guys can get all the juicy goodness of stuff I can’t be at. I’m in virtually the same seat as I was last week, so there’s that. Keep it here for updates that hopefully won’t bother you all the night long. It’s time for a spoiler diary – pt. II! I’ve already arrived at the arena, so I won’t bore you with too much pre-show goodies, but let’s get to it anyway…

[8:40] – Nachos and Dark Matches (Men?)
I think my affinity for nachos was well documented last week, so it goes without saying I made sure to get some before the opening bell. And this time, I had to go get my first round on my own seeing as how this was an ‘other’ week for the engaged couple that I met last week that only comes to the shows every other week.

Nonetheless, I’m actually glad I went and got some and didn’t go investigative skulking because as it turns out, we had a dark match. I don’t think anyone was expecting it at all, but we didn’t really complain when it was Tyson Tarver who came out. He actually got a decent pop and then a “WE WANT BANKS!” chant started up again. These smarks. Oh, who am I kidding – we smarks. He was facing Justin Gabriel, which I suspect was possibly just one of those pseudo-tryout matches for Gabriel and possibly a tune-up match for Tarver…? Guess they didn’t want him sitting on ring ice too long with Banks not allowed to be there.

Won’t go too much into detail because the match didn’t last too long, although Tarver looked really impressive. Gabriel wasn’t a slouch either, flashing some really cool cruiserweight moves and even hit that moonsault-to-DDT thing AJ Styles does. Tarver killed him anyway, and won with the Kill Shot around the (6:01) minute mark. Tarver’s really scary up close. Not like Mark Henry scary, but y’know, the same fear you would have if you were approached by a large, powerful black guy who could break your jaw before you blink.

[9:01] – Curtains Up!
And we’re rolling film! The place is just as electric as it was last week, with things just off the walls here, which is great for both the cameras and the take-home show, I suppose. No signature and no singalong, though.

[9:17] – A Man Possessed
The show opened with all of us buzzing around and already rocking the whole place, but then it got even louder when we heard “GO!” from the sound system. Christian Cage was out to open up the card as promised, and we cheered something fierce for that guy. He looks really good with the AOW World title. I could barely hear his music because everyone around me was so loud. We really do like this guy, don’t we? But Christian was having none of it. The look on his face, even from where I was sitting, was not one of joy. He didn’t do the chest pat. He didn’t look for Peeps. He didn’t even so much as look at anything except looking forward. I guess when your archrival threatens your mother, you wouldn’t look like Christmas morning either. He almost, if I have the way to say, looked…like the Christian of old. Driven mad.

He certainly sounded like he was back in his Man on the Moon mind. He got a microphone and didn’t look up from the canvas while speaking – a dead giveaway indicator that he’s back in his old mind. The first words out of his mouth were to be us to stop cheering. When the cheering died down but didn’t subside, he SCREAMED into the microphone for us to stop. This shit was gonna get serious really quick. He went on to explain that the months of torture Jericho put him through last time was bad enough, but now he’s crossed something even deeper. But even in his rage of Jericho doing that, Christian says that Jericho still has a point.

He says that he can’t be the champion we all expect him to be. He went on to say that he failed us; that he’s failed us as AOW World Champion because he hasn’t been the Savior he promised to be. He then dropped to his knees and apologized to us. He apologized to AOW for not being our Savior and then apologized to his mother for not being able to save her too. And then he said he had to apologize to everyone as a whole, AOW and mother, because of what he was going to say next. “I know what Chris Jericho wants. And I know everything he’s ever done has been to have this”, pointing to his AOW Championship. “And I said before, I told him in front of all of you, that the puppet act stops here. No one else will fall prey because we’d all seen the act. And yet…that’s just what I’m about to do.”

Christian then continued to say that he knows it’s wrong and against everything he stands for, but he knows Jericho won’t stop and worse and worse things will happen. His whole body was shaking. It was truly a disturbingly beautiful sight. So, he said, in order to stop Jericho from doing anything more…he’d grant Chris Jericho a rematch for the AOW World Heavyweight Championship. For the first time in a long time, Cage got some kind of heat, but I think most of us were too taken aback by his performance than to actually boo the news.

But our reaction suddenly recoiled from being pulled in by Christian to a huge pop because we heard what sounded like a car crash hit the sound system. And that only meant one man. MICK FOLEY WAS BACK! Mick acknowledged us, but barely, because he was obviously making a beeline to the ring. Christian looked pretty indifferent to seeing Foley, but before Foley stepped in the ring, he put the microphone up and told Christian to “stand up. You don’t owe anybody anything, no apologies, nothing, stand up.” Cage listened and then we listened to Mick. He wasn’t playing any games either.

Foley asked Christian to think about what he’s doing and what he’s saying. Foley continued to say that Cage has done an impressive job as champion so far. “You can’t save the company every day. No one expects you to. What these people expect is a fighting champion who is the epitomy of this company and it’s spirit. That’s exactly what you are”. Foley kept building Christian up, but then he let him have it: “…the only thing disappointing about your reign so far…is this. He told Christian that “what you’re doing right now is not just saying what Chris Jericho wants you to say, but you are who Chris Jericho wants you to be. You’re breaking. Cracking.” He also tells Christian that “I have no problem with you facing Jericho again. It’s just why you want to paired with the fact that like this…you’ll never beat him.”

That one really struck a chord with Christian, who looked up for the first time right at Foley. Foley continued and told Christian that ‘You owe no one anything because being the man with that belt makes you a greater man already. And Christian, that makes you the strongest of all of us. Because you’ve taken it before. And here you stand, greater than us all. Don’t you let him bring you down to the level he wants” We actually got behind that one, as we were trying to cheer both Foley and Christian on. Foley went on to say that he knows Christian and that Christian isn’t going to change his mind. But what Foley can do, he said, was to “offer a balance”. He couldn’t stop Christian from giving Jericho that match, but he said what he can do… “is don some referee stripes for ya”. That got the largest pop of the night and a satisfied look on Cage’s face.

Christian responded by saying that’s his favorite thing about Foley – “you get it. You always get it.” But Christian says that he has two more requests for the Acting Commander. “One – I want the match not to take place in Vegas or Pittsburgh. No, I want it in two weeks, right back here, in front of the same people Jericho’s been stringing along, the same people who I have saved and will save again – the people of the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York!” Needless to say, that condition got the biggest reception outside of both men’s entrances. I guess that means we’ll be getting Christian/Jericho on free TV?? The network’s waning faith and the hotshot mindset they’ve gotta be in have to be the blame for this one.

But speaking of that, Christian’s next condition was that “I’ve already made a ‘god’ drop down to Earth. Now I’m gonna show him just how mortal he is. How much like a regular man he is. I want it to be…a LAST. MAN. STANDING match.” That got a huge pop as well, but also a look of genuine concern on Foley’s face. We found out why when he told Christian that “I can do that…but I don’t know if it’ll go through”. We were all sort of confused as to what was going on and then Foley explained: “The network hasn’t been pleased with some of our conduct as of late, and something that might wind up as graphic as that match might not fly with the ‘Big Guys’.” So they’re actually bringing their network trouble on screen in a way? I like. I guess Heyman might be quick to jump the gun on these things, though, considering his past with networks...

Christian wasn’t very happy about that at all, even getting in Foley’s face and asking him “are you with me or against me??” Foley barked right back that “in a way, I AM against you!” He said he has no problem with getting a front row seat to see Christian beat Jericho to a pulp because “trust me, Christian, the only guy here who might hate Jericho more than you is me”. But he reiterated that he still didn’t condone Christian’s decision because of the motives and the fact that he was played along. Christian said that he didn’t care because “sometimes, Mick…and you should know…sometimes you have to become a monster of a man to fight the monsters who think they’re above man”. That seemed to hit Foley hard, who then lowered his intensity to a normal tone and told Christian that at Rise of a Dynasty, he can get Christian an audience with an FX executive…in the middle of the ring. “See if you can convince them yourself. The way I know you’ve convinced me.” So the segment ended on a huge pop as both Foley and Cage shared a pair of sick, but slick, smug smiles as they shook hands. I don’t think I’ve seen an AOW scene that intense in quite a while, but that set the tone for the night in a big way. So I guess we’ll be getting at least one segment at RoaD with Christian and…I guess a guy from FX. Could be cool, could fall flat on it’s face like my heart says it will, but I guess we’ll see. We had a bit of a lull after this, which I’m assuming they’re doing the whole ‘live commercial break’ thing again this week.

[9:29] – Trios Night: Pt. I
Okay, so one of the most prominent parts of the entire night is the fact that there’s three different six-man tag team matches going on. I guess I shouldn’t call them ‘Trios’ considering that Trios matches have a different set of rules than just plain old six-man tags. But regardless, the first set of guys out were the ‘face’ team of Kendrick, Crazy, and Kofi Kingston (London wasn’t with Kendrick, surprisingly). Kingston, predictably, got the biggest pop of the three. I really hope they do something with him. I know he won one of the rematches, but outside of the 25-minute debut, he hasn’t done much yet.

Coming out next was Tyler Black, who got a similar reaction to last week – no one’s entirely sure whether they should boo or cheer him. Still the personification of his actual character. Either way, Carlito got a bit more undisputed heat, with his dad still on his tail. He even pulled him by the ear halfway down the ramp and to the ring! Carlito wasn’t very happy and like last week, tried to play it off. But Benjamin came out to an A TON of heat. I was unsure about him last week, but damn, he was actually nearing Jericho territory. I think it has more to do with how hot Haas was last week (or even if Haas is over like that) than perhaps genuine hatred, seeing as how I don’t think he’s fully explored his newly heel character quite yet.

BUT regardless of what I think, the match started off with Super Crazy stepping in against Carlito (even though Benjamin wanted in first). I was told the commentators played up the past between these two, which made more sense when Super Crazy was hot out of the gate. He was bashing ‘lito’s brains in with some fists before going for the TEN PUNCH with the whole crowd counting in Spanish. He used this momentum to tag in Kendrick, who started to keep Carlito on the ropes, but he gave him a bit too much room when he forced him against those ropes. Kendrick tried to rebound off the ropes at him, but Carlito countered by BACKDROPPING KENDRICK UP AND OVER THE TOP ROPE!!

That surprised the hell out of most of us, but Carlito didn’t let up on that, despite his dad getting onto him for it. Carlito CHUNKED KENDRICK UP AGAINST THE GUARD RAIL before dragging him back in and failing to get the pinfall. Tyler Black was the next guy to give it a go, and he didn’t waste any time laying into Brian. He SMASHED A PAIR OF FOREARM in Kendrick’s face, but when he tried to do it one more time, Kendrick moved and caused Black to hit the turnbuckle hard. Kendrick tried to use that opportunity to get to his corner, but when he tried to leap over Black to do it, Tyler caught him in a fireman’s carry and HIT THE FIREMAN’S CARRY FACEBUSTER on the turnbuckle before rebounding and finishing the combo with a YAKUZA KICK. Kendrick showed some resolve, successfully kicking out of that.

I didn’t hear it for most of it, but apparently, Benjamin’s been chiming for most of the match to get in. I guess the whole ‘consumed by competition’ thing really is a thing. This led to a point when Black couldn’t get the pinfall and Benjamin started chastising Black for not getting the job done. Black looked to get in his face, but he was rolled up from behind by Kendrick, but that didn’t finish things. It gave Kendrick enough momentum, however, to actually take Black and get him in a JUMPING SWINGING DDT!! Both men were down and the crowd was getting insanely hot for Kendrick to get into his corner, but that’s possibly only because he was going for Kingston...and he finally got it! The hot tag brought Kofi in, and the crowd got even hotter when the action in the ring just stopped so that Black and Kingston could have a standoff…but it got interrupted when Benjamin got the blind tag on Black, which got him even more heat.

Shelton and Kofi were fresh but were almost an even match for one another for several holds until Shelton started digging in his amateur wrestling repertoire. He kept Kingston grounded for quite a while until Kofi was able to snap his way out and almost turned it into the S.O.S., but Benjamin undid the bind and PULLED KINGSTON BY THE HAIR BACK TO THE MAT. Carlito was seen in the corner calling for Benjamin to tag out, but Shelton wanted to do no such thing. He’s really making no friends here. Shelton’s next move was trying to whip Kingston into a corner, but Kofi managed to bounce up and hit a SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY, but it didn’t net him the win. He started getting hotter with a pair of clotheslines and then finished it with a dropkick, only to get set for the BOOM DROP…but he leapt so high with it, Benjamin was able to set himself and catch Kingston’s feet, get completely vertical, get back up…AND REPOSITION HIM FOR THE TURNBUCKLE POWERBOMB…but Kofi turned it into a HURRICANRANA…THAT SENT BENJAMIN’S FACE INTO THE TURNBUCKLE!!

This got Kingston enough in him to start the thunderclap and started setting up for the TROUBLE IN PARADISE…but Benjamin ducked it at the very last second and tried to blast Kofi with a SUPERKICK…but Kofi caught it and slung it, turning it into…A DRAGON WHIP…but Kingston ducked that too. As Shelton turned all the way around, Kofi geared up…AND CRACKED HIM WITH THE TROUBLE IN PARADISE…BUT BENJAMIN FELL THROUGH THE ROPES!! Benjamin collapsed to the floor and left Kingston unable to pin him, but as Kingston hung out through the ropes looking at the guy he couldn’t pin, no one really noticed Tyler Black…CRUSHING KINGSTON WITH A DIVING HIGH KNEE FROM THE TOP ROPE!! Kofi was dead in the ring while Black was now trying to recover himself on the outside, but jeez, now neither of the black guys were moving.

Kingston had to drag himself to his corner to try and get another tag, which he eventually got when Kendrick tagged in. Benjamin took a while to drag back into the ring, but even when he got back in, he refused to tag anyone back in and got blasted by Kendrick, very reminiscent to how Benjamin jumped Kendrick in their match. Kendrick kept his adrenaline going by knocking both Black and Carlito from off the apron just in case. He tried another TORNADO DDT attempt on Benjamin…only for it to turn into a NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX that almost got the three, but didn’t. Shelton started asking the ref’ “what’s my time” again, but Kendrick had enough in him to weasel out of a SAMOAN DROP attempt and hit Benjamin with a nice LEG LARIAT. This set Shelton up for the SLICED BREAD, but before he could pop it off, Carlito rushed in and hit Kendrick with the BACKCRACKER!

This got a big reaction from his dad, who started fussing as Carlito rushed out the ring. Tyler Black wasn’t far behind to try and break into the ring, but Kofi and Crazy broke in to thwart him by clotheslining him over the top rope near Carlito. The two then set each other up and rushed at the ropes before flipping over…AND NAILING CARLITO AND BLACK WITH A DUAL SUICIDE DIVE!! That just left Benjamin and Kendrick alone and legal in the ring, Benjamin trying to set up Kendrick for the SCISSORED ARMBAR, but Brian fought out before it was locked in and once again tried for the SLICED BREAD…but Benjamin turned it into a SICK GERMAN SUPLEX THAT FLIPPED KENDRICK ONTO HIS STOMACH!! The move killed Kendrick enough for Benjamin to pick him up and hit the EXPLODER SUPLEX for the win at (9:31). It was plenty high paced at the end, although it was also mostly about Shelton Benjamin being a prick. Talk about a ballhog.

[9:31] – Low Ki Stays Low Key
We went backstage to the Green Zone interview set where Torrie Wilson was back in the habit and interviewing (or trying to interview) the most silent guy on the roster – Low Ki. I immediately questioned the logic behind this the instant Ki showed up, especially since he didn’t even look like he wanted to be there. Torrie asked him what he thought about being considered the biggest underdog in the Dynasty Tournament still…and Ki just looked at her kinda annoyed. I guess that was his feelings…?

Torrie tried to ask another question, this time about whether or not he’ll be able to do much in tonight’s main event. Ki simply nodded his head. This seemed to satisfy Torrie, but she was still a bit irked. Then she just flat out said that in the Offseason, everyone didn’t just hear Low Ki speak, but they heard him rap. “So will you answer my questions…?” Ki thought about it for a moment, but then he spoke the very first words he’d ever spoken on AOW network television, outside of the Internet specials and shows – “Naw.” Boy, that was worth the payoff. It was actually pretty funny because Torrie just kinda chuckled out of minor frustration and just said that “I guess the interview’s over, then.” She then wished him good luck in the main event and Tournament. And for the first time, it was the interviewer who walked away before the interviewee, which gave Ki a moment to watch her walk away…and raise an eyebrow…and then look back at the camera with a nodding head and a curled chin. I guess even silent ninja warriors like some white girl ass.

[9:46] – Trios Night; Pt. II, ft. Jamie Noble
Before the next match actually kicked off, Jamie Noble came down to ringside to observe the match at the announce booth. My ringside source tells me that Noble’s justification for being there was because “there’s a lot of champions in this match and [he] just might challenge one of them”. This is a valid point, I guess. Noble and the commentators went on to build up the fact that he has a championship match opportunity for any belt other than the Heavyweight title. Jibbles evidently was singing Noble’s praises the whole time.

But even after that, we had another pre-match bit of shenanigans because as American Made came down the ramp, Nameth was taking into a microphone. He introduced all in attendance to his new “Miss America”, Taylor Wilde. Wilde, oddly enough, doesn’t seem to be playing much of a heel role of showing herself off. She acted a bit…shy? She did a Miss America wave thing, but that was only after Nameth prompted her to. Nameth and Hagar got each other pumped when they got to the ring by doing push-ups as Wilde counted each one before they were interrupted by the partner’s music in Aero Star. Neither man was thrilled to have their pre-game warm-up interrupted and when Star (who is STILL coming out to a big pop) tried to shake hands with them, they gave him the All-American cold shoulder.

The opposing team weren’t so cold in welcoming one another, however. In fact, Wilson and Smith actually waited on the end of the entrance ramp for Danielson to come on down before they all shook hands and went into the ring. The crowd was hot for all members of the team, and they actually shared a laugh or two before finishing their march to the ring. Probably just showing these guys have been in trios before, like the Offseason. Even so, Danielson looked pretty…irritated? He wasn’t as easygoing as the Tag Team Champions. Maybe he’s just sour from losing to Aero in the opening round of the tourney…?

Well, the starting action actually answered that question pretty quickly, because Danielson volunteered to go first for his corner and American Made pretty much bullied Aero Star into stepping in first. In the opening minutes, Danielson laid into Aero Star. It was kinda shocking, actually, and the crowd wasn’t entirely sure what to think. He really didn’t let Star get much offense in, cementing it by letting fly some of those repeat shoot kicks he does to a kneeling opponent. Star managed to dodge the final roundhouse into a ROLL-UP, but Danielson managed to keep the match going. Star started mounting a bit more offense after that, upping the tempo and looking like he was softening up Danielson a little bit…only for Nick Nameth to tag himself in.

Nameth began taking a little control over Danielson, who was now playing things much more face-like. He managed to flip the script on Nicky by FINISHING HIS ROUNDHOUSE COMBO after rolling out of a school boy. He tagged in Smith, who began using his power game to wear down Nameth and capped it off with a BIG BOOT that took him down hard, but not hard enough for the three count. Smith tried to stay on him, but Nameth wound up surprising his long-time rival by turning the potential RUNNING POWERSLAM into a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP, though it did not end the match. Nameth tagged in Hagar not long afterwards, the two hitting Smith with a DOUBLE FRONT SUPLEX that Nameth followed up with an ELBOW DROP to the back of the head while Hagar went away to charge back…AND HIT THE HAGARBOMB ON SMITH’S BACK, KIDNEY, AND RIBS!! A very impressive double team on that one, but the tag champs would not be pinned.

From there, Hagar and his corner took complete control, isolating the thrashed Smith. Hagar and his tag partner kept a revolving door of tags between themselves and didn’t let Aero get in on much of the fun. But when Hagar came in again, Smith was able to regain himself and catch Nameth in a sick SCOOP POWERSLAM and get the hot tag to his corner in TJ Wilson. Wilson entered dynamically, springboarding off the top rope and hitting Nameth with a THUNDEROUS DROPKICK. Hagar tried to rush back in and help his partner, but he got a BACKFLIP KICK for his troubles, putting Wilson the apron. He hit Hagar in the gut with a shoulder block and forced him to lean through the middle rope, where he did one of the most athletic things I’ve ever seen – he leapt in, BOUNCED OFF OF HAGAR’S BACK, simultaneously pushing him out of the ring, flew towards Nameth, and NAILED A FLYING SPINNING WHEEL KICK!! An incredible one-man sequence that got us all hot as hell, but didn’t finish the fight.

Nameth had to back into his own corner to recuperate, which is where Aero Star gladly brought himself back into the fray with a wonderful blind tag. He took a page out of Wilson’s book and springboarded into the ring…AND HIT HIM WITH A BEAUTIFUL SKY-HIGH CROSSBODY!! This didn’t get Star the pin, but it did get him style points. He and Wilson then bumped the match up to a cruiserweight pace, Aero again able to show off some of the same mat work he showed against Danielson. Wilson was finally able to get an advantage and rope Star into his corner, where he tagged Danielson back in. The Cruiserweight champ, again, refused to let up on Aero, cracking him with SEVERAL KICKS and what seemed like a flurry of SUPLEXES before Star retaliated with his SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW.

Both guys were pretty out of it, but as they were recovering, the members of American Made went over to the ‘face’ corner and RIPPED THE TAG CHAMPS OFF THE APRON, prompting a small brawl between the four rookies who had been feuding since their debut. Back in the ring, Danielson was trying to regain his advantage, only for Aero to counter him with a FLOAT OVER SUPLEX that didn’t get the near fall, but irritated Danielson enough for him to charge ad Star, only to get a SPINNING HEADSISSORS TAKEDOWN for his troubles…THAT SENT DANIELSON OVER THE ROPES AND ONTO THE FOUR BRAWLING MEN! All five guys went down, as we all started getting pumped for what Star might be going for next. When all five guys started getting up, still clumped together, I knew a big spot had to be coming. Star pointed to the mob of guys outside and we just kept popping harder. Star started feeling it and getting pumped before GOING FOR THE TOPE TORPEDO…NO!! As he was just slipping through the ropes for the move, both members of American Made covered their heads and tried to duck out of the way. Star pulled a feint, instead staying on the apron. While his teammates for the evening bitched him out for hitting them, the other three were recovered and clumping all five guys back together to see Star SPRINGBOARDING…AND HITTING THAT REVERSE TOPE FREEFALL CANNONBALL TO ALL FIVE GUYS!!

All six men were sprawled out as he went nuts, which probably would be a great spot to go to a commercial when the episode airs. A lot of people were kicking up “HOLY SHIT” chants, although it died out a little before it could reach me. When that happened, Hagar and Smith were to the first two guys to get up, only for Smith to counter a Hagar GUTWRENCH SUPLEX by landing standing…AND HITTING A GERMAN SUPLEX ON THE OUTSIDE PADDING!! Big move there, as everyone else started moving around after that big spot. Star was able to roll Danielson back inside, who was still feeling the pain. Star springboarded off the ropes towards another set of ropes and nailed that AWESOME DOUBLE JUMP SLINGSHOT MOONSAULT right on Danielson, but just like their first round match, it didn’t get the finishing fall. Star looked like maybe he would go for the AERO STAR PRESS, but Danielson came to life, literally yanked Star off the ropes, got some double underhooks, and HIT A NICE SLINGSHOT BUTTERFLY SUPLEX!! A nifty move, but that didn’t end things, either.

Both guys had taken a good chunk of abuse, so they looked to their corners, which each only had one guy in them because Hagar and Smith knocked each other out on the outside at some point. I was paying attention to Star, so I’m not sure how they did it, but I’m sure a cameraman got it and it’ll be on the broadcast. Star was forced to tag in Nameth, who saw Danielson tag in Wilson. TJ tried his explosive, springboard entry once again, but this time Nameth was ready, sidestepping him, watching him crash, and then hitting him with the LEG DROP BULLDOG when he tried to get up. That didn’t end things either, but when Nameth got a little bit too cocky and played to the crowd some, he got smashed by a WILSON ENZEGUIRI. That knocked him loopy enough for Wilson to put him on his shoulders and head to the top rope, looking for the ROLLING STAMPEDE…BUT THEN TAYLOR WILDE JUMPED UP ON THE APRON!!

This distracted both Wilson and referee Goose Mahoney, who went over to tell her to get the fuck off. But as he was distracted, Hagar appeared and KNOCKED WILSON’S FEET OFF THE ROPES, making him lose his balance and allowing Nameth to crawl off his shoulders safely while Wilson fell to the canvas from up high. This led to Danielson flying across the ring with a SUICIDE DIVE on Hagar, but at the last second, Hagar sidestepped and sent Danielson CRASHING RIGHT INTO THE LAPS OF JBL, STYLES, AND JAMIE NOBLE!! Nameth now goes for the recovering Wilson up against the ropes, but gets another BACKFLIP KICK that sends him to the apron. He springboards back this time, going for the CODE BLUE…but when he tried to flip over to complete the neckbreaker, HAGAR CAUGHT HIM, preventing him from fully executing the move and getting him in a POWERBOMB POSITION. Nameth then readjusted himself as he and Hagar nailed the PATRIOT ACT!! Hagar scurried out after the tag team finisher, but Smith was right there crawling in…only to NOT BE IN TIME!! Nameth pinned Wilson at (12:21), getting a bit more time than the first MATCH. An insane action finish to this one that got us all pumped.

The post-match was pretty interesting, though. American Made were heading up the ramp with their hands up in definite victory, but they were forgetting something…Nicky’s new girlfriend. She was actually at ringside helping Aero Star to his feet. She didn’t leave him alone until he was standing on his own, where she scurried up the ramp to give Nameth a big hug, only for Hagar to join in on the hug. Nameth’s face when that happened was pretty hysterical, because it was like “dude, no, this is my hug”. Wilde seems cool, though. She’s ‘Miss America’ (even though I think she’s from Canada…) and has no problem getting involved, but she’s not a bitch. I guess just like a real Miss America…?

As for the rest of the aftermath, Danielson threw himself to his feet and grabbed his Cruiserweight title before pointing at Star and nodding in…approval? Maybe that’s just a ‘I got you back’ look…? Star and the Sons actually walked to the back together, although that probably won’t be aired or is even relevant.

[9:52] – AmDrag Spews Fire
There was a little bit of a pause before this segment, possibly because this will be cut and pasted together with a commercial between it in post-production for the actual broadcast or whatever. I say that because the first guy we saws on the screen after the second six-man tag was one of the guys who was in it in Bryan Danielson. He still had his Cruiserweight Championship and was marching through the backstage halls when Torrie Wilson caught up to him and asked him what was the deal with the incredible show of aggression against Aero Star.

It was just as I suspected, only deeper than I expected. Danielson said that yeah, he was “pissed he lost tonight and pissed because Aero Star knocked him out of the Dynasty Tournament”, but he was “more pissed because Star lost in the next round”. Danielson went on to say quite confidently that he, Danielson, was the best cruiserweight in AOW and possibly one of its best wrestlers overall, despite his size. He says he takes great pride in his work and when he loses, he’s not afraid to admit who the better man was. But what pisses him off is when guys who beat him can’t beat others. He also says that ‘with no disrespect to Low Ki, me beating Aero up was me being pissed that he beat me, but couldn’t do better”. I guess Danielson’s pretty passionate about the booking triangle there, feeling bad because the guy who beat him didn’t continue. Could this be the signs of a Danielson/Star feud? Danielson/Ki feud? Or hell, I almost forgot Jamie Noble over there, but that’s a looming possibility by this point. That might’ve also been what that table crash earlier could cause. Lots of directions this one could go and I like it.

[10:03] – Pledges & ‘Pendejos’
The attention was back towards the ring, where Tony Chimel announced The Miz in, for some reason. On the stage, Miz got a decent amount of heat for being the spineless worm that he is. He was wearing an outfit I can only describe as “fratty” because he looked like the frat boys I had on my old college campus. He even had a towel with him for some reason. While I was wondering the big deal with the get-up, Miz went on talking about how he’s the “new pledge for Alpha Sigma Slamma”. Miz is evidently pledging to be in the wrestling fraternity that Doane and Masters introduced. I actually will say just how excited I am to see that. Miz, the spineless worm, being hazed on screen? And not just by JBL? That should be fun.

But yeah. Miz went on to introduce the team of DAT MUSCLE himself, both Doane and Chris Masters coming out to a new remix of Doane’s most recent theme song. Doane was in some semi-formal wear, as he was in jeans but had a white shirt and a blazer on, which again, still looked ‘fratty’. Masters was in competitive attire, seeing as how he’s wrestling and all. His opponent answered the question of why Super Crazy didn’t have his tag team partner with him earlier, as Psicosis came down to a decent reception and slapped some fives.

This one was understandably virtually all Masters. He exploded out of the gate and fucked Psicosis up with a MAMMOTH CLOTHESLINE. He took control from there on out, continuing the onslaught with a DELAYED VERTICAL SUPLEX that got us all to boo him before he planted him. He pulled a very Kane-esque move when he whipped Psicosis into a corner so hard, he recoiled right into a Masters SIDESLAM. He stopped there to show off his muscles to get even more heat, Doane and Miz loving the damage being done. He stood over Psicosis’ body and prepared for him to get up and put him in the MASTERLOCK…but Psicosis reverse crawled through Master’s legs and got him in a nifty SMACK PACKAGE kind of pin.

That actually made it kind of interesting, Psicosis peppering Masters with a bunch of kicks before crushing him with a seemingly random LEAPING HEADBUTT. That send Masters reeling enough for Psicosis to try and whip him into the ropes, only to have it reversed. Psicosis ducked underneath a clothesline and shot off the second rope with a nice SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW that wasn’t too unlike the one Carlito uses. Masters was getting knocked around a bit, Psicosis keeping his offense going by heading to the apron and hitting a SLINGSHOT SUMMERSAULT SENTON that damn near got him the three count. He waited for Masters to get up, rebounding off the ropes for more offense, but Masters DESTROYED HIM WITH A POLISH HAMMER!!

Masters was pissed now, taking Psicosis up in a bearhug and SMASHING HIM AGAINST A CORNER TWICE before turning out and finishing things with a NASTY SPINEBUSTER. He really was seething by this point, standing over Psicosis and just stalking him, slapping at his head to get up quicker. He barely got to his knees before Masters got hold of his arms and hit his MASTERLOCK. Psicosis didn’t last too long while thrashing around. Black Referee rang the bell at (6:30), but Psicosis really wasn’t moving afterward. When Masters got out of the ring, I heard Doane say “towel him off, pledge”, to which Miz acted on immediately and took the towel he had and wiped some of the sweat off of Masters. Chis snatched the towel out of his hands and the three kept walking to the back, all three men all smiles while the rest of us just booed.

