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Thread: The Gorilla Position

  1. #41
    Little bitta the bubbly!

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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Ideally, it would’ve been nicer to get a few weeks of build up packages for Finlay before his debut, but as it is, this is still a good introduction for him, earning his spot in the Rumble. He’s going to be a great addition to the roster if you use him well (looks like you will based off this first night) as a guy that can flit between the mid card and occasional TV main event without looking out of place. I expect a good showing for him in the Rumble match for sure.

    Not sure I would’ve enjoyed seeing this match go five minutes before the first elimination though. That seems a tad excessive for a battle royal, even a smaller one like this. Minor quibble aside, the angles you booked through this match – continuing the Hooligans/MNM issues. Given how London and Kendrick were illegally eliminated, I could see that as a reason for them being included in the Rumble match as a make good.

    Finishing sequence was one I enjoyed too, with Finlay showing his ‘bruiser’ tendencies with the brawling nature and the low blow and the use of the Shillelagh was good too – gets that over as a weapon right off the bat. Later interview suggests Finlay/Eugene might be a bit of a feud as opposed to just a one off interaction in the Battle Royal. Interesting pairing, and on paper, doesn’t feel like a great use of Finlay for his introductory program … but my gut says there’s going to be much more to this with the way Finlay blew off that last question. Certainly intrigued to see where it goes from here.

    Hahaha. This was my favourite part of the night. It looks like Simon Dean (and Matt Striker on Raw) are going to be the highlights of these shows in a comedy aspect, at least. The descriptions alone of Nunzio licking his lips as he smelt the plate, and Dean twirling the spaghetti on the fork were exceptional, and that line from Simon that he’d “beat the carbohydrates” out of the FBI was awesome. Looks like the win for the FBI sets up Nunzio as the next challenger for the Cruiserweight title.

    The Henry/Lashley feud is definitely picking up momentum after this big angle with the announce table. Poor Michael Cole and Tazz having to call the next three quarters of the show without a table!!! Obviously, Lashley doesn’t lose a whole lot by dropping this match considering how it happened (and the fact he showed the guts to beat the initial count and get back in the ring), though I’d hope he doesn’t suffer too many losses, even if it is via interference.

    Meant to say this before, but personally, I hate that you always refer to Smackdown as SMACKDOWN! I can see past it for when writing previews and whatnot, but it’s a minor irritant when you’re writing SMACKDOWN! as part of dialogue, like this promo between Orton and Batista. Just makes me read it like it’s being SHOUTED as any word in caps would suggest. The interaction between Orton and Batista was solid enough, and I like the idea being floated out there that Orton is making a target for himself at the Rumble by running down the entire field. Feels set up for him to get his late draw but ganged up on by everyone else and tossed out.

    I can appreciate that writing Booker T can be a difficult task, given his talking style, and I’d probably advise taking a look at the way Keef writes his Booker promos to try and take a few pieces from there to make him read more authentic during promos. I didn’t feel much of what he said felt like things Booker T would say. Things like “What are you on about?” should probably be more stylized to fit Bookers unique diction. Booker and Kennedy shaking on a deal tonight puts the pieces in place for the main event anyway. And like you say; surely that can’t go wrong.

    Felt like typical Randy Orton of this time period, talking about the title being his ‘birthright’ and it being in his ‘DNA’ etc. While that was good, I thought Theodore Longs rebuttal to Ortons complaints was great. Him alluding to the packed arena and the Board of Directors being happy with his performance was nice and simple but most importantly; effective. He came across as a really strong leader throughout this promo, and his response to Orton having the papers to move to Raw was perfect; completely ripping Ortons plan to shreds. Strong segment imo.

    Hardy promo was okay. Felt a bit fillerish, but it put another spotlight on the main event and the U.S Title, and that’s always a good thing. Of course he’ll never die!!

    Much like the Hardy promo, the Batista squash was a bit fillerish too, and just really served as a set up for what came after it, with another pretty well worded Taker promo. I’d liked the idea of Batista and Taker not touching, and letting the anticipation build up toward that likely epic at the Rumble, so I’d say the attack from Taker wasn’t really needed at this time. Taker putting Batista down with the Chokeslam here is fine, and gave you that visual of the challenger standing over Batista here. I assume we’re getting the opposite next week before the Rumble.

    JBL looks like he’s being primed for a big showing in the Rumble too. Given his promo was pretty focused on rookies needing to prove themselves spoke to me like a set up for him probably ending up in a feud with someone that’s about to debut or who has recently debuted? I can think of one guy that’s ready for a call up around this time that’d be perfect for that…

    Matt being on commentary is a nice touch for the main event. You paid off the alliance of Booker and Kennedy by them working together before inevitably turning on one another. Finish was nice too, giving us the 619 before having Kennedy take Rey out. Kennedy going over makes the most sense, and him versus Matt could be a solid feud for the U.S Title going forward. Nice spotlight for these three too in getting the main event on the show. Makes it feel that much more important, as did the promos earlier in the show, and the staredown at the end makes it look like we’ll be seeing plenty of Kennedy versus Hardy going forward. Doesn’t feel like a set up for a “challenger of the month” type deal, at least. Good job mate.

  2. #42
    White Iverson
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    Re: The Gorilla Position



    GOING OUT IN STYLE(S)

    PREVIEW

    It’s the final week before the most unpredictable event of the year! WWE Monday Night Raw will air live from Charlotte, North Carolina six days before the Royal Rumble event which will kick-off the Road to WrestleMania 22. WWE Champion Shawn Michaels and his challenger Ric Flair will both be in attendance. After a slight physical altercation between the two men last week tension is ready to boil over between these two men. One of the most intriguing things coming into Raw is a promise from Shawn Michaels. The WWE Champion has hinted at a major announcement which send shockwaves throughout the entire WWE. What could it be? Ric Flair will no doubt have home field advantage tonight and we can confirm that Raw will close with the highly anticipated Michaels/Flair confrontation.

    For a year John Cena has been at the forefront of the WWE carrying the torch which was passed down from Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin to himself. Fans around the world have grown to love and support the former WWE Champion as he battled against the odds repeatedly. Last week, it appeared that John Cena had overcome the odds once again to earn his way into the Royal Rumble Match. That was until the Heartbreak Foundation got themselves disqualified and thereby screwed Cena out of his rightful place in the battle royal. On the outside looking in John Cena is a man without a path to the Royal Rumble let alone WrestleMania 22. Cena will be on Raw – can he find a way into the Rumble in the final hours?

    The women’s division has taken a major turn in recent weeks by delivering one of the most compelling stories in all of the WWE. Trish Stratus, the reigning WWE Women’s Champion, was last destroyed last week at the hands of Victoria, Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle. It was notable because of the absence of Mickie James who had been told by Stratus to not come down to the ring at all during Ashley Massaro’s title opportunity. Of course, anybody with half a brain could figure out that wouldn’t include the post-match portion and especially if Stratus was under attack. Nevertheless, no help came and Victoria sent a strong message that she is coming for the title belt at the Royal Rumble. After that brutal scene last week we will see the two women sign on the doted line in a contract signing on Raw. Will the ring be able to contain the fiery tempers of these two women?

    Gregory Helms has proclaimed himself to be the ‘Eye of the Storm’ because the entire WWE revolves around him. Having tossed his former persona of The Hurricane to the side Helms wants to be seen as the greatest champion in all of WWE. Pointing to a distinct lack of callouts for himself, Helms has issued an open challenge to any former WWE Intercontinental Champion to face him this week on Raw. Many former champions have been in contact with WWE about taking up the challenge so it appears that Helms will have no shortage of options should be continue to do this again in the future. Who will step up to challenge the man who calls him the ‘Raw Champion’ this week?

    And finally, Triple H’s crusade against hardcore wrestling and those he deems unworthy to be in World Wrestling Entertainment kicks into gear this week when he begins to name names! During a backstage interview with Todd Grisham it was clear that Triple H has someone in mind who he wishes to remove from the WWE immediately. Who could the Game be talking about? We’ll find out this week on Raw!

    Confirmed Matches:


    Open Challenge:
    Gregory Helms vs. A Former Intercontinental Champion

    Royal Rumble Qualifier:

    Matt Striker vs. Val Venis (w/Viscera)

    Edge (w/Lita) vs. Kane

    Triple H begins his crusade to cleanse the WWE of the filth that poisons his squared circle

    Trish Stratus and Victoria sign the contract for the title match on Sunday

    Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair will close the show with a major announcement

    John Cena is confirmed for RAW




    FYI: Both go-home shows are 100% finished and I am starting work on the 2006 Royal Rumble pay-per-view! Super excited to start working on the PPV as we move towards my goal of booking an entire Road to WrestleMania in full and concluding with the big event itself. Thanks to everyone who has dropped comments and taken the time to read the thread so far. It took a little bit as I had that couple of months break right when I started the thread but now we're in top gear with these shows. Thanks again as I move towards the first milestone of this thread!


    Sometimes I write stuff on the internet and people like it (sometimes).

  3. #43
    White Iverson
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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Heat Internet Tapings:
    1. Tajiri defeated Rosey & Rob Conway in a Triple Threat Royal Rumble Qualifier
    2. Chavo Guerrero defeated Rob Conway in a Royal Rumble Qualifier
    3. Big Show defeated Romeo (w/Antonio)
    Monday Night RAW | January 23rd 2006 | Charlotte, North Carolina




    ...


    "GOING OUT IN STYLE(S)"


    *VIDEO PACKAGE*

    *PYRO*

    Joey Styles: Ladies and gentlemen, we are six days away from the WWE Royal Rumble!! Thirty men compete for one shot to headline the main event of WrestleMania 22. This is the final pitstop for Monday Night RAW before what promises to be a memorable night this coming Sunday. I’m Joey Styles and I’m joined by Jonathan Coachman and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler. Gentlemen, can you feel the excitement in the arena??

    Jonathan Coachman:
    This building this rocking tonight, Joey. Not just for the Rumble in six days but everyone here tonight in Charlotte are on the edge of their seats because WWE Champion Shawn Michaels has promised a major confrontation with his challenger for Sunday.

    Jerry Lawler:
    Put some respect on that name, Coach! The challenger is the sixteen time World Champion – Ric Flair. We’ll see Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels face to face later this evening and I cannot wait for it. Michaels sold his soul for the title at New Year’s Revolution and he has been nothing but disrespectful to the Nature Boy ever since. I, just as everyone else in this arena, am hoping we see Ric turn back the clock at the Rumble.

    Joey Styles:
    That’ll go down later this evening. Also on the card tonight is a follow-up from last week. Shelton Benjamin will represent the World’s Greatest Tag Team to take on Gene Snitsky. That’s going to be a must win for Benjamin after his partner suffered a defeat last week. Snitsky and Tomko, managed by Daivari, are coming for those World Tag Team Titles and have shown no remorse in battering Haas and Benjamin week after week.

    Jonathan Coachman:
    And how about the contract signing between WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus and her opponent Victoria for the Royal Rumble! You get those two women in the ring together after the vicious assault by Victoria last week and it’s sure to be fireworks.

    **THE GAME**

    You can be sure we are on the Road to WrestleMania when TRIPLE H is kicking off Monday Night Raw. Making his way down to the ring wearing a pair of jeans, a leather jacket and a pair of sunglasses, Triple H shuns all interaction with the fans around ringside.

    Jonathan Coachman:
    Stand up and give a round of applause for MY PICK to win the Royal Rumble. I’m calling it right now, folks. Triple H, the most dangerous competitor in the WWE, is going to win Rumble for the second time in four years. Who can throw this man over the top rope?

    Joey Styles:
    You could be right, Coach. However, we all saw Triple H tap out last week on Raw. He was forced to submit to Ric Flair and ever since then he has been on the edge of a breaking point. He got physical with Todd Grisham backstage last week when the poor guy was just trying to do his job and ask a few questions. The Game can’t handling losing and I don’t know how we’d all survive if he fails to win the Rumble.

    The Game stands in the middle of the ring having removed his sunglasses. He takes a look around the arena, milking the anticipation, holding them in the palm of his hand.

    Triple H:
    I’ve been called many things in my career. From day one to now I’ve had a thousand nicknames, monikers and titles thrown my way. Whether it was from the people in the stands, from someone behind a commentary desk or from someone in the back.


    Hunter takes a moment to pause.

    Triple H: Yet none of it matters to me. I couldn’t care less whether you people like me or hate me. I don’t give a damn if you want to curse me under your breath or if one of those three idiots at ringside doing commentary wants to question my morals. I’m not here to be your role model. I’m here to win!!

    Boos.

    Triple H: I am a professional wrestler and that is all that matters.

    He runs his hand through his hair.

    Triple H: The standard that should be held for every athlete that steps inside this ring is measured against what I do. I am the measuring stick of this company and I am sick of seeing people fall short of it.

    Hunter glares at the fans in the arena – the camera picking up several ‘Ric Flair’ signs.

    Triple H: Charlotte, North Carolina… you people should know better than anywhere else. It’s no secret that I grew up idolising Ric Flair and what he could do inside this ring. He was the reason I wanted to be the very best. I remember the standard he set for all those who followed him.

    Chants for Flair echo around the arena.

    Triple H: But when the time came and Ric could no longer meet that standard I put him down. I made the decision to beat the hell out of that old man. I did it for his own good and looking at this place now… I can see that there is an infection building up just like it was for Ric.

    More heat from the crowd.

    Triple H: Week after week I see people who don’t deserve to be in this ring come out here and compete. My ring is being disgraced by subpar athletes who don’t get to call themselves wrestlers. That is a title I hold dear to my heart and I will not have it prostituted by those men who call themselves “hardcore” shall we say.

    The Game shakes his head in disgust.

    Triple H: To say the hardcore is anything close to craft I ply in this ring is a sign of disrespect to me. Tables, ladders, kendo sticks, chairs… fire?? Is that what you people want?

    Big roar from the crowd. Triple H is aghast – his face screwing up as if he has tasted something vile on his tongue.

    Triple H: That’s the problem. This city was once home to the greatest wrestler in the world in his prime and you saw excellence. Regardless of what I think of Ric now I will never disrespect the legacy which he built right here in Charlotte. I uphold that legacy by denouncing a poison that would degrade the art of wrestling… and you people embrace it. You people will cheer the punks who jump off a ladder and in doing so you piss on the memory of the hour long draws that have taken place in this city between Ric Flair and Ricky the Dragon Steamboat.

    Hunter looks to the hard camera and shouts.

    Triple H: The world has gone mad!! Hardcore has been given validation. It’s alright, just try it once. A little here… a little there… and now you’ve got kids jumping off the roofs of their houses posting it on the internet thinking that’s going to get them to the WWE.

    Triple H glances over the announce desk as he paces around the ring.

    Triple H: When I was at home watching wrestling I saw a prime Ric Flair. I saw Harley Race, a true champion of his age. I saw class, I saw legends who brought respect to this squared circle and I took that to a whole other level. I outdid them both. I surpassed them both in upholding the tradition of this business. I have carried wrestling on my shoulders for years now. I will not have it tainted anymore!! I will not have my legacy ruined by a bunch of talentless hacks who want to risk breaking their necks so they can have you blood thirsty parasites scream…

    All of a sudden The Game stops.

    Triple H: Oh. My. God. That’s what you scream, Joey??

    There is a sudden shift in the atmosphere in the building as the camera turns to Joey Styles. He looks confused, waving a hand to tell the camera to get off him but it lingers while Hunter takes a few steps towards the ropes.

    Triple H: You sit there every week and you promote this garbage. For years you’ve shouted at the top of your lungs “oh my god” as kids risk their lives by doing the dumbest crap I’ve ever seen. Jumping off a ladder isn’t wrestling! Hitting someone with a chair in the head isn’t wrestling. Tables and fire damn sure is freaking wrestling!! I AM WRESTLING!!

    I don’t know why he is focusing on me.” ~ Styles chimes in, a hint of nervousness in his voice.

    Triple H: You are just as a responsible for the everything that I hate about this generation, Joey. You and your little ECW have filled the minds of the masses with the idea that being hardcore is something to be proud of now. No, it’s not and I promise that I will remove every last remnant of hardcore from the WWE.

    Hunter exits the ring and approaches the announce desk. In his hand The Game still holds the microphone as he stands on the opposite side of the desk from Styles, Lawler and Coachman.

    Triple H: ECW is dead. Hardcore should have died along with it five years ago but the small remnants that remain in the WWE keep the memory alive. It keeps the lie alive that hardcore has a play in this business. Joey, just like ECW, just like hardcore, and just like all the rest of those misfit friends of yours who called that bingo hall home, you have no place in this business.

    Violently and without warning Triple H tosses the microphone to the side, reaches over the desk, and pulls Joey Styles over the top. The crowd lets out a scream as The Game hammers away with a flurry of punches into the face – breaking Joey’s glasses.

    The announcer falls completely over the side of the desk as Hunter rips off the suit jacket Joey was wearing. It’s a vicious assault that follows as Triple H throws Styles head first into the ring post.

    Triple H mounts Joey on the outside of the ring and drives more punches into the forehead – BUSTING JOEY STYLES OPEN!!

    We have blood now as The Game drags Styles over to the apron of the ring and slams him head first into the edge. The crowd cannot believe what they are seeing – and then Hunter whips Styles into the steel steps which dislodges them!

    Lawler attempts to intervene but he gets shoved by Triple H and told to stay the hell back. Coachman has no intention of stepping in and provides commentary as Hunter tosses Joey into the ring. The fans watch on; Triple H stalks the announcer on the canvas before him.

    Joey Styles is covered in blood, his suit ripped to bits, Triple H picking him off the canvas and grabbing him by the throat. The Game pulls Joey closer to his face – he can smell the blood at this point – looking down at the announcer.

    WHO’S HARDCORE NOW?? PEOPLE LIKE YOU DON’T BELONG HERE. THEY NEVER DID.”

    A kick to the stomach follows and Triple H NAILS THE PEDIGREE ON JOEY STYLES. The Game has taken out the Voice of ECW for his role in the survival and popularisation of hardcore wrestling to the mass audience. It’s one of the most shocking starts to a Monday Night RAW ever. Triple H vowed to remove ever staple of hardcore wrestling from the WWE and he has started with Joey Styles.

    The Game exits the ring – it’s now covered on blood from the beating Joey Styles has sustained. A smug look upon Triple H’s face as he walks up the ramp… but then he stops. He slowly turns around and heads back to the ring where a ringside doctor is trying to treat Joey Styles. The Game flips the ring apron up, digs under the ring and pulls out a SLEDGEHAMMER!

    The doctor scatters from the ring as Triple H waves the weapon in the air and walks towards Joey. Nobody in the arena wants to see this – Joey cannot even stand on his own strength right now. There is no need for this… but perhaps that’s the point. This is mindless violence and that is what Hunter thinks of hardcore wrestling. As Hunter stands over the top of Joey Styles, sledgehammer in hand and aimed at the back of his head…

    **ONE OF A KIND**

    ROB VAN DAM rushes out to the ring to defend his friend. The ECW original sprints down to the ring and unsurprisingly Hunter evades a confrontation by ducking to the outside. RVD has his fists in the air, standing over Joey, shaking with anger at the scene inside the ring.

    He checks on his friend, blood coating his hands, as Triple H saunters up the ring with the sledgehammer leaning against his shoulder. Van Dam calls for the doctor to get back into the ring – medical attention clearly needed for Joey Styles immediately.

    Jerry Lawler: I mean… I don’t know what to say. Triple H pulled Joey over the announce desk and beat him so bad we’ve got a team of doctor’s in the ring working on him. There has to be some repercussions for this! I tried to get involved but Hunter was ready to tear me a part for even thinking about stepping in.

    Jonathan Coachman: You did the right thing, King. Stay out it. Joey Styles made his bed when he spouted off all that pro-hardcore nonsense. He loves to talk about his time in ECW. Nobody forced him to do that. Triple H was right. Hardcore wrestling sucks and it’s a stain on the WWE. Joey Styles kept the memory of ECW alive instead of letting it die like it should’ve.

    From the inside of the ring, Van Dam locks eyes with Triple H. It’s a stark contrast between the two men. Triple H has an almost giddy smile on his face as he considers his handy work while RVD is glaring with rage after what just happened.

    _____________________


    ...

    Commercial Break




    _____________________


    When RAW returns from the break, even though we have two competitors in the ring, the focus is on the announce desk where Lawler and Coachman are noticeably shaken and without Joey Styles.


    Jonathan Coachman: We’re back ladies and gentlemen after what was a shocking turn of events before the commercial break. As you can see we are down a man at the moment after the assault by Triple H to our broadcast partner Joey Styles. We will monitor the situation throughout the night and you can be assured that Joey has been taken to a local medical facility to receive the best treatment possible. For the remainder of the evening it will be myself and Jerry commentating… we do have a great lineup of matches--

    Jerry Lawler: Just hold on a minute, Coach! Joey isn’t just a broadcast partner he is a close friend and what we saw out here was crap!! An active performer has no business putting their hands on a broadcaster. Triple H should be ashamed of what he did and if I was ten years younger I’d jump into that ring right now and call him back out here.

    Jonathan Coachman: King, I understand the frustration you’re feeling but Joey has poked the bear multiple times. He has said things against the likes of Triple H in recent months and he finally paid for it. It shouldn’t have happened but to say Joey didn’t contribution to the assault is a very close minded.

    Jerry Lawler: I can’t believe you, Coach. What are we supposed to do now? Just sit out here and act like Joey wasn’t beaten so badly he had blood on his face? Look in the damn ring! That red stain in the corner of the ring is from Joey Styles!! That man begged… he pleaded with that son of a bitch to stop… god damn it! He didn’t deserve that and mark my words – Triple H is going to get what he deserves someday.

    Jonathan Coachman: I would like to point out that Jerry Lawler’s views are entirely his own and not shared by those who sit at this announce desk with him.








    Match 1:
    Rob Van Dam vs. Rob Conway
    The usual cool, calm and collected style of RVD is thrown out the window during this match after the incident with Joey Styles. Van Dam comes out of the gates with furious strikes using his educated feet to batter Conway around the ring. It’s a side of Rob Van Dam that has not been seen in the WWE for a very long time – if ever in all honesty. Multiple times throughout the contest the referee has to step between the two men and physically pull Rob Van Dam away from Conway so a clean break can take place. A warning is given to RVD when the action spills to the outside and the former ECW star revisits his hardcore beginnings. Using the steel steps, Van Dam springboards himself towards Conway and hits a flying dropkick on the outside. Channelling his anger, RVD uses the guardrail, ring apron and the cover of the apron to his advantage – performing innovative attacks to inflict punishment of poor Rob Conway. It’s a one sided beating from the opening bell. The finish sees Rob Van Dam hit a Split-Legged Moonsault followed by a Five Star Frog Splash for the pinfall.
    Winner: Rob Van Dam @ 05:06

    It might be a victory for Rob Van Dam but he does not look to be in the mood for celebrations. It’s a sombre scene in the ring as RVD stands up – refusing to have his hand raised – and immediately exits the ring.

    The crowd cheers his performance as replays are shown on the big screen though none of it matters right now for Mr. Monday Night. He heads up the ramp with only one thing on his mind and that’s to find out the condition and wellbeing of his friend.


    Jonathan Coachman: There is a weird feeling in the arena as the match finishes, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll get through it as we always do but you can see the anger on the face of the usually cool, calm and collected Rob Van Dam.

    Jerry Lawler: Wouldn’t you be too, Coach?? Rob just saw one of his closest friends in the world completely destroyed. The man must be boiling inside and I hope that he goes and finds Triple H.

    Jonathan Coachman: That would be a mistake, King. If RVD is smart he’ll stay well out of the way of Triple H. He needs to know his place. Stay out of the way and hope that The Game doesn’t decide to rid the WWE of him.

    Jerry Lawler: We see this very differently, Coach. I just can’t believe what we saw. I should’ve done something more.

    _____________________

    The show transitions to a pre-taped interview segment that was conducted earlier this evening. Sitting in a room backstage, two chairs next to each other, CHRIS MASTERS and CARLITO are chatting amongst themselves until TODD GRISHAM takes a seat across from them.

    Todd Grisham: Gentlemen, I want to thank for you taking the time to sit down with not only myself but with the millions of WWE fans watching at home. All of whom I’m sure want to get some answers regarding your recent alliance with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE Champion Shawn Michaels.

    Masters and Carlito continue to talk between themselves. The duo acts as if they haven’t even seen Grisham or heard a word he has said.

    Todd Grisham: Uh, gentlemen?? If we could begin the interview.

    Completely overreacting, Masters feigns shock at Grisham’s appearance as does Carlito.

    Carlito: How long you been here, man? You don’t knock before walking into the room?

    Chris Masters: It’s fine. You want to get the scoop, Todd? Ask the big questions that has the fans all over the world on the edge of their seats? Go ahead, ask away, because we have nothing to hide. A lot has been said about the two of us in the past few weeks in the media and tonight we want to set the record straight.

    Carlito: I still don’t like you sneaking around on Carlito. Walking in here without announcing yourself and scaring Carlito like that. Not cool!

    Grisham takes a moment to gather his thoughts after the early interaction with the duo.

    Todd Grisham: Everyone knows the story by now; Shawn Michaels aligned with Mr. McMahon at New Year’s Revolution and stole the WWE Championship from John Cena…

    Chris Masters: Lets just calm things down a little there, Todd. You can’t steal your own property. Mr. McMahon did create the entire WWE. That includes the WWE Championship.

    Carlito: Which means he can’t steal it! It’s already his... what Mr. McMahon did was he took back the WWE Championship from John Cena. It was Cena who stole it in the first place. He’s a thug! A thief!

    Chris Masters: And by no means fit to represent the WWE as champion.

    It’s a minefield for Grisham as he attempts to ask the question again.

    Todd Grisham: Regardless, we all know that part of the story. What we haven’t heard much about is the decision from the two of you to join the Chairman and WWE Champion. Two young studs siding with the boss and the reigning champion to form what Michaels christened the Heartbreak Foundation last week.

    Carlito: Great name by the way.

    Todd Grisham: The big questions has to be… why??

    Masters shrugs his shoulders in response.

    Chris Masters: Because we can. You’re looking at two of the youngster and brightest stars in the entire WWE. Youth has and always will have the advantage in sports. Mr McMahon went out and found the two best young athletes on the roster and he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.

    Carlito: It’s a simple fact, Todd. You don’t cross the boss. When someone like Mr. McMahon comes knocking on your door and asks for your help, when he offers you a spot at the very top, you answer the call. I’ve been here for two years, I won titles both my Raw and Smackdown debuts. Nobody else has ever done that. Just think about what I’ll be able to do for my career now that Mr. McMahon and Shawn Michaels are backing me.

    Chris Masters: We have a chance to further our own careers. We can set our legacies in stone and have a place in this company forever. In a vision from Mr. McMahon himself. Mr. McMahon can shape this company however he wants and do you really think we’re going to oppose that when we could be apart of the vision?

    Todd takes a second before asking a follow up question.

    Todd Grisham: And what sort of vision would that be for the WWE? In the past few weeks we’ve seen you guys target John Cena and systematically cost him a chance at advancing to the Royal Rumble. You two speak of elevating yourselves, that I think most people can understand, but it appears that you two have no issue doing it at the expense of other people.

    Carlito laughs as if to say “well duh” in response.

    Chris Masters: Why should we care about other people?? Did they care about us before we got here? All I care about is getting to the very top and anybody who doesn’t have that attitude shouldn’t be here.

    Carlito: At the end of the day we will do whatever our boss tells us. If Mr. McMahon needs us to go out there and break someone’s leg than we’ll do. Shawn Michaels is the WWE Champion not because the fans believe he deserves… he’s WWE Champion because Mr. McMahon wanted it. And we’ll keep it that way. You have a job because Mr. McMahon wanted it. We will do whatever it takes to make sure we fulfil our role in the Heartbreak Foundation whether you or the fans like it or not. It doesn’t matter because you don’t sign my paycheck.

    In unison Carlito and Masters stand up, brush past Todd as they walk towards the door, and exit the room. The segment comes to an end and we fade to a commercial break.

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    ...

    Commercial Break




    _____________________


    Returning from the break, we find TRIPLE H being escorted out of the arena by a large group of security. Triple H offers little resistance, a huge grin on his face, as he is ushered towards an exit.

    Triple H: I don’t know why you guys are all in a fuss. All I did was take out the trash.

    They continue to move towards the exit until something catches Hunter’s eye off to the side. He stops, the security order him to keep moving but The Game raises a fist ready to fight.

    Triple H: I’m going but first I want to talk to him.

    The camera spins around to reveal Mr. McMahon standing just a few feet away with his arms crossed. The Chairman approaches, throwing his arms up in the air, looking stern.

    Mr. McMahon: You sure made a ruckus out there. You battered and bloodied a WWE ring announcer to the point where he may never be able to work again.

    Hearing it said aloud by another brings a great deal of joy to Triple H. He wanted to rid the WWE of what he sees as a poison and the first step has been taken tonight.

    Triple H: He was never part of the WWE. Not really. Joey Styles didn’t belong in this company. He should’ve stayed in the bingo halls like the rest of them did.

    Mr. McMahon: Is that so??

    The Game nods his head; McMahon relaxes his arms by dropping them to his side.

    Triple H: You invite one of the rats in and the rest follow. Tonight, I exterminated the first rat hiding in this company.

    Mr. McMahon: So I should be thanking you? What the hell am I supposed to do with the Raw commentary team now?? Coachman and Lawler can’t do the show each week. We need somebody to fill that spot. Who’s going to do that?

    Triple H: You know who to call, Vince.

    With Joey Styles out of the game it appears that Mr. McMahon will need to find himself another lead announcer for RAW!

    Mr. McMahon: You’re really proud of yourself.

    Triple H: I know what I did was right. These people have overstayed there welcome and I’m going to remove them one by one. And what I did tonight was just the beginning because I’ll do it again this Sunday at the Royal Rumble. That goes for not just those who are cut from the same cloth as Joey Styles but for anybody who wants to try and stop me from getting back to the World Championship!!

    Mr. McMahon: I look forward to seeing your performance, Hunter. Keep doing what you’re doing but be careful. Know that the only person who truly decides who is worthy of being here is me. Remember that.

    Hunter and Vince stare at each other for a moment. The Game takes a step forward, heading for the exit, and pats Vince on the shoulder. It’s a sharp warning from the boss to Triple H to not overstep his bounds. Perhaps the Chairman sees a potential problem growing with Triple H declaring himself judge, jury and executioner of the WWE? Especially considering The Game’s storied history with the reigning WWE Champion.

    _____________________


    **IT’S TIME**

    Fans flood the arena with boos for GREGORY HELMS – the reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion – as he makes long strides down to the ring for a highly anticipated contest.

    Jonathan Coachman: This man is the future of the Monday Night Raw!! If you were to hold a draft he’d be the number one pick for sure because of his age, his athletic ability and his skills inside the ring. We’ve seen ever since he defeated Ric Flair that Gregory Helms will take on any challenger and can defeat them all no matter the odds.

    Jerry Lawler: You fail to mention that those odds are always stacked in his favour because of the champion’s advantage. He’s unable to lose the title by count-out or disqualification so Helms has no fear in bending the rules. Just look back at how he retained the gold against Rob Van Dam at New Year’s Revolution. Helms will sink lower than any other champion to keep his title.

    Now standing in the ring, Helms tosses his jacket to the outside of the ring, along with his thick black shades, leaving only the WWE Intercontinental Championship with him outside of his in-ring attire. Helms demands a microphone from ringside, ripping one from the hands of a crew worker before stepping into the centre of the squared circle.

    Gregory Helms: Ladies and gentlemen, do doubt what you see in this ring right now. For the millions at home do not adjust your television screens. This is reality.

    Helms stares around the arena for a moment before unclipping the title belt and raising it in the air.

    Gregory Helms: I am the champion of Monday Night RAW!!

    A loud chorus of boos rushes in from the crowd much to the amusement of Helms.

    Gregory Helms: The champ is here!! As you are all well aware I have challenged any former Intercontinental Champion in the history of the WWE to come down to this ring and face me. I’m just begging for competition after spending weeks running through the pathetic losers that have been tossed my way. Come on, now!! Give me something – the champion of Raw cannot stand to be wasted like this.

    Helms slings the title over his shoulder and raises a finger.

    Gregory Helms: But… before we get underway there is something I need to get off my chest. You see I grew up in North Carolina. I called this place home for a long time and coming back to this place, being around all the place, the memories started to flood back… and it reminded me why I left this piece of trash area!!

    Heat. The Eye of the Storm howls with laughter.

    Gregory Helms: From now on when I come down to this ring I don’t want to ever be associated with this place again. You can consider this my official goodbye because from now on I demand that I be announced as “now residing in Los Angeles, California” during my entrance. I’ve moved out of this stinking state and I’m never coming back!

    **ROCKER**

    The man to answer the open challenge has heard enough of this diatribe from the self-proclaimed champion of Raw. To the surprise of everyone we see MARTY JANNETTY rush onto the stage dressed in classic ‘Rocker’ attire full of that famous energetic bravado that made him famous.

    Jerry Lawler: I don’t believe it, Coach! That’s Marty Jannetty here on Monday Night Raw to answer the open challenge. He’s a former Intercontinental Champion for sure but I don’t think anybody would’ve picked him to answer this challenge. He was part of one of the most exciting tag teams in the history of the WWE. These people are going wild! They all remember the Rockers.

    Jonathan Coachman: They all remember one half of the Rockers! This man can’t really believe he stands a chance against the Eye of the Storm now? I thought you might jump in the ring there, King. Then I remembered you weren’t a former Intercontinental Champion! Maybe Helms will extend it to former Memphis Champion’s next week… ahaha.

    Match 2: OPEN CHALLENGE
    Gregory Helms vs. Marty Jannetty
    The match starts with Helms acting completely disrespectful to Jannetty during the face off in the middle of the ring. Helms trash talks Jannetty, calling him the ultimate second fiddle before slapping him across the face. The crowd erupts with a giant cheer when Jannetty cracks Helms across the face with a right hand and has the champion on the back peddle towards the corner. The early moments of the contest consist of Jannetty pounding on Helms, whipping him into the corner and sending the champion up into the air with a back body drop. A clothesline to the outside from Jannetty sends Helms tumbling to the floor and creates a much needed pause in the action. From this point on we see Helms fight to take back control and he does so with a knee strike right to the spine. Helms uses those kick pads to strike at Jannetty, kicking with force and then applying a variety of submission holds to work over the body.

    It’s a short contest that lasts only three minutes in length. Helms retakes control and begins to mock Jannetty as he struggles to his feet. The Intercontinental Champion has a fair bit of showman in him and he begins to mock Jannetty further by executing moves made famous by his former tag team partner. An Inverted Atomic Drop, elbow from the top rope and a kip-up all draw major heat from the crowd. The return of Marty Jannetty comes to an end with Helms nailing the Shining Wizard for the three count.
    Winner: Gregory Helms @ 03:21

    After the contest is over we see Helms roll to the outside of the ring, grab the Intercontinental Championship, and climb on top of the announce desk. He proclaims himself to once again be the Raw Champion and that he is without equal. The heat from the audience is as loud as Helms has ever had in his run since leaving the old Hurricane character in the dust… no doubt attributed to Helms’ dismissal of his old hometown roots here in North Carolina and his classless act of disrespect he showed to Marty Jannetty.

    Helms begins to make his way around the ring whilst Jannetty begins to recover inside the ring. The champion throws a dismissive look towards the squared circle… Jannetty possibly dealing with a concussion… Helms smirking from afar at his handy work. When he reaches the top of the ramp, Helms raises the belt in the air one final time and shouts to a nearby camera - “That’s one down. How about round two next week? Any former WWE Intercontinental Champion who wants to get their ass kicked by the RAW Champion need only answer my open challenge.”

    _____________________

    Just moments before the next commercial break of the evening we transition to the back where RIC FLAIR has just arrived for his major confrontation with Shawn Michaels later this evening. The roar from the crowd inside the arena is incredible – it is Flair country after all, folks. Flair is dressed in a brand new suit, hair slicked back, new watch on his wrist, ready for his major opportunity in six days to grab his seventeenth World Championship.

    Jerry Lawler: Naitch is here!! After hearing Gregory Helms talk about himself for so long it’s good to see someone who actually deserves to be spoken about in that fashion.

    Jonathan Coachman: You’re living in the past, King. Ric Flair has six days left before his dream of being a seventeen time World Champion comes crashing to an end. He made yet another mistake last week when he saved John Cena from getting some sense beaten into him by the Heartbreak Foundation. Flair should’ve stayed out of it and perhaps Shawn Michaels might’ve taken it a little easier on him at the Royal Rumble. Now, he’s crossed the line when he attempted to put the Figure Four on the WWE Champion. I’m telling you that Shawn Michaels is going to make him pay for that.

    Jerry Lawler: Shawn Michaels will do anything he can to retain the WWE Championship, Coach. Just look back at history and there is plenty of evidence. He was never going to take it easy on Ric no matter what. Last week, Ric made the right decision when he came down to the ring to help John Cena. Cena had done the same for Ric the week before and that’s what makes those two men two of the most popular stars in the company.

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    ...

    Commercial Break



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    Match 3: ROYAL RUMBLE QUALIFIER
    Matt Striker vs. Val Venis (w/Viscera)
    It’s become a common trend this evening with the matches not being overly long in the final push for the WWE Royal Rumble. Built off the segment from last week we see Matt Striker and Val Venis clash for a spot in the thirty man over the top rope battle royal. Striker is on the attack early with a dirty break from the test of strength and he whips Venis into the ropes, winding up his attack, before hitting a dropkick for a quick one count. Striker lectures Val Venis throughout the contest at his poor technique whenever the former teacher manages to counter a move.

    The support from Viscera on the outside of the ring only goes so far. Being the good guys Viscera doesn’t get involved in the contest but the crafty teacher accuses the big man of grabbing his foot at one point, drawing the ire of the referee onto Viscera, allowing Striker to illegally use the ring ropes to choke Val Venis without repercussion. Val Venis gets in a good portion of offence during the match, it’s fairly back and forth, but ultimately we can only have one winner. After a boot in the corner from Striker sends Venis stumbling, the teacher rushes forward… only to get caught in a Half Nelson Slam for a two count. Venis looks towards the crowd, shaking his hips to a cheer, and points to his partner on the outside. He climbs to the top rope, stands up straight, and leaps through the air… only for Striker to get his knees up! Quickly to his feet, Striker pulls Venis to a vertical base and nails the Golden Rule! A hook of the leg from Striker is followed by the three count. Matt Striker has claimed the win and will advance to the Royal Rumble Match.
    Winner: Matt Striker @ 05:14

    A big win for Matt Striker here on Monday Night Raw and now he finds himself with a place in the 2006 Royal Rumble Match while Val Venis will be watching from the sideline. Striker has his hand raised by the referee, the former teacher basking in the glory, refusing to exit the ring without taking a lap of honour and climbing each turnbuckle.

    Jerry Lawler: You can write down another name to the field of contenders for the Royal Rumble. Matt Striker will advance and you never know how these things are going to play out, Coach.

    Jonathan Coachman: He might not be the biggest name in the group but Matt Striker has the exact same chance as anybody. It’s not like a normal singles match is it, King? You have to throw the competitors over the top rope. You don’t need to pin them or make them submit. If Striker can draw a good number, play it safe, well, you never know he might end up shocking the world.

    Jerry Lawler: Got to feel bad for poor Val Venis though. He will not get the chance to enter the Royal Rumble. His dream of main eventing WrestleMania is over before it really got started.

    **MEDAL**

    Oh, you didn’t think he was going to stay cold for long did you? Every man, woman and child in the arena turns their attention to the stage where KURT ANGLE has appeared. He has no match tonight – yet Angle is in full wrestling gear with a mouthguard between gritting teeth. His focus is like a laser – the Olympian looking intense as he marches down to the ring.

    Halfway down the ramp, Angle encounters Matt Striker and without warning he grips the former teacher and throws him over the top with a OVERHEAD SUPLEX ON THE STEEL RAMP! The thud of Striker smacking the steel echoes throughout the arena.

    Jerry Lawler: I think Kurt Angle might be a little angry after losing last week.

    Jonathan Coachman: Wouldn’t you be?? This is a guy who hasn’t been World Champion since 2003!! Angle has always been at the apex of everything he has ever done. Now, I’ve seen lists on WWE.com that don’t have Angle as a top five contender for the Rumble. This man is one of the greats and he’s about to send a message to everyone right now.

    Kurt Angle proceeds down to the ring where Val Venis has just made it to his feet. He immediately falls back down after Angle nails a GERMAN SUPLEX!

    Angle refuses to break his grip… A SECOND GERMAN SUPLEX… A THIRD GERMAN SUPLEX… A FOURTH GERMAN and finally he releases.

    The big man Viscera looks to put a stop to this madness as he enters the ring but Angle cuts him off with a knee to the face. Hammering down with strikes to the back of his neck, Angle backs up and drives his boot into the temple.

    There we three men out here tonight and right now Kurt Angle has busted them all up. Angle surveys the ring, Venis and Viscera are down but the big man is getting back up. The straps come down, the crowd cheers – how can they resist it’s a pretty freaking cool moment – and Angle rushes forward.

    Big right hands to the face of Viscera land… yet Angle still gets shoved across the ring and the Olympian has a moment of hesitation in returning. Viscera wants to fight and after thinking it over for a moment, much to the delight of the crowd, Angle comes right back and meets Viscera in the middle of the ring.

    They are clobbering each other… Angle refusing to back down after starting this fight… he wants to take out his frustrations tonight and he’ll be damned if he looks like a coward by backing away. Another punch lands and Viscera attempts to whip Angle into the ropes – he blocks it, kicks Viscera in the gut, and then HITS THE ANGLE SLAM!!

    Across the ring, Val Venis now stumbles towards the chaos… and ANGLE HITS THE ANGLE SLAM ON HIM TOO!! Angle raises his arms in the air and roars as loud as he can, tossing the mouthpiece into the crowd and slapping his chest. This man is no dark horse – he’s a favourite and be damned if you doubt him.

    During the celebration, if you can call it that, Matt Striker enters the ring and tries to blindside Angle… only to get caught in the ANKLE LOCK! Now the crowd are fully behind the Olympian, cheering him without pause, and the cheers grow louder as Angle grapevines the leg forcing Striker to tap like crazy.

    Finally we see Angle release the hold and he rolls to the outside of the ring, marching up the ramp, before turning back to stare at the crowd a final time. He’s a god damn machine in that ring and right now the people are loving it. Angle raises his two hands in the air, pyro going off behind him, before returning backstage, leaving the camera to show the three men left laying in the ring at the hands of the Olympian.

    _____________________


    Backstage, we join the locker-room of EDGE and LITA, they are already discussing what lays ahead of them tonight, and the conversation is rather heated.

    Edge: It’s not that easy!! I thought we were done with him after last year. Kane got his pound of flesh while I sat on the sideline for months. That should’ve been enough!

    Lita tries to assure her boyfriend by stroking his arm.

    Lita: You don’t need to worry, babe. It’s just for one night and then we can move on with our lives again. You’ve beaten him before. It’s just a small stop in the road until you ride into WrestleMania as both the Royal Rumble winner and Mr. Money in the Bank.

    Edge: That’s kind of the problem, babe! I might not make it to WrestleMania seeing as I have to get into the ring with that monster – again!

    Edge shakes his head, pacing back and forth, absolutely infuriated he has to face Kane tonight.

    Edge: You saw what he did last week. He almost got me!! He left cops – guys with guns out cold and I’m supposed to just waltz into the ring with him this week?

    Lita: I mean, what are you going to do?? We can’t just leave.

    The Canadian’s eyes widen as he looks towards Lita.

    Edge: No, we can’t leave because there is security at every exit. After what the idiot Triple H pulled tonight we’re all stuck here until the night is over. Security is blocking every entrance in case he tries to get back in the building.

    Lita: Think of it this way, honey. When you beat Kane it’ll make you look so good. Mr. McMahon will know that you’re exactly the type of guy he needs as WWE Champion.

    Edge: Oh, it hasn’t escaped me that this match was made just a few weeks after I told Mr. McMahon about how I should be the WWE Champion instead of Shawn Michaels. They might be tighter than we thought, babe. I hint at cashing in on Shawn and here I am being forced to face the most dangerous man on the roster… I don’t buy that as a coincidence.

    Edge picks up the briefcase from a nearby chair and looks down at it.

    Edge: I only have so long to cash this in. I just got back from an injury. I can’t afford to lose anymore time – otherwise I risk missing the deadline and this becomes worthless!

    Lita: Listen to me. You’ve got plenty of time left to cash-in that contract and when you do I’ll be right there to put the gold around your waist.

    That doesn’t seem to comfort Edge much as his gaze on the briefcase is not broken. It takes Lita placing her hand on his chin and pushing it up for him to look her in the eyes.

    Lita: Tonight, you’re going to go out to that ring and beat Kane. Alright? You’re twice the man he has ever been… and then you’re going to win the Royal Rumble. I don’t care if Mr. McMahon thinks Shawn Michaels should be the WWE Champion right now. You’ll show him. You’ll show them all that no man on any brand deserves to be World Champion more than you!

    Slowly a smile develops on the face of Mr. Money in the Bank. He pulls Lita in close and gives her a big kiss, tongue and all, before breaking away.

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    ...

    Commercial Break



    _____________________


    **DON’T MESS WITH**

    Upon our return from the commercial break, VICTORIA – the number one contender for the WWE Women’s Championship in six days – makes her way down to the ring along with TORRIE WILSON and CANDICE MICHELLE. The trio known as Vince’s Devils take their place in the ring which has a table, a chair on either side, and Todd Grisham in it for what will be the official contract signing for the bout.

    **TIME TO ROCK AND ROLL**

    The most popular female competitor of all time – TRISH STRATUS makes his way onto the stage to a big round of applause from the audience. Stratus proudly displays the WWE Women’s Championship that she retained last week against Ashley Massaro in a back and forth contest. Replays of the attack post-match are shown on the big screen, drawing smirks from Vince’s Devils, and the ire of the Women’s Champion. Stratus sells the assault by clutching at her side when she bends down to enter the ring.

    Jerry Lawler: Big time contract signing for the WWE Women’s Championship bout at the Royal Rumble. Can’t help but notice that Trish is all by herself while Victoria has plenty of backup in Candice and Torrie.

    Jonathan Coachman: I’m surprised that Trish hasn’t invited Ashley or Mickie James to have some form of support. It’s a risky move for Trish to be out here with nobody to support her after the assault last week on RAW.

    Inside the ring, Trish and Victoria both takes their seats at the table. The numbers game on show once again as Victoria has Candice and Torrie looking over her shoulder while Trish glares from the across the table – alone.

    Todd Grisham: Alright, ladies. Tonight we are here to sign the contract for the WWE Women’s Championship Match at the Royal Rumble in six days time. Do either of you have any opening statements before we sign the contract??

    Victoria leans forward and grabs a microphone, much to the applause of her comrades, while Trish remains still.

    Victoria: Before we sign I just wanted to ask Trish where all her friends are?

    The camera cuts to Trish shaking her head.

    Victoria: Got none have you, Trish? All alone like the loser you are! Look around Trish, nobody likes you.

    Boos from the crowd.

    Victoria: I came out to this ring last week with my girls and we dismantled you. I ripped you into tiny little pieces and tossed you aside like the little barbie doll that you are. Where was your backup? Not a single woman on the roster came to help you, Trish. Do you want to know why?

    Trish says - “go on then” in reply.

    Victoria: We’re all sick of you!! Every single woman in the back is sick of having to play second fiddle to the great Trish Stratus. While we wait in line for our shot you have hogged the spotlight for years. Never letting anyone else shine, snuffing out our chances to be the face of the division so you could stay on top.

    Trish can’t stay silent any longer, she picks up a microphone and answers back.

    Trish Stratus: Or maybe none of you could beat me?? Maybe that’s why I’ve been at the top for so long.

    Victoria: In case you forgot I’ve already beaten you before, Trish. I’ve taken the WWE Women’s Championship from you and I’ll do it again at the Royal Rumble. You’ve held that title for over a year and we’re not going to let you hog the spotlight any longer!!

    Trish Stratus: You keep saying I’m hogging the spotlight but I’ve offered any woman who wants it a title shot. All you have to do is ask and I’ll put this title on the line. You… Victoria you didn’t have the guts to ask me. You would rather attack me after a match than to meet me face to face in the ring.

    Smiling, Trish eyes both Torrie and Candice before focusing in on Victoria.

    Trish Stratus: You three think I’ve been hiding and that’s why I’ve kept the title for over a year? I’ve taken on every challenger in my way without exception!! I have kept this title for over a year not because I duck people but because I work harder, I train longer and I refuse to give up what I work so hard to gain.

    Big cheers from the crowd.

    Trish Stratus: I look at the three of you and I see where I was just a few years ago. Vince’s Devils… I know what it’s like to be under his thumb, ladies. I know what he has promised you… it’s tempting… all you have to trade is your self-respect and you can have the world. How does it make you three feel to know that the world doesn’t see you as three powerful women but instead they see you as three bimbos??

    Victoria: Why don’t you go and bark like a dog, Trish?

    That’s a stinger from Victoria – the powerhouse slamming her fist onto the table.

    Victoria: Oh, how the mighty has forgotten her roots. You stood in this ring and barked like a dog in your underwear so don’t sit there and act like the patron saint of the women’s division to me. You don’t bring respect to that title… you bring nothing but shame to it – and it’s all over in six days.

    Trish Stratus: You’re right, Victoria. I did bark like a dog in this ring. I danced around in my underwear. I did all of that. And then I risked it all by stopping!! I risked everything but telling the boss one simple word – NO! I stepped up and put my career on the line – if I couldn’t be taken seriously in this ring as a wrestler than I’d walk away.

    Trish grabs the Women’s Championship and brings it towards the middle of the table.

    Trish Stratus: I risked a cushy job in this company for the hope, the dream, of being seen as more than a model. I risked it all and now five years later I stand here as the longest reigning WWE Women’s Champion of the modern era! I know where I started, I’ll never forget that, but the woman who you face at the Royal Rumble is not the same one that barked like a dog inside this ring.

    It has been a fiery back and forth between the two women – now it’s time to sign! Todd pushes the contract towards Victoria… she pauses and does not sign.

    Victoria: I want a guarantee, Trish.

    Trish Stratus: What? Sign the damn contract, Victoria. Stop playing your games it’s not going to work on me.

    Victoria: No games. I will sign this contract only if you give me your word on something very important. I saw what happened at New Year’s Revolution with Mickie James getting involved. I won’t have my title opportunity ruined by that nut-job. I want you to guarantee that Mickie James will not have any involvement in our match. In fact, since you so proudly proclaimed how you risked it all before… I want you to risk it all again.

    Victoria’s eyes are locked onto the WWE Women’s Championship with a lustful gaze.

    Victoria: If Mickie James gets involved in our match on Sunday than you not only lose the match but I will be awarded the WWE Women’s Championship! I don’t want your super-fan costing me what I deserve.

    Trish Stratus: She won’t be involved. You have my word. Mickie James will not be at ringside during the match, she will not walk me to the ring, she will not be out there after the match. I guarantee that Mickie James will be nowhere near our match at the Royal Rumble. As for your stipulation… fine. I agree – on the condition that you agree to one of my own.

    Vince’s Devils are smirking with glee at the way this has turned out so far. Victoria leans back comfortably in her chair and waves her hand as if to say whatever it is I accept.

    Trish Stratus: Our match at the Royal Rumble will be No Disqualifications! Just like it was all those years ago when you beat me for this title. I’ve rewritten my own history once before – now it’s time for me to do it again!

    The challenge has been accepted as both women proceed to sign the document making it official. It has been a night of wild developments but none more so than the confrontation between Stratus and Victoria. The contract signing comes to an end without a major brawl which is a nice change of pace.

    Stratus is the first to stand, raising the title in the air, telling Victoria she’ll see her Sunday, and then exiting the ring. The announcers hype up the clash between the two women with throwbacks to their Survivor Series 2002 encounter which was under similar rules. We will see chairs, tables and so much more when they meet at the Rumble. Two huge stipulations coming out of the contract signing: it’ll be a No Disqualifications Match and, perhaps most importantly, Mickie James is BANNED from ringside and if she appears that means Victoria will be awarded the WWE Women’s Championship.

    _____________________


    After the long segment previous we see a quick vignette that was pre-taped.

    Set in a bar somewhere in North Carolina, LANCE CADE and TREVOR MURDOCH are having a few beers when they spot the camera.

    Lance Cade: A lot is going on in the WWE right now. New champions, new superstars, WWE Royal Rumble… it’s a wild time.

    Cade points to himself and then Murdoch.

    Lance Cade: I know what all you people are wondering. Where are Cade and Murdoch? Well, we’re here having a few beers but don’t you worry because the two of us are coming back sooner than you can roast a pig on Sunday.

    Murdoch chugs a full beer, tosses the bottle over his shoulder, we hear it shatter, and then burps.

    Trevor Murdoch: And we’re not coming back to play! We’re coming for those title belts no matter who has ‘em!

    Murdoch proceeds to have another cold one.

    Lance Cade: So, sit back and relax. We are just around the corner now. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch – your future World Tag Team Champions!

    Trevor Murdoch: We’re going to kick some ass!!

    Lance Cade: That’s right, partner.

    The vignette comes to an end with Murdoch opening yet another beer while Cade keeps a hardened smile on the camera.

    _____________________


    ...

    Commercial Break



    _____________________


    Back into the arena...


