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Thread: July BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

  1. #341
    Backyarder
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    Re: May BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Been a while since I've visited you.

    I'm going to try and be as concise as I can with my general feedback here, as I'll also try and leave some comments and feedback for the Rumble.

    Let's just get one negative out of the way first of all...I'm with Zoom-E, I don't like this Smackdown Rumble tournament or whatever it is you've got going on. I can appreciate your efforts and the idea itself in theory, but it's too complicated, and having to read Regal's constant "well if you get a win here it's X points but a loss is minus double X points" has proven to be a little frustrating if I'm honest. Sometimes it's better to keep things simple in a BTB (or just keep things simple for my simple mind.)

    The other negative - and I appreciate this is probably personal but I'm going with it anyway - is the whole "hardcore/ECW" angle you've got going on Raw. Maybe it's just because I am SICK TO DEATH of reading hardcore/ECW angles, lol. I do get why you're booking it - getting RVD over, as well as putting over Orton all these hardcore legends on the path to taking out a big name - but I do hope you wrap things up soon. Perhaps the demolition of Al Snow is a good sign.

    Speaking of Snow and thus, the man who demolished him; the 12-year old mark in me did enjoy the final segment on the go-home show before the Rumble with Kane cleaning house. The adult in me is a cynic though and knows Scotty 2 Hotty's got more chancing of winning the Rumble than Kane, but nonetheless, it's a decent way to build hype for the Royal Rumble.

    I have to commend you for the way you're booking the undercard of your show. The women's division feels much more important than just DIVAS! BOOBS! DIVAS!! and rightfully so. I've recently watched back some old WWE programming and it's kind of unbelievable the way they degraded women for so many years before making a change. I'll be honest I have no idea who this April is, but I've enjoyed the storyline and I sense we'll get another turn - perhaps from Trish - before it's all said and done. I'm also enjoying Teddy Long as the heel manager of Thuggin' and Buggin' Enterprises, good stuff.

    It's kind of funny how the arguably two biggest bookers here (you and Wolfy) are both writing out a Kurt Angle downward spiral storyline at the same time. I didn't even realise it until I just thought about it now! Anyway...I'm enjoying reading it. There's just something so interesting about watching someone's downfall, seeing what makes them tick, and what will finally make them either snap or redeem themselves...anyway, I have no idea where this is headed which is always a good thing.

    Not sure how I feel about Eddie/Benoit, but again, I appreciate that's down to my personal feelings regarding Benoit. I wouldn't choose to use him in a BTB, ever, so it's hard for me to invest in that storyline at all. The one thing I will say is that I'm surprised you put the title on Eddie earlier than I expected, but it was a nice surprise, and I look forward to seeing where he goes once this feud with Benoit is over as I expect him to retain the gold.

    Overall things are as solid here as they've ever been, and the Rumble looks to be a good show. I'll drop in again whenever you post the predictions template.

  2. #342
    I’m Not Booked!
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    Re: May BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again


    January 22 2004
    Minneapolis, Minnesota



    We get the usual pyro and ballyhoo, the crowd shots, and eventually, end up on the announcers. They welcome us to the show, putting over that we are just three days from the Royal Rumble, and what a big night it’ll be. They also talk about how we’ll see both title participants in action when Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit team up to face Brock Lesnar and Rhyno, plus we have the All Or Nothing Battle Royal, and of course, it’s the last night on the calendar to pick up a win in the hopes of qualifying for the Rumble


    *** BASIC THUGANOMICS ***


    But they’re cut off by a huge pop for the arrival of JOHN CENA! The announcers put over how he’s got one foot in the door of the Rumble, and a win in his six-man tag match tonight will guarantee him a spot in the match. And, should he qualify, you’d have to think he’s one of the favourites.

    ”Yo,” Cena starts. ”This Sunday is tha Royal Rumble. One-a tha biggest nights in tha WWE. And seein’ as how I’m gonna win tonight and book my place in tha match… I thought it was about time I start spittin’ some truth on tha 29 men I’m gonna beat this Sunday.”

    The crowd pop for the thought of hearing one of Cena’s trademark raps.

    ”This Sunday at tha Rumble, it’s me and 29 other men,
    That ain’t a match, yo, that’s-“


    *** SEARCH FOR: MATT HARDY ***
    *** ENTER KEYWORD: VERSION 1.0 ***
    *** CONNECTING... ***


    ”OHHH YEEEAAAAHHH!”


    Matt Fact: Matt qualified for the Rumble before 98.22% of WWE employees


    The crowd boo not only the interruption of Cena’s rap, but that it’s being interrupted by of all people MATT HARDY (VERSION 1.0). He’s followed as always by SHANNON MOORE and SEAN O’HAIRE, and together they get in to the ring and face him down.

    ”C’mon, Jonathan,” Matt says, ”people don’t want to hear you rap. You must know what by now. I mean, how obnoxious can one person be to what other people think?”

    The crowd boo.

    ”Thank you!” Matt exclaims, apparently having heard something different. ”Jonathan, no-one cares about your raps. No-one cares about your-“

    The crowd start a spontaneous ”CENA! CENA!” chant.

    ”I dunno, homie,” Cena says, ”I think they do wanna hear me spit some verses.”

    The crowd cheer.

    ”Ugh, fine,” Matt groans. ”Very well. If they want to hear rapping so much, then they can have it. But, rather than you disappoint them again, it shouldn’t be you. We’re too close to the Royal Rumble for you to make people change the channel. No… this close to the Royal Rumble, I think it’s only right… that I… do the rapping around here.”

    Shannon’s eyes bug in excitement, while Cena looks on disbelievingly.

    ”Be my guest, dawg.”

    Matt nods, clears his throat, and tries to get himself in the mood.


    ”I’m Matt Hardy – Version 1.0 – and I’m here to say,
    I’m going to battle rap in the Mattitude Way.”


    Shannon’s jaw drops, and he starts vigorously applauding. Sean makes him put his hands down.


    ”I’ve already qualified this Sunday, I’m going to the Royal Rumble,
    And over the top rope the other twenty-nine men will tumble.”


    The crowd boo Matt’s terrible verses. Shannon, however, is stunned at his ability to make words rhyme.


    ”Everyone wants me to win because I’m clearly better than the rest,
    I’m the people’s favourite because I’m obviously the best!”


    The crowd begin growing restless as his rhyming shows no signs of improving.


    ”The rest of you can give up, you’re all finished, you’re done,
    Especially when at my side I have Sean, and to a lesser extent, Shannon.”


    ”That’s me!” Shannon excitedly tells Sean.


    ”With their help, and the adoration of the fans, I know I’ll make it through,
    All my Mattitude Followers will be so excited when I finally beat you.”


    He points straight at Cena.


    “You can be a little mean, Jonathan, you’ve got a bad attitude,
    You’ve got a doctorate in Thuganomics? You need one in Mattitude.”

    “But I know you’re not a bad guy, I know you mean no offence-”


    ”None taken!” Shannon shouts out.

    Matt sighs, having been taken out of his swing, and turns to Shannon. ”Are you happy?” he groans. ”I was just proving another string to my bow, and you have to ruin it by-“

    “Yo, yo, yo,”
    Cena drawls, ready to counter with a rap of his own.


    ”Leave off-a him, a’ight, ya need ta get off his back,
    Ya rhymes were blowin’ dawg, they were emptier than your ball sack.”



    *OOHHH!*


    ”You think you’re beatin’ me this Sunday? Ya must be clowin’, dawg,
    The only thing more borin’ than your wrestlin’ is your Mattitude monologues.”

    “Yo, you think you’re gonna win ‘cos these two follow ya?
    They ain’t in your cult, Matt, they just want a ménage-a-trois.”



    *OOOHHH!*


    ”And, yo, ya think you’re tha people’s favourite, ya think they want you ta win?
    They wouldn’t even miss ya if you were gone, homie, you’re like a Jewish foreskin.”



    *OOOOHHH!*


    “Good lord, I’m sorry, folks,”
    Cole adds from commentary, knowing Cena is likely insulting more than a few people. Not that the ever controversial Cena cares.


    “Ya don’t seem ta be hearin’ ‘em, I think ya must be goin’ deaf,
    When tha fans hear they’re seein’ a Hardy, they’re jus’ hopin’ it’ll be Jeff.”



    *OOOOHHHHH!*


    “Yo, you think the fans love you? I think you’re makin’ ‘em sick,
    Oh, and I got a ‘Matt Fact’ for you too, homie, you can suck… my…”



    *DICK!*


    Shannon attacks Cena! He’s had enough of the US Champion talking to his leader like that and unloads a vicious flurry of rights and lefts… but Cena merely pushes him away… only for Sean O’Haire to come to Shannon’s defence! Cena goes down… so now Matt gets involved with the mugging! It’s three-on-one!


    *** PROTECTION ***


    But here come BRADSHAW and RON SIMMONS!

    Seeing them coming (it’s hard to miss them when their music is playing), Matt heads to the outside of the ring, dragging Sean with him, therefore forcing Shannon to follow with them. Simmons checks on Cena as Bradshaw grabs a microphone.

    ”You punks wanna get things goin’ already? Well ya don’t have t’ ask me and Ron twice for a fight! You three are meant t’ be facin’ off later… I say we get it goin’ right now!”

    The crowd cheer. Matt, however, shakes his head, not wanting it…

    … until Charles Robinson jogs out from the back! He signals to the Mattitude, Inc. employees to get in the ring, and then rushes over to talk to Tony Chimel.

    ”Ladies and gentlemen,” Chimel announces. ”I have just been informed that, on orders of General Manager William Regal, the six-man tag match between Mattitude, Inc. and the A.P.A. and John Cena will now begin… right… now!”

    There’s a big cheer, and Charles Robinson call for the bell!


    Six Man Tag Match
    Mattitude, Inc. (Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Sean O’Haire & Shannon Moore vs. The APA (Bradshaw & Ron Simmons) & John Cena


    Matt is obviously reluctant to get involved, forcing Sean to step up and start guiding his so called leader. He tells he and Shannon to get on the apron, and insists that he’ll get things underway. Cena rolls to the apron, still hurting from the attack, and is joined by Bradshaw so the contest can get underway.

    Bradshaw gives it a good early going on Sean, and brings in Simmons to get a piece as well. Sean, despite his bravery in taking control, is taking a battering, so he instinctively reaches out for a tag… and tags in Matt… against Matt’s will! Matt tries to work out what to do, not wanting to get in there… so Shannon tags himself in! He’s taking one for the team! Shannon marches in to face Ron Simmons…

    … and gets beaten up. Well, it was the thought that counts.

    While Simmons is beating on Shannon, however, Sean is able to dig a knee in to the kidney, which allows Shannon to hit a Dropkick and knock Ron down. And now Matt wants in. He takes the tag and starts furiously beating on Simmons, and along with his team, isolate him from Bradshaw and Cena.

    Things are looking bleak for Simmons, so Matt, as the legal man, summons Sean to the top rope… because he wants a Twist of Fate/Seanton combo! He calls for his finisher… but Ron lifts him on to his shoulders… and drives him in to the corner… knocking Sean off the top rope! He carries Matt across the ring… Spinebuster! He crawls to the corner… and tags in Cena!

    Cena rushes in, having been refreshed from his break on the apron, and cleans house on the heels. All three are left sprawling, so Cena lifts Matt on to his shoulders for an FU! But Shannon tags Matt while Cena is carrying him! Cena walks around the ring with Matt on his shoulders… so Shannon cuts him off with a Missile Dropkick off the top! Cena goes down! Shannon’s actually knocked down John Cena! Why the hell does Matt treat this guy quite so badly?! Cena happens to fall by his own corner, so Bradshaw tags in without Shannon realising… Shannon lifts Cena up and tries for a Tornado DDT… but Cena doesn’t go down… he holds him up… and launches him in to the air…

    WHERE BRADSHAW MEETS SHANNON IN MID-AIR WITH A CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! The crowd ”OOOHHH!” at the impact, and Bradshaw hooks the leg while Cena fends off in any potential interference…

    ONE…

    TWO…

    THREE!


    Winners: The APA & John Cena in 8:16


    A big win for Cena and the A.P.A.! Cena was likely guaranteed a spot in the Rumble with his three previous wins, but that one finalises his spot in the match, and likely adds Bradshaw to the list of entrants as well. Sean peels Shannon off the mat and pulls him to the outside, lifting him over his shoulder and carrying him backstage as Matt follows behind, shouting at the clearly unconscious Shannon for ”messing up”.