I highly doubt it will be showed on the actual show since it’s never really a lot of fun to show losers leaving the ring, but Super Crazy came in from the back, still tired from his earlier match, and helped his tag team partner to the back. I just thought that was really cool that even though the cameras probably won’t be rolling on that, they still keep that logical character continuity. Bravo AOW and Mexicans.

[10:10] – Hype, Hype, Hype!
It was at this point, my commentator area colleague had to do 90% of his work for the evening because this was the part where they hyped up Rise of a Dynasty. They went over the huge implications of the night, the whole Tournament, and of course, the fact that the winner of the Tournament earns himself an AOW World Championship shot. I find it funny they mention that, because they still haven’t mentioned when that title match can be cashed in (although common sense simply says Origins & Endings). Nevertheless, they showed the matches on the Yin-Yang-Tron for the opening round – CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio, Samoa Joe vs. William Regal, Low Ki vs. Finlay, and Shawn Michaels vs. Charlie Haas.

I guess that was for the people who didn’t check the website before tonight or picked up anything from Low Ki’s promo earlier (if you can call it a promo). I think the guys making it past the opening round are gonna be pretty obvious, but that’s just me. Plus, with the way AOW does things, who knows? Could be some big upsets in order…which, evidently, was exactly what Joey Styles was going over. Jibbles was apparently gloating that two of his favorites are in (Finlay and Regal), but Styles counter argued that two of his were still in as well (Haas, who they hyped promised to compete, and Punk). Then…JBL and Styles made a bet that if one of JBL’s favorites wins, Joey has to eat a Clothesline from Hell in the middle of the ring on an episode of Oblivion. Joey actually agreed and then played off of JBL’s pride by countering that if one of Styles’ favorites wins, then JBL has to have a match…AGAINST CM PUNK.

I have no idea where that bet will go, but from the sound of it, there could be a legit chance one of Joey’s favorites gets the win – most likely Punk, at that. Or maybe this is JBL’s way of possibly getting back in the ring…? Either way, it seemed to play into the fact that the Supershow is gonna be in Vegas next week But that’s not all they hyped. They also hyped the Fan Bracket Showcase, talking about all the men who are eligible – and virtually all of them competed tonight in some fashion. They encouraged everyone to log onto aohdubya.com and vote for who they want to compete. They didn’t reveal who may be in the lead of vote getting, but they did say that the way the voting looks at the moment, it’s leaning towards a tag team match. Personally, I welcome it on a night full of singles matches, but I guess that’s why folks need to keep voting. Then they hyped the main event which is on its way.

[10:36] – Trios Night, Pt. III – They All Fall Down
It’s time, it’s time, it’s main event time! Punk, Rey, & Joe taking on Finlay, Ki, & Regal. From the entrances, the biggest pops went to Joe and Punk, while Finlay undisputedly got the most heat. It’s kind of surprising, actually, considering this arena’s affiliation with hard-nosed bastards. Maybe we’re all just playing the part…? Either way, it was actually pretty cool to see all six guys again, but I paid attention to Low Ki’s interaction in his corner. It gave off a feel very similar to Aero Star in the last tag match, but seeing as how Regal and Finlay aren’t incredibly emotional beings to begin with, I couldn’t really tell if they liked him anyway.

But after all the hoopla and the entrances, Ray Ramsey was ready to ring the bell, only for Paul Heyman to show up with his puppet-on-strings, Shawn Michaels. The commentators seemed just as surprised as we did, apparently. Heyman and Michaels slowly (and I do mean slowly. Like, almost Undertaker speed) down to the ring, Heyman with that Heyman smirk plastered on his face for the entire strut. Michaels never smiled the entire time. Heyman smugly looked at all six guys in the ring before walking over to the announce desk, where he put on a headset and is evidently gonna talk with this one. Looks like my colleague has more work. Michaels didn’t get a headset, rather, he just got to sit beside Heyman and keep that stonefaced stoic look in his eyes.

As the match got started, William Regal kicked it off against CM Punk. I’m sure Punk got a real thrill out of that, given how much it’s known that he adores Regal outside the ring. Nonetheless, Punk was forced on the ground for some of the early portions, as Regal worked some of his rough technique on him. But Punk was able to work on out and take a small advantage himself, hitting regal with a snapmare and then KICKING HIM IN THE SPINE. That got the first pin attempt of the match, but wasn’t successful. He tried to keep the pressure on Regal, only for him to shove Punk in a corner and bash him with some clubs. But Punk was able to counter that with some nice kicks to the midsection and even a Mongolian chop before making it to his corner and tagging Rey.

Mysterio was greeted by a sharp back elbow from Regal that kept him on the defensive for a little bit, Regal using a nice assortment of knees and rest holds to keep Mysterio down. But when the crowd started getting more amped and into things, Mysterio responded with a classic MONKEY FLIP that forced Regal to make a tag into his corner, bringing in the ninja, Low Ki. Ki leapt in and prepared himself, as the action stopped the situation to settle in that these two were about to go at it. There was actually a pretty great response from the crowd about Mysterio meeting Low Ki, the match sort of hitting a bit of a reset button on that note, the guys initiating a lock-up and doing some technical dancing of their own. Does Low Ki do this with everybody? Seems like it happens the most with him.

Anyway, their stalemate was broken when Mysterio went for the WHEELBARROW BULLDOG on Ki, but the pint-sized powerhouse kept hold of Mysterio on the pop-up and THREW HIM ACROSS THE RING, Mysterio landing hard on his tailbone. This prompted Ki to NAIL THE BLACK MAGIC, going for a definitive cover that couldn’t end things in that way right there. Mysterio had to go on the defensive here, as Ki started lighting him up with some of his signature SHOOT KICKS before he pounded the canvas and went for the FINISHING ROUNDHOUSE…which surprisingly, CONNECTED. But that didn’t get him the winning fall either, noting Mysterio’s resiliency. It wasn’t until Ki slung Mysterio across the ring for an Irish whip did Rey give a response, reversing the whip and getting Low Ki to go for the SUNSET…but Mysterio rolled through and CRACKED KI IN THE HEAD WITH A ROUNDHOUSE OF HIS OWN!! That wasn’t enough to get Mysterio the win either, but he was really feeling the pain from the prior moves. Rey tried to get to his corner, but Ki managed to tangle up his legs while grounded and prevented him from getting closer.

Ki kept Mysterio’s legs all tangled after he pulled them away, bridging over and getting him in a MUTA LOCK. This was pretty impressive as I hadn’t seen Ki use the move before, but it stopped Mysterio in his tracks and forced him to find a way to fight out of it. Mysterio eventually wrenched Ki’s arms off and dodged ANOTHER ROUNDHOUSE when back on his feet to pull Ki from behind into a ROLL-UP, but no final pinfall there. Ki then caught Mysterio and HOISTED HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS, clutching him in a fireman’s carry. He went to an empty corner before RUSHING ACROSS THE RING TO THE OPPOSITE CORNER, but whatever he was gonna do with Rey, Mysterio climbed off at the last minute and sent Ki STERNUM FIRST INTO THE POST. Ki turned around and got an ENZEGUIRI for his troubles, putting him on the SECOND ROPE. Mysterio started dialing it up as we started feeling it, but of course, he missed the 619, swinging all the way around as Ki got up from the ropes. Even so, he was still groggy, and Rey was on the apron, so he settled for a SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK!!

Hadn’t seen one of those from Rey in a while, but it downed both men for a bit and allowed the us to get all worked up. Ki was crawling to his corner while Mysterio was crawling to his, with Ki getting the slap tag to Finlay. Rey was within FINGERTIPS of someone in his corner, but Finlay jumped on him really quick to stop the transaction from happening. He kicked Mysterio hard to flip him over before holding him by his neck in front of his corner and taunting the fact that he can’t get a tag in. Geez, Finlay’s a dick. He pulled Rey back with a hard MAT SLAM, and followed up with a seated senton of his own with the FINLAY PRESS, RIGHT ON REY’S SURGICALLY REPAIRED KNEE! Rey rolled around for a bit and it got so bad that Ramsey had to go check on him. Finlay tried to charge him, but Ramsey kept him back and told him to ‘back off’. The place went hush for a bit while Ramsey was asking Rey if he was okay…before Mysterio SUDDENLY LEPT TO HIS CORNER AND TAGGED IN SAMOA JOE!!

A sneaky as shit move from Mysterio, who went to the apron to shake his hurt leg out, the crowd loving Rey for pulling the wool on Finlay for a moment. But then the popping got louder when we realized what it had resulted in. Samoa Joe stepped into the ring and the place exploded in buzz and Finlay and Samoa Joe were in the ring together at the same time for I think only the second time since their feud ‘ended’. The place was going effin’ nuts and I loved it. I think I know what match we all want in the finals. And the two didn’t disappoint as they immediately proceeded to reenact their balcony brawl by FIRING LEFTS NAD RIGHTS BACK AND FORTH!!

The whole Hammerstein was on FIRE, igniting Joe’s blows enough for him to snapmare him over, chop him in the back of the head, a kick to his chest, and then topped it off with a RUNNING JUMPING KNEE DROP. This didn’t get the final fall on Finlay in the least, Joe actually smiling when Finlay threw up a shoulder at one and then stood back up. They really are acknowledging a lot between the two. Finlay sprung to his feet and rammed a shoulder into Joe’s gut, driving him into a corner, and continuing to deliver them before short arming him out into a NICE CLOTHESLINE. It’s Joe’s turn to get up on a one count on the pin attempt, Finlay trying to club Joe back down. He then tries for another clothesline, only for Joe to duck underneath and hit a GERMAN SUPLEX!! A big German got a two count this time, but it didn’t end anything again.

Finlay had to go to an empty corner to recuperate, but Joe didn’t let up, CRUSHING FINLAY IN THE CORNER WITH A RUNNING FOREARM SMASH! He immediately followed this up with a huge CCS ENZEGUIRI! Finlay was down and out in the corner, Joe getting us all pumped up with “OLE” chants before going for the OLE KICK…but Finlay caught him on his shoulders and rolled forward for the ROLLING HILLS!! That move got Finlay a near fall, but the match went on. Finlay decided to opt out and tagged back in Low Ki after dragging Joe to their corner. Ki actually got some offense in on the gargantuan Joe before an Irish whip attempt was reversed, sending Ki into an empty corner. Joe charged, only to get a face of foot when Ki kicked him away, giving Ki room to hit the JOHN WOO DROPKICK!!

Joe actually flung back into the opposite ropes, which surprised me a bit, but when Ki tried for the TIDAL CRUSH, partway through his cartwheel, Joe burst out of the corner, caught Ki from behind and nailed A BEAUTIFUL DRADON SUPLEX!! He kept the bridge, but that wasn’t able to put Low Ki away. Joe decided it was time to go, tagging in CM Punk for a second time. Joe actually whipped Ki into the ropes so on the rebound, Punk could just catch him right in the SNAP SCOOP POWERSLAM, but this didn’t end the match. Lots of fast and furious action going on, Punk trying to up it even more by slinging Ki into a corner and going for the HIGH CORNER KNEE…but NOBODY WAS HOME! Punk banged his knee up on the post, leaving Ki to step back and NAIL THE TIDAL CRUSH! Ki’s kicks always get big pops and this one was no different, but even that stiff one didn’t put Punk away, prompting Ki to tag in Regal.

The two guys who were legal to start the match were back at it again, although as soon as Regal was tagged, he rushed across the ring and DUNKED MYSTERIO AND JOE FROM THEIR CORNER! Punk was trying to get to them for a tag, but Regal cut’em off in the best way. No wonder he and his Merc crew have that trophy. But when Regal lifted up Punk to try and deal more damage, Punk surprised everybody with a BIG ROUNDHOUSE TO REGAL’S SKULL! Punk went for a big cover, but couldn’t put the vet away. Punk then got a little desperate and rolled to the apron, waiting for Regal to get to his feet…and went for the SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE, but Regal sidestepped at the last minute and sent Punk CRASHING! Almost as soon as Punk landed, Regal took him up from behind and hit a nasty REGAL PLEX!! He kept the bridge for the cover, but Punk still had a means to kick out!

Regal was getting a little flustered, but wasn’t showing it too much…only to look up and see Samoa Joe in the ring with him now. Joe looked pretty pissed, probably about Regal slapping him off the apron a moment ago, and Joe CLOTHESLINED REGAL OVER THE TOP ROPE!! A bit too much aggression from Joe, but when he turned around, he was met by Low Ki running in and HITTING HIM WITH THE SPRINGBOARD ENZEGUIRI!! A literal out of nowhere strike of lighting and Joe went down! Ki then quickly went on up to the top rope…AND NAILED THE WARRIOR’S WAY ON SAMOA JOE!! A huge move on a huge guy that might make Low Ki huge and got us all pumped, but no sooner did he roll to his feet all pumped after the move did Rey Mysterio re-enter the fray and front dropkick Ki in the spine…right onto the middle rope.

Rey went ahead and fed off the amped crowd and didn’t waste any time…619! THE 619 CONNECTED big time, Rey now chillin’ on the apron while Ki rolled around in pain. Mysterio leapt onto the top rope, and SPRINGBOARDED, possibly looking for a big finish…but he didn’t see Finlay rush in and CATCH HIM OUTO OF MIDAIR on the move. Low Ki kept rolling on back to the outside of the ring. Finlay readjusted Mysterio over his back and then nailed a perfect CELTIC CROSS!! Mysterio was a stick in the mud, so Finlay had to roll him out of the ring while yelling at him, only to drift backwards right into the waiting clutches of CM Punk…WHO HOISTED FINLAY UP…AND NAILED THE “UNDEFEATED” IRISHMAN WITH A GTS!! Finlay went down hard as we lost our freakin’ minds for the immense finisher barrage. But Punk was still feeling the damage and had to drop to a knee. Then, as if on cue, William Regal reentered the ring unbeknownst to Punk…AND HIT HIM RIGHT IN THE TEMPLE WITH THE KNEE TREMBLER!! No one else was around, everyone was down, and on the final take-home match before the big Tournament, William Regal pinned CM Punk at (18:12) to win for his team. The finisher flurry definitely got us all kinds of hyped, as I expected at least one trios match to end that way, but the way that one went down was quite exciting. Plus, it makes Regal look a little more legit for the Tourney.

…but we weren’t done there! Because while Regal was celebrating is win and at least getting it solidified in our minds, BANG! HE GETS HIT BY SOME SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! Regal went down in a heap as we all popped gloriously for the superkick, although Heyman didn’t look like he gave Michaels orders to intervene in anything. Protecting his investment and all that. Michaels stood tall for a moment, only for Low Ki to enter the ring again…AND HE GOT SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! Michaels was just handing’em out like candy…but then Samoa Joe got to his feet. Joe charged Michaels only for ANOTHER SUPERKICK TO COME…but Joe blocked it! He then spun Michaels around and then put him on his shoulder, reminiscent to the last time these two were in a ring together…ISLAND DRIVER…BUT NO! Michaels squirmed out and waited for Joe to turn…TO FINALLY GIVE HIM ANOTHER DOSE OF SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! Everyone was down, finishers were hit galore, and Shawn Michaels was pumped as fuck, beating his chest and getting the whole Hammerstein pumped up with him. He gave a signature smartass smirk to Heyman over at the announce desk before continuing with his mini celebration with bodies lying everywhere. HBK’s music hit as we cheered a bit more (and, evidently, the commentators selling all the carnage and the uncertainty of Shawn Michaels himself) as I think the show ended on the (Sweet Chin) musical note of Shawn Michaels hitting his flexing taunt in the middle of the ring and get us all churned up for the big show next week.

Great crowd, great action, although a bit of an odd ending for me. But whatever way it goes, until next time, this has been The Informer…




------



~RISE OF A DYNASTY~
July 2nd, 2008 - MGM Grand; Las Vegas, Nevada
*Confirmed Card*

~2008 Dynasty Tournament~

~Quarter Finals~

Dynasty Champion CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe v. William Regal
Low Ki v. Finlay
Shawn Michaels v. Charlie Haas


~Semi-Finals~
Punk / Mysterio v. Joe / Regal
Ki / Finlay v. Michaels / Haas

~GRAND FINALE~
Punk / Mysterio / Joe/ Regal
v.
Ki / Finlay / Michaels / Haas


*Fan Bracket Showcase*
Whomever has the most fan votes will compete

~Meeting the Big Guys~
Christian Cage makes his case to the network execs





Spoiler for Fan Bracket Showcase Options & Voting Template:

Aero Star
Brent Albright
Brian Kendrick
Bryan Danielson
Carlito Colon
Harry Smith
Jack Evans
Jack Hagar
Jamie Noble
Kofi Kingston
Manu
Matt Sydal
Nick Nameth
Paul Burchill
Paul London
Shelton Benjamin
Siaki
Super Crazy
TJ Wilson
Tyler Black


Who would you like to see compete in the Rise of a Dynasty Showcase?
1.
2.
3.




*NO PREDICTIONS YET PLZ.* However, you're more than welcome to keep sending in your Fan Bracket Showcase votes. I already have a very nice number of votes in, but I can always have and take more, no problem. Remember to message me those and not spam in the thread. And a big thank you to all who have already voted. There will be an official preview posted before the show, so you can all make your predictions then. I also want to apologize to all again for the late show, but more for not being able to leave any feedback at all lately. Feel like I'm slippin' on you guys. But I'll be here and kicking and hopefully reading more in the next few weeks. Don't know when the big show will be finished and don't know when the preview will go up, but it will all be before the year is out, I assure you. Hope all don't hate me 'til then
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:49 PM   #275 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

~RISE OF A DYNASTY 3-HOUR SUPERSHOW~
*OFFICIAL PREVIEW*


Thirty-two men began the journey in an event so huge, it brought in virtually the entire AOW roster. But now, after a month of grinding it out, only eight men stand alone. Who will topple them all and raise himself and become the FIRST EVER AOW One Man Dynasty and become the new #1 contender for Christian Cage and his AOW World Heavyweight Championship...? The 'RoaD' to Origins & Endings...starts NOW!




The “Undefeated” Irish Bastard
FINLAY

Never been pinned or made to submit in sanctioned matches. Two losses in ten months.
Round of 32 - Def. Paul London @ 9:30
Bye in Sweet Sixteen
Vegas Odds: -200 | Fraction Odds: 1/2

Already having made a name for himself in various promotions around the world, the battle-tested veteran Irishman Finlay has left nothing but a path of destruction since coming to AOW. Undoubtedly the bitterest man in this group, Finlay uses that to drive him to the AOW Championship he says he deserves. Why? Because this tough Irish bastard has only lost twice in his entire ten month stay in AOW. While he claims to have no losses due to passing out in one match and the other loss being an ‘Unsanctioned’ match, the record still shows the guy is tough. Rumors have been swirling that Finlay is perhaps losing his touch or a step or two in the ring since his match with Rob Van Dam (as evidenced by his down-to-the-wire win over Paul London), but rest assured this durable hardnosed veteran will not be eliminated without a fight.





The Submission Boss
CHARLIE HAAS

Former AOW World Tag Team Champion; Six month reign
Round of 32 – Def. Manu @ 5:20 via DQ
Sweet Sixteen – Def. Brent Albright @ 14:30
Vegas Odds: +1300 | Fraction Odds: 13/1

Make no mistake about it – Charlie Haas is one though customer. Being one half of the first-ever AOW World Tag Team Champions and holding the gold for six months, Haas already has made a name for himself in AOW. He even defeated his partner, Shelton Benjamin, while both still held the titles! But after a falling out between the two resulted in Benjamin dislocating Haas’ shoulder just two weeks ago, things don’t look good for Haas. Vowing to compete is brave, but just how brave is it to go into a bracket with the likes of Finlay, William Regal, Shawn Michaels, and Samoa Joe with only one arm…? With all those factors working against him, Haas is far from the odds on favorite.





The Iron-Hearted Iron Man
SHAWN MICHAELS

Former 4x World champion amidst many other accolades
Round of 32 – Def. Alex Riley @ 9:06
Bye in Sweet Sixteen
Vegas Odds: +200 | Fraction Odds: 2/1

What more can be said about the Heart Break Kid? He’s determinant, rebellious, vigilant, an icon, a performer, hardheaded, strategic, religious, and of course, a MOTY god. The twenty plus year career of Shawn Michaels is a resume that speaks for itself with a ‘who’s who’ of guys who have eaten his beautiful superkick. But since being forced to ‘sell his soul to the devil’ to not only return to the company, but for a shot at the AOW World title, HBK has been almost a shell of his former self. A man who only comes alive in the ring anymore, Michaels has the advantage of potentially having Paul Heyman in his corner. But even so, can the Icon who has become a puppet keep the drive and motivation to make it through the end of the bracket?





The Samoan Hitman
SAMOA JOE

Never been pinned. Never submitted.
Round of 32 – Def. Jake Hagar @ 8:33
Sweet Sixteen – Def. Tyler Black @ 10:41
Vegas Odds: -200 | Fraction Odds: 1/2

The definite odds on and fan favorite of this tournament, Samoa Joe, like Finlay, has done nothing but pile bodies on top of bodies in AOW. But unlike Finlay, Joe can say he has genuinely never been pinned and never been made to submit. There’s a reason this man has earned the moniker the ‘One Man Army’, as it would seem to take an army to take down this one Samoan tank. At that, he’s a man on a mission to clean up all the ‘scum’ of AOW. In the process, he’s nearly cleared his hitlist and is on the cusp of getting the AOW Championship match he’s always deserved. A near perfect combination speed, power, technical/submission prowess, and brawling ability, the only thing able to stop Samoa Joe…is Samoa Joe.





The Silent Striker
LOW KI

Round of 32 – Def. Nick Nameth @ 8:40
Sweet Sixteen – Def. Aero Star @ 11:45
Vegas Odds: +600 | Fraction Odds: 6/1

While not having the flashiest credentials of most people in the bracket, Low Ki has proven to be more than a worthy competitor. While paired up in the tag team Low Jack alongside Jack Evans, it was usually always Evans who took the losing fall, leaving Low Ki to build himself up individually. Even so, Ki has developed from just a stone-faced assassin to one with genuine feelings towards other human beings and respect towards his opponents, staying true to his ‘Warrior Code’. His biggest accomplishment to date is taking the Word Tag Team Champion Sons of the Dungeon to a 25-minute contest, showing he has the guts and the skills to take anyone to the limit. Pulling two upsets in the bracket already, this kicking fiend, wild-card ninja is ready to pull the biggest upset of them all and walk out with the win.





The Living Lucha Legend
REY MYSTERIO

Former 1x World & 7x Cruiserweight champion
Round of 32 – Def. Siaki @ 6:43
Sweet Sixteen – Def. Carlito Colon @ 13:40
Vegas Odds: +300 | Fraction Odds: 3/1

Another well-traveled veteran on the bracket, Rey Mysterio has long made a name for himself as one of the best high-flyers in recent history. A man who has paved the way for people in the budding AOW Cruiserweight division, Mysterio continues to prove his place amongst heavyweights. Proving to be quite the formidable opponent in AOW, Mysterio has spent a large chunk of his time on the shelf with an injury. But when he’s on, he’s on, and reminds people constantly why he’s one of the best. Taking back a measure of revenge against rival Carlito Colon in the second round, Mysterio has a clear head going into the biggest tournament of the year.





The Strait-Edge Smartass
CM PUNK

Current Dynasty Champion
Round of 32 – Def. Lance Storm @ 8:44
Sweet Sixteen – Def. Shelton Benjamin & 13:34
Vegas Odds: +200 | Fraction Odds: 2/1

The straight-edge, competition addicted CM Punk has shown just how much he loves this business and what he’s willing to do in the ring. Already having been AOW Dynasty Champion going into his seventh month, Punk is a guy that has proven his worth, but has made quite a few enemies in the process. Recently raging against the machine that is wrestling as a whole, Punk is seemingly becoming steadily more painfully aware of the business he’s dedicating his life to. But for now, he’s one of the hardest working guys in the bunch and definitely the most outspoken. The Dynasty Champion is one of the favorites of the bracket and the fans, giving this Pespi-fueled professional wrestling all the drive he needs to take the next step.





The Manager of Malice
WILLIAM REGAL

2008 Trios Tournament Winner
Round of 32 – Def. Jamie Noble @ 9:58
Bye in Sweet Sixteen
Vegas Odds: +300 | Fraction Odds: 3/1

Appearing on aohdubya.com at the very end of last year, Regal would not make his debut on-screen until This is Exile, showing up and taking The Mercenaries with him. While he has not been in AOW for very long, Regal has already shown to be quite the player-manager for the Mercenaries, showing off his veteran chops by bringing them the trophy in the inaugural Trios Tournament, cleanly sweeping Tres Reyes and even getting the winning fall this past Oblivion. Already having established himself as incredibly meticulous and malicious and pulling off what most call the biggest upset in the Tournament so far in knocking off Jamie Noble, the well-traveled British grappler is out to make a name for himself in AOW - and not just for his good business sense.


_______________________________


PREDICTION TEMPLATE

~RISE OF A DYNASTY~
July 2nd, 2008 - MGM Grand; Las Vegas, Nevada

~2008 Dynasty Tournament~

~Quarter Finals~

Dynasty Champion CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe v. William Regal
Low Ki v. Finlay
Shawn Michaels v. Charlie Haas


~Semi-Finals~
Punk / Mysterio v. Joe / Regal
Ki / Finlay v. Michaels / Haas

~GRAND FINALE~
Punk / Mysterio / Joe/ Regal
v.
Ki / Finlay / Michaels / Haas


-----

*Fan Bracket Showcase*
Whomever has the most fan votes will compete

~Meeting the Big Guys~
Christian Cage makes his case to the network execs



~Bonus Questions~
1. Predict the winners of each leg of the tournament
2. What will be the longest Quarter-Final match?
3. In the Fan Bracket Showcase, name a) who received the most votes and b) the match type
4. Will the executive(s) grant Christian permission for his desired Last Man Standing Match?
5. What match will open the show?



Got a couple of things to finish on the show, but most of it is finished. Hoping to have it up sometime in the next week, time permitting. I guess it goes without saying the Fan Bracket voting is CLOSED, but thanks to all who voted because I really didn't expect anything like that turnout. Anyways, like noted, show should be up in a week (or sooner). Hope all remain well 'til then
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:46 PM   #276 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

~2008 Dynasty Tournament~

~Quarter Finals~
Dynasty Champion CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe v. William Regal
Low Ki v. Finlay
Shawn Michaels v. Charlie Haas

~Semi-Finals~
Punk / Mysterio v. Joe / Regal
Ki / Finlay v. Michaels / Haas

~GRAND FINALE~
Punk / Mysterio / Joe/ Regal
v.
Ki / Finlay / Michaels / Haas


I genuinely haven't got a clue who takes this thing and that's credit to you for the amount of talent involved and the credibility they all have. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Punk though. I don't know why, I just feel like this is gonna be a star making moment and he's on the cusp of it, victory here, especially if he goes through guys like Mysterio, the unbeaten Joe and perhaps a final showdown with HBK would be phenomenal. Again though, anybody's for the taking, I've no doubts there'll be swerves along the way but it should be a hell of a ride.

-----

*Fan Bracket Showcase*
Whomever has the most fan votes will compete

Going for this to be: Danielson vs Noble vs Benjamin

~Meeting the Big Guys~
Christian Cage makes his case to the network execs


~Bonus Questions~
1. Predict the winners of each leg of the tournament Done
2. What will be the longest Quarter-Final match? Joe/Regal
3. In the Fan Bracket Showcase, name a) who received the most votes Danielsonand b) the match type Triple Threat
4. Will the executive(s) grant Christian permission for his desired Last Man Standing Match? No
5. What match will open the show? Punk/Mysterio


No doubting this will be a fantastic show. You've all the tools to deliver something big here, good luck with it. I know I haven't been around so much of late but I will look to give you my thoughts once this is up.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:00 PM   #277 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

~RISE OF A DYNASTY~
July 2nd, 2008 - MGM Grand; Las Vegas, Nevada

~2008 Dynasty Tournament~

~Quarter Finals~

Dynasty Champion CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe v. William Regal
Low Ki v. Finlay
Shawn Michaels v. Charlie Haas


~Semi-Finals~
Punk v. Samoa Joe
Finlay v. Michaels

~GRAND FINALE~
Samoa Joe
v.
Michaels

-----

*Fan Bracket Showcase*
Whomever has the most fan votes will compete

~Meeting the Big Guys~
Christian Cage makes his case to the network execs



~Bonus Questions~
1. Predict the winners of each leg of the tournament DONE
2. What will be the longest Quarter-Final match? MICHAELS VS HAAS
3. In the Fan Bracket Showcase, name a) who received the most votes and b) the match type A) Danielson, B) Trios
4. Will the executive(s) grant Christian permission for his desired Last Man Standing Match? YES
5. What match will open the show? PUNK VS MYSTERIO


Tournaments are always hard to predict. I normally like to leave comments as to why I'm predicting xy&z, but these were all just gut feeling calls - although Joe never being pinned or submitted has me backing him. The Michaels story - for me - is the big one, and I could envisage some great TV if he fell short in the final or ended up screwed over by a vengeful Heyman in some kind of double cross, despite being his supposed 'chosen one'. Hence Joe vs HBK as the final. The two best stories; Joe unbeated, Shawn determined for another crack at glory.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:49 AM   #278 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

PREDICTION TEMPLATE

~RISE OF A DYNASTY~
July 2nd, 2008 - MGM Grand; Las Vegas, Nevada

~2008 Dynasty Tournament~

~Quarter Finals~

Dynasty Champion CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe v. William Regal
Low Ki v. Finlay
Shawn Michaels v. Charlie Haas


~Semi-Finals~
Punk v. Joe
Ki v. Michaels

~GRAND FINALE~
Joe
v.
Michaels


-----

*Fan Bracket Showcase*
Whomever has the most fan votes will compete

~Meeting the Big Guys~
Christian Cage makes his case to the network execs



~Bonus Questions~
1. Predict the winners of each leg of the tournament Done.
2. What will be the longest Quarter-Final match? Punk vs Mysterio
3. In the Fan Bracket Showcase, name a) who received the most votes - Bryan Danielson and b) the match type - Tag Team Match
4. Will the executive(s) grant Christian permission for his desired Last Man Standing Match? NO
5. What match will open the show? Joe vs Regal

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Old 12-19-2013, 01:30 PM   #279 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

~RISE OF A DYNASTY~
July 2nd, 2008 - MGM Grand; Las Vegas, Nevada

~2008 Dynasty Tournament~

~Quarter Finals~

Dynasty Champion CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe v. William Regal
Low Ki v. Finlay
Shawn Michaels v. Charlie Haas


~Semi-Finals~
Punk v. Samoa Joe
Finlay v. Michaels

~GRAND FINALE~
Samoa Joe
v.
Michaels

-----

*Fan Bracket Showcase*
Whomever has the most fan votes will compete

~Meeting the Big Guys~
Christian Cage makes his case to the network execs



~Bonus Questions~
1. Predict the winners of each leg of the tournament Sorted.
2. What will be the longest Quarter-Final match? Punk vs Mysterio.
3. In the Fan Bracket Showcase, name a) who received the most votes and b) the match type: Bryan Danielson, and we know you love your Trios...
4. Will the executive(s) grant Christian permission for his desired Last Man Standing Match? No, then Christian drops him with a Killswitch to show how crazy he is.
5. What match will open the show? Michaels vs Haas.


