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

  1. #181
    Indy Talent

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

    - It seems the no physicality rule was broken because Austin was physically provoked...Orton gave Austin an RKO so you can bet Austin next week on RAW is gonna want to return the favor by giving Orton a Stunner

    - Michaels going over Batista in the main event was to be expected because let's face it Batista even though he is a powerhouse and even though he is an Animal he is still green right now whereas Michaels being the veteran here needed to go over. It seems Team Austin has the upper hand because Michaels managed to beat Batista of Team Bischoff even despite Evolution and RVD being at ringside and then it turning into a melee soon after with members of both Team Austin and Team Bischoff going at it is exactly what I anticipated.

    - Christian getting his rematch for the WWE Intercontinental Championship next week on RAW against the new champion Booker makes me wonder if Booker's reign will end up being a short one? By that I mean will Christian win the title back so quickly after losing it? Or will Team Austin & Team Bischoff interfere in this match?

    - Lita beating Gail Kim, Victoria and Trish Stratus to earn the shot at the WWE Women's Championship...big assist coming from April Hunter as she basically stopped the WWE Women's Champion Molly Holly from further interfering but I figured April would be more inclined to help Trish than she would Lita but Lita getting the shot...I wonder how Trish will react? I wonder if this is gonna set the seeds for either a Lita heel turn? Or a Trish Stratus heel turn?

    - Love the Kane tribute video...a better song would have been "The Man Who Comes Around" by Johnny Cash or "God's Gonna Cut You Down" also by Johnny Cash...but both songs probably fit Taker better than they would Kane

    - The Dudley Boyz retaining their World Tag Team Championships against Triple H and Randy Orton of Evolution...well the Dudleys may have won the match but let's be honest they didn't look like much of winners after the match getting beaten down by Evolution but mostly Orton doing all the seems Triple H and Flair can't control Orton because he is going off half cocked

  2. #182
    Charismatic Enigma
    Rasky's Avatar

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

    Finally able to get around to reviewing here now that I am caught up!


    What I Liked:

    Chris Jericho - This is an overall piece here on Jericho. This has been some great character writing and easily one that I would rank as one of the best between all the threads going on around here. His promo with Austin on this show stood out as a highlights as they are nice foils for each other. I don't really know how Survivor Series will play out yet, but I am hoping Jericho has a good showing in a match her will more than likely be pinned or submitted in.

    Evolution Through The Show | Randy Orton - Really liked the segments of Evolution through the show teasing their issues for it to come to Orton dropping Austin with an RKO. Thought it built nicely with the teased issues between Randy and Hunter. Randy making an example put of The Dudleyz was good too. He knows, at this point, it's not about the championships but making Evolution dominant. Young Orton is someone that can be used for a big star at the young age, and if it continues on I might rank him as one of my favorites alongside Jericho in this thread.

    Goldust - I think this is a really fun character with some potential. The promo was short and to the point with some good analogies to tie together with the movie star. It would be awesome if this brings back an original Goldust, which just made fans and wrestlers uncomfortable but a great piece for the show nonetheless.

    The In Between:

    Goldberg versus Stevie Richards - I really have no idea how to feel here. The idea of Goldberg and Kane trading off finishing maneuvers on a down man is a nice power move between the champion and his challenger. On the other hand, it felt like it really damaged Richards. Kane beating a local then the champion and challenger trading off might have been a better way to go. Even if the champion would have been picking up his challenger's scraps. Would rather use someone with no value rather than someone with even some value like Richards.

    What I Would Do Differently:

    April Hunter - Totally not against bringing in new women. And honestly, looking online, she fits a good mold. I'm not sure how I feel about this story though. There are times there is underlying tones of the Mickie James debut story like when she was in Bischoff's office surprising Trish and making her debut as Stratus' friend (rather than biggest fan). That could really be me overthinking some of the details though! I do like the not so subtle story with Eric Bischoff there, and it appropriately goes against Molly. Think theres something good that will come out of that.

    "If you're gonna do it..."

  3. #183
    Finishline's Avatar

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

    Raw 11/3 review:

    - Love the JR and Lawler bit when it comes to Goldberg and Stevie Richards. You got JR down to a tee. The only thing I wish would've been done differently is the very quick rundown of the matches tonight. It seems a little more depth could've been added to it, rather than "(Person A) is facing (Person B)." A little bit to provide why to care about these matches would have helped. For example, Michaels versus Batista. Something could have been mentioned about them being on opposing Survivor Series teams, and this would've helped lead in to the opening segment. All but Molly Holly and the WHC match could have been grouped in with the traditional Survivor Series match. Mention of this would've been crucial.

    - Jericho interacting with Austin was priceless. The opening promo was great, and it set up a match early on the card which was a great way to incorporate it, rather than bringing out Jericho later. The only questionable thing is Booker T's line. It seemed a little forced and unprovoked. It didn't seem Jericho was insulting Booker, but trying to reveal truth to him. If there was an insult, the line would've been called for. If the line was skipped and Christian attacked Booker T while he pondered, this could've been an alternate way of doing things.

    - The way the tag match ended in front of Austin, great booking and attention to detail, continuing to play on Austin's inability to do something. Wish Austin would've engaged the official and try to explain what happened, but this is the only thing I would personally liked to have seen.

    - "he purrs..." I can't even begin to say how exceptional this word choice was. This made the entire promo and set me in front of the TV watching.

    - The segment with Evolution was done nicely with Orton trying to get his way, but Batista ending up getting his. I already see some seeds planted and it's beautiful. The only thing I would've like to experience was punctuation usage. Particularly when Triple H interjects, there are no exclamation points used. I could've imagined Triple H shouting to get Orton's attention and for him to cease talking. Without exclamation points, as the reader, it makes it toned down more than it probably should've been.

    - So blue chippers? Is that what you're deciding on for the team name? I remember you asking for that... as for the match itself, I loved Goldust coming out and playing to his gimmick. Many people try to book Goldust well, but you nailed his gimmick on the spot here by coming in and filming the match. It's just absolutely perfect.

    - About the World Heavyweight title match... entrances. For a replay, I'm not sure if the showing of entrances was necessary for just a replay. But, what was necessary, was showing the entrances for the match tonight. I felt you could've went into a lot of detail there. Perhaps Goldberg coming to the ring confident? Perhaps Richards tightening his shoes? There should've been some detail on the pre-match to build into it a little more.

    - The attention to detail with Richards, who was getting up on his own accord, to getting up staggered, to not even getting up at all, to being unconscious... this detail is what helped sell the moves. This trade-off between Kane and Goldberg just has me excited for these two to go blow for blow. It should be a quicker match at Survivor Series, that's my prediction, but it definitely has my interest.

    - April Hunter getting Lita into the match is an interesting ploy... expecting April to try and become Trish's best friend, and perhaps this fight for Trish's friendship could be brewing. I'll have to keep my eye on it.

    - Not a fan of La Resistance and Cade/Jindrak getting more air time later in the evening. With another week, it could've been delayed til the next Raw for that interaction. I would have preferred to see Scott Steiner instead.

    - Jim Ross wrapped up my thoughts... you'd never expect Orton to get intentionally DQed, but it happened and it only plays on what happened earlier tonight, and what could happen down the road. Written masterfully.

    - OUCH! Molly Holly with the burn on both April Hunter and Terri Runnels. Glad Terri's questionable actions in the past was jabbed at here.

    - Lita versus Molly Holly is going to be nice at Survivor Series! I'm assuming Hunter and Stratus will be in Lita's corner as Kim and Victoria are in Holly's. This is set to be a good time.

    - Christian makes me chuckle. Looking forward to the title match next week, but don't see it getting him anywhere. And who wouldn't like to see Christian as a member of Evolution?

    - Didn't Batista want to do it on his own? This is the only concern, unless I missed something, because it felt like he wanted to walk out on his own and then have Evolution run down after the match... could be wrong, but this is just a minor thing. Van Dam's presence is fine, and wish there'd be more to even the odds, but of course the Dudley Boyz were taken out.

    - Legendary way to end things. Michaels outsmarting Batista shows the veteran over the young lad. In addition, Orton swoops in at the end with an RKO on none other than Austin, sending a big of message as any. Wish any interaction with Evolution would've been added, as I'd loved to have heard about Triple H or Flair's reaction.

    Overall, a solid Raw! A couple tweaks I personally would have made or liked to see, but this is one of my favorite bookers on all the section. Keep it up brother!

  4. #184
    Drink the Kool-Aid

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

    Not too much to say about Austin in the opening, a solid enough promo basically summarising his situation. I did like how he stressed how much he hates not being able to raise hell, calling it a WWE that he doesn’t want to be a part of. I think for the first time I really brought into the Jericho character here. Maybe my favourite spiel he’s had so far, the way he described WWE as a wound, and even once Booker interrupted, the way he dressed down Booker and told him to have a think was awesome… Mainly because the shit he is saying has some proper, logical reasoning to it. It breaking down into a brawl and Bischoff making the match was all fine and dandy as well, and this was a pretty good start to the show overall.

    This is a hot opener if I’ve ever heard of one as well. Match was a basic tag, the ending was built up well, and a big win for Christian, seemingly making it that he will get an IC Title shot at some point. Holding the ropes and Austin not being able to do anything was a really small thing, but it further puts over how much Austin hates the situation he’s in, which is the point. If I’m honest, I did think it was a little strange that Bischoff stayed at ringside, but didn’t actually do anything to get involved in the match, a little unexpected, but still the opening to this show, promo and match wise has been awesome.