    For Cena and Bradshaw, however, it’s a big win, and a great way to head in to the Rumble in three days' time. Although Ron’s now two wins aren’t going to be enough to get him to qualify, he still looks happy for the other two, and there is fist bumps all around, with something of a mutual respect forming between Cena and the A.P.A. for their similar ability to get the job done.



    We then transition backstage, to where EDDIE GUERRERO is pacing back-and-forth in his locker room. Eventually, his opponent for this Sunday and partner for tonight, CHRIS BENOIT walks in.

    ”Lemme tell ya, Chris,” Eddie begins, not even bothering with greetings or pleasantries, ”Brock and Rhyno are gonna get it tonight, man. I swear, they’ve crossed us one too many times, ese.”

    Benoit nods, noticeably less worked up than his friend. ”I know.”

    “Just think about it, ese. All that stuff Paul E was sayin’ last week… it was all a trap. It was all a way to try and get in our heads, man. And for what? They don’t even have a match with us at the pay-per-view. They couldn’t stay outta our way and let us have our match? He had to try’n get in our heads, and then take us out when our back was turned? That- that- capullo, ese. He’s…”


    Eddie drifts off, realising Benoit isn’t anywhere near as frustrated as him.

    ”What’s the matter, man? You not pissed at their games last week?”

    Benoit shrugs. ”I don’t really care about Heyman, to be honest. We know what he’s like. Rhyno and Brock, too. I’m just staying focused on this Sunday. Nothing’s going to take away me and you going one-on-one.”

    Eddie nods as he mulls it over. ”You’re probably right, homes. We should just forget everything he’s said. Focus on winnin’ tonight, then facin’ off on Sunday. Eddie Guerrero versus Chris Benoit, WWE Title. That’s gonna be somethin’, huh?”

    Benoit nods. ”No doubt. Although… we shouldn’t ignore everything he said.”

    Eddie cocks a brow. ”What you gettin' at, man?”

    “You know what I’m getting at, Eddie. It’s why you want me to ignore what he said last week. He’s just trying to get in our heads, I know that… but you did cheat to beat me in the Gold Rush, and-“

    “Chris, man, you can’t still be talkin’ about this! I already told ya, that was a mistake! I’ve given you my word that I won’t cheat this Sunday. It’s me and you, ese, it’s more important than that.”


    Benoit nods. ”I know that. And I know that I won’t cheat. But at one of the biggest PPVs of the year… in the WWE Title match… I hope you know that too, Eddie-“

    “I do, Chris, and I’ve said a thous-“

    “I don’t care what you say, Eddie. It’s what you do. And I just wanted to remind you… this Sunday… I want you to play it down the line, okay? Let’s do this right.”


    Eddie nods and offers a fist bump. ”You got it, ese. I won’t say a word about Sunday. I’ll prove that I’ll do things the right way… in the ring… where it counts.”

    Benoit bumps fists. ”I hope so, Eddie. I hope so.”

    Benoit walks out, leaving Eddie on his own. He watches Benoit go, looking more than a little conflicted…



    We then transition backstage to where WILLIAM REGAL is busy on some paperwork, when SHANIQUA walks in, flanked by THE BASHAM BROTHERS.

    ”We need to talk,” she states, definitively.

    ”About what, my dear?”

    “Don’t ‘dear’ me, Regal. I wanna know what the hell is going on. Danny and Doug have been the best tag team in Smackdown for months. It’s bad enough you don’t give them a legitimate title shot for months on end despite them beating everyone there is to beat, but now I find out they aren’t in the All or Nothing Battle Royal? What the hell? Did their win on Velocity not do enough to prove to you they deserve to be in?”

    “Oh, I agree with you. Danny and Doug are quite a team, I can’t argue with that. And I’d certainly like to see them in the Rumble. They’d make fine representatives for Smackdown. But, if I added them to the All Or Nothing Battle Royal, there’s a chance they’d get… well… nothing, correct? Oh no, I wanted to give them a proper opportunity. They aren’t in the battle royal, because they have another match tonight. And I’m quite sure there will be a Basham presence in the Rumble.”


    Shaniqua nods, impressed with Regal’s decision making. ”Good, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Who they facing?”

    “Why, isn’t it obvious?”
    Regal asks. ”How else am I going to guarantee that one of them makes it in to the Rumble if they don’t face… each other.”

    “What?!”

    “But don’t worry, young lady. Seeing as how they’re both on two wins and it appears three will be enough to qualify, at least you know one of them will be guaranteed to involved to be involved. Best of luck, gentlemen. Try not to hurt each other too much before this Sunday.”




    Two-on-One Handicap Match
    Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli vs. The Big Show


    Like you need me to break this one down for you. Big Show absolutely mauls both members of the FBI, no selling everything they try, then hits Chuck with the Hog Log, Stamboli with the Chokeslam on to Palumbo, and pins them both with one arm.

    Winner: Big Show in 1:49


    After barely breaking a sweat, Show has his arm raised in victory…

    ”Have you ever seen Big Show look so dominant?!” Michael Cole asks. ”That was two men he was in the ring with, and he tore through them like they weren’t there!”

    “Since he started workin’ for William Regal Big Show’s been hella focused, Cole. And a focused 500 poundah ain’t nothin’ to overlook in a Royal Rumble, lemme tell ya!”

    “Who’s going to be able to stop the Big Show?!”




    From there, the announcers give us the final Velocity update as it pertains to the Rumble Standings. We hear how, on the last edition of Velocity, the Basham Brothers beat the OVW Southern Tag Champions Chris Cage and Tank Toland, and Funaki and Orlando Jordan teamed up to beat an unknown team called the Ring Crew Express, giving them their first victories and meaning they could qualify for the All or Nothing Battle Royal later tonight. In the main event, however, Ultimo Dragon managed to finally get a measure of revenge over Kyo-estro, picking up a victory of Juventud.

    From there, the announcers segue to talking about the issues between Jamie Noble and Tajiri. They remind us that in three days we’ll finally… finally… see them come back together, and this is how we got here…



    We then transition in to a recap of the issues between TAJIRI and JAMIE NOBLE. It started in September, after Tajiri had won the Cruiserweight Title and revealed himself to be working with DAWN MARIE. Dawn claimed that Tajiri had been held back from who he truly was, and she was going to unlock the monster inside him.

    Unfortunately for Jamie Noble, he just happened to be Tajiri’s first challenger. During their match on October 2nd, NIDIA tried to distract the referee, so Tajiri went over to her… and sprayed black mist in her eyes. The shrieks of agony rang through the arena as Noble and referee Brian Hebner desperately tried to help get the mist from her eyes. As they did so, Tajiri kicked Noble in the head, and forced Hebner to make the count.

    The loss was the last thing on Noble’s mind, though. As it would later turn out, the mist had robbed Nidia of her sight.

    Noble was furious, and came after Tajiri, looking for revenge. He said that Tajiri had robbed him of the thing he cared most about, so he would do the same. At No Mercy they came together for the Cruiserweight Title once more, and Jamie Noble could not be stopped. He seemed to have the match won with the Underhook Powerbomb, but insisted he wanted Tajiri to tap out; to be put through so much pain he was left no choice but to quit.

    Dawn Marie, however, had other ideas. Just as Tajiri looked to be a goner, JUVENTUD debuted, hitting Noble with a Juvi Driver, handing Tajiri the victory. After the match, a distraught Jamie Noble told Michael Cole that he’d let Nidia down, and he wasn’t sure when he’d be back. And with that, he was gone.

    Dawn Marie just couldn’t let it go. After announcing Juventud and Tajiri as “Kyo-estro”, she continued to taunt Noble and Nidia, no matter how long they’d been gone. Over and over she would speak ill of them, safe in the knowledge that they likely wouldn’t come back to get revenge.

    That was, until two weeks ago on Smackdown. After having taken out Akio, and cheated to retain the Cruiserweight Title against Ultimo Dragon, Dawn Marie ordered Tajiri to finish the job. It was at that point it appeared as though Akio had returned from injury… only to reveal himself as Jamie Noble! Finally Jamie Noble was back, and finally he got his hands on Tajiri.

    But the intrigue didn’t end there. Dawn Marie, ever the manipulator, decided to raise the stakes even higher. She told Jamie Noble that he’d put the title on the line against him at the Rumble… but only if Jamie Noble put his career on the line to get it. Noble, saying he had nothing left to prove, agreed.

    With that, it was made official. It’s going to be Tajiri versus Jamie Noble… with the Cruiserweight Title and Jamie Noble’s career on the line. Can Noble get an element of retribution for everything he’s been through? Or will Tajiri and Dawn Marie find yet another disgusting way to keep the belt around the champion’s waist, and bring an abrupt end to a once promising career?

    We will find out either way this Sunday at the Royal Rumble…



    Danny Basham vs. Doug Basham

    And so it comes to this. Two twins fighting each other. The announcers talk about how, if you ever needed proof of how much the Royal Rumble means to the WWE Superstars, seeing these twins battle each other for a place is everything you’d ever need to use.

    The match itself is what it is, with both men (obviously) knowing each other well. In fact, it tends to be a reversal of a reversal, with both men almost knowing what the other will do before the other does it. Danny, however, finds a way to briefly take over with a rake of the eyes, with Doug not realising his own twin would go to such lengths. That leaves Doug to fight from underneath for a few moments, but eventually he manages to fight back, only for Danny to cut him off and try for his Brain Damage finisher… but Doug leaps out, backs up, charges… and hits the Last Impression! That’s enough for the three, and it’s Doug Basham who will be in the Rumble!

    Winner: Doug Basham in 4:03


    Shaniqua, who had stayed out of the way, climbs in to the ring and raises Doug’s hand in victory. Danny looks frustrated at having lost to his own twin, but Doug pulls him back up, and between them they let the air clear and Danny congratulates his brother on the win.

    As they head down the ramp, we can overhear Shaniqua telling them both, ”with just Doug in the match, we need to focus. And I think I have a plan…”



    We then move backstage, where BILLY KIDMAN is taping up his wrists. He gets part way through the second one… before tossing the tape to the side. At that point, in walks REY MYSTERIO. They greet each other with fist bumps.

    ”Hey man,” Kidman says after the greetings, ”I’ve been meaning to say… congrats on qualifying for the Rumble. To have qualified without even needing a match today is pretty impressive. These last couple of months you’ve been on fire. I’m proud of you.”

    “Thanks, man. And I’m proud of you too. I know you’re strugglin’ with confidence a bit, but ya keep gettin' up. Ya won’t be beaten. I’ve been there, man, and I respect it.”


    Kidman half-heartedly nods. ”If you say so.”

    “What’s goin’ on? You’re in the All Or Nothing Battle Royal, right? Win that, and you’re in the Rumble as well. Just imagine, me and you, final two, winner goes to ‘Mania.”

    “It’s not going to happen though, is it? I’m not getting to the final two. I’m not getting to the Rumble either. You see who is in this match? Kurt’s in there. A-Train too. Hell, who is throwing Rikishi over the top? And then you’ve got Kendrick, who did more against Angle last week than I’ve done in ages. What’s the point?”

    “Stop talkin’ like that, man! What’s got in to you?”

    “I see what’s going on, Rey. I’m not an idiot. There’s a reason you’re already qualified with matches to spare and I’m in this Battle Royal. The same reason you got to the Semis of Regal’s Gold Rush. I know everyone keeps saying Regal was trying to get in my head saying I’m the weak link in the team, but I don’t think he was. He was right. You’re just better than me, Rey. Look what happens to you when we aren’t teaming… and look what happens to me. I’m thinking I might as well not bother entering this Battle Royal. The writing’s on the wall.”


    Rey shakes his head. ”I don’t feel like I know you anymore, bro. This isn’t the Billy Kidman I knew. I get that you’re feelin’ down, but you can get past it. I believe in you, man. I do. Right now, the only person who is holdin’ you back is you. You’re my toughest ever opponent, and my favourite partner. I team with you ‘cos you bring the best out in me. I ain’t no charity. You’re the man, and ya forgettin’ it. So get your head in the game, man. Go out there, kick some butt, and take your place in the Rumble with me. I believe in you.”

    Rey gives Kidman a playful slap on the arm, and leaves to allow Kidman to focus.



    We then see a graphic that says there are 52 days until Wrestlemania, before transitioning to the latest in our series of recaps of previous Wrestlemanias, this time focusing on Wrestlemania VI. And this is a big one.

