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Boulder
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November 12, 2004

Jim Ross looked at me from across his desk. For about fifteen minutes, we had been going through the motions, engaging in what could only be termed a job interview in the loosest possible sense. He would ask me about who I knew in the industry, about my lack of references and accreditation, and I would skirt the issue. Finally, he cut the crap.

“Listen, son,” said J.R. “I’ve been in this business for over twenty years. I know damn near every name in it, and I know you. I know you booked for WCW for a few weeks in ’95. I liked your ideas, kid, but you got no real top-level experience.”

“With all due respect, Mr. Ross,” I replied, “you guys are looking for TV writers. How much experience do they have?” As my window of opportunity was closing, I figured I might as well spill my guts.

“They have experience where they need to have it,” he said. “These guys may not know the business at first, but they’ve got the tools to write storylines. In case you didn’t know, that’s how we attract casual fans.”

“There’s a big difference between writing television and writing wrestling,” I said, but caught myself. “But, I don’t need to explain that to you because you know it. Just do me one favor. If you don’t interview anybody else who knows the business as well as I do, give me a call. We’ll talk further.”

J.R. sighed. “Fine. Deal. Maybe you’ll hear from me, maybe you won’t. But either way, don’t expect a job.”

“Fair enough,” I told him as I extended my hand. He shook it briefly. “Thank you.”

Edited by Boulder
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November 21, 2004

The phone rang at almost exactly 11:00 PM. “Hello?” I asked into the receiver.

“It’s J.R.,” came the reply from the other end.

“Oh, hello,” I mumbled, surprised to the point of confusion. He had actually called me.

He chuckled. “Get this,” he began. “We had a guy in here today who used to write for Shasta McNasty or some shit, whatever it was called. I asked him who Magnum T.A. was. You know what he said? ‘A wrestler.’”

I laughed.

“A wrestler. And he was proud when he said it, too, like he was doing right by me. He had a smug-ass grin on his face. Oh, and there was this other guy who thought he had done his homework, and went and watched an episode of our programming before showing up.”

“Let me guess,” I said, “Heat?”

“Velocity,” he told me. “Said he was glad to see that we were featuring those Basher Brothers so prominently.”

“Sheesh,” I said.

“Yeah…” J.R. paused. “So how’s the new year?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“January 1st,” he replied. “That’s when you’ll start.”

I sat down. “Start?”

“You were right. You know the most about the business. I can’t argue with that, and I can’t let another know-it-all reject from TV taint this company. I want you. Head writer, both brands.”

“Both brands?”

“That’s right. It’s a hell of a lot of work, but both brands.”

“Wow…” I said. “I just… wow.”

“Yeah,” he said. “So, your first show will be the first Raw of 2005, January 3rd. Sound good?”

“Absolutely.”

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Boulder does diary, read all about it~!

I've been waiting a while for you to start a diary so I can get into it from the start. But I'm pretty sure JR would have punked you for being cheeky to him at the start. But...then again. Who are you in this diary? Booked for WCW in 95? If it's Kevin Sullivan, I'll die crying.

And I keep imagining Jim Ross saying “We had a guy in here today who used to write for Shasta McNasty or some shit, whatever it was called." :lol:

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I've been waiting a while for you to start a diary so I can get into it from the start. But I'm pretty sure JR would have punked you for being cheeky to him at the start. But...then again. Who are you in this diary? Booked for WCW in 95? If it's Kevin Sullivan, I'll die crying.

Actually, I'm playing as myself. The WCW bit was in reference to my last diary, as I'm continuing with that character.

Good job. I love the convo's  TEW or EWR?

Thanks a bunch. I'll be using TEW, though I'm waiting for RXTEW5 to come out before I start. Should be this weekend, I think.

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Hey Scotty, glad you've started up a new WWE diary, I enjoyed the last one you did aaaaaaaaages ago.

From the look of your sig, it looks like Lita vs. Trish is off, which is good in my eyes. Of course if you've just forgotten, then I'll probably see it soon :P.

Good luck :)

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WWE Monday Night Raw

January 3, 2005

Jim Ross: Hello, everybody, and welcome to the very first Raw of 2005, live from Long Island, New York! King, how do you think we’ll see Raw’s thirteenth year kick off?

Jerry Lawler: With a bang, J.R., that’s for sure! We’ve got great matches, and let’s not forget our little debate!

Jim Ross: How could I forget? But check out this main event, fans, it’s a preview of Sunday’s Elimination Chamber matchup: Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, and Chris Jericho will team up to take on Triple H, Batista, and Edge!

Jerry Lawler: Edge and Triple H on the same team? How are they gonna co-exist?

Jim Ross: I’m starting to wonder how Triple H and Batista are gonna co-exist!

Jerry Lawler: Aw, stop trying to cause problems, J.R.! Batista and Triple H have never been closer. You- you’re a real troublemaker!

Jim Ross: Well, I would argue the trouble’s already made, but nevertheless, it’s time for our first match!

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Shelton Benjamin © versus Tyson Tomko

Tomko tried to overpower Shelton in the early goings of the match, shoving him to the canvas when they locked up. However, Benjamin soon used his wrestling expertise to his advantage, catching Tomko in a waistlock and slamming him on the mat. The Intercontinental Champion scored a few near-falls off of half nelson and body scissors roll ups, but when he tried to apply a front facelock, Tomko lifted him up and crotched him on the ropes. Tyson Tomko continued to use his strength and size to his advantage, rocking Benjamin with a lariat, then later, a Samoan Drop. Shelton tried to scrap away on the big man, but it wasn’t until Tomko missed a big boot that Benjamin was able to turn the tide of the match with a spinning heel kick. He climbed up to the top turnbuckle and caught Tomko with a clothesline, then drilled him into the mat with an Exploder Suplex when he got to his feet. The three count followed at 4:42.

Crowd: 78.8%

Match: 72.1%

Overall: 70.7%

Jim Ross: What a win by Shelton Benjamin over the big- what the hell is this?

Surprise, Surprise

Maven cuts off Shelton Benjamin’s celebration, coming onto the stage with a microphone.

Maven: Congratulations, Champ! Hope that win didn’t take too much out of you! Especially since I’ve got a little surprise for ya!

Jim Ross: Surprise?

Jerry Lawler: He’s got Shelton’s attention!

Maven: Remember when I pinned you a couple weeks back, Shelton? If you don’t, let me remind you. I rolled you up right in the center of that ring for the one, two, three. But let me take this where this is going. I just came from General Manager Bischoff’s office, and I pled my case. So on January 9, at New Year’s Revolution, you’re gonna be defending the Intercontinental Title against… me!

Benjamin is a little startled, but keeps calm.

Maven: Now settle down, Shelton. I know this isn’t your idea of a perfect situation, but you still got six days to prepare. So if I were you, I’d spend a lot of quality time with that belt while you still can!

Overall: 73.6%

Jim Ross: Another big match added to the card for New Year’s Revolution!

Time to Pay

The camera cuts backstage to the Evolution locker room. Triple H is lacing up his boots as Batista walks in.

Batista: Hey.

Triple H: Hey, big man, what’s up?

Batista: In case you forgot, you owe me a hundred bucks.

Triple H stands up.

Triple H: Hmmm? What for?

Batista: Our bet? Last week? The quickest win?

Triple H: Oh, oh, that’s right. You beat me?

Batista: Yeah. I did.

Triple H: Alright, no prob. Here you go, man, a clean, crisp hundred. Don’t spend it all in one place, heh heh.

Triple H slaps Batista on the shoulder. Batista forces a smile, then leaves the locker room. Triple H’s expression changes immediately.

Triple H: Son of a bitch.

Overall: 80.9%

Jerry Lawler: Looks like Triple H is harboring some resentment towards Batista!

Jim Ross: Wouldn’t be the first time!

Jerry Lawler: J.R., Triple H is a nine-time World Champion! Why should he have any ill feelings towards one of his pupils?

Jim Ross: That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Well, up next, we’ve got a unique match. Robert Conway will wrestle William Regal, and if Conway wins, he and Sylvain Grenier will get another chance at the WWE World Tag Team Titles at New Year’s Revolution.

Robert Conway versus William Regal

Conway started off by throwing Regal to the mat and trying to keep him there with a variety of headlocks and armlocks. However, Regal could not be worn down, as he powered his way to his feet and took Conway down with a snapmare. Regal worked over the head and neck of Conway, finally lifting him to his feet, whipping him to the ropes, and catching him with a back elbow. Regal attempted another, but Conway ducked and nailed a leg lariat. From that point on, Conway took control, hitting several suplexes and a neckbreaker for two. A Conway clothesline took Regal back down, and led to a chinlock. Regal escaped and fought back, hitting a backslide for two and a dropkick for another two count. Regal grabbed Conway by the arm and attempted to bring him to the mat with the Union Jack neckbreaker, but Conway escaped. He slid behind Regal, grabbed him in a waistlock, and gave him a German Suplex. Conway held on with a bridge and scored the pin at 9:07.

Crowd: 70.2%

Match: 68.8%

Overall: 76.0%

Jerry Lawler: That’s another title match to add to the card for Sunday!

Jim Ross: And you can bet it’ll be a barnburner.

System Failure

Simon Dean enters the arena as his music blares over the loudspeakers. The ring has been outfitted with a table containing Dean’s product line.

Jim Ross: Well, this shouldn’t be too irritating.

Jerry Lawler: Lighten up, J.R.! And I mean that literally!

Simon Dean: Hello, Long Island! My name is Simon Dean, and even though I’m a full-time, active member of the Raw roster, Eric Bischoff has been generous enough to allow me to advertise my already best-selling weight loss product, The Simon System. Now, I want all of you to listen very carefully. I’ve been all over the country promoting this product- from Texas to Maine, from California to Florida- but I don’t think I’ve seen any area with a fat ratio like Long Island! You people need to forget about Jillian’s Bar and start thinking about Drexel’s Health Food Auditorium!

The crowd boos vociferously.

Simon Dean: Now, now, I care, so hear me out. I’m not out here to hurt, I’m here to help. That’s why I’ve got something I need to say. Rosey, if you’re back there, come on out.

Jerry Lawler: He actually wants Rosey in the ring?

Jim Ross: Not necessarily the wisest call, but Simon Dean hasn’t really shown himself to be wise since coming to Raw.

Rosey makes his way to the ring somberly, his usually upbeat demeanor completely absent.

Simon Dean: Rosey, right this way. I know you’re probably not too keen on coming down here to speak to me, but please, hear me out. The way I’ve treated you these past few weeks has been wrong, and I apologize. It’s one thing for me to show the truth to these fat, disgusting, lazy fans, but you are an athlete. You carry on in the proud tradition of champions like Dusty Rhodes, Rosey. People of all shapes and sizes, and all that. I’m so very sorry.

Simon Dean extends his hand, but Rosey doesn’t shake it. Instead, he grabs Dean’s microphone.

Rosey: I don’t know what sort of an apology that’s suppose to be, and I don’t care. It doesn’t fly with me, Dean. Watch what you say to me, and you better damn sure watch what you say to these people!

The fans cheer and Rosey turns towards them. With lightning-quick speed, Dean snatches a jar off of the table and shatters it across the back of Rosey’s head. As soon as Rosey hits the mat, Simon Dean begins stomping away on him.

Jim Ross: I don’t believe this! He’s insane!

The Hurricane runs to the ring to save his ally. As he enters, Simon Dean runs out of the ring. Dean grabs a ringside microphone.

Simon Dean: Hey, Hurricane, looks like for the first time ever, your fat friend bit off more than he could chew!

The Hurricane glares at Simon Dean as Dean heads to the back.

Overall: 68.5%

Jerry Lawler: That was brutal!

Jim Ross: You ain’t kidding, King! And speaking of brutal, remember that match Trish and Lita had four weeks ago?

Jerry Lawler: Remember? How could I forget, J.R.? Lita nearly killed herself to win the Women’s Title! And worse, she almost hurt poor Trish!

Jim Ross: Well, “poor Trish” will get her rematch on Sunday. Tonight, however, they’ll meet in a tag match, with Victoria and Molly as their partners.

Lita and Victoria versus Trish Stratus and Molly Holly

Lita and Trish got nose to nose to start things out. Trish gave Lita a shove, which let to a tackle from the Women’s Champion. They brawled on the mat, with Lita getting the upper hand. She got a two count off of a DDT, but when she went for the Moonsault, Trish pulled her off the top turnbuckle. Trish went for a clothesline, but Lita ducked, allowing her to get the tag to Victoria. Victoria laid into Trish with a dropkick, a flying forearm, and other standard babyface offense, but Trish hit a Chick Kick out of desperation, then tagged Molly. The heels wore down Victoria with constant offense and frequent tags, but after dodging a crossbody from Trish, she was able to make the hot tag to Lita. Lita nailed Trish with a standing hurricanrana, then backdropped Molly out of the ring. When Trish got to her feet, Lita grabbed her by the head and delivered the Twist of Fate. The pinfall followed at 7:42.

