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WWF: From Vengeance '01


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The Canadian Horsemen: Just Another Fairytale?

An Article by Nefarious of Extreme Warfare Battleground.


As we slowly approach the tenth anniversary of the stable's birth, it's time for me to let out some opinion and some hidden fact from behind the scenes of arguably the greatest angle of the 00's. The story of how the Canadian Horsemen rose to prominence in the WWF will differ depending on who you ask. My intention in this article is to tell you just how the most dominant stable in recent memory came about in it's entirety. No secrets, no lies - nothing but the truth. To the newer generation of wrestling fans, it seemed like a fantasy, a dream. To the old guard? It was a shot of nostalgia. To trace the Horsemen back to it's original roots we must take a trip back to 2001 - a wrestling odyssey. Some proclaimed it to be the apocolypse of the wrestling world, as two of the top three promotions collapsed to the colossal WWF corporation. By the end of the year, though, they were chanting along with what appeared to be the rebirth of excitement. The WWF were just getting over the dramatic failure that was the WCW Invasion. The disasterous storyline featured various WCW superstars invading the WWF for months, and fans were expected to eat it all right up. There were many attributes as to why the Invasion failed, with two of the main reasons being;

  1. The lack of any blockbuster star power. Sting, Goldberg & Hulk Hogan were nowhere to be seen.
  2. McMahon's ego stopping him from giving WCW enough credibility to establish them as a dominant force.
Survivor Series shot round soon enough, and the WCW/ECW Alliance was buried for good in a Winner Take All Match. It had taken the big bosses at Titan Towers almost seven months to realise that the Invasion had flopped, but finally it was over. Now, sights were turned to the next pay-per view, WWF Vengeance. The road to Vengeance looked to help rebuild the broken bridges left by the previous months. As an apologetic gift to the hesitant fans for the let-down, the WWF promised Vengeance would pit Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, The Rock and Chris Jericho in matches to determine the first ever Undisputed WWF Champion - combining the WWF and WCW World Championships together.

Vengeance came about like this:

  • The APA defeated Billy and Chuck in a dark match on Sunday Night HeAT.
  • Christian & Test defeated Scotty 2 Hotty & Albert after Test nailed former partner Albert with the Big Boot. After the match, Christian and Test demanded a shot at the Tag Team Championships, and announced that they would not rest until the tag division was revived from the dead-water it is in currently.
  • Edge defeated William Regal to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship after a Spear.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated his brother Matt with Lita acting as the special guest referee. Jeff nailed the Swanton Bomb and pinned. Matt's foot - however - was on the bottom rope during the pin, but Lita didn't see it.
  • The Dudley Boyz w/ Stacy Keibler defeated The Big Show & Kane after a hotshot to the exposed turnbuckle.
  • The Undertaker won the WWF Hardcore Title from Rob Van Dam after blasting him with a Chokeslam off the stage and through a stack of tables. The Undertaker promised everyone that opposed him the same fate as RVD.
  • Trish Stratus defeated Jacqueline to retain the Women's title. Nobody cared.
  • Steve Austin defeated Kurt Angle in match one of this series to determine the first ever Undisputed WWF Champion. The WWF Championship was on the line in this match, and Stone Cold retained.
  • Chris Jericho unexpectedly beat The Rock after a Rock Bottom to advance to the evening's main event. Lance Storm, who had an altercation with Chris Jericho earlier in the evening, made his presence felt on commentary.
  • In the match everyone had been waiting for, Chris Jericho overcame all the odds and defeated Steve Austin to become WWF Undisputed Champion. The result came about when Lance Storm got involved in the match, shockingly taking Stone Cold out with a Superkick, allowing Chris Jericho to lock in the Walls of Jericho and get the submission victory.
After the celebrations, the entire crowd looked on in wonderment as Jericho and Storm made their way to the back together. They weren't too sure what they had just witnessed. Jericho was the least favourite to come out on top of this angle, and Storm was nothing more than an Alliance mid-carder previous to this, and yet now - between them - they held the WWF Championship. They had made history. Edited by Nerf
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Monday, 10th December 2001

RAW heads straight into a recap video of Vengeance, highlighting the story behind the series everyone wanted to see. After showing clips of The Rock's feud with Chris Jericho and Stone Cold Steve Austin's encounters with Kurt Angle from during the Invasion, we kick into recaps of the matches. Jericho defeating The Rock and Austin beating Angle. It then moves onto the main event, and emphasises the pain and struggle that went into the match from both men. Then, it hits boiling point as Lance Storm interferes on Jericho's behalf, costing Stone Cold Steve Austin the Undisputed WWF Championship. With so many questions left unanswered from the night before, we kick off WWF RAW with a bang, as JR and King run-down what happened last night in their own words, and estimate what will happen tonight.

The show officially begins with the first match of the evening; a Number One Contender's match for the WWF Tag Team titles, pitting veteran tag team The APA against Christian and Test - who showed great interest in winning the Tag Titles last night at Vengeance. The match is your average Tag Match between two well-matched teams. The result of the match was a draw, due to a Double Count Out after both teams spilled onto the aisle. The fight continued until the two teams realised what had happened, then they continued to fight to the back.

The Intercontinental Champion; Edge is backstage with Jonathan Coachman. Coach asks Edge how it feels to still be the WWF's second biggest champion even after the hell that the Alliance put the company through. Edge says that when WCW went out of business at Survivor Series, a huge weight was lifted from his shoulders. One man, however, remained a thorn in his side. That man was William Regal. Edge admits that Regal is one hell of a competitor, and that last night at Vengeance Regal very nearly outdid him - but when it was all said and done, Edge still has the Intercontinental Title over his shoulder, and Regal just needs a new lip balm. Regal then appears out of nowhere and blasts Edge with a brass knuckle shot. He hovers over Edge's lifeless body and mumbles about how he will beat every ass-joke out of Edge if it's the last thing he does.

Backstage, Ric Flair can be seen with Tazz. Flair tells Tazz that he's heard the rumours of him contemplating retirement, and that he doesn't want to lose such an amazing athlete from his roster. Tazz cuts Flair off and assures him that he ain't going anywhere just yet. He tells Flair that before he even thinks about calling it quits, he wants to hold the Undisputed Title, and until then he's staying put. Flair is overjoyed when Tazz promises that he will win the Royal Rumble and go on to the main event of WrestleMania to win the gold.

The next match of the evening pits Kurt Angle - fresh off last night's loss - against The Big Show. In a very, very competitive matchup between two of the WWF's top headliners, Angle was able to force Show into submission with the Anklelock. That is not to say, however, the match was one sided - far from it, in fact. After the match, Angle and Show shook hands, but still showed a sense of dislike for one another. This resulted in the two coming face to face but no blows were traded. A rematch was made for Smackdown, a match Big Show hopes to win.

Matt Hardy is lacing up his boots backstage when Lita walks in. She apologies to Matt about last night, and assures him that she didn't see Matt's foot on the rope. Matt tells Lita he trusted her, and she stabbed him in the back. He said he doesn't believe for one second that it was an accident, and that Lita has probably been seeing Jeff behind his back for months. Lita promises Matt that that is far from the truth, but he isn't convinced. He tells Lita that Team Xtreme is dead, and Lita tells Matt that it was him who made her be the special referee for that match. Matt tells Lita that he regrets ever putting his trust in her. She apologies again, but he storms out to the stage. His opponent tonight is Billy Gunn, who he seems to make light work out of, showing a new side to him. More determined than ever, Matt hits the Twist of Fate, but before he can go for the pin he spots Lita at ringside. She begins cheering him on, leading to him yelling at her. He tells her to get to the back, because he doesn't want to see her again. The distraction proves costly as Gunn rolls Hardy up from behind to pick up the win.

After returning from commercials, the scene shows Matt Hardy barging out of his locker room carrying his bags, with an emotional Lita close behind. She begs his forgiveness and apologises over and over for accidentally costing him the match. He's having none of it, and tells her to leave him alone because like The Hardy Boyz, Matt and Lita are over. She stops in her tracks as Matt leaves the scene. She turns around and runs back to the locker-room, trying to hide her tears, only to bump into Jeff. He comforts her but she pulls back and enters the locker room, leaving Jeff alone to let out a sigh.

We cut back to ringside now, and get right into another match, as Rob Van Dam takes on a man who has already made his presence felt earlier in the evening by taking out Edge backstage; William Regal. On his way to the ring, Regal has to put up with various snide comments from the crowd - even Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler poke fun at him. Regal's mind is set to do one thing, though, and that is to prove that he is more than an ass-kisser, that he is actually one of the most technically sound athletes in the WWF today. It appears throughout the match that he has achieved this mission after taking one of the most popular Alliance superstars to the limit. It is in the closing moments of the match that Regal is put to fault, as an act of revenge from Edge costs Regal a precious victory over The Whole Damn Show. Regal is livid at being screwed and has somewhat of a tauntrem in the ring, even threatening the referee for not seeing the blatant interference. Unfortunately for him, Regal has to come to terms with being one-upped and heads to the back, perhaps plotting his next move against his pest.