    We see how it aired from the Sky Dome in Toronto, showing how big an event it had become. We hear from EDGE and CHRISTIAN, both of whom were in attendance, and how it was the moment that inspired them to become WWE Superstars themselves. We see some of the celebrities who attended as well, including ROBERT GOULET, STEVE ALLEN and MARY TYLER MOORE, and get a focus on ANDRE THE GIANT’s last in-ring performance for the WWE, culminating in him turning face by knocking BOBBY HEENAN out of the ring after his manager slapped him across the face.

    Most of the focus, however, was on the main event. ULTIMATE WARRIOR versus HULK HOGAN. We see clips of their titanic battle, which ended with Warrior splashing the immortal Hulkster and winning the WWE Title for the first time.

    Alongside the footage, we hear from the likes of SHAWN MICHAELS, JIM DUGGAN and HULK HOGAN who competed that night, and from today’s heroes who merely watched as were touched by what happened. Of course there is Edge and Christian, but we also hear from CHRIS BENOIT, RIC FLAIR, and (because he seems to refuse to stay away from these things)… TRIPLE H.



    Juventud vs. Chavo Guerrero

    With no more opportunities to qualify after tonight, this match has a huge importance for both men. In the case of Chavo, he picked up two big wins in the first two weeks of the Standings, but since Eddie won the title, he’s failed to pick up a single victory, leaving him one-shy of qualification for a month. It’s for that reason that he rushes straight in to it against Juvi, trying to overwhelm him and pick up a quick victory…

    … but Juvi won’t get caught out that easily. Everything Chavo throws at him, Juvi is equal to, and even manages to take over when Chavo gets that little bit too desperate. Juvi looks in fine form and ready to finish things off with a Juvi Driver, but Chavo slides out… kick to the gut… Brainbuster! He climbs to the top… FROG SPLASH! The move that won his uncle the title! He hooks the leg…

    ONE…

    TWO…

    THREE!


    Winner: Chavo Guerrero in 6:48


    At last, Chavo has done it! It took him a month of failing to win… it took a month of him on the cusp but failing to get over the line… but finally he’s got the job done! He marches around the ring, pumping his fists in celebration, relieved to have finally booked his place in the Rumble, and mounts the second rope to salute the fans. He looks down the lens of a nearby camera, and shouts loudly enough for us all to hear…

    ”That’s for you, Eddie! I’m gonna win this Sunday… and it’ll be me and you at ‘Mania! I can’t wait, man!”



    We then transition to Michael Cole and Tazz, sat in front of the camera as Chavo makes his way to the back.

    ”Big win for Chavo Guerrero there,” Cole says, ”and with that, Chavo books himself a place in the Rumble this Sunday. It’s one hell of a star-studded affair, including the likes of Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Randy Orton, Rhyno, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, the World’s Greatest Tag Team… and coming up shortly, one more man will be entered in the All or Nothing Battle Royal, the only way a Smackdown Superstar can make it to the Rumble without finishing in the top twelve of the Rumble standings. But before then, I spoke to another of the entrants to this Sunday’s Royal Rumble, who will be making his return after eighteen months out with a broken neck. Folks, this is my interview with Hardcore Holly…”


    We then transition to a pre-taped video, where we see MICHAEL COLE sat at a table in a plush, fancy kitchen, sitting opposite HARDCORE HOLLY. HOLLY’S WIFE brings over a tray of drinks, and places them on a table top, which Cole thanks her for, and turns to Holly.

    ”Hardcore, at the time of recording we are just over a week from the Rumble, but this will be aired three days before the big event. How excited are you to return to the WWE?”

    At the back of the shot, Holly’s wife unintentionally let’s out a derogatory laugh, loud enough to distract Cole. She apologises, and walks away.

    ”Ya wanna know why she’s laughin’, Cole?” Hardcore asks. ”It’s ‘cos even the idea of me bein’ excited about somethin’ these days is funny to her. I ain’t been excited about nothin’ for a long time, lemme tell ya. I’ve been stuck in this damn house, spendin’ time with my damn wife who hates my guts, killin’ time ‘til I can come back.”

    “That’s… not the answer I was expecting, but I appreciate your candour. If-“

    “Why weren’t ya expectin’ that? What did ya think I was gonna say? ‘Oh man, it’s so good to be back from where I should never have been gone in the first place’? Gimme a damn break. I din’t ask for time off. I had it taken from me, against my will. Eighteen damn months I was out, all for nothin’ I did. So, no, I ain’t excited about gettin' back to where I should-a been all along.”


    Cole nods. ”Based on what you’ve just said, and the promos about your return, is it safe to safe you blame Brock Lesnar for your injury?”

    “What’re you, an idiot? Who else-my gonna blame? You? Of course I blame Brock Lesnar. He broke my damn neck, is what he did! But ya know what, Cole? What goes around comes around. Brock’s gonna find that out at the Rumble.”

    “So you’re excited about facing off with Brock, then?”
    Cole says, fishing to get any aspect of positive energy out of the guy.

    ”I told ya before, I ain’t excited about jack anymore… thanks to Brock… Lesnar. That son of a bitch-“

    “Please, Hardcore, Smackdown is a family show-“

    “I don’t give a rat’s ass what kinda show Smackdown is. I’m gonna say whatever the hell’s on my mind. Like this…”
    he faces down the lens of the camera. ”Brock Lesnar… I know your sorry ass is gonna be watchin’ this, so lemme break it down real clear for ya. I’m comin’ for ya, ya hear me? Ya cost me eighteen damn months of my career… and at the Rumble… I’m costing you eighteen months of yours.”

    Cole nods, and lets the intense atmosphere die down a little. ”Your return is in the Royal Rumble, where the winner will get a guaranteed title shot at Wrestlemania-“

    “You think I want a title shot at Wrestlemania?”


    Cole is taken aback. ”I… uh… everyone wants a shot at Wres-“

    “Good for them. Must be nice for ‘em to have hopes and dreams like that. I used to dream of headlinin’ Wrestlemania as well. But not anymore. I’m enterin’ the Rumble… so I can get my hands… on Brock… Lesnar. And if I win… I’m tradin’ my title shot… for another match… with Brock… Lesnar. The best part of winnin’ the Rumble… will be knowing I stopped Brock Lesnar gettin' what he wants the most. It gettin' through your dumb little skull, yet, Cole? The rest of the guys dream of makin’ it to ‘Mania, of bein’ the WWE Champion. But me? All I dream of… is breaking… Brock Lesnar’s… neck. This interview is over, get the hell outta my damn house.”


    Holly rips the microphone off his shirt, tosses it to the side, and walks to the edge of the shot, where his wife waits for him.

    ”Couldn’t you at least try to make-“ she begins.

    ”Get the hell outta my way,” he grunts, and storms out of shot, leaving an awkward looking Michael Cole to try and pack up his belongings… when the footage cuts out.



    Ten Man All or Nothing Battle Royal
    A-Train vs. Billy Kidman vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Funaki vs. Kurt Angle vs. Nunzio vs. Orlando Jordan vs. Paul London vs. Rikishi vs. Ultimo Dragon


    It is perhaps the scale of the prize at stake that this Battle Royal – where the winner qualifies for the Royal Rumble regardless of the number of wins picked up - starts off uncharacteristically frantically, with everyone immediately looking to pick up eliminations. That unfortunately means that three men are tossed pretty quickly…

    Elimination #1: Orlando Jordan by A-Train

    Elimination #2: Funaki by Rikishi

    Elimination #3: Nunzio by Paul London


    But despite the field thinning out pretty quickly, things get no less frantic. A-Train and Rikishi, by far the biggest two men in the match, already have an elimination each, and when Paul London and Ultimo Dragon try to get them out, they quickly find themselves outmatched…

    Elimination #4: Paul London by A-Train

    Elimination #5: Ultimo Dragon by Rikishi


    Which leaves us with five. Kurt Angle, perhaps wisely, has tried to stay out of the way of the action, realising that if he’s not involved in the heat of it, chances are he may be able to last longer. That leaves poor Billy Kidman and Brian Kendrick to deal with the two unstoppable heavyweights, though, and it’s a battle they struggle with. Kendrick tries to unseat A-Train, having eliminated his partner, but when he looks for Sliced Bread #2, Train merely holds on and heaves him to the outside, causing him to land with a splat.

    Elimination #6: Brian Kendrick by A-Train

    Kidman, on the other hand, may be the only person more desperate than Angle to win this thing. His confidence is shot to pieces, but maybe, just maybe, if he can overcome the odds here, finding a place in the Rumble might just be the tonic for not feeling inferior to his tag partner Rey Mysterio.

    The problem for Kidman, is he’s trying to eliminate Rikishi. He tries to heave him over the top, but it’s just not happening. Kurt Angle happily waits in the background, trying to stay undetected, while Kidman struggles with the Big Kish… who fights Kidman off. Kidman falls back… and now he’s got a giant Samoan coming after him. Rikishi heads for Kidman, so he scurries between his legs… where he comes up against A-Train! Train swings… but Kidman ducks… bounces off the rope… Spinning Heel Kick! Rikishi tries to grab him… Dropkick! Kidman’s taken both the big men down! Kidman’s finally showing what he’s made of!

    SO KURT ANGLE GRABS HIM FROM BEHIND AND THROWS HIM FROM THE RING!

    Elimination #7: Billy Kidman by Kurt Angle

    And the crowd boo! Kurt’s done nothing all match, but he’s sneaked in to ruin Kidman’s chances of getting in the Rumble! Kidman slams his hands on the protective mats on the outside, frustrated that he was really giving it a go, only to be thrown from behind when he least expected it.

    Kurt looks to return to his corner to hide out… until he realises that there’s nowhere to left to hide. There’s only three of them left… and the other two are enormous.

    Rikishi and Train both head over to Kurt, almost as though they’re willing to make a big man pact to get rid of the sly Olympian… so Angle starts firing off on them! Angle’s fighting for his life!

    In the face of such steep odds, the crowd actually come around a little to Angle, forgiving him for the tactics earlier in the contest. Angle manages to completely outdo the two big men, displaying incredible strength and technique to German Suplex A-Train, and Overhead Belly To Belly Suplex Rikishi. With Angle firing up, the crowd start cheering him on… SO DOWN COME THE STRAPS! He poises behind Train, waiting for him to get up… and pulls him in for an Angle Slam!

    SUPERKICK FROM RIKISHI! Angle’s been knocked out! Rikishi pulls him up…

    AND THROWS ANGLE OVER THE TOP ROPE!

    But Angle just holds on! But A-Train has sneaked up behind Rikishi…

    … but he can’t lift him over the top rope! Even A-Train doesn’t have the strength to get him out! He backs up and charges…

    BICYCLE KICK!

    But Rikishi just slumps against the ropes! It didn’t send him down, and it didn’t send him over! Again Train tries to pull him up and over the top rope, but he’s just too heavy! Rikishi shoves him away… SUPERKICK! Train stumbles back in to the ropes… so Rikishi Clotheslines him over the top!

    Elimination #8: A-Train by Rikishi

    A-Train managed to eliminate three people… but he couldn’t get Rikishi out!

    Kurt sits up… and sees that it’s just Rikishi left… and the big man is staring him down.

    The camera, for some reason, films from behind Rikishi, with him looming over Angle and a special “focus” on his disgusting, pimply backside.

    ”How in tha hell’s Angle meant ta get that ovah tha top rope?!” Tazz asks.

    Angle pulls himself up, eyes wide and crazed at the thought of this being the only thing between him and a place in the Rumble. The two men stare down… and Angle ROARS! Rikishi doesn’t know how to react… so Kurt starts beating the shit out of him! Angle’s teeing off on Rikishi!

    But the big man won’t go down! Angle punches at him over and over and over again, but nothing works… so Angle pulls him in for a Belly to Belly Suplex! But Rikishi headbutts out! Angle staggers back… SUPERKICK!

    Caught… AND TURNED IN TO AN ANKLE LOCK!

    Rikishi struggles in the hold… but he gradually rolls on to his back… and kicks Angle away… sending Kurt over the top rope!

    But again he just hangs on! Rikishi gets to his feet and charges to knock him off… but Kurt hits him with a European Uppercut on the way in! Rikishi staggers back, so Angle scurries to the top rope… Missile Dropkick! Angle’s bringing all the goods in this desperate attempt to make it in to the Rumble!

    But Rikishi still doesn’t go down! Angle backs up and charges… AND DESTROYS RIKISHI WITH A LARIAT… TURNING THE BIG MAN INSIDE OUT! Finally Rikishi is down! Angle poises behind Rikishi… the big Samoan gets to his feet… so Angle tries a German Suplex!