Crowd: 62.9%

Match: 48.6%

Overall: 56.7%

Jim Ross: Big psychological advantage for Lita going into the title match on Sunday, that’s for sure! And on the topic of New Year’s Revolution, I received a bulletin during the match: Simon Dean and The Hurricane will do battle at the Pay-Per-View.

Jerry Lawler: Two matches built up on anger and violence… I love it, J.R.!

Jim Ross: There’s fuel in those fires, no doubt about it. Not to spoil the moment, King, but it looks like it’s almost time for our debate.

Edge’s Destiny, Benoit’s Focus

Jim Ross is cut off by Edge, who makes his way to ring amidst the usual fanfare.

Edge: Six days. I only have to wait six more days until I get to be the World Heavyweight Champion. Every time it’s been stolen from me, every time it’s been dangled in front of me and ripped away, every damn time it’s been so close… it doesn’t matter. Because in six days, I reach the mountaintop, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. You see, this time, I don’t have to live and die by your vote. And to the boys in the back, I don’t have to depend on any of you. The only person I need to worry about is the same person who won the Intercontinental Title all those times, the same person who’s responsible for Kurt Angle’s bald head, and the same person who got through a year of rehabbing a broken neck. This Sunday, this only person I need to depend on is Edge. I’ve been in hell these past few months, all this crap with Michaels, Orton, Benoit, but it ends this Sunday. At New Year’s Revolution, I finally get some salvation. When I get my hands on that title, I can finally say that everything will be alright.

The fans erupt as Chris Benoit’s music begins to play. Benoit enters the ring with a microphone of his own in tow.

Chris Benoit: You say you’ve been in hell these past few months, Edge? Well, I’ll punch your ticket right back there! Since Taboo Tuesday, you’ve been bitching and moaning about the World Heavyweight Championship. And as annoying as it’s been, after all the grief you’ve caused me, I like hearing you scream! And for what it’s worth, I don’t expect it to end anytime soon!

Edge: Is that right, Chris? And you think you’re gonna be the one to do something about it?

Chris Benoit: You’re damn right I am!

Edge: Well, if that helps you sleep better until Sunday, good for you. Just keep thinking that you’ll make me tap out. Hey, maybe you’ll make all five of us tap out at the same time, Benoit. Think that all you want… but you can’t wear it around your waist!

Chris Benoit: Save it, Edge. But from a former tag team partner to another, here’s a piece of free advice. (Benoit pokes Edge’s chest as he delivers each word) Watch- out- for- me!

Edge rears back and throws a right hand, but Benoit blocks it. He grabs Edge by the hair and tosses him over the ropes. The crowd cheers as a stunned Edge gets to his feet.

Overall: 77.8%

Jerry Lawler: Benoit ain’t backing down, J.R.! He and Edge will get his hands on each other on Sunday, but right about now, I think it’s time for our debate.

Talk the Talk

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler head down to the ring, followed by Muhammad Hassan and Khosrow Daivari. Finally, Jonathan Coachman, the moderator for the debate, comes to the ring.

Jonathan Coachman: Thank you for being here tonight. Mr. Hassan, we’ll start with you. What is your main complaint in regards to the way things are done in World Wrestling Entertainment?

Muhammad Hassan: World Wrestling Entertainment, as a corporation, behaves the same way as the United States of America, and Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are proof of that. With all the prejudice that Khosrow and myself face on a daily basis, we could hope to find sanctuary in our place of employment. But things don’t work that way, do they? All of the hatred and racism we find in our private lives is here in WWE. Every time J.R. and The King talk about America and patriotism, all they’re doing is paying homage to a racist establishment!

Khosrow Daivari translates Hassan’s speech into Persian.

Jonathan Coachman: Mr. Lawler, a response?

Jerry Lawler: Just one? Hassan, you’ve gotta be kidding me. No, America’s not perfect. But if you’re gonna characterize our entire country as racist, if you’re gonna come down on each and every man and woman in this great land, then you’re talking out your rear end. I won’t deny that in today’s world, being an Arab-American must be tough. But to say what you said about the troops-

Muhammad Hassan: Tough? Who the hell do you think you are, Lawler? Do you know the first thing about going to an airport and being the center of attention? About feeling the stares of little children? About having people wave flags at you like weapons? Don’t you dare patronize me, Lawler!

Jim Ross: Now hold on a damn second, Hassan. Nobody’s trying to take anything away from you, and nobody’s trying to say you don’t have it hard. But don’t blame America for a few jerks’ actions.

Muhammad Hassan: Why shouldn’t I? This country perpetrates wars which do nothing but make things even harder for my people. America is filled with people who support this barbarism! Troops massacre Arabs while America turns a blind eye!

Jerry Lawler: Now hold it right there! Talk about me, talk about J.R., talk about the country, talk about your neighbors, talk till you’re blue in the face, but watch your mouth when you talk about the troops!

Muhammad Hassan: Why? They’re brave when they don’t have the guts to stand up to an unjust war? Maybe Arab lives just don’t mean anything to them, or any other Americans!

Jerry Lawler: That’s it! I’m sick and tired of this crap, Hassan! I’ll shut that fat trap myself! Put up!

Muhammad Hassan: No. Khosrow and I didn’t come here to fight. We came here for a debate. When the time is right to wrestle, we will. Until then, goodbye.

Hassan and Daivari exit the ring, leaving J.R. puzzled and Jerry Lawler riled up.

Overall: 60.8%

Jerry Lawler: You believe some of the stuff he was saying, J.R.?

Jim Ross: Don’t get me started, King. I get where Hassan is coming from, experiencing racism and all, but when he got started on the troops, I was ready to shut him up myself!

Jerry Lawler: Easy, J.R., don’t get in over your head. I wouldn’t wanna have to bail you out again.

Christian versus Tajiri

Christian opened up with furious offense, ramming his knee into Tajiri’s gut, then slamming his head on the mat. He followed up with an elbow drop, then a knee drop. Christian continued the offense, finally climbing to the second rope and driving an elbow into the chest of Tajiri for two. Christian lifted the Japanese Buzzsaw to his feet, but Tajiri caught him with a powerful kick, turning the tide of the match. He nailed a few kicks to Christian’s spine, then shortly thereafter hit him with the handspring back elbow. Tajiri threw a dropkick, but Christian sidestepped it and Tajiri hit the ground. Christian quickly pounced on him, lifted him to his feet, and delivered the Unprettier, scoring the pin at 5:58.

Crowd: 77.5%

Match: 74.8%

Overall: 80.1%

Jim Ross: A big win by one of Raw’s premier talents! I’m being told that Marc Loyd is backstage with Chris Jericho, so let’s see what he has to say.

The Sixth Man

Marc Loyd is standing backstage with Chris Jericho.

Marc Loyd: Chris Jericho, this Sunday you’ll be one of six men to vie for the World Heavyweight Championship in the Elimination Chamber. Any particular thoughts going into the match?

Chris Jericho: It’s been funny, Junior. Ever since this match was announced, I’ve heard plenty of talk. People have been saying that Triple H is on the warpath, ready to get his belt back. People have been saying that Batista’s ready to make his mark. People have been saying that Edge and Benoit aren’t going to be happy until they’ve got the title between them. People have been saying that Randy Orton will get what he deserves. But the funny thing is that I don’t think I’ve heard anyone talk about Chris Jericho. Maybe I’ve slipped under the radar. Maybe people just don’t think I’ve got another title reign in me. But that’s okay with me. I’ve surprised people before. And if my opponents are taking me lightly… then the big surprise will be all theirs.

Overall: 89.5%

Jerry Lawler: Wow, a different side to Y2J!

Jim Ross: He’s all business, and with a match the caliber of the Elimination Chamber, you can’t blame him!

Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Randy Orton versus Triple H, Batista, and Edge

Edge and Benoit started the match, brawling with fury inspired by their earlier encounter. Edge seemed to be gaining the upper hand when he backed Benoit into a corner, but the Rabid Wolverine fought out and hit a hard snap suplex. The two battled on until Benoit tried to lock in the Crippler Crossface, at which point Edge tagged Batista. Evolution’s largest member beat on Benoit, scoring a two after a Samoan Drop. Benoit tagged out to Jericho, who used his speedy offense to take Batista off of his feet. However, Batista put his knees up to block a Lionsault, and from there he reclaimed the advantage. Benoit and Jericho traded tags to wear down the big man, finally forcing him to tag Triple H. Benoit brought Randy Orton in, who clotheslined The Game, hiptossed Batista, and dropkicked an entering Edge. Orton attempted to hit the RKO on Triple H, but he was shoved off into the ropes. Triple H caught him from behind in a sleeperhold, but he was unable to put Orton away. Orton fought out and hit a flying forearm, then nailed the RKO. However, Batista broke the ensuing pinfall attempt, dragged Triple H to the corner, got on the apron, and tagged himself in. He powerslammed Orton, then continued to wear him down with stomps and punches. When HHH regained his bearings, the three heels were able to tag off frequently, making short work of Orton. This continued until Orton hit a neckbreaker on Edge, then managed to make a hot tag to Y2J. Jericho ran in, took out Batista and Triple H with enziguri kicks, then hit Edge with a Lionsault for the pin at 17:02.

Crowd: 85.4%

Match: 74.0%

Overall: 85.5%

Jerry Lawler: Jericho gets the win for his team! He wasn’t kidding!

Jim Ross: If they didn’t take him seriously before, the other five men in the Chamber have got to be watching Jericho like hawks! Tune in this Sunday, fans, for a new World Heavyweight Champion!

Show Rating: 74.6%

Edited by Scott Boulder Fried
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Wow. I read part of your WCW 1995 diary, but never really got back to it. I'm definately coming back after this show. I do have to agree, however. I don't think you have all the characters nailed down, but it should come in time.

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WWE Smackdown!

January 6, 2005

Michael Cole: Welcome to a new year, and a new episode of WWE Smackdown! I’m Michael Cole, this is Tazz, and what a show we have tonight!

Tazz: No doubt, Cole! The Deadman himself, The Undertaker is in action!

Michael Cole: Not only that, but we’ll see the start of an eight-man tournament for a very important prize: the thirtieth spot in the Royal Rumble match!

Tazz: Who wouldn’t want to win that?

Michael Cole: Absolutely, Tazz! We’ve got plenty of other great action, as well, so let’s go to the ring!

Spike Dudley versus Paul London

Paul London took an early lead, beating Spike hold for hold on the mat and rolling him up into several near-fall predicaments. Spike tried to hit the Battering Ram, but London leapfrogged him and nailed the Dropsault for two. When both men got to their feet, London attempted a quebrada, but Spike dodged it. He went to work on Paul London’s neck, driving several elbows into it and applying a camel clutch. London was able to hold on, but damaged had been done. Spike continued the offense until London slid out of a vertical suplex. Paul London immediately gave Spike a release German Suplex, then climbed to the top rope. However, Billy Kidman came out from the crowd, and while referee Brian Hebner was focused on Spike, Kidman shoved London to the arena floor, then rolled him back in the ring. None the wiser, Spike got to his feet, climbed to the top turnbuckle, hit the double foot stomp, and scored the pin at 9:53.

Crowd: 59.6%

Match: 69.6%

Overall: 62.3%

Michael Cole: Billy Kidman still wants a piece of Paul London?

Tazz: I don’t blame him! London’s been getting all this attention, but Kidman beat him, remember?

Michael Cole: I remember, but… I thought their issues were settled!

New Year’s Predictions

WWE Champion John Bradshaw Layfield, sans the members of his Cabinet, makes his way to the ring with a microphone.

JBL: Thank you, thank you. Please hold all applause until the end. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, marks the beginning of a new year. Now, 2004 was a year of great success- both personal and professional- for your WWE Champion. Not only did I win the title, but the list of superstars I’ve beaten is nothing short of astounding. Eddie Guerrero, Booker T, The Undertaker… (he smirks) Shannon Moore… none of them could take this title from me. But don’t get down, folks. Because I, JBL, promise that the year 2005 will outshine 2004 in every way possible! The economy will rise, crime will fall, the sun will shine a little brighter, and all because John Bradshaw Layfield will be defending the WWE Championship against all comers! And what better way to start than by beating Kurt Angle and The Big Show at the Royal Rumble? Here’s a tip, folks: buy stock in JBL!

Kurt Angle’s music begins to play. Angle, also by himself, makes his way to the ring.

Tazz: I think Angle may have somethin’ to say about JBL’s stock!