Should be a cracker my good man. I think Joe/HBK is the final waiting to happen, given that Joe has almost been a consistent sleeper threat throughout AOW's history and considering he's physically never been stopped in the ring. I also remember the tensions between Joe and Michaels that were present earlier in the thread that never really materialised into much else, while he's pretty much destroyed everyone in his way up until this point. He'd make an excellent threat in the title scene while Christian/Jericho rages on too. Michaels making it all the way (including a painful, emotional win over Haas and a hard-fought one over Finlay perhaps) but losing out at the last hurdle would provide plenty of ammo in his storyline with Heyman. I imagine Shelton Benjamn will also be involved somewhere to keep his angle ticking over as well, the same for Jericho. Anyway, I eagerly anticipate reading it, play on play on.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:30 AM   #280 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

**Crowd chanting “AOW!” signature**

We’re brought to what looks like a video promo set, soft strings playing over everything. A chair sits in the middle of some lighting equipment and a camera. A lull moment is followed by CM Punk walking into frame

This cuts seamlessly with Low Ki replacing Punk, he also preparing to take a seat and right before he sits down…

He is replaced by Shawn Michaels. Upon taking his seat, the camera angle shifts to a close-up view, being the viewpoint of the camera set up right in front of the sitting men.

Another smooth cut has Rey Mysterio adjusting his mask while looking into the camera…

Before changing right to an intimidating Samoa Joe, but as each man speaks, it cuts to their close-ups


Joe
:
My name is Samoa Joe –

Finlay:
- Dave Finlay –

Haas:
My name is Charlie Haas –

Regal:
My name is William Regal. And the reason why I am going to be the winner of the 2008 –

Michaels:
- of the 2008 Dynasty Tournament –

Punk:
Is because I already hold a ‘Dynasty’.

Mysterio:
Because there’s more than you know beneath this mask.

Haas:
I’ll win because I just don’t know when to quit.

Joe:
Because no one’s been able to stop me yet.

A quick return shot of the side of Joe, who adjusts himself with a small smirk…

Joe:
I feel like a prick saying that.

…before returning to the front view

Joe:
No, I just mean that for the first ten months of AOW’s existence, no one’s been able to get on top of Samoa Joe for the one, two, three. No one’s dare made me submit. And I have loads of respect for everyone left on this bracket. But truth be told, I didn’t spend the entire Offseason getting even better just to get knocked out tonight. Not when no one’s done it yet. The One Man Army will become the ‘One Man Dynasty’.


Regal:
I come from the land of noble dynasties, and that’s from across the pool of this bloody raving establishment. This company, and for that matter, the AOW World title needs a little bit of civility. A little bit of…nobility. I have the class and the poise to make that happen. I’ve ordered that my accomplices, The Mercenaries, not help me at all tonight so I can show just how bountiful AOW’s future will be. Civil first, savage second…and a dynasty forever.


Haas:
They say that I’m stupid. That I’m incredibly rash and just downright dense for coming here tonight with just one arm. But let me remind all of you something – Charlie Haas is competitive to the bone. Even if that bone’s about to separate completely from it’s socket. I have the thirst to show how good I am and the stamina to get there and quench it. No one, not even my own handicaps, will stop me from winning this Tournament.


Ki:
Because even the smallest dogs in the fight don’t have to bark to let you know we can bite.


Punk:
I’m pretty confident. Hell, I might even be a little bit full of myself. But I don’t think I’d be a bit out of place if I said I’m pretty sure I can win this Tournament. Since day one, I said I wanted to be a professional wrestler. What better way to prove that than winning a tournament where I have to kill myself all in one night to prove I’m the best. Straight-edge or not, AOW needs (Punk holds up the Dynasty Championship) a champion as a dynasty.


Finlay:
I love to fight. It’s a night of fights. I’m built for it. And I’m ready to take that title shot I’ve deserved for a long, long time. Tough Irish bastards can make dynasties, too. That’s why I will win. (Looking past the camera lens) You ask me a stupid question like that again, and I’ll smash your little camera. Aye?


Mysterio:
I’ve spent a lot of time on the shelf. But I’m back and every joint of me is as good as it’s ever felt. And everyone knows Rey Mysterio will never go down without a fight, never go down without scratching and clawing with every bit of me. I have the legacy of this mask and the heritage of my people. I have too much to stand on to fall. Even if little guys aren’t supposed to fall very hard.


Michaels:
Do I need a reason? That ring is the only place I have freedom anymore. If I win, I’m still stuck. If I lose, I’m still stuck. So what’s a Heart Break Kid to do? Answer’s simple. And that’s go out there and live for every second I’m between those ropes. Do exactly what I’ve done for more than twenty years and that’s steal the show…and live while doing it. I’ll do anything to win this tournament. Because I think everyone knows what I’ll do for the AOW World Heavyweight Championship.

The strings stop, leaving a cold faced Shawn Michaels as the last thing we see as we cut away to black…

…and fade back to Samoa Joe


Joe:
Tonight, there will be –


Mysterio:
- there will be only one.


Punk:
- only one. We will all fight –


Finlay:
- we will all fight. Until there is –


Ki:
- until there is one definitive –


Haas:
- one definitive man standing. Tonight, you will see –


Regal:
- you will see and bear witness to the rise –


Michaels:
- the rise. Of the Showstopper.


Joe:
Of the One Man Army.


Punk:
Of a straight-edge saint.


Regal:
Of a noble mercenary.


Mysterio:
Of a proud mask.


Haas:
Of a determined athlete.


Finlay:
Of Irish blood.


Ki:
Tonight, you will see and bear witness. To the rise. Of a dynasty.

Low Ki is the last face we see as we fade away to a black screen…



AND NOW…ART OF WAR WRESTLING AND MAMAJUANA ENERGY PRESENT…A THREE HOUR SPECIAL SUPERSHOW – RISE OF A DYNASTY!!


We’re brought to a crowd of nearly 12.000, which is a good bit short of the MGM Grand Gardens seating capacity. Even so, every single one of them is on their feet and popping their heads off. As the camera pans around the famous Vegas arena, we can hear the crowd chanting “AOW!! AOW!! AOW!! AOW!!”

The rabid shouting meets up with the camera going by ringside to out ever-so-team playing commentary team


Joey Styles:
Welcome ladies and gentlemen, one and all, to AOW’s first ever show in the Pacific time zone! We’re here in the middle of the City of Sin, where we’ll be here for three hours to decide who will become the ‘one man dynasty’ at Rise of a Dynasty! Greetings all, I’m Joey Styles with my broadcast partner John “Bradshaw” Layfield.

JBL:
It’s gonna be a fight to the finish for sure, Joey! Eight guys left, an’ every single one of’em has proven that they can go the distance. I’m still stickin’ by Regal an’ Finlay an’ I even visited the bettin’ tables to show how sure I am they’re gonna win!

Joey Styles:
Don’t forget, we have a bet too, partner. This night is the biggest Supershow on the AOW calendar because this is a three-hour event that will give the winner the opportunity to face the AOW World Heavyweight Champion for a title match whenever they see fit! It could be next month at Origins & Endings, or it could even be at The Outer Limits II! Who knows, but right now, we’re going to head to Tony Chimel to get this incredible groundbreaking night off the ground.

Chimel:
The following contest is a Dynasty Championship Quarter-Final match!


**MISERE CANTARE**


And the crowd lets out a huge ovation! The first man to step through the curtain is the first man who stepped through the blood-red curtain for Season Two, and that’s CM PUNK. Punk steps to the familiar stage and stoops to a knee, his Dynasty Championship glistening in the light as he checks his watch…“IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!”

Chimel:
From Chicago, Illinois…he is the AOW Dynasty Champion…CEEE EEMM PUUNK!!

Joey Styles:
And here’s my number one pick for tonight, the cocky but devoted CM Punk! Being the Dynasty Champion has to put him up as one of the biggest favorites in this tournament has him –

JBL:
There’s nothin’ to this kid. He might be a favorite every other day of the week, but when he’s up against who he’s gonna be up against tonight, the little Huddle House cook doesn’t stand a chance.


**619 ESTA VIVO**


And now through the curtain comes the Biggest Little Man, REY MYSTERIO! Mysterio’s attire is very peculiar, as he’s wearing what looks like a purple full-body suit, very similar to his famous attire from Halloween Havoc 1997. He gets a very generous reaction and comes down the ramp playing to the crowd

Chimel:
And from San Diego, California…REEEY MYYYSTERRIOOOOOOO!!

Joey Styles:
Wearing something very similar to the same outfit he wore in this building just over ten years ago, I think Mysterio’s the biggest sleeper in this bracket. He was away for four and half months with a knee injury, but before he left, he established himself firmly in the running for the Dynasty Championship and when he came back, he showed he hadn’t lost a step.

JBL:
Oh dear lord it’s the little jumpin’ bean that retired me against that boring grease fire straight-edge enthusiast. I really wouldn’t mind if I just tuned out of this match.

Before anything gets started in the ring, Punk and Mysterio step to the center of the ring and shake hands, showing their respect for one another and the fighting spirit AOW and this night are going to be all about.

~Dynasty Tournament: Quarter Finals~
Dynasty Champion CM Punk
v.
Rey Mysterio


With the grand introductions out of the way and the handshake ceremonies along with them, Punk and Mysterio circle the ring, then conjoin in the center for a very brief collar tie. It’s brief because almost as soon as it’s locked in, Mysterio maneuvers his way behind Punk and pulls him in a SCHOOL BOY –

1…

2…

NO!!

Punk gets out of that relatively quickly, but as soon as he reaches his feet he’s met with a hard forearm by Rey. Mysterio reaches back for perhaps another blow, but Punk counters this one by wrapping his arms up with Mysterio’s and pulls him over for a BACKSIDE PIN –

1…

2…

NO!!

Mysterio rolls back to get out of the grip, both men at an early stalemate. Vegas appreciates the very quick opening pace and shows it with applause as JBL points out exactly why this is happening – both of these guys know it’s gonna be a long night. If they want to make it to the end, they have to keep their stamina – and what better way to keep it than win quickly?

Regardless of these very valid motives, both men are back at the start and are circling once again. They initiate another lock-up, except this time it’s Punk who slips out of it to get Mysterio with a SCHOOL BOY –

1…

2…

NO!!

Mysterio rolls out of that one as well, both men scurrying back to their feet. Mysterio greets Punk for his pinning practices by peppering him with CALF KICKS! Punk has to stoop over and tend to his thighs, only for Mysterio to take advantage of this and pull him in FOR A SMALL PACKAGE –

1…

2…

NO!!

Punk unbinds the package and gets back to his feet, greeting Mysterio with a HARD KICK TO THE GUT!! Rey sells it well with his small size, Punk now whipping Mysterio into the ropes. On the rebound, Mysterio is hurt even more as Punk sends him up…AND CRASHING DOWN WITH A FREE FALL DROP!! Rey might have broken ribs judging from the amount of air he got, but he’s pressed down by Punk so he can try another count –

1…

2…

NO!!

It’s going to take more than that to keep down the Biggest Little Man. Punk probably knows that, but no harm in trying, as Punk now takes Mysterio’s arm and locks him in a SEATED ARMBAR, sitting on top of Rey’s shoulder and pulling up, very similarly to a Fujiwara. Hoping to possibly wear the little one down, Punk cranks back on the nifty hold, only for Mysterio to repeatedly tell Mahoney that he isn’t quitting. Rey has to struggle some more, but he eventually has the strength to shift his hips and actually bring his legs around, wrapping them under Punk’s, and CATCHING HIM IN A CRADLE –

1…

2…

NO!!

Mysterio couldn’t catch Punk completely off there, but as the two unhook and get back to their feet, Punk immediately THORWS MYSTERIO ON HIS SHOULDERS FOR THE GTS…but Mysterio wiggles his way off, lands behind Punk, and hits him with a FRONT DROPKICK…THAT DRAPES PUNK ACROSS THE MIDDLE ROPES!! The crowd ignites for the early possibility here, Mysterio GOING FOR THE 619…SNAP SCOOP POWERSLAM!! Punk interrupts him on the rebound and immediately catches him again in another pin –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Mysterio still has lots of life in him! Punk, again, realizes this and tries to maybe grind some life out of him, so he locks in a sleeper hold. Even though things are at a fast pace, Punk seems to also know that that works in Rey’s favor, so he slows it down a bit by clamping it on and forcing Rey to do some work again.

The crowd tries to get behind Rey on this one, encouraging him to get back to his feet, which Rey does rather quickly. But he’s still locked in Punk’s grip, so he delivers a series of shots to Punk’s ribs to let it loose. As soon as Punk lets go of Rey’s head, Mysterio looks to run, but Punk actually grabs Mysterio by the neck and pants, spins around, and FLINGS HIM THROUGH THE MIDDLE ROPE TO THE FLOOR!! Somewhat of a heelish move there from Punk, using Mysterio’s desired momentum against him, but he doesn’t get much heat for it at all. Rey has to try and recover on the outside now, but he looks up to see Punk coming back at him through the ropes with a big SUICIDE DIVE!! PUNK WIPES OUT MYSTERIO!!

As odd as it is to see a bigger man hit a high-flying move on Rey Mysterio, Punk is going all out here!! The crowd gets back behind Punk for the big dive after the slightly heelish move, Punk getting back to his feet and pumping a fist. This gets a quick pop, Punk reaching down and picking up Rey’s carcass from the outside. We can audibly hear him say something to the Master of the 619 – “I’m not gonna let up, Rey!” Punk seems determined as all to win this match and this tournament, rolling Rey back inside and covering him –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Mysterio still has lots of life to give! Anyone can be more than certain that Mysterio wants to win this match come hell or high water as well! Punk takes the vigilant luchador and gives him a hard knee to the gut before whipping him into a corner. Punk prepares to charge and goes for the HIGH CORNER KNEE…NOBODY HOME!! Mysterio rushes out of the way at the last minute, leaving Punk awkward and off balance in the corner. Mysterio helps him out with that hitting a TRIANGLE DROPKICK THAT KNOCKS PUNK TUMBLING ALL THE WAY TO THE ARENA FLOOR!!

Mysterio shows he’s not above a sneaky shot too, the replays now showing Punk’s shoulder hit the ring apron hard on the way down. Punk has to recover, but so does Mysterio, who finally has some time to rest up from his earlier abuse. Rey Rey ventures to the top rope and looms over Punk as he gets to his feet before launching himself…AND SPLASHES ON TOP OF PUNK WITH A TOP ROPE PLANCHA, SANDWICHING HIM AGAINST THE GUARD RAILS!!

Almost like a top rope stinger splash, Punk is crunched between flying Mexican and iron rails! He stumbles away from the collision before falling on his face, while Mysterio is lain out as well, the move taking almost as much out of him. It’s Mysterio’s turn to ‘not let up’, but referee Goose Mahoney is getting to his count out duties –

…1!!



…2!!



…3!!

Mysterio bursts to life and takes the Dynasty Champion and thrusts him into the ring, climbing on up to the apron. Once there, he prepares himself and SPRINGBOARDS…WITH A LEG DROP!! MYSTERIO DROPS THE DIME!! He shoots the half and rolls Punk over, draping his body across his –

1…

2…

3…NO!!

PUNK THROWS UP A SHOULDER!! The Dynasty Champion is still in this, but the momentum has definitely shifted into Mysterio’s favor. Mysterio looks to take advantage of this by taking Punk’s arm and wrenches it around before folding back over and getting a MAGISTRAL CRADLE in order –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Punk is able to roll back and out of that move, but almost as soon as he gets back to his feet, he’s greeted by the sight of the San Diego native rushing at him and nailing the INVERTED BODYSCISSORS…and popping up…INTO THE BULLDOG!! THE WHEELBARROW BULLDOG CONNECTS!! Mysterio is absolutely on fire here as he covers again -

1…

2…

3…NO!!

PUNK KICKS OUT!! Punk kicks out so hard, he throws Rey a bit off of his body, prompting Mysterio to go back to the apron and await on the outskirts for Punk to get back up…only to hit him with a huge SPRINGBOARD SENTON!! Mysterio sits on Punk’s chest and hooks a leg –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Punk still has his arms under Mysterio and literally lifts him off of his body, forcing Rey to move if he doesn’t want to get lifted. Mysterio rushes off of Punk’s body and rebounds off the ropes, only for Punk to try and hit him with a COUNTER CLOTHESLINE, but Mysterio ducks it and keeps right on running. He springs off the second rope and goes high for the SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY…AND IT CONNECTS…NO?? PUNK ROLLS THROUGH!!

Punk rolls through the high-risk move and keeps Mysterio in his clutches…BEFORE THROWING HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS…GTS COMING…HURRICANRANA!! Mysterio turns it into a hurricanrana when Punk threw him up! Punk is foiled and lands…RIGHT ON THE MIDDLE ROPE!! The crowd is all kinds of amped now after that sequence, as Mysterio sees his chance and hits the rebound…CALLING THE 619…NO!! Punk gets up and forces Mysterio to spin all the way around and meet a PUNK ROUNDHOUSE!! THE MUAY THAI ROUNDHOUSE CONNECTS!! Punk now takes the dead weight of his Lucha opponent and pulls him away from the ropes, a big cover upcoming –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

MYSTERIO SOMEHOW HOLDS ON!! Punk thought he’d hit the big move, but alas, the defiant Mysterio fights on! Even so, Punk’s got the momentum and Vegas in his corner now, taking the limp body of Mysterio and getting the double underhooks…AND HITS THE DOUBLE UNDERHOOK BACKBREAKER!! PUNK WARPS MYSTERIO’S SPINE AROUND HIS KNEE!! Punk takes Mysterio’s legs and stacks them, getting an outside cradle cover –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

MYSTERIO WILL NOT GO DOWN!! Punk has to backpedal and rest himself on some nearby ring ropes, as these two have been going at a very high pace for a while and neither man has had much time to rest, working themselves even quicker to exhaustion. Punk has to slap the hair out of his face as he recovers, the sweat on his face making it stick to him. After Punk thinks he’s gotten enough breaths, he approaches the still down Mysterio to pick him back up, but Rey pulls him in FOR ANOTHER SMALL PACKAGE –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Punk breaks out of the possum and both men get right back to their feet, but as soon as they do, Punk goes for a SECOND ROUNDHOUSE, only for Mysterio to duck underneath it and run right under it, rebounding off the ropes and whipping right back at Punk…TILT-A-WHIRL BACKBREAKER!! Punk seems to be focusing on a target here, as he again puts bone in Rey’s back for another momentum stopping cover –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Rey, once again, will not go down without a fight! We can see Punk deliver a very wry smile, not entirely sure what to make of the little guy in the very first meeting between the two. Punk takes Rey and throws him so hard towards a corner, REY RECOILS OUT AS HIS BACK THIS POST!! Punk possibly still working over Rey’s back there, as Mysterio bolts to the canvas and grips his back. There’s no malicious intent, obviously, as Punk has let it be known that he’s not gonna ‘let up’.

He keeps to that oath when he picks up the downed Rey and flings him into the opposite corner, setting him there instead of throwing him so hard. Punk rushes at him…AND NAILS THE HIGH CORNER KNEE!! Punk grips Rey’s head and looks to charge forward, finishing it with the BULLDOG…NO!! Mysterio forces Punk backwards as he charges to the center, rolling him back with a NIFTY VICTORY ROLL –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Punk flings Mysterio’s body off of his own, sending the Biggest Little Man shooting towards another corner. As Punk tries to recuperate, Rey ventures to the top rope in one smooth move, his back towards the ring. Punk rushes at Rey in the corner, only to be too late and look up to see REY MYSTERIO NAILING THE STANDING CM PUNK WITH A BEAUTIFUL MOONSAULT!! Mysterio’s still got the high-flying chops and he’s flaunting them as he covers Punk again –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

PUNK ROLLS A SHOULDER AT THE LAST SECOND!! Both men are still down, as Punk has to claw back to his feet, while Mysterio has to take several seconds to tend to his back. Both men are very slow to rise to their feet, taking a lot out of each other already, but Punk looks to do more when he delivers a hard kick to Rey’s midsection. He then gets in the hammerlock and spins, looking for the PEPSI TWIST…NO!! Mysterio scissors the arm and takes Punk over, turning the Twist INTO A CRUCIFIX PIN –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

Punk manages to escape at the very last minute and rolls backward, but the instant he hits his feet, Mysterio greets him with a vicious STEP UP ENZEGUIRI!! Punk is so stupefied by Mysterio’s swift feet, he’s spun around…AND FALLS RIGHT ONTO THE MIDDLE ROPE!! Mysterio again is slowed by his back, but he sees right were Punk is and hears the crowd start igniting all over again, Mysterio going for yet another 619 ATTEMPT…AND FOR A THIRD TIME HE MISSES!! Mysterio just can’t hit his finishing move here! But as soon as Rey turns back around, Punk tries to do what he did last time and hit the SURPRISE ROUNDHOUSE…BUT HE MISSES on his third try as well!!

As Mysterio ducks underneath the roundhouse, he goes back through the middle ropes to the apron, watching Punk as he spins himself silly on the missed kick. Rey calculates and grips at his back before springboarding at Punk…AND HITTING THE WEST COAST POP…NO!! HE CAN’T PULL PUNK OVER!! Punk catches Rey before he can spin Punk over, using his strength to hold onto him and force Rey up…into a powerbomb position…AND THEN ONTO HIS SHOULDERS…AND NAILS THE GTS!! THE GTS CONNECTS!! MYSTERIO IS OUT COLD!! Punk stumbles after the impact, but he quickly leaps over and hooks a leg as the crowd roars –

1…

2…

3…!!!

HERE IS YOUR WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE SEMI-FINALS: CM PUNK at (11:39)

Punk crawls off of Mysterio’s body and is handed his Dynasty Championship, holding his gold high as the referee holds his arm high in victory. Punk tries to catch his breath a little bit and even helps Mysterio get back to his feet and sets him in a corner to help support himself.


Joey Styles:
YES!! And CM Punk is advancing to the Semi-Finals to face the winner of Samoa Joe and William Regal’s duel!

JBL:
Yawn. Wake me up when somethin’ worth noting happens, will ya?

Joey Styles:
Oh come on, John. Punk fights through an impressive contest against a very tough foe in Rey Mysterio to prove that he belongs here on the Dynasty Tournament bracket. The AOW Dynasty Champion is just that much closer to winning the AOW Dynasty Tournament.

Mysterio gets an ovation of his own as he steps away from the corner, saluting to the fans in attendance. Mysterio comes up just a bit short, but he’s done more than establish that he’s ready and healthy for the long run.

Joey Styles:
A great sign of respect form the fans here for Rey Mysterio, but as incredible and as thrilling as that opening contest was, we’ve got lots more where that came from!

JBL:
Oh you bet your ass we do!

Joey Styles:
Coming up later tonight, we have of course the remaining Dynasty Tournament matches, but we also have a match where the participants were voted by you, the AOW faithful! The Fan Bracket Showcase is also tonight!

JBL:
An’ our looney AOW Champion is here tonight, tryin’ to convince the corporate executives to let him at Chris Jericho. Is he gonna be able to do it? Don’t think he will, but he’s gonna rant and rave his case!

Joey Styles:
Christian will more than have his say, but coming up next on the other side of the break, we’re gonna see if one of JBL’s favorites can put up or shut-up! It’s the never been pinned, never been made to submit Samoan Submission Machine Samoa Joe facing the head of Mercenaries, Inc., William Regal! Keep it here!


**COMMERCIAL BREAK**


~Backstage, the Green Zone interview set…


Torrie Wilson:
Ladies and gentlemen, my guest at this time, the Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels!

Michaels appears as the camera pans out to a huge ovation from the Vegas crowd, although there’s a possible noticeable mixed reaction

Wilson:
Now, Shawn, you’ve made it known that you’ll do pretty much anything to win the Dynasty Tournament. But tonight, you’ll be facing Charlie Haas, who might only have one working arm tonight. Are you willing to go through a hurt opponent for your win?

Michaels’ stare is somewhat vacant, but at least he doesn’t look like the puppet he usually does, looking much more like himself

Michaels:
What I say, I mean, sweetcheeks. I mean I will do everything to make sure I walk out of this bracket with that title opportunity. I respect Charlie Haas as an individual, as a person, and as a competitor, so I will respect his injury. But don’t think for a second I’ll hold back on him.

Wilson:
What do you have to say about some of the people who are saying you’re getting it easy by facing an injured opponent in the first round tonight?

???
Mr. Michaels will not answer any more questions.

The camera pans out to reveal PAUL HEYMAN is now standing beside Shawn Michaels. HBK’s expression goes from stoic to damn near miserable. Heyman appears to be up and out of his wheelchair, but he’s still got his neckbrace

Heyman:
Mr. Michaels has to go and finish preparing for his match. Excuse me, Miss Wilson…

And with that, Heyman leads the miserable Michaels off screen, leaving Wilson somewhat puzzled as we fade away back to ringside…


**WELCOME TO WHITECHAPEL**


We return to the arena to the sound of pipes and hard guitar, as WILLIAM REGAL comes through the curtain wearing one of his usual lavish jackets. He gets a good amount of heat on his way to the ring, only taking off his jacket when he gets to the ring and wipes his feet, handing it to the referee

Chimel:
The following contest is a Dynasty Tournament Quarter-Finals match! Introducing first, from Blackpool, England…WILLIAAAM RE-GUUUULL!!

JBL:
There’s one of my favorites! You wanna talk about a guy who has the veteran poise an’ presence and the knowledge an’ skill to not just make it to the end, but to represent a brand new dynasty coming forward, an’ you need not look further than William Regal.

Joey Styles:
I’m not going to discredit Regal at all. He’s better known in AOW as the brainchild behind the current business workings of Mercenaries, Inc. as sort of a player-manager, but he’s more than made a name for himself over the years in that ring. If there’s any man that might have some kind of veteran knowledge and wisdom that might be able to out-tactic Samoa Joe’s impressive repertoire, it’s this man.


*GODZILLA HORN*
“DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK~!!”

**MAMMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT**


And here comes the Godzilla killa himself, SAMOA JOE. The odds on favorite bursts through the crimson curtain with his signature towel draped over his head to an ENORMOUS pop. Joe doesn’t so much as acknowledge them, his head towel cutting out the view of anything. He stomps down to the ring and removes the cloth to let out a Godzilla-esque roar, stepping into the ring and finally acknowledging his reception

Chimel:
And the opponent, from the Isle of Samoa…SAMOOOAAAA JOOOEEEE!!!

JBL:
The ‘RoaD’ to Origins & Endings and becoming the next AOW World Heavyweight Champion goes right through that man right there. If you want to prove you’ve got what it takes to be a World Champion, you’re gonna have to beat this man.

Joey Styles:
And no one’s been able to really do that yet. Only one man has the right to say that they gave a loss to Samoa Joe and that man is on this bracket in Finlay. But even then, Finlay had to resort to literally choking the life out of Joe and nearly breaking his leg to make sure he didn’t get up. That’s what it takes to beat Samoa Joe and to be quite frank, what he said in the package earlier might be right. No one’s stopped him yet and it doesn’t look like anyone will.



~Dynasty Tournament: Quarter Finals~
Samoa Joe
v.
William Regal


The bell sounds and leaves two of the best brawling technicians in all of AOW alone to do their work, but unlike Joe’s brawl’s with Finlay, when he tries to get things kicked off right away, Regal actually keeps his space. Joe charges Regal to initiate a strong lock-up, but Regal immediately shucks the shoulder and forces the two apart again. Joe tries to lock up again, but Regal again keeps the distance. He seems to know he can’t go tit for tat with the strength of Joe.

But what he can do is try to wear the big guy down in other areas, surprising Joe with a RUNNING KNEE TO THE GUT! Joe counters this by grabbing hold of Regal’s head and countering with a HEADBUTT of his own, sending Regal reeling. Joe doesn’t waste any time, closing in the gap that Regal seems to want, and CHARGES FOR A CLOTHESLINE…but Regal dips low and DRIVES A SHOULDER INTO THE CHARGING JOE’S KNEE!

Joe goes flipping over his own knee, his momentum taking him all the way to the ropes and rolling underneath the bottom rope. Joe goes to the floor and has to reassess any early strategy he may have had – Regal’s gonna make him work at a pace he’s not a fan of. But as Joe shakes his knee out, he doesn’t see Regal rushing towards the lip of the ring…AND GOING FOR A BASEBALL SLIDE…NO!! Joe catches Regal’s legs and pulls him under the bottom rope with him…AND DRIVES REGAL’S KINDEY INTO THE RING LIP!

Joe now has the power distance he wanted, but he lingers a bit too long and Regal is able to drive a series of forearms to the side of Joe’s face. Joe retaliates with a hard CHOP(Wooooo!) that forces Regal to cover his chest, only to further redden the Brit with another CHOP(Woooo!) and makes him reel even more. But again, Regal shows some sort of pain threshold when he again comes at Joe with a HARD KNEE TO THE GUT.