    But he can’t lift him up! Rikishi deadweights, before rushing backwards… and squashes Angle in the corner! That drives the wind out of the Olympian, so Rikishi heads to the opposite corner and charges… and squashes him in the corner again! And Angle drops to the mat, perched against the bottom turnbuckle…

    … so Rikishi calls for the Stink Face! Tell me he’s not going to do this! After everything Kurt Angle’s been through these last few months, his is going to be total humiliation! Rikishi backs up - with Tazz crying that he can’t do this to an Olympian – with Kurt too injured to move. Slowly he moves back… moves back… and hovers in front of Angle’s face… STINK FACE!

    Rikishi, having suitably embarrassed Angle, thrusts his palms in the air in celebration… but Angle pulls himself up! And man does he look pissed. His eyes are crazed, violent intentions sketched all over his face. He slowly walks over to Rikishi, who hasn’t noticed he’s back up… and starts pounding the shit out of him! He punches him in to the corner… whips him in to the opposite one, charges and Clotheslines him in the corner. Rikishi rebounds out, so Angle rushes up behind him… GERMAN SUPLEX! What strength! And a second! And a third! Triple Germans! He then waits behind the Big Kish as he gets back to his feet…

    ANGLE SLAM! Angle’s so fired up he’s lifting Rikishi up with ease!

    Rikishi staggers up, in a bad way from the relentless onslaught, and backs against the ropes… Angle rushes over… pulls him off the mat…

    AND DUMPS HIM OVER THE TOP!

    Winner and qualifying for the Royal Rumble: Kurt Angle in 13:09


    Kurt Angle has done it! After everything he’s been through these last few months, he’s done it! He was barred from any title shots or matches with Brock Lesnar. He’s lost to Rhyno twice. He thought he’d bounced back from what he learned at Tribute to the Troops, only to lose to Big Show, and end up on minus points with only a few weeks to go. He was left with the two biggest men in this Battle Royal, and was at the end with a man almost impossible to get over the top rope. And he took a Stink Face during all of that, as well.

    But despite all of that, he’s made it. He thumps his chest in celebration, viciously pounding at himself as the residual anger from the Stink Face still seems to be there. He marches around the ring, pumping his fists, having finally gotten to where he wanted to be, despite every obstacle in the way. He stands in the middle of the ring and looks out to the crowd, and we expect to seeing him maybe looking a little teary or emotional, as per Angle’s usual remit…

    … but instead he stares directly ahead, gritting his teeth, eyes still crazed… and ROARS once again, his hands clenched, his veins bulging from his forehead.

    ”Kurt Angle has done it!” Cole exclaims. ”Kurt Angle has somehow… someway… qualified… for the Royal Rumble!”

    “But look at his eyes, Cole! Have ya evah seen him so intense?”

    “I don’t know that I have, partner. These last few weeks seem to have refocused his mind.”

    “Refocused? He looks damn near crazy, Cole! If I were in tha Rumble, I wouldn’t go anywhere near him!”

    “Despite everything it took to get here, as I look at him right now, I have to think we’re looking at one of the favourites to win the whole thing this Sunday…”




    We then transition backstage, where BRADSHAW and RON SIMMONS are sharing a beer over a game of cards, when WILLIAM REGAL.

    ”Billy!” Bradshaw exclaims. ”Pull up a chair, help yaself to a brewski!”

    Regal’s face crinkles. ”I’ll pass, thank you. I’m not much of a fan of your American beers. I prefer something with a little more… flavour. I did want to speak to the both of you, though.”

    “Well, fire away, boss man.”


    Regal seems taken aback by Bradshaw’s southern charm. ”Why, thank you, young man. And may I say, a fine win earlier tonight. That’s guaranteed you a place in the Royal Rumble, has it not?”

    “You’re damn right it has!”
    Bradshaw announces, and clinks cans together with Simmons.

    Regal turns to the man formerly known as Faarooq. ”But you… not so much, huh?”

    “These things happen,”
    Simmons says. ”But I got faith that Bradshaw here is gonna show a few people what he’s made of this Sunday.”

    “Oh, I’m sure, I’m sure,”
    Regal says. ”After all, most of the time he goes it alone, he’s been quite successful lately, hasn’t he? Certainly more successful than you’ve been as a team.”

    “You watch you’re damn mouth, Regal,”
    Bradshaw warns.

    ”Oh, I’m sorry, I meant no disrespect. That isn’t why I was here at all.”

    “Then why are ya here?”

    “Because I wanted to talk to you both about last week. The US Title Match.”

    “Those Mattitude boys are gonna think twice about gettin' in our way again, that’s for sure.”

    “Oh, quite. And in the process, I couldn’t help but notice that you helped young Master Cena retain the US Title, didn’t you?”

    “Damn straight we did. And you should be grateful t’ have him as champ’n instead-a whatever th’ hell Matt Hardy is.”

    “I should be grateful, should I? Would you say more or less grateful than you should be for keeping you both employed?”


    The air is sucked out of the room.

    ”Excuse me?” Bradshaw asks.

    ”You heard me. I’m beginning to forget why I keep you both around. You, Bradshaw, you look pretty good on your own. But you, Ron-“

    “I told ya t’ watch your mouth, Regal,”
    Bradshaw says.

    ”This is my show, young man. I can do whatever I so please. And, what I please right now, is to tell you both that I’m growing a little tired with the A.P.A. So, from now on, it’s all or nothing for you both. Seeing as Master Bradshaw here seems to be so much better in singles matches… the next tag match you lose together… the A.P.A… is finished. Over. Done with. Either you prove that you deserve to remain a team by winning your ruddy matches… or you disband.”

    Bradshaw leaps to his feet. ”You can’t do that!”

    Regal straightens his tie. ”I just did. Good luck this Sunday, sunshine. You might be getting used to doing things on your own.”

    He spins on his heels and walks away, leaving Bradshaw and Simmons to look at each other, dumbfounded.




    The WWE production song ”Father To Son” starts to play...


    …as we see footage of JIM DUGGAN celebrating his victory in the 1988 Royal Rumble...

    ”Sixty minutes...”

    … we see SHAWN MICHAELS returning from the brink of elimination in the 1995 Rumble to eliminate THE BRITISH BULLDOG

    ”... thirty men...”

    … we see HULK HOGAN’S reaction to being eliminated by SID in the 1992 Rumble, and BRET HART’S vengeance-filled reaction to being eliminated in 1997...

    ”... twenty-nine runners up...”

    … we see the stand-off between HULK HOGAN and THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR in 1990...

    ”... moments that will life forever...”

    … … we see STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN’S reaction to BRET HART’S arrival in the 1997 Rumble, and MAVEN eliminating THE UNDERTAKER in 2002...

    ”... a night of unpredictability...”

    … we see STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN last eliminating KANE to win the 2001 Rumble, and his subsequent exhausted celebration...

    ”... but with only one goal at the end of it.”

    … we see RIC FLAIR’S tearful celebration in 1992...

    ”Sixty minutes...”

    … we see a packed ring during the 1991 Rumble...

    ”... thirty men...”

    … we see THE BIG SHOW’S violent reaction to being eliminated in 2000, and RANDY SAVAGE’S reaction to being eliminated by HULK HOGAN in 1989...

    ”... twenty-nine runners up...”

    … we see BROCK LESNAR’S win at last year’s event, and his subsequent celebration... which fades in to him holding the title at Wrestlemania, having won the WWE Title...

    ”... one road to Wrestlemania.”



    Live on pay-per-view, January 25th 2004


    We return from the hype video to see Michael Cole and Tazz sat in front of the camera once again.

    ”That’s what it’s all about, partner,” Cole begins, ”this Sunday… it’s the Royal… Rumble!”

    A graphic appears on the screen…



    ”And what a match this promises to be, Tazz, when Eddie Guerrero defends his WWE Title against his best friend, Chris Benoit.”

    “Ya said two things I din’t agree with in one sentence there, which is good goin’ even for you. Firstly, this ain’t gonna be a great match, it’s gonna be a farce. It’s gonna be a farce ‘cos Eddie Guerrero is gonna prove what we knew all along… that he’s a cheater who will screw Chris Benoit over first chance he gets. And the second thing I don’t agree with, is that these two men are best friends. After this Sunday, they’re gonna be enemies, I guarantee it.”

    “I have to disagree with you there, Tazz. I believe Eddie will be a man of his word this Sunday, and these two are going to have a fantastic, back-and-forth classic that’s straight down the line.”

    “Then you’re as stupid as ya look.”




    ”It’s not just Smackdown with the World Title on the line though, as the Raw brand will see Chris Jericho defending his title against the unbeaten Goldberg.”

    “Ya know why he’s not been beaten in one-on-one contents, though? ‘Cos he ain’t faced this version of Chris Jericho yet!”

    “I can’t deny Chris Jericho has been on an incredible run of form these last few months, but this promises to be the biggest challenge of his reign yet. Either we’re going to see a new champion… or Goldberg’s streak will come to an end!”




    ”Also from Raw will be the Women’s Title match between Lita and April… and what a personal affair this is will prove to be.”

    “These are two spicy tomatas, lemme tell ya that, but they’re fierce as all hell as well. These have been beatin’ tha hell outta each otha these last few weeks, and I don’t wanna be nowhere near ‘em this Sunday if the fast few weeks are anythin’ ta go by!”

    “It’s certainly an intensely personal affair, but after this last week on Raw you have to wonder what kind of condition the champion will be in.”




    ”You wanna talk personal… then you need to talk… about Tajiri… and Jamie Noble.”

    “Tajiri has been way ovah tha line for some time now, but tha worst thing he’s done is still blindin’ poor Nidia all those months ago. I’m usually a very impartial guy, but I’m pullin’ for Jamie in this one.”

    “You and everyone else, partner. It was October 2nd when Tajiri blinded Noble’s girlfriend Nidia, but on January 25th, you might finally be able to see him pay the consequences of that action. But to even get this match Jamie has had to put his career on the line, and you have to think that could be a dangerous proposition for him. Either way, this Sunday we’ll see a new champion… or Jamie Noble’s career will be over.”




    ”And then, of course, we’ve got the big one. The Royal Rumble match. Sixty minutes… thirty men… one… winner!”

    “Tha road ta Wrestlemania starts here, Cole! I nevah even got close ta winnin’ one-a these bad boys, but I can tell ya how much they mean ta everyone in tha back. Winnin’ this Sunday gives ya a guaranteed title shot at Wrestlemania… and anythin’ can happen!”

    “You’re not wrong there, Tazz. Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Randy Orton, the returning Hardcore Holly, Rhyno, Big Show, Kane… just some of the names in this most star-studded of Royal Rumbles. Folks, whatever you do, you are not gonna miss this one. The Road to Wrestlemania… starts… this Sunday… January 25th… LIVE… on pay-per-view!”


    As always, massive thanks to ranthellacious for the awesome match graphics



    Brock Lesnar & Rhyno w/Paul Heyman vs. Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero

    With all four men with so much on the line this Sunday, this one understandably starts frantically and full on. Eddie is more than a little fired up and rushes straight in to targeting Brock, and Benoit tees off on Rhyno, only too capable on dishing out the aggression when needed.

    Unfortunately for them, Eddie is a little too fired up and vengeful, which allows the former champion to smash him out of the corner, and help Rhyno to take over on Benoit. From there, Eddie is left on the apron, forced to watch as his friend is assaulted by Heyman’s animalistic brutes. Benoit is more resilient than most and keeps finding a way to fight out, but despite Eddie’s best efforts at trying to reach in to make the tag, Benoit just gets cut off before he can reach the champion’s outstretched hand. Each time he narrowly misses out, Eddie only grows more frustrated on the outside.

    ”This is what I don’t get, Cole,” Tazz begins as Eddie flips out at being kept out of the match, ”why’s Eddie so desp’rate ta get in there? This is totally workin’ in his favour ta wait in out on tha outside and let Benoit take a beatin’. If I were him, I’d stay out there and let Benoit get taken out ahead-a this Sunday!”

    “But Eddie’s given his word he’s not going to take it that way, partner. He’s promised he’s going to call it straight.”

    “I don’t care what he said, Cole! This ain’t some friendly scrap we’ve got goin’ on this Sunday, it’s tha WWE Title in Wrestlemania season! If Eddie Guerrero has half a brain he’ll leave Benoit in there ta get taken out.”

    “I don’t think he wants to retain the title that way this Sunday.”

    “Then if he gets taken out tonight and loses tha belt on Sunday, he’s only got himself ta blame.”