Fresh off the big title win from the night before, Chris Jericho and Lance Storm intended on making their moods known next. They were estatic, over-the-moon, and were determined to show it. Backstage they are having a private party in their locker room, involving just Jericho, Storm, champagne, women and the WWF Championship. Stone Cold Steve Austin was not as pleased as they appeared to be, and he too had something to say. He took to the ring during one of the party's cutscenes and demanded a rematch right then and there. The Champ wasn't too impressed and the Titantron faded, leaving Austin in the ring, irate at being left in the dark. His attention soon turned to the stage, though, as familiar music hit, and two men walked out onto the ramp. Test and Christian made their way to the ring slowly, eyes locked on Austin. They got into the ring, and - saying nothing - approached Stone Cold. Face to face, Austin did just what he knows best, and began throwing his fists at the opposing duo. They managed to overcome Austin's physical tirade and dominated him. They were only satisfied when blood was shed, and it was done. After leaving Stone Cold in a semi-unconscious pool of his own blood, they headed to the back and again said nothing.

A dark video plays over the Titantron after a short commercial break, showing various rather disturbing images on the screen. It then cuts to a man hiding in the shadows who opens his mouth. The extremely talented WWF graphic team then have the words 'Sinister Motives' appear from inside the man's black abyss of a mouth. A familiar logo then brandishes the screen, and promises that Raven's return to the WWF is coming soon.

In the main event of the evening, and a match made by Vince McMahon, The Rock was able to defeat Booker T after a Rock Bottom. Afterwards, Vince McMahon made his presence felt and had words for The Rock. He told Rocky that when he decided to ram his face into Rikishi's ass the other week, he closed the Kiss My Ass club for good. However, when The Rock rammed his face into Rikishi's ass, he opened a whole new club; the Those That Cross The Boss club. Vince runs down a list of superstars that have crossed him over the years, and highlights the suffering he put them through. He promises The Rock that he will be no exception, and that on SmackDown he will face The Undertaker in a non-title match.

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Wow and damn man, that was very well written, very well done, and very good. I love it. I knew this idea was a good one, and I knew that someone could and would run with it, and here's hoping that you do just that.

I loved the BS portion that looks back ten years later at the faction's beginning. Very nice. it gives us hints of things to come, lets us know that The Canadian Horsemen is going to be a big deal, and shows us that this was the beginning of a bold new era for the WWF that saw it prosper. I like that.

As for Raw, I usually do not like the recap format, and yet for some reason it just clicked for me here. I almost always hate not having promos and the like typed out, and yet again for some reason it works for me here. Don't change it, as it works beautifully with the BS and the format you have set up as this is just a look back at the WWF and the stable.

I loved Matt's heel turn by simply talking. Nicely done. On the one hand he is clearly the heel here, and yet on the other you get how he could be frustrated over the previous night's match and how it would affect him. Of course, his paranoia is what totally heels him out, and it worked well. I look forward to seeing where this feud goes.

Test and Christian taking Austin out and making him bleed was a bit farfetched, especially considering that this very year he went so far as to go through an entire locker room before he turned heel and joined The Alliance. I'm not saying they couldn't do it, just that it's hard to buy.

Here's top hoping that the IC Division becomes a lively and fun one. If your plans are to include RVD in it, then I agree 100%. I hated him in the Hardcore Division, as he went from co-Main Eventing a PPV to just being a Hardcore Champion again. He was so on the rise, he had the fans behind him 100%, and the WWF really dropped the ball with him repeatedly, so here's hoping that he's on the rise again.

So Tazz isn't going to retire huh? Here's hoping he doesn't get crippled with that bad neck of his. Although, here's yet another guy that the fans got behind during The Invasion, and yet the WWF failed to capitalize on it. I knoiw I and many others were so waiting for Tazz to turn face and go after Austin, yet it never happened. Here's to hoping he gets at least a World Title match.

Finally, the bit with Vince and The Rock worked well. Rock and Taker should be good, and of course feuding with one of the bosses is a classic WWF storyline, so why not.

All in all, this is a killer beginning, and I am 100% into it. Great job.

Overall Grade A-

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This is at your request, and in an effort to try and come anywhere close to TGC, I'm going to add things in a bit more detail (this is cutting away at valuable writing time on my behalf too, you <_<...just kidding.

I am interested in the whole Lance Storm thing; and yet his total lack of charisma sort of makes things a bit too dodgy for me. Still, it's a good way to go with Christian and Test in the group...but I sort of wish you had someone else in Christian's place, as he had the ability to go far at this point. Regal and Edge were good at this point in real-life and things seem to be going well here too.

The Hardys and Lita angle could be all kinds of interesting, and I'm looking forward to Raven's return. I sort of wish there had been something more to the Angle/Show match, as it just seemed to be on the card for no good reason except to make the numbers up. Still, an excellent start to what should be a good diary.

I'll give it a **** 1/4 for the backstory and first show; mainly because I felt that while stories progressed, there just wasn't enough from coming off the biggest PPV in a long time. It would also have been nice to see Rock try and help Austin a bit, considering he got screwed too, instead of another "McMahon vs. _____" thing.

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Thursday, 13th December 2001

Before anything offical begins, we are presented with an 'earlier today' video showing Stone Cold Steve Austin arriving in his pickup truck. He is soon greeted by Ric Flair in the parking lot, who apologises profusely for what Test & Christian did to him Monday night. Flair tells Austin that if he wants to take the night off, then go right ahead. Austin refuses, and tells Flair that he's going to make 'dem Canadian sons'a'bitches pay for what they did. Vince McMahon soon bursts onto the scene and welcomes Austin to the show. He mentions how he saw what happened to him, and that the best thing to do is to put the attack behind him and focus on more important matters. Vince tells Austin that he should prepare, because he's facing Booker T tonight.

Cue the opening Smackdown video, followed by the usual pyrotechnics. After Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler run-down some matches we can expect to see tonight, including a Cruiserweight Title defense for Tajiri against The Hurricane, we're straight into action. The Big Show enters to a nice ovation, followed by Kurt Angle who seems ready enough for this rematch from RAW. Things did not bode well for Show on RAW, but that all changed tonight. After an equally impressive performance as was shown on RAW, Show managed to beat Angle after a Chokeslam. The two men once again showed class by shaking hands, but promised one another that should they meet again down the line that they would give it 110% again.

We cut to backstage now, to see Maven wandering the corridors looking joyful as usual. He is approached by Chavo Guerrero, Jr. who asks him where he's been. Maven explains that he has had a lot to attend to, as being Tough Enough champion makes you a media sensation. Chavo is quick to draw his own conclusions, and states that he believes Maven hasn't been around because he's scared that Tazz wants revenge for the cheap victory in October. Maven says that he'd love to stick around and hear Chavo's pathetic opinion, but he's wanted for an interview session. Chavo suggests that Maven should meet him in the ring on RAW, to prove he actually deserved his place as Tough Enough champion.

Elsewhere in the back is William Regal, who looks understandably upset. He is approached by Kevin Kelly, who starts to ask questions about how Regal feels. Regal cuts him off spitefully and yells about how everybody's taking him for a joke just because he kissed Vince McMahon's ass. A smirk appears on Kelly's face, which he tries to hide, but Regal spots it. After yelling furiously and nearly striking Kelly, Regal tries to calm himself, before promising to everyone watching that by the time he was done with Edge, Rob Van Dam and anyone else that stepped in his way, no one would dare laugh at his expense again.

In match two of the evening, Steve Austin was defeated by Booker T in what many cited to be a ridiculous act of unfairness. Austin, who was fresh off the beating he took from Test and Christian on RAW, still managed to fight with everything he had and showed that his heart and will were stronger than anything Vince McMahon could throw at him. Booker T's energy, however, cost him this victory. Despite the loss, Austin still managed to address everyone watching, and told Vince McMahon, Chris Jericho or anyone else that thinks they can get one over on the Texas Rattlesnake that simply, they can't. He promised that he'd get revenge on Test and Christian for what they did, fend off whatever Vince throws at him, and then go on to take Chris Jericho's precious title away from him. He ends the promo by asking the all important question; 'if you wanna see Stone Cold whip Chris Jericho's ass for the Undisputed Title, gimme a hell yeah!' to which fans roared in approval. And that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so.

Instead of the traditional shattering glass that usually follows that catchphrase, we are instead graced by an appearance from Test, who isn't well received from the crowd. Austin looks on, as Test states that he couldn't care less about what the fans think of him, and is out here to address one situation - how he is being overlooked by management, despite proving time and again that he has what it takes to be a major player. He reminds us that after winning the Immunity Battle Royal, Test cannot be fired for a year, and tells Ric Flair that if he has to beat the living hell out of him to be appreciated, then he won't think twice about it. 'Waah Waah Waah Waah Waah' says Austin, who challenges Test to come to the ring and fight him right there. Test refuses, and tells Austin that he's glad he wants to fight him, because he'll willingly do so on RAW. Austin looks pleased, before Test delivers the stipulation. Should Austin win, then he gets the Undisputed Title shot he so desperately wants. However, if Test wins, then he and Christian get to face the Dudley Boyz for the Tag Belts when they choose and under their rules. Austin accepts, but Ric Flair cuts them off, reminding them that he is the one that makes the matches and books the title shots, not them. Cue Vince McMahon, who tells Flair that the match would be good for business, and announces it has been booked. Flair see's no point in complaining, and instead accepts Vince's decision. He then says that as a warmup for RAW, Test now has to face one half of the tag team he and Christian beat at Vengeance, and his former partner; Albert. Vince, Austin and Flair leave as Albert is making his way out. The match is a good battle between two top big men within the WWF, which Test manages to come out on top of. Afterwards, Test mocks Albert for what he has become, dressing and dancing like an idiot with Scotty.

