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WWE 2007 - The Challenge

Ric Flair's Retirement Match  

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  1. 1. Who should Ric Flair's final match be against?

    • Sting
    • Ricky Steamboat
    • Chris Benoit
    • Triple H
    • Mick Foley
    • Hulk Hogan
    • Other (Please Specify)

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Note: The backstory will seem familiar, as I've used it before. I liked it so much, I used it twice

"...Trump vs. McMahon! It will draw!..."

Vince McMahon was crazy. Not just crazy, he was off his fucking rocker, and the entire company knew it. I stood out in the hallway nervously as the once legendary promoter alternated between soiling himself and proclaiming the genius of his latest brilliant scheme. Sneaking a peak through the door I could see that he was also foaming at the mouth. Stephanie and Linda were doing what they could to calm him down, but it seemed inevitable now - Vince would need to retire. Call it old age. Call it bad luck. Call it steroid abuse, but Vince McMahon was no longer fit to run his wrestling empire.

Of course, the rest of the world didn't know about this just yet, but the news would break soon. The first EMT on the scene would probably blab it to someone before they'd even left the arena. Gossip like this is too juicy to ignore. If Jeniffer Aniston slutting around with Stacey Keibler's boyfriend is big news - this is the fucking motherload. God himself would open up his Heavenly Times newspaper and tut in a mixture of shock and disapproval over his morning coffee. Does God drink coffee? Probably, and I bet it tastes divine.

"...Where's my son? Fetch me my son!" in a rare moment of lucidity, Vince was calling for his son. I stepped politely to the side as Shane shouldered past me and into Vince's office. The reek of piss was thick in the air, but to Shane's credit he was able to push that into the back of his mind as he went to his father's side.

"What's wrong, pops?" Shane cared, and it was obvious. He looked at his father with a mixture of admiration and sadness.

"I want my son!"

Vince screamed this, and a coffee lady walking by near passed out with shock. The man has a voice that carries.

"Move it-aah". I turned around to find myself face to face with Triple H - Vince's 'other' son. He gave me a smug grin as I stepped nimbly to the side and allowed him into the office. He gave Shane a patronising smile as he stepped past and went to Vince's side.

"What's the matt-ah?'. Vince's mask of insanity cleared for a moment, and for that split second his eyes seemed to reflect the genius who was trapped behind the growing cloud of insanity.

"Triple H...son... I need you to do something for me".


"I want you to..." Vince's eyes cloud over again, and he begins to gurgle deep in his throat. I don't think he'll be with us (in the realm of sanity, that is) for much longer.

"What!?" Triple H shakes Vince just a little too hard, and Shane places a hand of warning on his shoulder. The shake does the trick, however, as Vince's brain is rattled back into place for a moment.

But Vince is no longer with us, his mind leading him through fields of T&A where midgets and dwarves wrestle in matches that only Vince Russo could have conjured up. He begins to hum the tune to Jurassic Park as Linda sadly makes the call for the men from the asylum.

Triple H remains behind a moment, letting Linda, Shane, and his wife leave. He doesn't see that I'm still waiting quietly in he hallway, summoned several hours ago when Vince still had a modicum of sanity.

"God dammit-ah!". He slams his fist down on the table, the impact causing papers to spill onto the floor. Not business papers, no, but Vince's frantic scribbling. He'd been in his office all morning working on something he called 'the greatest angle ever'. I had been called over, presumably, to put it into action. I flinched as Triple H kicked the papers, scattering them further. He spat on the floor, tossed back his flowing locks, and stormed out of the room - all the time unaware that I had slipped back into the shadows so as not to arouse his attention.

Like a whipped dog, I scurry into Vince's office and begin to gather up the papers. They're out of order now, but I promised Vince I'd do what I could to put them into action - and dammit, that's what I'd do.

Ladies and gentlemen, Vince McMahon has left the building....



Shane McMahon threw down the phone in disgust. He'd spent two hours trying to get in contact with his father, and at every turn he was thwarted. Sure, it was always an over-zealous orderly telling him he couldn't speak to his father - but the entire thing stunk of Triple H. Ever since he'd started nailing Steph, HHH had become a thorn in Shane's side. Not that he entertained any incestuous feelings for his sister, but it seemed HHH certainly had his sights set on taking Shane's spot at the top of the WWE pecking order.

What was going to happen to the company? In recent years things had taken something of a nose dive for the company, and if it wasn't for the fact that their only competition was some rinky-dink promotion from Florida, they'd have been in dire straits. As it was, PPV revenue and ratings were both steadily decreasing - and the company's ability to create new stars had dried up somewhat since the glory days.

"Uh... Shane?"

Shane started a little at the sound of a voice. Nobody should have been here so late at night.

"Who is it?"


Excuse me while I change tenses


I stepped into the office from my hiding place (behind the coat rack, a personal favourite of mine).

"What the fuck do you want, Chris?"

I rewarded his curiosity with one of my most pleasant smiles. He grimaced, and I don't blame him.

"I happen to know for a fact that you've been given control of the company". Shane's face immediately lit up. Were I a nicer guy, I'd have derived some pleasure from having given him a reason to smile. But I'm not a nice guy. Hell, I'm not even a middle of the range guy. I'm a down and out c*nt. When I have to be, anyway. To emphasise this, I let him finish his outlandish victory dance before continuing.

"But....". Shane stopped mid pirohouette, his face sinking.


"But, there are two stipulations"

"What are they?"

"One: You have to turn the WWE around, or else the company will go to Triple H and Stephanie" This was the kicker. I knew Shane and Triple H didn't exactly see eye to eye.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me!" Shane treated Vince's desk to an almighty kick, but was rewarded for his efforts with what sounded to me like a potentially broken toe.

"The second thing," I said over his cursing, "Is that you and I are to share control of the company".

If real life were capable of doing those cool freeze frames you see in movies, this would have been one of those moments. Shane would have balanced at a seemingly impossible angle. My hair would have ceased its fan induced dance, and the clock would have stopped mid-tick. It would all have been very dramatic.

But life isn't as cool as movies - so instead the clock kept ticking, my hair kept waving, and Shane fell on his ass.

"Wh...huh?" Ah, he was surprised. Good.

"You have to share the company with me".

I'm sure Shane thought this was all some kind of deranged prank. First he is shunned by his own father in favour of Triple H - and now he was being forced to share control of the largest professional wrestling company in the world with me, the WWE's #1 janitor.

You read right, little old me had just gone from cleaning up after the buleimics backstage to running the whole damn show.

"But, why?" Shane's mind couldn't seem to comprehend the moment. Why on earth would Vince, insane though he may be, promote a janitor to a position of power? Bischoff had at least been doing something tied to wrestling when he got control of WCW - and he'd still fucked up. What would a far from mild-mannered janitor do to the WWE?

