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HOPE
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13,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The New World Wrestling Entertainment

Synopsis
WrestleMania 24 has been and gone, along with the ECW brand as Kane became the last ever ECW Champion. What will the fallout be? How will the former ECW superstars find a new home on the other brands? And what chaos will ensue?


Monday Night RAW

Staff
General Manager: William Regal
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia
Backstage Interviewers: Todd Grisham and Maria

Champions
WWE Champion: Randy Orton
Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho
World Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly
Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix

Roster
Ashley Massaro
Beth Phoenix
Brian Kendrick
Candice Michelle
Carlito
Charlie Haas
Chris Jericho
Cody Rhodes
DH Smith
Hardcore Holly
Hornswoggle
Jeff Hardy
Jillian Hall
Jim Duggan
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield
John Cena
Katie Lea Burchill
Lance Cade
Melina
Mickie James
Mr Kennedy
Paul Burchill
Paul London
Randy Orton
Ric Flair
Robbie McAllister
Ron Simmons
Rory McAllister
Santino Marella
Shawn Michaels
Snitsky
Super Crazy
Trevor Murdoch
Triple H
Umaga
Val Venis


Friday Night SmackDown

Staff
General Manager: Vickie Guerrero
Assistant General Manager: Theodore Long
Announcers: Michael Cole and Jonathan Coachman
Ring Announcer: Tony Chimel
Backstage Interviewer: Josh Matthews

Champions
World Heavyweight Champion: The Undertaker
United States Champion: Montel Vontavious Porter
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Miz and John Morrison

Roster
Batista
Big Show
Chavo Guerrero
Cherry
Chuck Palumbo
CM Punk
Curt Hawkins
Deuce
Domino
Edge
Elijah Burke
Eve Torres
Festus
Finlay
Funaki
The Great Khali
Jamie Noble
Jesse
Jimmy Wang Yang
John Morrison
JTG
Kane
Kenny Dykstra
Mark Henry
Maryse
Matt Hardy
Michelle McCool
The Miz
Montel Vontavious Porter
Ranjin Singh
Rey Mysterio
Shad Gaspard
Shannon Moore
Shelton Benjamin
Torrie Wilson
The Undertaker
Victoria
Zack Ryder


Unassigned Talent
Armando Estrada
Balls Mahoney
Bam Neely
Big Daddy V
The Boogeyman
Colin Delaney
Joey Styles
Kelly Kelly
Kevin Thorn
Kofi Kingston
Layla El
Matt Striker
Mike Knox
Nunzio
Stevie Richards
Tazz
Tommy Dreamer


Pay-Per-View Schedule
Backlash: April 27th, 2008 | 1st Mariner Arena; Baltimore, Maryland
Judgment Day: May 18th, 2008 | Qwest Center; Omaha, Nebraska
Vengeance: June 15th, 2008 | American Airlines Center; Dallas, Texas
The Great American Bash: July 20th, 2008 | Nassau Veterans Memorial Center; Uniondale, New York
SummerSlam: August 17th, 2008 | Conesco Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Indiana
Unforgiven: September 7th, 2008 | Quicken Loans Arena; Cleveland, Ohio
No Mercy: October 5th, 2008 | Rose Garden; Portland, Oregon
Cyber Sunday: October 26th, 2008 | US Airways Center; Phoenix, Arizona
Survivor Series: November 23rd, 2008 | TD Banknorth Garden; Boston, Massachusetts
Armageddon: December 14th, 2008 | HSBC Arena; Buffalo, New York
Royal Rumble: January 25th, 2009 | Joe Louis Arena; St Louis, Missouri
WrestleMania 25: April 5th, 2009 | Reliant Stadium; Houston, Texas


---

What?

Yes, new thread. I don't like the old one, plain and simple, so here I am with a new one instead. You'll notice some things are a little different, such as the PPV schedule. That will be explained, as will the demise of ECW (well, in a better way than me just saying I think that it was a waste of time). This will probably take some time to get cooking because it's been a while, but I'm constantly editing what I've already written to try to make it better. Hopefully it works. Time to find out, I guess.

And yes, the creative thread title is based on the extremely creative title of my last thread. Marvel at my creativity, folks.
 

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HOPE
Joined
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13,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I decided to go with a time that wasn't littered with attitude era jobbers, Reney. (Y)

The first show is done, minus a few changes that have to be made. Expect it soonish. There won't be any previews because they're a waste of time to write and they're generally a waste of time to read.

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WWE News and Notes

- It has been privately confirmed that Paul Heyman has signed to rejoin WWE and play a major part in the creative department. It is thought that Heyman will provide a different perspective, which has quite often been lacking in WWE creative.

- There have been a few sticking points in Heyman’s arrival. It is thought that ECW ending was partially out of respect to him, although it is known that WWE have been very disappointed with the reception ECW has received as a brand. ECW’s closure was considered to be a grapevine to Heyman, after the bastardisation of the company that Heyman made famous.

- It is worth noting that with the abolition of ECW, WWE have changed pay-per-views back to single brand affairs, with the exception of the big four. It is thought that the new talent arriving from ECW will beef up the rosters, while it will also allow more talent to feature. Some dates have also been shifted, perhaps to fit in with the new schedule.

- Expect to see more emphasis on tag team and women’s wrestling on television from now on. Both divisions have been treated as afterthoughts, and it is something WWE have wanted to rectify for some time. While RAW is set to feature more prominent women’s angles, SmackDown may also welcome the Cruiserweight Title back to give it a point of difference from RAW.

- It is thought that the women’s division in particular will become more ‘adult’ in a bid to become more serious, while SmackDown will once again become more of a wrestling show.

- WWE are said to be looking out for new talent, with glances at Japan having been cast. The Naturals have appeared as jobbers recently and may be in line for a contract.

- There has been discussion about using Heyman as an on-screen character in the future, but WWE and Heyman don’t have any actual plans for it yet. The door is certainly ajar for him to become a manager again, or perhaps even a commentator.

- Expect superstars to be given more time off this year as WWE looks to keep bodies fresh. John Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista, Big Show and The Undertaker are just a few names that are expected to be given time off throughout the year. It is thought that undercard superstars will not be afforded the same luxury, as they know time off could be regretted in the future should they miss an opportunity.

- One man who requires some time off currently is Chavo Guerrero. It is thought that he will still appear on television to hold La Familia together, but don’t expect to see him wrestling. Chavo has been struggling with a back injury, which is why his match at WrestleMania was so quick.

- As always, expect some post-WrestleMania changes. Matt Sydal and Colt Cabana are rumoured to be on the verge of being called up to the main roster, while some former ECW superstars are expecting their release. A draft is expected to be in the works too, as usual.
 

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Chopped Liver
Joined
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5,553 Posts
Don't know how I managed to miss this a couple of days ago, but new thread / old thread - it doesn't matter. I'm pleased to see you back booking again. Post-WrestleMania is the ideal time to start a new project, with essentially a blank canvas to work with, and a lot of unassigned talent that can fill the rosters nicely.

One question though; with ECW disbanded, I get that the ECW title would be retired, but are the WWE Tag Team Titles (held by Morrison & Miz I think) retired too? Just noticed they weren't mentioned.
 

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I mark for me
Joined
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11,419 Posts
"The Great" Mickie James is in this thread, which automatically makes it a great thread. Paul E. taking over creative, leads me to believe we can see some of his signatures throughout. Not necessarily the extreme stuff, but the emphasis on wrestling, and the highlighting of wrestler's strengths instead of weaknesses.

Your last thread was quite enjoyable, so the best of luck to you, brother.
 

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hello
Joined
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19,627 Posts
oh look, a dig at the Attitude Era when wrestling was exciting, unlike the time period you've gone with, shocker :rolleyes:

I guess I'll read RAW whenever you get the show posted (Y)
 

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HOPE
Joined
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13,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Flair-centric show. He's probably earned some nobody on a forum giving him his due.

Expect some rust. It gets better over the next few. I didn't want to gut the show and do it again entirely because I didn't have the motivation for that, so it's not going to be the best.

Don't know how I managed to miss this a couple of days ago, but new thread / old thread - it doesn't matter. I'm pleased to see you back booking again. Post-WrestleMania is the ideal time to start a new project, with essentially a blank canvas to work with, and a lot of unassigned talent that can fill the rosters nicely.

One question though; with ECW disbanded, I get that the ECW title would be retired, but are the WWE Tag Team Titles (held by Morrison & Miz I think) retired too? Just noticed they weren't mentioned.
I meant to mention that in the first post. They'll go wherever Miz and Morrison go, although it's pretty obvious where that will be at this point. :$

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March 31st, 2008 | Orlando, Florida

The show opens up with a highlight package of WrestleMania 24, featuring John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield defeating Finlay in a brutal Belfast Brawl, CM Punk scaling to the top of the ladder to capture the Money in the Bank briefcase against six other superstars, Batista proving himself the superior beast in the Battle for Brand Supremacy, Kane stunning Chavo Guerrero and becoming the final ECW Champion, an emotional Shawn Michaels putting an end to the greatest career of all-time, Beth Phoenix and Melina taking out the trash, Randy Orton shocking the world and retaining his WWE Title, Floyd Mayweather sneaking one over Big Show, and The Undertaker extending his streak and becoming World Heavyweight Champion.

We now cut straight into the arena to hear …

***BURN IN MY LIGHT***

The crowd comes alive with an initial pop, although the love-in is short lived as it is only boos by the time the WWE Champion, Randy Orton steps out onto the stage. A pensive Orton stops at the top of the stage to stare deeply into the title that sits so comfortably on his shoulder, before glancing out to the masses and resuming his stroll to the ring.


Jim Ross: Ladies and gentlemen, we are just twenty-four hours removed from one of the biggest events of all-time, WrestleManaia 24, coming to you live for Monday Night RAW from Orlando, Florida! I’m good ol’ ‘JR’ Jim Ross, joined here at ringside by my colleague Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Jerry Lawler: And what better way to start the show ‘JR’ than with our WWE Champion, a man who was victorious last night at WrestleMania to retain that WWE Title, Randy Orton!

Jim Ross: Randy Orton undoubtedly shocked the world last night, beating both Triple H and John Cena in a Triple Threat Match, and putting ‘The Game’ out of action indefinitely following a punt kick. I’m sure he’s come out here to tell us all about it too.

Orton climbs into the ring slowly, heading across to grab a microphone, before standing calmly in the centre of the ring, waiting as all noise starts to die down. A small “Randy! Randy! Randy!” chant comes from a corner of the audience, but that, along with the boos, drops out as the crowd wait in anticipation.

Randy Orton: They said it couldn’t be done. They said that I couldn’t win. They said that I would walk in here tonight without my WWE Title.

~ Orton looks down at the gold with a smirk on his face.

Randy Orton: “They” were a lot of people … from the announcers, sitting there at that announce table. Hey Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, you didn’t think I could win, did you?

~ Orton leans over the ropes as Ross remains quiet, but Lawler tries to pretend he always believed in Orton. (Note: Yes, I am going with the heel Lawler. It’s for my sanity as much as anything else. He’s the worst thing ever if he’s not a heel.)

Randy Orton: They guys in the back thought I was on death row. No one would say a word around me … silence followed me. And it wasn’t the usual silence. It wasn’t just because they were afraid that if they looked at me wrong, that I could end their career with just … one … kick.

~ Orton pauses to look down at his own boot and then smirk.

Randy Orton: Triple H knows what I’m talking about.

~ The crowd does not react kindly to that, booing Orton quite heavily.

Randy Orton: No, they were quiet around me because they thought I was done. The clowns in the interview area, Todd Grisham and Maria, they would ask me about how I could possibly beat both John Cena and Triple H. They would ask me how I would do the impossible. They were asking the wrong person though. They weren’t asking John Cena or Triple H how they could beat Randy Orton like they should have been.

~ A few more boos as Orton pauses again, before looking right into the hard camera.

Randy Orton: But most of all “they” … refers to you people … you … disgusting … disbelieving … people.

~ The crowd boos heavily again, while Orton now fires up and points to the crowd.

Randy Orton: You people are the ones who most of all thought it would be one of your heroes, John Cena or Triple H, who walked out of WrestleMania as the WWE Champion. It was you people who thought you would get your happy ending.

~ The crowd continues to boo as Orton pauses briefly once again.

Randy Orton: All I heard about before WrestleMania was how John Cena is a three-time WWE Champion … the man that had held the title for thirteen whole months before forfeiting it, the longest reign of the modern era … the Royal Rumble winner … the man around these parts who never lost … that he never lost the title in the first place and that he wasn’t going to lose an opportunity at it now … ‘The Champ’ they said …

~ A derogatory s...... indicates Orton disagrees with that.

Randy Orton: I heard about how Triple H was an eleven-time WWE Champion … the winner of the Elimination Chamber … one of the greats of the modern era … ‘The Cerebral Assassin’, ‘The King of Kings’ … the man who supposedly taught me everything that I know …

~ TLK shoots another cocky smirk after that last remark.

Randy Orton: I saw their entrances. I saw the pomp, the pageantry they were given. I saw that they were treated like champions, unlike the real champion. I wasn’t given a marching band like John Cena … I wasn’t given full stadium pyrotechnics like Triple H. I wasn’t given anything by the WWE machine, the machine that I have represented so well for so long now. No, I wasn’t given anything … not even a chance.

~ Orton pauses to shake his head, before continuing.

Randy Orton: I saw the polls. Before the match, ninety-two percent of you – NINETY-TWO PERCENT – said that either Triple H or John Cena would walk out of WrestleMania 24 as WWE Champion.

~ A bit of an ironic cheer is heard, almost mocking Orton.

Randy Orton: Forget that I had held this title since October; forget that I am a third generation superstar; forget that I am the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history … ninety-two percent of you thought I couldn’t win. Triple H and John Cena are the superstars of this decade after all … they are the future legends of this business … they are the biggest names in the industry this side of the millennium … but not anymore.

~ It’s only a few boos from the crowd, while Orton pauses briefly.

Randy Orton: There’s always been that comparison between John Cena and myself. People saw us both come in to the WWE around the same time and they said that both of us were the future of the WWE. And while I struck first, while I won a world title before John Cena to become the youngest ever World Heavyweight Champion, since then, everybody has proclaimed that I had fallen behind, that I wasn’t on his level … including John Cena.

~ Again, some boos for Orton stretching the truth a little bit and showing the chip on his shoulder.

Randy Orton: You see, John Cena, as good as he has been, has told us all along that he’s the man, that he’s ‘The Champ’ … well not only have I put him out of commission, not only did he have to spend four months on the sidelines after trying to keep the WWE Title from me … but I’ve now proven who the real champ is, haven’t I?

~ There are a few cheers for Orton disrespecting Cena, but it’s mostly heat that comes in for the WWE Champion.

Randy Orton: As far as Triple H goes, I’ve been there with him and seen it all. I’ve seen what he had to do to be a world champion, how he had to rely on people like me to carry him. I’ve seen what it’s like when Triple H realises you’ve passed him by, and I’ve seen everything that Triple H has to offer. Triple H likes to say that he taught me everything I know, and that he didn’t teach me everything he knows, but the truth is that I’ve shown by beating Triple H time and time again that already, I know more about this industry – because I have LIVED in this industry – than he’s ever seen.

~ It’s only heat for Orton when he disrespects the very popular Triple H.

Randy Orton: When it comes to Triple H and his obsession with the WWE Title … his need to take the WWE Title, no matter who he has to hold down … the game … is over.

~ Some immediate boos for that, but Orton continues on talking over them.

Randy Orton: And maybe after I kicked him in his skull last night … maybe his career is too.

~ The heat gets more intense as the smug WWE Champion smirks away. He takes a moment to enoy it all, before getting a bit more serious again.

Randy Orton: I told you people all along. I’ve told you for the past six months since I won this title that we aren’t living at a time when I’m holding Triple H up at the top anymore. We aren’t living in John Cena’s time, because his time is up and my time is now … … … we are now living in the ‘Age of Orton’.

~ This draws more heat for the arrogant champion, who isn’t too interested in pausing to cater for the crowd.

Randy Orton: I’ve walked out with this title after facing Triple H alone and I’ve walked out with this title after facing John Cena alone, but now, now after beating them both at the same time, I have reinforced, I have proven without a shadow of a doubt that this is my time, that my reign is permanent, that my destiny has been fulfilled, and that I am … a ‘One Man Dynasty’.

~ Yet more heat for Randy, who just plain talks over it.

Randy Orton: And mark my words … this … is just … the beginning. Ask yourselves this … if your heroes, if the mighty Triple H and John Cena can’t stop me, even when working together, even when wrestling me at the same time … then who can?

~ The crowd boos again, but Orton simply holds the microphone up to his lips and waits.

Randy Orton: Tonight is a chance to farewell Ric Flair, the greatest of all-time …

~ The crowd immediately breaks out into huge cries of “WOOOOOOOOO!”

Randy Orton: … But while tonight might be about Ric Flair, the next decade will be about Randy … Orton.

***BURN IN MY LIGHT***

It’s heat that sounds throughout the arena as Randy Orton drops his microphone and holds his title up in the air proudly.


Jim Ross: That’s a mighty big statement from Randy Orton, although I guess that’s what we’ve come to expect from our WWE Champion.

Jerry Lawler: But he can make big statements now, ‘JR’, because he backs them up! You saw last night – like Randy said, I was the only one to believe in him, and he went out there and did it! Randy beat both ‘The Game’ Triple H and John Cena in the one match.

Jim Ross: You’re stretchin’ the truth a little there, ‘King’, but while Orton’s victory was big, what was bigger was the end of the career of ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. Tonight Ric Flair gets the chance to say farewell live here on Monday Night RAW, and until then, we’ll be counting down Ric’s greatest moments, starting with this one.

We cut away to see our first great Ric Flair moment of the night, when he defeated Dusty Rhodes on September 17th, 1981 to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion – his first of sixteen world title wins.

Commercial Break

We return to see the WWE Champion, Randy Orton walking down a corridor, with numerous nameless faces not facing up to him, perhaps as a reaction to what Orton just said about them not rating him. Orton continues to walk until he finally comes across someone who steps up and goes face-to-face with him … John Cena. The crowd breaks out into a huge mixed reaction, as Cena and Orton look one another in the eye.

John Cena: Y’know Randy, for once you were right … tonight is about Ric Flair. Unfortunately, that’s the only thing you said that was right. I haven’t forgotten what you’ve done to me. Out of respect for Ric, I’m not turnin’ tonight into you versus me, but after tonight … I’m comin’ for you Randy.

~ Orton stands his ground, looking at Cena confidently, before speaking.

Randy Orton: Everything I said? You mean … I didn’t pin your shoulders to the mat last night to retain my WWE Title?

~ Cena goes to speak, opening his mouth, but he decides better of it, perhaps out of respect to Flair, as he said before.

Randy Orton: That’s what I thought.

Orton and Cena continue to stare each other down, before Orton smirks and brushes past Cena, not sticking around.

Back to ringside …

***COOL***

A smattering of heat, but honestly not that much as Carlito and Santino Marella make their way out, ahead of a golden opportunity for the duo.


Jim Ross: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to a special Monday Night RAW, where we’re not just dealing with the fallout of maybe the biggest WrestleMania of all-time, but we also have the potential arrival of ECW superstars, plus we’re about to see the World Tag Team Titles on the line as Carlito and your good friend Santino get a huge chance, ‘King’.

Jerry Lawler: I don’t know about Santino and me being good friends, but I will tell you that stopping him from ruining the Bunnymania match was one of my WrestleMania highlights!

Carlito and Santino climb into the ring, with Santino eyeing off Lawler while Carlito tells him to focus.

***HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?***

The World Tag Team Champions, Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly make their way out to a decent pop, with both raising their arms up for the crowd.


Jim Ross: The unlikely duo of Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly have held the World Tag Team Titles for almost five months now, dating back to the RAW Homecoming late last year. This will be a good test for them though against formidable opposition.

Jerry Lawler: Both of their Santino and Carlito won the Intercontinental Title on their very first night on Monday Night RAW, and, as much as I hate to admit it, we all know the potential they have.

Rhodes and Holly show their titles off to the crowd, before the bell for this one sounds.

1 – World Tag Team Championships – Tag Team Match – Carlito and Santino Marella vs Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly (c)

Cody kicks the match off against Carlito, and despite Cody showing some amateur wrestling prowess, Carlito is able to take control with a surprising knee to the midriff. The control goes back to the champions when Santino tags in however, with the goofball posturing and allowing Cody to pull him over so he can tag in Hardcore Holly. Holly wails on Santino for a while, with Santino trying to beg off, only for Holly to kick him in the head anyway for a two count.

Control now firmly in his grasp, Holly bounces off the ropes … but Carlito knees him in the back! Holly staggers into a side Russian legsweep from Santino now, allowing Carlito and Santino to start to dominate the match. Holly is isolated from his partner, with Santino and Carlito trying to wear him down. Holly eventually starts to regain some momentum when he escapes Carlito’s grasp in a cravat, but Carlito cuts him off with an elbow that knocks him down.

Carlito now tags in Santino, who heads up to the second rope … but he misses the diving headbutt! Santino flops around on the mat comically, as Hardcore Holly starts to pull himself towards his corner … and he makes the tag to Cody Rhodes!

The second-generation superstar bursts into the ring full of energy, taking it to Santino with a series of right hands. A few clotheslines follow, with Cody now signalling for the bionic elbow to get the crowd excited … but Carlito turns him around, kicks him in the gut and then takes him down with a swinging neckbreaker!

Carlito climbs back to his feet looking around cockily … only to turn into a flying clothesline from Hardcore Holly from the top rope! Holly and Carlito roll from the ring, Holly kicking and clawing at Carlito the whole way, leaving the ring clear for Santino and Cody to go at it.

Santino is the first one up, and he slowly picks Rhodes up, before whipping him into the corner. Santino then chases Cody in … but Cody skips out of the way, leaving Santino to crash into the turnbuckle. Santino reels back … right into an elbow to the top of the head! Dazed, Santino staggers around … right into a DDT from Rhodes! Cody drops down on to Santino … and the referee counts to three!

Winners (and still World Tag Team Champions): Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly via pinfall @ 06:08

***OUT TO KILL***


Cody climbs back to his feet and is quickly met by Holly, who congratulates him on picking up the fall as the referee hands the pair their titles.


Jim Ross: Another good victory for the World Tag Team Champions, and that boy Cody Rhodes, the son of son of a plumber, seems to look better each and every week.

Jerry Lawler: And a lot of credit for that has to go to Hardcore Holly. Ever since he took Cody under his wing last year, Cody has gone from strength to strength.

Cody and Holly head up the ramp, leaving Santino to recover in the ring …

… WHEN HE’S SUDDENLY TAKEN DOWN FROM BEHIND WITH THE BACKSTABBER!

Carlito strikes, sending his (former?) tag team partner rolling around in agony. Slowly, Carlito heads across to pick up his apple, takes a bite … then spits it out on to Santino!


Jim Ross: Oh come on! That’s just too damn far! It’s bad enough that Carlito has attacked his own tag team partner, but to spit on him is just plain despicable.

Jerry Lawler: As much as I don’t like Santino, you don’t like to see that type of thing happen to anybody. You can’t say this isn’t without precedent from Carlito though. There’s a reason he calls that move the Backstabber!

Jim Ross: And maybe I’m just naïve, but I wish he’d have grown out of this type of thing by now.

A deadly serious Carlito continues to stare down at Santino, before skipping out of the ring and heading up the ramp alone.

We cut away, continuing to look back at Ric Flair’s career, this time with a brief video highlighting his final match of a best of three series against Ricky Steamboat at Wrestle War 1989. Ultimately Flair would be victorious, claiming his sixth world title.


Commercial Break

We return in the arena to immediately hear …

***WITH LEGS LIKE THAT***

A nice pop for the popular Maria, who walks out and blows kisses to the crowd, trying to put on a brave face but looking nervous.


Jim Ross: Maria has had the biggest past few months of her career, posing for the cover of Playboy and competing at WrestleMania, but as last night showed, Beth Phoenix may be a little out of her league.

Jerry Lawler: Maria’s a fiery one though, ‘JR’, and that’s just the way I like to see divas! She’s not going to go down without a fight – she’ll kick and claw to the end!

Maria now climbs into the ring, posing for the audience, whose cheers have grown stronger since that great moment in her wrestling career – posing for Playboy.

***GLAMAZON***

It’s the Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix who steps out now, supported by Melina. Phoenix raises the gold as she strides down the ramp, with Melina in tow.


Jim Ross: Beth Phoenix won the Women’s Championship almost six months ago at the No Mercy Pay-Per-View, and since then it has been a dominant reign at the top of the division for ‘The Glamazon’, capped off last night with a victory at WrestleMania.

Jerry Lawler: I just don’t know who’s going to be able to stop her, ‘JR’. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more dominant diva than Beth Phoenix!

Phoenix climbs into the ring without Melina, disappointing every guy in the crowd that wanted to see the most amazing ring entrance ever. Beth stares down Maria intensely, who isn’t trembling, but certainly doesn’t look overly confident.

2 – Singles Match – Maria vs Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix w/Melina

Maria shows she’s going to put up a fight, immediately charging at Beth and stunning her with a series of right hands and kicks. Feeling the momentum, she goes for an Irish whip … but Beth simply refuses to budge! She chooses to send Maria running off to the ropes instead … and Maria comes back with a flying crossbody block … two!

Stunned, Phoenix launches to her feet and immediately takes Maria down with a big clothesline to put her back where she belongs. This starts the methodical beatdown from the Women’s Champion, who takes her time and seems to enjoy what she’s doing. She eventually invites Maria back into the match when she starts to mouth off, calling her a slut for appearing in Playboy (we’re not PG here, folks) … when Maria launches into her with some slugging blows.

