The show opened with a Smackdown match, as Paul Burchill defeated Santino Marella and Matt Hardy to win the United States Championship. Burchill pinned Hardy clean for the win, continuing their burgeoning rivalry.
Backstage, WWE Champion Triple H was found knocked out, once again at the hands of a mystery attacker, who had begun stalking The Game from the night of the WWE Draft earlier in the month.
Next up, CM Punk retained his Money in the Bank briefcase in a No Disqualification Match against MVP. MVP looked to plant Punk with a Playmaker onto a steel chair, but Punk was able to reverse it into a GTS for the victory.
Next up, Randy Orton was scheduled to face Rey Mysterio. However, as Orton punted Mysterio a few weeks prior, it was highly speculated Mysterio would be replaced by a substitute. He was, and the substitute was revealed to be Kane. Orton defeated ‘The Big Red Monster’ in what would turn out to be Kane’s last appearance on SD! before being traded to RAW. (NB Kane has yet to debut on the red brand.)
Back to the RAW brand, ‘The Animal’ Batista defeated ‘Mr Monday Night’ Rob Van Dam in a very physical and intense match up which only ended when the referee called for the bell. Van Dam, weakened by an attack a few weeks prior on RAW, was busted open during the match and upon seeing blood, The Animal snapped and clawed at Van Dam’s wound, causing RVD to lose a ton of blood. As EMT’s tried to help Van Dam after the match ended, The Animal capped off his annihilation of RVD by delivering a Batista Bomb.
In the next match Victoria challenged Mickie James for the Women’s Championship. ‘The Vicious Vixen’ Victoria looked certain to capture the gold, but a disappointing count out allowed Mickie James to retain the belt. After the match, much like Batista before her, Victoria made an example of her opponent by taking out Mickie with her own title belt, further bringing back intensity and ferocity to the stagnant Women’s division.
In the first of two main events, The Undertaker challenged Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship. This was a highly competitive match between the two rivals which led to a controversial ending. A double pin and tap out meant two referees argued over who won the match. To make matters worse, WWE CEO and acting GM Linda McMahon came down to the ringside and walked away with the World Heavyweight Championship title belt.
Just before the final match, Vince McMahon came to the ring, ready to award number one contender John Cena the WWE Championship after advice from medics that Triple H would not be able to compete. However, just before Vince could award the belt to Cena – who seemed reluctant to be named champion in that fashion – Triple H emerged, and fought. The two bulls gave it everything they had, and in the end, ‘The Game’ pulled off a miracle win by putting Cena way after a second Pedigree.
Spoiler for The Great American Bash 2008 Results:
The Great American Bash 2008 – The Results:
The Great American Bash opened with a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Championship between the champion, Carlito, Cody Rhodes and Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy looked set to pick up his first IC Title win, but instead that honour went to Cody Rhodes, who threw Kennedy out of the ring and pinned Carlito to take the title.
Backstage, much like at Vengeance, Triple H was AGAIN found attacked backstage. This time the situation seemed even worse and agents backstage informed Mr. McMahon there was no way ‘The Game’ could compete against his contender, Batista, later in the night.
The second match of the night saw Matt Hardy challenge Paul Burchill for the United States Championship. Hardy put up a good fight, but Burchill’s prowess proved to be too much and the Royal Mutilation (fujiwara armbar) submission hold forced Hardy into submission and defeat.
Following this match, Mr. McMahon came to the ring to announce that ‘for his own safety’ he was officially stripping Triple H of the WWE Championship and suspending him until his mystery attacker could be found. McMahon then awarded Batista the WWE Championship, ala Randy Orton in 2007. McMahon then ended the segment by announcing the winner of the Big Show/John Cena/MVP triple threat number one contender’s match would get their title shot against Batista in the main event.
Big Show then defeated John Cena and MVP in the triple threat match. Cena hit MVP with the F-U, Show hit Cena with the Knockout Punch and then Show pinned MVP for the win.
In singles competition, CM Punk defeated John Bradshaw Layfield, albeit by disqualification, when JBL raked Punk’s eyes then laid him out with the Clothesline from Hell. After the match JBL blasted Punk with Punk’s own MITB briefcase and yelled at Punk that their feud was far from over.
In the only Divas match of the night, from the Smackdown brand, Natalya Neidhart defeated Michelle McCool to become the first-ever Divas Champion.
The penultimate match of The Great American Bash saw Kenny Dykstra and Edge challenge Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat match. Interferences were abound in this title affair, as both the masked man, who had been aiding Edge for months, and The Undertaker, rival to Edge and Kenny Dykstra, interfered in the match. As Taker chased the masked man out of the building, the focus turned back to the three competitors. Jericho was able to hit Edge with the Codebreaker and pin Dykstra to retain his championship.
In a backstage interview, Jericho looked to speak about his title win, but he was quickly assaulted by another rival, Randy Orton. Orton sarcastically congratulated Jericho on his victory before hitting the champion with his own title belt.
In the main event, Big Show challenged Batista for the WWE Championship much to the disappointment of the crowd and the BTB world. Show, undefeated since coming to RAW in the Draft in June, looked to capture the belt by hitting Batista with the Knockout Punch. However before Show could go for the win, Mr. McMahon (who had been watching at ringside) said the KO Punch was too dangerous a move, banned it, and ordered the match to continue. As Show raged at the decision, Batista seized the moment, hit Show with a spear and pinned him to retain the WWE Championship and close the show on a sour note.
~ You should already get this from the recap, but Batista is a heel in this thread and has been since turning during his feud with Shawn Michaels after WrestleMania 24. ‘The Animal’ no longer plays to the WWE audience, but has reverted to the callous and demonic nature that had been dormant within him since his first arrival in the WWE.
~ As mentioned above, there is a major ‘Whodunit?’ angle running on RAW and a ‘masked man’ angle running on Smackdown. Triple H was first attacked on the night of the WWE Draft, and after being brutalised at The Great American Bash, was stripped of the WWE Championship and indefinitely suspended ‘for his own safety.’ ‘The Game’ tried to return the night after The Bash, but ended up getting rundown in the parking lot. Oh dear. On Smackdown, the masked man has been interfering in Edge’s matches for a while now and has yet to reveal his identity.
~There was a trade between the two brands on June 30th – after the WWE Draft – and the results were as follows:
Shawn Michaels (Injured)
Mick Foley (Has yet to make an appearance on RAW, status unknown)
Sunday, August 24th, 2008 | The Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana
WWE Unforgiven | September 14th, 2008 | The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio
WWE No Mercy | October 5th, 2008 | The Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon
WWE Cyber Sunday | October 26th, 2008 | The HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York
WWE Survivor Series | November 23rd, 2008 | The TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
WWE Armageddon | December 14th, 2008 | The US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona
WWE Royal Rumble | January 25th, 2009 | The Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan
WWE No Way Out | February 15th, 2009 | The United Center in Chicago, Illinois
WWE WrestleMania 25 | April 5th, 2009 | The Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas
LAST UPDATED: August 18th, 2008
WWE Monday Night RAW
~ The Brass and Bold ~ The Men: Vince McMahon (Chairman), Shane McMahon (General Manager) The Commentage: Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia The Q&A Crew: Maria & Todd Grisham
~ The Hall of Champions ~ WWE Champion: Batista Intercontinental Champion: Cody Rhodes World Tag Team Champions: Elijah Burke & Shelton Benjamin Women's Champion: Mickie James
~ Superstars ~
Big Daddy V
John Bradshaw Layfield
Rob Van Dam
Shawn Michaels+ (Injured with a torn bicep, expected to miss three months of action)
Ted DiBiase Jr.
Triple H+ (Incapacitated after being rundown in the parking lot, condition unknown)
~ Divas ~
~ The Tandems ~
Carlito & Primo Colon
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
D’Lo Brown & Ron Killings
Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Shelton Benjamin & Elijah Burke
~ Other Personalities ~ The Hardcore Legend Mick Foley The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
WWE Friday Night Smackdown!
~ The Brass and Bold ~ The Man: Eric Bischoff The Commentage: Matt Striker & Michael Cole Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts The Q&A Crew: Eve Torres & Josh Matthews
~ The Hall of Champions ~ World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Jericho United States Champion: Paul Burchill Cruiserweight Champion: Evan Bourne WWE Tag Team Champions: The Hardys Divas Champion: Natalya Neidhart
~ Superstars ~
Jimmy Wang Yang
~ Divas ~
Jazz* (Signed to a 6 month fixed-term contract, began 4/8/08)
Katie Lea Burchill
~ The Tandems ~
John Morrison & The Miz
Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore
Paul London & Brian Kendrick
Florida Championship Wrestling Roster
Spoiler for WWE Championship:
The History of
The WWE Championship
Triple H (7)
27th April 2008 – 20th July 2008
At Backlash, Triple H pinned champion Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match which also included JBL and John Cena. The Game became a 12-time champion with the victory.
20th July 2008 –
After Triple H was yet again assaulted at the hands of a mystery attacker, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon announced that he had “no choice” but to strip The Game of the WWE Championship and suspend him ‘for his own safety.’ In the same segment, the Chairman then awarded the number one contender, “The Animal” Batista, the WWE Championship. Later in the night, Batista would go on to successfully defend the title against The Big Show.
Spoiler for World Heavyweight Championship:
The History of
The World Heavyweight Championship
March 30th, 2008 – May 18th, 2008
Undertaker defeated Edge at WrestleMania XXIV to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The Deadman kept his undefeated streak at 'Mania intact through his triumph over the Rated-R Superstar.
May 18th, 2008 – June 29th, 2008
At Judgment Day, The Rated-R Superstar defeated both The Big Show and The Undertaker in a Triple Threat match to regain the World Heavyweight Championship for a third time. However, a rematch with Undertaker a month later would lead to a controversial finish and the end of Edge’s title reign.
July 4th, 2008 –
Having vacated the title due to the controversial ending to a match between Edge and Undertaker at Vengeance, acting Smackdown General Manager and WWE CEO Linda McMahon put the World Heavyweight Championship up for grabs in a 20-Man Over The Top Rope Battle Royal on the July 4th Independence Day edition of Smackdown. At the end of this classic bout, Y2J would lastly eliminate the former champion Edge to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Spoiler for Intercontinental Championship:
The History of
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Chris Jericho (8)
March 10th, 2008 – May 12th, 2008
On a special three-hour edition of Raw, Chris Jericho became the new Intercontinental Champion when he pinned Jeff Hardy after delivering a Codebreaker. Y2J's victory made him Intercontinental Champion once more in his career.
Jeff Hardy (5)
May 12th, 2008 – June 9th, 2008
Fresh off of a short sabbatical from WWE, Jeff Hardy cashed in his rematch for the Intercontinental Championship and regained the title for the fifth time on the May 12th edition of Raw. The title reign would last just short of a month.
June 9th, 2008 – July 20th, 2008
After Jeff Hardy was drafted to Smackdown and took the Intercontinental Championship with him, Raw had one more opportunity to regain the title on the June 9th episode. Carlito took advantage of the opportunity before him (as in he used the ropes for leverage) to pin Jeff Hardy and become a two-time champion.
