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

  1. #281
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Prediction template

    8: Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg (c)

    3: WWE Intercontinental Title Match
    Kane vs. Booker T (c)

    5: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women's Title
    Molly Holly (c) vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus

    1: World Tag Team Titles
    Batista & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (c)

    6: Singles Match
    Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

    7: No Holds Barred
    Randy Orton vs. Terry Funk

    2: Tag Match
    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test) vs. Rising Storm (Lance Storm & Val Venis)

    4: Six Man Tag Match
    La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier) vs. League of Justice (Hurricane, Rosey & Super Nova)


    1. Pick the winners (point per correct answer)

    2. Predict the match order (point per correct answer)

    3. What will be the longest match? (one point for a correct answer)
    Triple H vs Rob Van Dam

    4. What will be the shortest match? (one point for a correct answer)
    La Resistance vs League of Justice
    5. Will anything unscheduled take place (e.g. run ins, turns, debuts)? If so, what? (two points for a correct answer)
    Spike Dudley & Ric Flair in the Tag Title Match

    Impact 2014: Re-Branding When It Mattered

  2. #282
    Drink the Kool-Aid
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Sorry for no feedback for SD, show was great, honestly one of your best. I think the only thing that irked me all show was Regal calling Eddie young man when Eddie is actually a year older, and that's some pretty petty, nit picky feedback. Once again, SD was great, now here's some predictions.

    also apologies for the formatting of this post. Stuffed and don't have time to make consistent.

    Prediction template

    8: Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title

    Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg (c)
    Goldberg retains. My heart and head says Jericho should get the title because he's your hottest character, however I don't think you went through the process of fixing the booking of Goldberg, just to give him a short title reign. The Berg wins for me, and Shawn takes the fall.

    3: WWE Intercontinental Title Match
    Kane vs. Booker T (c)
    Agreeing with most peoples thoughts here. Kane is a monster and needs to be shown as one here, but he's not IC Title bound.

    5: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women's Title
    Molly Holly (c) vs. Lita vs. Trish StratusGot this feeling that April will eventually be the one to take the title. Molly wins this with Trish and Lita implosion pending.

    1: World Tag Team Titles
    Batista & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (c)
    Surely not wasting Christian's favour on a loss that has no impact to anything. Plus, Dudleyz title reign has probably been one of the low points in the thread, in my opinion

    6: Singles Match
    Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam
    HHH wins thanks to Flair. RVD finally winning and breaking the glass ceiling feels like a Mania moment.

    7: No Holds Barred
    Randy Orton vs. Terry Funk
    Orton destroys Funk to get Foley out of retirement.

    2: Tag Match
    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test) vs. Rising Storm (Lance Storm & Val Venis)
    They are just more interesting.

    4: Six Man Tag Match
    La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier) vs. League of Justice (Hurricane, Rosey & Super Nova)
    Put over your new fun team, and plus most recent episode of Raw looks like Conway and the Frenchmen could have issues.


    1. Pick the winners (point per correct answer)

    2. Predict the match order (point per correct answer)

    3. What will be the longest match? (one point for a correct answer)

    4. What will be the shortest match? (one point for a correct answer)
    kane/booker. kane gets dq'd early.
    5. Will anything unscheduled take place (e.g. run ins, turns, debuts)? If so, what? (two points for a correct answer)

  3. #283
    Indy Talent
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title (8)
    Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg (c)

    I feel that the obvious answer is to go with Jericho, but i just don't think its time to pull the trigger yet. Jericho being screwed out of the win opens up so much more possibilities with Jericho character. I think that Jericho needs to win the belt from Shawn to cement his legacy.

    WWE Intercontinental Title Match (2)
    Kane vs. Booker T (c)

    This match is a real toss-up for me. On the one hand, you have Kane who shouldnt really lose here and you have Booker T that just won the IC title. I think this lends itself to some type of smoz finish where Booker keeps his title, but doesn't really beat Kane.

    Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women's Title (4)
    Molly Holly (c) vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus

    Storyline-wise i think the best thing to do is to have Trish win the belt and have Lita chase her. I think that Trish does something sneaky to win, but it looks like it is just within the flow of the match. I think that ultimately Trish is turned Heel down the line and Mania it is Lita vs. Trish for the belt

    World Tag Team Titles (3)
    Batista & Christian
    vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (c)

    No way that you have Christian use his favor and then not have them cash in and win gold. The Dudley's dont really need the belts anymore. I feel that they can get moved to another feud and be just fine. Christian needs the belts in order to stay in the Evolution fold

    Singles Match (5)
    Triple H
    vs. Rob Van Dam

    Not time for RVD to win just yet, and i feel that Ric is going to help HHH win which will lead to a rematch. i think this feud is just at the beginning stages and you usually should start with the heel getting the first win.

    No Holds Barred (7)
    Randy Orton vs. Terry Funk

    Randy has to win this match... Foley is going to come out afterwards but Orton has to win...also, i echo Zoom-E's statement... FLAMING BRANDING IRON

    Tag Match (6)
    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test) vs. Rising Storm (Lance Storm & Val Venis)

    There is more legs to Shattered Dreams Production IMO, so they need to win this match... Honestly, SDP vs. League of Justice would be amazingly funny

    Six Man Tag Match (1)
    La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier) vs. League of Justice (Hurricane, Rosey & Super Nova)

    No one likes La Resistance... the League needs to win this


    1. Pick the winners (point per correct answer)
    2. Predict the match order (point per correct answer)
    3. What will be the longest match? (one point for a correct answer) Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg (c)
    4. What will be the shortest match? (one point for a correct answer) La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier) vs. League of Justice (Hurricane, Rosey & Super Nova)
    5. Will anything unscheduled take place (e.g. run ins, turns, debuts)? If so, what? (two points for a correct answer) Mick Foley returns

  4. #284
    WWF- 1991 And Beyond
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    8 Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg (c)
    I think your booking of Jericho has been masterful. However, I don’t think it’s time to take the title off Goldberg just yet. 1 of 2 things happen here, Goldberg retains, or Michaels somehow walks out as champion, setting up an awesome feud of Jericho/Michaels.

    5 WWE Intercontinental Title Match
    Kane vs. Booker T (c)
    The way you’ve booked Kane was how WWE should have during this time period. I don’t really think Kane needs the IC title to continue being a monster. Maybe someone interferes and costs him the match.

    2 Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women's Title
    Molly Holly (c) vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus
    I don’t think you take the title off of Molly here. There is plenty left in this storyline moving forward towards WM20.

    3 World Tag Team Titles
    Batista & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (c)
    This is probably the only belt I see changing at Armageddon. Really intriguing pairing of Christian and Batista. Plus, the Dudleys can always win back the titles.

    4 Singles Match
    Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam
    Really interesting match, playing off of Survivor Series. I feel like this is the holding pattern you’ve put HHH in until WM20, which is great. I love these short non-title feuds. They just add so much more to your BTB. RVD already pinned HHH, so HHH gets his heat back.

    6 No Holds Barred
    Randy Orton vs. Terry Funk
    Terry Funk’s promo on RAW was terrific. Really glad you’ve inserted him in here, as he is the picture perfect guy for Orton. Funk kicks Orton’s ass all over the arena, but Orton ends up with the win.

    1 Tag Match
    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test) vs. Rising Storm (Lance Storm & Val Venis)
    I like what you’ve done with the undercard- new pairings that are fun to read. This is a toss up for me.

    7 Six Man Tag Match
    La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier) vs. League of Justice (Hurricane, Rosey & Super Nova)
    Adding Nova to Hurricane and Rosey is perfect. A really great idea. However, they are still at the bottom of the pecking order here.


    1. Pick the winners (point per correct answer)
    2. Predict the match order (point per correct answer)
    3. What will be the longest match? (one point for a correct answer) Goldberg vs. HBK vs. Jericho
    4. What will be the shortest match? (one point for a correct answer) Shattered Dreams vs. Rising Storm
    5. Will anything unscheduled take place (e.g. run ins, turns, debuts)? If so, what? (two points for a correct answer) I would love to see Stone Cold show up. I don’t think you pull the trigger on any of the inter-promotional feuds being set up for WM20 just yet. Either way, I'm pumped to read this show. Good luck writing brother!


  5. #285
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    Armageddon Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Prediction template

    Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg (c)

    WWE Intercontinental Title Match
    Kane vs. Booker T (c)

    Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women's Title
    Molly Holly (c) vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus

    World Tag Team Titles
    Batista & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (c)

    Singles Match
    Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam

    No Holds Barred
    Randy Orton vs. Terry Funk

    Tag Match
    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test) vs. Rising Storm (Lance Storm & Val Venis)

    Six Man Tag Match
    La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier) vs. League of Justice (Hurricane, Rosey & Super Nova)


    1. Pick the winners (point per correct answer)
    2. Predict the match order (point per correct answer)
    3. What will be the longest match? (one point for a correct answer)
    4. What will be the shortest match? (one point for a correct answer)
    5. Will anything unscheduled take place (e.g. run ins, turns, debuts)? If so, what? (two points for a correct answer)

    8- Main Event- World Heavyweight Championship (Triple Threat Match)

    Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels vs Goldberg (c)

    I think that this is Jericho's time. I mean he is red hot or has been ever since this Lone Wolf thing of his has taken off. Jericho has basically been on the roll of his career ever since Survivor Series where he was the lone survivor for Team Bischoff. Not to mention he is the one responsible for retiring Austin and basically beating Shawn in the same night. Goldberg he has had a pretty impressive title reign but all things come to an end. I still say Michaels is the one who gets pinned here in the match. However, as for who wins...I SAY GOLDBERG but just barely. Goldberg will retain the title but Jericho won't get pinned which basically saves Jericho. Jericho can just get his 1 on 1 rematch for the title at the Rumble instead.

    3- WWE Intercontinental Championship

    Booker T (c) vs Kane

    No way Booker loses here. I mean even though Kane has been so dominant and so terrifying I think here Kane takes the loss however it won't be by pinfall or submission. I think Booker will retain his title via DQ which pretty much saves Booker from having to drop the title to Kane.

    6- WWE Women's Championship (Triple Threat Match)

    Molly Holly (c) vs Trish Stratus vs Lita

    I see us getting a new Champion and it will end up being Trish Stratus. Trish will ultimately walk out WWE Women's Champion with Molly Holly being the one who gets pinned. Lita doesn't get pinned here but seeds planted towards a Trish Stratus heel turn and it ultimately leading towards a Trish/Lita feud which is what I think everything is building towards so.

    2- World Tag Team Championships

    Batista & Christian w/Ric Flair vs Dudley Boyz (c)

    I see this Christian/Evolution thing continuing and it actually turns into Christian and Batista winning the World Tag Team Championships. Even though, I wouldn't be surprised if it goes the other way with the Dudleys retaining and then Batista & Flair beating the holy hell out of Christian afterwards. However, I think The Dudleys' time with the titles is up. Look for Flair to get involved here.

    5- Triple H vs Rob Van Dam

    I say this is RVD's time and a win for RVD actually does wonders for him. It actually helps get RVD to that next level when it comes to being a main event level caliber talent here on RAW. Plus a loss for Triple H doesn't really hurt him one way or the other but it would help if he actually helps put RVD over.

    7- No Holds Barred

    Randy Orton vs "The Hardcore Legend" Terry Funk

    With Orton killing legends like he has been it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up killing the legend of Terry Funk here in this match by not only beating Funk but I see Orton brutalizing Funk here in this match. However, I can also see Orton walking out of this match never the same again. Orton will end up landing on thumbtacks that's a given and I definitely see Funk using the barbed wire baseball bat on Orton as well as a barbed wire 2 x 4 on Orton too. However Orton will probably end up using everything else on Funk. Either way I can see a lot of hardcore spots.

    4- Tag Team Match

    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test) vs Rising Storm (Lance Storm & Val Venis)

    One of the matches I could care less about on the card which is why I won't even go into detail about it. All I will say is that Goldust & Test are winning this match.

    1- 6 Man Tag Team Match

    La Resistance (Conway, Dupree and Grenier) vs League of Justice

    Another throwaway match that I could care less about but as far as who wins...I say League of Justice

    1- DONE
    2- DONE
    3- What will be the longest match? (World Heavyweight Championship- Triple Threat Match- Jericho vs Michaels vs Goldberg (c))
    4- What will be the shortest match? (6 Man Tag Team Match- La Resistance vs League of Justice)
    5- Will anything unscheduled take place...if so, what? Mick Foley's music will play...fake out...instead Austin's music hits and Austin ends up returning here which sets up Austin/Orton again

  6. #286
    Charismatic Enigma
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    8. Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg (c)

    6. WWE Intercontinental Title Match
    vs. Booker T (c)

    4. Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women's Title
    Molly Holly (c)
    vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus

    1. World Tag Team Titles
    Batista & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (c)

    7. Singles Match
    Triple H
    vs. Rob Van Dam

    2. No Holds Barred
    Randy Orton
    vs. Terry Funk

    5. Tag Match
    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test)
    vs. Rising Storm (Lance Storm & Val Venis)

    3. Six Man Tag Match
    La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier) vs. League of Justice (Hurricane, Rosey & Super Nova)


    1. Pick the winners (point per correct answer)
    - Done.
    2. Predict the match order (point per correct answer)
    - Done.
    3. What will be the longest match? (one point for a correct answer)
    - Triple H vs RVD.
    4. What will be the shortest match? (one point for a correct answer)
    - La Resistance vs League of Justice.
    5. Will anything unscheduled take place (e.g. run ins, turns, debuts)? If so, what? (two points for a correct answer)
    - April Hunter

    credit to battletank for the graphic

  7. #287
    t h e o g
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Doing this on my phone, hopefully it looks aight. Looking forward to the show! Glad you liked the graphics!

    Prediction template

    Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Title
    Goldberg (c)

    2. WWE Intercontinental Title Match
    Booker T (c)

    7. Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women's Title

    5. World Tag Team Titles
    Batista & Christian[B]

    4. Singles Match
    Triple H

    6. No Holds Barred
    Randy Orton

    3. Tag Match
    Shattered Dreams Productions (Goldust & Test)

    1. Six Man Tag Match
    La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvan Grenier)


    1. Pick the winners (point per correct answer)Done.
    2. Predict the match order (point per correct answer)Done.
    3. What will be the longest match? (one point for a correct answer)Trip Van Dan.
    4. What will be the shortest match? (one point for a correct answer)Test / Goldust versus Storm / Venus.
    5. Will anything unscheduled take place (e.g. run ins, turns, debuts)? If so, what? (two points for a correct answer) Mick Foley?
    Last edited by ranthellacious; 03-29-2019 at 03:57 AM.

  8. #288
    Doubting El Dandy
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Before we begin, credit once again to ranthellacious for the awesome match graphics, and to Wolf Beast for his KOBTB entry last year which inspired me to try and be a little more creative with my promo packages.
    Sunday, December 14 2003
    Orlando, Florida

    We fade in to the image of a warzone… with ”The End” playing over it.

    ”You came to me,”

    We see GOLDBERG emerging from the smoke during his entrance...

    ”In a dream last night,”

    … we see CHRIS JERICHO drinking in the boos after a recent monologue...

    ”You were standing,”

    … we see SHAWN MICHAELS in his trademark prayer pose at the top of the ramp, with pyro exploding behind him in slow motion...

    ”In a brilliant light.”

    … we cut to Jericho, exhausted, panting and grimacing during a recent match...

    ”One minute here,”

    … and then Shawn Michaels being held in the Walls of Jericho, bleeding profusely as he’s about to pass out...

    ”But the next you were gone,”

    … and then Goldberg limping, holding his ribs, struggling after another titantic battle, but with his belt clutched tightly in his hand...

    ”I thought you could stay,”

    … we see Jericho celebrating after he won the Undisputed Title at Vengeance in 2001...

    ”But I was so wrong.”

    … we see Michaels on his knees, celebrating the boyhood dream coming true at Wrestlemania 12...

    ”The end is here!”

    … and we see Goldberg celebrating, having beaten Triple H to win the World Heavyweight Title at Unforgiven earlier this year...

    ”The game is over!”

    … we see some of Goldberg and Michaels’ most frosty backstage encounters...

    ”No more pretending,”

    … and we see Michaels and Jericho staring each other down on Raw a couple of weeks ago...

    ”No more… no more...”

    As the tempo of the song picks up, so too does the footage. With the first heavy beat, we see Jericho dive out of the way so Goldberg accidentally nails Michaels with a Spear, and we see the next week when Jericho ducked a Sweet Chin Music attempt from Michaels, causing HBK to accidentally take out Goldberg...

    ”The end is here...”

    … we then see Chris Jericho putting the Walls of Jericho on Christian and Booker T in different bouts, and again we see him locking the Walls of Jericho on the bloodied Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series...

    ”The end is here…”

    … and we see Shawn Michaels soaring through the air for a Flying Elbow Drop on Randy Orton, and a series of quickfire Sweet Chin Musics over the years...

    ”The end is here…”

    … and we see Goldberg Spearing Stevie Richards so hard his shoes flew off his feet, and we see him delivering a devastating Jackhammer to Mark Henry...

    ”The end is here...”

    And then we see the shot that shocked the world on Monday. Shawn Michaels intentionally hitting Goldberg with Sweet Chin Music, and looking down without remorse as Jericho can only stare on in disbelief...

    ”The end is here!”

    … and we close with Goldberg, leaning over the top rope, screaming at Jericho that he’s next, as we fade out...

    ”And now... WWE Raw... and Final Fantasy X-2... present... Armageddon.”

    We return to the arena, and an enormous pyrotechnic display. The camera pans the arena, showing fire billowing from the metal structures around the big screen, then moves to the frenzied crowd with signs held high above their heads, until we settle on the announce team for the evening.

    ”Welcome, ev’ryone, t’ WWE Armageddon!” JR yells. ”You’re comin’ to us live from the TD Waterhouse Center in beautiful Orlando, Florida! I’m ‘Good Ol’ JR’ Jim Ross, alongside me as always is Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, an' what a night we’ve got in store for ya tonight.”

    “You’re absolutely right, JR!”
    King exclaims, as fans behind the announce table desperately try to mug for the camera. ”I don't know that I’ve ever seen a crowd so pumped for a show! It’s crazy in here!”

    “You’re absolutely right, King. We’ve got eight huge matches for ya tonight, all four Raw titles are on th’ line, but none biggah than Chris Jericho... Shawn Michaels... and Goldberg... for th’ World Heavyweight Title...”


    *** EYE OF THE STORM ***

    ”... but we’re kickin’ things off with a six-man tag match!”

    Once both teams have made it to the ring (with Stacy on the outside), it immediately breaks down in to a brawl, with the League of Justice getting the better of it and sending the Frenchies to the outside for the requisite early pop.

    When La Res return to the ring they use a series of cheap shots to take over, and the match falls in to exactly the kind of crowd-popping-but-emotionally-light opener it clearly always could be. La Res use everything trick in the book – the blind tags, distracting the ref, pulling on the ropes – to keep Hurricane isolated from the rest of his team, until Grenier gets a little bit too cocky... and allows Hurricane to nail a Dropkick! He scrambles across the ring... and tags in Rosey!

    Rosey uses all of his size (girth) advantage to barrel through his opponents, leaving them little choice to triple team him. That brings in Super Nova and Hurricane to clear the ring, so Nova runs off the ropes... SUICIDE DIVE TO LA RESISTANCE! Big pop! But Conway sidestepped and managed to avoid it... so Hurricane rushes to the ropes and springboards off the second rope... for a Plancha! One-by-one the League of Justice have showed their aerial prowess, with just Rosey left in the ring. The crowd start to cheer for him... SO ROSEY CLIMBS TO THE TOP ROPE! The five men on the outside get to their feet... AND ROSEY DIVES ON TO THEM! (Kinda). HUGE pop for the big man!

    With that, all pretence of a back and forth wrestling match is gone. Rosey rolls Grenier, the legal man, back in to the ring, but Conway’s able to save his friend. It descends in to a scrap as each member returns to the ring, only for Nova to be taken out by Conway. The French Sympathiser tees off on him... but he doesn’t see Hurricane coming! Nova drops down and Hurricane flies through the air... Diving Crossbody... taking Conway and himself out of the ring! The referee’s distracted by their hard landing, so Rene Dupree grabs the French flag from the corner of the ring and swings for Rosey... but he ducks... and Dupree clocks Grenier in the face! Dupree’s shocked as he turns around... Samoan Drop! Dupree’s flattened!

    Nova climbs to the top and reapplies his cape... he climbs on to Rosey’s shoulders just as Hurricane has done so many times and lines Grenier and Dupree up... SUPERHERO SPLASH!

    Rosey makes the cover...