    Probably my favourite Goldust promo since this new character. Really hit the mark and set the story of what he’s doing with Storm. Pretty much exactly what I needed when I mentioned I felt as if Goldust needed to explain his motivations. Good work here.

    The dynamic you’re building with Evolution continues to be enjoyable. Orton continues to butt in and argue his point, which in all honesty, makes complete sense. The best part of this though is the way that Orton reacted when Batista stood up to Triple H. Hunter relenting to Batista but not Orton is an interesting direction to take, and one which I believe could have implications once upon a time. Still, very good stuff here.

    Storm finally gets a win against La Resistance and I’m all for this new Storm/Venis pairing. Cade and Jindrak getting involved allows their feud with La Resistance to kick into next gear as well. Booking 101 here really, solid. Not much to say about Goldust except that I continue to enjoy his mind games by just showing up, watching and leaving.

    Kane promo was pretty good. I like the angle of the evil within Kane being the difference between him and Goldberg.

    Lol “my shoes aren’t going anywhere”. So glad you squeezed one more of these in before the inevitable squash.

    Richards calling for a time out to tie his shoelaces was awesome. I didn’t quite understand Goldberg jumping over the top rope to meet Richards on the outside, didn’t seem like a very Goldberg thing to do if I’m honest. Still, match went about as expected but what’s important here is the aftermath. Kane and Goldberg having mental warfare at the expense of Richards was awesome. As opposed to the elaborate plot and constant changes in the SS elimination build up, I’m really enjoying the simple build between Goldberg/Kane, arguably more so than anything else on Raw.

    Much like the Evolution stuff, the dynamic you’re building with Trish, Lita and April is a hell of a lot of fun. April using her relationship with Bischoff to get Lita a number one contender match is a good thing, because it prolongs the falling out between these three. With that being said, the coldness and awkwardness of this segment was written perfectly. I felt awkward reading. Good stuff.

    Hurricane and Rosey stuff introducing Stacy is whatever. Fine, but I didn’t really like this pairing in real life, so meh. La Resistance being filthy at not getting promo time was a little surprising, but the attack plus cave from Cade and Jindrak is all solid without being inspiring, but I’m at a loss as to what will happen between these teams moving forward. With that being said, the more teams hating on each other, the better the lower teams of your tag division will be to use.

    Look, much like a couple of weeks ago, mixed feelings for your use of The Dudleyz again here. I know Orton used the low blow and whatever, but I feel that you furthered the Evolution storyline (which is still interesting) at the behest of your tag champions. My thoughts are that basically at no time should one man be able to take out your tag champions or even just a credible team. Yeah, wasn’t the biggest fan of the booking here, however I do still obviously want to follow the Orton/Evolution stuff.

    Another bang on promo from Molly here. Her annoyance at April Hunter for the match last week as well as her relationship with Bischoff is to be expected. The little dig at Terri was awesome as well, and the sucking up to Victoria and Gail worked well. All around good stuff.

    Another really good arch for the night with Evolution. Orton being pissed off and walking away was fine, although finally Flair speaks. I felt as if Flair was sort of just there for the rest of the evening, so I enjoyed seeing him have some purpose here. The advice to Hunter works.

    Women’s match did what I expected it to with all hell breaking loose as the match went on. I thought the booking of this was phenomenal with Hunter making the save for Lita, without Lita really knowing. More good stuff as the plot continues to thicken with this one.

    Eric Bischoff being worried about his Survivor Series team makes sense, because obviously he only has his own interests at hard. LOL at Christian being in the shower for an hour… CLB strikes again. Christian wanting and getting an IC Title shot was to be expected, and Easy E using Christian to help Evolution later makes sense as well. Another really good segment.

    Main event was always going to break down with everybody at ringside and that’s exactly what happened. I am a little confused by Batista wanting to do it alone, but then looking for Flair’s help throughout. I assumed he’d be pissed by that but he wasn’t, he took Flair’s advice. It makes the whole alone segment earlier have less value, like was he just talking for the sake of it? Anyway, HBK frustrating Batista and then getting the win in the end was a fine ending to the main event. Aftermath was chaos as expected with all the SS members involved, and Orton RKO to Austin is MASSIVE. A big moment, and Austin gunning for Orton next week could be brilliant.

    A REALLY good show here. I enjoyed it tremendously, I thought most things were quite enjoyable, and there were one or two tiny kinks I mentioned. Actually enjoyed this show more than the last few Raw’s I think, good job. Looking forward to more as always.

  5. #185
    Shoulda planned ahead
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    And don’t forget Stevie Richards is challenging Goldberg for the World Heavyweight Title!” King adds.

    I’ve been tryin’ to, King, but he’s made it hard. But nonetheless, we’re openin’ up with th’ former Co-General Manager.”

    We’re off to a good start here. Great response from J.R.

    You do such an amazing job with the way you write Austin. And while he didn’t have anything new to say here really, it was a nice way of reaffirming why he’s put everything on the line at Survivor Series. I don't think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a big fan of the no music gimmick for certain heels. IIRC, R-Truth did it for a while, obviously Ciampa did it (and I wish he still did), and I think this Jericho character is a great person to do this with.

    Small thing again, but I’d like some kind of focus on Austins reaction when Jericho put his palm up at him. It works as a way to infuriate Austin without touching him, and I could certainly see Jericho do it, but I’d like to have read how Austin reacted to it. From the description, it was as if he just stood there and stopped talking. Jericho’s monologue was excellent though. No complaints about anything, and his description of the WWE being a wound and Austin being the infection was terrific I thought.

    If I could nitpick slightly, it felt like a long time for Austin to stand there and listen without doing something – even something as simple as maybe looking at his watch, or calling for a beer might’ve been something to do. But I suspect you wanted this segment to be treated as seriously as possible, and having Austin do something like I’d suggested might’ve taken the focus off what Jericho was saying. The “Book of Jericho” line though, I didn’t like. It just immediately made me think of Jericho’s most recent WWE incarnation, and as a reader, I’d prefer you stayed as far away from that as possible, given the direction of Jericho’s character here.

    Uh … Can you DICK it, Sucka? Booker’s theme has gotten X-Rated it seems, lol. Starting to wonder if there’s more to be read into what Jericho’s been saying to Booker the last two weeks, and potentially getting into his head. Because those are great points that Jericho raises – there really should be a seed of doubt at least now planted in Bookers head, even if he isn’t showing it. I really liked Jericho goading Austin while the beatdown was happening – something I felt was lacking two weeks ago. This was excellent, and a perfectly fine set up for the tag match to happen straight away and keep the hot start to the show going.

    Interesting, given the way real life pans out that you made comment of how well Booker and RVD worked as a team. Loved the image of Jericho having his shirt pulled over his head as Book beat on him too, and it was nice that you played up the lingering injuries RVD is carrying after the attack two weeks ago. Finish was fun too, and another clever way to antagonize Austin and make the most of him being unable to touch anyone and having to watch as the cheating went down right in front of him.

    That Goldust promo was all kinds of goodness. Enjoying seeing him get rejuvenated here, and him positioning himself as the hero of the story is great.

    More dissent inside Evolution? Like Stojy said, the most interesting aspect was Orton being denied what he wanted, yet Batista eventually got what he asked for. You’re setting little breadcrumbs week on week which is great, and it’ll be a terrific pay off when there is a break up of the group, however far away that happens to be. Ortons words were pretty prophetic at the end too, given what was coming later.

    Nice way to pay off those weeks of La Resistance beating Lance in 2 on 1 matches. The Storm/Venis team is a good fit, and they’ve already been champions earlier in the year, so it’s not like they’re strangers to each other as the ‘new’ team on Raw. Typical Goldust weirdness here too. All serviceable stuff to tie up some loose ends and progress your current angles. Hoping you’re able to expand the characters of Cade and Jindrak, and maybe some exposure by feuding with La Resistance can help you flesh them out some more. Always thought they were a promising team.

    Pretty decent Kane promo, and suitably had some hokieness about it, which is par for the course with him. I liked him comparing himself to Goldberg and putting Goldberg over as a monster – just not as evil as he is.

    This Richards angle has been a fun side angle for Goldberg over the last six weeks (that’s insane that you’ve gotten six weeks out of this!!) and the match here as a payoff was pretty much perfect. Richards doing everything to avoid the inevitable, but the anti-Spear from Richards took the cake, lol. Obviously, Goldberg was always winning, but again, this has been a lot of fun over the last month and a half.

    I didn’t love the aftermath though, for a few reasons. Having just been Speared, Jackhammered and Chokeslammed, Richards should’ve been out for the night. I don't know how much time passed between the Chokeslam and the second Spear, but it should’ve taken a good 3-5 minutes for Richards to even stir before getting up before that Spear imo. After the Tombstone and the Jackhammer, I was really just feeling sorry for Stevie rather than anything else, and I didn’t really get the laughing – at least from Goldberg. Kane’s a weirdo, he would laugh … but I’d prefer for Goldberg just to be the intense killer instead of getting involved in mind games with Kane.

    Really good segment between the women, and a smart twist for April to get Lita into the Contenders match, but purposely letting Lita think for a while that it was April getting into the match. She’s doing a very good job of manipulating things and becoming a very big character, very quickly.