(Really, I can't do much worse than telling your crowd what they want to see)

"That's not important, Shane," I said, "What's important is that we have a pay-per-view to book. Now, do you like Chinese?"

Shane did indeed like Chinese and, despite his utter confusion, indulged in a late night meal as we began to book a WWE that wouldn't rely on tacky guest stars, gimmicky leprechauns, and sex crazed 600 pound men.

Well, eventually.


I probably wasn't 100% honest with Shane. Hell, I wasn't even 76.35% honest.

Yes, Shane and I do have to share the booking role, but this janitor cum CEO has more than that to do. You see, Vince has also left me in charge of the company as a whole. Linda will continue to run the business side of things, but I've got stroke a plenty. I've got more stroke than a sixteen year old watching a Basic Instinct rerun.

I can hire and fire. I can make sweeping changes to how the WWE runs. I can sleep in until 1pm if I feel like it.

Why? Well, Vince is crazy, I don't much think the why of it comes into it. Suffice it to say, Linda didn't seem to have a problem with his decision, relaying the good news to me just moments before I bumped into Shane. Maybe she sees something in this janitor from the wrong side of the equator, and wants to give me a chance. Maybe Vince's insanity was contagious, and she's going along for the ride. Maybe I shouldn't start so many sentences with maybe.

Within the space of twenty four hours I'd gone from plunger wielding nobody to multi-billion dollar bank account wielding nobody. As I sat at Vince's desk....


My desk. My glorious mahogany desk which smelt only slightly of urine, I heard a timid knock on the door.

"Come in". Try as I might, I couldn't make my voice sound as gravelly and cool as Vince's.

CM Punk ducked meekly into the room.

"CM, what can I do for you?"

"Is it true?"

"Is what true?" I lean back in my chair, overbalance, and pinwheel my arms wildly as I seek to regain my balance. All illusion of suave coolness has been dispelled. Punk will never respect me again.

"Is it really true? Has Vince gone?" CM Punk doesn't like Vince. In fact, CM Punk thinks Vince is about as pleasant as a burst hemmarhoid.

"Yeah, I'm the man in charge now". Punk smiles a little, but I can tell he's as confused as everybody else. Why on earth was I put in charge? Of course I know - but you don't, and it's killing you. Since I get off on other people's pain, I'll let you simmer for a while. *Cue evil laugh*

CM Punk leaves, his curiosity sated for now, but I'm not given any time to relax. Instead Stephanie McMahon barges in, her surgically enhanced bosom not bouncing despite the stride in her step.

"What is the meaning of this!? What are you doing in my father's chair!?" Ah, it's nice to see you too, sweetheart.

"Excuse me?" I heard her just fine, I just want to hear it again.

"I said..."

"I heard you, Steph. Now sit, shutup, and listen. I am in charge now. Your father, in his infinite wisdom, has left me to hold down the shop. In a way, I am the puppet master. Dance my pretty!"

My dramatic, semi-evil speech doesn't have the desired effect. Stephanie does not dance, nor does she shimmy or otherwise move in a rhythmic fashion. She simply fixes me with an icy glare and a pout.

"This has to be a mistake..." she begins.


"Why would Daddy hire you? You're a janitor, for Christ's sake"

"I was a janitor. Now I'm a CEO". Ah, America. Land of opportunity.

"What do you even know about wrestling!?" she demands, her eyes alight with something I like to think is desire, but deep down I know it's more than likely hate. It's always hate.

"Never you mind, Stephanie. Now, if you need some busy work, I'm sure I can find you a job. Would you like that?"

Stephanie's silence screams 'fuck no'.

"Alright, you don't have to do anything except for one thing"

"What's that?"

"Show me a little respect. I'm your boss now, and I don't care who you're being nailed by or who your Daddy is. As long as Vinnie Mac is strapped up in a padded cell, I'm in charge. Got it?"

She nods and stalks out, mumbling something as she goes.

Do I believe a word of what I just said? Not really, no. I'm in over my head, and I'm as bemused as most everyone else. Why would Vince promote me? Who knows!? Why would he decide midget wrestling would be a good idea? Why did Mae Young give birth to a hand? Why did he think a Viscera push was a bright idea? Let's face it - in a long history of insane decisions - appointing a man qualified to clean up after people isn't so crazy.

Hell, there's a mess here, and I guess in his semi-delusional state, Vince made the leap of logic that suggested that maybe a janitor is the best man to clean up the ailing WWE.

The Challenge

This may all seem a little familiar to those who have followed my body of work. This backstory was used for the ill-fated 'WWE 2005 - A Turn for the Worse?' and the challenge concept has been employed by me in WWE - The Challenge. But neither diary ever quite went in the direction I wanted. The first lacked any exterior input forcing me to operate outside of my comfort zone, and the latter was just entirely too weird for me. So, after speaking at length with Reflecto, we settled on a middle ground.

A Reflecto's Rules diary is an awkward beast, and the first two months worth of booking alone were done with almost fifty individual rules I had to follow. Some were easy to achieve, others forced me to go against my better judgement as a booker. I won't include them here, but Reflecto will update after each of my updates to let you know which of his guidelines I've met. I, for the most part, will just try to make each show make sense.

The diary will start with the Royal Rumble match, as that was the first 'change' Reflecto made me make. A simple of the rules he's given follows:

- The Royal Rumble must be won by a worker of my choosing

- Daniel Rodimer and Vladimir Koslov must be pushed to Lower Midcard within two months

- Each month gametime, you must hire five random developmental wrestlers

- You must hire anyone that TNA, WSX, or ROH release

- As soon as a worker reaches 40 over or asks out of development, you must promote them

- Fake Kane, Idol & Stephens, and the Spirit Squad must be repackaged and assigned to a brand

There are other, more specific ones, but I'll refrain from including them here to avoid spoilers. Let's see if we can't push this one past the enigmatic five pages, shall we?

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Quick Results

The Hardy Boyz defeated MNM by pinfall

Bobby Lashley © defeated Test by count out to retain the ECW Heavyweight Title

Batista © defeated Ken Kennedy by pinfall to retain the World Heavyweight Title

John Cena © defeated Umaga in a Last Man Standing match to retain the WWE Heavyweight Title

And now for the Royal Rumble match...

The crowd’s quiet in anticipation of the Rumble. Who has been unlucky enough to draw #1?

The crowd goes crazy as Degeneration X’s music hits, it’s Shawn Michaels! Can he go coast to coast again? The odds are most certainly stacked against the Heartbreak Kid!

Entrant #1: Shawn Michaels (Raw)

HBK waits in the ring for his first opponent, and who’s it going to be?

My name’s Finlay and I love to fight

Entrant #2: Finlay (Smackdown!)