He rolls Joe into the ring, but Joe gets to his feet rather quickly and meets the Englishman with a hard back elbow, only for Regal to again retaliate with a EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! This throws Joe for a little loop, allowing Regal whip Joe into a corner. Regal charges at his cornered foe, only to get tossed aside by the STJOE!! Regal is flung out of the corner, forcing him to roll to a knee, Joe exploding out of the corner for a HUGE BIG BOOT!!

The boot hits Regal so hard, he reels all the way into the opposite corner! He hits that corner so hard, that he’s forced to sit, which automatically gets the crowd buzzing. Joe repositions himself to an adjacent corner, the One Man Army stirring up the MGM Grand now –

“OLE! OLE, OLE, OLE! OLE! OLE!”

THE OLE KICK CONNECTS!! REGAL’S FACE IS WIPED AWAY ON THE FACEWASH!! It’s Regal’s turn now to have to get out the ring and regroup, rolling outside after the fierce blow and having to clutch his face. But it’s also Joe’s turn to not let up, because once Regal walks more center in line with the ramp, the crowd starts buzzing again, as Joe rebounds off the ropes…ELBOW SUICIDA!! THE ELBOW SUICIDA CONNECTS!! The MGM Grand lets out a huge roar as Joe gets all the big gears going early! Joe is the first man back to his feet after throwing his body to the wind, rolling Regal back in, and hitting the first cover –

1…

2…

NO!!

Regal stays alive so early! But again, he keeps trying to make separation between he and Joe by rolling away and into another corner, sitting on the lower rungs. The crowd is already gearing up for another chant and Joe is already setting up for another boot to the face. Joe positions himself and whips up the crowd –

“OLE! OLE, OLE, OLE! OLE – BOOOOO!!!”

The sudden heat is because amidst their chanting and Joe’s readying, it looks like Paul Burchill and Brent Albright, the Mercenaries and the rest of Mercenaries, Inc., are making their way down the ramp. They stop Joe in his tracks as he sees them walking down, the Samoan Submission Machine staring holes in them. They both look at Joe with hard stares right back, Joe backing into the center of the ring as both men flank two sides of the ring.

The crowd is throwing a great deal of heat here, and as much as referee Brian Hebner is telling both men to get away from the ring, both Mercs keeps their cold expressions…and then hop up on the aprons. The heat increases as Joe has to protect his left and right flank from any kind of attack. Are these two really going to attack here…? The commentators can’t make much sense of this either, but all Joe sees is two threats to his well-being…AND HE TRIES TO ASSAULT ALBRIGHT ON THE APRON – but Albright falls off before the blow can be delivered. When Joe turns his back to attack one of them, Burchill breaks into the ring and looks to make a beeline for Joe…BUT HE RUSHES AT REGAL AND HITS HIM WITH A RUNNING KNEE TO THE FACE!! HEBNER CALLS FOR THE BELL!! WHAT ON EARTH…??

Here is your winner by disqualification and advancing to the Semi-Finals…WILLIAM REGAL at (4:26)

Joe turns around and is utterly puzzled, completely unsure what the hell just happened. He had this back to his opponent and now the match is suddenly over. Hebner has to explain to him that the Mercenaries attacked Regal and Joe’s been disqualified. The look on Joe’s face is an obvious confused rage, but he can’t really do anything about it since the Mercenaries have already taken Regal in their grips and taking him up the ramp with them.

Joey Styles:
Of all the no-good dirty tactics to employ! Mercs, Inc. found another loophole to get one of their members to the next round! That’s disgusting!

JBL:
It’s not disgusting, Joey, it’s smart! It’s smart as hell! William Regal is a fine grappler in his own right, but Mercenaries Inc. realized he faced an uphill battle with Joe that even if he did win, he would’ve been beat as hell to face CM Punk in the next round. It’s brilliant! These guys really look out for each other.

Joey Styles:
There’s no way in hell you can advocate this, John!

Even as Layfield is giving props to the Mercs, a look up the ramp shows…dissention? When Regal completely comes to, he actually shrugs off both member of his stable. What’s that about? And Regal actually looks pretty upset. He stares at his teammates as he goes back through the curtain, no one quite sure what to make of this as of yet…


**COMMERCIAL BREAK**


~Backstage, locker room area…

William Regal is followed into the locker room by his stablemates. He seems almost as pissed as Joe was a moment ago

Regal:
What the hell were you two doing out there? I told you we will respect the integrity of the Dynasty Tournament and give rise to a dynasty with class.

Burchill:
Yeah, we know. But the money was good.

Regal goes from angry to confused

Regal:
The what…?

Albright:
The money was good.

Regal:
Wait, someone paid you to get me to advance?

Albright:
Not exactly. Someone paid us because they wanted Samoa Joe out of the Tournament. The fact that you advanced was a plus.

Regal goes from confused to surprised, although an audible “ooooh” can be heard beyond the walls in the MGM Grand

Regal:
So, how much was it?

Burchill:
A cold six grand. Each.

Regal audibly inhales through his nose to signify the large sum

Regal:
Well then. So long as I get my cut, I will be satisfied just preparing for my next round match.

Albright:
Don’t you wanna know who paid us?

Regal:
The deed has been done. It matters not who it was. But if it is who I think it is…we’d best keep it quiet and amongst ourselves. And if that Samoan barbarian comes for us, which I’m sure he will…our clients must be protected.

Regal raises a finger to both men so that they understand, both Mercs nodding their heads as Regal sits to re-apply his wrist tape and finish preparing for his next match…


~Back at ringside…



Joey Styles:
Oh my goodness, why am I not surprised. It seems like someone paid off Mercenaries, Inc. to eliminate Samoa Joe. That’s probably all just one big ruse because it’s far too convenient to have something like that happen while Samoa Joe was facing William Regal.

JBL:
They’re smart businessmen, Joey. They killed two birds with one stone. If someone did want Joe gone, first of all, they’re sane people. He’s the biggest threat in the bracket an’ the odds on favorite. You’d be stupid not to want him gone. So they eliminated the biggest threat an’ advanced their own man at the same time, an’ then they got paid for it! That’s actually three birds. That’s brilliant, it’s efficient, it’s just good business.

Joey Styles:
It’s loophole abuse is what it is! That’s what they’re best at doing!

JBL:
So? In the corporate world, that’s what I’m best at doin’, too. No one gets rich by straight shootin, Joey.

Joey Styles:
My god economics disgust me.


**THE PROUD WARRIOR**

The surly attitude towards money is directly contrasted by the sound of a man who cares about nothing but kicking some ass. LOW KI steps through the curtain with his ninja-esque pose intact. He gets a very solid pop before making his way to the ring

Chimel:
The following contest is a Dynasty Tournament Quarter-Final match! Introducing first, from Brooklyn, New York…LOWWW KIIII!!

Joey Styles:
All that calamity as it may, here comes who many call the biggest wild card, but also the man with the longest shot to win and that’s Low Ki. Ki has perhaps the most educated and deadly feet in the entire wrestling world and he’s gonna have to use those and his speed to get the best of his opponent tonight.

JBL:
It was nice to hear Low Ki say more than one word in that opening, but if Low Ki’s gonna have any chance against a guy like Finlay, yes, he will have to use that speed. He’s becoming known as the best pure striker in AOW, but if there’s any guy who can counter him blow for blow, it’s that tough Irish son of a bitch.


“MY NAME IS FINLAY. AN’ I LOVE TO FIGHT.”

**LAMBEG**



Coming down the ramp now is the most no-nonsense ma on the roster in Finlay. He gets a very big array of heat that he simply ignores, his shillelagh swaying to and fro as he struts down to the ring. He sets it in a corner as he steps into the ring, looking across it and seeing his cruiserweight foe…and getting a confident little smirk on his face

Chimel:
And the opponent, from Belfast, Ireland…FINLAAAAYY!!

JBL:
There’s my number one guy. He’s not built for speed, but he’s built for brawls, an’ he’s built to last. This is gonna be a knockout fight!

Joey Styles:
That may be true, but there have been some rumblings lately about Finlay possibly losing a step or two in the ring. He’s not a young spring chicken anymore and one has to wonder just how much he’ll have in the tank in an endurance contest like this.


~Dynasty Tournament: Quarter Finals~
Finlay
v.
Low Ki


Finlay keeps the smug look on his face, possibly already licking his chops. But as advertised, Low Ki’s face is quite stoic, but even so, it isn’t too hard to read, either – he’s incredibly focused, knowing he’s more than an underdog here. He leans out of his corner, his hands on the ropes keeping him up, but as soon as the bell rings, Low Ki BURSTS FROM HIS CORNER AND UNLEASHES AN ONSLAUGHT OF BLOWS TO FINLAY!! WOW!! Finlay is caught completely off guard, having to throw his hands up over his face as Low Ki delivers blow after blow and kick after kick!

Finlay is forced right back up into his corner where things don’t get any better, even allowing Ki to nail him with several SHOULDER THRUSTS TO THE GUT that forces him to drop his defenses even more. This leaves Finlay’s face open, allowing Ki to deliver forearm after punch right to Finlay’s nose, then goes right back to the shoulder thrusts that double Finlay over. Ki takes that chance to SHOOT KICK FINLAY SQUARE IN THE FACE – THREE TIMES!! On the third time, Finlay stumbles out of the corner, the crowd white hot for Low Ki!

Finlay is still doubled over and he’s gripping at his jaw, but Ki doesn’t let up, following the surprised Irishman, grabbing at his head, and hitting a STIFF SHIN KICK that pops Finlay up, but Ki grabs at Finlay’s head again, bends it back over, and HITS ANOTHER STIFF SHIN KICK! Finlay again pops up before doubling back over, gripping at his jaw, but almost as soon as he doubles back over, he backpedals off the ropes and rolls forward…THE ROLLING KIPPOU KICK SQUARE IN THE FACE!! FINLAY IS TAKEN DOWN!! Vegas is absolutely on fire in Low Ki’s corner, the underdog cruiserweight knocking the nearly undefeated Irishman off his fee in the opening seconds with a huge offensive outburst! Ki acknowledges this by getting back to his feet and hitting his crouching ninja pose, taking it all in with a remaining stoic face.

Finlay, meanwhile, hits the canvas and rolls to the outside, completely taken out of his game plan here. The smirk he had is long gone and now we see further evidence why. It wasn’t just his jaw he was holding at but his lip. As Finlay checks his face, he looks at his thumb and sees that barely two minutes into the contest, his lip is busted! In both disgust and disbelief, Finlay rolls his tongue around his mouth to taste what he’s seeing…before nodding his head in angry ‘oh I see how it is’ compliance.

Finlay slowly climbs up the ring apron, only to be met by Low Ki, who tries an ENZEGUIRI, but Finlay drops off the apron quickly and causes Ki to whiff. The keen Ki lands on his feet after the move, however, seeing Finlay again try to approach the ropes…AND LOW DROPKICKS HIM AWAY FROM THE RING LIP! Ray Ramsey is already at a count of four for Finlay, but he stops to ask Ki to let Finlay back in the ring. Ki looks to do no such thing, as he backs away to rush outside for a BASEBALL SLIDE…NO…FINLAY CATCHES HIM IN THE RING SKIRT!!

A trademark Finlay maneuver is his first hint of offense in this match, and he uses it to his advantage, trapping Ki’s powerful legs beneath the ring skirt and CLUBBING HIM RELENTLESSLY IN THE BACK AND BACK OF THE HEAD!! The offensive burst seen by Low Ki in the opening minutes is directly fueling this here, as now it’s Finlay’s turn to remind Ki who he is. As much flack as he’s getting from the referee, Finlay doesn’t care, dragging Ki out of the ring skirt but setting Ki up…AND HITS A VERTICAL SUPLEX ON THE OUTSIDE PADDING!

Ki’s body pounds off the outside with a sickening ‘SPLAT, Finlay now taking it to Ki. The vexed Irishman is getting some heat now, to which he responds “SHUT UP!” The passionate and long-winded speech garners him even more negative reaction, which Finlay answers by rolling back into and then out of the ring to reset the count. He’s not done making Ki pay just yet. He takes the hard-hitting cruiserweight up by the wrist…AND WHIPS HIM RIGHT INTO THE IRON POST!!

Ki’s head whips violently from against the metal, recoiling back a few steps – but right back into Finlay’s grasp, who traps him in a rear waistlock and charges forward again…AND CRASHES KI’S FACE AGAINST THE POST YET AGAIN!! Finlay is in complete vengeful control here, possibly giving The Warrior all the concussion he’d ever want. He rolls his body into the ring and throws a forearm over his face as he covers –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Ki throws a shoulder up! He might have a concussion, but he’s not done yet, Finlay having to wipe more blood away from his lips. But it doesn’t look like Finlay’s done letting out his rage, as he starts LAYING BOOTS INTO LOW KI’S RIBS!! Ki tries to cover up, but Finlay’s stomps are all over him, and by the time he has some instant to curl up, Finlay has dropped to a knee and is now CLUBBING THE DOWNED KI!! Finlay is just letting Low Ki have it here, all this payback from making his lip bleed! Finlay then abruptly takes Ki up, whips him into the ropes, and CLOTHESLINES HIM ON THE REBOUND!! Finlay with another cover –

1…

2…

NO!!

Ki still has lots of life! This doesn’t make Finlay any happier, who clutches at Ki’s head and drags him back to a vertical base. Ki bursts free from his grip, however, and surprises the Irishman with a HARD FOREARM SHOT! The blow is hard enough to make Finlay backpedal a few steps, but then he turns and charges right back at Ki with ANOTHER HEAVY CLOTHESLINE!! Ki goes down hard as Finlay lands on his knees from putting his whole body behind that blow, swirling around and covering Ki once again –

1…

2…

NO!!

Ki still wants to win the Tournament! Finlay lets out an aggravated growl before rolling Ki to his stomach and wrapping his legs up in a cross-legged position. He then sits on top of them and forces Ki to cry out in pain. Finlay leans over a bit and starts pulling up on Ki’s chin, turning this into a CROSS-LEGGED CHIN LOCK or perhaps even a modified Regal Stretch. Whatever you’d call it, Ki is struggling to get out of it, his body being contorted and leaving him in a very difficult situation. Finlay talks a little bit of trash, telling him to give up, but Ki pounds his fists against the canvas and refuses.

He then takes his hands and pries Finlay’s hands off his face, working his way back up…and finally forces Finlay off of his legs! Now back to a completely vertical base, Finlay stops his rising momentum by again clubbing him in the back of the neck, then catching him in a rear waistlock. Ki hits a standing switch and now grapples behind Finlay, but Finlay shifts his hips and sends Ki tumbling forward. He rolls back to his feet, but as he does and charges back at Finlay, the Irishman lifts up and HITS HIM WITH A HUGE BIG BOOT!! Finlay drops down for another cover –

1…

NO!!

What’s that? Ki kicks out at one! The crowd pops for the gesture, but Finlay is understandably confused. He’s so confused, he allows Ki to quickly get back to his feet, shake his head out. Ki then sets himself in his ready pose and lets out an angry roar much to the crowd’s delight. Is the increased aggression further awaking the Warrior inside the Warrior…? Whatever the means, Finlay isn’t intimidated, rushing back at Ki, only to get a BACK KICK to the gut! Finlay doubles over and drops to a knee quickly, but he gets back to both feet just as fast. Still having trouble standing vertically, Ki takes the opportunity to lift a leg high…AND CRACK FINLAY IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH A FEINT ROUNDHOUSE!! Finlay is reduced to a knee now, allowing Ki to turn back and rebound off the ropes…SAMOAN DROP!! SAMOAN DROP! Finlay again stops Ki’s momentum right as it starts again, another cover on the way –

1…

2…

NO!!

Ki throws up another shoulder and in one quick motion, pulls himself up right back to his feet, his fists still clenched and his eyes still burning! The hell is going on here…? The Warrior that’s been leaking out of Low Ki for months now seems to potentially be burning bright now, as he pounds his chest and verbally tells Finlay to “COME ON!” Finlay doesn’t know how to react – he’s the (nearly) undefeated Fighting Irishman! No one talks to him like that! Finlay answers the battle cry with a HARD FOREARM SMASH, turning Ki away. But Ki turns right back towards Finlay with a SHOOT KICK TO THE MIDSECTION! Finlay momentarily plays to his ribs, but he’s back up and SMASHES WITH ANOTHER FOREARM! But Ki responds with ANOTHER SHOOT KICK! The two are going at it back and forth –

BOO!!

YAY!!

BOO!!

YAY!!

BOO!!

YAY!!
YAY!!
YAY!!

OOOOoooooOOOOOHHH…

Low Ki forces Finlay to another knee…rebounds…AND HITS FINLAY WITH THE BLACK MAGIC!! The feint Shining Wizard-to-roundhouse clocks Finlay right in the back of the head, Ki now going for his first successful fall –

1…

2…

NO!!

Finlay now shows he’s got some heart and throws up a shoulder! Finlay uses his ring presence to roll away from the center of the ring a bit, sitting up near the ropes. Ki has to ask Hebner if that was two, which he confirms it was, only for Ki to look and see Finlay…AND HE NAILS HIM WITH A RUNNING BOOT THAT SENDS FINLAY THROUGH THE ROPES TO THE FLOOR!!

Another hard Low Ki kick that topples the heavyweight before him! Ki has to brace himself against the ropes he kicked Finlay so hard, the Irish bastard having to clutch his head as he tumbles along the padding. The beating shoe looks to be back on Ki’s feet, and with an opponent outside, Ki watches Finlay as he tries to recover, rushing to the other side of the ring and measuring it up…SASUKE SPECIAL!! SASUKE SPECIAL!! THE TUMBLING NO-HAND TOPE ATTACK CONNECTS!!

Low Ki is throwing it all to the wind here! The crowd kicks up a huge cheer as JBL goes off on how stupid a strategy it is to go all out in your first match, while Styles says Ki has to do this against a guy as near impossible to defeat as Finlay. Both Ki and Finlay are sprawled out on the outside, neither man able to take in the big reception as we fade away…

**COMMERCIAL BREAK**

When we return from the break, the still stoic, but fiery Ki has taken his near undefeated foe and rolled him back under the ropes. Ki doesn’t follow him; instead, he starts climbing to the top rope, perhaps looking for the WARRIOR’S WAY…but the ever aware Finlay starts rolling away, prompting a huge array of heat. He rolls all the way to the opposite corner and tries to use the ropes to get back to his feet. Ki has to adjust his strategy, still on the top rope. He LEAPS…hits a front roll…AND CRACKS FINLAY IN THE FACE WITH THE TIDAL CRUSH!! A MODIFIED TIDAL CRUSH!! Finlay collapses and Ki has another pinfall attempt –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Finlay still has life!! Somehow, Finlay keeps his ‘streak’ alive, but a close up look shows his lip possibly got worse on that kick to the face. Ki’s got a look of frustration now, the only notable difference on his face other than being pumped up. Ki takes the downed Finlay and catches him in a front headlock, trying to hoist him to a vertical base. He then grabs Finlay’s wrist and tries to whip him into the ropes, but the whip is reversed and on the rebound, Finlay BEHEADS THE WARRIOR WITH A DISCUS CLOTHESLINE!! MERCY!! Just like that, the momentum is back in Finlay’s court as he covers –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

AGAIN, Ki rolls a shoulder!! Unfortunately, he doesn’t spring up full of spirit like he did previously, perhaps the wind leaving his body with that one blow. Finlay knows that that probably wouldn’t have ended it, but he looks to wear Ki down just a little more…AND LOCKS IN A CAMEL CLUTCH!! All of Finlay’s weight is pushing down on the spine of Low Ki, who now has much less fight in him that several minutes ago! Ki struggles mightily while in the clutch, trying to find some kind of ropes with a free arm. He keeps telling Hebner he doesn’t want to give up. He has to crawl on his elbows to try and get to the ropes, a man who almost has 100lbs the weight advantage weighing him down…


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


KI GETS TO THE BOTTOM ROPE!! Low Ki just barely gets his finger tips on a rope and gets the crowd to pop in relief, but it’s not for long. Not only does Finlay take advantage of his rope break count all the way to four, but he immediately pulls Ki away and then LOCKS THE CAMEL CLUTCH IN THE CENTER OF THE RING AGAIN!!

Ki might not have it all in him to scratch and claw this time, only able to crawl a couple of steps before just stopping and growling in pain. Finlay keeps trash talking as this happens, but Ki starts feeling it as Vegas cheers him on, allowing him to start getting up…AND LOW KI IS ON HIS FEET WITH FINLAY ON HIS BACK!!

The cruiserweight shows that’s he’s got a great measure of power as a talent as well! MGM is popping like mad as Ki backpedals full-speed…SENDING FINLAY SPINE-FIRST INTO A CORNER!! Ki stumbles off balance into the opposite corner, the sudden weight distribution catching up with him. Ki looks at his corner bound opponent and looks to execute more offense, going for a SECOND HELPING OF TIDAL CRUSH…NOBODY HOME!!

Ki’s legs hit nothing but ring post, forcing Ki to the canvas and grip at his knee! This doesn’t bode well because Finlay immediately hones in on the hurt appendage, dropping a pair of elbows on it before opening Ki’s legs and hitting an INSIDE LEG DROP to the knee…AND WRAPS KI’S LEGS UP FOR THE CELTIC KNOT!!

Finlay’s targeted the biggest part of Low Ki’s game and he’s making him writhe and pain for it! Ki doesn’t really have anywhere to go on this one, as he’s in the center of the ring! Finlay is pushing hard against the knee, applying pressure to Ki’s most valuable asset of his moveset. Vegas is again trying to get Ki out of this, trying to cheer him on, and even chants of “PLEASE DON’T TAP!! PLEASE DON’T TAP!!” chiming up.

Ki is trying his best to grit his teeth and not to, but it takes a while before he gathers himself enough to try and get out of the hold. Finlay leans in too close in his attempt to apply more pressure, leaving him in striking distance for Ki to SMACK HIM UPSIDETHE HEAD!! Finlay doesn’t let go, merely looking menacingly right back at the ninja-like Warrior and push down harder, which sends pain all up Ki’s legs, but he contains it enough to POP FINLAY RIGHT IN THE ALREADY BUSTED LIP!!

This is enough to force Finlay to let go of the hold, rolling away and holding at his face. Ki limps to a vertical base and tries to gather his footing, while we see Finlay is just got that much more agitated. As he heightens his ire, Ki sets himself up in a karate stance. Finlay turns around to see Ki running at him and going for the JOHN WOO DROPKICK…NO!!

Finlay catches Ki’s exploding front dropkick by grabbing both of his legs, getting Ki in a CATAPAULT POSITION…but as Ki is sent crashing into a corner, he uses his cat-like reflexes to land on the middle turnbuckle. The damage to his legs makes him pause for just a moment before leaping back at Finlay, going for the SPRINGBOARD JUMPING HIGH KICK…but the pause allows Finlay some footing, Finlay CATCHING HIM OUT OF MIDAIR on his shoulders…AND NAILS THE ROLLING HILLS!! Finlay with an impressive counter and now a cover –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

KI STAYS ALIVE SOMEHOW!! Finlay’s not happy about this at all, pounding a fist off the canvas and getting in Hebner’s face. Brian, fearfully, tells Finlay that it was only a two count. Finlay seethes as he watches Ki try to peel himself off the canvas, assisting him by snatching at his head, and delivering a clubbing blow to the side of his face. He then takes Ki and whips him into a corner. Finlay follows this up by rushing at Ki…CORNER BODY AVALANCE!! Ki is squashed between angry Irishman and iron post! Finlay backs up to see the decimated Warrior, whose ‘spirit’ is fading by the second. He then rushes at him again…A CORNER CLOTHESLINE!!

Ki’s feet almost go up over his head from the impact, but he comes back down to earth, still up, but fading with each blow. Recognizing this, the same smirk that was one Finlay’s face in the opening seconds has returned, albeit a little bit more perverse because his lips are bleeding. Even so, we can see Finlay back to his smug, confident self as he kills Ki slowly here, backing away and charging one more time for a RUNNING SHOULDER THRUST…NOBODY HOME!! Low Ki dodges it at the last second and SENDS FINLAY’S SHOULDER FULL-SPEED INTO THE UNFORGIVING POST!!

Ki has to stumble and struggle to get back to his feet, but the crowd is back behind him as Finlay’s shoulder could be dislocated now. Ki has a new spot for hope, as Finlay drifts out gripping his shoulder and drifting into the grip of The Warrior. Ki actually lifts Finlay up on his shoulders with a CRADLE SUPLEX LIFT. As great a display of cruiserweight strength already, but it becomes even more impressive when Ki lets out another roar of adrenaline and CHARGES TOWARDS A CORNER…AND SLAMS FINLAY’S HEAD AND INJURED SHOULDER OFF THE TOP TURNBUCKLE!! WOW!! A cradle lift Oklahoma Stampede gets a pop from the crowd, but Ki’s not done, taking Finlay now and dropping Finlay…INTO A FISHERMAN’S DRIVER!! THE KRUSH RUSH!! An incredible show of offense drops Finlay on his head, Ki keeping the legs hooked as the entire arena counts along –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

FINLAY KICKS OUT!! The force of the kickout pushes Ki off of the thick legs of Finlay and lays him out flat, both men lain out on the canvas. This is just a quarter-finals match and both men are already going all out here! The Grand is popping their heads off for their efforts, some “THIS IS AWESOME!” chants are kicking up now, but neither man is probably in the shape to hear them clearly.

Low Ki is the first man to get to his feet, spotting Finlay still struggling to get up. He climbs through the ropes and starts ascending to the top rope, prompting all in attendance to stand up and follow him up. Ki sets himself and then leaps…WARRIOR’S WAY…NOBODY HOME!! Finlay rolls out of the way, but Ki lands in a way where he’s able to land and roll safely, not messing up his legs much more than they already are. Even so, his knee gives way a bit to leave him gimpy, stumbling into Finlay’s grasp…FOR THE CELTIC CROSS…NO!! Ki squirms out of the grip and goes down Finlay’s back, pulling him over for the SUNSET FLIP –

1…

2…

NO!!

Finlay clasps Ki’s head between his knees to break it up, both men rolling back to his feet and Finlay charging at Ki again…WHO CRACKS HIM WITH A ROUNDHOUSE!! Ki downs Finlay one more time!! Dave drops like a rock to the canvas, Ki having to adjust to being a little off balance. But he looks down to see the dead Irishman and again climbs up to the top rope, trying to grit it out and pay no attention to the pain in his legs. He sets himself up…WARRIOR’S WAY!! THE WARRIOR’S WAY CONNECTS!! LOW KI IS ABOUT TO DO IT!! His hurt legs give way for a moment, but again, he sucks it up and crawls on his elbows back to Finlay’s body, draping an arm over as Hebner goes for the big windmill count –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

FINLAY ROLLS A SHOULDER ONCE AGAIN!! HOW IN THE WORLD?? Finlay still has lots of fight left in him it seems, showing just exactly why he’s only got two losses on his AOW resume. The crowd is still cheering wildly, even in the kickout, as Low Ki tries to think of something, anything, to end the match and hand Finlay a definitive loss and move on. He limps a little bit as he gets to his feet, waiting for Finlay to get back up. He stalks until he’s ready, Finlay himself stumbling as Ki rushes and rebounds off the ropes…IRON OCTOPUS!! AND NOW FINLAY’S WEAKENED SHOULDER COMES INTO PLAY!!

Ki is prying away at the arm as Finlay is now yelling in pain, Vegas again letting it be known that they want to see Finlay tap out right here! Finlay tries to straighten up, but the torque on his arm is too much…until he uses his free arm to start HITTING KI’S BAD KNEE. This forces Ki to loosen the hold, Finlay lifting one of the legs off of his neck and repositions it, jockeying with Ki for position before gripping his neck…CELTIC CROSS!! THE CELTIC CROSS FROM THE IRON OCTOPUS!! Finlay nails his finisher as the crowd deflates a bit for the impact, the tough Irish bastard floating over and sticking his forearm in Ki’s face as he hooks a leg –

1…

2…

3…!!!

HERE IS YOUR WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE SEMI-FINALS: FINLAY at (18:24)

The upset that almost was, but Finlay’s record remains intact and adds a notch to his belt. Finlay rolls to his feet, his thumb continually grazing the spot where his lip was busted open. He doesn’t even care for the referee to raise his hand, simply wanting to get out of there


JBL:
It was almost an upset, but Finlay reminds everybody why he’s the Fighting Irishman! He’s got the battle scars to prove that he’s the best, an’ now everyone can see just how tough he is! That man’s goin’ to the finals!

Joey Styles:
Low Ki put up perhaps the toughest fight anyone’s put up against Finlay yet, but just came up short on the win. But John, this win does nothing to assuage the fact that Finlay isn’t as good as he was last season. Taking nothing away from Low Ki, Finlay really might be losing a step.

JBL:
That’s nonsense! Low Ki put up a hellova fight, kudos to the kid, but Finlay’s just too good. All hail the Irish!

Joey Styles:
That’s all good and well John, but my point’s been made. Well coming up next on the other side of the break, Shawn Michaels said he’d respect Charlie Haas’ injury, but it’s an incredible uphill battle for the one-armed Charlie Haas. It’s HBK and Haas, next!

As Low Ki gets back to his feet, like Mysterio before him, gets a very solid ovation from the MGM Grand crowd for his valiant efforts. He barely acknowledges them but he does so with a small nod, stepping through the ropes and heading up himself as we fade away…


Quote:
***

A black screen. We don’t see anything until what sounds like Shawn Michaels speaks

Michaels
:
In the beginning…God said ‘Let there be light’. And there was light.

The screen lights up with a light at the end of a dark tunnel

Michaels
:
And God saw the light and that it was good. He separated the light from the darkness.

The silhouette of a man walks down a hallway. A side view reveals that this man is Shawn Michaels. As he walks, still pictures of Shawn Michaels as part of The Rockers come to life and play videos of matches.

Michaels
:
He saw the light and that it was good…

Michaels keeps walking past a picture of his “Sexy Boy” days before it too comes to life, standing alongside Sensational Sherri and stripping in the ring for no reason at all

Michaels
:
But then there was the darkness…

Michaels keeps walking past a picture of the Montreal Screwjob, the picture going in motion to have Michaels win

Michaels
:
…and that is what man wishes to rid himself of.

Michaels stops walking now, freezing in front of a very hazy picture of what looks like him holding a world title

Michaels
:
He wishes to always be in the light…

Michaels hangs his head before he keeps walking…

Michaels
:
And that light…that spotlight…is what drives him. He was born in it.