This takes Phoenix aback, allowing Maria to bounce off the ropes and nail the champion with a flying clothesline! A couple of more clotheslines and Maria has Beth cornered, allowing for her to climb onto the second rope and get the crowd to count along as she punches … but Beth stops her at six and just carries her from the corner! A terrified Maria shakes her head … but Beth drops her down onto the mat hard!

Done with the messing about, Beth quickly goes about picking Maria up and pinning her arms back … so she can nail the Glam Slam! The three count from there is academic, handing the Women’s Champion the victory.

Winner: Beth Phoenix via pinfall @ 03:22

***GLAMAZON***


The victorious champion climbs back to her feet, and is handed her Women’s Championship by Melina. The two march around the ring, yelling out to the crowd that they’re real wrestlers, not skanks who sell out to Playboy.


Jim Ross: Beth Phoenix made one helluva statement in that ring, and she’s making another statement after the match, telling everyone exactly what she thinks of Maria’s recent choices.

Jerry Lawler: We heard it before WrestleMania too, and if you ask me, I think Beth and Melina are just jealous of Maria’s success. Beth shouldn’t be though, as she just showed in the ring!

Content her work is done Beth now leads Melina out of the ring and heads up the ramp.

We’re allowed to cut backstage now, with the camera peeking through a crack in a door to show at least a bit of the General Manager, William Regal on his mobile phone (cell phone for the Yanks).


William Regal: Yes, everything is all set up … … … yes, it’s going to be bloody big … … … I can’t wait to see you on RAW next week either, Mr DiBiase … … … I’ll fax it over. Okay, bye.

Regal hangs up the phone, then takes a deep breath and looks around his office to see that there’s a camera at his door. Frazzled, Regal rushes over, prompting the cameraman to make a break for it (or so we assume from the footage we get), the sound of the door shutting being heard in the background.

We quickly cut back to ringside, with the cameraman seemingly having gotten the footage he was looking for.


Jerry Lawler: Did you hear that, ‘JR’?! ‘The Million Dollar Man’ is coming back to Monday Night RAW!

Jim Ross: I sure did, ‘King’, and I’m sure he’s going to have something huge to say too. His wrestling days might be behind him, but ‘The Million Dollar Man’ still knows how to create a stir. However, while we welcome another veteran back next week, tonight we’re saying farewell to the greatest of all-time as in this ring, Ric Flair will say goodbye and sign off on a career that has had to be seen to be believed.

And with that we see another snippet of Ric Flair’s career, this time as he enters at number three in the 1992 Royal Rumble and still manages to go on and win it, capturing the WWF Title.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to see Todd Grisham standing by in the interview area.

Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time … he is the Intercontinental Champion, ‘Y2J’ Chris Jericho!

A good pop as the camera zooms out to show the Intercontinental Champion, Chris Jericho standing next to Grisham.

Todd Grisham: Chris, last night you failed in your quest to become the holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase after coming so close, but tonight you’re right back in action against John Cena. What are your thoughts on your match tonight?

Chris Jericho: Well I guess first of all, I’d like to thank you for so kindly reminding me of me losing last night. Really, it was real nice of you kid.

~ Poor Todd shifts uncomfortably, undone by his own incompetence.

Chris Jericho: My thoughts are simple. My thoughts are on John Cena. Y’know, I saw earlier tonight when John Cena told Randy Orton that he wanted to be WWE Champion. I saw John Cena tell Randy Orton that he wants Orton in the ring. And do you know what that told me?

Todd Grisham: Uh … no.

Chris Jericho: It was a rhetorical question, assclown. That told me that John Cena is already looking past me … John Cena is looking at Randy Orton. And lemme tell you, that’s the biggest mistake John Cena can make. You see this title around my gorgeous waist? That tells you that I’m the Intercontinental Champion. That tells you that John Cena’s focus should be right alongside everybody else’s, on the king of the world baby! I don’t even know how John Cena could possibly look past this sexy beast!

~ A pop sounds for the sudden burst of enthusiasm from Jericho.

Chris Jericho: John Cena and I have a history. Hell, he was the man who sent me packin’ from this company three years ago. I remember what John Cena is all about, but if John Cena has forgotten what ‘Y2J’ is all about, what I can do in the ring, then I’ll have no problem reminding him.

~ A small cheer as Jericho pauses for a brief moment.

Chris Jericho: Tonight’s not about the past though. Tonight is about the future, and as you so kindly reminded me, Todd, last night, I lost. But just because I lost one opportunity to earn a shot at the WWE Title, it doesn’t mean I can’t win another one. I beat ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and The Rock in one night to become the first ever Undisputed Champion, and if I win the WWE Title to go along with my Intercontinental Title … nobody is going to be able to dispute anything about that.

~ Jericho smiles, as another small bunch of cheers sounds from the crowd.

Chris Jericho: John Cena, tonight my focus is on you, and let me promise you, that if your focus isn’t on me, then you’ll NEVER … EEEEEEVER be the same AGAIN!

~ Big cheers come in for that, with the crowd having said the popular catch phrase alongside Jericho.

Chris Jericho: Tonight, John, I’m going to remind you that RAW … is … Jericho.

Jericho smiles briefly, before walking off.

We’re then back into the arena to hear …

***LONGHORN***

It’s boos that are heard throughout the arena, as the classic limousine pulls up, the chauffeur climbing out to open the door for John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield.


Jim Ross: This man ‘JBL’ is someone who I used to have a lot of respect for, and he showed why in his victory over Finlay last night at WrestleMania in a Belfast Brawl, but his actions before WrestleMania were disgusting to say the least.

Jerry Lawler: But you wouldn’t know it looking at him. Look at the smile on the face of JBL! He feels like he was right all along, and while we mightn’t agree with his actions, you have to respect with what he can do in that ring.

JBL climbs into the ring sporting his ever-present toothy grin, while the jobber he’s about to face – who ROH fans might recognise as Colt Cabana – heads out to the floor. Eager to gloat about his victory last night, JBL beckons for a microphone.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: America … you’re welcome.

~ The American crowd don’t exactly sound appreciative, immediately booing that.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Last night at WrestleMania, I finally put an end to one of the biggest lies, to one of the biggest shams in professional wrestling history. I ended the myth … that Finlay is the toughest SOB in this company, because there is not a tougher SOB on this planet than me, J … B … L!

~ The crowd groans, knowing what is about to come from JBL, having said his own name.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: J – B – L! J – B – L! J – B – L! JBL! JBL! Come on people!

~ There’s certainly no chanting, but rather boos that can be heard from the crowd.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Last night I protected the values of this country when I beat that lying foreigner, who was trying to take advantage of one of the greatest Americans to ever live, our esteemed boss Vincent Kennedy McMahon!

~ McMahon hasn’t appeared on-screen since the Hornswoggle awkwardness ended, but it’s still boos that sound thanks to the obvious sucking up from JBL.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: And in doing so, I proved once again that not only what I say I am, and that is A ‘WRESTLING GAAAAWWD’ … but I am also a true AAAAMERICAN HEEEERO!

~ It’s more guaranteed boos for JBL, who clearly has no problems running through his usual lines.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: So what next for the greatest American hero of all-time? Simple … I want the Dubya Dubya E Championship. I was the greatest Dubya Dubya E Champion of the past decade, the longest reigning champion in the HISTORY of SmackDown … and now, haha, now it’s time for me to do it all again on Monday Night RAW!

~ The crowd continues to boo, as JBL turns his attention to Colt Cabana on the floor.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: So get this poor sap into the ring, and let’s get this procession over and done with.

JBL throws the microphone towards the corner, while the jobbing Cabana climbs up into the ring.

3 – Singles Match – Colt Cabana vs John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield

Layfield smiles cockily at Colt, before getting his game face on. ‘The Wrestling God’ walks over and proves his superior size, pressing up against Cabana … who comes out with a knee to the midsection! Stunned, Layfield doubles over and allows Cabana to hit some clubbing blows, backing JBL up to the ropes. Cabana then tries to send JBL off with an Irish whip, only for the ex-Texan to reverse it. He misses a clothesline on the rebound though, allowing Cabana to bounce back … right into a big boot!

JBL takes control of the match, manhandling Cabana as he throws him around the ring. Strangely, the jobber does get some offense in, catching Layfield off guard every now and then. JBL, however, looks to be closing in on victory when he sends Cabana sprawling across the ring with a massive fallaway slam.

With the match firmly in his control, JBL raises his arm, signalling he’s about to finish it … but Cabana ducks the Clothesline From Hell! JBL turns around into an arm drag then gets up to see Cabana pointing to the roof. Surprised, JBL looks up … when he’s suddenly rolled up … and Colt Cabana somehow gets the three count!

Winner: Colt Cabana via pinfall @ 03:58

JBL kicks out, but it’s too late as Colt Cabana springs from the ring! JBL tries to dive after him unsuccessfully, with Cabana having outsmarted the self-made millionaire!

Jim Ross: My God, what an upset! JBL thought he had the match won, but this youngster Colt Cabana has outsmarted him and caused the upset of the year!

Jerry Lawler: Look at JBL! He can’t believe it! He just declared himself the number one contender to the WWE Title before the match!

Jim Ross: I think it’s safe to say that JBL will be very lucky to find himself in a title match now.

JBL continues to look furious in the ring, as Cabana slaps hands with some fans as he heads up the ramp.

We now cut away to see another Ric Flair moment, this time when he made his return to the WWE following Survivor Series 2001, having led a consortium that bought Shane and Stephanie McMahon’s stock in the company. Flair stuns Mr McMahon, announcing himself as co-owner after McMahon thought he had regained control of the company.


Commercial Break

Returning from the break, we once again see John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield, backstage now, kicking and yelling at equipment following his loss.

From there we cut back to ringside to hear …

***PAY THE PRICE***

There’s not much of a reaction for Charlie Haas, who makes his way down the ramp by reciprocating with very little acknowledgement of the crowd.


Jim Ross: JBL is still certainly far from happy, following his shock loss to Colt Cabana.

Jerry Lawler: Of course he’s unhappy, JR – he just saw his potential title shot go up in smoke!

Haas climbs into the ring and briefly raises his arms up into the air, before setting himself for action.

***GENERATOR A***

There’s some decent heat as the newcomer, Paul Burchill makes his way out, accompanied as always by his sister Katie Lea Burchill.


Jim Ross: This man Paul Burchill has been on a roll since arriving here on RAW a couple of months ago, and tonight it’s gonna be a tough match for Charlie Haas up against him.

Jerry Lawler: Burchill isn’t just good – he’s dangerous! I’ve never seen anyone take such pleasure in hurting people as him. Even his sister seems to enjoy it!

Paul climbs up into the ring while Katie Lea slinks down to ringside, pressing eagerly up against the apron.

4 – Singles Match – Charlie Haas vs Paul Burchill w/Katie Lea Burchill

Burchill and Haas slowly lock up, with Burchill powering Haas back, only for Haas to quickly swing behind him and apply a waistlock. Haas takes Burchill down and outwrestles him for a moment, but Burchill shows his brutishness by elbowing his way out, and then just plain assaulting Haas in the corner. Burchill backs off, before charging back in … right into a boot to the head.

Haas then charges out and ducks behind Burchill, thinking German suplex … but Burchill counters by throwing his elbow back … which Haas ducks, allowing him to take down Burchill for a northern lights suplex that gains a two count. Burchill springs back up, but he’s immediately taken down with a back suplex that gets another two for Haas.

Wanting to keep his momentum going, Haas hits the ropes … but he bounces back right into a big belly-to-belly suplex from Paul Burchill! Burchill absolutely wails on Haas for the next few minutes, showing the unrelenting style that has made him a feared superstar on RAW already. However, when throwing Haas out of the ring, Burchill is stopped by the referee from chasing after him, allowing Charlie Haas to crawl under the ring, then, for some reason, emerge wearing a mask. (Note: This was his gimmick at the time. Don’t blame me.)

Haas goes back to climb into the ring, but Burchill cuts him off, clubbing him across the back so he can drag him back. Burchill then tries to send Haas off with an Irish whip, but Haas reverses, then begins a series of arm drags. Dazed, Burchill staggers right into a dropkick, gaining Haas a two count. Haas then heads up to the top … and nails a flying crossbody block for only two again.

Fired up, Haas shouts out to the crowd, before thinking German suplex for a second time … but Burchill executes a standing switch, then pushes Haas off to the ropes … before catching him with a saito suplex!

Haas is all but done now, allowing Burchill to stand over him … the crush his head into the mat with the devastating Curb Stomp! The three count is academic, with Haas completely out of it.

Winner: Paul Burchill via pinfall @ 05:53

***GENERATOR A***


There’s a smattering of boos for Paul Burchill as he climbs to his feet victoriously. Quickly joined his sister Katie Lea, the dastardly duo sneer down at the fallen Haas.


Jim Ross: We’ve said it before, but Paul Burchill is dangerous. That Curb Stomp is one of the most brutal moves I’ve seen here in my time in the WWE, and lemme tell you, I’ve seen a lot.

Jerry Lawler: It’s not the only way Paul Burchill can beat you either! I’m sure he could have had the win after that saito suplex, but Paul Burchill was intent on sending a message not just to Charlie Haas, but also to everybody in the locker-room.

The crowd starts to boo now, as we see that Burchill has received a microphone, while the Brit continues to stand over Charlie Haas.

Paul Burchill: Consider that a statement … THAT is the damage I can do to a man with ease, but I could make it so much worse if I wanted.

~ The crowd boos again as Burchill sneers.

Paul Burchill: Unless I’m given the opposition I deserve, I promise you, I will literally rip through my so-called “competition”.

~ There are a few more jeers as Burchill continues to hold the microphone up to his mouth.

Paul Burchill: Just watch me.

***GENERATOR A***

Burchill drops the microphone and leaves the ring, leaving Haas to continue to lie limply in the ring.

We now cut backstage to see Todd Grisham standing by.


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, Mr Kennedy!

A few cheers, but the boos quickly drown them out as Mr Kennedy steps into shot, eyeing off Grisham.

Todd Grisham: Mr Kennedy, last night at WrestleMania 24, you declared that you would be the first man to win the Money in the Bank briefcase twice, but that didn’t-

Mr Kennedy: What’s your question, Todd?

Todd Grisham: Well my question is where-

Mr Kennedy: Y’know what? It doesn’t matter what your question is. It just doesn’t … matter.

~ Kennedy looks down at the floor, stroking at his face.

Mr Kennedy: Last night … last night was just a mere blip on my radar. Don’t you get it, Todd? Don’t these buffoons in Miami get it?

~ It’s a cheap heat tactic from Kennedy, and it definitely works for him.

Mr Kennedy: All day I’ve had people coming up to me and telling me that last night I failed. They’re telling me that I failed to win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and that I failed to win the world title that I promised after winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Ironic, huh? A bunch of failures telling me that I failed!

~ Cheap heat again, with Kennedy seemingly trying to erase the small number of cheers he originally heard.

Mr Kennedy: I didn’t fail. All that happened was that the inevitable … was delayed. Because mark my words, I will be holding gold soon enough. I was BORN to wear gold. I’ve been so freakin’ close to the top of the mountain before, and believe me, I’m gettin’ there. While last night may have been a delay, rest assured, I’m still taking over Monday nights. I’m still the next face of the WWE. And I’m still the best freakin’ thing to happen to this company since the first WrestleMania. Else my name isn’t MMMIIISSSTTTEEERRR KKKEEENNNNNNEEEDDDYYY!

~ KK leans into Todd’s ear to whisper.

Mr Kennedy:Kennedy.

The unusually intense Kennedy quickly turns from the shot, leaving a nervous looking Todd to stand alone.

We now cut away to our final Ric Flair moment of the night, seeing highlights of his epic encounter with Shawn Michaels from last night, in which the narrator talks about the stipulation Mr McMahon put on all of Flair’s future matches, and reels off all of the names he beat. Unfortunately, Shawn Michaels was one man that he just couldn’t get the better of.


Commercial Break

***

We return from the break to see a wide shot of the Citrus Bowl from WrestleMania.


Narrator: The showcase of the immortals has come and passed.

Randy Orton is shown holding the WWE Title aloft.

Jerry Lawler: Randy Orton has done it!

Narrator: Champions have made a name for themselves.

Shawn Michaels is shown telling Ric Flair “I’m sorry … I love you.”

Jim Ross: Sweet Chin Music … connects!

Narrator: Men have done the unthinkable.

Ric Flair is shown looking around the Citrus Bowl, tears in his eyes.

Jim Ross: The career of ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair … is over.

Narrator: Careers have been ended.

Triple H enters, with pyrotechnics shooting off around the arena.

Narrator: We’ve seen the spectacle.

John Cena enters through the sea of his marching band.

Narrator: We’ve had the pageantry.

Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair embrace one another.

Narrator: But will the actions of all … be forgiven?

We start to see action shots of various RAW superstars.

Narrator: Or will there be …

The action shots continue, before we focus in on a sombre looking Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 again.

Narrator: A backlash?

WWE BACKLASH – A MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRODUCTION – APRIL 27TH, 2008

***


Back into the arena …

***BREAK THE WALLS DOWN***

It’s a great pop that greets the Intercontinental Champion, Chris Jericho. Jericho throws his arms out as always, before shouting out to the crowd and firing them up on the way to the ring.


Jim Ross: Last night Chris Jericho battled manfully in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and he looked to have it won, only to fall just short to the winner, CM Punk. Tonight he renews acquaintances with an old foe, and even without the briefcase, Jericho could put forth an argument for a WWE Title match to try to add to that Intercontinental Championship with a victory here tonight.

Jerry Lawler: Jericho said it earlier, ‘JR’. He and John Cena have a history, but tonight that history isn’t what he’s focused on. Tonight, his focus is on doing all he can to earn a shot at the WWE Title and become a double champion!

Jericho fires the fans up on the way up to the apron, before climbing in the ring and showcasing his Intercontinental Title. With his music dieing down, Jericho now waits …







***MY TIME IS NOW***

The crowd erupts into a huge mixed reaction as John Cena charges out onto the stage. Cena says a few words to the camera, before jogging down the ramp.


Jim Ross: Last night John Cena came up just short in his pursuit of the WWE Title, but he obviously hasn’t given up hope of regaining it, having not had a proper one-on-one opportunity end without controversy since he had to forfeit the title due to injury back in October.

Jerry Lawler: But as Chris Jericho warned Cena earlier, his focus had better be on Jericho, else he won’t be earning a shot at the WWE Title any time soon.

Cena slides into the ring and poses for the fans briefly, before indicating that his eyes are firmly on Jericho. The referee is then set to call for the bell …

“KENNEDY”

***TURN UP THE TROUBLE***


The crowd boos as Mr Kennedy strides out, chewing away on his gum as he walks down the ramp.


Jim Ross: Aww, now what does Mr Kennedy want?

Jerry Lawler: You heard him before – he said he’s going to be a champion soon. Maybe he just wants to take a look at the competition.

Kennedy takes up a seat at ringside, motioning for the two in the ring to get started. The referee obliges, calling for the bell.

5 – Singles Match – Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho vs John Cena

Both men look at Kennedy, before turning their attention towards one another, with Cena telling Jericho once again that all of his focus is right here tonight. Jericho nods, with the two circling around before locking up. It’s Cena who overpowers Jericho, forcing him back into the corner, before backing away and giving a clean break.

Jericho comes out and engages in another lock up, with Cena once again proving his superior power. Jericho, however, swings things around when they reach the corner, before thundering a knife-edge chop off the chest of Cena. Stunned, Cena staggers along the ropes after Jericho didn’t offer Cena the same courtesy that Cena offered Jericho.

Jericho looks to take advantage and seize control, grabbing a side headlock to wear Cena down. Cena tries to pick the pace up and power out, but Jericho resists, taking him over. With the match slowed right down, Jericho keeps the headlock on for some time, before Cena finally pushes him off and runs through the smaller man with a shoulder block.

Cena speeds the pace of the match up, taking Jericho down with some more tackles, before laying some elbows into Jericho on the mat. Feeling the momentum swinging his way, Cena charges at Jericho by the ropes … but Jericho drops down and pulls the top rope with him, leaving Cena to tumble to the floor.

Cena struggles back to his feet right next to Mr Kennedy, who doesn’t react, instead allowing Cena to head to the apron. Cena doesn’t get any further though, with Jericho springboarding to wipe him back out to the floor with a springboard dropkick! It’s a good pop for Jericho, with Cena down as we head to a commercial break.

Commercial Break

Back from the break and Cena is fighting back up, currently finding himself in a sleeper hold. ‘The Champ’ who isn’t a champ throws some elbows, escaping from the grasp of the IC Champion and doubling him over … so he can bounce off the ropes and take him down with a blockbuster!

Jericho’s face bounces off the mat, sending him into a daze as he staggers right into a fisherman suplex that gets Cena two. Cena looks to be feeling it … setting up for the F-U … but Jericho slips off, then bounces back to nail Cena with a bulldog! Cena’s down in the centre of the ring … allowing Jericho to nail the Lionsault! Jericho covers … but only two!

Clearly feeling it’s in his best interests to slow Cena down, Jericho grinds the match almost to a halt again as he grapples Cena around the mat. Cena struggles to fight back for a while, but the energetic drawcard can’t be suppressed for too long. With Jericho having pressed him into the corner, Cena is able to avoid a chop, ducking out of the corner so he can push Jericho back and unload on him with right hands.

Full of momentum, Cena drags Jericho away from the ropes and goes for an Irish whip, ducking a clothesline attempt from Jericho so he can charge off himself. A surprised Jericho turns around … and is taken down by a jumping shoulder tackle! Cena nails a couple of more, before ducking a wild clothesline attempt from Jericho and nailing the Protoplex!

To a massive mixed reaction, Cena tells Jericho “You can’t see me” … then nails the Five Knuckle Shuffle! Jericho looks out of it as he climbs back to his feet … F-U … no! Jericho fights free with elbows, then takes Cena down … and locks in the Walls of Jericho!

Cena is caught in the middle of the ring, knowing he must get to the ropes, else the match is as good as done. Cries of “Tap! Tap! Tap!” come from the crowd, but Cena fights on, refusing to give it away. Bit by bit, ‘The Champ’ inches his way closer to the ropes … before finally getting there!

Jericho doesn’t release the hold straight away, taking a moment to punish Cena before trying to drag Cena off the ropes … but Cena pushes him off with his legs. Jericho then charges back … right into a drop toe hold … STF-U! Cena now has Jericho at his mercy, as Jericho has to try to pull himself to the ropes with 245 lbs on his back! Like Cena, Jericho seems to have no intentions of quitting, taking the punishment as he reaches for the ropes … and he makes it too!

Cena releases the hold quickly, pulling himself away before kneeling down and waiting. Jericho isn’t up so quickly, feeling at his back … before turning right into the F-U … but he escapes again! Jericho slides down behind Cena … then turns him for the Codebreaker … but Cena pushes Jericho away now! The two charge at each other … and hit simultaneous clotheslines!

Both men are down now, forcing the referee to start his count. Both men struggle up, climbing to their feet at about seven when they hear …

Mr Kennedy: Ladies and gentlemen, the NEXT Intercontinental Champion, MMMMIIIIISSSSSTTTTEEEERRRR KKKKKKENNEDY!

This takes Jericho’s attention, who turns towards Kennedy, before refocusing and charging at Cena … right into the F-U! Cena hooks the leg … and gains the three!

Winner: John Cena via pinfall @ 14:37

***MY TIME IS NOW***


Cena climbs to his feet and shoots Kennedy a look, not happy at him having gotten involved. Cena doesn’t do anything about it though, leaving the ring and heading to the back.


Jerry Lawler: Well, I guess we know what Mr Kennedy was doing out here now.

Jim Ross: We sure do, and Kennedy just ruined what was a great match. Take nothing away from John Cena, he didn’t do anything wrong, but Mr Kennedy knew that he would take the attention of Chris Jericho there, and damnit it sure did.

Kennedy climbs onto the apron with the microphone still in hand and looks down at Jericho, as he struggles to try to roll around the mat.

Mr Kennedy: Kennedy!

Happy with his work, Kennedy drops the microphone and heads for the back …

… But we cut out to the parking lot now, to see a limousine roll in. There’s a crowd of workers around waiting … to see Ric Flair climb out! The crowd of workers erupt into applause for ‘The Nature Boy’, who looks set to head to the ring.


Jim Ross: Ladies and gentlemen, ‘The Nature Boy’ is in the building, and we’ll say goodbye to him – next!

The ovation continues as an overwhelmed Flair walks out of shot.

Commercial Break

I’m not going to write this out in full, as what happened for real is sufficient. Ric Flair gets a chance to say farewell to everybody. There’s no angle here. Flair has, to say the least, earned the chance to go out in a respectful way. He’s the greatest of all-time.

End

---

Backlash

April 27th, 2008 | 1st Mariner Arena; Baltimore, Maryland

*NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED*
 

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I mark for me
Joined
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11,419 Posts
Solid promo from Orton. If you really are going with Randy as the centerpiece of the show from here on in, then this was a nice way to do it, by not having him interrupted by Cena or someone else. I think it ran a little long, considering at time Orton may not be the most charismatic or exciting speaker in the world. But the promo did it's purpose. With Hunter out, I suppose we can look forward to Cena vs. Orton as the next big title match.

Not a big role for Cena speaking wise, but I guess he had to get some words in on the show somehow. Love the arrogance of Orton so far. He shouldn't ever play an over-the-top scared heel. He's a bad ass, and that's what I love about him. Well done.

The tag team division of RAW is clearly a work in progress as neither the champions nor the challengers are going to wow anybody. Nice choice to have Carlito split away from Santino after the match. Carly's better by his lonesome and Santino has potential as a repackaged character, or he has a nice little role as a comedy act. Either way, this feud should be short and succinct.

Beth squashing Maria? Fair enough. Mickie plz. Million Dollar Man? Probably has something to do with his son, or at least I would imagine. Ted, Jr. could use the help.