    **WORLD’S GREATEST**

    The champs are in the building and ready to make up for the defeat last week under very unfortunate circumstances. CHARLIE HAAS, still with bandage ribs, and SHELTON BENJAMIN make their way down the ramp to cheers from the audience. Proudly wearing the red, white and blue on their wrestling gear – the World’s Greatest Tag Team interact with fans in the first row on their way down to the ring. We’re going full white meat babyfaces here folks! Once the champs get to the ring, Haas and Benjamin climb opposite turnbuckles and raise their titles in the air. It’s noticeable that Haas struggles to raise his at all… and Benjamin shares a look of concern for his partner’s ongoing injury concern.

    All I see is terror
    All I see is pain
    All I see is mothers dragging
    Children to their graves ”

    **IMPOSSIBLE BRUTALITY**

    It’s a new theme for the monster duo as Impossible Brutality by Kreator blasts over the loud speakers in the arena. From behind the curtain we see DAIVARI lead the charge for his new clients. The manager rubbing his hands together in excitement, praising his two monsters, waving them forward from the back. TYSON TOMKO and GENE SNITSKY lumber out onto the stage – both men sneering at the crowd, cracking their knuckles, barely able to be restrained by the words of their manager. On their way down to the ring, Daivari mocks Haas’ injury, telling him that he’s lucky they didn’t put him in the hospital.

    Match 4:
    Shelton Benjamin (w/Charlie Haas) vs. Gene Snitsky (w/Tyson Tomko & Daivari)
    Continuing the story from last week we see Snitsky attempt to target the ribs of Shelton Benjamin just as Tomko did against Haas. It’s a different outcome this time as Benjamin does not have an overlapping injury from the assault two weeks ago like his partner currently has. Benjamin has the full range of his arsenal and it’s vastly superior than that of Snitsky. The immediate plan of the monster is thrown for a loop when Benjamin executes a leapfrog and nails a big slam which rattles the ring. Daivari orders his client from the ring and they begin to strategise a new point of attack… only for Benjamin to throw himself from the ring onto all three men! The action continues with Benjamin being the aggressor, feeding off the loss last week, looking to get the win back for his team.

    Snitsky is able to gain control of the match when Benjamin tries a superplex from the top turnbuckle. Instead, Snitsky grabs the top rope, blocking the hold, and shoves Benjamin to the floor. Listening to what Daivari says on the outside, Snitsky works the mid-section with a bearhug in an attempt to inflict the same injury on Benjamin as Haas is suffering. For the next several minutes Benjamin is victim to a serious of punishing attacks by the bigger man. He is backed into a corner, far away from Haas on the floor, and pounded on with elbows and hard knees. Snitsky is smothering the champion, using headbutts and his large boot to inflict as much punishment as possible.

    The finish of the match arrives after Snitsky misses a running splash in the corner. He is stunned, wobbly on his feet and Benjamin rushes off the ropes – FLYING FOREARM! But Snitsky still stands! Benjamin rebounds off the ropes again – FLYING FOREARM! Still Snitsky stands and now Benjamin looks to the crowd for support – they give him a big cheer. Benjamin rebounds off the ropes again but this time Snitsky grabs him by the throat, yelling directly in his face before attempting the Pump Handle Slam. Fighting for his survival in this match, Benjamin frees himself and pushes free off the shoulder. Staggering back into the corner we see Benjamin clutch his ribs and grimace in pain just like Haas did last week. Snitsky’s face lights up, he thinks he has it now, and he rushes forward… INTO A SUPERKICK! Benjamin faked him out ~ T-BONE SUPLEX LANDS and he scores the three count.
    Winner: Shelton Benjamin @ 07:01

    It appears that Tyson Tomko is about to rush into the ring after the bell sounds for an attack but he will pulled back by Daivari. The manager no doubt spotting Charlie Haas sliding into the ring holding a steel chair. Haas was prepared for the attack this time and was not going to let these monsters get the better of them again.

    Jerry Lawler: That lock it up at 1-1 between these four men in singles action. Both teams have scored a victory in some variation. It’s clear as day that Daivari sent Gene Snitsky out here to target the ribs and deliver the same punishment they did to Charlie Haas. They want the World’s Greatest Tag Team as weak as possible for their eventual title shot in a few weeks time.

    Jonathan Coachman: Daivari knows what he is doing, King. It was a sound gameplan. Charlie Haas is the weak link of the team for the champions since he has that injury. It’s all well and good tonight for Shelton Benjamin; he can celebrate this victory for now. However, what’s going to happen when Shelton is dependent of Charlie Haas being able to hold his own against Tomko or Snitsky? These ribs aren’t going to heal before these two teams meet for the World Tag Team Titles, King. Haas is going to be a huge liability.

    The two teams are now separated by the entrance ramp. Haas and Benjamin inside the ring while Snitsky, Tomko and Daivari look on from the top of the stage. The clash is approaching and will be here soon. Daivari, even after the loss, reassures his men that they will become the champions. With a smug look on his face he points to Charlie Haas and signals to the rib area. It’s clear that’s the target but just how well will it pay off?

    _____________________


    Walking in the backstage area, we discover TRISH STRATUS carrying the WWE Women’s Championship, minding her own business.

    Mickie James: Hey, Trish! Trish… wait up!!

    Trish comes to halt, her face showing she is less than thrilled about who is incoming, and she turns around to see Mickie James sprinting up to her.

    Trish Stratus: Hey, Mickie. I… ugh…

    Before Trish can really say anything she is engulfed by a massive HUG from her biggest fan. Mickie squeezes so tight that it’s obvious Trish is uncomfortable.

    Trish Stratus: That’s enough, Mickie. Thanks.

    Mickie James: Oh. My God. You were incredible last week, Trish. The match between you and Ashley was super awesome. I totally loved every moment of it.

    Mickie claps her hands together, bouncing on her feet, getting childlike excitement over remembering the emotions she felt watching Trish wrestle.

    Mickie James: I mean, Ashley was alright but you carried that match. You were EVERYTHING! I knew it before but last week just made it even clearer – you are the greatest women’s wrestler of all time. All time, Trish!!

    Trish Stratus: I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was meaning to ask you, Mickie. Where were you??

    Mickie James: Huh? What do you mean, Trish? I was backstage in the locker-room like you told me. I did exactly what you said.

    Trish Stratus: Right…

    Trish contemplates leaving it their however she can’t do it. Venting her frustrations about the assault last week, Stratus waves her hands towards Mickie.

    Trish Stratus: I said stay back here during the match. I didn’t mean literally don’t come help me if three women decide to run down to the ring and beat me up. Victoria is no joke, Mickie. That woman has no issue with breaking every bone in my body if it gets her the Women’s Championship. You could’ve come and helped Ashley and I after the match.

    Mickie stares back at Trish like a confused child.

    Mickie James: But you said to stay away from the ring no matter what. Trish, I wanted to come out to the ring, I really did, but I know that what I did at New Year’s Revolution was unfair to Ashley. I just wanted to make sure she got what she deserved.

    Trish Stratus: And what did Ashley deserve, Mickie??

    Mickie James: I don’t know, Trish. Seems to me she got her fair share last week… but lets not worry about her!! You and I are going to the Royal Rumble! I’m going to be at ringside for your match on Sunday so those girls don’t blindside you again. I promise you I won’t leave you by yourself this time.

    Trish looks at Mickie directly in the eyes – the Women’s Champion moving closer to her superfan.

    Trish Stratus: Did you miss the contract signing tonight? If you come out to that ring on Sunday I’ll lose the title…

    Mickie James: I saw it… you didn’t actually mean that though? You’re just pretending, right?? You can’t seriously not want me at ringside. We’re friends, Trish. I only want to help you and last week I did as you said. I stayed away. I watch every second of that match and the only thing that would make it better for me is if I was at ringside. Oh, please! Please let me come to the ring on Sunday?

    Trish Stratus: No, Mickie… that’s not what Victoria and I agreed to.

    Mickie James: Please… Trish… I want to be at ringside to see you wrestle up close.

    Trish raises her voice and shouts.

    Trish Stratus: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, MICKIE!!

    There is an awkward hush that grows upon the scene between the two women. Mickie James has her head tilted towards the floor, her eyes unable to meet the Women’s Champion. Meanwhile, Stratus paces back and forth clutching at her title. She stops, places an arm on Mickie’s shoulder and responds in a calm tone.

    Trish Stratus: I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you. It’s just a lot of pressure is on me right now. I’ve already agreed to you being banned from ringside. If you come out to the ring I’ll lose everything I’ve worked for, Mickie. Please, stay backstage and when it’s over you and I can spend some time together. I promise.

    Trish awaits a response… which never comes from her biggest fan. Mickie James remains silent, sulking as she walks away leaving Trish looking rather concerned. For the first time in her reign there is a variable of which she has no control – Mickie James. All Mickie would have to do is walk to the ring and Trish would lose the title… that thought runs through the mind of the Women’s Champion and as it does she grips the title a little bit tighter.

    _____________________


    Moving elsewhere backstage, MR. MCMAHON is strutting through the halls, mid-conversation on his mobile phone, when he comes to a halt.

    Mr. McMahon: I’ll call you back. This won’t take very long.

    McMahon hangs up the phone, straightens his suit jacket and puffs out his chest.

    Mr. McMahon: I’m surprised you showed up tonight. I mean after last week when you failed to qualify for the Royal Rumble I thought you might go hide underneath a rock or something.

    JOHN CENA steps into the frame and stands opposite Mr. McMahon.

    John Cena: As far as I remember it I had your boys beat inside that ring until Shawn decided to kick Carlito in the face. You put your money on the wrong guys and I was so close to turning this entire place upside down and messing up your plans.

    Mr. McMahon: Close isn’t good enough, John. That’s something you’ll need to learn if you want to stay here. You were close to being a good fit to be WWE Champion but you fell just short so I took it away from you. Now, you can sit back and forget about ever taking the WWE Championship back. You should be thanking me. You couldn’t handle the pressure. I saw that. I know who makes a good champion and you simply don’t.

    John Cena: I didn’t realise you were such a coward, Vince. After all the years I spent trying to get to the WWE I heard about the fighter that was Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Turns out it was all a lie.

    McMahon glares with anger at Cena.

    Mr. McMahon: You don’t come close to the people I’ve taken down, Cena. I beat the Government. I walked into Washington and I made them bow to me!! I could break you whenever the hell I wanted.

    John Cena: You’ve done a hell of a lot to keep me away from the WWE Championship. As I see it, that’s because you’re afraid that I’m going to beat Shawn Michaels. And you’re right, I would but the real Vince, the guy who took down WCW, who defeated Ted Turner, who survived the Government, that guy would’ve never kept his biggest threat from taking a fair shot. He would’ve welcome it and then fired back!

    Mr. McMahon: I gave you a shot and you failed. You couldn’t get the job done.

    Cena shrugs his shoulders, smirking a little before straightening up and stepping right to Vince.

    John Cena: I’m not asking for title shot, Vince. I’m not asking anything that I haven’t earned already. I had the match won last week. I have earned a place in the Royal Rumble and if you had any guts you’d give to me.

    Mr. McMahon: I don’t have to give you anything!!

    Mr. McMahon turns and begins to walk away.

    John Cena: So it’s true then… those famous grapefruits have dried up. Remember, you’re name is Vince Kennedy McMahon Jr. because you’re a much smaller man than your father.

    That stops McMahon in his tracks… and he slowly turns around. Vince is turning red with rage, veins popping out on his forehead as he marches back towards Cena.

    Mr. McMahon: You listen to me you son of a bitch!! Questioning me is the last thing you’ll ever do. You want a spot in the Royal Rumble… fine!!! You’ve in!!

    Vince raises a hand.

    Mr. McMahon: You’ll be number thirty one.

    John Cena: Hold up… there’s only thirty men in the Royal Rumble. How can I be number thirty one?

    Mr. McMahon: It’s simple. You’re the first replacement. I’m not going to put you in the match because you lost last week. No, this is the only way you’re getting in. You talk about being a fighter for the people against me and Shawn. You’re on such a high horse well lets see if anybody on Raw truly buys in. For you to be in the Royal Rumble all you have to do is get a member of the Raw roster to surrender his spot!!

    John Cena: You’re telling that for me to enter the Rumble I need one guy, just one, to give up his spot?

    Mr. McMahon: That’s it but it has to be a Raw superstar. I don’t want you running to Smackdown and striking some kind of deal. Well, lets see if the great John Cena has as many friends here on Raw as he thinks he does.

    It’s another big announcement tonight just six days before the Royal Rumble. John Cena is number 31 as it stands right now and WILL NOT be a competitor in the match. However, if one, just one member of the Raw roster willing gives up his spot, then John Cena would become one of the thirty who competes for a chance to main event WrestleMania.

    _____________________


    ...


    Commercial Break



    _____________________


    **METALINGUS**

    Gingerly making his way out to the ring, taking multiple looks behind him in case of an early appearance by his opponent, EDGE heads towards the ring. You can tell by the expression on his face and repeated looks to the back that Edge is not thrilled about having to be put in position against Kane. LITA is not far behind, carrying the MITB briefcase, assuring her man that everything is going to be fine as he enters the ring.

    Jerry Lawler: That is a clear look of concern on the face of Mr. Money in the Bank. Edge has done a lot of talking since he returned from injury that he is the top dog once again. Tonight he can prove it when he faces Kane. I would’ve thought he would be looking forward to such a big match.

    Jonathan Coachman: Are you kidding, King? Edge shouldn’t be stuck wrestling Kane. This man is one of the hottest stars on Raw and he could be seriously injured tonight by this crazy person. You saw what Kane did last week. He went nuts and nobody could stop him. Edge and Lita were lucky to escape last week!

    **SLOW CHEMICAL**

    Hell, fire and brimstone has arrived on RAW!! Fire engulfs the stage as KANE marches down to the ring. The fans are on their feet for the monster who last week destroyed everyone in his path without discrimination. Inside the ring, Edge is pacing back and forth, shaking his head, in disbelief that he has been put up against this unstable machine.

    Feeling those dark eyes locked on her Lita scrambles around to the opposite side of the ring as Kane approaches the squared circle. He steps over the top rope… and Edge quickly goes on the attack when Kane is halfway into the ring. The referee signals for the bell and the match begins.

    Match 5:
    Edge (w/Lita) vs. Kane
    It’s a cat and mouse game in the main event of the evening. Kane immediately looks for the Chokeslam out of the gate, grabbing Edge around the throat and squeezing tightly. Desperation kicks in for Edge and he scurries to the outside, ducking behind Lita and waving at the referee to keep Kane back. That doesn’t work, Kane goes to the outside and stalks Edge. They go all the way around the ring until Kane runs into Lita… they look at each other for a moment, Kane distracted, which allows Edge to hit a sliding dropkick from inside the ring. Edge tries to gain a count-out victory but the referee only gets to five when Kane slides back into the ring. Edge continues to strike and move, evading the grip of Kane, always staying just out of reach.

    A few near falls for Edge has his confidence at an all-time high now. He has managed to keep away from the Chokeslam throughout the entire match. We begin to move towards the finish as Edge runs towards the ropes, rebounds looking for a clothesline but he gets caught in a Side Slam! Kane shakes off the punishment he has sustained thus far, gets back to his feet and whips Edge into the ropes… Big Boot lands! Edge is dazed and confused now, Lita panicking on the outside, Kane calling for the end. He has a hand raised in the air… and grips Edge around the throat to a massive cheer from the crowd. Kane bares his teeth, laughing as Edge tries to wriggle free, however it’s no use. Kane lifts him up high, in a last ditch effort Edge rakes the eyes, and separation is created. Edge lands to the side and rushes back looking for the spear – another Big Boot by Kane lands and this time it sends Edge spilling to the outside. Instead of returning to the ring, Edge clutches the back of his head and says screw this. He grabs the briefcase and storms from ringside through the crowd with Lita chasing after him. The referee reaches a count of ten and calls for the bell.
    Winner: Kane @ 07:34

    And Kane seals a victory against Edge however it’s not the way that the Big Red Machine would’ve liked to do it. Kane marches around the ring long after the bell and suddenly grabs the referee by the throat. An innocent party in this entire thing yet the referee is about to go for the ride.

    KANE CHOKESLAMS THE REFEREE STRAIGHT TO HELL!

    The crowd pops for the madness inside the ring, Kane totally unhinged as he was last week, things looking like they will continue to spread outward. Kane glares around the ring, looking for another target, exiting the ring and grabbing a crew member. The poor man begs for mercy but Kane is having none of it as he tosses the guy into the guardrail!

    Like rats on a ship the ringside crew all scramble for safety when Kane walks towards them. After what happened last week, BIG SHOW rushes down to the ring and tries to calm down his tag team partner. Big Show grabs Kane and tells him to relax, the match is over, and there is no need for this.

    Ever since losing the tag titles Kane has been a weapon of brutality on RAW. Tonight he has claimed two more innocent victims and thankfully it looks like Big Show has been able to be a voice of reason. Together Big Show and Kane make their way around the ring, then up the ramp, heading to the backstage area. Kane is still breathing heavy, filled with anger but it appears for now that the damage has been minimised thanks to Big Show.

    _____________________


    Before the final commercial break of the evening, TODD GRISHAM is standing by with KURT ANGLE…

    Todd Grisham: Kurt, earlier tonight you went out to the ring and attacked Val Venis, Matt Striker and Viscera. What was your intention behind the attack and were you surprised by the response you got from the crowd as they cheered you??

    Kurt Angle: I went out there and I did what I’ve always done. I out wrestled three men at one time. I dominated three men when half of this roster couldn’t hold their own against two. We’ve got the Royal Rumble in six days time and nobody, I mean nobody, was talking about Kurt Angle. Well, how about now? Do you think I’m a favourite, Todd? I just beat up three men what’s another twenty six?

    Grisham reiterates his second question.

    Todd Grisham: And the crowd reaction?

    Kurt Angle: I’m still the wrestling machine I’ve always been, Todd. Whether the people want to cheer me or not doesn’t matter. I’m going to keep on taking people down and forcing them to tap out!! If people like it than good for them.

    Grisham appears to want to ask another question but he is cut off by the appearance of SHAWN MICHAELS! The reigning WWE Champion appears with a black bag in his left hand and the WWE Championship around his waist.

    Shawn Michaels: Beating up three men, Kurt. That’s impressive but do you know what’s more impressive?

    HBK looks down at the WWE Championship and spins the inner plate.

    Shawn Michaels: Beating John Cena. How many shots did you need again??

    Kurt Angle: In case you forgot, I beat you in one go at WrestleMania last year. I seem to remember your hand hitting the mat over and over. If you keep that title after Sunday I’ll gladly snap that ankle and send the band into retirement.

    Michaels smirks.

    Shawn Michaels: There is no ‘if’ about it. Take a look at what I do to Ric Flair on Sunday. In fact, I want you and everyone else to watch what I’ve got planned tonight. It’s going to change the face of the WWE. And if you win the Rumble, Kurt. Well, I’ll happily kick your teeth down your throat again.

    Michaels gives Angle a sly smirk before walking away.

    _____________________


    ...

    Commercial Break



    _____________________


    When we return from the break...

    **SEXY BOY**

    A chorus of boos erupts from the crowd as SHAWN MICHAELS struts out onto the stage with a single fist raised in the air. The WWE Champion is chewing gum on his way down to the ring, a big smirk on his face, bobbing his head back and forth amidst the storm of jeers. Michaels enters the squared circle, stepping through the ropes, drops the black velvet bag that he has carried out from backstage, and does his traditional pose flexing both arms with one leg stretched out.

    On commentary, Coachman and Lawler hype up the major announcement that HBK spoke of last week. Both men ponder what it could be and the addition of the velvet bag in the ring spikes the interest of both men. Michaels calls for his music to be stopped, he grabs a microphone and picks the velvet bag off the canvas to cradle it in his free arm.

    Shawn Michaels: I have made a career out of coming into this ring and giving you people a show that you have never seen before. Whenever Shawn Michaels steps between those ropes you people know, whether it’s a pay-per-view or Monday Night Raw, that you’re about to see the best that ever lived do his thing.

    Boos from the crowd.

    Shawn Michaels: Tonight is no different. I promised you all a moment in time. A memory that will last a lifetime. I said I had a major announcement and as a man of my word…

    That causes Michaels to chuckle. No doubt remembering he gave Cena his word that it would be a fair match at New Year’s Revolution.

    Shawn Michaels: As a man of the good Lord himself. I will not come up short. I never do.

    The Heartbreak Kid takes a look around the arena. He nods his head to reassure himself.

    Shawn Michaels: I am going to make an announcement tonight and when I do I want Ric Flair out here. I want the Nature Boy to grab his walking stick, hobble down to this ring, and get real close so even he can hear it.

    HBK mocks Ric Flair by pretending to walk with a cane around the ring, shaking like a frail old man with each step and clutching at his back (the irony not lost on me).

    Shawn Michaels: That’s coming up but I need to get something off my chest first. I’ll give you the big announcement before the night is done but first I want to take a moment to clear up a few things.

    Michaels takes a few steps around the ring, continuing to hold the velvet bag, with the WWE Championship strapped around his waist.

    Shawn Michaels: It’s been said that I turned my back on the people. I’ve heard it for weeks now. Let me make this clear to every single one of you… Shawn Michaels did not turn his back on the people… the people turned their backs on Shawn Michaels. I gave you people everything for my entire career and the first chance you people had, the very first chance, you all turned your backs on the Heartbreak Kid!!

    Lawler and Coachman are both confused as to what HBK is referring to.

    Shawn Michaels: SummerSlam last year… Hulk Hogan versus Shawn Michaels. Icon versus Icon. Legend versus Legend. It was the match for the ages and all of you sided with him.

    The memory of the defeat still stings for Michaels. He struggles to even speak about it.

    Shawn Michaels: Twenty thousand people booing me out of the building every single night! I was pushed to the side like I was nothing. You people did that! It was from that moment, standing in the ring across from Hogan, that I realised that I had wasted so much of my career doing what you wanted.

    Heat.

    Shawn Michaels: I broke my damn back for this company. I broke my back for you!!

    Michaels points around the arena to the fans.

    Shawn Michaels: And what did that get me?? I spent four years on the shelf… and you people forgot about me. You went right on living without me. You people didn’t care. Nobody gave a damn as I was at home unable to get out of bed. My back broken… no you people were too busy cheering for the man who broke my back and celebrating the man who stole the WWE Championship from me when I wrestled with a broken back.

    Unclipping the WWE Championship from around his waist, Michaels takes a good long look at it… and then THROWS THE SPINNER BELT DOWN TO THE CANVAS.

    Shawn Michaels: I defended this title with a broken back. I risked my life for this title night after night… and ever since I have been gone it has been disgraced by men unfit to hold it. The last time the WWE Championship meant anything was when I held it… so I think it’s time we restored some honour to it!

    Michaels opens up the velvet bag, digging his hand inside but he stops short of revealing what is inside.

    Shawn Michaels: I almost forgot. Ric, get out here. I want you to experience this live. Get down to this ring and witness history in your hometown!!

    **ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA**

    Appearing to a huge reception from his hometown crowd, RIC FLAIR makes his way out onto the stage, dressed in a suit, and immediately heads down to the ring where HBK awaits. Flair enters the ring, carrying with him a microphone, and he bends down to pick up the WWE Championship on the canvas.

    Shawn Michaels: You can keep that one, Ric. It’s the closest you’re ever going to get to being WWE Champion so long as I’m around.

    Michaels returns to his theatrics, he digs his hand down into the velvet bag, Flair watching on from across the ring, and reveals the WWE WINGED EAGLE CHAMPIONSHIP! The last title design that Michaels held way back in 1998. The Heartbreak Kid shows it off to the entire audience and Flair.

    Shawn Michaels: It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Now this is what a WWE Championship should look like.

    Ric Flair: Are you kidding me?? That’s your big announcement?

    Shawn Michaels: You’re telling me that you would’ve been happy to wear that? Have you fallen that far, Ric? That design… the spinner is an insult to every former WWE Champion who has ever held the belt. It makes a mockery of what I fought for and I refuse to wear it a moment longer. No, this design is what a true championship should look like.

    Holding the spinner belt in his hand, Flair carefully folds it and then hands it to a ringside crew member. He turns back to Michaels and shakes his head.

    Ric Flair: I’ve held the World Championship sixteen times and I’ve never, not once, thought about what the thing looked like. The belt isn’t what I fought for, Shawn.

    Michaels sneers.

    Ric Flair: When I get between these ropes I wrestle for the title. I wrestle for what the belt represents and that’s the right to call myself the best wrestler walking God’s green Earth. I never cared whether the belt was gold or silver. I don’t care if it has diamonds or crystals. That's what my watches are for!! All that matters is that at the end of the night I am recognised as the best inside this ring.

    Shawn Michaels: You don’t have to worry about what this title looks like because you’re not getting close to it, Ric.

    Ric Flair: I’ve been doing this far too long for you to get under my skin. You on the other hand aren’t as mentally tough as you like to act, Shawn.

    Flair points a finger at HBK.

    Ric Flair: You and Vince came out here two weeks ago and gave this long speech about how the two of you got together because of John Cena. He wasn’t what a WWE Champion should be in your opinion. I’ve seen many champions in my time in this sport and I can say without a doubt that John Cena is as good a champion as I have ever seen.

    Big cheers from the crowd.

    Ric Flair: But tonight, here you are Shawn spouting off about how you got your feelings hurt because the people cheered Hulk Hogan over you. That’s what this is about?? You turned on these people because they booed you once. Your ego is so fragile that you tossed your morals, your ethics and your word as a man out the window just to spite the very people who have allowed you to make a career in this business!!

    Shawn Michaels: I deserve to be WWE Champion after everything I have done for this company. You don’t get to lecture me!

    Ric Flair: That’s not what you said before. You said it was because John Cena was not the right type of guy. Admit it, Shawn. Admit that this has nothing to do with Cena. It has everything to do with your ego getting hurt.

    Michaels tries to deny it but Flair continues to pester him.

    Shawn Michaels: You’re damn right it’s about me!!

    Ric Flair: Say it, Shawn!

    Shawn Michaels: I did it, GOD DAMN IT!! They turned on me for Hogan so I found the guy who had next. I found Cena and I screwed out of the WWE Championship. I took away their hope, I ended their heroes reign because those same fans who supported Hogan, who supported Cena, they betrayed me first. I screwed ‘em all! Just like I’ll screw you at the Royal Rumble if I get the chance. As I said, I am a man of my word.

    Flair and Michaels come face to face, inches away, the crowd on the edge of their seats.

    Ric Flair: As you stand there with that title wrapped around your waist I want you to think about this. On Sunday, you’re not stepping into the ring with somebody who sees you as a man of God. You don’t have the element of surprise, Shawn. I know you plan on playing dirty but here’s the thing…

    Flair leans forward.

    Ric Flair: I invented playing dirty. Everything that you know was taught to you by me. You watched me on television and you copy me every night you step into a ring. You can call me old all you want but I’ve got one shot left… and that’s all I need, kid. One time to slap the Figure Four on you and I’ll be counting number seventeen by the end of the night. That’s my promise to you.

    Shawn Michaels: Not a chance, old man. On Sunday, this career revival you so desperately want to happen comes to an end.

    Michaels drops the microphone and bumps past the Nature Boy as he exits the ring. It’s a sudden exit from Michaels, fans having grown accustom to these confrontations ending in a major brawl but that will not be the case this evening. On a show where brawls have been a common occurrence it’s poetic that we end on a calmer note. Shawn Michaels comes to a halt at the top of the entrance ramp, winged eagle WWE Championship proudly on display around his waist, to a loud chorus of boos when he is shown on the titantron.

    Back in the ring, Flair motions that the title is coming to him. Michaels shoots him a look as if to say that the Nature Boy has no chance in hell at regaining the WWE Championship. Slowly, the Heartbreak Kid unclips the title, gives it a kiss before raising it high in the air… meanwhile Flair shouts back “Six days until seventeen, Shawn. Woo!”

    As we fade to black.

    END OF SHOW

    Current Card for Royal Rumble:
    January 29 2006 | American Airlines Arena, Miami FL
    Co-Branded; RAW and SMACKDOWN

    Royal Rumble Match:
    Winner challenges for EITHER brand's Champion at WrestleMania 22:
    Entrants in Alphabetical Order:

    Booker T, Chavo Guerrero, Edge, Fit Finlay, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield, Kurt Angle, Matt Striker, Matt Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Tajiri & Triple H

    ~AND~

    ENTRANT #31 - John Cena

    WWE Championship Match:
    Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Ric Flair

    World Heavyweight Championship Match:
    Batista [c] vs. The Undertaker

    WWE Women's Championship Match:
    Trish Stratus [c] vs. Victoria (w/Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle)
    Last edited by EZ3; 04-12-2019 at 07:50 AM.


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  4. #44
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    Re: The Gorilla Position



    48 HOURS

    PREVIEW

    The countdown is nearing its end! The WWE Royal Rumble is just forty eight hours away and while the excitement for this very special pay-per-view event is at a boiling point we still have one more pitstop to go. World Heavyweight Champion Batista finds himself facing the biggest challenge of his career on Sunday night when he defends the title against The Undertaker. After successfully defeating The Dicks last week in a handicap match, Batista fell victim to the wrath of the Phenom when he was nailed with a devastating chokeslam in the middle of the ring. The Undertaker will step into the ring this week in the main event of the evening when he faces the former five time WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T! Booker has had his own issues recently with a frail alliance formed with Mr. Kennedy in his pursuit to reclaim the WWE United States Championship. Who will come out on top in this big time contest?

    Following up from last week, Fit Finlay will make his singles competition debut on Friday Night Smackdown when he faces the Boogeyman. Finlay arrived on Smackdown just seven days ago and kick started his career in the WWE by winning a battle royal to secure his spot in the thirty man Royal Rumble. The victory has sent a clear message to many within the WWE that the Irishman is a man to be feared with a vicious mentality that is unrivalled. His competitor this week is not to be forgotten about however. The Boogeyman is by far the most unique athlete on the Smackdown roster and is unlike anything that Fit Finlay has ever faced in his career. Can the Irishman overcome the supernatural or will the Boogeyman turn Finlay’s dream start to his career into a nightmare?

    MNM and the Hooligans have been going at it in bits and pieces for nearly an entire month now. The long awaited championship match between these two tag teams is rumoured to be on the horizon very shorter – many speculating that it’s likely to be on Smackdown immediately following the Royal Rumble but the announcement is being kept secret as to not overshadow the importance of the pay-per-view. One of the key elements to this feud has been the involvement of Melina and her continued attempts at luring Paul London into her web of seduction. As of now it has been unsuccessful with London and Kendrick both seeing through it. On Smackdown this week they’ll come face to face with the temptress in a six-man tag team match when MNM team with Mr. Kennedy to take on the Hooligans and WWE United States Champion Matt Hardy.

    The growing tension between Mark Henry and Bobby Lashley exploded last week on Smackdown when the veteran flattened the rookie through the announce desk. It has been confirmed that Lashley will not be medically cleared to compete this week on Smackdown and has been sent home by Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long for health reasons. Do not expect the World’s Strongest Man to stay silent on this issue. Henry will seek time to deliver a clear message to not just Bobby Lashley but to everyone in the WWE as the Royal Rumble approaches.

    Finally, Randy Orton’s campaign to be included in the World Heavyweight Championship Match at the Royal Rumble has failed. With only forty eight hours before the Royal Rumble it seems highly unlikely that the Legend Killer will be added into the Batista vs. The Undertaker contest. Never one to hide from having a good in-ring whine it’s expected that Randy will kick-off Smackdown this week to voice his continued displeasure with the decision made by Theodore Long.



    Confirmed Matches:


    The Undertaker vs. Booker T

    MNM & Mr. Kennedy vs. Hooligans & Matt Hardy

    Fit Finlay vs. The Boogeyman

    Mark Henry will deliver a warning to the entire WWE

    Randy Orton is suspected to kick-off Friday Night Smackdown

    Batista, Simon Dean, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield and Rey Mysterio are confirmed for Smackdown




    Attachment 4404

    Styles Replaced By Jim Ross


    The Wrestling Observer is reporting that Joey Styles has been moved to a backstage role with the company making way for the return of Jim Ross to the lead announcer position for Monday Night Raw and WWE pay-per-view events. Styles was the victim of a major storyline angle this past week on Raw where Triple H pulled the announcer from his chair and beat him bloody inside the ring. This was part of Triple H’s crusade against hardcore wrestling which is expected to be his major program going forward into WrestleMania 22. Styles was the long-time announcer for Extreme Championship Wrestling and was seen by many backstage as the perfect first target for Triple H in his goal of removing all aspects of hardcore wrestling from World Wrestling Entertainment.


    His replacement, Jim Ross, will return to the booth this coming Sunday to call the WWE Royal Rumble from Miami, Florida. Ross will take up the announcing duties on Raw the following night and is expected to hold the lead position for the foreseeable future. There is much speculation that the three man booth on Monday Night Raw will be given the axe as soon as next week following the Royal Rumble. The feeling being that with Ross back as the lead announcer they don’t need as many voices going at once. A decision will be made as to whether Jonathan Coachman or Jerry Lawler will be cut from the team.

    The current betting odds for who will be dropped are leaning towards Lawler. Word going around the WWE is that Vince McMahon wants Ross paired with a heel announcer. Lawler is a babyface at the moment and last week showed great regret for not stepping in when Styles was attacked. To walk it back now would cause major changes to the long-time booking plans set in place last week. While not out of the question things are leaning more towards Ross and Coachman being the full-time announce team for Raw while Lawler is transitioned elsewhere. We will know which way the company wants to go on Sunday as whoever sits with Ross to call the Raw matches at the Royal Rumble will be his partner moving forward.

    Last edited by EZ3; 05-03-2019 at 06:27 AM.


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  5. #45
    Little bitta the bubbly!

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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Sorry buddy, been sidetracked with just about everything this last week, but better late than never…

    This Triple H promo started really well. Came across very pompous by referring to himself as the measuring stick etc, but just as I thought you were about to transition onto the Rumble match and Triple H being surrounded by people who didn’t deserve to be in it … he started talking about Hardcore wrestling? Chaddes actually made a really great point in his feedback last week about Triple H being in more than his fair share of hardcore type matches over the years. If anything, his most famous matches have been hardcore type matches and not the traditional wrestling matches.

    I don’t know if the direction of this is going to be that Triple H is a hypocrite by denouncing hardcore wrestling, but it’s definitely something that’ll need to be addressed. I also don’t think this was the week to do this angle. It’s the go-home show for the Rumble, and Triple H’s promo to open the show should really be something to hype the Rumble and his ambition to win that match. In it’s own bubble, it’s a really impactful angle, and furthers Triple H’s vendetta (however flawed it may be) against everything hardcore, and presumably writes off Joey Styles too. Clearly, it feels as if the direction is RVD/Triple H for Mania I’m guessing, but I would’ve liked you to hold off on this angle until after the Royal Rumble and just focus on that show and the Rumble match here instead. Given this set up, it all but confirms neither of these two guys are people we need to think about as winners of the Rumble.

    Boy, this show would be a tricky one to sit through, listening to King and Coach alone for nearly two hours, lol.

    And the people of North Carolina are especially lucky; THREE Rob Conway matches on one TV taping!? Back to back matches on Heat and now this match versus RVD. Poor guy still couldn’t qualify for the Rumble. If I was any good at puns, I’d call this a Con-job. Nice description of Van Dams intensity here too, still seething from the Styles incident and I’m glad you let that situation play into the match. No question that RVD was winning this match.

    I think getting some explanation from Carlito and Masters was certainly needed, and this was pretty good. Makes sense for two younger guys to saddle up next to the boss to get ahead. Still trying to work out whether I love or hate that name for the group though, lol.

    Triple H almost babyfaced himself here in telling Vince he ‘knows’ who to call. All hail Triple H for clearing the path for J.R to return!! At least Triple H finally made a mention of the Rumble match here.

    The champion of Raw. Said it before, saying it again; love that moniker. Marty Jannetty is a great guy to use for this open challenge. Showed in his brief 2005 run that he still had it, and if anything I’d have rathered this match got 6-7 minutes as it could’ve been a whole lot of fun. Still, fine use of Helms, winning as expected, and I’d wager he’ll get a good run in the Rumble match.

    Lol at Striker lecturing Venis for his poor technique during the match. Sounds awesome. Not sure what the ‘Golden Rule’ is, but it’s a great name for a finish for Striker, and the victory was the right call. Venis is a long way past his days of relevancy, and Striker is a character with plenty of potential in this thread. Expect some sort of comedy spot for Matt in the Rumble for sure.

    Angle absolutely needed something this like to heat him up. Only critique would be that I’d have liked Striker to use his intelligence and avoid Angle rather than being another whipping boy for him. That aside, this was a great showing of Angle at his intense best, and the visual of him absolutely ripping Big Vis apart before dumping him with an Angle Slam would’ve been great. Looking forward to seeing you build off this now.

    I appreciate the explanation for why Edge can’t just up and leave, as it would be a reasonable question to ask and something you wouldn’t put past a guy like Edge to do. Extra marks for addressing that potential plot-hole. Also liking you tapping into that paranoid side of Edge’s character too, thinking he’s being punished with this match because he’s hinted at coming after Shawn. Nothing groundbreaking, but an enjoyable conversation between Edge and Lita. Solid stuff.

    Excellent focus for the Womens title match at the Rumble, getting a prime in-ring segment for the contract signing. Makes the match feel much bigger than what I was initially positioning it as. I don't necessarily agree with the ‘dog barking’ incident being brought up and played on as heavily as it was here. That’s one angle that’s certainly best confined to history and forgotten, and would’ve liked for you to just hint at it instead maybe.

    That said, this was a great advertisement for a new future for the women’s division it feels like and the addition of the No DQ stipulation sure is interesting. I don’t think it’s just being done to make it a little easier of a match to write, I think there’s a reason for it. What that is, I’m not sure yet. But the Mickie being barred from ringside stipulation has to have something to do with it. I’m VERY intrigued to see how this plays out now at the Rumble. Great job in getting me invested into a match I was previously cold on.

    Loved that vignette for Cade and Murdoch. Simple. Effective. They’ll be another solid addition to the tag division as it looks like you’ll be treating them seriously.

    And there’s your team name you were looking for. Impossible Brutality sounds good to me for a name for Tomko and Snitksy, and obviously goes well with the theme too. Personally, I don't like seeing the challengers you’re building up losing clean as a whistle, even if it’s just a singles match. You’ve already got work to go to get people interested in a Tomko/Snitsky team, they really need to be looking good. Even a DQ loss here would’ve been a preferable outcome if you didn’t want to beat Benjamin either. As with Tomko last week, seven minutes feels a little long for a Snitksy singles match, but it’s not a huge issue. Nice touch too of Haas learning from last week and bringing a chair into the ring after the match. Always good to paint your faces as intelligent.

    Hmmm … I’m still wavering on thinking Trish ends up turning heel on Mickie and Mickie being the sympathetic figure in the end, but I’m wondering what Mickie could potentially do to help Trish at the Rumble, especially if she’s barred from ringside. Glad you addressed that issue from last week too. I suspected that was why she didn’t show up, but it’s good to address these issues too.

    Number 31? Something different, I’ll give you that. I’d be stunned if Cena doesn’t wind up in the Rumble, so it’ll be interesting to see who ends up giving up their spot to him and why they’d do it. Could set up some fun interactions with backstage segments at the PPV anyway.

    Edge walking out is a bit meh, but I get why you’d do it. Neither guy really needs to be getting beat with Edge only just back and Kane starting to build some decent momentum, so the count out makes sense, even if it is a bit of a downer. Everyone cowering in fear of Kane after chokeslamming the referee was good too. I’m definitely digging this renewed push for psychotic Kane right now. Big Show being the only one that can calm him is bound to lead to Kane eventually snapping and destroying Show too, right?

    Michaels/Angle interaction was short, but sweet. I enjoy segments like this that call back on history; especially given their history at last years WrestleMania, teasing a rematch, as that feud was never comprehensively settled iirc with them being 1-1 and no conclusion following the tied Iron Man match. Certainly gets people thinking Angle could be the one to win the Rumble.

    So … here’s my issue with this Michaels/Flair segment. On the surface, it’s a solid go-home promo, hyping what should be an epic match at the Rumble … but you promised something that was going to “change the face of the WWE” just before the segment, and you hyped it to a similar degree with Shawn’s promise last week too that he’d have something for Flair in his hometown. And it wasn’t that at all.

    Sure, bringing back the winged eagle belt is a big thing to do, but it’s not something I’d call ground breaking and it’s not something I’d have expected when Shawn said he had something for Flair tonight. Again – not a knock on the content itself – but you over promised what this segment was going to be and under delivered imo. Still, to repeat again; it WAS a solid go-home promo. No knocking of your writing at all. Just not what I was expecting the segment to be in the end.

  6. #46
    White Iverson
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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Velocity Internet Tapings:

    1. William Regal & Paul Burchill defeated The Mexicools (Super Crazy & Juventud) (w/Psicosis)

    2. Kid Kash defeated Funaki in a Royal Rumble Qualifier
    3. Hardcore Holly defeated Elijah Burke in a Royal Rumble Qualifier
    4. Mark Henry defeated Scotty 2 Hotty


    Friday Night Smackdown | January 27th 2006 | Greenville, South Carolina




    ...


    "48 HOURS"

    *VIDEO PACKAGE*

    *PYRO*

    Smackdown kicks off with a long panning shot of the arena. It’s a packed house just days before the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view event – a night where anything is possible and the Road to WrestleMania will begin to take shape. We cut to the announce desk where Michael Cole is ready to give us the standard welcome until…

    **BURN IN MY LIGHT**

    Wasting no time this week, RANDY ORTON marches down the entrance ramp with a microphone in his hand and a determined look on the face of the Legend Killer. It’s clearly an unplanned start to the evening as Cole fumbles his words for a moment.

    Michael Cole: We’re just forty eight hours away from the Royal Rumble, ladies and gentlemen! The whole world is on the edge of their seats as the most unpredictable event of the year comes around. It appears that just like many of you at home that Randy Orton cannot wait for the Rumble. What do you think he’s out here for, Tazz?

    Tazz: I can’t say for sure, partner. All I know is that last week Randy Orton had his threats shut down by the General Manager in stunning fashion in the middle of that ring.

    Michael Cole: The confrontation between Orton and Theodore Long was a major talking point coming out of last week. Orton had a contract from Monday Night Raw which he threatened to sign but ultimately backed down when Teddy Long called his bluff.

    Tazz: We all know what Orton really wants, Michael. He wants the World Title and Teddy Long refuses to just hand him another opportunity. He might be out here to make one final plea!

    Pacing back and forth in the ring, barely able to contain himself, Orton shouts in the microphone.

    Randy Orton: Teddy Long!! Do not be a fool, Teddy. Do the right thing.

    Orton continues to pace around the ring.

    Randy Orton: Last week, you and I got a little heated in this ring. That’s bound to happen. You made a mistake. I accept that.

    Boos from the crowd.

    Randy Orton: I will be the bigger man, Teddy. Not only do I accept that you made a mistake last week but I… I… I forgive you!

    When Orton says “I forgive you” he looks directly into the hard camera.

    Randy Orton: I’m willing to admit that you were wrong, Teddy. That’s the first step in fixing the problems around here. We can move past our issues since I’m being the bigger man. Last week, you and I set a bad precedent for Smackdown.

    Orton comes to a stop and address the hard camera again.

    Randy Orton: You’re the General Manager of Smackdown, Teddy. I am the biggest star that this brand has and will ever have! You are lucky to have me… and threatening to leave was a mistake. I see that now.

    From the back of his jeans Randy pulls out the same Raw contract he had from last week.

    Randy Orton: As the bigger man I’m going to do my part in making things right. I have decided to stay loyal to Friday Night Smackdown. I will not jump ship! Congratulations, Teddy. The biggest star this show has ever seen is sticking around. You’re welcome.

    Adding theatrics of his words, Orton rips up the Raw contract and throws the scraps to the outside of the ring. While this is happening Michael Cole chimes in about how it was Teddy Long who revealed the flaw in Orton’s thinking last week and that Orton didn’t really have any choice – stating that Smackdown is the best place to be if you’re chasing a World Title.

    Randy Orton: Now because I have chosen to stay and because I have decided to let past sins stay in the past – we’ve got a fresh start, Teddy. I think it’s only fair that you deliver to me a gesture of similar good faith.

    The crowd starts booing as they sense where it’s going.

    Randy Orton: I’m not asking for something I don’t deserve. I want what I have earned. I want my birthright… put me in the World Title Match at the Royal Rumble!!

    The heat is immense from the live crowd – everyone sick of hearing Orton politic for a possible triple threat which has been his motive for three straight weeks.

    Randy Orton: For three weeks you’ve denied me what I deserve, Teddy. Just because you’ve been an idiot… I mean because you’ve been under a lot of pressure, no doubt there is a lot to do this time of year, I can appreciate that you’ve made some mistakes.

    Orton places a hand on his heart and looks wishfully into the hard camera.

    Randy Orton: It’s not too late for you to make the correct decision. Put me in the match – give me what I want, Teddy! I have earned it! I deserve it! GIVE ME THE DAMN… rethink you’re mistake, Teddy. I need to be in that match and this is your last chance to fix it.

    A few moments pass and nothing happens as Orton awaits an answer.

    Randy Orton: I’m happy to wait all night in this ring until I get an answer, Teddy. I will sit in this ring for two hours if I have to.

    **BOOYAKA 619**

    REY MYSTERIO enters the arena to a big pop from the crowd, makes his way down to the ring, and confronts the Legend Killer without a moment of hesitation. Orton glares at Mysterio – in disbelief that his peer has the nerve to interrupt him during his final plea.

    Rey Mysterio: Man, all you’ve done is whine for three weeks now and I’m sick of it!

    Huge pop from the crowd – Orton throws his head back and curses at Mysterio.

    Rey Mysterio: I’m sick of it. The wrestlers in the locker-room are sick of it and most importantly the fans are sick of it!

    Randy Orton: I don’t give a damn what you or anybody else thinks. I’ve heard nothing but opinions from everyone on this brand for three weeks about what I deserve. You shouldn’t even be sharing this ring with me let alone speaking to me directly.

    Mysterio shakes his head and then stabs a finger directly into the chest of the Legend Killer.

    Rey Mysterio: You might not care what we think now but you’re going to care on Sunday. You’re not getting into the World Title Match, Randy. We can all see that. It seems you’re the only one left who thinks that’s a possibility.

    Orton shakes his head in defiance as he swats Mysterio’s hand away from his chest.

    Rey Mysterio: See, you’ve spent three weeks calling the entire locker-room worthless compared to the all-mighty Legend Killer. You think that you’re so much better than the rest of us?? Well, on Sunday you’ll get a chance to prove it in the Royal Rumble.

    Randy Orton: Oh, I know I’m better than you, Rey.

    Rey Mysterio: Keep talking, Randy. You’ve done nothing but paint a big target on your back for Sunday. Everybody in that locker-room is ready to come straight after you in the Rumble. I can’t speak for them all but I know that if we’re in the ring at the same time on Sunday… I’ll definitely enjoy tossing you over the top rope!

    Now things are heating up as Randy steps towards Mysterio – looking down at the masked man.

    Randy Orton: It wouldn’t matter if it was you, the entire Smackdown locker-room and Raw’s locker-room as well on Sunday. None of you deserve to be World Champion more than me! I was born to hold that gold and if Teddy Long is too stupid to give me a direct shot than I’ll sure as hell have no problem winning the Royal Rumble just to show everybody that I am superior to the lot of you!!

    Rey goes to speak but the microphone is slapped out of his hand by Orton.

    Randy Orton: You can take this message to the back with you. I’m going to win the Royal Rumble on Sunday and I will be World Champion sooner rather than later. Go on, Rey. Run to the back and tell your pals what I said. I can beat ‘em all. Today, tomorrow or any other day of the week.

    Suddenly, Mysterio snatches the microphone from Orton’s hand.

    Rey Mysterio: Prove it! You versus me tonight!! You talk a big game but when it comes down to it you’d rather have everything handed to you on a platter than to have to fight for it. I’ve struggled uphill my entire life and winning the Royal Rumble to me is just another hill, another challenge in my life, to overcome! I’ve beaten guys like you all my life… I bet I can do it again tonight!

    There is a long stare between Mysterio and Orton as the challenge hangs in the air. The crowd want it so badly… Orton begins to walk away, bumping shoulders with Rey, before he takes a cheap shot with a forearm to the back of Mysterio’s head!

    Mysterio drops to the canvas… and Orton makes a quick exit after the cheap shot. While walking up the ramp, Orton can be heard saying - “I’ll see you in the ring tonight, little man.” It’s official – Randy Orton versus Rey Mysterio will happen later on Smackdown!


    _____________________


    ...


    Commercial Break


    ...


    _____________________


    **LAMBEG**

    Upon the return from the break we’re set for the first in-ring competition of the night. Standing inside the ring already is the BOOGEYMAN – moving in his trademark awkward fashion and chewing on a handful of worms. It’s a stark contrast as FIT FINLAY slowly walks down to the ring, no over the top gimmicks – it’s a straight walk to the ring.

    The commentary team recounts Fit Finlay’s impressive debut in the battle royal last week to secure his spot in the Royal Rumble. Tazz gushes over the gritty style of Fit Finlay and calls him the toughest man on the Smackdown roster. Cole ponders that the unusual nature of the Boogeyman could pose a challenge to Finlay as he’s nothing like the traditional athletes that the veteran is accustom to competing against.

    Match 1:
    Boogeyman vs. Fit Finlay
    A quick five minute match to kick-off the wrestling portion of Smackdown this week. After an impressive outing last week Fit Finlay follows it up with a traditional exercise in professional wrestling against the most unique of opponents. They lock-up in the middle of the ring to start and Fit grabs the arm, dragging Boogeyman down to the arm and applies an arm crank. Finlay works the arm for the majority of the match and applies various submissions but eventually discovers that Boogeyman seems invulnerable to submission based attacks – seemingly enjoying the pain rather than suffering as a normal athlete would.

    Boogeyman begins to quicken the pace after being worked over on the canvas. He battles to his feet and flies around the ring hitting a corkscrew kick which knocks Finlay to the outside of the ring. Back into the ring, Boogeyman hits a Reverse Powerslam for a two count. That’s followed up by Boogeyman whipping Fit Finlay into the corner… he attempts a splash but Finlay ducks out of the way and executes a cradle. A kick out at two keeps the match alive but Fit fires off a right hand to knock Boogeyman silly for a moment. Another arm crank allows Fit Finlay to lift Boogeyman up and he nails the Celtic Cross for the three count and a 2-0 start to his Smackdown career.
    Winner: Fit Finlay @ 05:01

    Michael Cole: Another victory for the Irishman! He has only been on Smackdown for two weeks but Fit Finlay is making waves already here on Friday Night.

    Tazz: That’s the dark horse pick for the Royal Rumble, Cole. He’s a veteran who knows what it takes in big time matches. A lot of these young kids are going to be overexcited on Sunday and a veteran like Fit Finlay is going to be able to take advantage of that, no doubt!

    Fit Finlay has his hand raised by the official, refusing to leave beforehand, and then takes his leave from the ring. Finlay shoves past a cameraman who was in his way – knocking the poor gentlemen to the ground without a second thought.

    _____________________


    We transition to the office of Smackdown General Manager TEDDY LONG where the man himself is mid-conversation with one of Smackdown’s top stars. Theodore Long rubs his face with both hands – showing frustration and a desperate need for a solution.

    Standing in the office with him is BOOKER T and his wife SHARMELL. Booker T has his right knee bandaged and is walking with a crutch. His wife has a handful of tissues in her hand, dabbing her eyes every so often, wiping non-existent tears.

    Theodore Long: Let me get this straight, playa. You’re backing out of the match against The Undertaker tonight?? Is that what you’re tellin’ me, playa?

    Booker T: Teddy! I can’t, dawg. My knee it’s bad, man. I can’t go, t’night.

    Teddy Long throws his hands up in the air.

    Theodore Long: How’d it happen, Booker? The doctor’s checked you last week after Smackdown and they cleared you for competition this week.

    Booker T lets out a loud groan as he tries to take a step.

    Booker T: All I know is 'dat the knee started feelin' weird after Smackdown. I was mindin' my own business, Teddy. My wife had to call the ambulance! I can’t go out there, man. Riskin’ my health… a couple of days rest and I’ll be ready to go again. I’ll be right for the Rumble, Teddy. I just need t’night off.

    Theodore Long: Alright, playa. You’re out. That does leave me with a problem though. Who am I going to get to replace you against The Undertaker? That was our main event!

    Between exaggerated grimaces of pain, Booker T and Sharmell share a sly smile with each other.

    Booker T: I gotcha back, Teddy. You don’t gotta worry 'bout a thing, t’night.

    Theodore Long: What? You found your own replace, Book?

    Booker T: Damn straight! I got you a perfect replacement and in fact he’s been waitin’ all day for the call. T’night, Ken Kennedy has volunteered to take my place against The Undertaker since I’m injured and all.

    Teddy Long looks uncertain for a moment.

    Theodore Long: Ken Kennedy volunteered to face The Undertaker in your place? That’s what happened. You get injured… all of a sudden just days after I announced the match to WWE.com and now Ken Kennedy has decided to be your substitute. Is that what you’re telling me?

    Booker T: Ken promised he would, Teddy. You know as well as I do that Ken Kennedy is a man if his word.

    Theodore Long: Fine. I don’t have any other choices. Let Ken know that he’s in the main event tonight, would you?

    All the pain seems to fade from the face of Booker T now.

    Booker T: No problem.

    The camera follows Booker T and Sharmell as they exit the office and the door shuts behind them. When the door clicks into place Booker T tosses the crutch to the side and hugs his wife, lifting her up in the air and bounces around the corridor. It’s a lie – a ploy – a trap set by Booker T and Sharmell!

    After the last two weeks where Ken Kennedy has left Booker T high and dry it appears that the former five time WCW Champion has struck back. Booker T will get the night off to recover from his “injuries” while his recent business associate has been substituted into a position nobody would ever volunteer into.