The two wily veterans circle one another early, and it’s HBK who makes the first move. Finlay sweeps Michaels’ legs out from underneath him and pounces, locking the DX superstar in a headlock. HBK manages to battle to his feet and break the hold with some hard elbows, whipping Finlay and taking him down with a dropkick. Finlay’s back to his feet and goes right back to the ground courtesy of a hard chop from Michaels. The count-down comes and who will number three be?

Entrant #3: Gregory Helms (Smackdown!)

The WWE Cruiserweight Champion wastes no time getting into the ring and siding with the dominant man, laying boots into the fallen Finlay. Shawn Michaels doesn’t want any of that, and when Helms turns around, he walks right into Sweet Chin Music! HBK plays to the ground, but Finlay ends the celebrations with a clothesline to the heartbreak kid. He then treats Helms to a suplex and tosses him over the top rope. Helms manages to cling onto the top rope and save himself from early elimination.


The arena lights up as Kane’s pyros signal the Big Red Machine’s entry into this year’s Royal Rumble.

Entrant #4: Kane (Smackdown!)

Smackdown’s monster doesn’t show any signs of allegiance as he stamps into the ring, putting Finlay down with a big boot. Helms attempts a springboard axe as he enters the ring, but he’s caught and absolutely planted by a chokeslam! Kane turns his attention to HBK, who comes off the rope and attempts to knock the big man over with a flying elbow. Kane doesn’t look impressed. Another attempt comes from HBK, and this time Kane grabs him by the neck in readiness for a chokeslam. Low blow from Helms! Kane relinquishes his grip on Shawn Michael’s neck and staggers backwards. Sweet Chin Music from Michaels! Kane is up against the ropes. Dropkick from Helms! Kane is out!

Elimination #1 – Kane (by Gregory Helms)

Helms celebrates his ‘victory’ over Kane, but it is short lived. A furious big red machine slides back into the ring and chokeslams Helms to hell! He then tosses Helms unceremoniously out of the ring and follows him, dragging the cruiserweight champion into the crowd and brawling up and out of the arena.

Elimination #2 – Gregory Helms (by Kane)

Amidst all the chaos, the arrival of the Nature Boy, Ric Flair!

Entrant #5 – Ric Flair (Raw)

It’s old school chops all around for Finlay and Shawn Michaels, with the fresher Ric Flair wooing and chopping like there’s no tomorrow. Finlay’s Little Bastard is in the ring, but Flair’s seen him! Chop to the Little Bastard from Ric Flair! Finlay spins Flair around and kicks him in the gut. He’s got the Nature Boy up on his shoulders for the Celtic Cross… he hits it! Flair is in Disneyland!

Another entrant is on his way out to the ring, and it’s another real contender.

Entrant #6 – King Booker (Smackdown!)

His highness goes straight after Shawn Michaels, and his sometime ally, Finlay, comes along for the ride – and together they manage to toss Michaels over the top rope. He manages to grip the top rope, and a low blow to both Booker and Finlay from Flair prevents them from finishing the job. Flair comes off the ropes to attempt a clothesline, but Finlay hits him in the midsection with his shillelagh and while he’s doubled over, Booker comes off the ropes and hits his Scissor Kick. But someone else is due out now!

Entrant #7 – Chavo Guerrero (Smackdown!)

Michaels has managed to crawl into a corner now, and Chavo sprints down to the ring to go right after Finlay. The fighting Irishman clumsily swings the cudgel, but Chavo ducks underneath it and hits Finlay with a dropkick! Booker is going after the fallen Flair, leaving Michaels to recuperate.

Entrant #8 – Rob Van Dam (ECW)

ECW’s first ever entrant into the Royal Rumble match is a man with plenty of Rumble experience, and RVD looks to even out things in the ring. He enters the ring with a springboard dropkick to King Booker, following it up with a monkey flip on a charging Finlay. Chavo Guerrero rushes over and clubs RVD from behind, but Flair and HBK come to the extremist’s aid – and HBK is able to send Chavo Guerrero out over the top rope!

Elimination #3 – Chavo Guerrero (by Shawn Michaels)

RVD is quick to turn on Michaels, attempting to dropkick the heartbreak kid out of the ring. Flair goes old school with some chops on Van Dam, while Finlay and Booker pounce on the still stunned Michaels and attempt to tip him over the top rope.

Entrant #9 – Carlito (Raw)

Carlito is without Torrie as he runs down to the ring, and his first order of business is a dropkick to Finlay, who hadn’t seen his entry. The Smackdown veteran is sent tumbling over the top rope!

Elimination #4 – Finlay (by Carlito)

A similar dropkick puts Booker over the top rope, but he’s able to cling to the top rope. In fact, an irate Finlay slips him the cudgel and he smacks Carlito across the face with it! Carlito drops like he’s been shot! HBK looks in line to receive similar treatment, but he blocks the attempted blow and a hard chop forces Booker to drop his weapon. Flair pounces on the discarded weapon, but a top rope kick from RVD sends the Nature Boy to the mat.

Entrant #10 – Rene Dupree (ECW)

We’re a third of the way through the Royal Rumble as ECW’s Rene Dupree struts out to the ring. He takes his time removing a fur jacket and straightening his hair before entering. Meanwhile, things in the ring have come to something of a stalemate. Flair and Carlito are out, leaving RVD to battle King Booker in the centre of the ring. HBK is again recuperating in the corner, and it’s him that Dupree goes after, looking to make a name for himself. Some kicks keep the heartbreak kid grounded.

Entrant #11 – Kenny Dykstra (Raw)

The cocky Raw superstar rushes out to aid Dupree in attacking HBK. RVD and Flair are attempting to tip King Booker over the top rope, whilst Carlito is playing it smart by keeping away from the action. Things look grim for HBK for a moment, as he’s whipped by Dykstra and leveled with a stiff arm clothesline from Dupree. As the two cocky young guns congratulate one another, Carlito pounces – hitting Dykstra with a back-cracker. HBK gets the crowd going with an inverted atomic drop to a stunned Dupree, before bundling the Frenchman over the top rope.

Elimination #5 – Rene Dupree (by Shawn Michaels)

Carlito attempts to send Dykstra out in similar fashion, but the former tag team champion manages to hold onto the top rope and come back in under the bottom.

Entrant #12 – CM Punk (ECW)

The crowd cheers as the straight edge superstar comes out to the ring. He goes right after the Nature Boy, who is beginning to look the worse for wear after a lengthy run in the bout. HBK’s also out after exerting himself to eliminate Dupree. Carlito and RVD team up against Kenny Dykstra, tossing the Raw superstar out.

Elimination #6 – Kenny Dykstra (by Rob Van Dam and Carlito)

In the mean-time, Flair ducks an attempted clothesline from Punk and thumbs the extremist in the eye. He tosses him out! No! Punk clings to the middle rope and manages to crawl back into the ring. Flair is busy strutting, though, and is tossed out himself by an opportunistic King Booker.

