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Thread: Being The Booker

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    Raw Re: Being The Booker



    Monday Night Raw | November 17 2008 | Cleveland OH





    Raw initially opens up BACKSTAGE, and we see none other than Raw General Manager RICKY STEAMBOAT with a contented look on his face, and a piece of paper in his hand, walking down the hallway, before stopping and pinning that piece of paper up onto a noticeboard.


    Steamboat looks around, and starts to walk away again, as a few superstars emerge, looking to read the notice, and the camera gets a close up of the handwritten scribbles from Steamboat;

    MATCHES TONIGHT!!
    DUPREE/SANDOW .V. MYSTERIO/BENJAMIN – World Tag Titles

    NEMETH .V. DINSMORE

    LAYLA .V. GAIL

    ALBRIGHT .V. LONDON – World Heavyweight Title





    And those workers/wrestlers begin to buzz as they read down the list…


    Opening Video

    Pyro



    Jim Ross: We’re just twenty four hours removed from a Survivor Series for the ages, and indeed, Coach, we are just twenty four hours removed from the REMOVAL of John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfields cancerous ego from ALL WWE television!! His plot went up in smoke last night-

    The Coach: But NOT without controversy. And I see Ricky Steamboat hasn’t wasted any time in abusing his power once again! We all just saw that line up for tonight. Brent Albright, twenty four hours on from wrestling for 45 minutes is being thrown into a late notice World title defence!!

    Jim Ross: Against a man that ALSO went 45 minutes just twenty four hours ago!! Brent Albright hasn’t defended his title in twenty nine days, Coach – he’s OBLIGATED to defend it, and who better to challenge than the man that not only beat Albright last night at the Survivor Series but the man that survived a three on one disadvantage – and that’s Paul London.

    The Coach: Don’t get me started again, J.R. You can say he overcame the three on one odds, but if you ask me, it was two on two, and Steamboat & Ventura had a mole in JBL’s camp in the form of Shawn Michaels!!

    Jim Ross: I don’t believe that for a second, Coach. All I believe is that Shawn Michaels had t’do what was right in the end. He couldn’t sell out to JBL and take the low road in order to win the match.

    The Coach: Yeah? Well try tellin that to THIS guy!!

    And all of a sudden, sans entrance music, sans any kind of pomp or pageantry, the World Heavyweight Champion BRENT ALBRIGHT has entered the ring all alone, not even accompanied by his fellow Master Craftsmen tonight … and he looks PISSED off.

    Jim Ross: Well what in the hell is this about!? Brent Albright ain’t scheduled to be here right now – that World Title match is the main event!! An’ before y’start complainin about the champ not gettin his music or an entrance, Coach – he’s out here on his own accord!!

    The Coach: I wouldn’t be waiting for that stuff either if I’d been screwed over like he has by Steamboat!!

    Quickly, Albright apprehends a microphone, smashing the top of it with his palm to check it’s working.

    Brent Albright: I want EVERYONE to shut up and listen to me right now.

    The World Champion doesn’t do much to endear himself to the fans.

    Brent Albright: Every single one of you idiots thought life would be better like this?? With Ventura and Steamboat runnin the show?? How wrong you were!! How wrong … you ARE!!!

    Preach!!” ~The Coach chimes in.

    Brent Albright: Because I know for damn sure that J.B.L would be putting the best interests of his talent first instead of grinding axes. But here we are, one day removed from the most physically – MENTALLY draining day of my entire reign as World Heavyweight Champion and I’m scheduled to defend my title. I sure am glad we got rid of J.B.L…

    Dripping in sarcasm, Albright shakes his head. He starts to pace around the ring, gathering his thoughts, before stopping and eyeballing the hard camera.

    Brent Albright: But- as much as all that pisses me off … there’s something that pisses me off even more. And that’s Shawn Michaels-

    Big pop initially for HBK, sprinkled with one or two boos – but it appears all is forgiven from any dissenting fans toward Michaels after last night.

    Brent Albright: You turncoat son of a bitch!! Bradshaw gave you EVERYTHING you wanted and more … and you couldn’t do ONE thing in return?? You couldn’t go along with the plan for ONE night!?

    Mockingly, Albright slaps his own head.

    Brent Albright: Silly me- I forgot- YOU’RE SHAWN MICHAELS!! And some leopards never change their spots!! You HAD to be the one that put Paul London away. Shawn Michaels couldn’t sacrifice himself for the greater good- OH NO!! Heaven forbid Shawn Michaels would stand aside and let someone ELSE grab the spotlight for one night. Heaven forbid Shawn Michaels would follow instructions and do what he was told.

    Shawn Michaels made a judgment call last night, folks. He’s got a conscience” ~J.R

    Brent Albright: So Shawn Michaels decided to do Shawn Michaels things. And that’s turn everything around to being ALL about him.

    Albright mockingly claps.

    Brent Albright: Well … well done, Boy toy. Hope you’re happy. Because I … sure as hell … am NOT. Not one bit. So before I deal with Paul London and clip his wings again tonight, I want Shawn Michaels out here to face the music … and I want him … NOW.

    Brent begins to pace the ring, clearly not prepared to leave the ring until he gets what he asked for.

    Well … I dunno about this. I mean, Shawn Michaels is here, folks. But Brent Albright IS scheduled to defend the World Heavyweight Title later t’night against Paul London. Albright has all he can say grace over right now.”

    And I bet old man Steamboat is lovin this. He’s lovin seein Brent Albright getting worked up like this.”

    An’ as we wait to see if Shawn Michaels is gonna come out here, let’s just remind you all – we’re gonna see not only the World Title defended t’night. The World Tag Team Titles will be decided when Rey Mysterio and Shelton Benjamin get a rematch owed to them-”

    **SEXY BOY**

    And Albright nods, as SHAWN MICHAELS steps through the curtain, answering the call … but the Showstopper isn’t going to walk all the way to the ring, and elects to remain on the ramp.

    Shawn Michaels: I think you’ve got your priorities in the wrong order, Brent. Last I heard, you’ve got a title match later tonight … yet you’re calling me out??

    Brent Albright: Damn right I am. I’ve got plenty of frustrations to take out on you before I get to London later.

    Michaels looks bemused, and scratches at his head.

    Shawn Michaels: Call me crazy, but uh, that doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

    Brent Albright: I will call you crazy. Because that’s the only explanation for your actions last night at the Survivor Series. You, Shawn Michaels, have completely scuppered all of mine and J.B.L’s future plans. And you might not realize it right now … but YOURS too.

    Shawn smirks, taking a glance at the crowd, before looking back at Albright in the ring.

    Shawn Michaels: Well … if you’re lookin for an apology, you ain’t gettin one from me. I’ve got no regrets about what I did last night.

    Pop from the fans.

    Shawn Michaels: I gave J.B.L everything I had. I stayed true to my word, and I think my actions last night proved that I was on board and I was doin everything in my power to lead Bradshaw to victory … but I would never settle to win that way. Not like that.

    Michaels shakes his head, whilst Albright seethes.

    Shawn Michaels: The way I see it, we had Paul London beat. It was all in hand … but J.B.L still didn’t wanna take a chance. He made the mistake – not me. And right now, kid … you’re makin a mistake.

    In the ring, Albright motions for Michaels to come down to the ring and face him.

    Shawn Michaels: Don’t go fightin another mans battles … he’s gone. And you’ve got a big enough one of your own t’fight.

    Albright defends the World Title against Paul London right here t’night!” ~J.R gets in a quick shill.

    Brent Albright: Well how about I tell Steamboat to push Paul London aside? He hasn’t done anything to truly earn this shot anyway. And the way I see it, London owes you one after you saved his ass last night. Why don’t you an’ I settle our differences tonight instead??

    Shawn rolls his eyes, but shrugs at the suggestion.

    Shawn Michaels: Listen, Albright … I don’t have any problem steppin into the ring with you again. An’ if you wanna put that World Heavyweight Title on the line?? Then we can can come to an arrangement, tonight.

    The fans pop, but Albright quickly waves that off.

    Brent Albright: Whoa- now, now … I never said anything about me putting this title on the line. I want a piece of you, but this is per-

    **STAY IN SHADOW**

    And quickly arriving to join the party is the hero of the hour last night at the Survivor Series; PAUL LONDON. The Golden Boy is greeted with a big reaction as he steps onto the stage, whilst Michaels smirks … but in the ring, Albright is getting further riled.

    London – like Michaels – stands on the stage, offering a thumbs up at the cheering fans first, before addressing Shawn.

    Paul London: Shawn … I don’t mean any disrespect … but that title shot tonight?? That belongs to me.

    London eyeballs Michaels for a few seconds extra, and Michaels listens intently.

    Paul London: I am {places index finger and thumb a millimetre apart} this close … to carrying out a promise I made four long months ago…

    London turns, and points down to the ring.

    Paul London: A promise that I would take away EVERYTHING HE HAS!!!

    Pop.

    Paul London: Last night, I saw off J.B.L. I took away all Brent Albrights protection. All his insurance; GONE. Tonight, I get to the finish the job. And no one is gonna get in my way now.

    Pointedly, London looks at Shawn as he says ‘no one’ … then looks to make it crystal clear to HBK, stepping up to him again.

    Paul London: So if you’re out here tryin to muscle in on MY title shot … you had better get out of the way.

    Stoic, there’s no reaction from Michaels – but he doesn’t move his eyes from London, until London himself turns, and turns his own focus to the ring.

    Paul London: And Brent?? I’ve MORE than earned that shot – and you know it.