    _____________________


    Elsewhere backstage in a stairwell of the arena, MARK HENRY sits with his head down and fists clenched. The camera is to the side of him, far enough away in case the World’s Strongest Man snaps, waiting for Henry deliver is message.

    Mark Henry: Ten years I’ve been here in the WWE. I’m an Olympian. I’ve been crowned the World’s Strongest Man on more than one occasion. I go out there into the ring and remind everybody that I am the most powerful WWE superstar in history. There is no athlete in the world who comes close to matching what I can do. Inside the ring I break people! I make them feel pain that they’ve never experienced before.

    Henry slowly raises his head and looks towards the camera.

    Mark Henry: I would expect a certain level of respect to come along with my legacy. But none of you give me the respect I deserve! You’d rather give it to the likes of Bobby Lashley. He walks around here acting like he owns the place? I own this place! Bobby Lashley paid rent last week for running his mouth and sticking his nose in my business. How’d it feel, Bobby? Last week when I put you through the announce desk and slammed your head into the ring post. I know you’re sitting at home right now nursing those injuries that I gave you. I know you’re watching this and counting down the days until you’re cleared to compete again. Here’s some advice kid… stay at home because if you step to me again I won’t just break another announce desk but I’ll break you.

    Henry pauses for a moment. He clenches his fists tightly and shows them to the camera.

    Mark Henry: That isn’t just a warning for you, Bobby. That’s a warning for everyone on the Smackdown roster. I’ve sat by for ten years waiting for an opportunity and I’ve been passed over time and time again. I’ve seen weaker men climb higher than me. That stops now! I’m going to the Royal Rumble and I will break you all! For ten years I’ve played games, I’ve come in second and been a joke… I’m done with the games now!! I play by my rules now. I’m going to break everybody in front of me. At the Royal Rumble I take my career back into these hands. No more waiting – I will not be denied any longer… AND if anybody tries to stop me it’ll be the last thing you ever do.

    The World’s Strongest Man mean mugs the camera.

    Mark Henry: Consider this your final warning.

    The message has been delivered loud and clear from the World’s Strongest Man. After a decade in the WWE it appears that Mark Henry is ready to start ripping people apart to get what he wants and winning the Royal Rumble is right at the top of his list. The camera fades to black on the scene with Henry looking menacing as we cut to commercial.

    _____________________


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    Commercial Break


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    _____________________








    Match 2:
    Sylvan (w/Simon Dean) vs. Vito (w/Nunzio)
    During the entrances for this contest it’s announced by Michael Cole that Simon Dean will defend the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Nunzio next week on Friday Night Smackdown. It’s the battle of the associates this week with both Dean and Nunzio at ringside with their partners competing against each other. The champion gets into a war of words in the opening moments with Nunzio on the outside which draws the attention of the referee. Sylvan takes advantage and blindsides Vito with a flurry of forearms to the back of the head and proceeds into his standard wrestling technique. For the next couple of minutes it’s a back and forth match with both men trading near falls on the other.

    Simon Dean and Nunzio continue to pester each other on the outside of the ring. The champion still holding a grudge after being pinned by the Italian last week while Nunzio has not forgotten the disrespect showed by Dean to his mother’s cooking. Inside the ring, Vito whips Sylvan into the ropes, Sylvan tries to counter but Vito scoops him up for a slam instead. Vito picks Sylvan off the canvas with a front face lock, grabs the tights and executes a suplex. He points towards the sky before making his way to the top rope, leaping off with an elbow drop… BUT SYLVAN ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY. Quickly, Sylvan makes the cover for a close two count!

    To his credit, Vito fights back to his feet as Sylvan hammers away with punches – ultimately slinging him into the ropes and knocking him to the canvas with a lariat. The finishing sequence sees Vito and Sylvan going back and forth, Vito grabbing a front face lock and going for the Code of Silence but Sylvan pushes him away… KNOCKING DOWN THE REFEREE! Vito rushes back in, looking for the finisher again, only for Sylvan to hit a low blow to big heat from the crowd. Nunzio is losing it on the outside shouting for the official to get up and from behind Dean wacks Nunzio with the title belt. Back inside the ring, Sylvan picks Vito up onto his shoulders – TKO!! Sylvan makes the cover, the referee having now recovered and makes the three count.
    Winner: Sylvan @ 06:02

    Michael Cole: They’ve stolen the damn match here tonight have Simon Dean and his perfect client Sylvan. It was a fine back and forth contest that could’ve gone either way but that wasn’t good enough for the WWE Cruiserweight Champion.

    Tazz: Champion’s do not settle, Michael. Simon Dean suffered a loss last week and being a champion that doesn’t sit well with him. Those boys come out tonight with a plan, the referee went down and they did whatever it took to get the job done.

    Michael Cole: Hopefully we’ll have some extra eyes on the ring next week when Simon Dean puts the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the line against Nunzio. I don’t know how taking a cheap shot like Simon Dean with the WWE Cruiserweight Title to Nunzio is anything befitting a champion but he’ll have to answer for that next week on Smackdown.

    Tazz: It’s going to be a hell of a match next week. I’ve known Nunzio a long time and the things that Simon Dean said about his mother are fighting words. He’s not just coming for the title it’s a personal issue. And you know Dean isn’t going to surrender the title to someone he feels is unfit.

    Payback for the loss they suffered last week at the hands of the FBI has been delivered by Simon Dean and Sylvan. The referee went down and they took advantage of the situation that presented itself – Dean making sure to get in a cheap shot to his future challenger. They don’t waste time waiting around the ring, Dean and Sylvan taking off up the ramp and celebrating the win.

    In fact, Dean climbs onto the shoulders of Sylvan and arrogantly parades around the top of the stage holding the WWE Cruiserweight Title high in the air. Meanwhile in the ring, Nunzio holds the back of his head whilst checking on Vito. He looks furious, pointing up the ramp and shouting that he’ll be ready in seven days time.

    _____________________


    To the locker-room we now go where JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD is standing by with MELINA…

    John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Listen, sweetheart, just get to the point. What do you want?

    Melina: It’s as I was trying to explain to you. Booker T was supposed to face The Undertaker later tonight. He’s hurt so they replaced him with Ken Kennedy but the problem is that Ken was originally going to be teaming with Johnny and Joey against London, Kendrick and Matt Hardy. Right now, MNM is going into a handicap match instead of a six man tag. That’s not fair to my boys.

    Layfield smirks and shrugs his shoulders.

    John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: And how is that my problem?

    Melina: I thought that since you are the longest reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown history that you might be willing to do us a favour and team with MNM? Teddy Long said if I could find someone to take Kennedy’s place then he’d allow it. You, JBL, were the first man I thought of… and you’re the only one who could fill that spot.

    John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: Flattery alone won’t get you anything, darling. I’ve got millions of fans around the world who send me letters every day and I have Jillian read some of them. Most get burned before I ever have to see them but sometimes Jillian gets bored on the private jet and decides to read them.

    JBL reaches out and twirls his finger in the hair of Melina – grinning widely.

    John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: No, if you want my help you’re going to have to do more than flattery me. Because you’re right I am the only man who can do what you need, Melina. How badly do you want your boys to have a partner tonight? How far are you willing to go for a wrestling… God!

    Melina takes a step closer to JBL and traces his chest with her finger.

    Melina: If you help my boys tonight… I’ll make it worth your while.

    John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield: I like the sound of that… just don’t tell Jillian.

    JBL takes his leave from the locker-room having agreed to partner with MNM later this evening in a major six man tag team match. The camera lingers on Melina for a moment as a seductive smile appears on her face. She has used his temptress ways to provide help for Mercury and Nitro once again and they’ll need it against the Hooligans and Matt Hardy.

    _____________________


    **VIDEO PACKAGE**

    Our Father who art in heaven”

    The Undertaker makes his debut at Survivor Series 1990, making the long walk to the ring with Brother Love and ultimately pinning Dusty Rhodes.

    Hallowed be thy name.”

    Paul Bearer makes his introduction along The Undertaker and together they dismantle various superstars including Bret Hart and Kerry Von Erich.

    Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

    The Undertaker hits the Tombstone Piledriver on Jimmy Snuka to begin the first of 13 consecutive wins at WrestleMania.

    Give us this day our daily bread...”

    One year after his debut The Undertaker makes the walk to the ring, hits the Tombstone on Hulk Hogan and becomes WWE Champion for the very first time.

    And forgive us our trespasses...”

    Various clips of The Undertaker defeating legends like Ultimate Warrior, Sid Vicious, Diesel and King Kong Bundy.

    As we forgive those who trespass against us...”

    The Undertaker’s various forms throughout his career are shown including the original attire, his Ministry of Darkness phase, his reign as the American Badass, Big Evil and now once again as the Phenom.

    And lead us not into temptation...”

    A shot of the World Heavyweight Championship appears surrounded by darkness.

    But deliver us from evil.”

    The confrontation between The Undertaker and Batista is shown with ‘Taker eyeing the World Title.

    Amen.”

    The final image of the video package shows The Undertaker standing over Batista from Smackdown last week.



    **END OF PACKAGE**


    _____________________


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    Match 3:
    MNM & John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield (w/Melina & Jillian Hall) vs. Hooligans & Matt Hardy
    This match has been thrown into chaos before the bell even rings due to the addition of JBL and the replacement of Mr. Kennedy. Having won a triple threat match last week Mr. Kennedy is considered by many to be the number one contender for Matt Hardy’s WWE United States Championship and tonight would’ve been a chance for both men to go at it before their big title match in the near future. Instead, Layfield joins the fray to support MNM after being persuaded by Melina earlier in the evening.

    Having already had an influence over the match it’s no surprise to see Melina at ringside and working her womanly ways. Throughout the contest Melina catches the eye of Paul London, waving at him and causing a variety of distractions in favour of her boys and JBL. It’s a standard six man tag for a majority of the contest with the heels isolating Brian Kendrick in their corner of the ring. It all breaks down for these six men when JBL is sent to the outside by a headscissors from Kendrick.

    With JBL on the outside, Kendrick sprints towards the ropes and dives to the outside of the ring. It becomes utter chaos with everyone rushing to the outside and brawling. In a major spot we see everyone on the floor except Paul London. He scales the turnbuckle and does a MOONSAULT onto the pile of bodies!! London helps Kendrick back up and together they toss Layfield into the squared circle, a tag is made, and London gets a two count!

    The match continues for a few more minutes, London taking control of the contest for his team and using his educated feet on JBL. We arrive at the finish of the contest when London goes for a Tornado DDT… he gets too close to the opposite corner while spinning and this allows Mercury to make a blind tag. London nails the DDT, hooking the leg telling the referee to count… but the zebra denies it and points behind him! Mercury rushes forward, London rolls out of the way and springboards back off the ropes with a Corkscrew Elbow! Staggering to his feet, London points to the top rope – he can feel the crowd willing him on now. While on the top rope London is rushed by Nitro but Kendrick cuts him off! Matt Hardy does the same for Layfield… London has a free shot – SHOOTING STAR PRESS! London nails it on Mercury and hooks the leg for the three count!! Paul London just pinned one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions!
    Winners: Hooligans & Matt Hardy @ 09:31

    They were already the number one contenders but tonight London and Kendrick have sent a major message to the reigning WWE Tag Team Champions with this victory. When the bell sounds in the background to signal the conclusion of the match, Kendrick rushes into the ring and hugs his tag team partner – motioning to his waist that they are just a few weeks away from taking the titles.

    Matt Hardy joins the Hooligans inside the ring to celebrate the win, holding his own title, and congratulating the duo on their performance this evening. The opposing team are far from getting on well. Layfield is in the middle of a shouting match with Nitro over the finish of the match while Jillian Hall is in the face of Melina.

    JBL storms from ringside, grabbing Hall by the wrist and leading her away, cursing under his breath that he even bothered helping MNM out tonight. Back at ringside, Nitro is seething at the sight of London and Kendrick having got one over MNM. Cole suggests that Melina thought her seduction would be enough to get the win tonight but the Hooligans have shown for weeks now that they are not buying it – especially Paul London.

    _____________________


    Cutting backstage post-match, EUGENE is standing behind a table filled with toys, t-shirts and various other trinkets available from the online WWE Shop. Eugene himself is in the brand new Batista t-shirt with the phrase - “Show No Fear” on the from of it. Filled with joy and excitement, Eugene shows off a variety of the toys in front of him.


    Eugene: Hi, boys and girls! I-I-I-I’m Eugene!

    He waves to the camera and has a big smile from ear to ear.

    Eugene: Today I’m going to s-s-show you what… YOU!!

    Eugene does a Hulk Hogan like finger point when he says “YOU” into the camera before clapping his hands and giggling.

    Eugene: What you can buy at the WWE Shop. Look at all these toys! We’ve got an Undertaker action figure, a Matt Hardy action figure, oh this is a Batista t-shirt! It’s so cool, yeah. Oh, look here – quick!!

    Pushing a bunch of stuff to the side, Eugene grabs a replica Rey Mysterio mask and shows it off to the camera.

    Eugene: This is my favourite. It’s a repli-replic-um… it’s a Rey Mysterio mask just like he wears to the ring. How cool is that? And you can get all of this stuff from the WWE Shop. What else should I show you? Um…

    Looking around at the table pondering what to show off next… Eugene is jumped by FIT FINLAY. The Irishman strikes with a brutal forearm to the temple and tackles Eugene to the floor.

    The table flips over, spilling the merchandise all over the place as Fit Finlay transitions into a mount position to deliver some of the hardest punches you’ve ever seen to poor Eugene. Completely blindsided by the assault, Eugene tries to cover up but Finlay is as skilled a technician as anybody in wresting – finding ways to get his punches through the guard of Eugene.

    FINALLY SECURITY RUSHES INTO THE SCENE AND PULLS FINLAY AWAY.

    The Irishman bursts free from the security and delivers a stiff kick to the head of Eugene knocking him out cold. Eugene flattens out on the cold concrete ground as Fit Finlay shouts abuse towards his lifeless body – being pulled away by security at the same time.

    Michael Cole: What the hell is Fit Finlay’s problem, Tazz? This man joined the Smackdown roster last week and was very impressive in the battle royal. Yet he can’t just win his matches and let the victories speak for themselves. No, Finlay has targeted the innocent Eugene twice now – and nobody has any idea as to why!

    Tazz: I don’t think Fit Finlay needs a reason to want to fight somebody, Cole. If you’ve ever followed the career of this fighting Irishman than you know just how vindictive he can be. Fit Finlay was made in the streets of Dublin during a time when Ireland was hardly a fun place to be walking about. He is battle tested not just inside the ring but by the battle to simply survive on the streets.

    Michael Cole: I get that but what did Eugene do to deserve this attack tonight. He was showing off some of the products fans could buy. Eugene was having the time of his life showing kids the toys they could get for their birthdays and Fit Finlay came in to ruin that. Eugene wouldn’t hurt a soul and Fit Finlay continues to target him. We need to know why!

    Tazz: Well, you’re the journalist. Go ask him, Michael.

    _____________________


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    Commercial Break


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    _____________________


    Back from the break, MR. KENNEDY storms through the halls of the arena, pushing past anybody in his way, until he gets to a door that is marked as the office of Theodore Long.

    Kennedy raises his fist to knock on the door, pauses for a moment, and then pushes the door open without warning, bursting into the office to the surprise of the General Manager.

    Theodore Long: Can I help you, playa?

    Mr. Kennedy: What’s the deal with changing my match without informing me, Teddy? You can’t do that to me. You don’t make a change without informing your star player and there isn’t anybody on the roster that is a bigger star than me!

    Teddy looks confused, sitting up in his chair at his desk, waving a hand out in front as he speaks.

    Theodore Long: What are you talkin’ about? I only did what you agreed to, Ken.

    Kennedy’s eyes go wide and he begins shaking his head in protest.

    Mr. Kennedy: I didn’t agree to anything. I showed up here tonight expecting to wrestle as part of a six man tag and then I’m told by some intern in the back that I’m up against The Undertaker. Why was I not consulted about this? Better yet, I want the match cancelled. I can’t compete on this short of notice.

    That causes Teddy Long to stand up, remove his glasses and point a finger at Kennedy.

    Theodore Long: Now, listen here, playa! I’m not playin’ around. I can’t go changin’ matches on the day of the show after advertisin’ it all week. I’ll be out the door within the month if I start doing that. I don’t know what type of game you and Booker T are playin’ but I’m over it. Tonight, you’re facing The Undertaker! Booker T is hurt, he’s out and you’re in. That’s final.

    Kennedy shakes his head, slamming a fist down on the desk and pleads with Teddy.

    Mr. Kennedy: Booker T is faking an injury, Teddy! Can’t you see that? He’s trying to stitch me up by forcing me to take his place against The Undertaker. You can’t send me out there.

    Teddy just stares back and folds him arms.

    Theodore Long: I suppose if anybody would know about fakin’ an injury it would be you, playa.

    Big pop from the live crowd watching in the arena.

    Mr. Kennedy: This isn’t fair, Teddy. Booker T is jealous that I won the triple threat match last week even with the injury to my leg the previous week. I fought through it all and still came out on top. Instead of being praised for competing after suffering an injury the week before I get called a liar! I am the victim here – The Undertaker could aggravate it even worse and I’ve got a title match with Matt Hardy to think about.

    Theodore Long: I suggest you get to stretchin’ then because you don’t want to waste anymore time in preparin’ for The Undertaker. As I said, playa. The match is on!!

    Our main event remains intact for later this evening. It would appear that Booker T was telling a lie when he said Kennedy volunteered for the match and never actually informed Ken about the change thereafter. The fallout from Kennedy breaking his word last week and faking an injury the week prior will reach its peak when the loudmouth steps into the ring with The Undertaker later this evening.

    Ken Kennedy is extremely frustrated with the entire situation, he slaps the table, sharing a stare with the GM, before exiting the office in a huff.

    _____________________


    Into the arena we go…


    **BOOYAKA 619**

    Rushing out onto the stage, to a mammoth reaction from the audience, REY MYSTERIO appears ready for what is a highly anticipated contest. On his way to the ring Mysterio slaps hands with fans and goes forehead to forehead with a few of the youngsters wearing their own Rey Mysterio style masks this evening.

    Tazz: Big time action now, partner. Rey came out to the ring tonight on behalf of the locker-room with a lot of what he said to Randy Orton. We’ve spoken about it for weeks now, and Batista had similar thoughts when he and Orton got into a heated conversation last week, that Orton is painting a massive target on his back by running down the entire roster. He proclaims himself to be the best on Smackdown doesn’t want to earn anything – or at least feels that he has already earned it. The rest of the boys in the locker-room don’t want to hear someone be so entitled.

    Michael Cole: Rey Mysterio came out to the ring and shut down Randy Orton to kick-off Smackdown. Last week, Mysterio was so close to winning the triple threat match and booking himself a spot opposite Matt Hardy for the United States Championship. I’ve got to wonder would he rather have won that match or would the chance to silence Randy Orton be a victory even he couldn’t pass on?

    **BURN IN MY LIGHT**

    Big heat from the crowd as RANDY ORTON saunters onto the stage, pointing down to the ring with a grin on his face – knowing that he got the first shot in right at the start of the show. Orton ever so slowly makes his way down the ramp, climbing the ring apron and posing on the turnbuckle… sending a look towards the WrestleMania 22 sign high in the rafters.

    Michael Cole: The campaign is over, ladies and gentlemen. Randy Orton will not be included in the World Championship Match at the Royal Rumble. That has been confirmed. It’s sealed and delivered. Randy Orton if he wants to be World Champion will have to win the Royal Rumble… a match during which we know he will be given “compensation” for his role in Smackdown winning at Survivor Series. Is he the favourite, Tazz?

    Tazz: From Smackdown I don’t think we can doubt it. Randy is going to be a really good entry number because he was the Sole Survivor in Team Raw versus Team Smackdown. That cannot be overlooked. The problem is that Orton is going to be the most targeted man in the match because of all the complaining he has done. You’ve got fourteen other Smackdown stars begging to be the man to toss the Legend Killer over the top rope.

    Match 4:
    Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton
    An excellent encounter between Mysterio and Orton spawning from their confrontation to kick-off Smackdown. Orton is slow to start the match and backs off multiple times during the opening moments. Sick of being taunted, Mysterio rushes forward only for Orton to duck between the ropes which forces the referee to create a break, pulling Mysterio backwards… AND ORTON SUCKER PUNCHES REY! It catches Mysterio in his right eye, causing vision problems throughout the rest of the contest, which Orton quickly takes advantage of with a neckbreaker.

    The contest is built around Orton’s focus on acting the right eye of Mysterio that was damaged with the sucker punch. Whenever Orton has a headlock applied he digs a few fingers towards the eye and when making covers he puts pressure on the eye socket. Even with his vision impaired Mysterio keeps the match alive and receives the praise of both members of the commentary team. A close call for Orton appears when he arrogantly sets up for a suplex and gets rolled into a cradle for a super close two count.

    The finish of the contest sees Orton go for the RKO, his eyes filled with venom as he calls for the end of the masked man, stalking Mysterio from behind. Orton jumps towards Mysterio… BLOCKED!! Mysterio shoves Orton away… and hits a dropkick sending the Legend Killer towards the second rope, hanging him up, and in a vulnerable position. Mysterio sells the eye, placing a hand over his right eye for a moment, before rushing forward and hitting the 619!

    Orton flies backwards into the middle of the ring. From the apron of the ring, Mysterio shakes his head, his eye causing him major issues right now, as he climbs the top turnbuckle. Rey Mysterio is up high now, taking an awful long time, having to be extra sensitive due to his vision impairment. Big splash from the top rope – MISSES! Orton gets out of the way… and immediately strikes with the RKO!! The eye injury which started from the sucker punch at the beginning has cost Mysterio as Orton scores the three count.
    Winner: Randy Orton @ 08:49

    Slithering to the outside of the ring, boos rushing in from the crowd, Randy Orton raises a single finger in the air to proclaim himself as the victor tonight. Replays show that the eye injury did in fact slow Mysterio down enough to where Orton could take advantage. Orton backs up the entrance ramp with a smug smile on his face having got the better of Mysterio.

    Inside the ring, Rey gets back to a knee with a hand over his right eye. The referee checks on him and Mysterio waves him away, telling the zebra that he’ll be fine but the effect of the injury still lingering. Both Tazz and Cole discuss the possibility of the eye injury playing a factor in Mysterio’s chance in the Royal Rumble as we transition to the back. Furthermore, Tazz says that he’d love to see Orton and Mysterio go one on one again in the near future especially after the early sucker punch by the Legend Killer.

    _____________________


    To the back we go with World Heavyweight Champion BATISTA standing by with Kristal Marshall. The champion is dressed in a suit with the title belt over his shoulder – ready to watch the main event between Mr. Kennedy and his challenger at the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker.

    Kristal Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, he is the World Heavyweight Champion – Batista! Dave, we’re just forty eight hours away from what many have called the biggest match of your entire career. What’s your mindset heading into the Royal Rumble – does it make a difference that we’re about to enter the Road to WrestleMania? Any added pressure for you as World Champion??

    Batista: Is this the biggest match of my career? That’s hard to say. I’ve wrestled in the main event of WrestleMania against the man I consider to be the greatest of all time. I’ve survived Hell in a Cell with blood pouring down onto my face. Numerous Hall of Famers, main events all over the world… I’ve done it all, Kristal. It’s hard for me to call one of them bigger than the other while I’m still competing. That’s going to be something I determine a long time from now when I’m sitting at home, old and grey, remembering my time as World Champion. What I can say is that Sunday is the most important match of my career – that goes for every title defence. No matter the challenger, regardless of the time or date, whenever I put this title on the line it’s the most important thing in my life and I’ll prove that to the world at the Royal Rumble.

    Kristal seems impressed with that answer from the champion.

    Kristal Marshall: If we can talk specifically about your opponent for Sunday – The Undertaker. Last week he did what nobody else has been able to do to you during your reign as World Heavyweight Champion. The Undertaker put you down with the chokeslam in the middle of the ring. Is that a cause for concern for you going forward?

    The Animal adjusts the World Championship on his shoulder… and then rubs his throat.

    Batista: The Undertaker wants me to fear him. For sixteen years he has struck fear in the hearts of his opponents. I stood in the ring two weeks ago with him, I looked him right in the eyes and I told The Undertaker that I will not back down. I’m not hiding from The Undertaker – I don’t want to sneak away with the victory through the backdoor. On Sunday, I’m walking right up to the Deadman and I’m going to punch him in the mouth. Last week, he fired off one good shot. That’s all. He knocked me down – ONE TIME. But… as you and everyone else can see – I got back up. And on Sunday, it’s going to be much of the same. The Undertaker can knock me down but I’ll keep getting up until I knock him down… because believe me when I hit my shot The Undertaker will not get back to his feet!

    Kristal Marshall: Thank you for your time, Batista. Just one final question – while you defend the title on Sunday we will see fifteen Smackdown superstars compete in the Royal Rumble for a chance to challenge whoever holds that title at WrestleMania 22. Do you have any predictions regarding who from Smackdown could possibly win?

    Batista puffs out his chest and smirks.

    Batista: I’m focused on my opponent at the Royal Rumble. Whoever wins the Rumble, if they are from Smackdown, will be my problem next week. You can’t look too far forward in this business, Kristal. Otherwise you end up being stuck in the past.

    Wise words from the World Heavyweight Champion – refusing to look past his challenger on Sunday. Batista gives Kristal a nod, thanking her for the interview, before he exits the set.

    _____________________


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    Commercial Break


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    _____________________


    **TURN UP THE TROUBLE**

    He may have protested earlier tonight but the time has come for MR. KENNEDY to take his place in the main event. Kennedy gingerly walks down to the ring, mumbling to himself how unfair this entire situation is to him, still protesting that Booker T should be in this spot instead.

    Michael Cole: I’d say turn about is fair play for Ken Kennedy. A quick reminder to everyone watching at home in case you’re confused as to what has happened this evening. Two weeks ago Mr. Kennedy teamed with Booker T and during theconclusion of the contest Ken Kennedy was “injured” - and I use that word very loosely. That left Booker T to fend for himself and he was defeated. Then last week, Kennedy pitched forming an alliance to Booker T as to eliminate Rey Mysterio from the triple threat they were involved in… and Ken Kennedy stabbed Booker T in the back again! That brings us to this week where Booker T has finally turned the tables on Kennedy by coming down with an injury and having Theodore Long replace himself with Kennedy to face The Undertaker.

    Tazz: I still think the original Ken Kennedy injury was legit, Cole! No big introduction by Kennedy tonight either. That’s how much focus he has on The Undertaker and winning this match – the theatrics are on hold for now.

    **GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY**

    To a massive response from the live crowd here tonight, the challenger to the World Heavyweight Championship this Sunday, the Phenom himself, THE UNDERTAKER slowly makes the long walk onto the stage and down the ramp. The arena fills with smoke which engulfs the ramp as The Undertaker embarks towards yet another main event match. The fans watch on in awe of the Phenom, a man without equal, the most respected competitor in the WWE today by both fans and superstars alike.

    Michael Cole: For nearly an entire calendar year we have watched ‘The Animal’ Batista dominate as World Heavyweight Champion both on Raw and Smackdown. He has met every challenger with the same level of pure intensity that won him the title back at WrestleMania 21 when he defeated his mentor Triple H. That man walking to the ring, The Undertaker, is the final challenge for Batista in my estimation. The Undertaker has been a driving force in the WWE for nearly two decades! You haven’t made it until you go through the Deadman.

    Tazz: People keep mentioning that The Undertaker is going to either expose or validate Batista’s reign as World Heavyweight Champion – that’s not his goal, Michael. The Undertaker is unique in many ways but at his core he is like every other WWE superstar. He wants… he craves the World Heavyweight Championship and this Sunday he gets his chance. I think it’s the biggest World Heavyweight Championship Match of the last five years no doubt.

    Match 5:
    Mr. Kennedy vs. The Undertaker
    The wrestling all night has been very good and it’s clear to see why once you arrive at the main event. They basically do nothing all match and the crowd break into loud chants of “UN-DER-TAK-ER” and “BA-TIS-TA” duelling back and forth from the opening bell. Kennedy fakes a takedown attempt on the Phenom only to back away and slap his chest – acting as if The Undertaker flinched (he didn’t). A lock-up sees Kennedy pushed into the corner where Taker fires up a combination of punches before tossing the loudmouth over the top rope and to the floor.

    Again, not much happens on the outside and our competitors are soon back in the middle of the ring. The Undertaker and Kennedy exchange strikes which doesn’t go very well for the latter. Whipped into the corner, Kennedy eats a clothesline and gets hit with a Side Slam for a two count. Kennedy takes over the contest after kicking the knee of the Deadman and then applies a headlock.

    They go to the mat and for the next couple of minutes Kennedy uses the headlock over and over. He releases, hits a few stomps and punches, and locks on the headlock straight away. The crowd boo loudly in response – signally The Undertaker to rise and begin his comeback. It’s nothing thrilling, a smart move considering Taker shouldn’t be selling anything with a World Title shot in two days, and the powers that be clearly not wanting to weaken the fresh prospect that is Ken Kennedy. No, it’s basic punches, kicks and clotheslines with the big boot thrown in for some added flavour.

    We’re ready to go home for the finish as The Undertaker does the throat slit signal to the roar of the crowd. Kennedy is dazed, stumbling to his feet and he gets kicked in the gut, and The Undertaker pulls him into position for the Last Ride. Up goes Kennedy but he doesn’t feel the impact of the move… BATISTA SPEARS THE UNDERTAKER!! That’s a DQ victory for the Deadman.
    Winner: The Undertaker @ 06:46

    The roar from the crowd is enough to shake the entire arena! Batista speared The Undertaker in half as payback for what happened last week to the shock of the crowd. The main event is over, Kennedy rolls to the outside and quickly scurries from ringside, not wanting any part in this encounter… but Batista remains in the ring with his challenger for Sunday.

    Michael Cole: A shot has been fired here on Smackdown by the World Heavyweight Champion! He will not show fear to the Phenom. This is the version of Batista that needs to show up with the title on the line.

    Tazz: I can’t believe Batista had the nerve to do this, Michael. You don’t want to enrage the Deadman and Batista has done just that.

    Michael Cole: This arena is split down the middle, partner. Half on the side of The Undertaker and the other half loyal to the World Heavyweight Champion. Oh my, I cannot wait for Sunday. I don’t think we’re done just yet either!!

    Batista rips off his suit jacket, stomping around the ring, the title belt tossed to the ring, glaring at his challenger – demanding he get back to his feet. The Undertaker uses the ropes to stand up, clutching at his mid-section…

    AND BATISTA SPEARS THE UNDERTAKER FOR THE SECOND TIME!!

    A powerful statement has been made tonight by the World Champion. Batista has taken down The Undertaker just forty eight hours before the Royal Rumble. The Animal bends down to pick up his suit jacket and the World Title before making his exit of the ring. The Undertaker at this point down on the canvas flat on his back.

    Michael Cole: He hit him again! Batista has sent shockwaves throughout the entire WWE by taking out The Undertaker!

    Tazz: Can we fast forward to the Royal Rumble, partner? I need to see this match, right now. Batista has walked into the lion’s den and dared the lion to bite his head off. He said he will show no fear - and tonight he showed it!!

    With only thirty seconds left before the show comes to a close we see Batista at the top of the ramp, looking back down the ramp, holding the World Heavyweight Championship in his hand. Inside the ring, The Undertaker slowly begins to sit up… he turns his head and meets Batista’s stare… AND ROLLS HIS EYES INTO THE BACK OF HIS HEAD.

    In response, Batista puffs his chest, straightens his shoulders and holds the World Heavyweight Championship in the air. The final image of the night is of Batista holding the title on the stage with the camera angled down so we can see The Undertaker in the sit-up position inside the ring on the titantron.


    END OF SHOW


    Current Card for Royal Rumble:

    January 29 2006 | American Airlines Arena, Miami FL
    Co-Branded; RAW and SMACKDOWN

    Royal Rumble Match:
    Winner challenges for EITHER brand's Champion at WrestleMania 22:
    Entrants in Alphabetical Order:

    Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Edge, Fit Finlay, Hardcore Holly, Joey Mercury, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield, Johnny Nitro, Kane, Kid Kash, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Matt Striker, Mr. Kennedy, Paul London, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Tajiri & Triple H

    ~AND~

    ENTRANT #31 - John Cena

    WWE Championship Match:
    Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Ric Flair

    World Heavyweight Championship Match:
    Batista [c] vs. The Undertaker

    WWE Women's Championship Match:
    Trish Stratus [c] vs. Victoria (w/Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle)


    Sometimes I write stuff on the internet and people like it (sometimes).

  7. #47
    Chikara Trainee
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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Thoughts on Raw:
    - I love the Triple H's vendetta against ECW and Rob Van Dam is a good one to feud with, but I can't help but think you'll have someone else emerge. Don't quite understand why this match wasn't booked for the Royal Rumble. But to follow it up with a RVD "somber" match, that was good timing with the script.
    - "I would like to point out that Jerry Lawler’s views are entirely his own and not shared by those who sit at this announce desk with him." - Jonathan Coachman... I'll just leave this here because it made me lol
    - I still haven't made up my mind on the Heartbreak Foundation and the Michaels heel turn aligning with Mr. McMahon. It has potential, especially if this reintroduces Bret Hart, but it really depends on your direction.
    - The Helms angle I had an issue with. To be in NC, typically stars receive a warmer welcome than their character allows in any other arena. In addition, I'm not sure how wise Jannetty was of a choice considering what's happening with Shawn Michaels right now. If it was linked, I would've liked more references to Michaels being the success. This could've been a big opportunity to elevate the WWE Champion even more.
    - Nice contract signing! I'm surprised Trish didn't make the stipulation about Candice and Torrie not being at ringside, but having it be a No DQ leaves plenty of options open for you as a booker.
    - Love the idea of #31 with John Cena. It's very interesting to see anyone give up their spot, or if Cena takes it.
    - The Winged Eagle belt reveal was perfect, especially with Flair advocating for the man (pun intended) making the title. My one complaint with this is Shawn's use of "GD" made the promo seem unrealistic, particularly knowing Michaels' religious beliefs.


    Thoughts on SmackDown:
    - Orton staying on SmackDown is interesting, and the decision to not advance that storyline further through WrestleMania season. My assumption is we won't see the last of Orton/Mysterio
    - LOVED Booker T's fake injury and putting Kennedy in the match against Undertaker. The entire thing is golden!
    - Good call getting personal with Nunzio and Simon Dean to add something to the Cruiserweight Championship match next week... expecting Nunzio's anger to get the best of him and picking Simon Dean to win.
    - The JBL and Melina segment seemed like a Vince thing to do at the time. It's a good substitution, but we'll see how it goes.
    - The Undertaker video was solid. Can't wait for the title match on Sunday!
    - The six-man tag better set up London and Kendrick for a title opportunity... I do want to see more direction with JBL headed into WrestleMania, as I feel it was a ball dropped in real life a year after he was WWE Champion.
    - Eugene's my second favorite merch seller behind DX after this. As far as Finlay attacking him, it might be below him to attack Eugene, but it'd be interesting to see if Eugene somehow costs Finlay on Sunday.
    - Batista coming out and making that statement with Undertaker was incredible. I believe this was the better go-home segment than Raw.

    Royal Rumble Picks:
    John Cena wins the Royal Rumble
    Shawn Michaels retains
    The Undertaker becomes World Heavyweight Champion
    Victoria wins the Women's Championship

    Interesting to see if any matches are added to the event... best of luck! Will definitely be watching/reading.

  8. #48
    White Iverson
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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    I'm not entirely happy with the progress I've made with the pay-per-view so far as I've hit a wall during the Michaels/Flair match. I've decided that posting the prediction contest might be the kick I need to get this thing moving along a little faster. I'm aiming for the show to be done within the next two weeks. I've got to juggle heavy work hours at the moment so finding time to write is a little difficult - that's why the PPV is only four matches. I had intended to include Mark Henry vs. Bobby Lashley on the PPV however considering I'm doing this in full for the matches, and knowing the large task the Rumble will be, I decided to cut it from this show. Just wanted to give an update along with the prediction template. Everything is planned out and now it's just a case of actually writing the damn thing. Again, probably looking at the show coming out in two weeks time. I'll give a further update in a week to let everyone know how we're tracking. Plus, it acts as a way to keep me motivated knowing I've set my own personal deadline and reader expectations. Leave your predictions down below if you'd like and a big thanks to everyone who has shown support for the thread during the long wait between shows!

    Peace out!! Credit to The EC for the poster. He did an amazing job.



    Current Card for Royal Rumble:
    January 29 2006 | American Airlines Arena, Miami FL
    Co-Branded; RAW and SMACKDOWN


    Royal Rumble Match:
    Winner challenges for EITHER brand's Champion at WrestleMania 22:
    Entrants in Alphabetical Order:
    Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Edge, Fit Finlay, Hardcore Holly, Joey Mercury, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield, Johnny Nitro, Kane, Kid Kash, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Matt Striker, Mr. Kennedy, Paul London, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Tajiri & Triple H

    ~AND~

    ENTRANT #31 - John Cena

    WWE Championship Match:
    Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Ric Flair

    World Heavyweight Championship Match:
    Batista [c] vs. The Undertaker

    WWE Women's Championship Match:
    Trish Stratus [c] vs. Victoria (w/Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle)

    ~PREDICTION CONTEST~
    1. Predict the winners. (2 points for each correct answer)
    2. Predict the match order. (1 point for each correct answer)
    3. Predict the Final Four in the Royal Rumble Match. (1 point for each correct finalist)
    4. Predict which superstar will have the most eliminations in the Royal Rumble. (3 points for the correct answer)
    5. Predict TWO surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble. (2 points for each correct answer)
    Last edited by EZ3; 04-27-2019 at 06:55 PM.


    Sometimes I write stuff on the internet and people like it (sometimes).

  9. #49
    Little bitta the bubbly!

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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    What’s that sound? Oh, it’s Randy Orton backing away from his threats to leave last week. Nicely done promo for him to backtrack and reason it to try and save himself from losing face, and some lovely little nuggets of Orton insulting Teddy, but at the same time trying to be nice. I enjoyed this a lot, but my complaint is the same I’ve had for a few weeks, and the same I had with the Triple H promo on Raw – just not enough focus on the Rumble this Sunday from one of the main contenders in it.

    Thankfully, Rey interrupting allowed the promo to shine a light on the Rumble match, and something I think could be a big story in the match – people gunning for Orton after essentially dismissing everyone. Would not be surprised in the slightest if he got a late entry, but got ganged up on and turfed out very quickly. Rey vs Randy tonight is a big main event to give away.

    Expecting Finlay to get a good long run in the Rumble. Him eviscerating the goofy characters week after week works fine for me, considering he is literally the complete opposite of the over-the-top nonsense guys like Eugene and Boogeyman.

    Oh, this was great. Reminds me of Booker crying off from matches with Boogeyman around the same time period, and I think Booker pulls off that sort of thing brilliantly. Him being barely able to walk tonight but definitely going to be okay for the Rumble is funny as hell too, as is the entire premise of this angle; to stick it to Kennedy. Very well written, and excellently executed imo.

    Strong promo – no pun intended – from the Worlds Strongest Man. Him saying he owns the place and Lashley paid rent last week was a terrific line. Seeing your most recent post, I’m surprised you didn’t stick to having this match on the Rumble, even if it didn’t feel like the most appealing to write. All it has to be is a five minute, hard hitting affair. Might’ve been the type of match to write to get you in the groove before tackling those bigger matches. Either way, at least by holding off on Henry/Lashley at the Rumble, you can build it up for No Way Out probably instead. Henry should get a dominant run in the Rumble for sure. Tops my thinking right now for most eliminations.

    Serviceable match between the two surrogates for the real ‘stars’ of the feud. Fully expect Dean to retain next week, but this is a perfectly fine mini-feud for this period, and Simon Dean continues to be a lot of fun thus far. Him getting on Sylvans shoulders to celebrate even though it was Sylvan that won tonight is tremendous.

    Yeah, Melina seducing dudes to help her team sounds about right. And JBL sleazily taking her up on the offer sounds just as right. Found that bit about JBL’s fan letters to be pretty funny too.

    Nice little package to highlight The Undertaker’s history.

    Found it a bit odd in your match write up that Kennedy is “considered by many” to be the #1 Contender for the U.S Title. I thought that was a #1 Contender match last week? Given the “late replacement” angle for this match, I expect Melina will use that as an excuse for her boys being on the losing end of this match. London comes out of it looking like the star, and that’s to be expected with Melina concentrating her focus on trying to seduce him. Looks like she’ll have to step up her game at this rate, as it doesn’t appear to be working, thus far. Bound to be some interaction between these teams during the Rumble in order to further things along between them.

    HA HA HA HA HA!!! That was brilliant. I’m loving Finlay so far, and this attack makes sense too, building off what he said and did last week during the Battle Royal. Fuck Eugene – though, credit where it’s due, that promo by him felt scarily authentic with the Hogan finger point on the “YOU”, and him unable to say replica. As a slight dislike, I would’ve loved this even more if Finlay just laid him out and walked off rather than security getting involved – but that didn’t detract from anything at all. This was great.

    Smart to follow up that Booker promo from earlier with him throwing Kennedy under the bus. Exact reaction you’d expect from Kennedy at learning he’s now facing The Undertaker.

    As another minor critique, I think the match placements on the show would’ve worked better if you switched the 6 man with this Rey/Orton match. For one, it gives you a little bit of time to let the JBL/Melina interaction breathe before the match, and also allows you to run that Kennedy/Long meeting before the match he was supposed to be in happened. Just from a logical sense of things, it would make sense for Kennedy to head straight for Long’s office when he finds out he’s been pulled from his original match, rather than wait until it had already happened. Just makes it feel like he’s waited for a little too long before complaining.

    Cole mentioning Orton being “compensated” in the Rumble again has me in two minds; either it’s true and he gets a late entry, or Long reneges on that promise and he ends up being #1 or #2. Definitely feels like there could be something to that though, as it’s been vaguely mentioned over the last few weeks without anything being confirmed.

    Story of this match was excellent. The eye injury coming into play for the finish was great, and felt like a real old school type of angle, which, I think, suits Orton as a bit of an old-school heel somewhat. Much needed win for Randy, and Rey is teflon anyway, so no shame in defeat for him even though he does have the ‘out’ in having the vision issue but gutted it out. Perfect booking imo.

    Didn’t quite love this Batista promo. It was okay, but a bit rambly in places, and I prefer Batista to be short, sharp and to the point with his promos as a face, at least – or certainly in this position. What I will say is that final line was money and by far the highlight of the promo.

    No self-introduction gimmick from Kennedy helps sell the magnitude of the match – no fun and games before locking up with the Deadman. I know commentary is sometimes superfluous, but you use it as well as anybody around here. That sell by Cole during the Undertakers entrance for the match at the Rumble was exceptional. If anyone was on the fence about that match (not that there is, nor should there be) they’d be sold on that alone, with Cole positioning Taker as the ultimate test for Batista.

    Credit to you too for not giving everything away here. As you noted, the “powers that be” don’t want to bury the new guy, and they don’t want Taker selling, so we only got a very basic TV match. Smart stuff, and smart not to have the guy that’ll probably be the next U.S Champion jobbing in routine fashion by adding in the attack by Batista to cause the DQ instead.

    Even though I didn’t really like the Taker stuff last week in putting Batista down, this had to happen as a result, and I’m glad you had Batista get some revenge in on Taker to head into the Rumble even steven. A solid go-home show, but ultimately, just not enough of an urgency overall for the Rumble match, I felt. Could’ve sacrificed that Batista interview imo, and had a guy like Matt Hardy or even Rey off the back of his defeat, cut a promo about their aspirations to win the Rumble and what it’d mean … or something. Aside from that, everything was at the very least solid, very little to really pick out as being “weak” imo.

    And now prediction time…

    4. Royal Rumble Match:
    Winner challenges for EITHER brand's Champion at WrestleMania 22:
    Entrants in Alphabetical Order:
    Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Edge, Fit Finlay, Hardcore Holly, Joey Mercury, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield, Johnny Nitro, Kane, Kid Kash, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Matt Striker, Mr. Kennedy, Paul London, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Tajiri & Triple H

    ~AND~

    ENTRANT #31 - John Cena
    This really is quite difficult to answer, just because of the lack of focus that’s really gone into winning the Rumble match. As a result, it’s a case of going through a process of elimination of the main contenders. Triple H and RVD feel destined for a WrestleMania program, so they cancel each other out. Kurt Angle is a possible, but doesn’t feel like a winner to me, JBL’s main eventing days (at least at WM) are probably done, Rey isn’t going to repeat the heroics from real life either. Edge and Kane are contenders, but as good as that plan is for Edge at Mania, I don’t see it coming to fruition, and despite Kane being a highlight of the thread, him winning a Rumble in ‘06 doesn’t sound appealing – nor does Big Show. No one else feels like a possible winner, apart from the main two in my thinking; Randy Orton and John Cena.


    They feel like the logical contenders at WrestleMania, regardless of the outcome of this match, so they’re the time I’m torn between. Orton could go one of two ways though, with his arrogance and belittling of the rest of the field coming back to bite him … or he wins and backs up his arrogance whilst also beginning to lord it over Long that he can go to Raw with a guaranteed shot, and look for Teddy to beg him to stay. Ultimately though, I’m playing safe and predicting JOHN CENA wins the Rumble. How he gets someone to give him his spot (maybe that eye injury from Rey ends up being a bigger issue and this was the seed being planted?) is another question, but somehow – someway – he’ll be in the match, and I’m saying he wins it.


    2. WWE Championship Match:
    Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Ric Flair
    A perfect title match to book for the Rumble. Should be a tremendous story driven match, and Flair is a great first challenger for heel HBK. He’s not winning the belt, but the audience will be willing him on regardless. SHAWN MICHAELS sees off Flair for me, and probably cleanly, just to underscore he’s still Shawn Michaels despite the heel turn.


    3. World Heavyweight Championship Match:
    Batista [c] vs. The Undertaker
    This really could be the main event of WrestleMania, but I get why you’d pull the trigger and book it early at the Rumble, to avoid repeating history (albeit a year early) and I’m expecting this to be an epic of a match. BATISTA knocks off The Deadman though, and heads into WrestleMania to celebrate one full year as champion.


    1. WWE Women's Championship Match:
    Trish Stratus [c] vs. Victoria (w/Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle)
    Lot’s to unpack after the contract signing. Feels as if Trish CAN’T win here, considering the odds she’s facing, but there’s no way she’s losing the title yet. Not with the building story between her and Mickie James. Not sure how you pull it off with Mickie barred from ringside and unable to back Trish up, but one way or another, TRISH STRATUS retains the title.


    ~PREDICTION CONTEST~
    1. Predict the winners. (2 points for each correct answer) DONE
    2. Predict the match order. (1 point for each correct answer)
    DONE
    3. Predict the Final Four in the Royal Rumble Match. (1 point for each correct finalist)

    JOHN CENA, KURT ANGLE, REY MYSTERIO, EDGE
    4. Predict which superstar will have the most eliminations in the Royal Rumble. (3 points for the correct answer)

    MARK HENRY
    5. Predict TWO surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble. (2 points for each correct answer)

    DIESEL/KEVIN NASH, because you’re a mark for him, lol. And … lets say … JAKE ROBERTS.
    Last edited by Wolf Beast; 04-28-2019 at 02:39 PM.

  10. #50
    I’m Not Booked!
    Keefmoon's Avatar

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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    So I've been keeping a bit of an eye on this without ever really getting caught up, but I've put a bit of reading in now and wanted to give you feedback (and predictions).

    Basically... this is good! I mean, that's pretty obvious, given your WCW one was pretty good as well and you had some really impressive efforts in KOBTB, but it's still worth saying that I like a lot of what I see. I think not giving the belt to Edge when they did is really risky, because it was kind of a "now or never" moment for him. To not get behind him you need a big reason to go another route, and a heel turned Shawn Michaels is certainly that. I give you an enormous amount of credit for kicking this off with something a little different and unique. The execution has varied a little on the turn (it's often felt like Flair is Michaels' biggest rival, which seems odd given Cena was the one turned on and yet he doesn't seem that bothered by it some of the time), but we're still very early in and therefore will be patient to see the longer term plan. The real highlight for me, as it was exactly the same in your WCW one, is how you handle the some of the borderline comedy characters in the midcard. That's your real strength I think ,the way you book and write characters like Simon Dean. There's a bunch of stuff in here I love. Overall, it's a lot of fun.

    I think the biggest opportunity for this to take off for me would be in making things feel a little more authentic. Whether it's Vito and Sylvan going 6 minutes, or Boogeyman having a back-and-forth match with Finlay, or a ten man Battle Royal going 5 minutes without an elimination, there are the odd moments which don't feel right, and it jars me out of the moment a little. Likewise with promos. I don't have a problem at all with really detailed promo battles, but it does mean you need to nail the cadence for it to sit right. Some are absolutely spot on, but then there are some that don't sound at all like how someone speaks, and it takes me out of the moment and undoes a lot of the good work around it. With a more thorough re-read, asking the question "does this feel like something that would happen/how someone sounds?", this would take a massive jump up. A lot of the ingredients are there, it's just about tightening up the delivery to make sure they land as well as possible I think.

    Anyway, predictions:


    4. Royal Rumble Match:
    Winner challenges for EITHER brand's Champion at WrestleMania 22:
    Entrants in Alphabetical Order:
    Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Edge, Fit Finlay, Hardcore Holly, Joey Mercury, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield, Johnny Nitro, Kane, Kid Kash, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Matt Striker, Mr. Kennedy, Paul London, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Tajiri & Triple H

    ~AND~

    ENTRANT #31 - John Cena
    I'm going out on a bit of a limb and saying Edge gets this one and heads to Smackdown. Like I said in my feedback above, this was really a do or die moment for Edge's career, so to make up for him not winning the title I'm thinking he may win the Rumble to face Batista. Maybe with MitB in tow, so he can lose the first match at Mania but immediately cash in to win the second, or something like that. Even if I'm wrong, I'm predicting you do something to screw Cena over to make his route to Mania even harder and not go the obvious route of immediately setting up the Michaels match. If it's not Edge, I'm going to predict Orton, as he's been one of the highlights of Smackdown

    2. WWE Championship Match:
    Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Ric Flair
    There's no chance in hell Michaels drops the title here after the big heel turn. Flair is a good contender, though, and who I think they should have had the Rumble match with Edge irl

    3. World Heavyweight Championship Match:
    Batista [c] vs. The Undertaker
    I'm going to predict 'Taker's Mania opponent screws him here, setting that match up. Given you've chosen not to follow Batista's real life injury from the time, there's no reason to finish his reign without him doing the whole year deal

    1. WWE Women's Championship Match:
    Trish Stratus [c] vs. Victoria (w/Torrie Wilson & Candice Michelle)
    Trish has bigger things on the horizon

    ~PREDICTION CONTEST~
    1. Predict the winners. (2 points for each correct answer) DONE
    2. Predict the match order. (1 point for each correct answer) DONE
    3. Predict the Final Four in the Royal Rumble Match. (1 point for each correct finalist) EDGE, RANDY ORTON, JOHN CENA AND TRIPLE H
    4. Predict which superstar will have the most eliminations in the Royal Rumble. (3 points for the correct answer) TRIPLE H
    5. Predict TWO surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble. (2 points for each correct answer) DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE AND X-PAC


  11. #51
    White Iverson
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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    ROYAL RUMBLE
    January 29 2006 | AmericanAirlines Arena | Miami, Florida




    A silent opening welcomes us into the video package… a wrestling ring in the middle of an empty arena with a single spotlight shining down from above.

    Narrator: Where were you when history was made?

    The sound of a ring bell echoes throughout the empty arena…

    Narrator: Did you witness history or did it pass you by?

    In a panning shot the camera spins around the ring as it transitions into clips of classic Royal Rumble moments.

    Narrator: Tonight, every competitor will fight to have their moment – to be part of a first time ever.

    Jim Duggan pulls down the top rope eliminating One Man Gang to win the first WWE Royal Rumble in 1988.

    Jesse Ventura: He pulled the top rope down!!

    Vince McMahon: What a smart thing to do. Hacksaw Jim Duggan has won the Royal Rumble in stunning fashion.

    Fast forward to 1990 which sees Hulk Hogan toss Mr. Perfect to win the first of three Rumbles.

    Jesse Ventura: Ah, I don’t believe it!!

    Tony Schiavone: Hulkamania will live forever.

    Ric Flair becomes the first man to ever win the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble back in 1992.

    Ric Flair: WITH A TEAR IN MY EYE!!

    Narrator: Only those who seek success will ever truly find it.

    Clips of the first ever (and to this point only) draw between Lex Luger and Bret Hart in 1994.

    Narrator: For some success is nothing but a dream because they aren’t willing to risk themselves…

    Shawn Michaels enters the 1995 Royal Rumble at number one and eliminates the British Bulldog - becoming the first man to go the distance.

    Howard Finkel: Only one of Shawn Michael’s feet hit the floor…

    The following year, Shawn Michaels superkicks Diesel to go back to back with Royal Rumble victories becoming the first man since Hulk Hogan to do so.

    Narrator: For those who are willing to push themselves to their limits success is waiting just down the road.

    A compilation of various Rumble victors including; Yokozuna, Triple H, The Rock & Batista.

    Narrator: The taste of victory remains for those who have been showered in its glory.

    Clips of WrestleMania moments from Rumble winners of that year – Triple H defeating Chris Jericho to become Undisputed Champion, Steve Austin defeating The Rock for the WWE Championship in 1999 & Shawn Michaels’ boyhood dream defeating Bret Hart at WrestleMania in the Iron-Man Match.