Jeff Hardy is backstage in his locker room, when his brother Matt barges in. He asks Jeff just what in the hell did he think he was doing trying to console Lita after he left on Monday to which Jeff responds by asking him who else was going to, considering Matt left her alone? Matt tells him to stay out of his business, because Team Xtreme is dead. Jeff says that if that's the case, then that makes Lita available. Matt slaps Jeff across the face before storming out, leaving Jeff alone yet again.

The Cruiserweight Title match is up next, pitting the champion Tajiri - being accompanied to the ring by the lovely Torrie Wilson tonight - against the challenge The Hurricane. The match was a brilliant, technically sound match with the perfect amount of high flying spots in it, the way the Cruiserweight division should be. Both men showed that they are the best Cruiserweights the WWF has to offer, but Hurricane came out on top in the end, giving us a new Cruiserweight champion. Afterwards, Tajiri was considerably ticked off, but a kiss from Torrie soon raised his spirits, and the pair headed to the back determined to get back the belt.

Vince McMahon is strutting about his office, after getting one over on two of his rivals this week. Ric Flair enters the room carrying a clipboard, and explains that he has booked a match for RAW. Vince is shocked, and Flair tells him that he isn't the only one with power. Vince seems hesitant, but looks over the contract anyway. Flair tells him the participants will face off in a Triple Threat match, pitting Kane versus Rikishi versus...Booker T! Vince looks irate and tells Flair that he can't do that, only for Flair to correct him; he can. Flair then turns on the TV and asks Vince to watch the main event with him in a civil manner. The main event is the match which pits The Rock against the Hardcore Champion The Undertaker, booked by Vince on RAW. Throughout the match, the camera cuts to Vince's office, recording the reactions of both men - with McMahon cheering 'Taker on while Flair roots for Rocky. McMahon gets the upper hand once again, as The Undertaker picks up the victory. It seems as though despite beating Booker T on RAW, the match took a lot out of Rocky, and he wasn't 100% fit tonight.

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Wow and damn, another good show, although not as good as Raw. I think my two issues here have to do with Rock and Austin, both of whom were booked so strong during The Invasion, and yet not so much here. I can get with Rock losing to Taker, maybe even cleanly, but what I'm not liking is how Austin is being treated. First off he got beat down by Test and Christian, who might be getting a push, but are not ready yet to do that to Stone Cold. Then, Austin loses cleanly to Booker T, who was nowhere near his league as well. I love Austin putting Book over, but it almost had to be by hook or by crook to not just kill Austin dead in the water. Then he doesn't come back after Test, he just lets the match happen? No no no. Austin would so come back during or after the match and Stunner Test to hell and back just to save face. On this you failed, and sadly big time.

The rest is gold though. I loved the altercation between Matt and Jeff, a lot. This is going to be a great feud.

Regal was perfect, as he was on the last show.

I'm not caring too much for Show and Angle, but that's just because a Face Show in a diary bores me. Hopefully Angle moves on to something that matters soon.

Tajiri and Hurricane felt like filler, but good filler I am sure. Hurricane as the new Cruiser champ is a good move.

And finally, I loved interaction between Flair and Vince. I hope to see a lot more of that.

So overall, a decent to good show, but not great. Doesn't change my opinion of the diary at all, but you do need to fix Austin, unless of course he's going to be a whiny bitch here too and qalk out as he did in reality.

Overall Grade B-

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I'm really enjoying the format. Many complain that recapped results don't have enough detail, but when they are written well, as they are in this diary, they are excellent. Great writing, great format. Also, the premise of the Canadian Horseman is just awesome, and something that I wish the WWF had gone with. Now, booking wise, things I'm liking and disliking.

The Good Stuff

- Tazz seeming to be on the verge of a push. I'd like to see him return with a more old school, badass persona reminiscent of his ECW days, but molded into a style that could run in the WWF. So basically, minus the constant "motherfuckers" and "suck my dick"s.

- The interaction between McMahon and Flair has been very realistic so far.

- The video hyping Raven's return interests me.

- Everything involving Regal has been great so far.

- Signs of RVD pushing his way into the IC division

The Bad/Confusing Stuff

- Why is Kurt Angle shaking hands with Big Show? Angle was heel here. If this is your way of turning him face, I'm not liking it. Largely due to the fact that it's Big Show. It's not someone who's going to be having a 5 star classic that leads to a showing of mutual respect. Maybe I'm reading this the wrong way, but it just seems odd.

- IMO there should be more focus on The Canadian Horsemen, but more so, on Chris Jericho. He's just been put over as the first undisputed champion of all time. He should be getting some time on the mike. I just don't feel like it seems like the big deal that it should be. Of course, you've only had two shows to work with so far, but I hope it's something you work towards.

- The Rock and Steve Austin losing clean on TV matches with no buildup? I don't like it. I'm all for Booker and Taker to go over, but only if it's on PPV after some decent buildup. A clean win over Austin or Rock is a huge deal.

- A triple threat match between Kane, Booker T and Rikishi! ... why?

- APA/Test & Christian going to a draw? Hmmm, I like the fact that you're giving some respect to the APA, but I feel Test and Christian should have gone over here. I don't see what good a draw does.

So overall, while I've left more "bad" feedback than good, I'm absolutely loving this and I'm hoping you keep with it. It's a golden idea, and your writing style is perfect in my opinion. You're able to do the recap form justice. There's some good stuff happening already, I'd just like to see more focus and a more dominant Horsemen, particularly on the fact that Jericho is their leader and the first undisputed champion.

Keep this up. Please. It rules. (Y)

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I have bookmarked this diary, simply because i love the idea. I just love it but after watching these last 2 shows, i don't feel this 'Canadian Horsemen' angle is going as well as i'd hoped. The Undisputed Champion wasn't even on Smackdown and didn't really do anything worth mentioning on RAW, it's not going well.

Im also not very into the storylines as i would of hoped. The only one im truly interested in is the Team Xtreme fued. Get me interested, im not feeling the whole Vince vs. Flair vs. Rock or whatever the hell is going on, im incredibly confused with that.

But im willing to give this diary a chance, allthough it needs to improve, i still enjoy reading it and believe you have done a good job so far. Keep it up.

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Monday, 17th December 2001

After the opening video, we open things with the match between Maven and Chavo Guerrero made last week. JR and King put over that Maven is the WWF's Tough Enough Champion and Chavo was one of the guest trainers on the show. They use the match to type Tough Enough II, which will begin early next year. Maven was able to secure the win after a well-executed school boy pin. Afterwards, Maven offered his hand to Chavo, who barged passed Maven and stomped to the back, clearly not happy with losing to the rookie.

Walking the corridors are Billy Gunn & Chuck Palumbo. They are chatting normally, until Billy directs Chuck to 'that fine ass' in front of them. The camera turns to see Lita wearing rather tight pants walking just in front of them. The two approach her, asking her if she'd like to experience the perfect event - a dig at Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak's old WCW team. Lita turns them down, but they are having none of it. Jeff Hardy bursts onto the scene to stand up for her, before Matt joins in. He tells Jeff to back off, and then challenges Billy & Chuck to a fight. The challenge is accepted, and a match between both tag teams is made - something neither Hardy brother is particularly pleased about.

Elsewhere backstage is Ric Flair, standing with Vince McMahon. Vince demands to know what Flair thought he was doing by forcing Booker T into a match with Rikishi and Kane tonight. Flair reminds Vince that he is half-owner of the WWF, and he has as much power as Vince when it comes to match-making. Flair then, however, assures Vince that there is a method behind his madness, as he announces that the winner of the Triple Threat will earn their place in this year's Royal Rumble.

The Hardyz' battle against Billy & Chuck is next, with the latter team surely having an early advantage. Jeff and Matt seem uninterested in the well-being of each other, and use rough blind tags to put the spotlight on themselves throughout the matches' entirety. At one point, Lita decided to get involved, distracting Gunn and Palumbo, who responded simply by punching her from the apron to the ground, making he land awkwardly. Jeff, seeing this, immediately rushed to the outside to check on the fallen diva. Matt Hardy had other ideas, and approached Jeff. He pushed him away from Lita and got up in his face, to which Jeff replied by socking Matt right between the eyes. By this time, the Hardy Boyz had been counted out and the win was given to Billy & Chuck.