You run into the same problem with Jericho that I do with Rock. It's hard not to go "valid point, catchphrase, point, catchphrase...". They're just too easy to get in. But hey, it works, as this was a solid enough promo from Y2J. Cena vs. Jericho tonight should be a solid contest, but I expect a screwy finish.

Interesting, Cena, Layfield and Jericho have all made overt or subtle references to wanting a shot at the title. Four way? Anyway, Cobana gets the roll up win, which always seems to happen to JBL. I suppose that knocks him out of contention as the announce team alluded to. That's a nice way to get Cobana started and a feud between he and JBL could most certainly lead to entertaining exchanges on the mic.

Paul Burchill as the Ripper? Your card seems to be loaded with a fair enough of people you're gonna try to get over. It definitely feels like a reset show with Burchill, Cobana and Carlito. Hopefully, Burchill can find himself an opponent that he can really sink his teeth into.

KENNEDY! "THE GREAT" Nothing much to say here. It's about the same we got from Jericho early in the night, which lets me know you're relatively high on KK. Poor Todd though.

ocrap. KK's having himself a seat. This = ratings and we can most definitely expect to see Kennedy getting involved in this one. I would imagine with Jericho, considering Cena and Orton appears to be on deck. Solid match with Jericho and Cena and do like the fact that you wrote them as relative equals. I hate when a secondary champion is treated secondary. I've done it at times myself. Glad you didn't fall for that trap. Anywho, KK costs Jericho the match and we've got ourselves quite a few nice feuds set up for Backlash and beyond.

Outside of the Women's Title picture and the Tag Title picture, everything else seems to be falling into place quite nicely. It's nice to have you back, as you produce quite the lovely reading material.
 

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Chopped Liver
Joined
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5,553 Posts
I’ll start on the negative (sorry), and then move on to the positives… but the lingering feeling that I came away with after reading the show was that while it was solidly written with some decent advancement out of Wrestle Mania … it did feel rather flat for a post-WrestleMania show.

I’m slightly reluctant to say that if I’m honest (and I‘ll explain a little more later), given that - like I said - the show was well written, especially the Orton promo, which nailed his character, and allowed him to gloat over his success at WrestleMania. Adding in the fact that 92% of fans believed he WOULDN’T win (as opposed to the usual schtick of an underdog winning and them casually saying no one thought they’d win) helps solidify that he really wasn’t expected to win at WM.

His immediate future clearly lies with Cena (unless, his writing off of both men could mean he’s set to deal with another challenger or two for a few months before revisiting the men he conquered at WrestleMania) if Triple H is set to miss a period of time to sell the punt … although if you want to keep this real, Triple H should be back next week and completely no sell the punt :side:

Hmmm … forget the brackets in that last paragraph, Cena isn’t ready to move on yet, it seems. Nice little teaser for their rivalry to continue.

While you could be doing with all the tag teams you can get (with the current champions a perfect example of that), Carlito dumping Santino couldn’t happen sooner. Carlito is still at a point where he can be saved from becoming a forgettable member of the roster, and ending his association with Santino is a logical first step. Santino can be useful as a lower card comedy act, but Carlito is someone that can be used as a serious threat to the IC/U.S titles. I have a feeling as soon as you set down to do this project, Carlito cutting his ties with Santino was quite possibly the first order of business.

Beth squashing Maria suggests the direction the womens division is set to go in - and much like Carlito kicking Santino to the curb - I’m all for it.

A debut for DiBiase Junior is the only explanation for Regal talking on the phone with the Million Dollar Man. I’m intrigued to see how you bring in the youngster, as he was clearly someone who had just about everything required to succeed (bar promo skills really imo) but he just never seemed to connect. So, I think his debut could be key. My worry is that he’ll be introduced as simply a newer version of his dad, with the Million Dollar belt etc, and I don’t see that as a good way forward for him. I have my own hopes as to how Ted jr. is brought in and utilised, so I’m quietly excited to see how it unfolds.

Harking back to this period of time reminds me of how dated and stale Jericho appeared at the time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a knock - the promo was well written for my money and it did do a good job hyping tonight’s main event. But, it is probably about time that Jericho had some kind of change to freshen up his act. The problem probably is that a heel turn would see Jericho become the Jericho we all saw in 2008 … but personally? I wouldn’t care if he did go that route in the thread. It was a terrific change of pace for his character at that time. Still, it seems quite clear that Jericho will be more prominently featured from this point after treading water since the Rumble in real life, considering he’s in the main event match the night after WM.

Without a doubt, the big news coming out of the show was the debut - and (fluke) win from Colt Cabana over an over confident JBL. Whether this is a way to introduce Colt as a name from the get go, or if this is laying the groundwork for an eventual Punk-JBL feud (which would be great to see further explored than it was in 2008, given the mic work and how the two could play off one another) and using Punks real life friendship with Cabana as a catalyst.

The follow up on this one will be key, as the shock loss for JBL was something that no one would’ve seen coming. Given the lack of other newsworthy items on the show too - Cabana beating JBL would be one of the HUGE headlines coming out of the night after WrestleMania, and could most certainly catapult Colt into almost immediate stardom.

Burchill and Haas are two guys currently in a state of flux, but Burchill is beginning to build momentum off the back of a series of squash wins prior to WrestleMania. Him beating Haas wasn’t much of a surprise, but hopefully you’ll eventually get around to finding something for Haas to do (oh, look, Shelton Benjamin is an unassigned talent right now ;)) in the near future.

The Kennedy interview was a particular highlight. While Cabana gets a lot of shine coming out of this show, of the established stars, Kennedy came out of this night looking a whole lot better than he had in recent times. His promo, refusing to admit how he failed to live up to his promise at WM, and declaring that gold would be in his future just had the feel of a classic heel promo. Expertly written and executed - especially with his appearance during the main event and targeting Jericho … and surely as a result the Intercontinental title. For many, a Jericho/Kennedy feud is something of a ‘dream’ at least in terms of how they would bounce off one another on the mic, and having Kennedy push Jerichos buttons could be key to giving Jericho the proverbial shot in the arm his character desperately needs.

I cant disagree with not wanting to mess around with a perfect send off for Ric Flair, it’s just a shame that it pretty much ends the first show back with a bit of a whimper, but as I said at the beginning of my post, the show did feel rather flat. I get Triple H wouldn’t appear due to selling the effects of the punt, but some kind of appearance from Shawn Michaels could’ve added some much needed star power to proceedings during the night. Maybe you wanted to keep him off the show and save his appearance for the Flair send off, but I don’t think it would’ve taken anything away from the closing segment if Shawn had appeared in an interview, or a short in ring speech earlier in the night.

For the night after WrestleMania, the show sort of felt like it missed the mark to capitalise on the big showcase from the night before, with a distinct lack of star power following the opening segment and until the main event match (arguably JBL aside), with little of note (again, JBL aside) really happening.

Concentrating on the positives though, you’ve essentially got a blank canvas to work with from here. You’ve already set up a mouth watering Jericho/Kennedy feud, the seeds are planted for Orton/Cena to continue, whilst Colt Cabana is an instant star if you want him to be, due to how much attention his win over JBL will receive. And on top of that, you can now mould the mid card into your own vision, as evidenced with the immediate Carlito breakaway, and an apparent focus on a push for Burchill. Clearly it’ll be the tag team division that needs attention in the long run, but there’s enough talent around to help re-establish the division.

While not the best show you’ve produced, it’s a decent marker and a good starting point to move on from. Clearly from the level of writing, you haven't missed a beat, despite the long lay off. I cant overstate just how pleased I am that you’ve came back, and I’m excited to see what you’ve got in store for the future of Raw and Smackdown. Welcome back :D
 

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Step Up And Play...
Joined
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3,405 Posts
Great to see you back. 2008 post-WrestleMania wasn't a great time period from what I remember, outside of the whole Jericho/Michaels feud, so I'm sure you've got some great ideas up your sleeve. You already get bonus points for the way you've introduced Colt Cabana, and there seemed plenty of other midcard guys get a boost too. Agree with Wolfy, first show was a bit flat, but there's plenty of time to ramp things up ahead of Backlash. And of course, there's plenty of talent from ECW to dish out to make things your own quickly. Welcome back, it's been too long. :)
 

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HOPE
Joined
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13,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the comments. (Y) I agree it wasn't a good show, and I thought that before posting it. I went down the route of the Ric Flair show though, so that's all on me. I realised it before posting, but I have written ahead, and major changes would have meant major changes to several shows already written.

I dislike writing Chris Jericho very much at the moment. He was horrible as a face upon return in '07 and '08. Every promo had too much crap packed into too little time.

Michaels probably should have appeared in a way, but in the long-term, I wanted to keep him off because of his storyline. It relates to WM and would have overshadowed Flair. Again, that's on me in terms of how the show as a whole suffered.

SmackDown has more progress, despite it not having a PPV until later. Go figure. Hopefully the whole show actually posts, because these servers are really being horrible to me right now.

---​

April 4th, 2008 | Miami, Florida​

Our show opens, as you would expect, with a look back at WrestleMania 24. We see John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield best Finlay in a Belfast Brawl, CM Punk scale his way to the top of the ladder to capture the Money in the Bank briefcase, Batista wins the battle for supremacy over Umaga, Kane shocking Chavo Guerrero to win the ECW Title, Shawn Michaels ending the amazing career of Ric Flair, Beth Phoenix and Melina getting the better of Maria and Ashley Massaro, Randy Orton shocking the world to beat Triple H and John Cena and retain his WWE Title, Floyd Mayweather stealing a victory over Big Show, and finally The Undertaker capturing the World Heavyweight Title off Edge.

And as we cut into the arena, it seems that last thought is the one we’re stuck on, as the lights are out and the crowd buzzes, sensing the arrival of someone special.


??? Excuse me!

~ Disappointed, the crowd reacts with a torrent of boos, as the lights come on to reveal that it was the shrill voice of General Manager, Vickie Guerrero that pierced through the darkness. In her wheelchair, Vickie has Theodore Long behind her, while Chavo Guerrero, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder are beside her.

Vickie Guerrero: I said excuse me!

~ The crowd don’t like this one bit, as they shower Vickie with boos.

Vickie Guerrero: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the love of my life, my fiancé, ‘The Rated R Superstar’ … EDGE!

“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME”

***METALINGUS***


The crowd erupts into a huge amount of heat as smoke pours from the entranceway. Soon enough, Edge steps through the smoke, pulling his hair back as he looks out into the crowd.


Michael Cole: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night SmackDown from Miami, Florida. I’m Michael Cole, joined here by Jonathan Coachman, and we were expecting The Undertaker, but-

Jonathan Coachman: But we got somethin’ so much better! Despite losing the World Heavyweight Title last Sunday, ‘The Rated R Superstar’ is in the building, and if you ask me, that shows the guts of a true champion.

Michael Cole: What worries me is that Vickie Guerrero and Edge will have been plotting since Sunday about how to get the World Heavyweight Title back off The Undertaker. I mean, Vickie isn’t exactly impartial in this whole situation.

Jonathan Coachman: What are you saying, Cole? That Vickie isn’t a fair General Manager?

Michael Cole: That’s exactly what I’m saying.

Edge arrives in the ring without taunting the fans, instead just grabbing a microphone and waiting for the music to die down. The boos soon follow, allowing Edge to speak.

Edge This doesn’t feel right. This wasn’t- this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. It wasn’t supposed to go this way.

~ Edge tugs back at his hair as he paces around in the ring.

Edge This was supposed to be my moment, my crowning moment. I did everything right. I had the perfect game plan … I saw- I saw everything that The Undertaker dished up coming. I had that match won!

~ Edge again pulls his hair back, grinding his teeth.

Edge Then in one moment … in one split-second …

~ Chants of “You tapped out! You tapped out!” begin, as they start to echo throughout the building.

Edge Shut up! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!

~ The crowd boos, not at all happy with that outburst from Edge.

Edge I was supposed to walk in here tonight not just as the World Heavyweight Champion, but also as a living legend! I did everything right … his stupid, stupid game mind games, they didn’t work on me! I knew everything- EVERYTHING The Undertaker did before he did it. Every exchange, every move I had a counter for, except for that one- THAT ONE move!

~ The former champion furiously tugs as his hair more, circling around like a mad man.

Edge I had that match won … that match was mine … mine! The title … still mine! The streak- the streak was all mine! Mine, mine, mine, mine, MINE!

~ The crowd again boos the egotistical ‘Rated R Superstar’.

Edge My moment was stolen away from me! It was mine, it was in my grasp, in my hands, but then it was gone. Slipped through my fingers … gone. But it wasn’t just mine … it wasn’t just my moment. It was our moment … I let our moment slip.

~ The crowd boos, not feeling like they wanted to be part of that moment.

Edge Oh, like there’s any chance I was talking about you people. I don’t give a damn about any of you- you morons!

~ The crowd absolutely erupts into boos, not keen on being insulted. Meanwhile Edge pulls his hair back again then takes a deep breath to calm down.

Edge Last Sunday night wasn’t just about me, it wasn’t about you people – it was about so much more.

~ Edge turns around to La Familia, standing together behind him.

Edge Last Sunday night was about family … it was about La Familia.

~ The boos come in for the crowd again, who rightfully find this whole family thing quite disturbing.

Edge These men and women in this ring … these people are my family, and last Sunday night I let them down. Chavo …

~ Edge walks over to Chavo and puts his hand up on Chavo’s shoulder.

Edge Chavo, last Sunday, just like me, you had to face one of Paul Bearer’s- Paul Bearer’s freaks. And you, Chavo … you got screwed.

~ Chavo nods away without a microphone, saying, “I did, I did.”

Edge It was more stupid mind games from the spawn of that man, that monster, and Kane – he cheated you. He cheated you out of being the last ever ECW Champion. He took the coward’s way out like The Undertaker, and he played mind games to jump you from behind. You needed a pick me up after that – you needed to see me win, to take away what matters most to those two freaks – that streak – and Chavo … I let you down. For that … I’m sorry.

~ The crowd boos, but Chavo seems to take that apology as a great, heartfelt gesture, pulling Edge in to embrace him in a hug. Neither of the two men realise how ridiculous this is, holding each other for a moment, before Edge pulls away and moves over to his two protégés.

Edge Curt, Zack … that you call yourselves The Edgeheads shows just how much you look up to me. These past few months you’ve put your body on the line for me time and time again. And this past Sunday, when you ran down to ringside just so you could get a closer look at the match, just so you could show your support for me, you did it again when The Undertaker, under no provocation, assaulted you.

~ Knowing that’s not how it went, the crowd boos the sincere yet delusional ‘Rated R Superstar’. Showing their appreciation, Hawkins and Ryder feel at their backs, acknowledging that The Undertaker indeed hurt them.

Edge You suffered at the hands of The Undertaker’s rampage, but ultimately it was for nothing when The Undertaker walked out victorious. And I know … I know you never want to see your hero fail. Believe me, I saw it live at WrestleMania 6 when I was a young Hulkamaniac. I know that this loss was so much bigger than Hulk Hogan’s loss too, and for that … I’m sorry.

~ Hawkins and Ryder don’t get individual hugs, instead pulling Edge in to one big group hug. The former World Heavyweight Champion pats the back of their heads, before moving over to Vickie (and poor, poor Teddy Long).

Edge Finally, and most importantly … I let you down, Vickie. These past few months as General Manager of SmackDown, you’ve had the best champion you could possibly have as the face of this brand, and going into this Sunday, I told you that I could … I told you that I would beat The Undertaker. And I failed.

~ Vickie looks to be struggling to keep it together, putting her hand on her nose.

Edge These past few months you’ve had a fighting champion, a champion you could be proud of, but now- now that The Undertaker is champion? That’s just not gonna happen anymore. The Undertaker is a guy who only shows his face when he pleases, when it suits him. He’s a part-time wrestler, and now he’s a part-time champion. He’s your part-time champion.

~ Yet more boos, with the crowd not taking well to Edge insulting The Undertaker.

Edge You shouldn’t have to deal with that, Vickie. You are my fiancé, the love of my life … and I let you down more than I let down anyone else. Vickie … babe, I am so, so sorry.

~ More boos for the sickening love between Edge and Vickie, who now looks to speak.

Vickie Guerrero: Babe, it’s okay. I accept your apology. Trust me, while I don’t want The Undertaker champion just as much as you don’t, so long as I’m the General Manager of this show, there will be no such thing as a part-time champion. The Undertaker will wrestle whenever I say so … starting with tonight.

~ It’s mostly cheers for that announcement, with the crowd eager to see ‘The Deadman’ in action.

Vickie Guerrero: Tonight, The Undertaker will be in action, and he-

***I WALK ALONE***

The crowd explodes to life with huge cheers as Batista storms out onto the stage. Not fearful of the bodies in the ring, Batista looks to make his way straight down the ramp.


Michael Cole: Finally! Someone had to put an end to that.

Jonathan Coachman: Have you no heart, Cole? Edge was pouring out his own heart to his family.

Michael Cole: That’s not even his family!

Big Dave grabs a microphone then heads up into the ring, immediately speaking so that Edge or Vickie can’t.

Batista: Enough! We’ve all heard enough! I get that you two have … well, something that I don’t really want to think about going on between you, but Vickie, if you want to put on a good show then you’ve gotta tell your girlfriend over here to close her mouth.

~ The crowd cheers for that, despite it not being a great insult.

Edge Oh, you think that’s funny? You think-

Batista: Man, do you ever shut up?

~ Another cheer comes from the crowd, with Edge looking stunned that someone would dare speak to him like that.

Batista: I have unfortunately heard every word you two have said, and I can’t help but feel that the recurring theme here is that Edge lost last Sunday, and as a result let you all down.

~ The crowd cheers again, with Batista looking to chug on.

Batista: And I’ve also heard that you, Vickie, want The Undertaker in action tonight. Well do you wanna know who didn’t let you or anyone on this brand down on Sunday? Perhaps someone who represented this brand to beat Monday Night RAW and Umaga in the Battle for Brand Supremacy at WrestleMania? Perhaps the guy who’s standing right in front of you?

~ Another cheer sounds out for Batista referencing himself.

Batista: So since you owe me, and everyone is already sick of the Edge show, how about The Undertaker … vs Batista … for the World … Heavyweight … Championship?

~ The crowd goes nuts for that, obviously wanting to see the match. Batista nods along, waiting for a response.

Vickie Guerrero: Excuse me?

~ Vickie was addressing ‘The Animal’, but she turns her head to look at the crowd once they explode with heat.

Vickie Guerrero: I said excuse me!

~ It doesn’t matter that she had already used that line once tonight, as it still draws an outstanding response from the crowd. Content with having agitated the crowd, Vickie now turns her attention back to the man in front of her.

Vickie Guerrero: You think that just because you’ve come out here and demanded it, I’m going to put you in a match for the World Heavyweight Title? Let me make it clear – I owe you nothing. You chose to represent SmackDown in that match. I didn’t offer you anything to do it, and I’m not going to give you anything for it.

~ The crowd responds with big heat, unhappy that they won’t be seeing the WrestleMania 23 rematch.

Vickie Guerrero: As I was saying, The Undertaker already has match, when he will face the two men he assaulted without provocation last Sunday, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder in our main event in a handicap match!

~ Yet more boos, with the crowd not happy to see The Undertaker put in that situation.

Vickie Guerrero: While you, Batista … you already have a match lined up too. And I’m sure your opponent won’t mind that match being moved forward.

We now wait for the arrival of Batista’s opponent …







***AIN’T NO STOPPIN’ ME***

There’s not much of a reaction as Shelton Benjamin springs out onto the stage, although some boos do start. With Benjamin headed down the ramp, we see Elijah Burke emerge too, not dressed to compete, perhaps there just to support his ally.


Michael Cole: Wow! Shelton Benjamin, along with Elijah Burke, is here on SmackDown, and he will be in action against Batista … next!

Batista looks to gear himself up in the ring, as we head off to a break.

Commercial Break

We come back from the break to the sound of the bell ringing.

1 – Singles Match – Batista vs Shelton Benjamin w/Elijah Burke

Benjamin looks to avoid the grasp of Batista to begin with, moving quickly as Batista tries to corner him. ‘The Gold Standard’ continues to duck and move for as long as possible, before finally connecting with a kick to ‘The Animal’. He then tries to club away on Batista … only for Batista to explode to life by ramming Benjamin back into the corner and then wailing on him with right hands.

Batista continues to dominate Benjamin as he whips him to connect with an elbow when he rebounds, getting a two count for it. The big man tries to lift Benjamin up, but the new arrival on SmackDown is fast enough to scramble from the ring and try to recompose himself alongside Elijah Burke. Unhappy with that, Batista slides from the ring and sends Burke sprawling across the floor, before throwing Benjamin back into the ring. This gives Benjamin his chance though, as he’s able to spring up and stomp on ‘The Animal’ when he returns into the ring.

Showing the aggressive streak he’s gained since going to ECW, Benjamin beats down on Batista in savage fashion, doing anything he can to keep his advantage. ‘The Gold Standard’ gains a few two counts, but Batista eventually turns the tables, exploding out of the corner with a clothesline. After a few more clotheslines, ‘The Animal’ looks to really press his advantage, scooping Benjamin up for a powerslam … but Elijah Burke climbs up onto the apron! Distracted, Batista allows Benjamin to slip down his back … and he turns right into a Frost Kick! Benjamin only gets a two count for the move, but he’s got himself some momentum heading into a commercial break.

Commercial Break

Back from the break and Benjamin is in control, with Cole informing us that there was a bit of back and forth during the ad break, with Elijah Burke ultimately helping Shelton out. Benjamin puts the boots to Batista in the corner, only relenting when the referee pushes him back.

Eager to keep his momentum rolling, Benjamin pulls Batista from the corner and hooks him up for a suplex … but the big man won’t budge! Panic hits Benjamin, his eyes wide as Batista now gets him up … but Benjamin lands on his feet and nails the neckbreaker! ‘The Gold Standard’ hooks the leg … no! Batista kicks out!

The disappointed former IC Champion checks with the referee to confirm it was just two, before backing Batista up into the corner with some slugging blows to the head. Benjamin now backs away and smiles out to the crowd, thinking he has Batista right where he wants him … but Batista avoids the incoming Stinger Splash! Benjamin bounces back off the turnbuckle … right into Batista’s grasp!

Batista charges Benjamin back into the corner to nail him with some heavy shoulder thrusts to the midsection until the count of four forces the break. ‘The Animal’ still has his man just where he wants him though, sending him off to the ropes so he can send him flying with a back body drop on return. Benjamin gets up gingerly holding his back, only to be immediately scooped up … and Batista connects with the running powerslam! ‘The Animal’ hooks the leg … and this time it’s Benjamin’s turn to just survive! Only two off that big move for Batista!

In no doubt about what he wants to do next, Batista tells the crowd it’s over … before throwing Shelton between his legs! Benjamin looks set to go for a ride … but he counters with a back body drop! It’s Batista who now struggles up … right into Pay Dirt … but he pushes Benjamin off! Benjamin lands on his feet, then launches back at his opponent … who nails the Spinebuster!

Batista goes nuts, stomping around and shaking the ropes! Elijah Burke looks on fearfully from the floor, as Batista turns his attention back to his opponent, thrusting ‘The Gold Standard’ between his legs … and nailing him with the Batista Bomb! The cover gains the three, giving ‘The Animal’ a good victory.

Winner: Batista via pinfall @ 12:05

***I WALK ALONE***


Batista happily climbs back to his feet to have his hand raised by the referee, before making the title motion around his waist, leaving no one unsure of what his intentions are.


Michael Cole: A great showing from Shelton Benjamin on his SmackDown debut, but ‘The Animal’ prevails, keeping his momentum rolling after his victory at WrestleMania.

Jonathan Coachman: I don’t know why Batista still thinks he’s gettin’ a title match though. Vickie Guerrero told him before – she doesn’t owe him a thing.

Michael Cole: Vickie Guerrero mightn’t owe Batista anything, but if Batista keeps winning then surely he can’t be ignored.

Batista continues to celebrate in the ring, while Elijah Burke helps Shelton Benjamin from the ring, consoling him after his loss.

We cut backstage now, to see Josh Matthews standing by.


Josh Matthews: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, he’s is the United States Champion, MVP!

There’s good heat throughout the arena as the United States Champion, Montel Vontavious Porter steps into shot.

Josh Matthews: MVP, at WrestleMania 24 you were perhaps close to securing the Money in the Bank briefcase when Matt Hardy shocked the world, coming from the crowd to take you out with a Twist of Fate. What are your thoughts on this?

Montel Vontavious Porter: Perhaps close? Perhaps? Josh, did you even see WrestleMania? Did you even see what happened to me? I was doin’ as I always do and about to make some serious money when that bumpkin Matt Hardy had to stick his nose where it didn’t belong.

~ The crowd aren’t appreciative of MVP insulting Hardy, booing him for that.

Montel Vontavious Porter: And y’know, I get that Matt Hardy is angry that I put him on the shelf, but he shouldn’t be. Y’see, up until now, Matt Hardy’s career has been disappointment after disappointment. Purely by association with SmackDown’s highest paid superstar, the hottest property in the WWE today, Matt Hardy’s stock has gone up. Those people didn’t care about Matt Hardy until he came across ‘Mr 305’, so if anything, Matt Hardy should be thankin’ me.

~ More boos for the unbelievably arrogant United States Champion, who doesn’t care in the least.

Montel Vontavious Porter: But y’know what? Matt Hardy mighta come out at WrestleMania and got all those fools excited, but I have it on very good authority that Matt Hardy isn’t even cleared to compete yet. But hey, I guess that’s good for Matt, because he’s gone back to what he was before he ever stuck his nose in my business – irrelevant.

~ MVP likes that last little dig, smiling away for a moment as the crowd voice their displeasure again.

Montel Vontavious Porter: From here it’s onwards and upwards for me. I’m half man half amazing, so I don’t need to dwell on the past. Y’see this title?

~ MVP motions to the US Title wrapped around his waist, prompting Josh to nod.