    Narrator: And those who fall short are more determined than ever to clench their thirst.

    Rapid fire clips of long-time Rumble competitors such as Kane, Big Show, Edge and Kurt Angle.

    Narrator: While fresh faces also aim to climb to the top of the mountain.

    Fit Finlay, Bobby Lashley, Gregory Helms and Mr. Kennedy are all shown competing in the ring hitting signature moves.

    Fit Finlay: I came here to fight! And the Royal Rumble is the biggest fight of all.

    Gregory Helms: As the champion of Raw I’m going to add another title to my collection when I win the Royal Rumble.

    A collection of clips of past Rumbles where superstars are tossed over the top rope.

    Narrator: The biggest match in the WWE begins tonight…

    The numbers 1 through to 30 flash on the screen.

    Narrator: Brothers will turn on brothers, friends will betray friends, all ties to one another are out the window…

    Clips of well known partnerships in this years event are shown including; Paul London and Brian Kendrick, Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro, Kane and Big Show, Carlito and Chris Masters.

    Narrator: In the end only ONE will stand above the rest.

    Edge, Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio are shown rushing to the ring in past Rumbles…

    Narrator: Only ONE will be able to secure their spot in the main event…

    The WrestleMania logo flashes on the screen.

    Narrator: On the grandest stage of ‘em all…

    Clips of various superstars looking up toward the WrestleMania 22 sign which has hung in arenas for the last month – ending on Edge looking up at the sign with Money in the Bank in his hands.

    Narrator: WrestleMania 22!!!

    The video slows down now, fading to black for a moment, until we return to the original setting – the empty arena and wrestling ring. The only source of light is the spotlight which focuses on the middle of the ring…

    Unlike the opening shot the ring is no longer empty… a man in a hoodie has his back to the camera.

    Narrator: Thirty men will put everything on the line for a shot, a small chance, at achieving their dreams… that is how much this means to them.

    The mystery man flips his hood up and turns to the camera…

    Narrator: How far do you think he’ll go to get into the match?

    John Cena stands alone under the spotlight – entrant #31.

    The camera lingers for a moment, Cena not saying a word, glaring into the camera with an intense focus, until we fade to black.

    AND NOW, WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS A CO-BRANDED EVENT PRODUCED BY RAW AND SMACKDOWN… THE 2006 WWE ROYAL RUMBLE!!!





    The most must-see event of the year is live from Miami and the crowd is ready what for what promises to be a most unpredictable night. Thousands have packed into the AmericanAirlines Arena, there is not an empty seat in the house, as we pan around the arena until we reach the announce desk. A familiar voice welcoming us to the show.

    Jim Ross: We are live from the AmericanAirlines Arena for the first co-branded event of the year. It’s the Road to WrestleMania and superstars from Raw and Smackdown will compete tonight in the thirty man Royal Rumble with a main event spot at WrestleMania on the line. Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I’m Jim Ross – yes, I’m back in the saddle and it feels damn good! First off I want to extended my well wishes to Joey Styles who is recovering from the incident on Monday. I’m glad to be here calling the action for you wonderful fans but I want Joey to know that this seat is his when he wants to come back.

    Jonathan Coachman: It’s good to have someone who can keep up with me, JR! King has the night off, it’s just you and I, so lets do this thing. You’ll need to jump right back into the action because this isn’t going to be a night where you can just sit back and watch. We’ve got an amazing card this evening.

    Jim Ross: We’ll rundown what is on the Raw side of things and then we’ll throw it over for our Smackdown colleges to give their introduction. I may not have been on Raw but I’ve been watching from home and the two title matches from Raw are absolute slobberknockers.

    Jonathan Coachman: You know the show is stacked when the WWE Championship Match is going to kick-off the pay-per-view. Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair is a WrestleMania level main event match and it’s going to be the first thing these people here in Miami see.

    Jim Ross: And we’ve also got the WWE Women’s Championship Match which will be contested under No Disqualification rules. I saw that attack by Victoria and those other two women against Trish and Ashley – it was vicious! Trish and Victoria have a long history dating back to 2002 when Victoria won the title against Trish under the exact same stipulation. Plus, Trish has to worry about Mickie James. That girl isn’t all there, Coach. If she loses her composer in the back tonight and comes down to the ring than Trish loses the WWE Women’s Championship!

    Jonathan Coachman: I’ve been saying for weeks that Trish needs to cut Mickie loose. Trish can’t control what that wacko does and it could cost her the title tonight.

    Jim Ross: That’s it for the Raw side… before we get things under in the ring we’re going to throw it to Michael Cole and Tazz representing Friday Night Smackdown. Gentlemen it’s all yours!

    The camera moves directly across to the Smackdown announce desk where Tazz and Michael Cole give us a wave.

    Michael Cole: Thank you very much, JR! It’s great to see you back at the announce desk where you belong. Hello and welcome to everyone watching at home – Michael Cole and Tazz here ready to call the action on behalf of Smackdown. It’s a smaller card this evening than usual but you’d expect that with the Royal Rumble taking up so much of the talent from both rosters. Before we talk a little about that we’ve got to mention perhaps the biggest World Heavyweight Championship collision in many years – Batista defending against The Undertaker.

    Tazz: It’s the tale of the past versus the present, Michael. Batista won the title last year at WrestleMania and has ruled the division with an iron fist unmatched by any competitor in the WWE. The Undertaker has watched from afar and now he has stepped up to the champion ready to reclaim the title that he believes belongs to him. The Undertaker has spoken about how he defeats men long before they ever enter the ring with him because they break – they lose themselves to fear of the Phenom. But Batista has proven he shows no fear… he has taken the fight right to the Deadman and I expect him to do the same tonight.

    Michael Cole: We’ve got to touch on the Royal Rumble that’ll be the main event tonight. I’ll get to sit back and enjoy that as a fan because it’ll Jim Ross and my good partner here calling the action for that one. The main event of WrestleMania 22 is on the line tonight – thirty men will compete for the right to challenge for any brand’s championship.

    Tazz: Your whole career can change on a dime tonight. If you manage to be the last man standing in that ring after all others have been thrown over the top rope – you’re set. The Road to WrestleMania goes through you and a top spot on the grandest stage of ‘em is in your back pocket. I can’t wait!!

    **ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA**

    A loud roar of cheers from the Miami crowd erupts upon the opening cords of the iconic entrance theme of the Nature Boy. With his hair slicked back and wearing a long green robe we see RIC FLAIR step onto the stage, soaking in the applause, personifying pure class as only he can. Flair takes a moment to observe the arena, thousands upon thousands cheering him, not a single person backing the champion this evening as the Nature Boy goes for number seventeen. Flair readies himself, taking one last look around the arena, before walking down to the ring with his head held high.

    Jim Ross: He’s one of the greatest to ever do it, ladies and gentlemen. Ric Flair will try tonight to be a seventeen time World Champion. The Nature Boy is unmatched by any other competitor in that department. He has held more World Titles than the likes of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock and even the man he faces tonight – Shawn Michaels.

    Jonathan Coachman: All that means is that he has lost all those World Championships! Ric Flair was great back in the day. They still shot in black and white, JR! This is 2006 and some of us are no longer living in the past. Flair has got to be kidding himself if he thinks he can stand face to face with the Heartbreak Kid tonight.

    Jim Ross: I don’t think he’s kidding himself at all, Coach. Ric Flair has always found a way to get the job done. He’s the dirtiest player in the game. He made that much clear on Raw when he warned Shawn Michaels that he’d do whatever it took to win the WWE Championship tonight. He’s as dangerous as ever because you don’t need to be the strongest or the fastest to apply the Figure Four. It’s a submission move not a power move – the physical limitations of an older competitor like Flair don’t really factor in when we talk about his famous finishing move.

    Jonathan Coachman: He’ll have to get Shawn Michaels on the ground and I can’t see that happening. He got lucky two weeks ago and he had a chair. Tonight, Flair has to play within the rules and when that bell rings there is no man who can match the greatness of the WWE Champion.

    **SEXY BOY**

    It’s nearly 30 full seconds before the WWE Champion makes his appearance… making the fans and the challenger wait. SHAWN MICHAELS emerges from behind the curtain with the WINGED EAGLE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP, the design revived last Monday on Raw by the Heartbreak Kid, firmly around his waist. The fans deliver loud boos from their seats, drawing a smirk from the WWE Champion, and they only intensify Michaels mimics a Nature Boy like strut up the ring steps.

    Jim Ross: No matter what has been said about this man since his decision to join forces with Mr. McMahon it must be reinforced that Shawn Michaels is without a doubt the greatest in-ring performer I have ever seen. Do not underestimate his ability to outthink and outwork anybody inside the squared circle.

    Jonathan Coachman: That’s the first thing you’ve said since we started the show that I agree with, JR!! Shawn Michaels explained it on Raw that it was the fickle fans who turned their backs on the WWE Champion long before he ever sided with Mr. McMahon. You can hear the boos tonight and frankly it’s disgraceful! Stand up and show respect to the greatest champion in the WWE.

    Jim Ross: I don’t agree with how he won the title but I think it’s foolish for anybody to say that Shawn Michaels doesn’t deserve to be WWE Champion. Strap in folks! This one is going to be on a whole other level. It’s two of the greatest ever going at it.

    Inside the ring, Shawn Michaels hands the WWE Championship over the referee and can be seen mouthing off to the Nature Boy. The referee holds the title up for all four sides of the arena, then he hands it to a crew worker at ringside, before bringing both competitors into the middle of the ring. He goes over the rules – one fall to a finish and asks for a clean match to which Flair smirks… and Michaels returns with a similar look. They back away into their corners – Michaels is ready… as is Flair… and the bell sounds!

    WWE Championship Match | Singles Match
    Shawn Michaels [c] vs. Ric Flair

    Neither man makes an immediate move after the opening bell, each man looking across the ring at the other, two veterans of the game, waiting for the other to move. They begin to circle each other, Michaels lunging forward a few times whilst Flair locks to grab the right leg for the Figure Four Leg Lock, both men staying clear from full contact. Flair makes for a lock-up now, grabbing the WWE Champion and pushing him back towards the ropes. They reach the edge of the ring and the referee forces a break, Michaels with his hands in the air, demanding the referee pull Flair off him. The Nature Boy backs up, smirking back at the champion, and ‘Woos’ to a huge reaction from the crowd.

    That appears to light a fire within the WWE Champion which sees him rush forward into another lock-up. They struggle for a moment, Shawn Michaels is able to turn it into a hammerlock, twisting the arm for control before transitioning into a headlock for greater manipulation of his opponent. Michaels pulls Flair down to the canvas and tightens his grip on the headlock, firing off a few punches every so often with his bodyweight press against the Nature Boy. Flair looks to fight back to his feet, getting to a knee, striking with some forearms to the side, and he shoves Michaels into the ropes. On the rebound, Michaels hits a shoulder block knocking Flair to the canvas, and immediately follows up with a face stomp! A quick cover only gets a count of 1 from the referee.

    Brushing the hair from his face now, Michaels grabs the Nature Boy by the arm and gives it a good twist, walking him over to the turnbuckle, before whipping him across the ring towards the opposite corner. Michaels wants to follow up but Flair comes firing out of the corner with chops to the chest! Over and over we see the Nature Boy unload with some of the stiffest chops he has ever thrown. Michaels looks rattled, clutching at his chest, trying to give himself a moment to recover but Flair wants none of it. He grabs Michaels, whips him across the ring and hits a BELLY TO BACK SUPLEX on the return!! Flair hooks the legs for the cover… 2 count!!

    Reaching a vertical base, Flair grabs the right leg of Shawn Michaels and gives it a hard yank to the side. The WWE Champion begins to struggle, wriggling towards the ropes and eventually forcing his limb from of the grasp of the challenger. Michaels rolls to the outside of the ring, stumbling towards the announce desk, at which point Flair follows after him. A right hand from the WWE Champion lands but Flair no-sells it, striking with his chops again, and grabbing a handful of hair before slamming Michaels face first into the announce desk. Flair then tosses Michaels back into the ring, sliding under the bottom rope after the champion, and makes a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Immediately, Flair goes for the leg again but Michaels kicks free, scurrying towards the ropes and wrapping his arms around the bottom one – forcing the referee to order Flair away for the moment.

    The boos are loud inside the ring as the Heartbreak Kid sends a look of anger towards the challenger. He brushes the hair from his face, slowly pulling himself to a vertical base, keeping his arm smartly intertwined within the ring ropes as to prevent the Nature Boy from attacking him. It’s a reset of sorts now; Michaels says he is ready and they go to lock-up… only for the Heartbreak Kid to swiftly strike with a kick to the mid-section and hit a swinging neckbreaker. Michaels hooks both legs for the cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Ric Flair gets the shoulder off the mat to a big cheer – Michaels is looking to keep the pressure up as he pulls Flair back to his feet and fires away with a few right hands to the face. The Heartbreak Kid then strikes with a combination of elbow drops to the lower back of the challenger.

    It’s clear that Michaels has a desired target in this contest now and it’s the lower back of Ric Flair. He kicks Flair towards the edge of the ring, not completely into the ropes, just to the inside edge, where Michaels grabs the top rope and launches himself up into the air… coming down hard with a knee to the lower back. Flair can be seen grimacing in pain and shouts out when Michaels does it for a second and third time – ultimately backing away after the third. The referee asks Flair if he can continue to which the challenger tells the referee to get away from him. Michaels laughs in the corner, mocking the strut of the Nature Boy, as he waits for Flair to get back to his feet. It’s a show of determination for Flair, using the ropes to stand, refusing to stay down, getting back to a vertical base.

    Unfortunately for the challenger, Michaels is right there with a strong forearm to the back forcing him down to a knee. The WWE Champion grabs Flair, hooking the arm behind his head and hits a BELLY TO BACK SUPLEX OF HIS OWN! Michaels goes right for the cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! That one seemed to surprise Michaels, showing frustration as he stands up, stomping on Flair’s mid-section with a venom. Michaels looks towards the turnbuckle now, eyeing the top rope as he makes his ascent, while Flair begins to stand in the middle of the ring. Perched on the top of the turnbuckle, Michaels dives for a DOUBLE AXE HANDLE SMASH… but Flair moves out of the way! Michaels lands on his feet but the shockwaves of the landing cause a sharp pain to his knee joints… and Flair dives forward with a CHOP BLOCK TO THE RIGHT LEG!

    It’s the worst situation that the Heartbreak Kid could find himself in as Flair has a bad leg that he can target. Michaels was in full control but he went to the top rope for a fancy move instead of continuing to target the back. Flair pulls and tugs at the leg, moving it all over the place, contorting the joint to cause as much discomfort as possible for the WWE Champion. Hooking the right leg in position for a headlock, Flair looks around at the fans and ‘Woos’ before hitting a DDT like move on the leg. Michaels screams in pain, clutching at his leg, scrambling on his backside to get to the ropes and force the referee to jump between them. Flair, even as he stands clutching at his back, cuts Michaels off as he scrambles for the ropes. Flair stomps on the leg, asking Michaels if he’s washed up now, before placing the leg against the bottom rope… and coming down with his full weight on the joint with his own knee!

    Michaels tries to scurry away but Flair grabs the leg again. It’s a struggle as Michaels kicks and twists on the canvas but Flair is holding onto the leg like his life depends on it ~ and it very well might be at least in this match! Flair drops down to the canvas and rolls to the outside of the ring, pulling Michaels forward so that his right leg hangs over the edge of the apron. The referee warns Ric to break… but the Nature Boy shakes his head and lifts the leg up… SLAMMING IT DOWN AGAINST THE HARD EDGE OF THE RING! Michaels screams in pain, swiping at Flair through the ropes, and suffers the move again. That’s all Flair can do before the referee reaches a count of five, forcing the Nature Boy to release the leg and reenter the squared circle.

    Flair is back in the ring walking towards the corner where Shawn Michaels is pleading with the referee to give him a moment. The Nature Boy is having none of it, shoving past the official, grabbing Michaels’ legs and hitting an ALLEY OOP! He grabs the right leg again and tries to apply the Figure Four Leg Lock but Michaels punches off his back and RAKES THE EYES! Flair stumbles away from the WWE Champion, the referee warning Michaels to keep it clean, when the Heartbreak Kid returns fire with a clothesline to the back of the head. Limping as he walks forward now, Michaels shouts down at the Nature Boy that this is his ring and that Flair is too old to be here. Michaels tries a stomp but soon realises it hurts far too much to deliver considering the punishment he has sustained thus far.

    Michaels pulls Flair to his feet, wincing in pain with each step, trying to shake it off, before forcing himself to muscle Flair up and hit a BACKBREAKER ACROSS HIS KNEE! It’s on the bad knee though! Michaels collapses onto the canvas and the delay causes him to make a cover far later than usual… 1… 2… KICK OUT! The delay gave Flair a much needed break in the action and Michaels knows it – pounding the canvas with his fist in anger. He struggles to a vertical base, rubbing his right leg, knowing that his title is on the line tonight – both men showing points of weakness as this match progresses. Michaels grips Flair by the arm pulling him up before delivering a hard punch to the face, staggering the Nature Boy back a step and follows it up with a whip across the ring. On the return we see Michaels scoop Flair up and slam him down to the canvas – again working the lower back!

    The WWE Champion receives loud boos from the crowd as he brushes his hair from his face. Dark thoughts rush through the mind of the WWE Champion as he looks towards the top turnbuckle. He takes a few steps towards the corner only to stop, return to Flair and roll him over onto his stomach. A stomp to the head by Michaels keeps Flair situated on the canvas while the Heartbreak Kid ascends to the top turnbuckle. Looking down at his target from high above, Michaels has a smirk on his face, he is in control now, he is soaking in the hatred oozing from the fans here tonight in Miami. Big time elbow drop connects from Shawn Michaels right to the lower back area. He usually targets the chest for that move but tonight Michaels has adjusted which shows why he is so far above the rest of the field. Michaels then rolls Flair onto his back and hooks the leg for a cover… 1… 2.. KICK OUT!

    The camera zooms in on Flair’s face after the kick out and we see a painful grimace from the former sixteen time World Champion. Flair rolls to the side of the ring, near the ropes, while Michaels begins to stand a few feet away. Moving towards Flair across the ring, Michaels grabs him and delivers a kick to the mid-section, ultimately hooking the arm and hitting a Fisherman’s Suplex with a bridge… 1… 2… KICK OUT. Again, this forces Ric Flair to kick out and results in more strain on the lower back.

    Smart thinking by the WWE Champion and he follows it up by applying a side headlock. Michaels leans forward on the headlock with Flair in a seated position – putting pressure on the lower back again. They begin to rise, Flair slapping at the arm of the champion, fighting to his feet, and Flair goes for an Irish-whip! Michaels keeps his hand around the wrist of Flair, and counters with a whip of his own. It’s Flair that hits the ring ropes… and on the rebound he applies a SLEEPERHOLD!

    The crowd rises with cheers as Flair squeezes Michaels around the neck trying to put him to sleep. After sustaining some major punishment for the last couple of minutes this is a big moment for the Nature Boy. He has the WWE Champion in the middle of the ring and begins to tighten the sleeper. Michaels appears to the fading, dropping down to one knee for a moment… but the champion refuses to quit and quickly rises back up. Using everything he has got, Michaels back peddles and pushes Flair into the corner of the ring back first! This forces the hold to be broken, Flair clutching his lower back as Michaels hurries across the ring and comes charging back with a flying forearm… FLAIR GETS A BOOT UP! From the corner Ric Flair sticks a boot up and cracks Michaels right in the face causing him to stumble backwards.

    Quickly, Flair comes forward and grabs Shawn Michaels, lifting him up and drops the WWE Champion across the top rope – STUN GUN! Michaels bounces back into the middle of the ring where Flair goes for a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Back to his feet now, Flair backs up and gains momentum off the ropes for a KNEE DROP across the head of the WWE Champion. One isn’t enough however as Flair gets right back up, yells at the referee to move out of the way, before delivering a second knee drop across the head.

    The Nature Boy is rolling now, busting out a strut in the middle of the ring, picking up Michaels with hands wrapped around the head and delivering a hard knife edge chop!! Michaels winces in pain as he is knocked backwards – Flair keeps the pressure with a second and a third until Michaels is backed up against the ring ropes. At this point, Flair knees Michaels in the mid-section hooking both arms and executes a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX!!!

    Quick cover from Flair gets a count of TWO!! The crowd now showering the arena with chants of ‘Flair’ which no doubt spurs the challenger on. The former sixteen time World Champion surveys the arena from his knees… the WWE Champion laying across the ring inching towards the ropes. This is his shot at glory now… Flair grabs the right leg of Michaels and gives it a good yank – FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK!! This is the moment the world has been waiting for in this match! Ric Flair has the Figure Four Leg Lock applied on the WWE Champion after targeting the leg all night long. The sound in the arena is as loud as you have ever heard – MICHAELS IS GOING BALLISTIC RIGHT NOW!

    Flair is leaning back on the hold, shaking a fist in the air, feeling that number seventeen is only a tap out away. It’s not going to be that easy though – the Heartbreak Kid sitting up in the hold and swiping at the face of Flair… just missing. They lock eyes – Michaels glaring back in back while Flair has his teeth gritted with determination. Two of the all-time greats locked in a battle for the richest prize in all of professional wrestling. Shawn Michaels looks towards the ring ropes… pulling himself and Flair towards them BUT IT’S TAKING TOO LONG!! Michaels turns back looking for an escape and rolls towards the middle of the ring attempting to reverse the pressure – BUT FLAIR ROLLS OVER AGAIN BACK INTO THE ORIGINAL POSITION!!

    Shawn Michaels’ leg is being ripped to pieces right now by the Figure Four Leg Lock. The referee right there asking if the WWE Champion wants to give it up – NO! Michaels is defiant in his refusal to surrender the WWE Championship after winning it just three weeks ago. He crawls for the ropes again… Michaels pulling both himself and Flair… HE GETS THERE! The hold is broken but how much is left in the WWE Champion? He clutches at his right leg, trying to get his body underneath the bottom rope but Flair is right there to pull the WWE Champion away. He goes for the hold immediately but Michaels counters with a CRADLE PIN ATTEMPT… 1… 2… KICK OUT!

    Flair pops right back to his feet whist Michaels doesn’t even get to a knee. The Nature Boy charges in again, carelessly might I add, as Michaels pulls himself up using the ring ropes… AND UNLEASHES A SUPERKICK TO THE CHIN OF THE NATURE BOY! Down goes Ric Flair – it’s like a gunshot went off in the arena as the crowd is dead silent when the kick hits out of nowhere. Michaels collapses to the floor clutching his leg, almost at his breaking point mentally – barely keeping it together. Michaels has to make the cover if he wants to retain the WWE Championship here tonight!! He got the shot off but he cannot take advantage… having to crawl over to the boy of the challenger which takes a considerable amount of time before the cover is made… 1… 2… 3? NO!! It’s a kick out from the Nature Boy after the superkick thanks to the delay due to the damage of the knee.

    Desperation appears on the face of the Heartbreak Kid who very well might be going through his own personal heartbreak right now. Michaels forces himself to a vertical base, limping towards Ric Flair, gritting his teeth together in a display of a pure determination… and he grabs the legs of the Nature Boy. What is he doing? The heat from the audience explodes as SHAWN MICHAELS APPLIES THE SHARPSHOOTER ON RIC FLAIR! He has been targeting the lower back all night specifically for this hold right here – the Sharpshooter.

    Michaels has it locked in and leans back, shouting for Flair to give it up, while the referee slides into position. Flair struggles in the hold, the fans around the world all behind the Nature Boy, fighting to get to the ropes. How much does the legend have left in the tank? Is this the end of the road for his dream of number seventeen? Crawling towards the ropes isn’t going to work as Michaels pulls Flair back into the middle of the ring. The Nature Boy raises a hand – thinking about tapping!

    Only for Flair to grab the right leg of Michaels and pull it from underneath him to break the hold. Michaels’ leg was on shaky ground to begin with and Flair has used that to escape the hold. Flair stands up still holding the leg and goes for the FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK… Michaels kicks free with his other leg and scrambles to his feet with the assistance of the ring ropes. Flair dives for the leg again but Michaels gets a knee up, the left this time, to send Flair stumbling backwards towards the middle of the ring.

    Michaels grits his teeth and leaps forward himself hitting a FLYING FOREARM TO THE FACE! Spitting to the outside of the ring, Michaels once again pulls himself up using the ropes and begins to stomp his left foot on the canvas. He will not go to the top rope, not in this condition with his right knee, but Michaels wants to put Flair away with his most famous weapon – he wants Flair to hear the band tuning up tonight.

    Across the ring, Flair begins to stand, unaware of what is waiting for him when he turns around. Michaels is seething with venom, his leg badly injured after this bout… AND HE FIRES OFF SWEET CHIN MUSIC… BOOM! MICHAELS NAILS FLAIR ON THE CHIN!! Clutching at his right leg once more, Michaels falls into the cover… 1… 2… 3!!!

    Spoiler:

    Winner: And STILL WWE Champion – Shawn Michaels @ 18:21

    He may have become the WWE Champion under suspect circumstances but in his very first night defending the title we saw that Shawn Michaels can still do it on his own. After having to fight through a targeted attack on his right leg Shawn Michaels has pulled off a major victory tonight – the WWE Champion has put an end to the dream of Ric Flair of becoming a seventeen time World Champion. Unable to stand without assistance, Shawn Michaels is joined by Carlito and Chris Masters from the back – the duo helping the WWE Champion from the ring and guiding him up the entrance ramp.

    J.R. cannot help but to be impressed by the performance of Ric Flair who was just moments away from becoming the WWE Champion. But Coach cuts Ross off and goes into his own praise of Shawn Michaels – calling the WWE Champion vindicated against those who dared questioned his legitimacy since winning the title. In the ring, Ric Flair has recovered from the superkick, sitting in the corner looking shattered at the result. It was a great performance from the veteran but he fell just short – replays being shown of the period where Michaels was caught in the Figure Four Leg Lock… a true what if moment. We transition now; a final shot of Shawn Michaels holding the WWE Winged Eagled Championship at the top of the stage with Carlito and Chris Masters standing by his side – the Heartbreak Foundation on full show tonight.




    **VIDEO PACKAGE**

    Peter Gabriel’s ‘Big Time’ plays in the background; the bright lights of the first ever WrestleMania burst onto the screen.

    BIG time...”

    Clips of classic WrestleMania moments begin to play alongside the official theme for the biggest event of the year… HULK HOGAN slams ANDRE THE GIANT at WrestleMania 3… RANDY SAVAGE defeats TED DIBIASE to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania IV… STEVE AUSTIN stuns SHAWN MICHAELS to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 14.

    I'm on my way I'm making it...”

    THE UNDERTAKER begins his long-standing undefeated streak with a victory over Jimmy Snuka at WrestleMania VII… BRET HART forces STEVE AUSTIN to pass out due to blood loss whilst trapped in the Sharpshooter at WrestleMania 13… THE ROCK and HULK HOGAN come face go face in front of a packed house at WrestleMania 18 – Icon versus Icon.

    BIG time…”

    The creator himself MR. MCMAHON enters the squared circle against his son SHANE MCMAHON at WrestleMania 17 in Houston, Texas… RODDY PIPER and GOLDUST collide in a famous backstage brawl from WrestleMania 12… EDDIE GUERRERO lies, cheats and steals his way toward a victory over KURT ANGLE at WrestleMania 20.

    Oh yeah!”

    JOHN CENA falls back into the crowd after winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21… SHAWN MICHAELS on his knees crying after overcoming a sixty-one minute match against BRET HART to capture his first ever World Championship at WrestleMania 12… TRIPLE H stands on top of the top turnbuckle with two titles following his defeat of Chris Jericho to become the Undisputed Champion at WrestleMania 18.

    BIG time...”

    EDGE spears JEFF HARDY in mid-air at WrestleMania 17… KURT ANGLE forces SHAWN MICHAELS to submit to the ankle lock at WrestleMania 21… HULK HOGAN and RANDY SAVAGE make their entrances at WrestleMania V for the explosion of the Mega Powers.

    I've got to make it show, yeah!”

    RANDY ORTON represents Evolution at WrestleMania 20 scoring a victory alongside RIC FLAIR and BATISTA over the ROCK N’ SOCK CONNECTION… the following year RANDY ORTON goes it alone and takes THE UNDERTAKER to the limit – highlighted by the mid-air RKO… BATISTA makes his entrance at WrestleMania 21 for what would be his crowning moment against Triple H.

    BIG time...”

    THE UNDERTAKER makes his grand return at WrestleMania 20 with an elaborate entrance… THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR sprints to the ring at WrestleMania VI… SHAWN MICHAELS rides the wire down from the top of the stadium at WrestleMania 12 in one of the most famous entrances of all time.

    BIG time...”

    THE ROCK and STEVE AUSTIN have a staredown at WrestleMania 15... which then transitions into a similar shot between the two from WrestleMania 17… and finally at their final encounter at WrestleMania 19.

    So much larger than life...”

    TRIPLE H over the top entrance with Motorhead playing him to the ring at WrestleMania 21… ARN ANDERSON comes out of nowhere to hit the AA Spinebuster on THE UNDERTAKER at WrestleMania 18… BRET HART and OWEN HART put on a clinic at WrestleMania X.

    BIG time...”

    Clips of the large firework displays throughout the years and the fans jammed packed into the building.

    I'm going to watch it growing...”

    HULK HOGAN holds the WWE Championship high above his head at WrestleMania VII following his victory over Sargent Slaughter… BATISTA stares at Triple H in the corner while holding his newly won World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 21… THE UNDERTAKER kneels inside the middle of the ring at WrestleMania 13 after defeating Psycho Sid to win the WWE Championship.

    BIG time!”


    WRESTLEMANIA 22 | APRIL 2
    ALLSTATE ARENA; PRESENTED BY RAW & SMACKDOWN
    *ONLY ON PAY-PER-VIEW*

    63 DAYS AWAY




    Cutting backstage, we enter a room where there is a tumbler with the various entry numbers for tonight’s Royal Rumble Match. Throughout the night we will see WWE Superstars enter the room and pick their entry number before the main event. Standing in the room to oversee the proceedings are Smackdown General Manager and WWE Chairman Vincent Kennedy McMahon. The latter has a big grin on his face after the opening match saw his handpicked champion successfully retain the WWE Championship.

    The first two superstars to arrive are MR. KENNEDY and KURT ANGLE. The most noticeable thing is that McMahon gives Angle the cold shoulder – likely due to Angle’s threats towards Shawn Michaels last Monday on Raw. Kennedy walks into the room arrogant as ever and has a few choice words for Theodore Long after being substituted to face The Undertaker on Friday Night. Kennedy makes it clear to Long that after he wins the Royal Rumble he expects a little more respect than what he was shown last week. He also reminds Long that he still has business to conduct with Matt Hardy to which Teddy replies that a WWE United States Championship Match between the two will take place shortly. Kennedy is satisfied with that and picks his number, refusing to reveal it, before exiting the room.

    Angle makes his pick and after drawing his number the camera spins around to reveal JOHN CENA! McMahon remains silent as Cena approaches Angle, the two men locking eyes – former rivals. Angle tells Cena that he respects what the kid has done in the past few weeks refusing to quit when the odds were against him. During their bitter rivalry spanning several months, Angle says that he has come to respect John as a man and he believes that Cena deserves a shot tonight to avenge the injustice that happened at New Year’s Revolution. Cena replies that he respect Kurt for all he has done and that their battles made Cena a better champion. They shake hands… and Cena looks down at the entry number Kurt holds in his hand.

    Cena throws a look towards Vince in the background – then turns back to Kurt Angle. “This is my only shot, Kurt. Please… would you give me your spot?” It’s by no means an immediate decision from the Gold Medalist. He looks back and forth from the entry number in his hand, a shot at the main event of WrestleMania, and then at Cena – a man who absolutely deserves to be in the Rumble. A grim look appears on Angle’s face and he begins to walk past Cena, turning as he gets shoulder to shoulder - “I’m sorry, John. I respect you but I cannot give up my spot for you.” Cena’s head drops and he mutters - “I understand. Good luck at there, Kurt.”



    We now transition to a pre-recorded segment from earlier today with Michael Cole and Tazz providing voiceover in the early stages. We open with a shot outside of the arena with the arrival of World Heavyweight Champion BATISTA! A long line of fans greets the Animal on his way into the building, he takes a few moments to sign an autograph or two before entering the AmericanAirlines Arena for what is going to be the biggest test of his career. Upon entering the arena, Batista comes across JOHN 'BRADSHAW' LAYFIELD – the latter flanked by his personal assistant Jillian Hall.

    Brimming with confidence JBL tells the World Champion that he has heard the talk all week that The Undertaker is the biggest threat to the Animal’s reign… he spits at that notion! Layfield reminds Batista of their battle at SummerSlam last year and proclaims that he was “this close” to beating Batista a few months ago. Tonight, Layfield vows to win the Royal Rumble and if… that’s a BIG if… Batista survives tonight’s title defence than JBL will rightfully strip him of the title at WrestleMania 22.

    Staying calm, flicking a glance to the title belt on his shoulder, Batista reminds JBL that he has stopped every single challenger in their place for nearly a year now. He hasn’t held the title for so long by overlooking anybody… so he’s not going to think about who he’ll be facing at WrestleMania 22. Tonight, he’s focused on one thing – The Undertaker! Batista steps closer to JBL, smirking a moment, before walking right on past him.



    **DON’T MESS WITH**

    Emerging from behind the curtain wearing as mean a mug as she can provide, VICTORIA stomps out onto the stage backed by her two best friends TORRIE WILSON and CANDICE MICHELLE. The numbers game will be on the side of Vince’s Devils tonight as is always the case. Victoria leads the way down to the ring, sneering at the fans who dare to boo her, while Torrie and Candice reassure the powerhouse that she’s going to take the Women’s Championship this evening.


    Jim Ross: The second title contest coming from Monday Night Raw tonight and this story has been one I’ve kept a close eye on from home. Victoria is here because she defeated Mickie James three weeks ago to earn her spot against Trish Stratus. But the biggest curveball in this story is that last Monday we saw this traditional wrestling match turned into a No Disqualifications Match and the added stipulation that if Mickie James comes out to the ring than Trish Stratus will lose the WWE Women’s Championship.

    Jonathan Coachman: It’s all Trish’s fault, JR! I’ve been saying this for months now. Mickie James is a lunatic and she’ll be the downfall of Trish sooner rather than later. Tonight, Trish can’t afford to be thinking about Mickie because she has to deal with one of the most powerful women in the WWE as her opponent. If you’re looking past Victoria than you’re in for a rude awakening.


    **TIME TO ROCK AND ROLL**

    Concern appears to be apparent from the moment the champion steps into view of the crowd at the top of the entrance ramp. Carrying the WWE Women’s Championship over her shoulder TRISH STRATUS takes a good hard look down at the three women at ringside. While only Victoria stands in the squared circle there is nothing stopping Wilson and Michelle from getting involved as this contest will be contested under No Disqualification Rules!!


    Jim Ross: Ladies and gentlemen you are looking at whom I believe is the greatest WWE Women’s Champion of the modern era. Only the Fabulous Moolah has held that title longer than Trish Stratus and tonight she puts her historic year long reign on the line.

    Jonathan Coachman: Not only is she putting it on the line but she’s effectively sealed her own demise tonight! It was Trish who agreed to having Mickie James banned from ringside – and if Mickie comes out to the ring then Trish WILL LOSE the WWE Women’s Championship. Think about that insanity! Plus, Trish demanded this match be No Disqualifications… that allows both Candice and Torrie to get involved in this match without any ramifications for Victoria!

    Jim Ross: This isn’t going to be easy, Coach. I have to believe Trish knows that. I’m not going to count her out. She’s held that title for over a year and that means something! She has the heart of a champion. Pride just like all the greats before her.

    Jonathan Coachman: Well… they do say pride comes before the fall.

    Stratus steps into the ring, keeping an eye on Victoria who stands across from her, as she hands the title belt over to referee. The zebra holds the title up in the air and displays it to all four sides of the arena. Victoria and Trish begin talking back and forth… Trish walking forward and demanding the challenger meet her in the middle right now. Staying composed for the moment, Victoria shakes her hand and taps her wrist, reminding the champion that her time is almost up.

    Before the match begins we have a split screen which shows a monitor backstage… WITH MICKIE JAMES WATCHING LIVE!!

    WWE Women’s Championship | No Disqualification Match
    Trish Stratus [c] vs. Victoria

    The two women lock-up in the middle of the ring, struggling for to gain the best position, each holding their own for the moment. Victoria is the more powerful of the two and after a few moments gives one big push to send Stratus tumbling over into a corner. The crowd are shook – Trish looking up from the corner with a concern written all over her face. It’s not a look we have seen on the champion during her entire reign so far. Trish is slow to her feet, remaining in the corner, while Victoria receives a round of applause from her friends on the outside of the ring. The challenger conveys a growing level of smugness, pacing in her half of the ring like she owns the place, feeling that the Women’s Championship is within her grasp.

    Trish takes a moment in the corner to look around the arena. Her fans willing the champion to not give up even though the odds are drastically against her. The head goes down… and Stratus comes charging out of the corner! Victoria and Trish lock-up again in the middle of the ring. It’s the same dance, Victoria is more powerful and prepares to toss Trish across the ring only for the Women’s Champion to slip behind the challenger and execute a schoolgirl pinfall attempt… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Both women scramble to their feet, Victoria rushes at Trish for a clothesline only for the latter to pull down the top rope and send the challenger spilling to the outside!

    Backing up across the ring, Trish surveys the situation that awaits her on the outside of the ring. Candice and Torrie quickly rush to the aid of their friend, helping her stand, while Trish looks back and forth between them and the crowd. Taking a deep breath, Trish sprints towards the ropes for a suicide dive through the ropes but she gets cracked with a trash can lid! Victoria has pulled a steel trash can lid from under the ring and she slams it right on the top of Trish’s head. The champion falls back into the ring, Victoria hurrying underneath the bottom rope and she makes a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! The camera shows the split screen again with Mickie James covering her eyes after the trash can shot to the head of her idol.


    Victoria grabs Trish by the hair and drags her across the ring into a corner. Both hands placed on the top rope we see Victoria deliver some hard kicks to the mid-section of the champion. The referee tries to display some authority here but Victoria turns to him, gives him a hard shove, and shouts that he has no power over her tonight. Turning back to her opponent in the corner, Victoria wraps both hands around the throat of Stratus and blatantly chokes the WWE Women’s Champion! Trish kicks wildly as her airway is restricted, Victoria getting up close and screaming that the title belongs to her now.

    Victoria releases the choke, allowing Trish to crumble to the bottom of the turnbuckle before picking her back up and whipping the champion across the ring. Victoria comes charging after her and nails a big forearm to the face, knocking Trish down to the canvas. A pinfall attempt by Victoria follows as she hooks both legs… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Back to her feet first, Victoria stalks the champion, circling her, until the perfect moment – striking with a stiff kick to the mid-section. Victoria grabs an arm once again, sending Trish into the ropes, and hits a back elbow which knocks Trish down to the canvas. The champion bounces back up shortly thereafter and eats a short-arm clothesline by Victoria; who then follows it up with a standing moonsault! Quickly, Victoria hooks both legs for the cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT!

    Looking to take advantage of the no disqualification rules that this contest is being contested under we see Victoria roll to the outside of the ring. Torrie and Candice rush over to Victoria and help their friend toss various weapons into the ring! It’s total madness at ringside with Vince’s Devils throwing a steel chair, a steel trash can, a kendo stick, hairspray, a nightstick and a pair of brass knuckles! With all the goodies tossed into the ring, Victoria slides back into the squared circle and sets her sights on Stratus.

    Victoria grabs Trish by the hair, dark desires looking to be fulfilled, however Trish has had time to recover and she begins to deliver punches to the stomach of the challenger. The crowd rallies behind the champion as Trish forces Victoria back, smacking her with a right hand before whipping the challenger across the ring. On the rebound, Trish hits a big time Spinebuster and falls into a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Once more we see Mickie James watching backstage, this time she is pleased with what she is seeing and bounces up and down in support of Trish.


    Victoria gets that left shoulder off the mat just in time! The match continues as Trish tries to shake off some of the punishment she has endured so far. Stepping towards Victoria, eyes on the prize, Trish fires off some strikes to the head followed by a knee to the mid-section and plants Victoria with a DDT! Another cover by the champion… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Still not enough!! Trish sits up now, surveying the various tools in the ring that have been introduced.

    A sudden thought takes over the champion, Trish makes her way over to the corner and climbs to the top rope, perched for a high risk move, awaiting Victoria to return to a vertical base. To the disgust of the crowd Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson rush onto the ring apron! Trish has to fight them off, kicking Candice in the face which sends her tumbling down to the floor but Torrie gets in a few punches from the other side. Trish takes them like a true warrior, steadies herself on the top rope and boots Torrie down to the floor.


    CRACK! Victoria slams the kendo stick across the shoulder and lower neck area of Trish Stratus. The involvement of Candice and Torrie gave Victoria the chance that she needed to grab a weapon and deliver a hard blow to the champ. Victoria wields the kendo stick in her hand and fires off another shot which knocks Trish from the top rope down to the canvas inside the ring. Victoria keeps the kendo stick in her hand as she makes a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Immediately after the kick out, Victoria shoves the kendo stick into the throat of Stratus pressing down with all her might!

    Releasing the choke now, Victoria tosses the kendo stick to the side as she looks at the other weapons inside the ring. After a moment of thinking it seems that the powerhouse has settled on the steel trash can. Wielding the weapon in her hand, Victoria places it in the corner of the ring, jamming it between the top and middle rope. Afterwards, Victoria makes her way back over to Trish, pulling the champion to her feet, and slings Trish into the trash can head first! Trish slams into it which bends the steel all sorts of way. It’s not done yet as Victoria pulls the trash can from the corner, placing it down on the canvas, and picks Trish up for a scoop slam onto the twisted steel trash can!! That has to be it now. Victoria kicks the trash can from the ring and hooks the leg… 1… 2… KICK OUT!

    Loud chants of “Trish” echo throughout the AmericanAirlines arena after that kick out. That twisted steel is highlighted on replay as is the look of shock on the face of Victoria. She screams at the referee, pounding the canvas in outrage, believing that she should’ve won the title right there. Looking back over at the weapons scattered throughout the ring, Victoria slowly picks up the brass knuckles, sliding them onto her right hand. Victoria thrusts that fist in the air, shouting at the crowd that she is one punch away from the gold, before turning around to face the champion. Victoria steps forward, taking her time to aim up the punch, and she throws it! Trish goes full MATRIX! Leaning back out of the way to avoid the knock out punch and she rolls forward, scoops up the hairspray and BLINDS the challenger!

    Trish sprays Victoria directly in the eyes which sends the challenger into a state of a panic. This is her chance and the champion understands it better than anyone. Trish rushes forward and picks up a steel chair – she wants to get even after all the damage she has taken. Big time shot lands from Trish! She takes another swing and cracks Victoria in the back! The challenger stumbles forward, waving her hands in the air, and somehow manages to block the third chair shot! Victoria rips the chair from Trish’s grasp but the champion boots the challenger in the mid-section, and follows it up with a step-up front kick! This sends the chair spilling out of the hands of Victoria and to the outer edge of the ring.

    Trish scrambles for the chair and places it in a seated position in the middle of the ring. With both hands around the head of Victoria – a look of determination on her face – Trish grabs a front face lock and raises a hand in the air… Stratus-Faction is coming, folks! The crowd are on their feet as Trish guides Victoria towards the ropes… only to be cut off by Candice and Torrie. The numbers advantage coming into play again! Candice and Torrie have saved Victoria and now they attack the WWE Women’s Champion. Candice and Torrie stomping away at the champion which allows their BFF to recover to the side. Trish had this match won – if she had hit the Stratus-Faction on the chair it would’ve been game over.

    Victoria is slow to her feet but she has all the time in the world. Her allies, Candice and Torrie, have put a beating on Trish Stratus and the champion is ripe for the picking. Victoria makes her way over to Trish, lifts her up and nails a powerbomb in the dead centre of the ring – she hooks the leg for the cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Vince’s Devils cannot believe what just happened. Victoria scurries away and into the arms of Candice and Torrie, shaking her head back and forth, arguing that it has to be over. It’s three versus one but Trish Stratus will not quit! Victoria is on the edge of losing her marbles. She looks at all the weapons she has used – none of it has put the champ away. Then, it seems that something peaks her interest, Victoria slips to the outside of the ring, looks underneath the apron and pulls out a TABLE!

    We have a table and Vince’s Devils are setting it up inside the ring while the WWE Women’s Champion is down on the canvas. Victoria gives out the orders – she is going for the powerbomb again but this time she’ll put Trish through the table. Candice and Torrie work together to get the table in place, lining it up perfectly as Victoria demands and making sure to keep Trish subdued. With Candice and Torrie holding her, Trish looks up at Victoria – the powerhouse of the women’s division mocking Trish moments before her demise. We cut back to the monitor backstage… AND MICKIE IS GONE! Mickie James is no longer watching from backstage! Cut back to the ring, Victoria grabs Trish and places her between the legs in front of the table. It’s powerbomb time and it looks like Victoria is about to add another reign as WWE Women’s Champion to her career.

    ...

    **LIGHT A FIRE**

    ...


    Hang on a moment, ladies and gentlemen! It’s not Mickie James that is coming down to the ring to give aid – it’s Ashley Massaro. The other woman who was attacked by Vince’s Devils two weeks ago alongside Trish Stratus. We haven’t seen her since but now is as good a time as ever to make your return. The rules of course stated that Mickie James couldn’t get involved… it said nothing of Massaro.

    Ashley charges down to the ring and goes after Candice Michelle! Torrie Wilson jumps on her, pulling Massaro off, which causes a lapse in the focus of Victoria – allowing Trish to execute a back body drop! Side by side Massaro and Stratus fight off the three women! Candice and Torrie getting tossed to the outside of the ring and Massaro diving off the top rope onto them – eliminating the numbers advantage!


    Still in the ring, Stratus turns her focus to Victoria! It’s even now – Trish has a fair shot! They slug it out in the middle of the ring, Victoria looking flustered that the numbers have shifted. Stratus gets the advantage, backing Victoria up and whipping her into the ropes for a THESZ PRESS! Hard right hands land from Trish as the two women scrambles up – CHICK KICK!

    Stratus cracks Victoria in the head! That’s not it though as Trish grabs the front face lock, turns her eyes to the table that she was supposed to go through… STRATUS-FACTION THROUGH THE TABLE! Trish gets payback on Victoria and she hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!!


    Spoiler:

    Winner: And STILL WWE Women’s Champion – Trish Stratus @ 10:42

    Against all the odds that were stacked against her tonight Trish Stratus found a way to emerge victorious with a little help from a good friend. While the unstable Mickie James watched from the back and mysteriously disappeared towards the end of the match, it was Ashley Massaro who came to the aid of the WWE Women’s Champion when she needed it most. It’s an emotional scene in the ring as Trish is handed the title belt, which she holds close to her chest, sitting on her knees looking around at all the fans cheering her on.


    While making her way up the ramp, Stratus is joined by Massaro and the two women hug on the ramp. Stratus can be seen saying thank you to Massaro for having her back. We are reminded by J.R. that Ashley was a victim of the same assault that Trish suffered two weeks ago so it’s no surprise that she would want to give aid tonight. Coachman is stunned that Trish escaped with the title tonight – pointing towards all the punishment she took and the numbers advantage. The odds were not in her favour but tonight at the Royal Rumble, Trish Stratus went to hell and emerged as the WWE Women’s Champion. The final scene before we transition is of Trish and Ashley standing at the top of the ramp hands held together and raised in the air.



    We return backstage to the Royal Rumble entry selection tumbler being overseen by Mr. McMahon and Theodore Long. The two men are engaged in a bit of chit chat when the door swings open to reveal REY MYSTERIO! The masked man walks into the room and shakes hands with Teddy Long… he pauses for a moment and then shakes hands with Mr. McMahon reluctantly. After exchanging some warm pleasantries with Teddy, it’s time for Mysterio to pick his number from the tumbler. Reaching in he picks a ball, opens it up and looks at the number he has drawn… it must be good because Rey smiles immediately after reading it. Mysterio puts the slip in his pocket and heads for the door but comes to a stop when he spots Cena just outside the room – seemingly asking every Raw superstar who picks a number if he could take their place. Mysterio tells Cena that what’s happening to him is unfair and that he has a lot of people rooting for him.

    Cena responds that while he appreciates the kind words that’s not what he needs right now. Cena needs someone to take action, to do something for the greater good of the WWE and let Cena take their place. Mysterio says he understands the frustration and if he could he’d consider giving up his own spot but as a Smackdown superstar he’s unable to be replaced by Cena. The two men shake hands, Cena wishes Rey luck in the Rumble for later tonight.

    Just as the two men are about to part ways, TRIPLE H saunters up to the conversation. He has a ball in his hand having just picked his number. The Game mocks Mysterio and Cena by asking if they’re making a little alliance for the Rumble – then feigning as if he had forgotten that Cena was ineligible at this point. Hunter recommends that Cena go buy himself a ticket because he doesn’t stand a chance in hell at making it into the Royal Rumble. Who would be so stupid as to give up their spot to main event WrestleMania for another man? Cena has heard enough, he steps up and gets in the face of Triple H. Cena says that he has waited all night for someone to volunteer but what if he just takes a spot – what if he knocks Triple H’s head off and claims his entry number right now? Hunter doesn’t back down – eyeing Cena – and says that would be a very bad idea on Cena’s part.

    Cooler heads prevail as Cena takes a step back. He believes that he will find a way into the Royal Rumble without having to stoop to the level of Triple H. Wait and see says Cena – someone will give up their spot for him. Won’t they?




    Back into the arena...

    **SIMON SYSTEM**

    To the surprise of all the WWE Cruiserweight Champion SIMON DEAN marches out to the ring. As always Simon Dean is not alone as Sylvan, the perfect presentation of the Simon System, follows just a few steps behind. Dean shows off the title belt on his way down to the ring and portrays a very upbeat attitude even as he receives boos from the live crowd.

    Once inside the ring, Simon Dean grabs a microphone and appears to have something to say to all the WWE fans around the world. He’s dressed in a classic tracksuit so not ready to compete this evening and has not been named as a competitor in the Royal Rumble.

    Simon Dean: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Simon Dean and I am the WWE Cruiserweight Champion. Not only do I hold this beautiful championship around my physically toned abs but I am a nutritional expert.

    Dean nods his head with self-approval.

    Simon Dean: I am the key to your future success, ladies and gentlemen. I look around this area and I see a lot of dull faces. I see people who need some help to better themselves.

    Heat.

    Simon Dean: You, sir! Yes, the man in the blue t-shirt. I can tell that you’ve never accomplished anything in your life. I bet you ask yourself every day why isn’t there something or someone that can give you the tools to better yourself.

    He looks towards another fan in the crowd.

    Simon Dean: And you my dear, the young lady in the black. Those bags under your eyes are not from the stress of success. It’s from too many frozen TV meals and nights spent in watching bad cable television on the couch while you stuff your mouth full of cheese puffs!

    More heat from the audience as Dean returns to looking at the hard camera.

    Simon Dean: I could go on for days, ladies and gentlemen. I can spot a victim of self pity from a mile away. I look around this arena, here in Miami, and I can see thousands of victims who are willingly laying in a pool of their own self pity.

    Sylvan remains solid a statue in the background while Dean continues his sermon.

    Simon Dean: Today, ladies and gentlemen, is the day you change! I, Simon Dean, the WWE Cruiserweight Champion, am here to offer you a chance to be excellent. A chance to leave these past habits behind you.

    The camera focuses in on a few members of the crowd eating hotdogs, nachos and drinking beers.

    Simon Dean: No more fatty foods, no more television dinners, no more self pity – I stand here in this ring offering you a chance at LIFE! A second chance because it’s obvious that all of you in Miami have wasted the first… I mean you live in Miami for starters! I can SAVE you people and all of you watching at home. All you have to do, now listen carefully, is order my NEW SIMON SYSTEM!

    Big groan from the live crowd. On the titantron the prices appear and various products flash on the screen.

    Simon Dean: Yes for just a one of fee of $99.99 or four easy instalments of $25.00, you can leave the old you behind and be the best Simon you can be.

    Simon gives a thumbs up and a big smile to the camera – posing for a good five seconds.

    Simon Dean: Oh, I get it! You guys want proof it works. Well, just look at Sylvan. He’s in the best physical shape of his life thanks to me. I pulled this man from the brink of obscurity and have made him part of my historic reign as WWE Cruiserweight Champion! I have helped bring this man onto national talk shows as I promote my game changing eating plan and supplements, all of which are available from Simon System dot com!

    More heat.

    Simon Dean: If you still doubt the success of my program than just look at what I have around my waist. I am a champion! I am a champion that spreads the right message unlike these other fools.

    Simon slaps the WWE Cruiserweight Championship around his waist and smirks.

    Simon Dean: I know that seeing a champion here in Miami isn’t something you’re used to. It’s a rare sight I know. But just know that I, Simon Dean, am a champion that Miami can be proud of! I am the greatest champion to ever step foot in Miami!

    **IF YOU SMELL**

    The response is big when the music hits and only grows once the live crowd sees THE ROCK march out from behind the curtain. The Great One is in the building in his hometown of Miami, Florida. It’s a shock to everyone involved especially Simon Dean who looks highly annoyed at being interrupted during his sales pitch. The announcers do not know what to say as The Rock climbs onto the apron of the ring, wasting no time in making his presence know as he enters the ring and demands a microphone.

    The Rock: Finally… The Rock has come back… HOME!!

    Huge cheer from the crowd and yet another closeup of Simon Dean looking irritated.