Speaking of Tag Team action, the APA were confronted in their office by the Dudley Boyz after this. The Dudleyz asked the APA if they still wanted a shot at their belts, to which Bradshaw replied hell yes. Bubba and D-Von then pushed the APA's table over and told them that they could have a shot on SmackDown! The APA, while pissed, didn't come to blows with the Dudleyz, who simply backed off and said they'd see them next week.

In the next match, Booker T was able to overcome the odds thrown at him by Ric Flair after pinning Rikishi. The match proved somewhat of a challenge for Booker, but he proved to be just as sneaky as he always has been, by over-selling the moves received from Kane & Rikishi. He then let the two big men battle it out and weaken each other down, before Rikishi hit a sick clothesline to Kane over the top rope to the outside. Booker saw his chance and blasted Rikishi with a Scissors Kick out of nowhere, allowing him to pick up the victory and earn a spot in the Royal Rumble.

Up next was a rematch from Smackdown, and a challenge from Tajiri. The match was for the WWF Cruiserweight Championship, the belt which Tajiri lost to The Hurricane just days ago. Tajiri, despite giving it his all and showcasing his ability in another amazing match between the two, just failed to get the win again. Hurricane headed to the back with the belt still around his waist, as Tajiri's temper got the better of him in the ring. After yelling at both Torrie Wilson & the referee, he grabbed the lovely blonde and dragged her to the back forcefully. Tajiri was certainly not happy.

Before we headed into even more action, we were directed to ringside where WWF legend Shawn Michaels is seated with his wife. The fans applauded Michaels for his contributions to the WWF, and begged for one more match. Michaels smiled and nodded at the possibility. The show of respect was soon cut off by The Undertaker's entrance, who biked it down to ringside. He then headed over to Michaels and stared him out. There is definitely no love lost between these two men, who remembered their many encounters in this brief confrontation. Michaels, however, was willing to forget the past and extend his hand to the legend. 'Taker, however, pushed Michaels back to his seat, and got into the ring. The entrances of William Regal, The Rock and Edge followed as we prepare for this tag team match. The match was hot, with both of these feuds coming to a head in the one match. The ring could barely hold the tension. By the end of the match, HBK was able to get a measurement of revenge by nailing 'Taker with a Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere, before heading back to his seat. This allowed The Rock to nail a People's Elbow and go for the pin - but here comes Regal to break it up. Spear! Edge blasts Regal with a Spear as the referee counts to three. The Rock settles the score with 'Taker once and for all. Afterwards, Rocky nods to HBK as perhaps a thank you, and a huge sign of respect.

Backstage is Kurt Angle who looks over all his accomplishments. He hypes himself as wrestling's greatest technical athlete. Then he frowns, and states that he is unhappy with what he's become. He says that after dominating the WWF since his debut, he has turned into a loser. Well, he is a loser no longer. Angle promises to return to his roots and promote a new style of pure wrestling within the World Wrestling Federation, demanding that all his opponents play by the rules and shake his hand after the match. He says it started with the Big Show, but it will carry on throughout the rest of his career. He tells us to make no mistake, because Angle is refueled, refocuses and reborn. He promises that he will win the Royal Rumble whatever it takes, and beat Chris Jericho for the title at WrestleMania, in what could be one of the greatest pure wrestling matches of all time. It's true; it's damn true.

Next up, Stone Cold faces off against Test with a special stipulation; if Test won, then the team of himself and Christian would get the Tag Team title shot they had showed interest in at Vengeance, but if Austin won then he would get his shot at Jericho's new title at the Royal Rumble. The event rolled round and the match went without a hitch, to everyone's suprise. Both men showed equal offense and fought cleanly, until the end of the match. After nailing Test with a Stunner, Austin looked at the ramp and saw Lance Storm and Christian heading his way. He fought them off, after blasting Christian with a Stunner and sending Storm back over the top rope. However, the distraction proved effective as WWF Champion Chris Jericho was able to sneak into the ring unseen and blast Austin with the Undisputed title, causing a disqualification. Jericho told Austin that he was untouchable, and the belt was staying around his waist for the forseeable future.

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Thursday, 20th December 2001

After the opening Smackdown video, we head straight into action as the Dudley Boyz defend their WWF Tag Team Championships against The APA. The match proved to be an excellent brawl between two teams with fantastic chemistry, really selling this mini-feud from last week. Like most of their victories, the Dudleyz' came about after a perfectly timed 3D on Faarooq. Bubba covered, as D-Von stopped Bradshaw from breaking up the pin. There wasn't much time for celebrations, though, as Christian & Test made their way to the ring. Test blasted Bubba with a Big Boot and the two mobbed D-Von, before stomping away at the fallen APA. The referee tried to get involved, but found himself on the receiving end of a Powerbomb from Test. Satisfied, they head to the back after leaving another wreck.

Backstage, we see Tazz. He announces that Ric Flair has given him his place in this year's Royal Rumble, and assures us that he will go on to WrestleMania to face Chris Jericho for the belt. He says that he isn't afraid of Jericho's chronies, and that he will fight them all if he has to. He ends by promising us that the mood is about to change.

Next up is a Royal Rumble qualifier, as former ECW superstars Justin Credible and Tommy Dreamer face off in a hardcore match. The match is all that could be expected between the two, who pulled out all the stops to capture the ECW style perfectly. This included an entertaining dueling canes fight between the two, which Dreamer won. Justin was then hit with a Dreamer Driver onto a chair, enough to keep him down for the three count.

In a suprise for everybody now, we see Shawn Michaels in front of the camera. He is standing by awaiting Michael Cole to interview him from ringside using the Titan Tron as means of communication. Cole begins by asking him how it felt to get back into the ring last week and help out his 'old buddy' The Rock. HBK said that although he and Rocky have never seen eye to eye, he still has the upmost respect for the guy, as he held the WWF on his shoulder's during it's famine of possible main eventers, much like HBK did back in the day. He said being in the WWF ring again made him happy, and hearing the entire arena chanting and begging for one more match made his day. He then promised that in a few months, he would provide them with that one more match, should a worthy opponent rear his head. Suddenly, he is taken out from behind by none other than The Undertaker! 'Taker, still pissed from being screwed last week, let's nothing slide, and throws Michaels around the backstage area despite efforts of fighting back. He punches the hell out of HBK, and after smacking him about he throws him straight through a vending machine window! HBK is out in a bloodied mess as 'Taker gets down on his knees and begs him for his 'one last match.'

The next match pits Intercontinental Champion Edge with one of the most popular WWF stars of late; Rob Van Dam. The two who have already made waves in the Intercontinental division team up to take on the team of William Regal and Kurt Angle. The match proved to be an excellent technical encounter between four of the hottest competitors the WWF has to offer. The result came about after RVD nailed Regal with the Five Star Frog Splash, covering him for the three count. Afterwards, Van Dam made it clear that he too wanted a piece of Edge for the Championship.

Billy Kidman is in the Cruiserweight's locker room now, as he prepares for his title match with The Hurricane up next. Torrie Wilson appears on the scene and wishes him luck tonight, before kissing him on the cheek. Kidman watches her leave before mouthing 'damn' to himself.

Elsewhere, Al Snow is speaking to Maven about how life is treating him since winning the Tough Enough competition. Before Maven can respond, Chavo Guerrero appears out of nowhere and punches Maven from behind. He lands a few kicks to the grounded youngster before Snow can jump in and challenge Chavo to hit him also. Chavo backs away but promises that he would take care of both of them in due time. Snow helps Maven up while cautiously watching the sneaky Guerrero leave.

Next is Kidman vs. Hurricane, a match which runs smoothly enough between two excellent young Cruiserweights. This is, of course, until Tajiri makes his way to the ring. Concerned, Torrie jumps onto the apron to try and warn the athletes, but only manages to distract the referee. Tajiri then jumps onto the opposite apron and tap Kidman on the back, spraying him with Green Mist. Hurricane then hits the Shining Wizard and pins, as the now-returned referee counts to three. After the match, Tajiri wastes no time in blasting Hurricane with a Martial-Arts Kick before again dragging Torrie to the back. He can be seen rambling in unprepared English about how Torrie kissed Kidman behind his back.

The Rock is standing by with Kevin Kelly now and announces that he has three resolutions for the new year. The first is to defeat 'that ass-monkey' Booker T in a one-on-one match to disprove any thoughts Booker may have had in pertains to who is the better man. Secondly, to put an end to everyone that Vince McMahon throws at him, and lastly - to join Stone Cold Steve Austin on the road to ending Chris Jericho's reign as champion. He says he hopes Austin is watching, and tells him that they both got screwed at Vengeance. Since then, The Rock has been busy fending off Vince's lackeys, but when the time is right he will stand by Austin's side and fend off the Canadian thugs. He says that although they will be joining together for a greater good, that he will be the next Undisputed Champion.

Jeff Hardy is now at a coffee machine, as incoherent yelling gets louder. Jeff turns to see Matt Hardy coming right at him, red-faced and visibly angry. Matt demands to know what Jeff is doing with Lita, and Jeff assures him it is completely innocent. Matt doesn't believe him and slaps the coffee right from his hands. Jeff punches Matt for the second time this week, and the two have to be held apart from a brawl by various officials and road agents. This feud is only just beginning, it seems.