    Brent Albright: Earned?? Are you kiddin?? If it wasn’t for Shawn Michaels last night, you wouldn’t be standing here right now with a title shot. Hell, I’d say you wouldn’t even be employed right now!!

    Albright then points toward Michaels, still standing next to London on the ramp.

    Brent Albright: You should be BOWING at that mans feet. Because HE is the reason Jesse Ventura is still Commissioner. HE is the reason Ricky Steamboat is still the Raw General Manager. And HE is the reason you’ve got that title shot.

    Slowly, London turns his head back to Michaels – with Shawn still rather emotionless to it all. Michaels eventually looks to London, taking a step forward.

    Shawn Michaels: You’re welcome by the way.

    Michaels then rather harshly slams his microphone into the chest of London.

    Shawn Michaels: Good luck t’night, kid.

    Turning on his heels, Michaels walks away, leaving London to think about it all, but Albright isn’t finished with Michaels and tries to call him back.

    Brent Albright: HEY SHAWN!! DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME!! WE AREN’T DONE!!

    But despite the calls from the champion, Michaels continues to walk away, disappearing through the curtain, and London snaps back into focus, getting the attention of the champ.

    Paul London: Brent!? HEY!! Listen up; you and Shawn?? You might not be done … but there’s one thing that IS done … and that’s your reign as World Heavyweight Champion.

    Pop from the fans.

    Paul London: You’re gonna have plenty of time to chase Shawn Michaels after tonight. But not before I beat you and take that title away.

    In the ring, Albright shakes his head, patting the belt as if to tell London it isn’t going anywhere.

    Paul London: I’ll see ya later.

    London tosses both mic’s (his own and the one Michaels gave him as he left) down, before heading to the back himself, leaving Albright to stew in the ring.



    Commercial Break




    Returning from the break, it appears that those of you who like the wrestling on these shows will have to wait a little longer, as we head backstage … with RICKY STEAMBOAT heading toward his office.

    The Raw GM opens the door, and looks a little taken aback-

    As CM PUNK is sat in the office, feet up on the table.

    Ricky Steamboat: I certainly didn’t expect to see you here.

    CM Punk: I could say the same thing to you … but I guess last night proved that miracles do happen.

    Punk chuckles.

    CM Punk: And hey, why would you expect me to be here?? It’s not like I’m the Intercontinental Champion, is it??

    Ricky Steamboat: What is it you want??

    CM Punk: Me?? No. Nothing. I just thought I’d kick back and watch the show. I just watched that bickering out there a moment ago. Says it all really … I mean, with Shawn Michaels out there trying to worm his way into the World title picture after he failed to take my title from me … it just confirms everything I’ve said these last six months;

    Punk takes his feet off the table, and reaches to his title on the desk.

    CM Punk: And that’s that the Intercontinental Championship has officially usurped the World Heavyweight Title as the most important title on the planet. And that’s all because of me.

    Punk then picks up a copy of the I.C title DVD he was forced into shilling last night. He points to the back of it.

    CM Punk: The Rock couldn’t do it. Austin couldn’t do it. Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart or even you, boss. But I made it be.

    Tossing the DVD back down on the desk, Punk has a stern look on his face, letting out some pent up frustrations now.

    CM Punk: Yet last night, I was left shillin a DVD at one of the biggest Pay Per View events of the year … while you?? You were in the main event. A guy retired fifteen years … in the main event … while the biggest star on Raw had to sit and watch.

    Before Steamboat can even respond, Punk butts in again.

    CM Punk: I thought you were better than the others, Steamboat. I thought you’d be the one old timer that had a modicum of self respect for their legacy … and really did stay away.

    Steamboat shakes his head, and again, before being able to defend himself, Punk jumps in.

    CM Punk: But last night, you exposed yourself to be just like all the other old glory hogs from the past.

    Ricky Steamboat: That was a one off-

    CM Punk: One time too many if you ask me.

    Steamboat sighs, but Punk throws his hands up in despair.

    CM Punk: And tonight, I got nothin to do at all. So what’s goin on?? Have I cleaned out all the challenges?? And if so … what are you gonna do to find me a new one??

    Punk stands up.

    CM Punk: And better yet … when are you gonna start treating me for who I am, and what I represent?? Which is – if you needed reminding … which it appears you do … that I’m the biggest star on this show, holding the most prestigious title in the world.

    Ricky Steamboat: Well I’m glad you’re such a proud a champion. And it’s music to my ears that you’re not wanting to sit around and rest on your laurels, Punk. Really, it is. So you’ll be happy to hear that you’re gonna be defending that very gold you hold you dearly … next week on Raw.

    CM Punk: Against who??

    Ricky Steamboat: Against a man who was due a rightful one on one rematch a couple of months ago. Nick Nemeth.

    Punk puts up a finger to protest.

    CM Punk: No. Now hold on- I’ve beaten that kid.

    Ricky Steamboat: In a triple threat match. But that wasn’t how I wanted it. Nick Nemeth took you to the limit, Punk. The two of you went to a sixty minute draw and before J.B.L got involved in everything, I had signed a rematch that was supposed to happen … and next week, it will.

    Punk shakes his head, stepping around the desk to look Steamboat in the eye.

    Ricky Steamboat: And it’ll happen exactly as I envisioned it. With no time limits.

    CM Punk: No time limits??

    Taking a moment, Punk thinks about it.

    CM Punk: That’s fine.

    Punk picks up his title from the desk, and the DVD. He turns, and looks Steamboat up and down before smirking.

    CM Punk: Y’know … part of me was expecting you to award yourself the title shot and continue to live out old glories.

    Punk dumps the DVD down at the feet of Steamboat and marches on out, leaving the Raw GM to look down at the DVD, shaking his head.




    __________________________________________________




    Returning backstage, TIFFANY is standing by with REY MYSTERIO and SHELTON BENJAMIN…

    Tiffany: Gentlemen, tonight you have the opportunity to win back the World Tag Team Titles that you lost two weeks ago at Raw’s 800th episode. And, after contributing toward the victory for Team Ventura last night at the Survivor Series, you both must be in high spirits tonight??

    Shelton Benjamin: Oh hell yeah, Tiff!! Y’know everyone was writing Team Ventura off. They were sayin we just didn’t have the kinda firepower that JBL’s team brought.

    Benjamin scoffs at that suggestion.

    Shelton Benjamin: Well, what we lacked in “firepower” we more than made up for with straight up fire. We played our part … and seein as he’ll be too humble to brag about it – let’s not forget Rey knocked off John Cena last night.

    Looking proudly at his partner, Shelton pats the shoulder of Rey.

    Shelton Benjamin: And now that JBL is gone?? Rey and I get to right the wrongs from two weeks ago. Everyone knows we got robbed at Raw 800. And while we both got our sights set on heading on up the singles ranks – right now, we got unfinished business with the tag team titles.

    Tiffany: Of course, on that night, there was quite a bit of outside interference that contributed to your downfall, but tonight, that shouldn’t be an issue, should it??

    Rey Mysterio: Well, we sure hope not. Shelton and I both know Ricky Steamboat wont be standing for any interference. All we want is a fair crack at winning back the titles we feel we should’ve never lost.

    Tiffany: And Rey, as Shelton touched on earlier – last night you eliminated John Cena from that Survivor Series match … and quite honestly, you paid the price for that, with Cena brutally assaulting you after that elimination. You’ve been cleared to compete tonight … but surely, you must still be in rough shape…

    Rey smiles and nods.

    Rey Mysterio: I’m good, Tiffany. I’m banged up, but that’s nothing new to me. Obviously, we’ll be lookin to make sure Shelton controls things for us tonight, and we don’t wanna end up with me getting cut adrift … but we also know that’s gotta be the plan for Sandow and Duprée. It’s up to us to stop that from happening.

    Confidently, Benjamin steps in again.

    Shelton Benjamin: And we will. Last night?? We put the world to rights with JBL. Tonight?? We put the world to rights with Sandow and Duprée. You’re lookin at the next World Tag Team Champions, Tiffany.

    The former champions bump knuckles, and walk off, heading to prepare for their title rematch.




    __________________________________________________




    Back into the arena…

    **NOT ENOUGH FOR ME**

    Entering with her best friend Michelle McCool, LAYLA EL is dressed to compete as we finally get around to some in ring action tonight. J.R explains that last night, Layla assisted Michelle McCool to victory over Gail Kim prior to the Survivor Series, and Gail Kim has requested this match tonight.

    **STRONG AND SEXY**

    Receiving a fairly decent pop, GAIL KIM salutes the fans before heading down the ramp, looking for revenge after a defeat last night when she had it all in hand against McCool. The former Womens Champion reaches ringside, as we’re told we’ll get the match NEXT, right after a commercial break.



    Commercial Break



    Match 1:
    Layla El w/Michelle McCool vs. Gail Kim
    Joined in progress, we’re told Layla got the jump on Gail during the commercial thanks to some distractions from McCool. It’s all fairly basic offence from the Englishwoman, working over Gail, until the vastly superior Gail Kim is able to turn things around by relying on her athletic ability and quickness.

    Using that ability, Gail is able to excite the fans, dipping into some lucha spots and bamboozling her opponent … until McCool involves herself again to help Layla regain the upper hand. McCool merely climbs onto the apron, but it’s distraction enough for Gail, who makes a lunge – only to be held back by the official – allowing the attack from Layla.

    Layla cuts off another attempted comeback with a stun gun, scoring a near fall off that before applying a Body scissors to further wear Gail down. Once again though, the former Womens Champion battles back, surviving the body scissors before fighting back to her feet, sparking another comeback.