July 20th, 2008 –
The young and arrogant Cody Rhodes defeated both Carlito and Mr. Kennedy at The Great American Bash to win the prestigious Intercontinental Championship. After Mr. Kennedy had Carlito down for the count, Rhodes tossed Kennedy out of the ring and made the pin to take the title for himself.
Spoiler for United States Championship:
The History of
The WWE United States Championship
April 27th, 2008 – June 29th, 2008
At Backlash, Matt Hardy defeated MVP to capture his first United States Championship after a near year-long rivalry with the Ballin' Superstar.
June 29th, 2008 –
Paul Burchill defeated Santino Marella and Matt Hardy to win the United States Championship in a Triple Threat match at Vengeance. Burchill pinned Hardy clean for the win, continuing their burgeoning rivalry.
Spoiler for World Tag Team Championship:
The History of
The World Tag Team Championship
Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly
December 10th, 2007 – April 28th, 2008
On the Raw 15th Anniversary Special, Rhodes & Holly's mutual respect led them to tag team gold when they defeated Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch for the World Tag Team Championship.
Carlito and Santino Marella
April 28th, 2008 – May 18th, 2008
On the April 28th edition of Raw, Carlito and Santino Marella finally ended Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly’s near five-month title reign to become the new World Tag Team Champions.
Elijah Burke & Shelton Benjamin
May 18th, 2008 –
As part of a Tag Team Turmoil at Judgment Day, Elijah Burke and Shelton Benjamin would outlast five other of Raw’s teams to walk out of the pay-per-view with the World Tag Team Championship in their possession.
Spoiler for WWE Tag Team Championship:
The History of
The WWE Tag Team Championship
The Miz & John Morrison
November 16th, 2007 – July 25th, 2008
ECW's John Morrison & The Miz became the first Superstars from the Land of the Extreme to strike SmackDown gold following the SmackDown/ECW working agreement. Morrison & Miz defeated Matt Hardy & MVP - then defeated them again moments later - to walk out of the Nov. 16 SmackDown as champions.
July 25th, 2008 –
Having upset acting Smackdown GM Linda McMahon, The Miz & John Morrison had been forced to defend their WWE Tag Team Championship on a weekly basis. On the third occasion, the duo were put up against a surprise tag team, The Hardys, who were able to defeat The A-Listers and become the new WWE Tag Team Champions.
Spoiler for Cruiserweight Championship:
The History of
The WWE Cruiserweight Championship
June 13th, 2008 -
Having only been in the WWE for just short of a month, Evan Bourne defeated nine other superstars in a 10-Man Over The Top Rope Battle Royal on the June 13th edition of Smackdown to win the reinstated WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Spoiler for Women's Championship:
The History of
The WWE Women’s Championship
Mickie James (4)
April 14th, 2008 –
Mickie James did the impossible on Raw from London when she defeated the impressive Beth Phoenix. James showed resilience and the heart of a champion to reverse a Phoenix hold to earn the victory and the title.
Spoiler for Divas Championship:
The History of
The WWE Divas Championship
July 20th, 2008 –
At The Great American Bash, Natalya Neidhart forced Michelle McCool to tap out to the Sharpshooter to become the first-ever WWE Divas Champion, exclusive to Smackdown.
After a three-year absence, the Era of Darkness has returned! There probably aren't that many of you out there that remember the project, but for those few who do, I hope you'll enjoy this coming back, and for any new BTB folk who may not have read my writing before, I hope you'll be entertained as I return to this project. Hopefully, for everyone, it'll feel like a fresh project.
I HAD told myself time and time again I wouldn't bring this back until I had ALL shows until SummerSlam DONE, but thanks to a certain BTB member "pulling it out of the bag", I've decided to just jump the gun and post this early. The good news is I've got about five shows done, so if I post them at a decent pace, I should get the rest of the work done. It'll be a mix of full and recapped shows, depending on what I can write, tbh.
Anything that is relevant from the old thread started at Vengeance. Therefore, I’ve listed the result of that PPV, The Great American Bash, and also summarised the main storylines that are in full swing as I jump back into this project. For anyone who wants to read any previous shows of mine, here's the link for the first thread:
Now stop fucking around and get people talking about something other than the D'Lo Brown 'thing' - even I'm bored of that by now. I've had to wait for this resurrection for too long. All that's left is for you to post a show
One 'on topic' comment; Might be good to end of the two mystery angles in the near future. A masked man AND a faceless hit and run driver at the same time in the same thread? It can only mean one thing...
Proof that pestering from all directions can sometimes win out. Just as I was nearly giving up hope.
Patiently waiting to see if Summerslam proves to be as epic as you've promised. Been reading through the old EoD thread a fair bit this year, so I'm interested to see what you have in mind. Kane wins all titles maybe? Something like that.
I'll be back to read the first return show. If not, expect angry PMs. I'd wish you luck but you'd only waste it
^^Thanks and much love to the both of you. With regards to your comment, Wolfy, check out this next post below to find out a little more about the two major storylines.
On a side note, I'm not quite sure when I'm going to post the first show, but I don't want to rush into things. The first few shows are ready to be posted, but I want to try and write some more of the latter ones before I post anything more.
Anyway, enough rambling. On with the good stuff (arguable).
WWE.com: July 22nd, 2008
An Announcement By Linda McMahon
Earlier today WWE.com received an official statement from WWE CEO and Acting SmackDown! General Manager Linda McMahon, which Mrs. McMahon has asked us to publish here on our website. The following is the statement in full:
Originally Posted by Linda McMahon
To All Viewers of WWE Friday Night SmackDown!,
I had previously scheduled a Steel Cage match to take place on this week’s July 25th edition of Friday Night SmackDown! between superstars Kenny Dykstra and The Undertaker.
However, as you are all aware, this past Monday night on RAW, WWE legendary superstar Triple H was seriously injured as part of a shocking rundown in the parking lot of the Mohegan Sun Arena. In light of this disturbing incident, as CEO and Acting General Manager of SmackDown!, I have decided to officially cancel the Steel Cage match between Kenny Dykstra and The Undertaker.
It is my feeling that it would extremely insensitive of SmackDown! to sanction a match of such potential brutality just days after one of our company’s top superstars has been put in a coma. On behalf of the entire WWE, I sincerely apologise both for what transpired on RAW, and the subsequent postponing of the aforementioned match on SmackDown!.
In order to compensate for the removal of what would have been a main event match for this week’s edition of SmackDown!, I have booked two matches for this week’s event. The first will see Kenny Dykstra face World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho in non-title singles action. The other match will see two men who yet again attacked one another at The Great American Bash after the main event, Edge and The Undertaker, face each other in singles competition. In addition to this match, my SmackDown! State of Address will go ahead as planned.
I hope that the SmackDown! fans enjoy the new main events between four of SmackDown!’s finest, and that SmackDown!’s superstars will show each other the appropriate sportsmanship expected of them at this level as we here at WWE try to move forward from everything that has transpired over the past forty eight hours.
WWE CEO and Acting General Manager of Friday Night SmackDown!.
Confirmed for 7/27/08 edition of SmackDown!:
Edge vs. The Undertaker
Non-Title Grudge Match
Kenny Dykstra vs. World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho
Non-Title Grudge Match
Chavo Guerrero vs. Cruiserweight Champion Evan Bourne
PWInsider.com: July 22nd, 2008
Major Creative Changes In WWE; SummerSlam Card To Be Overhauled
~ A source within WWE has exclusively revealed that over the past few days, some big changes have been made to the SummerSlam card. The original card, which had been in place for several months now, has now been altered in favour of a “preferred” line-up. Apparently the biggest changes with the show are regarding the main events.
~ WWE.com has posted an article which announces the nixing of the Undertaker/Kenny Dykstra steel cage match from SmackDown! in favour of two new “main events”, Edge vs. The Undertaker and Kenny Dykstra vs. Chris Jericho. As a matter of fact, we can report that it is not just these matches, but the entire script for SmackDown! that has changed since the weekend.
~ With Triple H being written off-television for the long-term, it remains unknown as to who Batista will defend the WWE Championship against at SummerSlam. The rumour circulating now is that it will be John Cena who challenges Batista for the title at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The idea of a Fatal 4-Way between Cena, JBL, CM Punk and Batista for the title has also been pitched but is less likely. Big Show, who has been “suspended”, is said to be taking a short break but could also be back in time for SummerSlam to challenge for the title once again.
~ The WWE creative team are said to be very aware of the fact that there are similar storylines running on both on RAW and SmackDown! at the moment, in particular the Triple H ‘attacker’ saga on RAW and the ‘mystery man’ angle on SmackDown!. However, it’s being reported that one of these storylines is likely to reach its climax in the near future, potentially at SummerSlam.
Things are looking quite interesting in this thread. I haven't read anything from you but from the looks of things, you're a pretty big deal so I'm excited that I'll be reading a project of yours from the beginning. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us, goodluck!
WWE Friday Night SmackDown! - 07/25/08
The Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, Michigan
This week's Friday Night SmackDown! comes to you LIVE from the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and with it comes the fallout from the most recent WWE pay-per-view, The Great American Bash.
SmackDown!'s main event at The Great American Bash pitted the World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho against challengers Kenny Dykstra and Edge in a Triple Threat match. At the end of a great contest Y2J managed to pin Kenny Dykstra to successfully retain his championship, however; the match did not come without its controversies. Both the mysterious masked man, that has served as an ally to Edge for over a month, as well as 'The Phenom' The Undertaker interfered in the match, the end result being severe consequences for all three competitors involved. Following the chaos that ensued just five nights ago, CEO and acting SmackDown! General Manager Linda McMahon has announced a "SmackDown! State of Address" for this week's show. Will Linda's address take order on SmackDown!, or will the chaos continue?
As a result of the events that took place this past Sunday, this week's episode of SmackDown! will be graced with not one, but TWO major matches. The first will see Kenny Dykstra attempt to a measure of retribution for the loss he suffered this past Sunday, as well as quickly re-insert himself into the World Heavyweight Title picture, when he steps into the ring against the reigning World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho. The second main event is of WrestleMania-sized proportions as long-time rivals 'The Rated-R Superstar' Edge and 'The Phenom' The Undertaker go toe-to-toe once more, with Linda McMahon hoping that this match will be the one to settle the war between the hated rivals once and for all. Will the match suffice to bring a conclusion to the most intense feud in recent SmackDown! memory? And will Kenny Dykstra be able to pin the World Heavyweight Champion?
After defending the WWE Tag Team Championship for two weeks in a row, The Miz & John Morrison will once again defend their titles this week against an unknown tag team. In the last two broadcasts, the champions have survived two formidable teams in Cryme Time and Brian Kendrick & Paul London. Will the champions survive yet another title defence, or is third time the charm?
Right before his singles match with Chris Jericho last week, Randy Orton was confronted by none other than the Cruiserweight Champion, Evan Bourne. Bourne showed no intimation when face-to-face with "The Legend Killer", but before a fight could break out between the two, Bourne was ambushed by none other than Chavo Guerrero. At the time Chavo's attack seemed completely random and unnecessary, but since then, Chavo has made it clear to WWE.com that he has his sights set on the Cruiserweight Championship of the World. This week, Chavo will face Bourne in non-title action. Will Chavo pick up an all-important win over the champion, or will Bourne quickly scrap Chavo's title hopes?