Elimination #7 – Ric Flair (by King Booker)

Carlito attempts to bundle Booker out as well, but the former World Champion is able to hold onto the top rope and foil the plan.

Entrant #13 – Chris Masters (Raw)

The masterpiece goes right after Michaels upon entering the ring, as if HBK is a marked man. RVD and CM Punk battle in one corner, while King Booker continues to struggle with Carlito against the ropes. Masters attempts to lock HBK in the Masterlock… he’s got it! Michaels goes limp as Masters shakes him like a rag doll, but Carlito is on hand to make the save – a back cracker again proving the undoing of his one time tag partner. Meanwhile, RVD has rolled to the outside and returned with a chair. He tosses it to Carlito before hitting a Van Daminator! Carlito’s out!

Elimination #8 – Carlito (by Rob Van Dam)

There’s no allies here! CM Punk rushes at a recovering Masters, but the masterpiece locks him in a Masterlock as well! RVD shrugs to a fuming Carlito, who spits apple into his face! RVD stumbles backwards into King Booker! BOOK END! RVD has been tossed out by King Booker with an unwitting assist from Carlito!

Elimination #9 – Rob Van Dam (by King Booker)

Entrant #14 – William Regal (Smackdown!)

Carlito and RVD aren’t done just yet, and the two are brawling around the ring as the English superstar makes his way out. He gives the two brawlers a wide berth, sliding into the ring and treating CM Punk to some old school chops for his troubles. King Booker and Masters talk for a moment before turning on Shawn Michaels, who again gets beaten into the corner by his opposition. Regal whips Punk, who comes back with a spinning elbow. He’s locking in the Anaconda Vice and Regal is tapping, but there’s no submissions here!

Outside the ring, Carlito has grabbed a chair and he absolutely creams RVD with it! The crowd isn’t sure what to make of it! Carlito lays RVD out on the steps and crushes his arm with a vicious chair shot!

Entrant #15 – Hardcore Holly (ECW)

We’re at the halfway point, and Holly decides to weigh in to the hardcore action rather than entering the Rumble just now. He rushes over and tackles Carlito into the security barrier, only to break it off, snatch the chair, and take a shot at RVD himself! Punk releases Regal from the hold and goes out to even the odds for RVD, sliding under the bottom rope and hitting a dropkick to the unexpecting Holly.

In the ring, King Booker gets Chris Masters to lock the hapless HBK in the Masterlock so he can attempt a superkick, and predictably, Michaels ducks and King Booker catches his own ally in the mouth! Masters stumbles back against the ropes and out!

Elimination #10 – Chris Masters (by King Booker)

Entrant #16 – Flash Funk (Smackdown)

It’s a blast from the past as Flash Funk dances his way out to the ring. The brawling around the ring seems to have ended, with Holly having bounced Punk’s head off the steps and rolling his ECW alumni back into the ring. RVD is being stretchered out after the brutal beating, and Carlito leaves through a confused crowd.

Booker and Holly are beating on CM Punk in the corner, allowing Funk to attempt an elimination against HBK. The heartbreak kid is playing possum! As Funk approaches, he kips up! Inverted atomic drop! Funk is out almost as quickly as he’d arrived!

Elimination #11 – Flash Funk (by Shawn Michaels)

Michaels goes to the aid of Punk now, tuning up the band and waiting for Booker or Holly to turn around. It’s Booker who turns, but he ducks the kick and racks Michaels up on the ropes! Holly attempts to bundle Michaels out, but he’s clinging to the ropes. Punk repays the favour from HBK, tipping Holly up and over the top rope!

Elimination #12 – Hardcore Holly (by CM Punk)

Entrant #17 – Sabu (ECW)

Sabu’s rushing out to the ring with a chair wrapped in barbed wire, wishing he’d been out early enough to partake in the brawl at ringside. Michaels has slid back in under the bottom rope, and seeing Sabu’s arrival, King Booker smartly goes to the outside. Punk hasn’t seen Sabu arrive and takes a brutal chair shot to the head! There’s blood coming from a wound in his head. Sabu goes to the top with the chair in hand, intent on attempting a brutal variant to the Arabian Facebuster. He flies, but nobody’s home! Punk rolls to safety. Booker’s back in quickly, tossing the stunned Sabu out and over the top rope!

Elimination #13 – Sabu (by King Booker)

Regal attempts to eliminate his further employer, having spent a good while recovering in a corner away from harm’s way. Booker blocks the attempt and turns to scold his former underling. But Punk’s got the barbed wire chair! He swings but Regal ducks! Booker is able to leap backwards to avoid it, but he’s overbalanced. He’s fallen out of the ring!

Elimination #14 – King Booker (by CM Punk)

Punk’s just eliminated a furious King Booker! Regal doesn’t give him time to celebrate, picking him up for a stalling suplex. He eyes the chair for a few moments, but a referee at ringside smartly removes temptation.

Entrant #18 – Chris Benoit (SD!)

Regal turns to confront his sometime adversary, as the Rabid Wolverine rushes out to take his place in the battle. He and Regal exchange chops for a few moments before the fresh man gets the upper hand, beating Regal into submission and then whipping hard. A knee lift puts Regal on the ground, and Benoit turns his attention to Punk. Punk’s learned a little from HBK and was playing possum, hitting Benoit with some smart jabs and coming off the ropes. Benoit dodges it and locks in the Crippler Crossface! Now it’s Punk’s turn to tap out!

Entrant #19 – Burchill (Raw)

Pirate themed music hits and it’s the long awaited return of Pirate Paul Burchill. He throws doubloons to the crowd on his way down before sliding in and going right after his former tag partner and mentor, Regal. He kicks things off with a bang, Walking the Plank and getting a huge cheer from the crowd in doing so. Benoit turns to face his latest challenge, and the two men brawl as the next entrant makes their way out.

Entrant #20 – Randy Orton (Raw)

It’s the Legend Killer! He’s coming in fresh and wasting no time! RKO to Regal. Regal’s out!

Elimination #15 – William Regal (by Randy Orton)

RKO to Chris Benoit! RKO to CM Punk! He gets down low and waits for Burchill to turn around, but the pirate blocks the attempt and shoves Orton away. He goes in for Walking the Plank, but Orton’s able to escape and go to the corner. HBK’s enemy being in the ring seems to have enlivened the #1 entrant, and he hits a neckbreaker on Burchill before going after the cowering Orton. The crowd rally behind Michaels as he chops Orton into a corner, going up top to hit the ten punch complete with crotch chop.