Kurt Angle: JBL… I’ll be perfectly honest. I’ve got a lot of respect for you. Don’t forget who was GM when you got your big break.

JBL seems a little annoyed, but he smiles and nods.

Kurt Angle: 2004 was a great for you, John, there’s no denying that. But I’m wondering how 2005 can beat it when you lose the WWE Title four weeks in!

JBL: Kurt- Kurt, Kurt, Kurt, Kurt, Kurt… you talk a good game, and I can appreciate that. But my track record doesn’t lie. I’ve been a freight train since winning this belt. Anyone and everyone in my way has been turned away and humiliated. My Cabinet gets stronger every day, Kurt. What makes you think that you’ll be any different?

Kurt Angle: (brandishes gold medals) These make me think I’ll be different.

JBL: That’s cute, but we’re talking about the sport of kings, Kurt. Not ballet.

JBL puts his hand on Kurt Angle’s shoulder. Infuriated, Angle shoves him. JBL shoves back, and Angle pounces. The two rumble around on the mat until a host of referees and road agents come out to separate them.

Michael Cole: Angle is explosive! But with what John Bradshaw Layfield said, how could he not be?

Tazz: JBL makes a habit of pickin’ his spots real well, but even I gotta say, maybe he shouldn’t be prodding Kurt Angle like that!

Overall: 70.8%

Michael Cole: I guess Angle and JBL may not be as friendly as we thought! Up next, fans, we’ve got Eddie Guerrero versus Kenzo Suzuki in a Royal Rumble tournament match. Let’s go to Josh Mathews, who’s standing backstage with Guerrero.

Ready to Rumble

Josh Mathews is standing backstage with Eddie Guerrero.

Josh Mathews: Eddie Guerrero, in a few minutes you will face Kenzo Suzuki in an opening round matchup in the tournament for the number 30 spot at the Royal Rumble. I don’t need to tell you how important that spot can be, so what are your thoughts?

Eddie Guerrero: My thoughts, ese? My thoughts are the same as they’ve been since June! The WWE Championship was stolen from me, holmes, and there’s only one way to get it back- go into the Royal Rumble and beat twenty-nine other vatos to go to WrestleMania! And if the number 30 slot is up for grabs, then orale, I’ll be taking it!

Josh Mathews: And Kenzo Suzuki?

Eddie Guerrero: Simon, ese, Kenzo Suzuki! He’s in my way, and that ain’t a good place to be! But Kenzo, don’t worry, vato loco. I’ll fight fair, and may the best man win. Would I lie, holmes?

Overall: 85.2%

Tazz: Eddie’s cocky, no two ways about it! But maybe he’s got a right to be!

Michael Cole: Eddie’s too smart to look past Kenzo, though. This’ll be a great match!

Eddie Guerrero versus Kenzo Suzuki

Eddie Guerrero mixed caution and confidence in the early goings of this match, keeping a distance from Kenzo while scoring quick, sporadic offense. After a few armdrags, Kenzo got frustrated and charged Eddie, who took him to the mat with a drop toe hold. Eddie applied a front facelock, but Kenzo used his strength advantage to lift Eddie up and place him on the top turnbuckle. Kenzo tossed him off, and from there, slowed down the pace of the match to suit his own style. He took it to Eddie with power-based offense, then increased the damage with a double trapezius nerve hold. Eddie managed to escape as the fans cheered, but Kenzo followed up with a bodyslam. As Kenzo lifted Eddie Guerrero up, Eddie grabbed referee Charles Robinson, pulled him close, and gave Kenzo a low kick. Robinson, having been unable to see the move, extricated himself and continued officiating. Eddie pulled Kenzo up and gave him the Three Amigo suplexes, then went up top and nailed the Frog Splash. The pinfall followed at 11:18.

Crowd: 78.3%

Match: 73.6%

Overall: 88.0%

Michael Cole: Eddie advances, and that number 30 slot may be within his grasp!

A Plan Materializes

Heidenreich and Paul Heyman are backstage in their locker room.

Paul Heyman: Heidenreich, tonight, The Undertaker has a big match against Rene Dupree!

Heidenreich: YES!

Paul Heyman: We have to-

Heidenreich: YES! TEAR HIM APART! MAKE HIM BLEED!

Paul Heyman: No! No, that’s not what I want you to do. The Undertaker is the master of mind games! I’ve got a plan!

Heidenreich: HE WILL BE DESTROYED!

Paul Heyman: He will be, he will be, but at the Royal Rumble! Just listen to what I’ve got in store for tonight!

The camera cuts away as Heyman begins to explain his plan.

Overall: 66.7%

Michael Cole: That man scares me, Tazz.

Tazz: No kidding, I still remember when you two got friendly! Hey, Cole, what’s the only thing worse than a crazy monster?

Michael Cole: What?

Tazz: A crazy monster with an evil genius on his side!

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio © versus Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak

Luther Reigns opened up this match with his vicious offense, but Rob Van Dam was able to keep him at bay with a series of kicks. A big boot from Reigns changed all that, and Kurt Angle’s proteges traded tags and beat on RVD for several minutes. He finally managed to tag Mysterio, who took Jindrak down with a springboard dropkick for two. Mysterio followed up with a bulldog, then nailed the 619. He attempted the West Coast Pop, but Reigns entered the ring, caught Mysterio, and Powerbombed him. Jindrak, still the legal man, scored a near fall off a dropkick, then tagged Luther Reigns. Reigns lifted Mysterio for a Chokeslam, but Rey slid out and tagged Rob Van Dam. Van Dam took Reigns down with a top rope kick, then caught Jindrak with a spinning heel kick. He leapt to the top turnbuckle and came off with the Five Star Frog Splash, but Reigns managed to roll out of the way. Both sides made tags, and all four men fought in the ring. Rey knocked Jindrak to the outside with a dropkick, but Jindrak grabbed a steel chair, re-entered, and clobbered Mysterio with it, drawing the disqualification at 14:02. Jindrak then laid RVD out with the same chair.

Crowd: 76.3%

Match: 68.6%

Overall: 82.3%

Michael Cole: Mysterio and RVD pick up the win, but I’ll bet this thing isn’t over!

Tazz: No way, Cole! Reigns and Jindrak know how to pick their spots, thanks to Kurt Angle. Better to live to fight another day!

Surprise, Surprise

The fans erupt as John Cena’s music hits. With a microphone and his customized U.S. Title belt in tow, Cena makes his way to the ring.

John Cena: Yo, yo, cut the music!

The champ is here, let the chain gang rejoice!

Throw up your hands, let me hear your voice!

We got all night to party, but let’s get real.

Call me Monty Hall, ‘cause I’m ‘bout to make a deal.

I beat Jesus and that punk Carlito Cool.

Dropped ‘em with the F-U, sent them both to school.

But I ain’t done yet, I’m still lookin’ for a fight.

And I’ll be standin’ right here, even if it takes all night.

So anyone in that locker room, feel free to take a chance.

You, me, the title… let’s have ourselves a dance.

Michael Cole: Sounds like John Cena’s laying down an open challenge!

Tazz: Thanks for the info, Cole! I think we figured that out! Props to Cena for his guts, but is this the best idea?

Fireworks come down from the ceiling and the music of The Dudley Boyz blares out over the sound system. Bubba Ray and D-Von head out to the ring for the first time in several weeks.

John Cena: Two for one? That sounds like fun. Which one of you boys wants to get things done?

D-Von Dudley: We though… we both would!

D-Von charges John Cena, sending him to the corner. Cena holds his own, but when Bubba interferes, The Dudleyz gain the upper hand.

Michael Cole: This is ridiculous! The Dudley Boyz totally took advantage of John Cena’s bravery! He made an open challenge to any member of the roster- member, singular!

Tazz: Cole, it ain’t right, but it’s smart!

The Dudleyz continue to beat down on Cena, who is now bleeding from his forehead. D-Von lifts Cena to his feet and whips him to the ropes. When he bounces back, D-Von and Bubba catch him with the Dudley Death Drop.

Michael Cole: A 3D! Insult to injury with the 3D!

Tazz: Insult to injury? More like injury to injury! Let’s get some help out here for Cena!

Overall: 79.0%

Michael Cole: Just… unbelievable. I hope Cena can get some help.

Tazz: He set himself up for it, Cole! Just keep the show rolling!

Michael Cole: Fine. Up next, we’ve got another Royal Rumble tournament match: Booker T versus Orlando Jordan.

Booker T versus Orlando Jordan

Booker and Jordan stared each other down to start. Jordan slapped Booker in the face, which led to an explosion of fists, chops, and forearms from the five-time WCW Champion. Booker attempted a jumping sidekick, but Jordan ducked it and hit a dropkick, sending Booker to the ropes. Jordan then nailed his punch sequence, which yielded a two count. Booker regained his bearings and brawled with Jordan for several minutes, with neither man gaining a true advantage. Finally, Booker put things in his favor with a Spinebuster, then managed to deliver the Scissor Kick to Orlando Jordan. With the fans behind him, Booker went up to the top rope and jumped off, hitting the Harlem Hangover. This led to the pinfall at 8:45.

Crowd: 72.4%

Match: 61.0%

Overall: 69.0%

Tazz: Booker advances!

Michael Cole: Next week, Booker and Eddie’s opponents will be determined, as this tournament continues!

Big Talk

Josh Mathews is standing backstage with The Big Show.

Josh Mathews: Big Show, we’ve learned that John Bradshaw Layfield has requested to see you, one on one, in the ring following tonight’s main event. Do you intend to honor his request?

The Big Show: No need for fancy terms, Josh- I’ll be there, and I’ll be damn glad to get face to face with JBL. I don’t trust him for one second- maybe Orlando Jordan will be out there, maybe the Bashams will be out there- but that’s fine with me. The more of his stooges I get to tear apart, the better. JBL and Kurt Angle can keep running their mouths and playing their little games- hell, they can fight if they want to. Whatever keeps them occupied. Because come January 30th, the Royal Rumble, the WWE Champion is going back on the waist of the world’s largest athlete.

Overall: 66.0%

Tazz: I don’t care who you are, or who you got on your side. You don’t want The Big Show mad at you!

Michael Cole: No question about that, if I’m JBL or Kurt Angle, The Big Show is my main focus!

The Undertaker versus Rene Dupree

The Undertaker dominated Rene Dupree from the opening bell. While the French Phenom tried to lay into the Deadman with fists, The Undertaker shrugged off the blows and delivered several of his own. As this went on, Heidenreich came out onto the stage and stood, watching the match. Undertaker connected with the “Old School” ropewalk and the flipping clothesline, but out of nowhere, Dupree managed to hit the Michinoku Driver. He performed the French Tickler as the crowd booed, then covered The Undertaker, who kicked out with authority. The Undertaker soon hit the Chokeslam, then followed up with the Tombstone for the win at 7:42. After the match, Heidenreich entered the ring and got nose to nose with The Undertaker. However, rather than starting a fight, he simply smiled and left.

Crowd: 84.0%

Match: 70.2%

Overall: 83.9%

Michael Cole: Heidenreich… doesn’t attack The Undertaker!

Tazz: He got in Taker’s face, but didn’t do anything!

The Show Must Go On

John Bradshaw Layfield makes his way out to the ring first, greeted by a cavalcade of jeers.

JBL: Yes, yes, thank you, but I have business to attend to. Big Show, I don’t want to fight, I want to talk. So if you think you’re capable of that, then come on down to my ring.

The Big Show complies, entering the arena and stepping into the ring with the WWE Champion.

The Big Show: What exactly is it that you want, Bradshaw, besides to piss me off good?

JBL: I’ve just got a little surprise for you, that’s all.

Orlando Jordan, still woozy from his match with Booker T, rushes into the ring from the crowd and attacks The Big Show from behind. Show is staggered, but remains on his feet. He turns around and grabs a terrified Jordan. Just then The Basham Brothers run out from under the ring and attack Show from either side. Show tries to hold his own, but the numbers are too much for him.

Michael Cole: I don’t believe this! What a set-up!

Tazz: Hey, Show thought he could handle the entire Cabinet, so he put his money where his mouth was! Turns out he was wrong!

Michael Cole: And look at Bradshaw, laughing from the side! Some champion!

At that point, Kurt Angle sprints out to the ring. As he slides in, The Bashams and Orlando Jordan back off and jump out of the ring. JBL puts his hands up in a conciliatory gesture and steps to the arena floor.

Michael Cole: Thank goodness Kurt Angle came out to stop this massacre!

Angle helps Big Show to his feet, then runs back to the ropes and takes Big Show down with a chop block. Angle applies the Ankle Lock to The Big Show as JBL and his Cabinet watch on amusedly.

Michael Cole: No! Angle wanted to lay into The Big Show as well! This isn’t right!