For all the answers to these burning questions, be sure to into SmackDown! this Friday night on CW.
Confirmed for 7/27/08 edition of SmackDown!:
Edge vs. The Undertaker
Non-Title Grudge Match
Kenny Dykstra vs. World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho
Well, here it is. The first show I've posted in - ages. You'll all have lots of time to absorb it, as I'll be off on my holidays in a couple of days and won't be around these parts for a few weeks. More goodness to come when I come back though. For now, enjoy (I hope)!
WWE Friday Night SmackDown! - 07/25/08
The Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, Michigan
The show opens with a recap package of the SmackDown! main event from this past Sunday’s The Great American Bash PPV, which saw Chris Jericho defend the World Heavyweight Championship against both Edge and Kenny Dykstra. We see highlights from the match and finish off with the interferences from both the masked man and The Undertaker, and then Jericho pinning Dykstra to retain his championship. The video also shows the aftermath where Edge and Undertaker brawled outside the ring, only to be separated by officials. Finally we see a short clip of the interview backstage involving Chris Jericho, which ended with Randy Orton ambushing the champion and attacking him with his World Heavyweight Championship belt. The video fades with a shot of the psychotic looking face of Orton.
~SmackDown! Opening Video~
Following the SmackDown! opening video we cut into the arena and the camera pans across the thousands in attendance.
Michael Cole: Good evening and welcome to Friday Night SmackDown!. I’m your host Michael Cole along here with Matt Striker, five nights removed from The Great American Bash, and three nights removed from a shocking conclusion to Monday Night RAW.
Matt Striker: The WWE world is still in shock after the heinous rundown which Triple H was the victim of on Monday night, even all of us here on SmackDown!, who have been directly affected by this incident.
Michael Cole: We’d like to take this opportunity to wish Triple H a healthy and speedy recovery from all of us here on SmackDown!, but you’re right, Matt. As a result of what happened on RAW, our acting General Manager Linda McMahon postponed the Steel Cage match that had been scheduled for tonight between Kenny Dykstra and The Undertaker.
Matt Striker: But in order to compensate for SmackDown! losing that match, we now have a new main event Michael, and personally I think it’s even bigger than what we had planned before. Tonight, the long-running rivalry between Edge and The Undertaker continues on as The Rated-R Superstar meets The Phenom in the ring, live, here on SmackDown!.
Michael Cole: And as well as that match, we have a second main event, as the young and brash Kenny Dykstra goes one-on-one with the man who successfully retained his title this past Sunday at The Great American Bash, the World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho!
Matt Striker: And that’s still not all, Michael! Tonight, we will see the WWE Tag Team titles defended once again as The Miz and John Morrison are set to take on a mystery tag team; and also, ‘The Mexican Warrior’ Chavo Guerrero faces Cruiserweight Champion Evan Bourne in a non-title affair, but if Chavo can pick up the victory, he will earn himself another match with Bourne with the championship on the line.
“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME”
The Van Andel Arena fills for heat for the first time tonight as SmackDown!’s former World Heavyweight champion, “The Rated-R Superstar” EDGE enters the arena. Accompanied (as ever) by his girlfriend, the red headed LITA, the WWE’s most sinister couple make a beeline for the ring. Edge, dressed in his wrestling tights and a “Rated-R” merchandise t-shirt, wears a constant grimace as he makes his way to the squared circle.
Michael Cole: As you can see ladies and gentlemen, Edge is in a foul mood tonight, and it’s likely due to the fact that he came up short in trying to regain the World Heavyweight Championship this past Sunday night.
Matt Striker: Edge had hit Kenny Dykstra with a Spear, he was ready to go for the pin, but the champion Chris Jericho was able to get back in the ring and hit Edge with a Codebreaker before The Rated-R Superstar could secure the victory. Edge must be feeling like the title was stolen from his grasp.
Michael Cole: I think the problem runs deeper than that, Matt. Remember, Edge never lost the championship. It was vacated by Linda McMahon back in June after a title match between Edge and The Undertaker at Vengeance finished in controversy. Nonetheless, he’s had his chances since then.
Matt Striker: Needless to say Michael, the mental state of Edge has been slowly deteriorating over the past few months, and we can only imagine what is going through The Rated-R Superstar’s mind at this moment in time.
Now in the ring, Edge demands a microphone aggressively from ringside staff. As Lita stands behind him, The Rated-R Superstar snatches the given microphone and his music cuts out within seconds as he begins to scream into the mic.
Edge: NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! No! It’s wrong, it’s all WRONG!
The crowd boo the maniacal Edge, but he could care less.
Edge: In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me give you a few facts to bring you up to date. FACT, I am the former and future World Heavyweight Champion! FACT, I never lost my championship. FACT, I am yet to receive my one on one rematch. FACT, I am yet to be beaten since the title was stolen from me! So you tell me, somebody tell me, why the hell I’m in a match with The Undertaker tonight!? Huh?? TELL ME!!!
The Grand Rapids reply with a mixed reaction, some booing Edge, and some cheering the fact he ISN’T in the main event tonight.
Edge: For weeks, for WEEKS, I have said it again, and again, and AGAIN, but nobody seems to give a damn! Linda McMahon, the so-called General Manager of this show, has ignored me time and time again, giving opportunities to everybody and anybody else other than me. Whether it’s Randy Orton, Kenny Dykstra, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, or anybody else, I keep – getting – SCREWED!!
The boos continue to pour in for The Rated-R Superstar. As he takes a moment for pause, the former world champion closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, trying to compose himself.
Edge: Linda McMahon – as a matter of fact, all the McMahons – they, they constantly talk about what is in “the interest of fairness”, and, and how they do things according to “what is right”; and I just don’t get it. How do you take away a championship from a man who never lost it? And how do you then allow someone like Chris Jericho to then win that same world title, without pinning the champion, or making him tap out? How is that fair?? How is it fair that people like The Undertaker-
The crowd cut off Edge with a loud and instant pop, much to the chagrin of The Rated-R Superstar.
Edge: How is it fair when people like The Undertaker can cause chaos on this show, interfere in world championship matches, and get away unpunished? How is that fair? How is that establishing order?? It’s a bunch of crap! And if Linda McMahon doesn’t revoke her decision, and give me my rightful championship match TONIGHT, I’ll show Linda what’s FAIR!!
The arena plunges into darkness and the crowd let out an almighty pop...
The lights turn back on...AND THE UNDERTAKER IS IN THE RING BEHIND EDGE!
Michael Cole: OH MY!!
Sensing what is going on, Edge closes his eyes, snarls, open his eyes, spins around, and begins to trade blows with The Phenom!
Michael Cole: Edge and The Undertaker are going at it!!
Matt Striker: Edge has eyes in the back of his head, Michael! He knew The Phenom was coming!!
Michael Cole: Edge and The Undertaker aren’t waiting for later tonight; they’re beating the hell out of each other right here and now!
Lita flees into the corner as her boyfriend continues to battle The Undertaker, who quickly gains the upper hand! The crowd cheer and whistle loudly as The Phenom backs Edge into the corner and begins to unload lefts, rights, whatever he damn well feels like!! With Edge reeling, Taker lifts his adversary onto his shoulders and bounces his face onto the turnbuckle- Snake Eyes! Edge clutches his face in agony as Taker runs to the ropes, and then comes back and fires at Edge with a Big Boot! Edge is down as The Phenom raises his arm in the air, signalling for the Chokeslam...but LITA, from behind, jumps up onto Taker’s back and wraps her arms around his neck, trying to choke The Phenom out!
Matt Striker: Lita, what are you doing??
Michael Cole: That jezebel is saving her damn boyfriend again! And now Edge is slithering away!!
Indeed, boos pour down on the ring as The Ultimate Opportunist seizes the chance to flee the ring. Once outside the ring, Edge quickly crawls and scrambles up the ramp, getting away from the ring as quickly as possible, leaving Lita all alone with The Undertaker.
The camera quickly cuts back to the ring as The Phenom summons the strength to grab Lita’s head by either side! The crowd cheer immediately as Lita shakes her head, pleading with The Phenom, but it is not enough; and Taker shows great strength by pulling Lita over his shoulders and onto the mat before him! Lita lands on her feet, but The Phenom has her firmly in his grasp. As Lita pleads for mercy, the camera cuts to Edge at the top of the entrance ramp, who has stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of The Undertaker holding Lita by her hair. Taker slowly steps sideways, leading Lita with him, as his eyes gaze at Edge at the top of the ramp. Lita continues to plead with The Phenom, he stares at Edge, and...throws Lita out of the ring. Taker quickly follows and grabs her again, much to the delight of the crowd. Taker sneers up at Edge on the stage as he throws Lita up onto his shoulders...
...puts her in position...
...and DRIVES HER ONTO THE FLOOR WITH A TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!
Michael Cole: Oh my God; we need help out here now!
The crowd let out a loud “Oooh!” as Lita lies on the mat, unconscious, unable to move, completely BROKEN by The Phenom’s attack. A dozen paramedics rush by the entrance stage as Edge falls to his knees, his mouth open, and his hands clasping his head by its sides. As the medics reach Lita, Taker steps over her body and stares at them coldly, warning them not to take another step forward. After a few moments of ceasefire, a loud gong sounds and the arena is cast into an eerie purple light. The camera cuts from Taker and the medics, to the defeated Edge sat on his knees at the stage, staring at the floor in the shock, to Lita, unconscious on the floor, before fading to black...
Michael Cole: Welcome back to SmackDown!, where moments ago Edge and The Undertaker fought once again, this time resulting...in this.
A replay is shown of the events that took place before the commercial break.
Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, I have been the play-by-play announcer for this show for nigh on ten years and not once have I ever witnessed such a chaotic and disturbing beginning to an episode.
Matt Striker: We understand that Lita is now being rushed to a local facility and Edge...well, we have no word on Edge’s whereabouts at this time, but one would assume he is with Lita at this time. You know Michael; Linda McMahon is set to deliver a SmackDown! State of Address here tonight, and I wonder how what just happened will impact that statement.
Michael Cole: Linda has been trying to deal with a lot on SmackDown! lately, and this brawl may have resulted in something even she does not want to face. Well ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately we have to move on, and this show, if you can believe it, has only just begun. Still to come; Edge and The Undertaker, apparently, will continue their war in a match tonight, whilst Kenny Dykstra goes up against the world champion Chris Jericho.
Matt Striker: And as well as that the WWE Tag Team Championships will be defended, and so much more.
Michael Cole: That all to come, later tonight.
We are taken via camera backstage, to the parking lot, where the back of ambulance is open, and the body of Lita is seen lying prone on a stretcher, being pushed into the vehicle. From a distance and with her back to the shot is the unmistakeable figure of the CEO and acting GM, LINDA MCMAHON. We can see Linda’s hands on the sides of her face as JOSH MATTHEWS walks into the shot with a microphone and toward Linda.
Josh Matthews: Mrs. McMahon?