Montel Vontavious Porter: I’ve held this title for almost one whole year, meanin’ I am without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest United States Champion off all-time. Ric Flair? Harley Race? Ricky Steamboat? John Cena? They ain’t got nothin’ on me. Matt Hardy mighta screwed me outta Money in the Bank, but there ain’t nobody who’s gonna screw me outta my United States Title, includin’ whoever I’m facin’ later tonight. Y’see, it’s all about little things stoppin’ and big things poppin’ when MVP’s on the show, meanin’ whoever you are … I … am better than you.

MVP turns his back on Josh and walks out of shot, leaving Josh alone.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to be straight back in the arena.

***PURE CONTROL A***

It would be very generous to say there’s any reaction at all as Kenny Dykstra walks out onto the stage, microphone already in hand. Kenny wastes no time in talking either, immediately speaking over his music.


Kenny Dykstra: Cut it! Cut my music!

~ A few boos now as Kenny walks down the ramp, his music having died out.

Kenny Dykstra: I bet I know what you people are thinking. You’re wondering what I’m doing out here. You’re wondering why I have a microphone in my hand. Hell, you’re probably wondering why I even have a match.

~ Dykstra climbs up onto the apron and swings into the ring.

Kenny Dykstra: That’s the problem with you people. You can’t remember me? My name … is Kenny … Dykstra. Well you should remember me on this week of all weeks. This week has just been whole big celebration of Ric Flair. It was just over a year ago that I beat Ric Flair, the man you’re all celebrating, one-on-one in a WWE ring. I bet none of you remember that though, do you?

~ There is a bit of heat for Dykstra, having taken up a tone with the fans.

Kenny Dykstra: It’s my name that should be up in lights for beating Ric Flair, not a name like Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels is a name of the past, while Kenny Dykstra … Kenny Dykstra is a name for the future. Kenny Dykstra is the name of the present!

~ Another smattering of boos, although the “WHAT?” cry has also come out for the youngster.

Kenny Dykstra: I am just 22 years old, so mark it down. 2008 is the year of Kenny Dykstra – the year that Kenny Dykstra becomes the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history.

Dykstra now drops his microphone and starts to circle around the ring aggressively, looking set to let loose.

Michael Cole: Kenny Dykstra is certainly intent on sending a message out here tonight. He looks ready to go.

Jonathan Coachman: I’ve always liked Kenny Dykstra. In fact, I was his biggest fan back when he was part of The Spirit Squad!

Dykstra continues to pace around …

***CRANK IT UP***

Oh dear. That’s probably not the music Kenny wanted to hear, but Big Show walks out onto the stage regardless, looking menacing.


Michael Cole: Oh my! It’s ‘The World’s Largest Athlete’! Kenny Dykstra may have bitten off more than he can chew right here.

Jonathan Coachman: Run Kenny! Run!

Dykstra takes a big gulp in the ring, but he’s not backing down, still circling as Big Show gets into the ring … before jumping on him to start the match off!

2 – Singles Match – Kenny Dykstra vs Big Show

Kenny shows he’s full of fight right from the beginning, jumping Big Show and hammering away at him with whatever blows he can land. Unfortunately for Kenny, the blows don’t seem to have much effect as Big Show just swats the youngster away. Unperturbed, Kenny charges right back in … and cops a big boot right to the head!

Show enjoys this, playing to the crowd as he picks up Kenny and almost caves the youngster’s chest in with a few chops in the corner. Spluttering, Kenny tries to escape, but Big Show isn’t about to let that happen, instead throwing Kenny down so he can look for an elbow … but Kenny dodges! Dykstra now hits the ropes and comes charging back … but Big Show lifts the former cheerleader up into a gorilla press!

The crowd gasps in awe, knowing Kenny is no small man, but it doesn’t matter to Big Show, who after showing off, just plain drops Kenny down onto the mat! Kenny rolls around in pain, until suddenly a giant foot holds him in place … as Big Show walks straight across Kenny!

In agony, Kenny struggles to his feet, only to receive a huge headbutt that sends him staggering into the ropes. Big Show happily sends Kenny off with an Irish whip, then catches him on the rebound and damn near drives him through the mat with a sidewalk slam!

Still, Big Show doesn’t make the cover, instead roaring as he cocks his fist and waits for Kenny to slowly get up … and turn right around to a Knockout Punch! Kenny is down for the count, and Big Show now makes the cover to pick up the victory.

Winner: Big Show via pinfall @ 02:37

***CRANK IT UP***


It was never in doubt, but nonetheless Big Show still looks happy with his victory as he climbs back to his feet and raises his hand.


Michael Cole: A dominant victory for Big Show, who certainly wasn’t who Kenny Dykstra was expecting, recovering after his controversial loss to Floyd Mayweather at WrestleMania.

Jonathan Coachman: Can we get some medical staff out here to check if Kenny’s okay?!

Big Show remains in the ring, motioning for a microphone from ringside. The big man receives it too, turning towards the hard camera before speaking.

Big Show: I guess the year of Kenny Dykstra is gonna have to wait, huh?

~ Big Show chuckles as the crowd cheers.

Big Show: Enough with the jokes though, because this … this is dead serious. Edge … Undertaker …

~ A huge cheer goes up at the mere mention of ‘The Deadman’, but Big Show doesn’t acknowledge it.

Big Show: You two may have finished WrestleMania, but I was the one that headlined it. And I plan on both headlining and closing the show very soon … as World Heavyweight Champion.

~ A decent cheer is heard for this, despite The Undertaker being the current champion.

Big Show: That’s your one warning … your last warning. Because when the chance comes, I’m not gonna be warning you … I’m just going to take the World Heavyweight Title.

***CRANK IT UP***

Big Show drops the microphone and raises his hand for the fans, not smiling now though, instead intent on getting his message across.


Michael Cole: We heard Batista earlier, but now we’ve heard from Big Show too. It sounds like everybody on SmackDown is chasing the new World Heavyweight Champion.

Jonathan Coachman: Doesn’t sound like The Undertaker is gonna get away with being a part-time champion, does it Cole? The Undertaker’s got some serious competition comin’ his way.

Big Show heads from the ring now as we head out to a commercial break.

Commercial Break

We return from the break, presumably in the office of the General Manager, Vickie Guerrero. She’s seated behind a desk, while Edge stands over the seated Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. Chavo Guerrero completes the set, leaning back on the wall behind everyone.

Edge No, no, no! Did you- did you hear Big Show before? He thinks he’s getting a title shot? I should be the only one getting a title shot! Not him, ME!

~ Seething, Edge breathes through clenched teeth. Vickie quickly calms him though, stroking his arm.

Vickie Guerrero: Babe, don’t worry. I’m the only one on this show that make those decisions, and I know who deserves a title match.

Edge You’re right … you’re right.

Curt Hawkins: And don’t worry. Once we’re done with The Undertaker, he’s going to be easy pickings for you. He’s gonna be a real dead man.

~ Hawkins and Ryder snort in laughter, then fistbump each other, not noticing that no one else found that particularly funny.

Zack Ryder: You gonna be out there with us tonight, bro?

~ Edge looks at Ryder a bit sheepishly, feeling at his back.

Edge Uh … no. You guys have got this one. I- I trust you.

Hawkins and Ryder again fistbump, although it seems Edge was perhaps not sincere.

We cut back to ringside now.

***AIN’T NO MAKE BELIEVE***

It’s another pair of arrivals from ECW as the WWE Tag Team Champions, The Miz and John Morrison step out onto the stage, dressed for action. The duo go through John Morrison’s formerly unique slow motion pose for the camera, before heading down the ramp.


Michael Cole: Vickie Guerrero promised arrivals from ECW this week on wwe.com, and boy has she delivered. The WWE Tag Team Championships are back here on SmackDown, along with what many regard as the best tag team in the WWE.

Jonathan Coachman: Of course they’re the best tag team in the WWE – they’re the WWE Tag Team Champions, Cole! What a job Vickie Guerrero is doing here on Friday Night SmackDown!

The Miz and Morrison climb into the ring and continue to show off their gold, before grabbing a pair of microphones.

The Miz: Do NOT change the channel. I know it may seem too good to be true, but believe it, the greatest tag team of the 21st century are right here on Friday Night SmackDown.

~ The heat comes in from the crowd immediately, who seem to dispute Miz’s claim that he and Morrison comprise the greatest tag team of all-time.

The Miz: You are looking at ‘The Chick Magnet’ …

John Morrison: … ‘The Shaman of Sexy’, the Tues- scratch that, ‘Friday Night Delight’, ‘The Prince of Parkour’, ‘The Guru of Greatness’ …

The Miz: … And most importantly – the WWE Tag Team Champions!

John Morrison: While most former ECW superstars will be moving to RAW or SmackDown, looking to make an impact, we’re different. We’re champions, we’re the greatest tag team of the 21st century, and we’ve already made our impact. It’s up to the other tag teams here on SmackDown to make an impact … on us.

~ A few boos as Morrison smirks after that last line.

The Miz: Which is why, tonight, in our very first appearance as SmackDown superstars, we’re throwing open an open challenge. If there’s any team in the back that thinks they can go with us, then come on out and try for your fifteen minutes of fame … if you dare.

We wait, with nothing happening at first …







***BRINGIN’ DA HOOD 2 U***

The crowd gives a surprisingly large cheer for the always-popular Cryme Tyme. Shad Gaspard and JTG bounce their way out onto the ramp, before slapping hands with fans on their way down the ramp. Both men grab a microphone off the steel steps, before climbing up into the ring.


Shad Gaspard: Yo!

~ “YO!”

Shad Gaspard: Yo!

~ “YO!”

JTG: Yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yo … YO!

~ “YO!”

Shad Gaspard: It’s your boys Shad Gaspard and JTG, and we are HERE on Friday Night SmackDown!

~ The crowd gives a big cheer, but both The Miz and John Morrison look suitably unimpressed.

John Morrison: You guys? You guys are the best competition here on Friday Night SmackDown?

Shad Gaspard: Well we just arrived here on SmackDown like you guys … but yeah …

JTG: Chyeah!

Shad Gaspard: … We think we’re pretty good.

~ The crowd gives another strong cheer, but the champions are still unimpressed.

The Miz: You guys really think you’re good? Really? I mean we’ve seen you here in the WWE before. Can you remind us of how many tag team championships you won? And keep in mind I said “won”, not stole after the show.

~ The crowd boos for what is apparently an acceptable gimmick in the WWE being mocked.

Shad Gaspard: Well, uh, none, but if we get to challenge you guys then I’m pretty sure we can fix that.

~ It’s another strong cheer that comes in for the ambitious returnees.

Shad Gaspard: And then we can get our hands on some money, money …

JTG: Yeah, yeah!

Shad Gaspard: I said money, money …

~ “YEAH, YEAH!”

Shad Gaspard: I said money, money …

~ “YEAH! YEAH!”

Shad Gaspard: I said-

The Miz: Shut up!

~ It’s a huge outpouring of heat for The Miz for interrupting the crowd’s fun.

The Miz: You two really think you’re better than us? Do you really think that? Then you’re on, big boy. Get a referee out here and ring that bell!

The crowd gives a big cheer as a referee races out to the ring, and the respective teams back away from one another.

3 – Tag Team Match – Fifteen Minutes of Fame Challenge – WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz and John Morrison vs Cryme Tyme

The cheers continue as the bell sounds, and JTG starts the match off against John Morrison. The two quicker members of their team actually engage in a lock up at first, which Morrison quickly breaks by going behind and grabbing his smaller opponent in a waist lock. An arrogant smile comes over the face of Morrison, who thinks he’s gotten the best of his opponent, but JTG reverses things with a standing switch and quickly rolls his opponent up … two only.

Both men spring back up and Morrison lunges at JTG, but JTG ducks under and grabs another waist lock. This time he transitions it into a side headlock that Morrison struggles with. ‘The Guru of Greatness’ grabs at JTG’s hair, trying to pull it as he forces the smaller man back into the corner. The referee calls for the break, and JTG provides it, but he quickly regrets it as Morrison strikes with a punch to the gut.

Morrison then follows up by pulling JTG out to the centre of the ring and locking in his own side headlock. A headlock takeover follows straight after, as the WWE Tag Team Champion looks to ground little JTG. The confident smirk returns to the face of ‘The Shaman of Sexy’, but it’s not long before he’s surprised, as JTG counters with a headscissors. Morrison springs out of it, as both men get up, but JTG quickly rolls Morrison up … two.

Both men get up again, and this time Morrison strikes with a quick boot to the gut. This allows the champion to take an arm, but JTG is able to swiftly counter by rolling through and sweeping a leg, allowing for the lateral press … it’s only a one. Panicked, Morrison gets up, but he only runs into what becomes a series of arm drags. Morrison finally backs away and tags in The Miz, who looks confident at first, but that confidence disappears when JTG tags Shad Gaspard into the match.

Shad climbs into the ring and smirks at The Miz, telling him to bring it, which is exactly what The Miz at least tries to do. His attempt at a left land is blocked however, and he’s quickly sent tumbling over with a headbutt. Some shoulder thrusts in the corner follow, but the referee then backs Shad away. This allows Miz to get the jump on Shad and start to hammer away on him, only for Shad to kick the champion in the gut and gorilla press him up high. Morrison panics again and pulls Miz down from the apron, so that the two can gather on the floor. They’re stunned however, as JTG suddenly comes flying through the air and wipes them out with a plancha! JTG slides back into the ring, joining his partner as Cryme Tyme dominate before the ad break.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to see JTG hammering away on The Miz in the corner. Our announcers explain to us that control of the match has been traded a couple of times during the ad break, as JTG goes to bounce off the ropes … but he’s struck with a knee to the ribs by John Morrison! JTG staggers away … right into a clothesline from The Miz!

A two count follows, and suddenly it’s the WWE Tag Team Champions who have control of this match. Miz and Morrison work together well, and almost look to have the match won following Miz slingshotting JTG into a forearm from Morrison, who then springboards into the ring and drops an elbow onto the chest of JTG as he’s held over the knees of The Miz! Morrison makes the cover … Shad breaks it up at two!

The crowd cheers Shad’s interjection, but the referee forces him out as an angry Morrison protests. ‘The Friday Night Delight’ then heads to the corner and flicks his hair back, before springing up … and going for a Corkscrew Moonsault … but JTG rolls out of the way, and Morrison crashes and burns! The crowd cheers as JTG struggles up to see a dazed Morrison … and he wipes the champion out with a running neckbreaker!

Both men are down now, as the referee starts his count and the legal men try to inch their way towards their partners. Slowly but surely they get there, as Morrison tags in Miz … and JTG tags in Shad!

The crowd gives a big cheer as Shad rushes into the ring and immediately goes to work with some big clotheslines, knocking The Miz off his feet. He then runs off to the ropes and comes back with a big shoulder tackle! Shad goes up to the top rope, somewhat surprisingly for the big man … and he comes off with a diving shoulder tackle, knocking The Miz down! Shad makes the cover … but Miz kicks out at two!

Gaspard tries to quickly follow up, sending The Miz into the corner, before charging in for an avalanche … but Miz narrowly avoids it, by getting out of the way. Shad turns … and Miz squashes him back with his unique corner clothesline! As Shad reels down, The Miz goes to the top rope, but he looks a little unsteady, and Shad is given the time to turn. Gaspard sees just where Miz is, and much to Miz’s horror, the big man grabs him then hurls him down to the mat!

Miz gets up holding his back, but it only gets worse as Shad scoops him up then throws him overhead with a big time fallaway slam! The crowd cheers as Shad makes the cover … but Morrison makes the save at two! John Morrison breaks up the pin attempt and immediately goes about hammering away on Shad, trying to keep him down. Shad pushes Morrison away, but Morrison recovers by jumping up to the second rope … and then coming back with the Flying Chuck!

Morrison wipes Shad out, but before he can do anything about it, JTG charges across and takes Morrison out with a facebuster! JTG then heads out to the apron and cheers Shad on, as Shad starts to crawl across for the tag … but Miz grabs him by the foot! The Cleveland native drags Shad back and elbows him, stopping his attempt to make the tag.

Miz then backs off, motioning for Shad to get up, which he slowly does … as Miz goes for the Running Knee … no! Shad gets out of the way then scoops Miz up onto his shoulders. Miz shakes his head as, in a showing of his strength, Shad walks across and tags JTG in, allowing Cryme Tyme to hit Miz with the G9! Miz is out as JTG makes the cover … but bell suddenly rings, indicating the fifteen minutes are up!

Result: Draw via time limit @ 15:00

The crowd boos the result as JTG lays over The Miz, who still hasn’t kicked out, looking at the referee. With the WWE Tag Team Titles already in his hand, John Morrison pulls The Miz from the ring and starts to drag him up the ramp, while JTG and Shad Gaspard look disappointed that they lasted the fifteen minutes, but were just a few seconds away from a sure victory.

Michael Cole: The Miz and John Morrison can count themselves very lucky. They underestimated Cryme Tyme at the start of that match, and if it wasn’t for that time limit, they would have found themselves losing their very first match as Friday Night SmackDown superstars.

Jonathan Coachman: Close but not close enough, Cole! The Miz and John Morrison showed why they’re the WWE Tag Team Champions – surviving as long as they had to, to make sure that they didn’t lose the match.

Michael Cole: Showed why they were champions? The Miz and John Morrison were seconds, mere seconds away from losing here tonight. This is no victory for The Miz and John Morrison. If anything, JTG and Shad have sent the champions a message here tonight.

Shad and JTG remain in the ring, with the crowd now coming to their feet to applaud a supreme effort from the SmackDown debutants here tonight.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to see the RAW Rebound, the focus of which is obviously the retirement of Ric Flair.

Back to ringside …

***I’M COMIN’***

It’s some very good heat that is heard as the United States Champion, Montel Vontavious Porter strides through his custom entrance tunnel. The US Champion is more than happy to talk smack with the crowd to ensure it’s heat that he gets in Miami, dispelling any cheers as he walks down the ramp, before posing as pyrotechnics shoot off in the background.


Michael Cole: MVP was seconds away from becoming ‘Mr Money in the Bank’ last Sunday at WrestleMania, only for Matt Hardy to make his return and wipe MVP out. However, as MVP said earlier, we too have heard that Matt Hardy is not yet physically cleared, and is thus not here tonight.

Jonathan Coachman: Matt Hardy shouldn’t be allowed back even when he is physically cleared after the stunt he pulled at WrestleMania. He wasn’t part of that match, so what was he doin’ there? He just couldn’t let MVP have his moment because he’s jealous of all the success MVP has already had.

Michael Cole: Yeah, I’m sure that’s it, ‘Coach’. It was nothing to do with MVP putting Hardy out on the sidelines because he feared that Hardy was a threat to that United States Title.

MVP poses some more in the ring, showing off the gold, before waiting for his opponent.

Michael Cole: So who’s it going to be?







***THIS FIRE BURNS***

The crowd erupts into a huge cheer as CM Punk, complete with his Money in the Bank briefcase, charges out onto the ramp. In the ring MVP looks stunned, knowing Punk is coming for him as the former ECW superstar declares, “It’s clobbering time!”


Michael Cole: CM Punk! CM Punk! The man who beat MVP this past Sunday to the Money in the Bank briefcase, the man who has a guaranteed world title shot in the next twelve months is here on Friday Night SmackDown!

Jonathan Coachman: Vickie Guerrero has done some serious business here tonight. ‘The Gold Standard’, the WWE Tag Team Champions and now ‘Mr Money in the Bank’, right here on SmackDown.

Punk is more than happy to show his briefcase off in the ring, perhaps getting in the head of MVP, before handing it off to the referee, who calls for the bell.

4 – Singles Match – United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter vs CM Punk

The match gets underway with MVP trying to engage Punk in a bit of trash talk, telling Punk that he should be ‘Mr Money in the Bank’, not Punk. Punk doesn’t worry about these threats, just standing there … before suddenly launching a roundhouse kick, which MVP avoids, albeit by falling back onto his backside. Realising how serious this match is, MVP gets his game face on and gets the action underway by locking up with Punk.

The two jostle for position for a bit before it’s MVP who seizes Punk into a side headlock. Punk is quick to counter, pushing MVP off, but the bigger man comes back with a shoulder block. MVP talks some more smack, before heading off to the ropes and jumping over Punk while he remains on the mat. He then goes under a jumping Punk … before running right into a dropkick! Punk makes the cover, but it only gets him two.

Punk keeps control though, hitting a series of arm drags, causing MVP to roll to the floor as he looks for some space. Punk won’t let him have it though, surprising the US Champion as he flies through the ropes with a suicide dive! Punk’s name is on the lips of the fans in Miami, who shout “CM Punk! CM Punk! CM Punk!”

MVP finds his way back into the match as both men get back into the ring though, begging off from Punk, then shocking him with a thrusting hand to the throat. Porter follows up with a snap suplex that only gets him two, but puts him in firm control of the match.

Porter continues to slow the pace down, putting a beating on Punk, before locking in a sleeper hold to try to drain the life out of him. Punk’s not a quitter though, and despite seemingly fading, ‘Mr Money in the Bank’ fights back to his feet and tries to elbow free … but MVP throws him to the mat by the hair!

With Punk struggling back to his feet, MVP readies himself … before looking for a massive big boot … no! Punk ducks, then unleashes with a series of kicks to the thighs of Porter. The US Champion is reeling as Punk forces him back to the ropes, before sending him off with an Irish whip and connecting with a leg lariat on the rebound! No cover from Punk, as he tries to keep the momentum rolling, sending MVP into the corner. Punk then charges in … bam! Big knee to the jaw connects … followed by the running bulldog!

Again Punk doesn’t go for the pin, rolling out to the apron as he waits for MVP to get up … before flying for the springboard clothesline … but MVP pulls the referee in front of him instead, using him as a human shield! Punk wipes the referee out, then climbs back to his feet and turns to MVP … who throws him overhead with a belly-to-belly suplex!

MVP climbs to his feet and sees the referee well and truly down, prompting him to go out to the floor … and grab the Money in the Bank briefcase! The crowd boos as MVP slides back into the ring, before waiting for Punk to get up … when the crowd suddenly goes nuts … as Matt Hardy slides into the ring behind MVP! MVP doesn’t realise initially, but he notices soon enough as Hardy turns him around and delivers the Twist of Fate!

Satisfied with his work, Hardy slides from the ring and heads back out through the crowd, while Punk gets back to his feet. Not exactly knowing what went down, Punk decides to just get on with business, waiting as MVP slowly climbs up … so he can nail him with the Go To Sleep! Punk falls across into the cover as the referee comes to … and he gets the three!

Winner: CM Punk via pinfall @ 08:22

***THIS FIRE BURNS***


Punk climbs to his feet and has his hand raised by the referee, who hands him his briefcase. Punk is more than happy to show the briefcase off to the fans, raising it into the air as he stands victoriously.


Jonathan Coachman: MVP was screwed again! That- that Matt Hardy has screwed MVP again!

Michael Cole: CM Punk with the victory, thanks to an assist from Matt Hardy, but-

Jonathan Coachman: An assist? Matt Hardy practically handed Punk the win!

Michael Cole: Let’s not forget, ‘Coach’, MVP was about to use Punk’s own briefcase on him when Matt Hardy intervened, so I don’t think MVP can possibly get on his high horse.

Coachman continues to sulk silently, as we see MVP start to pull his face up off the mat, glaring out to the crowd, knowing Hardy got him again.

Michael Cole: Moving on to a more personal matter, last Sunday at WrestleMania 24 we saw JBL defeat Finlay in a brutal Belfast Brawl. This came on the back of months of abuse that Finlay saw his son Hornswoggle endure, at the hands initially of the chairman of the board, Mr McMahon, and then JBL. As a result, Finlay has asked for and been granted indefinite personal leave. It is not known when he will return, but we do know that during this next week, Joey Styles will sit down and interview Finlay, and that we will air that interview next week here on SmackDown.

There’s an uncomfortable silence for a moment, before we cut to see Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder walking backstage.

Michael Cole: But right now Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder are headed to the ring for our main event – next on Friday Night SmackDown.

We head off to another break.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to immediately hear …

***IN THE MIDDLE OF IT NOW***

There’s not much heat initially due to the relatively unfamiliar music, but a few more boos come in as Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder bounce out onto the stage. The duo both copy Edge’s rock star pose, before making their way to the ring.


Michael Cole: Vickie Guerrero pledged that The Undertaker would not be a part-time champion, and she’s delivered on the first night by putting The Undertaker in a match against Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. While Vickie may not like The Undertaker, surely it isn’t fair for him to have to compete in a handicap match in his first match since becoming the World Heavyweight Champion.

Jonathan Coachman: Hey, if The Undertaker thinks he’s the best, then this is just another chance for him to prove it. If you ask me, this was a great, great decision by our esteemed General Manager.

Hawkins and Ryder climb up into the ring, then wait, knowing what their fate is …







***GONG***

***GONG***

***DEADMAN’S SYMPHONY***


The reaction is huge as the eerie music plays and smoke starts to fill the arena. Sure enough, the silhouette of the World Heavyweight Champion, The Undertaker emerges through the smoke, title belt wrapped around his waist, partially obscured by his coat.


Michael Cole: This past Sunday at WrestleMania, ‘The Deadman’, ‘The Phenom’, The Undertaker went sixteen and oh, and in the process won that World Heavyweight Title from Edge. Now The Undertaker is World Heavyweight Champion, just who out there can beat him?

Jonathan Coachman: He’s an intimidating presence for sure, Cole. You get goose bumps as soon as his music hits. Hawkins and Ryder might have the numbers advantage, but I do not envy them right now.

The Undertaker lifts the darkness from the arena, before climbing into the ring and slowly taking his hat off, rolling his eyes back at Hawkins and Ryder as he does so. ‘The Phenom’ sweeps his coat off, revealing the World Heavyweight Title in all its glory around his waist as he does so. Disposing of the title now, The Undertaker puts his hands up, ready to go.