    Gail catches Layla with the FLYING DRAGON submission, and looks to be on the verge of victory when Michelle McCool AGAIN provides a distraction – JUST AS LAYLA IS TAPPING!!! The referee appears to be demanding Michelle heads to the back, having had enough of her interfering – but it’s too late; she’s already saved her partner on this occasion!!

    AND GAIL HAS HAD ENOUGH!!!!!

    Giving up her submission hold, Gail NAILS Michelle with a forearm shot, sending her off the apron … then makes sure to keep McCool out of the picture … WITH A DIVING CROSS BODY TO THE FLOOR ONTO MCCOOL!!!!! The fans pop for the high risk move, but as Gail gets up, she’s met with a BASEBALL SLIDE from Layla!!!

    Layla follows outside, looking to send Gail into the steps … but Kim is able to JUMP and avoid hitting the step, instead landing onto the steps. Layla’s eyes bug out, with her plan faltering, then looks to get away from the former champion, with Gail giving chase … until Layla slides back into the ring … and when Gail tries to follow, she’s TRIPPED – by McCool!!! McCool holds onto the leg of Gail … stopping her from getting back into the ring … AND SHE’S COUNTED OUT!!!!!
    Winner: Via Count Out – Layla El @ 05:50

    And once again, LayCool – for the second night on the bounce – get one over on Gail Kim!! Gail quickly shrugs McCool off, but it’s a second too late, and as she climbs back into the ring, Layla El isn’t hanging around – she’s straight out of the ring for fear of reprisals.

    Layla meets with Michelle on the floor, and the pair stumble away with one another, as Gail is left in the ring, frustrated again for the second night in a row as J.R and Coach bicker about the outcome, with Coach defending the help of McCool, simply telling his partner; “two is better than one…”

    It’s clear by the look on her face though that Gail Kim isn’t just going to let this situation pass her by, and looks fired up to gain some revenge on her new foes.



    __________________________________________________



    Meanwhile, cutting away backstage … BETH PHOENIX is shown, watching this all transpire. The Womens Champion, fresh off her successful title defence last night, has a smirk on her face, seeing arguably the next biggest threat to her title on the losing end again … and most probably ruling Gail out of the running to be next in line.


    Jim Ross: And there’s a very interested observer right there, folks! We’re set to hear from the Womens Champion in just a few moments … and she looks like the cat that got the cream t’night!!

    The Coach: And she has every right to, J.R!! She’s on top of the world. She proved to the world she’s the most dominant woman in all the WWE last night, and she’s just seen Gail Kims hopes of a title shot any time soon go up in smoke!!

    Jim Ross: Y’gotta wonder, Coach, just WHO will be the next to step up and attempt to dethrone that woman!? We may just find out later tonight… but comin up NEXT … we will take a special look at last nights ‘I Quit’ match between Triple H and Mister Kennedy – and we will look back at the shocking conclusion to that violent war at the Survivor Series…




    Commercial Break







    A video package airs – ALL still images – of the brutal ‘I Quit’ Match last night at the Survivor Series between TRIPLE H and MISTER KENNEDY with commentary from Jim Ross and The Coach over the top of it. Kennedy has to suffer through a severe assault on his leg, as well as taking a Spinebuster – right through the barrier.

    Kennedy then sends Trips into an exposed turnbuckle and follows with a Mic Check, which allows him to blast The Game with repeated microphone shots as he looks to force Triple H into quitting. Kennedy busts Triple H open, and wears a chair out on him too, but winds up eating a DDT onto the steel step that HE brought into the ring.

    It’s Triple H’s turn to look for the opponent to quit, but with Kennedy just as stubborn, The Game has to up the ante, and attempts a Pedigree on the steps – but gets back dropped instead. After the two tumble over the announce table, Kennedy is able to waffle Triple H with a monitor, then looks for the sledgehammer after The Game again refuses to quit.

    Kennedy gets the hammer, and it appears Triple H is cowering in fear as he crawls to the outside … but instead, The Game has a second hammer under the ring, and uses it as Kennedy leans through the ropes – and the shot busts Kennedy wide open. A Pedigree follows, but Kennedy STILL wont quit … leaving Triple H to announce he’ll put Kennedy out of his misery-

    But when he goes for a final kill shot with the hammer, Kennedy moves, and takes Triple H down, applying his KROSSFACE. He chokes Triple H out, but refuses to let the official call for the bell, instead promising that he’d make The Game quit. With that, Kennedy brings Triple H back around – TWICE – and after getting to Triple H by telling him to think of his wife and kids … Triple H finally does the seemingly unthinkable …

    Triple H quits.

    Barely able to stand, Kennedy leaves the arena the winner, whilst Triple H eventually gets back to his feet; ego bruised – perhaps beyond repair – and refuses medical help as he leaves … with questions now over his future, and questions over whether he’ll ever show his face again after doing something no one ever would’ve thought possible; he QUIT.


    __________________________________________________




    Back at ringside, and The Coach puffs his cheeks, whilst J.R still looks shocked by those images…


    Jim Ross: Well, I’ll tell ya … I’ve had the distinction to be ringside and watch some brutal, hostile matches; some of the most personal and bloody wars you could imagine … and that one may have topped the lot last night. That was pure, unadulterated hatred last night at the Survivor Series, Coach.

    The Coach: And we knew goin in it could be that way. Neither of us could see either man ever quitting. I know I was sure the referee would eventually call for the bell … and only for Kennedy’s insistence, that’s what would’ve happened. The fact that Kennedy eventually got The Game to quit … I- I still don’t quite believe what I saw, J.R.

    Jim Ross: Nor do I. But lemme tell ya this, don’t for a second think Triple H threw the towel in last night. He may have said the words, but The Game ain’t a quitter. Not in the slightest!! An I know a lot people sat at home right now are gonna be scratchin their heads with what I’m about t’say, and they’ll probably say, “Ol J.R’s lost it” … but it took guts. It took GUTS for Triple H to say those words last night.

    The Coach: I’ve been saying you’ve lost it for years, J.R. But that just confirmed it.

    Jim Ross: The man sacrificed himself and his reputation in the ring to protect his status as a father, damn it!! He sacrificed himself in order to still be a husband!! That’s guts, Coach – but I wouldn’t expect y’to know anything about it!!

    The Coach: Well you can kiss up to Triple H and make excuses for him all you want, J.R – the record books will only ever show the fact that he QUIT. Mister Kennedy made Triple H say the words “I Quit”!! So let’s move past from Triple H – he IS the past, now. He’s not here tonight. Let’s talk Mister Kennedy…

    Jim Ross: Well, he ain’t here either t’night. As y’may have picked up from those highlights, Kennedy suffered an incredible amount of damage to his knee – a strategy of The Game’s early on, it seemed, was to target the legs … but of course, Kennedy survived that onslaught, somehow, someway … but in the end, once the adrenaline wore off late into Sunday night, Mister Kennedy found himself checkin into a local medical facility – but before he could get there, Kennedy had this run in, that was picked up by our diligent camera operators backstage-


    ~LAST NIGHT – SURVIVOR SERIES – BACKSTAGE ~

    The scene opens with CHRISTIAN (now on Smackdown) doing a walk and talk interview, possibly for wwe.com…

    Christian: Honestly? That was more fun than I was expecting it to be. After the year I’ve had, it’s not been easy. Tonight, I got to just to relax and enjoy it – and for the first time in a long time, I enjoyed myself out there – just like I used to. I think that was just what I needed.

    Unseen Interviewer: So, what’s next then??

    Christian: Well, I think I’ll be showin up for work this week on Smackdown, put it that way. I’ve been a bit of a jerk these last few months, but maybe with that-

    Suddenly, a limping MISTER KENNEDY barges in between Christian and the unseen cameraman/interviewer, with a blood soaked towel in his hand, wearing a t-shirt.

    Christian: You blind??

    Kennedy stops in his tracks, and turns – with a bloody forehead still – eyeing Christian up and down, before scoffing.

    Mister Kennedy: Nah, I just don’t got time for a guy that doesn’t exist any more.

    Christian chuckles, then looks to the cameraman.

    Christian: I think he got hit a little too hard tonight.

    Kennedy stops again, turning and shaking his head; deadly serious.

    Mister Kennedy: That’s not it. See … you’re here … in body. But that’s about it. Because the guy you were?? He’s either lost, or he’s gone for good.

    Christian doesn’t respond, as Kennedy takes another step toward him.

    Mister Kennedy: And if you don’t wanna be here?? If you don’t want that spot any more?? Then you oughta get outta the way.

    A face full of dried blood, Kennedy gets right in Christians face now…

    Mister Kennedy: Otherwise … y’might get hurt.

    Kennedy then turns and limps off, leaving Christian to think it over … before Captain Charisma motions for the camera to cut…

    And at ringside, J.R is shaking his head, whilst Coach seems impressed.

    The Coach: Makin friends and influencing people; Mister Kennedy style!!

    Jim Ross: That he is. Kennedy has made no bones about his intentions, and he made it clear to Christian – Smackdown’s Christian, now, remember – that he’s eyein up every top spot, it seems!!

    The Coach: Big difference here too, J.R – Kennedy WANTS it. Kennedy WANTS to be the top dog, and we all know Christian hasn’t been the same since SummerSlam. Whatever Hell in a Cell took out of Christian, he just isn’t the same guy as of late – and he’s been pretty open about not being as motivated as he once was.