    The Rock: For those of you who don’t remember it’s been TWO! Count ‘em, two! Two long years since The Rock has had the honour of sharing the ring with all of The Rock’s fans. And The Rock isn’t talking about a one, two, a handful, a couple of hundred, a few thousand… oh no… The Rock is talking about the MILLIONS…

    AND MILLIONS”

    The Rock: Of The Rock’s fans. It has been way too long! So when The Rock heard that the Royal Rumble was going to be in Miami – you can bet your ass that The Rock was showing up!

    Another big cheer from the live crowd ~ many still in shock that The Rock is here!

    The Rock: This is what the Royal Rumble is all about! You never know who is going to show up and later tonight you’re going to see thirty men battle for the chance to headline WrestleMania 22. Now, The Rock knows what it’s like to want that so bad, to wake up every single morning focused on achieving that dream, and The Rock knows what it takes to do it. It’s a life changing moment and tonight, for one man, that’s going to happen tonight and The Rock wants to wish all thirty men involved good luck.

    The Rock claps his hands together and nods his head towards the backstage area.

    The Rock: With that said, allow The Rock to get to YOU!!

    Turning on his heels The Rock points a finger at Simon Dean.

    The Rock: You come out here in The Rock’s hometown… the beautiful city of Miami and you run your mouth. You insult the people of Miami… The Rock’s people! And you do so without even having the self-respect, the common curtesy to introduce yourself to The Great One?

    Simon Dean shouts back that he did introduce himself. The Rock ignores him.

    The Rock: What is your name??

    The Rock extends the microphone towards Simon Dean and the WWE Cruiserweight Champion leans forward to respond.

    Simon Dean: My name is…

    The Rock: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS!!

    That looks like it’s going to send Simon Dean over the edge. He paces back and forth while The Rock laughs, soaking in the applause of the crowd.

    Simon Dean: Now you listen to me! I am the WWE Cruiserweight Champion! I am a best selling nutritional expert and you don’t get to come out here and interrupt me. You can’t disappear for two years and come back like you still own this place. A lot has changed since you’ve been here Rock! I’m here now. The Simon System is taking over the globe and… I’ve got a deal for you!

    The Rock: A deal? You’ve got a deal for The Rock??

    Dean has a smirk on his face now as he rubs his chin. He smells a business opportunity out of this madness.

    Simon Dean: We got off on the wrong foot, obviously. You and I are very much alike. We’re both at the top of our fields. I saw Doom and I thought it was excellent!! Top notch stuff, Rock. However, I think… no, I know I could take you to the next step and you could do the same for me.

    The Rock: You want The Rock to help you? Take you to the next level in the WWE?

    Simon Dean: Think of it Rock! If you were to endorse the Simon System I’d be able to sell one to the millions… and millions of your fans. I could get my cookbook published and we could put you and I on the front cover. Think about it! A selection of recipes to get rock hard abs just like The Rock written by Simon Dean! What do you say??

    Simon Dean extends his hand for The Rock to shake ~ looking to confirm this business deal. Yes, Simon Dean wants to have The Rock endorse his Simon System and potentially co-author a cookbook that they can pawn off on customers.

    The Rock: Let The Rock get this straight. You, Mr. purple tracksuit looking like Barney the Dinosaur over here, want The Rock to endorse your workout system and have The Rock’s fans all buy one? You expect The Rock to go on national television and promote your cookbook, say The Rock drinks your meal replacement shake and take the hard earned money of good people like the ones here tonight in Miami!

    Simon Dean: Exactly! Sounds great. Think of the money!

    The Rock: You know what you can do with your Simon System? You can order The Rock one, get it shipped to The Rock’s house on the beach, unbox it for The Rock, pop the bubble wrap real nice. Pick the Simon System up with both hands, pour a meal replacement shake all over it, grab the damn cookbook too, don’t forget about that piece of crap… mix them all together, turn that SON BITCH SIDEWAYS AND STICK IT STRAIGHT UP YOUR CANDY ASS!!

    Simon Dean does not take kindly to that and neither does Sylvan! Together the duo rush The Great One and try to double team him in an assault. The fight is on inside the ring with The Rock being backed into the corner. He takes shots from both men until he fights his way out with punches and tosses Dean to the side. The Rock shoves Sylvan into the corner of the ring and unloads with ten hard punches like a machine gun all in quick succession. He pulls Sylvan out of the corner, whips him into the ropes and hits a SPINEBUSTER!

    The crowd explode with cheers as The Rock steps into position for the most electricity move in sports entertainment! Suddenly, Simon Dean comes rushing back onto the scene and The Rock nails him with a SPINEBUSTER! Dean is laid out right next to Sylvan and the Miami crowd is going wild for their hometown guy. The Rock stands tall, looking down at both men and motions back and forth with his arms, rushing towards the ropes and rebounding… DOUBLE PEOPLES ELBOW!!!

    What a moment here at the Royal Rumble! The Rock has come home to Miami and engaged in a war of words with Simon Dean. With business concluded, The Rock tosses both Dean and Sylvan from the ring… and begins to pose. He climbs each of the four turnbuckles in the ring and raises a hand in the air. The people continue to shower him with applause as replays are shown of the double Peoples Elbow. We cut to a video package for the upcoming World Heavyweight Championship Match as The Rock climbs down from a turnbuckle, raises a hand in the air, and waves goodbye.



    BATISTA VS. THE UNDERTAKER | VIDEO PACKAGE

    - At Armageddon Batista retained the World Heavyweight Championship in a fatal four way match against JBL, Bobby Lashley and Rey Mysterio.

    - On the same night, The Undertaker defeated Randy Orton inside Hell in a Cell to earn his spot as the number one contender at the Royal Rumble.

    - For the first time ever Batista and The Undertaker shared the ring together on Smackdown. Batista vowed to show no fear and that he would defeat The Undertaker just as he had defeated every other man before. The Undertaker made it clear he was no man – he is the Phenom and he would not only take the title but also Batista’s soul.

    - The following week, The Undertaker would nail Batista with a devastating chokeslam as a warning shot for what is to come.

    - Not to be outdone, Batista returned fire just forty eight hours ago when he speared The Undertaker during the closing moments of Smackdown.



    **I WALK ALONE**

    Bringing explosive energy to the arena, BATISTA charges onto the stage with the World Heavyweight Championship firmly clipped around his waist. The Animal is fired up, slapping his chest and telling the fans to stand up and make some noise for him. Batista sets off his trademark pyro, letting out a primal scream as he does so before jogging down the entrance ramp towards the ring.

    Michael Cole: We are approaching a year long reign for The Animal! Batista won the title back at WrestleMania 21 and has reigned as the top dog ever since. Tonight, he faces the biggest challenge of his career.

    Tazz: The Undertaker and Batista have traded shots in the past weeks. Batista got the best of it last week on Smackdown. Could that be a factor tonight? Batista got the last shot off. Perhaps he who strikes last will end up with the advantage?

    Michael Cole: It’s important to note that the champion is supposed to enter second but Batista didn’t want to do that. He chose to come out first. He wants the ring to himself so he can fire up this crowd to support him. I suspect it’ll be 50/50 in terms of crowd support. Batista wanted to make sure these fans were ready to give him everything they had. He’s the type of guy to feed off the response from the crowd.

    With the ring all to himself for the moment, Batista unclips the title belt and poses on the turnbuckle to loud cheers from the audience. He raises the belt in the air – looking determined as ever!

    **GRAVEYARD SYMPHONY**

    Smoke fills the lower half of the arena and the lights go out. The sounds of a storm echo throughout the AmericanAirlines arena, purple lights flickering as Batista paces back and forth, as we await the arrival of the challenger. According to Tazz it’s mind games on the part of The Phenom, making Batista wait, trying to allow doubt to sneak into the mind of the World Champion. Finally, THE UNDERTAKER emerges from the darkness, beginning his long walk to the ring, going step by step, ever so slowly.

    Michael Cole: He is the Phenom of the WWE! The man who has been the gatekeeper for all those who have come through the doors to this great company. The Undertaker has faced them all and when you step into the ring with the Deadman if you survive your career is made but if you fall than you may never been heard from again. Tonight, The Undertaker gets his chance to become World Champion again and to test whether Batista belongs at the top level.

    Tazz: The Undertaker has long said that he can make people famous. Well, if you’re Batista you’ve gotta believe you’re already famous. If Batista can beat The Undertaker it puts him in a rare air. It elevates him right to the top of the WWE not just currently but all-time! For The Undertaker this is a title opportunity which he believes is long overdue and a chance to head into WrestleMania as World Heavyweight Champion. And remember that The Undertaker has never lost at WrestleMania.

    World Heavyweight Championship | Singles Match
    Batista [c] vs. The Undertaker

    At the very first opportunity Batista charges head first towards The Undertaker! The World Champion putting his power on display from the opening bell, picking up the challenger on his right shoulder and driving The Undertaker into the far left turnbuckle. It’s a sharp pop from the audience as Batista repeatedly slams his shoulder into the mid-section of the Deadman – doing so until the referee reaches a count of four. The Undertaker no doubt feels the effect of the assault, bending down and coughing while Batista takes a few steps back, creating the necessary separation the referee required. It would seem that the Animal has come into the contest with a strategy focusing on bringing the fight to the veteran. He continues this by swarming The Undertaker in the corner unloading with loaded forearms to the side of the head.

    While not delivering a large sum of strikes, Batista is able to nail The Undertaker with isolated blows which deal a great deal of damage. With control over his opponent, Batista grabs the wrist of the Deadman and moves him towards the ring ropes, eyeing the opposite side of the ring for a moment, before slinging The Undertaker across the squared circle.

    On the return The Undertaker is knocked to the canvas by a powerful shoulder block from the World Heavyweight Champion – who makes a quick cover for a count of one! That is no surprise to the champion and he wastes no time in transitioning into the mount position – Batista firing off more forearms to the upper body of The Undertaker! The crowd counts along as Batista slams his large forearm into The Undertaker’s head and neck six times before standing up.


    Batista wipes away a few drops of sweat from his forehead, making his way around the ring, stalking The Undertaker, feeling that he has come out of the gates at the very peak of his game. Nobody could’ve expected Batista to strike with such dominance against The Undertaker – the World Champion being untouched so far. Of course, while dominant so far, Batista knows he is a long way from being done for the night. He marches over to the body of his opponent, The Undertaker on his knees, and pulls the challenger to a vertical base.

    Batista backs him up against the ropes and once again whips him into the ropes. A fierce lariat by Batista misses, The Undertaker ducking underneath and he continues to run forward, rebounding off the ropes a second time, colliding with Batista in the form of a flying clothesline! Both men are down for the moment, The Undertaker pulling himself back to a vertical base while Batista steadies himself from a kneeling position in the middle of the ring.


    The Undertaker walks forward with his fists raised, ready to duck and move, and he unloads a quick right hand to the face of the World Champion. The first shot staggers Batista and a second sends him back peddling – a third and forth have him on wobbly legs. Continuing the move forward firing off punches, blocking anything that comes his way in return, The Undertaker is answering for Batista’s early explosion of offence. Batista tries to grab hold of the Deadman in an attempt to counter – presumably for some type of slam – but The Undertaker shoves him away and nails a big boot that sends Batista tumbling to the outside of the ring!

    A huge roar from the crowd echoes throughout the arena as replays are shown on the titantron. Batista fell all the way to the floor surrounding the ring and he has very little time to gather his thoughts because The Undertaker is already coming for him! With two hands around the head, The Undertaker pulls Batista up and slams him head first into the guardrail. Batista falls to his knees and suffers a hard knee strike by The Undertaker to his mid-section.

    The referee shouts for the match to be returned to the ring – The Undertaker shoots him a glare – and the referee quickly backs away from the two competitors. A few more punches from The Undertaker lands, keeping Batista rattled, before the challenger tosses the champion back into the ring. Get ready for some vintage Deadman as The Undertaker positions Batista on the edge of the apron, his head and shoulders arching over the hard edge. Taker climbs onto the ring apron, eyeing his target below, and leaps into the arm – LEG DROP ON THE APRON!


    Taker picks himself off the floor and slides back into the ring, turning Batista onto his back and hooks the leg for a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! A defiant champion forces his shoulder off the mat and now we have a reset. The Undertaker brushes his hair from his face, throwing an awful glare towards the champion, before forcing him into a corner of the ring. More strikes from The Undertaker land, he then grabs a wrist and sends Batista across the ring into the opposite turnbuckle – JUMPING KNEE STRIKE! The Undertaker launches himself through the air and slams into Batista with a knee against the turnbuckle. Batista stumbles forward – TOMBSTONE!! No, Batista kicks free and slips out the back… he shoves The Undertaker away and rushes forward for a LARIAT!

    That’s a big shot but The Undertaker pops right back up to his feet forcing Batista to quickly swing another lariat – which hits! Before Taker can pop back up to his feet, Batista grabs a handful of hair, sits the challenger up, and rebounds off the ropes with a boot to the face. A simple yet effective move from the World Champion and he makes a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Fuelled by the need to retain his championship, Batista makes his next move, lifting The Undertaker up in the middle of the ring, delivering a forearm to the face before whipping him across the ring. A reverse elbow lands for Batista which stuns the Deadman however he remains standing… allowing Batista to explode with a POWERSLAM! Quickly he hooks the leg for a possible three count… 1… 2… KICK OUT!

    There has been very little finesse throughout this contest and you will not find a beautiful dropkick coming. This is a battle between two powerhouse performers and it’ll be all big shots as they both try to claim the mantel of being the World Heavyweight Champion. Both men are back to their feet, Batista forcing his way into a dominant position backs The Undertaker into a corner of the ring, pressing him up against the turnbuckle, delivering a short-arm clothesline. Batista roars with passion and strikes again – only after three short-arm clotheslines in the corner does Batista stop. The World Champion turns on the spot, runs towards the ropes and returns looking for a spear in the corner… BUT TAKER GETS A KNEE UP!

    A dazed and confused champion stumbles a few steps until The Undertaker grabs him by the shoulders and tosses Batista into the corner. Like a machine gun The Undertaker unloads a series of punches unlike anything we have seen from any other WWE competitor. The best pure striker in the game is on show tonight and Batista is getting hammered because of it. The challenger pulls the World Champion out of the corner, forcing him off the canvas and up onto the tall shoulders of the Deadman, bringing him face first into the top turnbuckle – SNAKE EYES! A sudden burst of speed emerges from The Undertaker as he charges into the ropes, rebounding back at speed, colliding into the World Champion with yet another big boot to the face! Taker quickly turns Batista over and makes a cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT!

    Both men are throwing everything they can at the other in pursuit of the richest prize in professional wrestling. The Undertaker shakes his head, forcing himself off the canvas and stomping at the body of his opponent. Batista will not call it quits, not with the title on the line, his legacy likely to be defined by the result we see here tonight. The action picks up again as The Undertaker pulls Batista to a vertical base and goes old school with a punch to the throat. He forces the World Champion towards the edge of the ring, executing a kick to the stomach, in total control and thereafter The Undertaker connects with a SIDEWALK SLAM! He immediately hooks the inside leg of the World Champion for the pinfall… 1… 2… FOOT ON THE ROPE!

    The outside leg was not hooked and Batista is able to get a single foot on the rope much to the dismay of The Undertaker. The challenger stands up, takes a few steps backward and then comes forward with a big LEG DROP! It lands on the spot and The Undertaker makes yet another cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT! There was no rope to save the day this time but Batista still manages to force his shoulder off the canvas and keep this contest alive. The fans are split down the middle in their support for these two superstars.

    hey come alive as The Undertaker hooks the wrist of Batista, dragging him towards the corner and begins his ascent to the top rope. All eyes are on the Deadman as he walks the rope – a famous trademark of his throughout the years – and he comes down, driving a fist into the back of the World Champion! No cover is made however as Batista immediately begins to stir, trying to shake off the fury of the Deadman, fighting back to his feet. In response, The Undertaker raises a hand in the air – signalling for the Chokeslam – the entire audience jumping to their feet with anticipation.


    That big hand of The Undertaker grips Batista around the throat, squeezing the life out of the World Champion, setting him up for the ride that could finish this contest. Taker goes for the lift but Batista blocks it with a headbutt! The grip is broken, Taker stumbles away… AND BATISTA NAILS A SPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE! A quick hook of the leg by Batista – this could be it… 1… 2… KICK OUT! A collective gasp from the audience is heard around the building after what they just saw. Batista hit his devastating spear but somehow the Deadman got his shoulder off the canvas. The camera takes a moment to zoom in on the face of the World Champion – he looks a little shaken, staring at his opponent, a seed of doubt possibly popping up now?

    A rush of adrenaline kicks in, flowing through the veins of the Animal, as the World Champion grabs The Undertaker by the head and pulls him up. A few forearms land to the head, followed by two stiff knees to the mid-section before Batista scoops the challenger up and holds him horizontally. It’s an impressive feat of strength for the Animal – marching forward into the middle of the ring, holding The Undertaker in position, before dropping him down across the knee. Batista slams the mid-section of the Deadman across his knee once… and then stands back up – keeping his grip on the challenger… executing a second backbreaker across the knee! Once again we watch as Batista roars out loudly, drawing a huge cheer from the crowd, as he stands up back still holding the Deadman and this time he slams him straight down to the mat! Batista falls into the cover… 1… 2… KICK OUT!

    Batista stomps his feet on the canvas, raising his hands in the arm, shouting for the Deadman to rise and get some more. The World Champion is looking for his winning shot, stalking his prey, eyes on the prize right now. Taker is on wobbly legs as he stands up and falls victim to a kick to the stomach – he bends down and Batista pulls him into position for the powerbomb. Batista takes a moment to ready himself, hooking the hands around the stomach – NO! The Undertaker counters with a back body drop!

    He avoided absolute disaster right there. Both men are on their feet and trading punches, one after the other, neither man wanting to give an inch right now. Taker seems to be getting the better of it… only for Batista to dig down and find another gear – exploding with vicious forearms to the face of the challenger. Batista has Taker on the back peddle when all of a sudden the challenger somehow finds a way to hit a CHOKESLAM! Taker grabs Batista around the throat, lifts him up and slams him down without warning whilst losing the previous exchange.


    While the move puts The Undertaker in good position he fails to make an immediate cover, having to scramble over with a few seconds delay and does not hook a leg… 1… 2… KICK OUT! Batista got the shoulder up at the very last second! That was one of Taker’s best shots and the World Champion showed heart to get his shoulder off the canvas. The end could be near however as The Undertaker now stands alone at a vertical base looking down upon a wounded champion. The straps come down and The Undertaker signals for the end with the throat slash – drawing a cheer from the live crowd.

    Slowly, Batista begins to stir, fighting to his feet, unaware of what is waiting for him should be stand. Once the World Champion reaches his feet he is lifted up onto the shoulders of the Deadman – TOMBSTONE! Not tonight!! For the second time Batista struggles and frees himself, he strikes with a kick to the mid-section and tries for the Batista Bomb, his second attempt, but Taker shoves him away – JUMPING DDT! Taker makes the cover after that wild exchange of counters… 1… 2… KICK OUT!


    Neither man can be put down and neither can hit their finisher. It’s all or nothing for both men at the minute. Something has to give but who will fall first? The Undertaker is back on his feet and grabs the wrist of Batista, he marches towards the corner again and climbs to the top rope – the Deadman walks the top rope once again but this time Batista yanks him down into a SPINEBUSTER! Batista countered Old School with a Spinebuster and has now shifted the entire complexion of this contest.

    With his entire body shaking, Batista stands up slapping his chest and his eyes are wide. Batista heads over to the ring rope facing the hard camera and shakes his like a mad man – this is the end! Batista turns to face the Deadman, they make eye contact, Batista gives him the thumbs down before reaching in and pulling the challenger into position – BATISTA BOMB! He hit it! Batista hit the powerbomb! A cover is made… 1… 2… KICK OUT!


    Can you believe it? The Undertaker has just kicked out of the Batista Bomb in dramatic fashion. Batista is stunned, rolling off the body of his opponent and clutching his head in his hands. Doubt has absolutely entered his mind at this point. For a year Batista has dominated the entire World Championship scene and he has done so with the Batista Bomb as the equaliser for whatever any man had to throw at him.

    Tonight, that has failed! Batista now stands in the corner, shaking his head in disbelief, looking at The Undertaker… WHO SITS UP! That only infuriates the World Champion… and he rushes forward, picks Taker up and shoves him into the corner. Batista climbs onto the second rope and smashes his fist into the head of the Deadman repeatedly as the crowd counts along.


    At a count of nine… The Undertaker hooks Batista’s legs and steps out of the corner – THE LAST RIDE! Batista falls to the canvas and appears to have let his own ego be his downfall. He rushed into the situation rather than thinking carefully about it. The challenger falls into the cover, pressing all his weight against that of the champion, while the referee makes his count… 1… 2… KICK OUT! This match will continue!

    Batista gets a single shoulder off the mat before the three count and in doing so saves his title… but for how much longer? The Undertaker is hurt but he is standing – he signals for the end as he steps towards his fallen opponent. The Undertaker picks Batista up off the canvas and secures him in position for his most famous move, he’s been trying all night and now is the time – TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! That’ll be the end of the match and the first title reign from Batista. The Undertaker places Batista’s two hands on his own chest, his eyes roll into the back of his head and the referee counts… 1… 2… 3!!


    Wait a damn minute! The referee fails to count to three… Batista never kicked out! We should have a new World Champion but something has gone wrong. It’s chaos at ringside as Edge has pulled the referee out of the ring. The zebra shouts at the Raw superstar for his actions but Edge shoves him to the floor and tells him to stay right there. Before The Undertaker can figure out what the hell is going on we see Edge storm the ring, briefcase in hand and he slams it into the skull of the Deadman! The referee on the outside sees this and calls for the bell – ending the contest.

    Spoiler:

    Result: Due to outside interference Batista has been disqualified therefore the winner of the bout is The Undertaker @ 16:03! However, as a title cannot change hands due to a disqualification STILL the World Heavyweight Champion – Batista!

    The chaos is not over as Edge smashes The Undertaker with the briefcase a second time which sends the Deadman falling to the outside of the ring. Nobody has any idea what is happening – except for Edge! He looks towards the referee and screams at him to get into the ring.

    Edge shoves the briefcase forward…


    I’m cashing this in right now… on him!”

    Edge points towards the World Heavyweight Champion – Batista. After nearly a year waiting on the sideline it appears that Edge has finally picked his time to cash-in his title opportunity. The rules were that it was any champion regardless of the brand! Edge is perfectly within his right to do this. The referee hesitates for a moment but Edge pressures him, shouting directly in his face and shoving him towards the timekeepers area. The man from Raw keeps a watchful eye on the outside where The Undertaker is still down – knowing full well the hell he has just opened by screwing The Undertaker out of the World Championship.

    The referee waits for the official call at ringside, everyone seems in agreement and then the zebra looks at Edge and then at Batista – the latter having just made it to the corner of the ring – before calling for the bell!

    World Heavyweight Championship | Singles Match
    *Money in the Bank Cash-In*
    Batista [c] vs. Edge

    Batista tries to make his way out of the corner but Edge is on him before the World Champion can take a single step. On commentary Tazz makes it clear that he believes Batista has a concussion after suffering the Tombstone and that this man is running on borrowed time. Edge is a shark that can smell blood in the water as he hammers away with punches, knocking Batista to the lower half of the turnbuckle before stomping on him relentlessly. Edge backs away, pulling at his hair, shouting that this is his time – finally! Edge backs up into the opposite corner and begins to stomp his feet – he wants the spear. Batista is slow to his feet, he staggers whilst standing, swinging his arms wildly trying to defend himself… but it’s no use.

    Edge charges forward and nails a hard spear which splits Batista in two. The man has just gone over fifteen minutes with The Undertaker… he has nothing left. Edge hooks the leg with a massive grin on his face and he counts along with the referee… 1… 2… 3!! The crowd is in a stunned state of silence as they’ve never seen anything like this before. Edge, from Raw, has just stolen the World Heavyweight Championship from Smackdown! Edge has won the World Title tonight!

    Spoiler:

    Winner: And NEW World Heavyweight Champion – Edge @ 02:11


    The sight of Edge being handed the big gold belt triggers the crowd into booing loudly and even more so when the result is announced to the live crowd. Edge slithers his way out of the ring and heads up the entrance ramp clutching his FIRST EVER World Championship in his career. The man from Raw has stolen the World Championship which resides on Smackdown. What does this mean for the future? On commentary, Michael Cole is outraged by the way things went down and calls Edge a thief with no morals. Cole points out that Edge had no business being out here since he is set to represent Raw in the Royal Rumble – a spot he will no longer be eligible for.

    While Edge escapes from ringside, not wanting to face any possible consequences from the Deadman or the Animal, we see a shot of Batista inside the ring. His eyes are glazed over and he is looking up at the ceiling. At this point it’s safe to say he has no idea what has happened. On the outside of the ring, The Undertaker has gotten to his feet just in time to see Edge hurry to the backstage area. The Deadman looks as horrifying as he has ever looked – he was just robbed of the World Championship. We fade to black with a final shot of The Undertaker glaring up at the titantron as replays of Edge’s involvement are shown.



    **VIDEO PACKAGE**


    Deadly Game’ by Theory of a Deadman plays; various Smackdown superstars are highlighted as the video begins.

    Clips of RANDY ORTON making his way to the ring, pyro falling from the ceiling as the Legend Killer executes his famous pose on top of the turnbuckle with a smug grin on his face.

    NO SECOND CHANCES

    'Cause it's a deadly game that we play as we live our lives

    Newcomer BOBBY LASHLEY is shown hitting his devastating Dominator on superstars… MNM and THE HOOLIGANS battle it out in fierce competition… JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD makes a grand entrance in a limo alongside his business associate JILLIAN HALL.

    NO TIME TO WASTE

    When we say what is on our minds

    BOOKER T and MATT HARDY do battle over the WWE United States Championship… MR KENNEDY wins a triple threat and stakes his claim to being next in line – motioning to his waist that the title is his.

    NO TIMEOUTS

    Play it now before the game is over

    Fans cheering in the crowd for REY MYSTERIO… BATISTA celebrates retaining the World Heavyweight Championship… MARK HENRY destroys a pair of jobbers.

    THE FINAL PITSTOP

    'Cause it's a deadly game that we play as we live our lives

    Quick succession of clips from the Smackdown roster including; BATISTA, RANDY ORTON, REY MYSTERIO, MR. KENNEDY, MATT HARDY, EUGENE, FIT FINLAY, BOOKER T, JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD & SIMON DEAN.

    ON THE ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA

    When we say what is on our minds

    And now… THE UNDERTAKER stands alone in the darkness and does his throat slit motion to the camera with his eyes rolling into the back of his head.

    Play it now before the game is over... over... over



    WWE NO WAY OUT | FEBRUARY 19
    ROYAL FARMS ARENA; PRESENTED BY SMACKDOWN
    ONLY ON PAY-PER-VIEW

    **END VIDEO PACKAGE**



    For the final time tonight we find ourselves backstage with Vince McMahon and Teddy Long sorting out the final few entrants in the Royal Rumble. While Long and McMahon exchange some ideal chit-chat, ROB VAN DAM enters the ring looking very motivated and focused. Van Dam’s usual cool mannerisms are lacking tonight after the brutal assault on his long-time friend Joey Styles on Monday Night Raw. McMahon offers what can only be described as mockery towards RVD and the plight of his friend. Teddy Long on the other hand offers some genuine words towards Van Dam and wishes him luck in the match tonight. Rob draws a ball and takes his leave from the room – never uttering a single word.

    The camera zooms in on the tumbler to find that all the balls have been picked from the lot. McMahon slaps Long on the back and says that the two of them did a fantastic job tonight and that it’s time to sit back and watch the Rumble. Suddenly the door to the room is opened and in walks RANDY ORTON with an elevated level of smugness about himself this evening. Orton shakes hands with McMahon but ignores Teddy Long. Orton takes a moment to tell McMahon that he has been watching Raw every week and that he is very impressed by the tight ship Vince is running… especially compared to Smackdown. After praising McMahon, Orton says that he still hasn’t picked his number… to which McMahon looks puzzled and replies that all the spots have been picked – showing the empty tumbler.

    Teddy Long cuts in and says that he has dealt with Orton’s entry specifically… revealing a single ball that was removed from the tumbler. Orton snatches it from Long’s grasp and pops it open – and he grins from ear to ear. In fact, Orton begins to chuckle, the Legend Killer seems to have “picked” the jackpot. Long cannot bare to look at the arrogant young man in front of him so the Smackdown General Manager exits the room. Orton tosses the ball to the floor, folds his entry number and makes his way out of the room too.



    Back to ringside; JIM ROSS and TAZZ are now sitting side by side at the announce desk for the final match of the night – a co-branded affair.

    Jim Ross: The time has come, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve waited all night for this match and now we are minutes away from one of the most unpredictable contests of the entire year – the WWE Royal Rumble. Thirty men will enter – only ONE will outlast them all and be crowned the victor and will earn a spot against either the WWE Champion or World Heavyweight Champion in the main event of WrestleMania 22.

    Tazz: The stakes are huge, JR! I’m just so pumped to be calling the match alongside you. This has become a yearly tradition of sorts, partner. Well, come on now, who have you got winning this thing? Obviously it’s going to be someone wearing Smackdown blue but which one? Mysterio? Kennedy? Orton? Booker T? Fit Finlay?

    Jim Ross: Hold on a minute! I wouldn’t be counting your chickens before they hatch just yet. Smackdown has a strong lineup but don’t discount what Monday Night Raw brings to the fold. I hate making predictions on things like this – I’ll leave that to the fans or the bookies! Tonight, I’m here to call the action and I’ll be doing it from the best seat in the house right here at ringside.

    Tazz: Alright, JR. I respect that. But I’ve always been a betting man so let me go on the record right now! My pick to win this thing is Booker T! He’s a veteran with big match experience and I can see him going a long way in this match.

    Jim Ross: You could be right. Only time will tell as this match is ready to get underway but first lets hear from the lovely Lillian Garcia!

    **BELL RINGS**

    Standing inside the ring is Lillian Garcia, holding the microphone in her hand, ready to proceed with the pre-match announcement.

    Lillian Garcia: And now, ladies and gentlemen, is it time for the ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH!

    Huge pop from the crowd.

    Lillian Garcia: The rules are as followed; the individuals who drew numbers one and two will start the match, every two minutes another superstar will join the match according to the number they drew until all thirty men have entered the ring.

    Slight pause from Garcia.

    Lillian Garcia: There are no pinfalls, submissions, disqualifications or countouts – the only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope with both feet hitting the floor.

    Another pause from Garcia whilst the camera circles the arena highlighting the excitement of the crowd – many of whom are now standing on their feet.

    Lillian Garcia: The last man in the ring will be declared the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble Match and will advance to the main event of WrestleMania 22!

    The crowd goes up in a roar! The anticipation has been built and the fans inside the AmericanAirlines Arena are ready. Garcia smiles, turns to the entrance ramp and says…

    Lillian Garcia: Introducing the superstars who drew number one and two respectively…

    There is a noticeable wait from the moment Garcia lowers the microphone – the tension in the arena could be cut with a knife. Everyone is waiting to see who will be the first man to enter the squared circle.

    Nobody knows…

    The fans hold their breath…

    Until…

    **THE GAME**

    One of the most controversial superstars in the game – no pun intended – at the moment after his brutal assault on commentator Joey Styles from Monday Night Raw. The heat he receives from the live crowd is immense as TRIPLE H slowly steps out onto the stage, water bottle in hand, visibly seething. The Game cannot be happy with the luck of the draw tonight! His walk is so slow that it’s almost as if Triple H doesn’t want to believe it – as if somebody is going to rush out and correct this error. He will have no such luck.

    Jim Ross: The look on the face of Triple H tells the entire story tonight, folks. That man has won on the biggest stage this profession has to offer. He has held every title. He has won a Royal Rumble before and he knows the mountain he know has to climb if he wants to get back to the main event of WrestleMania. Triple H will have to go the distance – over an hour – if he wants a shot at redemption having lost in the main event of WrestleMania the last two years.

    Tazz: I’m just going to keep my mouth shut, JR. I don’t have anything nice to say about that man right now. Not after the attack he put on Joey Styles on Monday. I just hope he doesn’t win this thing. I can’t stomach watching him for over an hour.

    Triple H enters the ring, and ascends to the top rope, glaring at the fans who are booing heavily. He steps down from the turnbuckle now, backing into a corner, and does some stretches, preparing himself for what he hopes will be a long night ahead of him.

    We now wait for the second entrant for the match…

    Nothing happens for at least thirty seconds and the fans become restless, some cheering, others booing, but most important they are all making noise.

    **MY TIME IS NOW**

    Tazz: WHAT THE HELL?

    Jim Ross: It can’t be, can it? That’s John Cena’s music but he’s number #31, he was the replacement entrant, and the only way he could enter the match was if somebody gave up their spot. Does that mean somebody has given up their shot at the main event of WrestleMania 22 for John?

    Tazz:
    Who would be that stupid? This is a once in a life-time opportunity! You might never be in another Rumble in your life and to give that spot up for anybody would be insane. This has to be a mistake.



    The camera cuts to the backstage area where a group of referees are blocking off the path to the stage. Standing in front of them is JOHN CENA, dressed to compete, arguing back and forth trying to push his way through.

    John Cena: I have no issue with you guys! I understand you’re just trying to do your job but you need to back off. I’m going out to that ring whether you let me or if I have to make you. Please, just step aside.

    Mr. McMahon: They’ll do not such thing! Hold it right there, Cena.

    From out of frame arrives Mr. McMahon in a huff. He squares off with Cena, sticking a finger in his face and scowls.

    Mr. McMahon: What the hell do you think you’re doing? You’re not in the Rumble. I thought I made that perfectly clear. Everyone else seems to have gathered that… these fine gentlemen, our top referees have figured it out, yet here you are trying to bully them into breaking the rules. Well, that’s not going to happen. Unless somebody from Raw has given up their spot in the Rumble than you’re OUT!

    A smirk appears on the face of John Cena.

    John Cena: Somebody has given up their spot, Vinnie! Check your entrants list.

    Mr. McMahon: No they haven’t! I ordered every Raw superstar to not give up their spot. Nobody would defy me!

    John Cena: You said if one person gave up their spot I’d be the replacement. Well, earlier tonight one of your Raw superstars become ineligible to be in the Royal Rumble. When Edge cashed in Money in the Money and won the World Heavyweight Championship – he surrendered his spot in the Rumble.

    The blood drains out of the face of Vince McMahon, he stumbles back a little, this masterplan has come back to bite him, as Cena slaps him on the back while walking past the referees.

    John Cena: Edge is out! I’m IN!



    Jim Ross: Can you believe it! John Cena, the man who wasn’t even in the match at the start of the show, is now entering the Royal Rumble in the second spot. He’ll have to go an hour if he wants to win it however I don’t think John gives a damn. He just wanted a chance, no matter how small it is, to get a rematch with Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship.

    Tazz: I’m still in a state of shock. Due to Edge cashing in Money in the Bank he has become ineligible for the Royal Rumble; which means Cena to take his spot. That’s a remarkable turn of events. Nobody could’ve predicted this, JR!

    **MY TIME IS NOW**

    Sprinting onto the stage – with a new lease on life – JOHN CENA appears to a rockstar reception here in Miami. Cena comes to a halt at the top of the ramp, a thousand thoughts flowing through his mind, the crowd chanting his name. He surveys the arena, rubbing his hands together preparing himself for a fight, and thereafter charges towards the squared circle.

    Tazz: What a way to start off the Royal Rumble. Talk about a big match feel – Cena versus Triple H could be a WrestleMania main event. Who knows what surprises we’ll see in the next hour or so.

    Jim Ross: I’ve called a lot of Royal Rumbles throughout my years in this company but I don’t remember one that had a better starting pair.

    Cena slides into the ring – and Triple H pounces on him before the second entrant can stand up. The Game delivers hard stomps to the back of Cena, holding the top rope for leverage, and the referees call for the bell!

    2006 Royal Rumble Match:
    *WINNER RECEIVES A CHAMPIONSHIP OPPORTUNITY AT WRESTLEMANIA 22*

    ENTRANT #1 – TRIPLE H @ 00:00
    ENTRANT #2 – JOHN CENA @ 00:00

    Triple H drives his knee into the lower back of Cena, pressing his weight against the spine, working the top rope to give added pressure during the opening moments. Stepping back for a moment, Triple H is showered with boos from the crowd – all of which he plays off as if it doesn’t bother him. Triple H leans back against the ring ropes on the opposite side, lining up his shot before sprinting across the ring for a kick – Cena catches the leg!

    With both hands around the leg, Cena stands up from his knees and maintains control over the one legged Triple H. A smile emerges from Cena as he moves from left to right and then back the other way – all the while keeping hold of The Game’s leg. The latter tries to swipe at the face of the former WWE Champion but Cena leans back and keeps just out of reach… until he SMASHES his opponent with a LARIAT!

    The fans go up with a major cheer. Cena rushes over and tosses Triple H against a turnbuckle… slamming his fist into The Game’s forehead over and over… before whipping him across into the ropes. On the rebound, Cena looks for a shoulder block, Triple H thinks fast and ducks around Cena – applying a sleeper hold from behind in the middle of the ring. A bit of technical wrestling in a match that will in all likelihood turn into a brawl the moment another man enters the ring.

    Triple H wretches on the neck of Cena, attempting to put the second entrant to sleep and he would then have the rather large task of tossing his body over the top rope. The hold is working… Cena’s arms dropping to his side for a moment… he is down to one knee… the crowd chants “Cena” and suddenly the former WWE Champion explodes from the canvas! Cena raises both hands in the air – Triple H shakes his head back and forth yelling “No” as Cena executes a snapmare… Triple H quickly returns to a vertical base and both men go down with a double clothesline.

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **KASH MONEY**
    ENTRANT #3 – KID KASH @ 02:00

    The first representative from Friday Night Smackdown, Kid Kash runs down to the ring, ready to make an impact and earn his way to a main event spot at WrestleMania.

    Jim Ross: One of your boys in blue, partner!

    Tazz: Former ECW alumni too. I bet he will have a thing or two to say to Triple H right about now.

    Kash enters the squared circle and steps over the body of Cena to attack Triple H against the ropes. Tazz had mentioned it on commentary and it would seem that Kid Kash is targeting Triple H and he may very well be motivated as an ECW alumni to eliminate the one man crusader against hardcore wrestling. Kash uses his feet to work over the body of The Game… kicks all over as Triple H staggers to his feet, trying to cover up but he is getting whacked hard by Kash! Multiple kicks are landing – Triple H rushes forward, grabbing Kash and drives a knee into his mid-section.

    That cuts the flurry off… Triple H hits another knee before grabbing the head and planting Kash – SPIKE DDT! The Game rolls to his feet, rubbing his arms where the kicks land and drops an elbow across the chest of Kash. In the corner of the ring, Cena makes it back to a vertical base and tries to get involved – Triple H catches him with an eye rake and throws him towards the ropes… Cena latches on and recovers in the corner.

    Meanwhile, Triple H turns back to Kash… a look of absolute hatred appearing on The Game’s face. He adjusts his tights, walking around Kash on the canvas, slapping him in the head, yelling at him - “You don’t belong here! I’m going to throw your little ass out of here just like I did to Joey. You got that punk?”

    Triple H makes to grab Kash but the latter fires off a right hand to the mid-section. He hammers away from his knees, fighting back as he stands up… Kash runs towards the ropes – SPRINGBOARD ELBOW… Triple H catches him in a NECKBREAKER! Triple H looks insulted that Kash got the better of any period of the exchange. As violently as possible, Triple H grabs Kash by the head and arm, driving his knee into the stomach a third time… PEDIGREE! Triple H flattens Kash with the Pedigree… and tosses him over the top rope for the first elimination of the night.

    ELIMINATION #1: KID KASH BY TRIPLE H @ 03:51

    With only a few seconds left before the next entrant makes their way out to the ring, Triple H quickly delivers a few punches to the head of Cena, knocking him to the floor and thereafter choking him with both hands around the throat.

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **GREEN MIST**
    ENTRANT #4 – TAJIRI @ 04:00

    Into the fray comes the buzzsaw Tajiri from Monday Night Raw, receiving a small cheer from the Miami fans, he makes his way down the entrance ramp and straight for the action.

    Tazz: This draw has gone heavy on the Raw side early JR! And Tajiri is another ECW alumni – lets hope he fairs a bit better than Kid Kash against Triple H.

    Jim Ross: I know all of you former ECW guys want a piece of Triple H right now but you’ve also got John Cena taking advantage of all of this by staying out of sight and out of mind. Triple H isn’t the only man in the ring.

    The appearance of yet another ECW alumni catches the attention of Triple H – he catches Tajiri coming into the ring with hard shots to the back of the neck and hard… driving him towards the corner. Before he can be trapped, Tajiri slips underneath and unloads five or six open hand strikes to the body and head of The Game.

    Tajiri steps back… THRUST KICK TO THE MID-SECTION! Tajiri nails a hard kick and quickly rushes forward trying to lift The Game over the top rope. It’s no luck so far as Triple H drives his elbow down across the shoulder of Tajiri. This forces a break… Triple H comes up from behind and tosses Tajiri over the top rope – but the buzzsaw lands on the apron.

    The Game turns around, sees this and rushes forward with a clothesline but Tajiri ducks underneath… and while holding the top rope… flings his legs into the air catching Triple H on the temple.Tajiri scurries his way back into the ring and kicks Triple H in the stomach… Tajiri winds up a big kick – CRACK! Tajiri nails The Game in the face and has him on the back foot… suddenly Cena rushes up and throws Tajiri over the top rope – he lands safely again but this time Cena is right there to knock the buzzsaw senseless with a lariat!

    ELIMINATION #2: TAJIRI BY JOHN CENA @ 04:54

    You cannot focus on one man in the Royal Rumble and that ultimately cost Tajiri and should act as a warning for every other superstar that is to enter the match this evening. Back to the action, Cena and Triple H are on opposite ends of the ring, looking back at each other, realising that it is just the two of them – the original duo once more.

    Cena motions for Triple H to bring it on – Triple H brushes his hair from his face and smirks, ready to bring the fight. They lock-up centre of the ring… Triple H transitions into a side headlock before moving into a traditional hammerlock for control. He pulls on the arm, moving Cena towards the ropes… The Game whips Cena across the ring and looks for a high knee – but Cena puts on the brakes and catches both legs! The Game lands on his back… Cena hooks the legs and falls backwards – CATAPULTING TRIPLE H ONTO THE TOP ROPE!

    Triple H waivers back and forth – in and out – but ultimately steadies himself and gets both feet safely back inside the ring. When he turns around, Cena is right there and lifts Triple H onto his shoulders – FU! No, The Game elbows free and slides off the back, shoving Cena away and we reset! Hunter and Cena looking at each other knowing that they are two of the very best. Cena holds two fingers close together - “I was this close, Hunter.” To which Triple H replies, “Not close enough.” Before both men are engage the countdown begins and their attention is drawn to the entrance ramp.

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **SOME BODIES GONNA GET IT**
    ENTRANT #5 – MARK HENRY @ 06:00

    Every eye in the arena is on the World’s Strongest Man who is marching towards the ring with a purpose. Ever the intimidating force, Mark Henry has the full and undivided attention of not only the fans but also Triple H and John Cena.

    Jim Ross: This is a heavy hitter, ladies and gentlemen. In a match where you have to throw your opponent over the top rope to eliminate them it’s hard to imagine a single man being able to toss out Mark Henry.

    Tazz: It’s because of competitors like Mark Henry that we see alliances formed, JR! If Cena and Triple H were smart they’d team up… but those two guys are from Raw so I doubt it! Come on, Mark! We need some Smackdown blood in this thing.

    Unlike the previous two entrants into the contest, Mark Henry takes his time using the steel steps on the outside of the ring to make his way onto the apron. Henry then steps behind the ropes, entering the ring, and is met by nobody. Triple H and Cena hold their positions in the ring… The Game shouting at Cena that they need to team up – an alliance! Cena shakes his head… Triple H walks over to him and shoves him before pointing to Henry - “Don’t be a fool! You and I toss him and then we fight it out.”

    In reply, Cena decks Triple H with a right hand and tosses him towards the World’s Strongest Man! Henry scoops Hunter up and presses him over his head – GORILLA PRESS SLAM! Triple H smacks the canvas hard; Mark Henry then steps to Cena and the two men go forehead to forehead. Cena steps back and fires the first punch… Henry NO SELLS! Mark Henry chops Cena across the chest… knocking him to the canvas. Henry grabs Cena with his giant hands, lifting him up – HEADBUTT! Henry slams his head into Cena’s and this sends the latter falling back into the corner.

    Henry wraps Cena’s arms around the top rope, makes his way into the opposite corner and comes charging back – SPLASH! Henry slams his body into Cena’s… and follows it up with a BANZAI DROP! The camera zooms in on Cena to show the former WWE Champion struggling to catch his breath, coughing violently on the canvas, as Mark Henry places a boot on his chest… and STEPS ONTO CENA’S BODY!

    Henry has come into the match and change the entire complexion. Cena is down and in a bad way… and now Henry turns his attention to Triple H. He wants to inflict punishment before tossing either man over the rope. He has Cena in a bad enough state that he’s happy to leave him there suffering while targeting the man who entered number one. Triple H won’t go down without a fight though, firing his own punches at Henry as he tries to grab him. As he did earlier – Henry no sells the strikes and cracks Hunter across the face with a backhand that sends Triple H to a knee.

    The World’s Strongest Man then applies a BEARHUG! His arms wrapped around the waist of Triple H – forcing the air out of the lungs… trying to break his opponent with his hands. The Game begins to struggle in the grasp of Henry, wriggling but Henry tightens the grip and begins to step towards the ropes – he wants to toss him right now! Hunter is in major trouble!! The Game tries to use his own headbutt as a weapon but Henry shakes his head – no selling it! Henry turns the bearhug into a GORILLA PRESS… but Triple H slips free… clutching his ribs he stumbles away and Henry comes back after him – ONLY FOR CENA TO SLAM INTO HENRY WITH A SHOULDER BLOCK FROM THE BLINDSIDE!!

    Cena is on his knees and looks over at Triple H – both men get the message… they need to team up to eliminate Henry. As Cena and Triple H get on the same page the countdown begins… and Mark Henry rises from the canvas.

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW**
    ENTRANT #6 – HARDCORE HOLLY @ 08:00

    The no nonsense veteran enters the contest with an emotionless expression on his face – neither excited nor anxious to be in the Rumble.

    Jim Ross: An interesting time for Hardcore Holly to be entering the fray. Mark Henry has been dominating since he entered and it seems like Triple H and Cena had planned on teaming up for a moment. Will that still be the case now?

    Tazz: I can’t see Hardcore Holly teaming up with anybody. This guy is a tough as they come and works alone, JR. A true do it yourself type of guy.

    Hardcore Holly slips into the ring and immediately throws punches at Triple H and John Cena. He has no intention of teaming up or forming an alliance against Mark Henry – that’s not his style. Holly forces Triple H into a corner and drives his boot into his mid-section – tries to toss him over the top rope but Hunter holds on and wraps his legs around the bottom rope. Holly then turns his attention to Cena, chopping at his chest and executes a suplex dead centre of the ring.

    Holly now looks around the ring spots Mark Henry glaring at him in the corner. Two hard nose veterans collide, Holly slamming his forearms into Henry’s giant chest – and when that doesn’t work he tries using his boots… Holly kicking the World’s Strongest Man in the stomach. Holly actually has Henry somewhat uncomfortable and he tries to whip him across the ring… blocked! Henry counters… pulling Hardcore Holly in and slamming him down! WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! Henry drops an elbow across his chest… and then picks Holly up over his head – tossing Hardcore Holly all the way to the floor below!

    ELIMINATION #3 – HARDCORE HOLLY BY MARK HENRY @ 09:15

    We’re back to three men without just under a minute before the seventh entrant into the Rumble is set to enter. Mark Henry has full control over the ring as he marches towards Cena – eyeing him with a laser like focus. Triple H takes full advantage of this and comes in from behind, clobbering Henry with strikes, trying to take down the most dominant force in the match thus far. Henry swats at The Game… Cena comes in and joins forces with the later – Triple H and Cena begin to punch Henry as a team… forcing the big man back a step.

    Triple H and Cena look at each other for a split second… Cena runs back towards the ropes and hits a running shoulder block! Triple H is next up and he hits a running high knee! Mark Henry WILL NOT FALL!! He stumbles… Cena tries again and this time swings an arm for a wild LARIAT! Triple H is only seconds behind and this time he throws all his weight behind a shoulder block… AND MARK HENRY STILL WON’T FALL! The World’s Strongest Man is backed against the ropes but remains standing. A look of disbelief covers the face of Cena and Triple H – two former World Champions cannot take the big man off his feet.

    They realise it might take both of them at the same time charging forward and with Henry on the ropes prone – it’s now or never for this makeshift alliance. Together, Cena and Triple H grab each others wrists and they rush forward for a double clothesline… only for Henry to duck – AND HE HITS A PAIR OF CLOTHESLINE ON THEM! Mark Henry stands tall over the top of both men as the countdown begins again.

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **MEDAL**
    ENTRANT #7 – KURT ANGLE @ 10:00

    We have hit the ten minute mark of the match and here comes the Olympic Gold Medalist! A loud response from the crowd greets Angle which consists of mostly cheers with a few boos from those still remembering the cheating ways of Angle over the last few months. That was the old Kurt Angle, this new version of himself is all about getting the job done and out working everybody else to get to the top – something many fans can and have gotten behind over the last two weeks.

    Tazz: Kurt Angle has done nearly everything there is to do in the WWE. He has won every title available to him but Angle has never won the Royal Rumble. That’s a box he would love to tick tonight.

    Jim Ross: With an amateur wrestling background it’ll be difficult for any man to get position on him and force an elimination.

    The crowd is standing on their feet as Kurt Angle marches towards the ring eyeing off the World’s Strongest Man waiting in the squared circle. One from Raw and the other from Smackdown – this is what the Royal Rumble is all about. Angle hurries into the ring and immediately goes for the takedown but Henry throws him to the side. Angle adjusts and dives lower for the leg but Henry moves and grabs Angle, forcing him up to his feet and tries to slam him.

    Angle evades, slipping out the back and hammers away with right hands to the face of Henry. The other superstars’ damage has caught up with him now as Henry can no longer no sell the punches – he is rattled! Angle bites down on his mouthguard… runs off the ropes and hits a clothesline – Henry doesn’t move. Angle goes again but Henry still stands tall… a third time and Henry braces for the clothesline… BUT ANGLE SWITCHES BEHIND AND HITS A GERMAN SUPLEX! Henry lands square on his head!!

    The big man has fallen and Kurt Angle is ready to unleash on anybody with a heartbeat. Angle quickly rushes over to Cena, hooks his arms around the waist… GERMAN SUPLEX! Angle roars with joy as he moves over to Triple H… GERMAN SUPLEX! And he keeps the arms locked… GERMAN SUPLEX… GERMAN SUPLEX… GERMAN SUPLEX… ANGLE RUSHES FORWARD AND TOSSES THE GAME OVER THE TOP ROPE! But Triple H holds on and lands on the apron. Angle won’t give him though and he begins to fire off punches, trying to send Hunter off the apron – until Henry clobbers him from behind.

    Henry pulls Angle away from Triple H and executes a headbutt on the Olympian. Angle staggers but comes right back with a kick to the stomach. Henry grabs him and hits another headbutt… to which Angle replies with a hard right hand. The World’s Strongest Man thinks twice and aims a kick at Angle… ANKLE LOCK! Angle caught the foot and turns it into an Ankle Lock on Mark Henry. So far, Angle has been the only man who has taken down Mark Henry and now he has the big man in a world of trouble. Angle twists the boot around, screaming at Henry to give up, even though a submission means nothing, this hold is devastatingly painful and would surely jeopardise Henry’s chances of winning tonight.

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **HEY YOU**
    ENTRANT #8 – PAUL LONDON @ 12:00

    Just like he does normally, Paul London comes sprinting down the ring towards the ring – he scales the apron of the ring and flies off the top rope with a missile dropkick to Angle!

    Jim Ross: We are approaching one third of the field being introduced to the match and here comes the high flying tag team specialist from Smackdown! What can you tell us about this kid, Tazz?

    Tazz: Paul London is one of the bright young stars on Smackdown. Alongside Brian Kendrick they make up one of the best tag teams in the world. You can expect to see him fly all over the ring tonight even with the rules which would prohibit most people from risking it – not Paul London.

    London breaks up the Ankle Lock and nails Angle with a hard missile dropkick which sends him sprawling across the ring. London is full of energy being the fresh face in the ring and rushes all over engaging with all the other competitors. He meets Triple H with kicks to the legs before turning his back on The Game… WHACK! Pele Kick by London lands right on the nose – sending Triple H backwards. London sees his opportunity… DROPKICK on Triple H over the top rope but Hunter holds on!

    London looks around the ring frantically, what’s next? He sees Henry getting back to his feet – as is Cena – and he has Triple H on the outside ring apron just holding on. London tries to knock The Game off the ring apron but Hunter uses his shoulder – driving it into the abdomen of London… forcing him back. As Triple H slumps down around the bottom rope, London staggers back into the middle of the ring where Mark Henry charges at him. London quickly turns to the turnbuckle and sprints forward, climbing up top and back flipping over Henry!

    Henry turns around and London leaps through the air, grabs his head and twirls around… TORNADO DDT! London plants Henry on the canvas but he turns into a SIDE SUPLEX by John Cena. Cena shakes some of the punishment he has sustained off, looks around the ring and realises he has a moment to flex. Raising a hand in the air, Cena tells London he can’t see him before running towards the ropes, rebounding back… FIVE KNUCKLE – NO!! LONDON HITS KICK FROM HIS BACK! London kips-up… HURRICANRANA ON CENA!