Entrant #21 – Kevin Thorn (ECW)

ECW’s resident vampire sprints out next, but it’s right into Sweet Chin Music from a fired up Shawn Michaels! CM Punk and Chris Benoit are to their feet now, and they put their differences aside and go to work on Orton with Michaels. Burchill drags Thorn to his feet and attempts to eliminate him from the match.

Entrant #22 – Elijah Burke (ECW)

The cocky young ECW superstar goes right after Burchill, clipping him from behind and allowing Thorn to bite his neck! The allegiance is short lived though, with Burke knocking Thorn out with a brutal kick to the head as he pulls away! With two men down at his hand, he clubs Benoit across the back and incurs the wrath of the Wolverine. He’s chopped into submission and treated to triple German Suplexes to really get the crowd going. After three, he tosses a stunned Burke out over the top rope.

Elimination #16 – Elijah Burke (by Chris Benoit)

Benoit turns right into Walking the Plank from Burchill, who catches a brutal looking knee to the jaw from Thorn as he attempts to get to his feet. Punk and Michaels are having no luck eliminating Orton from the match, but he’s in trouble here.

Entrant #23 – MVP (Smackdown!)

Smackdown’s self proclaimed most valuable player comes to the aid of Orton for no apparent reason, attempting to dump Michaels out over the top rope. When that fails, he attacks Kevin Thorn. Burchill and Benoit are brawling in a corner now, whilst Orton rakes Punk’s eyes and manages to get down from the rope. A dropkick has Michaels teetering against the ropes. Orton rushes over to attempt a clothesline on Michaels, who back body drops him over the ropes! Orton’s on the apron! MVP charges at Michaels, who ducks. Orton drops a shoulder into MVP’s ribs and Suplexes him to the outside!

Elimination #17 – MVP (by Randy Orton)

Entrant #24 – Marquis Cor Van (ECW)

We’re getting to the business end of things as ECW’s Alpha Male hits the ring. A running shoulder block floors Kevin Thorn. Whip to Burchill, POUNCE! Burchill’s out and over the top rope!

Elimination #18 – Burchill (by Marquis Cor Van)

He kicks Benoit in the gut and attempts to hit him with the Alpha Bomb, but Benoit delivers punches at the top and manages to drop safely to his feet. A kick to the gut allows him to hit the Three Amigos on Cor Van, earning “Eddie” chants from the crowd.

Entrant #25 – Edge (Raw)

Edge sprints down to the ring now and makes an immediate impact, spearing Kevin Thorn and then tossing him over the top rope!

Elimination #19 – Kevin Thorn (by Edge)

CM Punk whips Edge to the corner and hits a running knee in the corner, but Edge blocks it and sends Punk to the outside! The popular extremist lands nimbly on the apron, but Orton hits an RKO!

Elimination #20 – CM Punk (by Randy Orton)

Rated RKO go straight after their long term rival, Michaels now, and he’s not going to get much help from Benoit – who is teetering precariously on the top rope thanks to the attentions of Marquis Cor Van.

Entrant #26 – The Undertaker (Smackdown!)

Business is about to pick up! The Dead Man makes his way into the ring and is confronted by a charge from Cor Van. Big boot! He tosses Cor Van out over the top rope with ease!

Elimination #21 – Marquis Cor Van (by The Undertaker)

It’s a stand off between genuine contenders now. Randy Orton, Edge, The Undertaker, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels remain in the ring – warily eying one another off before an unseen and unheard trigger sends them into an all in brawl at the centre of the ring! Undertaker levels Orton with a brutal uppercut, whilst Michaels and Benoit crash to the mat brawling. Edge comes up against The Undertaker and backs away feigning surrender, but it’s all a ploy – Randy Orton hits a low blow on the dead man and it’s followed up by a Spear from Edge.

Entrant # 27 – The Sandman (ECW)

It’s not a good environment for Sandman to walk into, and even his Singapore cane doesn’t do much to even the odds. After battering Edge, Benoit, and Orton with the weapon – he finds himself being press slammed to the outside by an irate Undertaker.

Elimination #22 – The Sandman (by The Undertaker)

He lasted even less time than Flash Funk! The brawl renews, with no one looking like making a breakthrough in a tough field.

Entrant #28 – The Big Show (ECW)

Well, if it was difficult before, it’s going to be impossible now. The former ECW champion has drawn a great number and he’s got two near misses in the Royal Rumble to make amends for. He’s confronted by Chris Benoit as he enters the ring, and a head-butt from the big man sends Benoit to the mat. Edge and Orton descend on Show and manage to get him into a corner, but the bigger man explodes out of the corner and scatters Rated RKO like ten pins! Benoit’s back to his feet and he walks straight into a choke slam to the outside! Benoit’s been eliminated by Big Show!

Elimination #23 – Chris Benoit (by The Big Show)

Big Show turns around to come face to face with The Undertaker. The two giants stare one another down before the brawling begins. Undertaker manages to gain the upper hand after weathering a beating of his own, and the crowd are so enthralled with the stand off that they barely notice entrant #29.

Entrant #29 – Super Crazy (Raw)

Crazy seeks to make an impact early on, and a dropkick to Randy Orton threatens to send him to the outside. Edge remains loyal to Orton for now, and he catches Crazy from behind with Edgecution! Undertaker has Big Show’s arm now and he’s walking the tight-rope to hit Old School. Show stumbles backward towards the ropes, and Undertaker seeks to put him out with a big clothesline.

Entrant #30 – The Great Khali (Raw)

The big men keep on coming, and it’s The Great Khali who has drawn the coveted #30 position. Show is teetering as Michaels joins forces with Undertaker to attempt an elimination, but Khali’s arrival gives them more pressing concerns. Edge and Orton advance on Khali but fall after brutal head-butts from the big man. Super Crazy charges at him as well, but a chop sends him staggering backwards. Khali tosses Crazy out.

Elimination #24 – Super Crazy (by The Great Khali)

Shawn Michaels attempts to fell Khali now, but he meets a similar fate to Rated RKO. Worse, he’s picked up for what looks like it’ll be a choke bomb to the outside! Undertaker cuts it off at the pass, clipping Khali’s knee from behind to send the big man to one knee. He comes back off the ropes and hits a rollover neck breaker on the Indian behemoth!

Khali somehow staggers to his feet. RKO from Orton! He stumbles back towards the ropes. Sweet Chin Music from Michaels! He’s teetering! Big Show charges at Khali and hits him with a clothesline. Khali’s out! Khali is sent to the outside but it took a power of stopping!

Elimination #25 – The Great Khali (by The Big Show)

Big Show isn’t given any chance to celebrate, as Rated RKO grab a leg each and tip the ECW giant out and over the top rope!

Elimination #26 – The Big Show (Edge/Randy Orton)

We’re down to our final four! Rated RKO, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels are the last men standing! Michaels has lasted over an hour but he’s standing tall. Orton and Edge are on one side of the ring, and come together to discuss strategy. HBK and Undertaker eye one another with less confidence, before a nod indicates a temporary alliance. The two charge!