    Jim Ross: Kennedy sure has big goals in his future, but they’ll have to be put onto the backburner for the time bein while he recovers from those injuries he sustained in victory twenty four hours ago. And the latest we’re hearin is that Kennedy could be out of action for four weeks – minimum.

    The Coach: And if I’m Mister Kennedy, I’m not rushin back, J.R. Take your time and rest up, get yourself at one hundred per cent for the new year … because let’s not forget about that bumper contract he signed; and he’s got the Number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble locked in already.

    Jim Ross: That he does, and given his victory last night, he’d be a favourite to win the Rumble in January regardless. But as the Number 30 entrant?? He’s a BIG favourite in my eyes right now, and in the eyes of many.

    The Coach: And it could be a long time before we see Triple H again too, J.R – if we ever see him again, at all!!

    Jim Ross: That remains to be seen. He’ll be hurtin today – physically and mentally – for sure. But I for one, hope we see The Game right back here on Raw before long.



    __________________________________________________




    **BOOYAKA 619**

    As ever, REY MYSTERIO emerges up through the trap door, getting a big reaction from the fans – starved of action in the first hour of tonights show thus far – as we gear up for the first of two title matches on Raw, with J.R putting over Mysterio and his elimination of John Cena last night at the Survivor Series – the first time EVER Rey has pinned Cena in any match.

    **AIN’T NO STOPPIN ME**

    SHELTON BENJAMIN meets his partner on the ramp, with J.R once again reminding us over the way in which Rey and Shelton lost the belts two weeks ago, with Steamboat looking to put things right tonight by granting the rematch. And, of course, Coach accuses Steamboat of playing favourites with his winning team from last night.

    **RENAISSANCE**

    Stepping out to the pompous music which matches their pompous attitudes, the World Tag Team Champions, DAMIEN SANDOW and RENÉ DUPRÉE make their way out in matching robes, and whilst Sandow has his dog, Duprée is still minus Fifi, who was dognapped by Goldust on the same night La Renaissance won the titles – something The Coach wants to point out is illegal.

    As the champions take their time to get to the ring, J.R tells us that the title match will be on the other side of this commercial break, and will be commercial FREE for the duration…




    Commercial Break





    Match 2 | WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS MATCH:
    La Renaissance vs. Rey Mysterio & Shelton Benjamin
    Mysterio and Benjamin seem to want to end it quickly and set the record straight, coming out of the gates, giving Sandow and Duprée all kinds of problems in the early going with a series of quick roll ups for near falls, before a tease of a 619 to BOTH men sees the champs escape, and take a powder on the floor to regroup … but the challengers don’t want to wait, and they hit STEREO SPLASHES TO THE FLOOR!!!

    Back inside, Benjamin looks to put René away, setting up for the T-Bone Exploder, but some desperate elbows save the Frenchman, and when Shelton sizes up a Stinger Splash, Duprée is saved by his partner, with Sandow dragging René out of the corner, leaving Shelton to eat the turnbuckle pads!!! That turns out to be the game changer, and the new champions finally get a foothold on the contest.

    Benjamin doesn’t spend too long on the backfoot though, fighting back, and fighting off Sandow & Duprée as they attempt a double team … but the numbers are seemingly too much for him, with the champs overwhelming the Black Diamond. They send him off the ropes, but Benjamin rebounds back with a double clothesline!!! With daylight, Shelton makes a tag to Rey!!!

    Mysterio hits the ring like a house on fire, too much for either opponent to handle … until Duprée illegally nails him from behind!!! Benjamin instantly tries to intervene, but is cut off by the official, as the champions drag Rey across to their corner, and proceed to cut off the ring – the biggest nightmare scenario for the challengers, as stated earlier in the night!!!

    Sandow and Duprée have their man where they want him now, and put the boots to Rey, tagging in and out to stomp Rey down in the corner. Targeting the head – as it was weakened by the assault from John Cena after Rey eliminated him last night, and by J.B.L who flattened Rey on the outside of the ring last night too, the Frenchman traps Rey in a sleeper, and Mysterio starts to fade.

    On the apron, Benjamin looks to keep his partner in it, stamping the mat, getting the fans to cheer Rey on and will him to the corner … and it appears to be working, with Rey finding a second wind, inching toward the corner, reaching his arms to make a tag … WHEN SANDOW RACES IN AND FOREARMS SHELTON OFF THE APRON!!!!! Smart move by the champions-

    But Rey then kicks off Sandow – and takes Duprée down whilst trapped in the sleeper – pinning his shoulders (ala Bret/Austin at Survivor Series 96 with Sandow replacing the turnbuckles here) … 1...2...NO!!!! Duprée just escapes the predicament, and gets up, swinging a clothesline – Rey ducks – and Duprée accidentally nails Sandow!!!

    Mysterio takes advantage of the mix up, taking René down with a headscissors, then executes a bulldog out of a wheelbarrow spot!!! Rey hits a springboard splash, and as he covers Duprée, Sandow is back in – looking to drop an elbow – but Rey moves!! Sandow drops an elbow on his own partner!!! Shelton Benjamin is back into position now too, giving Rey a chance to tag out … AND HE DOES!!!!!

    In comes Shelton Benjamin!!! And Shelton goes right after the groggy Frenchman … PAYDIRT!!!!! He has the cover … BUT THE REFEREE WON’T COUNT – HE DIDN’T SEE THE TAG!!!!! Replays show Sandow distracting the official as the tag was made, and Shelton – with the match won here – can’t capitalise, as the referee orders him back out.

    Rey is forced back in, and has the cover … but Sandow pulls him out of the ring, and rams him into the ring apron!!! Benjamin complains to the official – starting to lose his composure – as Sandow turns the tide back into the champions favour!!! He tosses Rey back in, and both legal men are struggling to make a tag … but Duprée gets to Sandow first, allowing him to drag Rey back to the middle of the ring and away from Shelton!!!

    Sandow toys with Rey, mocking him over his height, and PAYS THE PRICE – EATING AN ENZIGURI!!!!! Rey now looks for a tag, but Duprée tries to cut him off, looking for a side suplex … NO!!! Mysterio backflips out of it, and slides under a boot attempt from the Frenchman … THEN DIVES TO TAG SHELTON BENJAMIN AT LAST – AND THIS TIME THE REFEREE SEES IT!!!!!

    It’s all Shelton Benjamin – fired up from having to wait this long – and he doles out a pair of Stinger Splashes; one for Sandow, one for Duprée, before dropping Sandow with a neck breaker, and catches René with the Dragon Whip!!!! That sends the Frenchman into the ropes – which serves as an invite for a 619 … but when Rey runs off the ropes – HE GETS TRIPPED BY SANDOW FROM THE FLOOR!!!!!

    Benjamin slides out immediately, and he and Rey knock Sandow down, taking him out of the equation, before returning to the ring, bringing Sandow (as the legal man) with them, but Duprée cuts them off coming in!! The champions recover, tossing Rey from the ring to focus on Shelton alone, with Sandow delivering the Russian Leg Sweep … and rolls through to his feet … for the theatrical ELBOW OF DISDAIN…

    Whilst Duprée performs the FRENCH TICKLER DANCE!!! The heat rises for the pompous showboating … until Mysterio returns … SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF SANDOW … KNOCKING HIM INTO DUPREE!!!! The Frenchman tumbles out of the ring, to the floor … whilst Sandow lands in the ropes again!!! Mysterio dials it up … 619 FROM MYSTERIO TO SANDOW!!!

    There’s a feeling in the air, as Rey motions to Shelton to head up top, as the challengers close in on victory. Shelton starts to climb to get into position for a Blockbuster – but Duprée is trying to stop him!!! Meanwhile, Mysterio quickly perches himself onto the apron, waiting for Sandow to get up before launching onto the ropes … but as he waits for Sandow to rise up … REY IS YANKED OFF THE APRON-

    BY JOHN CENA!!!!!!

    The man Mysterio eliminated at the Survivor Series last night!!! With the referee too busy with Duprée and Benjamin, trying to break them up, the Man In Black is able to have his way with Rey, SLAMMING HIM DOWN on the outside … then picks him right back up, dragging him to the ramp and away from the mats … PILEDRIVER ON THE FLOOR!!!!!!! John Cena has taken out Rey Mysterio – getting to do what he was prevented from doing last night after his elimination!!!

    Rey is slumped on the floor, with Cena beginning to saunter backward, a wry smirk on his face. In the meantime, Benjamin has finally seen what’s going on, and knocks Duprée aside, looking to come after Cena and protect his partner … but as he reaches out through the ropes … BENJAMIN GETS SCHOOL BOYED BY THE RECOVERING SANDOW … AND HE’S GOT A HANDFUL OF TIGHTS!!!!! 1...2...3!!!!!
    Winners: And STILL World Tag Team Champions – La Renaissance @ 12:02

    All thanks to John Cena, La Renaissance steal the win – AGAIN – from Mysterio and Benjamin, this time to retain the titles!! The champions don’t hang around either, knowing they’ve struck lucky, and instantly roll out of the ring … but they needn’t worry, as Shelton Benjamin’s instant reaction is to check on Mysterio on the outside.

    Still, John Cena, with his hood back over his head, continues to back up the ramp, shouting down to ringside – though it’s impossible to decipher what’s being said. Benjamin is seething as he looks up toward Cena, then motions for help for Rey, who hasn’t moved since the Piledriver on the floor.

    There’s no sense of concern from Sandow or Duprée though – the champions are simply content to be leaving with their titles in tact – and they step over the former champs on their way to the ramp. On commentary, J.R is blowing a gasket at the actions of Cena – calling him a coward, and reminding us that it’s ALL because Rey eliminated Cena last night - “THAT’S ALL IT IS!!!”