    The Superheroes stuff was okay for what it was. I think you’re going to have some struggles to make much of them with the gimmick pretty bland by this point, but at least they shouldn’t mistreat Stacy!! There’s a bit of a merry-go-round of issues now building in the tag division, mostly centring around La Resistance having problems with the other face teams. I expect this could be leading to a multi team #1 Contender match soon enough.

    Felt like the tag title match was really there to just move the Orton stuff along, which is a bit of a shame for the Dudleys, as it felt like you’d taken a few steps forward with them over the last couple of weeks. Starting to seem like Orton could be the wildcard in the Survivor Series match rather than Jericho, pretty much doing what he pleases. Not tagging in Triple H for the bulk of the match sure is interesting. The backstage bit with Flair after was a good follow up too, and probably the best use of Flair in this thread to date, imparting his wisdom on Triple H on how to deal with Ortons attitude.

    As always, you deliver a fun Molly Holly promo. Especially liked her digs at Terri this week.

    Fun write up for the fatal four way. Made sense for the match to resemble a tornado tag initially given the partnerships involved, until it actually came down to the crunch and winning the match. The ref bump made things interesting, and it was fun seeing Molly throw the title belt in the ring toward no one in particular. Finish just added more layers to this triangle of April/Lita/Trish which is awesome. I’m thoroughly enjoying this storytelling with the women right now.

    Enjoyed the Bischoff/Christian interaction. You wrote this really well, imo, with Christian such a smarmy douche. Love him making big jumps to conclusions over such little comments like him joining Evolution. Fun segment to read.

    Strong showing for Batista, even in defeat. He’s got a long way to go, so eating the loss here is no big deal, especially when it’s Shawn Michaels in there with him. Nice use of the turnbuckle being a decisive factor too, playing that point throughout the match. Neat. Plus, after the earlier heel win and Evolution dominating the Dudleys, Austins team needed something here. Jericho joining in after the match was a little unexpected, given his distance from the team – but I’m glad you had him come out as he planted his flag last week.

    But that RKO to Austin was BIG. Another legend to add to Ortons list and a big star making moment for him too, but I’m already anticipating next weeks show for the reaction from Austin now that he’s been physically provoked. Expecting all kinds of chaos and mayhem next week for the go-home show heading into Survivor Series.

  6. #186
    iMac's Avatar

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

    The opening segment was fine I thought, Austin didn't really have anything groundbreaking to say, more of a recap of what's been going on with him and his team. Good grief! Have those words ever been uttered on WWE television before? The no contact stipulation for Austin was used perfectly by Jericho, never in a million years would anyone facepalm Austin like that unless they knew they could get away with it. It might have been because of the way it was written, but that seemed a hell of a long time for Austin to just stand and listen. While Austin may not be allowed to attack, I can't imagine him just standing there and taking that all in. I doubt Booker would be the only one bored of listening to Jericho after all that. But yeah, content was fine, the beatdown served the purpose, I'd have perhaps had a bit more description of how frustrating it was for Austin to watch it all happen without being able to do anything about it.

    And then the opening match, interesting that it was Christian who picked up the pinfall, thought for sure that was going to be Jericho. The action was pretty solid, the ending with the reversals and the rope grab saves face for Booker, but again, when Christian hits the floor infront of Austin... just a scowl? Not even a clenched fist or a few choice words? I think you could have played that up more, especially since you had Austin describe this whole situation as perhaps the hardest period of his career. Austin just scowling really undersells the importance of it all for me.

    Goldust promo was very good I thought. And there's another piece of dialogue I've never heard before. Un-overcomeable.

    I thought the dialogue between Evolution was ok, Batista can be hard to write for given how wooden his delivery can be. Pbviously the Orton stuff is more important, the fact that Trips caved in to Batista's demands but stood up to Orton seems like it'll come into to play at some point down the road.

    Storm and Venis getting the win over La Resistance is fine, although I don't think the interference from Jindrak and Cade was really necessary. I'd have put the new pairing over strong by just having them get the clean win here, especially with Goldust watching on.

    Kane promo was probably the best thing I've seen so far tonight. Sick and twisted, just the way Kane should be at this stage of his career.

    As incredible as it sounds, I actually preferred Goldberg's interaction with Stevie pre and during the match to his stuff with Kane afterwards. The video from Stevie, the highlights with the shoes, the match itself, that was all good stuff. But the post match really didn't work for me for a few reasons. I think as others have said, Richards was back on his feet far to quickly to take that second spear. I also really struggle with the idea of Goldberg laughing in response to Kane laughing at him. That's very... un-Golbergable. Goldberg was always one of the straightest guys in the business when it came to joking around, if anything I'd have thought he'd respond to Kane laughing at him with a spear. I get that you were trying to tie all of this into what Kane said in his promo about Goldberg enjoying the violence and what not, but this really didn't work for me. Keep Goldberg as a bad ass and let Kane be the weird one. Hell, a Goldberg spear to Kane, and then when Goldberg leaves a shot of Kane lying on the canvas laughing would have worked better than the two of them laughing at each other.

    I know very little of this April Hunter person, although I thought she came across well as a manipulator here, almost trying to drive a wedge between Lita and Trish. I also liked the formatting of this promo a lot more than others. There was a bit more description of the facial movements and tone of voice, which really helps.

    The Super Hero stuff was fair enough, a bit cheesy maybe, but I suppose you've found something else for Stacy to do for a while. I don't think we really needed to hear from La Resistance again, or see Cade and Jindrak again for that matter. Tag division is all intermingling at the minute, which I kinda like, but where you're going with it I'm not really sure.

    Mixed thoughts over the tag title match. I thought it furthered stuff with Orton well enough, him not tagging Triple H and obviously looking very strong made sense, he certainly seems to be the red hot member of Evolution right now. The match didn't do much for The Dudleys though. As champs, they're meant to be the best the division has right now, and they essentially were taken out by one man. Not a good look for them. If it was a beatdown from Orton, Trips and Flair, that I could get behind. But Orton handling them solo, that makes them look kinda weak. But yeah, the furthering of the Evolution stuff with Orton was fine. And then we had more of it with Orton walking out on Trips and Flair. Flair being the voice of reason is rather ironic, but I thought that all worked pretty well.

    Women's match was pretty fun, a wild ending with the ref bump and the flurry of finishers. Given that April helped Lita here, are we to assume that somewhere down the road Lita will grow too suspicious and then it becomes a battle over who Trish likes best? Lita and Molly will no doubt be interesting, as will the six woman tag match that books itself given the various relationships these six have right now. The payoff for this Trish/Lita/April triangle will be really interesting, especially considering none of them hold the gold at the minute.

    Christian and Bischoff segment was really well written, certainly Christian's stuff was perhaps the funniest part of the show. A creepy little bastard indeed. I doubt you'd pull a title change next week, expecting Booker to regain some momentum by getting the win back after earlier tonight.

    The main event was a pretty good showing for Batista, helps elevate him that little bit more. I did find it strange that he was so adamant about doing things himself but then he was more than willing to take advantage of the distraction Flair provided. Michaels getting the win gets some heat back for Team Austin after losing at the top of the show, and the mayhem that followed was to be expected. And I suppose given how much attention has been paid to Orton, and how many times we've saw him tonight, he would be the one to bring the show to a close. Certainly a big moment, although is Austin allowed to retaliate physically given Orton put his hands on him? I suppose we'll find out next week...

  7. #187
    Doubting El Dandy
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    November 6, 2003
    Buffalo, New York

    We hit the usual pyrotechnics and crowd shots, and settle on the announce team for the evening.

    ”Hello everyone, and welcome to WWE Smackdown!” Michael Cole says. ”Alongside me as always is my broadcast partner Tazz, and what a night it was last week here on Smackdown.”

    “No doubt, no doubt! Last week was a rocketbustah of a show. World’s Greatest Tag Team and John Cena both retained their titles in epic matches, and all hell broke loose in tha contract signing for the title match!”

    “That it certainly did, Tazz, and that’s left a huge impact on tonight. Tonight, we will see a Strange Bedfellows Match, putting arch-rivals Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle together to face Big Show and The Undertaker.”

    “I’ve got no idea how they can all possibly work togetha, they hate each otha!”

    “And speaking of working together, last week we also saw General Manager William Regal make a 5-on-5 Classic Survivor Series match between Billy Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Eddie and Chavo Guerrero and Chris Benoit, against the World’s Greatest Tag Team, Matt Hardy, A-Train and John Cena.”

    “And I heard a rumour that William Regal’s gonna name that team tonight like the old-school Survivor Series teams! William Regal, bringin’ some class and tradition to WWE Smackdown-“


    Cole and Tazz are cut off by what is unfamiliar music to most of the crowd. The fans are unsure how to react to begin, until BILLY KIDMAN, CHAVO GUERRERO, CHRIS BENOIT, EDDIE GUERRERO and REY MYSTERIO emerge from behind the curtain, side-by-side.

    ”This... this is the music from WCW Monday Nitro!” Cole says. ”All five of these men worked for WCW, and this looks like a show of solidarity between them heading out together!”

    The quintet make their way down to the ring and climb in together, posing for the fans in their ring gear, until Eddie takes a microphone.

    ”ORALE!” he yells to cheers of the fans. ”So William Regal wants the five of us to team at Survivor Series, huh? Well, that’s okay with us, esse! Me, Rey Rey, Billy, Chris and Chavito go way back, homes. We’ve had our problems over that time too, I’m not gonna pretend we haven’t… but if it means gettin’ our hands on Benjamin… Haas… A-Train… Hardy…” he pauses as his face wrinkles for the final name, ”… John Cena… then we’re more than happy to work together! But we heard a little rumour goin’ around that Regal’s man of tradition. Well, so are we, homes! Chavito and I are all about tradition! Every day we live our family tradition… lyin’… cheatin’… and stealin’!”