Tazz: Right or wrong, Cole, JBL and Kurt Angle may have figured out how to eliminate an angry giant: teamwork!

Michael Cole: If that’s the case, then it doesn’t look good for The Big Show at the Royal Rumble at all!

Overall: 65.5%

Show Rating: 74.4

Edited by Scott Boulder Fried
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January 7, 2005

Whew, what a week.

I sat in my office at Titan Towers, looking at the four walls, listening to my assistant, Sophie, make phone calls and clatter on the keyboard. I still felt as if I were in over my head.

The first two shows had gone well. Well, I had enjoyed them. Needless to say, I couldn’t change everything that needed changing immediately. A gradual metamorphosis would be required.

And yet, I was still a little apprehensive about the whole thing. Sitting behind my desk, I wasn’t sure about how the talent or fans were reacting to the product. I couldn’t really be sure about anything from here.

I pushed the button on my intercom. “Sophie?”

“Yes, Scott?” came the voice from the other end.

“I’d like to attend the TV broadcasts and tapings from here on out.”

“Alright,” she said, a little taken aback. “I’ll book your flights.”

“Thanks,” I told her. I released the button. The most difficult part of my job would be starting next week.

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WWE Velocity

January 8, 2005

Josh Mathews: Hello, and welcome to WWE Velocity! I’m Josh Mathews, he’s Steve Romero, and this is one hour of intense wrestling action!

Steve Romero: Absolutely, Josh- The Bashams versus Holly and Haas- big time action!

Josh Mathews: Plus, we’ll be looking at the developments regarding JBL, Kurt Angle, and The Big Show from Smackdown this week. But first up, we’ve got Chavo Guerrero versus Akio!

Chavo Guerrero versus Akio

Chavo was met with a huge chorus of cheers, one which persisted throughout the match. Akio matched Chavo move for move, though, even showing a quickness advantage at points. Chavo stepped out in front with a big backdrop, then started pounding away on Akio in the corner. Akio tried to recapture the advantage with a crossbody, but Chavo ducked it. Shortly thereafter, he was able to hit the Gory Bomb, scoring the pin at 6:28.

Crowd: 68.8%

Match: 75.4%

Overall: 80.5%

Josh Mathews: A big win by Chavo, and listen to these fans, Steve! This is unreal, they love Chavito!

Steve Romero: He’s got the Guerrero charisma for sure, Josh! And speaking of charisma, how about Smackdown, when Kurt Angle and JBL got face to face?

Josh Mathews: That one was off the charts!

WWE Champion John Bradshaw Layfield, sans the members of his Cabinet, makes his way to the ring with a microphone.

JBL: Thank you, thank you.  Please hold all applause until the end.  Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, marks the beginning of a new year.  Now, 2004 was a year of great success- both personal and professional- for your WWE Champion.  Not only did I win the title, but the list of superstars I’ve beaten is nothing short of astounding.  Eddie Guerrero, Booker T, The Undertaker… (he smirks) Shannon Moore… none of them could take this title from me.  But don’t get down, folks.  Because I, JBL, promise that the year 2005 will outshine 2004 in every way possible!  The economy will rise, crime will fall, the sun will shine a little brighter, and all because John Bradshaw Layfield will be defending the WWE Championship against all comers!  And what better way to start than by beating Kurt Angle and The Big Show at the Royal Rumble?  Here’s a tip, folks: buy stock in JBL!

Kurt Angle’s music begins to play.  Angle, also by himself, makes his way to the ring.

Tazz: I think Angle may have somethin’ to say about JBL’s stock!

Kurt Angle: JBL… I’ll be perfectly honest.  I’ve got a lot of respect for you.  Don’t forget who was GM when you got your big break.

JBL seems a little annoyed, but he smiles and nods.

Kurt Angle: 2004 was a great for you, John, there’s no denying that.  But I’m wondering how 2005 can beat it when you lose the WWE Title four weeks in!

JBL: Kurt- Kurt, Kurt, Kurt, Kurt, Kurt… you talk a good game, and I can appreciate that.  But my track record doesn’t lie.  I’ve been a freight train since winning this belt.  Anyone and everyone in my way has been turned away and humiliated.  My Cabinet gets stronger every day, Kurt.  What makes you think that you’ll be any different?

Kurt Angle: (brandishes gold medals) These make me think I’ll be different.

JBL: That’s cute, but we’re talking about the sport of kings, Kurt.  Not ballet.

JBL puts his hand on Kurt Angle’s shoulder.  Infuriated, Angle shoves him.  JBL shoves back, and Angle pounces.  The two rumble around on the mat until a host of referees and road agents come out to separate them.

Michael Cole: Angle is explosive!  But with what John Bradshaw Layfield said, how could he not be?

Tazz: JBL makes a habit of pickin’ his spots real well, but even I gotta say, maybe he shouldn’t be prodding Kurt Angle like that!

Josh Mathews: But it didn’t end there, folks. Later on, we’ll see that Angle had more on his mind than he was letting on!

Steve Romero: As always, Josh! The Olympic Gold Medalist can be very conniving!

Nunzio versus Shannon Moore

Nunzio took Moore to the mat and got the better of him to begin, but Moore held his own with a bulldog and a running knee. Nunzio tried to keep the pace of the match slow, but Shannon Moore seemed to have the upper hand, nailing a second rope dropkick for a two count. Moore continued to retain the advantage until Nunzio sidestepped a Mooregasm. He immediately pulled Moore up by the arm and nailed the Arrivederci, leading to the three count at 7:41. Post match, Moore extended his hand and Nunzio shook it.

Crowd: 62.1%

Match: 72.2%

Overall: 65.5%

Steve Romero: An important win by Nunzio- you can bet he’ll be looking towards Cruiserweight Champion Funaki soon enough!

Josh Mathews: I’ll bet. Fans, as we showed you earlier, JBL and Kurt Angle had an altercation on Smackdown. Later that night, The Big Show became involved in the business between the two.

John Bradshaw Layfield makes his way out to the ring first, greeted by a cavalcade of jeers.

JBL: Yes, yes, thank you, but I have business to attend to.  Big Show, I don’t want to fight, I want to talk.  So if you think you’re capable of that, then come on down to my ring.

The Big Show complies, entering the arena and stepping into the ring with the WWE Champion.

The Big Show: What exactly is it that you want, Bradshaw, besides to piss me off good?

JBL: I’ve just got a little surprise for you, that’s all.

Orlando Jordan, still woozy from his match with Booker T, rushes into the ring from the crowd and attacks The Big Show from behind.  Show is staggered, but remains on his feet.  He turns around and grabs a terrified Jordan.  Just then The Basham Brothers run out from under the ring and attack Show from either side.  Show tries to hold his own, but the numbers are two much for him.

Michael Cole: I don’t believe this!  What a set-up!

Tazz: Hey, Show thought he could handle the entire Cabinet, so he put his money where his mouth was!  Turns out he was wrong!

Michael Cole: And look at Bradshaw, laughing from the side!  Some champion!

At that point, Kurt Angle sprints out to the ring.  As he slides in, The Bashams and Orlando Jordan back off and jump out of the ring.  JBL puts his hands up in a conciliatory gesture and steps to the arena floor.

Michael Cole: Thank goodness Kurt Angle came out to stop this massacre!

Angle helps Big Show to his feet, then runs back to the ropes and takes Big Show down with a chop block.  Angle applies the Ankle Lock to The Big Show as JBL and his Cabinet watch on amusedly.

Michael Cole: No!  Angle wanted to lay into The Big Show as well!  This isn’t right!

Tazz: Right or wrong, Cole, JBL and Kurt Angle may have figured out how to eliminate an angry giant: teamwork!

Michael Cole: If that’s the case, then it doesn’t look good for The Big Show at the Royal Rumble at all!

Josh Mathews: By working together, JBL and Kurt Angle could neutralize The Big Show… or they could just make him very, very angry!

Steve Romero: They’re playing a dangerous game, Josh!

The Basham Brothers versus Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas

Hardcore Holly opened the match with his usual offense on Danny Basham, lacing into him with chops and kicks. Danny tried to come back with a snapmare and a neck vise, but Holly escaped and hit his dropkick for two. Danny tagged Doug, who hit a DDT and took control of Holly. The Bashams tagged back and forth, keeping Hardcore Holly close to their corner while working on his neck. Holly finally broke loose and made the hot tag to Charlie Haas, who gave the legal man, Doug, a dropkick, and decimated Danny with an Exploder Suplex. Doug fired back with a double eyepoke, causing Holly to make the blind tag. Holly charged in, but Doug backdropped him. When Holly got to his feet, Doug Basham caught him with a Leg Lariat. Basham made the cover and scored the pin at 11:35.

Crowd: 61.2%

Match: 65.4%

Overall: 64.0%

Josh Mathews: What a match, and what a victory! It looks like the Bashams are back in a big way!

Steve Romero: And with JBL behind them, the sky’s the limit!

Show Rating: 68.2%

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WWE Sunday Night Heat

January 9, 2005

Todd Grisham: Hi, everybody! Welcome to WWE Sunday Night Heat! I’m Todd Grisham, beside the lovely Ivory, and we are 60 minutes away from New Year’s Revolution!

Ivory: That’s right, Todd, and I can’t wait! We’re gonna see a new World Heavyweight Champion tonight, guaranteed!

Todd Grisham: A new champion in the Elimination Chamber! We’ve got a whole bunch of great matches lined up for tonight, including one for the Intercontinental Title. Let’s see how things with that match developed on Raw.

Maven cuts off Shelton Benjamin’s celebration, coming onto the stage with a microphone.

Maven: Congratulations, Champ!  Hope that win didn’t take too much out of you!  Especially since I’ve got a little surprise for ya!

Jim Ross: Surprise?

Jerry Lawler: He’s got Shelton’s attention!

Maven: Remember when I pinned you a couple weeks back, Shelton?  If you don’t, let me remind you.  I rolled you up right in the center of that ring for the one, two, three.  But let me take this where this is going.  I just came from General Manager Bischoff’s office, and I pled my case.  So on January 9, at New Year’s Revolution, you’re gonna be defending the Intercontinental Title against… me!

Benjamin is a little startled, but keeps calm.

Maven: Now settle down, Shelton.  I know this isn’t your idea of a perfect situation, but you still got six days to prepare.  So if I were you, I’d spend a lot of quality time with that belt while you still can!

Todd Grisham: And we’ll see what happens with that later tonight.

Ivory: Maven wants it, Todd! I don’t know if he’ll be denied.

Todd Grisham: We shall see. Also tonight, Simon Dean will take on The Hurricane. Earlier, The Coach caught up with Hurricane to see what was on his mind.

Hurricane’s Fury

Jonathan Coachman is standing backstage with The Hurricane.

Jonathan Coachman: Since debuting, Simon Dean has seen fit to ridicule and abuse your sidekick, Rosey, at every opportunity- even going so far as to attack Rosey. Tonight, you’ll get Dean one on one. What are your thoughts?

The Hurricane: First of all, Citizen Coach, Rosey is not my sidekick- he is my partner. Second of all, he’d be handling Simon Dean tonight, if not for the insidious attack perpetrated by Citizen Dean on Raw. And third of all, Simon Dean doesn’t have any idea what he’s gotten himself into. If someone messed with The Thing, The Fantastic Four would whoop some ass. If someone touched Batman, the Superfriends would be right there with a bitchslappin’! So when someone smashes a jar on good Roosevelt’s head, you better believe that The Hurricane is gonna be there to ask “What’s up with that?”

Overall: 80.4%

Ivory: The Hurricane is all focus! I wouldn’t want to be Simon Dean tonight!

Todd Grisham: Not sure if I’d want to be Edge, either, after the way he steamed up Chris Benoit on Raw! Let’s take a look at that.

Edge: Six days.  I only have to wait six more days until I get to be the World Heavyweight Champion.  Every time it’s been stolen from me, every time it’s been dangled in front of me and ripped away, every damn time it’s been so close… it doesn’t matter.  Because in six days, I reach the mountaintop, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.  You see, this time, I don’t have to live and die by your vote.  And to the boys in the back, I don’t have to depend on any of you.  The only person I need to worry about is the same person who won the Intercontinental Title all those times, the same person who’s responsible for Kurt Angle’s bald head, and the same person who got through a year of rehabbing a broken neck.  This Sunday, this only person I need to depend on is Edge.  I’ve been in hell these past few months, all this crap with Michaels, Orton, Benoit, but it ends this Sunday.  At New Year’s Revolution, I finally get some salvation.  When I get my hands on that title, I can finally say that everything will be alright.

The fans erupt as Chris Benoit’s music begins to play.  Benoit enters the ring with a microphone of his own in tow.