Josh slowly turns his head to Linda, sees her facial expression, and looks awkwardly at the ground.
Josh Matthews: Mrs. McMahon, I’m sorry to bother you at this time, but I’m afraid I have to ask; what is your reaction to what we just witnessed?
But without saying a word, Linda walks out of the shot and away from Josh, leaving his question unanswered.
Back in the arena...
The reigning Cruiserweight Champion EVAN BOURNE walks out onto the stage with a smile on his face, even if it is only a small pop he receives.
Michael Cole: And as we get set for this non-title bout, let’s remind ourselves of why it’s happening. For the past few weeks, Chavo Guerrero has been trying to get the attention of Evan Bourne, but to no avail. Then last week, as Bourne confronted Randy Orton backstage, Guerrero ambushed Bourne from behind, resulting in this match tonight.
Matt Striker: ‘The Mexican Warrior’ Chavo Guerrero has made it clear he wants to regain the Cruiserweight Championship, and if he wins this match, he could be well on his way to getting a title opportunity.
As expected CHAVO GUERRERO enters the arena to mild heat, dressed to compete.
Michael Cole: You know I ran into Chavo before the show and asked him why he attacked Bourne and couldn’t just challenge the champion to a match respectfully. You know what he said? He said he couldn’t do that because he doesn’t respect Bourne. He feels Bourne “got lucky” winning the Cruiserweight title, and that a superstar of his “stature” should be holding the gold.
Matt Striker: Well Michael, maybe Chavo Guerrero has a point. Bourne is a rookie. He debuted in the WWE back in late May; and just two weeks after his debut, Bourne won a ten-man Battle Royal to become Cruiserweight Champion. So it’s understandable why Chavo Guerrero feels he is more worthy of being the champion than Bourne.
Michael Cole: Personally I think this is more of Chavo simply being jealous of Bourne being the Cruiserweight Champion than a talent versus experience matter, but nonetheless, this will be an interesting match.
Opening Match – Non-Title Singles Match
Chavo Guerrero vs.Cruiserweight ChampionEvan Bourne
The match starts off with a traditional wrestling lock up, before Chavo gains the upper hand and transitions to a headlock. Bourne pushes Chavo into the ropes, forcing the aggressor to break the lock, and then surprises Chavo with a dropkick after he bounces off of the ropes. The crowd cheer as Chavo holds his chin and quickly scrambles into the corner, thrown by Bourne’s quickness.
Bourne smirks at the cornered Chavo in the corner as the Mexican Warrior slowly reaches his feet. Chavo approaches Bourne and raises his left arm in the air, challenging Bourne to another lock up. Bourne takes the bait and Chavo sneakily kicks Bourne in the gut, delivers a stiff right hand, and then another. With Bourne stunned, Chavo throws the champ into the corner and charges after him, but Bourne is quick enough to lift his legs in the air and kick Chavo square in the face. As Chavo stumbles forward, Bourne pushes himself up onto the top turnbuckle. Chavo turns around clumsily and Bourne leaps into the air, landing onto Chavo with a crossbody! Bourne goes for the early pin: one, two, Chavo kicks out! Chavo rolls to the outside immediately, in shock at what just happened, as Michael Cole comments that the match could’ve been over that suddenly because of the quickness of Evan Bourne.
As the match progresses, the initial surprise of Bourne’s quickness begins to wear as Chavo’s experience allows him to take control of the match. Using various submission manoeuvres, Chavo really slows the pace of the match right down to a pace he likes, a pace he can take control at. Chavo works the left leg throughout the match, hoping to write off any chance Bourne could have of being able to hit the Shooting Star Press later in the match. Chavo both stomps at and bends the leg, whilst also not forgetting to draw the ire of the crowd by taunting them every so often.
Sensing that he has the match in the proverbial bag, Chavo brings Bourne to his feet, throws the right arm over the back of his own head and delivers three vertical suplexes aka The Three Amigos. With the champion down, Chavo points to the sky in respect of his late uncle Eddie, then heads to the corner. With a smirk of confidence Chavo ascends the turnbuckle, takes his time in positioning himself, leaps off the apron for the Frog Splash – but misses as Bourne rolls out of harm’s way! Michael Cole yells for Bourne to capitalise as the champion, tugging at his leg, tries to pull himself up.
With Chavo down on the mat Bourne manages to crawl to the corner and finds enough strength left in himself to climb the turnbuckle. Now it is Bourne who gets himself into prime position, and as the crowd watch on in anticipation, Bourne throws himself into the air, looking for the Shooting Star Press (or ‘Air Bourne’), but Chavo rolls out of dodge and Bourne’s abdomen eats canvas! Chavo quickly covers Bourne for a cover: one – two – NO! The champion kicks out just before three!
Frustrated, Chavo pulls himself up and then pulls Bourne up too. Chavo kicks Bourne in the gut, and perhaps looking for the Gory Bomb, hoists Bourne over his shoulders and onto his back, but Bourne wriggles free, rolls up Chavo from behind: one – two – Chavo kicks out! Both men quickly rush to their feet, but veteran Chavo catches Bourne with a small package: one – two – Chavo grabs the nearby rope for leverage – three! Chavo steals it!
Winner via pinfall: Chavo Guerrero.
“Oooh, Chavo!” plays again as Chavo slowly reaches his feet and the referee raises his arm. Chavo then rolls out of the ring as Bourne gets to his feet and begins to argue with the referee.
Michael Cole: YOU GOTTA BE KIDDIN’ ME! Chavo Guerrero just stole this victory!
Matt Striker: Lie, Cheat, Steal, Michael! It’s been the Guerrero Family motto for years, and Chavo was simply living up to that. Chavo Guerrero is now on his way to becoming a seven-time Cruiserweight Champion. Congratulations Chavo!
Michael Cole: Oh come on Matt, Chavo didn’t earn this, he cheated Evan Bourne here! We were having a competitive match between these two men before Chavo had to stop that in its tracks by using the middle rope!
Matt Striker: Say what you will Michael, but Chavo Guerrero got the job done, and whether Evan Bourne likes it or not, he now knows sometime in the future, he’ll have to face Chavo again; and that time, it’ll be for the Cruiserweight Championship of the World.
Cole and Striker bicker a little more amongst themselves as Chavo, now near the entrance stage, smirks back at a furious Evan Bourne inside the ring.
Michael Cole: Well nonetheless still to come here tonight ladies and gentlemen; John Morrison & The Miz set to defend their tag team titles for the third week in a row, Kenny Dykstra versus Chris Jericho in non-title action, and Edge versus The Undertaker! All that still to come, later tonight.
JOSH MATTHEWS is on our screens again, now standing by at the SmackDown! interview set.
Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time; he is ‘The Legend Killer’ Randy Orton.
The cameraman turns the lens to show RANDY ORTON, who seems to be another superstar in a mood tonight.
Josh Matthews: Randy, this past Sunday at The Great American Bash after the Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship, you attacked Chris Jericho with his own championship belt. Could you please explain your actions?
Matthews extends the microphone to Orton, who now smirks into the distance. Orton doesn’t answer, prompting Matthews.
Josh Matthews: ...Randy?
Orton blinks his eyes, as if out of a trance, and turns to Matthews.
Randy Orton: ...Sorry, Josh, I was just...remembering a few things. I was remembering this past Sunday when Chris Jericho thought he was safe backstage after retaining the world title, only to be laid out with his own title belt...by me. I was remembering a few weeks ago when Jericho thought I was only a road block on the way to The Great American Bash, but instead, I beat him after planting him with the RKO. I was also remembering, Josh, even further back than that, back to late last year, when Chris Jericho interrupted me on RAW. Chris Jericho made his “grand return”, and Chris Jericho thoughthe was going to beat me for the WWE Championship, but once again, I beat Chris Jericho and retained my title. (Pause) Case and point Josh, I have Chris Jericho’s number.
Orton now sneers at Matthews, getting more boos from the live crowd.
Randy Orton: So, why on earth Chris Jericho is not defending his World Heavyweight Championship against me tonight is beyond me. Does Linda McMahon think she can protect Jericho? Does she think she can stop me from becoming the World Heavyweight Champion? I don’t know if Linda is conspiring against me, but I plan on finding out. You see, I will be watching Linda’s little “State of SmackDown! Address” tonight, and I’ll be watching...very closely. And if I were Linda McMahon, I’d give me what I want, because if I don’t get what I want...well...
And with that, Orton walks out of the shot, leaving Matthews to ponder his comments.
Back in the arena...
***LA VITORRIA E MIA***
The crowd boo mildly as former World Tag Team and Intercontinental champion SANTINO MARELLA enters the arena, dressed for action.
***RULE BRITANNIA (REMIX)***
A few scattered cheers are heard as the recently debuted ‘Canadian Bulldog’ HARRY SMITH walks through the curtain and plays to the crowd a little as he heads to the ring.
Michael Cole: I like this Harry Smith, Matt. Ever since he came to SmackDown! he’s been doing well for himself, and if he can pick up a win over Santino here tonight, things can only get better for him.
Matt Striker: Smith is of course a member of the legendary Hart family, the son of WWE legend Davey Boy Smith, AKA the British Bulldog, and Smith I’m sure wants to do his family proud by proving himself each and every week here on SmackDown!.
Match 2 – Singles Match
Santino Marella vs. Harry Smith
In quite a short match, Smith is given the opportunity to show off his wrestling skill by outwrestling Santino at the start of the match, reversing a few grapples with relative ease and knocking his opponent down to the mat with those standard match opening shoulder blocks.
A few minutes later, Santino tries to take advantage of Smith as the young rookie tries to crush the Italian in the corner and misses, his shoulder hitting the turnbuckle awkwardly. After working the arm for a few more minutes, Santino is helpless to stop a Smith comeback, as the young Canadian fires back with a flurry of power moves like clotheslines and back drops.
After hitting Santino with a particularly big suplex, Smith picks up what’s left of the Italian and finishes him off with a Running Powerslam, shades of his father in the ring. Smith then pins Santino and picks up the big win.
Winner via pinfall: Harry Smith.
Smith reaches his feet and gets a few cheers from the crowd, the majority choosing to applaud the Canadian Bulldog’s efforts.
Michael Cole: What a win for Harry Smith! Say what you will about Santino, he’s still a former World Tag Team and Intercontinental champion, and this win here is Smith’s biggest to date.
Matt Striker: I predict there are bright things in the future of The Canadian Bulldog, Michael.
Michael Cole: I agree. It’s still early in the game, but I think Smith could accomplish a lot here on SmackDown!.
As Smith celebrates his victory from the top of the entrance ramp, the camera zooms out to reveal the match was just being watched by somebody backstage in the locker room. As it zooms out further, we see Diva’s Champion NATALYA watching the TV monitor, with a look of intrigue on her face. With a few minor boos in the background Natalya looks down at the floor and smiles to herself for a moment before a door is heard opening.
Natalya turns around to see who has walked in and smirks as ‘The All-American Diva’ MICHELLE MCCOOL walks into the shot, getting a few cheers and wolf whistles from the live audience. Michelle and Natalya stare at each other with intensity, but after a few moments, McCool breaks the tension.