    Winners: The League of Justice in 8:55

    The crowd pop for the babyface win as Hurricane and Stacy return to the ring, and the heroic quartet join together for a big group hug. They’re announced as the victors, so they all line up side by side... and Hurri-pose for the fans! The future is certainly looking bright for this group of misfits...

    As the League of Justice head to the back, we’re left with Grenier and Dupree coming to in the ring. Conway rolls in and asks what the hell just happened. No doubt frustrated at going from Tag Champions to losing to a bunch of “freaks” in the span of three months, Conway screams at his team, angered that they had things in hand, and yet somehow managed to screw it up. He yells at Grenier for not making the most of Hurricane while he was down, and Dupree for hitting his teammate with the flag. Grenier starts to argue his case...


    Dupree spins him around to ask what the hell he’s thinking...


    Grenier bounces up, still stunned from the cheap shot, so Conway pulls him in... he waits as Dupree gets up and pulls him in with the other hand... DOUBLE DDT! Rob Conway’s just left La Resistance lying!

    He looks down at them, visibly shaking with rage... and storms out of the ring to the back, potentially having killed their alliance...

    We then cut backstage, just in time to see GOLDBERG arriving to the arena. He storms through the corridors in a biker’s jacket and jeans, bag over his shoulder, and looking dangerously intense. A couple of backstage workers see him coming and make sure to stay far out of his way. JR then comments on Goldberg looking to be in a furious mood, and this is why...

    Quote Originally Posted by Last Monday on WWE Raw
    No sooner has the bell rung than Jericho rolls to the outside and to safety, as Michaels looks on, unable to comprehend how Jericho managed to steal one yet again. The announcers talk about how Jericho keeps playing everyone against one another and keeps using it to his advantage, and if we see that sequence of events in six-days-time we’ll have a new champion.

    Jericho smirks as he returns up the ramp, making sure to stare Michaels dead in the eyes to ensure his message gets across. HBK is furious, pacing in the ring, trying to work out how he threw it away, as Goldberg gets back to his feet, hobbling, asking Michaels how they lost it. Michaels holds his hands out in apology...



    The crowd gasps in shock as Jericho’s jaw drops. Michaels looks coldly down on Goldberg, then up at Jericho. The smirk from Jericho has completely disappeared as he stares disbelievingly at Michaels stood tall in the ring.

    ”What th’ hell was that?!” JR asks.

    ”He said it himself last week... next time he kicks Goldberg in the face... it’ll be intentional! And guess what, JR... that was intentional!”

    “Damn straight it was! Michaels just kicked Goldberg right in the bah gawd jaw! I can’t believe what I’m seein’!”

    The referee, who had brought the belt in to hand to Goldberg, can only look on as stunned as everyone else. Michaels merely looks at him... and snatches the title out of his hands! He stares at it intently... before holding it up above his head!

    ”Would ya look at that! Goldberg’s down... Jericho’s stunned... and Shawn Michaels is th’ one holdin’ th’ belt! And he did it by takin’ out Goldberg with a damn cheap shot!”

    “Shawn Michaels promised he’s still got it in him, and you know what we just saw there... that was the old Shawn Michaels! He’ll do whatever it takes!”

    “What th’ hell is this gonna mean for this Sunday? What is this gonna mean for the World Heavyweight Title?!”

    We then transition to elsewhere backstage, where CHRISTIAN is walking through a corridor, dressed ready to compete and with a smug grin on his face. He knows all he has to do is pick up a victory tonight, and he’ll become a (honorary) member of Evolution.

    As he continues on he walks past a door, stops, double takes, and heads back to check it out. When he gets there, he sees the door is labelled ”EVOLUTION”. He shakes his head, confused, knocks, and walks in.

    On entry, he sees a spacious, luxurious locker room where TRIPLE H, RANDY ORTON and BATISTA are getting ready.

    ”What the hell’s this?” Christian asks. ”You’ve got your own dressing room and you didn’t tell me? I had to get dressed in the corridor!”

    Triple H and Orton exchange a glance, a lot of their tension seemingly disappearing now there’s someone else to take the brunt of it.

    ”Why didn’t you just get dressed in the communal locker room with everyone else?” Orton asks.

    Christian bows his head, embarrassed. ”I’m not allowed in there any more.”

    Again Orton and Triple H exchange a look, and shake their head.

    ”Whatever, man,” Orton says, taking control as Triple H happily sits back and lets his protégé deal with the inconvenience. ”We’ll let you use this locker room... if you win tonight... that is. But Hunter’s made our stance perfectly clear. You don’t win tonight... you’re not just losing out on a chance to join Evolution... you’re becoming an enemy… of Evolution. Got it?”

    Christian looks taken aback by the constant disrespect, as though he thought they’d have warmed to him by now. He turns to RIC FLAIR, the one member of Evolution not in action tonight, who had been standing back and letting Orton get experience of leading, just like Triple H.

    ”Ric, tell them, would you?” Christian says. ”I’m one of the guys now! You said it yourself, right? You told the Dudleyz not to put their hands on, ‘your boys’. Meaning me and Big...” he pauses, remember Batista warning him about calling him ‘Big Dave’ last week. ”... me and Batista. Right?”

    Flair steps away from the wall he was leaning on and walks over. ”CHRISTIAN! Do... you... know... who we are?”

    “You’re the crown jewels in this business,”
    Christian disinterestedly mumbles.

    ”WE... ARE... THE CROWN JEWELS... OF THIS BUSINESS!” Flair yells, apparently not having heard Christian. ”Randy... Dave... they are the two... most... exciting... young talents... I have ever seen... in my... whole... career! And Tha Game! Triple H! He... is... Tha Man! The greatest... in the world... right now! This... is... the very... TOP... of... this... business! You wanna be one-a tha top guys in tha bus’ness? Ya wanna be one-a my guys? Then ya do it... in... tha ring! Ya get it done tonight... and you’re one-a us! But ya don’t... and ya got us ta deal with, pal! I called ya one-a my boys... ‘cos you... can... help... Dave... win tha Tag Titles. Evolution... we’re all about tha gold! An’ you can bring us tha gold. THAT’s what makes you my boy for now...” He places a reassuring hand on Christian’s shoulder, realising there’s no benefit to simply cutting him down to size. ”But you win tonight... you help Dave win tha titles... ya bring some gold ta Evolution... an’ tha world can be yours. When you’re one-a us... you can get whatever... or whoever... ya want.”

    “Can I be a full-time member?”

    “One step at a time, pal. One step at a time.”

    Christian nods, knowing what he has to do.

    With that, Triple H walks in to the centre of the room, ready to take over.

    ”Tonight...” he begins, addressing the group, ”we make things right. There can be no excuses... no mistakes. We get... the job... done. For too long people have been using us as a springboard to help their careers. But no longer. It all changes... tonight. I will not… accept failure. Do I make myself clear?”

    The rest of the group, including Christian, nod in agreement.

    ”You’ve got it, champ,” Flair says. ”And I’ll be right there by your side, making sure that punk Van Dam gets what’s coming to him.”

    The Game grunts. ”I don’t want you out there. None of you. This is between me... and Van Dam. I’m going to prove… that I… am the better... man. And when I beat him... there will be no doubting it. So go get the job done... and take back... what is rightfully... ours.”

    The rest of the group nod in agreement, as does Christian, who can’t help but grin, liking what he’s hearing so far.

    The bell rings for this one to get underway... AND BOOKER UNLOADS ON KANE! He’s in a fight for his life here and he knows it! He pounds on Kane over and over...

    … and Kane cuts him off with a single Uppercut. Because that’s all it takes for the Big Red Machine. He starts to take over, but Booker ducks under another Uppercut attempt and fires off again... but it only makes Kane angry! Booker charges... but Kane grabs him by the throat... and chokes him down to the mat! Kane’s totally overpowering Booker here!

    With the life draining out of Booker, Kane drags him to the outside. He Press Slams him on to the barricade, slams his face on the steel steps and whips him in to the timekeeper’s table. Perhaps only now we see what an incredible performance it was from Goldberg to beat him last month, given Booker T – no slouch by any means – is getting absolutely destroyed.

    With Booker already struggling, Kane wraps a giant hand around his throat and lines up for a Chokeslam through the announce table... he lifts him up... but Booker lands on the ring apron! Kane’s confused and turns around... so Booker kicks him in the face! He backs up and runs across the apron... Cannonball! And at last, Kane goes down!

    Booker mounts the challenger and tees off on him on the floor, showing real intensity, and rolls Kane back in the ring. He climbs to the top rope and leaps off... Missile Dropkick...

    … doesn’t knock Kane down! Booker goes to the top again... another Missile Dropkick!

    And still Kane doesn’t go down! Booker tries one more time... he leaps off...

    … but Kane cuts him off with a Clothesline in mid-air! And once again, Kane has the contest in the palm of his hand. Kane gradually works him over, including hitting him with a Sidewalk Slam and a Scoop Powerslam. Having gotten very little traction, Booker falls in to the corner, so Kane charges after him for a Clothesline... but Booker ducks... and Kane crashes in to the turnbuckle! He rebounds out, so Booker twists his arm... Hook Kick!

    But again Kane doesn’t go down! So far it’s taken a running cannonball off the apron to the floor just to knock Kane down! Booker spins around... Spinning Crescent Kick nails Kane right in the mouth... and draws blood! Not a lot, just a trickle from the lip, but it’s definitely there... but still Kane hasn’t gone down. He touches his lip and feels the tiny amount of blood, looks at Booker... and CREAMS him with a Lariat! It just pissed him off even more!

    Now furious, Kane pulls Booker off the mat by the hair... and flips him upside down! He wants this one over and he’s looking for a Tombstone...

    … but Booker Headscissors out... and sends Kane rolling to the outside! Booker’s having to pull out all the stops just to survive! Booker looks at Kane on the side and Baseball Slides at him... but Kane catches him! He carries Booker to the outside with him... and SLAMS him down on the protective mats! No fancy technique to that one, he merely held him up and threw him back down. Here is Booker trying all these new things, and all Kane has to do is throw him really hard.

    With the wind driven out of the champion, Kane rolls him back in and follows, and climbs to the top rope... Booker gets up, so Kane leaps off with a Flying Clothesline... BUT BOOKER CUTS HIM OFF WITH A DROPKICK ON THE WAY DOWN! Kane’s staggered, so Booker lines him up... Superkick! Kane falls back in to the ropes and bounces back out at Booker... SO BOOKER LIFTS HIM UP! Insane strength! 100TH STREET SLAM! Kane’s down at last! Booker’s giving it everything he’s got!

    He climbs to the top rope and lines Kane up... he knows he needs something big if he’s going to make it through this...


    But Kane sits up... and Booker crashes in to the mat!

    Kane gets back to his feet and poises behind Booker... and raises his open hand in the air! He wants a Chokeslam to finish it off! Booker struggles up, and Kane looks to grab his throat...

    ... but Booker ducks... BOOK END! THE BOOK END CONNECTS!

    Booker hooks the leg...





    Kane just kicked out of the Book End... and Booker can’t believe it!

    ”Is this man even human?!” JR yells on commentary. ”Bookah T just hit him with th’ bah gawd Book End... and Kane kicked out! This man is a monster!”

    Booker tries to ask referee Mike Sparks if he’s sure it wasn’t a three count, but the temporary official can only indicate that Kane did in fact get the shoulder up.

    AND KANE SITS UP AGAIN! Booker’s in shock!

    Kane gets up, so Booker fires off a series of punches... but Kane doesn’t flinch! He’s unstoppable! Booker winds up for a huge right hand... but still Kane doesn’t react! He just stares at Booker, a small stream of blood running down from his bottom lip... and wraps his hand around Booker! He looks to lift him up for a Chokeslam...

    … but Booker cuts him off with a kick to the gut! And again! And again! Kane releases his grip and doubles over, so Booker bounces off the ropes... SCISSOR KICK!

    No! As Booker’s leg comes down, Kane stands up... lifting Booker on to his shoulders in the Powerbomb position! He carries him to the corner... POWERBOMB IN TO THE TURNBUCKLE!

    ”This is brutal!” JR exclaims.

    Booker slumps to the mat, the fight having drained from his body. Kane pulls him off the floor and flips him upside down...


    He pins Booker’s arms to the mat as Sparks counts...




    Winner and new WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kane in 12:04

    Mike Sparks cautiously takes the title belt from Lillian Garcia and hands it over to our new champion, who snatches it out of his hands and looks down at it. He stares at it for a few moments... and then erupts in to laughter!

    Booker, meanwhile hasn’t moved. Mike Sparks runs from the ring, having completed his requirements from the match and wanting to be nowhere near the new Intercontinental Champion. Kane looks down at the former champ and backs in to the ropes... and backs over the top, landing on his feet, and heading back down the ramp, dragging the belt disrespectfully along the ramp behind him.

    ”I can’t believe what I’m seein’, King. This is absolutely th’ worst case scenario... Kane... Kane… is our new Intercontinental Champion.”

    “That’s it, JR, retire the belt. I don’t think anyone’s gonna even want a shot at it again!”

    “Bookah T gave it ev’rythin’ he had... he went t’ places we haven’t seen him go... we saw him call on manoeuvres we’ve nevah seen from him, tryin’ t’ keep that belt... and it was for nothin’. Kane was jus’ too bah gawd much!”

    As Kane heads to the back, the camera returns to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

    ”Well, folks, ya might wanna send th’ kids t’ bed, ‘cos this next one could be brutal. It’s Randy Orton... Terry Funk... No Holds’ Barred... and it’s next.”

    We then cut to a video packing the build up to the latest Legend vs. Legend Killer match, scored by WWE production theme ”Evil Impact”.

    (0:00- 0:16)

    The video begins with footage of Randy Orton posing in front of his pyro.

    ”I… am… the Legend Killer.”

    We then see him creating the legacy for which he is now so famous, having taken out legend after legend, including RKOs on everyone from the Fabulous Moolah to Stone Cold Steve Austin. We see him taking out Sgt Slaughter, and we see him brutalising Mick Foley in Madison Square Garden and kicking him down the stairs. As we see all of this, we continues to heat him speak…

    ”I am a third generation Superstar. I was born in to this business. Others work and scrape their entire lives to get the kind of opportunities I received at birth. Greatness… is in my DNA. I am just 23-years-old… and already legend after legend… has fallen at my feet.”

    (0:16 – 0:43)

    We then cut to where Mick Foley returned the night after Survivor Series, and where he gave advice to Randy Orton. Throughout the promo, we intercut to footage of some of the craziest things Mick Foley has put himself through, along with images of him now happily retired, and enjoying his post-career life as a family man...

    ”My advice to you, Randy… is to calm down. You are so desperate for approval… so desperate for everyone to think you’re the greatest thing on the face of this planet… that it’s going to cost you. You’re going to get in over your head. Either one of two things will happen. One… you’ll upset the wrong person. Two… you’ll push yourself further… and further… and further… in the pursuit of finding that approval… it’ll take you to places you never wanted to go… and it’ll cost you more than you’ll ever know. That’s what I did. I wanted approval more than anything, and it took me to places I should never have gone. I retired at 34-years-old... because I ruined myself… in the pursuit of that approval. And you know what, Randy? It never came… because it wasn’t approval from others I needed. There was never enough of that to quell what was inside me. The approval I needed…” he starts tapping at his chest, ”was in here. The person whose approval I needed… was me. Look after yourself, Randy. I may not like you… but I don’t want to see such a talented young prospect ruin his career… ruin his life… in the way that I did. I’ve stopped looking for that approval from others… and for the first time in my life… I’m truly happy. I mean that. I’m happy, Randy… but are you?”

    (0:43 – 1:04)

    Foley meant nothing but the best in his advice for the youngster, but all it served to do was set the Legend Killer off. Infuriated at the unsolicited advice, Orton prodded at Foley, called him a coward, and forced him in to a Hardcore Match against his will. The match was a total sham, with Foley refusing to fight back, but it didn’t stop Orton from beating him up, hitting him with an RKO, and taking the victory, no matter how shallow it felt.

    Orton, after the match, tried to take Foley out again… which was when Foley’s good friend Terry Funk stood up for him…

    (1:04 – 1:16)

    And, unlike Foley, Funk had no problem fighting back against Orton. We see him on Raw where he admitted he can’t wrestle any more, but he can sure as hell fight, and that’s what he wants against Orton at Armageddon… in a No Holds Barred Match. Despite Flair’s advice, Orton accepted the match.

    (1:16 – 1:36)

    It is at that point we see some of Terry Funk’s craziest moments over his career. We see him fighting Chris Candido in a stables, of him breaking Ric Flair’s neck on a table, of him landing in C4, in barbed wire, of being set on fire. We see him bloodied, broken, destroyed. And we see him in 1093, blood covering his face during his first retirement, with the infamous ”FOREVER! FOREVER! FOREVER!” promo. And through the chaos, brutality and sheer insane violence, we hear JR’s commentary of Terry Funk as way of a voiceover…

    ”Terry Funk is one-a th’ most sadistic men t’ evah set foot in our business!”

    “He’s crazier than a pet ‘coon!”

    “When that bell rings, there is no man more dangerous inside those ropes than Terry Funk!”

    (1:36 – 1:48)

    But after that, we return to Randy Orton, and the trail of devastation he has left behind. We see everyone he has taken out, all the RKOs he delivered, and how, just 18 months in to his career, he’s already considered one of the elite.

    ”You don’t scare me, Terry!” we hear him say. ”All you are… is another legend… going to be killed… by the legend killer!”

    (1:48 – end)

    The end of the video is peppered with them staring down, and images of them both at their best in their (respective primes), as we hear Mick Foley’s advice ring out again…

    ”My advice to you, Randy… is to calm down. You are so desperate for approval… so desperate for everyone to think you’re the greatest thing on this planet… that it’s going to cost you.”

    As the video ends, we get a quick flurry of Funk madness, and a final flurry of Orton hitting legends with the RKO, until we end on the image of them staring down last week on Raw as the music comes to a close...

    *** LINE IN THE SAND ***

    There’s a huge amount of heat for the arrival of RANDY ORTON, who saunters smugly down to the ring, past the fire that billows out of the steel structure around the Titantron, brushing down his perfect abs and grinning like an idiot at the easy victory he presumes he’s about to have. There’s no Flair with him, no Batista. He’s on his own, about to step in to a world he doesn’t understand... and totally oblivious to the threat it poses.

    *** ROAD TO TEXAS ***

    The crowd gives a nice, warm reaction to TERRY FUNK, either remembering all the memories of his time at NWA Championship Wrestling from Florida, or simply out of respect for everything he’s accomplished full stop. He appears wearing a Stetson hat, with leather chaps over his tights, and a “Funk University” t-shirt covering his aging torso.

    He limps down to the bottom of the ramp, reaches under the ring...

    … and brings out a kendo stick! Orton freezes in panic, so Funk rolls in to the ring and charges... and chokes Orton to the mat with it! We’re underway!

    Orton desperately tries to push the kendo stick away from his throat, but Funk holds on for all he’s got, his hat falling to the mat and he applies as much pressure as possible. Orton uses all his strength to push the stick away from his windpipe... SO FUNK STARTS BITING HIM IN THE FOREHEAD! This is unlike anything Orton’s ever experienced before!

    Orton pushes Funk away and heads to the outside to get a breather, and maybe to regain his composure from being literally bitten by his opponent. Funk sees no reason to wait, though, so he limps across the ring... Baseball Slide! He kicks Orton in to the announce table! Orton topples over the table and slides down the side, giving Funk time to pull off his chaps and toss them in to the ring. As Orton struggles up Funk unplugs a monitor and takes the cable... and wraps it around Orton’s throat! This is brutal! He chokes the life out of the youngster, until Orton starts to fade... and whips him in to the barricade! Terry Funk’s crazier than ever!

    With Orton down, Funk lifts up the ring apron and goes searching under the ring. From there he pulls out a couple of chairs, and throws them in. And then he throws in a trashcan. And a trashcan lid. And a fire extinguisher. And a table...

    ”Terry, stop!” King yells, ”the ring’s full! It can’t take any more!”

    Funk returns to Orton on the outside... and starts choking him with the cable again! He’s relentless! Orton struggles to breathe as Funk tugs on the cable... SO ORTON KICKS HIM BETWEEN THE LEGS!

    ”Now what in th’ hell was that?!” JR asks. ”I thought he didn’t wanna break th’ rules?!”

    “Are you kidding me, JR! Terry Funk was choking the life out of him, it was self-defence! Terry’s a madman!”

    “Yeah, an’ it was Randy’s choice t’ fight him!”

    With Funk holding at his crotch, Orton pulls him up and rolls him in the ring... and puts in a Chinlock to slow Funk down. With the elderly Funk now where Orton wants him, Randy inspects the ring, seeing all the weapons Funk earlier threw in... and throws them all back out again! He returns to Funk... and locks in the Chinlock again!