Chris Benoit: You say you’ve been in hell these past few months, Edge?  Well, I’ll punch your ticket right back there!  Since Taboo Tuesday, you’ve been bitching and moaning about the World Heavyweight Championship.  And as annoying as it’s been, after all the grief you’ve caused me, I like hearing you scream!  And for what it’s worth, I don’t expect it to end anytime soon!

Edge: Is that right, Chris?  And you think you’re gonna be the one to do something about it?

Chris Benoit: You’re damn right I am!

Edge: Well, if that helps you sleep better until Sunday, good for you.  Just keep thinking that you’ll make me tap out.  Hey, maybe you’ll make all five of us tap out at the same time, Benoit.  Think that all you want… but you can’t wear it around your waist!

Chris Benoit: Save it, Edge.  But from a former tag team partner to another, here’s a piece of free advice.  (Benoit pokes Edge’s chest as he delivers each word) Watch- out- for- me!

Edge rears back and throws a right hand, but Benoit blocks it.  He grabs Edge by the hair and tosses him over the ropes.  The crowd cheers as a stunned Edge gets to his feet.

Here Comes the Legend Killer

The camera cuts to the back, where Randy Orton has just arrived. He walks through the arena in street clothes, a bag slung over his shoulder. Orton greets a few of the backstage workers, then goes back on his way to the locker room.

Overall: 84.3%

Todd Grisham: Welcome back, fans. Not only did we just see Edge and Benoit getting into it on Raw, but we saw the arrival of “The Legend Killer” Randy Orton. He’s gotta be an odds-on-favorite to win tonight’s Elimination Chamber match.

Ivory: He did impress me in the big six man tag on Raw last week.

Todd Grisham: He showed great endurance in that match.

Edge and Benoit started the match, brawling with fury inspired by their earlier encounter.  Edge seemed to be gaining the upper hand when he backed Benoit into a corner, but the Rabid Wolverine fought out and hit a hard snap suplex.  The two battled on until Benoit tried to lock in the Crippler Crossface, at which point Edge tagged Batista.  Evolution’s largest member beat on Benoit, scoring a two after a Samoan Drop.  Benoit tagged out to Jericho, who used his speedy offense to take Batista off of his feet.  However, Batista put his knees up to block a Lionsault, and from there he reclaimed the advantage.  Benoit and Jericho traded tags to wear down the big man, finally forcing him to tag Triple H.  Benoit brought Randy Orton in, who clotheslined The Game, hiptossed Batista, and dropkicked an entering Edge.  Orton attempted to hit the RKO on Triple H, but he was shoved off into the ropes.  Triple H caught him from behind in a sleeperhold, but he was unable to put Orton away.  Orton fought out and hit a flying forearm, then nailed the RKO.  However, Batista broke the ensuing pinfall attempt, dragged Triple H to the corner, got on the apron, and tagged himself in.  He powerslammed Orton, then continued to wear him down with stomps and punches.  When HHH regained his bearings, the three heels were able to tag off frequently, making short work of Orton.  This continued until Orton hit a neckbreaker on Edge, then managed to make a hot tag to Y2J.  Jericho ran in, took out Batista and Triple H with enziguri kicks, then hit Edge with a Lionsault for the pin at 17:02.

Todd Grisham: Jericho scored the win for his team, and got a lot of momentum heading into tonight’s main event. We’re right about to get to New Year’s Revolution, fans, but first, a bonus match on Sunday Night Heat. Let’s go to the ring.

Stevie Richards versus Viscera

Despite having the crowd behind him, Stevie Richards was unable to budge the enormous Viscera. He tried punches, a flying forearm, and a dropkick, but the big man did not leave his feet. When Viscera unleashed a clothesline of his own, Stevie was knocked to the mat. Big Vis then applied a chinlock, nearly sapping all of Richards’s energy. However, Stevie managed to get back to his feet. He nailed Viscera with a Steviekick, which knocked him into the ropes. Stevie then climbed to the top turnbuckle and nailed a Missile Dropkick, finally knocking the former King of the Ring to the mat. Stevie made the cover, and scored the win at 7:09.

Crowd: 53.0%

Match: 50.0%

Overall: 41.9%

Todd Grisham: What a win! Stevie Richards beats the biggest man on Raw!

Ivory: What a way to head into New Year’s Revolution!

Todd Grisham: There’s still time, fans! Call your local satellite or cable operator to order WWE New Year’s Revolution! For Ivory, I’m Todd Grisham!

Show Rating: 70.9%

Edited by Scott Boulder Fried
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  • 2 weeks later...

WWE New Year’s Revolution

January 9, 2005

Jim Ross: Welcome, fans, and thank you so much for joining us on Raw’s inaugural Pay-Per-View offering of the year! I’m Jim Ross, this is Jerry Lawler, and King, what a main event we’ve got tonight!

Jerry Lawler: You ain’t kidding, J.R.! The Elimination Chamber, only the third in history, and the vacant World Heavyweight Championship is on the line!

Jim Ross: It’s such an explosive, brutal match, King- any of those six men could walk away with the title, and any of them could end up in jeopardy. And speaking of title situations, we’re kicking off with what’s sure to be a slobberknocker- Shelton Benjamin versus Maven!

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Shelton Benjamin © versus Maven

Maven charged at Shelton Benjamin to start, but the Intercontinental Champion took him over with a Japanese armdrag. Maven popped up, and Benjamin nailed him with a hiptoss. When Maven came up a third time, he shrank back from Benjamin and slid out of the ring. As the crowd booed, Maven walked around the arena floor, regaining his bearings.

Maven slid back into the ring and quickly locked up with Shelton Benjamin. Maven got an armlock out of it, which he wrenched in tightly. Benjamin tried to roll out of it, but as he attempted, Maven caught him with a stiff kick between the shoulder blades. The Intercontinental Champion fell to the mat, and Maven immediately followed up with an elbow drop. Maven got up, ran to the ropes, and came back with a big kneedrop on Shelton Benjamin. Maven followed with a cover, but Benjamin kicked out.

Maven, intent on sticking it to Benjamin, continued his assault. He lifted the champion up and dropped him with a vicious backbreaker. Rather than drop Benjamin, Maven kept him on his knee, continuing to bend his back. Shelton struggled, but was caught in the hold. Finally, he managed to connect a knee strike to Maven’s head, forcing him to break the hold. Benjamin got to his feet and caught Maven in a waistlock. He lifted the challenger, but in a surprising show of speed, Maven rolled forward and cradled Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin kicked out, but was visibly stricken by Maven’s resourcefulness.

The Intercontinental Champion faked a lockup, grabbed Maven by the legs, and took him down to the mat. He connected with a few right hands to Maven’s face, then flipped him over and drove a knee into his back. Before Maven could even vocalize his pain, Benjamin lifted him to his feet and nailed a lightning-quick snap suplex. Benjamin covered, but it was Maven’s turn to kick out.

Both men got back to their feet. Maven was starting to show signs of anger, but Benjamin kept an amused air about himself. They grappled once again, with Shelton backing Maven into the corner. He broke, as ordered by referee Jack Doan, but Maven shoved him back. With Benjamin staggered, Maven charged out of the corner and nailed a vicious dropkick to the chin of the Intercontinental Champion. Maven popped back up and opened his arms to the crowd, which led to a smattering of boos. Maven grabbed Benjamin’s legs, lifted them up, and rolled onto him, creating a pinning situation. Benjamin managed to kick out, but only after the longest of two counts.

Maven got back to his feet, and finally seemed to have completely lost his cool. He stomped on Shelton Benjamin over and over, until Benjamin finally managed to grab the bottom rope. Even then, Doan had to physically place himself between Maven and Benjamin to stop the challenger’s assault. Benjamin pulled himself up by the ropes, at which point Maven charged at him. Benjamin showed his agility by countering with a backdrop, which sent Maven flying to the arena floor. Benjamin fell to his knee, at a loss for strength.

By the time Maven managed to pry himself off of the floor and roll back into the ring, Shelton Benjamin was ready to go. He lifted Maven to his feet, whipped him into the ropes, and caught him with a powerslam as he came back. Rather than make a cover, Benjamin pointed to the top turnbuckle, which drew a cheer from the crowd. The Intercontinental Champion climbed to the top, and when Maven got to his feet, he took him down with a flying clothesline. Shelton covered, but Maven managed to kick out.

Undaunted, Shelton Benjamin lifted Maven to his feet. In a last-ditch attempt to gain some offense, Maven surprised Benjamin with a forearm, then attempted to whip him into the corner. However, Shelton reversed the whip and Maven was sent to the turnbuckle. Without hesitation, Benjamin charged at Maven and demolished him with a Stinger Splash. Maven staggered out of the corner, at which point Benjamin grabbed him around the torso and behind the leg. He connected with the Exploder Suplex, then scored the pinfall at 14:14.

Crowd: 77.2%

Match: 69.8%

Overall: 75.9%

Jim Ross: What a match! Impressive showing by Maven, but he couldn’t get it done against possibly the most athletic Intercontinental Champion of all time!

Jerry Lawler: Alright, J.R., I’ll give him credit- Benjamin brought it big-time tonight!

Evolution Gears Up

Triple H, Batista, and Ric Flair are backstage in Evolution’s locker room.

Ric Flair: Do you believe this? Tonight! Elimination Chamber! And Evolution’s holding all the cards! Nine-time World Champion Triple H! The monster Batista! We can’t lose, brother!

Triple H: You’re damn right, Naitch. Big man here’s the best insurance policy a guy can hope for. Only problem is that you’re the last man in, so we can’t start the demolition immediately. A little short-sighted of ya, that’s all.

Batista just nods.

Triple H: You got everything taken care of, Ric?

Ric Flair: Sure do, champ! The champagne is on ice, the hotel reservations have been made, and the babes- Whooo!- are percolatin’!

Triple H: You’re the man, Ric.

Ric Flair: No, YOU’RE the man!

Triple H: I’ll catch up with you guys later (he slaps Batista on the shoulder).

Triple H leaves, and Batista turns to go. Ric Flair grabs him by the arm.

Ric Flair: Big man- you’re not thinkin’ about going into business for yourself out there, are you?

Batista looks at Flair for a second, then turns and leaves silently.

Overall: 79.7%

Jerry Lawler: I know what you’re gonna say, J.R., but trust me, Batista knows what to do. He’ll protect Triple H!

Jim Ross: Well, we’ll see whether that’s the case. And I think Evolution’s in for a surprise if they’ve got a party planned for tonight. Remember the first Elimination Chamber? Triple H spent the night in the emergency room!

Jerry Lawler: Stop being such a downer, J.R.! If you weren’t such a party pooper, maybe you could get on Evolution’s guest list!

Jim Ross: Something to shoot for in the future. On another note, we’ve got The Coach backstage with Simon Dean, who’s got something to say before his match with The Hurricane.

The Simon Challenge

Jonathan Coachman is backstage with Simon Dean.

Jonathan Coachman: Simon Dean, up next, you’ll be making your WWE Pay-Per-View debut against The Hurricane. Do you have anything to say to him before your match?

Simon Dean: Coach, let me start off by saying just how much I hate Puerto Rico. Places like New York, Seattle, and Minneapolis may be filled with fatties, but you don’t have to worry about them taking their shirts off at the beach in the middle of January! As for The Hurricane, I can’t wait to get my hands around his skinny little neck. A super hero? Please! What’s so special about a spindly loser in a mask? And he’s upset because of what I did to Rosey? Mark my words, Coach- whether he’s getting his Hurri-panties in a bunch over his fat sidekick, or whether he’s in the gym maxing out on the bench with 70 pounds, he’s on the fast track to nowhere. But I’m a generous guy; after I win, I’ll talk to Hurricane about receiving a free sample of the newest product in the Simon System line: Simon Dean’s Maximum Muscle Builder! Guaranteed to turn puny punks into pumped-up powerhouses!

Overall: 77.5%

Jim Ross: Well, apparently, Simon Dean isn’t looking to smooth things over with The Hurricane anytime soon!

Jerry Lawler: Why should he, J.R.? If more people took Simon Dean’s advise, we’d live in a less crowded world!

Simon Dean versus The Hurricane

The Hurricane pounced on Simon Dean as soon as he got into the ring, raining down on him in the corner with fists and forearms. Referee Chad Patton tried to get involved, but Hurricane could not be dissuaded. He grabbed Dean by the hair, lifted him to his feet, and whipped him across the ring. When Dean collided with the opposite ringpost, he fell to the mat. Hurricane lifted him up and slammed him into the center of the ring. Dean rolled back to the corner, where Hurricane once again advanced on him. However, this time, Simon Dean grabbed Hurricane by the tights and pulled him forward, sending him into the turnbuckle. Dean rolled Hurricane up from behind, but only scored two.