Undertaker takes Edge down with a big boot, whilst Michaels ducks Orton’s attempt and hits him hard across the chest with a chop. Orton attempts to retaliate but it’s blocked and another chop follows. Orton whips Michaels, who ducks the clothesline and comes back with a flying elbow. He kips up! The crowd go crazy as he tunes up the band! Undertaker has Edge up on one shoulder at this point, but Edge is clinging to the top rope to prevent elimination. Orton’s to his feet, Michaels goes for it…. NO! He misses! Orton ducks under it and HBK’s racked up on the ropes again! Meanwhile, Edge has managed to get loose of Undertaker’s grip and he’s behind him. He shoves Undertaker into the ropes and he tumbles over the top rope, hanging on. SPEAR! Edge just speared Undertaker and the dead man falls to the floor! He’s out! The dead man is out!

Elimination #27 – The Undertaker (by Edge)

Shawn Michaels is in real trouble now. He’s alone in the ring against the two men who have made his life a living hell. The two men who took Triple H out of action. He knows he’s in trouble, and like dogs, Edge & Orton herd him into a corner. Edge signals for attack but remains behind, leaving Orton to do the dirty work for him. A raised boot catches him in the face, and Michaels clotheslines him to the outside! Orton’s on the apron and he grabs Michaels, clubbing him across the back and head with hard elbows. Edge is standing ready to deliver the Spear. Here he comes!

MICHAELS MOVES! Michaels moved aside and Edge catches Orton in the ribs! Orton crashes out and to the mat!

Elimination #28 – Randy Orton (by Edge)

Edge wastes valuable time staring down at his partner, who looks pissed off at his elimination. Their argument almost gets Edge eliminated, with Michaels tipping Edge over the rope but the Rated R superstar managing to hold on. Michaels collapses from the exertion.

Orton has a chair and he’s in the ring. Both Edge and Michaels are to their feet, and for a moment, Orton looks to be considering hitting his own tag partner. He moves to swing, and HITS MICHAELS! Shawn Michaels has been split open by an absolutely brutal chair shot from Orton! His work done, a clearly unhappy Orton rolls to the outside and slinks up the ramp. Edge is again ready to deliver the Spear, and he taunts and beckons to Michaels as the heartbreak kid staggers to his feet. He’s dazed. It’s as good as over. Edge charges.

SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Edge is caught at top speed with a brutal Sweet Chin Music! Michaels again collapses, and now both men are out! The crowd chant Shawn Michaels’ name and he kips up! Edge is too his feet, but walks right into an inverted atomic drop! Michaels plays to the crowd now, and the San Antonio crowd is eating it up. He tunes up the band to deliver a match ending edition of Sweet Chin Music. Edge turns. He hits it! Edge is out! Edge falls out and over the top rope!

Elimination #29 – Edge (by Shawn Michaels)

Shawn can’t believe it! He crashes back to the mat and stares up at the roof, pumping his fists in celebration. Shawn Michaels has won the 2007 Royal Rumble and booked himself a place in the Wrestlemania Main Event. The second man to win it three times, and he’s done it from #1 tonight just like Rey Mysterio last year and Chris Benoit in 2004. What an achievement!

HBK goes to the turnbuckle to salute the crowd, whilst an irate Edge watches on with pain in his eyes from the ramp. But wait! Who’s that in the ring? It’s Gregory Helms! He rushes up behind Michaels and tips him over the top rope! What’s he doing? The match is over!

But the bell’s ringing! What the hell is going on.

“The winner of this match… Gregory Helms!” the crowd’s cheers turn to boos.

“Gregory Helms’ was not eliminated from this match as he did not go out over the top rope”.

Shawn Michaels can’t believe it! Edge can’t believe it! Gregory Helms stands atop the turnbuckle and points to the Wrestlemania sign hanging above the crowd. He points to Edge and Shawn Michaels and he laughs. Has Gregory Helms just stolen an unlikely Royal Rumble win?


Wrestlemania Bound?

Edited by MisanthropeClassic
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To give the facts of what CWB did correctly here, the rules he passed were the following:

1- Your Royal Rumble winner must be Gregory Helms. (In exchange for this, I have allowed CWB to Arsenic Helms to 91 overness because of this.)

2- Paul Burchill must reprise the Pirate gimmick and must be assigned to RAW

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Ace Steel to Make WWE Debut?

WWE developmental talent and indy veteran, Ace Steel is expected to make his debut in the near future as a competitor on the Raw roster. Despite Vince's sudden withdrawal from television commitments, the feud between McMahon and Trump is expected to be carried on by Shane McMahon. Steel is expected to debut as a Donald Trump rip-off and may well get a push heading into Wrestlemania as a possible representative of Vince McMahon.

Who is Chris Walker-Bush?

The wrestling community continues to buzz with rumours about the providence of surprise head booker appointment, Chris Walker-Bush. His name is entirely unfamiliar in professional wrestling circles, and many claim that his appointment is a work rather than a genuine creative decision by the company. While Vince McMahon's mental condition has been confirmed, it seems dubious that it would not be Triple H, Stephanie, or Shane to take the reigns of the company.

WWE Pounce on TNA Talent

The WWE have pounced on a number of recently released TNA talents, signing A1, Lance Hoyt, David Young, Ms. Tennessee (Jacqui of WWE fame), So Cal Val, Scott D'Amore, and Traci Brooks to long term deals. Lance Hoyt is expected to debut on this week's edition of Smackdown, with D'Amore and A1 also expected to join the Smackdown roster. Traci has been slated as a potential manager for ECW's Rob Van Dam.

CM Punk Graduates Join OVW

A number of CM Punk trained wrestlers have been signed to developmental deals by the WWE in recent days. These include Bobby Dempsey, Smash Bradley, and Pelle Primeau. The signings are said to be a sign that Punk is no longer in the doghouse with WWE management, and may well have a lot to do with the new management team being a fan of his work.

Flair Retiring

Professional wrestling legend and the Dirtiest Player in the Game, Ric Flair has announced he will retire after Wrestlemania after sustaining an injury in the Royal Rumble match. While it is something that Flair can work through, the surgery required would put him out for a year, and it seems unlikely he'll return after such a lengthy lay-off. WWE.com is running a poll to decide on a dream final match for Flair.

No Way Out Card Revealed?

A leaked poster for next month's No Way Out PPV seems to indicate that Batista will be taking on The Undertaker in the main event. Whether this means Gregory Helms chooses another brand or will not have made his decision by this point remains to be seen. House shows leading up to the event also have Helms working a program with Shawn Michaels. Other matches expected to be on the card include an ECW title match and a potential cross promotional match between ECW's CM Punk and Smackdown's King Booker.