Smackdown saw a main event featuring Chris Jericho & Lance Storm against Stone Cold Steve Austin & Kane. Austin took advantage of the even numbers between the two and used to to gain a measurement of revenge on The Thrillseekers. Of course, Test and Christian tried to get involved, but they were taken care of by World Tag Team Champions; The Dudleyz. With the sides still perfectly even, and things going well for the Number One Contender, Austin finally managed to get one over on the Champion and pinned him cleanly after a Stone Cold Stunner to hell and back. Smackdown faded with Austin celebrating in the only way he knows how: with a beer bash. He and Kane shared a beer, before Austin extended his hand. Kane willingly accepted only to be blasted with a Stunner also. When all was said and done, Austin stood tall in the ring, a sight which fans everywhere were pleased with.

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Yay for Austin finally getting his damned heat back. However the Main Event isn't what I love about this diary as much as some of the undercard stuff, oddly.

I have to agree with others that Jericho hasn't nearly crowed enough about his big win, nor has he had the required amount of in ring bragfests. I hope this gets rectified eventually.

So The Dudley's are faces now? Why were they presented as heels in the previous shows?

I hope this Tazz push continues on and on and on.

I absolutely LOVED the HBK and Taker stuff. Now I have to wonder if HBK vs. Taker takes place at WM. If it does the winner is a forgone conclusion, but man that could be awesome. Now here's hoping HBK comes back later on and mentions how he owes Taker one since he was the one that ended his in ring career.

Angle creates ROH in 2001? I like, and yet no mention was made of him shaking hands with Edge and RVD post match.

All in all, two enjoyable shows. I do so much enjoy this diary, despite what NBT says.

Keep her coming man.

Raw Overall Rating B-

SD! Overall Rating B+

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  • 2 weeks later...


Monday, 24th December 2001

We open the show with an 'earlier today' segment. Booker T and Vince McMahon are backstage when Ric Flair approaches them. He tells Booker that on SmackDown! he will have a match against a former Alliance partner, with the winner getting a shot at the Intercontinental Title, and the loser having to face The APA in a Handicap match at the Royal Rumble. Flair then tells Booker that his opponent next week will be none other than Rob Van Dam! Booker goes crazy, and lashes out, punching Flair right between the eyes. Flair looks on and smiles before calling his personal security team of Faarooq and Bradshaw to take care of Booker. T then high-tails it with Mr. McMahon to the parking lot, where they speed off into the night. Flair is running the show tonight!

After the opening video we head into a match between Tajiri and Matt Hardy. The match is short, but very good quality. It doesn't take long before Billy Kidman enters the mix and takes Tajiri out with a Sky High, also known as his BK Bomb. Before the referee can even call for a disqualification, Jeff Hardy joins in on the fun, taking Matt out with a Whisper In The Wind. The bell is ringing and all four men are brawling, before Ric Flair stomps out to settle the feuds. He announces that the match will be restarted under tag team rules, a match which Kidman & Matt Hardy were able to win. Afterwards, Tajiri and Jeff have a cross-word with each other, before heading to the back without coming to blows.

Backstage now, Test and Christian are walking the corridors at their own leisure, before spotting Funaki at the buffet table. The two approach him and begin to mock him, to which Funaki replies with "what is that all aboot?" in his Japanese accent. Christian finds his impression amusing, but it strikes a nerve with Test, who smashes Funaki across the face. He begins to hammer away, before hoisting him up effortlessly and Powerbombing him through the buffet table. He then nails a few final kicks and stomps before storming off leaving Christian looking rather impressed.

The next match pits William Regal against Rob Van Dam, both of whom have made it very clear they want to be the one to take the WWF Intercontinental Championship from the current champion Edge. RVD - who was able to pin Regal cleanly last week - failed to get the job done this time, after a questionably-botched interference from Edge. Edge, who made his way to the ring after a ref bump, stalked Regal before running at him. Regal, however, was able to move out of the way and RVD was the one that took the Spear. From then, the rest was easy picking for Regal, who Clotheslined Edge back to the outside and pinned RVD. The referee soon recovered and counted the pinfall, giving Regal his victory tonight. After a commercial break, Van Dam catches up with Edge backstage and demands to know what he was thinking. Edge says he was intending to hit Regal, but RVD says Edge just wants to take out the competition because he's a cowardly champ. RVD promises Edge that he'll beat Booker T next week and go on to beat Edge for the title at the Royal Rumble.

Backstage are the Dudleyz, who receive a somewhat suprising pop from the arena's crowd. They say that last week they attacked Christian and Test and stopped them from getting involved in the main event. They ask does that mean they're the good guys now? Bubba answers; hell no! D-Von says that they have an agenda, and that is to take out anyone who wants their belts, whether they're the good guys or the bad guys. They remind us of how they took the APA out when they wanted the belts, and how they're going to do the same to those Canadian schmucks. Don't get them wrong, they're in it for themselves!

Next, out comes your WWF Undisputed Champion; Chris Jericho! He enters the ring and welcomes us to RAW is Jericho! He says that as Undisputed Champion, he should be welcomed as a hero to the fans, and so he asks the crowd to rise to their feet and applaud their champion. They get to their feet alright, but they're definitely not applauding. Jericho tells them to have it their own way, because he already tried doing it for the fans and where did that get him? He says he stopped giving a damn and became the top man in the WWF, while guys like Kane and Rob Van Dam are stuck getting involved in feuds that don't concern them. He tells all the 'asshats' in the arena to recognise that he is the greatest World Champion in Professional Wrestling history. They disagree, and he tells them to have it their own way, which brings out our resident superhero; The Hurricane! Hurricane defends the fans and tells Jericho that he is going to rid the WWF of heathen like himself. The match is on, as Hurricane runs to the ring, but Jericho is more than ready. He greets Hurricane with stomps and forearms to the back before whipping him into the ropes. Hurricane has it scouted, though, and hits a nice crossbody upon rebound. It takes Jericho a few minutes to regain his composure and fight back, but when he does, it's all over for the Cruiserweight Champ, who gets nailed with the Breakdown. Jericho then locks in the Walls of Jericho and forces Hurricane into submission. Jericho refuses to let go for a good two minutes after the bell, before celebrating with his Championship. He stomps Hurricane a few more times for good measure, before making his way to the back.

We see The Big Show pacing the corridors now, before approaching a locker room with a golden nameplate reading 'The Rock.' The fans pop big time as Show knocks and enters. The Rock is cautious as he see's Show enter, but hears him out. Show says that Jericho and his chronies are out of control, and they need to be sorted out. He says he heard Rocky promising to even the odds for Stone Cold last week, and that Show wants to join him. Together, they can help take care of the Canadian's reign over the WWF once and for all. The Rock nods and the two shake hands, as the camera heads back to ringside, ready for our main event of Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker.

The main event features an incredible battle between both men, with 'Taker still playing up to the fact that he's your badass Hardcore Champion. It's a battle of egos, and the match is very much even until the final moments of the match. After hitting Austin with the Last Ride, 'Taker pins only for the referee to be distracted by an interfering Lance Storm. The American Badass takes it upon himself to dispose of Storm, but turns right into a Super Kick! It's Shawn Michaels! HBK just took 'Taker out for the attack he suffered last week. Austin see's the opening and crawls over to the even deader man and pins, the referee see's this one and counts to three! Austin picks up the win! Afterwards, Austin stares a hole straight through The Heartbreak Kid, showing that he has definately not forgotten their past. He then turns his attention to more important things: like ending RAW with a beer bash!

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Not a bad Raw at all. In fact, it just keeps getting better.

-I love how you explained The Dudleys actions over the past few weeks. It actually fits their characters just fine by having them not only act this way, but brag about it.

-Good to see Jericho getting some good mic time followed by a decent match. No doubt that Y2J vs. The Hurricane would be a great match to see.

-It's obvious you're building to Michaels vs. Taker, I'm just nto sure at what PPV. RR seems likely, but you never know. Clearly if this gets blown off at WM then Taker's winning the feud. However before these two legends meet, I do hope Taker drops the Hardcore Title, as their feud doesn't need the title as a backdrop.

-I absolutely love your growing IC Division. Now Booker has the chance to enter into it, while Edge, RVD, and Regal all already have issues with one another. This is the most exciting part of the diary thus far for me.

Glad to see a show again, and I'm looking forward to The Rumble. Overall Grade B+

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Thursday, 27th December 2001

We head straight into Smackdown this week with a Royal Rumble qualifier between Perry Saturn and Shawn Stasiak, a match which Saturn is able to win after a Death Valley Driver. The match, although short, showcased the absolutely warped mind of 'Planet' Stasiak, as he faced off against another former nutjob in Saturn. Unfortunately for Shawn, it seems as though Perry has been rejuvenated of late and is back to being the technical machine he once was. Add him to the list of thirty men vying for a place in WrestleMania X8's main event.