    After a few moments, with Funk clearly not going to quit and yet struggling to keep up already, Orton releases and looks out to the fans... and poses with his arms apart. The crowd boo mercilessly as Orton returns to Funk... and puts in another Chinlock!

    ”What kind-a strategy is this?!” JR exclaims.

    ”He’s sending a message, JR! He’s telling he doesn’t need all those weapons to win!”

    “Why does ev’rythin’ have t’ be a damn message with this kid? Why can’t he wrestle like a normal human bein’ for once?”

    “Because he’s not normal, JR... he’s extraordinary! He’s the greatest prospect in wrestling history!”

    This time, however, Funk is able to elbow out, forcing Orton to release. Funk fires off some stiff right hands, staggering Orton... so he wraps his hand around his throat... and chokes him down to the mat! There’s no technique to this one, Funk is absolutely just trying to outfight the youngster.

    With Orton down, Funk releases the choke and looks around the now empty ring, so he heads to the outside... and throws all the weapons back in! He rolls back in the ring...

    … Dropkick! Orton cuts him off with a Dropkick... and goes back to the Chinlock!

    But Funk’s sat right next to the kendo stick, so he picks it up while in the Chinlock and swings behind him... AND CRACKS IT OVER ORTON’S HEAD! Orton releases the hold, so Funk picks up the trashcan lid... and dents that over Orton’s head too! Orton’s groggy, not having been put in this kind of environment before, so Funk grabs the fire extinguisher...


    Funk drops to his knees next to Orton and starts pounding on the open wound, trying to crack it open even deeper... Orton tries to push him away so Funk leans in...


    He finally releases, Orton’s blood disgustingly around Funk’s mouth, and returns to the leather chaps in the corner. He pulls out the leather belt... and as he promised on Raw on Monday...


    The crowd erupt for Orton finally being put through the wringer as Funk whips him a few times (although not too much that it gets excessive). He relents, and wraps the belt around his hand... with the belt buckle facing up! He lines up Orton and swings... but Orton ducks... in to his Headlock Backbreaker!

    Funk goes down, so Orton pulls the belt off his hand and look at it. He said this hardcore stuff was beneath him, so he should throw the belt away... but he rubs his hand over the welts on his back, and he paws at the blood on his forehead... he starts to tighten his grip on the belt... AND STARTS WHIPPING TERRY WITH IT!

    ”I thought this was beneath ‘im?!” JR yells. ”I thought he din’t want none-a this action?! I thought he was gonna outwrestle ‘im?!”

    Over and over Orton whips Funk, going far past what should be appropriate, until he finally relents. He stops and gathers his breath, having worn himself out with the intensity of the beating he just laid on the old man... and spots his Stetson hat in the corner. He walks over to it and picks it up... and places it back on Terry’s head! Terry struggles up, in agony from the whipping as Orton lines him up... he wraps the belt around his fist as Funk stumbles around the ring...

    SO ORTON PUNCHES HIM IN THE FACE WITH THE BELT BUCKLE! The hat flies off Funk’s head as Terry goes down!

    But Orton’s not done. He unwraps the belt from his fist... and wraps it around Funk’s throat! He’s choking him out just as Funk had done earlier! So much for not engaging with this hardcore stuff!

    He uses the belt to choke Funk all the way out of the ring, where he drags him on to the ramp. With Funk limp and unable to fight back, Orton pulls him in... and Suplexes him on the ramp! Terry yells in pain as he clutches at his lower back, too old for this kind of beating, as Orton pulls a sign off the barricade... and clocks Funk in the face with it! Orton's completely embracing the match type! He pulls Funk up the ramp and grabs him by the back of the head... and whips him in to the Titantron structure!

    No! Funk reverses... and sends Orton in to the steel! Orton had gotten complacent!

    Funk heads to one of the metal structures to the side and starts pulling at it... and pulls loose a small lead pipe! Orton gets up, so Funk swings... AND CLOCKS ORTON IN THE FACE WITH THE STEEL PIPE! And yet he’s still not done! He pulls Orton in, looking for a revenge Suplex on the floor... but Orton reverses... AND SUPLEXES FUNK ON TO THE STEEL STRUCTURE!

    ”God damn it, this is enough!” JR barks. ”Terry Funk is 59-bah-gawd-years-old, he’s had enough!”

    Orton doesn’t stop, though. He pulls Funk over to where the fire blows out of the steel “Armageddon” set design... AND SHOVES FUNK’S FACE IN TO THE FIRE! THIS IS BRUTAL!

    ”Bah gawd, th’ fire! Th’ fire! Randy Orton is burnin’ Terry Funk’s bah gawd face in th’ fire! This is inhumane!”

    Orton eventually releases as Funk writhes around on the floor, grabbing his face in pain, as Orton looks out at the crowd, who are half-stunned at the brutality, half-cheering at seeing something quite so extreme... AND A SADISTIC GRIN GROWS ACROSS RANDY’S FACE! He’s enjoying this! Foley warned him about what he might unleash if he went down this path... and Orton is enjoying what he’s doing!

    He pulls Funk up, who by now has little to fight back with. Orton drags him by the hair and rolls him back in the ring, ready to finish things off. But before he goes in to the ring... he looks under it... and pulls out a toolbox! Randy Orton’s lost his mind! He climbs in to the ring and empties out the contents of the box and tosses the empty container across the ring as he looks through the contents... and picks out a hammer.

    ”Oh dear God,” King utters.

    ”Don’t you dare do this, ya sonofabitch! Don’t ya do what I think you’re gonna do!”

    “This is too much, Randy, think about what you’re doing.”

    Orton ignores the announcers and heads slowly over to Funk, who has barely moved since being burned in the face. Orton clutches the hammer in one hand as he pulls Funk up... but he hasn’t noticed Funk has grabbed the metal toolbox Orton discarded... Funk stands up... AND CLOCKS ORTON IN THE FACE WITH THE METAL TOOLBOX!

    Orton drops the hammer... and goes down!

    Funk looks an absolutely state, but he tries to fight through it. This is his element after all. He may be ridiculously past it, but as he said on Raw, if there’s one thing he’s able to do, it’s fight. He crawls to the emptied contents of the toolbox and sifts through... AND PULLS OUT PLIERS! He heads over to Orton, who’s groggy from the toolbox shot... he shoves the pliers in to Orton’s mouth...


    ”YEAH!” JR bellows. ”Take that, ya sonofabitch! How does that feel?! Rip it, Terry, pull his damn tongue outta his mouth!”

    “This is inhumane!”

    “He’s gettin' what he deserves! Maybe this’ll teach ‘im t’ run his mouth!”

    Funk releases, and turns to the table in the corner of the ring. He gradually sets it up, slowly given his physical condition, and sets it up so it’s by the corner, ready for some kind of splash through it off the tope rope. He turns back to Orton...

    … who has picked up the fire extinguisher... AND SETS IT OFF IN HIS FACE! Funk’s blinded!

    Orton uses Funk’s discombobulation to go through the toolbox pile on the mat... AND PICKS UP THE SCREWDRIVER!

    Funk staggers towards him... SO ORTON DIGS THE SCREWDRIVER IN TO FUNK’S HEAD! He rips and tears at Funk’s flesh... until he draws blood! Orton jabs at his head over and over until blood runs down Funk’s face!

    Orton, that manic expression still etched across his face, releases and looks at the weapons still left in the ring. He grabs a steel chair and wedges it between the second and third ropes (after claiming he wouldn’t get involved in the hardcore stuff, remember), and returns to Funk...

    … who low blows him! SNAP DDT! Terry Funk has hit his first actual wrestling move of the match! He collapses on top of Orton, for the first pinfall attempt of the match...




    Orton kicks out!

    ”What guts from Randy Orton!” King says.

    Funk, now somehow back in the ascendency, sees the other steel chair on the mat and picks it up. He limps over to Orton to attack... BUT ORTON DROPKICKS IT BACK IN HIS FACE!

    Funk’s stunned, so Orton lines up... RKO!

    No! Funk adjusts and grabs Orton by the tights... AND THROWS HIM FACE FIRST IN TO THE STEEL CHAIR WEDGED IN THE CORNER OF THE RING! Orton staggers out, so Funk pulls him between his legs...

    PILEDRIVER! He hits the move that broke Ric Flair’s neck!

    He drapes an arm over Orton’s chest...




    But Orton kicks out again! Funk can’t believe the fight in this kid! Regardless of what you think of him, Orton’s never been in this environment before. Funk may be old, but this is unlike anything Orton will have even seen in his sheltered life, let alone experienced. And yet still somehow he stays in it, even after a devastating Piledriver.

    Funk knows he can finish this off, though. A victory over a man like Randy Orton, even in “his” type of match like this, would be an incredible accomplishment. He looks for the kill, pulling Orton up and placing him on the table set up in the corner. Funk then gradually pulls himself on to the first ropes... then the second... and finally, tries to pull himself on to the third. He looks like he wants (his best attempt at) a Moonsault through the table to finish this off...

    … but Orton’s up... and he crotches Funk on the top rope!

    Orton then pulls himself up, gradually making his way on to the top rope alongside Funk... together they try to balance, both standing where there’s only room for one... he adjusts his arms around Funk’s neck...

    … he leaps off...


    HUGE pop from the crowd!

    Funk crashes through the wood as splinters fly in to the air. He’s absolutely OUT, with Orton having well and truly gotten the better of this dogged but dangerous old man. Orton looks to pull Funk out of the wreckage and leans in for the cover...

    … but stops himself. The ref drops to his knees to make the count, but Orton doesn’t make a pin. He stops himself and gradually pulls himself back. He pats again at the blood on his forehead, and looks over to the steel chair wedged in to the corner, with a Randy-Orton-shaped dent in it. He slowly walks over to the chair and pulls it out... he opens it out so it’s ready to be sat on... and places it in the centre of the ring.

    He kicks away the rest of the rubble and weapons scattered around the ring, and pulls Funk’s limp and battered body out of the table. Funk can’t stand under his own steam, so Orton holds him up as he stands over the opened steel chair...


    Funk’s head just CRASHED off the metal!

    He’s now completely out cold, so Orton disrespectfully places a boot on Funk’s chest...




    Winner: Randy Orton in 14:47

    The bell rings, but Orton doesn’t react. Instead he stares down at Funk, his eyes crazed, blood dribbling down his face. The referee raises his arm in victory, and gradually Orton’s body morphs in to his infamous pose... but this time, with his eyes manic, and a sickening smile across his face... and eventually, he saunters out of the ring, satisfied with the level of violence he brought to a match he insisted he wasn’t going to do anything hardcore in.

    With Orton disappearing, a team of EMTs rush down to ringside carrying a stretcher, and roll in to the ring to check on Terry Funk. Getting no sign of consciousness and clear neck trauma from the RKO on the chair, they strap his head in to a neckbrace and load him on to a stretcher, and after a few moments, wheel him back down the ramp to a standing ovation from the Orlando crowd.

    ”What a sad sight this is,” JR says. ”I hope Randy Orton’s damn well pleased with himself.”

    “I bet he is, JR! He just overcame a total madman! I was worried for Randy’s life in there!”

    “Gimme a break, King, the only madman was Randy Orton. He came in pretendin’ he had no interest in fightin’ a hardcore match, and he went way ovah th’ damn line.”

    “Don’t blame Randy for what Funk insisted on. Randy didn’t want a No Holds’ Barred Match, he didn’t want to use weapons. If Terry Funk hadn’t bitten him, choked him, whipped him, Randy would have happily wrestled a nice, clean match.”

    “Nice, clean match my Oklahoma ass, King! Randy had that match won aftah th’ RKO through th’ damn table. There weren’t no way Terry was gettin' up from that... but t’ then hit it again on th’ chair when Terry couldn’t stand up on his own... he’s sick, is what he is. Randy Orton, you are one sick sonofabitch!”

    “But Terry Funk started it-”

    “Save it, King, I don’t wanna hear it! Randy Orton went way ovah th’ bah gawd line, an’ no amount of suckin’ up to Evolution is gonna convince me otherwise! I jus’ hope that someone gives Randy what he deserves, because that was one-a th’ sickest things I’ve evah seen in mah life.”

    We cut backstage, to where the debuting interviewer RUE DEBONA is standing by with quite a sombre-looking SHAWN MICHAELS.

    ”Shawn, tonight you get a shot at the World Heavyweight Title, but needless to say, back here we’re all a little concerned about Terry Funk.”

    Shawn nods. ”Damn straight. I’ve known th’ Funker for a numbah of years... he’s one crazy dog, ain’t no doubt about that. But what Randy jus’ did...” he shakes his head. ”That was too much. Way too much. I’ve gotta keep mah head straight for tonight... but aftah tonight, ya can officially add me t’ th’ queue of people who wanna kick Randy’s ass. An’ that ain’t gonna be a short queue.”

    Rue nods in agreement. ”Will it be difficult for you to focus on your match given what we just saw?”

    “Ya know what, I don’t think it will. I’ve been there and done it before. I feel bad as hell for Terry, but he’s a crazy S.O.B., and he’ll be okay, I’m sure. I’ll make sure t’ check by on ‘im later t’ make sure he’s okay... but before then I’ve gotta focus. I ain’t lettin’ nothin’... nothin’… distract me from tonight. There ain’t no excuses no more. I’m provin’ that I still belong... no questions asked.”

    “Is that why you hit Goldberg with Sweet Chin Music on Monday?”

    “I did what I had to t’ get ahead. Bill and me ain’t friends. We ain’t evah gonna be friends. For me, this is all about th’ World Heavyweight Title. It’s about provin’ that I’m still th’ Showstoppa... and I’m still the yardstick in this business. I’m doin’ what I need to now... and I’ll ask questions about whethah it was th’ right thing t’ do later. ‘Cos lemme tell ya, sweetcheeks... it’s easier to ask for forgiveness... than t’ ask for permission. If anyone knows about that... it’s H... B... K.”

    He walks off, leaving Rue alone, watching him go.

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

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

    ”Sixty minutes...”

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

    ”... thirty men...”

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

    ”... twenty-nine runners up...”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ”Sixty minutes...”

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

    ”... thirty men...”

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

    ”... twenty-nine runners up...”

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

    ”... one road to Wrestlemania.”

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

    The Rising Storm come in to this one full of fire, but on Goldust’s orders, he and Test avoid contact and stall on the outside alongside Stevie Richards (and in the process, slowing things down and resetting the audience after the brutality of the previous match). Goldust makes sure to give Stevie direction for his filming, before they return to the ring to come back together... and they immediately take over.

    I say ‘they’ take over, it’s really Test. Comfortably the biggest man in the match, he uses his power and size advantage to good effect, isolating Val from his partner and dominating him with a viciousness that has often been lacking from his performances. In fact, Test is so dominant that Goldust spends much of the match not even on the apron, instead choosing to direct Stevie the cameraman, making sure to get plenty of close-ups on Storm’s concerned face. Test gradually works Val over (again, doing his bit to help the crowd reset after the chaos of the Funk/Orton match), until he’s ready to put him away with a Pumphandle Slam...

    … but Val slides out... and hits a Spin Out Powerbomb! He crawls to Storm to make the tag... but Goldust gets the tag off Test first... and pulls Val back to his corner! Storm just misses the tag! Goldust, of course, finds this creepily funny, and makes sure to taunt Storm at his inability to get in the match and ”take control of his own destiny,”. He turns back to Val... who kicks him in the gut... Double Underhook Suplex! He reaches for his corner... and tags in Lance Storm!

    Test immediately rushes in to stop Storm from getting any momentum, as Storm Springboards in off the top... Goldust ducks down... so Storm takes out Test with a Flying Clothesline! Finally we’re down to Goldust and Storm! They come together... and start a hockey brawl! They’re pounding the shit out of each other! Stevie excitedly exclaims that this is great footage!” on the outside as Goldust gets the better of it and whips Storm, but he reverses.... he catches Goldust running back at him and rolls through... to a Single Leg Boston Crab!

    But Test’s back up! He rushes over and looks for the Big Boot... but Storm ducks... Spinning Wheel Kick! Test tumbles out of the ring, so Storm lines up Goldust for a Superkick... but Goldust catches his foot... CURTAIN CALL!

    But Goldust doesn’t go for the cover! Instead, he pulls Storm to the corner... and sets him up for Shattered Dreams! He really wants to finish this one once and for all! He lines Storm up and charges... but Val intercepts with a Clothesline! Val goes to the top... MONEY SHOT!

    BIG BOOT IN MID AIR! Test caught Val on the way down and nearly kicked his face off! Val rolls to the outside, so Test backs in to the corner and looks to line Lance up for a Big Boot... but Earl Hebner stops him! He’s telling him he’s not the legal man and he needs to get out of the ring! Test tries to fight past, but Earl is insistent... but he hasn’t noticed Storm and Goldust getting back to their feet... Goldust struggles over to the side of the ring...

    … where Stevie hands him the camera! Storm looks to spin Goldust around... BUT GOLDUST NAILS HIM IN THE FACE WITH THE CAMERA! Storm slumps on his back, so Goldust tosses the camera back out to Stevie and brushes away any remnants of the broken camera, just in time for Test to now follow Hebners’s orders and leave the ring! Goldust looks the leg...




    Winners: Shattered Dreams Productions in 8:21

    ”Goldust’s stolen it!” JR says. ”Lance Storm an’ Val Venis were about t’ fin’ly get th’ retribution they deserved, and Goldust damn well screwed ‘em!”

    Goldust rolls to the outside with the victory, and orders Test over to join them. Test picks up the damaged camera and hands it to Stevie as Val rolls back in the ring. Storm is still out cold, so Val checks on him... and notices a piece of camera! He looks out and sees the broken camera on Stevie’s lap and tries to tell Hebner... but the referee won’t hear it! He says the match is done!

    Test, having had a crucial role in the final plan for victory, starts to lead Stevie away from the ringside area, with Richards unable to film the aftermath of the match. Goldust follows behind them, but after just a few steps he looks back, with Storm only now recovering... and offers a sick grin! Shattered Dreams Productions have illegitimately ensured the “protagonists” won!

    We then transition to the back, where Terri is standing by with MOLLY HOLLY.

    ”Molly, we are just moments away from you defending your title in arguably the toughest challenge you have faced so far, when you-”

    “Toughest challenge? Are you kidding me? This isn’t a challenge. What was a challenge was making it in to the WWE without being willing to sleep my way to the top.”
    She turns to Terri. ”No offence.”

    Terri, naturally, looks offended. ”I-”

    “What was a challenge,”
    Molly continues, ignoring Terri, ”was making a name for myself while refusing to become a plastic bimbo who acts in a sexually overt manner to get attention. But this? This is no challenge. This... is going to be a walk in the park. Trish and Lita... cannot… co-exist. They just can’t. They act like they’re friends because it looks good for them to not appear to be the selfish, vapid loners that they are. They want to seem popular, like me. But like everything else in their lives... it’s a lie. An image that doesn’t reflect reality. And tonight... the whole world will see it. They will crumble at the seams... and it’ll be me… who picks up the pieces.”

    We transition from there to a video hyping the Women’s Title match, set to the music of the WWE production theme ”Sanctus Christus”

    (0:00 – 1:05)

    The video is framed like a Shakespearian tragedy, with the antagonist Molly Holly consistently getting one over on the protagonist Trish Stratus. When fellow protagonist Lita returned from 18 months out with an injury, it appeared as though the pendulum was about to swing in favour of our heroes.

    (1:05 – 1:31)

    Unfortunately for them, the ever-manipulative Molly started using their dreams of become Women’s Champion to create a wedge between them, which was only driven further by April Hunter trying to help, and yet only making things worse. It all came to a head at Survivor Series, where Lita clearly had the match against Molly won, only for a disagreement between Trish and April on the outside to wind up costing Lita out of what she wanted to dearly.

    (1:31 - end)

    From there, all bets were off. Having seen her dream of recovering from a life-threatening injury and becoming champion squashed – and by her friend, no less – Lita began acting out, thrashing at everyone and anyone on the hunt to get revenge. It put a strain on her relationship with Trish, and all the while, Molly gleefully basked in the glory of her rivals falling apart.

    With that, Molly decided to put it all on the line. Feeling that Trish and Lita can’t possibly co-exist when competing for the title, she agreed to face them both in a Triple Threat match. While many, including Molly’s friend Gail Kim, felt it was a risky decision, Molly felt it was the only way for her to guarantee the title won’t go to either of her opponents.

    As we see in the video, the action between the three women has been intense and violent, and yet is nothing compared to the psychological strain they are all putting on one another. Something tonight has to give; but will it be a title reign... or a friendship?

    The bell rings with each woman in a different corner. Trish and Lita start to walk to the middle... but instead... walk to each other. Lita signals that whatever happens now is about the belt, which Trish looks disappointed about but nods in agreement. They slap hands out of respect for one another, knowing (or possibly hoping) that that this match won’t come between them.