    Despite Tazz’s passionate argument for leaving Benoit out there to be taken out, Eddie still desperately wants to get tagged in, especially as Benoit gets more and more injured. Rhyno is comfortably getting the better of Benoit, so lifts him up for a Pumphandle Slam… but Benoit slips down the back… German Suplex! He crawls to the corner as Rhyno tags in Brock…

    BUT BENOIT MAKES THE TAG AS WELL! HERE COMES EDDIE!

    Eddie rushes in to the ring, ready to get him some of the men who have stood in his way for some time now. He fires off Dropkicks on Brock, before rushing over to Rhyno and taking him out as well. Eddie’s full of fire and momentum, with these last two months undoubtedly the peak of his career so far… and hits Brock with the Three Amigos! He gets up and turns around… but Rhyno charges straight at him! But Eddie moves… and Rhyno crashes in to the turnbuckle! Eddie kicks him in the gut… and hits him with the Three Amigos! He climbs to the top and lines up Brock for the Frog Splash…

    … but the Three Amigos on Rhyno took up too much time! Brock’s back on his feet, with Eddie perched on the top rope… so he dives off… DIVING CROSSBODY!

    But Brock ducked…

    AND EDDIE LANDED ON CHARLES ROBINSON! The referee has been taken out!

    Brock pulls the shocked Eddie up… but Benoit’s back up… German Suplex to Brock! He turns around… in to a Lariat from Rhyno! He then turns around… in to a Dropkick from Eddie! Brock… down! Rhyno… down! Benoit… down! Charles Robinson… down! And Eddie’s left standing!

    With everyone else down, Eddie senses an opportunity. He rolls to the outside and grabs his WWE Title, and gets back in to the ring. Rhyno gets back to his feet, staggering around, so Eddie charges with the title…

    … but Rhyno ducks…

    AND EDDIE CLOCKS BENOIT! EDDIE GUERRERO JUST ACCIDENTALLY HIT BENOIT WITH THE WWE TITLE!

    Eddie’s stunned at his mistake… which allows Brock to Clothesline him over the top rope! Brock pulls the unconscious Benoit up…

    F5!

    And Charles Robinson is coming to! Brock makes the cover…

    ONE…

    TWO…

    THREE!


    Winners: Brock Lesnar & Rhyno in 10:11


    Brock and Rhyno have stolen one! Brock finishes the Rumble Standings on top, and Rhyno slides in to joint second, with both gaining an enormous amount of momentum going in to this Sunday’s match.

    But perhaps the real story here is Eddie. Getting back to his feet on the outside, he looks in, wide-eyed, seeing Brock celebrating and Benoit down. This was his fault. They had the match in control, but he brought the title in, he accidentally hit his partner, and because of him, his challenger for this Sunday has lost.

    ”I told ya!” Tazz exclaims. ”I told ya, Eddie’s in it for himself! Great move from Eddie!”

    “You can’t think he did on that on purpose?!”

    “Of course he did! Eddie’s smart, Cole, he knows how these things work! He made it seem like he was tryin’ ta help Benoit, but he clocked ‘im in tha face with tha belt, and now his challenger has lost three days before his shot at tha title! It’s brilliant!”


    Cole doesn’t agree, but it doesn’t matter. Eddie looks as though he can’t believe what happened, but he still hasn’t entered the ring. Brock looks out to Eddie as Heyman gets in to the ring… and whispers something in Brock’s ear. Brock looks out to Eddie… and laughs! What the hell is this?!

    Heyman calls Rhyno over as Brock heads to Benoit… and pulls the Wolverine off the mat… lifts him on to his shoulders… and dares for Eddie to come in! They’re threatening to take out Benoit again unless he saves his opponent for this Sunday!

    Rhyno stands beside Brock, ready to attack as soon as Eddie gets in the ring, while Brock threatens to hit Eddie’s friend with another F5! Heyman is calling Eddie’s bluff about his intentions for this Sunday!



    And Eddie freezes! EDDIE ISN’T SAVING BENOIT! He’s leaving him out there to get taken out again!

    ”I told you!” Heyman screeches from inside the ring. ”You’re a selfish, selfish man, Eddie!” He turns to Brock. ”Now finish him!”

    Brock preps for the F5…



    BUT IN SLIDES EDDIE! He’s doing the right thing!

    Brock drops Benoit and rolls to the outside, which Rhyno and Heyman do as well. This was clearly never about getting involved in a fight, this was making a point about Eddie’s intentions. Eddie “stole” Brock’s belt, and they’re going to make his life miserable, by making the world question his motives.

    Eddie challenges them to get back in the ring to fight them, but Heyman is insistent they stay out of the way, no doubt wanting Rhyno and Brock in the best possible shape for this Sunday. That leaves Eddie in the ring with Benoit, who he eventually helps pull to his feet and check on him…

    BUT BENOIT SHOVES HIM AWAY! Benoit is accusing Eddie of hitting him intentionally!

    Eddie tries to plead his innocence and grabs Benoit arm… but Benoit shoves him away again! Benoit absolutely does NOT trust Eddie!

    Benoit backs up and looks at the title belt still strewn across the mat… he points to it… signals around his waist… and walks away! Benoit’s making it clear that he’s coming for Eddie’s title… and that he doesn’t think the belt shot was an accident! Eddie can only look on, unsure how to react, his integrity being firmly called in to question… and Benoit is walking away!

    ”This issue between Eddie and Benoit is about to reach boiling point!” Cole exclaims. ”Can Chris Benoit trust Eddie Guerrero! I don’t think he thinks he can!”

    “That’s because he can’t, Cole! He’s a liar, a cheater and a thief! He’s gonna cheat ta beat Benoit… steal his hopes of bein’ tha champion… and he’s lyin’ about doin’ it!”

    “Are we seeing a friendship about to fall apart over the WWE Title?! What the hell is going to happen this Sunday at the Royal Rumble?!”



    * END OF SHOW *




    Final Royal Rumble Qualification Table
    1. Brock Lesnar: 6 wins
    2. Rey Mysterio: 5 wins
    = Rhyno: 5 wins
    4. Big Show: 4 wins
    = Charlie Haas: 4 wins
    = John Cena: 4 wins
    = Matt Hardy (Version 1.0): 4 wins
    = Shelton Benjamin: 4 wins
    9. Bradshaw: 3 wins
    = Chavo Guerrero: 3 wins
    = Doug Basham: 3 wins
    ---------------
    12. A-Train: 2 wins
    = Billy Kidman: 2 wins
    = Danny Basham: 2 wins
    = Juventud: 2 wins
    = Kurt Angle: 2 wins*
    = Ron Simmons: 2 wins
    = Sean O’Haire: 2 wins
    = Ultimo Dragon: 2 wins
    20. Akio: 1 win
    = Brian Kendrick: 1 win
    = Chuck Palumbo: 1 win
    = Funaki: 1 win
    = Johnny Stamboli: 1 win
    = Nunzio: 1 win
    = Orlando Jordan: 1 win
    = Paul London: 1 win
    = Rikishi: 1 win
    = Shannon Moore: 1 win


    NB: Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Tajiri and Jamie Noble are ineligible as they already have matches booked for the Royal Rumble. Kurt Angle is entered as winner of All or Nothing Battle Royal






    Final list of entrants!
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!









  3. #343
    Judging, mostly

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    Re: May BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Fun opening segment. Matt’s rapping was obviously bad, and out of sync (nice touch for him to blame it falling apart on Shannon’s one line), which just made Cena’s rap look and sound all the better. The Jewish Foreskin and the Jeff Hardy lines were absolute gold, mate. This has been a pretty fun side-angle for the time being to keep these guys ticking over for the Rumble before switching gears to their WrestleMania programs.

    Continuation of Shannon sacrificing himself for Matt at every opportunity by tagging himself in before Matt had to take on Ron was good, as was Matt eagerly getting in once his team had taken control again. Shannon definitely felt like the star of the show here with him even managing a bit of offence on Cena, and that Clothesline Line Hell sounded NASTY for the finish. Curious that Bradshaw got the pin here and not Cena, but I guess if he’s going to make the cut, it’s not a bad idea for him to look good in qualifying.

    Having to chomp down on my fist here in order not to get my predictions out early for what I thinks going down at the Rumble between Eddie & Benoit. But if my gut feeling is right, you’re laying the table for the PPV beautifully here.

    That’s quite a plot twist. The Bashams hadn’t been on my radar at all as potential Rumble entrants, but unless there’s some kind of massive swerve coming, you’ve guaranteed a spot for one of them here. Kinda funny that these two tag team partners were hated foes in OVW, and would probably make for a decent enough match – but I suspect we’ll be getting more of an angle than a match.

    I should also point out, just to counter the opinions of Kingpin & Zoom-E – but I love the qualification table. It’s something different from bland, lopsided Qualifying Matches and has allowed you to tell a different kind of story with Angle in particular in a race against time to qualify, where you wouldn’t have been able to do it in a regular environment. It’s maybe gotten a little too convoluted here and there, but overall, I think it’s a great idea that you could’ve even expanded further and have House Show matches count too, in order to make a random FBI vs. APA match in Arkansas mean something.

    Yep. Standard Giant doing giant stuff three nights before the Rumble. Fine by me. No need to reinvent the wheel, and no need to protect the FBI either.

    Ha! Some love for Funaki & Jordan! Maybe you’ll push them as a team??? Too much to ask, right?

    While I’m surprised that all we got ahead of Noble/Tajiri on the go-home show was this promo package, I don’t necessarily dislike it. Realistically, what else would we have gotten here? Tajiri & Juvi lay a trap and send a message?? Noble ~almost~ gets his hands on Tajiri?? Random tag match ending in flaky non-finish?? All good options, but nothing that would’ve added to the story that’s already been told. Video Package brings everything full circle, and it feels like a big undercard match as opposed to a throwaway match to fill up the bill.

    I have no earthy idea what the Brain Damage or the Last Impression are. {Looks up YouTube} … now I know. Every day is a school day. Expected shenanigans of some sort here, so I’m mildly pleased it was merely a match to put over how much a Rumble spot means to these guys. Looks like we’re in for some twin magic at the Rumble, huh?

    Highly enjoying the continued progression of the Kidman angle, and his self-doubt escalating week by week. If it was anyone else that was his partner, I’d be expecting them to get angry at Kidman for beating himself up and telling him to snap out of it or he’s dumped as a partner, but since Mysterio is the babiest babyface to ever babyface, he’s absolutely the right guy to still keep trying to gee his partner up and boost him up. It’ll fail – at least tonight – but at least he’s trying.

    Triple H is the real Iron Man of this thread! Just keeps clocking up appearances in those retro packages! Was Christian at WrestleMania VI too? Always thought it was just Edge.

    That win for Chavo – I’m guessing – will propel him directly into CW title contention if Tajiri manages to hold onto the title. As I said before, I love the idea of him having his own side goal of winning the Rumble for the chance to headline WM against Eddie. We all know he wont win it, but at least he’s got something unique going for him in the match.

    Ohhh man. This was peak pissed off Hardcore Holly. First off; that opening with Holly’s wife putting down a tray of drinks was just great. I’m picturing home made lemonade (and suitably sour, no doubt, to suit ‘ol cranky Bob’s tastes). It wouldn’t come as a shock to me at all if Holly wound up at least being the man to eliminate Lesnar and set up a No Way Out match between the two in order to tide Brock over until WrestleMania and his obvious destination at that show. I mean, you could still have that match without Holly dumping Brock from the match, but still.

    You really – and I mean REALLY – got over just how angry Holly is, and exactly what he’s coming for; with no interest in a title shot, and only interested in breaking Lesnar’s neck. That closing bit was classic too and Holly telling Cole to get the hell out of his house. Loved this. All of it!! I’m hoping for weekly Holly tirades from here on out! We need more “angry old man yells at cloud” promos, and Hardcore Holly is the man to deliver them!

    Fairly standard Battle Royal stuff early on, with a sensible, logical story told of the big men in the match being the one’s to beat and dominating through the field. Had to LOL at the first three eliminations though; that was about as obvious as they come!! Just when I thought we were getting the Jesus push for Orlando & Funaki… maybe next week!?

    That sure does seem rather heelish and cowardly of Angle to back off and let the two cruiserweights handle the big guys (but also smart, too, highlighting his desperation to qualify) before taking Kidman by surprise just as BK was gaining some momentum. Poor guy can’t catch a break! The fact you acknowledged there was boos for Angles cowardly actions is interesting.