Hurricane popped back up to his feet, but Simon Dean quickly plowed over him with a clothesline. Dean lifted him to a sitting position from behind, and caught The Hurricane across the head with a few crossface blows. Dean dropped Hurricane to the mat, ran to the ropes, and came back with a somersault senton across The Hurricane’s chest. Simon Dean simply laid on The Hurricane as a cover, but The Hurricane kicked out after two.

Dean got back up to his feet, and began lacing into The Hurricane with repeated boots. He dropped an elbow, but The Hurricane rolled out of the way and got to his feet. As Simon Dean got up to a knee, The Hurricane nailed him with a Shining Black. After taking a moment to regain his breath, The Hurricane grabbed Dean’s legs and rolled over into a jackknife cover. However, Simon Dean managed to drape his left hand under the bottom rope, breaking Patton’s count.

Both men were slow to get to their feet, but Hurricane reached a standing base first. He pounded Dean across the back with a few rights and lefts, then whipped him into the ropes. Dean came back with a clothesline, which The Hurricane ducked. When Dean came back again, he launched himself with a crossbody, but The Hurricane caught him in the gut with a dropkick. The Hurricane immediately covered Simon Dean, but once again, Dean managed to kick out.

The Hurricane still had more tricks up his sleeve, however. He lifted Dean up and slammed him, then climbed to the top turnbuckle. When Dean managed to get up, The Hurricane leapt off with a double axe handle. However, Simon Dean dodged the maneuver and caught Hurricane in the abdomen with a vicious closed fist. Hurricane flipped over and hit the mat hard, at which point Dean snatched him up, grabbed him around the head, lifted him, and plowed him into the canvas with a front suplex.

With an air of rage replacing his earlier cockiness, Dean lifted The Hurricane to his feet. He whipped Hurricane to the ropes, but with one last-ditch effort, The Hurricane came back with a flying forearm and knocked Dean to the mat. The Hurricane signaled for Simon Dean to get up, and when he did, Hurricane kicked Dean in the stomach, turned him around, grabbed his arms, and lifted him for the Vertebreaker. However, by kicking his legs, Simon Dean was able to fall backwards and escape the move. The Hurricane turned around to face Dean, but Dean quickly grabbed him in a cravat hold and dove forward, driving Hurricane’s head into the mat. Simon Dean rolled The Hurricane over and pinned him at 10:34.

Crowd: 67.6%

Match: 73.5%

Overall: 81.5%

Jim Ross: Credit where credit is due, King- a hard-fought victory by one of Raw’s least popular superstars, Simon Dean.

Jerry Lawler: The only reason Dean isn’t popular is because the truth hurts, J.R.! And I was talking to Simon Dean earlier today, do you know what he calls that move?

Jim Ross: I give up.

Jerry Lawler: The Carb Cutter! Get it?

Jim Ross: Yes, I think I do.

The Easy Way

The camera cuts to the backstage area. Chris Jericho is walking down a corridor, a determined look on his face. Christian steps out from a perpendicular corridor, right in front of Jericho.

Chris Jericho: What the hell do you want, junior?

Christian: Hey, take it easy. I’m not looking for a fight. I’ve just got a bit of a request.

Chris Jericho: Spit it out, some of us have matches tonight.

Christian: Just in case your memory’s getting faulty, I beat you at WrestleMania last year. The biggest stage of them all, and your shoulders were flat on the mat. In fact, if I recall, I spent most of 2004 making your life a living hell.

Chris Jericho: And what’s your point, Captain C.L.B.?

Christian: My- my point is that you’re the odds-on-favorite to win this match since last Monday. Hell, even before then, I was betting on you, after knowing what you’re capable of.

Chris Jericho: Wanna stop kissing my ass long enough to get down to business?

Christian: Fine, you want the bottom line? If you become the World Heavyweight Champion, I want first crack at you. Tomorrow night on Raw, Chris Jericho versus Christian for the World Heavyweight Title.

Chris Jericho: Yeah, that makes sense. One night after one of the most brutal, one of the most painful, and one of the absolute most vicious matches in the industry, you want me to wrestle you? Thanks, but no thanks, assclown.

Jericho walks past Christian, then continues down the hall.

Christian: Fine! Fine! Next week, then. Eight days. If you can’t make it by then, well, heh, there’s no excuse in the world that’ll save ya!

Jericho turns back around.

Chris Jericho: Eight days? You want a match in eight days, you got it. But guess what? It’ll happen whether I’m the champion or not!

Jericho turns back around and walks away, leaving Christian with an unsure look on his face.

Overall: 85.9%

Jim Ross: Christian may have bitten off a bit more than he could chew! He was only looking to wrestle if Jericho was the champ, but it’ll go down regardless!

Jerry Lawler: Don’t you ever get tired of running your mouth, J.R.? Christian’s more than happy to wrestle Jericho anytime, under any circumstances. Remember who won at WrestleMania?

Jim Ross: Yeah, and I also remember who won the cage match, and who won the ladder match!

Jerry Lawler: Alright, J.R., way to throw in some useless information. Let’s just go to the Women’s Title match!

WWE Women’s Championship Match: Lita © versus Trish Stratus

Lita and Trish circled each other gingerly to start. Lita raised a hand, indicating her desire to start out with a test of strength. After a moment's hesistation, Trish complied, locking her hand with Lita’s. Lita raised her other hand, which Trish took, and they went shoulder to shoulder. After some struggling, Lita managed to get her head under Trish’s arm and take her over with a suplex. Lita retained her grip on Trish’s hand, pulled her to her feet, and whipped her to the ropes. As Trish bounced back, Lita backdropped her to the canvas. As the fans cheered, Lita popped to her feet and flashed the old “2Xtreme” hand signal.

Trish was far from out of the match, though. When Lita bent over to lift her up, Trish grabbed Lita’s face and used her fingernails to rake the eyes of the Women’s Champion. As Lita stumbled back, Trish got to her feet. She bodyslammed Lita with authority, then scored a two count off of a jumping legdrop. Trish then applied a chokehold to Lita, which she broke at the admonition of referee Charles Robinson. After dropping a knee across the face of Lita, Trish whipped her to the corner. She lifted Lita up and sat her on the turnbuckle, then ran to the opposite corner of the ring. She charged back to Lita’s corner, flipped onto her hands, and attempted a Stratusphere. However, Lita ducked, shoved Trish back to the mat, and jumped down off the turnbuckle.

Lita lifted Trish to her feet and caught her across the chest with a chop. She followed up with a forearm, which knocked Trish back into the corner. Lita continued to lace into Trish with chops, then pulled her out of the corner. However, Trish caught Lita with a forearm of her own, took her over with a snapmare, and applied a rear chinlock. As the fans stomped their feet and clapped their hands to support Lita, Trish squeezed her arm around her neck. However, Lita managed to get up, and with a series of elbow shots, she broke Trish’s grip. Trish was not to be denied, though; she immediately fired off a Chick Kick which caught Lita in the jaw. Trish pounced on her and made the cover, but somehow, Lita managed to kick out.

Trish lifted Lita up to her feet, then grabbed her around the head in bulldog position. She leapt up, planted her feet on the middle rope, and sprang off, but Lita threw her off of her head, blocking the Stratusfaction attempt. Trish quickly launched off another Chick Kick, but Lita ducked it, kicked Trish in the stomach, and hit the Twist of Fate. Lita climbed to the top turnbuckle and Moonsaulted off, landing on Trish. She stayed on for the cover, scoring the win at 9:02. As Robinson retrieved the WWE Women’s Title, Molly Holly ran out of the entranceway and into the ring. She kicked an unsuspecting Lita in the gut and drilled her with a DDT before grabbing the title belt from Robinson, holding it up, and tossing it on Lita.

Crowd: 69.5%

Match: 48.5%

Overall: 65.4%

Jim Ross: Lita picks up a big win, only to be ambushed by Molly Holly!

Jerry Lawler: Molly hasn’t been given a fair shake recently, J.R. When you think about it, she really did the right thing here.

Jim Ross: The right thing? Attacking someone after they’ve just wrestled a match is the right thing? Good grief!

Taking a Stand

Backstage, Jonathan Coachman is tailing Molly Holly, who is on her way out of the arena.

Jonathan Coachman: Molly, Molly!

Molly Holly turns around.

Jonathan Coachman: Molly, what could possess you to perpetrate such an attack on Lita, and just seconds after her successful title defense?

Molly Holly: What could possess me, Coach? That kind of attitude could possess me! For months, it’s been Lita and Trish, Lita and Trish, over and over, like they’re the only women in this company who matter! Well, guess what, Coach? I’m tired of being angry silently! I’m the top female wrestler on Raw! When I held the Women’s Title, it was the longest reign in years! I gave my body, my soul, and even my hair to that belt, Coach- too damn much to be ignored! I won’t stand for it anymore!

Finished, Molly turns and leaves.

Overall: 34.7%

Jerry Lawler: She’s right, J.R.! I’ve been saying for ages, “What about Molly?” Honestly, she’s one of the best Women’s Champions of all time!

Jim Ross: Thank you, Captain Front-Runner. Molly’s title aspirations are anything but certain after her heinous actions, I’ll bet.

A Final Word

Lita is in her locker room, holding her neck in pain. She has her Women’s Title on the bench beside her.

Kane: (from offscreen) Are you alright?

Lita jumps, a little startled. Kane walks onto the screen.

Lita: Yes. I’ll be fine.

Kane: Good.

Kane pauses awkwardly, then turns to leave.

Lita: Kane, wait.

He stops.

Lita: Did you get the papers?

Kane: Yes.

Lita: Will you sign them?

Kane: Yes.

Lita: Thank you… I appreciate it.

Kane turns to leave once again.

Lita: Kane-

He stops again and turns around. Lita gets up and stands in front of him.

Lita: Kane… I hate you…

Kane’s expression does not waver.

Lita: But tonight, Kane… I want you to kill Gene Snitsky.

Kane nods and leaves.

Overall: 54.0%

Jim Ross: Kane and Lita are on the same page tonight!

Kane versus Gene Snitsky

Kane and Gene Snitsky collided in the ring like two angry animals, both throwing punches at whatever they could hit. Kane gained the upper hand, backing Snitsky into the ropes and continuing to unleash fists upon him. Kane grabbed Snitsky by the throat and started choking him, then pulled him out into the center of the ring. Kane relinquished his grip, only to catch Snitsky in the throat with an underhand chop. Snitsky reeled back, allowing Kane to nail him in the chest with a high kick. As soon as Snitsky hit the mat, Kane pounced on him and continued the punch-based assault. When Kane finally got off of Gene Snitsky, Snitsky was bleeding from the forehead.

Kane grabbed Snitsky by the hair and lifted him up to his feet. Snitsky managed to retaliate with a few punches, but Kane simply shrugged them off. Still holding Snitsky by the hair, Kane flung him over the top rope and to the arena floor. As Kane jumped down after him, Snitsky nailed the Big Red Machine with a low blow. He then grabbed Kane’s arm and whipped him back first into the steel ring steps. Kane grimaced in pain, but when Gene Snitsky charged in with a knee, Kane was able to dart out of the way, causing Snitsky to collide with (and flip over) the steps.

Despite the impact of his collision with the steps, Gene Snitsky managed to get to his feet and roll back into the ring. Meanwhile, Kane shoved timekeeper Mark Yeaton off of his chair, grabbed it, and brought it into the ring with him. As Snitsky got to his feet, Kane lifted the chair, but Snitsky ducked and punched him in the gut, causing Kane to drop the chair. Snitsky grabbed Kane by the throat, and after yelling “It wasn’t my fault!” he nailed Kane with a Chokeslam. Snitsky followed up with the cover, but Kane was able to kick out of his own maneuver.

Snitsky staggered to his feet, then grabbed Kane by the head and lifted him up. He wrapped his hand around Kane’s throat once again, but broke the hold with a forearm. He grabbed Snitsky’s arm and whipped him into the ropes, then caught him with a big boot as he came back. Kane hesitated for a moment, then headed out onto the apron. He climbed up to the top turnbuckle and perched there, waiting for Snitsky to rise. When he did, Kane leapt off and connected with a flying clothesline. Snitsky hit the mat hard, and Kane followed up with a cover. However, he only scored a two count.

Kane lifted Snitsky by the head and pulled him over to the ropes. Kane walked out onto the apron, still holding Snitsky’s head, then jumped down to the floor, executing a guillotine on Snitsky. Kane laughed as Gene Snitsky writhed in pain, then rubbed his blood-covered hands together. He rolled back into the ring and stomped on Snitsky, then pulled him to his feet and hung him on the turnbuckle in the Tree of Woe. Kane backed up, then charged into Snitsky, ramming him in the gut with a knee. Snitsky collapsed to the mat, only to have Kane pull him up again. With his eyes glazed and his face and chest dripping with blood, Snitsky took a short arm clothesline from the Big Red Machine.