HBK walks by a picture of his very first appearance in AOW, the picture becoming a video of a pumped up Shwostopper

Michaels
:
But that light is what will drive him back to darkness…from ashes to ashes…

Another picture of HBK facing Chris Jericho back in December, Jericho pinning Michaels…

Michaels
:
From dust…to dust…

A full-front shot of Michaels, who raises his head…only to smirk and look forward, the blood-red curtain right in front of him

Michaels
:
How it is done…is how it shall be. Until the end of all time.

Michaels approaches the curtain, a raucous crowd being heard chanting “HBK!! HBK!!” Michaels now turns to the camera and speaks

Michaels
:
But my time…will never be up!

Michaels pushes through the curtain and though we only get a back view of his way out, we can see him doing his entrance the crowd going nuts for a second before fading off…





~AOW PRESENTS~
ORIGINS & ENDINGS
*THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF AOW*
~A FOUR HOUR PAY-PER-VIEW SPECTACULAR~

AUGUST 24th, 2008
Mellon Arena – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

***

~Back at ringside…


“OH…OH…SHAWN!!”

**SEXY BOY**



And again, the loud but somewhat mixed reaction channels across Vegas as SHAWN MICHAELS bursts through the curtain, as pumped as he’s ever looked. He sets on his knees at the base of the ramp and preys, the pyro shooting off and cuing Michaels to pop up and continue his walk even more pumped than before

Chimel:
The following is a Dynasty Tournament Quarter-Final match! From San Antonio, Texas…the Heart Break Kid, SHAAAWWWWN MICHAAAEELS!!

Joey Styles:
As much as I enjoy Shawn Michaels and as much as I want to root for him, his entire place tonight smells rotten. He’s Paul Heyman’s hand-picked and controlled next AOW Champion and he just so happened to get a bye in the second round and he also just so happened to face the man with the most glaring handicap on the entire bracket.

JBL:
Oh will you an’ your conspiracy theories shut the hell up? What about the fact that Shawn Michaels wasn’t even supposed to be in this damn tournament, huh? He stole the entry number of a damn hot prospect in Alex Riley, but you don’t think about that, do you? No! Paul Heyman has nothin’ to do with HBK being here. Shawn Michaels’ selfishness is what brought him here!


**WORLD’S GREATEST**


And on that note, the chimes give way to CHARLIE HAAS. Haas doesn’t seem to have any tape around his dislocated shoulder, but that may be for morale reasons more than logical reasons. He’s not nearly as pumped as Michaels, as even walking seems to aggravate his injury in some way.

Chimel:
And from Houston, Texas…CHARLIEEEE HAAAAASS!!

Joey Styles:
And you see Haas is wincing just when walking. I said he’s one of my picks to win this Tournament, but I really don’t think it a wise decision at all for Charlie Haas to do this. I admire his guts, but there’s a line. Haas has not been medically cleared to compete and he won’t be for another month or so, but he said he wanted to be here. His lack of medical tape on that shoulder may be more for Haas’ mentality than for physical benefit.

JBL:
There is a fine line, Joey. There’s a fine line between wrestling hurt an’ wrestling injured an’ there’s a fine line between courage an’ stupidity. Charlie Haas has crossed both of those lines. Wrestlers go in that ring every week an’ compete hurt. But Haas is injured an’ that’s a death wish. It’s valiant, but it’s stupid.


~Dynasty Tournament Quarter-Final~
Shawn Michaels
v.
Charlie Haas


Michaels and Haas stare at one another from across the ring, Michaels with a somewhat somber expression. Haas is still trying to hide his shoulder away, but it’s hard for that to happen when the two approach the center ring for a lock-up, but almost just like the very first match, Haas quickly tries to move behind Michaels and take him over for a QUICK ROLL-UP ATTEMPT –

1…

NO!!

Michaels rolls back around, catching Haas in another lock-up, only to trap him in a headlock. He wrenches away on Haas’ head, but Charlie doesn’t panic. He backpedals and forces both men off the ropes, whipping Michaels across the ring. Michaels rebounds towards Haas, only for HBK to shoot back towards Michaels and Haas CLEANLY JUMPS OVER the rushing Michaels, who rebounds again, only to eat a PERFECT HAAS DROPKICK!! Haas displays some beautiful, shoulder-less offense that gets him another cover attempt –

1…

2…

NO!!

Michaels kicks out relatively quickly, both men springing back to their feet, Michaels taking Haas right back over for a headlock takedown. Michaels again tries to wrench Haas’ head off, but the amateur wrestler rolls over his non-hurt shoulder and catches Michaels on his shoulders –

1…

2…

NO!!

Michaels rolls back over and keeps the headlock locked in, but Haas is able to get back to his feet and again get Michaels off his head by whipping him into the ropes. Michaels rebounds and HITS HAAS IN THE BAD ARM WITH A SIMPLE SHOULDER BLOCK that shoots Haas to the ground, THRASHING IN PAIN.

A few minutes into the contest, and we can see that Haas is competing beyond his physical capabilities. Haas is in so much immediate pain, he has to roll out of the ring and clutch the dislocation spot on his left shoulder. Referee Justin King veers close to the ropes and asks Haas if he’s okay, which Haas barks in response that he’s fine. His back to the ring, Haas keeps gripping at his arm, paying no attention to Michaels pulling the referee away from the ropes so he can set himself up…AND HITS HAAS WITH A PERFECT PLANCHA!!

Michaels gets an initial pop, but gets a mixed reaction after a second of resonance. HBK has already stated he’ll do whatever it takes to get his ‘freedom’ in that ring, even if it’s take down a one-armed man. Michaels is still pumped and focused either way, taking Haas and knocking him away with a hard CHOP(Wooooo!) that loosens him up enough to try to WHIP HIM INTO THE RING APRON…but Haas reverses the whip with his bad arm and SENDS MICHAELS SPINE FIRST INTO SHARP EDGE OF THE RING!!

An unorthodoxed move at that, but having whipped HBK with his bad shoulder, Haas is in as much if not more pain that Michaels in. Even so, Haas may have evened the odds by targeting HBK’s back. He tries not to waste time, he damn near pulled his shoulder back out of the socket. He snatches HBK and rolls him into the ring, but opts not to roll into the ring with him. Instead, he climbs the apron and heads to the top rope, setting himself and waiting for Michaels to get to his feet…FLYING CLOTHESLINE!! Haas going for the big blows early! His desire to end the match quickly is evident as he sprawls over for the cover –

1…

2…

NO!!

Michaels stays alive!! HBK gets back up gripping at his back, but he doesn’t get any rest time because Haas is still trying to keep the aggressive pace, snatching Michaels’ by the head and SMASHING it up against a turnbuckle. With his one good hand, he climbs up to the second rope and starts popping off a ONE HANDED TEN PUNCH…

1!!

2!!

3!!

4!!

5!!

And Michaels pushes Haas off of him!! Haas hits the ground hard, but he rolls off of his good shoulder and bursts back to his feet, cutting Michaels off before he can get out of the corner and resumes the rabid punches!

6!!

7!!

8!!

MICHAELS TURNS IT INTO AN INVERTED ATOMIC DROP!! WOW!! HBK turns the tables quickly because he has both arms functional, dropping Haas’ tailbone onto the knee. Michaels then pounds a couple of punches off of Haas’ head as he springs back to his feet, only for Haas to swing a wild right hand as he does so. Michaels takes the wild swing and turns it into a spinout powerbomb simple back suplex…which again, drops Haas right on his shoulder. Charlie again rolls around in pain and grips at his shoulder, the referee again having to stop all flow and check to see if Haas wants to continue, breaking up any momentum Michaels had.

Shawn is getting a little annoyed with this injury now, almost pushing the referee out of the way to get to Haas. Charlie sees this and fights Michaels off, getting some space between the two before Haas closes the gap again with a good clothesline. Michaels bursts to his feet only to rush at Haas again, only to be tripped for a DROP TOEHOLD…THAT FLOWS RIGHT INTO A SINGLE LEG BOSTON CRAB!!

Haas’ shoulder might not hamper him in the submission category if he does something like this, but perhaps the Haas of Pain is taken away…? Either way, Michaels is the man at the mercy of the hold, Haas still able to crank back pretty well with only one functioning arm. Michaels is refusing to go on such an elemental hold, but the commentators do note the strain on his back because of the grip. Michaels is crawling, trying his best to get to a nearby rope…AND HE DOES!! Michaels forces Haas to break it up, which he finally does.

As Michaels tries to get vertical, he’s immediately approached by the still aggressive Haas, who pulls him away and gives him a quick kick in the gut before setting him up for a suplex…but then Haas realizes he needs both arms when he tries to lift Michaels and can’t do it without pulling away in more wincing pain. HBK takes advantage of this and kicks Haas in the gut himself, and pulls him up for a suplex of his own. Michaels gets a little bit of heat for this, as Michaels floats over for a cover –

1…

2…

NO!!

Haas still wants to fight in some capacity some more, but he’s caught by Michaels and trapped in the corner as he recovers, Michaels now going for a TEN PUNCH of his own –

1!!

2!!

3!!

4!!

But now it’s Haas’ turn to shove Michaels out of the corner, but Michaels counters the same way Haas did and that’s land so you can roll back to your feet. Michaels charges back at the corner, only for Haas to use his one good arm and Michaels’ momentum to HIT HBK’S FACE OFF THE CORNER WITH A FLAPJACK!! Michaels goes spinning to the canvas, Haas possibly catching a break there and covering –

1…

2…

NO!!

Michaels stays alive, but Haas drives a knee to Michaels’ face for good measure, only to take him up and sling him through the middle ropes. He keeps his upper body inside the ring, draping him across that middle rope, and again, gives another knee for good measure. Fans might know what he’s going for here as he goes to the corner and heads to the second rope, ready to leap for the HANGMAN’S KNEE DROP…NOBODY HOME!! Michaels lifts up his head at the last minute!!

Haas lands hard on his knees now, gingerly trying to get back up. As he does so, Michaels steps back into the ring behind him, dancing around a little, getting his feet warmed up. We know what he wants when Haas turns back around…SWEET CHIN MUSIC…NO!! Haas ducks it and ROLLS MICHAELS INTO A SCHOOL BOY –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

ALMOST but no cigar, as Michaels rolls away. Both men get to their feet, only for Haas to again swing wildly with his good arm for Michaels to trap him in another back suplex…but HAAS FLIPS OUT onto his feet, landing behind HBK and trying to take him for the TOTAL HAASTILITY…NO!! As he lifts Michaels up for what could have been the killing blow, the shoulder gives way and forces Haas to once again drop and tend to the still possibly dislocated shoulder.

Michaels has a somber look on his face again, looking very similarly to the sadness we’ve seen on his face for most of his AOW stay. He doesn’t want to do this. He never wanted to do this. But as he watches Haas get to his feet, he knows he has no choice but to capitalize if he wants to win. Haas is checked on again by referee King, but Haas actually SHOVES him away and angrily turns back to Michaels…SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! THE SUPERKICK CONNECTS!! Michaels falls to his knees and then falls to Haas, actually making sure not to push on the shoulder, hooking a leg –

1…

2…

3…!!!

HERE IS YOUR WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE SEMI-FINALS: SHAWN MICHAELS at (7:34)

Michaels is breathing a little hard sitting in the middle of the ring, a look of inner struggle painted on his face. Michaels is about to get his hand raised, but he snatches his arm away and rolls away, going up the ramp and never looking back at the handiwork he’s responsible for

Joey Styles:
Well Charlie Haas put up as much of a fight as he possibly could with just one working arm and Shawn Michaels did what he said and that’s respect the injury. But in the end, the Heart Break Kid was too much for a handicapped man. And Shawn doesn’t look proud in the least for what he did.

JBL:
He really shouldn’t be. He’s a guy who shouldn’t even be here who just beat a guy who shouldn’t be here either. There’s no pride in that.


Back in the ring, Haas is being helped to his feet by several officials and a member of medical personnel, who is tending to his shoulder as he tries to walk to the back.


Joey Styles:
I will give Charlie Haas points for putting up a fight, but it’s Shawn Michaels, proud or not, who is moving on to the next round. But coming up on the other side of the break, your voices will be heard – it’s the first ever AOW Fan Bracket Showcase! See who your votes put in this big match coming up next!


**COMMERCIAL BREAK**


~Back at ringside…


***DING DING DING***

Chimel:
The follow contest is the Fan Bracket Showcase…FATAL 4-WAY MATCH!!


A big pop from the Vegas crowd who probably wasn’t expecting that


Chimel:
The first man to execute a pinfall or submission will win the match and win an AOW Dynasty Championship opportunity in the month of July!


A HUGE pop goes up for that, but then it whiplashes a bit…


**WELCOME TO WHITECHAPEL**


The crowd goes into an array of heat as PAUL BURCHILL steps onto the stage. One has to think his actions earlier are what’s garnering him such heat, but he’s rather emotionless and isn’t letting anything get to him as he fixes his tape and comes to the ring

Chimel:
Introducing first, the fourth most vote-getter…PAUL BURCHILL!!

Joey Styles:
Welcome back to Rise of a Dynasty folks, where we’re about to kick back off with the Fan Bracket Showcase match and we’re gonna get a Fatal 4-Way! Four men got enough votes to be included in this match!

JBL:
An’ the winner gets a title shot! How ‘bout that?

Joey Styles:
Guys getting rewarded for their hard work by the people…but who the hell voted for Paul Burchill?


**BETTER THAN GREAT**


The heat continues to pour, as SHELTON BENJAMIN bursts through the curtain now. He’s not getting as intense heat as he was last week, but he’s got a very smug look on his face as he marches down to the ring, throwing his hood off


Chimel:
Introducing next, the third most vote-getter…SHEL-TUUUUN BENJAMIN!!

Joey Styles:
No, seriously, who votes for these guys? After all the disgusting actions by Shelton Benjamin the past view weeks and he gets the third most amount of votes?? What the hell?

JBL:
I think it’s a pretty telltale sign of who our fans are, Joey. These guys love brutality an’ I don’t know anyone who has been more brutal than this man since the start of this season.


**BLACK TO WHITE**

And now it’s TYLER BLACK’s turn to burst through the curtain, his blond and black hair flowing freely over his face as he marches down in his black longcoat. His reaction is very similar to the one he’s been getting for a while now, being almost perfectly split mixed reaction


Chimel:
And the next opponent, the second most vote-getter…TYLEEERRR BLAAAACK!!

Joey Styles:
Okay, this one makes a little more sense. But even still, Tyler Black is far from anyone’s favorite. He’s made it known that he doesn’t care if people like him and he’s made it even more known that he’s not exactly a team player.

JBL:
No, but he’s one hellova competitor an’ that’s what people love. It doesn’t matter what your philosophies are, in the end, all that matters is that you get it done in the ring. An’ that’s where all three of these men so far thrive.

Chimel:
And introducing the number one vote-getter…


*DRAMATIC PAUSE…*


**FINAL COUNTDOWN**

And the crowd lets out one of the biggest pops of the night for BRYAN DANIELSON! Danielson has his maroon hood on, bursting through the crimson curtain, and has his Cruiserweight Championship wrapped around his waist. He holds a finger high on the stage, ripping his hood off, before galloping down the ramp with his finger still high


Chimel:
…he is the AOW Cruiserweight Champion – BRYAAAAN DANIEL-SUUUUUN!!!

Joey Styles:
You wanna talk about being able to get it done in the ring, you look no further than this man!! Quite possibly the best in-ring talent in AOW whose technical prowess has thus-far been unrivaled! Now this, this I can accept as the fan’s favorite man!

JBL:
Oh, now I know our fans are really misguided. You got an ace athlete, a mercenary, a terrific rookie, an’ the guy they vote for the most is ol’ Spaghetti Legs.

Joey Styles:
“Spaghetti Legs” has been Cruiserweight Champion for virtually the entire existence of AOW. Needless to say if any man has earned his place in this match, it’s the American Dragon.


~Fatal 4-Way Fan Bracket Showcase~
*Winner receives shot at the Dynasty Championship later this month*

Cruiserweight Champion Bryan Danielson v. Tyler Black v. Shelton Benjamin v. Paul Burchill


It doesn’t take long for all four men to get to the action as soon as they’re all present, but also unsurprisingly ALL THREE HEELS JUMP BRYAN DANIELSON!! He may not be the biggest dog in the fight, but Danielson’s reputation of being hard to get rid of precedes him, and the three man beatdown commences before he’s dumped unceremoniously to great heat by Paul Burchill. But almost as soon as Burchill dumps him SHELTON BENJMAIN CHUNKS HIM OEVR THE TOP ROPE!!

This just leaves Tyler Black and Shelton Benjamin to kick it off by themselves, where they execute a lock-up. The lock-up is quickly broken, however, by Tyler Black who SMACKS BENJAMIN ACROSS THE FACE!! A blatant show of disrespect actually gets a big pop from the Vegas crowd, somebody showing it to Benjamin for once. When Shelton looks back at Black, we can hear Black say “that’s for not knowing how to tag in, ballhog!”. Black still holding a grudge from the tag match last week!

The uber-competitive Benjamin doesn’t take to kindly to that at all, SHOOTING in on the legs of Black like his amateur days, before taking Black up and SLAMMING HIM WITH AUTHORITY with a SCOOP-UP SLAM!! Benjamin rides on top of Black as if he’s jockeying for position in an amateur match, pressing Black’s shoulder’s down –

1…

NO!!

Black lifts up the arm, only for Benjamin to swivel around and get a lateral press, pushing the shoulder back down –

1…

2-NO!!

Black still gets out of it, even bridging up after the kickout. But Benjamin leaps up and PUSHES HIS KNEES on Black’s midsection, forcing him back down and forcing another pin attempt –

1…

2-NO!!

Black had to regain his breath after the knees, but he’s not getting pressed so easily. Benjamin keeps his weight on him and even begins to STAND UP ON BLACK’S MIDSECTION, garnering heat from the crowd and screams of pain from Black. Benjamin then pulls up on Black’s arms, making it the most painful sit-up ever. But as Benjamin grins at his dominance, he doesn’t see Paul Burchill re-enter the fray…AND CLOTHESLINE THE SMILE OFF BENJAMIN’S FACE and off Tyler’s body!

Burchill hits Benjamin so hard, he rolls out of the ring, Burch unable to capitalize with a pin attempt. This forces him to turn around and come face to face with Tyler Black, whose face he pounds with a hard forearm shot that backs him into a corner. Burchill then tries to whip Black across the ring, only for Black to reverse it and pull Burchill back for a SHORT ARM ELBOW. But Black keeps the short-arm grip in, then hitting a SHORT ARM FORARM. And then he finishes the combo with the SHORT ARM CLOTHESLINE! Burchill is down and Black has a cover –

1…

2…

NO!!

Burchill still has tons more fight in him than that. Burchill gets himself to his feet and is met again by Tyler, but Burchill pushes him away, only for Black to rush back at him. Burchill wraps around Black and gets him in a rear waistlock, pulling up for a GERMAN SUPLEX…but Black jams the move and starts delivering back elbows to Burch, but Paul doesn’t let go for the waistlock. Black turns around while still in Burch’s clutches, still trying to wriggle free, but Burchill just takes this chance to nail a NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX!! He keeps the bridge for his first cover –

1…

2…

NO!!

Black won’t go down so easily, both men stumbling to their feet a little, but Burchill starts delivering more rights and lefts to Black, only for Black to fire back. The two are so wrapped up in their mini-brawl, they don’t look up to see Bryan Danielson on the top rope and the crowd buzzing like crazy…MISSILE FRONT DROPKICK TO BOTH MEN!! BOTH BURCHILL AND BLACK EAT THE FEET!! Black goes tumbling all the way cross the ring, but Burchill doesn’t roll so far, allowing Danielson to roll him to his back and get a pin attempt after the explosive re-entry –

1…

2…

NO!!

Burchill still has lots of life! Even so, Danielson keeps his momentum going when Burchill tries to get up, rising to his knees. Danielson sees his opportunity and starts POUNDING SHOOT KICKS OFF OF BUCHILL’S STERNUM!! Just when he’s about to kick back for the finishing roundhouse, Tyler Black re-enters the frame and rushes at Danielson, only for AmDrag to hit him with a low dropkick and force him onto his knees, right next to Burchill.

The crowd is white hot now, as Danielson sees both men on their knees in front of him…AND STARTS PING PONGING SHOOT KICKS OFF THE CHEST OF BOTH MEN, ALTERNATING FROM ONE MAN TO THE NEXT!! The crowd is beside themselves as Danielson just keeps kicking and kicking before stopping to pump his fists and possibly ROUNDHOUSE BOTH MEN…but right behind him on the apron is Shelton Benjamin, SPRINGBOARDING AT DANIELSON…AmDrag ducks as Burchill and Black try to stand back up…AND GET HIT WITH A SPRINGBOARD DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE!! Both men are floored, Benjamin getting back to his feet and turning to Danielson…WHO NAILS SHELTON WITH THE FINISHING ROUNDHOUSE!! An incredible sequence there as Benjamin just has his lights turned out as the Cruiserweight champ covers –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

It’s not that over yet!! Benjamin’s not gonna go down on just one big strike like that, but Danielson is clearly the man in control of the entire match right now. The champ tries to take advantage of this by whipping Benjamin into a corner, but Shelton reveres the whip and sends Danielson there instead. Benjamin then follows that up by following Danielson with a rush…STINGER SPLASH CONNECTING!! Danielson groggily steps out of the corner right into Benjamin’s clutches…sets hips…BELLY TO BELLY OVERHEAD TOSS!! Benjamin crawls over to Danielson’s body –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Danielson stays alive!! Benji’s pretty pissed that didn’t end it, stomping away at the Cruiserweight champ, and forcing him to a corner of the ring, but Tyler Black stumbles back into the fray after the onslaught he was subjected to. He smashes Benjamin in the back of the head with several clubs, changing Benjamin’s attention to brawling with Black. Benji gets the upper hand, grappling behind Black with a rear waistlock…but like against Burchill before him, Black jams the move and successfully elbows out this time…AND CRACKS BENJAMIN WITH THE PELE KICK!! THE OVERHEAD KICK CONNECTS!! Shelton is thrown for a major loop there, so groggy, he turns his back to Black, who picks him up…BLACK TO WHITE!! THE BACK SUPLEX TO STO CONNECTS!! Tyler Black with a huge pin attempt here –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

DANIELSON DIVES AND BREAKS IT UP!! Danielson possibly saving the match and title shot for himself, but now he draws the ire of Tyler Black who takes Danielson and drives several knees into his gut before taking him up in the fireman’s carry, going for the FIREMAN’S SNAKE EYES…but Danielson slips off from up top behind Black and wraps him up from behind, pushing him forward off the turnbuckle for an OKANA ROLL…CHAOS THEORY!! THE ROLL TO GERMAN SUPLEX!! Someone finally Germans the Gray Area! But before Danielson can even cover Black, he gets grabbed from behind by Paul Burchill, who hooks the leg…AND NAILS A REGAL PLEX!! Burchill keeps the bridge here –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Danielson keeps himself in the match!! He clutches at his head and rolls around in pain, but Burchill doesn’t seem to give much of a damn and doesn’t give him time to recover before taking him by the hair and socking him in the face several times with hard rights. He backs Danielson all the way up against the ropes, only to hit an Irish whip and catch Danielson on the rebound with a ONE-ARMED BACKBREAKER!! Danielson clutches at his vertebrae as Burchill tries for another cover –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Bryan Danielson won’t go away here! Showing off his resiliency, Danielson gets to his feet and fights back with several forearm shots to Burchill, only to be taken down again when Burchill clubs him in the back. Danielson’s spine might be a target area now, Burchill taking the hunched over Danielson and gripping him for what might be a RUSSIAN NECK DROP…DANIELSON SPINS IT INTO A SMALL PACKAGE!! The Master of the Small Package strikes again –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Burchill uncoils the surprise pin attempt, but as both men roll to their feet, BLASTS DANIELSON IN THE HEAD WITH A BIG BOOT!! Danielson is back down again, the meticulous Burchill taking him up and whipping him hard, sternum first into a turnbuckle. Danielson recoils away from the corner right into Burchill’s grip, going for another GERMAN SUPLEX…but Danielson again jams it, but then Paul mashes him several times with forearms to the lower back, going again for that tender area. He grips him again for the GERMAN…but before can let it fly, Shelton Benjamin shows back up and grapples Burchill from behind, a chain of rear waistlocks looking now…AND THEY HIT DOMINO GERMAN SUPLEXES!! DANIELSON GOES FLYING ACROSS THE RING TO THE APRON FROM BURCHILL’S SUPLEX AND BENJAMIN KEEPS THE BRIDGE ON BURCHILL FOR HIS –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

RUNNING SHOOTING STAR PRESS!! TYLER BLACK STOPS THE COUNT AND THE BRIDGE WITH A RUNNING SSP ON BENJAMIN!! He lets go of Burchill as Black now has an impressive lateral press –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

BENJAMIN KICKS OUT!! MERCY!! As high-paced, high action sequence as you’re gonna see right there, and it has Vegas in an absolute frenzy. All four men are down, gripping at various parts. There are bodies lying everywhere – Danielson’s on the apron, Burchill’s near a corner, and Benjamin and Black are near center ring, but both rolling around in pain, Black more selling all the offense he’s taken. The near sold-out MGM shows their appreciation for the match and these gentlemen who didn’t even know they were gonna be here until several minutes ago, several “THIS IS AWESOME” chants breaking out of the threshold.

Tyler Black is the first man to his feet, gripping at the back of his neck and throwing his hair out of his face. With Benjamin rolling closer to the ropes, he opts to go over to the still downed Burchill. He takes Burch up and traps him in a reverse headlock, possibly setting up for the PAROXYSM…NO!! Burchill spins out of the move and short-arm pulls Black in…takes him down by the arm…AND LOCKS IN THE ROYAL MUTILATION!! ROYAL MUTILATION!!

The crowd is buzzing because many of them have gotten on Black’s side for the duration of the match, the One Man Gray Area scrambling for a rope to get to! Black’s screaming in pain as Burchill pulls up and makes the muscles and tendons rip up even more, Black not able to go much farther even though he’s a fingertip away from the ropes…but the crowd is buzzing even more, some of them looking up the ramp…Black is only a moment away from tapping out…

…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


SAMOA JOE BREAKS THE HOLD!! WHAT THE HELL?? WHERE DID JOE COME FROM?? The crowd is popping their heads off as the One Man Army rips Burchill away from Black’s arm, bashing him over and over with hard blows!! Joe’s taking advantage of the no DQ rule to lay into one of the men who cost him a shot at the AOW Championship tonight!! Burchill tries to scurry away from the big angry Machine, but Joe is right on him and winds up CLOTHESLINING HIM UP AND OVER THE TOP ROPE!!

But Joe’s not just satisfied with that! He follows Burchill to the outside and starts pounding on him there, WHIPPING HIM INTO THE STEEL RING STEPS!! Joe’s one angry motherfucker!! As the crowd is going nuts for what’s going on outside the ring, inside the ring, Shelton Benjamin and Bryan Danielson have come to, kicking up a mini brawl of their own.

Benjamin hoists Danielson up for perhaps a SAMOAN DROP, but Danielson wriggles out of that and turns on Benji’s shoulders and looks for a ROLLING PRAWN HOLD…but Benjamin keeps him up in the Electric Chair position, stepping closer to the ropes…BEFORE DUMPING DANIELSON FROM UP HIGH OVER THE TOP ROPE RIGHT ONTO JOE AND BURCHILL!!

All three men take hard falls, as Benjamin stumbles to a knee from the sudden shift in weight. Benjamin looks down to see all three men coming to just a little bit, measuring them up as the crowd ignites once again. Shelton rushes back at the ropes, rebounds and shoots towards all three men…NO-HAND SUMMERSAULT PLANCHA!! BENJAMIN FLIPS ONTO ALL THREE MEN OUTSIDE!! OH MY!!

The crowd is all kinds of pumped up again, even for the heel, Benjamin showing off his prized sheer athleticism! All four men are still down when Tyler Black gets back to his feet, Black clutching at his now ailing left arm. He looks out to see the four men and it’s his turn to measure them up, all four men soon drifting back to their feet, only to look up and see…A SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR PLANCHA!! TYLER BLACK WITH THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO THE OUTSIDE!! OHH MYY GAAAAD!!

“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”

The crowd lets their appreciation be heard for that one now, all five men having to try and make it back to their feet. With all that offense and tumbling, a wave of security guards now comes down to the ring, taking the now damaged body of Samoa Joe. The crowd gives out a relentless array of heat, Joe’s interference being dealt with by a kind of authority here…BUT JOE’S NOT GOING WITHOUT A FIGHT!!

Suddenly, the One Man Army lives up to his moniker and starts TOSSING AWAY SECURITY GUARDS LEFT AND RIGHT!! One (who looks mysteriously similar to new OVW signee Stu Bennett) gets THROWN AGAINST THE RAMP!! More security and officials come down to try and sedate Joe, and the numbers game finally gets the big man, but it almost looks like an entire mob of security overtakes him and forces him to the back, to again, much heat from the crowd.

With order restored somewhat now, Black is the first man up and takes Shelton Benjamin in his clutches, rolling him back into the ring. Black then takes Shelton and throws him on his shoulders, NAILING THE FIREMAN’S CARRY FACEBUSTER ON THE TURNBUCKLE!! Benjamin drifts towards the center of the ring, Black rebounding with the YAKUZA KICK…NO!! Benjamin catches Black between the legs and pulls him over for a school boy –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Both men spring up, albeit somewhat drunkenly from exhaustion, which allows Benjamin to punt Black in the gut and lift him up and over…EXPLODER SUPLEX CONNECTING!! Benjamin floats over the cover and the title shot to a huge array of heat –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

A FLYING HEADBUTT FROM BRYAN DANIELSON BREAKS THE COUNT!! OH MY!! The flying Cruiserweight champ knocks the Ace Athlete off and away from a certain win!! He keeps on Benjamin as he rolls away, but he eventually rolls under the ropes and to the floor, Black doing the same, only for Danielson to turn around and meet Paul Burchill…who takes his arm…AND GOES FOR THE ROYAL MUTILATION…NO!! Danielson torques his way out of it, moving his hips and floating over Burchill’s body like an amateur wrestling reversal…before locking both of Burchill’s arms…AND LOCKS IN THE CATTLE MUTILATION!! THE CATTLE MUTILATION ON THE ROYAL MUTILATOR!!