5 – Two-On-One Handicap Match – Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder vs World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker

It’s Zack Ryder who starts in the ring with The Undertaker, circling around, taking his attention … so that Curt Hawkins can club The Undertaker from behind. Hawkins never actually went out onto the apron, and now Ryder does, with Hawkins being the legal man. Hawkins pounds away on The Undertaker with clubbing blows, hitting him time and time again … when The Undertaker suddenly grabs him by the throat! Hawkins shakes his head furiously, but The Undertaker has him and hurls him into the corner so he can rain down on him with those trademark big right hands.

The Undertaker scares the referee off once his count gets to four, then comes for Hawkins again, headbutting him to keep the Edgehead on the defensive. ‘Taker then grabs Hawkins by the arm and starts to work over the shoulder a bit, taking his time, before heading to the corner. The crowd comes to life as ‘Taker heads to the top, thinking old school … when Zack Ryder rushes across the apron! ‘The Deadman’ sees him coming and stares Ryder down, but the distraction worked for long enough, with Hawkins pulling out the same counter Edge used at WrestleMania to pull ‘The Phenom’ down to the mat. Unfortunately for ‘Taker, he doesn’t counter the counter like he did at WrestleMania, perhaps surprised at Hawkins being able to execute it.

Hawkins quickly rushes over and tags in Zack Ryder, with the two keen to try to double team The Undertaker, sending him off with an Irish whip. The pair looks for a double clothesline on the rebound, but The Undertaker ducks it … then rebounds to take both men down with a flying clothesline, one on each side!

The Undertaker disposes of Hawkins by throwing him out to the floor, turning his attention to Ryder now as he works over his shoulder. This leads to another attempt for old school … that isn’t countered this time! The Undertaker hooks the leg … but Ryder shoots a shoulder up at two.

The Undertaker keeps his control going, throwing Ryder around the ring a bit, before he goes to bounce off the ropes and is tripped by Curt Hawkins. The Undertaker climbs up holding his face … and he gets hit with a big leg lariat from Zack Ryder! Ryder quickly jumps on for the cover … two!

This allows a short period of dominance from Hawkins and Ryder, who frequently tag in and out, keeping The Undertaker in their corner so they can double-team him as much as possible. ‘The ‘Phenom’ fights back however when Hawkins pins the arms of ‘The Deadman’ behind his back, letting Zack Ryder try to take a free shot with a double axe handle … only to eat a big boot to the face!

This leaves Hawkins alone with The Undertaker, and the World Heavyweight Champion is quick to make him pay, ignoring the clubbing shot to the back to turn and immediately starts to punch the holy hell out of Hawkins. An Irish whip into the corner follows, leading to The Undertaker squashing Curt Hawkins with a corner clothesline.

On jelly legs, Hawkins stumbles out towards The Undertaker, only to get scooped up … snake eyes! The Undertaker charges off to the ropes … big boot! The Undertaker is rolling, turning to see Zack Ryder coming towards him … so he catches him with a big time sidewalk slam!

All of the momentum is with ‘The Phenom’ as he raises his hand into the air, motioning that someone is about to feel the wrath of the goozle … and it’s Curt Hawkins who’s up first! Hawkins is grabbed, although Ryder is up soon too … only to be grabbed too! It looks like The Undertaker is thinking Double Chokeslam … when suddenly Edge slides into the ring! Edge charges at The Undertaker, thinking Spear … big boot! The Undertaker hits Edge with the big boot, but the referee calls for the bell anyway!

Winner: The Undertaker via disqualification @ 7:43

Hawkins and Ryder now try to fight free, only for The Undertaker to grab them both by the hair and throw them headfirst into one another! The crowd cheers, but Chavo Guerrero slides into the ring now … right into a right hand! The Undertaker is taking everyone out … but Edge clubs him down from behind! La Familia quickly regather themselves and all start to stomp on The Undertaker, with Edge marshalling traffic.

Michael Cole: Damnit! The Undertaker was on his way to a victory over Hawkins and Ryder, but look at the numbers paying off now. Look at this – it’s disgusting.

The four continue to stomp on The Undertaker … when suddenly a cheer is heard …

… It’s Batista! ‘The Animal’ charges down the ramp and slides into the ring, immediately knocking anyone who dares to charge at him down with right hands. Edge stands back, allowing his goons to do his bidding, until Batista turns towards him … and Edge strikes him to the head with a big boot!

Batista is now down with The Undertaker, finding himself also on the receiving end of a beatdown …

… But here comes Big Show! Big Show charges down the ramp as fast as he can, before climbing onto the apron and being immediately met with right hands. The big man just swats his foes away though, allowing him to climb into the ring as all hell starts to break loose …







***BOOM***

***SLOW CHEMICAL***


The crowd explodes into a huge cheer as Kane now comes charging down the ramp! ‘The Big Red Machine’ slides into the ring and joins the chaos, with Batista and The Undertaker now up and wailing on La Familia. Somehow Edge manages to slip away, backing up the ramp as he sees the chaos unfolding in the ring …

… SPINEBUSTER FOR ZACK RYDER! The Edgehead is slammed down with a massive Spinebuster from Batista …

… BAM! BIG SHOW WITH THE KNOCKOUT BLOW TO CHAVO GUERRERO!

That leaves only Curt Hawkins up, as he staggers about in the ring … DOUBLE GOOZLE … THE BROTHERS OF DESTRUCTION DAMN NEAR PUT CURT HAWKINS THROUGH THE RING WITH A DOUBLE CHOKESLAM!

Edge continues to back up the ring, shaking his head as he sees that his control of SmackDown has perhaps slipped – The Undertaker, Kane, Batista and Big Show standing in the ring, staring him down. That’s the scene we see as we fade to black.


End.

---

Judgment Day

May 18th, 2008 | Qwest Center; Omaha, Nebraska

***NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED***
 

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First about Raw quick, as I told you in PM I loved the opening Orton promo. It really put him over well and the lines of him mentioning the other two getting the big over the top entrances and him the champ not, was good stuff. The promo on the whole showed me that you are really gonna get behind Orton which will be great considering he was real good at this point, he was the cocky heel and the psychotic one in one before WWE made him drop the title the very next month.

As others have said, as well as yourself it wasn’t the best show and was kinda disappointed to see no changed ending but I get why you did. I liked Kennedy/Jericho feud beginning, Carlito off on his own, and Colt beating JBL. About the last Flair thing, irl Im pretty sure Triple H came out during it. So did he for yours? If so how does this affect your storyline bc im assuming you are writing out Triple H. Look forward to see what direction you go in next raw. Are all the ECW people on Smackdown since none of them were featured? I guess ill find out

OML’s Smackdown Review

Opening Promo: You nailed Edge perfectly. With the hair pulling and the repeating of words I could see just how on edge, Edge really was. Like how Edge mentioned he was one step ahead of the Undertaker and had him beat. That he was intimidated by the deadman’s mind games or the aurora of the streak. There was one line where Edge repeated the same thing like 3 times that was kinda weird. My moment, let it slip, it was mine in my grasp, my moment, our moment, idk it just didn’t sound right. Also didn’t seem right Edge would care about La Familia. Him apologizing to them was awkward. At the time Edge was obsessed with the title and ending the streak for himself. He is an egomaniac. Maybe Vickie but I couldn’t see Edge apologizing to Chavo and the Edgeheads. Although Edge was quite the ass kisser. Batista coming out was fine. He used his usual face lines telling Edge he never shuts up and jokes on Vickie. Batista should get a title shot. Batista vs Taker would be too good for tonight damn you Vickie lol. Handicap match should be good and will no doubt end with Edge coming out. Benjamin with Burke? That is interesting, they weren’t together irl at the time so I guess this is something happening for the first time.

Batista vs Benjamin: Good long match even with a commercial. Your matches are written out just the right length for reading with enough detail but not full length for tv shows. Knew Batista would win but atleast Benjamin had a good showing. Finishing sequence was good with the counter of the Paydirt into the spinebuster and Batista Bomb. Irl this is when Batista went on to feud with HBK or wtvr so hopefully you are going into a different direction.

MVP promo: Really loved the MVP character at this time. The feud with him and Matt was good. Hardy coming back and screwing him at Mania was good and even though Hardy isn’t cleared to compete yet im sure they will meet down the road. Good use of MVP’s catchphrases. Him rattling off past great champions and saying nobody will screw me out of the US title makes me believe he will lose tonight, whether or not for the title.

Dykstra vs Big Show: Lol I actually really liked Dykstra’s promo there. I thought this would be the start of a push until I saw who he was facing. The whole you all forget me and don’t know why I am even out here was funny. Loved the line where he mentioned how he beat the man who everyone has been celebrating this week, which gives Dykstra some small credibility. Big Show still mad after losing to Mayweather with a standard squash of Dykstra. Didn’t think Big Show needed to mention Dykstra’s comment from earlier as he is better than that and is in a bad mood so shouldn’t be up for making jokes but he turned serious real quick atleast. Big Show wants the World Title. I love how on this show and on Raw as well with the WWE Title, you have made the whole show center around many guys stating they want the title. Puts importance on the gold that everyone is gunning for it which is how it should be. Interesting to see what Big Show goes next. Anything but vs Khali at Backlash like irl haha.

La Familia backstage: Edge getting nervous other guys trying to jump ahead of him but with Vickie in the palm of his hand he will be fine. Wonder if Vickie gives someone else a shot making it like a triple threat if Edge would start to turn against Vickie? Interesting that Edge won’t be out there tonight but like it said I feel like it is just a cover unless Edge has something bigger planned.

15 minutes of fame: I really liked the Miz and Morrison team back in the day especially the dirt sheet haha. Anyway you established them to the viewers who may not watch ECW and loved the line where Morrison said even though we are new here we are champions and we’ve made our impact, the SD teams have to make an impact on us. Cryme Tyme is meh. There gimmick was funny and not too bad in the ring but there are just teams/people that have been damaged so badly by WWE I cant take them serious as a threat but lets see what you do. Like the exchange between them lol at the Miz “how many titles have you won, ‘won’ not stole after the show”. Cryme Tyme pushed the champs into a match but there was no announcement of the stip? How did we know it was supposed to be 15 min of fame nobody mentioned it and I assume it is none title. Actually I see now Miz mentioned it, but maybe should have been mentioned again at the end of the promo. Match itself was a good long back and forth tag match. This is how you give Cryme Tyme back some credibility. Great closing sequence and Cryme Tyme wins right as the time expires. This was kind of predictable and simple booking but it is effective booking. Cryme Tyme can now claim they have taken the champs to the brink but Miz and Morrison can claim they didn’t beat them.

CM Punk vs MVP: So it looks like you are stacking up the SD Roster with the main people from ECW, which is good. Punk is Mr. MITB hopefully you build him up for a while before pulling the trigger. Another good match, that’s the 3rd good match on the show. MVP using the ref as a shield was smart. Liked the ending with MVP grabbing the briefcase and as I predicted Matt Hardy would screw MVP again. I would like to see Hardy continuously do this just come out and screw MVP and not show up other wise until eventually MVP can’t take it anymore knowing Hardy is always coming. I think the twist of fate on the floor would be enough to end it. Idk if MVP would get back up into the GTS but I get you wanting Punk to not just completely steal the win. Good start to building Punk as a legit star and also continuing the MVP/Hardy feud.

Handicap Match: Main event already? Damn seems quick, I feel like another promo or something was needed. Anyway looking forward to this. I know usually champions speak after they win but Taker doesn’t need to do that. But him winning and keeping his streak could have been mentioned by the Deadman? The match itself was pretty good. Hawkins and Ryder trying to use the numbers game and out quick Taker but Undertaker is too much for these two jobbers lol. Despite them getting some offense in the middle Taker had the match in full control about to win when Edge comes out! ( Maybe you should have spaced out the MVP/ Punk match and this one bc back to back interferences is meh and the match before that didn’t end clean either) I mean on Raw and SD clean finishes cant always happen and help build feuds but thought I would point it out. Edge take a big boot lol. Edge cant catch a break right now? Until finally the numbers game is too much. I honestly am a sucker for big brawl beatdowns and then faces come down to make the save. It is simple but great booking. Batista and Big Show coming out was great, makes sense after earlier they both claimed they wanted the title. All hell is breaking loose, and now KANE!!! Didn’t see that coming honestly. Edge runs off which is good because it is something he would do and leave his boys to the wolves. Great ending love all the faces standing tall. Would love to see an 8 man tag down the road but for now the faces all are getting along but once a title shot comes into play they will all turn. I think Edge and Vickie will use that to get them to turn on one another.

Overall it was a fun read and was better than Raw. In one show you have already took a different approach from WWE. I like what you have done with the new ECW guys. The storyline with La Familia/ Taker/ title contenders should be fun and interesting to see what happens. Still have a while till Judgment Day but I am intrigued. Your writing style is very good and easy to read and keeps me interested. Other than a few minor things and maybe one promo too short the show ( maybe it seemed like that bc I enjoyed it so it seemed quick) was overall very good. Look forward to more shows from you!! Keep em coming!
 

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Chopped Liver
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5,553 Posts
This was a vast improvement on Raw - and I really didn’t dislike Raw that much, it just didn’t have enough going on for a post WrestleMania show - and certainly showcased your abilities much better. There was a sense of urgency with this show that simply wasn’t there on Raw, right from the opening promo - and the characterisation of Edge here was brilliant. Even in your previous thread, I felt Edge was one of the characters you had a great handle on - the way he speaks, his nuances like tugging his hair in frustration etc - , and it’s good to see it’s transferred to this one too.

The claim that Chavo was cheated out of the honour of being the last ever ECW Champion makes me suspect that given the links there, a Smackdown main event of Edge & Chavo vs. The Brothers of Destruction is bound to take place eventually some week. His talking up of Hawkins and Ryder was immense, taking pride in them essentially being happy to be his lackey - and the ode to his own childhood memory of his hero losing at WrestleMania was a simplistic but imaginative touch. Whilst their main involvement came later, I’ll touch on it now - I can see Ryder and Hawkins being a lot of fun in this thread, and some much needed comic relief with lame one liners like the one about Taker being a real deadman later in the night and snorting with laughter. It gave me a giggle … more of the same please.

Batista interrupting proceedings certainly threw a spanner in the works - but he DOES have every right to want back in the title hunt. Using the excuse that he did Vickie a favour at WrestleMania and now she owes him one is an smart way to insert Dave back into the title picture without it feeling forced or out of the blue. One way or another, I don’t see things transpiring like it did in 2008 for real when Edge vs. Taker headlined every PPV for just about 6 months, given how both Kane and more obviously the Big Show wanted to stake their own claims for a shot.

As for the debuts of the ECW contingent - it looks like Vickie snapped up ALL the talent that the show had; Punk, Benjamin, Miz & Morrison (although those two were a no-brainer) plus it would seem Elijah Burke too (potentially as a partner for Shelton?) It was quite a surprise, as I suspected Benjamin especially to switch to Raw and reunite with Haas. It leaves Raw with the dregs of ECW now, but I guess at least on Smackdown the likes of Punk will get a better chance to shine.

Despite eating the loss, coming straight in and having a competitive match with Batista does Benjamin no harm, and while he’ll probably not reach the dizzy heights of the main event scene, he could easily be someone that can fill a main event slot on any given Friday night. Miz & Morrison should prove to be useful additions to the show in the long run too, although I see the Cryme Tyme feud simply as a time filler - and it does make sense to go this route.

Cryme Tyme - whilst not a team that’ll excite too many people - are the only real legit face team on Smackdown, so them keeping M&M (not MNM obviously :side:…) busy whilst you (hopefully) bring in/bring together better pairs and set them up for a more meaningful run against the champs. Also, not sure if the 15 Minutes of Fame challenge was your idea or whether they were already doing it - but I like it a lot. As evidenced here, it’s an easy way to develop new challengers in one showing.

Same goes with Punk as with Benjamin in terms of seeing him inserted in a main event on any given week - although with the briefcase, he clearly is heading for the main events, most probably for the long haul. The MITB gimmick is always one that I’m keen to see what bookers wind up doing up until the inevitable cash in, and as their isn’t a natural feud for him just at the moment on Smack down (that I can think of) I suspect he’ll reel off a few notable wins for the meantime before finding a feud to fill time and potentially build him up for the big one. Coming straight in with a win over the U.S Champ is a great way to announce him on Smackdown.

Speaking of the U.S Champ, you’ve got a ready made feud for him given the WM return of Hardy, and while they were building quite the rivalry (loved the weekly contests; even when it was basketball) before Matt got injured, it was quickly done and dusted upon his return in real life. Obviously, prior to the injury, it wasn’t a ‘personal’ rivalry so to speak, but because of how Hardy was put out, he has to come back for revenge - and right now it looks like you’re going down the serious route for the continuation of the angle, and as a reader, I think that’s the way it probably needs to go from here. The backstory is already there for a mid card blood feud, it’s up to you now to elevate both men - unlike the WWE in the same time period.

He may have been utterly squashed by the Big Show - but who isn’t? - but I think you may have something in store for young Dykstra; why else would he have been given promo time ahead of getting squashed?? He always seems to end up being a project that most bookers tend to try and push, so you’ll be up against it to set him apart from the pack in BTB if you intend on going that route.

Or, he could just wind up being a featured jobber…

Really like that Big Show glossed over the fact he lost at WrestleMania, and instead focused on being in the headline match. I’m sure a wise-ass (Edge says hi) will eventually bring up the fact he was knocked out by a welterweight, but until then, it’s smart for Show to not really acknowledge the outcome of that match, and instead focus on being a big, nasty son of a bitch ;)

I guess it was a nice thing not to have Ryder & Hawkins look like a complete pair of pussies by avoiding the outright loss - although getting beat by Taker in a 2 on 1 is a likely outcome for most tandems. The run ins from Batista, Show and Kane makes sure the focus is on somewhat of an uprising against Edge and his puppet girlfriend/GM. The one thing I couldn’t help but notice though was the lack of credible heels on hand from top to bottom. It’s Edge … then a big drop off to MVP … Chavo and Shelton Benjamin? That could wind up being a problem in the near future - however; saying that, I’m not sure I’d list Big Show as an out and out face just yet … plus Kane is liable to turn heel at any given moment, so I’ll hold back those concerns for the time being.

Overall, this was you back to your best. While Raw was well written, Smackdown had a sense of urgency and direction that Raw seemed to lack. With the Flair issue over with now though, hopefully we’ll be able to see Raw fire on all cylinders in the next week or two … but it’s a flying start from Smackdown.

*P.S, that rep comment you left me; (I need to spread rep, so I couldn’t reply back in kind) at least it’ll be keeping in with realism ;)
 

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I mark for me
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11,419 Posts
By the way, while Coach and Michael Cole aren't the greatest commentators in the world, I think they complement each other quite well. Okay, that was an absolutely fantastic promo from Edge. I was expecting him to be more on that psycho route, but this delusional, apologetic Edge was... fantastic. I can't put it any other way than that. He and Vickie (and the rest of the crew) should remain the centerpiece of SmackDown, while The Undertaker just shows up and destroys the occasional thing. Big Dave Batista was bland, but he typically can come across that way as a face, when he gets on the microphone for extended period's of time. Perhaps, he should be Goldberg-esque in this roll.
Solid enough match for Shelton Benjamin, lasting twelve minutes with The Animal before taking the loss. That is no small feat. Keep Shelton on a roll. He's beyond a valuable asset, especially on a talent-shortened SmackDown (especially on the heel side, as Wolfy so astutely pointed out.)

MVP. Solid promo from Porter, and a feud with Matt Hardy seems to definitely be on the horizon. Keep Matt off the mic and MVP on it (You did a great job with Montel here, by the way) and everything should be all right.

Dykstra promo was bland, but he's just shown up, so I expect him to get on a bit of a roll as far as getting face time and you getting a better feel for him on the mic, developing his character. Big Show squashes him, and throws his name in the hat for a World Title shot. So that's Edge, Show and Batista at the moment. Loaded field you've got. Fatal Four Way?

Seems like you're not a fan of the Cryme Tyme gimmick, but they are over, right? So you do what you gotta do. lol. Fifteen minute match? SmackDown is indeed the wrestling show, and I think we've got out WWE Tag Team Title feud here with Morrison and Miz. Four capable enough workers in the ring, and Miz can carry the feud on the microphone. I like it. Miz and JoMo are definitely worth more together than they are apart. Not just to themselves, but to SmackDown as well.

Punk needs mic time every week, as does Edge. No surprised to see Hardy cost MVP the victory as it forwards the storyline and is the only real way that the match could've ended.

osht what's going on with Finlay. I sincerely hope that he's not retiring. While it wouldn't be a fatal blow to the roster, I definitely think it'd hurt. The irishman is definitely a valuable asset.

Main event was definitely the weakest match on the show, but it's a handicap match so - yeah. And besides, it was only a setup for the angle that took place afterward with Kane joining the list of contenders. Now, I have a question. Is Kane still the ECW Champion? I think it should be. It'd add some credibility to him. And he could use it. World Title situation is def a crowded one, with Batista, Edge, Kane and Show all in the mix for Taker's belt. But we've got plenty of time until Judgment Day, so it should be sorted rather nicely and lead to some interesting television.

Very strong SD show by the way. I just love the way SD feels. Fewer segments, longer matches and lots of room for upward mobility by the Benjamins, CM Punks and MVPs of the world. Keep up the work, BULK.
 

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Premium Member
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12,266 Posts
Been meaning to get round to you.

First of all, welcome back after your supposed death. I don't know what happened or why you suddenly disappeared for such a long time but it's nice to see you back regardless.

Interesting to see you come back with a 2008 thread. It's not a year that's been done to death in the section, and considering my own project is already halfway through that year and is somewhat different to the real-life WWE of 2008, I'm curious to see where you go with certain talents. I'm not surprised to see you bring back single-brand PPVs since the depth of the roster at that time was reasonable enough to warrant this.

Raw
- The Orton promo was well-written mainly because it made me want to literally tell the guy to shut the hell up. So many other bookers (myself included) have taken the route of going with the 'demented' Orton character, so to see you bring out the 'egomanical' side of his character is refreshing. I thought the fact you had Orton acknowledge that this Raw was about Ric Flair and the future was about him was a good move because it makes Orton feel more "real" as opposed to being the bog-standard heel. History cannot be ignored, and when it's embraced, it makes for a much better product when it comes to pro wrestling in my humble opinion.

- Carlito breaking away from Santino is fine, but why was Jim Ross so appalled by the move? Weren't they both heels at the time? If anything, I'd have thought this was a face turn for Carlito.

- I'm guessing "The Million Dollar Man" coming back is the sign that you're wasting no time in bringing in Ted DiBiase Jnr. I have no issue with that; as a matter of fact I'm curious to see what you do with him as I also debuted him in a similar fashion in my own thread.

- The Jericho interview was very standard, but again, it's not like it was anything bad; it just wasn't anything special either. Again, I'm curious to see what you do with Jericho in this thread. This was right before he turned heel and had the epic feud with Shawn Michaels in real life - will you keep him as a babyface, or end up pulling the trigger and turning him into the "Honest Man"?

- Poor JBL; it seems whichever thread that character finds itself in, he is the one to put over a debuting superstar, lol. Nonetheless, I haven't seen a huge amount of Colt Cabana's work but this was a decent way to debut him. Considering you didn't have JBL react to the loss or get a post-match attack in I'm assuming this will be the only encounter between the two, but I think a longer match between the two at Backlash with Cabana going over once more could be a decent affair that continues Cabana's push. What you've got to be wary of is having Cabana come in so hot against a star like JBL and then not know what to do with him, and end up throwing him in squash matches. It'll be interesting to see how you build on this debut for Cabana.

- Not sure what you have planned for Burchill, but a solid start to what I can only assume is going to be a big push. I have the feeling you're going to go down the route of Burchill doing his own talking rather than Katie Lea speaking for him. Just one thing; I can already see an arising issue for you in terms of booking - you've now got Carlito, Cabana, Burchill and Ted DiBiase Jnr. all seemingly on the rise/set to debut/set for a push. Down the road you're going to find it difficult to push all your "younger guys" at the same time without a few of them having to take some losses here and there, so just think about your long-term plans and who is going to get more of a push than others.

- Kennedy's interview, much like Jericho's, was very standard, although to me it sounded like as a character Kennedy needed to convince himself more than Jericho did that he's still relevant. I'm going to "do a Wolf Beast" here and fantasy book your thread for a minute: Kennedy eventually realising that he's not that special could lead to a really good storyline that sees him mature, perhaps turn babyface and finally give some depth to his character. Kennedy vs. Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship is an IWC wet dream so no surprise to see it happen here too; I'm guessing you're going to put the belt on Ken and give him a run with it to build him back up to main event level, but think about what I've said (PS If Kennedy wasn't already babyface in my thread when I started it I'd have done this myself so no chance of me nicking my own idea back from you :side:.)

- As a final note for Raw I'll agree with Wolf that I would've liked to have seen Shawn Michaels on this show. Sure, you kept the Ric Flair retirement segment as it was in real-life: no issue with that. I do feel though that we at least needed to SEE Michaels on this show; even if it were in an interview segment where he refused to answer any awkward questions.

Overall this was a decent return show - nothing amazing as of yet, but that's usually the case with the first show. I expect the groundwork to continued to be laid over the next few shows before you really find your stride. For now though, with your programs of Orton/Cena and Kennedy/Jericho, and probably a Shawn Michaels feud with someone over Ric Flair's retirement, a solid start.

Smackdown
- I'm surprised you opened Smackdown in exactly the same way as Raw - with a promo from a guy who was in the main event - but it's not a big deal. Did you prefer writing this promo than Orton's? It seems that way in the result. I have to :lmao at Edge referring to himself as a "fighting" champion, that was a great line, and the embrace between he and Chavo was a nice touch too. Batista interrupting was no surprise, since he in real-life floated around the World Heavyweight Title scene at this time as well. I have to wonder if, much like with Chris Jericho on Raw, you'll turn Batista heel at some point. Although he came off fine here, I can tell he's not your most favorite character to write, so I'm predicting that we'll either see a full-fledged heel turn in the not-too-distant future, or we'll at least get some "edgier" stuff from him. As a more general note on the Edge/Undertaker program; if you're going to continue with it, I'll be keen to see if you drag it out until SummerSlam or blow it off at Backlash. Personally I have a feeling sooner or later you'll put the belt back on Edge, since bookers around these parts, for whatever reason, don't seem to want to ever keep Undertaker as champion.