Backstage, we see Chris Jericho lounging around his personal dressing room. With the Undisputed Championship draped over his shoulder, he tells us all that tonight he and his stablemates (The Canadian Horsemen as they are now calling themselves) will once again shut the mouths of three individuals who are trying to make themselves heard. Tonight, he teams up with Christian and Test to beat Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and The Big Show within inches of their lives. He turns his attention to Ric Flair, and laughs at those who call him a living legend. He proclaims himself to be the only living legend in the WWF, as he's the only Undisputed Champion in Federation history. He asks who else has defeated both The Rock and Steve Austin in one night? No one. He says Ric Flair made this match to try and dethrone the Horsemen, but his plan failed, because just like Vengeance, he'll beat those two has-beens once again. The camera zooms out to reveal Test and Christian at Jericho's side, ready for their match tonight.

The next match of the evening, ironically enough, features one member of the Canadian Horsemen, against fellow Canuck and current Intercontinental Champion; Edge. The two met in a non-title match, which Storm was able to win after a helpful distraction from Rob Van Dam. Once the champion as off his game, Storm had to simply hit his trademark Super Kick, and locked in the Sharpshooter for the submission victory. Edge wasn't too pleased at being screwed, and vowed revenge on Van Dam.

Kurt Angle is backstage, once again promoting his new view of pro-wrestling. He demands that the rest of the roster take notice of how things should be done. The key is in the name, and pro-wrestling should remain professional. He promises that should his opponents take him to the limit and prove themselves worthy of being in his ring, he would shake their hand after their match. Cue Tazz. These two men are all too familiar with one another, after Tazz ended Angle's undefeated streak at just under two years ago. Tazz says he agrees with everything Angle has said about professional wrestling, and that it should be treated as a respectful sport once again. He then challenges Angle to a match tonight, which is accepted!

Last week a match was made for tonight, pitting Booker T against Rob Van Dam. The stipulation was that the winner would face Edge for the Intercontinental Championship at the Royal Rumble, and the loser would face the APA in a handicap match in the same night. The match rolled right around on Smackdown, and after a great and entertaining contest between two of the WWF's hottest prospects, Van Dam was able to overcome the 5-Time World Champion after a Five Star Frog Splash! After the match, Edge made his presence felt and delivered a nasty Spear to the victor, evening the odds for earlier in the evening.

Hanging out by the coffee stall is Jeff Hardy. Suddenly, he is approached by his brother, who seems worried. After spitting out his words in an incoherent manner, Jeff tells his brother to slow down and repeat. Matt then alerts Jeff that Lita had been attacked in her locker room and she was in a bad shape. Jeff rushes the scene, only to find the locker room empty. From behind he is taken out by Matt with an iron pipe, it was a damn set up! Matt beats his fallen brother viciously, showing absolutely no mercy, before leaving Jeff for dead.

The challenge made earlier by Tazz to Kurt Angle is next, in a rematch of their Royal Rumble 2000 encounter. In this epic display, both men were able to wow the fans with incredible chain wrestling and technical ability. Both men suplexed the hell out of one another until they could not take any more. After almost half an hour of perhaps the finest match of the year, Tazz was able to reverse The Angle Slam into a Tazzmission! Angle resisted falling into the unescapable trap, but Tazz was able to work Angle's legs until both men were scrawled onto the ground. Angle refused to give up, and did not tap out. He did, however, get put to sleep by the most effective hold in the business. The referee raised and dropped Angle's arm a total of three times before declaring him unconscious, and gave the victory to Tazz. After recovering, Angle was met with Tazz' extended arm. It seems as though Tazz wants Angle to stick to his promise, which he does! The two men embrace before heading to the back, respect earned on both parts.

In a pre-recorded segment, The Undertaker is in the parking lot on his Harley Davidson, chewing tobacco and wearing his thick sunglasses. He turns off the engine and spits, before turning his attention to the camera. He reminisces back to 1997, when Shawn Michaels officiated a match between himself and Bret Hart, a match which he was screwed out of by The Heart Break Kid. From then on the two became fierce enemies, and in October it hit boiling point. In wrestling's first Hell In A Cell match, Michaels defeated him with the help of Kane. Well now, now was time to get even. He says that he rejected shaking HBK's hand just a few weeks ago, and he got kicked in the face and screwed out of another match for it? Well now it's pesonal! Taker promises that when he's finished with Shawn Michaels, whatever's left of his career will most certainly be over for good!

It's main event time, as Chis Jericho's Canadian Horsemen take on the newly aligned trio of The Rock, Big Show and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The match saw this feud reach all new levels of insane as all six men battered each other senseless. Neither Jericho or Stone Cold were able to get one over on the other, though, as it was Test that picked up the victory for his team after a Big Boot to Show. After the match, The Horsemen hung around on the ramp and waited for a reason that would become clear in just a few moments. Their theme music hit and out came a familiar face to hardcore wrestling fans; Don Callis. Chris Jericho then announced he was Callis' new client, and thus he will be managing The Horsemen from now on. Callis then got on the microphone and put the crowd down, before turning his attention to Stone Cold. He announced that if Austin wants a shot at the belt so bad, he has to earn it. In one week's time; the first show of the new year, Stone Cold Steve Austin would participate in a gauntlet. Should he be able to defeated Christian, Test and Lance Storm in a row, then he would get his shot at The Rumble. Austin tried to jump into a fight with the team again, but was held back by Rock and Show. Callis said if Austin wanted the belt so bad, he'd have to prove his worth. Smackdown went off the air leaving the fans feeling a sense of unjust.

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Okay wow and damn at that show. That was you taking things to the next level in my opinion. Easily the best show yet, very well booked, and excellently written. It seemed like damn near everything advanced tonight. Massive kudos.

-I like how RVD and Edge are teetering on Tweener status here as their little rivalry becomes a full blown feud. We still have Regal waiting in the wings, and after his non title win I would assume Storm just lept into contention as well. Add Booker into the mix, and this is an awesome IC Division, as I keep on saying.

-Well Matt is not only nutty, now he's a certifiable super heel. Beating his own brother down with a pipe? Okay that's going to get you massive heat from the fans. Good job, Matt, I love it.

-Crazy Planet Stasiak vs. Crazy Fucking Saturn? We don't need another Tag Team, but if we ever do keep that in mind lol.

-I bet Angle vs. Tazz entered MOTY territory, and I know it was MOTN. Anytime you feel like doing a full blown write-up rematch on that, you have my blessing. That said, I so am now calling for an Angle heel turn after he loses one to many times.

-The Canadian Horsemen rock, and so does Callis as their JJ Dillon. I almost have to wonder if the future doesn't eventually bring another Horsemen team to the front to deal with this blasphemous new group.

I loved it. Seriously. Nothing bad at all, just pure goodness. Overall Grade A

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Thursday, 3rd January 2002

Happy new year! We kick things off this week with the presence of our European Champion and Canadian Horseman; Christian. He makes his way to the ring and bigs himself up as 'above' the rest of the WWF. He says that before he got his place in The Horsemen he was nothing more than a jobber. So tonight, he's going to prove himself. Not only is he going to defeat Stone Cold Steve Austin in the Gauntlet, and crush all his hopes of regaining the Undisputed Title, but he's laying down an open challenge right now to anyone who wants a shot at the European Canadian Championship. Bang, here comes Kane! The two go at it like animals, but Kane gets the better of Christian and blasts him with a Choke Slam after almost six minutes of solid fighting. Kane pins - and we have a new European Champion! After the match, Kane doesn't have much time to celebrate as Lance Storm and Test head toward the ring. The two mug the Big Red Machine until he is down, before they take turns adding salt to the already open wounds. Storm and Christian hold Kane up as Test hits him with a Big Boot. The same happens so Storm can blast him with a Super Kick, before Christian nails The Unprettier. Storm then locks in the Sharp Shooter as the Horsemen celebrate. Christian picks up the European belt and spits on it, before lying it across Kane's fallen body.

Backstage is HBK Shawn Michaels, who comments on what The Undertaker said last week. He says that 'Taker needs to stop complainin' about the past, because he beat The Dead Man squarely each time. He says that it wasn't him that started this rivalry, it was 'Taker, but by-God it would be Shawn Michaels that finishes it. He says that he's been dying to get back into the ring for that 'one more match' and now The Undertaker has given him a reason to. He dares 'Taker to take him on at The Royal Rumble, and decide who's the better man once and for all.

Next up is a match between Crash Holly and Stevie Richards, which nobody knows the purpose of until the very end, when we are graced with the return of Raven! He blasts Crash with a DDT and does the same to Stevie, before laying the boots to both men. After destroying them, he grabs a mic and explains why he's there. Raven says he's sick of being underappreciated. He went from main eventing in ECW to jobbing in the WWF. He ponders why that might be, and recalls one thing that helped him through all his years of hardcore wrestling; allies. Crash and Stevie then get up and he turns his attention to them. He offers them both a place in the reincarnated Flock, which Stevie gladly accepts. Crash is wary, after just being attacked by the guy! He doesn't have much time to think though, as Stevie blasts him with a Super Kick. Raven then gets on his knees and pummels Crash until he see's blood, before picking him up and hitting the Raven Effect again. Raven then gets on his knees and tells Crash he'll ask him again on Monday Night.