    Help arrives at ringside, as Benjamin stands back up, hands on his head, shaking his head, clearly concerned for his partner … as we head to a commercial break…




    Commercial Break




    Back from the commercial, REY MYSTERIO is thankfully back to his feet, but is gingerly walking through the curtain – referees helping him on either side – as an EMT is heard saying; “You really should take the stretcher as a precaution…”

    Benjamin is livid as he follows through, rubbing the back of his partner, before letting the medics do their job, and hangs back, getting a hold of road agent DEAN MALENKO…

    Shelton Benjamin: Where did Cena go??

    Malenko shakes his head.

    Dean Malenko: He was straight outta here, Shelton. Just burst back through the curtain, didn’t stop for anyone.

    Shelton Benjamin: Yeah?? Maybe he’ll stop for me when I find him.

    Malenko grabs Shelton by the arm before he can leave.

    Dean Malenko: Shelton- don’t do anything stupid. You saw what happened to Rey- Ricky will deal with this. Don’t go taking things into your own hands.

    Shelton thinks about it … but pulls his arm away, and still appears to be heading off in pursuit of Cena…




    __________________________________________________



    Back into the arena…

    **GLAMAZON**

    Entering to a smattering of heat, a smiling BETH PHOENIX raises her Womens title above her head as she walks onto the stage. Both Jim Ross and The Coach give The Glamazon her dues after overcoming the very real threat of Natalya last night at the Survivor Series – not only defeating the challenger, but defeating her with the famed Sharpshooter.

    As Beth reaches the ring, both commentators ask just WHO is next in line for a crack at the gold, with Coach claiming Phoenix has cleaned out the entire division at this point … though J.R is quick to point out that that’s not necessarily true, but concedes that until last night, Gail Kim appeared to be in the drivers seat for that next shot.

    Beth Phoenix: I’ve only got one thing to say right now … and that’s … I told you so.

    There’s a few heckles from the fans, but that doesn’t change the smirk on the champions face.

    Beth Phoenix: Everyone was sooo quick to proclaim Natalya as the next Womens champion. After everything I’ve accomplished, you all were sooo quick to write me off.

    Phoenix shakes her head – still smirking.

    Beth Phoenix: Honey, you don’t write the Glamazon off against anyone. And last night I proved to the entire world that I AM the ultimate diva. I took on Natalya at her own game. I gave up my right for rope breaks against a challenger whose ONLY weapon was the Sharpshooter … and not only did I rise to the challenge … not only did I BEAT Natalya … But I beat Natalya with her own hold.

    She sure did; ain’t no denying that!!” ~J.R giving credit where it’s due.

    Beth Phoenix: Last night proved that not only am I the best female wrestler on the planet today … I proved that I’m the best female wrestler EVER.

    That’s a big statement … she’s got a long way t’go … but she may well be on course.” ~J.R again.

    Beth Phoenix: And there’s not a single girl in the back that can argue with that point. I shut up all my doubters last night at the Survivor Series … and now that I’ve dealt with Natalya, I’ve been thinking about who could be next. And as I looked around at all the diva’s here on Raw, I realized there isn’t a single one that I haven’t beaten already!!

    Beth shakes her head, looking around for some kind of reaction from a fairly quiet audience.

    Beth Phoenix: So where is the next challenge?? Who exactly can step up and pose a threat to the Glamazon?? Because honestly, I don’t think there’s anyone back there who-

    **AIN’T THE LADY TO MESS WITH**

    And it appears as if VICTORIA and KELLY KELLY are here to answer the challenge. Victoria takes the lead, and holds the mic, as she and the blonde youngster walk down the ramp, with J.R claiming BOTH women have been on a roll as of late together, with Victoria guiding Kelly thus far in her career.

    Victoria: You obviously didn’t look very hard, Beth … because your next challenger?? Is right here!!

    Phoenix looks puzzled, and points out to Kelly.

    Beth Phoenix: Kelly??

    There’s a cheer, and Victoria smirks at the suggestion – but shakes her head as she climbs up the steps and onto the apron, with Kelly following behind her.

    Victoria: That’s cute. But no. You know exactly who I’m talking about. I’m talking about ME.

    Beth smirks at the statement, and is unmoved as Victoria climbs into the ring with her protégé.

    Victoria: See, long before you came along and christened yourself the “Glamazon” … I was the most dominating woman in the WWE. But I didn’t need a fancy moniker … I just let my actions speak for themselves.

    Certainly not intimidated by the champion, the veteran steps into the space of Beth.

    Victoria: And the funniest thing of all, Beth … is that you already know all of this. If there’s anyone here on Raw that can pose a challenge to you?? It’s me.

    That’s a big statement, right there!!” ~Coach adds his two cents from commentary.

    Victoria: I’ll give you credit, Beth … you’ve been impressive since you won that Womens title. But we’ve locked up enough times in the past for me to know that you’re NOT unbeatable, and I’ve got the victories to prove it!!

    Victoria defeated Beth Phoenix all the way back in February on Superstars!!”

    That was a long time ago J.R!!”

    That it may be, but it was two outta three falls – y’don’t get lucky there, Coach.”

    Victoria: And while you’ve been clearly overlooking me, I’ve been racking up win after win around here lately … but don’t worry. Ricky Steamboat hasn’t been overlooking me. As a matter of fact, he just spoke to me about five minutes ago to give me some news.

    With a smirk forming, Victoria points at herself, with Kelly smiling.

    Victoria: And that’s that I’m next in line for a shot at that Womens title – next week on Raw.

    Beth Phoenix: You!?

    Victoria: {Nodding} Me. And let me tell you something else, Beth … I’ve had to wait a long time for this shot. It’s been almost SIX long years since I held that title, and I can’t even remember the last opportunity I’ve been given at the title. But I’m gonna make this one count.

    Beth Phoenix: We’ll see about that. But honestly … I wasn’t kidding earlier. When I asked if Kelly was my next challenger … I was serious. And given these people’s reactions … I think they wanted it to be Kelly too.

    As if to back the Glamazon up, there’s a rather rowdy pop from some sections of the audience, and Kelly is rather bashfully putting her head down amidst this attention. Victoria shakes her head though, not letting that affect her.

    Victoria: I see what you’re doing, Beth. But it’s not gonna wash with me, and it won’t wash with Kelly either. You and I both know that Kelly – for as popular as she is, and as good as she’s getting … isn’t ready yet.

    Some boos from those same rowdy fans, but again, Victoria is focused only on Beth, and steps up to the champion.

    Victoria: But I am.

    Victoria and Phoenix stare off, inches from one another, with the champion the first to break, taking a step back with a smirk on her face.

    Beth Phoenix: Well … all I’ve got to say … is congratulations.

    Victoria seems a little puzzled.

    Beth Phoenix: Congratulations on attaching yourself to the hot new thing around here in order to cling onto relevancy!!

    Phoenix points at Kelly, and there’s some boos elsewhere for that suggestion, whilst Victoria scoffs at the very notion.

    Beth Phoenix: Because without you leeching onto the hot new blonde on the scene, there’s nobody that’d be paying ANY attention to you, Victoria.

    Victoria turns to Kelly, shaking her head, telling her that’s NOT the case … but Beth looks to continue to drive a wedge.

    Beth Phoenix: And you can talk about all these wins you’ve been racking up, but it seems to me that everyone here would much, MUCH rather see Kelly get the next shot at the Womens Title … and not you.

    And again, that vocal support for Kelly make themselves heard. Kelly is still pretty embarrassed, hearing those cheers, knowing it’s undermining her mentor.

    Beth Phoenix: But you, Kelly?? I hope you’re not just the stereotypical blonde … and you can see what everyone else can around here. Your “mentor” is just using you for her own gains … and she just stepped over you to get a title shot.

    Brushing past Kelly, Beth departs from the ring, leaving Victoria to stew, furious at the suggestion from the champion that she’s using Kelly’s popularity for her own gain.

    Victoria seethes, but makes sure to tell Kelly that it’s all lies, whilst J.R also defends the #1 Contender, reminding everyone that Victoria is the reason Kelly has advanced as quickly as she has, and that the veteran HAS been the leader of their team.

    But Coach wants to cause dissent, siding with Beth’s claims that Victoria would be forgotten and irrelevant without saddling up to Kelly, leading J.R to argue that title shots aren’t handed out for popularity, but for wins and losses, and right now, Victoria has as many wins as anyone else.

    With Beth Phoenix leaving, J.R hypes that Womens title match next week … but still to come TONIGHT is the WORLD TITLE match, pitting the champion Brent Albright against the challenger Paul London … whilst up next, Nick Nemeth is in action against Nick Dinsmore…





    Commercial Break



    **PAY THE PRICE**

    With Charlie Haas by his side, NICK DINSMORE enters the arena, with the other two thirds of the Master Craftsmen appearing for the first time tonight – but only one of them is set to compete here.

    As Dinsmore makes his way to the ring, J.R assures the audience that Rey Mysterio will be assessed backstage, and if necessary, will be taken to a local medical facility, but promises to update us with any further developments…

    Then, with Dinsmore in the ring, the official, Mickey Henson, elects to make the decision to BANISH Charlie Haas from ringside!!! Dinsmore and Haas are both furious at the decision, with J.R guessing that with the outside interference in the first two matches of the evening, the official isn’t taking chances here again.