- I again have to agree with the Big Wolf himself; the dynamic between Michael Cole and bog-standard Coachman is meh, but the dynamic between face Cole and heel Coach will be brilliant in this thread. I again lol'd at Cole's line, "That's not even his family!" Keep this up and the commentary will quickly be a highlight of your shows.

- I can tell you enjoyed writing that MVP promo because it's so far the best written promo I've seen in these two shows. No surprise to see Matt Hardy continue to pursue MVP and set up their match for Backlash over the US Title. I don't think there's any issue with imitating real-life and putting the belt on Hardy, because unlike real-life, I see you pushing MVP into the main event scene with promos like that. Don't keep the US Title on MVP just to be different to real-life.

- LOL @ Kenny Dykstra getting squashed. Until you had Big Show talk, I didn't know if this was going to end up as a storyline for Dykstra or a push for Big Show, but the little speech afterward answered it for me. I can't see Show being anything more than a guy you're going to use in the title picture as a threat, but never gets the title, so this was an okay segment, but I don't expect much to come out of it. Just one thing though; nearly everyone has now come to the ring and said "I want to be World Heavyweight Champion." Not that the characters shouldn't want to be champion, but it was a little too repetitive to hear that line over and over again. Hopefully you can find a way of getting that message across in another form.

- Big Show, Batista, Kane and Undertaker all in the same ring at the same time would make for a tremendous moment, IMO, so good to see you realise it here in BTB-land. I can't see Show, Batista and Kane staying babyface, and considering you waited the whole show for Kane to make an appearance, you're either: a) turning Kane heel and so put some focus on him by having him be the last one to come out to the ring, or b) and the more likely option, needed to throw him in somewhere. :side: It's all speculation at this point but you've set up an intriguing road to Judgment Day. Have to echo Mac's sentiments - is Kane still the ECW Champion? I'm guessing not, otherwise you'd have acknowledged it. Perhaps the fact he's no longer champion will be the catalyst for him to go after his brother's world title? I doubt you'll go for that feud again, but who knows.


Smackdown was again a decent effort, but it's likely you'll produce more memorable stuff once you get closer to the first Smackdown pay-per-view, Judgment Day. I'll of course be keeping track of this and right now I can't say I prefer a show to either, but I do think you seem to have more of an idea of what's going to happen on Raw as opposed to Smackdown.
 

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HOPE
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13,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. A tad surprised there's so much. :$

- I wish I could take credit for the 15 MoF. Miz and Morrison introduced it after becoming tag champs.

- A lot of the ECW talent does end up on SmackDown. Frankly, most of the good talent already has. There's a reason for that in terms of a storyline, plus SD's roster was also much thinner than RAW's.

- I didn't like the MVP promo at all, so I'm kind of glad it wasn't total crap.

- Big Show's spiel being similar to Batista's was intentional.

- Kane gets a big late entrance because he's being made out to be the biggest signing as the last ECW Champion (despite leaving SmackDown to go to ECW at WrestleMania, but I won't mention that), and because he's being treated as if he's important. The main event roster is kind of thin, especially after Mysterio was written out due to injury after No Way Out.

- The roster really is heavy on faces. I hadn't noticed this until I started booking the brand properly actually. It will be fixed, both with some short-term solutions and then down the track I'll change things accordingly.

- A few things I forgot to mention about RAW. It was very much a reset for Carlito. People can remember when he didn't suck at this stage, so I'm quickly moving him away from Santino.

- Beth squashed Maria because I wanted their feud (I'm being a bit generous calling it a feud, but WWE made it happen) to end in a way that didn't involve Snoop and Santino Marella. Beth gets to show that Maria is awful. In retrospect, Mickie, as my only decent diva face at this stage, should have featured on the show in some form.

This is already a long post. It includes a show too, featuring WWE's two favourite supermen.


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April 7th, 2008 | Albany, New York​

Our show opens with a look back at last week’s farewell to the greatest of all time, ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair.

The classic Monday Night RAW opening of a montage of the superstars of the brand and the RAW theme tune then plays, before we cut into the arena to see a pyrotechnics display on the stage. Fans excitedly wave their signs around at the camera, before we finally settle on our announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.


Jim Ross: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome here to Monday Night RAW, comin’ to you live from Albany, New York. I’m Jim Ross, joined here at ringside by my broadcast colleague, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Jerry Lawler: And what a show we’re going to see here tonight. We’re going to hear from Shawn Michaels for the first time since his match with Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24, and boy are these fans up for it!

Jim Ross: We know that WrestleMania was very tough for Shawn Michaels, but he is in the building tonight. Along with that, the Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho will be in action with Paul Burchill in what promises to be a great match, plus the Women’s Champion and the World Tag Team Champions will also be in matches tonight.

Jerry Lawler: Paul Burchill has looked very dangerous thus far on Monday Night RAW, but Chris Jeri-

***IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME***

A huge cheer goes up for the unexpected arrival of Triple H, who sure enough steps through the smoke, looking out at the crowd intensely, not dressed for action.


Jim Ross: It’s ‘The Game’! Triple H- Triple H wasn’t even expected to be here tonight, let alone out here now. What’s he doin’ out here?

Jerry Lawler: I don’t know, ‘JR’, but ‘The Game’ looks like he means business!

Jim Ross: Triple H was ruled out of action indefinitely following a concussion suffered at the hands of Randy Orton in their Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania 24, and was supposed to be recuperating at home in Greenwich, Connecticut, but I guess Triple H has never been one to enjoy rest.

Triple H makes his way down the ramp, then climbs up onto the apron and looks out to the fans. Without his water bottle, ‘The Game’ doesn’t go through his usual routine, climbing into the ring and grabbing a microphone. As his music dies down, ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ waits for the chants of to die down as he hears screams of “Triple H! Triple H! Triple H!”

Triple H: Y’know, I was doin’ as my doctors told me, sittin’ back and watchin’ last week, and I heard the funniest thing – did- did Randy Orton think he got rid of me? Did Randy Orton think I was done?

~ The boos immediately come in from the crowd for the mention of Orton and his claims.

Triple H: Well Randy, let me make something clear – nobody, and I mean NOBODY can get me rid of me. I’m only done when I say I’m done!

~ A big cheer for that, as the crowd is eager to get behind the extremely intense Triple H.

Triple H: Randy, you and me have a hell of a past. I’d be lying if I denied that a small part of me isn’t proud of you, of what you’ve become. You’re the WWE Champion after all, and it was me, it was Ric Flair …

~ A huge cheer goes up for that, before chants of “Thank you, Flair! Thank you, Flair! Thank you, Flair!” Triple H just nods, happy to hear the crowd acknowledge his good friend.

Triple H: That’s right, it was me along with Ric Flair, the greatest wrestler to ever grace this very ring, that spotted Randy all those years ago. He was just this kid, this arrogant little kid, but ‘Naitch’ and I, we looked at each other and we both said that the kid has somethin’ … he has somethin’ special.

~ Triple H pauses, seemingly gathering some of his thoughts as he rubs his chin and paces back and forth.

Triple H: I was there when Orton was a kid strugglin’ out of his depth. I was there when he couldn’t match it with the big boys, and when people said he was just a lackey. And I taught him … I moulded him … I made Randy Orton – I formed Randy Orton into what he is today. I made him into the man that would become the youngest world champion in history.

~ The crowd boos that achievement, having heard Orton talk it up more than enough.

Triple H: I was also there a month later when I ended that title reign!

~ A huge cheer goes up for that, despite Triple H being the heel back then who rained on Orton’s parade.

Triple H: My point is that what Randy Orton is today, what Randy Orton has become is because I saw something in him, because I believed in him. I thought … no, I knew there was something special there, even when nobody else thought there was. Five years ago I called Randy Orton a diamond in the rough, and now he stands as the WWE Champion – a polished diamond.

~ The crowd boos again, not keen on hearing Triple H talking up the WWE Champion.

Triple H: But y’see, despite all of that, despite what he’s become, Randy and me, we’ve done it all before. We’ve battled over the world title when I was champion, and we’ve done it with him as champion. I’ve pedigreed you, and you’ve RKOed me. You’ve punted me in the head, and I’ve caved in your skull with my sledgehammer. The one common denominator is that I have always, ALWAYS come out on top … and I always will.

~ Another big cheer goes up from the audience for the ever-modest Triple H.

Triple H: Randy Orton thought he got rid of me … Randy Orton thought he had finished this between us … but this … this only ends when I say it ends. This thing between Randy and me is only finished when I finish him!

~ The crowd cheers yet again, eating out of the palm of ‘The Cerebral Assassin’.

Triple H: The doctors … the doctors have finally seen sense. After a week of telling them I was fine, they’ve given in and let me go … they’ve cleared me to compete. And now … now there’s just one man on my mind.

~ Triple H pauses again, pacing around the ring and rubbing his chin as he looks at the mat. ‘The Game’ walks back and forth, before suddenly stopping in the middle of the ring and looking straight up into the hard camera.

Triple H: I want Randy Orton, and I want him NOW!

~ The raucous crowd erupts into another huge pop, before restarting the chant of “Triple H! Triple H! Triple H!”

Triple H: You thought I was done, Randy? You really thought you had finished off, that you could finish off ‘The Cerebral Assassin’? Randy, I will finish you off.

~ The crowd cheers once more, erupting a huge clash in the ring.

Triple H: You still owe me a one-on-one shot at that title, Randy. Forget WrestleMania, forget about Triple Threat Matches and any other way you can dodge facing me one-on-one. I won the Elimination Chamber, and that meant a one-on-one match with the champion for that WWE Title.

~ Triple H starts to pace around the ring again, playing with his nose as he speaks.

Triple H: So, the way I see it, there’s two ways we can do this … number one, you come out here and you face me like a man, Randy.

~ Triple H continues to pace around the ring, before stopping and motioning a cameraman to get up on the apron. ‘The Game’ stares right down the barrel of the camera, the intensity etched into his face.

Triple H: Or I can go back there, get you, carry your ass out here and kick it all over Albany!

~ The biggest pop yet comes for the biggest indication yet that there’s going to be action, with that resurfacing chant starting up once again, “Triple H! Triple H! Triple H!” Turning towards the ramp, Triple H faces the entrance, waiting to see what the answer is going to be.

Triple H: It’s your choice, Randy, although let me tell you, I suggest you make your choice quickly.

The crowd buzzes in anticipation now as Triple H waits in the ring. Time passes, and the crowd starts to grow more silent … prompting Triple H to go to the ropes! Triple H begins to climb from the ring when he hears …







***THE TIME IS NOW***

Triple H stops in the ring and looks in confusion up to the top of the ramp, where John Cena charges out. Cena holds his arms out, acknowledging the hugely mixed reaction that’s elicited from the crowd, before walking down the ramp.


Jim Ross: Well it certainly wasn’t who Triple H was looking for, but John Cena is in the building.

Jerry Lawler: Something tells me Triple H isn’t going to be anywhere near as excited to see John Cena tonight as this crowd is!

Cena walks down the ramp and climbs into the ring, striding straight past Triple H to ask for a microphone from ringside. Cena turns, but he can’t get a word in straight away.

Triple H: Hey John, I checked the invite list for this thing … turns out you aren’t on it.

~ A very mixed reaction comes in from the crowd for that, with some happy to see Cena taken down a peg, while there’s also a lot of Cena fans in the building.

Triple H: So unless you’re out here to personally deliver Randy Orton, I suggest you get out of this ring right now … before someone makes you.

~ Another big mixed reaction comes in from the crowd for Triple H laying in to Cena.

John Cena: Look Triple H, I get it. I heard what you said … you want Randy Orton. The problem for you is that you’re not the only one that wants Orton.

~ Yet another mixed reaction sounds, with some wanting Cena to go after Orton and some preferring Triple H.

John Cena: You’ve talked about your history with Randy Orton, but I haven’t forgotten what Orton has done to me. I haven’t forgotten that I never lost the WWE Title. I’ve never forgotten that Randy Orton, that he had to injure me and take three months of my career away, just so I would be stripped of the title and he would be awarded it.

~ The crowd is fairly unanimous in booing the actions of Orton, although there are still a few cheers in there.

John Cena: I haven’t forgotten that Randy Orton tried to kick me in the head, or that he pulled my father out of the crowd and kicked him in the head, putting him into hospital.

~ It’s all boos for that one, with no one approving of the despicable actions of the WWE Champion.

John Cena: I haven’t forgotten, but more importantly … I … have NOT … forgiven!

~ A big pop as Cena now kicks up his own intensity.

John Cena: You’ve talked about how Randy Orton owes you a match? I never lost that title to him, but I didn’t get my shot. I won the Royal Rumble, but Randy Orton snaked his way out of my title shot after that. If anybody … if ANYBODY is going to get their hands on Randy Orton one-on-one, then you’re lookin’ at him, jack.

~ Another mixed reaction sounds for that, with Cena again pitting himself against Triple H.

John Cena: And if I have to fight you to get that shot at Orton, hey, I’m happy to do it. I’ll go through anything to get my shot at Orton … even you.

~ The mixed reaction from the crowd continues as John Cena eyes off Triple H, electricity in the air.

Triple H: You think you deserve the next shot at Orton? Cena, in case you’ve forgotten, you were the one pinned at WrestleMania. And you wanna fight me? I was the reason you were pinned. That match was mine.

~ It’s mostly cheers that are heard for Triple H, with the crowd clearly behind him now.

Triple H: And make no mistake, Cena, if I have to do it again, if I have to leave you lying in this ring, I will gladly do it. Because Cena, I am good enough to do it … I am … just that damn good.

The crowd begins to buzz, with Cena and Triple H moving closer together, going nose to nose …







***BURN IN MY LIGHT***

Both Cena and Triple H turn to the stage to see the WWE Champion, Randy Orton walk out onto the stage, his title on his shoulder. With a microphone already in hand, Orton has no intention of going any further than the stage, waiting for his music to die down.


Randy Orton: Y’know, I said-

~ Orton pauses and glares out into the crowd as they start to chant to Orton “You suck! You suck! You suck!” Before long Orton grows bored of the chant and decides to speak.

Randy Orton: I said before WrestleMania that if you combine your best attributes, Triple H, with your best attributes, John Cena, that you come up … with me.

~ The crowd boos the always-arrogant WWE Champion.

Randy Orton: And at WrestleMania … at WrestleMania, I proved just that.

~ Orton starts to along the stage now, not daring to take his eyes off the men in the ring.

Randy Orton: But that’s not all I proved. At WrestleMania, I proved that I am truly a ‘One Man Dynasty’. At WrestleMania, I proved that we are, without a shadow of a doubt, living in the ‘Age of Orton’.

~ Orton now stops pacing and eyeballs both of the men down in the ring.

Randy Orton: But most of all, at WrestleMania, when I beat both of you, I proved that the days of either of you challenging me … are over.

~ There’s more heat from the crowd there, with the crowd wanting to see Orton in action against either man.

Randy Orton: So you can come out here and you can whine, you can complain about the past. You can complain about what I’ve done to you … but me? I’m lookin’ to the future. I’m lookin’ to my future and the future of this company. And let me assure you, those futures are the same thing. I am this company’s present, and this company’s future.

~ The crowd boos once more, but Orton looks to continue on.

Randy Orton: You two are in the past … you’re done. It’s my time now. So I guess, if you’re looking for an answer to your challenges, the answer to both of you … is no.

The boos continue as Orton looks down to the ring, half a smile on his face until he hears …

***REGALITY***

It’s heat that fills the arena as the General Manager, William Regal walks out with a microphone in hand. He too only walks out to the ramp, standing next to Orton as he begins to speak.


William Regal: Mr Orton, I’m going to have to remind you that I’m the one that makes matches around here, not you.

~ A small cheer goes up as Orton shoots a glare at the General Manager.

William Regal: But I do agree with you that both of these men should not, and will not be getting title matches against you …

~ The crowd boos that, although Regal is quick to talk over them.

William Regal: However, one of them will.

~ The crowd cheers that, although a clearly agitated Orton tells Regal off microphone “You have got to kidding me!”

William Regal: Oh, I’m deadly serious sunshine. You see, I agree with both Mr Helmsley and Mr Cena that you owe them one-on-one title chances … but they won’t both be getting one. Originally, I did plan on John Cena facing you at Backlash …

~ A big time mixed reaction for that, with many wanting to see Orton face Triple H instead.

William Regal: However, with the news that Triple H has been cleared to compete, I have decided to spice things up a bit. We’ll decide who your opponent for Backlash is tonight in our main event.

~ Regal pauses for a moment to build the anticipation.

William Regal: It will be John Cena …

~ Another big mixed reaction sounds out at the very mention of Cena’s name, with Cena nodding in the ring.

William Regal: Versus ‘The Game’ Triple H, one-on-one!

~ The crowd goes absolutely nuts for that huge main event that’s announced for tonight.

William Regal: To make sure proper measures have been followed in Triple H’s return, there will be a doctor at ringside to ensure Triple H’s health, and the winner will get their WWE Title chance … but, to raise the stakes and prove I’m a fair man who also considers your opinion, Randy, the loser will suffer. You’ve both had shots in the past gentlemen, so tonight’s loser will get no more. Tonight’s loser will not get another shot at the WWE Championship so long as Randy Orton is the WWE Champion.

~ The crowd doesn’t know how to react to that, with some cheers but also some boos, as the fans know that one of their favourites will be put right out of the WWE Title picture should Orton win at Backlash.

William Regal: So gentlemen, I suggest you do whatever it takes to ensure that it’s you who gets the WWE Title opportunity at Backlash, because if the other man wins but loses to Mr Orton … well, it could be your last chance to earn a shot.

***REGALITY***

Regal looks towards the ring, before turning to the back, taking the microphone with him. In the ring, both Triple H and John Cena are caught between eyeing each other off and staring down Randy Orton on the ramp.


Jim Ross: What an announcement from William Regal! Tonight, we will see one of the biggest main events in Monday Night RAW history, when John Cena and Triple H go one-on-one for a shot at the WWE Title at Backlash!

Jerry Lawler: But what about what this match means for the loser, ‘JR’? I don’t know if John Cena or Triple H could take not being able to challenge for the WWE Title!

Jim Ross: Those are the stakes Regal has put on the match, and as he told both men, it just means they’ll have to do whatever it takes to win.

Orton, Cena and Triple H continue their attempts to get in each other’s head as we head off to a break.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to see The ******* Wrecking Crew and The Highlanders already in the ring.

***HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW***

The crowd gives a decent little pop as the World Tag Team Champions, Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly make their way out onto the stage, along with Paul London and Brian Kendrick. All four men play up to the crowd a bit, slapping hands as they make their way down the ramp.


Jim Ross: Folks, we’re set for eight-man tag team action here as the World Tag Team Champions face, and team with, three prospective challengers here tonight, who will all be out to impress RAW General Manager William Regal.

Jerry Lawler: And as we just saw, ‘JR’, William Regal certainly isn’t afraid to make a big call. What a main event he’s made for tonight!

Rhodes, Holly, London and Kendrick climb up into the ring, with London and Kendrick doing their best to fire up the crowd, while Rhodes and Holly lift their titles into the air. The ******* Wrecking Crew and The Highlanders wait on the floor, before the referee calls for the bell.

1 – Eight-Man Tag Team Match – The ******* Wrecking Crew and The Highlanders vs Paul London, Brian Kendrick, World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly

Perhaps wanting to prove his team as worthy, Brian Kendrick motions the champions from the ring and gets ready to face Robbie McAllister. Robbie tries to lock up with Kendrick, but Kendrick is quick to take an arm and twist it, before pulling his opponent in to a side headlock. Robbie swiftly counters, pushing Kendrick to the ropes, leading to a shoulder tackle that takes the cruiserweight down. Robbie then runs off to the ropes, but is quick to find himself on the end of a series of arm drags.

Grabbing Robbie by the arm, Kendrick takes him across to the corner and tags in Paul London. London heads up top and comes down with a double axe handle across the arm, before Robbie scrambles away and tags in Lance Cade. Back in the other corner, Hardcore Holly calls for the tag, eager to go toe-to-toe with the big man. Hearing the pleas of the crowd (well, about two people in the crowd), London complies, and Holly gets to climb into the ring and slug it out with Cade.

Holly starts to win out, but Cade kicks him in the gut, and then takes off to the ropes, only to get an elbow from Holly that garners a two count. Holly takes Cade to he corner and tags in his partner Cody Rhodes, with the two combining for a double dropkick. Their momentum is lost however when Rhodes is distracted by Trevor Murdoch on the apron, his inexperience showing, allowing Lance Cade to take him down with a lariat.

The Crew and The Highlanders beat down Rhodes for a short time, with all four men getting in on a bit of the action. Rhodes escapes a suplex attempt from Robbie though, falling behind him before staggering over towards Hardcore Holly … but Paul London reaches out and tags himself in first!

The crowd cheers nonetheless as London flies in with a springboard dropkick, immediately picking the pace up. He heads to the opposition corner and throws right hands at all opposition, knocking all three men down to the floor before climbing up to the second rope … and mule kicking a charging Robbie! The Highlander hits the turnbuckle then turns back into a dropsault! London jumps on for the cover, but Trevor Murduch breaks it up with a kick.

He then hops out to the apron and calls Robbie across for a quick tag, before climbing into the ring … but Paul London explodes with a series of forearms! London then sends Murdoch off with an Irish whip, before dropping flat to the mat … and allowing Murdoch to run straight into a dropkick from Brian Kendrick! Kendrick springs up fired up … but he is big booted right into Paul London by Lance Cade!

Cade turns around … and Hardcore Holly lifts him up … Alabama Slam connects! Thanks for coming Lance Cade! Holly is taken out next too though, as Rory McAllister tackles him out to the floor, with both men falling out over the top rope. London and Murdoch are left in the ring, with London up on his feet, seeing Murdoch down. He heads across to the corner and goes to the top rope … 450 Splash … no! Murdoch was playing possum, allowing him to lift his knees and wipe London out!

London is keeled over, allowing Murdoch to set him up for – and nail – the Ace of Spades! Murdoch hooks the limp leg of Paul London … and gets the three!

Winners: The ******* Wrecking Crew and The Highlanders via pinfall @ 05:59

***SOUTHERN PRIDE***


The crowd gives some decent heat as Trevor Murdoch has his hand raised by the referee. Cade and The Highlanders join him soon enough, with Cade and Murdoch making a point of trash talking with Rhodes and Holly.


Jim Ross: We said before the match that it was a chance for these teams to impress William Regal, and that certainly was impressive from The ******* Wrecking Crew. With no number one contenders currently, you’d have to think those two would be right in the mix.

Jerry Lawler: Impressive is the word, ‘JR’. The ******* Wrecking Crew were the ones that Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly beat for those belts, and it looks like they’re sick of waiting for a chance to get them back.

Cade and Murdoch continue to tell the champions that they want the belts in the ring, with Rhodes and Holly not taking a backward step at ringside.

We then cut backstage to see Todd Grisham standing by.


Todd Grisham: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guests at this time, Melina and the WWE Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix.

It’s some pretty good heat that comes in as the Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix steps into shot, Melina by her side.

Todd Grisham: Ladies, it’s been a good past few weeks for you having won at WrestleMania, before you, Beth, beat Maria last week here on RAW. Tonight you face Ashley, the other diva from the tag match at WrestleMania, in a match you requested. What do you say to the people who say you’re requesting these matches because you’re jealous of Ashley and Maria?

Beth Phoenix: Jealous? Todd, do you think I’m jealous?

~ Beth eyeballs Todd, leading to him shifting uncomfortably.

Todd Grisham: Well … I- I never said that you- I … well-

Beth Phoenix: Shut it, Todd. I am not jealous. The only people around here that are jealous are the likes of Ashley, Maria and all those other girls that go running to Playboy for their fifteen minutes of fame.

~ The crowd boos, not supporting Phoenix’s crusade.

Beth Phoenix: Look at me. Do I have any reason to be jealous of those girls? I know I’m beautiful, but do you know what else I am? I’m a wrestler. I’m the best wrestler in this division, and this belt here …

~ Phoenix motions to the Women’s Championship that sits on her shoulder.

Beth Phoenix: … This belt here proves it. There’s a reason they call me ‘The Glamazon’ – I’m beautiful and strong. Those girls like Maria and Ashley, they have their beauty, but that’s all they have. So what they do is they go running off to their buddy Hugh Heffner, and they get attention in the WWE the easy way – by selling their bodies.

~ The crowd boos Phoenix for her comment that only just stopped short of calling the girls whores.

Beth Phoenix: I worked to become as good as I am, while all they did was take the cheap route, pardon the pun, to their fame. So these matches that I’m requesting, they’re not because I’m jealous … they’re because I’m here to teach those girls a lesson. A lesson that you can be more than just a pretty face, that you don’t have to prostitute good old fashioned values for a quick buck. That-

???: Really? Is that the reason, Beth?

~ The crowd cheers as Mickie James steps in to view, crowding Todd out.

Mickie James: Y’know Beth, I’ve heard you talk and talk about Ashley and Maria for so long now, that I actually forgot that you were supposed to be a champion.

~ The crowd cheers as Beth glares at Mickie, Melina staying by Beth’s side.

Mickie James: Maria’s an interviewer, yet you just can’t stop getting in the ring with her. Ashley’s spent most of her time as a valet here too. So why face divas who have only just began their wrestling careers, when you could actually be defending that title? Or do you prefer spending your time … with Melina? Is this campaign of yours real? Personally, I thought you’d enjoy what these girls have done.