Matt Hardy has something to say to the fans now, as he comes out with a microphone. He says that nobody understands him, and that he has his reasons for doing what he did to Jeff last week. All he's heard all week is about how he's a bastard for attacking his own brother unmercifully like that, and he wants to explain his actions. He says that for months Jeff and Lita have been getting too close, and that he didn't like it. Well Jeff, it's all your fault. Team Xtreme is dead, and Jeff is trying to cling to the ashes, but how can you get a good grip on dust? He says that he will keep bashing Jeff's skull in until he leaves the WWF, and takes his whore with him. Enter Jeff, who stands on the ramp with a microphone. He says that Matt is paranoid, and nothing is going on between him and Lita. Although, if Matt is so sure he wants to fight him, then how about they do it at The Royal Rumble? Out comes Lita who tries to stop the two from doing 'something stupid' but to no avail. A match between the two in a No Holds Barred is made for The Rumble!

In match for the Intercontinental Championship next, William Regal once again failed to take the belt from Edge, after a long battle between the two. In a suprisingly clean matchup, which saw no interference from Rob Van Dam or otherwise, Edge managed to hit a desperate Spear and keep the Goodwill Ambassador down for the three count. After the match, Edge extended his hand and wanted Regal to drop whatever beef he has with him, but Regal refused, promising to take the belt sooner or later, even if he has to go through RVD instead of Edge.

Booker T is backstage, who apologises to Ric Flair profusely for punching him a while back. Flair says he's having none of it, but Booker explains that the only reason Flair is lashing out on Booker is because he lost his temper like that. Flair says Booker should have thought about his actions beforehand. Booker begs for an opportunity to get out of his match with The APA at the Rumble, and Flair takes pity. He tells Booker that coming up next is Steve Austin's Gauntlet with The Canadian Horsemen, after that though, he's missing a main event. If Booker can defeat Rob Van Dam in a rematch, then he can be entered into the Intercontinental Title match at The Rumble, making it a Triple Threat! Flair then excuses himself and says he has an important meeting with Linda McMahon. After Flair leaves the office, Booker smiles to himself and simply calls Flair a 'sucka.'

The gauntlet rolled right around now. Out comes Don Callis with his Horsemen. They get in the ring and put themselves over before Stone Cold makes his way to the ring to a thunderous ovation! Before the bell had even rung, the thugs ambushed Austin, and took turns pummeling him for the second time in a matter of weeks. Test, Christian and Storm then held Austin back while Jericho took numerous cheap shots, even going as far as to spit in Austin's face. Everyone bar Christian then left the ring, as he went for a pin. Somehow, Austin kicked out. Suprised, Christian simply smiled and shrugged, going back to work on Austin with punches and kicks. Another pin, another kickout. Christian began to get frustrated, and let his guard down. Austin saw the opening and blasted Christian with a Stunner, getting victory 1 of 3. Test then entered the mix to make Austin's life even more miserable. It seemed as though Jericho's army had formulated a plan, and Test blasted Austin with a steel chair to give him the DQ loss. Storm then came right in and covered.


Austin kicked out! Storm was left shocked as Stone Cold somehow managed to refocus, and battle back against Storm. Moments passed and the fans were going wild as Austin slapped, chopped and kicked his way to dominance, before hitting the final nail in the coffin and pinning after a Stunner. Stone Cold had succesfully gone through everything Jericho and Callis had thrown at him and earned himself a title shot at the Royal Rumble. BAM! Jericho gave Stone Cold no time to celebrate, as he took him out from behind. Callis began stomping Austin with his pair of A Testoni's. Austin had earned the shot, but at what cost?

To close the show, Booker T battled with everything he had against Rob Van Dam in a rematch of their encounter from last week. Unfortunately for Booker, it wasn't enough, as Van Dam got the pin after a Frog Splash. Afterwards, Booker got on his knees and wept as The APA appeared on the Titan Tron and laughed. They told Booker they'd see him at the The Rumble, and probably before. The camera zoomed out to reveal Ric Flair who closed the show with a simple question; "who's the sucka now?"

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Good work. For some reason, i was expecting Triple H to return. Now that would of been awesome, but i guess im asking too much.

- Im glad that the Horsemen are finally getting a bit more airtime. Not my favourite fued though, actually, it's probably the one i like the least.

- As for the one i like the most... it's HBK v Taker. I loved how you booked there first encounter where he came out of the crowd and cost Taker the win. I actually thought that after Taker assaulted HBK backstage, HBK wouldn't be seen for a couple of months and then he would return in March perhaps to request a match with Taker, i don't know why but the assault seemed too brutal for him to come back only a week later.

- I also like the Hardyz fued. Matt's character is excellent, you know, how his paranoid and all, it's great. In real life, Matt would be one of the more over heels if this fued was set up like this. The assault with the lead pipe was genius!

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The lay out isn't my most favourite in the whole universe. I always like nice colourful heading so every segment is broken up for me. This is probably the lamest nit pick ever so you can ignore it. Honestly, the writing is good and you do a good job of making a compelling show.

I thought the Horsemen came off a little too weak. This is supposed to be the biggest stable of the last four years or so but at this current rate, they would seem to be dead by April. Christian loses his title and then, the stable goes on to job to Austin. Jericho seems to be the only one with credibility at this rate. But I do understand the reasoning, Austin needed that title shot and this displays a guy who can overcome the odds. It can't hurt too much to be jobbing to Austing since he is the biggest star ever. This would probably be his final big run in the company. I still felt it did a little damage to the Horsemen especially since guys usually running the gauntlets don't win.

The Booker main event really came off as an after thought. Probably should have ended with the gauntlet since it's a bigger and better story. I just not excited about Booker v. APA at the PPV. At the same time, I recognize this is more of a small stop on a bigger story. I am willing to see it play out.

I love the Hardy stuff. It looks like you'll be able to make both bigger stars from this split. Which is something WWF failed around this time. I think, this feud could have enough life to last until Mania.

I'm liking the IC scene. I am interested to see where things go with Regal. I completely expect him to be a pest in the Rumble IC match.

Blood would have been a big deal on UPN. Even now, WWE usualy reserves blood for big moment and big stars. Which is why having Holly displaying the crimson mask just doesn't seem right. He is too low on the totem pole.

But I am loving the reformation of the Flock. I like how Raven beats guys into membership too. I am thinking some really solid stuff should be in store.

I was a little surprised you are giving Michaels and Undertaker at the Rumble. I would have thought it would be a Wrestlemania match. Maybe you skipped that since you want to put Michaels over and that is harder thing to do when you have the Taker streak.

Overall, I am digging the stories. This is a real life time period where I felt WWF stagnated some. You are making a much more exciting beginning of 2001. I look forward to the rest of the road to the Rumble.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Monday, 7th January 2002

Kane's intro music kicks off the first RAW of 2002 as he makes his way to the ring with the European Championship. He is facing Test in the opening match of the show. Christian accompanies Test to the ring and tries to get involved in the match throughout. Towards the end, Christian enters the fray and whacks Kane with the belt, causing a DQ victory for the Big Red Machine. Test then puts the boots to the monster as Christian grabs the microphone. He says that the European Championship meant nothing to him and that he let Kane win last Thursday. He says that it was stopping him from seeing the bigger picture. What he really wants is for himself and Test to take on The Dudley Boyz at the Royal Rumble for the Tag Team titles! They say they expect an answer from the champs by SmackDown!

Ric Flair is in his office now, and he says he has a big announcement, and that is that he has just finished signing a brand new superstar to the roster who now officially holds the thirtieth spot in this years Royal Rumble. Vince McMahon storms into Flair's office and tells him that he can't do that sort of thing behind his back. Flair says that he did it in the interest of the company and Vince says he's glad Flair has done what he's done, because it makes him feel a lot less guilty about just making The Rock the number one entrant. Vince applauds himself and tells Flair that 'whatever you can do, I can do better.'

The second match of the evening is a Royal Rumble qualifier, and the debut of a new WWF Superstar: John Kronus, who is taking on Rikishi. Kronus impresses the entire crowd with his unique strength and agility. He dominates Rikishi more than anyone in the WWF has done before and finishes him off with a Body Press into a Powerslam. Fans looked on in awe as Kronus pinned for the three count, securing his place in this years Rumble.

Following this, Maven is backstage when he is approached by Chavo Guerrero. Chavo tells Maven that if he thinks he's forgotten about the upset. He says that although Chavo hasn't been booked to face Maven any time soon, that he will see him in the Royal Rumble match, and promises that he will be the one to eliminate him. Maven asks Chavo why wait? Chavo laughs and tells Maven he'll see him on the 20th.