    But Coach doesn’t see it that way. He surmises that this is another power play from Steamboat now that JBL is out of the picture, and he’s victimizing the Master Craftsmen specifically. Haas – under protest – eventually leaves ringside, but makes it clear he isn’t happy whilst being ushered down the side of the ramp by another referee…

    **HERE TO SHOW THE WORLD**

    It’s a decent pop for NICK NEMETH initially … but when Lillian Garcia makes a big deal of announcing him as being from CLEVELAND, OHIO, the place erupts!! With an Intercontinental Title shot next week, J.R says it’s vital that Nemeth wins tonight, whilst also reminding the audience that Nemeth never got the one on one rematch he EARNED with Punk after the epic 60 minute draw in September…

    Match 3:
    Nick Dinsmore vs. Nick Nemeth
    The battle of the Nicks sees Dinsmore try to get the jump on Nemeth, but the hometown boy is able to react quickly enough to fend Dinsmore off. And after popping off a series of dropkicks, Nemeth forces Dinsmore to roll out for cover and to rethink his gameplan, whilst Nemeth fires up the hometown crowd.

    Returning to the ring, Dinsmore looks to slow the action down now after his initial plan backfired, but Nemeth uses this as an opportunity to showcase his own mat skills, giving J.R a chance to put over Nemeths amateur pedigree. Again, Dinsmore is forced to look for cover after being humiliated … but this time, Nemeth isn’t waiting for Dinsmore to come back – he’s going after him!!

    Nemeth follows out, but his over eagerness plays into Dinsmores hands, and the Master Craftsmen catches Nemeth with a drop toe hold on the floor!! That places the contest – finally – into the hands of Dinsmore, and he begins to work over Nemeth back inside the ring … but he’s unable to put him away, as we head into a commercial break.


    Commercial Break




    And right back from the commercial, we’re in the midst of a fightback from Nemeth, with clips of Dinsmore attempting to apply the Cloverleaf during the commercial being the undoing of the heel, as Nemeth fought it off and fought back to his feet. Nemeth scores a near fall off a FAMOUSER, then sets up for the LEAPING DDT – BUT GETS SHOVED OFF!!!

    Dinsmore then looks for a German Suplex – BLOCKED by Nemeth!! Nemeth escapes the waistlock, ducks a shot, and DROPS Dinsmore with the JUMPING REVERSE BULLDOG!!! It’s another near fall, but Nemeth is in control, and gets the fans to count along as he delivers the TEN consecutive elbows … softening Dinsmore up … FOR THE LEAPING DDT!!! The count is academic; no one kicks out of that DDT … 1...2...3!!!!!
    Winner: Nick Nemeth @ 06:14

    Nemeth finishes the job, looking impressive as he gears up for his I.C Title shot next week in Vegas, with J.R doing his level best to put that match over, stating that if Nemeth can hit that DDT on Punk next week, we’ll be looking at the NEW I.C Champion.

    After getting his hand raised, Nemeth calls for a mic, looking to address his home state, after his victory tonight.

    Nick Nemeth: I’m not gonna take up too much of your time Cleveland … I know you’re all waiting for the World Title match tonight, and I know you’re all gonna be pullin for Paul London to bring home the title, just like I am … but I just wanna take this moment … to say I’m proud to be HOME!!!

    The cheapest of cheap pops.

    Nick Nemeth: I was born and raised right HERE in Cleveland!! And to hear you people – MY people – cheer my name here tonight is like a dream come true!!

    And again.

    Nick Nemeth: I just wish … I just wish tonight was my shot at the Intercontinental Title. Because it’s been my dream ever since I was a little kid, like some of you tonight in the crowd … to come here to ‘The Q’ and win that Intercontinental title and bring YOU people a championship!!

    "Oh, this pandering is sickening, J.R!" ~Coach.

    Nick Nemeth: But even though I won’t be winning that title in my backyard … I promise you all … the next time we come back to Cleveland, I will stand before you all as YOUR Intercontinental Champion!!

    **REALITY**

    Here comes a buzzkill!! Being seen for the first time since his loss to the Undertaker at Raw 800, THE MIZ saunters through the curtain in his usual demeanour, cocky and smirking, but Nemeth isn’t impressed in the ring.

    The Miz: When the people of Cleveland heard that their hometown hero was gonna be in action tonight on Raw, I think they were left disappointed when they heard it was you. Because there’s only one TRUE hero these people have … and that’s Ohio’s favourite son … ME – The Miz!!!

    There’s a decidedly less enthusiastic reaction for Miz as he tries to get the hometown pop.

    Nick Nemeth: I thought you’d be too busy hamming it up in La-La Land with all your Z-List Celebrity friends to come back down to earth here in Ohio??

    Miz looks offended by that suggestion, and shakes his head as he walks down the ramp.

    The Miz: Me?? Oh, no. I’ll never forget my roots. My good friend, LeBron-

    Cheap pop for the mention of LeBron James – and Miz smiles, having gotten the easy pop he was looking for.

    The Miz: He wouldn’t let me forget this place. I was born and raised, right here in Ohio … and I know the little people of this state can find inspiration in seeing one of their own make it BIG!! And thanks to my success, they can live vicariously live through me, as I live out all the dreams they couldn’t.

    Boos from the fans as Miz rather passively puts them down, but Nemeth fires back from the ring.

    Nick Nemeth: You made it big?? That sure passed me by, Miz. All I’ve seen from you is you getting punked by every celebrity that shows up at one of our shows, and humiliated by any legend that crosses your path!!

    Pop. Miz expression changes, not impressed by that from Nemeth, as he continues to walk down the ramp.

    Nick Nemeth: I mean, Shaq knocked you on your ass at WrestleMania. Mickey Rourke kicked your ass at SummerSlam. And the last time we saw you on Raw, The Undertaker wiped the floor with ya!! Some list of accomplishments, right??

    Miz shakes his head as he walks up the steps.

    The Miz: You think that’s all pretty funny, huh?? I’ve accomplished a hell of a lot more than you have!! People rave about how you wrestled for an hour with CM Punk a few months ago-

    The reality star glares at a few fans who cheer that.

    The Miz: Big deal, huh?? You proud of him?? Well maybe you’ve all forgotten that I wrestled in the longest match in history!! Damn near SEVEN WEEKS STRAIGHT!!! WHERE’S MY PARADE!?

    Standing now on the apron, Miz turns his back to Nemeth in the ring, addressing the audience instead right now.

    The Miz: I went at it for forty seven days, twenty three hours, fifty four minutes and seventeen seconds … but y’don’t hear me harp on about it like a broken record!!

    Yeah, but he’s got the exact time memorized!!” ~J.R adds some narration on commentary, as Miz turns his attention back to Nemeth in the ring.

    The Miz: And as for those celebrities I’ve rubbed shoulders with?? Maybe it tells ya something that they’d choose to get involved in MY business … rather than be seen dead with you. The Miz equals ratings, Nicky. And The Miz has come a LONG way from Ohio, and I’ve come BACK here to drag this city out of the wilderness … unlike you, who’s just prepared to fester in it!!

    Bigger heel heat for Miz, now bashing his home state, as he climbs into the ring,, facing up to Nemeth.

    Nick Nemeth: The wilderness?? The wilderness?? You really DO have an inflated ego, huh?? Well, uh, maybe it’s time you got a bit of a reality check … because the only place YOU are heading is the wilderness. All you are, Miz … is a joke – a punchline. But I hope you enjoy these fifteen minutes of fame you’re getting right now. I hope in a few years time, you can look back on your thirty seconds on ‘E!’ when they show you getting your ass kicked by a movie star, LAUGHING at your expense.

    Miz is getting visibly angered now.

    Nick Nemeth: Because that’s all you’ll ever be. A Joke. Me though?? I AM going places. And maybe right now I’m not a “household” name like you are … but once I beat CM Punk next week and win the Intercontinental Title … I will be.

    Cheers from the fans, as Miz continues to huff.

    Nick Nemeth: I’ll have my name written into the history books, I’ll be remembered forever … and I’ll not forget where I came from either … and that’s right here in Cleveland, OHIO!!!

    Another pop, as Nemeth then smirks, looking right at Miz…

    Nick Nemeth: HOO-RAH!!

    AND THE MIZ CRACKS!!

    Miz takes a swing at Nemeth after having his own catchphrase used on him-

    BUT NEMETH DUCKS-

    HE KICKS MIZ IN THE GUT … THEN LEAPS UP … AND DROPS HIM WITH THE LEAPING DDT!!!!!

    DOWN GOES THE MIZ!!!!!

    Nemeth bounces right back up to his feet, soaking in the ovation from his hometown, and J.R puts over the momentum Nemeth is riding right now, rolling toward his shot at the Intercontinental Title next week, shutting The Miz up tonight.

    Then … as Nemeth takes in all the cheers from the fans inside the Quicken Loans Arena, we cut away … and see CM PUNK standing at the top of the ramp, Intercontinental title raised … as champion and challenger eye one another down, title match next week on Raw…





    Commercial Break





    Back from the break, EVE TORRES is standing by…

    Eve Torres: Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome, my guest at this time … Paul London!!

    There’s a pop as PAUL LONDON appears on set, all dressed to compete, but with strapping on his shoulder, ahead of his title shot.

    Eve Torres: Paul, we’re now just moments away from your World Heavyweight Championship match against Brent Albright. Obviously, you and Albright know each other inside and out, going back to your days as Smackdown superstars, and just last night, you outlasted Albright to be the Sole Survivor at the Survivor Series. But given everything you went through just twenty four hours ago – wrestling for almost forty five minutes – what kind of condition are you in tonight??