Without taking a moment’s rest, Kane drove both of his hands into Snitsky’s face and simply tore at it, shredding skin and damaging eyes as Gene Snitsky screamed. Kane got to his feet, lifted his hand, and spread his fingers, indicating that he was gearing up for the Chokeslam. Sure enough, when Snitsky got up, Kane grabbed his throat, lifted him in the air, and drove him to the mat with a Chokeslam. Kane signaled for the Tombstone, then waited for Snitsky to get back to his feet. It took several moments, but when he did, Kane scooped him up, delivered the Tombstone, and pinned Snitsky at 13:36. Immediately thereafter, Kane pulled Snitsky up, lifted him, and sent him to hell with another Tombstone Piledriver.

Crowd: 76.1%

Match: 63.6%

Overall: 74.6%

Jim Ross: What a brutal, violent, bloody match!

Jerry Lawler: Match? That was a massacre, J.R.! Kane destroyed Snitsky!

Jim Ross: I don’t care if I ever see Kane again, but I have to admit, justice was served tonight.

Last-Minute Ambush

William Regal is backstage in his locker room, shadowboxing. A knock is heard at his door.

William Regal: Come in.

The door swings open and La Resistance bursts in. Robert Conway tackles Regal, taking him down to the floor, then punches him repeatedly. Meanwhile, Sylvan Grenier laces into Regal with stomp after stomp. Regal manages to push Conway off, then he gets to his feet. He clocks Grenier in the jaw with a left hand, then turns around to face Robert Conway, but Conway nails Regal with a low blow. Regal collapses back to floor and Conway slaps on a camel clutch. While he cinches in the hold, Grenier slaps him in the face.

Sylvan Grenier: Get ready to lose zose titles tonight, you filthy, limey pig!

Robert Conway: Grrrr… you and your moron friend aren’t walkin’ out of here under your own power!

Grenier slaps Regal again.

Sylvan Grenier: Un du Canada!

Grenier slaps him a third time.

Sylvan Grenier: Et un du Québec!

Robert Conway: You tell him, Sylvan!

Conway releases the hold in order to drive a knee into Regal’s back, then reapplies it. Grenier gets in Regal’s face and begins to sing “O Canada” in French. Finally, Conway gets off of Regal.

Robert Conway: Let’s go, man. We’ve cashed our insurance policy!

Sylvan Grenier: And ze NEW World Tag Team Champions!

Overall: 70.0%

Jim Ross: I don’t believe it, that match is next! How is Regal going to be able to participate?

Jerry Lawler: He won’t! I gotta hand it to La Resistance, though- I’m not big fans of theirs, but what a great plan! Get in, do the damage, and get out- and so close to curtain time, too!

Jim Ross: Shameful! We’ve got Coach backstage with Randy Orton- hopefully, we can get Regal some help before he has to go out there.

Unshakable Confidence

Jonathan Coachman is standing backstage with Randy Orton.

Jonathan Coachman: Randy Orton, in a little while, you’ll be taking part in the six man Elimination Chamber for the vacant World Heavyweight Title. How do you think things will shape up?

Randy Orton: Coach, Coach, why the long face? Why such a glum attitude? This is 2005, we’re on Pay-Per-View! Lighten up, show a smile!

Jonathan Coachman: Alright, Randy, now-

Randy Orton: I said smile, Coach.

Coachman forces an uneasy smile.

Randy Orton: On second thought, don’t ever do that again. But let’s get to the point. Elimination Chamber, six men in, only one man can win. And I don’t know where I’ll be entering, but it won’t be in that coveted final spot. Careers have been shortened and champions have been hospitalized in that cage. But Coach, Randy Orton doesn’t sweat it. I may have been robbed of the World Heavyweight Championship, but I’m getting it back. Tonight, the “Legend Killer” gets a five for one discount.

Overall: 79.0%

Jerry Lawler: Who does he think he is, J.R.?

Jim Ross: He could be the next World Heavyweight Champion!

Jerry Lawler: Not with Triple H in there!

WWE World Tag Team Championship Match: William Regal and Eugene © versus La Resistance

Things did not look favorable for the World Tag Team Champions heading into this match. Eugene had to help William Regal down the aisle, and then had to carry him up to the ring apron. Naturally, it was Eugene who started the match, dodging a grapple attempt by Sylvan Grenier and grabbing him with a waistlock. Eugene lifted Grenier, then slammed him down to the mat. As soon as Grenier hit the canvas, Eugene grabbed his arm and applied a hammerlock. As Sylvan Grenier cried out in pain, Eugene released the hold, spun around to Grenier’s head, and applied a front facelock. Grenier managed to get up to his feet, but Eugene pulled him back down to the mat. Somewhat nervous, he looked over his shoulder to check the status of his tag team partner; what he saw was far from encouraging, as Regal was struggling to keep himself propped up against the turnbuckle.

Nevertheless, Eugene managed to keep Grenier immobilized, punctuating the front facelock with the occasion elbow to the back of the challenger. However, Grenier finally managed to extricate himself by grabbing Eugene, running with him, and driving him back first into the turnbuckle. Taking advantage of his momentary dominance, Sylvan Grenier pushed Eugene back into the corner and began chopping him across the chest. Sylvan got too cocky, however, and after waiting too long to throw a chop, Eugene darted out of the corner, grabbed the challenger, and threw him against the turnbuckle. Eugene fired off a few chops of his own, yelling “Whooo” along with the crowd after each one. He then turned around and imitated the “Nature Boy” strut, giving Grenier the opportunity to scurry to his corner and make the tag to Robert Conway. Conway charged straight for Eugene, but the World Tag Team Champion used his superb agility to take Conway over with a Steamboat-esque armdrag.

Conway got to his feet, but Eugene kept him in an armlock. Conway tried to break free, but he could only get Eugene to relinquish the hold after a very illegal eye poke. Referee Charles Robinson admonished Conway, but the advantage was still his. He threw a low dropkick and connected with Eugene’s knee, sending the champion to the mat in pain. As Sylvan Grenier shouted words of encouragement, Conway lifted Eugene up, grabbed his leg, and took him over with a Dragon Screw Legwhip. He kept his grip on Eugene’s right leg, and while the champion lay on the floor, Conway simply kicked away at his leg. Conway stopped kicking in order to attempt to apply a Figure Four Leglock, but as he stepped around, Eugene pushed him off with his other foot. Conway shot forward, bounced off the ropes, and came back, allowing Eugene to roll him up for two.

Both Conway and Eugene managed to get to their feet, but Eugene had trouble putting weight on his bad leg. William Regal had also achieved a standing base, and he was alternating between clapping and holding his neck. Conway grabbed Eugene by the arm and attempted a short-arm clothesline, but Eugene ducked, grabbed Conway in a waistlock, and rolled him up. He scored a long two count, but Conway kicked out.

Both men got up again, but this time, Conway was quick in his attack. He caught Eugene in the side of the knee with a kick, then scooped up his leg with an amateur-style hook. With little alternative, Eugene threw an enziguri, damaging himself as well as Robert Conway. With the energy he could muster, he pushed himself up, crawled over to his corner, and tagged William Regal. For the first time in twelve minutes, Regal got into the match. Still grimacing in pain, he charged into Conway and caught him in the chest with a high knee. Sylvan Grenier got into the ring and ran at Regal, but Regal took him over with a hiptoss that ended with a brutal landing against the turnbuckle.

Regal balled his fists and shouted in anger, driving the crowd into a frenzy. As Conway got to his feet, Regal caught him with a dropkick, sending him to the mat. Grenier had managed to get back to his corner, and Conway tried to tag out to him, but Regal caught dropped a knee on him before he could reach. William Regal pulled Robert Conway to his feet, but Conway caught him with a kick and followed with a bodyslam. The pain of the assault rushed back to Regal, immobilizing him on the mat. Meanwhile, Conway tagged Grenier, who rushed in, dropped an elbow on Regal, and applied a draining side headlock. It was Eugene’s turn to clap, which gave Regal the drive to get to his knees, throw Grenier off, scamper to the corner, and make the tag.

Eugene jumped into the ring and pointed at Grenier, who shrunk back. Grenier tried to jump out of the ring, but Eugene caught him by the trunks, pulled him back in, whipped him, and caught him with a backdrop as he bounced back. Conway charged the ring, but Eugene kicked him in the gut and nailed him with a Stone Cold Stunner. As Grenier got to his feet, Eugene grabbed him around the shoulder and gave him the Rock Bottom. The People’s Elbow followed, and Eugene pinned Grenier at 17:51.

Crowd: 71.9%

Match: 66.4%

Overall: 72.9%

Jim Ross: What a win! The World Tag Team Champions pick up the win shorthanded!

Jerry Lawler: What bull, J.R.! Maybe if they stopped Eugene from stealing other people’s moves, we’d start to see the talent rise to the top!

The Awakening

The camera cuts to a vignette; the screen is completely black. Words begin to appear in white lettering. First, we see “OUR CONCEPTS OF EXCELLENCE WILL BE CHALLENGED.” Those words are replaced by “OUR NOTIONS OF PERFECTION WILL BE SURPASSED.” They disappear, and are followed by “OUR IDEAS ABOUT GREATNESS WILL BE REDEFINED.” When they fade, they are replaced by “AND SHE WILL CAUSE THIS AWAKENING.” For a split-second, the screen shows a white outline of beautiful, exotic eyes, then goes black.

Overall: 0.0%

Jim Ross: Well, that’s puzzling. Who could “she” be?

Jerry Lawler: I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this, J.R.: if “she” wants to make it in WWE, she’ll have a difficult road ahead!

Jim Ross: No doubt about that, King. Fans, before our main event, I just gotta remind you, the next time we’ll be on Pay-Per-View will be January 30th, at the 17th annual Royal Rumble. The big 30-man Royal Rumble match will take place, with the winner going to the main event of WrestleMania XXI.

Jerry Lawler: The Royal Rumble, J.R.! It’s the most exciting, unpredictable hour of wrestling every year!

Jim Ross: You said it, King, but as far as unpredictable and exciting goes, it may have to compete with the Elimination Chamber, coming up right now.

Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H versus Batista versus Chris Benoit versus Edge versus Chris Jericho versus Randy Orton, Special Guest Referee Shawn Michaels

Through a random selection, it was determined that Edge and Chris Jericho would start the match, and so they did. After circling each other cautiously, the two men involved in the decision of Raw’s main event locked up. Jericho managed to grab a headlock, but Edge shoved him off. They stared each other down for a second, then grappled again. This time, Edge applied a wristlock. Jericho rolled to the mat and flipped over onto his feet, reversing the wristlock into one of his own. He grabbed Edge around the head again, then took him over to the canvas. However, Edge managed to wrap his legs around Jericho’s head and pull Y2J off. Still stuck between Edge’s legs, Jericho flipped over onto his opponent, covering him. Edge kicked out at two, and both men quickly got to their feet.

Edge went for another grapple, but Jericho countered with a kick to his gut. He followed up with a chop, blistering Edge’s chest. Edge toppled Jericho with a double leg takedown, then got to a knee and fired right hand after right hand into Y2J’s forehead. He pulled Jericho up and whipped him into the ropes, then attempted a clothesline as he came back. However, Jericho ducked it, stopped short, and nailed Edge in the back of the head with a jumping back kick. He came down across Edge’s back with a senton, then grabbed his arm and rolled him up with a magistral cradle. Edge kicked out after two, but Jericho retained the advantage, laying into his opponent with stomps. Just then, the buzzer sounded, indicating that five minutes had passed. With a flashing of lights, Triple H’s cell door slid open.

Triple H charged out of his holding pen and hit Jericho with a brutal shoulder tackle. As Edge lay on the mat, Triple H lifted Jericho to his feet and gave him a devastating side backbreaker. With Jericho down on the canvas, Triple H jumped up in the air and dropped a knee across his forehead. When The Game got back to his feet, he turned around and walked directly into a right hand from Edge. Edge hammered away on Triple H, whipped him to the ropes, then caught him with a backdrop as he returned. Edge grabbed Triple H by the head and tried to suplex him, but the former nine-time World Champion blocked the attempt. Triple H tried a suplex of his own, but Edge also prevented it from happening. At that point, Chris Jericho got to his feet. He, too, grabbed Edge around the head, and he and Triple H took him over with a suplex.

Triple H then lifted Edge to his feet. He held him up by the hair as Chris Jericho climbed to the top turnbuckle. Jericho came off with a Missile Dropkick, but Edge managed to pull Triple H into harm’s way and Jericho kicked him, instead. Jericho, not bothered by the error, sent Edge flying with a monkey flip, then covered Triple H. The Game managed to kick out as the buzzer sounded again. Ten minutes had elapsed, and so the lights flashed. This time, Randy Orton was released from his section of the Elimination Chamber.