The next match pits an unlikely duo together against another new tag team in Billy and Chuck. Saturn and Stasiak who impressed WWF officials with their similiar style and excellent matchup a few weeks ago have been paired off this week, going under the name 'Planet Saturn.' They shock Billy and Chuck by pulling out some well-timed double team moves and impress the crowd with their chemistry. Both men pin the other two after hitting two Fisherman's Suplexes. They also grant themselves a place in the Royal Rumble.

Backstage, Stevie Richards and Raven approach the Cruiserweight's locker room. Without knocking, they storm in and find Crash inside alone. Raven asks Crash if he's come to a decision, and Crash nods. He stammers before giving his answer, but complies after another threat by Raven. Raven smiles and welcomes him to the group, before unclentching his fist and leaving, with both men close behind.

The Cruiserweight Championship is on the line next as The Hurricane defends against recent rival Tajiri. Tajiri, who has had beef with both Hurricane and Billy Kidman for a long time, drags his girlfriend Torrie Wilson to the ring. She stands in his corner but lacks willing. After a while, the action spills out of the ring and becomes very hostile. Hurricane goes to nail Tajiri with a Super Kick, only for Tajiri to throw Torrie into the line of fire. Hurricane, shocked at his actions puts the match on hold to check on the injured diva. Tajiri in the mean time returns to the ring as the referee finishes his count to ten. The Hurricane has been counted out of this match! Tajiri laughs and celebrates as Hurricane continues to check on Torrie. We head to a commercial break.

When we return, the ring has been done up smart with a red apron and a table set up. Ric Flair makes his way out. He says that viewers might have noticed the ring's getup, and explains that it is due to the official contract signing for Stone Cold Steve Austin's match with Chris Jericho at the Royal Rumble which is about to take place. He introduces Stone Cold who makes his way to the ring to a huge pop. Austin says that ever since Vince McMahon booked the Undisputed Title match at Vengeance, Chris Jericho has been a thorn in his ass. He says that he's sick and tired of putting up with Jericho and his Horsemen and that at the Royal Rumble he will take Jericho's title, pride and life. Cue Jericho, who stands at the entrance way. He refuses to step into the ring because he knows how sly Ric Flair is. He tells Austin that he's just bitter because Jericho was the better man. Envy is not a nice thing, and Jericho will have to beat it out of him at the Rumble. Austin invites Jericho to come to the ring, but he has to have some backup. The rest of the Canadian Horsemen come down to the ring with the champion. After a few minutes of confrontation, both men sign the contract without coming to blows. After Austin makes his way to the back, the Horsemen turn to leave, only for Test to take Ric Flair out with a clothesline! He then hoists Flair up and blasts him with a Powerbomb through the table. Satisfied, he makes his way to the back with his stable mates.

In the main event of the evening, former tag team partners The Big Show and The Undertaker face off in a hellacious no-holds-barred brawl. Both men fight it out evenly until the end of the match, when we see signs of interference from Shawn Michaels! HBK, who gets in the ring in a swift fashion, signals for some Sweet Chin Music! 'Taker is one step ahead, though, and avoids the kick - causing Big Show to get taken out! Taker then wraps his hand around Michaels' throat and blasts him with a Choke Slam. Taker then picks up a lifeless Big Show and nails him with the Tombstone Piledriver! After crossing his arms, Taker pins for the three count. He then heads to the outside to get a chair. Upon returning to the ring, he smashes the steel right across HBK's injured back a number of the times, as Michaels rolls around in agony. Once happy with leaving his rival in an injured state, he heads to the back as EMT's see to The Showstopper. Fade out.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Thursday, 10th January 2002

Smackdown gets under way this week with WWF Co-Owner Ric Flair strutting down to the ring with something to say. There seems to be a new stable within the WWF that has a problem with authority, and they are the Canadian Horsemen. He says that it really ticks him off that it was somebody like Test that won the Immunity Battle Royal at Vengeance, because Test now seems to think he can put his hands on the Co-Owner of the WWF. Flair says it may be true that he cannot fire him, but if he thinks for one second that there's nothing else he can do, then he has got another thing coming. Cue Test and Christian, who make their way out looking rather cocky. They mock Flair, and tell him to go back to the retirement home, because the Canadian Horsemen are the new big deal. Flair tells them that they can keep mocking all they like, but tonight is the start of Ric Flair making their lives a living hell. Act one of his new regime is to announce that the Dudley Boyz have in fact accepted their challenge for the Royal Rumble, and Flair has already booked it - a tables match for the belts! Flair says that since Test seems to keen on Powerbombing people through tables, he'll have to do it against the men that MADE the tables match. He wishes them luck - because they're gonna need it!

After The Horsemen have trudged to the back unhappily, it's time for our first match of the evening; a tag team match pitting the APA against Billy & Chuck in yet another Royal Rumble qualifier. This time around, Faarooq and Bradshaw secured their spots in the Rumble after using their tag team experience to get one over on the newly-formed tag team. Satisfied, they head to the back for a few celebratory beers, women, and the manditory cigars.

Elsewhere backstage, Billy Kidman is pacing the corridors in search for Tajiri. He asks numerous staff but they come up short, until he turns the corner and spots the young Jap just yards ahead. He marches forward and pushes Tajiri, demanding to know what the hell he was thinking by putting Torrie at risk like that last week. After letting out some incoherent foreign talk, Kidman tells Tajiri to get to the ring, 'cause they're facing each other next. And boy, he wasn't kidding. The match came around after a short commercial break that saw Kidman absolutely dominate Tajiri, well and truely avenging Torrie Wilson. He pins after a nice BK Bomb.

Sweaty, shirtless and slightly drunk are the APA, undergoing a game of cards with Scotty 2 Hotty, Albert, Shawn Stasiak and Perry Saturn. Suddenly, Booker T pushes past the numerous scantily clad women watching the game and yells at the APA. Clearly frustrated with having to face them at the Royal Rumble he begs them not to turn up to the match. After showing consideration, Bradshaw still states that he'd like to go ahead with the match; they haven't been paid in a while. This coaxes Booker to get out his wallet and pull out fifty bucks. Bradshaw takes it and tells Booker to run along; they'll see him at the Rumble. Frustrated, Booker walks off to formulate another plan to get out of the match.

A match between two of the top Intercontinental Title contenders is next, as former champion William Regal takes on the man who is facing Edge for the title at the Royal Rumble; Rob Van Dam. It seemed as though Edge couldn't resist getting one up on RVD this week, as after weeks of miscommunications that lead to this feud coming about, Edge interfered once again. This time, he couldn't blame the Spear Van Dam received on missing his actual target of William Regal though, as Edge went straight for Rob and blasted him in the gut. This was enough to keep him down and grant Regal the victory, as Edge looked on pleased with himself. Once recovered, Van Dam promised Edge he would take his belt.

Backstage, Chris Jericho and Don Callis walk into their locker room where Christian, Lance Storm and Test are huddled around looking confused. Jericho asks what's going on, and the trio show him and Callis that they'd been left a little present, courtesy of the Dudley Boyz; a table with 20/01 written on it - the date of the Royal Rumble. Christian dismissed it as they're just trying to mess with their heads, but it seems as though it was working as paranoia was setting in on the challengers.

Next up, Kane makes his first defence of his newly aquired European Championship, this time up against a man who seems to be calling the shots within the WWF at the moment; Raven. The two put on a hell of a brawl, up until Kane began to dominate. Using his height and strength to his advantage, he hit a Flying Clothesline and then signalled for a Choke Slam. Raven slid from the ring as fast as he could and demanded Stevie and Crash go and deal with the champion. The duo hit the ring but were taken out as fast as lightning, each receiving a Choke Slam for their efforts. Raven then made his way to the back, giving Kane the countout victory. Unhappy with his friends, Raven beats both Stevie and Crash when they meet up in Raven's lair (also known as the Boiler Room). Raven tells them that on RAW the pair will face Kane in a handicap match, and they had better win!

In a slightly brighter scenario, Jeff Hardy thanks Lita for trying to resolve the situation with Matt; but it's gone too far to turn back now. He says that the only way his ungrateful brother is going to learn is by having his ass beat at the Royal Rumble. He thanks Lita again anyway, and kisses her on the cheek. After a moment of tension, Lita smiles and pulls him toward her. They kiss on the lips and pull away. They look into each other's eyes before starting to make out passionately. The camera then fades; leaving them to their business.

It's main event time next; as Don Callis makes his way out with two unknown workers. He announces that the main event will pit two of his independent clients against the "mighty" Stone Cold Steve Austin. He asks the crowd to put their hands together for upcoming Canadian sensations Rob Conway and Nick Dinsmore. The crowd - as you might have guessed - are a little less than enthusiastic, but blow their tops when all of a sudden the infamous glass shatters and here comes Stone Cold! It doesn't take him long to open a can of whoop ass on the youngsters, before blasting Conway with a Stunner for the win. Afterwards, he gets on the mic and tells Jericho; bravo! He can keep throwing these petty challenges at Stone Cold Steve Austin all he likes, but that won't effect the result of the Royal Rumble; Steve Austin is walking home with the Undisputed Championship around his waist, and that's the bottom line 'cause Stone Cold said so! Smackdown closes with a traditional beer bash; Stone Cold style.

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