Assorted News & Rumours

The WWE is apparently having trouble coming up with a new direction for Umaga after his loss to John Cena at the Royal Rumble, and the character could soon be taken off the air for some time in order to freshen his gimmick.

Teddy Hart has been told to prepare for a call up to the big time this year. With the Survivor Series set to take place in Montreal this year, it is expected that Hart could work a dream program with Shawn Michaels.

Nelson Frasier (Viscera on Raw) has badly broken his knee during a house show. It is expected he will be out of action for as much as sixteen months.

Candice Michelle is likely to be paired with Paul Burchill as a buxom wench. This is likely a move to give the WWE Divas more to do, and to give Burchill a little more mainstream appeal.

Smackdown's Sylvan is being groomed for a potential main event run, and is expected to work a feud with Kane or someone of similar upper midcard status in the near future.

ECW's Matt Striker will join Smackdown in the near future, whilst Kelly Kelly will be moved to the Raw brand. Vince is said to be very high on Kelly, and wants to push her as a potential women's title contender. Jamie Noble is expected to debut on ECW in the near future.

Kevin Nash Return?

Kevin Nash's release from TNA has left an opening for him to return as an on screen character for the WWE. Whilst his current injury rules him out of working any matches in the forseeable future, there is talk that Shawn Michaels has approached Vince McMahon about bringing Nash in as some kind of authority figure.

Edited by MisanthropeClassic
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"I...am...the Game...ah!" Triple H was in a foul mood, slamming his fist down on the board room table and spilling my iced tea. The fucker.

"And I am your boss," I began before adding "ah" for good measure. Triple H's baleful stare showed me that he didn't appreciate my attempt at humour. Doesn't he know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

"Besides," I quickly went on, "I don't think the fans want to see you win every title and then rename Raw to Triple H-ah". The 'ah' was not me mocking Triple H, he had actually suggested that be the new name for the WWE's flagship promotion. Vince has been stroking this guy's ego for way to long, he's got delusions of grandeur.

"Chris, if you weeeeel, I have a suggestion". Ah, Dusty Rhodes. The man was already on his second box of donuts, and this was the first thing he'd said all meeting. The complimentary donuts were my way of keeping him quiet. The last thing the WWE needed right now was dusty finish after dusty finish.

"Yes, Dusty?"

"This box is empty". Thank Christ. For a moment, I thought he was going to suggest I push Trevor Murdoch to the moon. I signalled to Maude, my dinner lady, and she promptly deposited another box of donuts before Dusty. He fell silent once more, save the smacking of lips and the rustle of paper.

"When is Mr. McMahon going to be back?" JR had raised his hand like a schoolkid, and he turned his doe eyes to me. I could tell the lead commentator didn't like me much, he missed his old boss. He didn't like the fact that Vince had left without telling him, and he definitely didn't like the fact that I'd been left in charge.

"Look," I finally assert, "We need to decide on how things will play out for tonight's episode of Raw. Can we focus?"


And so we knuckled down and, after turning down a few suggestions from Triple H and his wife, we managed to come up with the following...


-- The Rumble Fallout --

Gregory Helms…Helms

Raw kicks off with a bang and a lot of booing as Smackdown’s Gregory Helms’ music hits and the shock Royal Rumble winner appears at the top of the ramp in his sunglasses and flowing black coat reminiscent of Edge’s getup. He makes his way down to the ring and waits for the crowd’s boos to die down before speaking.

Helms: Boo all you like, but it won’t change the fact that you are looking at the man who will go on to the Wrestlemania main event!

More boos.

Helms: Last night, I showed that it doesn’t take a seven foot monster to win the Royal Rumble. It doesn’t take a four or five time champion or an alliance. I showed that all it takes to win the Royal Rumble is something that I have in abundance and something that Shawn Michaels is clearly lacking. It takes brains.

The crowd continues to boo. Scattered DX chants start up, much to Helms’ annoyance.

Helms: You think cheering for Shawn Michaels is going to make him feel better about being outsmarted by the best kept secret in professional wrestling? You think knowing that a bunch of slack jawed, ignorant rednecks from San Antonio are rooting for him helped him sleep last night? You’re wrong! You think…

Degeneration X’s music hits and the crowd pops

Shawn Michaels is fired up. He pumps his fists to draw energy from the crowd before lifting the mike to his lips and turning to address Helms.

HBK: I don’t know who the hell you think you are, kid, but you’d better watch your mouth. You’re talking to the heart-breaker, the show-stopper, the legend, the icon, the main event! You’re talking to Shawn Michaels!

Helms: I know who I’m…”

HBK: Shutup!”

The crowd cheers

HBK: The fact of the matter is, you got lucky last night. I’m man enough to admit that you got the better of me, but it was all luck. You were lucky that Kane didn’t throw you out over the top rope, and you were lucky that I didn’t see you in time to knock your head off with a little sweet chin music. And you’ll be lucky tonight if I don’t come down there and beat your ass!

Helms: Preach all you want, Michaels, but they’re just words. You want a piece of me? Come down here and take it!

Shawn Michaels throws the mike down and begins to head to the ring. Gregory Helms tosses his mike aside and quickly bails out, heading out through the crowd to avoid a beating from the Heartbreak Kid. DX’s music hits as Shawn Michaels stands tall.


Gregory Helms gained overness from this segment

-- Vince Has Left the Building --

The door to Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s office opens, but it’s not Vince sitting at the desk, but his son, Shane. Standing in front of the desk are Jonathan Coachman, Pat Patterson, Gerald Briscoe, Sergeant Slaughter, and assorted other staff.

Shane: Alright, let me make one thing clear. My father, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, may be away on business – but this place will continue to run like a well oiled machine. I’m already taking applications to take over the commissioner’s job and, starting tonight, I’ll be systematically punishing anyone who has done anything to make my father’s life difficult in the past few weeks. Coachman, who do we need to ‘talk’ to?

The Coach looks a little put out that he hasn’t been gifted the commissioner’s role, but he recovers quickly.

Coach: Certainly, Shane, and may I just say that it’s a pleasure to be working for…

Shane: The list, Coach, now.

Coach: Uh… of course. Well, Carlito dared to tell your father he was not cool a few weeks ago, but The Great Khali put him in his place. I think…

Shane: You’re not being paid to think, Coach, it doesn’t suit you. Carlito’s announced that Carlito’s Cabana is returning tonight and I can’t think of a better guest for that show than me. Make it happen, Coach.

Coach rushes off.

Briscoe: The main event tonight, sir?

Shane: It seems to me there’s some unresolved issues between HBK and John Cena. Tonight it will be John Cena against Shawn Michaels in a WWE Title match!

Briscoe and Patterson clap excitedly as we fade out.