Michelle McCool: You’re not my favourite person in the world. But...you won fair and square at The Bash. So...
Michelle extends her hand to Natalya, who is a little thrown off by the gesture. Michelle looks at her, waiting for a response...
...and Natalya accepts!
Natalya: I’m glad you can finally accept that I’m better than you, Michelle.
Natalya breaks the shake and cackles, attempting to walk past McCool and leave the room, but The All-American Diva stops her.
Michelle McCool: So it’s going to be like that, huh? You know, I wanted to come in here, offer you my respect, but I guess some people never change. Alright, I’ll just get to the point then shall I? You and me, in a rematch for that Diva’s Championship.
Michelle points at the silver and pink title belt on Natalya’s shoulder, and the champion looks down at it with a look of interest. After a moment, she turns back to Michelle and s......s. Without allowing The All-American Diva to say another word, the Diva’s Champion pushes past her and leaves the room, leaving McCool looking quite offended.
“I AM SUPER...I AM CRAZY...I AM SUUUPER CRAZY!”
The arena responds with a good pop as the ever popular high flier SUPER CRAZY enters the arena and heads to the ring for action, playing to the crowd as he walks down the ramp.
Suddenly the arena goes from scattered cheers to HUGE collective heat as the reigning United States Champion PAUL BURCHILL, and his equally twisted sister KATIE LEA, come through the curtain. With the championship slapped around his waist, ‘The Ripper’ makes his way to the ring, staring a hole through Crazy in the ring. Crazy, in turn, tries his best to not look intimidated by the sight of The Ripper heading to the ring to face him.
Michael Cole: Here comes our United States Champion Paul Burchill, who in recent weeks has been, to put it simply, unstoppable.
Matt Striker: Just five nights ago at The Great American Bash, Paul Burchill lived up to his moniker of ‘The Ripper’ as he tore at Matt Hardy with the Royal Mutilation and forced Matt into submission. What will the United States Champion do to Super Crazy here tonight?
Michael Cole: Well I wouldn’t want to disrespect Super Crazy, but...I shudder to think, Matt.
Match 3 – Non-Title Singles Match
Super Crazy vs.United States ChampionPaul Burchill w/Katie Lea
At the sound of the bell the two men lock up at the centre of the ring, and within seconds, Burchill overpowers Crazy and applies a headlock. Burchill squeezes his arms tightly around Crazy’s head, applying as much pressure as possible early in this match. Crazy kicks Burchill’s foot from behind, making Burchill quickly break as he is tripped down to the mat, but as Crazy runs to the ropes The Ripper quickly gets back up and drives through Crazy with a hard clothesline! Burchill takes a moment to look down at his opponent with disgust, then stomps viciously at Crazy’s right shoulder and upper arm.
From this very early point, the match pretty much becomes a squash as Burchill throws Crazy around the ring, smashing his arm against the turnbuckle, tugging it down over the top rope, and by applying arm wrenches. After several minutes of dominance, Burchill decides to wrap things up by taking Crazy down to the mat and applies the Royal Mutilation (Fujiwara armbar). Crazy quickly taps out, and this one is over.
Winner via submission: Paul Burchill.
“Generator A” hits again and Burchill reaches his feet, ignoring the boos of the Grand Rapids audience. The referee hands Burchill his United States Championship belt and immediately Burchill shoves the official away, wanting to stand alone in his victory. Katie Lea applauds her brother as she climbs into the ring with a microphone in hand.
Katie Lea: You see? That is what happens to all those who dare step into the ring with my brother, Paul Burchill. No matter who it is, my brother sees whoever he steps into this ring with not as an opponent...but as a victim.
The audience immediately boo the British Diva, but she ignores them, as her brother stands menacingly in the background.
Katie Lea: Tonight, it was Super Crazy, and this past Sunday...it was Matt Hardy.
Boos at the mention of Burchill making Matt submit.
Katie Lea: So let me, let us take this moment to warn the entire SmackDown! roster. No one – can defeat my brother. And no one – can stop him. He is The Ripper - and he will dismantle anybody who dares to cross him.
With those few but poignant words said, Katie cackles to herself as “Generator A” again and brother and sister exit the ring. Paul Burchill stomps up the entrance ramp in dominance as Katie Lea follows a step behind him, giving him his spotlight to shine.
Backstage, EVE TORRES is standing by at the SmackDown! interview set.
Eve Torres: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time: he is the World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Jericho!
The reigning World Heavyweight Champion ‘Y2J’ CHRIS JERICHO walks into the shot, smiling at Eve as he does so. She tilts her head and smiles back at the world champion.
Eve Torres: Chris, after successfully defending your championship at The Great American Bash this past Sunday against Edge and Kenny Dykstra, you compete tonight against Kenny in a non-title match. How are you feeling?
Jericho smirks at Eve, bemused at her generic/dumb question.
Chris Jericho: Well Eve, I think there’s no denying that ever since I won this championship about a month ago, my life has been...well, quite honestly it’s been a living hell. I’ve been attacked left right and centre, I’ve had to deal with egomaniacs, psychopaths, Vipers, Rated-R Superstars, Kenny Dykstra’s...
Jericho sighs and clutches his head.
Chris Jericho: ...I just don’t know if I can deal with the Kenny Dykstra’s!
A few laughs are heard in the background as Jericho drops the sarcasm and smirks at an amused Eve.
Chris Jericho: But the fact is, Eve, I’m used to it. I’m used to having the weight of the world on my shoulders and having to deal with it. Years ago, I had the pressure of having to compete against two of the biggest superstars in WWE history. The odds were stacked against me, but I had to prove myself; and that’s exactly what I did when I became the first ever Undisputed champion. Then, a month ago, I had to prove that I still had what it took to be a main eventer when I competed in the Battle Royal to become champion, and I did. Am I one hundred percent? No, I’m not. But will I go out there tonight and once again prove to Kenny, and everybody else, that I’m worthy of being the World Heavyweight Champion? Yes.
Jericho gently brushes his hand against Eve’s cheek, gives her a wink and walks off confidently, leaving the interviewer to blush in his absence.
SmackDown! Promotional Video Package
~THE INCOMPRIBLE, HIGH-FLYING REY MYSTERIO~
RETURNS TO SMACKDOWN!...SOON
Backstage once again, we are now in the office of acting GM LINDA MCMAHON. Linda is sat on the arm of a sofa, staring into the distance, not her usual positive self. We see Linda by herself only for a few moments as a knock is heard and a door opens without Linda replying. She stands up with annoyance as WWE Tag Team Champions THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON walk into the shot. Dressed in their wrestling gear and merchandise t-shirts, the charismatic champions look uncharacteristically upset as they approach Linda, who doesn’t look too happy herself.
Linda McMahon: Can I help you, gentlemen?
The Miz: Li- Mrs. McMahon, John and I have come in here...to apologise. You see, Mrs. McMahon, a few weeks ago, we, well...quite frankly, we didn’t show you the respect that you deserve. And as a result, you have had us defend our WWE Tag Team Championships every week for the past two weeks.
John Morrison: Yeah!
Miz gives Morrison a stern look, then turns back to Linda.
Linda McMahon: Miz, I’m very busy tonight, so if you have a point, please get to it immediately.
The Miz: Absolutely. Mrs. McMahon, we’re sorry. Having had to defend our titles for the past two weeks, we have learned the error of our ways, and we promise that from this moment forth, we will show you, Mrs. McMahon, the respect that you deserve both as CEO of this company, and as our interim SmackDown! General Manager.
Miz bows his head slightly, and Morrison quickly follows suit. For a moment, Linda says nothing.
Linda McMahon: Thank you, Miz. But you’re still defending your championships tonight.
The Miz: Oh COME ON!
John Morrison: Give us a break, Linda! We’ve defended these titles two weeks in a row now, we need a break!
Linda says nothing, but simply shakes her head. Miz shrugs his shoulders and sulks out of the room, and Morrison again follows him a few moments later. As the camera focuses back on the uninterested Linda McMahon, Morrison suddenly walks back into the shot, saddened.
John Morrison: Look...Linda...I know you’re upset about what happened earlier tonight with Lita. But that wasn’t your fault. And just remember...
Morrison slowly lifts his t-shirt and shows off his abs to the CEO.
John Morrison: ...Between you and me...if the ‘Genetic Jackhammer’ is too busy to help you, relax...‘The Shaman of Sexy’ is always available...
Linda stares at Morrison coldly, again saying nothing...then smiles at him. Morrison smirks back, before Linda suddenly bursts into laughter! Morrison looks insulted by her reaction and leaves the room.
Michael Cole: What a couple of goofs are those two, Miz and Morrison!
Matt Striker: Nonetheless; is Linda McMahon ready for her SmackDown! State of Address after everything that’s happened tonight? We’ll find out later on!
***OWN LITTLE WORLD***
LOUD heat fills the arena as KENNY DYKSTRA struts into the Van Andel Arena with a big, big grin on his face. Dressed in his silver and blue trunks, with the words “Kenny’s World” printed onto his silver headband, the arrogant young Dykstra takes his time in approaching the ring.
Michael Cole: Kenny Dykstra’s in a great mood, and I’m guessing it’s because of the fact that he dodged the bullet when Linda McMahon was forced to change tonight’s main event of Dykstra versus The Undertaker in a steel cage.
Matt Striker: Linda McMahon wasn’t “forced” to change the match Michael, she chose to.
Michael Cole: Hey, Linda said it would’ve been insensitive of us here on SmackDown! to hold a match as violent as a Steel Cage match just days after what happened to Triple H on RAW, and I agree. So when Kenny Dykstra comes out here, pleased at the news, it’s irritating to say the least.
***BREAK THE WALLS DOWN***
The crowd go wild as the reigning World Heavyweight Champion CHRIS JERICHO waltzes into the arena, ready for action. Jericho panders to the crowd as he heads to the ring, soaking in their admiration for him.
Michael Cole: Chris Jericho already pinned Kenny Dykstra at The Bash this past Sunday as part of a Triple Threat match; can he do it again here tonight?
Matt Striker: If Kenny Dykstra does not win this match here tonight, I don’t know where he goes from here, but if he can pull out a victory, a match for the World Heavyweight Championship could be in Kenny’s immediate future.
Match 4 – Non-Title Singles Match
Kenny Dykstra vs.World Heavyweight ChampionChris Jericho
At the start of the match, Dykstra is more aggressive than usual, and opts to strike at Jericho but quickly gets frustrated as the world champion counters many of his attacks. At one point Dykstra even attempts a dropkick, Jericho drops him to the mat for the Walls, but Dykstra manages to spin out of it. Later, knowing that he has the experience factor over Dykstra, Jericho gets cocky, even pulling out a few arrogant pin attempts from his old 2003 ‘Y2J’ gimmick such as placing a single foot on Dykstra’s chest. However, after Jericho misses an attack in the corner the champion takes a bad tumble outside the ring, the momentum of the match quickly shifts from Jericho’s favour to Dykstra’s.