    And the finishing stretch was some good writing too. While at first I was scratching my head at Rikishi of all people making it to the final two, it makes more sense the more I think about it, given his previous history in the 2000 Rumble as the star of that match, along with his rather large posterior making him a tricky guy to eliminate, and the fact he’s a fun loving babyface, which I can’t help think is just a coincidence that Angle is matched up with him here at the end.

    Was a proper mini-match too, with ebbs and flows, and Angle even suffering a STINK FACE~!! Appeared as if that was what sparked the ‘old’ Angle into life, and rightly so. If a fat Samoan putting his butt in your face doesn’t piss you off, not much will. Angle qualifying had to happen in the end, so the outcome was somewhat a foregone conclusion, but the journey to getting there was pretty damn good. He’s on my radar as a potential winner to continue this redemption angle … but I’m leaning elsewhere right now.

    A-ha. Here we go. You’ve done a fine job in holding off on branching Bradshaw out on his own up until now, with the rare singles outing, but there’s been enough instances of him having matches on his own where it doesn’t feel like this has come out of the blue. Much like the Angle situation in the prior segment, I think we can all gather where this is likely heading, but the story of this APA angle and the journey to them eventually losing a match is where the goodness will come from. Great stuff this, I thought, from all three guys.

    Love a good PPV run down! I’ll say this again too; I love this card! And good job rant, as ever!

    Part of me was thinking the Battle Royal should’ve closed out the show, but when reading the way the show ended … yeah, good call to end on this match. Tag match played off the story you’ve been telling in the last three weeks perfectly, and the debate between Cole and Tazz about why Eddie would want to tag in was a great addition. Only complaint was a few too many instances of ‘He’ in a row instead of Rhyno/Benoit that had me having to read over again. Pronouns pal!

    But yeah, as I say, this match was perfect in selling the story of whether Benoit can trust Eddie to be fair and whether Eddie can play fair, whilst setting the question (at least from Benoit’s perspective) of whether Eddie purposely nailed him with the belt or not. Ideally, you don’t want your #1 Contender eating a loss three days before a PPV, but this instance was fine for me given the circumstances.

    Loved the post match stuff too – especially Benoit just shoving Eddie away and NOT coming to blows or attacking Eddie in retaliation for the accidental belt shot. There’s enough doubt planted there too with Guerrero being hesitant to save Benoit, and all in all, you’ve maybe just inched this match ahead of April vs Lita as the most anticipated (for me) heading into the show. As I’ve said a few times, I’ve a theory for the outcome, but I’ll save it until prediction time.

    A pretty flawless go-home show, I felt. Maybe missing another couple of quick interview type segments just for say TWGTT to talk about their chances of winning the Rumble – but that would’ve only been a minor thing anyway. Very excited to see this Rumble PPV!!

  4. #344
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    Re: May BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Royal Rumble 2004 Predictions Here by Me

    World Heavyweight Championship- Goldberg vs Chris Jericho (c)- Winner: Goldberg by DQ; Still World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho...why do I see the match playing out this way? You keep Goldberg's mystique in tact...you keep his unbeaten streak in tact and a DQ win here means Jericho gets to keep his title. Jericho just won the title too back at Vengeance 2003 so there's that. Plus by Jericho losing the title, it basically means his reign would have been a transitional title run. Jericho plus he is white hot and a DQ loss doesn't hurt Jericho because of the fact that he would still be the champion heading into Mania. Titles don't change hands on a DQ.

    WWE Championship- Eddie Guerrero (c) vs Chris Benoit- Winner: Still WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero; Eddie too just won the title and I just can't see him dropping it any time soon especially to Benoit. However, I could see this causing a Benoit heel turn. If Benoit were to go heel, it wouldn't surprise me nor would it not make sense because it would make sense. Eddie will lie, cheat and steal this match. Eddie goes on to the next PPV to defend his title...that being No Way Out which of course is a Smackdown PPV.

    WWE Women's Championship- Lita (c) vs April Hunter- Winner: New WWE Women's Champion April Hunter; April has been on quite the roll lately but also April as a heel she has more or less been killing it ever since turning so for that reason alone I can see her becoming champion with Trish Stratus more or less inadvertently costing Lita the title

    WWE Cruiserweight Championship- Tajiri (c) vs Jamie Noble- Winner: Still WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri; Tajiri somehow will retain his title if not from interference of Juventud or Dawn Marie; then Tajiri will somehow use the Green Mist to get the win


    2004 Royal Rumble Match Winner: Kurt Angle wins the 2004 Royal Rumble Match...Angle for the first time in his career wins the Royal Rumble Match and why? Angle has more or less been taken out of the title picture on Smackdown and he can't get another title shot...guy keeps being screwed over by Regal the Smackdown GM so Angle more or less gets the job done by winning the Rumble. Plus, with an Angle win...Angle could stay on Smackdown and challenge for the WWE Championship at Mania or Angle could jump brands and go over to RAW and face the World Heavyweight Champion. The Royal Rumble Match winner could stalk both champions because it is his decision as to which championship he targets.


    Royal Rumble Match order of participants (how I see it going down)

    1- Triple H (as the #1 entrant having to start off the Rumble)
    2- WWE United States Champion John Cena (Regal as a way of stacking the deck)
    3- Charlie Haas (one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions)
    4- Booker T
    5- The Hurricane
    6- Christian (Triple H has help; Evolution member and one half of the World Tag Team Champions comes into the match)
    7- Bradshaw
    8- Shelton Benjamin (the other half of the WWE Tag Team Champions)
    9- Rey Mysterio
    10- Maven (one half of Thuggin and Buggin Enterprises)
    11- Doug Basham
    12- Stevie Richards
    13- Kane (WWE Intercontinental Champion comes in and completely cleans house)
    14- Batista (the other half of the World Tag Team Champions and Evolution member; Evolution's Animal comes in)
    15- Hardcore Holly
    16- Rob Conway
    17- Rob Van Dam (RVD)
    18- Randy Orton (Evolution is starting to fill up the ring; 4 members in)
    19- Kurt Angle
    20- Mick Foley (mystery participant #1 revealed as the first surprise entrant)
    21- Matt Hardy (Version 1.0)
    22- Shawn Michaels
    23- Rhyno
    24- Chavo Guerrero
    25- DDP (mystery participant #2 revealed as the 2nd surprise entrant)
    26- Big Show
    27- Ric Flair (mystery participant #3 revealed as the 3rd surprise entrant; Evolution has 5 members all 5 in the match)
    28- Mark Henry
    29- The Undertaker (mystery participant #4 revealed as the 4th surprise entrant; Taker comes back as Original Dead Man with Paul Bearer in tow; lights go out; gong is heard and that infamous music starts playing)

    30- Brock Lesnar (Lesnar gets that final spot)

  5. #345
    Drink the Kool-Aid
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    Re: May BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Opening segment was definitely a lot fun, with an impromptu rap battle. You haven’t overdone the raps so they still feel fresh which is credit to you. Hardy’s were awful but Shannon Moore being completely into them, and then getting a dressing down for interrupting Hardy’s flow was hilarious. Cena’s rhymes were on point like usual, and the attack and kicking off their six man now made sense. What I appreciated here is this still did a lot of hype for the Rumble, which at this point, is what we are all here for.

    Six man basically went as it should, with Cena and The APA getting the win. Cena shouldn’t lose these matches at the moment, truly feels a level above. Poor Moore, even getting yelled at when he’s unconscious. Solid way to kick off in ring action.

    Enjoying the ongoing play here with Eddie and Benoit and whether Eddie will cheat. The fact they are still talking about it now shows how awesome that Heyman promo really was last week. Can’t wait to see where this one goes from here.

    Big Show with a squash win? Cool.

    Nice Cruiserweight title feud recap. I enjoy that this feud is getting the spotlight because it deserves to be a big deal.

    The Basham’s going against each other for a spot in the Rumble is fun. Didn’t really care who won but Shaniqua talking about strategy makes me think they’ll try some twin bullshit throughout the match. Either way, solid stuff.

    Another nice segment in the Kidman/Mysterio saga. Kidman has finally completely lost it and doesn’t want to compete, which is a nice turn to take. Makes sense for Rey to be encouraging but surely it’s only a matter of time until Kidman snaps now.

    LOL at the line about Triple H in the Mania video… Made me laugh.

    I guess a good win for Chavo to qualify for the Rumble. With the loss to dragon and the loss here, it feels like Juventud has just kind of fallen out of nowhere. Also surprised he didn’t have his back up with him here. Not sure if I missed something, but just seems a bit strange. I’m happy for Chavo to be in the Rumble though.

    I didn’t expect this angle from Holly because of what occurred in real life, but I like the bitterness here just because it’s something different. Playing on the dynamic with his wife was a nice touch to further that notion as well. I understand that you want to hype Holly wanting Lesnar, but if I have one criticism, whilst I get it, I still don’t like a Rumble competitor not caring about Mania. It’s the biggest thing in the business and shouldn’t be treated otherwise.

    Last Chance Battle Royal was always going to be fun because of the Angle storyline and you played that to perfection here. From initially being hesitant to finding a way to beat the two biggest men in the match, all good stuff. Props for the moment where Kidman started to look great before being eliminated from behind as well. All the angles that needed to be got continued here so good job.

    Regal is such a vindictive SOB, I love it. Getting back at The APA for the helping Cena last week is awesome. I initially thought this segment felt a little too much like the Kidman stuff from a few weeks back, but the turn of basically all their matches being sudden death is a fun one.

    Nice Rumble commentary hype job. Geez, Jericho looks funny with the World Heavyweight Title in that graphic. Not a knock on the graphic, just looks funny because he was so far off it when he had that haircut in real life.

    Main event was booked as well as it could be. Eddie/Benoit tension had to continue to build here and you did that well with the title shot. The tease of Eddie not wanting to save Benoit for a split second was nice as well. Can’t complain with how this went, looking forward to them stealing the shot at the Rumble.

    A very good go home show, about as good as it gets for a go home really. Everything did its job and outside of maybe a few of the matches in the middle of the show, nothing felt overly filler. It all felt like natural advancement, good stuff.








  6. #346
    I’m Not Booked!
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again



    PREVIEW


    List of entrants
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    What do I need to know?

    • On Raw, Eric Bischoff has been selecting who he thinks are most deserving of a slot in the Rumble.
    • The first entrants announced were Evolution members Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista and Christian.
    • Triple H has been having huge issues with Chris Jericho and has vowed to beat him at Mania. Evolution have also been dealing with the vengeful Rob Van Dam, who has sworn to take out Evolution one-by-one.
    • Triple H has also had issues with Brock Lesnar, who took out The Game’s ex-wife Stephanie McMahon with an F5 back in September. Triple H attacked him in revenge, but since then they’ve been held apart, despite a tense confrontation at Survivor Series. The Rumble will be the first match they have both been in since the initial dispute.
    • Returning to Evolution, Randy Orton’s ego is spiralling out of control after taking out Mick Foley and Terry Funk, and he now calls himself the “New Hardcore Legend”.
    • Regular Evolution enemy Shawn Michaels has been through a difficult six months. After losing to Randy Orton at Unforgiven, he was accused of being past it, and he vowed to prove that wasn’t true. He nearly overcame incredible odds at Survivor Series, but was ultimately beaten by Chris Jericho, and just came up short in a title match at Armageddon and in a one-on-one contest with Goldberg on Raw. He has promised to win the Rumble and go to Wrestlemania to prove that he belongs in the WWE in 2004.
    • The man standing tall at the end of Raw, though, was the monster Kane. Since unmasking in June he’s been practically unstoppable, Chokeslamming Shane McMahon off the Titantron at Unforgiven and winning the Intercontinental Title at Armageddon.
    • Kane won the title from Booker T, who has proven himself to be fearless in his encounters with the Big Red Machine, and in the face of the new Thuggin’ and Buggin’ Enterprises, Maven and Mark Henry.
    • Meanwhile, on Smackdown the Rumble entrants were decided by a qualifying table that logged victories.
    • Finishing top of that table was Brock Lesnar, who is looking to go to Wrestlemania to get back the title he lost at the start of the month against Eddie Guerrero.
    • As well as Triple H, Brock Lesnar will also need to look out for the returning Hardcore Holly, who returns after 18 months out with a broken neck at the hands of Brock.
    • Other strong qualifiers include John Cena, who has become William Regal’s mortal enemy, and Rey Mysterio, who has been on an incredible run of form these last few months.
    • Other contenders from Smackdown include Big Show as the biggest man in the match, and Rhyno, backed by Paul Heyman.
    • The man with perhaps the most emotional investment in the match, though, is Kurt Angle. After losing the WWE Title in an Iron Man match at No Mercy, Kurt lost again at Survivor Series, and in the process became ineligible for any title shots as long as Brock was the champion. As this happened, The Undertaker was taken out by a mystery assailant, and Kurt became the main suspect (along with Big Show and Rhyno). This started a chain reaction which led to a loss of confidence and form for Kurt, who tries desperately to cling on to the notion of being a good guy as everything crumbles around him. Despite at one point being on minus points, he eventually battled back, and on Smackdown last week won an All or Nothing Battle Royal, becoming the only Smackdown Superstar to qualify for the Rumble without making the top twelve in the Rumble standings.