    The crowd pop for the Guerrero family tradition, although the Filthy Animals and Benoit seem less taken with their partners illegal ways.

    ”So Regal decides he wants to name the other team like the old school Survivor Series teams. That’s what we heard. He’s gonna find a name of the five of them to work together like in the old days. Well, that’s alright with us! You want a name for your team? Then we’ll have one too, esse. At Survivor Series, you can call us…”

    He holds the mic out so all five can speak at once.

    ”The Atlanta Five!”

    There’s applause from some of the audience.

    ”But we heard that we’re gonna have a warm up tonight,” Eddie continues. ”So get the other team out here and let us show what we can do… and everyone’s gonna see exactly what it was we learned in Atlanta… and that no-one messes with the Atlanta Five! Orale!”

    Chuck Palumbo, Danny Basham, Doug Basham, Johnny Stamboli & Nunzio w/Shaniqua vs. Billy Kidman, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio

    We kick off with Benoit and Nunzio in the ring, and as perhaps the two most technically sound wrestlers in the match, they turn in to a straight up mat battle, with Nunzio surprisingly keeping up with the Rabid Wolverine. Benoit still gets the better of it, though, as he and the rest of the Atlanta Five show good teamwork to dominate much of the early goings.

    Unfortunately for them, there are few teams as sneaky at the Basham Brothers, and a quick round of twin magic sees them isolate Chavo Guerrero from the rest of the group. As arguably the team with the best ability to work together of anyone in the WWE, they appreciate the importance of including their entire team on working Chavo down, allowing the FBI to get in a few decent licks, and also giving the announcers the opportunity to point out that Brian Kendrick and Paul London had promised to stay backstage for this match despite their ongoing rivalry with the FBI.

    With Chavo getting ground down, the Bashams look for their Legsweep/Lariat combo… with Danny charging… but Chavo ducks… and pulls Doug in to the way! Danny clocks Doug! Chavo gets up… Step-Up Enziguri! He crawls to the corner…

    … and tags in Eddie!

    He leaps in to the ring and immediately takes the fight to the onrushing FBI, single-handedly keeping them at bay and following up on the renewed sense of focus he’s appeared to have since losing the US Title. No matter what the FBI try he gets the better of it, only for Doug to return to his feet and clock Eddie from behind… but Eddie rakes his eye! Classic Guerrero cheating!

    Doug blindly makes a tag to Palumbo, who charges at Eddie… but he misses! Eddie kicks him in the gut… Three Amigos! He climbs to the top…

    … but Stamboli cuts him off! He looks for the Superplex…

    … but his interference draws Chris Benoit in to the ring!

    Benoit places his head between Stamboli’s legs and walks back, carrying him on his shoulders… Eddie dives off… Doomsday Device! Benoit and Eddie working perfectly together!

    The Bashams both jump them from behind… but that brings in the rest of Benoit and Eddie’s team! Between them, Rey, Chavo and Kidman send the Bashams to the outside, with Chavo taking them all out with a Crossbody off the top to a huge pop.

    That leaves Palumbo and Stamboli on their own with Benoit and Eddie in the ring. Eddie picks up Chuck and Benoit Johnny… Suplex from Eddie… in time with a German from Benoit! They both hold on… and hit another! And another! Stereo Triple German and Three Amigos!

    With both men down, Benoit climbs up on one side of the ring, Eddie on the other… FROG SPLASH TO CHUCK… AND DIVING HEADBUTT TO STAMBOLI! Perfectly in time!

    Eddie looks to make the cover on Chuck, but Nunzio rushes in to break it up…


    Referee Brian Hebner makes the count…



    Nunzio taps!


    Winners: Billy Kidman, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio in 9:13

    There’s a big pop for the victory of the Atlanta Five, in particular the teamwork shown by Eddie and Benoit. These two men have been through a hell of a lot together over the years, but faced with a common enemy, they showed a remarkable ability to work together.

    Eddie faces Benoit… and offers a hand! After everything they’ve been through, in particular Eddie cheating to beat Benoit for the US Title back in July, he wants to bury old grudges… and Benoit accepts! They shake hands!

    There’s no hug, no genuine warmth, but a display from two former enemies. With that, Rey, Kidman and Chavo return to the ring, and the five of them celebrate their success together.

    ”What a team the Atlanta Five make!” Cole says.

    ”It ain’t just the Atlanta Five, Cole! Look at Eddie and Benoit! These two cats hated each otha, but they’re puttin’ it all aside for Survivor Series.”

    “You know what it’s like, Tazz. These two men are like brothers. Sometimes you hate each other, sometimes you get along, but through it all you remain family.”

    “I bet all your brothers hate you, huh?”

    “That’s not important right now. What matters is the Atlanta Five look like one heck of a team going in to Survivor Series.”

    We cut backstage to WILLIAM REGAL’S office. He stands on one side of his desk, on the other is A-TRAIN (wearing a protective mask after Benoit broke his nose last week), MATT HARDY (VERSION 1.0), THE WORLD’S GREATEST TAG TEAM, and JOHN CENA. Cena looks visibly irritated at being there.

    ”What a unit the five of you make,” Regal says, with pride etched on his face. ”Mr. McMahon would be so proud to see you all together. I look in this room, and you know what I see? I see a group of gentlemen that Mr. McMahon really believed in.”

    “I know,”
    Matt says. ”I could always tell that Vince saw something special in me.”

    “I was talking to the others,”
    Regal snaps back, and turns to the rest of the room. ”Now, that group of scoundrels may have just stolen my thunder, but I won’t let that impact me. I’m sure the five of you are wondering what the name is that I’ve decided on for you all at Survivor Series.”

    “I’m wonderin’ a lot of things,”
    Cena says, sat on a table and looking the other way from the rest of his team.

    ”Yes, well, quite. Gentlemen, I am a man of tradition. I have a respect for what came before me. Tradition dictated that teams at Survivor Series take a name to unite them. ‘The Rude Brood’. ‘The Visionaries’. ‘The Royals’. ‘The Mercenaries’. ‘The Dream Team’. A Survivor Series match on my brand… I insist you take a team name.”

    “What about ‘John Cena plus four’?”
    Cena offers, and looks up to A-Train. ”No offence, Chewy.”

    The hairy monster shrugs it off.

    ”I have an idea,” Matt says. ”How about-“

    “If you say ‘Team Mattitude’ you’re off the team,”
    Regal says.

    ”Never mind.”

    Regal adjusts his tie, trying to prevent his obvious irritation from showing, and turns to the rest of the group. ”I’m not taking suggestions, gentlemen. I have settled on the perfect name for you. We just heard that your opponents have decided to go by ‘The Atlanta Five’. Right they are, as well. The five of them scraped and clawed to make it here. They worked together in WCW, but they’ve all had to put in the hard yards to get here. But not you. You were all hand selected by Vince McMahon himself for greatness. You were brought in to the WWE at a young age, and curated for greatness until you were ready to take the world by storm. You didn’t earn your way in some vile bingo hall. You are here because you have had greatness bestowed on you from above due to your natural, God-given talents. And I say that as a man who did have to scrape and claw. You, gentlemen, are exactly what Vince McMahon sees when he thinks of a star.”

    Matt begins.

    ”Again, not you,” Regal interrupts once again. ”You have been bred for the WWE… by the WWE. You are the future of this company because the company has always seen something in you. You… gentlemen… are… The Purebreds.”

    Benjamin and Haas nod in agreement, but Cena seems disinterested.

    ”Whatever, homie,” he says. ”I gots things to be doin’.”

    “Like what?”

    “Like not bein’ here. Chewy, ya comin’?”

    Train shrugs and goes to leave, but Regal places a hand on his chest to slow him down.

    ”Master Cena, I appreciate things like tradition and prestige are unimportant to you. But they matter to me. And, as your boss, I would be remarkably grateful if you could humour me long enough for us to get on the same page.”

    “I ain’t humourin’ no-one. Ya wanna come up with a cute name for y’all? Be my guest, homie, I don’t care. If ya can find a name…”
    he points at A-Train, ”for Chewbacca…” he then points at the World’s Greatest Tag Team, ”for the World’s Greatest Interracial Couple…” he points at Matt Hardy, ”and… yo, I don’t even know what you are.”

    “I’m the CEO, Founder and Sensei-“

    “Whatever, man I don’t care. Billy, ya wanna find a team name, do it. But as far as I’m concerned, there’s th’ four-a you, and there’s me. And I’m in this to get my hands on the Vanilla Five. Ev’rythin’ else is your bus’ness. Word.”

    He walks out, leaving his teammates in the office behind him.

    We transition to the video we have seen in the last few weeks, set to the tune of Boom by P.O.D, showing highlights of the world famous WWE cruiserweights in action. We see BILLY KIDMAN soaring through the sky with a Shooting Star Press, ULTIMO DRAGON with an Asai Moonsault, and REY MYSTERIO with a Springboard Hurricanrana. During the calmer part of the song, we hear from the past and present of the cruiserweight division.

    "I guess I'm an adrenaline junkie," Kidman says. "I can't help it. I don't know what's in me that makes me need to go for the crazy bits, but I can't stop it. I don't think I'd want to."

    "It's part of my heritage, man,"
    CHAVO GUERRERO says. "It's based in lucha libre, from Mexico. It means something."