It’s Burchill’s turn to squirm in a submission hold, the entire crowd going white hot because there’s nobody in sight to stop the move!! Burchill is trying his damndest to keep squirming, but Danielson’s got it synched in deep, leaving him no room at all!! The meticulous and brutal Burchill is reduced to a squiggling, screaming mess of pain as Danielson’s deadly bridge keeps tearing away at his body, the crowd prompting the match to end here..


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…AND HE TAPS!! PAUL BURCHILL HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO TAP OUT TO BRYAN DANIELSON!!

……
……………
……………………
……………
……

…BUT THERE’S NO BELL!! Why the hell is that?? It’s because referee Ray Ramsey HAS BEEN PULLED FROM THE RING TO THE FLOOR…BY TYLER BLACK!! Black receives the most heat he’s gotten quite possibly in his entire AOW career at this point! Danielson feels Burchill tapping and unhooks the move, getting on his knees and prematurely celebrating…but there’s no ring bell! Danielson has no clue what’s going on, Burchill rolling away in pain. Danielson bends over to perhaps try to stop him, but as he does so, he doesn’t see Tyler Black getting on the apron…AND BLACK HITS DANIELSON WITH THE SPRINGBOARD DIVING KNEE STRIKE!!

Black takes Danielson out of the equation, now snatching up the body of Paul Burchill. But Burchill, while withered, still has enough gusto in him to fight Black off, and GETS THE ARM FOR ANOTHER ROYAL MUTILATION…but Black spins out of it and behind Burchill…PAROXYSM!! PAROXYSM!! Black nails Burchill with the spinning inverted DDT, Burchill’s lifeless body now covered by the One Man Grey Area as Ramsey crawls in –

1…

2…

Benjamin and Danielson crawl in…

3…!!!

TOO LATE!!!


Here is you winner and #1 contender for the Dynasty Championship…TYLER BLACK at (14:21)

WOW!! A flurry of action ends with Tyler Black rolling off of Burchill’s body and heading to the outside, referee Ray Ramsey holding his arm high while out of the ring. Benjamin and Danielson are left in disappointment, Danielson in particular collapsing back to the canvas after taking his blow to the head


Joey Styles:
Tyler Black showing some actual true color there, an act of desperation turns into a gold, unfortunately.

JBL:
You said it yourself, Joey, you don’t have to like him, but dammit he can get it done!! Kudos to the kid on doin’ everything he can to make sure he got that title shot!

Joey Styles:
Yeah, but by all means Bryan Danielson should have won! Paul Burchill was tapping out to Danielson when Black literally snatched the win away from him.

JBL:
And nobody cares. That’s what could have happened, but it’s not anything that did happen. What did happen was that Tyler Black is the man who is the new #1 contender for the Dynasty Championship! These fans actually did somethin’ good for once.

Joey Styles:
Oh come off it, John. Well coming up next on the other side of the break, we’ve got more Dynasty Tournament action – it’s time for the Semi-Finals!! The Semi-Finals start right when we get back! Stay tuned to Rise of a Dynasty!


**COMMERCIAL BREAK**


~Back at ringside…


**MISERE CANTARE – THE BEGINNING**


And for the second time tonight, CM PUNK comes on through the curtain to another welcome ovation. He still has his Dynasty Championship, except this time it’s in his hand and not around his waist. He holds the title in both hands as he looks down into it and reads it like the face of a clock, holding it high above his head…“IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!!”


Chimel:
The following contest is a Dynasty Tournament Semi-Final match! Introducing first, AOW Dynasty Champion…CEEE EEEMM PUUUNK!!

Joey Styles:
Punk put on an impressive display in the quarter-finals against Rey Mysterio, but he might need to dig a little deeper for a win against William Regal. Regal’s offense is nothing like Mysterio’s fast paced, high flying style.

JBL:
You’re damn right he’s different. Regal likes to go at his own methodical pace, so don’t expect Punk to walk out of here like he did against Rey Mysterio. Considering he won’t walk out of here at all.


**WELCOME TO WHITECHAPEL**


The pipe organ plays for the third time tonight, and just like Paul Burchill before him, WILLIAM REGAL comes out to more heat than he did last time for screwing Samoa Joe. Regal doesn’t pay them any heed once again, just playing with his tape as he holds his nose high down the ramp…WHEN CM PUNK SUDDENLY DIVES THROUGH THE ROPES FOR A SUICIDE DIVE!! THIS THING’S GETTING STARTED RIGHT AWAY!!



~Dynasty Tournament Semi-Finals~
Dynasty Champion CM Punk
v.
William Regal


Punk jumps the gun and wants it from the get go! Punk takes Regal and throws him back in the ring, staying right on the apron and waiting for the Brit to get back to his feet. The crowd is still pumped up, all of Vegas behind Punk and uplifting him as he springboards…SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE CONNECTING!! Punk nails a big signature move just a few seconds in, going for a big cover –

1…

2…

NO!!!

Regal won’t go down so easily! As quickly as Punk wanted the match finished, he knows he’s got an established veteran in the ring with him, but he’s taking no chances, waiting for Regal to get back up and prepping himself by clasping his hands together and putting them behind his ear…GO TO SLEEP COMING…NO!!

Regal squiggles off of Punk’s shoulders and makes some room, but Punk closes it and nails Regal in the gut with a kick. He keeps on Regal by whipping him hard across the ring into a corner, gearing up and preparing for the RUNNING HIGH KNEE…NOBODY HOME AND PUNK GOES TUMBLING TO THE FLOOR!!

Regal sends Punk tumbling up and over, head over heels!! Punk is now on the outside writhing around and holding at what looks like his elbow, Regal sitting up in the corner trying to gather himself from Punk’s intense opening. As Regal is catching his breath and recuperating, we get a good look at a replay that shows Punk smashed his arm on the apron on his tumble down to the floor. Referee Goose Mahoney is trying to peek through the ropes to see if Punk is okay.

Mahoney is almost pushed over when Regal rolls on through the ropes after finally recuperating, taking Punk and his seemingly ailing arm, taking him from behind…AND RAMMING HIM ARM FIRST INTO AN IRON POST!! Regal smells blood all over the water and now it’s time to hone in. Mahoney is yelling at Regal to get him back in the ring, but the grizzled veteran pays no heed to this and takes the now handicapped Punk…AND SMASHES THE ARM AGAINST THE GUARD RAIL!!

All the wild steam Punk had from the opening bell is gone in a flash, and so is the use of his arm. The meticulous Regal chuckles to himself a little bit before listening over his shoulder to hear Mahoney counting out at a two count. Regal rolls in then back out to reset the table, pulling Punk up by his grimy locks and pulling him over by the steel ring steps. He POUNDS Punk’s face off the steel, loosening them up and forcing Punk down.

Regal then drapes Punk’s body over the steps themselves, Punk’s targeted left arm dangling right in front of the sides plated with steel. The crowd can feel what’s coming now, as Punk is stuck with his arm dangling in front of the steps and Regal stepping away…and running…AND CRUNCHING PUNK’S ARM AGAINST THE STEEL STEPS WITH A RUNNING BOOT!! OH MY!!

Punk collapses in a heap on the floor, the tendons in his arm potentially having snapped like rubber bands from that move. Mahoney is up to a three count now, but he’s stopped to beg Regal to get Punk back in the ring, but Regal is in no hurry, enjoying the heat he’s getting from Vegas now. Punk is screaming into the outside padding, muffling his own cries of pain before Regal snatches him up and slides him back into the ring. Regal follows, making sure to press Punk’s arm down on the lateral press –

1…

2…

NO!!

Punk won’t go down without some kind of fight. The damage done to Punk here is only what we could imagine might have happened had Charlie Haas stuck around, but as it stands, Punk is the man who is going to feel the wrath of Regal here, as the Mercenary captain puts Punk on his stomach and drives a knee into the back of his head while PULLING UP ON THE INJURED ARM. Punk screams in pain as Regal uses the modified armbar and even PULLS BACK ON PUNK’S FINGERS, possibly tearing up those damaged tendons and wracked nerves even more.

The sick Regal might actually be enjoying this as Punk is constantly asked if he wants to quit. Through his screams of pain, Punk refuses to give Regal the satisfaction of a submission victory. Regal realizes this and looks to change things up, CLUBBING PUNK IN THE SHOULDER before CRANKING BACK EVEN MORE. The casual rest hold is now turned up to lethal volumes, Punk trying with all his might to just keep his arm attached to his body. He eventually has to yank the damn thing out of Regal’s clutches, rolling away towards a rope to get a rope break if needed.

But Regal isn’t going to be shaken off that easily, almost forcing Punk to roll away into a corner and sit on the lower rungs. Regal sees an opportunity here, cornering the hurt Punk and starts MASHING HIM WITH REPEAT MULE KICKS!! These hit Punk’s body hard, but his fucked up arm is spared. Regal is taking his time, enjoying the incredibly slow pace he’s set for himself, taking Punk and dragging him out of the corner and covering him –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Punk may be thrashed around, but he’s not done yet! Regal takes the worn down Punk and wraps his shoulder up in a hammerlock and preparing to TOSS THE SHOULDER INTO A CORNER, but Punk puts on the brakes by sliding on one knee. Regal tries to push the issue by charging after Punk, but Punk manages to sidestep him and send him CHEST FIRST INTO THE TURNBUCKLE. He almost falls over, but Punk finishes bringing him over with a SCHOOL BOY –

1…

2…

NO!!

Regal manages to throw his legs up, but Punk manages to spring up with him and wrap his legs up for ANOTHER SCHOOL BOY…WRAPPED UP BY PUNK’S OWN LEGS –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

That one was considerably closer, but both Regal and Punk spring up again, only for Regal to try and knock Punk’s head off with a CLOTHESLINE…but Punk ducks underneath it and hits Regal in the gut with a back kick before taking his legs from underneath him with a TRIPPING SPINNING BACK KICK!! Punk quickly jumps on Regal again –

1…

2…

NO!!

Regal throws up a shoulder, but hit his head on the way down, so can’t immediately get up. Punk takes this opportunity to play Regal’s own game and wear him down slowly with the only part of his body that’s fully functioning, WRAPPING REGAL’S HEAD WITH HIS LEGS!! Punk’s wrapping a figure four leglock on Regal’s head to wear the old man down! Punk squeezes Regal’s head away, trying his best to completely cut off his oxygen.

Regal is fading rather quickly, but he’s not gone just yet. The veteran keeps his wits about him and tries to tear Punk off of him, his hands grasping at Punk’s calves and thighs to try and find a way out of this vise…and he might have found when by turning onto his stomach and pushing Punk off…and he pops his head from between Punk’s legs! As the crowd deflates a little bit, they start buzzing when they realize he hasn’t separated Punk’s legs, only popping his head out. He keeps Punk’s legs wrapped up nice and tight before catching them in his own legs…AND GOING FOR THE REGAL STRETCH…NO!! Punk manages to scurry to a bottom rope before he can fully synch it in.

Regal is forced off of Punk by the referee and the rope break, giving Punk time to perhaps catch his breath and use the ropes to get back to his feet using only one hand. The instant he’s back to his feet, Regal pounces on him and tries to grapple him from behind and pull him away. The Chicago native holds onto the ropes for dear life with his one good arm, pressing up against the ropes and pushing off to force Regal to roll away. But Regal rolls back to his feet and CHARGES AT PUNK AGAIN, only for Punk to LOWER THE TOP ROPE…AND SEND REGAL CRASHING TO THE FLOOR!!

It’s Punk’s turn to turn the tables of aggression, taking advantage of Regal’s rashness. Punk tries his best to shake some life back into his thus-far useless left arm before gripping the top rope and stalking the Brit as he gets back to his feet outside…PERFECT PLANCHA…NO!! Regal ducks his head and moves in preparation, but Punk sees this and simply slings himself over the top rope and catches himself on the apron. Regal sees this and goes to rip Punk’s feet from under him, but the straight-edge enthusiast backs Regal away with a well-placed kick. As Regal goes reeling, Punk turns around on the apron to face Regal…leaping…AND NAILS A LEAPING CLOTHESLINE FROM THE APRON TO THE OUTSIDE!!

A modified version of his springboard clothesline there, Punk having to gather himself, but he’s getting a great reception from the crowd for throwing it all out there to end this thing. He gives a small smirk of appreciation, but then goes right back to selling the injured arm, which he still tries to shake some life into before taking Regal’s body and rolling it back into the ring. Punk springs on Regal’s body for the pin –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Regal stays alive in the tournament! Punk is a little agitated, throwing his hair out of his face and trying to pull Regal back to his feet, but Regal almost immediately grabs the wrist of the hurt left arm and WRENCHES it, reducing Punk to his knees. As Punk gets back up after the wrench, Regal wraps it around his head before snapping off…A REGAL CUTTER!! Flawlessly executed by the man who created the move, the Mercenary from Blackpool throws Punk’s shoulder against the mat and goes for the win –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Punk now throwing a shoulder up! It’s Regal’s turn to get a little bit aggravated now, almost sure the count was closer than Mahoney said it was. Regal shakes his head as he pulls Punk up, only for Punk to hit a very uncharacteristic HEADBUTT that suddenly stuns Regal long enough for Punk to rebound off the ropes. The one-armed Dynasty Champion slings back at William, only for the nasty Brit to hit a standing switch while Punk runs at him…AND FLIPS PUNK ALL KINDS OF WAYS WITH THE HALF-NELSON SUPLEX!! A move that has caused concussions here in AOW is effortlessly snapped off by Regal, who shoots another half on the lifeless body of Punk for another cover attempt –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

PUNK DOES NOT WISH TO GO YET!! Regal’s getting more and more agitated we can see, but he’s also subduing it because it’s also just his nature. Someone in the Mercs, Inc. stable has to. The Englishman takes Punk and tries to keep wearing him down, this time looking to separate shoulder from neck when he takes him up and pries away with a STRETCH PLUM!! Regal keeps showing off his array of torture methods, wrenching away at Punk’s ailing arm while pulling his head and neck in the other direction. The Second City Saint screams in pain across Las Vegas, but also keeps shouting refusals to Mahoney’s ever present questions of giving up.

Regal keeps trying to stretch him like taffy even more, but after several seconds, Punk manages to at least try to be making it to a vertical base…before quickly spinning out of the stretch plum, taking Regal by the wrist, and turning him around in a hammerlock…AND GOING FOR THE PEPSI TWIST…NO!! Regal ducks underneath the lariat and catches Punk from behind…REGAL PLEX…NO!! Punk fights back with several fierce elbows to the back and side of Regal’s head, forcing Regal to let go of his leg and the hold. Regal resets and rushes right back at Punk…only to get DRILLED WITH THE SURPRISE ROUNDHOUSE!! Punk is right back in this thing as he covers –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

REGAL KICKS OUT AT THE LAST SECOND!! Punk is trying to do everything he can here, but the veteran is not going down without a sure fight! As Punk tries to grapple Regal and perhaps look for more offense, Regal throws Punk’s hands off of him and rolls to a corner to pull himself up. Punk follows him, again having to work with headbutts and the occasional hard right hand. He then hoists Regal onto the top rope with one shoulder, climbing on up top and going for a high risk move, potentially for the FRANKENSTEIR…NO!! Regal shoves Punk off the top by SOCKING HIM RIGHT IN THE SHOULDER!!

Punk lands hard on the canvas, possibly on that same shoulder, screaming into the canvas in pain. He rolls all the way across the ring to the opposite corner, Regal staying up on his top rope to catch his breath some more before dropping from his high perch and RUSHING AT PUNK…only for Punk to sidestep and send Regal CRASHING INTO THE IRON POST!! Punk’s arm could still fall off at any minute, but he’s got Regal set up and going again for the HIGH CORNER KNEE…AND HITS IT!! He stays up top for just a second before going for the finishing BULLDOG…NO…REGAL PLEX!! REGAL PLEX!! REGAL PULLS THAT OUT OF THE HAT AS HE KEEPS THE BRIDGE –

1…

2…

3…

NO!!

PUNK KICKS OUT!! Punk thrashes his legs up and has to get some leverage to push Regal off of his body, but Regal flows right into the next move from there, Punk flopping onto his stomach from the hard kickout…REGAL STRETCH!! REGAL STRETCH LOCKED IN!! Punk’s injured arm is trapped in the hold, making the pain that much greater!! The MGM crowd is trying to beg Punk to keep going, but Regal might have Punk this time with Punk having to crawl a long way on one arm to maybe get to a rope…


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


AND HE SLINGS AN ARM OVER THE BOTTOM ROPE!! Punk narrowly escapes, but his arm may not be as lucky. As Regal is forced away, Punk is again forced to clutch at his arm in intense agony. This far in the match, a target like that might just make you toast. The vigilant Dynasty Champion keeps his arm close and keeps refusing Mahoney when he says he can stop the match, opting instead to turn right back towards Regal, who goes right back to the arm. He wrenches it and pulls Punk in for a short-arm double underhook…BUTTERFLY SUPLEX!! A gorgeous move that Regal floats over and gets a cover on –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

PUNK IS STILL ALIVE!! A vicious kickout once again shows his vigor, even with just one arm. Going for the heroics that perhaps Charlie Haas couldn’t completely muster, Punk tries to grit it out and get back to his feet…but Regal is stalking him several steps away, clearing some space between them so he can rush back…FOR THE FINISHING KNEE TREMBLER…NO!! Punk spins out of the way and grabs Regal in a rear waistlock as he flies by, rolling back for a surprise VICTORY ROLL…

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Regal throws his legs up and gets out of the surprise move almost at the last minute, punching the canvas and looking back towards the on-his-knees Punk…BUT PUNK CATCHES HIM ON HIS SHOULDERS AND SETS HIM UP…EVEN WITH ONE ARM…GTS CONNECTING!!! WAIT…NO!! REGAL CAUGHT THE KNEE ON THE WAY DOWN…rolls through…AND LOCKS IN THE REGAL STRETCH AGAIN!! GTS TO THE REGAL STRETCH!! Punk is in the dead center of the ring this time and he almost has nowhere to go, the entire crowd completely duped by the counter and is again buzzing like crazy to make sure Punk doesn’t tap out. He’s got it synched in pretty deep, all the abuse Punk’s taken coming into play and not just the damage done to his arm. Will he be able to muster it all up and get to the finals…???


…………………………...........

…………………………..

Punk pulls his arm free…
……………

………
Wraps it around Regal’s head and starts pulling him over…


ANACONDA VISE!! ANACONDA VISE!! PUNK’S GOT IT LOCKED IN!! VISE FROM THE STF!! The positions are completely turned now, Punk the man who is trying his damndest to pull back and wrench an entire part of Regal’s body off, but the battle-ravaged veteran sees this as just another battle, refusing to go out very easily, especially when he’s wrapped up with a wear arm…AND STARTS CLUBBING AT IT!! Punk refuses to let go of the hold, even while getting beaten on his bad arm, but Regal keeps on pummeling…AND STRIKES PUNK IN JUST THE RIGHT SPOT TO MAKE HIM LET GO!!

The crowd dies back down once again, as Punk is back to having to tend to that left arm. He pounds the canvas in frustration and pain, Regal again making space between the two with a meticulous grin just painted on his face. He waits for Punk to get to one knee…then up, but hunched over…AND GOES FOR THE KNEE TREMBLER AGAIN…NO!!

Again, Punk sidesteps, this time sending Regal crashing into a corner, Punk jumping on this chance to get him in the headlock…AND DRIVE HIM TO THE CANVAS WITH THE BULLDOG!! HE FINALLY FINISHES THE COMBO!! Punk doesn’t immediately go for a cover, however, as he’s the one who is now stalking Regal as he tries to get back to his feet. Punk rebounds off the ropes and flies back at Regal…SHINING WIZARD!! THE SHINING WIZARD!! A move Punk hasn’t busted out since his indy days, but his weak arm forces him to his oldest finisher!! Punk covers and hooks the leg –

1…

2…

3…!!!

HERE IS YOUR WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE FINALS…CM PUNK at (15:00)

Through the power of virtually his legs alone, CM Punk manages to get the miraculous win! Punk clutches his hurt arm close to his body, barely able to receive his Dynasty Championship with it. He has to put it in his other hand as that arm is raised. Punk doesn’t stick around for very long, getting out of there as soon as possible to get some attention on his arm


Joey Styles:
HAHA!! One of my picks beats out one of yours, John!

JBL:
Yeah, but I’d hardly call that a ‘win’. CM Punk is gonna join Charlie Haas in the ‘one arm’ department thanks to that match. An’ if you think he stands a chance against HBK or Finlay with a bad arm, you’re very mistaken.

Joey Styles:
Well don’t be too sour, John. Whatever the case, CM Punk gets a measure of revenge on William Regal from the tag match last week, and in doing so, secures his arm’s health and his place in the Finals!! A fantastic match to boot, but does Punk have what it takes to keep going in the Finals?

JBL:
Short answer: no. Long answer: hell no.

Joey Styles:
AOW seems to specialize in unbiased commentary. Just remember, John, I’m one step closer to winning our bet!

JBL:
Good luck gettin’ any money out of me.

Joey Styles:
I think just being able to tell you CM Punk won the whole thing would be good enough to watch you squirm every week. And then you’d have to get in the ring with him!

JBL:
Shut up and plug the break.

Joey Styles:
Such a wonderful partner. The meticulous Regal couldn’t best it out, but he left his mark, and up next we’ve got the other Semi-Finals contest! Shawn Michaels tries to cast his demons aside and focus on facing a man who had the longest battle in the quarter-finals, the man who loves to fight – Finlay! It’s gonna be a brawl coming to you next!!


We suddenly cut backstage when we’re supposed to cut to break. The camera work is a little different from the normal cameras, almost looking like a handheld. It seems like a sort of ‘shoot’, or ‘secret’ segment. Appropriately, it’s between Paul Heyman and Shawn Michaels

Heyman:
I’m telling you this because we got lucky with Joe’s elimination.

Michaels:
And I bet you had nothing to do with that, right?

Heyman:
FOCUS! All I’m saying is we take The Mercenaries’ lead and do something…similar.

Michaels:
What? Get myself disqualified?

Heyman:
Exactly! I’ll come down, whack you with a chair or something, and you’re in the finals for sure!

Michaels:
You’re not sure I can beat Finlay? Paul, you really don’t know who you’re talking to –

Heyman:
No, I know who I’m talking to. You said you’d do anything to win. I’m trying to help you make it there. And the way you win this tournament is you reserve your stamina for the Finals. Haas wasn’t an issue, but Finlay definitely will be. I’m doing what’s best for you –

Michaels:
Because I’m what’s best for you. No. I told you – I’m contracted to you, but I am not owned by you. You should’ve learned from Montreal – I still do things my way.

Michaels pats Heyman on the neckbrace and walks away, leaving Heyman to grip at his neck in pain before watching Michaels walk away…


**COMMERCIAL BREAK**


~Back at ringside…



Joey Styles:
Well, it looked like moments ago that Paul Heyman had a plan in mind of Shawn Michaels, but Michaels turned him down from any dirty dealings in his tournament matches.

JBL:
What a flip-flopper. The guy says he’ll do anything to win an’ for that title an’ he just sits back an’ rejects exactly what he says he’s about.

Joey Styles:
Yeah, well at least we know that while Shawn Michaels may be a shell of a man that he’s usually been, he’s still Shawn Michaels and he has some kind of virtue and values.


**SEXY BOY**


Shawn Michaels is back out to a chorus of a mixed reaction, although it’s more positive. It’s a little weaker on his second appearance, much like the match before. Michaels doesn’t bother to get down on his knees this time, but he wears his stoic face to about halfway down the ramp, his conversation with Heyman still ringing in his head…when SUDDENLY HE’S STRUCK FROM BEHIND BY FINLAY!!

Finlay’s trying to even the score! He just went through a battle with Low Ki, so he jumps Michaels to bring him down to size!! But the fight it’s over with just one shot! Finlay keeps right on Michaels, BEATING HIM AGAINST THE AISLEWAY RAMP!! He then takes HBK and CRUNCHES HIM SPINE-FIRST OFF OF THE GUARD RAIL!! This isn’t just a sneak attack, it’s a sick, underhanded beatdown!!

The crowd is throwing immense heat on Finlay here, but Dave doesn’t seem to care, keeping Michaels in his clutches, knocking blow after blow to his head…BUT THEN MICHAELS STARTS FIGHTING BACK!! The crowd starts warming back up, trying to cheer and support Michaels, but one shot to the spine from Finlay puts an end to that. As they finally make their way to the ringside area, Finlay takes Michaels and WHIPS HIM HARD, BACK-FIRST INTO THE STEEL RING STEPS!!

The oft-cited back injury of Shawn Michaels is getting picked all to pieces here, and all the air is seemingly leaving the room with every time Michaels has to grit his teeth through the pain. Referee Justin King is all over Finlay right now, telling him to step away from Michaels so he can assess his health, but Finlay expresses this by completely ignoring the ref and CHUNKING MICHAELS AGAIN INTO THE GUARD RAIL!!

Michaels’ back could be broken again, Finlay looking down and smirking at his handiwork with his purple lip still very visible and adding that perverse element yet again. He absorbs all the heat he’s getting for this vicious onslaught, taking Michaels and rolling him into the ring now, telling King he’s ‘ready to start now’. King opts instead to go check on Michaels to see if he’s even able to get to his feet, which he can’t do without the aid of the ring ropes.

The buzzing crowd is chanting for HBK to go on, but they suddenly become a chorus of boos when we look up the ramp and see that PAUL HEYMAN is coming on down the ramp. Heyman, looking to personally save his investment, is scuttling with worry all the way to ringside. He’s talking with the referee about Shawn’s condition, with King saying he doesn’t recommend Michaels keep going. Heyman is saying “I agree with you” in his usual exaggerated Paul Heyman meter, both men trying to convince Shawn to walk out…

…but that’s not the Shawn Michaels way, is it? The rebellious Michaels shoves the referee away and gets in Heyman’s face, telling him that “I can win no matter WHAT”. Heyman is shaking his head, almost whispering to Michaels that ‘the plan can still be on’. Michaels, fighting through pain wrapping every inch of his body, just turns and looks at Heyman with a scowl befitting an enraged gunman, staring Heyman down so that he gets the point. Heyman steps away, nothing but fear in his eyes, as Michaels uses the ring ropes to climb to his feet. As Michaels gets up, Heyman again scuttles around to the other side of the ring around the announcer’s area.

As he does that, Michaels is back up, leaning all over the ropes and the turnbuckle. He’s tending to his back and gritting his teeth, yelling at Black Referee to start the match. He keeps asking Michaels if he’s sure, Michaels more than certain with ailing back and all. Finlay is smirking and grinning his ass off as the defiant Michaels stands up enough for the referee to call for the bell

~Dynasty Tournament Semi-Final~
Shawn Michaels
v.
Finlay


And as soon as the bell rings, Finlay explodes out of the gate, but SHAWN MICHAELS RUSHES ACROSS THE RING AND HITS FINLAY WITH THE LOU THESZ PRESS!! MICHAELS IS KNOCKING RIGHT HANDS OFF OF FINLAY’S SKULL!! The crowd is right back in the white hot realm, Finlay barely managing to push Michaels off of his body. HBK tries to roll to his feet, but he isn’t so limber, as his back immediately starts to act up, which gets him a CLOTHESLINE FROM FINLAY!!

Michaels has to roll away to a corner for recovery, Finlay having to create some separation too because Michaels might have hit his already tender lip. As Michaels tries to bring himself back up, Paul Heyman slips in out of the corner of our eye…AND HE’S RAISED A STEEL CHAIR AND IS ABOUT TO HIT MICHAELS…but Justin King sees him and stops him right before he can get Michaels intentionally disqualified!

Heyman is trying to reason with his referee, Michaels spinning away from the corner and staring at his ‘owner’. Heyman still wanted to do things his way. King is asking Heyman to leave the ring, but with everybody and their attention on Paul Heyman…FINLAY SMASHES SHAWN MICHAELS IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH THE SHILLELAGH! Where did Finlay get that?? Finlay throws his Irish staff away, clearing it as King realizes there’s a cover in the process, Heyman nearly losing his shit –

1…

2…

3…!!!

NO!!

MICHAELS KICKS OUT!! HOW IN THE HELL?? After the vicious onslaught and getting plunked right in the head by Finlay’s infamous shillelagh, Shawn Michaels still has enough fight in him! How badly does Shawn Michaels want to win this tournament? At that, how bad does he want to spite Heyman by winning it ‘his’ way?? Whatever the reasons, the crowd has exploded for HBK’s still lifeless body, Finlay looking like he’s just stabbed a man who just kept walking. He looks at the referee and asks him if it was a three count, Hebner saying his hand never came down the win. He looks back at Michaels with a near petrified expression and simply mouths ‘you sure?’ Michaels’ resiliency in what could be the opening minutes seem to have legitimately spooked Finlay so bad, he’s broken his usual demeanor.

Outside the ring, Paul Heyman is just as stupefied at the resiliency of his chosen champion, but King retorts to Heyman that “Mr. Heyman, Shawn asked you to leave!” Is Black Referee kicking Heyman out? Even if he’s not entirely, Heyman begins to make his way back towards the ramp. Maybe now he realizes exactly who he’s dealing with in the Iron Man. Does he really have the capabilities and did Heyman almost just cost his ‘chosen one’ the title he so covets? With all these things in mind, Heyman, still with a somewhat shocked look on his face, leaves the ringside area and actually doesn’t garner much attention because everyone’s still buzzing that HBK isn’t dead yet

Finlay shakes off his shock and remembers what’s at stake here, snatching Michaels’ still limp body and pulling his dead weight all the way up and bringing him on his shoulders, looking for the CELTIC CROSS…NO!! Michaels manages to slip behind Finlay and roll him over for a SUNSET PIN…

1…

2…

3-NO!!

Michaels almost pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes there, still trying to fight as hard as he can, but Finlay meets him upon recovery by BLASTING HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE!! Michaels goes down hard and falls right back down on that head and back that have been picked apart so far here. The crowd deflates along with Michaels’ chances, and even Paul Heyman who has stuck around on the entrance stage despite being told to get the hell outta here. He stands in pure fear, Michaels’ resiliency possibly gone here as Finlay covers Shawn –

1…

2…

3-NO!!