    Frustrated at the sportsmanship between themselves, Molly starts waving at them. ”Umm... hello?! There’s three of us in this match you know? Where’s my handshake?”

    Lita and Trish look at each other... and clock Molly in the face at the same time! They start teeing off kicks on the champion who can’t cover up, so she backs in to the ropes in surrender... and they Double Clothesline her over the top! Trish tells Molly she’s getting what she deserves... so Lita pulls Trish in to a School Boy (Girl?)!



    Kick out! Trish asks what the hell that was about, but Lita merely shrugs in return, having made her plans perfectly clear at the start. Trish nods... and Forearms her in the face! So Lita returns a shot! And Trish! And Lita! Forearms for everyone! Trish gets the better of it and whips Lita across the ring... Lita rebounds off the ropes as Trish lines up a Clothesline... Lita ducks under... and Molly grabs her foot on the outside... and pulls her out of the ring! She grabs Lita by the hair... and throws her in to the barricade!

    With Lita hurt on the outside, Molly returns to the ring, and she and Trish do battle. Trish gets the better of that exchange as well, and with Molly struggling she looks for a Suplex... but by now, Lita has returned to the apron... Trish looks to lift Molly up for the Suplex, but the champion powers out... and shoves Trish in to Lita, sending Lita flying in to the barricade again! Trish is stunned at having crashed in to her friend, so Molly grabs Trish’s left arm, twists it around... she leaps over the top rope... and yanks Trish’s arm and shoulder down on the top rope as she lands on the floor! Trish screams in pain as she writhes around the mat, allowing Molly to pull Lita up... Snap Suplex on the floor! She’s trying to keep Lita on the outside, allowing her to focus on one person at a time!

    ”Molly Holly, proving why she’s the Women’s Champion here,” King says. ”With Lita on the outside, either Molly wins the match on her own against Trish, or she just waits long enough for Trish and Lita to explode and cost one another. It’s brilliant!”

    Molly returns to the ring and heads straight for the injured Trish. She wastes no time in targeting the arm, hitting her with an Armdrag and putting her in a Hammerlock and hitting a Belly To Back Suplex on the shoulder. Lita tries to return again but is once more sent back to the floor as Molly continues on Trish’s arm, hitting three consecutive Armwringers. When Lita returns again to the apron she’s able to cut Molly off, but as Trish charges at Molly... Molly steps to the side, and Trish crashes in to Lita! Lita’s taken out again... and again Molly goes back to working the arm! She’s absolutely killing it out here! With Trish crying in pain and Lita struggling on the outside, Molly tugs on Trish’s arm... and locks in a Fujiwara Armbar!

    Trish’s screams intensify as Molly locks the hold in tight on her challenger. Trish flails desperately for the ropes, but there’s nowhere for her to go... Molly has completely ripped her arm to shreds this match, and it’s all coming to a head here... Trish is ready to tap...

    … but Lita’s back in the ring... and Dropkicks Molly in the face! She breaks the hold up!

    ”I have t’ wonder if Molly’s regrettin’ allowin’ Lita in t’ th’ match right about now. If she’d have insisted on it bein’ one-on-one with Trish she might-a retained th’ title there!”

    “But would she have been able to get Trish in that position in the first place? Molly’s a master manipulator, JR, and you need more than one person to manipulate them!”

    “I wouldn’t know, King.”

    At last, Lita is back in the ring! Molly focused a little too hard on Trish, and now Lita’s here, and she’s ready to get in her first decent bit of offence! She beats Molly in to the corner and whips her to the opposite turnbuckle... she sprints over to her and looks for a Splash... but Molly moves! Lita crashes in to the turnbuckle! Molly lifts her up on to the top rope and follows her up there... she hooks Lita’s arm over her shoulder... she’s looking for a Superplex...

    … but Trish is back up as well! She rushes over to the corner and puts her head between Molly’s legs... Molly Superplexes Lita... and Trish Powerbombs Molly! TOWER OF DOOM!

    Trish covers Molly...




    Molly kicks out!

    Trish looks over at Lita... and shuffles over to cover her! Trish is going to try and pin her friend!




    Lita kicks out!

    Trish sighs in disappointment, thinking that was it, but quickly returns to her feet. Her left arm hanging limply at her side, she pulls Molly up... but Molly twists the arm... another Armwringer! And again Trish cries in pain! Trish backs in to the corner, trying to shake some feeling back in to her injured arm, while Lita struggles in to the opposite corner. Molly looks at them both at either sides of the ring... she sprints towards Trish... Handspring Elbow in the corner!

    Trish is down, so Molly rushes over to her and looks for a Slingshot to Lita’s corner... she slingshots her right at Lita... but Trish adjusts in mid-air... and lands in a Monkey Flip position on Lita! She drops down, pulling Lita with her... and Monkey Flips her through the air... and sends Lita cannonballing in to Molly! Lita’s groggy, so she stumbles to her feet... CHICK KICK CONNECTS! Trish flops in to the cover...




    Molly breaks it up! She looks for another Armwringer... but Trish pulls her in... Belly to Back Suplex! But she landed on her injured arm! She cries in pain, but she knows this is the chance she needed... she grits her teeth and tries to fight through it, and looks down at Molly... and sneers. Molly’s focused over and over on her arm... and now it’s time for retribution! She grabs Molly’s arm... AND LOCKS IN A FUJIWARA ARMBAR OF HER OWN!

    It’s Molly’s turn to cry out in pain! She reaches for the ropes but she’s too far away... so she starts punching at Trish’s injured arm! Trish has no choice but to release! Molly gets back to her feet... but Lita has climbed to the top rope! She’s ready for the Diving Hurricanrana... she dives off... but Molly catches her... AND REVERSES IN TO A POWERBOMB! She spies that Trish is still struggling with the injured arm, so she takes the chance to rush to the top rope and lines her up... Trish turns towards her, so Molly leaps off...



    She gets back to her feet, holding her injured tailbone... so Trish pulls her in... and signals for Stratusfaction! But Molly twists the arm to get out of it and looks for another Armdrag... but Trish is wise to it! Molly went to that well too many times! Trish kicks her away... AND NAILS HER WITH THE CHICK KICK!

    But Trish isn’t done there! She pulls Molly up... and looks for the Stratusfaction again! Lita struggles up... so Trish pulls her in too! She’s got Molly in one arm, and Lita under the injured one... AND IS LOOKING FOR A DOUBLE STRATUSFACTION!

    She bounces on to the top rope with them both held close...

    … but her left arm is too injured! She involuntarily lets go of Lita!


    But Lita’s still on her feet! Trish gets up... so Lita kicks her in the gut! TWIST OF FATE... CONNECTS! Molly’s down! Trish is down!

    Lita looks down on them both. This is the moment she’s waited for all match. Both her opponents have been hit with a finisher and are out. Molly lies prone by one turnbuckle, Trish by the other. She looks at one... then the other... then the other. She takes a deep breath...

    … and climbs the ropes by Molly! She’s going for the champion, and she’s leaving Trish out of it! She leaps off the top...


    Lita hooks the champion’s leg...




    Winner and new WWE Women’s Champion: Lita in 12:40

    And the crowd erupts! FINALLY Molly’s six month title reign has been brought to an end... and FINALLY Lita’s return has been completed! She immediately bursts in to tears as Jack Doan helps her to her feet and raises her arm, as Lillian Garcia takes a deep breath for one of the best calls she’ll ever get to make in her career...

    ”Ladies and gentlemen... your winner... and NEW... WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPION... LITA!”

    Lita completely breaks down in tears as the fans give her a huge reception. Molly looks on in disbelief, shocked that the reign has come to an end. She meekly rolls out of the ring, knowing that Lita shouldn’t have even been in the match and she insisted on it, despite everyone advising her against it. Maybe her arrogance finally got the better of her, and as she retreats up the ramp... she throws a tantrum!

    ”No! No! No! This wasn’t supposed to happen! You weren’t supposed to be there! This is wrong! WRONG!”

    Trish, meanwhile, stirs in the ring as well. She looks up at her friend, and woman she helped support back to full fitness... and sees someone who overtook her on the path to the title. She had the match won. She’d hit the Stratusfaction. Had it been a one-on-one contest like originally intended, she’d have won the belt there and then. But instead, she insisted Lita also gets a shot... and it cost her.

    As Jack Doan is handed the title to pass on to Lita, Trish steps in his way and snatches the belt out of his hands. She looks down at it, knowing she was this close, and yet still fell short. Lita only came back to help Trish against Molly... and she was the one who got to dethrone her. Trish stares at the title as she stands in front of Lita... she marches over...

    … and hands Lita the belt... and pulls her in for a hug! Through it all, they still managed to keep their friendship intact! And, perhaps more importantly...

    … Lita is the new Women’s Champion!

    We fade in to footage of a cheering crowd, as the WWE production song Goliath plays...

    ”Our days are finite...”

    We see TRIPLE H standing in the spotlight during his entrance, spraying water in to the air.

    ”We have to make the most of the little time we have...”

    We see KURT ANGLE standing on the ramp, arms raised to the sky, pyro exploding behind him.

    ”To create a future we can be proud of, and a past we will never forget.”

    We see CYNDI LAUPER and WENDI RICHTER jogging through the backstage area at the first Wrestlemania.

    ”Our bodies can not live forever...”

    We then see SHAWN MICHAELS screaming in agony as CHRIS JERICHO pulls back on the Walls of Jericho at Survivor Series.

    ”But the memories we leave may never die.”

    We see HULK HOGAN slamming ANDRE THE GIANT at Wrestlemania III.

    ”For we are not who we say are...”

    We see JOHN CENA, mid-freestyle.

    ”We are... what we do...”

    And then see ROB VAN DAM soaring through the air in slow motion, about to hit a Five Star Frog Splash.

    ”And what we do... can define... a lifetime.”

    We see EDDIE GUERRERO shimmying his shoulders, channelling his Latino Heat, with the crowd roaring behind him.

    ”Did we achieve all we wanted to achieve?”

    We see SHAWN MICHAELS on his knees at Wrestlemania XII, cradling the WWE Championship as the boyhood dream came true.

    ”Did we make the difference the world needed us to make?”

    We see JEFF HARDY hanging from the title belts during the TLC match at Wrestlemania X7, and EDGE diving off a ladder to hit a Spear in mid-air.

    ”Boys may become men...”

    We see RANDY ORTON standing on the stage, arms apart, posing as a curtain of pyro falls behind him.

    ”Girls may become women...”

    We see LITA stood on the top rope, signalling the fans.

    ”But only the great... can become legends...”

    We see SHAWN MICHAELS once more, this time splashing RAZOR RAMON off the ladder at Wrestlemania X.

    ”And only legends... can become... immortal.”

    We see HULK HOGAN and THE ROCK staring down at Wrestlemania X8.

    ”So did you give it everything you have?”

    We see KANE bring his arms down, igniting fire from the four turnbuckle posts.

    ”Did you refuse to quit when all hope was lost?”

    We see the iconic image of STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN locked in the Sharpshooter, bleeding profusely, but refusing to submit.

    ”Did you aspire to dream... when all others said it could not be done?”

    We see CHRIS BENOIT looking out at the crowd with a tear in his eye, having been given a standing ovation for his efforts against BROCK LESNAR on Smackdown.

    ”And when the time comes...”

    We see BOOKER T on one knee, staring at his hand before he rolls in to a Spinaroonie.

    ”Will you make it count?”

    We see RANDY SAVAGE and ELIZABETH’S tearful reunion at Wrestlemania VII.

    ”Will you make a difference?”

    We see CHRIS JERICHO hitting a picture-perfect Lionsault in slow-motion.

    ”And will you find the path...”

    We see THE UNDERTAKER’S entrance at Wrestlemania IV as he rides a cart to the ring to face Giant Gonzales, with an ominous-looking vulture perched next to him.

    ”To immortality?”

    We see STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN celebrating winning his first WWE Title at Wrestlemania XIV.

    ”Wrestlemania XX...”

    We see BROCK LESNAR holding the title aloft after winning the belt in last year’s main event.

    ”Where it all begins...”

    We see HULK HOGAN and MR T celebrating together at the first Wrestlemania.


    JR and The King mention that Wrestlemania is coming home in four months, when the 20th edition of the “Showcase of the Immortals” returns to Madison Square Garden. JR then asks who will be the World Heavyweight Champion at that event, and as we edge closer to tonight’s main event, we briefly cut backstage to see all three contenders in their locker rooms preparing. SHAWN MICHAELS sits in silent prayer, CHRIS JERICHO is strapping up his wrist tape, and GOLDBERG is shadow boxing. JR says that we are less than an hour from seeing these three men go at it... when the ticking clock of EVOLUTION’S entrance theme cuts him off, and we return to the ringside area for Tag Team Title action.

    The match kicks off with the Dudleyz angrily firing off on the challengers out of revenge for what they tried to do to Dreamer and Snow on Raw, and everything they’ve done in general over the last few weeks. Besides, it’s not like the Dudleyz ever need an excuse to beat up Christian. Christian takes a couple of punches and immediately heads to the outside for a breather... but Batista doesn’t follow! He wants to carry on fighting, but he’s outnumbered by the champs! Flair yells at Christian to get back in there and help, but Christian doesn’t want to... until he finally relents and returns... where he’s cut off and taken out himself! But it frees up Batista... Double Clothesline! Christian involuntarily brought things back to Evolution!

    From there, Flair barks orders to Batista from the outside, coaching him through the contest. Obviously, Christian is no slouch to tag wrestling himself (a point the announcers make clear reference to), and that combination allows them to isolate D-Von from Bubba. With Flair not having to worry about getting in to the ring – which was what cost them on Raw a few weeks back – it looks like smooth sailing for Evolution in this one. In fact, the announcers comment that Evolution may have underestimated Christian’s value, such is his ability to work his opponents and the ref, and in the process, making this quite the one-sided contest.

    The pattern of Batista hitting a power move, tagging out, getting Christian to do the hard work, tag in Batista, rinse, repeat, works wonders to the extent that Christian starts joining in the coaching of Batista, getting Batista to hit a Backbreaker as Christian goes to the top... Leg Drop! Great teamwork! Bubba can merely watch his brother get dominated, so when Christian baits him in to the ring with a cheap shot, Batista’s able to drag D-Von to the outside and Spinebuster his former mentor on the apron and throw him back in... for 2. D-Von tries to fight back and heads to the second rope for a Corkscrew Elbow Smash... but Christian counters in to a Powerslam! And maybe those who underestimated him are starting to eat their words...

    That is, until he gets overly confident. His Achilles heel. He taunts Bubba at how well things are going... which allows D-Von to fire off on him... and make the tag to Bubba! Flair’s furious that Christian’s overconfidence cost them! Bubba comes in and starts jabbing at Christian... Bionic Elbow! Batista rushes in to cut him off... and is nailed with a Samoan Drop! He bounces off the ropes... Running Seated Senton! He lifts Christian up and looks for a Powerbomb... but Batista cuts him off with a Clothesline! D-Von rushes in... and all hell breaks loose! Both sides brawl in opposite corners, until Bubba charges away from Christian... D-Von sidesteps... and Bubba Avalanches Batista in the corner! D-Von pulls in Batista... Saving Grace! Bubba picks up Christian... and Scoop Slams him back down... and D-Von's going to the top rope!


    Flair tries to stop it, but all it does is distract the ref... Diving Headbutt to the crotch!


    D-Von heads to the outside, so Flair panics and rushes over to stop him... but D-Von cuts him off! D-Von beats on Flair, which allows Christian to awkwardly get back to his feet... Springboard Plancha on to D-Von! Bubba rushes out to save his brother, but Batista cuts him off... and Shoulder Thrusts him in to the apron! He rolls Bubba back in to the ring... and signals for the Batista Bomb!

    But Bubba adjusts his arms and spins out... BUBBA BOMB!

    He hooks a leg...




    Christian breaks it up! One blip aside, he’s been on fine form so far! He pulls Bubba up... and looks for an Unprettier!

    No! Bubba ducks down and lifts Christian on to his shoulders... D-Von climbs to the top... DUDLEYVILLE DEVICE! And now they’re signalling for the 3D!

    Christian staggers up, so D-Von lifts him in to the waiting arms of Bubba...

    … but Batista cuts Bubba off with a Spear! Christian adjusts his body weight... and DDTs D-Von! D-Von falls to the outside, so Batista pulls Bubba in for Batista Bomb... but Bubba powers out... and Back Body Drops him over the top rope!

    But Christian jumps him from behind! He tries to whip him across the ring, but Bubba reverses and pulls him back in... FOR A BUBBA BOMB!

    But Christian slides behind him... locks the arms... UNPRETTIER! The Unprettier connects! He hooks the leg...




    Winners and new World Tag Team Champions: Batista & Christian in 11:18

    No sooner has the ref’s hand slapped the mat for the third time when Christian rolls to the outside. Flair excitedly celebrates the title win, seemingly not bothered that it means Christian being linked to the group (gold is gold, after all), as Christian drops to his knees in celebration. Flair joins him on the floor and hugs him, then grabs his face with his hands and starts shirking, ”YOU DID IT!”

    Batista, who had been on the outside by the announce table when the fall took place, snatches both the titles from the timekeeper table and takes them over, tossing one haphazardly to Christian and staring intently at the other., his first ever WWE title win. Christian cradles his title, perhaps less excited by winning the gold (it’s not his first reign, after all), but having shown an awful lot of people what he’s made of.

    ”New champ’ns!” JR exclaims. ”Th’ Dudleyz gave it ev’rythin’ they had, but it wasn’t enough! Evolution have the Tag Titles!”

    “And you know why it wasn’t enough? Christian! He was the MVP in that match!”

    “It’s certainly possible a few people, mahself included, may have overlooked jus’ how good Christian is in a tag team environment... and believe it or, he’s now the joint record holder for most Tag Team Title reigns!”

    “We’ve got a man with the most reigns... and a man in his first reign! What a team these two make!”

    “Batista and Christian certainly are showin’ signs-a bein’ a mighty fine tag team, that’s for sure. An’, don’t forget, King, that Evolution are now two-for-two here at Armageddon tonight... and up next... Triple H... looks to go three-for-three.”

    We cut backstage to where Rue DeBona is standing by with ROB VAN DAM, dressed and ready to go, and bouncing on his toes to stay warm.

    ”Rob, we are just moments away from your contest with Triple H. Given we just saw Evolution maintain their 100% record here tonight, does that worry you with what that mean for you match tonight?”

    RVD smirks. ”Ya think I’m bothered by what happened in those other matches? Bubba and D-Von are my friends. Terry is my friend. I wanted to see them both win... but that has no bearing on tonight. Nothing has any bearing on tonight. Tonight... is about me... and Hunter. Tonight... is about Hunter finally realising... that it’s me… who is the Whole... Dam... Show. But more than that... tonight... is about Hunter realising... that I... am better... than him.”

    RVD walks off, unusually intense, and leaving Rue to watch him go.

    We then transition to a video of how we ended up at Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam, scored to WWE production song ”Fight To Live”.

    (0:00 – 0:44)

    The video begins slow, showing Triple H’s progression over the years as he’s morphed from blue blood, to Shawn Michaels lackey, to leader of DX, to marrying Stephanie, to forming Evolution, and all the victories he’s had along the way.

    ”You don’t belong here,” we hear as way of a Triple H voiceover, aimed at RVD. ”I was made to be here. I’ve done whatever it takes to get to the top… and I’ve succeeded. From day one everyone could see who I was and what I could belong… and bit by bit… I’ve exceeded even the highest hopes people had for me. I am the picture in people’s minds when they think of a WWE Superstar. And you… are nothing.”

    We see all the men he’s destroyed over the years, and all the sledgehammer shots that have come with it. Towards the end of the action, we see everything that Triple H and Evolution have thrown at RVD these last couple of months, Still the voiceover continues…

    ”I’ve been handed things because I deserve it. I’ve taken what people have handed me and made it more than you could ever dream of. I have beaten, crippled and maimed more people than you can imagine. I am the only thing that matters in this business. I am not a player in this game… I… am… the game.”

    (0:44 – 1:03)

    From there, we change to poorly-filmed footage of RVD’s early career in ECW, with some of the more extreme, death-defying things he managed, all with the backdrop of an awe-inspired audience.

    ”You're not the first one to doubt me!” we hear RVD say through voiceover. ”But I’ve made a career of taking what others say about me and throwing it back in their face. Anbd one-by-one, everyone eventually realises why they call me the Whole… Dam… Show!”