    We see some of the older footage, like BRIAN PILLMAN and JUSHIN LIGER shocking the audience with their performance at SuperBrawl in 1992, or Rey and EDDIE GUERRERO’S classic at Halloween Havoc in 1997, or DEAN MALENKO unmasking in 1998 to one of the biggest pops in WCW history, or TAKA MICHINOKU and AGUILA doing battle at Wrestlemania 14.

    "This style," Ultimo Dragon says through subtitles as we see him gracefully fly through the air, "it allows me to travel all over the world. Cruiserweight wrestling, it's the only type to get the same reaction wherever I go in the world. Japan, Mexico, Europe, US, they all love our style. It makes me proud."

    "It's more than high-flyin',"
    JAMIE NOBLE says. "It's not just jumpin' off a rope. It's excellence. Whether you're putting in an Armbar or hittin' a 450 splash, it's about bein' the best ya can. This belt, it proves ya don't have to be a giant to make it in this business. I owe ev'rythin' to it."

    We see the best of today, with the likes of NUNZIO and Noble using their technical know-how, or SHANNON MOORE and BRIAN KENDRICK trying to make a name for themselves with spectacular high-flying, or TAJIRI and Mysterio connecting with audiences like few are able to do.

    "When I came in," Dean Malenko says, "it was all about big guys punching each other. That's different now. I've wrestled in every country in the world, in front of thousands of fans every night, because this is the style of wrestling the fans want to see."

    "There's nothin' like it,"
    Rey Mysterio says, as the song comes to a close. "No-one can do what we do. And we all do it for the fans. You try somethin' new and you hear the crowd and... man, there are no words. Bein' a Cruiserweight is more than a weight thing... it's a way of life. Never bein' happy with average. Always tryin' to be better. Always tryin' to entertain the fans. Man, bein' a Cruiserweight... I wouldn't change it for the world. This is the only life I wanted, and, man... I get to live it. We all get to live it."

    *** TUSK ***

    From the back storms RHYNO, who marches to the ring with a purpose. Already in there is SCOTTY TOO HOTTY, awaiting his opponent.

    ”Folks,” Michael Cole begins, ”up next we have Rhyno in action for the first time since No Mercy. What we are hearing is that someone struck a deal with William Regal for Rhyno to be in action tonight. We don’t know who requested it or why, but what we know is Rhyno will go one-on-one with Scotty Too Hotty.”

    “We dunno who asked for it,”
    Tazz adds, ”but we can guess who din’t, and that’s Scotty Too Hotty! I would not wanna get in th’ ring with the Man Beast when he looks in this mod.”

    “How is this mood any different from usual?”


    Rhyno vs. Scotty Too Hotty

    Rhyno doesn’t wait for the bell, deciding instead to steam straight through Scotty and knock him down. There’s little finesse to the assault as he merely punches Scotty over and over in the face. Referee Charles Robinson tells him to cut out the closed fists, but Rhyno doesn’t seem interested. Instead he drives his foot in to Scotty’s throat, choking him out against the ropes as Robinson counts the illegal move…





    Rhyno isn’t letting go!


    Robinson calls for the bell!

    Winner: Scotty Too Hotty by DQ in 1:07

    The bell rings, but still Rhyno doesn’t let up. He continues to choke Scotty out against the ropes until he gradually passes out.

    ”What was the point of that?” Cole asks. ”Why would someone insist that Rhyno has a match tonight if all he’s going to do is get disqualified in a minute?”

    “’Cos it’s about sendin’ a message, Cole, and I don’t think he’s done yet!”

    With Scotty out cold, Rhyno rolls to the outside and pulls out a table from under the ring. He sets it up by the edge of the ring, but still on the outside, and rolls back in. Scotty has gradually come to, but rather than follow him over, Rhyno steps back, crouches in the corner and waits... GORE! Rhyno just tore Scotty in half!

    That’s not enough, though. Even though Scotty is now truly unconscious, Rhyno is looking to send more of a message than that. He grabs Scotty by his spiked blonde hair and drags him along the canvas to the ropes, where he rolls him underneath. Rhyno then climbs on to the apron and pulls Scotty up, where he pulls him between his legs.

    ”Oh God...” Tazz whispers.

    ”He’s not going to do this...” Cole adds. ”Tell me he’s not going to do this...”

    “Rhyno, don’t-”

    Before Tazz can say anything more, Rhyno lifts Scotty up...


    Some of the more bloodthirsty fans in the crowd cheer, although many are hushed in to silence. Rhyno immediately climbs out of the wreckage and merely looks down on Scotty, breathing heavily. It takes just moments for medical personnel to rush down to the ring with a stretcher, so Rhyno beats on his chest and holds his arms aloft in celebration, boastful of what he just achieved, and returns to the back.

    With Rhyno gone, the medical team check on Scotty, and carefully move him on to a stretcher, and attach a neckbrace before they wheel him up the ramp to gentle applause.

    ”What did that prove?” Cole asks. ”Someone asked for Rhyno to get a match, he got himself intentionally disqualified and then did... did... that. That... that heinous... what the hell did that prove?

    “Don’t forget, Cole, Scotty’s got a his’try of neck problems, so ya gotta think he’s gonna feel that one more than most.”

    “Anyone would feel that, Tazz, it’s a damn Piledriver through a table!”

    “I know, I know!”

    Cole takes a deep breath. ”I’m sorry, Tazz, I don’t mean it that way. I just don’t get it. I’d never condone actions like that, but when you’re in a deep rivalry with someone you hate, maybe you lose your composure, things boil over, you do things you regret. But Rhyno and Scotty have no relationship. No history. That’s one man injuring another just because he can, and it... it makes me sick. What kind of a man-”

    “That’s jus’ tha thing, Cole. Rhyno ain’t no normal man. That dude’s a bad cat, always has been, always will be.”

    “You can’t think that condones-”

    “I ain’t condonin’ nothin’. What Rhyno jus’ did was way ovah tha line. But that’s tha kinda stuff he does. He’s a bad, bad man, Cole. I sure as hell don’t agree with it neither, but I think that was tha message he was tryin’ ta send.”

    “Yeah... him... and whoever else it was who actually asked for the match.”

    ”Folks,” Michael Cole says, once we’ve returned from commercial, ”we will give you an update on the condition of Scotty Too Hotty as soon as we have it. He’s been loaded in to an ambulance and is on his way to a local medical facility as we speak. Obviously our thoughts are with Scotty, but the night has to move on, whether we like it or not. Tonight’s main event is the Strange Bedfellows tag team match, but Tazz, one of the teams isn’t quite as strange as the other.”

    “You ain’t kiddin’, Cole. All four men hate each otha’s guts, but Tha Big Show and Tha Undertaker have some big time history as a team.”

    “That’s absolutely right. They may not have teamed for long, but in 1999, The Big Show and The Undertaker formed what was then known as The Unholy Alliance, and won two tag team titles together. Check this out.”

    Quote Originally Posted by WWF Summerslam 1999
    We first see footage of THE UNDERTAKER and THE BIG SHOW teaming to face then champions X-PAC and KANE. Despite X-Pac's best efforts, he’s finally put away with a Tombstone, marking their first run with the belts.
    Quote Originally Posted by WWF Smackdown, September 9th 1999
    We then see footage of the title match between champions ROCK ‘N’ ROCK CONNECTION and the UNHOLY ALLIANCE. Despite being on a regular episode of Smackdown, it was competed in a Buried Alive match. Ah, Attitude Era. We see Undertaker and Big Show starting the process of burying Mankind alive, but skip the bit where Triple H finishes the job and gives the titles to Undertaker and ‘Show, despite having just hit Show with a sledgehammer. Again I say, ah, Attitude Era.
    We then cut back to the announce team for the evening. ”Now, don’t get me wrong,” Cole says, ”I know that Big Show and Undertaker hate each other’s guts after everything they’ve been through, but you’d have to think this experience of teaming together will help them in the main event tonight.”

    “I think ya right, Cole. Look at last week. When it came down to it, they worked togetha to take Brock out. They know that if they can work togetha, one-a them could be the champ’n.”

    “Well, I wouldn’t speak too soon, partner. Take a look at this from earlier tonight.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Earlier tonight
    We then cut to footage from earlier tonight, where THE UNDERTAKER pulls up in to the parking lot on his motorbike. He parks up, climbs off, and heads towards the arena...

    … when he’s cut off by THE BIG SHOW.

    ”There you are,” Show says. ”I’ve been waiting for you. We need to talk.”

    “No, we don’t.”
    ‘Taker says.

    Show grabs his arm, not letting him walk on. ”We do. We’re teaming tonight. That means there’s an opportunity... and you need to think about it.”

    Taker squares up to the giant. ”I don’t need to do jack. My only opportunity is at Survivor Series, when I’m winnin’ the WWE Title. Ev’rythin’ aside from that... I don’t give a damn.”

    “Yeah, I know. You don’t like me. And honestly? I don’t like you either. I hate your guts, ‘Taker. But there’s four of us in the match at the Survivor Series. Me and you? We could destroy the other two. If we work together like we know we can, we can take them out of action and face each other one-on-one. We take each other out and it opens the door for the others. But together... you and I are unstoppable. You have to see that.”

    ‘Taker snarls. ”Get out of my damn way,” he says, and barges past the giant.
    We then cut back to the announcers once more. ”See what I mean?” Cole says. ”Undertaker doesn’t seem quite as keen as The Big Show if you ask me.”