    Across the ring, Triple H and Kurt Angle are battling in a corner – each trying to eliminate the other. Meanwhile, London receives a big cheer from the crowd as this underdog points to the top rope. He’s going high risk… London ascends the top turnbuckle – eyes on Cena… CROSSBODY! CAUGHT IN MID-AIR! MARK HENRY INTERCEPTS LONDON – WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! The poor kid gets flattened and Cena is knocked to the canvas by a shoulder block from Henry. Henry is just about to pick London up and toss him out when the countdown begins.

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **DIESEL BLUES**
    ENTRANT #9 – DIESEL @ 14:00

    Big Daddy Cool is in Miami tonight ~ Diesel is in the house! The big man struts out onto the stage and receives a huge ovation from the crowd. The hoss fight is clearly on tap tonight – Henry waiting in the ring as Diesel approaches.

    Jim Ross: We told you that this event was unpredictable! Diesel, one of the longest reigning WWE Champions of all time, is back!

    Tazz: We’ve gone old school tonight. He could do a lot of damage with that seven foot frame of his. One of the best big men of all time.

    Whilst Diesel lumbers his way to the ring… Triple H and Cena pair off to do battle, trying to eliminate each other, fighting back and forth. When Diesel finally arrives at the ring, Henry is ready and waiting to clash. Henry eats a massive forearm by Diesel – rocking him and Diesel floors him with a big boot! Taking a few steps, Diesel hits a running forearm on Kurt Angle and forces him back into a corner. Diesel uses his big boot to choke Angle, lifting it up and under the chin while using the ropes for leverage.

    Diesel then proceeds to use back elbow thrusts on Angle to weaken him. Meanwhile, Mark Henry is back on his feet and has his sights set on Paul London. The tag team specialist, haven taken the World’s Strongest Slam, is a bit slower than when he entered the match but he is still quick enough to evade the big man. London ducks and weaves, he sprints off the ropes and hits a dropkick which tilts Henry against the ropes. In a rash move, London rushes over and tries to tip Henry over the top rope… HENRY REFUSES AND CLUTCHES LONDON AROUND THE THROAT WITH BOTH HANDS.

    Henry lifts London off the canvas and throws him down hard with a slam – glaring down at the same man thereafter. Henry grabs a handful of hair and drags London over to the ropes and shoves him over – but London wraps his legs around the top rope and forces a struggle. London and Henry struggle in the corner, meanwhile the remaining four men in the ring have rotated. Cena has Angle on the verge of elimination, Angle dangling over the top rope but he does have one hand on the bottom rope tucked in – meaning he should be safe even if he tips over.

    Triple H and Diesel share a moment – drawing a big reaction from the crowd. The Game throwing up the famous clique hand gesture… Diesel goes to return it – ONLY FOR TRIPLE H TO PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE! A class act! Triple H has no time for former friends, he batters Diesel and whips him into the ropes – SPINEBUSTER! Triple H hits his first Spinebuster of the night… he stands up, looking down at Diesel – CROTCH CHOP! That gets a loud response from the crowd… and Triple H grabs Diesel – attempting to eliminate him! The Game has a hand between the legs and tries to force Diesel over the top rope as the countdown begins!

    ...
    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **HE WILL BE CALLIN’ YOUR NAME**
    ENTRANT #10 – BOBBY LASHLEY @ 16:00

    One of the younger stars in the match, Bobby Lashley isn’t afraid and shows no fear on his way to the ring. In fact, he cannot wait to get into the ring with his sights set on the man who put him through an announce desk two weeks ago – Mark Henry.

    Tazz: This is one to watch, JR! You want to talk about a WrestleMania main event in five years – this is the guy.

    Jim Ross: I don’t think Bobby Lashley is planning on waiting five years, Tazz. He wants that spot now and he has a very good chance coming in at number ten. We’re sixteen minutes into the Royal Rumble and a third of the way through the entrants. That ring is filling up fast, partner.

    When Lashley gets to the ring he bursts forward towards the nearest man – SPEAR ON TRIPLE H! Lashley sees another man rushing towards him, scoops him up and hits a RUNNING POWERSLAM ON KURT ANGLE! There is no discrimination for Lashley this evening… BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX ON CENA! Lashley then cleans Paul London’s clock with a clothesline – he has taken out nearly everyone in the ring. Lashley is fired up… he spots Mark Henry and goes for him and Diesel, the two of them fighting in the corner.

    Lashley runs up behind both men and throws both men over!

    Diesel and Henry both hold on, landing on the apron of the ring, grasping the top rope. Lashley hammers away at both of them, trying to score two eliminations and send a huge statement to the rest of the field. It’s no luck at the moment, Diesel hits a forearm and sends Lashley stumbling back. He steadies himself and rushes forward – he was trying to do both at once and it was causing him to eliminate neither – this time Lashley has a single target… SPEAR ON MARK HENRY THROUGH THE ROPES! LASHLEY GOES THROUGH THE MIDDLE ROPE AND SPLITS HENRY IN HALF – BOTH MEN FALLING TO THE OUTSIDE!


    ELIMINATION #4 – MARK HENRY BY BOBBY LASHLEY @ 16:32

    It’s made very clear by Jim Ross on commentary that while Bobby Lashley has fallen to the outside of the ring he is NOT eliminated because he went through the middle rope. Referees swarm around the outside to check on Lashley’s condition, replays showing he hit his head on the floor and may have knocked himself silly.


    The action continues in the ring, Cena and London have formed a team for the moment and together they are trying to eliminate Diesel. A smart strategy to go after the biggest man left in the contest, no doubt. Elsewhere, Triple H and Angle struggle for position – The Game whips the Olympian into the ropes and catches him with a drop-toe hold into a CROSSFACE! Triple H wretches back on the submission hold, tightening his grip to inflict as much damage as possible, even though it won’t result in an elimination.

    Across the other side of the ring, Diesel punches free of London and Cena’s attempts to eliminate him. London tries to rush the big man, unloading kicks and punches – to which Diesel takes exception… grabbing the smaller man and planting him with a JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB!!

    Diesel marches forward… smacks Cena with a forearm to the face, lifts him up onto his shoulders and NAILS SNAKE-EYES! A clothesline attempt follows by Diesel which sends Cena over the top rope… he dangles for a moment but ultimately rolls back underneath the bottom rope. The countdown begins as Diesel breaks up the crossface from Triple H, stomping on his head before shoving The Game into a corner of the ring.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **CRANK IT UP**
    ENTRANT #11 – BIG SHOW @ 18:00

    A formidable force in this match and a finalist from two previous years – Big Show emerges from behind the curtain and proceeds to make his way down to the ring. Fans rise with excitement as Diesel and Big Show lock eyes… two giants ready to collide.

    Jim Ross: Is this the Royal Rumble or is it Godzilla versus King Kong? These two big boys are going to go at at right now!

    Tazz: Big Show has come in second twice, JR! Once in 2000 and then just two years ago. I’ve know Big Show for years and I can tell you that those losses still hurt him to this very day.

    Big Show walks up the steel steps, and climbs over the top rope to enter the ring, squaring off against Diesel in the middle of the ring. Everyone else has cleared out of the way for this major collision. We can see all the other competitors at the moment; Angle and Lashley fighting in a corner, Cena and Triple H going at it again, while London stumbles to his feet following the Jackknife Powerbomb.

    The focus is on Big Show and Diesel as these two men are inches away from each other. Diesel pulls down the straps of his attire – Big Show does the same… AND THEY EXCHANGE SHOTS! Diesel using his hard forearms to the face while Big Show chops at the chest of his opponent. Both men are throwing bombs at each other square in the middle of the ring. Big Show suddenly grabs Diesel by the head – SLAMMING HIS OWN HEAD FORWARD WITH A HEADBUTT!

    Diesel stumbles backwards into the ropes and Big Show rushes forward trying to knock him over the top rope… DIESEL GETS A BOOT UP AND DRIVES IT INTO THE FACE OF THE BIG SHOW! Now it’s Big Show who is rocked as Diesel follows up with an uppercut! Big Show is on the ropes now, Diesel lines up his shot – LONDON COMES FLYING ACROSS THE RING WITH A FLYING FOREARM – BUT HE GETS CAUGHT! Diesel hoists London up and tosses him like a lawn dart at Big Show!

    BIG SHOW CATCHES LONDON AND HITS AN OVERHEAD SUPLEX OVER THE TOP ROPE! London crashes to the outside of the ring after being tossed from one man to the other and now finds himself eliminated!

    ELIMINATION #5 – PAUL LONDON @ 18:52 BY BIG SHOW

    The giants collide again struggling to eliminate the other man with both of them leaning against the top rope now. Both men trying to toss the other but neither is giving an inch. They seperate for a moment, back in the middle of the ring, Diesel grabs hold of Big Show by the throat and Big Show returns the favour.

    They both try to chokeslam the other however these two giants keep their feet firmly planted on the canvas of the ring. The power game begins to come into effect as Big Show squeezes tightly around the neck of Diesel dropping him to one knee. Suddenly, Diesel begins to have a rush of adrenaline and he brings Big Show down to his knees.

    SPEAR BY BOBBLY LASHLEY ON BIG SHOW!!

    From out of nowhere Bobby Lashley explodes into this confrontation by smashing into Big Show, dropping the giant down to the canvas. Diesel is his next target as Lashley hammers away with punches… running off the ropes and returning with a FLYING FOREARM SMASH! Lashley runs off the ropes again – SHOULDER BLOCK INTO THE ROPES! Diesel tries to fight back, swinging his arms forward but Lashley ducks and scoops him up!!

    BOBBY LASHLEY SCOOP SLAMS DIESEL OVER THE TOPE ROPE – ELIMINATING THE SEVEN FOOTER ALL BY HIMSELF!

    ELIMINATION #6 – DIESEL @ 19:30 BY BOBBY LASHLEY

    The crowd explodes with cheers for the impressive feat they just saw here in Miami. Bobby Lashley scooped up Diesel and tossed him over the top rope – that could prove to be a career making moment for this year man in his first ever Royal Rumble and he now sits with two major eliminations!

    We survey the ring as the next entrant is less than half a minute away from entering the ring. As we approach the twenty minute mark the ring currently consists of Triple H, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Bobby Lashley and Big Show. It’s a five man ring soon to become six. Lashley targets the next biggest man in the ring; Big Show! Driving his shoulder into the mid-section with Big Show in the corner, Lashley grabs a massive leg and tries to lift it up and leverage an elimination on Big Show.

    Meanwhile, Kurt Angle loads Cena up for the Angle Slam but the former WWE Champion blocks it! Cena counters looking for the FU – Angle escapes that and with a hand on the jeans of Cena launches him over the top rope! Cena manages to just hold on… Angle goes to follow up but TRIPLE H SNEAKS UP BEHIND HIM AND LOADS UP THE PEDIGREE! IT HITS!! Triple H nails the Pedigree on Kurt Angle… and begins punching the hands of Cena as he barely hangs onto the top rope from the ring apron – trying to starve off elimination as the countdown clock appears.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **ONE OF A KIND**
    ENTRANT #12 – ROB VAN DAM @ 20:00

    On most nights the ‘V’ in RVD means Van but tonight considering who is standing in the ring it might very well mean Vendetta! Rob Van Dam appears on top of the entrance ramp to a massive pop from the live crowd – his usual cool, calm and collected attitude is replaced by a look of pure rage at the sight of one man – Triple H. RVD is shaking, he’s infuriated by what happened on Raw and now he is coming for the man who wants to exterminate hardcore wrestling!

    Jim Ross: I don’t think I’ve ever seen that look in the eyes of Rob Van Dam!

    Tazz: This is it for Triple H! He’s lasted long enough in this match and RVD is going to be the end of him. Rob would rather die than let Triple H win this thing. He’s not just doing this for himself, he’s doing it for Joey and all of us who were proud to call ECW home! Go get him, Rob!!

    RVD sprints towards the ring, diving under the bottom rope and he tackles Triple H down to the canvas – unloading with punches that have been built up since Monday. The crowd is going wild as Van Dam is beating the absolute piss out of The Game, who has lasted twenty minutes after entering at number one, but is facing the biggest obstacle of his run thus far.

    They scramble to a standing position, RVD uses his educated feet to strike at Triple H…HIGH KICK TO THE SIDE OF THE HEAD! RVD follows it up with a SPINNING BACK FIST – INTO ROLLING THUNDER!! RVD nails Triple H with rolling thunder but that’s not it… Van Dam rolls underneath the bottom rope and heads over to the time keepers area – and grabs a STEEL CHAIR!

    The referees try to talk RVD out of it but the former ECW superstar shoves past them and slides back into the ring wielding the weapon. He approaches Triple H – the latter on his backside scurrying into a corner, begging for mercy, pleading that this isn't what needs to happen as RVD starts swinging like a madman – WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! Van Dam is slamming the chair into the body of Triple H, steel meeting flesh, battering and bruising the very first entrant into this match. Triple H scurries to his feet, trying to create distance, stumbling away as best he can – VAN DAM SLAMS THE CHAIR INTO TRIPLE H’S HEAD!!! That sends The Game to the canvas, face first, and he has been busted open.

    This chaos that has erupted by the introduction of the chair is not just isolated to The Game. No, RVD has so much frustration built up that he looks around the ring and unloads on the other superstars that are closest. RVD drives the edge of the chair into the mid-section of Kurt Angle – forcing him back into a corner and then turns his attention to Lashley. The youngster tries to rush RVD… the chair is thrown at Lashley – he catches it – VAN DAMINATOR! Lashley is sent spinning backwards as the chair goes flying. This onslaught of punishment has not gone unnoticed by the big angry giant in the ring – Big Show marches forward and swats the chair from RVD’s grasp after he regathers it.

    Big Show whips him into the ropes and drops RVD with a big boot – and squashes him with a LEG DROP! All five hundred pounds dropped at once across the chest of Van Dam. The steel chair falls to the outside of the ring where a referee quickly takes possession of it. Big Show drags RVD to a corner, puts a finger to his own lips and strikes with a chop that echoes throughout the entire building. He begins to work Van Dam over with more chops, elbows and multiple attempts to toss him over but RVD is able to use his athletic ability to stay in the ring or tangled amongst the ropes as the countdown to the next entrant begins.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **LIVE FOR THE MOMENT**
    ENTRANT #13 – MATT HARDY @ 22:00

    We have our first champion entering the match with the arrival of WWE United States Champion Matt Hardy – bringing with him many years of Rumble experience and a never say die attitude.

    Tazz: That’s another strong competitor from Smackdown entering the field. Matt Hardy has finally found that spark that many of us thought he was missing when he defeated Booker T and won the United States Title.

    Jim Ross: We’re nearly halfway through this match and the ring is still rather full. Lets see if Matt Hardy can clear up some space in the squared circle.

    Hardy slides into the ring and is immediately set upon by Kurt Angle, who grabs him around the waist and tries a belly to belly suplex! Hardy elbows free of it, takes his own grip – SIDE EFFECT! Bouncing right back to his feet, Hardy swings his fists forward and decks Cena coming towards him, kicks the former WWE Champion in the stomach… and nails a neckbreaker!

    Hardy fires up the crowd, raising his hands in the air, bouncing on his feet and he ascends the inside portion of the turnbuckle – going only to the second rope… AND HE JUMPS OFF DELIVERING A FLYING LEG DROP TO JOHN CENA! Grabbing Cena by the head, Hardy attempts to eliminate him but his attempts are unsuccessful and the two begin to battle it out further with Cena getting in a few shots against the WWE United States Champion up against the ropes.

    Elsewhere, Kurt Angle plants Triple H with a BACK SUPLEX near the side of the ring, leaving him in a downed state, before marching over to battle Lashley. Angle and Lashley jostle in a lock-up for a moment… Angle ducks down deep and scrambles, forcing Lashley towards the corner and uses his shoulder to slam into the mid-section of Lashley. Angle lifts Lashley up over the top rope and has both feet off the canvas… LASHLEY HOLDS ON! He kicks back and catches Angle in the face – forcing him to loosen his grip – allowing Lashley to retake his place inside the ring… and LASHLEY THROWS KURT OVER THE TOP ROPE!

    Kurt Angle dangles over the edge of the ring with both hands holding onto the top rope with his feet just a few inches above the ground. Lashley tries to secure the elimination but Angle, through grit and determination, manages to slide back underneath the bottom rope – causing Lashley and himself to restart their grappling match. For the remaining time left in this interval the remaining superstars all switch in and out of their pairings – all except RVD and Triple H who have yet to touch again since Van Dam hit him in the face with the chair – causing blood to flow from The Game’s forehead. We see a couple of close calls where Van Dam caught on the shoulders of John Cena – he avoids elimination but eats the FU instead! Cena goes on a comeback of sorts – cleaning house and taking heads off with a thunderous lariat and hitting a second FU on Kurt Angle as the countdown appears.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **RAP SHEET**
    ENTRANT #14 – BOOKER T @ 24:00

    Booker T runs to the ring at first – then remembering that he was supposedly rehabbing an injury that forced him out of action only two days ago – he suddenly pulls up and transitions into a jog.

    Jim Ross: Back to back entries for Smackdown, partner! I suspect we all know who Booker T will be targeting in the ring upon his arrival.

    Tazz: We’ve already seen what happens when you focus too much on one man. Just ask Kid Kash and Tajiri how that worked out for them. Booker might have problems with Matt Hardy but he needs to stay focused on the bigger goal – winning the Royal Rumble and main eventing WrestleMania 22!

    Booker T appears to have heard the advice from the Smackdown broadcaster because the former five time WCW World Heavyweight Champion comes into the ring and starts swinging at any man in his path. He doesn’t just focus on Matt Hardy during the opening moments, in fact that’s the last person he comes into contact with during the initial flurry. After touching everybody, trying to sneakily throw both Cena and Angle over the top rope, Booker goes after Big Show, right hands left, backing him up before trying to throw him right out!

    Big Show swats Booker T away like a fly and nails him with a HIP-TOSS! Booker T’s eyes go wide as he realises he may have made a mistake. The giant grabs Booker T around the throat and pulls him back to a vertical base – looking at him eye to eye… and BOOKER T KICKS HIM BELOW THE BELT! An absolute cowardly move which draws heat from the crowd. Even the Big Show feels that type of pain, and Booker T takes advantage hitting the AXE KICK!

    He’s very proud of himself right now is Booker T, slapping his chest with his hands raised in the air, shouting at the crowd to give him some respect. Booker T gets in a few more stomps on Big Show before he spots Matt Hardy working over Bobby Lashley in the corner. Not wanting to wait any longer, Booker clubs Hardy from behind and isolates him in a corner. Booker T forces Hardy down to the lower half of the turnbuckle and drives his boot into his upper body, slapping him in the face… AND SLAMMING HIS KNEE INTO THE SIDE OF HARDY’S HEAD WITH A RUNNING START! Booker lifts Hardy up and shoves him toward the top rope – getting him half over before Hardy begins to fight back… both men struggling – BUT HE MANAGES TO SURVIVE A CLOSE CALL!

    Meanwhile, Big Show has Triple H up against the corner of the ring, his hand pressed against his chest – Show calls for silence… SLAP! The sound echoes over the arena as Triple H groans in agony. Show then runs towards the ropes, charging back at The Game – HIP ATTACK! No, Triple H ducks out of the way and begins unloading with right hands – BANG! BANG! BANG! Triple H is cut, he is hurt but my word this man will not call it quits. Triple H is hammering the big man, and has him up against the ropes… kick to the mid-section – PEDIGREE POSITION! WAIT! Big Show counters… he executes a back body drop on Hunter and the only place he has to go is to the outside of the ring!

    BUT AT THE LAST SECOND THE GAME GRABS HOLD OF THE TOP ROPE! Saving his existence in the Royal Rumble and keeping his dream alive. The Game punches Big Show from the apron of the ring – VAN DAM SPRINGBOARDS OFF THE ADJACENT ROPES AND CLOCKS HUNTER WITH A DROPKICK! That dropkick causes Triple H to lose his balance and he falls… TO THE FLOOR!

    ELIMINATION #7 – TRIPLE H @ 25:43 BY ROB VAN DAM

    There is a HUGE cheer that goes up around the AmericanAirlines Arena when it becomes clear that Triple H has been officially eliminated from the 2006 Royal Rumble Match. RVD is going nuts inside the ring, leaning over the rope and cussing out Triple H – telling him that this was only the beginning of his payback. In all this mayhem, the countdown begins for the halfway mark of the match.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **EYE OF THE STORM**
    ENTRANT #15 – GREGORY HELMS @ 26:00

    Another reigning champion, Gregory Helms rushes down to the ring, ready to compete in the Rumble – and doing so for the first time since cleansing himself of the old Hurricane persona which provided many comedic moments. Helms no doubt will be aiming to secure another Rumble moment but one fair more prestigious than he previous ones.

    Tazz: Think about this for a moment; we could see the Intercontinental Champion and the United States Champion clash in a few moments.

    Jim Ross: That’s what is so great about the Royal Rumble. It gives us the chance to see match-ups we never thought possible.

    Coming into the ring, Helms goes right after Matt Hardy – old buddies from North Carolina – and in doing so a makeshift alliance is formed between Helms and Booker T! They isolate Hardy, trapping him in a corner of the ring out of the way from everyone else, and proceed to work double teams on him. Booker T holds Hardy in a full nelson while Helms hits a dropkick, a couple of punches and a SHINING WIZARD for good measure. Together these two jerks continue to beat on Hardy – showing very little hurry to actually eliminate him.

    Cena is on the war path inside the ring picking a fight with multiple superstars. He goes at it with Lashley for a moment – these two muscle men almost eliminating each other a few different occasions but ultimately falling short. Meanwhile, Kurt Angle is perched on the top turnbuckle with Big Show forcing him towards the outside of the ring – EXCEPT ANGLE HAS A TRIANGLE CHOKE APPLIED AND IS RENDERING THE BIG SHOW UNCONSCIOUS!

    While all that is happening, Triple H begins to make his way from ringside, guided by several referees towards the back, looking very agitated about the outcome tonight. The Game gets halfway up the ramp when the sight of RVD in the ring becomes a focus of the titantron – Triple H SNAPS... CLOCKING THE REFEREES BEFORE RUNNING BACK TOWARDS THE RING!

    Triple H illegally invades the ring and clobbers Van Dam with a clothesline from behind – he mounts him and unloads with right hands to the head. Pulling RVD up to his feet, Triple H hooks both arms, spitting blood all over the mat – a wild like fire in his eyes as he glares out at the audience – before PLANTING VAN DAM WITH A VICIOUS PEDIGREE!! Van Dam has been caught by surprise – nobody else makes a move – and Triple H throws RVD over the top rope to the floor – VAN DAM IS ELIMINATED!!

    ELIMINATION #8 – ROB VAN DAM @ 26:12 BY TRIPLE H

    The damage is not done yet – Triple H exits the ring and makes his way over to the announce desk… where he RIPS OFF THE PROTECTIVE COVERING EXPOSING THE CABLING AND THE MONITORS UNDERNEATH. The fans watch in awe as The Game rips a monitor out from the announce desk and throws it like a baseball at RVD’s body! The monitor smacks into him at speed – breaking it bits with glass scattering across the outside floor.

    Referees try to over Triple H from ringside but in response he punches one, kicks another and throws a third into the barricade. Triple H will not be stopped tonight – his dream of making it back to the main event of WrestleMania has been taken from him by Rob Van Dam – a man he believes shouldn’t even be in the WWE in the first place. Now, he’s going to make him pay.

    Triple H grabs RVD by the hair, drags him over to the announce desk and tosses him on top. Climbing up after, Triple H leans down and press his forehead against Van Dam’s… a close up showing the blood drying on his face and a sickening scowl mere inches from Van Dam’s barely opened eyelids. “I told you that your kind didn’t belong here. You think you can take this from ME! I’ll break you, got it? I’LL BREAK YOU! SON OF A BITCH!!” And with that said, Triple H hooks the arms again – taking his time to soak in the boos… PEDIGREE ON THE ANNOUNCE DESK AND IT DOESN’T BREAK! The Game rolls off the announce desk and staggers away from ringside, pleased with his handy work – content now that RVD will not be taking his place at WrestleMania either.

    A quick look inside the ring, as the countdown begins, shows that many of the pairs have changed but Matt Hardy is still being assaulted by two men – Helms and Booker. He tries to escape their clutches but when he has one of them in trouble the other quickly squashes any potential takeover by the United States Champion.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **LOADED**
    ENTRANT #16 – JEFF HARDY @ 28:00

    He’s back! Returning to the WWE for the first time in three long years – Jeff Hardy appears covered in face paint with his hair multi-coloured. There is no time for a welcome back celebration by Jeff however as he sprints to the ring to save his brother from the double team assault!

    Tazz: Talk about surprises. That’s the biggest one of the night for me. Jeff Hardy is back and he couldn’t have drawn a better number – just in time to save his brother.

    Jim Ross: A bit of luck falling the way of Matt Hardy because here comes Jeff Hardy! I remember what it feels like to call their matches. We’re in for a thrill ride, folks.

    Jeff Hardy gets right into the thick of it with a springboard crossbody into the ring taking out Gregory Helms – allowing Matt to fight back against Booker T. The chants of “Hardys” erupts from the live crowd as this moment is theirs – all eyes on Matt and Jeff back together for the first time in years battling side by side against Booker T and Helms.

    The remainder of the superstars are all going at it but a key match-up sees Lashley and Big Show trading punches against the ropes. Lashley fights from the bottom, pushing back against the bigger man, shifting his weight as he evades around Big Show and sprints off the ropes – SHOULDER BLOCK! Big Show tilts against the ropes a little – Lashley gets a run up again and tries a clothesline… BIG SHOW IS HALF OVER but comes back to the ring.

    Lashley is feeding off the energy of the crowd now, they are chanting his name, willing him on, Lashley sprints back towards the ropes again and charges… EATING A BIG BOOT FOR HIS TROUBLES! Somehow, Lashley doesn’t go down to the canvas – he stumbles around the ring, falling against a set of ropes and Big Show comes charging.

    Instead of using his brute force, Lashley thinks fast and drops down low… DRAGGING THE TOP ROPE WITH HIM AND BIG SHOW TUMBLES OVER TO THE FLOOR! BOBBY LASHLEY ELIMINATES BIG SHOW FROM THE ROYAL RUMBLE IN A SHOCKING MOMENT! This young kid has eliminated Mark Henry, Diesel and now Big Show in his first ever Royal Rumble. No big man is safe! Lashley the Giant Slayer is on show tonight and this kid is getting a major response from the crowd.

    ELIMINATION #9 – BIG SHOW @ 29:03 BY BOBBY LASHLEY

    There is no time for Lashley to soak in the applause because Kurt Angle rushes up behind him, ready to make an impact himself, loads up his shot… AND NAILS A GERMAN SUPLEX ON LASHLEY! Smartly, Cena sits in the corner of the ring sizing up the various situations that are happening around the ring. He has been in the match for coming up thirty minutes, and while impressive, he still has at least another thirty minutes to go if he wants to win this thing.

    Angle is fired up now, working over Lashley with a neck crank… forcing him against a corner where he tries to dump Lashley. The latter fights out of it and knees Angle in the mid-section, picks him up and places Angle in a tree of woe! Lashley proceeds to stomp all over Angle – taking advantage of the position he has trapped the Gold Medalist in now.

    Returning to the Hardy Boyz, Matt and Jeff have Booker T and Helms on the back foot. Helms gets knocked to the canvas as Jeff and Matt double team Booker T – trapping him in the corner and hitting POETRY IN MOTION to a major pop! Jeff grabs Helms, Matt secures Booker T and together they hit dual TWISTS OF FATE! The Hardy Party is not done however as Matt tells Jeff to climb up high, stacking Booker and Helms on top of each other. Jeff ascends to the top rope, perched to fly – SWANTON BOMB! Matt then grabs Booker T and throws him out of the ring – he falls to the floor and is eliminated.

    ELIMINATION #10 – BOOKER T @ 29:35 BY MATT HARDY

    Only a few moments later, Jeff Hardy dumps Gregory Helms over the top rope… however the Intercontinental Champion grabs the ropes at the last second – DANGLING INCHES FROM DISASTER. Helms struggles to get his feet on the apron and just makes it… WHEN JEFF HARDY HITS A DROPKICK SENDING HELMS TUMBLING TO THE FLOOR ANYWAY!

    ELIMINATION #11 – GREGORY HELMS @ 29:51 BY JEFF HARDY

    With those eliminations out of the way the titantron lights up as the countdown begins for the next entrant. Jim Ross pointing out that a good portion of the field was just cleared out of the ring in the span of a few minutes. Highlighting how quickly the pace of the Rumble can change.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **PAPARAZZI**
    ENTRANT #17 – JOHNNY NITRO @ 30:00

    It’s another man with gold to his name, one half of MNM – Johnny Nitro makes his way to the ring, eyeing off the competition that awaits this arrogant young Smackdown star.

    Tazz: I’m disappointed we won’t be seeing Melina out here this evening. You’d have thought Nitro would have brought her out here for moral support.

    Jim Ross: I’m sure that’s what you’re disappointed about.

    Nitro is in no rush to enter the ring unlike those previous to him. For the likes of Cena and Angle they have both cracked the thirty and twenty minute mark respectively for their performances so far tonight. Nitro knows that the longer he waits on the outside the more energy those long standing superstars use up and the less likely they are to be able to eliminate him. In fact, Nitro is so comfortable not entering the ring he takes a seat on the barricade and watches the other competitors along with the fans.

    The remaining five superstars in the ring do not have time to watch what Nitro is up to on the outside. Matt and Jeff Hardy continue to work together as a team – trying to eliminate Bobby Lashley. They’ve picked him as the biggest threat and now the brothers want to send this hot upstart to the floor as soon as possible to put an end to his impressive run. Another battle is taking place across the ring, Cena and Angle have come together and trade punches near the ropes. Angle ducks a punch, goes for a BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX BUT CENA ELBOWS FREE!

    Angle clutches at his chin as he stumbles away… Cena rushes up, ducks a punch from Angle and hits a SIDE SUPLEX! The crowd rises, knowing what is coming their way – YOU CAN’T SEE ME! And Cena connects with the FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE on Kurt Angle. Cena steadies himself, waiting as Angle gets to his feet and lifts him up for the FU! Cena struggles towards the edge of the ring – he doesn’t want to slam Angle to the canvas… he wants to toss him to the floor for the elimination. Cena tries to throw Angle but he grabs the top rope, blocking it – refusing to go over.

    Elsewhere, Lashley is still fighting off two men and manages to power out of the corner, throwing Matt Hardy over the top rope. As Jeff Hardy battles Lashley inside the ring – Matt thinks he’s safe to take a moment to gather his breath… BUT HE HAS FORGOTTEN ABOUT NITRO WHO RUSHES UP AND PULLS HIM TO THE FLOOR!!

    ELIMINATION #12 – MATT HARDY @ 31:17 BY JOHNNY NITRO

    Cena moves back towards the middle of the ring and heads over to another side – preparing to launch Angle again! Once more, Angle blocks it by grabbing the top rope. Cena has had enough and he throws Angle up into the air, Angle maintains his grip on the top rope and lands on the apron, he tilts back for a moment, but ultimately regains a steady balance.

    Cena is fired up, he runs off the ropes and BLASTS ANGLE WITH A FOREARM! This could be it for Angle, he leans back – ONE HAND COMES OFF THE TOP ROPE… BUT HE HOLDS ON, FALLING FORWARD AND WRAPPING HIS ARMS AROUND THE TOP ROPE.

    Frustrated beyond belief, Cena stomps forward and grabs Angle – now the Olympian quickly counters by grabbing Cena’s head and dropping his throat across the top rope! Cena bounces away from the edge of the ring, coughing as Angle sneaks back into the ring – ANGLE SLAM ON JOHN CENA! Counter by Cena, he slips out the back, spins Angle around and hoists him up – AND QUICKLY BRINGS HIM DOWN WITH THE FU INSIDE THE RING! The countdown clock begins as Cena grabs Angle and throws him directly into the ring post through the middle turnbuckle.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **THE MASTERPIECE**
    ENTRANT #18 – CHRIS MASTERS @ 32:00

    One third of the Heartbreak Foundation, and half of the portion that will be in this match, Chris Master makes his way down the ring, looking in the best physical shape of this life.

    Jim Ross: The first of the goon squad that will no doubt be sent after John Cena. A reminder to everyone that both Chris Masters and Carlito will be in this match and I’m positive they’ll have direct orders from the boss to eliminate John Cena at any cost.

    Tazz: Masters is one of Raw’s best and brightest, JR. I’ve spoken a lot about Lashley tonight but the one man on Raw who matches up to him is Chris Masters. It’s no surprise to me that Mr. McMahon handpicked him as the future of this business.

    Masters makes a beeline for John Cena and the former WWE Champion is willing to meet him with closed fists! The brawl is on as Cena and Master come to blows in the middle of the ring. Masters would normally come off the loser in a brawl with Cena but the latter has spent over thirty minutes in this match and that tilts the scales in favour of the Masterpiece. Battering Cena with clubbing blows to the back, Masters whips him into the ropes and hits SCOOP SLAM!

    Masters stomps away at Cena, delivering brutal boots to the head, before grabbing Cena by the arm, sending him into the ropes a second time and hitting the STO! Rolling off Cena, Masters rebounds off the ropes and drops an elbow across the lower back – he then places his knee against the lower back and hooks his arm under the chin of Cena – AND BEGINS TO WRENCH BACKWARDS WITH ALL HIS MIGHT!

    Jeff Hardy calls it quits on trying to eliminate Lashley; the two men having several near calls against the other during their time together over the past couple of minutes. The returnee moves over to Johnny Nitro, pulling him away from Kurt Angle and they go at it. Nitro blocks a few punches from Hardy, fires off a knee before hitting a SPINNING WHEEL KICK! Nitro whips Hardy across the ring into the ropes – LEAP FROG BY NITRO… HE DUCKS DOWN AS HARDY RUNS OVER THE TOP – AND CATCHES HIM RUNNING BACK WITH A CORKSCREW ELBOW!

    Nitro isn’t finished yet, pulling Hardy up to a seated position… he runs towards the ropes, rebounds at speed – RUNNING KNEE STRIKE! Nitro flattens Hardy hard with a knee strike and picks him up off the canvas – shoving him towards the ropes for an elimination. Hardy and Nitro tussle for a moment, Nitro trying to take advantage of the dazed state Jeff finds himself in – instincts kick in and Jeff manages to save himself by grabbing the ropes and wrapping himself around them. Nitro kicks him in frustration and looks around the ring for another target.

    Angle has Lashley on the verge of elimination with the later now on the apron of the ring. Big punches from Angle are landing but he cannot get the young man to drop to the floor. A shot from Angle is caught by Lashley, he hooks the head and begins to pull Angle over the top rope with him! Angle kicks wildly with his feet, trying to stop it… but Lashley is bringing Angle over… LASHLEY GETS HALF OF HIS OWN BODY BACK IN THE RING - AS ANGLE’S FEET ARE IN THE AIR WITH HIS HANDS ON THE APRON WHILE LASHLEY HAS HIM IN A HEADLOCK!

    Angle has never been in as much trouble as he is in right now – and the countdown begins to the next entrant. Lashley gives it one last tug… ANGLE FALLS – ONE FOOT HITS!

    BUT HE KEEPS THE OTHER IN THE AIR UNTIL HE LIFTS IT ONTO THE RING APRON. Angle wraps all his limbs around the bottom rope, eating Lashley’s stomps in return but he stays alive after a close call.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **COOL**
    ENTRANT #19 – CARLITO @ 34:00

    Carlito wastes no time in making his way toward the action, heading straight for his associate Chris Masters, to give aid to the assault on John Cena.

    Jim Ross: I’ve got to question the randomness of the entry numbers for both Masters and Carlito, ladies and gentlemen. Two members of the Heartbreak Foundation just happen to be back to back in their arrival in the Royal Rumble. I don’t buy it.

    Tazz: You can not like it all you want, JR. Carlito and Masters are personally endorsed by Mr. McMahon and the reigning WWE Champion Shawn Michaels. You know these two men have their orders – get Cena out of the damn match!

    Things only go from bad to worse for John Cena once Carlito enters the ring. Carlito takes a swing at a few bodies that come towards him when he steps through the ropes; clocking Jeff Hardy with a right hand and planting him with a DDT, hitting a dropkick on Lashley – before turning his attention to Cena. Masters is glad to see his partner, the two fist bumping each other before simultaneously putting the boots to Cena! Carlito leads the charge… he slings Cena into the corner and slams into him with RUNNING DOUBLE KNEES!!

    Cena is then yanked out of the corner by Masters and slammed to the canvas with a scoop slam. Masters follows up by dropping an elbow across the chest – and Carlito springboards from one set of ropes to the other into a MOONSAULT!! The duo celebrate for a moment in the corner of the ring for a moment, soaking in the boos from the live crowd, before deciding it’s now time to get rid of Cena. Together, Carlito and Masters grab hold of Cena and prepare to launch him over the top rope – JEFF HARDY RUSHES UP AND CUTS THEM OFF!

    There is action taking place all over the ring at the moment with a total of SEVEN competitors in the ring. Lashley and Nitro are struggling around the edge of the ring against each other – both getting the advantage on the other and then losing it – with several near eliminations. The major point of action is what is taking place on the other side of the ring. Hardy has cut the Heartbreak Foundation off and slams his forearms into the back of Masters – whipping him into the ropes and crashing into him with a DROPKICK! Hardy bounces back to his feet, charges at Carlito and shoves him back into a corner… hard punches by Hardy land as Carlito tries to cover up.

    Hardy backs up a little bit, ripping off his singlet and tossing it to the crowd, before he rushes forward – Carlito slips out of the corner… BUT HARDY CLIMBS THE TURNBUCKLE – WHISPER IN THE WIND! DOWN GOES CARLITO!! Hardy is feeling it right now… he stumbles to his feet and grabs Carlito by his trademark afro, trying to toss him over the top rope. Carlito grabs the top rope as Hardy attempts to shove him over – they struggle! Hardy using everything he can… WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN MASTERS RUSHES UP FROM BEHIND AND SCOOPS HARDY UP AND OVER THE TOP ROPE!!

    ELIMINATION #13: JEFF HARDY @ 35:50 BY CHRIS MASTERS

    It could be a sign of things to come as Chris Masters makes the save for Carlito. Could this be a turning point in the Royal Rumble? Together they survey the scene – only ten seconds before the twentieth entrant makes their entrance. These two young guns ready to rip any single superstar to pieces… and as expected they move toward the isolated John Cena as the countdown begins.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **PAPARAZZI**
    ENTRANT #20 – JOEY MERCURY @ 36:00

    Yet another pair is about to be united in this year’s Rumble as Joey Mercury comes out from the back wearing a heavy fur coat. As one half of the reigning WWE Tag Team Champions, Mercury slowly undresses, tossing the coat to the side of the ramp, before he jogs towards the ring.

    Jim Ross: We are officially two thirds of the way through the Royal Rumble! This guy Mercury is already a key member of the tag team division on Smackdown. I’m sure he’d love to have a run as a top singles star and that could kick-off tonight.

    Tazz: If he and Nitro can get together in this match MNM could do a lot of a damage.

    Mercury ducks into the ring, eyes Carlito and Masters assaulting Cena whilst trying to eliminate him, and rushes over to give an assist. Mercury gets in a few kicks and punches to Cena before backing off – offering up the former WWE Champion to the Heartbreak Foundation as if his few strikes did some great deal of damage. Masters and Carlito ignore Mercury for the most part – turning back to face Cena who comes bursting off the ropes with a DOUBLE SHOULDER BLOCK! Cena begins hammering away on Carlito but once again gets doubled team – UNTIL KURT ANGLE RUSHES UP AND HITS A BELLY TO BACK SUPLEX ON MASTERS! ANGLE AND CENA FIGHT SIDE BY SIDE AGAINST THE HEARTBREAK FOUNDATION AS THE ARENA RISES WITH CHEERS.

    Meanwhile Mercury steps towards the middle of the ring out of the way – AND GETS SPEARED BY LASHLEY!! Mercury wanted to hide and avoid any major conflict but Lashley has split him in half. Lashley picks Mercury up off the canvas, knees him in the chest, hits a clubbing blow to the back of Mercury… AND HOISTS MERCURY ONTO HIS SHOULDERS… DOMINATOR!! Lashley has flattened Joey Mercury in the middle of the ring, and now Lashley grabs Mercury by the pants and throws him over the top rope to the floor.

    ELIMINATION #14 – JOEY MERCURY @ 36:35 BY BOBBY LASHLEY

    Mercury crashes to the floor on the outside of the ring while Lashley takes a moment to enjoy his handy work. Lashley cracks a smile as he turns back towards his other competitors, and NITRO COMES CHARGING AT HIM FOR A CLOTHESLINE WITH ELIMINATION ON HIS MIND! Thinking fast, Lashley ducks underneath… AND EXECUTES A BACKDROP ON NITRO OVER THE TOP ROPE ONTO JOEY MERCURY! MNM have been eliminated within seconds of each other by the same man!

    ELIMINATION #15 – JOHNNY NITRO @ 36:50 BY BOBBY LASHLEY

    The eliminations have started to pick up as the superstars can sense the finish line on the horizon. As the number of entrants is odd that results in Lashley being the odd man out without a dance partner. Having entered the match at number ten, Lashley takes this opportunity to back himself into a corner of the ring and recover – breathing heavy and looking absolutely exhausted.

    The Heartbreak Foundation have found themselves dealing with a most unlikely partnership – especially when you think back to the events of late last year. John Cena and Kurt Angle have united to battle against Carlito and Chris Masters – all four men clashing. At this point, Cena hits a clothesline on Carlito… he hangs from the ropes from a moment before safely returning to the ring.

    Kurt Angle clubs at Masters before diving for his leg, Masters pulls back and scoops Angle up for a suplex but Angle executes a drop-toe hold! Angle rolls back along the body of Masters… AND GRABS THE ANKLE!! ANKLE LOCK HAS BEEN APPLIED BY THE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST TO THE MASTERPIECE! The crowd are going crazy as Angle twists the ankle has hard as he possibly can, trying to snap the damn thing in half, wrenching back – AND MASTERS TAPS!!

    It means nothing in the Royal Rumble but Chris Masters is wildly tapping to the Ankle Lock as applied by Kurt Angle. Angle’s grip is so tight that he plays with Masters… allowing the Masterpiece to crawl towards the ropes, grab the bottom one, only to pull him back towards the middle of the ring. Across the ring, Carlito HITS CENA WITH A LOW BLOW – AND RUSHES OVER TO SAVE HIS PARTNER… BACKSTABBER!! Carlito strikes with the Backstabber from behind… and together the Heartbreak Foundation, Masters hobbling on his bad ankle, pick the Olympic Gold Medalist up and TOSS HIM OVER!

    ELIMINATION #16 – KURT ANGLE @ 37:53 BY CHRIS MASTERS & CARLITO

    The air in the AmericanAirlines Arena has been sucked out as Angle’s feet hit the floor. The Heartbreak Foundation have managed to eliminate one of the favourites due to their numbers advantage. After suffering the Ankle Lock for so long, Masters hobbles over to the ropes and leans on them for support as Carlito pats him on the shoulder – offering to act as protection in anticipation for the next entrant.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **SLOW CHEMICAL**
    ENTRANT #21 – KANE @ 38:00

    Fire erupts at the top of the stage, a dark and demonic feeling coming over the arena, as the Big Red Machine, Kane, begins his long walk down to the ring. The cameramen and referees on the outside of the ring scatter as Kane approaches them. All too well aware of the rampage he went on backstage and at ringside during a recent edition of Monday Night Raw.

    Tazz: What’s the saying, JR? Business has just picked up! Who the hell is going to throw this monster over the top rope?

    Jim Ross: Kane from Monday Night Raw has to be one of the favourites to win the Royal Rumble. He holds the record for the most eliminations in a single event. Recently he has become as unhinged as we have ever seen him and this is the perfect event for the Big Red Machine to go nuts and hurt a lot of people, legally.

    There are four men in the ring and all of them are eyeing the incoming monster! Kane steps over the top rope and is swarmed by Carlito… and Masters a few seconds later, the latter having to limp his way over due to the injured ankle. Carlito and Masters look to overwhelm Kane, clubbing his back with strikes as they push him back towards the ropes. Together, Carlito and Masters whip Kane across the ring into the ropes, he rebounds back… AND KNOCKS THEM BOTH DOWN WITH A DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE.

    Kane shakes the damage off, grabs Masters by the throat when he stands… AND SLAMS HIM DOWN WITH A CHOKESLAM FROM HELL!! He’s not done – not by a long shot. Carlito pops back up to his feet and is smashed by an uppercut from the Big Red Machine. He hammers away now, pushing Carlito back against the ropes and whips him across the ring – CATCHING HIM WITH A BIG BOOT WHICH SENDS CARLITO ACROSS THE CANVAS. With his sole purpose in this match being to hurt people, Kane has no problem with targeting the fan favourite either as we see when he goes after Cena.

    Marching across the ring, Kane batters John Cena in the corner of the ring and attempts to throw him over. He lifts one leg and tries to dump Cena – but Cena punches free and looks to follow up! Cena sprints towards the ropes, comes back with a shoulder block that knocks Kane down! Cena takes a quick look around the ring, he smiles, now he has a chance – YOU CAN’T SEE ME – and Cena rebounds off the ropes… FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE TO KANE! The crowd stands on their feet as Cena plants his feet, eyeing Kane, preparing for what could be a major moment… Kane is slow to his feet, he turns around… AND GRABS CENA BY THE THROAT!

    The monster is laughing! Kane smirks with a sinister sense of enjoyment as Cena looks terrified. Kane rushes forward, still holding his grip on Cena’s throat, and he shoves Cena OVER THE TOP!! BUT CENA HOLDS ON AND LANDS ON THE APRON! Kane cracks Cena with a right hand which drops him… however Cena wraps his limbs around the bottom rope saving himself from elimination.

    As Kane turns around, Masters and Carlito rush him again – ONCE MORE KANE DECKS THEM BOTH! Marching forward, Kane grabs Carlito and NAILS A SIDEWALK SLAM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING! Rolling back to his feet, Kane raises his hand in the air again… once more he GRABS MASTERS BY THE THROAT AND KANE RAMS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE! As we saw previously with Cena – Masters is able to grab the top rope and save him… but even a monster learns because KANE STRIKES IMMEDIATELY WITH A BIG BOOT! Masters collapses and falls to the floor – he’s eliminated!!

    ELIMINATION #17 – CHRIS MASTERS @ 39:43 BY KANE

    Kane turns around now, and Carlito is right there with right hands to the face… ALL OF WHICH KANE EATS WITHOUT MOVING… ONLY TO LAND A SINGLE PUNCH THAT DROPS CARLITO! Kane picks Carlito up onto his shoulder and marches towards the edge of the ring, for a moment Carlito struggles, managing to grab the top rope… yet a few seconds later Kane gives a big push and tosses Carlito to the outside as the buzzer sounds for the next entrant,

    ELIMINATION #18 – CARLITO @ 39:59 BY KANE

    The countdown has been ongoing at this point and the crowd turns to see who is entering next.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **LAMBERG**
    ENTRANT #22 – FIT FINLAY @ 40:00

    The fighting Irishman is ready to make an impact both here in the Royal Rumble and in the WWE. Having made his debut on Smackdown two weeks ago, Fit Finlay looks to use the momentum he gained by winning a battle royal on Smackdown and propel himself to the main event of WrestleMania.

    Tazz: This guy might be my pick! Fit Finlay is one of the toughest guys in all of wrestling.

    Jim Ross: A fresh face on Smackdown but a long-time veteran of the professional wrestling business. I like his wrestling style but I’ve not been a fan of how he has treated Eugene over on Friday Nights.

    Ever the veteran of the game, Fit Finlay understands that he has no need to enter the ring immediately… especially with Kane standing in the middle of the ring. Instead, Fit takes his time walking down the ramp and begins to circle the squared circle. The crowd boos this tactic while Tazz praises it, “That’s a genius move from a veteran! Fit Finlay doesn’t gain anything by rushing into the ring and get squashed by Kane.” It seems that Finlay will be staying on the outside of the ring for at last the foreseeable future but he won’t be doing so alone… as he trips Cena from behind and yanks him to the outside.

    Finlay slams his forearm into the head of Cena, and tosses him into the steel ring post! Finlay stomps away at Cena, gritting his teeth, unloading everything he has, targeting the man who has been in the match the longest time. Even though both men find themselves on the outside of the ring neither has been eliminated. Finlay having never entered the ring while Cena was pulled from under the bottom rope. Finlay grabs Cena by the wrist, twisting it for leverage… BEFORE WHIPPING CENA INTO THE BARRICADE!

    Elsewhere, Kane stands tall in the middle of the ring – untouched since his eliminations of the Heartbreak Foundation. Slowly the crowd begins to rise, the announcers going wild as well… AS LASHLEY STEPS UP BEHIND KANE! The Big Red Machine turns, and Lashley holds his ground – two men locking eyes! It’s a legend versus the future! Lashley slaps his chest and tells Kane to bring it! Kane rushes backwards, rebounding back and hits a shoulder block – staggering Lashley a little… but he remains firm. In response, Lashley fires off some right hands, a kick to the mid-section – backing Kane up – before whipping him across the ring.

    Lashley charges forward for a shoulder block of his own but Kane hits a back elbow. Stunned by the shot, Lashley stumbles backwards… AND KANE GRABS HIM BY THE THROAT! Quickly, Lashley punches his way free… SLAMMING KANE TO THE CANVAS! Lashley backs up into a corner of the ring, and he runs forward for a clothesline, knocking Kane over the top rope – BUT KANE HOLDS ON! The Big Red Machine hits a shoulder thrust to the mid-section of Lashley, sending the rookie bent over into the middle of the ring. Going high risk now, Kane ascends to the top rope, climbing from the ring apron… LEAPING THROUGH THE AIR WITH A FLYING CLOTHESLINE TO LASHLEY! Both men are down now as the countdown begins.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **BOOYAKA**
    ENTRANT #23 – REY MYSTERIO @ 42:00

    A huge wave of cheers erupts from the crowd! Rey Mysterio appears at the top of the stage, waving to the crowd, asking them to offer their support for his highly anticipated run in the Rumble. Mysterio takes a knee for a moment, saying a little prayer, before jumping to his feet and rushing to the ring.

    Tazz: He might be the smallest man in the entire match but nobody has the heart of Rey Mysterio.

    Jim Ross: He put on a great match against Randy Orton last week on Smackdown, Tazz. Speaking of Mr. Orton… we are yet to see him.

    Mysterio slides into the squared circle, runs right past Lashley and Kane, eyes his target on the outside… and DIVES THROUGH THE ROPES ONTO FIT FINLAY! The two Smackdown stars collide for the first time, Mysterio unloading punches to the Irishman – the latter trying to create distance. The only escape is to enter the ring, and Mysterio follows Finlay! Tazz points out that it was Rey Mysterio who welcomed Eugene to Smackdown a few weeks ago, he was ready to take the young man under his wing, and ever since then Fit Finlay has tormented Eugene – seemingly unprovoked.

    Mysterio kicks at the legs of the Irishman, whips him into the ropes and executes a modified BULLDOG! Fit Finlay has been caught by surprise… he gets sent towards the ropes with a HURRICANRANA – and Finlay lands hung over the middle rope – the one place you do not want to be when tangling with Mysterio. The crowd jumps up and cheers as Rey comes forward… 619! Finlay flies backwards into the ring, and MYSTERIO SPRINGBOARDS BACK WITH A SPLASH!

    The Irishman staggers to his feet, leans against the ropes for support… ONLY FOR MYSTERIO TO HIT A DROPKICK WHICH SENDS FINLAY OVER THE TOP ROPE! Finlay swipes at the ropes as he tumbles onto the apron… trying to grab hold… his right hand latches onto the middle rope… BUT HIS FEET HIT THE FLOOR REGARDLESS!

    ELIMINATION #19 – FIT FINLAY @ 42:45 BY REY MYSTERIO

    Four men now remain in the ring as we still have just over a minute before the next entrant makes their way into the contest. Cena is sat in one corner, looking around like his head is still buzzing from the attack by Finlay. Lashley and Kane are going at it in a true hoss fight – the crowd loving every moment. Meanwhile, Rey Mysterio squats near the ropes, ready to move if needed, as he plans what is the best option.

    It appears that both Cena and Mysterio have no issue with letting the two big men of the match batter each other. Kane and Lashley are slugging it out – Lashley evades a TOMBSTONE attempt and slips out the back… AND DUMPS KANE OVER! NO! Kane lands on the apron and punches Lashley, forcing him back… Kane enters the ring and charges forward – ELBOW THRUST! Kane then slips Lashley into the corner… and follows up with a CORNER CLOTHESLINE… LASHLEY STUMBLES FORWARD INTO A SIDEWALK SLAM!

    Kane picks Lashley up off the canvas, eyes the ropes and tries to dump Lashley over! Lashley grabs the ropes and begins to struggle… refusing to go, elbowing free… ONLY TO GET DROPPED BY A SHORT-ARM CLOTHESLINE. Kane stomps on Lashley as the countdown begins… and Cena returns to action by scooping Kane up from behind with a back suplex! In response, Mysterio rushes Cena and begins to batter him with kicks – hitting a dropkick and sending the former WWE Champion into the middle rope.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **HEY YOU**
    ENTRANT #24 – BRIAN KENDRICK @ 44:00

    His partner might have been eliminated earlier in the match but Brian Kendrick still has a chance to bring home the victory for the Hooligans. As always, Kendrick is highly energetic, sprinting all over the stage, tossing his jacket to the side before pointing to the ring and making a beeline for the action.