Randy Orton made a beeline for Triple H, though Chris Jericho got in the way and Orton had to take him down with a charging forearm. When he reached Triple H, Orton dropped an elbow on him. He shouted for Triple H to get up, and when The Game did, Orton threw a punch. With Randy Orton working over a dazed Triple H, Edge got to his feet and lifted up Chris Jericho. Edge swung at him, but Jericho ducked, grabbed him from behind, and gave him a belly to back suplex. He floated over into the cover, but Edge managed to kick out.

Meanwhile, Randy Orton continued to punch away at Triple H. However, The Game turned the tide by ramming the side of his knee into Orton’s stomach. He grabbed Orton by the arm and attempted to whip him into a vacant cell, but Orton reversed the maneuver. Triple H went flying into the pen, his head smashing through the glass pane. Orton went to help Jericho beat on Edge in the corner while Triple H managed to drag himself back into the ring.

With Jericho calling the shots, he and Orton each placed a hand under an armpit of Edge. They bealed him out of the corner together, then Jericho immediately pulled Orton’s legs out from under him. As the fifteen-minute buzzer sounded, Chris Jericho attempted to place Orton in the Walls of Jericho. Of course, it was Chris Benoit’s turn to be released. He grabbed Jericho by the waist, pulled him off of Orton, and gave him a German Suplex, complete with a bridge. Shawn Michaels immediately made the count, but Jericho kicked out after two.

Benoit got to his feet and pulled Orton up by the hair. As he was about to strike, Benoit was hit in the back with a forearm from a very bloody Triple H. Benoit spun around and chopped Triple H across the chest, sending him staggering back. He bumped into Edge, who had gotten to his feet, and caught a punch from him. He stumbled out to the center of the ring, where Jericho, who had gotten to his feet, kicked him in the gut. He was knocked back into Randy Orton, who grabbed him by the head and delivered the RKO. Before he could make the cover, Benoit pounced on Triple H and put him in the Crippler Crossface. After approximately fifteen seconds, Triple H tapped out. He became the first elimination at 18:46.

Edge, ever the opportunist, immediately jumped on Benoit and applied a Crippler Crossface of his own. As Benoit struggled to get to the ropes, Jericho nailed Orton with an enziguri kick. Once again, Jericho attempted to apply the Walls on Orton, only this time, he was successful. Michaels managed to monitor both submission moves, and both Benoit and Orton finally reached the ropes. Just then, the match reached the twenty-minute mark, and the buzzer sounded one final time. With flashing lights, Batista’s cell opened, and the monster of Evolution was unleashed into the Elimination Chamber.

Batista charged in and nearly kicked Chris Jericho’s head off with a big boot. As Chris Benoit pulled himself to his feet, Batista grabbed him, lifted him over his head, and tossed him on the steel panel between the cage and the ropes. However, when Batista turned around, he was met with a European Uppercut from Randy Orton. Orton kicked the big man in the gut, grabbed him by the arm, and attempted a whip. Batista reversed, though, sending Orton to the ropes. Orton bounced back as Batista threw a clothesline, but Orton ducked and took him to the mat with a backslide. Batista’s excessive strength allowed him to kick out after only a one count. He got back up and took a dropkick from Orton, which only served to stagger Batista. Edge, who had been regaining his strength in the corner, stuck up behind Orton, hit him with a low blow, and rolled him up, but Orton kicked out after a long two count.

Orton and Edge got to their feet, but were immediately knocked to the mat after a double clothesline from Batista. Meanwhile, Chris Benoit rolled back into the ring under the bottom rope. Batista went after him, but Chris Jericho took the big man down with a bulldog. Jericho ran to the perpendicular set of ropes and sprang off, hitting a Lionsault on Batista. He hooked the leg and made the cover, but Batista managed to kick out. Chris Jericho got back to his feet, but Benoit grabbed him around the waist and gave him a German Suplex. He held on, pulled Jericho back up, and gave him another one. Benoit pulled Jericho up again, and braced himself for the final suplex, but Batista grabbed him from behind, and in an amazing show of strength, gave both Jericho and Benoit a release German Suplex.

As Batista got back up, Randy Orton caught him in the head with a knee. He nailed the big man in the face with a forearm, but Batista halted Orton’s offense with a kick to the gut. He lifted Randy Orton up for the Demon Bomb, but Orton broke loose by punching him in the face. Orton landed on his feet and without a moment’s hesistation, drilled Batista with the RKO. Orton followed up with the cover and made the pin, eliminating Batista at 28:01.

Edge, who had gotten back to his feet, grabbed Orton’s shoulder and spun him around. He caught Orton in the jaw with a punch, but the “Legend Killer” fired back with one of his own. Edge grabbed Orton and whipped him to the corner, then charged in with a running back elbow. However, Orton dodged it, and Edge hit the ringpost. Orton grabbed him by the head and went for the RKO, but Edge grabbed the top rope and held on, causing Orton to fall to the mat. Edge dove on Orton and, with his own feet on the bottom rope, made the cover. Still, Orton managed to kick out.

Edge got to his feet and stomped away on Orton, cursing him all the while. Suddenly, he was grabbed from behind by Chris Jericho. Jericho ran him into the ropes, then rolled back, bridging into a cover. This time, it was Edge’s turn to kick out. When he popped up, Jericho kicked him in the gut and crushed him with a double underhook backbreaker. While that was happening, Benoit pulled Randy Orton away from the ropes, grabbed his legs, and started to apply the Sharpshooter. However, when Benoit leaned forward, Orton grabbed him by the head and rolled him up. Benoit kicked out, then rammed a boot between Orton’s shoulder blades. He followed up by applying a surfboard.

Chris Jericho grabbed Edge around the legs, lifted him up, and sat him down on the top turnbuckle. He punched Edge in the face twice for good measure, then climbed up the ringpost himself. He hooked his arm around Edge’s head, then grabbed the waist of his tights with his other hand. As Orton got to his feet and broke loose from Benoit’s surfboard, Jericho superplexed Edge over in one powerful motion. Orton grabbed Benoit around the head, then suplexed him directly onto Edge. Benoit rolled off and Orton covered him. Simultaneously, Jericho hooked Edge’s leg in a cover. Shawn Michaels made two separate counts for the two separate covers, but both Benoit and Edge managed to kick out.

Edge staggered back to his feet, grabbing the ropes for support. Orton charged at him, but Edge countered with a backdrop, sending Orton flying into the chain wall of the Elimination Chamber. Edge went out after him, grabbed Orton’s head, and squeezed his face against the chains. While Chris Benoit got to his feet, Chris Jericho bounced off the ropes, ran across the ring, and launched himself at Edge. Edge ducked at the last moment, and Jericho crashed into Orton. When Jericho fell to the floor, Edge picked him up, set him up between his legs, lifted him, and drove him into the steel with a brutal Piledriver. Edge rolled Jericho under the bottom rope and back into the ring, then followed after him. Edge made the cover and pinned Chris Jericho at 39:02.

Chris Benoit, who had been regaining his energy, came up behind Edge, grabbed him by the arm, and attempted to put him in the Crippler Crossface. Once again, Edge managed to retain a standing base by gripping the top rope with all his might. Benoit struggled to bring Edge to the canvas, but he remained unable. Randy Orton, still on the steel paneling, pulled himself up by the ropes. He threw a punch, but Edge managed to yank the rope, spin around, and pull Benoit into the trajectory of Orton’s fist. Benoit was knocked off of Edge, who grabbed a surprised Orton around the torso and gave him an overhead belly to belly suplex back into the ring. Edge covered Orton with a jackknife hold, placing both of his own heels on the bottom rope for added pressure. Shawn Michaels did not see Edge’s infraction, and made the three count, eliminating Randy Orton at 41:17.

Finally, the match boiled down to Edge and Chris Benoit, two men who had been at each other’s throats for months. Benoit, still fifteen minutes fresher than Edge, laced into his opponent with his signature chops, sending Edge reeling into the corner. Benoit climbed the turnbuckle and turned his chops to punches, but Edge grabbed him by the legs, ran him out into the center of the ring, and dropped him to the mat, almost in a modified Spinebuster. Edge simply collapsed onto Benoit, forcing Michaels to make the count. Benoit, for his part, managed to kick out.

Edge stumbled to his feet, then fell back against the ringpost. After taking few moments to catch his breath, he walked out to the cetner of the ring and bent down to lift Benoit to his feet. However, he got the shock of a lifetime as the Canadian Crippler grabbed his arm and wrenched him down to the mat. Edge struggled, but this time, there were no ropes to grab. Benoit pulled Edge’s arm between his legs and clasped his hands around his head, completing the Crippler Crossface. With an intense gleam in his eye, Benoit wrenched back on the hold, causing Edge to scream in pain. Edge planted his hand on the mat and slowly managed to pull himself forward. He inched closer and closer to the bottom rope as Benoit pulled at his face. When Edge’s fingertips were only a few inches from the ropes, Benoit rolled back, retaining the Crossface and repositioning himself in the center of the ring.

Benoit continued to pull back with the hold, giving the illusion that Edge’s head was only moments away from touching the small of his back. His screams grew dimmer and dimmer, but still, he did not tap out. In fact, when Shawn Michaels asked Edge if he gave up, Edge defiantly gave him the finger with his spare hand. Though it seemed impossible, Benoit pulled back even further, bending Edge’s spine to grotesque proportions. Finally, Benoit released the hold, as it was clear that Edge would not tap. Benoit instead climbed to the top turnbuckle. As Edge continued to scream, Benoit came off with a Diving Headbutt. He connected with the move and covered Edge. Michaels made the three count, giving Chris Benoit the victory and his second World Heavyweight Championship at 48:26. Michaels fetched the belt and handed it to Benoit, who climbed triumphantly to all four turnbuckles.

Crowd: 94.2%

Match: 70.8%

Overall: 27.1%

Jim Ross: BENOIT! BENOIT! BENOIT! WHAT A NIGHT! WHAT A MATCH! CHRIS BENOIT IS THE NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!

Jerry Lawler: I don’t believe it, J.R.! He destroyed Edge! He outlasted everybody!

Jim Ross: All the credit in the world to Edge, one of the toughest S.O.B.s I’ve ever seen, but inside Chris Benoit beats the heart of a champion!

Jerry Lawler: I’ll… I’ll agree with you, J.R.! Just like he says, Benoit is for real!

Jim Ross: You’re damn straight he is! For Jerry Lawler, this is Jim Ross! We’ll see you tomorrow night on Raw!

Show Rating: 62.7

Edited by Scott Boulder Fried
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January 9, 2005

Not bad.

Not great, but not bad.

I sat back in my easy chair as my Pay-Per-View provider informed me that in twelve minutes, the replay of New Year’s Revolution would begin. I shut the television. I had caught it the first time, and I was, by and large, happy with the results. The ball was rolling, Rome wasn’t built in a day, et cetera.

I still had some business ahead of me before I could hit the hay- namely, I had to get packed up for my Raw/Smackdown two-day trip. As I’d be spending much of my next two days in transit, I’d have plenty of time to prepare my statements for the crew, both the wrestlers and non-wrestlers. However, I was still a bit nervous.

I was pulled out of my apprehension by the low humming of my cell phone. Not only did I not recognize the number, but I didn’t recognize the area code, either.

“Hello?”

“Hi,” came the voice at the other end. “Scott Fried?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Hi, this is Jerry Lawler.”

“Oh, hi,” I told him. “Sorry we haven’t a chance to touch base yet, but I’ll be at the show tomorrow.”

“Um, that’s okay,” he said. Though I had never spoken to Lawler before, he was exhibiting a tenseness which I could only imagine was uncharacteristic.

“Is something wrong?” I asked.

“Well, not wrong,” he said. “I… I think I’d like to tender my resignation.”

I was stunned. “What? Why?”

“Well,” he explained. “I was keeping it under wraps, but this morning I met with Victor Quinones. We finalized a deal to make me head booker of IWA: Puerto Rico.”

“Wow. Well, uh, congratulations.”

“I’m real sorry about this. I liked the way the Pay-Per-View went down tonight, it would’ve been nice to see where everything heads. I just couldn’t turn this down.”

“I understand,” I told him. “When do you start working for Quinones?”

“Tomorrow,” he said hesitantly. Yeesh, talk about not having a whole lot of time to fix things up.

“Fair enough,” I said. “Thanks for all of your time with World Wrestling Entertainment, King. Good luck.”

“Thanks,” he said. “I gotta go, the boys are throwing me a little party.”

“Alright, take care.”

I hung up the phone, optimism and surprise battling for emotional supremacy within me.

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