    (1:03 - end)

    We then cut to RVD and Triple H staring down, and the footage cuts to all the issues they’ve had over the last couple of months, and how it has always descended in to chaos. We see how it started with Evolution sending a message to RVD as a member of Team Austin, only for RVD to fight back. We see RVD pin Triple H clean at Survivor Series, only for Trips to screw him over and lead to Van Dam’s elimination. We see RVD eliminated Triple H from the Battle Royal on Raw, only for Triple H to again screw him. We see how this has become an intensely personal battle, but not in a blood-feud way. In a personal way, with both men fighting for supremacy, genuinely believing they are the better man.

    As we see the two men fight each other, intercut with some of their brightest moments against other opponents, we hear some of JR’s calls for both men over the years…

    ”RVD just will not give up!”

    “The Game does it again! This man is damn near unstoppable!”

    “Rob Van Dam! Rob Van Dam! Have ya evah seen anythin’ like it in your life?!”

    “Triple H is one sick sonuvabitch!”

    We then see footage of Triple H hitting countless Pedigrees over the years, with JR again providing voiceover from his commentary…

    ”Triple H again with th’ Pedigree! If he hits ya with that ya have t’ know this match is ovah!”

    And we see RVD soaring through the air with countless Five Star Frog Splashes, again with JR on commentary…

    ”No-one… and I mean no-one… is gettin’ up from a Five Star Frog Splash!”

    As the song picks up tempo from 1:58 onwards, the action only gets more intense and fraught. We see them both at their best, but also all the terrible things they’ve done to one another over the last two months in the name of pride. They can’t co-exist for much longer. One man has to prove their better than the other. And we’ll find out who that is... next.

    As we saw in the pre-match video, this intensely personal feud is not based on anger or bloodlust. It’s based on superiority. And as such, both come in to this one wanting to prove their approach is the superior one. For Triple H, is proving he stands alone at the top of the mountain. For RVD, it’s proving that he belongs at the summit as well.

    They immediately go for a tie up, but that’s only going one way. Triple H uses the most of his power advantage to push RVD in to the corner and release... and slap RVD across the head! How patronising! RVD doesn’t react, though, and calls for another. Again they tie up... but this time RVD manages to stay in it a little longer! He actually starts to push The Game back... so Triple H powers up... and powers out! He launches RVD across the ring... and poses in his trademark stance, arms apart, veins bulging! There’s your message!

    Still RVD isn’t put off, though. He calls for another tie up, only this time, he immediately slides behind The Game’s back. Whereas Triple H has the strength advantage, RVD has the speed one, and he uses that to slip all around The Game, Arm Dragging him down. Triple H tries to reverse, but RVD flips out, sweeps the leg and looks for a Standing Moonsault... but Triple H moves... but RVD lands on his feet... and hits a Spinning Leg Drop! Triple H is up... Spinning Crescent Kick! Triple H tumbles to the outside... and is furious! RVD leads the crowd in an ”R... V... D!” chant as Triple H flips out on the outside, kicking the steel steps in frustration.

    When he returns to the ring he calls for another tie up... but knees RVD in the gut... and hits a Backbreaker! I guess we’re not doing that anymore. He bends RVD over his knee, RVD’s back arched totally over his leg with head and feet both touching the mat, before Triple H pulls him up, hits a Belly to Back Suplex, and goes to a Sleeper. It looks like his style’s going to win out.

    Triple H continues to ground him down, taking all the pace out of the contest and turning it in to a ‘Triple H’ match. However, during another Sleeper attempt RVD Judo Throws out and looks to pick up the speed with a series of kicks... he lifts The Game up... Rolling Fireman’s Carry Slam! He leaps to the top rope in a single bound... but Triple H is on his feet... and shoves RVD to the outside! RVD soars through the air, off the top rope... landing face-first on to the barricade.

    ”Th’ high-risk move di’nt pay off there for RVD, but that’s why they call it ‘high risk’,” JR says.

    ”Yeah, and it’s why he’ll lose,” King adds. ”You’d never get Triple H taking such an unnecessary risk!”

    “But that’s who RVD is, King. He’s a risk-taker. When it pays off, it pays off big tahm... but when it misses, he crashes and burns.”

    “And that’s why Triple H is right in everything he says about RVD.”

    The referee counts RVD out, and Triple H lets him, seemingly okay with taking a count out victory as a way of proving he’s the better man. RVD makes it back as we approach ten... but Triple H cuts him off with an Elbow Drop as he comes in. He picks him up, hits a Swinging Neckbreaker, bounces off the ropes, hits a Knee Drop, and makes the cover...



    RVD kicks out, but it's Triple H who is in the ascendency. He’s taking no risks, wrestling the match his way, ready to take the victory however it comes, and gradually working RVD down. RVD tries to speed things up at every chance he gets, but The Game’s having none of it, outmanoeuvring RVD at every turn. He really slows things down with an Abdominal Stretch... and behind the referee’s back, starts to grab the rope for leverage! Mike Chioda is distracted by checking if RVD wants to submit he doesn’t notice, even despite the crowd’s insistence, so Triple H pulls back even further... and Chioda realises what’s going on! He implores The Game to let go but he won’t, so Chioda tries to loosen his grip... allowing RVD to Armdrag Triple H out of it! He goes for a High Kick, but The Game ducks... so RVD sweeps the legs... and Triple H goes down, right in front of the turnbuckle! RVD bounds to the top rope... SPLIT LEGGED MOONSAULT! He makes the cover...




    Triple H kicks out! RVD doesn’t argue, though, knowing a fast pace is exactly what he needs if he’s to get the victory he so desperately needs. He punches at The Game and whips him across the ring... Triple H reverses... he ducks down... RVD rushes towards him... Sunset Flip! But Triple H doesn’t go down! He’s standing over RVD, so he punches at his face... but RVD moves! Triple H punches the canvas!

    ”That RVD is quicker than a hiccup!”

    Triple H shakes off his injured hand, allowing RVD to feed him his foot... Triple H instinctively grabs it... Stepover Windmill Kick! Triple H goes down! RVD bounces off the ropes... he does a forward somersault, looking for Rolling Thunder...

    … but as he does the first forward roll, HHH is back on his feet... and catches RVD before the front flip... AND PLANTS HIM WITH A SPINEBUSTER! He makes the cover...




    RVD kicks out!

    That only riles up The Game, though. Triple H stands tall, over the prone body of RVD... and ROARS with his arms outstretched, tensing every muscle in his body. He drags RVD up and pulls him between his legs... looking for the Pedigree! He hooks the arms... but RVD wrestles them free... and drags Triple H to the floor with a Double Leg Takedown! He grabs the legs... and slingshots Triple H in to the corner! RVD backs in to the opposite corner and rushes across the ring... he forward rolls... in to a Monkey Flip! He sends Triple H flying across the ring! He looks out, seeing Triple H down... and leaps to the top rope in a single bound! This is the chance and he knows it... he soars through the air...


    Misses! Triple H moved at the last second! RVD splats on the canvas! Triple H pulls RVD up... and looks for another Pedigree!

    No! RVD Back Body Drops out of it... with a bridging cover!




    Triple H powers out!

    They both get to their feet... but Triple H pulls RVD in... for a Facebreaker Knee Smash! He hit that out of nowhere! RVD’s loopy, so Triple H drags him under his arm... in to a Flowing DDT...

    AND RVD PRACTICALLY HEADSTANDS AS HE CRASHES IN TO THE CANVAS! Brutal impact! Triple H makes the cover...




    RVD just gets the shoulder up!

    ”There’s still life in RVD!” JR says. ”Still RVD fights on! An’ ya have t’ think that even Triple H is surprised he’s not able t’ put him away!”

    “Yeah, but only because he hasn’t hit the Pedigree yet!”

    “But RVD hasn’t hit that Frog Splash yet, either! Ya have t’ think that th’ first man to hit their big move will win this one, but it’s Th’ Game who’s lookin’ more likely at this precise moment.”

    RVD’s in a bad way, so Triple H punches him in the corner... he whips him across the ring to the opposite corner... but RVD springboards to the top rope... and flies off with a Diving Crossbody!



    Triple H kicks out! JR mentions how RVD’s high-flying paid off there, and puts over the perks of using that style to catch someone off guard. Triple H backs in to the corner, so RVD tees off with kicks, then starts thrusting his shoulder in to The Game’s abdomen... once... twice... he backflips out and looks for a third...

    … but charges straight in to a High Knee Strike from Triple H! RVD staggers around the ring, so Triple H pulls him in... looking for the Pedigree again! He knows this is the only way he’s going to keep RVD down!

    But RVD spins out as Triple H tries to hook the arms... and pulls him in to a Backslide!




    Triple H kicks out! He gets straight back to his feet and looks for a Lariat to cut RVD off... but RVD ducks under and rushes across the ring... he springboards off the second rope... Spinning Wheel Kick! He’s taken Triple H down again! And, as with The Game, he knows there’s only one way he’s going to finish this contest off... so he bounds to the top rope again! He steadies himself...


    Lands on the knees! Disgusting landing!

    The air’s driven completely out of RVD’s body as he coughs for oxygen, holding his mid-section as he kicks his feet impotently behind him in pain. Triple H pulls him to his feet and hooks his arms...

    PEDIGREE! At last the Pedigree connects!

    He hooks the leg...




    Winner: Triple H in 16:12

    The crowd deflates with the ending, but there’s no getting up from that one. Mike Chioda tries to raise Triple H’s arm in victory, but The Game snatches his arm back, and drops in to the corner of the ring. He looks at RVD, who hasn’t moved since the Pedigree, breathing heavily, looking in shock at how he was pushed far further than he thought he would be.

    ”He did it, JR! I told you he would! All he needed was to hit the Pedigree and it’s lights out!”

    “Indeed you were right, King, I can’t deny that, but what an effort from both men. Both men stayed true to their style-a rasslin’, both men refused to budge an inch on how they wanted t’ wrestle th’ match... an it was that that cost RVD in th’ end, goin’ for that high risk move. But ya have t’ think that had he hit it, we’ be lookin’ at a very different result.”

    “But he didn’t, so we’re not! Triple H is looking better than ever if you ask me, JR, and in case you forgot... that’s 3-for-3 for Evolution tonight!”

    “Helluva night for Evolution, no doubt ‘bout that. Kudos t’ Triple H, and kudos t’ RVD... it turned in t’ a race for who could hit their big move first, and it was Triple H who got th’ job done... an’ just as we’re headin’ in t’ Wrestlemania season as well.”

    Triple H gradually rolls to the outside and heads to the back, still looking a combination of impressed and angered at RVD’s performance. Van Dam, meanwhile, comes to in the ring, and sits up, wondering how he quite let that one pass him by. So near, yet so far...

    We then return to the announce table, where JR and The King look at the camera. ”Well, this is it, King. It’s been one helluva night, but we’ve still got one match left... Goldberg defends his World Heavyweight Title... against Chris Jericho... and Shawn Michaels.”

    “This has been an incredible night already, and there’s only one way to top it all off... with another new champion!”

    “We've had three title matches so far tonight, and in all three th’ titles changed hands. Will that be an omen? There’s only one way t’ find out, and it’s gonna be in one-a th’ most intense, personal Triple Threat matches you’re evah gonna see. Let’s see how this one came togethah.”

    We cut away to footage of CHRIS JERICHO from earlier in the year, with the WWE Production song ’Antiphon’ playing over it…

    We see him losing to SHAWN MICHAELS at Wrestlemania, to GOLDBERG at Bad Blood, and to CHRISTIAN at Unforgiven. The footage is intercut with images of him looking downtrodden and downbeat, as we hear part of the promo he gave the night after Unforgiven, when this change in attitude began...

    ”This company… Vince McMahon… Eric Bischoff… Steve Austin… they don’t care about me. They don’t care about any of us. And let me tell you this… I am… a superior… being. I don't just belong amongst the elite... I am the elite. And not just in this business, but in any business you can think of. And if you don’t want to accept me as I am, then maybe I’ll take away the entrance, and the nicknames, and the catchphrases. I’m going to start doing whatever the hell I want, to whoever I want. But know this – I’m putting the entire company on notice. You will all get what is coming to you. I will be a star, but I will be a star on my terms from now on, not on yours. And if you don’t like that... you can go to hell!”

    We then see Jericho’s attitude changing, doing what he wants to who he wants, and finishing it off by making Shawn Michaels pass out at Survivor Series. As Jericho smugly celebrates his victory on the ramp, Shawn can only look on, himself despondent, having come so close and yet so far, as is so often his story as of late.

    We then see footage of Goldberg ploughing through people, including somehow overcoming the monstrous KANE at Survivor Series. As we see the footage, we get Jericho’s promo on Goldberg three weeks ago...

    ”Your title reign... it’s on borrowed time. So when you go to bed at night... stare at that title a little while longer than you normally would... and take it in. Enjoy that feeling of being champion. Because in three weeks' time... it’s going to be over. Your reign dies... and the Era... of Jericho... begins.”

    With that, ’Antiphon’ finishes, and ’Desperations’ takes over, with the footage speeding up, with more intense action.

    As the music picks up, we see Goldberg destroying everyone who has come before him, including, of course, the Spear that took Stevie Richards out of his shoes. As we do, we hear what he told Jericho three weeks’ ago when Jericho first made his intentions clear...

    ”You know your problem? You talk too much. You think I’m an infection? You wanna get rid of me? I’m right here! Come get rid of me!”

    We then see footage of Shawn Michaels at his absolute best, hitting countless Sweet Chin Musics, soaring through the air with Flying Elbow Drops, leaping off the top rope to put Triple H through a table at Summerslam last year, and a whole host of other death-defying, crowd-electrifying moments. As we see it, we hear part of his promo from two weeks’ ago...

    ”I’ve got a lot more in th’ locker. I might-a been around a while now... there might be a few miles on th’ clock... but there’s more than enough left in th’ tank. And at Armageddon... I’m gonna stand up against Chris Jericho... an’ Bill Goldberg... an’ it’s gonna be me... who comes out on top. And then... ev’ry person who’s said I’m ovah th’ hill... is gonna eat their words!”

    We then see footage of how these three have come together recently, with Jericho firstly jumping Goldberg from behind to announce his title shot, then refusing make contact with either man. He continued to rile them both up, and even forced them both to hit the other accidentally with errant finishers. As we see this footage, we hear Jericho’s promo from two weeks’ ago...

    ”At Armageddon... I will win the World Heavyweight Title. And I’m going to do it... beating not one... but two men... who have been handed everything their entire lives. Let me remind you... I... am the only person... to beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night. I... am the only person... to beat Shawn Michaels... and retire Stone Cold Steve Austin... in one night. And at Armageddon... I’m going to be the only person... to beat Shawn Michaels... and Bill Goldberg... in the same... match. When I do... I’ll be the World Heavyweight Champion once again... and there’s nothing you can do... to stop me.”

    And with that final word, we see Shawn Michaels hit Goldberg, intentionally this time, with Sweet Chin Music, shocking Jericho out of his smug overconfidence, and putting the momentum on Shawn Michaels’ side for the first time. As we see various angles of the stiff shot, we hear JR and King’s back-and-forth on commentary...

    ”Would ya look at that! Goldberg’s down... Jericho’s stunned... and Shawn Michaels is th’ one holdin’ th’ belt! And he did it by takin’ out Goldberg with a damn cheap shot!”

    “Shawn Michaels promised he’s still got it in him, and you know what we just saw there... that was the old Shawn Michaels! He’ll do whatever it takes!”

    “What th’ hell is this gonna mean for this Sunday? What is this gonna mean for the World Heavyweight Title?!”

    With that, the music starts to die down. As it does, we see Goldberg leaning over the top rope, pointing in to the distance.

    "Jericho... Michaels... YOU’RE NEXT!

    We return to the arena...

    ”At last... the day has come.”

    The crowd erupt in to boos as CHRIS JERICHO emerges from the back, microphone in hand as ever, and promos his way in to the ring.

    ”For months, I have warned you of this day. I have told you my intentions. One by one... I will destroy the WWE as you know it... and rebuild it... in my image. For too long... the privileged few have ruled without question. If you are chosen... you succeed. If you are not... you do not. It has forever been as thus. But no longer. Tonight... it all changes. I am already the man who beat Shawn Michaels... and retired Stone Cold Steve Austin... in the same night. But tonight... I become the man who beat Shawn Michaels... and beat Bill Goldberg... in the same... match. And when I do... I will be the World Heavyweight Champion. And with me as you champion... things will change. The era... of the undeserving ruling over the rest... will die… at my hands. I will become living proof that you can buck the system. You can take what they tell you to do... and throw it back in their face. The years of overlooking my God-given talent are about to end. I am just minutes from standing before you as the World Heavyweight Champion... and you... will... know… that I am… the elite... and I am… a superior being... and that there is not a person... on the face... of this planet... who can beat me. Everything you thought you knew... is irrelevant. All that matters... is... me.”

    He drops the microphone and boos ring out from the crowd.

    ”OH... OH... SHAWN!”

    *** SEXY BOY ***

    The boos turn to an initial pop as SHAWN MICHAELS dances out from the back, with after a few moments, becomes noticeably more mixed after his actions on Raw. There are those that will support the legend no matter what and want to see him prove everyone wrong by reaching the top of the mountain once more, but that are those who just want to see Goldberg smash through him in revenge for the Sweet Chin Music.

    With a word of prayer, sets off pyro on the stage, and continues in to the ring. As he climbs in, Jericho makes sure to vacate, not giving Michaels a chance to do anything until it’s time for the match to begin...

    *** WHO’S NEXT ***

    And with that, the crowd explode for the arrival of the champion, GOLDBERG. He makes his way through the backstage area, through the smoke and pyro on the top of the stage, and in to the ring. Jericho makes sure to wait it out on the outside, sneering at the champion, while leaving Goldberg and Michaels to square up to one another in the ring.

    With referee Earl Hebner getting in to the ring, Chris Jericho shortly follows, and with each competitor in a separate corner... the bell rings, and we’re underway!

    As soon as the bell rings, Jericho immediately starts the smack talking, walking over to Shawn and mouthing things we can’t hear. Michaels tries not to be baited by Jericho’s obvious mind games, instead staring straight ahead, ignoring him. Jericho then moves on to Goldberg, and starts running his mouth at the champion...

    … who punches him in the face! Goldberg’s not going to put up with Jericho’s BS any longer! Jericho staggers backwards... in to a chop from Michaels! He bounces back... in to a punch from Goldberg! In to a chop from Michaels! Punch from Goldberg! Chop from Michaels! Jericho staggers across the ring, having been pinballed between both his opponents... so GOLDBERG LIFTS HIM ABOVE HIS HEAD... AND PRESS SLAMS HIM TO THE OUTSIDE!

    Goldberg yells threats at Jericho on landing... but he hasn’t seen Michaels lining him up... Goldberg turns around... but puts the brakes on! Michaels looked ready to hit Sweet Chin Music on the unsuspecting champion again, just like at Raw, but Goldberg stopped before he could. Goldberg waves Michaels on to come and get some, ”like a man,” as he puts it... so Michaels rushes in... and fires off a series of chops to Goldberg’s chest!

    But Goldberg no sells! He grabs Michaels by the throat and tosses him in to the corner... and fires off on him!

    But he has his back to the rest of the ring, so Jericho slides in for a sneak attack... but Goldberg spins around to catch him... so Jericho slides back out the other side! Jericho wants no piece of Goldberg right now!

    Goldberg walks over to the side of the ring where Jericho hides and tells him to get in and fight him, but Jericho merely taps his head to indicate he’s going to outsmart him... and lo-and-behold, Michaels sneaks up behind Michaels... Belly-To-Back Suplex!

    But Goldberg flips out of it and lands on his feet! Michaels turns around... in to a HUGE lariat that nearly turns him inside out! He lifts Michaels up in the Press Slam position, just as he had Jericho earlier... AND LAUNCHES MICHAELS TO THE OUTSIDE... ON TO JERICHO!

    Goldberg follows them to the outside and takes over there, with neither of his challengers having gotten a meaningful offensive manoeuvre in yet. Jericho scurries away to safety, so Goldberg focuses on Michaels, slamming him off anything he can find. He becomes a little too consumed by Michaels, though, allowing Jericho back in to the ring. Jericho lines Goldberg up and springboards off the top... for a Plancha!

    But Goldberg catches him! Goldberg carries Jericho around the outside as the challenger pleads for mercy... but Michaels Dropkicks Jericho in the back... sending Goldberg down! Finally the champion is off his feet! Jericho gets up and looks at Michaels, with both of them standing over Goldberg...

    SO THEY START STOMPING THE CHAMPION DOWN! Michaels and Jericho are working together! As much as they hate one another, they know they don’t have a choice but to work together if they want to get anywhere!

    Together they whip Goldberg in to the steel steps, then Jericho whips Goldberg at Michaels, who Drop Toeholds him on to the metal. Together they lift Goldberg up and slams him on the barricade, then Double Clothesline him over and in to the crowd. It may have taken both of them working together, but finally they have taken Goldberg out of action...