Mickie smiles curiously, which puts Beth off. The champion thinks about making a retort, but she instead decides to suddenly depart. Melina is left standing by herself for a moment, before deciding she should go too. Mickie just stands and watches as we go to the break.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to see the General Manager, William Regal in his office, along with an unknown woman. They appear to be mid-conversation, with Regal doing all the talking.

William Regal: I want you to tell the referee to call for the bell if you think things aren’t right. I’m not having my head on the chopping block because one of my top stars suffered permanent head injuries, okay?

~ The female just nods, with Regal wanting to continue talking … when Colt Cabana walks into the office. The crowd gives a small cheer for Cabana, although it’s nothing major.

Colt Cabana: You wanted to see me?

William Regal: Right, yes. Uh, Dr Matthews, I think we’re done here.

~ Dr Matthews nods and heads from the room, leaving just Cabana and Regal.

William Regal: Mr Cabana-

Colt Cabana: You can call me Colt. Mr Cabana is my dad’s name. Or call me ‘Classic’? You know, like ‘Classic’ Colt Cabana? Or how about-

William Regal: Mr Cabana.

Colt Cabana: You mean Co-

~ Colt finally catches Regal’s disapproving stare.

Colt Cabana: Uh, yes sir.

William Regal: I called you into my office because I have an opportunity for you. You see, I know you’ve already got a WWE contract, but I also know that you’re not signed to either RAW or SmackDown. And last week you caused quite the stir, sunshine, when you beat a former WWE Champion in JBL.

~ Cabana smiles as a cheer sounds off in the background.

William Regal: So what I’m offering you is a chance to win a spot on my roster here on Monday Night RAW.

Colt Cabana: That’s great and all, but I’ve gotta ask – what’s the catch?

~ Regal raises an eyebrow, not sure what Cabana means.

William Regal: The catch?

Colt Cabana: Yeah, the catch. I mean I know how things work around here. Do I have to set someone on fire? Or blow up a limousine? Or-

William Regal: All you have to do is win your match tonight. Okay?

Colt Cabana: Oh yeah, I can do that.

William Regal: Good. Mr Cabana, it’s been a pleasure.

Colt Cabana: That’s ‘Class-

~ Cabana sees Regal closing his eyes and shaking his head, already frustrated with him.

Colt Cabana: Y’know what? It’s all right, never mind. Thank you … thank you.

Cabana goes to offer Regal a high five, but the GM just looks at him like he’s a moron. Cabana instead plays it off as if he was just scratching behind his ear, and now leaves the room, with Regal still shaking his head, perhaps regretting the decision he made.

We come back to ringside to see Ashley Massaro already in the ring.

***GLAMAZON***

There is some pretty decent heat throughout the arena as the Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix comes out onto the stage, with Melina following. The Women’s Champion raises the belt above her head, before confidently striding down the ramp.


Jim Ross: Beth Phoenix had some, quite frankly, very offensive words to say about the likes of Ashley as we heard earlier, but unfortunately for Ashley, I doubt she’s goin’ to be able to do much about it here.

Jerry Lawler: I guess when you’re as good as Beth Phoenix is, you can afford to have a few things to say. We saw Mickie James make a challenge to her, and make Beth look quite uncomfortable in the process though.

Phoenix climbs up to the top turnbuckle from the apron to showcase her title again, before flipping back into the ring. Melina stays on the outside, with this match set to begin.

2 – Singles Match – Ashley Massaro vs Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix w/Melina

It’s a completely dominant performance from Beth Phoenix, with Ashley getting a few measly right hands in to try to defend herself. Beth just manhandles the former Playboy cover girl, treating her like a crash test dummy as she throws Massaro all around the ring. Phoenix looks to have the match won following a slingshot suplex, but she lifts Ashley’s shoulder off the ropes at two and shakes her head.

With a look of dissatisfaction on her face, Phoenix pulls Ashley from the mat then grabs her from behind … before planting her with the Glam Slam! Phoenix hooks the leg and gets the three.

Winner: Beth Phoenix via pinfall @ 01:51

***GLAMAZON***


Beth has her hand raised, although she doesn’t really seem to be paying attention, still looking down at Ashley, her contempt for the Playboy bunny written all over her face.


Jim Ross: Dominant. Absolutely dominant.

Jerry Lawler: I can’t remember a diva quite like Beth Phoenix, ‘JR’. There doesn’t seem to be a diva that can touch her right now.

Jim Ross: Aw, come on! This isn’t necessary!

Phoenix now bends down and starts to pick Ashley up by the hair, Melina clapping Phoenix on in the background …

***OBSESSION***

The crowd cheers as Mickie James comes charging down the ramp and slides into the ring, causing Beth to slide back out the other side. Mickie tells her to climb back in the ring, but Phoenix shakes her head and backs away.


Jim Ross: Mickie James has come to the rescue of Ashley Massaro, and not a moment too soon. Beth Phoenix is sadistic.

Jerry Lawler: Mickie certainly doesn’t look like she has a problem standing up to Beth, but can she actually beat Beth? No diva has been able to do it consistently so far.

James continues to stare down Phoenix from the ring, as the Women’s Champion moves up the ramp with Melina alongside her.

We’re quickly off backstage now, to see Maria standing by.


Maria: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, the Intercontinental Champion, Chris Jericho.

The crowd gives a big cheer as the Intercontinental Champion, Chris Jericho steps into shot, title wrapped around his waist, dressed for action.

Maria: Chris, tonight you face Paul Burchill, but last week you had a match against John Cena that Mr Kennedy interfered in. Are you worried that Mr Kennedy will interfere again tonight?

Chris Jericho: Worried? About Mr Kennedy? Please, Maria, Kennedy doesn’t worry me in the least. I mean have you- have you seen the guy? Have you heard the guy? He’s got his stupid looking dyed blonde hair … his cocky attitude and some goofy, goofy jokes.

~ There’s some laughs heard from the crowd, who know Jericho has may have just described himself.

Maria: Uh Chris?

Chris Jericho: Yeah Maria?

Maria: That, uh … well, some people might think you could have … you, uh, could have been talking about yourself.

~ Jericho feigns shock, playing along with the interviewer.

Chris Jericho: Me? Describing me? First of all, Maria, my hair is FAR from stupid. I may be a little cocky, and I may tell some bad jokes, but do you know what the difference between Mr Kennedy and me is? I don’t have any horrible tattoos. Like we need reminding by that tattoo on his arm that Kennedy is an assclown.

~ The crowd laughs and cheers for Jericho, happy to get behind their cocky, blonde goofball.

Chris Jericho: But seriously … the main difference between Mr Kennedy and me is that even though yeah, I tell jokes, I have my blonde hair, and I may be a touch cocky … I back – it – up.

~ Another good cheer goes up for the new serious ‘Y2J’.

Chris Jericho: I tell people to look at my gorgeous waist because I’ve always got a title belt around it. I was the first ever Undisputed Champion, beating The Rock and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in the same night. Mr Kennedy was the first guy to win Money in the Bank – my invention, by the way – and never actually cash that briefcase in. I’m the Intercontinental Champion. Mr Kennedy claims he’s the next Intercontinental Champion, but he also claimed he would win Money in the Bank again at WrestleMania 24 – something which, once again, he never delivered.

~ The crowd cheers again, smaller this time, as Jericho pauses briefly.

Chris Jericho: So am I worried about Mr Kennedy? No. I would never, ever be worried about a guy like Kennedy. Like I said last week, I’m a professional, and my thoughts are on Paul Burchill, a guy who so far has delivered so far in the ring. And tonight, against Burchill, I plan on delivering another victory. That’s where my focus is … on proving that RAW … is … Jericho.

Jericho gives Maria a little smile before exiting the scene, leaving us to see a blushing Maria as we head to a break.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to see Mr Kennedy sitting behind the announce table alongside ‘JR’ and ‘King’, his music still playing in the background.

Jim Ross: Welcome back to Monday Night RAW, folks, for what continues to be an action packed night. Mr Kennedy has just joined us at ringside ahead of our next match. Welcome, Ken.

Mr Kennedy: That’s Mr Kennedy, Jimmy boy. Always Mr Kennedy.

***GENERATOR A***

The crowd boos quite loudly for Paul Burchill, who steps out onto the stage with his sister Katie Lea Burchill. The Burchills walk on down the ramp without playing to the crowd, while Katie Lea seemingly talks strategy to her brother.


Jim Ross: Well Mr Kennedy, somethin’ tells me this isn’t the guy you came out here to watch.

Mr Kennedy: I’ll have you know that I do extensive research on all of my competition here on Monday Night RAW. What was it Jericho said? Oh yeah, I’m a professional.

Jerry Lawler: You’d be wise to watch Paul Burchill close too. This man is dangerous, and he’s on the rise here on Monday Night RAW. Ever since debuting, he’s created a trail of destruction.

The Burchills climb up into the ring and await Paul’s opponent, the elder brother cracking his knuckles as he waits.

***BREAK THE WALLS DOWN***

It’s a great pop as the Intercontinental Champion, Chris Jericho steps out with his back to the crowd, arms outstretched. ‘Y2J’ turns to show the gold gleaming around his waist, fitting in with his flashy jacket and tights.


Jim Ross: Earlier tonight Chris Jericho rather pointedly said that, unlike you, Mr Kennedy, he gets the job-

Mr Kennedy: Hold it right there, ‘JR’. You don’t think I get the job done?

Jerry Lawler: I think what he meant was that Chris Jericho said that.

Mr Kennedy: So you believe it too, huh Lawler? Let me tell you – I am the next Intercontinental Champion. It doesn’t matter what Jericho or either of you two thinks. I am the uncrowned champion.

Jerry Lawler: I didn’t mean it like that. In fact, just earlier I was tellin’ ‘JR’ about how great you are!

Jim Ross: Err … right.

Jericho climbs up onto the apron and fires the crowd up, before climbing into the ring and showing of his Intercontinental Title in the corners. Burchill remains in the ring, not intimidated, waiting as Jericho hands off his title so that the match can begin.

3 – Singles Match – Paul Burchill w/Katie Lea Burchill vs Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho

Both men are raring to go for this one, quickly moving into a lockup, although Jericho is smart, and knowing he’s at a disadvantage in power, he quickly ducks behind Burchill and takes him in a waistlock. Jericho is fast to learn Burchill is all about brute force though, as the Brit throws an elbow that rocks the IC Champion. This sends Jericho back, allowing Burchill to go for a clothesline … but Jericho ducks … then tries to hit an early Codebreaker … no!

Burchill throws Jericho back, but ‘Y2J’ manages to land on his feet. Burchill comes at him, but Jericho tries his opponent up … and looks for the Walls of Jericho … again Burchill escapes, this time scrambling out to the floor!

Burchill takes his time, comforted by his sister, who tells him to calm down. The Brit does so before sliding back into the ring, barking at the referee to keep Jericho back. The referee does so … allowing Burchill to charge across and catch the IC Champion with a cheap kick to the midsection. Winded, Jericho is defenceless as Burchill hammers away on him, sending him back to the corner and continuing his assault until the referee threatens disqualification.

This doesn’t stop Burchill for long though, as he sends Jericho to the opposite corner and charges after him to nail a running knee to the gut. A gutbuster follows, allowing Burchill to make the cover … only two. Burchill goes straight to a bow and arrow hold, bending the back of Jericho over his knee and exposing those ribs that he seems to have started to target. Burchill yells at Jericho to tap, but Jericho refuses to do so, instead shifting his weight so Burchill’s shoulders are against the mat … but he breaks the hold and springs out at two.

Burchill beats Jericho up and continues to wear him down, backing him into the corner to try to cave his midsection in with kicks. The referee again has to threaten to disqualify Burchill, distracting the Brit for long enough for Jericho to surge back with some right hands. The crowd cheers as ‘Y2J’ lays into Burchill, but it’s only momentary respite for Jericho thanks to a knee to the gut from Burchill.

The Englishman then sends Jericho off to the opposite corner and charges in … right into an elbow! Burchill staggers back, allowing Jericho to go to the second rope and come off with a missile dropkick!

Jericho is feeling it now, getting up and sending Burchill off with an Irish whip, but Burchill holds onto the ropes, then does just as last time, escaping from the ring. Burchill takes his time once again, pacing around ringside to in front of the announce table where he sneers at Mr Kennedy. Burchill then climbs onto the apron … right into a springboard dropkick from Jericho … no! Burchill drops to the floor himself, leaving Jericho to crash and burn!

Burchill is quick to take advantage too, dragging Jericho from the ring, forcing him to hit the ground with a thud. That’s not the end of it for Jericho though, as Burchill picks him up and rams him spine first into the ringpost! Jericho staggers away, but he doesn’t get far, grabbed by the hair by Burchill … who throws him into the announce table! Jericho hits the front of it with a sickening thud … that for some reason sends Kennedy to the floor behind the table, despite ‘JR’ and ‘King’ not being moved at all.

As our two regular announcers wonder what’s going on, Burchill rolls into the ring, leaving the referee to only count out Jericho. ‘Y2J’ is struggling, having being battered on the outside, but at eight he looks headed for the ring … when he gets stuck! Mr Kennedy has him by the leg! Jericho struggles, and Kennedy lets him go … but the referee reaches ten just as he slides in!

Winner: Paul Burchill via count out @ 05:02

***GENERATOR A***


Even Paul Burchill looks a little confused, but Katie Lea is quick to slide into the ring and raise his hand. Jericho argues with the referee, before turning his attention to Mr Kennedy, who is gleefully making his way up the ramp. Jericho shakes his head, but Kennedy pays no attention to that, motioning that he wants gold around his waist.


Jim Ross: That’s two straight weeks now. Two straight weeks that Mr Kennedy has ruined a perfectly good match, all so he can get the attention of Chris Jericho. I’ll tell ya what, Ken, if you want a title shot then you should go ahead and actually earn it.

Jerry Lawler: We mightn’t agree with Mr Kennedy’s tactics, but in a way he is earning it, ‘JR’. Mr Kennedy is working his way in to Jericho’s head, and he knows that Jericho is going to want a piece of him now. For Kennedy, that’s a step closer to the title.

Jim Ross: It might be a step closer to the title, but that Intercontinental Title is a championship built on good wrestling. If anything, Ken Kennedy is preventing good wrestling. That is not what a prospective champion should do.

Both ‘JR’ and Jericho continue to fume, with Kennedy now disappearing backstage, having sent his message.

We now cut backstage to see Triple H applying his taping around his wrist. This draws a huge cheer from the fans, although that cheer soon turns into a mixture of cheers and boos when John Cena walks into the shot. Triple H immediately springs up, tension in the air, going eye-to-eye with Cena.


Triple H: What do you want, Cena?

~ Cena holds his hands up, almost on the defensive.

John Cena: Hey, hey, I come here with good intentions. I just came to make sure you’re at your best. I know you got punted eight days ago, and I also know Regal’s got a doctor comin’ to ringside. I just-

Triple H: I’m fine, Cena. I don’t know what Regal’s game is, but I’m good to go. And even if I wasn’t, I don’t need you to look out for me. I can take care of myself.

John Cena: Hey, that’s cool. I’m not lookin’ out for you either. The doctor will be doin’ that later tonight. What I’m doin’ is makin’ sure there’s no excuses.

Triple H: No excuses?

John Cena: Yeah, no excuses … for when I beat you later tonight and become the new number one contender to the WWE Title.

~ There’s a huge mixed reaction that greets that from the crowd, as Cena continues to stare at Triple H intensely. Triple H, however, turns to the side and seems to chuckle to himself, before turning back to Cena.

Triple H: Cena, I assure you, I’m fine …

~ Cena smiles, when suddenly Triple H becomes really intense.

Triple H: But don’t worry, that doctor will be put to good use after I’m finished with you tonight.

The crowd buzzes again as the duo continue to stare each other down, before John Cena nods respectfully and leaves. Triple H remains standing for a moment, before sitting down and getting back to his taping, leaving us to go to a break.

Commercial Break

We return to immediately hear …

***SEXY BOY***

The crowd ERUPTS for the familiar tune as Shawn Michaels bounces out onto the stage. More than happy to play to the crowd, Michaels looks out to both sides of the arena, before getting down onto his knees and setting off his pyrotechnics.


Jim Ross: We haven’t heard him here on Monday Night RAW since WrestleMania, but Shawn Michaels is here in the building tonight!

Jerry Lawler: There have been rumours going around that Shawn struggled after ending the career of Ric Flair, but he looks fine to me.

Jim Ross: I tried to speak to Shawn about that earlier tonight, but he told me that he would get it all out in the open here tonight for everybody to hear.

Michaels walks down the ramp and climbs into the ring, then grabs a microphone and waits for his music to die out, only to hear chants of “H – B – K! H – B – K! H – B – K!” The chants reverberate around the arena, with Michaels seemingly enjoying them at first, before interjecting.

Shawn Michaels: Thank you … really, thank you. It means a lot to me to hear you guys still react to me like that.

~ The crowd ignores Michaels, continuing to chant his name, and forcing Michaels to wait for the chant to finally start to stop.

Shawn Michaels: It’s been … it’s been a crazy few weeks for good ol’ ‘HBK’, let me tell ya’.

~ Michaels smiles a bit as he pauses and the chant briefly starts back up again.

Shawn Michaels: What do ya’ say I tell you all a story, huh?

~ A small cheer comes in from the crowd for this, showing their approval.

Shawn Michaels: Growin’ up, there was only one thing I ever wanted to be, and that was a professional wrestler. I didn’t do badly at school – it got me to college for a short while. And I didn’t do bad playin’ football – heck, I even captained my high school team. But none of that stuff … not school and not football … was for me. All I ever wanted to do was wrestle.

~ A smattering of applause is heard, the crowd acknowledging Michaels’ passion.

Shawn Michaels: And there were a few guys I looked up to. Guys like Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat …

~ The crowd cheers and starts a faint chant of “Dragon! Dragon! Dragon!”

Shawn Michaels: Boy could Ricky go in the ring. There wasn’t anyone who could wrestle like him. Another guy I looked up to was Hulk Hogan …

~ It’s almost a forced smile from Michaels, showing there’s still some bad blood there, as the fans give Hogan’s name a quick chant.

Shawn Michaels: Hulk was … Hulk was … well … he was somethin’.

~ There’s some laughs heard, with the crowd aware that Michaels and Hogan don’t have the best relationship.

Shawn Michaels: There was Dusty Rhodes, ‘The American Dream’ …

~ Once again the crowd cheers, acknowledging all of these legends, with Shawn pausing and allowing them to.

Shawn Michaels: Nobody else talked quite like Dusty. He had a way with words, and I know, I know he’s proud that his boy Cody is wearin’ gold here in the WWE.

~ There’s some respectful applause there, with the crowd acknowledging Cody, despite him not being much more than an opening act.

Shawn Michaels: But there was one guy above all …

~ The crowd knows who Michaels is talking about, crying “WOOOOOO!”

Shawn Michaels: There was nobody else … there is nobody else like ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair.

~ The crowd breaks out into a huge cheer again, before the chant sounds, “Thank you Ric! Thank you Ric! Than you Ric!”

Shawn Michaels: Across four decades, FOUR decades, Ric styled and profiled his way to the top. There’s a lotta talk about politics in professional wrestling. There’s been a lotta talk about politics in my career, but Ric was one guy that never needed politics. The politics almost drove him from this great sport – he didn’t want ‘em and he didn’t need ‘em, because when Ric Flair had a microphone, everybody, and I mean everybody paid attention.

~ There’s a smattering of applause as Michaels pauses oh so briefly.

Shawn Michaels: I mean, he was this guy, in an era when everyone just tried to look tough, and he was the guy who went out and he did somethin’ different. He dyed that hair blonde and he spent money makin’ sure he had the flashiest robes that anyone had ever seen. And for a kid like me watchin’ him on television back home in San Antonio, all I could think was “Wow … I wanna be just like him. I wanna be just like Ric Flair.”

~ More applause for Ric Flair, but Michaels is intent on continuing.

Shawn Michaels: And it wasn’t just the way he looked, it wasn’t just the way he talked, and it wasn’t even just the way he lived. Sure, Ric Flair stole the spotlight, he was the limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ son of a gun … but he was also the best damn professional wrestler that I’ve ever seen.

~ A chant looks to start, but again Michaels is quick to cut it off.

Shawn Michaels: Sixteen times … SIX – TEEN – TIMES ‘The Nature Boy’ was world champion. When I was a kid, I wanted to just have a tiny bit of Ric Flair’s life, a tiny bit of Ric Flair’s success, and a tiny bit of Ric Flair’s talent. He was my hero, and he still is today.

~ The crowd applauds, not chanting, but just appreciating Michaels’ sentiments.

Shawn Michaels: And that’s what made WrestleMania tough for me. I tell you each and every year that I am ‘Mr WrestleMania’, and come that time of year I will always steal the show. And that’s part of why Ric chose me. Ric wanted to go out against me … Ric wanted to go out on top … but I- I wasn’t sure if I wanted to let Ric go out.

~ Some respectful applause comes in from the crowd as Shawn pauses.

Shawn Michaels: I know it was Ric’s decision, not mine, but at the same time, I wasn’t sure. And even after Ric begged me, even after Ric pleaded with me to wrestle him, I still didn’t know. And then on the night, in that ring, when Ric told me eight days ago to turn out the lights, and I did it … I still wasn’t sure. That’s why I’ve come out here tonight … to thank you.

~ The crowd reacts by clapping Shawn again, although they’re not entirely sure where Shawn is going with it.

Shawn Michaels: That goes to the guys in the back, everybody here in the crowd tonight, everybody watchin’ at home … and even you, Ric.

~ It’s a big cheer this time, as the crowd are still more than happy to cheer Ric Flair.

Shawn Michaels: Since WrestleMania, all of you have supported me. You’ve all let me know that you thought I did the right thing, and I wanna thank you for that. I’ve been wantin’ to get this off my chest for a week now, but I wasn’t about to steal Ric’s thunder last week. So I’m standin’ here tonight, in front of all of you to simply say … thank you.

~ It’s another big cheer, followed by a chant of “Thnk you, Shawn! Thank you, Shawn! Thank you, Shawn!”

Shawn Michaels: Thank you, and good ni-

***COOL***

It’s great heat that meets the unwelcome arrival of Carlito, who walks out onto the stage, tossing his apple up and down in his hand. Carlito shakes his head disapprovingly as he heads along the ramp, down to the ring.


Jim Ross: Aw come on! This isn’t anything that Carlito oughta be stickin’ his nose into. Shawn Michaels was pourin’ his heart out for Christ sake.

Jerry Lawler: I don’t know, ‘JR’, Carlito and Ric Flair were quite close towards the end of Ric’s career. We even heard from Ric Flair about how close Ric was with Carlito’s legendary father, Carlos.

Carlito climbs up into the ring, grabbing a microphone off the steel steps, before standing in front of Michaels. Shawn looks confused as to what Carlito’s intentions are, asking him off microphone what he’s doing, but Carlito doesn’t answer that question directly.

Carlito: Wow, dat’s a great, great story, Shawn. Really, bravo. You see, de problem is dat story is just dat … it’s a story … it’s fiction … it’s fabricated.

~ “What are you talking about?” Michaels questions Carlito without the microphone, but Carlito just continues.

Carlito: Dis is typical Shawn Michaels. You come out here and pretend dat you’re going to talk about Ric Flair, but instead you come out here and talk about yourself.

~ The heat starts back up again, the crowd booing Carlito mercilessly.

Carlito: Because, let’s be honest, Shawn, dis is all about you. It’s always all about you. You said it yourself. It’s a story about your hero. You talked about all of Ric’s talents, all of his accomplishments, about how great he is, but in de end, all you want to do is have dat reflect back upon you.

~ The crowd boos again, not that Carlito cares. Michaels looks like he tries to get a word in, but Carlito is too quick for him.

Carlito: You say you’re thankful for de support of de guys in de back? Well guess what … not all of dem support you. Most importantly … Carlito doesn’t support you.

~ The crowd continues to boo the controversial Caribbean.

Shawn Michaels: Y’know Carlito, that’s-

Carlito: You see Shawn you may have carried out Ric Flair’s wishes. Ric may have wanted one last great match, but you didn’t do it for Ric Flair. You did it so you could “steal de show”, so you could be ‘Mr WrestleMania’ … you did it for de one man you care about … Shawn … Michaels.

~ Vociferous heat engulfs the arena, while Michaels looks startled by the claims, taken aback by it all.

Carlito: But it’s been de same all along for you, hasn’t it Shawn? Dis has always been the Shawn Michaels show. You didn’t want it to be about Ric Flair, which is why you waited until he said goodbye so you could speak. You wanted all of de attention on you. You haven’t changed. You’re still de same selfish son of a bitch you always were.

~ There are yet more boos as Carlito pauses ever so briefly.

Carlito: Marty Jannety was supposed to be your partner, but you couldn’t dare share de attention with him. Diesel … Diesel was supposed to be your best friend, but den you decided dat you were too good for him. De next best friend you had, Triple H, got in before you, only because he knew what type of person you are. But Ric … Ric didn’t see it coming. Ric trusted you, and you betrayed him.

~ The crowd boos, but Michaels, eager to get his say, quickly gets a word in.

Shawn Michaels: You’re hardly one to talk about betrayal, Carlito. What happened between you and Santino last week? Heck, Ric used to be your mentor. What happened there?

Carlito: Carlito and Santino were never friends. Santino treated everything like a joke … Santino was holding Carlito down. Are you willing to say de same about any of your so-called friends? No, because none of dem held you down … you just chose to step all over dem anyway. As for Carlito and Ric, yeah, we had our disputes, but Carlito would never, never end de career of Ric Flair for his own selfish needs. Carlito still considers Ric Flair a friend, which is why Carlito is out here, saying something Ric Flair himself was too nice to say.

~ The crowd boos again, with Michaels almost looking to start defeated, not trying to talk.