    What do I need to know?

    • Goldberg debuted in April last year and trucked through everyone in his way en-route to beating Triple H at Unforgiven for the World Heavyweight Title.
      He is undefeated in singles action and beat the unbeatable Kane at Survivor Series.
    • Meanwhile, after losing to Christian at Unforgiven, Chris Jericho snapped and discarded everything we thought we knew about him - ridding himself of the catchphrases, merchandise and even entrance music – and swore that he would destroy the WWE from the inside and rebuild it in his own image.
    • He proved to be a man of his word when he got the win in the Raw Survivor Series match, beating Shawn Michaels in the final fall, and in the process banishing Steve Austin from the WWE for good.
    • Jericho used that momentum to a World Title shot at Armageddon, against champion Goldberg and Shawn Michaels, and picked up the win by pinning HBK.
    • Goldberg, desperate for a rematch after not being beaten for his own title, defeated Shawn Michaels on Raw to become the Number One Contender.
    • The week before the Rumble, Eric Bischoff made the match No DQ, calling it “no disqualifications… no count outs… and no excuses.”
    • Either Jericho’s title reign comes to an end, or the undefeated streak of Goldberg is over.





    What do I need to know?

    • Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were the survivors in the Smackdown Survivor Series match in November, guaranteeing them a title shot.
    • General Manager William Regal went above and beyond to try and prevent them getting that shot, seeing them as “not championship material”.
    • Benoit was the first to finally get a shot at WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, but he narrowly came up short.
    • Eddie, meanwhile, was forced in to matches with the Big Show and impromptu contests.
    • Both men were entered in Regal’s Gold Rush, a one night Number One Contender tournament. They met in the Semi Final, and Eddie picked up the win after a ridiculous amount of cheating. He then faced Rhyno in the Final, and picked up the win despite overwhelming odds.
    • Eddie then faced Brock on the January 1st edition of Smackdown, and somehow won the title in a modern classic.
    • That same night, Benoit beat Rhyno and A-Train in a Triple Threat match, guaranteeing Benoit vs. Eddie at the Rumble.
    • During their contract signing, Brock’s manager Paul Heyman tried to seed doubt in Benoit’s mind, reminding him of how Eddie cheated in the Gold Rush, and warned him to expect the same at the Rumble.
    • Eddie has sworn he’ll play it straight, but Benoit has never truly trusted him, and it was made all the worse when Eddie accidentally hit him with the WWE Title last week on Smackdown.





    What do I need to know?

    • With Trish Stratus struggling in her rivalry with Molly Holly and Gail Kim, Lita made her return at Unforgiven after eighteen months out with a neck injury. She and Trish had become close friends during her time off, and together they managed to put Gail and Molly in their place.
    • Shortly after, Trish’s friend from her fitness modelling days, April, arrived in the WWE, and was given a place on the roster after a “meeting” with Eric Bischoff.
    • Lita and April immediately began butting heads, mostly due to April’s “win at all costs” mantra.
    • This was exacerbated at Survivor Series, where April accidentally cost Lita the title.
    • Lita would win the title one month later, though, beating Trish and Molly in a Triple Threat match.
    • April later won the first ever Ten Woman Women’s Royal Rumble match on Raw, entering (suspiciously) at number ten. While Jazz (who had been dominant on her return) and Trish (who had lasted since entering at number two) fought, April sneaked up behind them to eliminate them, doing no work for it, and in the process became the Number One Contender.
    • Despite having a friend in common, the next week April brutally assaulted Lita, finishing things off with a Powerbomb on to the ring apron.
    • April explained her actions as being respectful to the title, wanting to do whatever it takes to win it.
    • Lita came looking for revenge, but was taken out again, and there are question marks over whether she is emotionally or physically in peak condition given everything that has happened.





    What do I need to know?

    • In September last year, Tajiri won the Cruiserweight Title from Rey Mysterio with help from his new manager, Dawn Marie.
    • Dawn insisted that the WWE had neutered Tajiri's worst instincts, and she would bring them back out of him.
    • That led to the October 2nd edition of Smackdown, where during a Cruiserweight Title match Tajiri sprayed Jamie Noble's girlfriend Nidia with black mist, blinding her.
    • Jamie Noble looked for revenge at No Mercy, but was screwed before he could by the debuting Juventud, another of Dawn Marie's clients.
    • Noble, despondent at the loss, went home to be with his girlfriend.
    • For the next few months, Tajiri and Juventud made Ultimo Dragon and Akio's lives hell, only for Jamie to return at the start of this month, swearing vengeance.
    • To get a shot at the Cruiserweight Title, Dawn has made Jamie Noble put his career on the line.



    (Big shout out to my boy ranthellacious for the graphics as always. Things of beauty, those).



    Prediction Template

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer)
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer)
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point)
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point)
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer)

  7. #347
    Judging, mostly

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    So, let’s get the process of elimination underway. I’m striking out Triple H and Brock Lesnar immediately. It’s a little too early yet for Randy Orton, and way too early for Batista. I’m expecting Evolution to potentially dominate for a period if all four end up in there together before the arrival of Lesnar. Kane, RVD & Booker T don’t strike me as real contenders. Like Orton, it’s too early for Cena, and he’s likely getting screwed over by Regal here, Big Show might get a monster run, but he wont be winning. Rey Mysterio will likely shine, but he’s got other things in the pipeline, and Matt Hardy will probably get a fun run or fun spot somewhere … but he’s not winning.

    I’m left with two to choose from; redemption for Angle or Michaels gets to prove he’s still got it at WrestleMania. I’m going to plump for SHAWN MICHAELS, as the story is clearly there for him versus either Jericho or Goldberg one on one. He has so much history over the last year with Jericho, and you’ve subtly built to HBK vs Goldberg from almost show #1 in the thread when they sort of had each others backs against Evolution with their awkward interactions way back then, before the hard fought #1 Contender match last month; the closest Goldbergs been pushed. Michaels looking to prove he’s still got it against an undefeated Goldberg sounds like the basis for a solid Mania headliner to me.


    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    Whatever happens, there’s a screwy finish coming. You’ve kept that flame burning in the feud between Goldberg and Kane, so it wouldn’t shock me if Kane got involved for … some reason. I’ve given you my thoughts on what I see in Jericho’s future privately, so I’ll leave it at that … and I’ll predict a NEW World Heavyweight Champion in GOLDBERG. I’m probably way off on that, as it feels as if Jericho SHOULD carry on as champion having only just won the title a month ago … but here we are, and I’d hate to see Goldberg’s first real loss in the WWE be a screwy one.


    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    I could be making some horrible predictions here, because I’m going for another title change even though – again – the champ only just won the belt. CHRIS BENOIT wins the title because Eddie does exactly as he promised; he plays by the rules. But Benoit wont. He’ll take a shortcut somewhere along the way and screw Guerrero over. Whether it’s a subtle bit of cheating, or a flat out heel turn with Benoit smashing him with a chair/title, I’m standing firm on this poetic twist; Benoit lies, cheats and steals to screw the honest champion out of his title. This sets up the chase for WrestleMania, and gives us the title match I was predicting a while back – just not the way I expected it to go down.


    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    Wow, here I am again, predicting another new champion. APRIL is just too hot a character right now NOT to win the title imo. She might just be the best character in the thread and by association, the entire board. Hell of a feat for a woman that wasn’t even signed – and wouldn’t be – in real life at this time. Lita’s neck will clearly be an issue, and I’ll say Trish runs down to either protect Lita or try to talk sense to April to stop the assault, but accidentally cost Lita in some manner. Heading for a triple threat showdown at Mania.


    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble

    You caught me off guard on this one. Fully expected this to be a WrestleMania blow off – and it may still be. With Dawn Marie being such a force, and no sign of Nidia returning, it wouldn’t surprise me if Noble did lose and had to “retire” before finding a way for him to return for WrestleMania. Given I’ve predicted new champions all night long, I’ll play it safe with this one and go with the law of averages; TAJIRI retains the title and sends Noble packing (for now), and gives you an arc to culminate this feud at WrestleMania.


    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer) DONE {Badly}
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) SHAWN MICHAELS, KURT ANGLE, THE BIG SHOW, ROB VAN DAM
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) BROCK LESNAR
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) KURT ANGLE
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer) WILLIAM REGAL, THE SANDMAN, SABU, THE BIG BOSSMAN

  8. #348
    Maple Leaf Muscle
    Joey Bananas's Avatar

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!


    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg


    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)


    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)


    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble


    Questions
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer)
    Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Triple H


    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point)
    Batista

    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point)
    Shawn Michaels

    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer)
    Roddy Piper, Ron Simmons, The Rock, The Undertaker

  9. #349
    Charismatic Enigma
    Rasky's Avatar

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    After picking out some obvious non-winners then going through my head on reasons why someone wouldn't win, I am agreeing with predictions thus far as it makes the most sense.

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    I think there is more of a story to be told with Chris Jericho losing the World Heavyweight Championship here versus him being the champion going into Wrestlemania and Goldberg's undefeated streak ending tonight.

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    I'm really up in the air on this, I'm gonna say that Eddie retains.

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    You've really turned me around on how I feel about the April character. I look forward to her quite often in your work, and I think she needs to be your champion heading into Wrestlemania.

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble

    I'm gonna echo the thoughts of Wolf Beast in my pick on this one.

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer) - Done.
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) - Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, and The Undertaker
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) - Kane
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) - Brock Lesnar
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer) The Undertaker, William Regal, Kevin Nash, Drew Carey

    Cannot wait for the Royal Rumble, apologies for not keeping up with reviews on the shows.



  10. #350
    Curtain Jerker

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c)vs. Jamie Noble

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer)
    Done
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer)
    Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Rob Van Dam, Undertaker
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point)
    Kurt Angle
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point)
    Kurt Angle
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer)
    William Regal, The Undertaker, The Rock, Sabu

  11. #351
    Keep dreaming
    TWG's Avatar

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Prediction Template


    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match

    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    Going to go against the grain here (which may or may not pay off) and go for Kurt Angle here, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see HBK or Kane win either.

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer) Done.
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) Kurt Angle, Kane, RVD, Shawn Michaels
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) Kane
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) Shawn Michaels
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer) William Regal, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho and fuck it, let’s put a woman in there too... Molly Holly.




  12. #352
    Mid-Card Champion

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match

    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and
    four mystery competitors!



    World Heavyweight Championship- No Disqualification Match

    Chris Jericho (c) vs Goldberg (New World Heavyweight Champion)

    Goldberg's undefeated streak here in WWE is more or less on the line and Goldberg I just can't see his streak ending especially having it be ended by the likes of Jericho. I just can't see it even though Jericho just won the title over a month ago...Goldberg more or less needs the win more than Jericho does. A loss for Jericho doesn't really hurt him especially if Jericho somehow ends up getting the title back right before WrestleMania 20. However, with Goldberg his streak is much more important or at the very least is prestigious.


    WWE Championship

    Chris Benoit vs Eddie Guerrero (c)

    I am gonna say Eddie retains but more or less because Benoit thinks that Eddie is gonna go back on his word and try to lie, cheat and steal. Benoit of course tries to do it but it backfires and Eddie somehow still wins despite playing by the rules. Either way, I still see it causing a slow build towards Benoit going heel on Eddie.


    WWE Women's Championship

    April Hunter (New WWE Women's Champion) vs Lita (c)

    I think April wins the title here considering how hot April has been and how much of a roll she has been on since this heel turn of hers...I think it culminates in her becoming WWE Women's Champion.


    WWE Cruiserweight Championship- Title vs Career

    Tajiri (c) vs Jamie Noble

    I think Tajiri still walks out of the Rumble as WWE Cruiserweight Champion sending Noble packing and by doing this...it more or less further legitimizes Tajiri not only as a formidable WWE Cruiserweight Champion...it legitimizes his reign in the sense of him being one of the best champions in WWE at the present moment.


