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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?”


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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-


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!


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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