The fall to the outside does most damage to Jericho’s neck, thus Dykstra spends most of his time hitting Jericho with neckbreakers and applying submission manoeuvres to that area. Jericho tries to fight back on numerous occasions, but a quick shot to the back of the neck by Dykstra quickly grounds the champion once more.
In the closing minutes, Dykstra brings Jericho to the corner and clobbers at his back to keep the champion weak. Then, Dykstra lifts Jericho onto the top turnbuckle, and ascends himself to the second rope. The crowd urge Jericho to fight, and the champion scrambles with his hands, but again, Dykstra strikes the back of the head and Jericho quickly surrenders. After a moment or so Dykstra grabs Jericho from behind and brings him crashing to the match with a top rope back suplex! Jericho immediately clutches his head and kicks the mat as Dykstra takes a moment to breathe, then turns the champion over for a lateral press: one – two – Jericho kicks out before three.
With the champion down, Dykstra arrogantly gets to his feet and positions himself behind the champion, perhaps looking to pick up the biggest win of his career by wrapping things up with the rolling cutter. As Jericho moves to pick himself up, so does Dykstra. Jericho finally manages to get to his feet, Dykstra quickly grabs his head, looking for the cutter, but in the spin Jericho breaks free, tugs Dykstra’s legs, turns him over, and locks in the Walls of Jericho! The crowd go wild as Jericho screams out, applying the hold with as much pressure as he possibly can, whilst Dykstra screams out for mercy. Jericho keeps the hold locked in tight, but Dykstra manages to push forward and make it to the bottom rope. The referee begins to count and makes it to three as Jericho reluctantly breaks the hold.
Jericho pulls Dykstra back to the centre of the ring, looking to lock in the Walls again, but this time Dykstra uses both feet, pushes forward, and knocks Jericho to the mat. Both men quickly get to their feet, and with the same attack in mind, lunge at each other, resulting in a double clothesline takeout! Both Dykstra and Jericho are left lying on the mat as the crowd are given a moment to collect themselves. Michael Cole wonders who will make it back to their feet first as chants of “Y2J” break out in support of the world’s champion.
It is Jericho who seems to recover quicker, although Dykstra is not too far behind the champion in getting to his feet. With a step ahead Jericho jumps, looking for the Codebreaker, Dykstra catches Jericho’s legs, Jericho lands awkwardly on his upper back, Dykstra smirks, looking for Jericho’s own Walls of Jericho against him, but as he tries to turn his opponent over Y2J uses his leg strength to send Dykstra flying across the ring! Again both men recover quickly, turn to each other, Dykstra kicks Jericho in the gut, tries to toss him to the corner, Jericho reverses. Jericho rushes forward, but Dykstra lifts his legs and kicks Jericho square in the face. Jericho staggers away and down to one knee as Dykstra pushes himself up onto the top rope. Michael Cole wonders what Dykstra is thinking as Jericho turns around, Dykstra leaps through the sky – MID-AIR CODEBREAKER BY JERICHO!!! The crowd scream in shock horror as Dykstra drops like a ton of bricks, whilst Jericho crawls over Dykstra and hooks the leg: one – two – three!
Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho.
“Break The Walls Down” hits as Justin Roberts announces Chris Jericho as the winner. Many of those in the front rows are applauding the efforts of both men, even though it is Jericho who tonight has his hand raised by the official.
Michael Cole: What a win for Chris Jericho! Jericho once again proving to the world why he is the World Heavyweight Champion here on Friday Night SmackDown!! after that amazing mid-air Codebreaker!
Matt Striker: It is a definitive win for Chris Jericho here tonight, but after that effort you cannot deny the hunger of that young man, Kenny Dykstra.
Michael Cole: Well credit where its due, Matt. Despite the attitude, Kenny Dykstra gave the World Champion all he could handle and then some here tonight. You gotta wonder what he was thinking going to the top rope in such a high-profile match.
Matt Striker: This is the big-time, the main event Michael, sometimes you have to follow your impulses and go for that big, high-risk manoeuvre, sometimes it pays off sometimes it doesn’t, and it’s heartbreaking for Kenny Dykstra to have missed out on a very big win here tonight.
Having had some time to recover, Dykstra has now managed to pull himself into a sitting position in the corner and holds his hands over his face in disappointment. Meanwhile the world’s champion, Chris Jericho, holds on to his championship belt as he watches Dykstra. Jericho wipes some sweat off of his face and then nods at Dykstra, who looks back up at Jericho, unsure of what to make of this. Dykstra pulls himself up quite aggressively, as if to question Jericho why he is nodding, before Jericho stops nodding...and then extends his hand to Dykstra! It’s a mixed reaction from the audience as Jericho holds out his hand to Dykstra. Kenny, however, doesn’t acknowledge this show of sportsmanship. Instead, Kenny sneers at Jericho, mouths some trash talk and exits the ring, drawing some loud heat from the crowd. Jericho smirks, then shrugs his shoulders, asking the crowd, “What can I do?” Kenny, meanwhile, walks up the ramp, still mouthing off at the audience and pointing to himself, refusing to let go of his own hype.
Michael Cole: Oh come on, Kenny! Chris Jericho, being the bigger man here, trying to be a class act, but Dykstra showing his true colours by walking off like a sore loser!
Matt Striker: Defeat is always a hard pill to swallow, Michael, and after how close Kenny got to picking up a win over the world’s champion tonight, I can’t say I blame him.
Michael Cole: Well I think this is an absolute shame. A great match with a sour ending.
Dykstra disappears through the curtain whilst Jericho plays to the fans as we cut to another commercial.
“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME”
For the second time tonight The Van Andel Arena fills with heat at the first sound of the Alter Bridge song and EDGE walks into the arena. Now dressed for action, The Rated-R Superstar looks somewhat...unbalanced...as he approaches the ring.
Michael Cole: Edge appears to be in a different zone tonight, Matt.
Matt Striker: And can you blame him after what happened to Lita earlier tonight? After what The Undertaker did to Lita at the start of the show I’ll be surprised if Edge allows The Phenom to leave this arena in any way other than on a stretcher.
Michael Cole: Edge has got to be in an emotional, anxious state no doubt, but think Matt; after what Undertaker did to Lita earlier, think of what he could do to Edge here!
As the arena is shrouded into darkness once again purple smoke rises at the entrance stage, and the crowd let out a huge pop as the shape of The Phenom, THE UNDERTAKER, appears through the curtain. Inside the ring Edge paces, tugging at his hair, at the arrival of The Deadman.
Michael Cole: That man The Undertaker, The Deadman, The Phenom, perhaps THE most feared superstar ever in the WWE, now approaches the ring, ready to do battle with the boyfriend of the woman he Tombstoned onto the steel stage earlier to- wait a minute!!
Cole cuts himself off as Edge rushes out of the ring and meets The Phenom with blows on the entrance ramp! The lights come up as Edge and Taker trade lefts and rights, beating the HELL out of each other, before this match has even had the chance to officially start!
The crowd rally behind Taker as he wins the fist fight, forcing Edge to back toward the ring, but Edge quickly turns the tide as he knees The Phenom in the gut. Taker bends over in pain and Edge takes the opportunity to grab The Phenom by his hair and throw him head-first into the barricade! From inside the ring the official yells at Edge and Taker to bring the action inside the squared circle, but to no avail. With Taker temporarily dazed Edge retreats to the side of the entrance stage, getting him some major heat in the process. Undertaker quickly recovers and, despite the pleas of several workers who have now emerged, pushes his way past them and chases after Edge!
Michael Cole: This- this match between Edge and The Undertaker- what’s gonna happen, Matt?!
Matt Striker: I think you can consider this one thrown out Michael; I don’t think a ring can contain the hatred between Edge and The Undertaker anyways.
Elsewhere, we see tag champions THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON now dressed for action, walking down a corridor in conversation.
Michael Cole: The Miz and John Morrison will defend their tag team titles for the third week in a row. Who will their opponents be? We’ll find out NEXT!
***AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE***
The crowd inside the Van Andel Arena let the current WWE Tag Team Champions what they think of them with heat as THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON walk through the curtain and make their way to the ring.
Michael Cole: For the past two weeks, Miz and Morrison have retained their tag team titles against the likes of Cryme Time and London and Kendrick. Tonight, they face a surprise team.
Matt Striker: I don’t think this is entirely fair, Michael. I mean they apologised to Linda McMahon, they’ve defended the titles two weeks in a row. They deserve a night off.
Michael Cole: Well maybe if they hadn’t disrespected Linda McMahon in the first place, they wouldn’t have been in this situation. Nonetheless they are the tag champions, why shouldn’t they defend the titles?
Inside the ring, Miz and Morrison look a little nervous as they await the arrival of their opponents.
The arena EXPLODES with a pop as the fan favourites, Matt and Jeff, THE HARDYS, emerge from the curtain! Inside the ring, Miz and Morrison look FAR from happy at their challengers here tonight!
Michael Cole: OH MY! It’s The Hardys! Matt and Jeff!
Matt Striker: What? How is this possible? How is Matt Hardy even able to compete here tonight?!
Michael Cole: Somehow, some way, Matt Hardy has willed himself to show up here tonight, and compete with his brother for the tag team titles no less!
Indeed, as the camera zooms in on the brothers, we see that Jeff taps his brother on the right arm, checking if he is ok, and Matt nods. The former United States champion does his best not to wince in pain as he makes his way to the ring slower than usual, and one step behind his more energetic brother.
Michael Cole: I really don’t know if this such a good idea, Matt Hardy could get hurt and hurt badly here!
Matt Striker: The glory of championship gold has an incredible power over every WWE Superstar and I believe it is that dream of one more run with the tag team championships that will fuel Matt Hardy through this match.
The match begins with the ‘fresher’ Hardy, that being Jeff, taking on John Morrison. After the initial lock-up Jeff gets the headlock, and after some resistance takes Morrison down with a snapmare. Jeff continues to control Morrison before tagging in to the ring his brother, Matt. To a nice pop Matt enters the ring and continues to work on Morrison, until Morrison takes advantage of Matt’s injured arm (Didn’t see that coming, did you?). Matt quickly falls from predator to prey as Morrison applies an armbar to punish his opponent. Morrison soon tags in The Miz, and from this point forward, the tag team champions manage to successfully isolate Matt Hardy in the ring.
After a mid-match commercial break we come back to find the crowd clapping for Matt Hardy, who is trapped in an awkward predicament. Matt is on the mat, face-down, as The Miz drives his right knee into Matt’s lower back whilst trying to pull Matt’s right arm out of its socket! Matt Hardy expresses the excruciating pain through yells as Jeff Hardy slaps his turnbuckle, trying to will Matt through the agony. Matt wriggles, he squirms, he writhers, and finally, Matt manages to move forward enough to reach the bottom rope. The referee immediately begins the count, which The Miz cleverly utilises until the ref reaches four.