    There goes that alliance! Jericho rolls Michaels in to the ring and, with Goldberg on the outside, makes the cover... for two. But now Jericho is where he wanted to be. He’s left one-on-one with HBK, with the champion nowhere to be seen. He takes over on Michaels, hitting a Diving Axe Handle off the top, and following with a Double Underhook Backbreaker, again for a two count. He tries to whip Michaels across the ring, but it’s reversed... and Michaels takes him down with a Lou Thesz Press! Shades of Austin, the man Jericho retired, and the man Michaels fought to save! They get to their feet and Michaels looks for a Scoop Slam, but Jericho adjusts his body... and looks for the Walls of Jericho!

    But Michaels kicks him away... and Jericho bounces off the turnbuckle! He stumbles back out, so Michaels leaps up... Hurricanrana... in to a pin!



    Jericho kicks out! The announcers immediately talk of how Michaels is pulling out all the stops in this, his big opportunity, and he continues on the offensive by chopping at Jericho in the corner. He whips Jericho off the ropes and rushes after him... Flying Forearm Smash!

    No! Jericho ducked, and Michaels found nothing but canvas! They return to their feet... Spinning Heel Kick from Jericho! He rushes to the second rope, the pace quickening now Goldberg surely can’t be out of action for much longer, and looks for the Lionsault...
    … but Michaels got his knees up! Jericho staggers out, holding his ribs, so Michaels climbs to the second rope... Diving Crossbody!

    But Jericho rolls through... IN TO THE WALLS OF JERICHO! He’s got it locked in!

    Michaels scrambles for the ropes, so Jericho leans back...


    Goldberg returned to the ring and Speared Jericho during the Walls of Jericho!

    Jericho clutches his ribs and instinctively rolls to the outside, leaving Goldberg alone with the man who cheapshotted him on Raw. He backs in to the corner and waves Michaels on to his feet. Michaels holds his injured back as he stumbles around... Goldberg charges for another Spear...

    … but Michaels cuts him off with a knee to the face! And Goldberg’s knocked loopy!

    Goldberg wildly swings for Michaels, but he’s all over the place! Michaels ducks under the flailing punches and tees off on the champ, with big right hands and stinging chops, ducking and diving as there’s little Goldberg can do...

    … so Goldberg powers through out of desperation and lifts Michaels off his feet... he looks to slam him back down... but Michaels slides out the back! Goldberg turns around...


    No! Goldberg caught his foot... and he Dragon Screws him to the mat! He twists Michaels knee... IN TO A ROLLONG KNEEBAR! Surprisingly good technical wrestling from Goldberg! Michaels cries in pain, in the second submission he’s been in during the match, but slowly pulls himself to the ropes... and makes it! Goldberg releases at a count of four... but he pulls him back in to the middle of the ring! He looks to do it again, knowing Michaels likely won’t be able to fight through it a second time...

    … but is cut off by a Missile Dropkick from Jericho! Jericho grabs his legs... AND LOOKS FOR THE WALLS OF JERICHO!

    But Goldberg kicks him away and in to the corner! He gets to his feet and charges...


    No! Jericho leapfrogged him coming in... and Goldberg crashes face first in to the turnbuckle... and topples to the outside!

    Jericho senses an opportunity, so as Michaels limps back to his feet, Jericho bounces off the ropes... One-Handed Bulldog! He springboards on to the second rope... LIONSAULT!

    But Michaels got his knees up!

    But Jericho landed on his feet, and with Michaels’ legs in the air, LOOKS TO TURN HIM IN TO THE WALLS OF JERICHO! It’s the exact sequence that led to Michaels passing out at Survivor Series!

    Michaels reaches up... AND PULLS JERICHO IN TO A SMALL PACKAGE! He was ready for it this time!




    Jericho just kicks out!

    They both get to their feet and Jericho swings wildly, so Michaels ducks under... Manhattan Drop! Jericho bounces out, so Michaels hits the ropes... Flying Forearm! Here we go, Five Moves of Doom Time! He lines up Jericho for the Scoop Slam portion of the sequence that ends in Sweet Chin Music...


    Jericho damn near kicked Michaels’ head off! He makes the cover...




    Michaels gets the shoulder up! Jericho was this close to winning the title!

    Jericho briefly argues the count with the ref, then turns back to Michaels. He gets in his face and yells at him to stay down... so Michaels pulls him in to another Small Package!

    But Jericho rolls through... IN TO THE WALLS OF JERICHO! But Michaels adjusts... and Drop Toeholds Jericho down... IN TO AN STF! Michaels is bringing out all the stops!

    Jericho is desperately struggling as he yells in pain, but the ropes aren’t too far... he gradually pulls himself towards them... and makes the ropes! Michaels has to release!

    He does so, but Jericho is still struggling. Michaels climbs to the top rope, his back to the ring, looking over his shoulder... Jericho struggles to his feet... IN TO A MOONSAULT PRESS!




    Michaels is dragged out of the ring... BY GOLDBERG! He’s back up! He lifts Michaels off his feet... AND POWERSLAMS HIM ON THE PROTECTIVE MATS! Goldberg looks up and in to the ring...

    … and stares straight at Jericho! A look of sheer terror grows on Jericho’s face as, after a month of hit and runs and avoiding a physical confrontation, it’s finally down to Goldberg and Jericho!

    Goldberg slowly climbs in to the ring as Jericho tries to beg off... only to charge and try for a cheap shot... but Goldberg cuts him off with a Back Spinning Kick! He pulls Jericho in... Judo Throw! Jericho’s down... SO GOLDBERG STARTS WAILING ON HIM! At last Jericho is getting what’s coming to him!

    But Jericho rakes the eyes! The rampant cheers of the crowd quickly turn to boos as Goldberg holds his eyes, and Jericho smugly returns to his feet, having unethically found a way back in to the contest. He pulls Goldberg up... Suplex to the champion!

    But Goldberg no sells! He leaps straight back to his feet... and Jericho hasn’t realised! Jericho’s laughing at how he thinks he’s got one over on the champion, and turns back to Goldberg...

    AND IN TO A VICIOUS LARIAT! Goldberg pulls him off the mat... AND LIFTS HIM IN TO A GORILLIA PRESS SLAM POSITION! He holds him high above his head as the flashbulbs start to flicker, Goldberg making sure to hold Jericho above his head long enough to assert his domination... he drops him... but catches him on the way down... AND DRILLS HIM WITH A SPINEBUSTER! Big pop for that one!

    But Goldberg’s not done yet. He backs up in to the corner and lines Jericho up... Jericho gradually stirs and uses the ropes to pull himself up... Goldberg waits for him to turn... he charges...


    Goldberg just cut Jericho in half with a Spear... and he leaps back to his feet... AND SIGNALS FOR A JACKHAMMER! He pulls Jericho up and places his head under his arm...


    Michaels came out of nowhere! He flops on to the mat, exhausted, with all three men out. Michaels gradually crawls across the canvas and stretches an arm over Goldberg’s chest...




    Jericho breaks it up at the very last second! Michaels had it won!

    Jericho gingerly returns to his feet and pulls Michaels up, looking for a punch... but Michaels blocks! He fires off with a right of his own! And another! Jericho swings, but Michaels ducks under... Manhattan Drop! Jericho bounces out, so Michaels sprints after him... Flying Forearm! Kip up! Michaels is feeling it! Jericho gets to his feet... so Michaels slams him back down... and climbs to the top! He balances on the top rope and composes himself, with all the momentum on his side...


    Michaels nails Jericho!

    But there’s no cover! Michaels gets to his feet and backs in to the corner... and slaps his foot on the mat! He’s tuning up the band! For months now he’s been told he no longer has it. He’s been told he’s past his best, that the injury has slowed him down just that bit too much. But here he is, the crowd clapping and stomping in time with him, willing him on. Jericho slowly gets back to his feet, and Michaels begins bouncing on his toes... this is the moment he’s waited for... this is the moment where he announces he truly still belongs... he steps out to hit Sweet Chin Music...


    Goldberg cut him off with a Spear... and Michaels is OUT! Goldberg turns to Jericho...


    Jericho kicks Goldberg right in the face... and Goldberg tumbles to the outside!

    Jericho watches Goldberg go... he’s out cold, outside the ring. Michaels is out cold in the centre of the ring. He glances from one to the other, knowing that this is it... he rushes across the ring and springboards...


    He gets up and rushes across the ring again...

    AND HITS ANOTHER LIONSAULT! He’s taking no chances! This is his time!

    He hooks the leg...


    Goldberg starts to stir...


    But he's not going to get there!


    Winner and new World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Jericho in 16:52
    There’s no music to announce Jericho’s victory. There’s a small cheer from a portion of the audience, but apart from that, stunned silence. Goldberg can only look on from the outside, staring furiously, having been forced to watch on as his title was taken away from him.

    Earl Hebner takes the title and hands it over to him, and it looks for a moment that the emotion of the moment may take him over... but as he holds it in his hands... that emotion drains away... and gradually dissipates in to a sneer. There seems to be no joy in this moment for him, or perhaps, that he won’t allow himself any joy in this moment. He gets to his feet, standing over Michaels (who remains knocked out from taking three finishers in a row), and holds the belt triumphantly above his head to a mixed, mostly negative reaction.

    Jericho turns around to make sure the entire crowd see him with the belt... when he sees Goldberg stood on the outside, ready to boil over. Goldberg starts to climb in to the ring...

    … so Jericho quickly exits, and heads down the ramp. Once he’s far enough away from the former champion, he again holds the title smugly above his head, and starts to mouth towards the ring, ”I told you. I told you all.”

    Jericho continues down the ramp, leaving Goldberg seething in the ring. Michaels gradually stirs and stares up at the lights, frustrated at having lost, as Goldberg turns around and looks at him with a scowl. We then see Jericho one final time now at the top of the stage... where he holds the title high above his head.

    ”I don’t believe it!” JR yells. ”I don’t bah gawd believe it! Somehow... someway... Chris Jericho is th’ World Heavyweight Champ’n!”

    “Just like he said he would!”

    “I don’t believe mah eyes! Goldberg is furious, but there’s nothin’ he can do! The Goldberg Era is ovah... and th’ Chris Jericho Era... has... begun!”

    * END OF SHOW *

  9. #289
    At The Wheel

    Wolf Beast's Avatar

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    Aug 2016
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    ‘The End’ is a classic. Guessing my favourite WWE production theme and it’s perfect for Armageddon. Makes total sense to build the opening package around the theme and centring the whole thing around the main event.

    Perfect choice for the opener; please the people by giving the fan friendly Super Heroes a win in what would obviously be a fun match with plenty of decent work involved. Guess the only surprise here was that it was Rosey getting the pin, and not Nova. Just assumed he’d have got the glory as the new guy. Half expected the Conway stuff to come after his frustrations during that interview on Raw. That’s all come about pretty quickly, but I don’t see any problem with it. No need to build up Conway ditching the Frenchies for months. This was fine. Curious what you must have planned for him though, as he seems like someone that’ll fade into obscurity given the roster on Raw. Reforming his OVW team with Dinsmore?

    Good spot to recap the events from Raw with Goldberg, and the Evolution/Christian promo was solid gold – but I need to find out why he got kicked out of the regular locker room!! As I said before, his interactions with Evolution are growing on me week by week. You’re building an excellent chemistry between him and everyone in the group, with Orton taking the lead this time. The “Crown Jewels of this Business” bit cracked me up too.

    Booker coming right out to show his fire was the right call to make. Plays into his fired up promo on Raw and as a gutsy face, it wouldn’t be authentic if he started to try and “outsmart” Kane and use tricks to level the playing field. Love that it only took ONE uppercut from Kane to turn things around too – and throughout the match despite everything Booker tried to throw at Kane, it took one piece of offence for Kane to shut Booker down every time.

    Noticed a lot of Kanes offence took place on the outside too – something else I liked about this match. It’d be easy to just have this mostly play out in the ring, but Kane’s rejuvenation in the summer all came about from him becoming a crazed killer monster, and him carrying out all this destruction on the floor helps continue to push him as someone intent on inflicting pain and suffering as opposed to simply wanting to win the match. Also, extra points for pushing that Booker was busting out old/new moves in an attempt to do something/anything to Kane, rather than just having Booker do these things randomly. Does a lot to put over just how big a challenge this was for Booker.

    Wowzers. I certainly thought this outcome was possible, but just didn’t see it happening. Even though I didn’t predict it, I actually like this move to put the I.C belt on Kane. Is he above it? Maybe. Probably. But the title has been a bit of an afterthought for much of this thread, and having the title on one of your hotter stars instantly puts some credibility and spotlight back on it. Even though he got flattened for much of this match, Booker at least gets to be able to be put over for throwing everything at Kane – there should be no shame in losing to Kane at any time. Not the outcome I expected, but I’m all for it.

    Well, this is the match I certainly wanted to see most. And it was way more extreme than I expected. Honestly, I’d have thought it’d be a five minute match with just enough packed in it not to feel like false advertising or a squash and put Orton over like crazy. I’m glad you booked it like this though, making it a proper fight between the young, immature kid and the grizzled old man. I wonder how pissed you must’ve been when reading Stojy’s show last week with the forehead biting … probably the same I am when reading the leather belt stuff on this one!! You may see something vaguely familiar in a few weeks (same goes for the wedged chair spot later in the match)!!

    Anyway, the chinlock stuff was magnificent trolling on your card. Could really imagine the fans booing the shit out of that, especially on top of Orton throwing all the weapons out. Orton not being a man of his word either had to be expected, but I could see you ending up have Orton start to become enamoured with the use of weapons given his success here on this show and his seeming enjoyment of it all – coupled with that warning Foley dished out a few weeks ago. I think you’re setting up some brilliant storytelling right now with this.

    Great use of the Armageddon set too with the fire being a big spot to go to. Actually, everything you used down the stretch was in equal parts brutal and awesome with some pretty unique spots such as the previous fire stuff at the set and then the pliers to the tongue!! Don’t recall ever seeing that in wrestling before, but it was fucking awesome. I find it hard, personally, to come up with creative spots in hardcore matches, so I’m giving you extra credit for coming up with that spot especially.

    My one quibble here is the RKO off the top. I get Orton wanted to destroy Funk in the end, so didn’t settle with that one RKO, and given the sickness of the second RKO, the first one – especially off the top rope – felt arbitrary to me and would’ve been better saved for a later match down the road when it needs a big spot like that. Even just a regular RKO at first before the second would’ve sufficed for me. But that aside, I loved everything else in this match, and the finish was as brutal and as nasty as expected.

    Rue!! Remember her briefly on Afterburn or whatever those shows were called. Nice. Good interview with Michaels and I’m glad you had him address what happened to Funk rather than just focus on his own business. The absolute right guy to put in that spot to comment directly after the match. Really liked that last paragraph from Shawn too. Felt very authentic to HBK.

    Smart play to place the tag match here after the Funk match, and clever way to start the match off slow with the “mind games” of Goldust. Definitely more ‘story’ than ‘match’ this one, but I love that you used it to settle things down after the crazy hardcore match. All the fun was in the antics here; Goldust barely even competing and instead helping direct, but Stevie commenting “this is great footage” whilst Goldust and Storm battered the shit out of each other took the cake.

    The action at the end definitely picked up though with all the signature spots coming in quick order. That boot from Test to Val in mid air sounded sick. Finish made sense too, playing into the whole gimmick you’re running with for Goldust. Post match stuff along with that shady finish suggests this feud might not be over yet, with Val pointing out the camera stuff in the ring. Just one thing to point out; you’ve listed the wrong team as the winners of the match, lol.

    Oh man. That burn on Terri. That’s Molly’s best line yet.

    I always find it fascinating/intriguing how people go about starting these kinds of matches. Always something I find a struggle with triple threats, and I liked what you did here. Plays off the story coming into the match with Trish and Lita being friends but somewhat uneasy with each other, whilst Molly feels left out. Lita going right for the school girl after they dumped out Molly tells us everything. Sure, it may be a bit sneaky, but it’s exactly what Lita said she’d do. Too bad if Trish doesn’t appreciate it.

    I’d have preferred to see the Trish/Lita brawl a little later in the match, and have a more basic wrestling exchange between them this early on, building for the explosion of strikes further into the contest. Felt like the bulk of the first half of the match was really just Molly working over Trish’s arm and Lita getting kept on the floor, so essentially your typical WWE triple threat match with two in and one out, though the momentary pause by Trish after she accidentally knocked Lita off the apron was a highlight, showing Trish’s weakness in this match.

    But once Lita got involved again, things definitely picked up a couple of notches with some really cool three person sequences – the tower of doom is a staple of triple threat matches, and that catapult into the Monkey Flip into a cannonball on Molly was a lot of fun, especially considering Molly started the whole sequence in control. Even though there was a LOT of arm work in that first half of the match, it paid off throughout the second half with everything Molly did to Trish being centred around the arm, and the injured arm playing into the finish made that whole story worthwhile.

    Didn’t call this outcome, and never really even considered it, despite the aftermath pointing out that the clues were there all along; she shouldn’t have been in the match AND the champion suggested the triple threat stipulation. Not sure I’m happy about Molly losing the belt, as I worry she’ll end up lost in the shuffle now, but as I’ve said before, you haven’t put a foot wrong yet with this angle, so I’m not going to start doubting you now. Post match stuff with Trish handing the belt to Lita was well executed, with enough of a tease that she was going to do something other than present her friend with the belt.

    Wasn’t sure where to put this piece of feedback, but as a whole, the video packages have all kicked ass on this show. The Shakesperian style video for the womens match was unique, and huge credit to you for hunting out all of these production themes for each package. I know they all take a massive effort, but I love seeing what people come up with for them in terms of creativity. Favourite package on this show though was by FAR this WrestleMania promo. That was about as authentic as anything I’ve read – ever. Absolutely brilliantly worded, with the added grandeur that a WrestleMania deserves. It also reminds me that it’s a considerably shorter journey to WrestleMania too – just seven weeks after the Rumble. I’m excited.

    Nice job to keep hyping toward the main event later; the arrival of Goldberg earlier, the Michaels interview, now the look at all three. Making it feel big time.

    Building off the ‘warm up’ match on Raw for Batista and Christian, the story in this match felt like the correct follow up. Credit to you for putting across WHY Batista and Christian have managed to gel this quickly, adding together the raw animal, his mentor on the floor and the wily tag knowledge of Christian. It allows me to buy into them as a team, because the reasons are spelled out for me. Also liked that it wasn’t a case of Christian and Batista dipping into the usual tag tactics to stay in control and instead were simply too good for D’Von for that long period, but I bet that Flair and Evolution will still chew Christian out for getting too cocky and allowing D’Von to make his tag.

    Again, like most of the matches on this show, the finishing stretch was really good and flowed nicely into the win for the new champs. Pleased you gave Christian the fall too, showing his value. Some awesome touches in the post-match scenes too; Batista tossing a belt to Christian whilst savouring the moment with his own works perfectly for their dynamic, and the chatter about Christian holding the (joint) record for tag title reigns. You just KNOW that’s going to be crowed about for weeks by him.

    If Funk didn’t get murdered earlier in the night, I’d almost think RVD was setting the stage for a potential 8 man tag in the next few weeks on Raw with him and fellow ECW alum versus Evolution. Maybe you still will head in that direction with Spike getting involved?

    Thought you did a good job of telling the story of Triple H and RVD being pretty much exact opposites with the mid-2000’s grinding style of The Game battling the always flash style of Van Dam throughout. Made sense that Triple H would win those power exchanges, but nice that RVD was able to eventually manoeuvre those lock ups to his advantage. Don’t know if it was by design, but credit to you for not trying to go all out and make this a GREAT match. It read as a solid match; a typical Triple H match in this era, but with the sleeper spots and the heelish abdominal stretch stuff, it was never going to be a classic.

    Also, the pedant in me has to say – even though I think I know what you’re describing – but the ‘slingshot’ into the corner from that counter to the Pedigree should be a ‘catapult’. Noticed that wording in the womens match too. Probably not a big deal considering I still know what you’re putting across in the action, but thought I’d point it out, nonetheless. After the overuse of finishers at Survivor Series, I certainly appreciated the toned down nature on this show, and I think it paid immediate dividends with this match especially, as the story ended up being both guys being able to avoid the others finish – and for good reason; they both knew it was game over (no pun intended) if the Frog Splash or the Pedigree hit … and that ended up being the case.

    While I predicted an RVD win, I was tempted to say Trips would get the job done simply based off what Sykotic had brought up on the ‘clean sweep’ potential for Evolution. No real issues with Triple H winning for a few reasons; 1. it’s Triple H. 2. He’s lost quite a lot lately. 3. It’s Triple H in 2003. 4. Makes it a big night for Evolution by running the table, strengthening their spot as the CROWN JEWELS OF THIS BUSINESS. 5. It’s Triple H in 2003, of course he’s winning! This means he’s going to be asking for a title shot again though, doesn’t it?