MICHAELS ROLLS A SHOULDER!! HBK WILL NOT DIE!! Michaels still doesn’t have much, if any life in him, but he has more than enough to keep going! Maybe it’s divine intervention or maybe it’s just the will to live, but the match will keep going. Finlay takes Michaels and starts dragging him back to his feet for something else, taking Michaels back up ON HIS SHOULDERS…but Michaels slips off, turns Finlay around…and hits him with the knife-edge CHOP(Woooo!) Michaels lights him up with another CHOP(Wooooo!)

He has enough gusto to try and whip Finlay into the ropes, but the sturdy Finlay reverses it and bounces Michaels off the ropes…only to hit the FLYING FOREARM! The crowd pops when they see the move, but as Michaels lays eagle-spread on the canvas, there’s no real sign of life in his body. The crowd keeps buzzing, expecting the Showstopper to pop back up like always…but he just lies there. Nothing. No movement. Even Finlay is moving before Michaels even stirs, the Irishman shakes the cobwebs out, looking at the downed body of Michaels…ONLY FOR MICHAELS TO HIT THE KIP UP!! The crowd roars and Finlay is so surprised, he stumbles a few steps back!

Even with the overdramatic pause before the kip-up, Michaels isn’t 100%, getting up and tending to his back, which prompts Finlay to regain himself and charge right at Michaels…only to eat an INVERTED ATOMIC DROP!! Michaels knocks Finlay down after that with a nice clothesline, but Finlay springs right back up into Shawn’s grasp…AND MICHAELS HITS A SPINEBUSTER!!

A surprising move, but it’s not anything like Triple H’s or anything, but regardless, Finlay is down and Michaels is all kinds of pumped back up now, even a small smirk coming onto the face of Paul Heyman all the way up the ramp. Michaels climbs through the ropes and heads to the top, his back still acting up, but Shawn pushing through it all…DIVING ELBOW DROP!! RIGHT TO THE BLACK HEART OF THE IRISHMAN!!

Michaels is given a completely new life, thrashing around in excitement, the entire Vegas strip in the palm of his hand. The crowd is roaring the roof off the building, as Michaels shakes off his back problems and ventures over to a corner, watching the tough Irish bastard struggle to get to a vertical base, HBK starting to TUNE UP THE BAND…

BOOM!!



BOOM!!



BOOM!!



BOOM!!



BOOM!!


……
………

SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! SWEET CHIN MUSIC CONNECTS…WITH THE REFEREE!! FINLAY PULLED IN THE REFEREE AT THE LAST SECOND!!! All the buzz leaves the arena and there’s immense heat being thrown at Finlay, Michaels seeing just what he’s done, freezing all action to see his chances of winning the match right now fall with the zebra. When Michaels remembers there’s an ‘undefeated’ guy in front of him, he turns to face him…FINLAY STRIKES WITH THE SHILLELAGH…NO!! Michaels ducks the blow from the staff…AND HITS FINLAY WITH SWEET CHIN MUSIC ANYWAY!! FINLAY IS COMPLETELY KNOCKED OUT…BUT SO IS THE REFEREE!!

Michaels collapses to try and cover Finlay, but he knows the ref is still down, crawling over to him and trying his damndest to shake some life back in to him, scream at him, pull at him – anything to get this guy up and counting. We look over to Heyman up on the ramp who looks like he’s about to cry…when he realizes something. His eyes grow wide as he starts rushing down the ramp as best his portly body can, pointing at himself and saying “HEY! I CAN MAKE THE COUNT!” The fans are buzzing considerably as Heyman returns, many of them hearing when he’s saying and cheering on that the match might be able to end here!

Heyman slides into the ring and tells Michaels to cover Finlay, but before he can even begin any kind of count, Michaels GRABS HIS BOSS AND OWNER BY THE COLLAR and tells him that “I told you to leave!”

“But I can make the count for you! I’m the Commander in Chief!”

“I told you we do things my way, by myself!”

“But you said you’d win at whatever cost! Whatever, however it takes! Just let me count!”

“NO!!”

“WHY THE HELL NOT!?!

“Because I remember the last time you counted for me!”

Oooooh. The crowd heard that one and reacts accordingly, as does Heyman, who is shut up quite quickly by the retort. Michaels then continues when he tells Heyman to ‘call another referee’. Heyman looks dejected and pissed, but he’s biting his lip. He rolls out of the ring and starts walking back up the ramp, making motions with his hands to bring down a new ref. As Heyman does his actual Commander duties, Michaels turns around to see Finlay SMASH HIM IN THE BACK WITH THE SHILLELAGH…AND THEN SQUARE IN THE TEMPLE!! MICHAELS IS IN A CRUMPLED HEAT!! Heyman just now turns around and doesn’t see it, the new official, Brian Hebner, just coming through the curtain and not seeing it either.

The heat is damn near ungodly at this point, as Finlay dispatches the evidence as Hebner approaches the ring. But it looks like Finlay wants to make sure Michaels has no hope of coming back to life again like he has time and time again, taking the already shillelagh sucker punched Icon and putting him up on and over his shoulders…CELTIC CROSS!! An absolutely deflating Celtic Cross that only prompts more heat from the Grand, Finlay floating over and covering as the disappointed Heyman looks on, shaking his head –

1…

2…

3…!!!

HERE IS YOUR WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE FINALS…FINLAY at (8:54)
Entire Segment: (14:01)


Finlay rolls off of Michaels’ body and rubs at his jaw, possibly still feeling the Sweet Chin Music. Even so, he has no problem getting his hand raised to a gorgeous array of heat. Paul Heyman hasn’t stopped staring a hole in HBK.

Joey Styles:
Shawn Michaels chances of winning the AOW Championship just went up in smoke…and it’s all thanks to Finlay.

JBL:
Oh get your head outta your ass. Shawn Michaels screwed Shawn Michaels. He said he would do anything an’ what does he do? Reject everything.

Joey Styles:
Well maybe his heart wasn’t entirely in it…?

JBL:
Then he shouldn’t be here an’ he should just retire. If you’re heart’s not in this thing completely, what’re you doin’ here?

Joey Styles:
But that’s also to say nothing of Finlay, who did nothing here to set aside the rumors that he’s lost a step. He pounded on Shawn Michaels before anything could even get started!

JBL:
He was just tryin’ to soften up Michaels a little bit so he could bring Shawn down to his level. An eighteen minute match an’ a seven minute match are two different levels of exhaustion, Joey.

Joey Styles:
That may be so, but coming up next is a man who has had his heart in everything. He’s had it there so much, that Chris Jericho has done everything to try and manipulate him back to madness…and he just might have succeeded. Coming up after the break, AOW World Heavyweight Champion Christian Cage has a meeting in the middle of the ring with a network executive to see if he can get permission to face Chris Jericho next week in a Last Man Standing match.

JBL:
Good luck tryin’ to change the mind of a corporate floozy.

Joey Styles:
You’re tellin’ me. I have to commentate with one every week.

Michaels is just now recovering from his wounds, being helped up by the referee. He rolls under the bottom rope to a solid ovation, but he looks Heyman right in the disappointed face. Even in a neckbrace, Heyman shakes his head disapprovingly at Michaels’ actions, but HBK doesn’t seem to care, listening more intently for the audience’s applause. He walks back up the ramp alone, knowing he might have to pay for all this…


**COMMERCIAL BREAK**


~We return with the image of Mick Foley standing in the middle of the ring. Mick’s wearing his signature flannel. But beside him is a man in a business suit who looks like he doesn’t really want to be there


Foley:
Hiya folks, I’m “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley, the Acting Commander for Wednesday Night Oblivion…

Foley can’t finish speaking because he’s receiving a huge pop from the Vegas crowd, a few “FOLEY!” chants going around

Foley:
…thank you. And with me here tonight is the Advocate to the CEO of FX, Mr. Jordan Gilmartin.

And Mr. Gilmartin is greeted with a very appropriate round of heat

Foley:
I’m sure he appreciates that warm welcome because he came all the way to be in person right here, in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Foley peers into the camera and gives a thumbs up, the crowd giving him his standard cheap pop

Foley:
Now, Mr. Gilmartin is here to listen in and represent the network that hosts our promotion. But most of all, he’s here to listen the case of one man in particular who has a special request. I present and introduce ‘The Instant Classic’, your AOW World Heavyweight Champion…CHRISTIAN CAGE!!


“GO!!!”

**JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES**

And one of, if not the biggest pop of the night sounds off as CHRISTIAN CAGE bursts through the curtain. He isn’t able to look out at Vegas to find his ‘Peeps’…but that’s because in one hand he’s holding the AOW World Heavyweight Championship on one shoulder and holding STEEL CHAIR IN THE OTHER. We see Finlay actually gulp when he sees that sight, but Cage doesn’t crack anything resembling a smile or intimidation as he marches down the ramp


Joey Styles:
Welcome back to Rise of a Dynasty where Christian Cage has popped the roof off the MGM Grand Garden!

JBL:
These people love this guy! Even when he’s completely off of his rocker again!

Joey Styles:
I’m sure he’s more than sane to be able to talk to this network executive, Mr. Gilmartin.

JBL:
Not with that steel chair I don’t think he is.

Christian slides into the ring, Foley almost stepping between he and the executive as Christian plays to the crowd a little bit on the corners until his music fades and he’s face to face with Foley and the man who will listen to his case

Foley:
Uh, Christian, with all due respect, I don’t think it’s advisable that you…uh…y’know…

Foley keeps motioning to the steel chair. Cage just looks at Foley with cold eyes before TAKING THE CHAIR BY THE EXECUTIVE…and opening it up, setting it behind the suited gentlemen. With a free hand, Christian is handed a microphone

Christian:
I might be just a little bit out of my mind, fellas, but the one thing I’m not is irrational. I was just making sure that Mr. Gilmartin would be at least comfortable while he listens. So I got him a chair.

Buzz from the crowd, as Foley nods in acceptance, understanding this stance

Foley:
Mr. Gilmartin, by now I’m sure you know the terms Mr. Cage is trying to push. He would like to defend his AOW World Heavyweight Championship next week, on broadcast, free television, in a Last Man Standing Match against Chris Jericho with myself as Special Guest Referee.

Gilmartin:
Yes, I understand.

Christian:
With one extra condition.

Both Foley and Gilmartin are taken aback

Foley:
One extra what…?

Gilmartin:
Are you adding to your request, Mr. Cage…?

Christian:
Yeah. I guess I am. Because I’m not sure if you know just how much I hate Chris Jericho’s very existence, Mr. Gilmartin, but I want to add the special request of…and I know that this is digging me deeper into a pit I’m not sure I can dig out of…but I don’t want to be able to win the match…until Chris Jericho is bleeding

WHAT!? The crowd pops for that proposition, but Foley is fearfully taken aback, while Mr. Gilmartin’s eyes are popping out of his face

Foley:
Surely, surely, Christian, you’re merely exaggerating your intent to show Mr. Gilmartin just how passionate you are.

Christian:
Mick, you know as well as I do that I’m not exaggerating any feelings when it comes to Chris Jericho and my AOW title.

Cage stares down Foley, who appears to drop his arbitrator ruse

Foley:
Alright, Mr. Gilmartin, Christian wants to beat the holy high hell out of Chris Jericho until he bleeds and can’t stand and I want a front row seat to see it. Are we gonna make that happen or what?

And the crowd both laughs and cheers loudly for Foley pretty much laying it down. Even Cage has to smile, mouthing to Mick ‘I thought that was my line’

Gilmartin:
The idea…sounds a bit much. But I and the rest of the executives are very much open to you trying to convince us that it’s exactly what we need.

A bit of heat, although this is a reasonable statement

Christian:
Mr. Gilmartin, it’s my understanding that you guys up in the Big Wig corps have been watching AOW rather closely because of some of the…questionable content and decisions we seem to have made over the course of the year. But does that mean you have to deprive people of what they really want? Because quite frankly, I could list reason after reason why this should happen, but I’ll just give you 12,000 reasons.

Cage lifts his microphone and points it at the crowd, who executes yet another ENORMOUS pop, a “CHRISTIAN CAGE! CHRISTIAN CAGE!” chant bursting out

Christian:
Buuuuut just in case that’s not enough for you, let me just reiterate a few things – Chris Jericho has manipulated and controlled every single member of that locker room. From the pretty blonde you met back there, Torrie Wilson, all the way up to our administration, Mr. Foley and Mr. Heyman. Now that’s not saying we’re inept in any way, that’s a testament to just how far this guy will go in his thirst for power.

Mr. Gilmartin nods his head

Christian:
And as for me? Jericho’s made my life a living hell because of his thirst for power because I was the man who knew all his plans. But then I thwarted him. I took him off his godly throne and reminded him he’s as much a man as any of us. And then…he got worse.

The crowd buzzes as Christian starts pacing a bit

Christian:
Now that you know our brief history, I’ll just have you know that the reason I want this match is to stop him. Because if I don’t, then I’m not sure who else will or even can. And while what goes on in this ring might not mean a damn thing to you, Mr. Gilmartin, let me give you a little more insight on who we are as a roster and the men I am representing –

Christian gets in the face of the sitting executive

Christian:
Most of us don’t have anything else but wrestling. If I got fired today, I’d probably have to go back to working my ass off at Subway. CM Punk and Finlay, the two guys who are in the finals of the Dynasty Tournament tonight? Both of them have been wrestling since high school. They know nothing else. Hell, Kofi Kingston’s in the back, he doesn’t have a match, but he’s here. He’s got a Communications degree he hates with all his heart. Why does he hate it and why is he here? Because his heart is dead set on wrestling.

A big pop there for everyone, Christian putting over the roster as he stands straight up now

Christian:
I can go on and on. Jamie Noble’s been doing this and not getting the props he deserves for just as long as I have. Rey Mysterio put up a hellova fight tonight and he always has because he’s been wrestling since he was sixteen. Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Nick Nameth, Jake Hagar – all of them NCAA level athletes, knowing nothing but wrestling and competition before they even knew Shakespeare.

Another brief pop, only brief because Christian keeps on going because he’s on fire

Christian:
Bryan Danielson, a guy they called the ‘Best in the World’, had to work the independent circuit no matter how good he was because he’s not a ‘marketable’. Samoa Joe, a guy who has been undefeated in North America for damn near three years, still had to work his ass off to get here tonight. Aero Star, Brent Albright, Tyler Black, Matt Sydal, all young guys that other promotions lost faith in and we picked them up because they still want to do this with all their heart!

Christian’s damn near screaming he’s so intense at this, the crowd roaring and allowing Cage to settle back down. He breathes heavily as another chant in his name starts getting kicked up, as Mick even has to ask Cage if ‘your head is in the right place’.

Christian:
Oh, and don’t get me started on how many tables, cages, and shards of barbed wire that have gone through this sick bastard’s body to prove he loves doing this.

And another pop for Foley, who can do nothing but smile

Christian:
So you see, Mr. Gilmartin, there’s far too many of us who have nothing else but these four corners, these ropes, and that ramp and some straps of gold to our name. We’re lost without all that and we’ll give hell to anyone who tries to take it away from us and carve it in their image. But Chris Jericho? Jericho’s not completely sold here. Sure, he’s paid some dues, but you know what would happen to him if he got fired? He’d go on tour with his piece of crap band.

“Oooooh!” from the crowd, but it gets lost in a bit of a wild pop as well

Christian:
He’d probably use all his power, his influences over everyone and he’d probably work his way up some corrupt corporate ladder…hell, y’know what, if you’re not careful, Mr. Gilmartin, it’s gonna be Chris Jericho manipulating the ladders over at FOX and FX and maybe, just maybe, he’ll threaten your mother and try to take your job.

Mr. Gilmartin audibly gulps as the crowd lets out another “Oooooh…”

Christian:
So, Mr. Big Wig, if you don’t allow me to stop Chris Jericho, you’re not just putting yourself and your own network at risk, but you’re also spitting in the face of everything that I and every guy in the back stand for.

Christian gets passionate all over again

Christian:
We came to AOW to avoid the politics, to avoid the networking, and just do what we do best in the ring. If you veto me bludgeoning this man, no matter how much I might doubt myself at times…I’d rather think what’s best for the network is not having an entire locker room of rioting, protesting guys who have done nothing with our entire lives except perfect the craft of ripping men apart with our own two hands.

Cage is in the face of the executive, who has to loosen his tie while the crowd blows the roof off the joint again

Christian:
That’s how badly I want this and that’s how badly they want this. We want it, the people want it…all you got to do is give the green light.

The crowd is buzzing considerably, the very chaotic but organized crowd eventually forming a new chant “GIVE US THIS MATCH! *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP* “GIVE US THIS MATCH!”

Gilmartin:
This man is that powerful that he puts your very way of living at risk? Is this true, Mr. Foley?

Foley:
Every word.

Gilmartin actually laughs to himself before standing and meeting Christian almost eye to eye

Gilmartin:
Mr. Cage, is it? I think the meddling of our network might have been a little overstated or just flat our misunderstood. See, we are closely examining AOW in terms of what you all do legally. As in lawsuits and the like – to make sure none of us get in trouble.

Cage nods his head as a very vague “WE WANT BANKS!” chant kicks up, but doesn’t gain much steam

Gilmartin:
But as far as the network as a whole, FX actually has a mantra regarding our programing. We love and endorse audacious, inspired programs and promotions that push the envelope and that, quite frankly, aren’t afraid to smash the lines, break glass ceilings. And that’s a criteria that AOW and it’s subsequent programming fit like a glove.

Christian’s face lights up for the very first time in this segment, as does Foley’s. The crowd has a happy pop as well, Mr. Gilmartin’s smile growing wider

Gilmartin:
So on behalf of FX, Mr. Cage, you can have your match next week. You can have your guest referee. And you can have your special stipulation.

…and the crowd absolutely ROARS. Cage has the biggest smile on his face since he actually won the AOW title, as he watches Foley shake hands enthusiastically with the corporate stooge. Mr. Gilmartin then turns to shake hands with Christian…

Joey Styles:
It looks like we’re gonna have ourselves a bloodbath next week! Christian Cage versus Chris Jericho for the AOW title in a Last Man Standing match, Foley as referee, and Chris Jericho has to be bleeding before Cage wins?? You wanna talk about must see TV!

JBL:
That’s why we businessmen are so smart, Joey. Chalk one up for the Big Wigs!

…but then suddenly the lights go out…

…and a spotlight is seen on the entrance stage. A man with a three-piece suit on is sitting, straddling a chair, but he has a hood over his head. Before we can process the entire image, an all too familiar voice rings out…


Jericho:
Chriiiiiiistian…Chriiiiiistian…

AND CHRISTIAN CAGE SMASHES JERICHO RIGHT IN THE FACE AND OUT OF THE CHAIR!!! HOLY COW!! Evidently, Cage did bring the executives’ chair for something because he snatched it up and bolted up the ramp the second the lights went dark! He knew what might be coming!

Christian’s eyes are damn near rabid as Jericho is lain out in front of him, the crowd cheering wildly. Jericho tries to get up, only for Christian to SMASH HIM THE SPINE AND SEND HIM BACK DOWN!! Cage isn’t playing any games here! He takes the chair he’s holding it and places it flat on the ramp, making sure to stay in the spotlight. He rolls Jericho onto it, Cage then taking the chair that Jericho was sitting in…and taking it in his hands. Christian positions himself to face the camera and look down the ramp, the entire Vegas strip popping their heads off for a little preview.

“No…LET MET SEE YOUR FACE!!”

Christian pulls off the hood Jericho’s wearing…



…ALEX RILEY!?!? WHAT THE HELL IS ALEX RILEY DOING UNDER THE HOOD!? Cage is beating up a decoy! Christian stares fiercely at the body of the kid he’s beating up, starting to look around to see if maybe Jericho’s still around him…but then he hears his voice elsewhere…


Jericho:
Tsk tsk tsk…Christian. I know we know each other so well, but this is insulting, even for you. That was so…predictable.

Cage turns around to see a second spotlight in the still dark arena, flashing up in one of the VIP boxes high up in the arena. Jericho is indeed in a three-piece suit, the same one it looks like he hasn’t removed or cleaned in quite some time, just smirking like the deviant strategist he is

Jericho:
I mean by now, you should know that I would never hide in plain sight with you. No. You should know I am and always will be just one…step…ahead.

Immense heat now, as everyone picks up just where Jericho is. Christian is seething as he looks at him, leaving both men the only spotlights in the dark…like the Earth and Moon against the backdrop of the universe…

Jericho:
But I suppose I should be thanking you for being so predictable. I knew your new ‘madman with responsibility’ persona would lead you to do all the work for me. Everything from trying to prove yourself worthy to getting enraged enough to actually get the go-ahead from the higher ups to get your deathmatch of choice.

Cage is grinding his teeth, his eyes slowly going right back to Moonman intensity

Jericho:
But then again, you knew that. You said it yourself last week. But that’s why it’s so funny to me. Just like you were all those months ago, you knew exactly what I was trying to do and knew exactly how to stop it…and yet you still let me play you like a busted violin.

Another incredible round of heat

Jericho:
And now you’ve dug yourself in an even deeper hole than one could ever imagine. Except, of course, the one I knew you’d dig yourself into. Christian, your little pity party full of self-doubt leaves you completely and utterly inferior to my worthiness. I think it’s cute how you intend to ‘become a monster to fight monsters’. Because you’ll never be worthy enough to do such a thing.

Christian reaches down and realizes that Riley had a microphone on him and even though he was a decoy, his stick works

Christian:
No. You’re wrong.

And the crowd finally has something to cheer about again

Christian:
I don’t doubt isn’t anything in regards to you. I doubt whether I’m the champion I promised to be to this company and all those men in the locker room. That’s what I doubt. I have no doubt where I stand in regards to you. I pinned you for that AOW Championship, oh Master of War. I already know, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that I am better than you.

Another huge pop, as Jericho seems to develop the first frown he’s had in this segment

Christian:
And next week, in front of the crowd that you tried to brainwash for months that gave me my redemption…I’m gonna finish what I started with you. At The Outer Limits, I pinned you and gave you a crimson mask. I proved a ‘god’ could bleed. But next week in that Last Man Standing match…I’m gonna prove that a god can bleed…to death.

The crowd roars in approval, Christian lowering his microphone as the crowd starts chanting his name…only for the sound of Jericho’s laughter to cut through all of that and silence the crowd before getting more heat


Jericho:
And how do you plan to do that? How can you, oh Savior, prove yourself to others when you don’t even completely believe in yourself? You’ve already let this company down. You’ve let your beloved roster-mates down. You’ve even let your own mother down.

Cage’s face flinches. Jericho’s struck a definite nerve again

Jericho:
No, there’s more than one way to rule the world. What this company…what my company…deserves isn’t some existentialist quandary driven false prophet. It deserves an undisputed, unconquerable Worthy Champion once again. And Christian, how can you be a worthy savior to all those people…when you can’t even save yourself?

Jericho gets another round of intense and unbridled nuclear heat, as Christian actually doesn’t have a comeback for that…but he does still have a steel chair and an unconscious Alex Riley at his feet. He drops his microphone and takes the steel chair in both hands…

…raise it up over his head while seething mad…

POOM~!!

Suddenly, the spotlights go out but in the dark instant, we hear A CON CHAIR TO CLASHING…only for the lights to be lifted and we see not only has Jericho disappeared from his VIP box, but Alex Riley has mysteriously disappeared as well, meaning Christian didn’t hit anything.

All we get in this image is that one week before perhaps the biggest match of his life, Christian Cage has once again been played like a fiddle by the man he hates the most, reducing him to his knees and madness consuming his eyes as we fade away…



**COMMERCIAL BREAK**


~Ringside, commentating booth…

Joey Styles:
Uh…ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to an AOW special Supershow, Rise of a Dynasty, where we’re just about to get to our main event being the Finals of the Dynasty Tournament, but as we just saw right in front of us, next week, we might have an even bigger match.

JBL:
Might be? After what we just saw, we’re givin’ away stuff for free!

Joey Styles:
We are and it’ll be a philosophical clash of put-up, shut-up, or perhaps bleed-out because next week here on Oblivion it has been confirmed by Christian, Mick Foley, the FX executives, everyone it needs to be confirmed by. It’ll be Christian Cage defending his AOW World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho in a Last Man Standing match with Mick Foley as the Special Guest Referee.

JBL:
Don’t forget the added strip that that idiot wanted to tack on.

Joey Styles:
I wouldn’t call Christian an idiot by any stretch. The man is driven, almost consumed by his responsibility as champion and as this ‘savior’, but the special stipulation is that Christian Cage actually cannot win the match until Chris Jericho is already bleeding. That gives Jericho a huge advantage because the referee won’t start the 10-count knockout count until Cage has already busted Jericho open

JBL:
That was beautiful. Jericho played Christian like a bad poker hand, got him to jump every hurtle for himself, all of that just so he can get another crack at the title that still belongs to him.

Joey Styles:
You gotta be kidding me, John. Jericho’s strategic mind is unparalleled, I’ll admit that, but to say he still deserves anything beyond a special place in Hell, let alone the AOW World Championship, is just downright absurd.

JBL:
Shun you, nonbeliever. The God of Gods will return to his throne an’ Christian has no one to blame that from happening except himself.

Joey Styles:
We’ll see when Jericho is carted out of here looking as mortal as ever with blood gushing from his face. (Gathers himself)
Well now we’ll turn our attention to the fact that it’s time for the Finals in the AOW Dynasty Tournament. Both CM Punk and Finlay have proven their worth, but now it’s going to have to be only one.

JBL:
The lights are on bright on the Vegas strip an’ now it’s time for one of the biggest matches on the entire AOW calendar!

Joey Styles:
That’s right, John, but let’s take a look back at both men’s journeys.


CM Punk
~‘RoaD’ to the Finals~
Round of 32 – Def. Lance Storm via Anaconda Vise @ 8:44
Sweet Sixteen – Def. Shelton Benjamin via victory roll @ 13:34
Quarter-Finals – Def. Rey Mysterio via GTS @ 11:39
Semi-Finals – Def. William Regal via Shining Wizard @ 15:00


Finlay
~‘RoaD’ to the Finals~
Round of 32 - Def. Paul London via second rope Celtic Cross @ 9:30
Bye in Sweet Sixteen
Quarter-Finals – Def. Low Ki via Celtic Cross @ 18:24
Semi-Finals – Def. Shawn Michaels via Celtic Cross @ 8:54


Joey Styles:
Both men boasting incredible resumes to this point, but I will point out that CM Punk has won every leg of the tournament with a different move. That’s pretty versatile if you ask me.

JBL:
That doesn’t matter because he’s goin’ up against Mr. Consistency himself, Dave Finlay. He’s brutal, he’s always been brutal, an’ the only guys that’ve ever done him in are nowhere to be found on this bracket anymore. If Punk thinks he has any kind of chance, he has a better chance at gettin’ drunk on his lifestyle.

Joey Styles:
It’s one of Bradshaw’s picks versus one of my own. But which man will be able to brave the storm off all the damage he’s taken tonight and walk out as the winner of the 2008 Dynasty Tournament?


**MISERE CANTARE – THE BEGINNING**


And here comes CM PUNK once again, his Dynasty Championship around his belt, his left arm taped up at the elbow, bicep, and forearm to try and keep it sturdy. Punk looks out towards the Vegas strip with wide eyes. He windmills his hurt arm before kneeling and checking his wrist for the third time tonight…but then he also peeks behind him to check for another sneak attack. Punk’s had a few run in with those in the past and in regards to the earlier match, but no one is coming. No matter how late it gets, it curiously always seems to be the same time for the Dynasty Champion – “IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!!”


Joey Styles:
We talked about it earlier, John, that there’s a difference between wrestling ‘hurt’ and wrestling ‘injured’. Punk’s been through hell already tonight with two matches from two opponents with completely different styles. Is Punk worse for wear in this match?

JBL:
Everybody’s worse for wear when you’re about to be in your third match of the evening. But the only think Punk’s got goin’ for him is that he’s wrestling hurt an’ not injured like Charlie Haas was. Punk’s bandaged up an’ looks like he’s healin’, but somethin’ tells me that’s not gonna stop Finlay from trying to rip that thing off his torso for the win. Plus, I wouldn’t mind if he did just in general.

Punk circles the ring, pumping his bad arm to churn it into good standing, rolling around his wrists, all kinds of things to get himself pumped and get this crowd behind him. There’s strong “CM PUNK!!” chants going on while Punk is getting pumped, which causes him to go to a turnbuckle to play to the crowd some more, raising his Dynasty Championship high.


“MY NAME IS FINLAY. AN’ I LOVE TO FIGHT”

**LAMBEG**

And coming on through once again to even greater heat than he has already gotten tonight, Finlay walks in with his trusty shillelagh in hand. His lip seems to still be purple and not fully healed, but he doesn’t care, coming down the ramp with no real expression on his face. He sets his shillelagh in a corner and looks to hop up on the apron…but then Punk makes a MOVE LIKE HE’S GOING TO RUN AT FINLAY…but Punk stops, causing Finlay to move out of the way of a suicide dive that never comes. Punk now has a cocky little smirk, the smartass trying to maybe get in the head of the Irishman


JBL:
Oh look at this smartass. He’s gonna pay for that, mark my words. Even if I don’t say so, I sure as hell bet Finlay will.

Joey Styles:
I think it’s a good strategy, John. Getting in your opponent’s head at this stage in the game might take some of the edge off of trying to wear him down physically because you’ve already done it mentally.

JBL:
I’m sure he won’t be playin’ games when he’s beaten like the mule he is by my Irish bastard. Kill him, Dave! Make him wish he was an alcoholic!!


Finlay does eventually make it in and makes it to the corner with his shillelagh in it, staring right at Punk with intense and stoic eyes, ready for a fight. Punk’s smirk has now disappeared and transformed into the same thing, cocking his head and staring at Finlay with eyes that burn a thousand fires to survive in the Finals.


**DING DING DING**



Chimel:
The following contest is the 2008 AOW Dynasty Tournament Finals!


A HUGE pop that says we’re at the very end of the evening


Chimel:
Introducing first…from Chicago, Illinois, weighting in at 221 pounds…he is the current longest reigning AOW Dynasty Champion…the Second City Saint – CEEEE EEEMM PUUUUNK!!


Punk gets another big ovation as he steps forward and crosses his forearms in front of him, his taped X’s showing everyone what he’s all about.