    Questions


    Pick the winners.
    (3 points per correct answer) DONE

    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) KURT ANGLE, SHAWN MICHAELS, THE UNDERTAKER (ORIGINAL DEADMAN PERSONA), BROCK LESNAR

    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) BROCK LESNAR BREAKING KANE'S RECORD OF ELIMINATIONS WITH 12 ELIMINATIONS
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) KURT ANGLE (1 HOUR, 2 MINUTES, 49 SECONDS)
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer) THE UNDERTAKER (ORIGINAL DEADMAN PERSONA WITH THE GONG AND THE LIGHTS GOING OUT AND THE INFAMOUS MUSIC PLAYING), EDGE (ALSO MAKING HIS RETURN), WILLIAM REGAL (ANNOUNCING HIMSELF AS AN ENTRANT) AND THE 4TH ENTRANT ENDS UP BEING RIC FLAIR (ALL 5 MEMBERS OF EVOLUTION IN THERE)

  13. #353
    R.I.P. Lionheart
    Chaddes's Avatar

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Prediction Template


    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match

    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    I'll fully admit that this is likely my bias as Shawn during this era has became one of my favourite wrestlers, but I feel like with Shawn you have two amazing ways you can go with this. You could go the HBK vs Jericho at Mania for the World Title, which would be a great match to headline the biggest WrestleMania ever, or you could go the route of Shawn going to SmackDown and challenging Eddie/Beniot for the WWE Title, maybe a heel turn to not steal the spotlight from the top faces in Eddie & Chris.

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg
    Absolutely no way you'll have Jericho drop the title one month into his reign.

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)
    Again, I am bias here for obvious reasons, but I hope you have Guerrero keep the belt for a while. Not just because of it being Beniot, but Eddie deserves a good long run as champ.

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)
    One of the major highlights of this thread imo. April's heel turn was tremendous & Lita winning here would just kill her heat, so I say April gets the win after Trish accidentally costs Lita the belt, we see Trish vs Lita in a #1 Contender's match, leading to April vs Stratus at Mania.

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble
    This one is haaaard, I'm a MASSIVE Tajiri fan, he was one of the best they had from 2001-2004 imo, but they never really capitalised because "FOREIGNER INNIT." However, I don't really see where he can go from here as he's basically beaten everyone. I say Noble gets the win and (hopefully) Tajiri will go on to move up the card and Juventud can challenge for the title.

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer)
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer)
    1 Shawn Michaels (Winner)
    2 Kurt Angle (Like HBK in 2010, JUST falls short at the last hurdle, getting Superkicked by Shawn to the outside)
    3 Kane (Kurt and Shawn work together to eliminate the monster)
    4 Brock Lesnar (Eliminates Triple H, who gets in after a while and nails Lesnar with a sledgehammer/Pedigree leading to his elimination)

    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point)
    ROB CONWAY BABY!!!
    I kid of course, I think Brock will go on a complete tear during this.

    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point)
    Kurt Angle will last longest, but I feel Christian will have a star-making performance here by lasting to the final 6 at least.

    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer):

    Edge
    Mick Foley
    Ric Flair
    William Regal

    R.I.P. Lionheart
    17/12/1982-19/06/2019

  14. #354
    Indy Talent
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    I always felt like HBK vs. Y2J was the feud you needed at Mania, so it just took a little detour to get there but HBK is going win this

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    Its no DQ. Jerichi is one of your hottest heels and damnit i want my jericho vs michaels .. the no dq gives Goldberg an out but Jericho has to win

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    This match is a wrestling fans wet dream here.. i kid i kid.. but i feel like Eddie just had the win of a lifetime and he just shouldnt lose... Eddie as a babyface with the lie, cheat, and steal is just to good.. so he keeps the belt and this feud continues until Mania

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    You have alot invested in April . I feel like she will win and this will be her crowning moment on way to her match with Trish at Mania

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble

    I know how much you enjoy WCW. So seeing that this is title vs. Career.. i want Jamie to lose, just so he can come back as Jamie-san and really fuck with Tajiri

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer)
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) HBK, Cena, Angle, HHH
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) KANE
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) ANGLE
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer) REGAL, UNDERTAKER, GODFATHER, FOLEY


  15. #355
    Backyarder
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Doing this on my phone so excuse any weird formatting.

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    Like Wolfy, I'm going to use a process of elimination here. As has been mentioned, Triple H and Lesnar look set to go at WrestleMania so let's scratch them both out, plus they're both former winners. Months ago, I thought you may attempt a Cena push but it seems he's not quite going up into the main event picture just yet. Can't see Kane winning it. Orton is busy for Mania and it still feels slightly too early for him anyway. I doubt it will be a mystery return. I do wonder if Jericho could lose the title and enter, but a) I don't know if it's overkill of the Jericho character and b) why would he enter if he's got a rematch clause? Anyone else who I haven't mentioned, outside of Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle, don't seem like they could win it. So that leaves Michaels and Angle.

    I originally guessed Angle because he's never won a Rumble and Michaels has already won two. I know that doesn't necessarily mean he can't win a third and tie Austin's record, but I thought that might play into your decision. However, considering I recently booked a Royal Rumble match myself and was not entirely thrilled with the winner, I wonder if you would have had the same thought process and will choose to go for a more obvious winner than one coming out of left field. I'll say Shawn takes it.


    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    Something smells fishy here. The No DQ ruling is there for a reason, but I can't see it being to put Jericho over cleanly. I know you're a fan of that after reading your entry into the tournament last year but I don't know, I'm not feeling it here. I think it's more likely someone screws one man or the other. Wolfy predicted a random appearance from Kane but what would be the point? I think it's more likely Jericho loses the strap because of someone which gives him more cause to bitch heading into Mania.

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    I've already made my thoughts clear about how I disagree with using Chris Benoit in any kind of thread so I'd be, quite frankly, disappointed if you were to make him WWE Champion. Ultimately it's your BTB so you can do what you like but I think, in my humble opinion, it would be somewhat distasteful. My personal feelings aside, Eddie just won the belt. I think the story here is to get Eddie over as a credible champion who can win without cheating, but also to go in a different route than real life.

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    I think the time is right for April to take the belt. I think Trish Stratus will have a role to play, perhaps by accidentally costing Lita the gold?

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble

    Again, I think it's time for a title switch. Plus we've already seen Noble leave and come back.


    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer) Done.

    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) Michaels, Angle, Kane and Christian.

    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) Kane.

    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) Well technically the winner but I'm guessing you mean the runner up? In which case, Kurt Angle.

    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer)
    Edge, DDP, Sabu and The Godfather.

  16. #356
    Curtain Jerker
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Hey man, new to the section but been a reader of this thread from the get go so thought it would be fitting that my first post would be some predictions of a huge show!

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match

    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    A stacked Rumble which I tried to break apart in order to find a winner, so here's a few guesses - Orton falls to mystery entrant Mick Foley; Brock eliminates Hardcore, but gets eliminated himself by Triple H, who then gets ousted by RVD. Final two - the two redemption arcs in Kurt and HBK who presumably tear the house down, but its Kurt Angle who goes on to NYC for me.

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    This is the hardest contest to predict for me. Goldberg's run comes to an end though, through interference from whoever takes him on at WrestleMania. The Undertaker possibly? Chris Jericho retains, regardless.

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    Unless you pull an absolute swerve on us, Eddie retains just a few weeks into his reign. Your writing is that unpredictable however, that it wouldn't surprise me if you pulled a Benoit heel turn or something along those lines.

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    Even though Lita has just reclaimed the Title after clamouring for it since the start of the thread, April​ defeats her friends friend, through the inadvertent help of said friend - Trish Stratus - who accidentally costs Lita her Championship.

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble

    Noble gains his and his girlfriends redemption and defeats Tajiri to become Cruiserweight Champ. Can't see him retiring as of yet.

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer) Done.
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) Angle, Michaels, Cena, (Completely outside the box, The Rock).
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) Brock Lesnar.
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) RVD.
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer) Mick Foley, The Rock, Jazz, Jeff Hardy (After his subtle mention on SmackDown).

    Looking forward to reading this one Keefmoon. Such a variety of paths that can come out of this for WrestleMania.
    Last edited by GJCLS; 07-11-2019 at 08:48 AM.

  17. #357
    Drink the Kool-Aid
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Batista, Big Show, Booker T, Bradshaw, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Christian, Doug Basham, Hardcore Holly, Hurricane, John Cena, Kane, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), Maven, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Rob Conway, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Stevie Richards, Triple H, and four mystery competitors!

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Goldberg

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April vs. Lita (c)

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Jamie Noble


    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer) Done.

    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) Michaels, Angle, Kane and Lesnar.

    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) Brock

    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) Orton

    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer)
    Edge, Kevin Nash, Jeff Hardy, Bull Buchanan








  18. #358
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    ranthellacious's Avatar

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Almost forgot until I saw you going crazy with reviews and figured you were about to post this hahaha looking forward to this big man.








    Prediction Template

    Thirty Man Royal Rumble Match
    Kurt Angle

    No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Title

    Chris Jericho (c)

    WWE Title Match
    Chris Benoit

    WWE Women’s Title Match
    April

    Title versus Career: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
    Jamie Noble

    Questions
    Pick the winners. (3 points per correct answer) Done.
    Who will be in the Final Four of the Rumble? (1 point per correct answer) Angle. Brock. Michaels. Trip.
    Who will pick up the most eliminations in the Rumble? (1 point) Brock.
    Who will last longest in the Rumble? (1 point) Michaels.
    There are four unscheduled participants in the Rumble. Name them. (1 point per correct answer) Foley. Edge. Regal. Flair. Undertaker if you count the exact thing that they did in real life with the gong going off and causing his attacker to get eliminated.

    Bring it on baby!!


  19. #359
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    Sykotic's Avatar

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Winners : Angle. Jericho. Guerrero. April. Noble.

    Last 4: Angle. HBK. Lesnar. Cena.

    Most Elim: Brock Lesnar

    Longest: Cena

    Surprise 4: Edge, Jeff Hardy, Mick Foley, Scott Steiner

  20. #360
    WWF- 1991 And Beyond
    BattleTank's Avatar

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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    So the build to this has been incredible. I know I must state this every time I drop a post in this thread, but this is my absolute favorite time period in WWE. At this exact point in real life, I got WMXX tickets and a computer for Christmas, so I couldn’t be any more engaged reading the dirt sheets online for the first time haha. All of the builds to the matches have been tremendous, and there are a million different ways you can take things.

    I am am typing this on my iPad, so the template goes out the window and now I write everything out the old fashioned way without colors and cool fonts

    Royal Rumble Match- Winner- Shawn Michaels

    Going with the popular choice here, it makes too much sense for HBK to walk out winning. I expect a lot of the WMXX card to be constructed through this Rumble Match. We have the possible return of The Undertaker. Kurt Angles redemption arc, the potential Brock and HHH showdown, not to mention Randy Orton with a possible historic showing. All in all, this should be a whole hell of a lot of fun to read.

    World Championship
    Winner- Chris Jericho

    It’s too soon to take the belt off of Jericho after building him up beautifully throughout the past few months. I expect this one to be an all out brawl, with spears through tables and hopefully the edgier side of Jericho shining. Jericho wins, sets up another epic showdown with HBK at WMXX.

    WWE Championship
    Winner- Eddie Guerrero

    Much like Jericho, it is way too soon to take the belt off of Eddie here, after you’ve dedicated over a month of SD to him winning the belt. I am very curious to see if anyone interferes in this. Either way, this is another match that should be off the charts.

    Womens Title Match
    Winner-April Hunter

    I think you shock us in at least one title match, and why not this one? You can have some fun with this, maybe even giving Lita the win and title back the following night.

    CW Championship
    Winner- Jamie Noble

    I don’t see you writing off Noble, as he has been one of your more underrated written characters on SD. From here, I hope you do something similar to real life at WM, in some sort of scramble/open challenge match.

    Final Four- HBK, Angle, Orton and Big Show

    Most Eliminations- HBK

    I think Orton lasts the longest. It would be awesome to see him come in at 1 or 2 and make it far.

    4 Undisclosed Participants- this is tough, as you could use 1-3 of these spots on legends. I’ll go with- Undertaker, Ultimo Dragon, Mick Foley and 1 legend Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

    Really pumped for this. Excited to see what the final card of WM will start to look like. The sky is the limit for you my friend, good luck writing!

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