    Paul London: Eve, I’m not about to stand here and start making excuses before a bell has even rung. I’ll leave that to Brent Albright. He seems to think he was the only one that went forty five minutes last night … but I was there too. Only difference being the same as it will be tonight … I won, and he lost.

    Eve nods, but follows up.

    Eve Torres: But still, Paul, yes, you were both in the match as long as each other … but really, you took a great deal more punishment throughout the match. That must put you at a disadvantage tonight, surely??

    Paul London: Yeah, I took a hell of a lot of punishment last night … but the truth is, it wouldn’t matter what condition I was in tonight – the moment I was offered this shot at the title, I was taking it.

    London shrugs.

    Paul London: And anyway, right now, I’m still on cloud nine. The adrenaline from last night still hasn’t worn off, and I’m rarin to go. Like I said earlier … I made a promise four months ago that I was gonna take away everything Brent Albright had. Tonight, I get to make good on that promise once and for all.

    Eve Torres: And it’d be remiss of me not to ask … it appeared as if earlier tonight, Brent Albright was more troubled by the actions of Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series, rather than focusing on the task at hand tonight; namely, defending his title against you.

    London takes a moment to think about his reply.

    Paul London: That’s up to Albright. For all I know, he was tryin to throw me off earlier. But it didn’t work. I’m laser focused. I’m ready – more ready than I’ve ever been. And while Brent Albright has said in the past that I’ll never be ready to be World Champion … tonight, I prove him wrong. Right here tonight, I’m gonna show Albright that I’m overdue … and I’m taking everything he’s got left.

    Full of fire and passion, London delivers that final line, before walking off set for his date with destiny.




    __________________________________________________




    Elsewhere, SHAWN MICHAELS is shown beginning to leave the building, dragging his luggage behind him when RICKY STEAMBOAT jogs up behind him, calling out “SHAWN!” to make Michaels stop in his tracks. Steamboat catches up to Michaels, and there’s still tension between the pair it seems.

    Ricky Steamboat: I wanted to have a quick talk before you left. Look, I know we’ve not seen eye to eye these last few months … but I couldn’t let what happened last night pass without saying thanks.

    Rather emotionless, Michaels shakes his head.

    Shawn Michaels: You don’t need to thank me. I didn’t do what I did for you … I did it because it was the right thing t’do.

    Steamboat nods.

    Ricky Steamboat: I understand. And I still want to say thank you … for doing the right thing. And I know Jesse wants to thank you too for the sacrif-

    Well isn’t this cosy.”

    Steamboat is cut off … as BRENT ALBRIGHT appears, crashing the meeting.

    Brent Albright: What’s goin on?? The two of you havin a laugh and a joke at my expense?? At JBL’s?? It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if the two of you had this whole thing planned from the start. To get a double agent on JBL’s Survivor Series team. That what’s goin on here??

    Shawn Michaels: You’re way off.

    Ricky Steamboat: Way, way off. Shawn made a choice last night … and I’ll not lie … I’m glad and relieved he did.

    Michaels is still stony faced, as Albright focuses on Steamboat for now.

    Brent Albright: I bet you are. Because now you don’t even have to be subtle when you screw me over!!

    Ricky Steamboat: Not this again-

    Brent Albright: You had your ref out there banish Charlie Haas from ringside for Nick’s match earlier?? BEFORE the match could even start??

    Ricky Steamboat: I didn’t have anything to do with that. That call was at the officials discretion.

    Albright rolls his eyes, whilst Shawn stays in the picture, but offers nothing to the conversation.

    Brent Albright: I’ll bet. And while we’re at it, there’s no General Manager worth a damn that would even DREAM of putting his World Champion straight into a title defence, one night removed from having to go forty five minutes. Unscheduled, unprepared – you’re doin everything in your power to take this from me.

    Ricky Steamboat: Unscheduled?? How’s that?? It’s been twenty nine days since you defended that World Title, Brent. It’s your obligation to defend it every thirty.

    Albright scoffs.

    Brent Albright: That’s bull and you know it. You don’t have to enforce it-

    Ricky Steamboat: And besides, Paul London had to go just as long as you did last night, so don’t make like you’re at a disadvantage here.

    The champion doesn’t have a comeback. Steamboat looks to his wrist, then points toward the Gorilla position.

    Ricky Steamboat: And by my watch, I think you’re up. So how about you get your mind on Paul London and retaining your title, rather than spending time creating conspiracy theories.

    Brent Albright: I’ll do that. But don’t think this is over.

    Albright fixes the title belt on his shoulder, but makes sure to get a final word with Michaels, stepping right into his face.

    Brent Albright: And that goes for you too, Benedict Arnold.

    Albright then brushes past Michaels aggressively, stomping off, as Shawn and Steamboat share a look, but don’t say a word…




    __________________________________________________



    Back into the arena…

    J.R and Coach get set for the main event, but quickly recap events from earlier in the night and the conclusion to the tag team title match, which saw JOHN CENA screw REY MYSTERIO and SHELTON BENJAMIN – specifically Rey – as a result of Mysterio eliminating Cena last night at the Survivor Series.

    We’re shown the clip of Cena executing the Piledriver on the floor – away from the mats – and we’re told that Rey Mysterio HAS been taken to a local medical facility for further evaluations on his neck. We’re also told that Shelton Benjamin DID go in pursuit of Cena, but the Man In Black made a swift exit from the building…

    The commentary team wonder what kind of reception Cena could expect next Monday in Vegas, before hyping the TWO title matches set for next week too; Beth Phoenix versus Victoria for the Womens title and CM Punk defending the I.C Title against Nick Nemeth with NO time limits in a rematch of their 60 minute draw from September.

    **STAY IN SHADOW**

    And entering the stage for the chance to cap off an incredible two nights, PAUL LONDON takes a big deep breath on the stage for his first shot at the World title since coming up short at Madison Square Garden at SummerSlam against the man he attempts to dethrone tonight.

    **MEET YOUR MASTER**

    Visibly still pissed off and rattled, BRENT ALBRIGHT marches through the curtain, with J.R reminding us all of the last twenty four hours in the life of the World Champion … and it might be about to get worse. Coach is furious at everything that’s transpired, as J.R tells us the main event is up next…




    Commercial Break




    Back from the commercial, both men are in the ring, and the introductions take place for the big time main event … and once the bell rings, Albright isn’t wishing to take his time!!

    Main Event | WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
    Brent Albright vs. Paul London
    Albright’s aggressiveness almost severely backfires, with London quick to respond, avoiding the champion, and trapping him – first with an Okalhoma Roll, then a school boy and crucifix pin … all in the space of the first thirty seconds, all for near falls!! The champions head being all over the place nearly costs him the title, and a dropsault from the challenger sends Albright hurtling out of the ring!!! Feeling the momentum, London looks for a PLANCHA – BUT MISSES!!!

    London went for too much too soon, and it backfired!!! He struggles back up, but he’s easy prey for Albright, who picks him up and DRIVES the challenger – BACK FIRST – into the ring post!!! He does it a second time … THEN DELIVERS A BELLY TO BELLY – WITH LONDON LANDING ON THE STEPS!!!!! London’s back contorts off the steps, and Albright is told off by the referee … but the champion protests his innocence, saying he didn’t see the steps were even there.

    Albright looks to finish the match early when he brings London back into the ring, but the challenger refuses to stay down off a number of quick cover attempts, forcing Albright to change his gameplan and instead focus his attention on the back instead and look to wear London down. It’s a standard assault on the back, with Albright basing his entire focus on that area, as J.R reminds us of the beating London took last night – specifically to his back.

    But it’s not an ordinary night – it’s a chance for London to live out his dream – and the challenger powers through the pain, mounting a comeback … but he’s clearly suffering, and the injuries to his back has slowed him down, allowing Albright to recover and catch London up top – BELLY TO BELLY FROM THE TOP TO LONDON!!!!! Albright has to sell the impact on himself too … but eventually gets the cover … 1...2...NO!!!!! London hangs on, but it’s all Albright, heading into the final commercial of the night.



    Commercial Break



    Albright has a BACKBREAKER submission applied as we return, and J.R explains that it’s been ALL Albright throughout the commercial, with London hanging on for dear life as he clings to the hope of walking out of Raw as World Champion. Quitting won’t cross Londons mind either, and Albrights frustrations boil over, eventually giving up on the submission in order to weaken the challenger further, and THROWS London out of the ring.

    The champion pushes Mike Chioda aside, ignoring the orders to keep it in the ring, and beats on London on the outside, and attempts to send him into the steel steps … REVERSED BY LONDON … AND ALBRIGHT HURTLES INTO THE STEPS INSTEAD!!!!! The challenger has bought himself time, and rolls into the ring … but has to roll back out to stop the champion from being counted out!!!

    It takes London EVERYTHING to roll Albright back inside, and follows in … BEFORE WALKING RIGHT INTO THE CROWBAR!!!!! Even though it’s Londons back that’s been targeted tonight, the Crowbar remains a devastating weapon in Albrights arsenal … and it’s one London has tapped to MULTIPLE times in the past … BUT NOT TONIGHT!!!! London fights through the pain … AND GRABS THE ROPES!!!!

    London survives, and has to use the ropes to get back to his feet, with Albright recovered, coming after the challenger – SUPERKICK FROM LONDON OUT OF NOWHERE!!!!! London falls into the cover; 1...2...NO!!!!! Both men are down, with London still struggling due to his weakened back, but with this opening, he grits through the pain, mounting a comeback, relying on his quickness, eventually scoring with a GERMAN … 1...2...NO!!!!!