    “But he din’t say no, Cole. ‘Taker’s a vet, he’s been there and done it. He has ta know that being one of four at tha Survivor Series ain’t tha kinda odds ya want. Show’s right, man, take tha deal and work togetha, and then face each otha one on one at tha end. It’s just sensible if ya ask me.”

    “I’d have to think ‘Taker’s pride would stop him taking a deal like that with Show, but you raise a good point, partner.”

    This week’s RAW REBOUND could, honestly, only be one thing. As the show came to an end, STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN stood by with his team, watching on proudly at their ability to stand tall in the face of Team Bischoff. Little did he know, RANDY ORTON has managed to sneak in the ring behind him, allowing him to spin Austin around and nail a brutal RKO.

    Sean O’Haire vs Ron Simmons w/Bradshaw

    After a surprisingly intense performance last week in his loss to Bradshaw, O’Haire seems a changed man this week. The frustration he exhibited after last week’s match seems to have drained the fight out of him as he lazily ties up with Simmons, and practically allows Simmons to overpower and dominate him.

    Simmons starts the match off looking to prove a point, given Bradshaw has seen more singles success lately than in tag action, but O’Haire isn’t fighting back. Eventually even Simmons looks frustrated and disinterested with the lack of contest on offer, and decides to put O’Haire out of his misery with a Dominator for the three.

    Winner: Ron Simmons in 2:10

    The bell rings to signal the end of the match, but Simmons shows no signs of celebrating. He merely looks down on O’Haire and shakes his head in disappointment, and leaves the ring with Bradshaw to head to the back.

    With them gone, O’Haire gradually comes to and sits in the ring. There is little expression on his face as he processes another loss, this time largely due to his own inability (or lack of desire) to fight back.

    We cut to the back where THE UNDERTAKER is taping up his wrists in the locker room. A shadow is cast across the dressing room, so ‘Taker looks up...

    ”You have gotta be kiddin’ me...”

    The camera pans around to reveal KURT ANGLE stood in the doorway, inviting himself in to ‘Taker’s locker room for not the first time in the last few weeks.

    ”Save it, ‘Taker. I’m not in the mood for your usual attitude. I want a straight answer. You and Show. You working together?”

    ‘Taker returns to taping his wrists up, ignoring the Olympian.

    Angle exhales in frustration. ”After everything we’ve been through, the decent thing would be-”

    “What exactly have we been through?”
    ‘Taker interrupts. ”We worked together t’ help Steph. She’s gone. Now all that’s left is that we kicked each other’s asses th’ other week, and we’re both in the same title match at th’ Survivor Series. That’s it. So get th’ hell outta my room and stop botherin’ me.”

    “The other week was intense,”
    Angle says. ”We beat the heck out of each other, no doubt about that. We said we would, and we did. But we have a duty to this brand, no... this company, to do things the right way, ‘Taker. You must see that. You’ve got all these people taking shortcuts to get ahead, and what kind of message does that send? What world are we creating where those who take the most shortcuts get ahead? Stand up to Big Show and refuse his offer, and do it the right way. You win the title having worked with him and it’ll undermine everything you’ve been trying-”

    ‘Taker interrupts him by standing up and marching over to him. ”I’m getting' real tired of you bargin’ in t’ my locker room and tellin’ me what you think, like your opinion is worth a damn. You’re not my friend, boy. You never have been, and you never will be. All you are is a thing in my way from winnin’ the title. And ev’ry time ya walk in here and tell me what t’ do... is jus’ makin’ things a helluva lot worse for ya at Survivor Series. Now get th’ hell outta my way.”

    ‘Taker tries to walk away... but Angle blocks him off! Angle stands in ‘Taker’s way!

    ”You want to know what I’m tired of?” Angle intensely whispers, staring up at the American Bad Ass without a flicker of fear in his eyes. ”I’m tired of your disrespect. You walk around here like you own the place. You’ve been here over a decade. Congratulations. But if you think that means you deserve the title more than anyone else you’re wrong. That title is mine. Do you know what I’ve done for that title? What I’ve put myself through? I’ve aligned with some bad people, I’ve tried to take those shortcuts, and I regret it. But I did it because of how much that title means to me. It’s everything to me. When my daughter takes her first steps... when she speaks for the first time... when she first goes to school... I’ll miss it. I’ll be here. And that’s only worth it if I’m the best. And I’ll prove I’m the best by being the champion.”

    “That’s why,”
    Angle continues, ”I demand that you tell me what you’re planning on for Survivor Series. If you and Show are planning on working together then I want to know that’s what I’m up against. I want to know exactly what stands between me and that belt, so I can get a fair and just shot at it. I’m done with shortcuts. I’m done with being a bad person. This company deserves a champion like me... and if you stop that from happening by aligning with the Big Show of all people... the man who helped take Steph out of a job... the man who beat you at No Mercy... then I’ll lose every ounce of respect I have for you. And if you can’t give me an honest, decent answer about what you’re thinking... then I’ll see you just like everyone else. You’re no better than Brock or Show. You’re just a barrier I need to destroy on the way to winning back the title. And I will destroy you if I have to ‘Taker. I promise you, I will.”

    ‘Taker, throughout all of that, has remained perfectly stoic. With Angle finished, he finally adjusts his feet. ”Ya done?” he says, and tries to walk past Angle again...

    … but is cut off again!

    ”Oh no,” Angle says to a visibly irritated ‘Taker. ”I’m far from done. Until now, we’ve happened to be on the same side of a battle... but at Survivor Series... and tonight... we’re on opposite sides. And I can’t wait to show you where you truly stand. You’re not as good as you think you are, ‘Taker, and I am going to be the one to show you that. You’re about to realise that this business has passed you by. I have passed you by. And if you dare disrespect me again... I’ll show you just how far beneath me you are.”

    ‘Taker growls, furious at the disrespect, and looks ready to react...

    ”Don’t worry,” Angle says. ”You stay right here. I’m leaving this time.”

    Unlike in previous weeks when ‘Taker’s barged past him, Angle spins around and storms out, leaving ‘Taker to fume on his own.

    We cut to elsewhere backstage, where MATT HARDY (VERSION 1.0) is stood in front of WILLIAM REGAL’S desk, who in turn is sat on the other side, head in hands, incredibly bored. Sat to the side of the room on his own, clicking on a laptop with his tongue out, is SHANNON MOORE.

    ”That was when I truly believed it,” Matt says, concluding a story. ”It was in that moment I truly realised the power of Mattitude. One leg or two legs, that guy was a virus, and it was an honour to get rid of him. And it was all possible because of Mattitude.” He grins smugly at Regal. ”Any questions?”

    Regal looks up from behind his hands. ”Umm... just one. Why are you still in my office?”

    Matt’s mouth drops. ”Are you kidding? Last week, you said you’d become the latest member of Mattitude. Your training has only just begun.”

    “It’s begun?”

    “Yes, of course. What did you think I was telling you about for the last half an hour?”

    “I genuinely have no idea, dear boy. But this needs to end. I’m a busy man. You’re going to need to leave my office.”

    “But what about your agreement to join Mattitude? You have so much to learn.”

    Regal sighs, gets to his feet, and places a reassuring hand on Matt’s shoulder.

    ”Listen. I don’t know how to say this in a nice way... so I shan’t. This whole Mattitude thing? It’s all rather ghastly.”

    "But you said-”

    “I said I’d hear you out, and I have done. For multiple hours now. I’ve also received your calls, and your emails. I went on the website as you suggested. And, after having taken it all in... frankly, dear boy... you’d have to be a total idiot to follow you. No offence, Shannon.”

    Shannon doesn’t look up from the screen, tongue still poking out of his mouth. ”None taken.”

    “So it’s a ‘no’, then?”
    Matt asks.

    ”It’s a no. I’m sorry. But you’ll still make a hugely valued member of The Purebreds, and last week’s actions against Eddie Guerrero were absolutely splendid.”

    Matt solemnly nods for a few moments, then claps his hands together and looks over to Shannon as if nothing has happened. ”On with the recruitment drive! I must find a follower soon. Shannon, how many emails have we had to our recruitment email address?”

    Shannon clicks on his laptop and inspects the screen. ”None.”

    Matt clicks his fingers in irritation. ”Damn it, stupid emails are down again. It’ll have to be someone inside the company.”

    “I have the roster page open,”
    Shannon says. ”I’ve got everyone on Smackdown listed here.”

    Matt leans over and looks at Shannon’s screen. Shannon points to someone, but we can’t see who. ”How about them?” the Mattitude Follower asks.

    Matt erupts in to patronisingly loud laughter. ”Them?” he asks, barely able to contain his guffaws. ”Honestly, Shannon, I do worry about you sometimes. How you could possibly think something that stupid is beyond me. To think we would ever allow someone like that in to Mattitude is... it’s laughable, really. Laughable. That’s what that suggestion was, Shannon. Laughable. Although...”

    Matt drifts off, and points to the screen. Again we can’t see who he’s pointing at. ”Your suggestion may have been laughable... but what about this person? They're exactly what we’re looking for!”

    “I love it!”
    Shannon exclaims. ”He’s perfect! Good thinking, boss.”

    “I know, Shannon. I know. I’m going to find them right away. Don’t move! I don’t want you ruining it this time like you did with Regal.”

    “Good plan!”
    Shannon cheerfully announces, and Matt marches out of the office to find his latest candidate. As soon as Matt leaves, Shannon’s face drops.