Chimel:
And the opponent…from Belfast Ireland, weighing in at 236 pounds…he has never been pinned and never been made to submit in sanctioned matches…the Fighting Irishman - FINLAAAAAYYY!!


Finlay steps forward and raises a fist before taking it and pounding it against his chest, roaring across Vegas to a great deal of heat. Finlay ignores it and retreats back to his corner, staring right back at Punk. It’s time for the big one.


~GRAND FINAL~
Finlay
v.
CM Punk


Punk and Joe stay in their respective corners and stare into each other from across the ring. The MGM Grand is getting the roof blown off from the reactions and the hype for both men. They’ve both been through war and through hell just to get here. This is their moment. One of these men will silence their doubters and finally break through this final leg of war. Neither man has any sort of expression on their face other than sheer intensity, their stern looks burning holes through one another. Only one man can walk away from this…and Punk GOES FOR BROKE AND LUNGES AT FINLAY…but the Irishman has seen that strategy already tonight and is on guard, shoving Punk back through the flurry of punches.

Punk rolls back to his knees, the game hitting a re-start with Finlay establishing that he doesn’t want that high-paced shit. No, he’s gonna wrestle his match. And all Punk can do is wipe his mouth off and nod his head, perhaps understanding that. Punk gets back to his feet and…starts clapping? Even this late in the night and been through so much action, Punk’s still a bit of a smartass. When Punk stops clapping he straight motions for Finlay to come at him in the middle of the ring. “Come on, Ireland.” Finlay cocks his neck and cracks his knuckles while circling Punk. Punk makes sure he doesn’t give Finlay his back, already knowing what the consequences of that might be, circling in place and following Finlay…BEFORE BOTH MEN FINALLY LOCK UP!!

But even though Punk got the lock-up he wanted, Finlay is the stronger man and forces Punk to backpedal and DRIVES him towards the corner Finlay was in moments ago, but both men are still in their tight lock-up. Ray Ramsey asks Finlay to get off of Punk, and damn near tears Finlay off himself when Finlay starts tugging at Punk’s hair, but Ramsey doesn’t have to do much once Punk gets his legs up and pushes Finlay away. The men change roles now, as Finlay is the man shoved away back to the center of the ring.

Ramsey finishes admonishing Finlay, Punk still leaning in the corner and adjusting his tape. But now it’s Finlay’s turn to play badass smartass and yell at Punk to “Come on, Chicago!” Punk has to now shake himself out and get back in there…but before he goes rushing back in, he feels something with his foot. Still tucked away in Finlay’s corner from earlier is…his shillelagh. Punk realizes what’s in the corner with him, stooping down and picking up the small Irish staff. The crowd lets out an “oooh” as Punk just gets a ‘look what I just found’ look on his face. Punk knows the damage that thing can do, also knowing Finlay’s strategies from earlier in the tournament…AND THROWS THE SHILLELAGH INTO THE CROWD!!

Finlay immediately looks pissed, Punk turning back to look at him and keeping up his smartass nature (strategy?) and says “GO FETCH, IRELAND!” This gets a rib out of the crowd, but no sooner than those words leave Punk’s lips, Finlay JUMPS ON PUNK IN THE CORNER AND STARTS PUMMELING HIM!! Finlay’s heavy blows just wear Punk down, bashing him enough to take him and whip him into the opposite corner…AND MASH PUNK’S BODY WITH A CORNER BODY AVALANCHE!! Punk stumbles out of the corner, collapsing from the massive blow!

As Punk crawls around and tries to regain himself, Finlay adds insult to injury and KICKS HIM SQUARE IN THE JAW. Punk is knocked for a loop and spins to his back, Finlay now with a smug purple grin on his face while JBL cheers Finlay on for hitting Punk right in his ‘jabberjaw’. Finlay gets in on that when he locks Punk in a chinlock, virtually wiring that smart mouth shut. While he tears away at Punk’s head, Finlay lets one hand go and DELIVERS HARD FOREARM CLUBS TO THE SIDE OF PUNK’S FACE!! He pulls back up and puts Punk back in the chinlock, now trash talking Punk to “say somethin’ smart now, Chicago!”

Punk doesn’t really have much time or energy to possibly talk more smartass smack, as Finlay takes one of his hands off the chinlock and starts PULLING UP ON PUNK’S FACE, a move that Ramsey sees immediately and tells him to stop. Finlay adheres to the warning, only to lock Punk back up and continue to pry away at his head and chin area. The crowd is trying to get behind Punk, as the Dynasty Champion stomps one of his legs to get the crowd in a rhythm…

*CLAP*
*CLAP*
*CLAP*
*CLAP*
*CLAPCLAP*
*CLAPCLAP*
*CLAPCLAP*
*CLAPCLAPCLAP*
*CLAPCLAPCLAP*
*CLAPCLAPCLAPCLAP*

Punk is back to his feet, but he’s still caught in his opponents vise. The Chicago native starts punching elbows into Finlay’s gut to loosen things up. He loosens the grip enough to manage to rebound off the ropes for some momentum…BUT FINLAY DESTROYS PUNK WITH A LARIAT!! Punk is absolutely beheaded and possibly might need a new jaw as Finlay covers the Dynasty Champion –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Punk has been through quite a lot tonight, but he’s got more fight in him than that. As Punk rolls a shoulder, Finlay goes right back to trying to lock in that grinding chinlock, but Punk is quick to wrap Finlay’s wrist and get back to his feet and wraps Finlay around in a hammerlock. Almost as soon as Punk gets the move synched in, Finlay hops to the ropes and drapes a leg over the middle rope, causing the ref to force Punk to let go of the grip, much to the crowd’s chagrin. Punk has to step back and shake the cobwebs out of his head, still feeling the effects of that huge clothesline. Finlay sees Punk trying to recover and RUSHES AT HIM FOR ANOTHER ONE…but Punk ducks it, grabbing his tights all in one motion, and SLINGING FINLAY OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR!!

Punk taking some advantages there, but when he slings Finlay over, he collapses to his knees, still feeling that huge blow in the early goings. He gathers himself and looks outside to see Finlay trying to peel himself off the outside padding, the crowd getting a little more warmed up as Punk peers out, gets back to his feet, and steps back a few steps before rushing at the ropes…SUICIDE DIVE…NO!! FINLAY CLUBS PUNK IN THE HEAD AS HE LOOKS TO DIVE THROUGH THE ROPES!!

Punk is knocked out draped over the middle rope, Finlay climbing up on the apron to perhaps finish what he just started. He takes Punk keeps clubbing him in the head while Ramsey is telling him to get Punk back in the ring, which he pays no heed to. He takes Punk and looks to SUPLEX HIM TO THE FLOOR…but Punk resists, trying to SUPLEX FINLAY BACK INTO THE RING…but the Irishman jams that as well, the weary warriors playing tug-o-war, only for Finlay to LIFT PUNK UP AND OVER…but Punk floats behind Finlay on the apron, grappling him from behind. It’s not quite a German suplex hold from the apron, but Punk is clubbing away at Finlay’s head to get him to loosen his grip on the rope…AS PUNK HITS A BACK SUPLEX FROM THE APRON TO THE FLOOR!! WOW!!

That could definitely turn the tide in Punk’s favor, as the Grand is rocking for such an impressive move! But neither man can capitalize on anything, as they’re both lain out on the outside, Ray Ramsey continuing his count out…

…TWO!!



…THREE!!



…FOUR!!



…FIVE!!

Punk starts stirring, the wear and tear already popping up on his face. Not entirely from this contest of course, but he’s trying to throw all that aside as he takes Finlay and rolls him up under the bottom rope into the ring and quickly goes to cover him –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Possibly a bit too much time from hitting the move rolling on top of Finlay, but whatever the reason, the match continues! Punk tries not to fret it too much, as Finlay tries to roll back to his feet, Punk greets him with a DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! Perhaps retaliation from the kick to the jaw, but the ring presence of the veteran shows when he’s hit with the move, then rolls to the nearby ropes. Punk has to tug Finlay away from the ropes to get another cover attempt –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Finlay keeps his head in the game, but Punk is quick to sit him back up and then deliver a SECOND DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! Punk with another cover –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

AGAIN Finlay keeps showing he’s got major fight in him! He’s slower to try and recover this time, but again, he scoots close to the ropes so Punk has to work if he wants to end it now. Punk does have to venture over to try and pull him away, but Finlay shoves him away and uses the ropes to get back to his feet, Punk now running at Finlay to push the issue, only to eat a hard back elbow from the tough bastard. Finlay takes Punk and Irish whips him into a corner and follows up…WITH A RUNNING HIGH KNEE IN THE CORNER!! WOW! Finlay explodes with quite the athletic move, showing Punk he can use his knees too! Finlay flails out of the corner a little off balance, but as Punk drifts back to the ring, Finlay scoops him up on his shoulders…AND HITS THE ROLLING HILLS!! Punk could have broken ribs as Finlay hits the cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-NO!!

Punk stays alive, even after the combo! Finlay growls in agitation, cracking Punk right back in the jaw as he tries to recover. As Punk rolls onto his stomach to try to assuage the pain, Finlay takes the taped up arm and flat out DOUBLE FOOT STOMPS IT!! Punk rolls away, screaming in pain as Finlay might not let Regal’s previous work go in vain. Punk is screaming into the canvas again, trying in some way to hide his agony, Finlay grabbing hand full of Punk’s hair and pulling him back to his feet.

He takes the arm of the withered Punk and locks it up in a hammerlock behind him before swinging around…AND HITTING A SCOOP SLAM RIGHT ON PUNK’S BAD ARM!! The ‘hurt’ might slowly be becoming an ‘injury’, and Finlay seems to be the right guy to do it. Punk pops up and sits in pain when he’s slammed, prompting Finlay to perhaps taunt Punk a little more by strutting around him…AND FRONT LOW DROPKICKING HIM IN THE FACE!! Punk reels from the blow, only for Finlay to keep on him and quickly bring him back to his feet, holding onto the arm…AND NAILS IT WITH A SINGLE ARM DDT!! FINLAY MIGHT HAVE JUST BROKEN PUNK’S ARM RIGHT OFF!! Finlay rolls Punk over and makes sure to fold and press Punk’s arm down on the cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-NO!!

PUNK THRASHES A KICKOUT!! Further agitating Finlay, the match keeps going and Finlay has to look at the referee in disgust. He takes the hurt arm of and looks like he might start going to work on it again, but Punk has had enough work on his arm for one night, packpedaling while Finlay is still holding his wrist to make him go with him before falling to his back…AND FORCING FINLAY TO FLY THROUGH THE ROPES TO THE FLOOR!!

Once again, both men are down, Punk still reeling from Finlay’s offense and tending to his arm, while a replay shows Finlay might have landed square on his head when he was chunked outside. Ramsey has to check and see if both men are able to continue, asking Punk if his arm is okay and poking his head outside to see if Finlay’s still conscious. Neither man is even able to even show signs of life, much less move. The referee isn’t hitting a count out for some reason on Finlay, but both he and Punk start stirring around the same time. Finlay tries to shake the cobwebs out of his head, while Punk tries to shake some life back into his arm before pumping it in elation and bouncing off the ropes…AND FINALLY NAILS FINLAY WITH A SUICIDE DIVE!!

The crowd is back to being pumped up, as both men are down, but Punk grips his worked arm and gets back to his feet. He stumbles just a little bit, actually getting caught for a moment in one of the television wires, but it doesn’t stop him from grabbing Finlay and slinging him underneath the bottom rope. Punk’s body is dragging from the mass damage he’s received tonight, but he’s willing himself forward, gripping the top rope on the apron. Finlay is trying to work back to a vertical base, Punk stalking him…SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE…NO!! FINLAY RUNS AND HITS THE TOP ROPE WITH A BOOT!! PUNK COMPLETELY LOSES HIS FOOTING AND GOES CRASHING TO THE CANVAS!!

Finlay takes in a tremendous amount of heat as he leans up against the ropes and looks at Punk’s crashed-and-burned carcass. Finlay smirks to himself, his still purple lip giving off that sick, radiant look. He takes the now limp body of Punk and drags him over to another corner, hoisting him up top. Finlay follows his prey there, but Punk still has enough in him to shove Finlay away from his perch…STRADDING HIM ON THE TOP ROPE!!

The same rope Finlay just kicked is wrenching his Blarney Stones, the crowd wincing accordingly, but still cheering. Punk lost his balance when pushing Finlay, having to settle on the adjacent apron. He sees his Irish opponent on his new perch…SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE TO THE STRADDLED FINLAY!! A DECAPITATING DIVING LARIAT!! Finlay tumbles back inside the ring on the incredible move, Vegas popping their heads off as Punk tries to gather himself, pull Finlay away from the ropes, and get his most definitive cover of the contest and possibly the night –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-NO!!!

FINLAY THROWS UP A SHOULDER!! The man who claims to be undefeated looks to keep it so. It’s Punk’s turn to look up to Ramsey with three fingers up, but the ref confirms his call of a two count. Punk, in exhaustion, rolls onto his back and covers his face, almost not believing that that heavy hit didn’t end everything. He should know Finlay’s hard-nosed nature by now and that it should take more than that.

Finlay is actually the first to completely get up from the hit, leaning up against the ropes. Punk sees this and quickly gets to his feet, taking a few steps back before charging right at Finlay…AND NAILS HIM WITH THE RUNNING HIGH KNEE!! AND THEN NAILS IT AGAIN!! Each blow looks to catch Finlay flush and stiff, Punk taking Finlay and FINALLY NAILING THE BULLDOG COMBO!! Punk with another cover –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!! FINLAY ROLLS A SHOULDER!! The crowd deflates right back because they thought that might have done it, Punk similarly collapses off Finlay’s body again. He’s gonna have to dig even deeper if he wants to win the Dynasty Tournament, getting to his knees and windmill winding his hurt arm to get some life into it.

Finlay is still down, but he’s rolled to a side and we can see that the collisions with Punk’s knees has re-busted his lip, giving Finlay a little bit of blood back on him. Punk stomps on Finlay once to make him go flat, going over to a nearby top rope, looking to throw all caution to the wind…IS PUNK GOING FOR A MOONSAULT…FINLAY SHOVES HIM OFF HIS FOOTING AND STRADDLES HIM ON THE TOP NOW!!

Punk is now sitting on his Chicago jewels on the top rope, his back to Finlay, who takes his burst of life and climbs on up behind Punk on that top rope…sets Punk up…AND HITS A SUPER BACK SUPLEX!! PUNK FLIPS OVER HIS OWN HEAD AS HE HITS THE CANVAS!! Both Punk and Finlay are lain out again, all the damage of the night meeting both men with every hit they take in this final round contest, Punk possibly having be blasted out of his own body. Finlay wipes away some of the blood from his lip before rolling over and shooting the half on Punk and making sure to hook a leg –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!!!

THE REBELLIOUS PUNK REFUSES TO STAY DOWN AND ROLLS A SHOULDER!! As the crowd pops for the kickout, Finlay angrily gets to his knees and starts BASHING PUNK IN THE FACE WITH HARD FISTS!! Finlay’s pretty pissed, but kills the crowd’s momentum by springing on Punk right away. They die down rather quickly, his strategy working, but now Finlay has a new, unorthodoxed strategy. He goes back to the corner, climbs through the ropes…and heads to the top rope?? It’s Finlay’s turn to head to the top, which is incredibly uncharacteristic, but Finlay want to win this thing that badly…AND LEAPS FOR A LEG DROP…NOBODY HOME!! FINLAY CRASHES AND BURNS AS PUNK ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY!!

Both Finlay and Punk are down, Finlay holding at his possibly jarred tailbone! Finlay grips at his backside while he rolls away, going to the outside to try and recover by walking it off. Punk still hasn’t moved much, Finlay doing his best to get himself straightened up on the outside. Punk is just now starting to stir, Finlay having to hold on to the guard rail outside to keep walking it off. He hunches over and still grips at his tailbone, Punk drunkenly crawling over to a corner and heading up to the top rope…AND GOES FOR A CROSSBODY FROM THE TOP TO THE OUTSIDE…BUT FINLAY MOVES AND PUNK EATS NOTHING BUT GUARD RAIL!!

Punk’s face takes a licking now, his straight-edge looks slamming off the steel. Finlay has to take a breather after dodging quite the bullet from Punk there, taking the limp body of the Second City Saint and pulling it back up, only to sling him over his shoulder and into the air raid position…AND HITS THE CELTIC CROSS!! FINLAY NAILS PUNK WITH THE CELTIC CROSS TO THE OUTSIDE!! Punk’s head sickly bounces off the padding as the crowd deflates again for the Dynasty Champion. Finlay nails the move on his bottom, so his jacked tailbone starts acting up again and leaves him unable to immediately roll Punk back inside. It takes a few moments for him to take Punk up and drag his carcass to the apron and then roll him under the bottom rope, sluggishly slide in after him, and get the big lateral press –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!!

CM PUNK ROLLS ANOTHER SHOULDER!! Finlay quite possibly took too long on the exchange of Punk from the outside to the ring and it may have cost him. The crowd is again buzzing, Finlay back to pounding the canvas and looking up at Ramsey and begging for the three count, but it’s not gonna come on an argument. Some drops of blood slip down Finlay’s face from his lips, although a good look at the face of Punk shows his lip may be busted as well, perhaps from hitting the rails with his face.

Finlay isn’t entirely sure what to do, but he has to think of something to put the Dynasty Champion down. He drags the lifeless body of Punk back up and traps him in a semi-bearhug, carrying the tattooed champion and stuffs him onto the top rope. He steps away for a moment to make sure he’s secure up there good, stepping right back and stepping up to the second rope. He then secures Punk over his back…AND GOING FOR THAT CELTIC CROSS FROM THE SECOND ROPE…but Punk starts kicking and shows some life, getting his legs free and flipping over to where he’s now standing beneath Finlay as he’s perched up top. Punk takes Finlay’s arms and takes a step away so that Finlay’s legs are the only thing keeping him close to the ropes…SPLASH MOUNTAIN!! PUNK TURNS THE CELTIC CROSS INTO A SPLASH MOUNTAIN!! He keeps the sitout cover as the crowd goes absolutely nuts –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!!

IT’S FINLAY’S TURN TO ROLL A SHOULDER INCOMPREHENSIVELY!! WOW!! The crowd is beside themselves, popping wildly because the match will keep going. These guys keep throwing haymakers at each other, Punk now forced to sit in the corner gripping at his arm, while Finlay is trying to his best to roll to his feet after keeping himself ‘undefeated’.

Punk’s confidence has long dissolved into disbelief and this moment is no different, but he doesn’t’ seem to have much strength left for emotion beyond exhaustion. Punk wills himself to his feet, stumbling around, but he extends his arms before bringing his hands together behind his ear…it’s time to Go 2 Sleep. Punk awaits Finlay’s equally dizzied journey to his feet, drifting right into Punk’s grip ONTO HIS SHOULDERS…AND THE GTS CONNECTS!! Finlay drops to the canvas like a rock, the crowd going nuts, as all the energy Punk doesn’t have left cause him to simply drop right on top of Finlay, struggling to hook a leg, but finally able to do so –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……



NO!!!!

FINLAY ROLLS HIS SHOULDER AT THE ABSOLUTE LAST SECOND!!! CM PUNK HAS NOT WON THE DYNASTY TOURNAMENT!! THE IRISH BASTARD KEEPS ON FIGHTING!!! Punk is removed from Finlay’s body and is in a sitting position, his fingers clenched, grasping at a victory that isn’t there. Finlay is barely stirring, the crowd buzzing uncontrollably. Punk then moves the hair out of his face, breathing heavily and trying for this to not get to him. He rolls to all fours, trying to gather himself and assess his options…when a thunderous sound form the crowd makes him look up in amazement. They’re all cheering, chanting…for him.

“C – M - PUNK!! C – M – PUNK!! C – M – PUNK!!”

Punk’s mouth is hanging open from both exhaustion and amazement, a small smirk even coming onto his face for the first time since the opening bell. The rabid AOW fan base is pumping him on, becoming the blood in his straight-edge veins. Punk feels it and gets new life, pumping his fists and seeing Finlay getting to his knees. Punk rebounds off the ropes in front of him, and here comes the SHINING WIZARD…FINLAY PICKS HIM UP…AND TURNS IT INTO A SITOUT POWERBOMB!! OH SHIT!! The crowd that got Punk back to his feet is almost completely dead now, Finlay keeping the sitout cover and possibly securing his place at the top of the heap –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!!

PUNK KICKS OUT!! PUNK STILL HAS SOME KIND OF LIFE LEFT!! HOW IN THE HELL?? This is what the Dynasty Tournament means; the chance to break through and get that title opportunity! Finlay is left in further disbelief now, the defiant Punk still not moving much. Finlay, like Punk, seems to be numb to any emotion besides exhaustion at this point, besides the perpetual scowl he always has. Finlay stares at the dead body before him with his mouth pressed shut, lapping up some blood on his lips, he also not sure where to go.

Finlay pounds his fists off the canvas and gets to his feet in one smooth motion, pulling Punk up by his hair to greet him. Punk grips at Finlay’s body, but Finlay stops that with several blows to the head. Punk might not have anything left, but Finlay needs to throw the kitchen sink at him to make this work. He goes back over to the corner and sets Punk up on the top rope, ascending to the second rope himself and GOING AGAIN FOR THE SUPER CELTIC CROSS…but Punk starts fighting him off at the top, the two going back and forth with blows that have everything both men has left –

YAY!!

BOO!!

YAY!!

BOO!!

YAY!!

BOO!!

YAY!!

BOO!!

YAY!!

These two just keep fighting from their ascended perches!

BOO!!

YAY!!
YAY!!

BOO!!
BOO!!
BOO!!

YAY!!
YAY!!!

MONGOLIAN CHOP!! Punk finishes the sequence with a big double chop that forces Finlay to double over on the second rope. Punk fixes his position on the top a little bit with the crowd buzzing huge, Punk now taking both of Finlay’s arms…PEPSI PLUNGE!! PEPSI PLUNGE!!! PEPSI PLUNGE!!! OH MY GAAAAD!!! PUNK NAILS IT!!! Punk’s knees hit the canvas hard and force him over when they hit, but Finlay’s body is lifeless before him and he spends all the remaining energy he has left shooting the half, dramatically slinging his hurt arm over Finlay’s heart –

……….
……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HERE IS YOUR WINNER OF THE FIRST EVER AOW DYNASTY TOURNAMENT…CM PUNK at (21:43)

Punk rolls off of Finlay’s body, unable to even stand on his own as the crowd unleashes an ENORMOUS FUCKIN’ POP for the ending of a long road


Joey Styles:
OHH MY GAAAD!! WHAT A WAR OF ATTRITION!! Both CM Punk and Finlay had to reach deeper than I’ve ever really had to see either man go. But it was CM Punk who dug so far deep and now is able to call himself a one man dynasty!

JBL:
Well I’ll be damned. That was…that was a hellova fight.

Joey Styles:
Are you finally gonna shut up and coming around on this kid? He just showed you he has everything it takes to be a long-standing pillar in AOW! CM Punk becomes only the second man to ever pin Finlay in AOW and the first man to leave an undisputed blemish on his record in a sanctioned contest! Finlay has been toppled and it’s all because of the guts of that man right there.

Back in the ring, Punk has finally been lifted to his feet and has been handed his Dynasty Championship and finally brought to his feet. He has to direct Ray Ramsey to his health arm to raise to another huge pop from Vegas

Joey Styles:
In the heart of Sin City, the man who wears his virtues on his sleeves is the man who will walk out tonight with an opportunity to face the AOW World Heavyweight Champion whenever he damn well pleases.

JBL:
Well, we know he won’t go out partyin’ to celebrate his victory.

Joey Styles:
Oh come on, Bradshaw. Will you please lay off this kid for once?? I mean you better start now because I won our bet. And that means you have to step into the ring with him!

JBL:
We never shook on it! I will do no such thing! He put up a hellova fight, I’ll admit that, but it’s gonna have to take more than a victory here for me to think differently of this kid. He’s still the wide-eyed, angry, calllin’ out the machine ramblin’ bastard he’s always been an’ now a win here is just gonna bloat his ego into thinkin’ he’s more important than he actually is! He won! He deserved it! There, I said it. Are you happy now? Because that’s all you’re gettin’. Don’t expect me to start kissin’ his feet when he can barely stand on’em!


Punk has made it up the ramp and is making his way towards the entrance stage, where Steve Romero is waiting with a microphone


Romero:
Ladies and gentlemen, once again, please give it up for the first ever winner of the AOW Dynasty Tournament…CEE EEM PUUUUNK!!


Another huge pop from the crowd as Punk smiles away


Romero:
Now Punk, is there anything you’d like to say to everyone who are now witnesses to the rise of your dynasty?


Punk again smiles, slinging his title over a shoulder and taking the microphone from Romero. He mouths something to him, which Romero bows to, as if he’s accepting an order from a Chinese emperor. Romero walks back behind the curtain, leaving Punk on the stage with the microphone in his hands with the crowd again chanting his name. Punk keeps smiling as he looks out at Vegas…and then sits, cross-legged, on the entrance stage

Punk:
I was just asked if there’s anything I wanna tell you guys. Truth be told, I’ve never been a guy to hold my tongue about a lot of things. So I actually have quite a few things to get off my chest, even though my chest is killing me right now.

Punk holds a hand against his chest

Punk:
On the very first day of Art of War Wrestling, a night I keep referring to as ‘Day One’, I made it known that I am a professional wrestler who loves professional wrestling. I said that I was not a puppet like any other ‘Superstar’ that I had been associated with before. But now I think I understand. I see clearly how things work now. I’m taking in the dark side of this profession with each passing day.

Punk wipes his mouth as the crowd seems sort of deflated with this statement

Punk:
Nobody said being a pro wrestler or living the pro wrestling lifestyle would ever be ideal or even a dream job. There are men and women who damn near kill themselves every single night for very little more than nickels and dimes. Often times, the punishment…does not match the reward. And in realizing this, I’ve realized that I’m still a puppet. I’m just a puppet that can see the strings.

The crowd again reels from Punk digging a little deep here…

Punk:
I can see those strings pulling at me, but because of my love for this business and this art, I can do nothing more than watch them make me dance. Now why would I say that? I say that because this business is nothing more than an abusive lover that I try to please and no matter what I do, it will never love me back.

Punk looks around, realizing he’s pretty much silenced the Sin City that was chanting his name moments ago

Punk:
The evils of this industry, not this company – no please, don’t get me wrong. I love Art of War Wrestling and everything it stands for. I love this promotion and everything it’s given me because I believe with every fiber of my being that from the top of the administration to the guys who don’t get enough screentime, that this is the best wrestling promotion in the world.

…and just like that, the crowd comes back to life and even kicks up a brief “AOW!! AOW!!” chant that Punk actually pumps fists with and momentarily chants along with away from his microphone

Punk:
So please don’t get it twisted. I also appreciate every single one of you sitting out here tonight who have been chanting my name, Samoa Joe’s name, the name of every guy that’s competed here tonight, the guys who will compete next week and every week after that – no, I’m not here to rant on you guys, trust me.

Another brief pop for Punk still acknowledging that this may not be a full on turn. Punk looks down at the Dynasty Championship in his lap before gathering himself and pulling the mike back up

Punk:
I’ve been straight-edge for what feels like my entire life now. And I found out that it served me well when I decided, no, when I was compelled to becoming a professional wrestler. And the straight-edge lifestyle has many disciplines and restrictions used to make one stronger. I found out just how strong I had to be when I saw friends get addicted to painkillers. When I met heroes who had fallen to alcohol. And when I had idols who fell to overdoses.

Punk pushes the hair out of his face as the crowd continues to buzz

Punk:
But then I realized that the reason they did those things, the main reason why men turn to the things I took a blood oath against wasn’t because they were bad people. It wasn’t because they were immoral. And it wasn’t because they didn’t have the strength that I did to say ‘no’. It’s because this business takes a toll on you. Those men had to cope with all the debauchery that came with this profession. They had to find their way out of the dark. They had to cope with their strings.

Punk points to the ground with each of those final statements

Punk:
But CM Punk? I don’t have that luxury of going to the bottle or popping some pills or lighting one up to make me feel better. No, I’ve taken all of this full-force. No filters, no influences, no coping mechanisms. And so that’s why for a while now, I’ve been looking for true heroes in wrestling. And that’s when Lance Storm, on his way out the door, looked me dead in the eye and said “Punk…you have be the hero you want”. And that’s when I decided.

Punk lays the title out of his lap

Punk:
That’s when I decided that I absolutely had to win this tournament. That’s when I decided I had to fulfill the clause of being a ‘dynasty’ like the title I’ve held for almost seven months. Not just to get a shot at the AOW World title. But because I have to set a tone. Dynasties rise because they are different from the already established order. The winners of this tournament have to be the heroes that we don’t have right now. And that’s exactly what I’ll be. I won’t be a ‘Savior’, I won’t be a ‘God of Gods’, I won’t be a ‘One Man Army’, I won’t be a ‘Showstopper’. I’ll just be…a hero.

The buzzing crowd finally lets out a big pop, despite pot shots at three top faces


Punk:
I have the choice to cash in on my world title shot now whenever I see fit. I’ll do it when we’re ready for a hero. When that time comes, I’ll be that hero for this company. For you people. For all the guys in the back. For all the guys we’ve lost. And I’ll do it the only way I know how, and taking the brunt of this business head-on. To not compromise my principles until the day I’m placed in the ground.

Punk stands up, taking his title in his injured arm

Punk:
I will stay true. I will stay real. And I will stay…STRAIGHT-EDGE!!

Punk passionately says this final spiel, raising his title high, if somewhat painfully, the emotion written on his face as MISERE CANTARE blares out one final time

Joey Styles:
CM Punk has set a tone, he has set a precedent, he has thrown the message out that we need a hero. And as the winner of the first Dynasty Tournament, Punk has vowed to be that hero! This one will go down in the history books and thank you for joining us for this rise of a ‘hero’ in the Sin City! I’m Joey Styles alongside John Layfield, saying one final time congratulations to the new One Man Dynasty, the Dynasty Champion, the man of heroic oath…CM PUNK!


END SHOW




Hope people don't kill me for the ending and a Merry Christmas to all
__________________


DO A LITTLE DANCE; MAKE A LITTLE LOVE

GET CUTE TONIGHT


AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair
.:Origins & Endings NOW POSTED!!:.

Last edited by 619IDH : 12-25-2013 at 07:19 PM.
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