    I’m amazed how you think of the content for these Jericho entrance promos every time. Shows that you must love writing for this version of the character. Just for my own visuals though (and I’m sure you’ve described this somewhere before), is Jericho still wearing the longer tights or do you have him moving to the trunks here to go with his change in demeanour?

    Not a smart idea from Jericho to start the match, I thought. Given he’s been one step ahead and avoided the attempted shots from both HBK and Goldberg all this time, he must’ve knew it was a weird tactic to goad Goldberg (and Michaels to a lesser extent, but especially Goldberg) by talking smack at him once the match began? Just didn’t ring true with this calculating, cerebral Chris Jericho we’ve seen over the last few months to sacrifice himself like that.

    Anyway, aside from that one negative, I can say I loved everything else that followed from this match. The immediate call back to Michaels superkick on Raw, but Goldberg being wise to it this time, and then Goldberg dominating both guys, which made the brief Jericho/Michaels alliance something that made sense as it benefited both guys to work together to take out the threat of Goldberg. Also, I think it’s only fair to say – bar that opening part of the match, Jericho’s actions throughout the rest of the match were flawless. All played into his character, all felt like the natural thing he’d do; such as turning on Michaels as soon as they took Goldberg out of the picture.

    Nice that you managed to work in a bit of an extended HBK/Y2J showcase during different stages of the match, but even though the usage of Goldberg coming in for quick bursts made a bunch of sense, I think you could’ve done more in terms of the offence he took in order to explain why he was out of the ring for those pretty long periods. He just seemed to be out of the action a little too long for hitting his face off the turnbuckle padding. Had he been put through a table or knocked out with a chair, I could’ve bought it, but the actions didn’t fit the length of time he was missing.

    That issue aside, as I say, I think it WAS a great move to only have Goldberg involved for short bursts when he is most effective, and leave the workers to do the bulk of the match. That Spear whilst Jericho had Michaels in the Walls was a terrifc spot to go for. I’m all for callbacks too, so having that spot into the Walls the exact same as Survivor Series gets a thumbs up from me, especially with Michaels ready for it on this occasion and being able to counter it. Thought it was awesome that you managed to get through the bulk of the match before really allowing Goldberg to get his hands on Jericho. Him (and the audience) having to wait that long before getting to take his frustrations out would’ve got a big time pop I’d guess, and adds some extra energy to the match before the finish.

    Finishing sequence was – and I feel like I’ve said this quite a few times on this show – bloody brilliant. Made the most of the three way stipulations, with Michaels cutting off Goldberg with SCM before Goldberg could hit the Jackhammer … Jericho breaking up that pin attempt … Goldberg cutting off a SCM attempt to Jericho with a Spear … and Jericho picking up the scraps to ensure the win to take the title in a (slight) surprise to this reader. But much like Kane’s win, I’m all for it. Jericho is the hot hand to play; it makes sense for him to carry the title if he’s the centrepiece of Raw.

    Coming in to this show, I’ll say I was looking forward to it, and thought it would be a typically strong show from you, but wasn’t expecting a blowaway show by any means, especially coming off that epic Survivor Series. However, coming out the other side, this may not have reached Survivor Series levels, but it was absolutely memorable show. All the titles changed hands, which is huge, and feels like you’ve opened up a multitude of avenues coming out of this and heading toward the Rumble (and that other, minor show in March in New York). Especially enjoyed the I.C Title match, World Title match and that crazy Orton/Funk brawl. And, of course, major praise is well deserved for the effort you went into those pre-match and PPV packages. That WrestleMania one is a thing of beauty. Great work as usual from top to bottom.



  10. #290
    Squash Fodder
    Zoom-E's Avatar

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    Nov 2016
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    It's no surprise the faces won this one, but I did like the Rosey splash from the top! I'm not too shocked by the turn post match, but I am definitely surprised that Conway took them both out. I'll be very curious to see if you can actually make him someone interesting on his own with how bland he is.

    I thought you told a good story with the IC Title match, and I liked how you had Book even pull out some CW type offense with a Head Scissors. I can't help but think this is the wrong decision though, relegating Kane to a midcard title so quick after Survivor Series. But you're pretty good at proving me wrong haha.

    Orton always had to go hardcore, and man, I'm so glad he did. You really wrote this great. Incredible action, but with a great story too. I think you captured Orton going from cocky wrestler to sadistic SOB perfectly. The Chinlock stuff early on was great, all the way to the buckle belt punch, the fire spot, the fucking screwdriver. You got Funk to look so crazy and resilient. I struggle to see how you top this story and action combo tonight. Really superb stuff.

    I appreciate how you used this match as a cool down. That's a very realistic booking trope that I do not get seen used near enough here at all. Very refreshing. It's too much of always trying to one up the previous contest, and that's not how wrestling really works. Shattered Dreams always had to win, and I like the use of the camera to get the job done.

    By the middle of the match it was pretty obvious that Lita was winning this one, with her getting no offense in and being such a non factor. You made Molly look great throughout the contest though, and I actually love that Lita pinned Molly, and there was no turn or anything. You teased it so well, that not actually doing it was really fun to see. Sometimes friends can still stay friends in wrestling, right!? Very good story told here.

    Christian and Batista always had to win this contest with the story you were telling in the build up, and this did it justice. Decent contest, and Christian getting the pin, essentially on his own, is certainly how it needed to be. Job done.

    I really liked this match. It felt very different than your other contests in how it read, in a positive way. I thought you really sold how good of a wrestler HHH actually is, a lot of counters, having RVD scouted. That's not been on display much, I think, but you sold it really well. RVD doesn't look terrible in this defeat, but I don't think he looks made either. This match was all about The Game, and I'm all for that.

    You know, reading that Y2J promo, you really missed on playing with the Armageddon name by talking about how Jericho is bringing Armageddon to the WWF as everyone knows it, as he becomes the Champion to rewrite the WWE in his image.

    Goldberg flipping out of a Back Suplex!? :P

    Thought you told a good story throughout the main event. Goldberg dominating, the two teaming up, using good spots to take Goldy out. I love the Spear/Walls combo spot, and the nice Survivor Series call back; that's always good writing/booking. I thought overall you wrote multiple good sequences, and you did a really great job to get HBK's journey over after 4/5 of the Moves of Doom, building up the anticipation to the SCM, only for it all to go to waste. Jericho finally getting the Lionsault(x2) to get the win was good. This was another very well told story.

    My one complaint is that some of your moves don't really make much sense. There's more examples, but the two I can recall without reading back is Batista being and to clothesline Bubba when he has Christian lifted up for a Powerbomb, and HBK being trapped in the Walls but adjusting into a Drop Toe Hold. It just seems very clunky and doesn't make sense in my head. However, overall, I do think you did an excellent job to get "teh movez" of the matches in there without overloading me as a reader, so I really love that.

    But overall, you really blew me away here. I thought you did amazing at keeping the matches to a reasonable length. I took breaks reading and feedbacking this over the course of 24 hours roughly, but I never once felt bored or burnt out like I do with pretty much almost any other PPV. That's the biggest compliment I think I can give you. You told great stories within your matches that got me hooked in. Easily my most enjoyed PPV of yours.

  11. #291
    Mid-Card Champion

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

    - Chris Jericho's white hot streak continues with him becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion winning the Triple Threat Match by pinning Michaels to get the job done while Goldberg couldn't break it up in time. I love this because now Jericho is the champion but then again Goldberg has his contractual rematch clause for the title while Michaels on the other hand he was the one who got beat. Michaels was the one who got pinned so for that reason alone I can see Michaels in the 2004 Royal Rumble Match as one of the RAW participants while Goldberg gets his rematch at the Rumble while Jericho the new champion defends his title at the Rumble.

    - RVD took Triple H to the limit and that being said by him doing that RVD basically gained a whole lot of respect not just in that locker room but also from the fans too. However, with Triple H beating RVD...knowing HHH he will probably insist on having a match for the World Heavyweight Championship. However, Triple H is not the champion...Goldberg is or he was but now Jericho is the champion so that basically means Triple H could go after the title again. However, since Goldberg has his contractual rematch clause then that means Triple H will have to compete in the Royal Rumble Match instead same goes for RVD.

    - Christian makes history by becoming the record setter when it comes to Tag Team title reigns because he and Evolution's Batista become the new World Tag Team Champions by beating The Dudley Boyz...I wonder if that means Christian now becomes a member of Evolution? If he is just an honorary member or he actually becomes a full time member now...but with The Dudley Boyz they do have a rematch clause so I do wonder if they use it at the Rumble PPV?

    - Lita becoming the new WWE Women's Champion by beating Molly Holly and one of her best friends Trish in a Triple Threat Match...just goes to show us that by Lita winning the title it is only a matter of time before Trish turns on Lita I mean the seeds are being planted and or they were so but for Molly Holly she does have a rematch clause so I can't see Lita getting too comfortable with that title because Molly obviously is gonna challenge her for it

    - I just love these ads for the Rumble but also for Mania 20 as well...WrestleMania season more or less is starting here with our Road to Royal Rumble 2004

    - Orton beating Funk in No Holds Barred...that was not just a brutal match from start to finish but we saw it all in this match...blood, gore and hardcore weapons being used here which made this not just very personal but it was just about sickening to watch but in a good way I mean this puts Orton over huge but with that being said...where does Randy Orton go from here?

    - Kane with him becoming the new WWE Intercontinental Champion who is gonna want to face Kane for that title? I mean Kane is a freak he's a Monster but also no one man on the RAW roster can single-handedly stand up to him...yeah sure Booker T took Kane to his limits but Kane took everything that Booker had and basically kept coming every single time. A Tombstone Piledriver to finish it off...just like Kane's brother The Undertaker...I mean Kane doesn't use the Tombstone often so I wonder if he will start to use it more?

  12. #292
    Hail To The King
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Very good show MOTN goes to Orton vs. Funk just gave me chills it was like watching Foley vs. Orton. LoJ are cool as well. Kane winning was right choice hope he wins rumble poor rvd thinking he was gonna be hhh during this timeline lol.

    You got a Shattered Dreams too I do as well in my btb Goldust/Dream but I like Test / Goldust I hope Test gete a lil push soon as well. Jericho winning is the best and Goldberg chasing the weasle jericho should be good a fan here keep up


    CWA World Heavyweight Champion
    Brayden Bridges

  13. #293
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    A great show seems there’s been a few good ppvs this month.

    Ruthless Aggression is such a fun period to rebook as the rosters were stacked but the decision making was very questionable at the time.

    The PPV was great love the stuff you’re doing with Christian and Jericho particulary as they are two of my faves.

    Orton vs Funk also match of the night for me, what a war.

    Struggling to even think of a minor complaint tbh Triple H going over clean on RVD irked me slightly but probably just because I love RVD and it’s part of a larger story so I’ll reserve judgment and keep the faith.

    Overall cracking show the competition this month is fierce!

  14. #294
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Alright man, time to take a look at Armageddon. Heading into this show, I am very pumped to see the direction you take things because after this show, you are really on your way on The Road to WM 20. Awesome opening video package. I have seen that you’ve added in these video packages and I think they are incredible. I had one I wanted to do for my WM8 but never posted it or put it in because I was scared it would fail, so kudos to you on trying something new and nailing it.

    Standard opening match, nothing spectacular but everything works just fine. I have probably said this in the past but the way you write your matches makes them flow so nicely. Easy enough win for the League of Justice, who is a great trio btw. I am curious to see which direction you take Rob Conway after he turns on La Resistance here. I like how you have given everyone, even the undercard guys, a storyline to have.

    I thought the Christian segment was hilarious. You have Christian and Flair down perfectly here. I love that Christian is banned from the WWE locker room too. This storyline has been one of the best on RAW so far, and I’m excited to see it play out.

    I did not see Kane winning the IC title, but the match was excellent. You kept Booker T strong, with him throwing every move he has at Kane but it just wasn’t enough. I thought the Powerbomb into the turnbuckle spot was cool too. An unstoppable, monster Kane as IC champion is something I can definitely get behind. Since you’ve started this thread, I believe Kane has been one of your best booked wrestlers. You got away from the silly shit he was doing in real life at the time and turned him into a force. I wonder who you throw at him for his first IC title program.

    Another awesome video package. I really gotta pick your brain on how you construct them, because they are something I’d like to include in my BTB in the future. Going into this, I am really pumped for Orton/Funk. I thought Funk’s promo on RAW was gold and you’ve done a great job building Orton up as the “Legend Killer.” I just hope somewhere Stone Cold is lurking, waiting to strike. I liked the quick action. No mat wrestling or chin locks, just a hardcore brawl. I loved the visual of a crazy Funk tossing everything he can get his hands on into the ring. Man, what a brawl. Funk really wanted to teach Orton a lesson but in the end it was inevitable that Orton would win. I like the instant change in Orton following the victory, showing everyone his violent side. I’m hoping this brings out a different type of Orton moving forward. Great work here.

    I feel like a broken record- another awesome video package for the Royal Rumble. That Royal Rumble poster with John Cena on it might be my favorite of all time. It came in the RAW magazine in 2004 and I had that hanging up in my room. Perfect time for a cool down match. I like the duo of Goldust and Test, and I’m glad they won here. I don’t see too much longevity from them, but if you continue to push them they can become a threat on RAW.

    Lita wins the Women’s title, which was the trajectory for her all along. I’m glad you pulled the switch now so that she can begin her feud with I’m guessing Trish for WM20. Yes, WM20! Where it all begins again! I know I’ve probably said it on here a bunch of times, but I attended WM20 and it was incredible to watch live. I really can’t wait for you to get to WM20, it will be a serious milestone for this thread.

    Christian and Batista winning was the right call. The Dudleys will always be over so you can put them right back in the picture anytime you want, but the real story here is Christian/Evolution. Also great that you gave Christian the pinfall instead of Batista. I am really curious to see the direction you take this storyline, because I can’t see Christian and Batista working out in the long run.

    Now time for the RVD/HHH match, and this is one of the things I was most excited for when you announced the card. HHH needs a small program in between losing the title and WM20, and RVD is the perfect foe. The build to this has been tremendous. Awesome match, back and forth contest. I liked the finish, with HHH pulling out all stops to win. HHH needed a victory more than RVD tonight, and this can now kick off whatever you have planned for HHH moving forward. I know RVD and Kane have a past, so I’m wondering if you throw RVD into a program with Kane next.

    It’s now time for some Main Event action! I loved Jericho coming out and cutting a promo. Your work with Jericho has been perfection since the start of this thread. He is a lock for at least the final ballot at the end of the year awards. Awesome, all-out match. The visual of Goldberg spearing Jericho while he has Michaels in the Walls was great. Technical Goldberg, hah loved it. Goldberg spearing everything in sight was great too. The finishing sequence was off the charts. I really did not expect Jericho to win, but it is definitely the right call. Coming off of a huge win at Survivor Series, Jericho basically took matters into his own hands in getting to the title. Great story you’ve told, and the payoff was written to perfection.

    At first glance, Armageddon looked like a filler PPV that you just had to get through to get to the good stuff. In all honesty, I prefer your Smackdown just because of the loaded roster, but in typical Keefmoon fashion, you turned this into one of the most memorable PPV’s that you’ve written. All titles changed hands, and it all made perfect sense. In my opinion you are now through the first phase of your BTB, and the fun can begin. I am looking forward to Royal Rumble/No Way Out/WM20 and how everything plays out to get to WM 20. Awesome work and writing as always buddy. Excited to see the build to Royal Rumble. Keep up the great work.


  15. #295
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Great stuff Keefmoon. I'm strapped for time but most of what I would say would echo others thoughts.

    Glad to have got the most match predictions right haha

    Interesting that you changed every title holder tonight. Leads nicely into the Royal Rumble.

    Lita's win made a lot of sense given the background and I'm hopeful that this all leads towards Lita/Trish at Wrestlemania. There is still miles on this one.

    My fave part of the night was Christian. Class throughout and I'm very intrigued to see where he goes from here as an 'honorary' member of Evolution. an arc completely differing from reality, my kind of angle.

    Jericho as champ is going to also be very good. Hopefully he can cast Goldberg aside before the Road to Wrestlemania. Jericho/Michaels at Mania would be epic.

    The upcoming months should be fascinating reading Keefmoon, my head is spinning with all the possibilities available. Keep it up my man!!

  16. #296
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    Re: WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Thanks all for the feedback. I'm honestly delighted this show has gone down well. I really hate the WWE's "one show per month" schedule as it means you get little time to build stuff up, and given this was 4 weeks after Survivor Series meant Raw has basically been in hype mode for 7-8 weeks. It's meant this show has been a real landmark that I've aiming for, as between now and Mania in 4 months time there's only the Rumble that Raw will appear in. Hopefully that means Raw as a show can have more moments that stand out beyond hyping a PPV match, kind of like Smackdown is at the moment.

    A special note to say thanks for the kind words on the video packages. Obviously I tried something a bit different there and they took quite a bit of time to pull together, so I'm glad it seems to have been worthwhile. I'll definitely keep them up in the future.

    It was interesting watching the predictions come in that only Rasky thought Kane might beat Booker T. Kane has obviously been a bit of a pet project of mine since I took this BTB on, but with Jericho as champ and HHH and Orton under him, the heel side is quite stacked. I really want Kane to have something proper to do and not get lost, but I also want the secondary titles to mean something. So Kane's the guy I've chosen to try and add prestige to the IC belt. I don't see this as a demotion of Kane by any means, but rather a promotion for the strap.

    One note I did pick up on was Zoom's mention of move transitions not always working. That's a fair point. That's probably the bit I find hardest, finding the balance between detail without burning the reader out, but it's something I've been trying to work on. Will keep trying new things and hope it gets better.

    And to answer Wolfy's question about Jericho - he's still in the long tights, but they're more plain than they were before. Not necessarily just black, but rarely the multi-coloured affairs he was known for at the time. Maybe black with trim, or blue with a bit of white, something like that.

    Anyway, here's the outcome of the prediction contest:

    1. Sykotic - 13 points
    2. Wolf Beast - 11 points
    3. Rant - 10 points
    = Stojy - 10 points
    = Zoom E - 10 points
    6. Terry - 9 points
    = Bigmac - 9 points
    8. BattleTank - 8 points
    9. Chaddes - 7 points
    = Rasky - 7 points

    Congrats to Syko! You win... nothing!

    And finally, as you may remember after each PPV I update the rosters and explain what they've been doing lately/what their character is. It's mostly for anyone who is new who wants to catch up, but can also work as a reminder if anyone needs it.

    Al Snow
    Babyface. Recently teamed with Tommy Dreamer in a Hardcore Match against the Dudleyz, and were subsequently used as fodder by Evolution to piss off the Dudz.

    April Hunter
    Babyface. Arrived a couple of months ago as Trish’s friend looking for a job on Raw. She used her feminine wiles with Eric Bischoff to get a job and a title shot on her debut (although we don’t know exactly what happened), but subsequently has proven herself to be more than deserving of opportunities with her in-ring performances. She lives by the mantra of “succeed at all costs”, and has been trying to motivate Trish to do the same. It’s that meddling that has led to her and Trish’s other friend Lita struggling to see eye-to-eye.

    World Tag Team Champion. Heel. The muscle of Evolution. Was on Eric Bischoff’s victorious team at Survivor Series, and subsequently targeted the Dudley Boyz and their Tag Titles. When he and Flair lost their title match it looked as though Batsita’s dreams of winning the belts were over, but when Christian offered a new route, he and Evolution took it. At Armageddon, Batista and Christian made a better team than many would have thought, and won the Tag Titles from the hugely-decorated ECW alumni.

    Booker T
    Babyface. Returned as a mystery opponent for Christian on Raw and won the Intercontinental Title. After a couple of months as champion, he eliminated Kane in a Battle Royal, who then returned and Chokeslammed him through a table. Unlike most, Booker refused to be intimidated by the Big Red Machine and challenged him to an IC Title match at Armageddon. Unfortunately for him, he bit off more than he could chew, and Kane took the title away at the PPV.

    Bubba Ray Dudley
    Babyface. Was a part of Team Austin at Survivor Series, having been involved in a feud with Evolution for months now. When he and brother D-Von beat Batista and Flair they may have thought their battle with them was over, but Christian had other ideas. He used his favour from Bischoff to take a title shot against the Dudz at Armageddon, and he and Batista won the titles there.