    Agony is etched on London’s face – a split second from victory – and he has to pick himself up again, taking the fight to the champion, roughing him up with forearm shots, and looks to get a run off the ropes to rush at the champ – but Albright side steps, tossing London over the ropes to give himself a rest … ONLY FOR LONDON TO HANG ON!!! The challenger looks to skin the cat – BUT GETS A 61-KNEE FROM ALBRIGHT!!!!!

    London lands hard on the floor, and the champion quickly rushes back out, tossing London inside, wanting to finish things off, getting the challenger up onto his shoulders for the ACE IN THE HOLE – BUT LONDON COUNTERS … INTO A DDT!!!!! It’s a struggle for both men to find their feet … getting up … and LONDON SCORES WITH A PELE KICK!!!!! Albright goes down, giving London a chance to head up top … and after a struggle he gets there-

    450 SPLASH-

    GETS KNEES!!!!!!

    Albright had time to get his knees up!!! And he traps the shoulders of London to the mat … 1...2...LONDON STILL KICKS OUT!!!!!

    The champion shakes his head in disbelief!!! He argues the count with the official, then finally gets his head back on straight, taking it to London again, seemingly abandoning his focus on the back completely as the match continues, sending London off the ropes … BUT LONDON COMES BACK WITH A FLYING FOREARM-

    ALBRIGHT DUCKS IT-

    AND LONDON ACCIDENTALLY TAKES OUT CHIODA!!!!!

    The referee is down!!! London doesn’t have time to think about it, as Albright comes after him, looking for a HALF-NELSON SUPLEX … BUT LONDON ELBOWS OUT!!! AND CATCHES THE CHAMPION WITH A NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX!!!! There’s no cover – there’s no referee anyway – as London gets back up, looking to climb the turnbuckles again … but there’s trouble brewing for the challenger as he climbs to the top-

    IT’S CHARLIE HAAS!!!

    Boos shower Haas as he runs to ringside, looking to interfere, grabbing the foot of London, but London shrugs him off, kicking Haas away … but NICK DINSMORE IS IN THE RING – AND LOOKS TO PULL LONDON FROM THE TOP – BUT HE GETS KICKED AWAY TOO!!! London stands up … MISSILE DROPKICK TO DINSMORE!!!! London is fending off Haas and Dinsmore … THEN PUTS ALBRIGHT BACK DOWN WITH A HEADSCISSORS!!!!!

    But he can’t fight three men for too long – Haas gets in the ring, and BLASTS London from behind!!!!! Dinsmore recovers, and the former tag team champions put the boots to London, giving Albright time to recover … as J.R notes that Mysterio and Benjamin have both left already – as has Nick Nemeth – leaving no allies for Paul London left in the building…

    BUT SHAWN MICHAELS IS HERE!!!!!!

    The Heart Break Kid appears to have stayed … and he’s here to fight off the Master Craftsmen to even the odds for London!!! The fans pop for the arrival of Michaels, catching Haas with an inverted atomic drop, then knocks Dinsmore down … BEFORE NAILING HAAS WITH SWEET CHIN MUSIC!!!!! Haas rolls to the floor, but Dinsmore pounces on Michaels, swarming him with blows at the ropes, then sends him off-

    FLYING FOREARM FROM MICHAELS!!!!!!

    Dinsmore rolls to the outside upon impact, as Michaels now sizes up Brent Albright … LOOKING FOR SWEET CHIN MUSIC-

    BUT ALBRIGHT DUCKS-

    AND MICHAELS CONNECTS WITH LONDON INSTEAD!!!!!

    Michaels jaw drops in horror as he nails London instead of Albright … but the champion doesn’t freeze … and he throws Michaels out of the ring, before picking London up … with no resistance from the lifeless challenger … ACE IN THE HOLE!!!! Cover is made … Mike Chioda is coming around … and Dinsmore is holding Michaels down on the outside as the count is made … 1 … … … 2 … … … 3!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Winner: And STILL World Heavyweight Champion – Brent Albright @ 16:12


    The air escapes out of the building … as Brent Albright ESCAPES with the title in tact … off an errant Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels – intended for Albright … but landed on London!!!

    Albright hurriedly rolls out of the ring, just as Shawn Michaels scrambles back inside, and Dinsmore collects the title for the champion, handing it to him on the floor, with the Master Craftsmen meeting at the ramp – Haas essentially out on his feet, held up by Dinsmore.

    In the ring, Shawns hands are on his head, sitting on his knees, as Paul London is still down, yet to come around and realise he’s lost. Michaels is seething in the ring, knowing his mistake just cost Paul London … twenty four hours on from his huge assist that helped London to victory at the Survivor Series.

    Raw comes to a close with the Master Craftsmen backing up the ramp, Albright holding up the title, relieved to come out of this night unscathed … but in the ring, Michaels is still seething … and London is still down … as his wait for a maiden World Title victory continues…


    END OF SHOW




  2. #562
    I’m Not Booked!
    Keefmoon's Avatar

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    Re: Being The Booker

    LOVE the start. Sets the tone for what Steamboat's gonna be like on his own, but in an in-character, low key way that is also something a bit different. Great to see that your flair for the small touches hasn't diminished with your short break.

    Interesting opening segment. I've said my piece on Albright, but if you're going to keep going with him I think you need more segments like this, where he feels "featured". Not sure how I feel about London kinda being dismissed like this, but in a "I'm interested where this is going" rather than "this is bad booking" kind of way. All interesting stuff here, and particularly thought London standing up for himself was well handled.

    CM Punk is so great. Lovely little interaction with Steamboat. If this was Wrestlemania 23 we were building towards I could totally see Punk v Steamboat 20 years on from the greatest IC match of all time.

    So, uh... we gonna get some wrestling or what? Decent promo from Rey and Shelton, although probably nothing that couldn't have waited til later in the show given it's just standard hype.

    THIS is the wrestling I've been waiting for?! Nah, I kid. Decent enough match, solid story with Gail and LayCool. Nothing to get overly excited about, but at least it's putting a bit of a spotlight on them.

    Great idea to recap the HHH/Kennedy stuff. It was HUGE, so putting more emphasis on it will never be a bad thing. Kinda like Bigmc123 constantly going back to the Hogan turn.

    Hmm... I'm not sure what I make of this Christian/Kennedy stuff. I have no problem with interactions on cross-brand PPVs to set stuff up for the future (which I have to think this is from the fact that you bothered to do it), but only seeing it now in a WWE.com bit makes it seem like an afterthought. Kinda like you came up with the idea after you'd posted the show. After all, if it was that important a segment, we'd have already seen it at the pPV. I dunno. For two guys who are supposed to be your biggest stars (the guy who beat HHH in I Quit and the guy who beat Cena in HiaC) this was oddly throwaway. If it was just a throwaway segment to get over their characters, then cool. But if it's the start of something, I don't think this landed all that well I'm afraid.

    No issue with La Ren retaining thanks to Cena. Sets up Cena's next program before Mania season kicks in (presumably against both Shelton and Rey at different times), and it's good for Sandow and Dupree to get that second win over them, even if it is a bullshit finish. No complaints here.

    I think that Beth segment may have been the most I enjoyed a women's segment in this thread so far. What worked here is that I felt like there were genuine characterisations and dynamics at play, and it made for an intriguing read. Beth knowing exactly how to get under the skin of Victoria was great, and that whole dynamic can now go half a dozen ways and be a really interesting story to tell. Great stuff.

    Nemeth picking up the win ahead of the IC match is good. I'm not sure on the post match stuff. I'm guessing the logic was either to make Nemeth feel more important with the hometown stuff, or to set something up with Miz going forward, so it's a means to an end and I'm good with that. I guess it felt like a slightly clunky way to get there. Especially with that random Punk appearance at the end as well, which felt a little tacked on and unnecessary imo. Still, any reference to Miz wrestling for seven weeks straight is always gold.

    Fairly standard London promo, but you have to do that sometimes, so it's all good.

    Interesting that you had another segment of the Steamboat/Albright/Michaels stuff. I'm not sure it said anything we didn't already know, but I did enjoy the interplay at work here.

    Good main event. I did wonder for a while if you were going to take London's momentum coming out of Survivor Series and strap a rocket to him with the belt tonight, so you had me believing. Michaels costing London is a safe but solid direction though, given everything going on between them and Albright. Guessing we're going with a Triple Threat from here, or just Michaels and London, but you can't really go wrong with either.

    My only bit of constructive feedback around this match, and I'm sorry for being boring again, is that Albright again feels like the third most important person in a two-person title match for his World Title. What made the opening segment land so hard was that Albright felt like a top tier, important guy, but by the time we get to the end of the match it's more about Michaels and London than it is Albright. That's usually not a problem to set up feuds in that way, but in Albright's case he feels a little like an NPC at times. The Summerslam feud was about whether London could get it done, not anything about Albright. Nemesis was about Christian's headspace. Survivor Series was about JBL. I still struggle a little to decipher exactly what his character is beyond "heel champion", and it means anything he's a part of feel like he's a supporting character in someone else's story, and Brent Albright doesn't have the name value or personal connection to most people to carry that off imo. I so badly want to buy in to this thing you're doing with him, but I still can't get there I'm afraid.

    Anyway, putting that one little bit to the side, this was a decent effort. Not one of your big blowaway shows or anything, but one where you had to put a few pieces in place to tell the rest of your stories. You've blown off so many stories in the last 3 months that you have to set up new ones somewhere, and this was a good first step. We all need to run a show like this from time to time, and this was a perfectly cromulent way of doing it. Glad to have you back and excited to see where all these foundations your laying here are going.

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