    Regal walks over and takes a seat next to him. ”That was who you pointed at, wasn’t it?”


    “The person you pointed to, that Matt laughed at. That was the same person he just pointed to, wasn’t it?”

    Shannon meekly nods, so Regal pats him on the shoulder.

    ”Yes, I thought as much. Listen to me, young man. I want you to hear what I have to say, okay? One of these days, you’re going to have to stand up for yourself. Do you hear me?”

    Shannon smiles, finally getting something positive reinforcement, and nods.

    ”Good, good. You can start,” Regal continues, ”by standing up right now… and walking out of my office.”

    Shannon’s shoulders slump, and he follows his leader out of Regal’s office.

    Kyodai Siniestro w/Dawn Marie vs. Funaki & Ultimo Dragon

    This one has been bubbling away for several weeks, so it should come as no surprise that it starts quickly and aggressively. Funaki and Dragon take the fight to their opponents, knowing full well that you don’t want Juvi or Tajiri to gain an advantage over you. Funaki and Dragon show better signs of teaming than you might think, managing to expel their opponents to the outside and following up with Stereo Suicide Dives.

    It’s when they get back to the ring, however, that Funaki tries for a Diving Crossbody and misses, allowing Tajiri to tag in Juvi and take over on the part-time announcer. Kyodai Siniestro, despite being a new team, are obviously more familiar with one another than their opponents, and use that to keep Funaki away from his corner and gradually grind him down.

    With Funaki looking worse for wear, Juvi looks for the Juvi Driver... but Funaki slips out... and tags Ultimo Dragon!

    Dragon rushes in and fires off a series of kicks on Juvi, and even spies Tajiri sneaking in and nails him with a Rolling Heel Kick! Juvi’s up and looks for as kick... but Dragon catches... Dragon Screw... straight in to a Single Leg Boston Crab! Juvi yells in pain as he looks for the ropes...

    … but Tajiri cuts Dragon off with a kick to the head! Tajiri drags Juvi over and forces a tag, then lines up the Buzzsaw Kick...

    … but Dragon ducks! He bounces up... Straight Jacket Suplex... and rolls straight in to a Dragon Sleeper! The move that tapped out Johnny Stamboli last week!

    Dragon wrenches it in, trying to force the man he’ll face at Survivor Series to tap...

    When Dawn tosses Juvi the Cruiserweight Title... and Juvi smashes Dragon in the face with it!

    Winners: Funaki & Ultimo Dragon by disqualification in 6:47

    Dragon immediately releases the hold and crumples to the mat, so Tajiri is able to get his breath back. Only he will know how close he came to tapping out to the number one contender. Juvi helps Tajiri up...

    … when they notice Funaki on the top rope! Flying Double Clothesline!

    Both members of Kyodai Siniestro are down!

    After weeks of abuse, Funaki grabs the Cruiserweight Title and looks at it. After everything they’ve tried to do to him and Dragon over the last few weeks, here is the chance for some revenge. He holds the belt in his hands and lines Tajiri up...

    … but Dawn grabs it before he can swing!

    Funaki wrestles the belt back off her and turns back to Tajiri... GREEN MIST!

    Funaki drops to his knees and claws at his eyes, so Tajiri lines him up... BUZZSAW KICK!

    Both Funaki and Dragon are now down, but that’s not enough for Dawn. She yells at Juvi to finish it, so he pulls up Ultimo Dragon’s unconscious body... JUVI DRIVER!

    Although Kyo-inestro technically lost the match, with just over a week until Survivor Series, Tajiri is very much looking like a winner here.

    We cut to the parking lot backstage. MATT HARDY (VERSION 1.0) is stood at the driver’s door of a car. Unfortunately, due to camera position, we can’t see who is sat in the driver’s seat.

    ”I want you to think about what I said, okay?” Matt says. You would be a real asset to us... and Mattitude... could be a real asset to you. Think it over... and give me your answer next week. Sound good?”

    Matt reaches in to the car and shakes someone’s hand, and the car door slams shut. The car pulls away n to the distance, leaving Matt alone. With the car gone, perhaps the first genuine smile we’ve seen from him in months creeps across his face, and he subtly pumps his fists in celebration.

    We transition to a shot of a dimly-lit graveyard at night. A motorbike roars in to the parking lot and pulls up, revealing THE UNDERTAKER. He steps off the bike and walks in to the cemetery.

    THE UNDERTAKER (voiceover)
    For one night…

    We then see a limo pull up, and out step TRIPLE H, RIC FLAIR, RANDY ORTON and BATISTA, all dressed in suits, and head in to the graveyard.

    TRIPLE H (voiceover)
    For one night…

    Elsewhere in the graveyard, THE BIG SHOW bounds between the gravestones.

    BIG SHOW (voiceover)
    For one night…

    Meanwhile, KANE is stood by a tombstone.

    KANE (voiceover)
    It’s not about victories…

    KURT ANGLE walks along the barely lit central path, wearing a tracksuit and his medals around his neck.

    KURT ANGLE (voiceover)
    It’s not about glory…

    Shawn Michaels is on his knees in front of a gravestone, arms outstretched and looking up to the heavens.

    SHAWN MICHAELS (voiceover)
    It’s not about fame…

    BROCK LESNAR strides through the cemetery, adjusting the WWE Title belt on his shoulder.

    BROCK LESNAR (voiceover)
    It’s not about gold…

    Evolution walk shoulder to shoulder, with a gravestone between them. On the gravestone we see footage of Steve Austin dropping Triple H’s car at the 2000 Survivor Series.

    TRIPLE H (voiceover)
    It’s about destruction…

    Meanwhile, The Undertaker walks past another gravestone, with footage of his debut at the 1990 event being projected on to it.

    THE UNDERTAKER (voiceover)
    It’s about rebirth…

    Kurt Angle still walks along the path, with him helping Team WWF put The Alliance out of business in 2001 being shown on a nearby gravestone.

    KURT ANGLE (voiceover)
    It’s about change…

    The Big Show still towers over the gravestones, walking between two of them. One shows his victory at last year’s event, where Paul Heyman chose Show over Brock, and the other shows The Rock aligning with the Corporation to win the belt in 1998.

    BIG SHOW (voiceover)
    It’s about betrayal…

    Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels is back on his feet and walking with a purpose, with the Montreal Screwjob projected on to a stone next to him.

    SHAWN MICHAELS (voiceover)
    It’s about controversy…

    We then see that, in the middle of the graveyard, sits a wrestling ring. Stood in the middle is a figure whose identity is hidden. Brock and ‘Taker approach the ring to the left, Triple H, Batista, Randy Orton and Ric Flair approach from the top, Big Show and Kane from the bottom, and Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels from the right.

    THE HIDDEN FIGURE (voiceover)
    For one night…

    We zoom in to the ring, where the figure turns around to reveal GOLDBERG, who stares straight down the lens.

    … it’s about SURVIVAL!

    LIVE on pay-per-view, November 16, 2003

    Strange Bedfellows Match
    Big Show & The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar & Kurt Angle w/Paul Heyman

    With Big Show and ‘Taker making their entrances first, they stand in the ring awaiting their opponents, side by side. Show tries to talk to the Deadman, but ‘Taker doesn’t want to hear it, instead focusing on the match ahead. Angle’s the next one out and he marches down to the ring... where he punches ‘Taker straight in the face! He’s getting this one underway whether his partner’s here or not!

    Angle fires off on ‘Taker, with tensions between the two having threatened to boil over for some time, only for Big Show to pull Angle away and toss him across the ring, saving the man he is trying to form an alliance with. Show slaps at Angle’s chest to grind him down, the Olympian overwhelmed by the presence of two giants...

    *** NEXT BIG THING ***

    Which is enough to bring BROCK LESNAR down to the ring, with PAUL HEYMAN following close behind! No doubt wanting to get in the ring more to be a part of the fight than help Angle, he charges at ‘Taker and drives his shoulder in his stomach, forcing him back in the turnbuckle, then turning to Big Show... AND BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEXES HIM! Incredible strength!

    ‘Taker, though, is back up and spins Brock around... and slugs him with a big right! Brock topples out of the ring... but Kurt sneaks up behind ‘Taker...

    ANKLE LOCK! Angle’s going for an early Ankle Lock!

    He tears at the ankle, already salivating at the thought of really putting ‘Taker through a whole world of pain...

    … when Show boots him in the face!

    From there, the match finally boils down to a more standard tag affair. Brock climbs to the apron and awaits Kurt’s tag, but the experience Show and ‘Taker have of having worked together in the past means they make a decent team. Using their vast strength and size advantage they keep Angle entirely isolated from the WWE Champion.

    Sensing the opportunity to finish the contest off, ‘Taker grabs Angle and shoves him between his legs... looking for a Last Ride...

    … but Angle Back Body Drops out of it! He crawls to Brock for the tag... but ‘Taker leans out... and tags in Show! He rushes over as Angle’s about to make the tag...

    … but Show stops him! He pulls him away and on to his feet... and grabs him by the throat! He signals that he wants the Chokeslam... but Angle slips out... IN TO A GERMAN SUPLEX! Angle leaps across the ring...


    Brock leaps over the top rope and rushes in to the ring... Clothesline to Show! Show bounces back up... another from Brock! Up Show gets again... another Clothesline! Brock poises behind the giant... and lifts him on to his shoulders!