With arrogance, Miz approaches the head of Matt Hardy and begins to lift him to his feet. Matt, however, with fight left in him, throws a right hand at Miz to the delight of the crowd. Miz is temporarily stunned, but still has a hold on Hardy, but Matt hits Miz with another shot, and another, and suddenly, Matt Hardy is back in the game. Matt goes to throw Miz into a corner, but Miz reverses and Matt’s back crashes into the turnbuckle. Miz clumsily charges forward, resulting in Matt kicking the champion away. The crowd continue to rally behind Matt Hardy as he pulls himself up into a sitting position on the top turnbuckle winces in pain at having to use his right arm, but The Miz turns round, unknowing, as Matt leaps off from the second ropes and knocks Miz with a double-axe handle! Matt immediately shakes his arm off then goes for a cover: one – two – Miz kicks out.
Matt yells out at the crowd and waves his arms about (as he does), signalling for the Twist of Fate, whilst Morrison yells at Miz to watch out and Jeff Hardy, who had his hand out for the tag, now watches his brother’s efforts. Miz gets up, Matt kicks Miz in the gut, goes for the Twist of Fate – no – Miz pushes Matt away but Matt stops himself from hitting the corner. Matt turns back round, Miz lunges at Matt for a clothesline, gets caught, Matt Hardy plants Miz with the Side Effect! The crowd cheer but Matt Hardy stays on the mat, immediately clutching his right arm in pain, though getting some reward from risk. Rather than look for the pin, Matt notices his brother Jeff urging him to make the tag, whilst Morrison continues to go mad in his corner for The Miz to get to him. Both men crawl to their corners, Miz manages to slap in Morrison, just before Matt tags to Jeff!
Both Morrison and Jeff Hardy springboard into the ring, run at each other, Jeff ducks, bounces off the ropes, and comes back at Morrison with a flying shoulder takedown! Morrison springs back to his feet, and again Hardy knocks him down with a right shoulder. Gold on his mind, Jeff rushes to throw Morrison to the corner, then calls Matt, who is still in the ring, over for the Poetry in Motion. Despite his arm, Matt gets on all fours, Jeff runs over Matt, leaps up – BUT AS HE DOES THE MIZ CATCHES JEFF’S LEGS AND PULLS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE AND OUT OF THE RING!! Jeff Hardy crashes and burns to the outside to huge heat as the referee condemns Miz’s actions. As the referee argues with Miz, who is on the apron, Matt Hardy rushes forward and knocks Miz off the apron, and Miz flies through the air and SMACKS his head onto the barricade!! At the sight of The Miz out cold a loud pop breaks out, as the referee shouts at Matt Hardy, trying to restore order to this bout. Morrison now comes out of the corner and knocks Matt Hardy with a right hand, and another, then tosses him through the ropes and out of the ring next to the prone bodies of Jeff Hardy and The Miz.
Morrison follows Matt out of the ring, wisely grab Matt’s right arm, pulls it up, THEN SLAMS DOWN IT ONTO THE NEARBY STEPS! Matt Hardy’s entire body shakes in pain as he drops to the floor, a third casualty now in this match. Morrison checks on his buddy Miz, taps his face to check he is okay, then approaches Jeff Hardy. Morrison uses his all his strength to get the dazzled Jeff up to his feet and rolls him back into the ring. Morrison slides back into the ring, hooks the leg of Jeff Hardy: one – two – Jeff just kicks out before three!
Although he is able to kick out, Jeff remains on the mat, still reeling from the tumble he took to the outside. As a result Morrison climbs up to the corner, his back facing the ring, and positions himself carefully. On the outside both Miz and Matt Hardy are still hurt as Morrison bounces backwards off of the top rope, going for a split-legged corkscrew moonsault, but Jeff rolls out of the way and Morrison eats canvas! Jeff Hardy, realising this is his chance, now begins to recover quicker and manages to pull himself to his feet. Jeff steps over Morrison’s body and heads up the turnbuckle as on the outside of the ring, Miz knees Matt Hardy in the gut, looks to slam his arm against the steps again, but Matt blocks it, grabs Miz’s head, and slams it against the steel! Miz’s head bounces off the steel steps and Matt finally goes to return to his corner as Jeff Hardy positions himself on the top rope. Jeff gets ready, BUT MORRISON GETS UP and rushes over, dropping Jeff crotch-first onto the top turnbuckle.
With Jeff stunned in a sitting position on the top rope, Morrison climbs to the top also, perhaps looking for a top rope hurricanrana. Indeed he is as Morrison locks his feet around Jeff’s head, goes for it, but Jeff blocks and pushes Morrison to the mat back-first! Morrison wails as Jeff now recovers, props himself up, DIVES off the apron and CONNECTS with the Swanton Bomb!! Michael Cole yells, “HE GOT ‘IM!! HE GOT ‘IM!!”, on the outside as Jeff goes for the cover: one – two –thr- NO!! MIZ dives into the ring out of nowhere and breaks the count! The match CONTINUES!
Matt Hardy immediately comes back into the ring and dives at Miz, collapsing onto The Chick Magnet with lefts and rights, pummelling Miz before he can get back up. Miz uses his arms to block his head and gets back up, but Matt continues to fire away at him regardless of this. The official yells at both men to get out of the ring, and then puts himself in front of Matt, pushing Matt away from The Miz. With this distraction Miz quickly grabs Jeff Hardy, kicks him in the gut, looking for the Reality Check, but Jeff spins out, kicks Miz, and hits the Twist of Fate!! As Morrison begins to stagger up to his feet Matt kicks at the downed Miz and gets him to roll right out of the ring. As Morrison uses the ropes to pull himself up into the corner, Jeff signals to Matt again, Matt drops to the mat, to hell with the ref’s complaints, Jeff rushes forward, and connects with the Poetry in Motion on Morrison! The Shaman of Sexy is taking an absolute beating as he drops to the mat, and Matt screams at Jeff to “go for it one more time”, Jeff complies, gets to the top rope, BAM!, second Swanton Bomb to Morrison connects!! A SECOND Swanton Bomb has connected as Matt walks over the ropes to ensure Miz won’t come back in, Jeff hooks the legs, one – two – THREE!!! NEW CHAMPIONS!!!
Winners via pinfall and the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: The Hardys.
The Grand Rapids audience come UNGLUED as “Loaded” hits again and the referee brings the WWE Tag Team title belts into the ring, and hands them to the NEW champions – The Hardys!
Michael Cole: THEY DID IT! Matt and Jeff Hardy are the new WWE Tag Team Champions!!
Matt Striker: I can’t believe it, Michael! How is this happening?!
Michael Cole: It’s not happening Matt, it’s happened; The Hardys are now seven-time tag team champions!!
Matt Striker: After weeks of being forced into championship defences, The Miz and John Morrison have finally met their match, I have to say congratulations to The Hardys, but commiserations to The Miz and John Morrison also.
Michael Cole: Who could’ve imagined this?! The Hardy Boys once again at the top of the tag team mountain! And lemme tell ya Matt, Paul Burchill is sure not going to be happy about this!
Matt Striker: One can only imagine what is going through the mind of ‘The Ripper’ right now Michael, if I were a Hardy I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the United States Champion anytime soon.
Inside the ring, The Hardys hug each other, elated at their title victory, as Miz and Morrison sit on the mat, in separate corners, each with their hands in their palms at the loss of their tag team titles that they had held for roughly eight months. Fade to a break.
When we return, we are still with THE HARDYS. The brothers have now made it backstage and are headed toward the locker room, when JOSH MATTHEWS suddenly runs toward them.
Josh Matthews: Guys, Matt and Jeff, wait!
The Hardys stop, allowing Josh to catch up with them.
Josh Matthews: Matt, Jeff, first of all congratulations on your win; how does it feel to be the new WWE Tag Team Champions?
Jeff grabs a hold of the mic to answer the question.
Jeff Hardy: It feels amazing, Josh. Ever since I came to SmackDown! in the Draft, I’ve been waiting for the chance to win these tag team championships with my brother, and right now I couldn’t be happier. See me and my brother; we share a bond, a bond that can’t ever be broken. And it’s that bond, Josh, that’s brought us the tag team titles, and it’s that bond that’ll keep me behind my brother in his war with Paul Burchill.
Matt nods and taps Jeff on the back, showing his appreciation of his comments. Josh then moves the mic to Matt. Thankfully.
Matt Hardy: Just like Jeff just said Josh; it’s great to be a tag team champion once again. It reminds me of just how much it means to be a Hardy. My doctors didn’t want me to compete tonight, but when Linda McMahon gave us the opportunity, I just couldn’t say no. But...as proud, and as honoured as I am to now be a seven-time tag team champion with Jeff, I just wanna make one thing clear.
Matt now turns his attention directly to the camera.
Matt Hardy: Me and Jeff winning the tag team titles doesn’t change a thing between me and you, Paul Burchill. I haven’t forgotten what you did to me this past Sunday, how you tried to end my career, how you’ve tried to hurt my brother in the past. This thing between you and me, Paul; it’s not over by a long shot! And even though Jeff and I are gonna be fighting tag team champions, I won’t rest until I regain what’s rightfully mine, and that’s the United States Championship. Paul Burchill can try to bloody me, he can try to break my arm...but Matt Hardy will – not – die!
Matt taps Jeff on the shoulder, signalling them to leave, as the cheers of the live crowd are heard in the background.
Back in the arena, and more specifically in the ring, a podium has been set up. Slapped on the front of the wooden stand is a SmackDown! logo. At the helm of the podium is a microphone.
Michael Cole: Welcome back to a chaotic SmackDown! here tonight ladies and gentlemen; we’ve now just received word that after brawling their way to the backstage area, both Edge and the Undertaker have been separated from each other by a number of WWE officials.
Matt Striker: The hatred between Edge and The Undertaker continues to embroil all of SmackDown!; what ramifications will these two face?
As acting GM and CEO LINDA MCMAHON walks through the curtain, the audience reply with a decent pop. Linda looks all business as she heads to the ring, with a few rolled up papers in hand.
Michael Cole: Well we could find that out right now, Matt. After all that happened over the past month and earlier tonight, Linda McMahon promised a SmackDown! State of Address here tonight; what will it address?
Matt Striker: Mrs. McMahon has done her best to maintain order and control on Friday Night SmackDown! since Vickie Guerrero resigned months ago, but if we’re judging here I’d say Linda needs to do more, especially after what The Undertaker did earlier tonight.
Michael Cole: Earlier tonight The Undertaker confronted Edge and Lita in the ring. Edge was able to once again slither his way out of harm’s way, but as she tried to protect her boyfriend, Lita became the victim of a Tombstone Piledriver onto the floor by The Phenom. She has since been rushed to a local facility, and we have yet to receive word on her condition.
Matt Striker: And as she approaches the ring, we can see that Linda McMahon is not entirely happy with everything that has happened tonight. What will she do?
Linda enters the ring via the steel steps and approaches the podium. As her music cuts, the CEO takes a deep breath as she looks out at the WWE audience, and then begins to read off of her page.
Linda McMahon: ‘Good evening. This past Sunday at The Great American Bash, it was not only RAW, but Friday Night SmackDown! that was the subject of major controversy. In the scheduled Triple Threat World Heavyweight Championship match, there were interferences from both a masked man, and from The Undertaker. For the past month, it is because of such individuals, that chaos has ensued on SmackDown!. Therefore, I made the decision to hold this State of Address tonight, in order to bring resolution to the matters concerning these superstars, and to restore order on this brand.’