    Jim Ross: We are closing in on the final handful of entrants ladies and gentlemen! Brian Kendrick from Smackdown enters at number twenty four, and he’ll be looking to shock the world with a Rumble win.

    Tazz: I’ve always wondered how much focus a guy like Kendrick can have on the Rumble. He and Paul London are going to receive a shot at MNM and the WWE Tag Team Championships very soon – does that cloud the mind of Kendrick going into the Rumble?

    Upon entering the ring, Kendrick jumps into the action pounding on Lashley in the corner. Kendrick looks to use his speed and freshness to his advantage and eliminate Lashley. After delivering a flurry of kicks, Kendrick sprints across the ring to the opposite corner, runs on the spot, hyping up the crowd, before charging back in… BUT LASHLEY FLIPS KENDRICK OVER THE TOP! Kendrick is high in the air – and lands safely on the apron of the ring but he is in danger right now.

    Lashley turns around and swings a fist at Kendrick… HE DUCKS! Lashley goes for a clothesline… KENDRICK AVOIDS THE CONTACT AND SCURRIES UP THE TURNBUCKLE… MISSILE DROPKICK!! Kendrick has sent Lashley spilling across the ring, and now he turns his attention to another competitor, John Cena! Kendrick joins Rey Mysterio and the two men form a quick alliance – sending Cena across the ring and hitting DUAL DROPKICKS TO CENA! These two smaller men each grab an arm of Cena, twist it and then deliver stiff kicks to the chest! Cena drops down to his knees as Kendrick and Mysterio, at the same time, STRIKE WITH SHARP KICKS TO THE HEAD!!

    This alliance of the two smallest men in the ring is now set to be tested as Kane returns to the fray. He grabs Mysterio by the mask and tosses him towards the corner. Kane begins to unload… ONLY FOR KENDRICK TO JUMP ON HIS BACK! Mysterio rushes out of the corner and kicks away at the legs of the Big Red Machine while Kendrick is still on his back! Kane swats the air, trying to get Kendrick off him, and he tries to evade Mysterio’s strikes. The double team is working – DROPKICK BY MYSTERIO… which sends Kane into the middle rope! Kendrick hops off the back and encourages Mysterio – 619!!

    Kane EATS THE 619 AND STUMBLES BACK INTO THE RING… KENDRICK RUSHES UP AND GRABS A FRONT FACE LOCK… SLICED BREAD NUMBER TWO!! Kane has been put down by the two smallest men in the contest! Mysterio and Kendrick now have to get the big man over the top rope… and they begin to lift Kane as the countdown begins.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **TURN UP THE TROUBLE**
    ENTRANT #25 – MR. KENNEDY @ 46:00

    A true dark horse to win the Royal Rumble, fresh off the heels of earning the number one contendership to the WWE United States Championship, Mr. Kennedy makes his way to the ring – no need for the theatrical entrance this evening.

    Jim Ross: What can you tell me about this man, Tazz?

    Tazz: That’s the next WWE United States Champion. He’s got a date booked with Matt Hardy for the near future and he has told me he’d love nothing more than to be a dual champion. He wants to hold both the WWE United States Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship at the same time. If he wins tonight, he’ll have that chance!

    Kennedy sizes up his competitors from the outside of the ring for a moment; he waits until Mysterio turns his back… AND THEN JUMPS INTO THE RING AND TOSSES HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE! Mysterio saves himself… dangling for a moment… but ultimately he gets back into the ring. Unfortunately, Kennedy acts far too quickly for Mysterio to save his alliance partner – Kendrick – as he dumps the tag team specialist just seconds after doing the same to Mysterio. Kendrick doesn’t have the luck that Rey does… and his feet hit the floor – much to the glee of Ken Kennedy.

    ELIMINATION #20 – BRIAN KENDRICK @ 46:20 BY MR. KENNEDY

    We are back to every man for himself now; Kennedy and Mysterio squaring off in the corner. Kennedy is the fresh man and has the strength advantage over the masked man – lifting him up onto the top turnbuckle and trying to shove him to the floor. Mysterio blocks it! He kicks free, booting Kennedy in the face and forces him back. Getting out of the danger zone quickly, Mysterio jumps forward… AND CATCHES KENNEDY WITH A TORNADO DDT!!

    Other action in the ring includes; Kane, Lashley and Cena taking turns at beating the hell out of each other. Cena gets Kane on his shoulders for a FU! Lashley cuts it off and LIFTS BOTH MEN OVER THE TOP ROPE! Kane and Cena land on the apron… LASHLEY HAS WIDE EYES, HE CAN SENSE THIS IS HIS BIGGEST CHANCE TO CLEAR THE RING! Lashley hammers away with punches on each man – whilst they slug it out with each other too!! Kane and Cena are only feet away from elimination.

    Lashley backs up, and comes back… KANE LATCHES A HAND AROUND HIS THROAT AND USES HIS OTHER TO CRACK LASHLEY IN THE FACE! Suddenly, CENA LIFTS KANE ONTO HIS SHOULDERS – WHILE BOTH MEN ARE ON THE APRON! The crowd is losing it as Cena walks the tight rope… KANE BEGINS TO ELBOW CENA IN THE FACE… AND CENA HITS THE FU!! BUT HE DOES SO INTO THE RING!! Kane lands inside the ring, Cena remains on the outside of the ring… and KENNEDY RUNS UP TRYING TO KNOCK CENA OFF THE APRON!

    Cena avoids the contact, he grabs Kennedy by the head and drops down… catching Kennedy’s throat across the top rope. Kennedy bends down, clutching his throat, as Cena climbs the top turnbuckle… AND HE FLIES OFF WITH A LEG DROP TO THE BACK OF KENNEDY’S HEAD! Cena pops back to his feet, picks Kennedy up and tosses him over the top rope… he hangs for a moment… and returns to the ring. Cena then targets Bobby Lashley tussling towards the corner, and the countdown begins to the next entrant.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **TEACHER**
    ENTRANT #26 – MATT STRIKER @ 48:00

    Looking to use his college education in this match, Matt Striker makes his way out to the ring, ready to teach these superstars a lesson.

    Jim Ross: A strong draw for the former teacher!

    Tazz: You guys have some crazy characters over on Raw, JR. Lets see if Striker can hang with some of the big names that currently own the ring.

    Striker goes right after Rey Mysterio – no doubt targeting him for being the smallest man in the ring. He’d love to get a quick elimination, Striker grabbing Rey by the pants and trying to shove him over the top rope. Mysterio fights back, getting free of Striker and hammering away with kicks to the legs… Rey runs back towards the ropes but Striker catches the arm and executes an ARM-DDT!! Striker pops back up, grabs Mysterio by the head and does a SNAPMARE – Striker sprints into the ropes, rebounds back and connects with a dropkick to the face of Mysterio from a seated position.

    A strong entry into the contest by the former teacher and he takes a moment to celebrate – taunting the crowd. While Striker is celebrating… Kane appears behind him, having now recovered from the FU, and he does not look happy. Striker’s facial expression changes as the crowd cheers – he knows it’s not for him… and he slowly begins to turn… right into a clothesline!

    Striker bounces up off the canvas, he is slung into the ropes by Kane and launched into the air with a BACK BODY DROP!! Striker grabs his backside, stumbles to his feet, Kane grabs him by the throat… CHOKESLAM!! The Big Red Machine plants Striker, and he goes limp, rolling to the side of the ring with his eyes shut. Sneakily, Kennedy rushes up and tries to dump Kane… but it’s blocked! Kane fights back and they begin to struggle; both men trying to eliminate the other.

    Meanwhile, Lashley and Cena continue to go at each other having been the two longest serving competitors. In a pure show of power, Lashley lifts Cena onto his shoulder and marches around the ring – he charges towards the ropes… but Cena spills out the back and shoves Lashley towards elimination. Lashley puts on the breaks, he turns back around and runs at Cena… drop toe hold by Cena – STFU! Cena caught Lashley in the submission and now has the rookie in trouble!! The submission is broken up by Kane, the monster pulling Cena up and forcing him into the corner where he lifts a leg and tries to dump him over the top rope. The countdown begins for the next entrant moments later.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **LONGHORN**
    ENTRANT #27 – JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD @ 50:00

    A great man once said that everything has a price, and tonight it would appear that JBL has paid the right away to get luck on his side because not only is he entering this match late but he is doing so from the most successful entry position in the history of the Royal Rumble. Layfield enters from the side of the ramp, driven in by a limousine, getting some last minute advice from his business associate – Jillian Hall.

    Tazz: One of Smackdown’s biggest superstars and a true contender to win the Royal Rumble. He wants nothing more than to go back to the main event and this is his biggest chance.

    Jim Ross: This time last year JBL was WWE Champion. Can he win the Rumble tonight and regain the title he lost a year ago? The ring has filled up with seven superstars again as we close in on the final three entrants… and we know at least one of them for sure.

    With the action in the ring being chaotic, Layfield slips inside the ring and swings a big boot into the side of the head of Lashley. Those two have had issues previously on Smackdown and JBL has no issue with taking out some frustrations on the rookie. The shots are stiff and relentless, Layfield whips Lashley into the ropes and clubs him down with a forearm to the face… into a VERTICAL SUPLEX… FOLLOWED BY AN ELBOW DROP!!

    Layfield rolls to his feet, a smug look on his face, stomping on Lashley with distain for the rookie. Layfield looks around the ring, he spots Matt Striker pulling himself to his feet using the ropes… and JBL rushes towards him – CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! Layfield slams his arm into the face of Striker, knocking him silly and to the canvas – allowing Layfield to spit toward the crowd as they boo him loudly.

    Across the ring, Kane has been unable to eliminate Cena – the latter holding on for dear life in the corner as he was shoved over the top rope. Kane steps away and goes after Mysterio, whom immediately fights back with hard kicks. Rey will not give up – firing off punches to the ribs of Kane… but the Big Red Machine knees him once and then lifts him up onto his shoulders. Kane marches around the ring… he wants the TOMBSTONE… but MYSTERIO WIGGLES FROM AND APPLIES A HEADSCISSORS – INTO A HURRICANRANA… WHICH SENDS KANE OVER THE TOP ROPE!!

    ELIMINATION #21 – KANE @ 51:24 BY REY MYSTERIO

    There is an enormous roar from the audience as Mysterio looks on in disbelief! Rey Mysterio has eliminated Kane – the monster who looked so dominant throughout the contest. All he can do is look on from the outside, Kane looking stunned as he gets up and storms from ringside.

    The night is not done by any means. Mysterio gets back to a vertical base in the ring and he surveys the ring. Striker appears to be out cold in a corner of the ring, JBL is trying to eliminate Cena while Lashley and Kennedy fight for position near the ropes. Mysterio heads towards JBL and cuts off the elimination attempt, wanting a piece of the Texan. They head toward a corner to tussle while Cena drops back against the ropes, looking up at the titantron – realising that he has been in this match nearly fifty two minutes and his dream is on the verge of becoming a reality.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **CHAVITO ARDIENTE**
    ENTRANT #28 – CHAVO GUERRERO @ 52:00

    Ready to get down to the ring, Chavo Guerrero makes his way onto the stage to a decent amount of cheers – nothing major but fair. Guerrero slaps his chest and points to the heavens, mouthing some unheard words, before hurrying to the ring.

    Jim Ross: Could this be the year that Chavo Guerrero shocks the word and wins the Royal Rumble? We once saw his Uncle, Eddie Guerrero, stun all of us when he won the WWE Championship as a heavy underdog. Does it run in the blood?

    Tazz: The name Guerrero means warrior and Chavo Guerrero would love nothing more than to win the Rumble and headline WrestleMania.

    The ring has filled back up to seven men, which seems to have been a consistent number this evening, and upon making his way down to the squared circle, Chavo Guerrero leaves his mark immediately… WITH A FROG SPLASH TO MATT STRIKER! That gets a major pop from the crowd as Chavo slaps his chest, and he kicks an incoming Cena in the mid-section and hits a vertical suplex. Chavo rolls his hips… and hits a third vertical suplex! Once more, Guerrero rolls his hips… AND HITS A THIRD VERTICAL SUPLEX!!

    Guerrero gets to his feet, feeling himself now, feeding off the energy he has gotten from this crowd which has gone up into an “Eddie” chant. Chavo looks around the ring and catches Layfield coming at him with a punch – ARM DRAG! Guerrero pops back to his feet and hits a dropkick to send Lashley stumbling away.

    Kennedy looks to cut off the momentum, he kicks Chavo in the ribs and lifts him on his shoulders. Chavo slips from and chops Kennedy off at the knee, hitting a STEP UP ENZUIGIRI! To the roar of the crowd, Guerrero grabs Matt Striker off the canvas and tosses him over the top rope to the floor.

    ELIMINATION #22 – MATT STRIKER @ 53:12 BY CHAVO GUERRERO

    While Guerrero takes in the applause from the crowd, he stares up at the heavens, perhaps looking towards his Uncle… and JBL TAKES ADVANTAGE BY DUMPING CHAVO OVER THE TOP ROPE! The boos are loud as Layfield claps his hands together, spitting down onto the body of Guerrero and doing the shimmy made famous by the legendary Eddie Guerrero to add insult to injury. A class act is JBL and he basks in his glory – knowing that he is officially the most hated man in the ring.

    ELIMINATION #23 – CHAVO GUERRERO @ 53:25 BY JOHN ‘BRADSHAW’ LAYFIELD

    Coming right after Layfield is Mysterio – a known friend of the Guerrero family and he looks to avenge the elimination of Chavo. Layfield blocks a lot of the wild strikes as he retreats to the corner – and he waves Kennedy over! Ken Kennedy rushes over and gives aid to JBL… and they begin to beatdown Mysterio. That’s going to piss off the crowd as the two villains target the masked man.

    Kennedy applies a full nelson as Layfield lines up his shot… AND HE BLASTS KENNEDY WITH A CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL! Never trust anybody in the Rumble! Layfield smirks as he clubs Mysterio in the head with a forearm and then drops him with a back suplex. Layfield rolls back to his feet and heads over to Cena; he gets stung with a punch and Cena throws Layfield over the top rope! Layfield blocks a punch by Cena – and ducks into the ring!

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **BREAK DOWN THE WALLS**
    ENTRANT #29 – CHRIS JERICHO @ 54:00

    THE ROOF IS EXPLODING OFF THE ARENA HERE IN MIAMI!! Chris Jericho is back in the WWE after being fired last year on Monday Night Raw under the Eric Bischoff regime! There is a slight delay… but Jericho does in fact appear, dressed in his trademark tights but now with short blonde hair instead of the long flowing hair that we have known him for previously.

    Jim Ross: I DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I AM SEEING BEFORE MY EYES!! Chris Jericho is number twenty nine in the 2006 Royal Rumble. Jericho is back!!

    Tazz: I can’t believe it either. We said anything could happen in the Royal Rumble but nobody would’ve expected this! And do you know what this means, JR? Number thirty… it’s him!!

    Jim Ross: I know, partner. Talk about compensation, ladies and gentlemen. I believe, with the arrival of Chris Jericho at twenty nine, we now know who the thirtieth entrant will be.

    After months sitting on the sideline, Jericho flies into the ring and unloads on anybody who comes near him. Right hands landing to every superstar left in the match; Jericho whips Cena into the corner and hits a dropkick! Back up now, Jericho runs forward and knocks Lashley to the canvas with a RUNNING FOREARM. Lashley pops back up, gets kicked into the stomach and Jericho HITS A RUNNING BULLDOG!

    JBL wants to silence the crowd, many standing and chanting for Y2J, and he boots Jericho in the gut. Layfield positions Jericho for a powerbomb… he tries to lift BUT JERICHO BLOCKS! Jericho grabs the legs and plants Layfield on his back – and looks for the WALLS OF JERICHO. Layfield scrambles away as Jericho fights to turn him… Kennedy comes rushing over – AND JERICHO RELEASES THE HOLD AND GRABS KENNEDY’S LEGS!!

    WALLS OF JERICHO HAVE BEEN APPLIED TO KEN KENNEDY!! Jericho has changed the entire complexion of the Royal Rumble more than any man has tonight. Jericho arches his back as Kennedy screams in pain – BUT HE WILL NOT TAP. Eventually, Jericho releases the hold and moves towards Mysterio, hammering away with punches before whipping him into the ropes – on the rebound Jericho NAILS A NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX! Jericho nods his head to the crowd… and springboards off the ropes for the LIONSAULT!

    As Jericho pops back up to his feet, Kennedy comes at him away… AND JERICHO PULLS DOWN THE TOP ROPE! Kennedy spills over the top rope but he holds on – staying on the apron. Fans watch closely now as Jericho scurries to his feet, aims his shot… AND CLIPS KENNEDY WITH A STEP-UP ENZUIGIRI!! Kennedy’s eyes shut and he falls to the floor… and he’s eliminated.

    ELIMINATION #24 – MR. KENNEDY @ 55:41 BY CHRIS JERICHO

    Jericho looks through the ropes and waves goodbye to Kennedy before going after Layfield. Meanwhile, Cena and Mysterio form a quick team as they try and eliminate Lashley in the corner – forcing the rookie up into the air as he struggles to hold onto the top rope.

    Precious seconds begin to filter out and the clock appears on the titantron. The crowd is already booing as loudly as they have all night for what is coming. Everyone has figured it out – the announcers have been alluding to it for the last couple of entrants. With five men left inside the ring and one to come we will be down to six possible winners of the 2006 Royal Rumble… and here comes number thirty.

    10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …
    BUZZER …

    **BURN IN MY LIGHT**
    ENTRANT #30 – RANDY ORTON @ 56:00

    Oozing confidence in not only himself but his position of entry, Randy Orton strides out onto the stage with a massive smirk on his face. The heat from the crowd is loud and only gets louder as Orton takes the time to pose on the stage – and his golden wall of pyro goes off behind him!

    Tazz: We figured it out a few entrants ago, JR. Randy Orton has been gifted the number thirty spot by Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long! He was the Sole Survivor for Team Smackdown at Survivor Series so he earned this – what an advantage for Orton!

    Jim Ross: He complained enough about it. We’ve heard Orton whine and moan about getting something for being the Sole Survivor. He got his wish… now lets see if he can actually do something with it.

    We are down to six men left in the Royal Rumble with the introduction of Randy Orton into the fray. A quick rundown of who is left; #2 John Cena, #10 Bobby Lashley, #23 Rey Mysterio, #27 John 'Bradshaw' Layfield, #29 Chris Jericho and #30 Randy Orton. The importance of drawing a late number on show with the positions of four of the final six.

    Orton makes his way into the ring and he immediately goes after Cena! Orton clocks Cena with several right hands, whips him into the ropes and EXECUTES A SCOOP SLAM! A strong introduction for the Legend Killer as he works over the longest standing member of the match. Jumping into mount position, Orton bashes Cena with right hands – then he stands up and spins away… looking for another target.

    Orton wants a piece of Jericho, grabbing the returnee and hitting an uppercut. In return, Jericho chops Orton across the chest and forces him to take a step back. That might kick start Jericho’s attack… but Orton cuts him short with a thumb to the eye. Orton hits another right hand, followed by another, and a third… DROPKICK BY ORTON! It’s picture perfect by Orton and he slithers into the corner as he begins to stand – surveying the ring.

    In one of the corners of the ring, Layfield has Mysterio up against the ropes trying to dump him over the top. Fans in the front row send their support to Mysterio who is leaning over the top, his hands around the rope while his legs are wrapped around the head of JBL. As Layfield pushes Mysterio over, Mysterio in response pulls Layfield over the top rope with that vice like headscissors. While they continue to struggle, Lashley and Orton collide for the first time in the match.

    Lashley wants to use his power – he scoops Orton up onto his shoulder and plants him with a POWERSLAM! Orton pops back up clutching his spine – Lashley tries the spear… but ORTON DIVES OUT OF THE WAY AND LASHLEY COLLIDES WITH THE TURNBUCKLE! Orton slides into position – his eyes wide as his mouth his wide with a sinister smile… RKO!! NO! Lashley lifts Orton up for a BACK SUPLEX – AND ORTON LANDS ON THE TOP OF HIS HEAD!

    Lashley gets back to his feet, shaking off the dizziness that he must be feeling… AND HE IS LIFTED UP OFF THE CANVAS – INTO THE FU!! Cena strikes! Lashley is slammed to the canvas, and he stumbles back up to his feet – feeding off his adrenaline. Lashley is back up – Cena picks him back up and PLANTS LASHLEY FOR A SECOND TIME WITH THE FU! Wasting no time, Cena grabs Lashley by the arm and head, and tosses Lashley over the top rope! Lashley is eliminated but what a performance in his first ever Royal Rumble.

    ELIMINATION #25 – BOBBY LASHLEY @ 59:04 BY JOHN CENA

    And across the ring, Layfield and Mysterio tumble over the top rope after dangling for what felt like an eternity. Mysterio grabs the ropes, as does Layfield – they both hold the ropes as their legs swing towards the floor. Fans holding their breath as Mysterio looks elimination right in the face… BUT HE SAVES HIMSELF!


    Mysterio pulls both legs back onto the apron of the ring – AS DOES LAYFIELD! Both men are now on the edge of the ring, standing on the apron, having gone over the top rope. Layfield clubs at Mysterio with hard shots – trying to knock the masked man to the floor. Mysterio risks it all with some hard kicks on an angle, a good shove would see him eliminated.

    Layfield eats the shots from Mysterio, and then loads up an attack… FIRING OFF A BIG BOOT TO THE HEAD! Mysterio is stunned and staggers back into the steel ring post – back first! Mysterio only has one hand on the ring rope – MYSTERIO ONLY HAS ONE HAND ON THE ROPE AS HE HANGS BACKWARDS. Layfield is seething - “Just drop you, idiot!” And he boots Mysterio in the face again!

    The battle on the apron has now drawn the attention of the Legend Killer… and he rushes up – KNOCKING MYSTERIO OFF THE APRON! As that happens, Layfield hurries back into the ring and moves into the middle of the ring, wanting no part of the apron any longer. And with that we have cracked the one hour mark of the Royal Rumble.

    ELIMINATION #26 – REY MYSTERIO @60:53 BY RANDY ORTON

    Randy Orton strikes from out of nowhere, and now we are down to the FINAL FOUR – after one hour we have our top four. After over an hour of competition, John Cena, who entered at number two, is still in this contest – along with JBL, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. Nobody could’ve predicted this as the final four men in the contest.

    There is a reset of sorts as all four men take up a corner of the ring. Cena and Jericho share a look towards each other; no doubt the two fan favourites left in the match. Meanwhile, Layfield begins to talk business with the Legend Killer. JBL shouts to Orton, offering to form an alliance and get the match down to the two of them by eliminating Cena and Jericho beforehand.

    It seems that, at least for now, Orton has no interest in the offer as he goes after Cena without confirming the alliance. That leaves Jericho and Layfield to go at it – battling towards a corner of the ring. Layfield has the heaviest shots of the men left in the match and he clubs Jericho in the back after being forced into the corner. Jericho tries to lift Layfield off the canvas, but Layfield blocks it – shifts positions and SMASHES JERICHO WITH A CLOTHESLINE IN THE CORNER. He picks Jericho up, walks back a few steps and throws him back with a FALLAWAY SLAM!

    While Layfield continues to work over Jericho… Orton and Cena are going at it across the ring. Orton boots Cena in the mid-section, a distinct contrast between two competitors – one having been wrestling for over an hour while the other is yet to reach ten minutes. Orton slams Cena head first into the turnbuckle and then slams his first into Cena’s forehead three times. With control, Orton sends Cena into the opposite corner – and Orton charges forward… BUT CENA BOUNCES OUT OF THE CORNER WITH A LARIAT!

    Cena meets Orton as he pops back to his feet, kicks him in the stomach… FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX! Cena sells his exhaustion… getting to his knees and nearly collapsing over – but he fights to his feet. Cena looks up at the roof and sees the WrestleMania sign – knowing that this is his only chance to headline WrestleMania. He has survived so much tonight – he is on the doorstep of destiny, he just needs to finish it off.

    Cena calls for Orton to stand, grabbing him and lifting Orton up on his shoulders! The Legend Killer fights to escape it – he slips free and loads up the RKO! Cena shoves free… DROP TOE HOLD BY CENA – Orton scurries free and boots Cena in the face from his back. Exploding from the canvas, Orton smashes Cena in the back with a forearm and then spikes him to the canvas with a NECKBREAKER!

    Sliding into position, Orton pounds the canvas and shouts at Cena to get up. The crowd on the edge of their seat as Cena struggles to stand, using the ropes to do so, and ORTON GOES FOR THE RKO! Again, Cena counters… BACK SUPLEX OVER THE TOP ROPE! Orton lands on the apron – he blocks a punch from Cena and sticks a thumb in his eye! Orton hurries up to the top rope… CROSSBODY BY ORTON… BUT CENA CATCHES HIM AND ROLLS THROUGH!!

    To the roar of the entire audience, and with a look of pure determination on his face, John Cena stands up from his knees while holding Randy Orton – glaring at the hard camera. Orton tries to free himself… but Cena isn’t having any of it – AND CENA NAILS ORTON WITH THE FU!! Jericho and JBL are stilling battling elsewhere, sharing near eliminations with each other, as Cena falls back against the ropes – exhausted beyond belief. He looks up at the WrestleMania sign again… it gives him life and Cena begins to hook Orton for an elimination.

    The titantron suddenly switches to a shot of...

    ... SHAWN MICHAELS ...

    The reigning WWE Champion, still in his gear, slowly walks down the aisle holding the Winged Eagle WWE Championship belt. The fans let him know they still aren’t fans after his defeat of Ric Flair earlier in the evening. Michaels only has eyes for Cena as he approaches the ring, running his finger along the apron – not saying a word. His presence captures the attention of Cena, who leaves Orton on the canvas and begins to question the WWE Champion.

    Cena looks confused – he tells Michaels to get lost; “YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS OUT HERE! I’M WINNING THIS THING AND I’M COMING FOR MY TITLE, GOT IT? THIS IS MY TIME!” Cena glares down at Michaels, he wants a response, he would love to get out of the ring and beat him up now but he knows it would mean nothing without the title being on the line.

    Michaels looks up at Cena and smiles; “I’M SMARTER THAN YOU, JOHN. REMEMBER THAT FOR NEXT TIME.”

    More confusion comes over the face of John Cena… as Michaels turns and walks away from the ring. Cena looks to the crowd as if to ask ‘WTF was that about?’ when from behind… SHANE MCMAHON DUMPS CENA OVER THE TOP ROPE! Or at least he tries to… because Cena blocks it and grabs the Boy Wonder by the collar of his suit. Cena shakes his head, he was nearly screwed by the McMahon family again and the Heartbreak Foundation.

    Cena looks into the eyes of Shane McMahon and sees nothing but fear. He pleads for mercy, telling Cena it wasn’t his idea, he didn’t want to do it… but Cena shakes his head. Cena raises a single fist in the air and the crowd cheers – he asks them if he should do it. They all cheer like mad and Cena loads up the punch…

    WHEN SHAWN MICHAELS CRACKS HIM IN THE SIDE OF THE HEAD WITH A SUPERKICK!!

    The reigning WWE Champion has entered the ring here during the Royal Rumble Match – AND MORE IMPORTANTLY HE HAS TAKEN OUT JOHN CENA! Michaels looks down at Cena’s body, patting Shane McMahon on the back and telling him to get out of the ring. Michaels begins to make his exit… throwing a look towards Randy Orton and giving him a thoughtful nod.

    After Michaels and McMahon take their leave…

    RANDY ORTON GRABS CENA – HE’S OUT COLD…

    AND DUMPS HIM FROM THE RING!!

    ELIMINATION #27 – JOHN CENA @ 65:36 BY RANDY ORTON

    With only three men left in the match, Orton scans the ring for what his best next move would be after eliminating John Cena. The crowd are stunned – outraged at the involvement of the Heartbreak Foundation. Shawn Michaels has screwed John Cena again – it was his only chance and now we know for sure that Cena will not be in the main event of WrestleMania!

    Orton looks on from his knees a corner of the ring; watching as Jericho and Layfield continue to beat each other up. The Legend Killer storms over to the battle and strikes Jericho, pulling him from Layfield and hitting a DDT. When Orton rolls back to his knees, he locks eyes with Layfield and the two form an alliance. Layfield and Orton put the boots to Jericho – now the firm fan favourite.

    Orton directs traffic, Layfield sends Jericho into the ropes and knocks him down with a shoulder block… allowing Orton to drop a knee across his forehead. Jericho is yanked to his feet by Layfield, the Texan calling for a clothesline… he backs up and gains speed – CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL… MISSES! Jericho ducks and hammers away with punches, he has Layfield on the back foot… UNTIL ORTON CUTS HIM OFF WITH AN INVERTED BACKBREAKER!

    Orton mounts Jericho and pounds away with strikes to the head; he gets up and tells the crowd to shut their mouths as they chant for Y2J. Together, Orton and Layfield will look to dismantle Jericho before battling each other for the title of Royal Rumble victor. Orton picks Jericho up off the canvas, and whips him into the ropes – SCOOP SLAM CONNECTS!

    Now, Orton drops down to the canvas and slams the canvas with his fists… raising a hand in the air as Jericho struggles to his feet. He looks over at Layfield and tells him to watch this… AND ORTON GOES FOR THE RKO – ON JOHN LAYFIELD!! Orton turned on Layfield before he could get a knife in the back. Orton watches as Layfield bounces up off the canvas… AND ORTON SMASHES HIM WITH A CLOTHESLINE OVER THE TOP ROPE!

    Layfield clings onto life on the apron of the ring – much to the dismay of Orton. He shoots a look to Jericho… who is still down. Orton throws a few punches at Layfield but JBL blocks them… and he fights back inside the ring. Now, Layfield throws a knee into Orton’s stomach, and tosses him towards the corner. Layfield drives his forearm into the head of Orton… AND HITS A BIG BOOT THAT SENDS ORTON SPILLING OVER THE TOP ROPE.

    Raising his hand in the air, Layfield rushes back towards the ropes – LOOKING FOR THE CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL TO ELIMINATE ORTON…

    BUT JERICHO CUTS HIM OFF AT THE PASS AND USES LAYFIELD’S OWN MOMENTUM TO THROW HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!

    JBL IS OUT OF HERE – WE’RE DOWN TO TWO MEN!!

    ELIMINATION #28 – JOHN 'BRADSHAW' LAYFIELD @ 67:14 BY CHRIS JERICHO

    The final two men who entered the contest are the final two men surviving. One one side you have the Legend Killer, Randy Orton from Smackdown – and on the other you’ve got Chris Jericho, the man who has shocked the wrestling world by returning tonight. One of these men are going to WrestleMania 22 and will headline the event for a World Championship of their choosing.

    After eliminating Layfield from the match, Jericho backs away from the ropes as Orton enters the ring. They have a moment – both men understanding that they are one elimination from the biggest prize in the WWE. This is everything you work from in the WWE. Orton looks up at the WrestleMania sign… as does Jericho, and they collide! Both men swinging for the fences, Orton gets the advantage with a rake of the eyes, and Orton slings Jericho into the ropes.

    Orton ducks down for a back body drop but Jericho boots him in the face… AND PLANTS ORTON WITH A TIGER SUPLEX! Rolling to his feet, Jericho grabs Orton by the arm and slings him into the ropes and NAILS A DROPKICK TO THE FACE! The crowd roars with support as Jericho hooks Orton with a front face lock around the head, lifting him up and pushes him into the ropes. Jericho gives it a big push and manages to throw Orton over the top rope… but he lands on the apron and is back into the ring fairly quickly.

    Jericho shakes his head, he looks over the turnbuckle and climbs onto the second rope… daring Orton to stand – AND WHEN HE GOES JERICHO LEAPS OFF THE SECOND ROPE WITH A DROPKICK! Orton moves out if the way, though. The Legend Killer pounces, grabbing Jericho’s arm and driving his knee into it – attempting to weaken the limb that has the ability to save Jericho should he be thrown over the top rope.

    With laser like vision, Orton targets the arm now, yanking and twisting the joint all over the ring. Orton places it on the canvas and SLAMS HIS BOOT ONTO THE ELBOW JOINT AS HARD AS HE CAN! Jericho grimaces in pain as Orton lifts him up, places Jericho in a hammerlock… BEFORE HITTING A BACK SUPLEX WITH THE ARM STILL WRAPPED AROUND THE BACK! All of Jericho’s weight comes down on the arm – only aggravating the seriousness of the injury even more.

    Getting back to his feet, Orton stalks Jericho with a venom. He loads up the RKO… LAUNCHING HIMSELF AT JERICHO – BUT JERICHO GRABS THE LEGS!! The crowd jumps to their feet as Jericho tries to apply the Walls of Jericho but is obviously having trouble due to his arm not be one hundred percent. Orton keeps moving, which forces Jericho to adjust… AND HE CATAPULTS ORTON TOWARDS THE ROPES…

    AND ORTON GOES OVER THE TOP ROPE!!

    He lands on the apron – grasping the ropes with both hands and looking a little worried. ORTON HANGS ON FOR DEAR LIFE!! He tries to enter the ring again but Jericho drives a knee into him! Orton tilts backwards… and comes back to the ropes! Jericho, sensing a birth to the main event on the line, rushes forward and swings a punch with the bad arm – AND ORTON CATCHES IT… HE YANKS THE ARM DOWN ACROSS THE TIGHT RING ROPE!

    Jericho stumbles away clutching at his arm as Orton slides back into the ring, and he hits a DROPKICK TARGETED TO THE ARM! Orton pops back up, stomping all over the arm – he then uses the injured limb to control Jericho, pulling him back to his feet and shoves him into a corner of the ring. Orton goes for the elimination, Jericho forced to his one good hand to hold onto the ropes… AND HE USES HIS FEET TO KICK ORTON OFF! Jericho creates distance and rushes forward with a SPINNING WHEEL KICK!

    Down goes Orton! Jericho pops back up, his right hand hanging by his side – unusable for him right now. Jericho lifts Orton up with his good arm, he kicks him in the legs and delivers a hard chop before running back towards the ropes. Orton follows… AND HE BOOTS JERICHO IN THE FACE WITH A BIG BOOT! Jericho falls back against the ring ropes – ORTON RUSHES FORWARD FOR A CLOTHESLINE!

    AND JERICHO COUNTERS WITH A BACK BODY DROP…

    AND ORTON LANDS ON THE APRON!

    Jericho stumbles inside the ring, he hurries to the ropes and rebounds hard with a forearm using his good arm. Orton is rocked… HE TEETERS BACKWARDS HOLDING ONTO THE TOP ROPE WITH BOTH HANDS… BUT HE RETURNS TO A FIRM POSITION ON THE RING APRON. He’s by no means out of trouble just yet as Jericho comes back with a SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK! Orton loses his balance on the ring apron for a second and drops down… ONLY BARELY GRABBING THE ROPE AND STEADYING HIMSELF FROM HIS BACK ON THE RING APRON. That was as close a call as Orton has had tonight!

    Still in the ring, Jericho clutches at his bad arm – and moves towards the edge of the ring. He places a boot on Orton’s throat and pushes… DRIVING HIM TOWARD THE FLOOR… ORTON HANGS FOR A MOMENT… BUT GRABS THE ROPES AND ROLLS UNDERNEATH THE BOTTOM ROPE. Randy Orton has found a way back into the ring – and Jericho cannot believe it. He drops to a knee across the ring, assessing his own injury and it appears that Y2J knows he needs to end this now – time is not on his side.

    Orton is back on his feet now, and he connects with a right hand to Jericho, driving him back – Jericho responds with a chop to the chest. It’s a total reset with both men holding firm on their spots. Back and forth they trade punches and chops – Orton coming off second best as Jericho feeds off the support he is getting. As Jericho backs Orton up… THE LEGEND KILLER KICKS JERICHO’S BAD RIGHT ARM! That staggers Jericho… AND ORTON LOOKS TO DUMP HIM TO THE OUTSIDE – THROWING HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE! BUT JERICHO LANDS ON THE APRON, USING THAT GOOD ARM – HE MANAGES TO SURVIVE… AND ORTON IS SEETHING!! Randy Orton explodes forward, smashing Jericho’s ONLY HAND on the ring rope – it’s the only thing keeping him from falling! Punches, kicks – ORTON EVEN BITES THE GOD DAMN HAND BUT JERICHO REFUSES TO LET GO! Orton backs up now, he shouts at Jericho… AND RUSHES FORWARD FOR A BOOT… BUT JERICHO PULLS DOWN THE RING ROPE AND ORTON TUMBLES OVER ONTO THE APRON!

    Both men now stand on the ring apron, Jericho kicking at Orton in an attempt to knock him to the floor. Orton eats them… AND FIRES SOME KICKS BACK… BOTH MEN CLOBBERING EACH OTHER ON THE APRON – IT’S DO OR DIE IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE… ORTON IS STUNNED BY A JUMPING KNEE FROM JERICHO! He teeters backwards on the apron of the ring… BUT THE JUMPING KNEE FORCES JERICHO TO GRAB THE RING ROPE WITH HIS BAD ARM – THIS OPENS THE DOOR FOR ORTON… AND ORTON RUSHES FORWARD… ON THE APRON OF THE RING… FOR THE RKO… HE LANDS BACK FIRST AND GRABS THE BOTTOM ROPE… WHILST JERICHO FALLS TO THE FLOOR!

    ELIMINATION #29 – CHRIS JERICHO @ 71:25 BY RANDY ORTON

    WINNER: RANDY ORTON @ 71:25

    **RANDY ORTON WILL FACE EITHER THE WWE CHAMPION OR WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION AT WRESTLEMANIA 22**

    Jim Ross: Orton wins!! My God, Randy Orton has won the Royal Rumble here in Miami.

    Tazz: I told you a Smackdown guy was going to win this thing! Randy Orton called his shot, JR! He said that he should be World Heavyweight Champion; Orton wanted to be put into the title match earlier this evening but Teddy Long refused. Orton told him, if you don’t give me what I want I’ll win the Rumble and force you to recognise that I am a main event player. Tonight, Randy Orton has arrived!!

    Rolling back into then ring, Orton sits up on his knees – his fists clenched on the canvas in front of him as his music blasts over the speakers. The various sounds of the arena circling him yet Orton is in a world of his own… knowing that he has fulfilled his destiny.

    Jim Ross: He came into the match at number thirty, and then went on to eliminate three men on his way to claiming victory tonight. Randy Orton has won the Royal Rumble – and he becomes the first man to EVER win the event from the final entry spot.

    Tazz: We’ll be hearing about this for the next few months as we make our way to WrestleMania. Think about how the landscape of Smackdown has changed in the space of a few hours! Everything that was set in stone yesterday has been washed away by the tides of the Royal Rumble.

    With the referee at his side, Randy Orton staggers to his feet and begins to look around the arena. Nobody is happy that he has won, the camera showing the angry faces of the fans and those who are disappointed. Slowly, Orton has his hand raised by the referee as Lillian Garcia makes the official announcement at ringside.

    Tazz: An exciting finish to what was a great match overall. I’ve got to feel bad for Chris Jericho; he makes his return to the WWE tonight and comes so close to getting right back into the title picture. He spent so many months on the sideline, he looked like he hasn’t missed a beat but Randy Orton had that extra gear in him.

    Jim Ross: I may not like a lot of what Randy Orton says or does but you cannot take this win away from him. When it came down to the final two men – Jericho and Orton – it was the Legend Killer who targeted the arm of Y2J. He attacked a limb which proved vital in the final moments of the match – absolutely brilliant technical work from Orton. This kid is only going to get better, partner.

    Tazz: That’s the crazy thing, JR! Randy Orton isn’t even in his prime yet. He’s still learning and growing as a wrestler. Now, he has a date with Edge – the new World Heavyweight Champion – in the main event of WrestleMania 22!!

    Jim Ross: I’ll say that again for the folks at home. Yes, you heard that correctly. Edge from Raw is the new World Heavyweight Champion and as it stands now… he’ll meet Randy Orton at WrestleMania 22. Nobody could’ve seen this coming.

    The camera flashes over to the outside of the ring, Chris Jericho sits slumped against the barricade with his head in his hands – the returnee falling just short of a storybook return to the grandest stage of them all. Inside the ring, Orton begins to walk towards the turnbuckle, a smirk on his face, shouting at the fans that he told them so… a clear look of validation on his face.

    Jim Ross: We have seen it all this evening. Coming out of this match we have a lot to discuss – not just about the winner. I had hoped we would have an update on Rob Van Dam after that brutal assault by Triple H on our announce desk – no word yet on his condition. We saw the return of not just Jericho but also Jeff Hardy – what’s their status with the WWE? How about the involvement of WWE Champion Shawn Michaels and Shane McMahon – together helping eliminate John Cena! Cena, who lasted over an hour in the Rumble, only to be screwed yet again.

    Tazz: You’ve got a lot going on over on Raw, JR! Smackdown is just as crazy coming out of tonight. I think we will all remember the performance of Bobby Lashley in his first ever Royal Rumble! But tonight – whether you like him or not – is all about that man on the turnbuckle… RANDY ORTON!

    With pyro bursting all over the arena, Randy Orton points to the WrestleMania sign… smirking at the thought that he has proved the world wrong… he is going to the main event… and he will receive his shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.

    Jim Ross: Thank you so much for joining us tonight, ladies and gentlemen. It has been an honour to broadcast into your homes this evening. We end this night knowing one man that has his golden ticket to the main event of WrestleMania 22. In just 64 days, Randy Orton will make his way into Chicago to battle for a World Championship… and he earned that spot by defeating twenty nine other competitors – just like he said he would! Thank you, once again – goodnight!

    Orton holds his pose on the turnbuckle, a smug look on his face as the camera zooms in one final time… before fading to black.


    END OF SHOW
    Last edited by EZ3; 07-14-2019 at 08:31 AM.


    Sometimes I write stuff on the internet and people like it (sometimes).

  12. #52
    Little bitta the bubbly!

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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    The video packages are always something I look forward to with PPV events, because I’m an oddball. And thankfully, you’ve always brought the goods with the WCW events, and this was no different. Felt very important, very big league – which is what a Rumble should be made to feel like. Great job.

    J.R & Coach on commentary? That’ll never work. Does seem a bit odd that Lawler is just randomly given the night off for one of the big events of the year, and right away, I’m thinking he’s going to get a Rumble spot as a surprise entrant. Glad you just got on with things, rather than spend much time talking about Joey Styles write off on Raw.

    With only three matches before the Rumble, it was always possible you’d have to kick off with a biggie. J.R’s assessment of Flair was tremendous too, noting that he doesn’t have to be strong or fast in order to get the Figure Four applied, giving him hope here as a challenger. The smirk between both men as the referee called for a clean match was a lovely little piece of added detail too. You’ve set the stage here nicely.

    I must be honest though, I found it hard to really get into this opener. With Michaels and Flair, I’d expect some added drama, and for you to pull out all the stops, given this is likely to be the biggest match they wind up having with each other in this alternate universe … but whilst the match was fine, it just meandered for quite a bit. Michaels targeting the back and Flair targeting the legs was a good idea – especially Flair going for the legs in order for the Figure Four to be bought as a legit finish later in the match, but I expected a lot more intensity in the writing, and more creative spots.

    For instance, with the way you teased at the start before the match that the two had smirked at one another when told by the referee he wanted a clean match, I was all set to see Michaels and Flair one upping each other with shady tactics throughout … but it never really came. I do commend you on being disciplined in not prostituting all the big spots and having a bunch of Sweet Chin Music attempts littered through the match, and the Flying Elbow to the back of Flair was a nice change to see, which also worked for this match in particular given the work from Shawn on Flairs back.

    The closing stretch was pretty good stuff though. As I said earlier, the leg work earlier in the match helped make the Figure Four seem like a big deal when Flair locked it on, and you wrote out the predicament Shawn was in really well. The Sharpshooter was a fun addition to the match too, and Flair’s counter to it was something different, as opposed to simply making the ropes, and the finish itself being rather basic in that Shawn tuned up the band and nailed the superkick for a second time, came as a surprise, but the clean, non-controversial finish helps legitimize Michaels as a heel champ.

    Match was definitely missing some extra flavour and some classic Nature Boy tricks and spots etc (no strut, no flop, no getting caught up top) – especially given the size of the opportunity he had here, you’d really expect him to pull out all the stops – but a decent enough match to kick the show off. Credit though for selling the hell out of Michaels knee being in a bad way throughout the match – he didn’t even kip up, which sells the injury even more imo. Unless you’ve dropped that from his arsenal now he’s a heel?

    Ah great. Two months of Peter Gabriels ‘Big Time’… also, isn’t WrestleMania 63 days away? It’s got to be 63 or 70 anyway…

    Eeesh. A begging Cena is not a good look imo. Especially begging a guy he was just locked into a long feud with a few months ago. It’s a hard line to walk here imo, as I honestly loved the #31 stipulation, but Cena going from guy to guy asking if they’ll give him their shot is a tough one to sell if you want Cena to be the top guy. I know they’re completely different personalities, but could you ever see Steve Austin in his pomp asking The Rock or Ken Shamrock if they could see it in their hearts to give him their spot in a Rumble?

    Little tease of JBL and Batista, eh? I don’t see that being the direction for a second, but I always like these kind of interactions, just teasing all the different possibilities that could come out of a Rumble.

    The Hardcore Rules definitely helped set this match apart, and gave you something to go for right from the start. Victoria looked like a beast in the early going, with Trish even showing concern, so it really felt like the deck was stacked considering the champion was both overmatched by the challenger and outnumbered with the outside influence too. I loved that spot of Torrie and Candice just firing everything into the ring to assist Victoria btw – and some good weapons thrown into the mix too.

    Great use of the Matrix spot, with Trish then able to use the hairspray too – thought that was a nice addition, and Victoria blocking that third chair shot was another big ‘wow’ moment for me, with the way Victoria was positioned in this match as a bit of a monster. Candice and Torrie returning after Trish initially dealt with them earlier was always on the cards, and it had to happen given the build up to this match.

    The switching back to Mickie backstage throughout the match was a great touch too, given how much of a role she has played in the build up to this point. And it all built up beautifully for the pay off at the end of the match, and the tease that Mickie had disappeared as if she was heading to the ring, only for Ashley to be the one to save Trish. Should really have thought of her as being the one to help Trish out, but it never crossed my mind when casting my predictions. Hot finish anyway, and a good pay off to the questions coming into the match. I wonder how Mickie will take that image of Trish and Ashley celebrating together though??

    Absolutely nailed Triple H here. Typical of his persona – even as a heel – to not show any fear, even of the threats of the top guy. I don’t want to labour the point I made on Cena earlier, but at least he fired up here when confronted by Triple H, and teased taking action in order to get into the match.

    Well, if Simon Dean can’t be a Rumble participant, at least we’ll get a fun segment out of him. Some fun insults here, and also; what a bargain, saving a whole cent if I buy the Simon System with a one off payment instead of four instalments!! Lol. Was wondering where this was headed, and obviously THE ROCK is a massive deal to do in Miami – makes total sense. Fine back and forth here too, and it’s impossible to ever get The Rock wrong. Fun promo with the feel good ending (at least for everyone by Simon & Sylvan) to break things up a bit.

    This is the one I was most looking forward to seeing on this show. With that one promo on Smackdown, you sold me on this match, and it’s just unfortunate it’s not happening at WrestleMania – but I get why you elected not to do that. And a good idea to go right for it, much like their real life first encounter. Coming out of the gates like you did set the tone for a tremendous big man battle, that had everything I felt was missing from the opener, though it felt super odd that Batista needed to put a foot on the rope from a Sidewalk slam.

    Everything else was really superb, I must say. The match flowed along at what felt like a breakneck speed, with the two guys just throwing everything at one another. I especially liked that sequence with Batista breaking the Chokeslam attempt with headbutts and following up with a Spear, and I’ve always LOVED that Taker running DDT, so kudos for finding a spot for it in this match. And despite both guys eating a lot of big moves, again, much like the opener, I loved the restraint you showed in not overdoing it with the Tombstone or the Batista Bomb, and having both Batista and Taker make a point of doing anything they could to avoid both moves.

    I’ll be pedantic though in saying that I don’t recall ever seeing Taker go for Old School a second time if he successfully hit it the first time. My guess is that you just wanted to get that Spinebuster counter in!! And, fair enough, because it’s a great counter. Both men getting to kick out of the others power bomb finish was to be expected in the end, and you built to both of those kick outs extremely well through the course of the match … but I hated this non-finish in the end. Mostly because of the build for this match itself – it deserved a winner.

    I’ll give you this though, I didn’t call this happening. Edge cashing in on Batista was not on my radar – not on this show at least. I’ve a lot of problems with the finish of the title match still; the non-finish to such a highly promoted FIRST TIME EVER match leaves a really bad taste, and Batista being on the verge of defeat too against Taker doesn’t make a tonne of sense right now either. If either of Taker or Batista should be more pissed off coming out of this, it’s Taker. He had the match won.

    The one saving grace to the non-finish of the match is, of course, the fact we got the Money in the Bank Cash In. And seeing as I also need to remember this is the FIRST ever cash in, it’s a really big deal … so in the grand scheme, I’m probably overreacting to the non-finish. Really puzzled right now though as to where you’re heading here. The post match stuff was (rightly) all about Edge and Taker, with Batista well and truly out of it and beaten, so it suggests Edge/Taker could be the direction? Either way, sending Edge to Smackdown is a major shot in the arm for the main event picture on that show.

    So it appears as if Long has given in and Orton has got a good draw like he stated he wanted.

    LOL at Tazz picking Booker T. That’s what I love about these pieces of commentary, when guys get to make outlandish picks for the Rumble.

    Well, you gave away this #1 in the advertisement thread, but it certainly worked in building up my anticipation to see how the rest of the match would play out. Having at least one big name to start things became a bit of a tradition around this time, and you didn’t disappoint, bringing the goods with #2 too. Excellent pay off to the #31 stip, and Cena making the most of Edge’s cash in. The switch backstage was nicely done too, I felt.

    Oh, and I endorse this format for the Rumble match.

    Having two sacrificial lambs to get tossed by the two big names early was a good idea, and the added bonus of Kash and Tajiri being ECW alumni to further forward the Trips feud with everything Extreme. Having Henry be the next guy was a smart move in order to allow the ring to start to fill up, as there’s legit reasons why he wouldn’t just get tossed aside like Kash or Tajiri, and obviously can pose a threat to Cena and Hunter, whilst Holly gets to be another sacrificial lamb to give Henry a spotlight elimination. All solid, sensible stuff thus far.

    Angle coming in early, and we’ve three big main eventers already, with London getting a nice chance to shine with some big names too, whilst also serving as a buffer entry of sorts between Angle and FUCKING DIESEL!! You just had to do it, huh!? At least I called it – of course Kevin Nash was going to get a run out. Glad you made a big deal of him and Triple H staring down too. Lashley coming out like a man possessed was a tremendous piece of writing, and the elimination of Mark Henry was superb too. Great continuation of that issue, and Lashley being able to eliminate Henry on his own is a big moment for him.

    Wow, Paul London is taking ALL the punishment, lol. But he recovered way, way, way too quickly from the Worlds Strongest Slam and AGAIN after the Jacknife. Loved the writing for his elimination though at the hands of Big Show from the lawndart by Diesel. And it seems as if Lashley is on course for the ‘Diesel’ push in this Rumble, ironically after tossing out the legend. Expected RVD to be out here full of piss and vinegar after his demeanour backstage, and the write up of his attack on Triple H was really well done, as was the Van Daminator to Lashley, but of course those red hot sequences have to stop somewhere, and who better to slow RVD down than the Big Show?

    LMAO at Booker T’s entry. He’s been a highlight with his antics on Smackdown, and I appreciate you working that into this match too. Somewhat disappointed in the way RVD eliminated Triple H in the end though. For such a personal issue, I’d have preferred to see Van Dam convincingly toss Trips out, or get screwed over himself, but him just taking advantage of the situation presented to him thanks to Big Show felt a bit cheap, considering the rage he came into the match with. Still, a big surprise elimination at this point. And no shock that he took exception to that elimination, and came back for revenge. That all but confirms that this is the direction for both men heading toward WrestleMania, and it’s certainly going to be a heated rivalry at this point.

    Oh- Jeff Hardy!! That’s a shocker, but he’ll be a welcome addition to the (Smackdown?) roster, and you set up for it nicely with Matt being double teamed at the time and needing some help. If anything though, I would’ve held off on Jeff’s entry even by one more spot, just to let that Trips/RVD deal have more time to pass by, as I’d worry that his return could be overshadowed by that beatdown. And wow – this is quickly becoming a break out Rumble showing for Lashley. Henry, Diesel and Show is a hell of a list of victims to claim in your first Rumble.

    Matt & Jeff tossing out Booker and Helms works, and I take back my earlier guess of Jeff’s destination – looks like he could be in line for Raw to challenge Helms with that elimination. At this point, I should also note that this is really breezing by. There’s hardly been a lull in the action, with some kind of talking point – if not multiple – from every single two minute period. Nitro getting the elimination of Matt was a BIG shock. Expected the U.S Champion to last a little longer, and pull off a few more nostalgia spots with Jeff, but it’s a nice minute in the spotlight for Nitro.

    Masters and Carlito entering back to back is brilliant. Clearly set up by McMahon, and having them quickly show themselves to be on the same page by helping each other out in the elimination of Jeff Hardy was a good idea. Makes them look like a legit threat if they’re in cahoots, and it makes sense that their main focus tends to be Cena. Them taking it to two bona fide main eventers in Cena and Angle is a good rub for the pair too imo, and working together to eliminate Angle is a BIG deal too.