    No! Brock’s back gives way! He drops Show back down and clutches at his injured core, allowing Show to grab him by the throat! He looks for the Chokeslam... but Brock leaps out... kick to the gut... SUPLEX! Great strength again!

    But Show lands by ‘Taker... so The Deadman tags in!

    Brock waves ‘Taker on, ready for the fight, so the Deadman comes in... and they brawl in the centre of the ring!

    ‘Taker gets the better of it and pounds on him in the corner... he whips Brock to the corner... and chases him with a Clothesline! Brock rebounds out, so ‘Taker lifts him up... Snake Eyes! ‘Taker hits the ropes... Big Boot! The Undertaker’s taking it to the champion... and now he wants a Chokeslam!

    He waits as Brock gingerly returns to his feet, arm outstretched...

    ANGLE SLAM! Angle hit an Angle Slam out of nowhere! He promised he’d get to ‘Taker!

    Angle turns around... IN TO A CHOKESLAM! Show plants Angle!

    But Brock’s up... F5!

    No! Show slips out... and grabs a Cobra Clutch! The champion’s trapped!

    The giant squeezes tight, with no-one left to save Brock, and holds on until Lesnar’s face turns red and he drops to a knee. With the contest nearly over, Brock starts to fade...

    … he weakly wraps his arms around Show’s legs behind him... AND LIFTS HIM ON TO HIS BACK! He carries Show for a few paces... then falls back... landing on top of him!

    Brock struggles back up, lining up an F5, hoping he can hold him this time... he’s ready to lift him...


    Big Show gets back up... AND ALSO GRABS BROCK BY THE THROAT!

    But ‘Taker let's go! He shoves Big Show away, and asks what he’s doing!

    ”C’mon!” Big Show says. ”Let’s finish this. You and me together!”

    ‘Taker drops his head as he thinks for a moment... THEN PUNCHES BIG SHOW IN THE FACE! ‘Taker just attacked his own partner!

    The Undertaker pounds on Show in to the corner and down to the mat, where he starts to slump to the outside… SO HEYMAN GRABS THE UNCONSCIOUS GIANT! What is he doing?!

    Referee Nick Patrick tries to get Heyman to let go, so ‘Taker turns back to the ring…

    … when Angle grabs him for another Angle Slam!

    But ‘Taker elbows out... and grabs him by the throat! He’s ready to Chokeslam Angle...

    … when RHYNO slides in to the ring! GORE TO THE UNDERTAKER! And the referee had his back turned!

    Rhyno rolls out of the ring, allowing Brock to place an arm over The Undertaker while Heyman yells at Patrick to turn around. Patrick spins and dives to the mat.

    Meanwhile, Angle stands over the pinfall, looking down. He could do the right thing and break it up, knowing it was gained by interference, as Patrick slaps the mat...


    Still Angle stands over it! Will he take the ill-won victory for his side, or save ‘Taker and do the right thing?


    He’s doing nothing! He’s taking the victory!


    Winners: Brock Lesnar & Kurt Angle in 12:29

    The crowd boo Brock’s unearned victory as he rolls to the outside, where he joins Heyman and Rhyno. Still Angle stands over ‘Taker, looking down, unsure what to do. The chance was there to do the right thing, but he chose not to take it. He took the victory, even if he wasn’t the one to get it, even if it was gained by cheating.

    ‘Taker gradually comes to and sits up, realising what had happened. Angle backs away, not sure how to react... when a smirk creeps across his face! He’s happy to have seen ‘Taker fail!

    On the ramp, Heyman grabs Rhyno and Brock’s arms and raises them in victory, then drops them so he can yell ”GORE! GORE! GORE!” over and over.

    ”What did we just see?” Cole asks, as ‘Taker angrily glares from Angle to Brock. ”Is Rhyno working with Heyman?! Is Angle giving up his morals?! Has ‘Taker refused Show’s offer?! What does this mean for Survivor Series?! What does this mean for the title?!”

    * END OF SHOW *

    Confirmed for next week

    Six Man Tag Match
    Matt Hardy (Version 1.0) & World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Billy Kidman, Rey Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero

    Non Title Match
    John Cena vs. Chavo Guerrero

    Six Man Tag Match
    The Full Bloodied Italians vs. Brian Kendrick, Paul London & Chris Benoit

    Non-Title Match
    Tajiri vs. Funaki

    Ultimo Dragon is in action before his Cruiserweight Title match at the Survivor Series!

    Confirmed matches for WWE Survivor Series

    No Disqualification Fatal Fourway Elimination Match for the WWE Championship
    Brock Lesnar (c) vs. The Big Show vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker

    World Heavyweight Title Match
    Kane vs. Goldberg (c)

    5-on-5 Survivor Series Match – Winning General Manager Runs Raw
    Team Bischoff (Batista, Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton & Triple H) vs. Team Austin (Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Rob Van Dam & Shawn Michaels)

    5-on-5 Survivor Series Match – Survivor(s) Get a Title Shot
    The Purebreds (A-Train, John Cena, Matt Hardy Version 1 & World's Greatest Tag Team vs. The Atlanta Five (Billy Kidman, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio)

    WWE Women's Title Match
    Molly Holly (c) vs. Lita

    WWE Cruiserweight Title Match
    Tajiri (c) vs. Ultimo Dragon

  8. #188
    Shoulda planned ahead
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    Re: November BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    It never even clicked with me last week that all five of these guys came from WCW. The Atlanta Five is a tremendous team name, and as a mark for traditional elimination matches, I’m a big proponent for Survivor Series teams to have names. For me, it has a nice ring to it ... though the five of them saying the name at the same time felt a little cheesy.

    My only other complaints about the opening promo was that there wasn’t one mention of the title shot stipulation here. To me, that’s the major selling point of the match, yet it was ignored completely. Also, while it makes sense for Eddie to carry the bulk of the talking, it’d have been nice to hear even a line or two from the other four guys so that they didn’t look like Eddies back up.

    Bit surprised the Bashams got lumped into the jobber team given how well you’d booked them as of late. I’m guessing there just wasn’t anyone else to fill the role to make up the numbers? That said, it was still a ten minute match, so hardly a jobber match, but the result was never in doubt.

    With Eddie doing all the talking earlier, it really would’ve been nice for someone else to get the pin here. The way everything was set up here made it look like Eddie’s the star and the others are along for the ride. Which might be deliberate- and if so, excellent. Because he absolutely came across as the big star amongst the team here.

    Big fan of the team being a unit and putting any issues to the side for now, if not completely behind them. They don’t need any infighting.

    The segment with the Purebreds (not as keen on that name tbh, but I’ll take it over not having a name) was excellent. Hardy had his usual comedy lines, but Cena was the star. His suggestion of Cena plus 4 was great, and his blasé attitude to the team having a name and the team in general was all great stuff.

    I had a feeling who might’ve been behind the request to give Rhyno a match on this show ... and I wasn’t disappointed. Promising direction for him after losing the Benoit feud. The merciless destruction of Scotty - and the playing off Scotty’s prior neck issues was especially devastating. Glad you also focused on the aftermath to sell the importance of what happened with the extended commentary, rather than just moving on - as many might’ve with the thought; it’s only Scotty - you made this mean something.

    Even the positioning of the Taker/Show history being just after that was the perfect place for it, not just moving straight into another match. All good stuff here.

    Ah, the attitude era.

    Liking the build up for this tag match later. Show makes an interesting point here, but it’d be hard to see Taker willingly doing anything with Show.

    Another loss for O’Haire. Him just giving up is a strange twist. Especially after he was getting super aggressive last week. Until it all plays out, I’m not too sure what to think of it all. Just glad he’s got something going on at the minute.

    Wow. That was something else out of Angle. A few things he said were a bit too virtuous, but for the most part, this was really explosive, and the kind of intensity I love seeing in Angle. Him blowing up on Taker made sense too, as it’s come after months of Taker treating him like dirt in segments like this.

    Just when I thought someone was going to be nice to Shannon! Glad you didn’t have the Regal/Mattitude stuff drag on for weeks and cut it here. Their interactions will be fun going forward anyway without Matt trying to recruit the GM. Looking forward to seeing who it was Moore ... uh, I mean, Matt pointed out on the roster. Like Shannon would make a good suggestion!

    The cruiserweight tag match was a fine advancement on that ongoing feud between the two groups. Tajiri looking as viscous as ever in the aftermath, but I’m mostly impressed by your use of Dawn here, as she was a true difference maker in her men ending the night on top.

    There’s a tease for next week anyway. I believe Mattitude may have a new follower...

    Angle was definitely fired up this week. Him not even waiting for Lesnar made sense, seeing how fired up he already had been earlier. This show did a lot to make this a true four way feud, with issues festering between everyone after the ramping up of tensions between Angle and Taker.

    Seemed like a great showcase for all four guys, having Lesnar rattle off suplexes on Big Show too, and the counter for the Cobra Clutch was insane. Taker attacking Show for wanting to deliver a double chokeslam seemed a *bit* of a reach, but not anything completely in feasible. Rhyno joining up with Heyman and Lesnar is huge. I love that alliance and any excuse for Heyman to yell GORE is a good one. Even though he’ll be a firm #2 to Lesnar, I think this is a great spot for Rhyno going forward.

    Big story coming out of the finish was obviously Angle letting the pin happen, especially after everything he said to Taker earlier. My guess is that he let it happen because he didn’t think Taker would play by the rules if given the chance ... but it leaves plenty of question marks heading into the go-home show for Survivor Series. Great closing call from Cole to cap off a strong show.

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