Linda pauses for a moment, obviously nervous about something, but then continues.
Linda McMahon: ‘...Earlier this evening, The Undertaker took it upon himself to attack both Edge, and Lita, and as a result, Lita has now been rushed to a nearby facility where doctors are attending to her closely. Lita has a history of neck injuries, and as a result of The Undertaker’s attack, it is unknown at this point what her condition is...’
The crowd actually cheer this statement, but “Robo-McMahon” shakes her head at them, not agreeing with their attitude.
Linda McMahon: ‘As both the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, and as acting General Manager of Friday Night SmackDown!, it is my duty to ensure the safety of each and every SmackDown! superstar. Therefore...
???: NO, NO, NO!
The camera cuts to the entrance stage, where the former champion EDGE has appeared. Edge does not enter the arena in his usual arrogant manner, but instead hurriedly makes his way to the ring, looking over his shoulder.
Edge: You’ve GOT to do something Linda!
As Edge reaches the ring a number of officials emerge through the curtain, apparently the ones who Edge has escaped from. The Rated-R Superstar steps into the ring and as the officials are about to follow him, Linda gestures for them to stay outside, not fearing being alone in the ring with Edge. Having been given free rein to move as he pleases, Edge walks right up to the CEO of the WWE and gets in her face.
Edge: Did you see that? DID YOU SEE THAT!? Do you SEE what that FREAK is doing to me, did to my girlfriend!? Enough, is enough; I am TIRED of your incompetence! You get The Undertaker out of my life and you give me my World Heavyweight Championship BACK! You understand me!? You do what I tell you! Do what I tell you! Do it! DO IT!! (Linda looks flabbergasted; Edge, close now, points his finger) You do it now, or I’ll-
Suddenly The Ultimate Opportunist’s attention turns to the entrance stage...THE UNDERTAKER EMERGES...and he’s alone! Taker makes a beeline for the ring but Edge doesn’t wait for him, and as the earlier officials stand between them, the hated rivals begin to knock them all down, before AGAIN tearing into each other!!
Michael Cole: This is absolute CHAOS!
As the officials lay on the ground, Edge and Taker continue to pummel each other, before Edge has enough and rakes Taker’s eyes! With The Phenom temporarily stunned The Ultimate Opportunist runs past the ring and leaps over the barricade, heading through the crowd; and soon after The Phenom follows!
As Edge and Taker disappear through the crowd and the officials split up and leave the arena in all different directions, the camera cuts back to Linda McMahon in the ring, who looks exasperated by what just happened...
The crowd boo heavily as for the first time tonight, ‘The Viper’ RANDY ORTON enters the arena. Linda looks cautiously at the entrance stage as The Viper, in his wrestling gear and the usual merchandise t-shirt, makes his way to the ring.
Michael Cole: I don’t like the looks of this, Matt. Randy Orton said earlier tonight he’d be watching Linda McMahon’s state of address “very closely”...but how close?
Matt Striker: Well right now it seems to me Randy Orton has every right to get in that ring with Linda McMahon; after everything that’s happened over the past few weeks, The Legend Killer must be feeling disrespected.
Orton, with a microphone of his own, enters the ring and confronts a timid Linda McMahon.
Randy Orton: Linda, whatever you were planning to say...forget it. Forget everything else, forget Edge, forget The Undertaker. Move on to the part...where you name me...the new number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The crowd boo as Orton pauses, waiting for Linda to react; to which the wooden McMahon simply stares back at Orton, back to robo-mode. Orton looks unimpressed and takes a step forward.
Randy Orton: I said-
Linda McMahon: I heard what you said, Randy. However...I am NOT going to name you the number one contender.
The crowd cheer loudly, much to Orton’s annoyance. Linda’s hand shakes very slightly as she holds her mic.
Linda McMahon: I was going to announce that later, but since you’ve interrupted me and since we have superstars running riot across this arena, I’ll get straight to the point. I will not award violence, Randy. And after what you did to Chris Jericho at The Great American Bash, you don’t deserve a championship match.
Orton clicks his neck and gets right in Linda’s face.
Randy Orton: Who the hell are you to tell me I don’t deserve a championship match, huh? You listen to me; I don’t care whose wife you are, you will give me MY opportunity! And as for not deserving it? I beat Chris Jericho two weeks ago on SmackDown!; like it or not, I BEAT him! Not to mention I am the biggest superstar on this brand; you keep me away from the world title, and this show will sink, this show will plummet! Give me my match, NOW.
Suddenly Orton looks down, seemingly trying to calm himself down. After a moment’s relief he looks back up at Linda and speaks softly, and with a smirk.
Randy Orton: Give me my match...or else.
The audience boo the living HELL out of Orton as his eyes bulge out of their sockets at Linda, whose fear is now much more evident. However, there is some courage left in the CEO, and she does not back away from the snake-like Orton.
Linda McMahon: No.
Another pop from the crowd for Linda’s refusal to give Orton what he wants. Orton looks away from Linda, seething, then turns back to her.
Randy Orton: So be it.
SUDDENLY ORTON LEAPS UP, GRABS THE WOMAN'S HEAD, AND DROPS HER WITH THE RKO!!!
THE CROWD ERUPT as Orton reaches his feet and stands over Linda. The Legend Killer has no expression. He does not move. Cold. Unforgiving. Orton stares down at his victim, not moving an inch, as the audience look at the former champion in shock. Suddenly, and very conveniently, a bunch of officials and paramedics dash down to the ring and swamp Linda McMahon. A number of road agents push Orton into a corner and The Legend Killer doesn’t react...until...a sick, evil smirk stretches across his face.
Michael Cole: My...I can’t- I can’t believe what we just witnessed. Randy Orton is SICK, he’s INSANE! Edge and The Undertaker have disappeared out of sight, Randy Orton has laid out Linda McMahon, our CEO and GM...what the hell has happened tonight?!
EMT’s attend to Linda McMahon as a low-angle shot of the evil Randy Orton is the last shot before we fade to black to end a chaotic and disorderly night.
Iíll get one negative out of the way, because for the most part this was an enjoyable piece of reading. I simply donít get the reasoning for ditching the cage match simply because Triple H got run down on Raw. Yeah, the replacement of Edge versus Undertaker (and Iíll add to that in a second) is a bigger match than Jericho & Dykstra for sure, and I understand that you wanted away from the already announced cage match, seeing as it isnít part of your vision for Smackdown, BUT, the way about going with the change - the reasoning - didnít sit well with me.
Given the animosity between Edge and Taker, either one of them - or both - could have ended up seriously injured by the other, so, using the reasoning that Linda didnít want any more injuries, booking a match between Edge and Taker?? Not such a great idea - unless youĎre trying to make Linda look incompetent as an authority figure. Plus, the ĎTaker vs. Edge match didnít even happen in the end. So, youíve replaced a cage match (spectacle) with a huge one on one match Ö but didnít deliver it. Not a happy camper.
But, that one big negative out of the way, this was a chaotic, must see episode of Smackdown. Lots of things going on throughout the show with the constant Edge - Taker fighting at various points. Thought the Tombstone to Lita was a little much, a very heel like thing for Taker to do, and personally, I felt that one piece of male to female violence took away from the shocking conclusion to the show. I get that you done it to keep the action between Edge and Taker for the rest of the night, but I donít think a Tombstone was necessary to write Lita out of the night. Edge couldíve saved her, then in a backstage segment couldíve told her to leave the building as it wasnít safe for her to be there Ö or something.
Anyway, that aside, you put over the animosity between the two very nicely throughout the show, surely leading to a match announcement at Summerslam, where they can settle their differences once and for all. Not sure if youíll go with HIAC, given that it happened in real life at the same event, but it WOULD be a fitting crescendo to a feud that really officially began over a year ago. Plus, the ring itself doesnít seem to be able to contain the pair, as evidenced on this show, again making a HIAC match very apt. I expect an announcement of some kind next week Ö
Ö but from who?? Having seen Linda take a stunner (and I use the term take lightly) I wouldíve loved to have seen her take the RKO from Orton. Clearly Orton is obsessed with getting his hands on the title, but unless the maniacal Mr. McMahon takes over Smackdown along with Raw, and in his currently warped mind is impressed with Orton taking out his wife, Iíd be surprised to see him simply get the title shot. He is however, the leading candidate, with Dykstra simply not ready for the opportunity, and Edge & Taker sidetracked with each other.
As I mentioned earlier, the RKO lost a little impact seeing as Lita was Tombstoned at the start of the night (Tombstone > RKO), but had Lita been saved in some way from it, and Linda then made mention to it about how the show was getting too chaotic, I personally feel it wouldíve added to HER being attacked by a male wrestler. I must say, even though it was Linda McMahon involved, the closing stages of her showdown with Orton was tremendously written, suspenseful Ö before leading to the shocking RKO. Glad Linda has been written off television (at least I hope she has been) and now maybe a GM with some personality can fill her shoes to deal with the anarchy on Smackdown.
Outside of the two big angles, youíve suddenly injected life into the tag division by reuniting the Hardy Boys. Pleased that Matt hasnít just given up on Burchill, and while I can only see Matt & Jeff reforming on a short term basis (at this stage IRL, Jeff was right on the cusp of becoming a legit main eventer) itís a shot in the arm that the tag titles desperately need. With the Hardys on board, you can maybe be able to establish some new teams to showcase in the division to help compliment Miz & Morrison. BTW, Morrison offering his Ďservicesí to Linda was brilliant.
Elsewhere, youíve laid a decent little foundation for Chavo and Evan Bourne to develop their issue, and given Guerreros experience, he makes a great first Ďrealí challenge for the newcomer to be tested against. Now Chavo has his shot, I hope you can develop the issue a little further and given Bourne some character development against the veteran who has no respect for the youngster. Iím not sure what the long term future of the divas title will be, as Iím aware you donít really want (or need) two womens titles on the roster, but it still seems like McCool and Natayla will be hogging the limelight for the new title, although Iíd be slightly concerned that youíre going down a similar path to the CW title feud with the heel not respecting the face.
Jericho was slightly underutilized on this show, I felt, but, even though he is the World Champion, itís understandable that he cant be the centrepiece of the show every week. Given that itís the first show in the Ďrebirthí of the thread, it was a lot more noticeable, as you expect the champion to be prominently featured. I expect with Orton targeting Jericho though, heíll be a lot more prominent in the coming weeks.
Overall, this really was a welcome return. Bar a little bit of a lull with the Harry Smith & Burchill back to back squash matches (or at least, what felt like squash matches) the show was a cracking picture of what you are capable of. For far too long, youíve had the same punch lines thrown at you regarding the Great American Bash and the tag team division on Raw - not by me, never by me - but this show was a showcase in what you ARE capable of Ö and the best of it all, is that this was just a starting point. I would hope that with the coming weeks, everyone will eventually have forgotten about those dark days, and now remember you for what you clearly are - a cracking writer and booker (who was directly responsible for two of MY more acclaimed feuds in recent times). Iím sick of HEARING about Summerslam in this thread, and Iím glad weíre finally getting to see you working toward the biggest event of the summer.