    Yeah – this is Lashleys Rumble. Eliminating both of the tag champions?? Not a bad accomplishment at all. He’s coming out of this as a HUGE deal. You wrote Kane’s initial rampage really well, but Kane being the one to eliminate Masters and Carlito struck me as odd though. That was a spot that really, I feel, should’ve been Cena’s. After the good work I thought you’d done in making Masters & Carlito look dangerous by working as a pair, that was quickly rubbed out with Kane eliminating them both with little problems.

    I loved that spot in the 2000 Rumble when Bossman wouldn’t get in the ring with Rikishi, so of course I love Finlay being smart enough not to walk into the fire and face Kane on his own for some self preservation. And of all people to pick to beat up on the floor, Cena makes the most sense as the guy that’s been in the match the longest. Thought that was all done well in order to get to the showdown of the two big men in Lashley & Kane. Yikes, after being impressed with the way you handled Finlay’s entry, I’m equally unimpressed by him being eliminated that quickly. It’s still early days in his run, and while this is likely setting up a Rey feud, I think he could’ve benefited from a better showing here ultimately.

    No qualms with Kendrick’s entry being late – can’t have all big names in the closing stages, and that sequence of him and Rey teaming up to take down Kane was great stuff. The late entry for Kennedy should ensure he gets a half decent showing, and making quick work of Kendrick at least gives him an elimination to his name. Was hoping for some kind of comedy skit with Striker upon his entry, as otherwise, it just felt a little bland to have him in the match this late on, and he quickly faded into the background. It’s also hit me that we’re still waiting on Orton…

    Late draw for J.B.L adds to the star power – but WOW at Rey being the one to eliminate Kane. Given Kanes recent actions, I fully expected him to blow up here and go on a rampage, so I’m pleased you restrained yourself from doing that, after Triple H’s actions earlier. Chavo getting his shit in and getting an elimination of Striker before going himself was fine for what it was; a good burst of action to cover that two minute period – and I think it’s great that it was JBL eliminating Chavo here after Layfield owed his entire main event run to the Eddie feud.

    JERICHO~!! You hit a home run on the surprises here; a legend and two big returns. And a great sequence for Jericho’s initial burst too, with Jericho playing all the hits, and no shame in Kennedy bowing out at the hands of Y2J either. Orton getting the plum draw instantly makes him the favourite now. It’s either him, Cena or Jericho at this point as I can’t see you repeating history with Rey, JBL isn’t hot enough, and Lashley’s performance is victory enough here … and him being eliminated by Cena is perfectly fine. Getting dumped by the biggest star after a starmaking performance?? Hell of a showing.

    Glad to see Rey gone at this point too – just too many memories of 2006 in real life, lol. Heartbreak – no pun intended – for Cena in the end, and if he wasn’t winning, this was the right way to eliminate him, and further the issue with Michaels and the McMahons screwing him over. Should be a great chase toward WrestleMania for Cena versus Michaels. He didn’t NEED the Rumble win, and by not winning, it gives you a lot more wiggle room with storytelling toward WrestleMania.

    I’ve a bit of a hard time buying that JBL/Orton sequence. I can get past JBL bouncing off the mat after the RKO, but there’s no way he should’ve been hanging on after the clothesline over the top. That’s an easy tumble to the floor from still being knocked loopy by the RKO. The fact he actually still fought his way back in makes the RKO spot rather redundant, as he ended up essentially no selling it, and he ended up eliminated seconds later anyway.

    Anyway, as for the final two, you pulled off an excellent back and forth sequence with plenty of close calls before Orton finally saw off Jericho with that RKO on the apron. Thought that was a really well written, dramatic conclusion, with the weakened arm of Jericho playing a big part – something I don’t recall ever seeing in a Rumble before. Really inventive spots, I thought. Great job – both on the match as a whole, and that closing sequence.

    Orton heading to Mania then. And who the fuck knows what direction you’re heading in over on the Smackdown side of things. While I had Orton pegged (with Cena) as a potential winner, it was because I thought we’d be heading toward Orton/Batista at Mania. Now, with Edge as champion, and Taker rightly pissed at how that went down … and Batista with (some) claims for a rematch having just lost the title after a super long run … the Road to WrestleMania over on Smackdown surrounding the WWE title is going to be super interesting.

    Overall, opening match aside, I thought this show was well worth the wait, capped off with a fantastic Rumble match – which is the most important thing. The match flew by, had plenty of highlights, surprises and talking points; everything you could want, really. Top stuff.

  13. #53
    White Iverson
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    Re: The Gorilla Position



    Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter broke the news earlier this evening, and it has since been confirmed by World Wrestling Entertainment in a press release, that Saturday Night’s Main Event will make a return on the Road to WrestleMania. Currently set to be a Monday Night Raw exclusive event, Saturday Night’s Main Event will take place on March 4, 2006 airing live from the Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Once a staple of professional wrestling, Saturday Night’s Main Event as an event has not been used by WWE since 1992.

    This means that Saturday Night’s Main Event will act as the final pitstop on the Road to WrestleMania for WWE. Rumours have been circling all day that Shawn Michaels is currently set to be defending the WWE Championship on this show. As reported late last night, Shawn Michaels was said to be highly disappointed in his match with Ric Flair at the Royal Rumble. Michaels, who has spent most of his career being lauded for his in-ring performances, has made his displeasure known to Vince McMahon and fellow higher ups within the company at the way he has been made to compete since turning heel at New Year’s Revolution. Scenes backstage following the opening match on Sunday saw both Michaels and Flair speaking with McMahon – all three seemingly coming to the same understanding that the match wasn’t what it should’ve been. As a result, Shawn Michaels has begun pushing for another title defence at Saturday Night’s Main Event. The decision to bring the event back has been in the works for a month now but Shawn Michaels’ inclusion and potential title defence has only be in the works since the fallout of the WWE Title Match at the Royal Rumble just twenty four hours ago.

    The current runtime for Saturday Night’s Main Event is two hours on NBC. While talks of a card are in the beginning stages, approximately four matches will be schedule for the event including the rumoured WWE Championship Match. Hot of the heels of a successful Royal Rumble, Kurt Angle and Kane have been marked as the two most likely candidates for a program with Shawn Michaels. After a strong showing in the Royal Rumble, and a recent shift in attitude made way by the heel turn of the Heartbreak Kid, Kurt Angle has been positioned as the top babyface on Raw outside of John Cena. In the coming weeks it’s to be expected that Angle will continue to shed his past heelish ways and embrace a character focusing on his grit and determination as highlighted by his Olympic Gold Medal victory with a broken neck. Angle had been cheered previously during his feud with John Cena, the two splitting the audiences, so the decision to shift Angle into a hero was believed to be the best for everyone since they’d only have to switch half the audience.

    Meanwhile, Kane is the other option being discussed as of this morning. Kane’s involvement would be spearheaded by his rampage a few weeks ago on Raw and revolve under him being an unhinged monster who cannot be controlled – thus causing McMahon to send “the dogs” after the Big Red Machine to protect his chosen WWE Champion. Kane is coming off a Rumble performance that saw him eliminate both Carlito and Chris Masters. While there was some speculation that Kane’s violent streaks were leading to a heel turn it can be confirmed that is not the case. As discussed last week, Monday Night Raw is felt to have a stacked roster of heels and McMahon does not want to increase that. He felt so strongly about this that Chris Jericho, who wished to return as a heel, was persuaded by McMahon to start as a babyface with a potential heel run down the line.



    UPDATED ROSTERS:
    *Accurate as of 30/01/2006*

    Spoiler:



    ~ The Roster ~
    Antonio
    Ashley Massaro
    Candice Michelle
    Carlito
    Charlie Haas
    Chavo Guerrero
    Chris Jericho

    Chris Masters
    Gene Snitsky
    Gregory Helms
    John Cena
    Kane
    Kurt Angle
    Lance Cade
    Lita
    Matt Striker
    Mickie James
    Orlando Jordan
    Ric Flair
    Rob Conway
    Rob Van Dam
    Romeo
    Rosey
    Shawn Michaels
    Shelton Benjamin
    Tajiri
    Big Show
    Trevor Murdoch
    Triple H
    Trish Stratus
    Tyson Tomko
    Val Venis
    Victoria
    Viscera

    ~ Stables And Tag Teams ~
    Lita (with Edge)
    Ashley, Mickie James & Trish Stratus

    Kane & Big Show
    Gene Snitsky & Tyson Tomko (with Daivari)
    The Heartbreak Foundation: Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, Shane McMahon & Mr. McMahon
    The Heart Throbs: Antonio & Romeo
    Cade & Murdoch: Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
    V-Squared: Val Venis & Viscera
    World's Greatest Tag Team: Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin

    Vince's Devils: Victoria, Candice Michelle & Torrie Wilson

    ~ Administration ~
    WWE Chairman: Mr. McMahon
    Play-by-play Commentator: Jim Ross
    Colour Commentator: Jonathan Coachman
    Colour Commentator: Jerry Lawler

    Backstage Interviewers: Maria & Todd Grisham
    Ring Announcer: Lillian Garcia


    ~ Current Champions ~
    WWE Championship: Shawn Michaels
    WWE Intercontinental Championship: Gregory Helms
    WWE Women’s Championship: Trish Stratus
    World Tag Team Championships: World's Greatest Tag Team

    ...




    ~ The Roster ~

    Batista
    Bobby Lashley
    Boogeyman
    Booker T
    Brian Kendrick
    Chad Dick
    Christy Hemme
    Edge
    Eugene
    Fit Finlay
    Funaki

    Hardcore Holly
    James Dick
    Jeff Hardy

    Jillian
    Joey Mercury
    John 'Bradshaw' Layfield
    Johnny Nitro
    Juventud
    Ken Kennedy
    Kid Kash
    Mark Henry
    Matt Hardy
    Melina
    Nunzio
    Paul Burchill
    Paul London
    Psicosis
    Randy Orton
    Rey Mysterio
    Scotty 2 Hotty
    Simon Dean
    Super Crazy
    Sylvan
    The Undertaker
    Vito
    William Regal

    ~Stables and Tag Teams ~

    Edge (with Lita)
    Booker T (with Sharmell)

    Paul Burchill & William Regal
    John 'Bradshaw' Layfield (with Jillian)

    The Dicks: Chad Dick & James Dick
    The FBI: Nunzio & Vito
    The Hooligans: Paul London & Brian Kendrick
    The Mexicools: Juventud, Psicosis & Super Crazy
    MNM: Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro & Melina

    ~ Administration ~

    General Manager: Theodore Long
    Play-by-play Commentator: Michael Cole
    Colour Commentator: Tazz
    Backstage Interviewer: Todd Grisham & Kristal Marshall
    Ring Announcer: Tony Chimel

    ~ Current Champions ~
    World Heavyweight Championship: Edge
    WWE United States Championship: Matt Hardy
    WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Simon Dean
    WWE Tag Team Championships: MNM





    Big thanks to Wolfy for the feedback. I'll be sure to address a few of your points once I get Raw finished. Appreciate everyone who has read the show so far. I've decided to throw out some big news for this post in the first post Royal Rumble update. You have also got a roster update as I'll be leaving the original roster on the front page as is for this thread. That way it allows new readers to read from the start without getting all confused as to who is on which show. I'll be doing a roster update after every PPV to keep this easy for everyone, and myself, to track the rosters.

    The next couple of shows will be in recap, btw. The Rumble took a lot out of me. I think that by going with recaps for the next couple of shows it'll allow me to develop the storylines at a much more consistent rate than I've been able to do as of late. That way I should be motivated for the final stretch after No Way Out which I hope to be doing in full heading into WrestleMania.
    Last edited by EZ3; 07-19-2019 at 06:16 AM.


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  14. #54
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    Re: The Gorilla Position



    THE MONSTER & THE OLYMPIAN

    PREVIEW

    The dust has barely managed to settle after what was a historic Royal Rumble event. The Road to WrestleMania has officially kicked off and now all eyes turn to Monday Night Raw. In what was a rare turn of events the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view saw a WWE Championship match begin the show. In a back and forth contest, Shawn Michaels successfully retained the WWE Championship against Nature Boy Ric Flair. While Michaels won the title under suspicious circumstances but his victory at the Royal Rumble was not tainted in such a respect. Michaels and Flair battled it out as two of the top performers of all-time, both on the verge of victory multiple times, until the Heartbreak Kid connected with a Superkick for the three count. Shawn Michaels, never one to let an opportunity to gloat pass him by, will open Monday Night Raw to address the legions of WWE fans about his victory.

    People come and go, and titles change hands… all except the WWE Women’s Championship. For over a year Trish Stratus has ruled over the women’s division and last night she faced her biggest challenge. Stratus looked across the ring to see three women with the sole aim of ripping the WWE Women’s Championship from her grasp. With the odds stacked against her, Stratus not only had to contend with the numbers disadvantage but she also had to fend off a No Disqualifications stipulation that the powerhouse Victoria took full advantage of during the contest. When things looked lost, Stratus being beaten on by all three of Vince’s Devils, Ashley Massaro would make the save and assist the WWE Women’s Champion in fending off the Devils. Tonight, Massaro will compete in singles action for the first time since she fought Stratus for the gold a few weeks ago. Not only will Massaro compete but rumours are flying around that Mickie James and Trish Stratus are set to meet each other backstage to have a talk!

    We are moving towards a new era in professional wrestling and if one man believes he should be at the forefront it’s Gregory Helms. The reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion issued an open challenge last week which saw him defeat a former champion. Once again, Helms will step into the ring and call out any former WWE Intercontinental Champion to face him in a singles match. Who will answer the call this week as Gregory Helms seeks to prove to the world that he is the true Eye of the Storm.

    During the Royal Rumble match it’s going to get personal as dreams of heading to the main event of WrestleMania are dashed. Nobody took their defeat worse than Triple H at the hands of Rob Van Dam. These two men had clashed weeks earlier when The Game continued his one man crusade against hardcore wrestling – specifically those who had worn the colours of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Hunter had been disgusted with the credit that Mick Foley received for making The Game into the main event star he is today. So, The Game destroyed him and removed Foley from the WWE. That wasn’t enough, the stain of ECW remained in the WWE… so Triple H assaulted the Voice of ECW Joey Styles which has seen him unable to commentate. That all led up to Triple H’s elimination by Van Dam whereafter The Game illegally returned to the ring, eliminated RVD and nailed a Pedigree on the announce desk. We are sure to hear from the Cerebral Assassin on Monday Night Raw whilst Rob Van Dam will NOT be on the show due to injuries sustained last night.

    In the final bit of news we will see a title match on Monday Night Raw! The World Tag Team Championships will be put on the line as the World’s Greatest Tag Team defend the gold against Tyson Tomko and Gene Snitsky. This comes after these two teams engaged in singles matches against each other with each team winning one of the two matches.

    Confirmed Matches:


    World Tag Team Championship Match:

    World's Greatest Tag Team [c] vs. Tyson Tomko & Gene Snitsky (w/Daivari)

    Open Challenge:
    Gregory Helms vs. A Former Intercontinental Champion

    Ashley Massaro will compete in singles action

    Triple H will address the aftermath of his elimination in the Royal Rumble

    The Heartbreak Foundation will open Monday Night Raw




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  15. #55
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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Whilst I didn't leave actual feedback, I am now up to date and I thought the Rumble was a terrific show for the most part. Your writing is very crisp. SNME returning is always a good thing although it will feel a little strange being a single branded event. Not necessarily a bad thing or anything, but just not something that's happened (if my memory serves me correctly).

    As for Raw, not a lot to go off here in terms of match card. Tag Title match should be solid, however looking forward to seeing who answers Helms' challenge this week. On top of that, expecting an epic Triple H promo as his program with RVD continues to take shape, and intrigued to see if anybody steps up to HBK after the Rumble. Maybe Angle?

    Either way, this BTB is definitely in good shape, looking forward to seeing how your Mania card pans out. I'll be reading.








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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Heat Internet Tapings:
    1. Mickie James (w/Trish Stratus) defeated Shelly Martinez
    2. Chavo Guerrero defeated Orlando Jordan
    3. Lance Cade (w/Trevor Murdoch) defeated Tajiri
    Monday Night Raw | January 30, 2006 | Orlando, Florida




    ...


    "THE MONSTER & THE OLYMPIAN"


    The show opened with the arrival of the Heartbreak Foundation; WWE Champion Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon. It was by no means a warm reception for the group as Michaels mocked the audience from the moment he walked onto the stage, limping down to the ring selling the punishment he sustained due to the Figure Four at the Royal Rumble. Michaels kicked things off by gloating about his victory over the sixteen time World Champion, and highlighted that he did it all by himself. Arrogant as ever, Michaels ranted against those who had questioned the legitimacy of his WWE Championship reign and said that last night was his ultimate triumph when he kicked Ric Flair’s teeth down his throat. That received a round of applause from the other members of the Heartbreak Foundation. Briefly, Michaels received praise from Mr. McMahon for overcoming so many obstacles that the “ungrateful fans” had put in front of him throughout the years. Mr. McMahon applauded Michaels’ in-ring performance and called it one for the ages.

    Things took a turn towards a new target thereafter, Mr. McMahon offered his congratulations to the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble – Randy Orton. That drew a big negative response from the crowd but McMahon continued on, and wished him luck against the World Heavyweight Champion… making it clear that it would be by no means a smart decision for the Legend Killer to even think about challenging the Heartbreak Kid. Chants of “Cena” filled the arena, and as if almost on cue, Mr. McMahon began to discuss John Cena’s role in the Royal Rumble last night. He mentioned that Cena had found a loophole in the rules last night – in fact he called what Cena did cheating! According to Mr. McMahon there was no honour in Cena’s Royal Rumble performance and that the one hour run was tainted. When it came to the elimination of John Cena, the Heartbreak Foundation did what they had to do not to protect Shawn Michaels as some ignorant folk would have you believe. From the mouth of Mr. McMahon himself, “My son, Shane, and Shawn screwed John Cena last night to maintain the integrity of the Royal Rumble!”

    Out onto the stage came Kurt Angle to a mixed reaction made up of mostly cheers. Michaels was visibly outraged that Angle had the nerve to interrupt them and immediately called the Olympian out. Angle remained at the top of the stage, he said he wasn’t born yesterday and that him running down to the ring for a fight would only end badly. No, Angle wanted a fight but he wanted it on fair terms – an even playing field. McMahon sneered, calling Angle a man who had once been great only to lose himself trying to please the idiots in the crowd. Angle shook his head and brought up that he wants only one thing – the WWE Championship! Last night, Carlito and Masters took away his chance at going to WrestleMania so now he plans on getting payback. McMahon and Michaels both laughed; daring Angle to come down to the ring once more but Angle said he’d meet them in the ring later tonight – in the main event!

    Michaels pointed to Carlito and Masters, he taunted Angle saying that the three of them would face Angle anytime he wished – with or without partners. That was all Angle needed to hear, he smirked and said that he had partners… and to the surprise of everyone Big Show and Kane marched out from the back! It was set; the Heartbreak Foundation (Shawn Michaels, Carlito and Chris Masters) versus Kurt Angle, Big Show and Kane in the main event of Monday Night Raw!

    **Commercial Break**

    After the first commercial break, Gregory Helms made his way to the ring with a microphone in hand for another Open Challenge against a former WWE Intercontinental Champion. Helms was booed heavily by the crowd even before he spoke. He began by getting some cheap heat, exaggerating his own performance in the Royal Rumble last night and called it one of the great runs of all-time. With the title belt on display, Helms reminded the audience that this was an open invitation to any former WWE Intercontinental Champion who wanted to get into the ring with the Eye of the Storm. No matter who walked down the ramp, Helms told the crowd that they would be dealt with quickly and sent packing because he was the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time and nobody could touch the champion of Monday Night Raw.

    The opening contest turned out to be Gregory Helms up against Rikishi. The latter appearing for a one night only deal just as Helms’ opponent from last week. Rikishi was able to put on a show for the crowd, dancing around and hitting a few of his key spots. When it came time for Helms to take the Stink Face, the champion evaded and took control of the match with his speed. Helms would strike with the Shining Wizard at 05:12, knocking the former champion to the canvas, and score the pinfall victory.

    Following the match, Helms grabbed the title belt and posed with a foot on the chest of Rikishi to loud jeers from the crowd. A large smirk appeared on the face of the WWE Intercontinental Champion as he exited the ring and could be heard saying that the open invitation was on for next week.

    Raw switched to the backstage arena, specifically the women’s locker-room where Trish Stratus and Mickie James were having a conversation. The WWE Women’s Champion received nothing but praise from her biggest fan, and James showed no ill will towards Stratus after showing signs of frustration last week. Mickie congratulated Trish on her victory over Victoria last night and said that it was inspirational to not just her but to all the young girls in the crowd. Stratus thanked Mickie and, upon Mickie mentioning that she had a match scheduled for Heat, volunteered to be in her corner for the match. Before Mickie could celebrate, Vince’s Devils appeared in the locker-room and made a challenge for a six-woman tag team match next week. Trish stepped up, got in Victoria’s face and accepted the challenge – telling the girls that she, Mickie and Ashley would send the three of them crawling back to Mr. McMahon.

    **Commercial Break**

    After the commercial break, the announce team viewed footage from security cameras outside of a local hotel where Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas were staying. The camera footage from earlier this morning showed Tyson Tomko and Gene Snitsky assaulting the reigning World Tag Team Champions in a parking lot. The assault is quick, the attackers striking and getting away from the scene within a minute. Shelton is able to fight Tomko off for the most part but Charlie Haas, with injured ribs already, is thrown into a car window by Snitsky. As a result, we are informed by Jim Ross that tonight’s World Tag Team Title match has been postponed… in its place will be Tomko and Snitsky versus Shelton Benjamin in a handicap match!

    In the second match of the night, Ashley Massaro went up against a local female competitor from the area. Ashley was hyped on commentary by Jim Ross and replays of her involvement at the Royal Rumble were shown on the titantron. In the ring, Massaro was in total control of the match and this contest was clearly made to act as a showcase for the young lady. It was a very basic contest, Ashley never selling for the local competitor and she put her opponent away at 03:02 after a second rope elbow drop for the pinfall.

    Backstage, Ric Flair stood alone with a microphone in his hand and he spoke directly to the fans. While he came up short at the Royal Rumble, Flair said that he was so close to claiming the WWE Championship. He felt the fans behind him, he saw all those in the crowd that were willing him on… and to those people the Nature Boy says thank you. He points out that this is not the end of the road. No matter how much Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon or anyone else might want to count him out – Ric Flair said that the end is not now. We are at the beginning, the Road to WrestleMania and Flair vowed to be back to the top of the card, where he belongs, sooner rather than later.

    **Commercial Break**

    The third contest of the night saw Tyson Tomko and Gene Snitsky, along with their manager Daivari, go up against one half of the World Tag Team Champions, Shelton Benjamin. It was mentioned on commentary that this was supposed to be for the titles however due to the attack by the challengers, Charlie Haas was left unable to compete as doctors refused to clear him for in-ring competition. That has left Benjamin to be forced into facing both of these monsters by himself. It’s a three versus one encounter this evening with Benjamin selling the assault from earlier in the night. He struggled against the numbers advantage – Tomko and Snitsky able to tag in and out quickly, staying fresh while Benjamin is forced to do it all on his own. At one point, Benjamin does begin to gain some control… only for Daivari to grab his ankle and switch the momentum right back to his team. The match concluded with Daivari ripping off a turnbuckle pad right before Tomko shoved Benjamin into it! Benjamin stumbled back and Tomko lifted him up onto his shoulders for the Tomko Cutter and the three count 04:53!

    Post-match, Daivari grabbed a microphone from ringside and demanded that the world take notice of his two monsters. Daivari said that this type of domination is not a rarity but rather it is reality when you’re standing in the ring with the Brutalisers! On commentary, Coachman immediately puts over the new name associated with Tomko and Snitsky, praising Daivari as a creative genius. Daivari argued that the current World Tag Team Champions were weak compared to his men. They had failed to meet their obligation in defending the titles as advertised this evening… and as a result they should be stripped of the gold! Daivari was vehement about this, and dubbed the Brutalisers the uncrowned World Tag Team Champions because of their victory this evening. While being showered with boos from the crowd, Daivari stood in the middle of his monsters and raised their hands high in the air… promising that this would be a sight the WWE fans need to get used to because they’ll be seeing it for a long time.

    In the interview area, John Cena spoke with Todd Grisham about his hour long performance last night in the Royal Rumble and ultimately his elimination thanks in large part to Shawn Michaels and Shane McMahon. It was clear as day that the disappointment of his elimination had not left Cena. He could barely gather the words to describe what happened to him. His hands remained clenched in fists the entire time he spoke; repeating over and over that he would find a way to get his hands on Shawn Michaels and take back his WWE Championship. Cena said that roadblocks were something everyone faced no matter what your employment was – he was just like everyone else sitting in the stands this evening, they all have to overcome something and this was just another test for Cena to complete. He wasn’t going to let the Heartbreak Foundation get the better of him… and while he has no clear path to WrestleMania he would find a way.

    At this point, Matt Striker interrupted the interview and said that Cena was correct in one thing he had said – he was just like the people in the stands… they’re all losers too! Striker mocked Cena’s hope for getting back to WrestleMania, and told him that Cena should start thinking about a new career path because he has zero chance at getting to face Shawn Michaels again. In response, Cena said that while he might not be able to face the Heartbreak Kid tonight – he could face Striker! The former teacher shook his head but before he could say anything… Cena slapped him on the arm and said he’d see Matt out there.

    **Commercial Break**

    The ring is left unoccupied following the break when Triple H made his way out, dressed in a suit, sporting a bandage on his forehead. Ross was the first to associate the bruises and bandage to the steel chair attack by Rob Van Dam during the Rumble. Triple H begun his address to the audience by vilifying them for enjoying his injuries. He claimed that all of the people in the arena and those watching at home were without honour for glorifying the cuts, bruises and wounds he sustained thanks to the steel chair assault last night. They were all low class and they showed it by supporting the likes of Rob Van Dam, and all others were disgraced the ring with their hardcore wrestling. Triple H told the crowd that last night he was eliminated from the Royal Rumble – which got a big pop – by a man who should have never been in it. Main eventing WrestleMania is something The Game has done four times, he knows what a main event player is in the WWE and last night he was screwed by someone who not only doesn’t deserve to be on a main event level… but he was screwed by someone who shouldn’t be in the WWE to begin with.

    That is why Triple H had no problem returning to the ring after his elimination. As he put it, Triple H was just righting a wrong that had been committed and he’d do it again if given the chance. In fact, The Game turned to the entrance ramp and offered RVD a chance to come down to the ring… knowing full well that Van Dam had not be cleared for competition and therefore was not in the building. After mockingly counting to ten, Triple H declared himself the winner of a match against RVD – and said that he would remove any former ECW employee from this company if it was the last thing he ever did. The Game glared into the camera and spoke directly to Van Dam– telling him that if RVD was smart he’d stay on the sideline. There is no place for the likes of RVD in Triple H’s world. Throughout his career he has given people life in this business– such as Billy Gunn, X-Pac, Chyna, Batista and Randy Orton – but, make no mistake about it, he has taken more people out to the woodshed and put an end to their careers!

    To a rockstar reception, Chris Jericho would interrupt the monologue and march down to the ring. Jericho stood across from Triple H and said he’d been waiting several months to tell The Game to shut the hell up! This evening Jericho had sat back in the locker-room for what felt like an eternity, he heard The Game ramble on and on, and it was the same damn thing he’d been saying ever since Jericho left. Well, Jericho heard Triple H mention that he knows a main event level player when he sees one… look no further because Y2J is the main event! The crowd popped as Jericho was fired up, back on Raw for the first time in months. He told Triple H that as much as it kills him to admit he didn’t get to the top all by himself. Jericho cites the wars with Mick Foley for making Triple H, he mentions the battles with The Rock, he gives credit to Shawn Michaels for bringing Triple H to the big dance – in the end, Triple H did not rise to the top by himself! The Game refuted all of this and said that he climbed to the top all by himself, and that he dragged the rest along for the ride.

    Triple H glared at Jericho and shouted that he even made Jericho’s career. It was Triple H who wrestled Jericho in the main event of WrestleMania – and even then he was an afterthought! Jericho smirked at that remark. He responded by citing another venue as his career maker, a place where he got noticed first – Extreme Championship Wrestling! Suddenly Jericho and Triple H began to brawl in the middle of the ring! The man formerly known as Lionheart dumped The Game over the top rope with a clothesline to the outside… and Triple H REFUSED TO RETURN TO THE FIGHT!! Jericho motioned for Hunter to come get some more but The Game backed away, seething at being confronted in the ring by another former ECW star in the absence of Rob Van Dam.

    In the halls of the arena, teammates later this evening in the main event Kurt Angle, Big Show and Kane were having a discussion. Angle led the talks and advised the two big men to follow his lead out there in the ring. He wanted to teach Shawn Michaels a lesson and put an end to this Heartbreak Foundation nonsense before it gets any worse. Never one to play second fiddle, Kane stepped up into Angle’s face and coldly told the Olympic Gold Medalist that he wasn’t going to be led by anybody. He doesn’t, and never has, played well with others… and tonight Kurt Angle would be well advised to stay out of the Big Red Machine’s warpath or else. Kane took his leave from the conversation leaving Big Show and Angle. The latter voiced concerns about the way the team would work later on but Big Show told Angle that Kane is exactly the type of partner they needed. Angle looked less than confident as Raw cut to a commercial break.

    **Commercial Break**

    After going over an hour during the Royal Rumble just twenty four hours earlier, John Cena collided with Matt Striker. It was hardly an extensive back and forth contest considering where the two men are on the totem pole. Any advantage Striker got he found through the way of cheating – raking the eyes, grabbing the ropes during pinfall attempts and choking Cena behind the referee’s back. Nevertheless, Cena would put Striker away with the FU at 05:23 for the pinfall. After the match, Cena would climb the turnbuckle and signal to his waist – still showing his desire to become WWE Champion once again.

    Mr. McMahon stood in his office on the phone to an undisclosed contact. Without warning Triple H barged into the office and demanded to know what the hell Vince was thinking hiring Jericho back to Raw. McMahon hung up his phone and calmly told The Game that he didn’t need to consult with Hunter about his hiring or firing decisions. Triple H realised his error, and took a few steps back before much more respectfully advised Mr. McMahon that it was clearly an error in judgment– a rare one. The boss disagreed, citing the response from the crowd having Jericho and Triple H in the ring together. The Game said he wanted Chris Jericho to pay for what he did tonight – interrupting him, disrespecting him in a WWE ring – that could not be allowed to stand. McMahon agreed that the match would be a blockbuster and signed it for next week on Monday Night Raw – Chris Jericho versus Triple H live on Raw in one week!!

    A video package aired which promoted that the newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion Edge will make his first appearance since winning the title on Smackdown this Friday! It also announced that Edge would sign his Smackdown contract – now that his Raw contract had been discontinued due to his obligations with Smackdown as World Heavyweight Champion. Just seconds before the commercial kicked in, when the screen for the package faded to black... a gong echoed in the background.

    **Commercial Break**

    The main event of the evening had been promoted all night long and now it was time to finally deliver. After Kurt Angle, Big Show and Kane had all made their way to the ring; Shawn Michaels led the way for the Heartbreak Foundation – minus Mr. McMahon – onto the stage. The Heartbreak Kid was not dressed for competition… however Shane McMahon was dressed for in-ring competition. Inside the ring, Angle was especially frustrated when Michaels announced that he would not be competing due to a sore leg (wink) and Shane McMahon would be taking his place.

    The six-man tag team match would get underway with Big Show and Chris Masters kicking things off. It was by far the longest match of the night going ten minutes of total in-ring time. There was a clear lack of communication between Angle and Kane as the two men often took to long between tags which allowed the Heartbreak Foundation to gain control of the action. The conclusion of the contest saw Shane McMahon in the squared circle taunting Kurt Angle, slapping him on the head, dancing around the ring, and attempting to kick him in the mid-section… only for Angle to catch the boot! Angle would twist the ankle and apply the Ankle Lock to a huge reaction! Carlito and Masters rushed the ring for the save only for Kane and Big Show to grasp them by the throat for a pair of Chokeslams! With nobody left to make the save – Shawn Michaels losing his mind at the top of the stage – Shane McMahon tapped out to the Olympian.

    He may have been wise or perhaps a coward but either way Shawn Michaels remained at the top of the stage when the match concluded. Michaels held the WWE Championship close to his chest and shook his head. In the ring, Angle pointed toward the WWE Champion and signalled to his waist… only for Kane to step into the line of sight!!

    ANGLE AND KANE LOCKED EYES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING…

    MICHAELS SEEING HIS FUTURE…

    THE MONSTER…

    OR THE OLYMPIAN…

    On commentary, Jim Ross told the world that both of these former WWE Champions want a shot at the gold. Angle wants to take the title back and keep it away from the treacherous Heartbreak Foundation. Kane just wants to see the world burn and he’d love to watch it burn while holding the richest prize in professional wrestling. One of these men will be next! Oh you can bet your last dollar one of them is next – who will it be??

    END OF SHOW


    Current Card for Saturday Night's Main Event:

    March 4 2006 | Cobo Arena, Detroit MI
    Presented By Monday Night Raw

    **MATCHES TO BE ANNOUNCED**
    Last edited by EZ3; 07-22-2019 at 05:47 AM.


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  17. #57
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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    About time I deliver some proper feedback in here I think. I’m not completely sold on the name of The Heartbreak Foundation, just seems like TO obvious of a dig at Bret Hart. That is probably the point but it’s a bit much for me. I was hoping it would grow on me but the name hasn’t. Right now this group feels a little like The Corporation 2.0, I’d like it to become a little bit more about Shawn. Shane is around because he’s Vince’s son, Carlito and Masters both eventually want Vince to look after them, HBK just kind of feels… there a little. Basically I don’t think Vince should be a dominating figure over a freshly heel turned WWE Champion, but Vince still feels like the main attraction. Anyway, as for the segment itself to kick off the show, completely fine. Michaels putting himself over was solid enough, but I LOVED Vince’s reasoning for the screwing of Cena, stating it was protecting the integrity of the Rumble. That’s bloody awesome. Kurt Angle interrupting was to be expected (see my preview comments), and the back and forth was a nice way to set up tonight’s main event. A little bit of whinge regarding the booking of The Heartbreak Foundation but the segment itself was a fine way to kick off the show.

    I’ve really enjoyed what you’ve done with Gregory Helms so far, definitely one of the highlights of Raw. His promo here was typical arrogance from this version of his character, and god I LOVE this ‘Eye of the storm’ nickname. Epic. I’m really digging this open challenge and the idea of former IC Champs coming to play is a fun one as well. I marked for the Rikishi appearance and this is another good win for Helms. The visual of him posing over his opponents is a nice one as well. Ticking all the boxes with Helms so far, good stuff.

    I’m still not sure how you’re going to top the Trish/Mickie angle in real life, but you’re off to a good start in putting your own twist on things, and keeping it interesting. Trish and Mickie’s conversation here was fine, although I like my results to be posted in chronological order. Referring to Heat as upcoming but having the results of Mickie’s match with Trish in her corner at the top of this show really threw me off. It felt weird to read about something happening in the future, even though I already knew the results. The confrontation with Vince’s Devils leading to a six woman is completely fine. An enjoyable segment here.

    You’re clearly going all in on putting Tomko and Snitsky over as interesting threats to the WGTT. Giving them Daivari as a mouth piece and now with this well placed attack, adding further heat to this feud. I wasn’t sure about this at first but you’ve made it work, consider me on board. Handicap match tonight now should be fun.

    A good win for Ashley I guess. I’m sure this match would have been awful lol…

    Flair promo was pretty in character, and sets him up as determined on the road to Mania. Solid stuff.

    Following on from my earlier comments, Tomko and Snitsky were always going over in this Handicap match. Daivari on the mic afterwards really putting them over, and calling them the uncrowned champions was all well and good. I’m not the hugest fan of The Brutalisers, feels a little cheesy for me, however at least they have a team name. Still, enjoying what you’re doing with this trio.

    John Cena’s promo was pretty much what you’d expect. Determination and whatever and I liked the effort of really trying to relate to the fans. I thought you got that across very well here. Striker interrupting and initially OWNING Cena was pretty great, even if Striker is probably going to get squashed. Unless this match is later confirmed though you’ve fallen in the trap of wrestler’s booking their own matches which isn’t great for me. A fun segment though.

    Was expecting one of these long Triple H promos for this show, and for the most part this delivered in spades. The cracks at ECW and RVD were pretty great, and the audacity of Triple H to say he gave life to guys like Billy Gunn and X Pac, who were probably in the WWF first is hilarious. Brilliant. I definitely didn’t expect Jericho to interrupt but being a former ECW guy, it ties in. Whilst I understand the running down of RVD and Trips talking about how he’s the main event, Jericho claiming Triple H had help felt off to me. I don’t understand why that’s the main point of Jericho’s argument? Weird. The play on their history was fine, however Jericho mentioning he’s from ECW, and then the brawl breaking out felt a bit clunky. It didn’t feel like a big moment or a promo ending line to lead to the brawl, so didn’t flow perfectly. I like the idea of the segment though, however I’m curious to see how this pans out. Surely you didn’t just bring Jericho back to job to Triple H until he faces Van Dam? Whilst this segment was a bit up and down for me, I’m intrigued to see where this all goes.

    Interesting promo between the faces for tonight’s main event. I like Kane not willing to take anybody’s shit.

    Cena was obviously always beating Striker. Not much to say here, a fine one night angle for Cena before business picks up again with him.

    The dynamic with Triple H and Vince and Hunter eventually taking a backwards step and being respectful was nice. Shows that Triple H is still a suck up. Jericho/Triple H for next week is huge, looking forward to it.

    Looking forward to Edge over on Smackdown…

    A nice swerve with Shawn refusing to compete. Typical heel stuff but enjoyable nonetheless. The match went as it was supposed to, and it makes complete sense for Angle to get the fall, and Shane to take it. Kane wanting a title shot and stepping in line of sight keeps things interesting, and wasn’t something I initially expected… But I like it. A well booked main event here, keeping Michaels’ next opponent somewhat up in the air (still expect it to be Angle).

    A pretty good follow up from the Rumble here. A few minor things throughout but I enjoyed the show.








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    Re: The Gorilla Position

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Beast View Post
    I must be honest though, I found it hard to really get into this opener. With Michaels and Flair, I’d expect some added drama, and for you to pull out all the stops, given this is likely to be the biggest match they wind up having with each other in this alternate universe … but whilst the match was fine, it just meandered for quite a bit. Michaels targeting the back and Flair targeting the legs was a good idea – especially Flair going for the legs in order for the Figure Four to be bought as a legit finish later in the match, but I expected a lot more intensity in the writing, and more creative spots.

    For instance, with the way you teased at the start before the match that the two had smirked at one another when told by the referee he wanted a clean match, I was all set to see Michaels and Flair one upping each other with shady tactics throughout … but it never really came. I do commend you on being disciplined in not prostituting all the big spots and having a bunch of Sweet Chin Music attempts littered through the match, and the Flying Elbow to the back of Flair was a nice change to see, which also worked for this match in particular given the work from Shawn on Flairs back.


    The closing stretch was pretty good stuff though. As I said earlier, the leg work earlier in the match helped make the Figure Four seem like a big deal when Flair locked it on, and you wrote out the predicament Shawn was in really well. The Sharpshooter was a fun addition to the match too, and Flair’s counter to it was something different, as opposed to simply making the ropes, and the finish itself being rather basic in that Shawn tuned up the band and nailed the superkick for a second time, came as a surprise, but the clean, non-controversial finish helps legitimize Michaels as a heel champ.


    Match was definitely missing some extra flavour and some classic Nature Boy tricks and spots etc (no strut, no flop, no getting caught up top) – especially given the size of the opportunity he had here, you’d really expect him to pull out all the stops – but a decent enough match to kick the show off. Credit though for selling the hell out of Michaels knee being in a bad way throughout the match – he didn’t even kip up, which sells the injury even more imo. Unless you’ve dropped that from his arsenal now he’s a heel?
    On Michaels/Flair: Full disclosure I'm not a fan of the WWE Title match at all. It was one of the major reasons that the show was delayed for as long as it was. I really struggled to get through it and by the time I was finished wasn't overly pleased with the end result. I knew going in that Michaels had to win clean as a way to cement his rightful claim to being WWE Champion. I think that mindset put a lot of restrictions on what I could do with the match itself. I definitely could've used more spots of Flair bending the rules however I think by the end of it I just wanted to be done with the entire thing.

    Michaels not using the kip up was both that he was selling the injury and that he is a heel. He'll use it again eventually on a bigger stage but for now I'm keeping his show stealing stuff to a minimum as it's more likely to draw a positive response from the crowd. For whatever reason this match just never clicked for me like the other matches did on this card. It has actually changed future plans for the thread based off how much of a roadblock it was to get through overall.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Beast View Post
    I’ll be pedantic though in saying that I don’t recall ever seeing Taker go for Old School a second time if he successfully hit it the first time. My guess is that you just wanted to get that Spinebuster counter in!! And, fair enough, because it’s a great counter. Both men getting to kick out of the others power bomb finish was to be expected in the end, and you built to both of those kick outs extremely well through the course of the match … but I hated this non-finish in the end. Mostly because of the build for this match itself – it deserved a winner.


    I’ll give you this though, I didn’t call this happening. Edge cashing in on Batista was not on my radar – not on this show at least. I’ve a lot of problems with the finish of the title match still; the non-finish to such a highly promoted FIRST TIME EVER match leaves a really bad taste, and Batista being on the verge of defeat too against Taker doesn’t make a tonne of sense right now either. If either of Taker or Batista should be more pissed off coming out of this, it’s Taker. He had the match won.


    The one saving grace to the non-finish of the match is, of course, the fact we got the Money in the Bank Cash In. And seeing as I also need to remember this is the FIRST ever cash in, it’s a really big deal … so in the grand scheme, I’m probably overreacting to the non-finish. Really puzzled right now though as to where you’re heading here. The post match stuff was (rightly) all about Edge and Taker, with Batista well and truly out of it and beaten, so it suggests Edge/Taker could be the direction? Either way, sending Edge to Smackdown is a major shot in the arm for the main event picture on that show.

    On the non-finish:
    I'll disagree here and argue that the non-finish was the best possible outcome. I believe that Taker/Batista was the best built up match on the card and with only three weeks of build from me I thought I did a pretty good job. You had these two titans coming together for a match clash and then you get robbed of an ending because of Edge. It puts a bunch of heat on him and he leaves with the World Title. I believed going in that this would make Edge the biggest heel in the company and be that career making moment as was the win over Cena in real life when he cashed in MITB.

    As for the circumstances in which Edge got involved I'll reveal my mindset. The Undertaker had to have Batista beat with the Tombstone to give both of them a legitimate claim to be first in line against Edge. If it had been a draw up to that point, both men down type thing, or if Batista had been in a position where he was winning then Batista would be the clear cut number one contender. This way The Undertaker can say he had the title won while Batista can argue that he was never beaten by the Deadman and as the former champion he should get an automatic rematch. Edge had to screw Taker out of winning the belt first and then beat Batista as to set up two different possible roads as we head towards WrestleMania. The way I've taken we could have Edge vs. Batista and if he survives that encounter Edge could then meet The Undertaker in a ready made feud based on the actions at the Royal Rumble. On the other hand, Edge could face The Undertaker first and then go on and meet Batista based off the exact same finish and it all makes sense. I wanted to have as many possibilities for the Road to WrestleMania on Smackdown as possible. You simply do not know what the World Title match is going to be at Mania for Smackdown which is something I wanted because of the direction I'm heading with Raw.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Beast View Post
    Orton heading to Mania then. And who the fuck knows what direction you’re heading in over on the Smackdown side of things. While I had Orton pegged (with Cena) as a potential winner, it was because I thought we’d be heading toward Orton/Batista at Mania. Now, with Edge as champion, and Taker rightly pissed at how that went down … and Batista with (some) claims for a rematch having just lost the title after a super long run … the Road to WrestleMania over on Smackdown surrounding the WWE title is going to be super interesting.


    Overall, opening match aside, I thought this show was well worth the wait, capped off with a fantastic Rumble match – which is the most important thing. The match flew by, had plenty of highlights, surprises and talking points; everything you could want, really. Top stuff.
    On the Royal Rumble: I really enjoyed writing it. It's by far the longest match I've ever written but was a great time. I thought it flowed really well and I used a few of your own Rumbles as guides to how to space things and timing. The funny thing about it was that Cena had been the winner of the Royal Rumble for months in my head. It was only when I started writing the event that I made the switch to having Randy Orton win the Royal Rumble. As you said, it gives a lot more creative freedom if Cena doesn't win the Royal Rumble in his quest to get a rematch with Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship. Whether or not he can now find a way to get there is a story I look forward to telling over on Raw.

    Orton's advantage in the Royal Rumble was always going to be the number thirty spot. I did toy with the idea of it being a second entry spot with Orton getting tossed by Cena about halfway through the Rumble by surprise only to return at number thirty and then win the match. The inclusion of Jericho was a last minute decision actually as I was looking over the rosters. It was going to come down to Cena and Orton as the final two with Orton tossing Cena clean after he went an hour in the match. When I decided to add Jericho to the thread as a big return that opened the door for him to come in second and have Cena get tossed earlier. I also did at one point have Lashley coming in third or second at various points of the writing process. That was changed when I made the decision to have him toss all the giants in the contest and I didn't want it to be two Smackdown guys at the end. I always liked it better when it was one guy from Raw and another from Smackdown as the final two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stojy View Post
    About time I deliver some proper feedback in here I think. I’m not completely sold on the name of The Heartbreak Foundation, just seems like TO obvious of a dig at Bret Hart. That is probably the point but it’s a bit much for me. I was hoping it would grow on me but the name hasn’t. Right now this group feels a little like The Corporation 2.0, I’d like it to become a little bit more about Shawn. Shane is around because he’s Vince’s son, Carlito and Masters both eventually want Vince to look after them, HBK just kind of feels… there a little. Basically I don’t think Vince should be a dominating figure over a freshly heel turned WWE Champion, but Vince still feels like the main attraction. Anyway, as for the segment itself to kick off the show, completely fine. Michaels putting himself over was solid enough, but I LOVED Vince’s reasoning for the screwing of Cena, stating it was protecting the integrity of the Rumble. That’s bloody awesome. Kurt Angle interrupting was to be expected (see my preview comments), and the back and forth was a nice way to set up tonight’s main event. A little bit of whinge regarding the booking of The Heartbreak Foundation but the segment itself was a fine way to kick off the show.
    On Michaels playing second fiddle: I can understand how you'd see it that way. I'm absolutely going to be making some moves in the coming weeks to turn the focus solely on the Heartbreak Kid as the driving factor behind the group. Vince has been at the front of the group mainly to get them associated with the idea that they are the chosen few and have the corporate backing over the rest of the roster. Now that we've established them as this big heel group I can let Michaels truly take over and at as the figurehead in the coming weeks. I've thrown Shane McMahon into the mix for that exact reason. He can do all the stuff Vince can do in terms of match making and changing the rules but he'll come off as second to Shawn Michaels. It's hard to handle a guy like Mr. McMahon playing second to anybody but with Shane it'll be much easier. You'll likely see less Vince interacting with the group and more Shane as the representative of the McMahon family with Michaels taking charge.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stojy View Post
    I'm still not sure how you’re going to top the Trish/Mickie angle in real life, but you’re off to a good start in putting your own twist on things, and keeping it interesting. Trish and Mickie’s conversation here was fine, although I like my results to be posted in chronological order. Referring to Heat as upcoming but having the results of Mickie’s match with Trish in her corner at the top of this show really threw me off. It felt weird to read about something happening in the future, even though I already knew the results. The confrontation with Vince’s Devils leading to a six woman is completely fine. An enjoyable segment here.
    On Mickie/Trish: This is by far the most planned out storyline of the entire thread. Some things I've got key moments and others I've got the ending but nothing else. In regards to Mickie and Trish I've got the entire thing mapped out from week to week and every segment that is going to happen. I know exactly where this whole thing is going and I've been moving towards it since the very beginning. It'll be much different than what we got in real life and it's honestly one of the big things I'm looking forward to for Raw.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stojy View Post
    Was expecting one of these long Triple H promos for this show, and for the most part this delivered in spades. The cracks at ECW and RVD were pretty great, and the audacity of Triple H to say he gave life to guys like Billy Gunn and X Pac, who were probably in the WWF first is hilarious. Brilliant. I definitely didn’t expect Jericho to interrupt but being a former ECW guy, it ties in. Whilst I understand the running down of RVD and Trips talking about how he’s the main event, Jericho claiming Triple H had help felt off to me. I don’t understand why that’s the main point of Jericho’s argument? Weird. The play on their history was fine, however Jericho mentioning he’s from ECW, and then the brawl breaking out felt a bit clunky. It didn’t feel like a big moment or a promo ending line to lead to the brawl, so didn’t flow perfectly. I like the idea of the segment though, however I’m curious to see how this pans out. Surely you didn’t just bring Jericho back to job to Triple H until he faces Van Dam? Whilst this segment was a bit up and down for me, I’m intrigued to see where this all goes.

    On Triple H and Chris Jericho:
    The reason Jericho mentioned the help that Triple H had in becoming a star was to get over the idea that everybody has to start somewhere and we all need help. One of the things that I included during the beginning of this thread was a feud between Triple H and Mick Foley. That feud is the genesis of The Game's entire Road to WrestleMania. In that feud it was all about Triple H hating the fact that Foley is credited with making him a main event guy. It all goes back to the battles they had in 2000 and Triple H hates it so much that a guy he views as below him is given credit for his career. That's why he went after Foley and they had a match at New Year's Revolution. He cannot stand that a hardcore wrestler, something he sees as less than his technical style, was praised and deemed too have "made him" in the WWE. The idea with Jericho's argument was that for all the hate Triple H has for ECW he wouldn't be where he was today if not for guys who came from there. Then when Triple H says he made Jericho's career it allows Jericho to point to his time in ECW - setting The Game off the deep end because he has just gotten rid of Joey Styles (and seemingly RVD) only for yet another ECW guy to walk right back into the company.

    I think the segment would've come off better had I done it in full but for now the recaps are working really well behind the scenes. Once I get past No Way Out (and even SNME) and can really sink my teeth into the word for word promos I think this story will jump to that next level. Especially when I bring RVD back into the fold. And don't worry, Jericho isn't back to job to Triple H. I've got big plans for Y2J heading into WrestleMania this year.


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    Re: The Gorilla Position



    RATED R


    PREVIEW

    The entire landscape of Smackdown changed when Edge invaded the World Heavyweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble. For nearly twelve months Edge watched from the sidelines, waiting for his moment until he finally cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract when it was least expected. For the first time in history the WWE fans around the globe saw the impact of the briefcase which was introduced at WrestleMania 21. Some would argue Edge stole the title but the Rated R Superstar has gone on record to say he simply took advantage of the stipulation that he earned during a gruelling ladder match. Edge now stands as the main man on Smackdown – he is the World Heavyweight Champion but he became champion by making at least two major enemies in The Undertaker and former champion Batista. For the first time since becoming champion Edge makes a public appearance and we have a guarantee from Theodore Long that not only will Edge sign his Smackdown contract but he will find out his opponent for No Way Out!

    Babe Ruth called his shot… and so did Randy Orton. The Legend Killer put all his chips on the table and on Sunday he came out as a winner. Orton outlasted twenty nine other superstars to win the 2006 Royal Rumble after entering at the number thirty spot thanks to an agreement between himself and Theodore Long. Orton had complained his way into being gifted the final spot in the Royal Rumble due to his performance at Survivor Series where he was the Sole Survivor for Team Smackdown. Only days after winning the Rumble it is expected that Orton will have a lot to say. Never short of words what will Orton have to say now that he has a future World Championship opportunity set for WrestleMania 22?

    This week Smackdown will host a title match! The fitness guru Simon Dean will put the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the line against Nunzio. After a heated backstage incident where Dean insulted the cooking of Nunzio’s mother these two have been waiting to get at each other. Both men will have their associated enforcers with them; Dean being supported by Sylvan while Nunzio has Vito by his side. Who will walk out of Smackdown as WWE Cruiserweight Champion? Tune into Smackdown to find out!

    Ever since Fit Finlay arrived on the scene he has had a specific target for seemingly unprovoked assaults. The Irishman has consistently found it necessary to attack Eugene with little to no explanation. The attacks reached a boiling point last week when Eugene was doing a promotional spot backstage and was jumped by Fit Finlay. The assault would continue until security rushed onto the scene causing Finlay to make his exit. Fit Finlay thereafter has demanded that he be granted a one on one match with Eugene this week. The request has been granted by Theodore Long in the hopes of giving Eugene a chance to stand up for himself. Will Eugene be able to set this bully straight or will Fit Finlay continue to punish this innocent man?

    There is so much fallout from the Royal Rumble on the Smackdown side of things. Bobby Lashley stole the show during the match and eliminated more men than anybody else in the contest. We saw the return of Jeff Hardy to the WWE and in the days following he has signed a contract with Smackdown and will make his return to the ring this week in a massive six-man tag team contest! In the six-man tag team match we will see Bobby Lashley, Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio unite to face Mark Henry, John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield and Mr. Kennedy.


    Confirmed Matches:


    Bobby Lashley, Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry, John 'Bradshaw' Layfield & Mr. Kennedy

    WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match:
    Simon Dean (w/Sylvan) [c] vs. Nunzio (w/Vito)

    Fit Finlay vs. Eugene

    Randy Orton has been confirmed for Smackdown

    Edge will sign his Smackdown contract and address the fans for the first time since winning the World Heavyweight Championship

    WWE United States Champion Matt Hardy has been confirmed for in-ring action

    Theodore Long will announce the World Heavyweight Title match for No Way Out

    Batista & The Undertaker are both scheduled for the show




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  20. #60
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