Carlito: You could have said no to de match at WrestleMania. You could have said “no” to beating Ric Flair, to ending his career, but you didn’t. You didn’t because you were too worried about yourself, trying to preserve yourself as ‘Mr WrestleMania’, trying to steal de show … well Shawn, you might have stolen de show, but you also stole de career of de greatest of all-time.

~ Michaels looks down to the mat, not even looking at Carlito anymore, as the heat continues.

Carlito: Last week every superstar came out of dat locker-room to show Ric Flair how much dey respected him, but you Shawn … you don’t respect any of those guys, you don’t deserve any respect back. You’re just the same, selfish egotist dat walked out on dis company a decade ago, and dat … dat’s-

BAM! MICHAELS NAILS CARLITO WITH SWEET CHIN MUSIC!

The crowd goes nuts as Shawn Michaels stands over the body of Carlito, looking down at him briefly, before nipping out of the ring and storming back up the ramp. The camera zooms in on the face of the furious ‘HBK’, who makes his way backstage, leaving Carlito knocked out in the ring as we go to a break.


Commercial Break

We now return back to ringside to see our announce team.

Jim Ross: Ladies and gentlemen, before the break we saw Shawn Michaels come out here and try to vent, and, well, it looked like Carlito pushed him over the edge. Take a look.

We again see Carlito tell Shawn that no one should respect him, only to have his head kicked into next week courtesy of Sweet Chin Music.

Jerry Lawler: Completely unprovoked, ‘JR’! I know Carlito wasn’t asked to be out there, but do you really think that was necessary from Shawn Michaels?

Jim Ross: Shawn has been struggling, and I have no doubt Carlito knew that, and he just pushed Shawn a bit too far.

We now cut into the ring to see both Colt Cabana and Santino Marella there, both having gotten jobber entrances because one’s a jobber and the other is not yet signed. The referee, who also sadly didn’t get an entrance, is there too, and he calls for the bell after Lilian does her thing.

4 – Singles Match – Colt Cabana vs Santino Marella

Cabana has his game face on, despite joking around, knowing it’s all business in the ring. Santino, however, tells Colt that he doesn’t have a chance, not that he’s not a real “Super of star”. Marella then gets a bit too close and finds himself on the receiving end of a series of punches from the eager Colt Cabana. The goofy Santino is dazed, and Cabana sends him off with an Irish whip then hip tosses him on the return.

Santino climbs up while holding his back, only to be scooped up … and Cabana busts out the classic airplane spin! The crowd eats it up, as they count the number of rotations before Cabana finally puts Santino down and both men stumble about the ring. Cabana is the first to recover, hitting the ropes to come off with a big forearm! A cover by the contract hopeful … only two though.

Colt looks to keep his offense going, lifting Santino up, but Santino scores with a thumb to the eye. The referee reprimands Marella, but he pays no attention to it, putting the beating to Colt with some fairly physical blows. Colt fights through in his pursuit of a contract as he staves off defeat, before he gets his chance following a Santino scoop slam. The goofball takes some time before heading to the second rope and attempting a diving headbutt … resulting in him eating mat!

Santino gets up and immediately receives some big jabs, before being rocked with a bionic elbow. Marella staggers into the corner, allowing Colt to charge in and hit the move previously known as the flying asshole. Santino falls into Colt’s clutches … snap suplex! Colt makes the cover … two.

Cabana is right onto Santino again, applying a double underhook … that Santino counters by running Cabana back into the corner. Marella steps up, regaining his bearings, before turning … and Cabana comes off the second rope with a crossbody block … two! Both men get up and Santino is immediately taken down with a double leg … before finding himself locked in a reverse Boston crab that ‘JR’ informs us Colt calls Billy Boat’s Curse! Santino struggles at first, but he’s quick to give in and tap!

Winner: Colt Cabana via pinfall @ 04:09

Cabana climbs back to his feet and has his hand lifted by the referee, triumphant … only for John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield to rain on his parade and blast him from behind!

The crowd erupts into heat as Layfield sends Cabana hurtling towards the mat, before stomping away on him. The furious New Yorker shoves the referee away, before mounting Cabana and absolutely laying into him with some huge right hands to the head. The referee tries to interject again, prompting the fuming former WWE Champion to chase him out of the ring. He then turns back to Cabana and sends him off with an Irish whip … big boot!

Cabana looks damn near out of it, but JBL isn’t done yet, circling the ring as he spits out onto the floor. Layfield rubs his forehead, before bending down and lifting Cabana up, leaving him on jelly legs … Clothesline From Hell!

If Cabana wasn’t out of it before then he is now, with the man he upset last week standing over him, perhaps feeling he has gotten some sort of redemption.


Jim Ross: Sickening. Absolutely sickening from a man who is a former WWE Champion, but he couldn’t take that he lost to that young man Colt Cabana last week.

Jerry Lawler: JBL has certainly made a statement here tonight. I don’t think anyone will even think of making JBL look stupid any time soon.

Still looking frustrated, JBL rubs his face and climbs from the ring, heading up the ramp.

We now cut away to the parking lot … where we see a limousine pull up, with the caption telling us it was earlier tonight.


Jim Ross: We heard Ted DiBiase would be here, and it appears he is. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ – next!

We don’t see DiBiase get out, instead cutting to a break.

Commercial Break

***

We return from the break to see a wide shot of the Citrus Bowl from WrestleMania.


Narrator: The showcase of the immortals has come and passed.

Randy Orton is shown holding the WWE Title aloft.

Jerry Lawler: Randy Orton has done it!

Narrator: Champions have made a name for themselves.

Shawn Michaels is shown telling Ric Flair “I’m sorry … I love you.”

Jim Ross: Sweet Chin Music … connects!

Narrator: Men have done the unthinkable.

Ric Flair is shown looking around the Citrus Bowl, tears in his eyes.

Jim Ross: The career of ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair … is over.

Narrator: Careers have been ended.

Triple H enters, with pyrotechnics shooting off around the arena.

Narrator: We’ve seen the spectacle.

John Cena enters through the sea of his marching band.

Narrator: We’ve had the pageantry.

Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair embrace one another.

Narrator: But will the actions of all … be forgiven?

We start to see action shots of various RAW superstars.

Narrator: Or will there be …

The action shots continue, before we focus in on a sombre looking Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 again.

Narrator: A backlash?

WWE BACKLASH – A MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRODUCTION – APRIL 27TH, 2008

***


We now return back to ringside to see a jobber already in the ring.

***PRICELESS***

It’s a confused response from the crowd, as a man we recognise as (and a man Lilian Garcia’s introduces as) Ted DiBiase Jr steps out from the back. The son of ‘The Million Dollar Man’ has a bit of swagger about him, mouthing off about just how well off he is as he makes his way down the ramp.


Jim Ross: We thought we were going to see ‘The Million Dollar Man’ tonight, but that is unmistakably Ted DiBiase’s son – Ted DiBiase Jr.

Jerry Lawler: And he looks ready to make his debut here tonight. If his lineage is anything to go by then this boy is going to be one hell of a talent!

DiBiase climbs into the ring and holds his arms out to the crowd, telling them that he was “Born better.” His opponent just stays back in the corner as the referee calls for the bell.

5 – Singles Match – Paul Hickenbottom vs Ted DiBiase Jr

The son of Ted DiBiase seems to be full of attitude, smirking away at his rather slight looking opponent. Confident, DiBiase invites the jobber in for a lock up, before taking him in a side headlock. DiBiase is pushed off, but it’s no bother to him, simply running through his opponent with a very stiff shoulder block. The youngster lifts his opponent up straight away and throws him into the corner so that he can dish out some very painful knife-edge chops.

With the sound still reverberating throughout the arena, DiBiase takes his opponent and sends him off with an Irish whip, leading to an impressive looking dropkick on the rebound. Not even thinking about making the cover, DiBiase instead uses one of his father’s moves with a classic fist drop. The jobber rolls around the mat in pain, before climbing up to his feet right into an inverted atomic drop … and then a spinebuster!

The sudden high impact suggests the match is nearing its end, and sure enough, DiBiase lifts his opponent up … so he can apply the Million Dollar Dream! The crowd actually gives the move quite a cheer as DiBiase takes the jobber down, and the referee sees that he’s quite clearly knocked out.

Winner: Ted DiBiase Jr via knockout @ 02:14

***PRICELESS***


There’s not much of a reaction after the match from the crowd either, but DiBiase isn’t bothered with posturing for fans, instead motioning for a microphone. DiBiase immediately goes about speaking once handed the mic.


Ted DiBiase Jr: I bet a lotta people were expecting my father, huh? Well aren’t you all lucky ya got this stud? Allow me to introduce myself … my name is Ted DiBiase Jr … ‘The Million Dollar Marvel’.

~ Some of the crowd boos the clearly arrogant DiBiase, but it’s nothing much.

Ted DiBiase Jr: Y’know, before I came here tonight my father warned me to be careful. He warned me that there would be a target on my back because of my name … because I’m a DiBiase. But having been here, none of that worries me now, because I’ve seen what there is to offer back there. I’ve seen you people in the crowd, and let me tell you, none of you, none of you compare … to me.

~ It’s cheap heat to a degree, but the crowd buys into it nonetheless, booing the newcomer.

Ted DiBiase Jr: I’ve been blessed … with my family fortunes … with my good looks … with my body … but most importantly I have been blessed with my incredible talents in this ring.

~ The crowd boos some more as DiBiase goes to continue.

Ted DiBiase Jr: Quite simply put, I was born better … and that … that … is priceless.

***PRICELESS***

The crowd boos as the arrogant DiBiase smirks and drops his microphone, yelling out to the audience that he’s “Born better”.


Jim Ross: Ted DiBiase Jr was certainly impressive on debut there, but boy does he seem to know it.

Jerry Lawler: It runs in the father, ‘JR’! Anyone who saw Ted DiBiase Sr remembers that he was exactly the same way.

DiBiase now leaves the ring and starts to hear up the ramp …

***TIME TO PLAY THE GAME***

The crowd gives a huge ovation as Triple H storms out onto the stage, as intense as ever. ‘The Game’ spits his water out, then walks down the ramp, going straight past DiBiase on the way.


Jim Ross: Triple H is here and our main event is next. Triple H vs John Cena, a match that’s worthy of main eventing WrestleMania is next here on Monday Night RAW.

Triple H continues his walk down to the ring as we head to a break.

Commercial Break

We return from the break to see Triple H waiting in the ring and the doctor at ringside …







***THE TIME IS NOW***

Another great reaction sounds for John Cena, who charges out onto the stage. Cena acknowledges the crowd before making his way down the ramp and sliding into the ring.


Jim Ross: John Cena wants a shot at Randy Orton to regain the WWE Title that he never lost in the first place. A win and he gets that, but a loss and he doesn’t actually get a chance to ever win that title back from Orton.

Jerry Lawler: And we know just how badly Cena wants a shot at Orton. Both Triple H and John Cena were willing to compete, knowing there’s a chance they may never get another shot at Orton. This is what they’re willing to do to get that shot.

Cena plays it up to the fans from the ring until he turns and meets the gaze of Triple H. Suddenly, it’s game time. Cena knows that, no longer messing around, taking his hat and shirt off while maintaining eye contact with ‘The Game’. For both of them, this is it.

6 – Number One Contender Match – Singles Match – Triple H vs John Cena

The two warriors come closer together, eye to eye … and Triple H throws the first punch! The match is underway with a slugfest to start things off as the two trade blows, Cena, perhaps tellingly, eventually getting the advantage. Triple H comes back with a knee to the gut though and sends Cena flying face first into the top turnbuckle, before hammering away on him in the corner. Cena is quick to turn it around though, before Triple H counters back … and Cena counters back … Triple H … Cena … and finally the referee gets in the way and forces some separation.

The two eye each other off, before engaging in a forceful lock up, neither wanting to give an inch. It’s Triple H who grabs the side headlock, but Cena quickly counters, pushing him off, only for ‘The Game’ to run through him with a shoulder tackle. Triple H roars with intensity, but he’s caught after bouncing off the ropes with a sit out hip toss from Cena. Cena makes the cover … one.

Cena starts to slow the pace of the match down, grinding Triple H with a grounded side headlock. ‘The Game’ tries to fight out of it, but Cena won’t allow it, focusing on the head of his opponent. Triple H finally pushes Cena back into the corner, meaning Cena must break … and Triple H gets in a hard body shot when he does.

This gives Triple H the chance to set the pace for a bit, hitting some hard right hands, but it’s not at his usual pace and allows Cena cuts him off guard with a kick to the gut before he throws him out to the floor! Triple H looks to climb right back into the ring, but he’s stopped by the doctor at ringside, who immediately demands he be checked on. Triple H tries to fight it, but as we go to the final ad break, we see Cena waiting in the ring as Triple H’s condition is inspected.

Commercial Break

We come back from the break to see the crowd going nuts as Triple H is rocking Cena with some big rights, but a single right from Cena that takes Triple H to the ground cuts him off! The referee goes to ask Triple H if he’s okay, but ‘The Game’ fights right back to his feet in the corner, showing he can still go. Like before, Cena slows the match down and zeros in on the head of Triple H, having gotten the all clear to from Tripper himself before the match.

A blockbuster gets a two for Cena, but he now has Triple H in a compromising position and he knows it, as he heads up to the top rope. Triple H starts to struggle up when Cena comes off for the leg drop … but Triple H moves out of the way, and Cena hits nothing but mat! The crowd cheers as Triple H staggers away, before charging back over and hitting a big clothesline to Cena! Another clothesline follows, thus allowing ‘The Game’ to try for an Irish whip, only for Cena to reverse … and Cena gets the sleeper hold!

It’s another mixed as Cena locks in the hold, knowing Triple H is struggling as he wears him down. It looks like Triple H is about to go to a knee when he suddenly bursts to life and pushes Cena off to the ropes … so he can catch Cena in a sleeper hold of his own! Cheers now, but they’re short-lived as Cena rams Triple H back into the corner.

Cena backs away, and seems to be thinking Stinger Splash … but Triple H avoids it! Cena hits the ringpost and stumbles back … right into a clothesline! Triple H again goes the Irish whip, but Cena again reverses and this time bends over for a back body drop, knowing Triple H is able to counter the sleeper … but this time he receives a classic Triple H facebuster! Cena is only jelly legs … and the high knee takes him down! Cover from ‘The Game’ … but Cena kicks out at two!

Wanting to finish the match immediately, Triple H looks straight for the Pedigree, but Cena counters with a double leg and vaults Triple H into the turnbuckle headfirst. Triple H then turns around … running shoulder tackle! Cena hits another, before ducking a wild clothesline attempt … Protoplex! It’s a massive mixed reaction as Cena tells Triple H that Tripper can’t see him … before he nails the Five Knuckle Shuffle! Thinking that might be enough due to Triple H’s previous head injuries, Cena hooks the leg … but Triple H kicks out at two!

The crowd cheers as Cena questions the referee, before he goes right back to ‘The Game’ … thinking STF-U … no! Triple H kicks Cena off … sending Cena hurtling into the referee! Cena sends the referee flying from the ring! Cena looks down at what he’s done, before turning around … Double A Spinebuster connects! Triple H hooks the leg … but there’s no count! The referee is out!

Triple H looks around and eventually spots the referee, who he goes to check on. The ref is out though, leaving a frustrated Triple H to climb back into the ring and walk over to Cena … who explodes with the F-U! The F-U connects!

Cena knows there’s no referee, so he doesn’t make the cover instead he grabs a leg … and locks in the STF-U now! Triple H bellows in pain, knowing he’s trapped in the middle of the ring, and that Cena is just wearing him down at this point. Cena pulls right back, not telling Triple H to needlessly tap, but instead hoping to have the hold locked in until the referee re-arrives in the ring. Triple H, however, is able to fight back, swinging some elbows that hit Cena in the head … until Cena finally falls off ‘The Game’!

Both men are now down in the ring, with the referee still down on the floor, as ‘The Game’ starts to stir. Triple H looks to be the first one up … when the crowd suddenly starts booing?







… RKO! The WWE Champion, Randy Orton is in the ring, and he just nailed Triple H with the RKO! The crowd boos as Orton stands over the body of Triple H, having perhaps ensured Triple H never gets another shot at him … when he suddenly leaps up and nails a rising John Cena with the RKO too!

It’s more boos for Orton … WHO PUTS TRIPLE H’S BODY OVER JOHN CENA’S! The crowd can’t believe what they’re seeing as Orton rolls from the ring and pushes the now semi-conscious referee back into the ring. Seeing what’s happened, the referee makes the slow count … and Triple H gets the win!

Winner: Triple H via pinfall @ 15:56

***TIME TO PLAY THE GAME***


It’s boos that greet the Triple H win, despite the result, as neither competitor got a decisive fall. Instead, it’s a controversial win for ‘The Game’, earning him a title shot at Backlash, while Cena won’t get another shot so long as Orton is champion.


Jim Ross: Aw damnit! Come on! Triple H has won this match, but not the way he would have liked to. Instead Randy Orton has laid out BOTH Triple H and John Cena, and handed Triple H the win!

Jerry Lawler: Did Randy Orton just choose who he wants to face at Backlash?

Jim Ross: It sure looks that way, ‘King’, and- wait! Hang on a minute! Orton is in the ring … don’t do it!

Randy Orton has indeed slid back into the ring … AND HE LOOKS TO BE WAITING FOR THE PUNT! The crowd boos as Orton waits for Triple H to get up … when suddenly officials come charging down the ramp!

The officials get between Orton and Triple H, telling Randy to back off, which he reluctantly does. Perhaps his greater plan has been foiled here, as Orton isn’t able to take out his only challenger for Backlash, but he has sent a message nonetheless.


Jim Ross: Thank God for those officials, because if not for them, Triple H was about to have his head taken off again. Randy Orton tried to take Triple H out, but we will have to face Triple H at Backlash. For now, however, it’s-

***VIRTUAL VOODOO***

WHAT?! It’s a stunned reaction from the crowd as Umaga storms out onto the stage … and he just marches straight through the security, swatting past anyone who tries to grab him!


Jim Ross: It’s- it’s Umaga!

Jerry Lawler: What the hell is he doing out here?!

Umaga slides into the ring and looks at the two bodies on the ground, deciding to grab Triple H … and throw him out of the ring. It’s now just Umaga and Cena, who is starting to struggle to his feet …

… BUT HE’S SUDDENLY TOSSED INTO THE AIR AND HIT WITH A SICK SAMOAN DROP!

The crowd boos as the destruction for tonight isn’t done yet, with Umaga standing over Cena, grunting at him. ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ grabs Cena by the arm and drags him over to the corner … SO HE CAN MOVE BACK, THEN CHARGE IN AND HIT THE SAMOAN WRECKING BALL!

Cena’s head snaps back disgustingly, making it all but certain that Cena is knocked out. Umaga walks around the ring, eyeing off any officials that are still at ringside and thinking of climbing into the ring with him … before turning back to Cena.

Umaga is not yet done with Cena, who he lifts back to his feet, before screaming out in Samoan … AND THE SAMOAN SPIKE CONNECTS!

The crowd boos as Umaga stands over Cena, finally looking to have finished his destruction. It’s stunned silence in the arena, as nobody, nobody from the announcers to the crowd, says anything, just looking at the savage who stands over Cena as we fade to black.


End

---

Backlash

April 27th, 2008 | 1st Mariner Arena; Baltimore, Maryland

WWE Championship – Singles Match:
Triple H vs Randy Orton (c)
 

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Chopped Liver
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5,553 Posts
So, yeah ... Triple H returning eight days after being put on the shelf. Typical 'H really, isn't it? That aside, at this point if I remember correctly, the punt wasn't being sold as the devastating move it had been ten months prior, and wouldn't until the following year when he started kicking the McMahon family in the skull. Very much like Triple H to grandstand as he did in this promo too, taking the credit for Orton becoming the star he has - almost coming across as if Orton wouldn't have made it without his guidance in the days of Evolution.

The introduction of Cena was inevitable, but you did create a believable tension between the two top babyfaces on Raw. The conversation flowed nicely too with their back and forth towards the end - and additionally their backstage meeting was even better. It reminded me of Mac in fact, with his tremendous use of sharp, back and forth, flowing dialogue - before the introduction of Orton, making valid points as to why they want the next shot at the gold. What I really liked here though was Orton being able to decline both men and their requests for a title shot, whilst not really coming across as a chickenshit, but instead offering reasonable explanations as to why he feels neither deserves a shot. I'm sure part of him IS scared to face them one on one, but you wrote him well here, making it seem he wasn't scared, but that he had merely dealt with both.

Whilst Orton had a point with what he said, the end result was always likely to be one of (if not both) Trips and Cena getting a shot. Bar HBK, they're the only two believable acts that can challenge at this point, but I certainly didn't expect Cena vs Triple H to be the outcome. To me, that still feels like a match that should be saved for a PPV. As far as I recall, they still had not met in a rematch of their WM 22 encounter, and given their profiles, it feels like a waste of a potential PPV main event. That being said, there's little to choose from in terms of contenders, so booking this match was probably a necessary evil. It was the stipulation from Regal that caught my interest, and added a further layer to the importance of the main event, and ultimately, with the addition of the 'loser can never challenge Orton' stip, it makes the giveaway of Cena/HHH on free TV worthwhile.

I thought the 8 man tag was a nice way of showcasing four different teams, getting them all some air time. It doesn't take a genius to work out that the RNWC will be the ones to step forward as the leading contenders, and I would welcome a title switch to them. Out of the teams in the division, they seem like the only ones that are primed and ready to take the gold, with the Hooligans in need of some more momentum as they'd just seemed to tread water since being drafted previously, and the Highlanders ... well. They'll come in useful when you need a pair of recognizable faces to lose a match. That said, them being part of a winning side here does give them some slight credibility I guess, but yeah - this one was all about building Cade and Murdoch.

Mickie stepping up to Beth is absolutely the right thing for you to do. I enjoyed the groundwork that was laid here (do I need to read anything into Mickie hinting that Beth is a **************?) with Mickie challenging Beth to face a real challenge. A smooth transition from the time wasting Maria/Ashley pre-WM angle, into a more worthy feud with Mickie James.

Whilst Jericho calling out Kennedy on failing to deliver on his promises feels a bit basic - it's a proven formula that generally works. Jericho raised a number of good points too during his interview, but I would've liked Kennedy to be a bit more angry by the comments Jericho had made toward him whilst on commentary later. I think we're all excited to see Jericho and Kennedy engage in a verbal back and forth in the near future, but I like that you've held off on that for a couple of weeks at least. Another facet I'm liking thus far is that Kennedy is simply a pest, reminding me of the young Jericho, back especially during his feud with Triple H in 2000. I hope that Kennedy somewhat mirroring Jericho's past actions is intentional on your part, as I really dig subtle things like that.

Side note; Glad King is slowly but surely heeling it up again. Sucking up to Kennedy was great to read.

Initially, I wasn't really into the Michaels promo. There wasn't anything wrong with it mind you, it just was one of those wishy-washy promos that crop up now and again. That being said, it would've been odd for Michaels to just completely wash over the Flair situation, and that bit of backstory, talking up his admiration of Flair, and how difficult it was to end him at WM allowed the rest of the segment to shine. With the history Carlito has shared with Flair - and his father with Flair to boot - it felt like it was only natural for him to be the one to call out Michaels on his promo. However, my concern is that it feels a little too much too soon for Carlito to suddenly be feuding with Michaels, only just breaking out of a floundering tag team a week ago, having done very little in the previous 6-12 months even on his own, and rather than a step up for Carlito, it feels more like HBK is taking a step down to feud with Carlito, much like the ongoing Punk/Bryan-Wyatts angle irl. But that could just be my thinking (on both the thread and the real life thing) on it. It probably feels a bit contradictory of me to say that Carlito was a natural choice to interrupt Michaels, and then say it's a step down for HBK, but I just think Carlito could've done with some more build up and momentum here; even a win earlier in the night, perhaps. I did really like this promo btw ... even if it seems like I might not have.

If this is how Colt Cabana will be portrayed - get me on his bandwagon. I think there is definitely a place for him on Raw, as the roster does seem a bit lacking in a fun loving face - that's not me pegging him as a comedy face btw, but just someone that doesn't have to be serious all the time. Loved his conversation with Regal, and the demeanour of Regal that you put across here was priceless. You also got me with a genuine giggle with the "Blow up a limousine" line too. Nice 'rib' on that fateful angle. It's hard to tell where he's set to fit in on the ladder, as he was always beating Santino, but I get a feeling he may end up losing out to JBL in a rematch when that inevitably happens, and settle in the mid card - which would be no bad thing considering the momentum he'll have just from feuding with Bradshaw, as long as you write plenty of promos with him ;)

Likewise, DiBiase. The swerve of it being just Ted junior and not his Dad was nice, and the debut was solid overall (love the Million Dollar Marvel moniker btw), but I guess we'll find out in the coming weeks where he'll settle in on Raw, and whether he's in for a big push immediately, or being built slowly.

I have to believe that Orton costing Cena the match is a direct result of the punt kick to Triple H at WrestleMania, and feeling he is still likely to be less than 100% - therefore less of a threat to the WWE Title. An interesting thought I had to myself at the close of the match was that it laid the groundwork for Cena potentially getting his own back at Backlash, costing Orton the title for some revenge (although it does seem like it would be a heel move), whilst also clearing the path for him to challenge for the belt again with Orton no longer champ. Didn't have long to let that thought fester though as it looks like Cena could be busy. Umaga making his mark, targeting Cena shocked me. Whilst at the moment it feels like it's been thrown out there to keep Cena busy while Orton/Trips goes down, I'll take the wait and see approach, and hope Umaga (or someone speaking for him :side:) has a reason for targeting Cena. I'll sure as hell look forward to that rivalry being rekindled, as it's a personal favourite from that era - specifically the LMS match they had at the 2007 Rumble. More matches along those lines, and you'll be golden ;)
 
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