    Chris Jericho
    World Heavyweight Champion. Heel. Three months ago Jericho turned his back on everything that had got him to where he is. He’s removed his nicknames, catchphrases and entrance, and has promised to destroy the WWE from the inside after growing tired of not being given opportunities. Joined Team Bischoff with the ultimate goal of eradicating Austin from the WWE, and succeeded as the sole survivor, making Shawn Michaels pass out in the Walls of Jericho for the victory. He used that to get a title shot against Goldberg and Michaels at Armageddon, and somehow, someway, managed to come out on top, taking the title he so clearly thought he deserved.

    Chris Kanyon
    Heel. Appears irregularly as a talented jobber.

    World Tag Team Champion. Heel. Obnoxious, sycophantic and back-stabbing. He was the Intercontinental Champion until losing to Booker T on Raw. Was a member of Team Bischoff at Survivor Series, having sucked up to the GM on several occasions, and made it to the final four, even outlasting Triple H. He used his favour from that match to worm his way in to an honorary membership of Evolution, and teamed with Batista to win the World Tag Team Titles at Armageddon.

    D-Von Dudley
    Babyface. See Bubba.

    Eric Bischoff
    Heel. Became 100% General Manager after Austin’s resignation, and solidified it when his team won at Survivor Series. He was told on no uncertain terms by Linda McMahon that the Board of Directors would be watching him, and as such he’s been trying to be at his best, even if he can sometimes not help but subtly undermine those he doesn’t like, and help those he does.

    Gail Kim
    Heel. Aligned with former Women’s Champion Molly, who has been gradually manipulating her further and further to help keep the title. Gail had been oblivious, but now seems to see her for exactly what she is.

    Garrison Cade
    Babyface. In a tag team with Mark Jindrak. Showing some potential, but still got some work to do to make that next step.

    Babyface. Destroyed Triple H at Unforgiven, dealt with a misguided Steven Richards, and won a brutal rivalry with Kane. At that point he was targeted by Chris Jericho, and in turn, Shawn Michaels. At Armageddon the three men came together, and Goldberg may have thought he’d won after hitting Michaels with a Spear, only to see Jericho eject him from the ring, hit a Lionsault, and win the title. How Goldberg will react has yet to be seen.

    Heel. Was a tag partner of Lance Storm, but lost his mind until he became a total nihilist obsessed with destruction. Has created a stable of like-minded, down-and-outers in Stevie Richards and Test, and together they were making a film about the downfall of Lance Storm and Val Venis. At Armageddon, Shattered Dreams Productions came out on top thanks to a camera shot from Richards.

    Babyface. Superhero who stands up for people in need, and has worked with Rosey for some time. Helped save Super Stacy from the dangerous Steiner, only to find himself outnumbered in a rivalry with La Resistance. Luckily for him, another superhero, Super Nova, revealed himself, and the quartet – now known as the League of Justice – were victorious at Armageddon, and in the process, seem to have split La Resistance up.

    . Not been seen since the project began.

    . Recently lost to Victoria, but that’s about it.

    Women’s Champion. Babyface
    . Returned after 18 months out with a broken neck and formed an alliance with Trish. The arrival of Trish’s friend April Hunter seems to have caused issues, with Lita against April’s “win at all costs” approach, and that tension cost Lita in her Women’s Title match at Survivor Series. Lita, though, would not be stopped, and in a Triple Threat match at Armageddon she capped off the heart-warming story by winning the belt, pinning Molly.

    Intercontinental Champion. Heel
    . Unmasked monster who destroyed Shane McMahon so thoroughly at Unforgiven (with a Chokeslam off the Titantron), then destroyed everyone he came across until entering a rivalry with Goldberg. Unfortunately for him Goldberg narrowly got the better of their contest at Survivor Series, but immediately ended up in a rivalry against a brave-but-misguided Booker T. At Armageddon, Kane beat Booker and took his Intercontinental Title, leaving many to wonder what it will possibly take to get the belt away from him.

    Lance Storm
    Was in a tag team with Goldust, only to feud with him when he began to lose his mind. Initially Storm had no intention of fighting his partner, but as Goldust became more and more crazed, was left with no alternative. This led to him reforming his team with Val Venis, called Rising Storm, but they came up short in a tag match at Armageddon.

    Mark Henry
    Managed by Theodore Long. Was part of a tag team with Rodney Mack that seemed to be going places, but after an embarrassing defeat Henry and Long kicked Mack right out of the company. Since then Henry took Goldberg to the edge in a title match, and has since found himself being bothered by Maven, who somehow keep fighting back no matter what is thrown at him.

    Mark Jindrak
    See Garrison Cade.

    . Has recently found himself the victim of a series of attacks from Mark Henry. Perhaps unwisely, Maven keeps getting back up after each attack, which seems to be frustrating Henry but growing admiring looks from Theodore Long…

    Molly Holly
    . Playing the role of a “pure” woman, but is actually a lying, conniving manipulator. She had done everything she could to keep her Women’s Title, which included getting Gail and Victoria to watch her back, and then discarding them as soon as it benefited her. Retained the title against Lita at Survivor Series when Trish and April accidentally distracted Lita and cost her the title, but lost it when her gamble of defending against both Lita and Trish at Armageddon backfired.

    Randy Orton
    . The Legend Killer. At times he seems to frustrate his Evolution teammates with his cocky, cavalier attitude, but there are no signs of an imminent split. Took his favour from Bischoff to face the disinterested Mick Foley on Raw, and was left cold when Foley refused to fight him. What he ended up with was an irate Terry Funk on his back, and the two met in a No Holds’ Barred Match at Armageddon. The Funker gave it everything he had, but Orton tapped in to a side of his personality we hadn’t seen before, and brutalised the legend on his way to a victory.

    Rene Dupree
    Lost the Tag Titles at Unforgiven to the Dudley Boyz, and have been disgusted at their lack of subsequent shots. Along with his teammates, has somehow managed to rile up practically every team on the roster, and found themselves in an unrequited rivalry with the League of Justice. After losing at Armageddon, Rob Conway lashed out at the young team, furious at the loss.

    Ric Flair
    . The mentor of Evolution. Hasn’t been in the ring too much, instead there to back up mostly HHH and Orton in arguments and coach Batista through tag matches, and be the one to verbally put over their opponents in promos. Seems to be the one most open to Christian's new role within the group.

    . Rarely seen jobber.

    Rob Conway
    Heel? See Rene Dupree.

    Rob Van Dam
    . After joining Team Austin, was frequently targeted by Evolution and had any opportunity at winning the Intercontinental Title ruined by vicious backstage attacks. Usually chilled, RVD grew tired of the attacks and has gone on a single-handed mission to take out Evolution, one-by-one. He went someway to achieving his goal by eliminating Triple H at Survivor Series, only for The Game to immediately sneak attack him and force his own elimination. That brought them together for a heated contest at Armageddon where Triple H went over, but only after a hugely impressive effort from Van Dam.

    See Hurricane.

    Shawn Michaels
    . Has been accused by Randy Orton of being past it, having lost to him at Unforgiven. At Survivor Series he proved this to be wrong, with an epic effort in almost winning despite 3-on-1 odds, but still ultimately fell short, losing to Chris Jericho. He then won a Battle Royal to be added to the Triple Threat match for the World Title at Armageddon, and showed signs of the old Shawn Michaels when he hit Goldberg with Sweet Chin Music six days before the PPV. Unfortunately for Shawn, despite a great effort, he just feel short at the PPV, with the title going to Jericho.

    Spike Dudley
    . Has never backed down from a fight and achieved some big things, but not exactly the most important person on the roster.

    Stevie Richards
    . Answered an open challenge from Goldberg and was literally speared out of his shoes in a couple-of-seconds-loss. He then began airing expensively-shot, delusional videos challenging the champion, and was promptly beaten again. After that match he was used as a pawn in the mind games between Kane and Goldberg, which led to him losing faith in society and aligning with the insane Goldust. He’s wheelchair-bound and with no return date given, and as such primarily works as Goldust’s cameraman.

    Super Nova
    Babyface. See Hurricane.

    Super Stacy
    . See Hurricane.

    Sylvan Grenier
    See Rene Dupree.

    . Lost to Scott Steiner at Unforgiven to lose Stacy, and seemed directionless and, frankly, a bit of a mess thereafter. It was therefore not a huge surprise when he aligned with fellow nihilists Stevie Richards and Goldust to form Shattered Dreams Productions.

    Tommy Dreamer
    See Al Snow.

    Triple H
    . Lost the World Title to Goldberg at Unforgiven after ten months. Took a brief hiatus, which was prematurely ended when Brock Lesnar on Smackdown hit his ex-wife with an F5. Hunter returned to Smackdown and took the fight to Lesnar, but as soon as he was offered another title shot to back off, used the situation to his benefit. Bischoff’s crown jewel in his Survivor Series team, he was shockingly pinned by Rob Van Dam, who has sworn to take out each member of Evolution one-by-one. Triple H took RVD out and led to his elimination, and their rivalry continued to grow from there until Triple H went over at Armageddon, albeit after a strong performance from Van Dam.

    Trish Stratus
    . Had been fighting Molly and Gail alone for months until Lita returned at Unforgiven to help turn the tide, and they have become close friends. She’s also seen the arrival of an old friend, April Hunter, who has lived the mantra “win at all costs”, leaving Trish conflicted. Accidentally cost Lita the Women’s Title by distracting her during a philosophical argument with April at ringside, and then lost at Armageddon in a Triple Threat match when Lita won the title. How she feels about any of this is still unclear.

    Val Venis
    . See Lance Storm.

    . Cost Lita a chance at the Women’s Title during her return to Raw, feeling she didn’t deserve a title shot so soon after injury. That had made her an unlikely ally of Molly and Gail, only for Molly to almost immediately ruin it by leaving Victoria out to dry during a beatdown. She’s now in the process of trying to rebuild herself, which involved squashing Jacqueline last week on Raw.

    . Had been a bodyguard type for John Cena, only for it to be revealed that he was actually an inside agent for William Regal. That has led to an intense rivalry between the two men, including Cena shaving “FU” in to Train’s back, and they will face off at Tribute to the Troops. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    Babyface. Protégé of the Ultimo Dragon, and has stood up for his mentor in his battle against Tajiri and Juventud. Made quite the impression so far.

    Big Show
    . Was one of Vince’s main men in the battle against Steph and her favourites. Faced The Undertaker at No Mercy, and was victorious thanks to a Brock Lesnar interference, leading to Steph leaving. Was then part of the Fatal Fourway Match at Survivor Series, and tried to form an alliance with ‘Taker to ensure they’d be the final two. The plan backfired when ‘Taker immediately turned on him, leaving him eliminated and humiliated in less than a minute. Due to the match stipulations, he is barred from a WWE Title shot for as long as Brock Lesnar is champion. That led to him aligning with Regal, and has been used in Regal’s war with Eddie.

    Billy Gunn
    . Still injured.

    Billy Kidman
    . Re-formed the Filthy Animals tag team with his friend Rey Mysterio, and had come close to toppling the World’s Greatest Tag Team without quite succeeding. That has led Regal to trying to get in to Mysterio’s head that he’s carrying Kidman, and thus far, there’s been little to indicate that’s not true.

    . Teams with Faarooq in the APA, although they’ve struggled for success lately. Bradshaw has generally been more successful in singles action, and recently beat Sean O’Haire in a match that sent him spiralling in to Mattitude, but once O’Haire began listening to Matt’s learnings, he picked up the victory and left APA going back to the drawing board.

    Brian Kendrick
    . Previously just a comedy jobber, Kendrick scored an upset victory on Johnny Stamboli a few months ago and has therefore found himself in a rivalry with the FBI. Has formed an alliance with fellow newcomer Paul London to go against them, and on one episode they both won a tag match and Kendrick beat Nunzio, definitively marking themselves out as the victors in that battle. They then took the World’s Greatest Tag Team to the edge in a Tag Title match, but narrowly fell short.

    Brock Lesnar
    WWE Champion. Heel
    . Won the title at No Mercy in an Iron Man Match against Kurt Angle to become Vince’s corporate champion, only to stab Vince in the back, force him out of WWE daily operations, and took Paul Heyman back as a manager. Chose to defend his title at Survivor Series against The Undertaker, Big Show and Kurt Angle, with the stipulation that if he won, they would be banned from any rematches against him as long as he’s champion. He won, and found himself being targeted by Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. He beat Benoit in a classic on Smackdown, only to be taken out by Eddie, which led to him facing him in an impromptu match the next week. Due to defend his title on the January 1st edition of Smackdown against the winner of this week’s Regal Gold Rush.

    Charlie Haas
    WWE Tag Team Champion. Heel
    . Teams with Shelton Benjamin and has been champion for six months. They beat the Filthy Animals in a long, awesome match on Smackdown, and narrowly overcame The Hooliganz a month later. Time and again teams throw everything at them, but time and again they somehow find a way to come out on top.

    Chavo Guerrero
    . Returned to work alongside his Eddie in his battles with John Cena, and has been an able back-up while his uncle appears to be building more and more momentum. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    Chris Benoit
    . Finished his rivalry with Rhyno with a win in the brutal Street Fight on Smackdown, and then made Shelton Benjamin tap out at No Mercy. Was part of the “Atlanta Five” team at Survivor Series, and along with Eddie Guerrero was one of the survivors. That led to a feud with Brock Lesnar, and he narrowly missed out on the win in a classic match between them. That contest seemed to legitimise Benoit, though, and he’s now promising Lesnar that he’s coming back for him, and next time, Brock won’t be quite so lucky. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    Chuck Palumbo
    . Part of the Full Bloodied Italians, who lost their feud with the Hooliganz and as such now seem a little directionless.

    Danny Basham
    . Teaming with his brother, they’ve ditched their S&M look and have reverted more to an “Anderson’s” approach to teaming, where they rely on simply but effectively grounding teams down until they win. Consistently got the better of the APA, and then targeted the Filthy Animals. They have a match scheduled with them for Tribute to the Troops, and, win there, they must be in line for a title shot.

    Dawn Marie
    . Returned to Smackdown and helped Tajiri win the Cruiserweight Title. Since then, she has unlocked a more vicious side of Tajiri’s personality, which resulted in Nidia getting blinded. She added Juventud as a client at No Mercy, and as a trio, they’ve successfully kept the title on Tajiri despite Ultimo Dragon and Akio’s best attempts. And, of course, she just can’t stop mocking Jamie Noble and Nidia.

    Doug Basham
    . See Danny.

    Eddie Guerrero
    Lost the US Title to John Cena at No Mercy, but that seems to have been the start of something bigger. He was one of the first to stand up to Brock on his reign of terror, and was one of the two survivors in the Smackdown Survivor Series match. He's since been on a crusade to face Brock for the WWE Title, but at every turn William Regal has tried to screw him over. This was seen most keenly last week when Eddie somehow overcame Big Show in a No DQ match, only to be given his title shot immediately after that contest and was easily beaten. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    . Was targeted by Tajiri and Juventud, and was saved by Ultimo Dragon. Was taken out by them one week, and hasn’t been seen since.

    Hardcore Holly
    . Still on the shelf after Brock broke his neck, but announced as returning at the Rumble.

    Jamie Noble
    . Was a detested heel until his girlfriend Nidia was sprayed with black mist by Tajiri, blinding her. He then came back with a new fire, desperately looking for revenge over the man responsible for hurting his loved one. Unfortunately for Noble, Dawn Marie recruited Juventud to cost Noble the title match at No Mercy. After the match, a despondent Noble told Michael Cole that he “won’t” come back stronger than ever, and walked away. He hasn’t been seen since, despite Dawn and Tajiri still trying to rile him up.

    John Cena
    United States Champion. Babyface
    . Won the US Title from Eddie Guerrero at No Mercy, and was considered an arrogant, foul-mouthed and selfish heel, although not without his fans. He had butted heads with GM Willam Regal for weeks, which culminated with Cena hitting Regal with an FU. Since then Regal has subtly undermined Cena at every turn, but without pissing him off so much that Cena rebels any more than he’s doing anyway. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    Johnny Stamboli
    . See Chuck Palumbo.

    . Debuted at No Mercy, helping Tajiri to defeat Jamie Noble. He has since been part of the Kyo-estro tag team with the Cruiserweight Champion, managed by Dawn Marie, and looks every bit as vile as Tajiri.

    Kurt Angle
    . After returning from surgery, Angle promised to turn himself around and be the man his new born daughter could be proud of. He won the WWE Title and stood up to Vince when few others would. That left him often beaten down and battered, and ultimately, may have cost him the title when he lost to Brock in an Iron Man Match. He took that loss badly, and it appeared he was gradually compromising on his morals more and more, especially in the face of his growing hatred for The Undertaker, until he was left with a moral choice at the Survivor Series. He chose the right path, only to see ‘Taker taken out by a mystery assailant anyway, and many believe Angle was responsible. Angle has struggled to deal with the situation, and it has led to back-to-back losses to Rhyno. As result of the stipulations from his loss at Survivor Series, he’s barred from a title shot as long as Brock is WWE Champion.

    Matt Hardy (Version 1.0)
    . Having finally overcome his “mortal enemy” Zach Gowen in a “Loser Is Fired” match, Matt has grown gradually more and more delusional, and continues to treat his follower Shannon like dirt. Recently went on a recruitment drive, and managed to pick up Sean O’Haire as a follower, who had hit absolute rock bottom. Has his sights set on Cena’s US Title. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    . See Chuck Palumbo.

    Orlando Jordan
    . Jobber who has come close in the few matches he’s had, but they're few and far between.

    Paul London
    Babyface. See Brian Kendrick.

    Rey Mysterio
    . See Billy Kidman. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    . Had taken his insanity up a notch in his efforts to break Chris Benoit’s neck, only to lose the final match in their rivalry in a Street Fight on Smackdown. That left Rhyno floating around without direction, until Paul Heyman returned and took him under his wing, promising to bring out “the real Rhyno”. This has left him often aligned with Brock Lesnar, and was heard saying that “The Undertaker won’t be a problem after tonight” just hours before he was taken out. Since then he’s been on fine form, and has two back-to-back wins against an admittedly distracted Kurt Angle. Also part of Regal’s Gold Rush next week.

    . Glorified jobber who is barely seen on TV anymore.

    Ron Simmons
    . See Bradshaw.

    Scotty Too Hotty
    . Lost a 5-Minute Iron Man Match to Brock Lesnar, and then was made to face Big Show immediately afterwards. He hasn’t been seen since.

    Sean O’Haire
    After a disastrous run of form, he took the likes of Benoit and Guerrero to the edge, only to continually lose out. After a loss to Bradshaw he flipped out, attacked the announcers and then allowed himself to be beaten by Ron Simmons. Luckily for him, he’s been offered salvation in the form of Mattitude. Somewhat surprisingly, that decision has actually helped him, and he recently picked up the win in a tag match against the APA.

    Shannon Moore
    . Loyal follower of Matt Hardy (Version 1.0), and often the butt of his jokes/one who gets thrown in to the celebratory cake that Matt got when he beat a one-legged wrestler. Is treated worse with every passing week.

    Shelton Benjamin
    WWE Tag Team Champion. Heel
    . See Charlie Haas.

    Cruiserweight Champion. Heel
    . Fully embraced his inner-demons when he aligned with Dawn Marie to win the Cruiserweight Title from Rey Mysterio, then sprayed Nidia in the face with black mist to make a point about how low he could go. It looked like he may have been in danger of losing the title against a furious Jamie Noble, but the debuting Juventud helped him retain, and he’s since fought off the challenge of a resurgent Ultimo Dragon and his protégé Akio.

    The Undertaker
    . Along with Kurt Angle, the man who most stood up to Vince and his actions against Steph. Was Stephanie’s representative in the Battle of the McMahons at No Mercy, but lost to Big Show when Brock Lesnar interfered. Since then he became even more grouchy and confrontational (if that’s possible) and found himself with a number of enemies. That meant that, when he was brutally taken out by a mystery attacker at the Survivor Series, there was no shortage of suspects. He hasn’t been heard from since, and there’s no indication of when he might be.

    Ultimo Dragon
    Had a shaky start to his WWE career, but bounced back with some strong performances in the last two months, particularly with his dangerous Dragon Sleeper. Took Tajiri to the edge at Survivor Series, but narrowly came up short, and has since formed the “D.N.G.” tag team with his protégé Akio.

    William Regal
    General Manager of Smackdown. Heel. Was appointed to his position after Stephanie McMahon left, with a clear brief to clean up some of the mess left by Vince’s daughter. He has a clear list of those he should and should not be helping, and has chosen to manipulate the latter by dangling opportunities and using it to create tension in potential allies against him. His main enemies seem to be John Cena, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. Despite his clear heeldom, he has done some decent-ish things, such as making a one-night tournament to crown a Number One Contender (called Regal’s Gold Rush), and has set up a scenario where those with the most televised wins in the run up to the Rumble qualify, no questions asked.

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