-- A Wench for Burchill --

We return from the break to find Paul Burchill standing at a food table. He’s got a goblet of red wine in one hand and shoving grapes into his mouth with the other. He’s reaching for a chicken leg when Candice Michelle approaches.

Candice: Paul, right?

Burchill: Aye!

Candice: I saw your match tonight…

Burchill: Oh, and what did ye make of it, wench?

Candice: I was impressed…

Burchill puts down the chicken leg and wine goblet and gives Candice an appraising eye.

Burchill: My, you’re a fine lookin’ wench. What say you and I get acquainted?

He follows this up by roughly seizing Candice around the waist and planting a kiss on her lips. She struggles for a moment, but then her arms come up around Burchill’s back and she leans into the kiss.


Candice Michelle has gained overness

-- Paul Burchill vs. Kenny Dykstra --

Pirate Paul Burchill marks his return to the WWE and his debut on Raw with a fairly dominant win after an initial period of control from Kenny Dykstra that relies fairly heavily on rest holds to slow things down. Once Burchill managed to get some momentum, which seemed to coincide with a kiss from Candice Michelle, he is able to hit Walking the Plank and lock in the Fujiwara Armbar for a submission victory at 5:14

RATING: 65/62/68

Paul Burchill gained overness from this match

-- Dissent in the Ranks –

We’re backstage in the dressing room of Rated RKO, where Randy Orton is watching highlights from the Royal Rumble. The screen shows his elimination at the hands of Edge and, fittingly, Edge walks into the room at this time.

Edge: What’s going on, Randy?

Randy: I’ll tell you what’s going on. I’m watching last night’s Royal Rumble and, call me crazy, but it looks like you eliminated me. What was going on there, huh?

Edge: (Defusing the situation) Randy, you know it was an accident. Shawn Michaels moved and I hit you with the Spear. Now look, we’ve got a tag team title match tonight and I need to be sure we’re on the same page. Are you with me?

Randy thinks for a moment and nods.

Randy: Alright, Edge, I’m with you.

The two shake hands and Randy heads out of the dressing room. Edge turns his attention to the monitor, which is again playing Orton’s elimination. He smiles and nods, as if proud of his actions.

-- Jeff Hardy © vs. Umaga for the Intercontinental Title --

Umaga is accompanied to the ring by Armanda Alejandro Estrada and he does not look pleased. Hardy is made to feel the brunt of his frustrations for a second loss to John Cena, beaten from pillar to post and getting off only a little offense in the entire match. The highlight from Hardy’s point is a senton bomb – but the cover only gets two and Umaga launches straight back into battering him. The gold clearly isn’t on his mind, and some prompting from Estrada sees Umaga take a chair and brutally batter the champion, ending the match with a DQ decision.

RATING: 76/78/74

-- Carlito’s Cabana featuring Shane McMahon --

I spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool…

Carlito’s Cabana has been set up in the ring for its long awaited return, and Carlito is on his way out to the ring with Torrie Wilson at his side. While he grabs the mike, she stands at his side like a pretty game show girl.

Carlito: Last night at the Royal Rumble, Carlito got eliminated by Rob Van Dam…

A mixture of cheering and booing

Carlito: That’s not cool!

Torrie makes a show of consoling Carlito.

Carlito: But you know what is cool? The return of Carlito’s Cabana. And tonight’s guest, Shane McMahon…

Here comes the money… here comes the money!

Shane McMahon struts out to interrupt Carlito’s introduction, the WWE chairman’s son looking all business. JR and Lawler remind us that The Great Khali was used to punish Carlito just a few short weeks ago.

Carlito: Shane O’Mac, welcome to Carlito’s Cabana.

Shane: Good to be here, Carlito. Nice set you’ve got here…

The latter is delivered while lecherously admiring Torrie. Obviously Shane has his father’s eye. Seeing this, Carlito takes a bite of his apple, as if considering spitting it in Shane’s face, but swallows it harmlessly before asking his question.

Carlito: Alright, Shane, Carlito has got to ask the question on everybody’s lips. The burning question that we all need an answer to. The sixty four million dollar question is: where is Vince? Did he go crazy or has he just run away because he’s scared of Donald Trump?

Shane: (Visibly angry) Scared of Donald Trump!? My father isn’t scared of anybody, you cocky son of a bitch. My father not only survived a war with Steve Austin, he came out on top! Where’s Austin now? My father’s won Royal Rumbles, you bastard, and that’s more than I can say for you!

Carlito: This interview isn’t about Carlito. This interview is about…

Shane: Weren’t you in the Royal Rumble last night?

Carlito: Carlito was

Shane: That’s right, and didn’t you get eliminated by Rob Van Dam? I don’t know about you, but I think that that is ‘cool’.

Carlito: Trying to get Carlito angry is not cool.

Shane: In fact, if I remember, you were doing pretty well until he eliminated you. Maybe well enough to have gone the distance and main evented Wrestlemania. Some might say that Rob Van Dam ‘robbed’ you of your…

Carlito: Shut up! You know what’s not cool? Shane McMahon coming on Carlito’s Cabana and asking the questions. Now sit down and shut up!

The crowd cheers for this, but Shane doesn’t look at all happy

Shane: You’re telling me to shut up? Who the hell do you think you are!? I’m Shane McMahon. I’m the son of Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

Carlito: And you’ll ride that until the day you die.

Shane: (Infuriated) My father owns this company and he owns you. And you know what I think would be cool? I think you against an opponent of my choosing is a ‘cool’ idea. And what’s more cool than that? The fact that if you lose this match… YOU’RE FIRED!

Shane McMahon steps out of the ring, leaving a clearly stunned Carlito and Torrie in the ring.


Carlito gained overness

-- Carlito vs. The Great Khali --

Carlito’s opponent is none other than the seven foot tall Indian giant, and he’s on his way out as the crew hurriedly remove the Carlito’s Cabana set. The crowd starts a Carlito chant almost immediately. Before he’s even all the way through the ropes, Carlito’s on him with punches and kicks. Khali shrugs it off and begins to throw Carlito around like a rag doll. Match is pretty much a lot of this. Carlito occasionally rallies with a springboard elbow or a top rope dropkick, but Khali just keeps knocking him back down with big fists or head butts. Just as things start to look grim, Torrie steps up to the apron with a chair in her hands! Seeing this, Carlito ducks underneath a clumsy Khali clothesline and makes a beeline for Torrie. But Shane’s up on the apron too, and he’s tussling with Torrie over the chair. The tug of war is predictable, and when Shane lets go of the chair, Torrie accidentally cracks the arriving Carlito across the face with it! The referee looks as if he’s about to call for the DQ, but Shane’s cry of ‘Keep going, you son of a bitch’ changes his mind. Carlito stumbles back into a choke bomb from Khali for the 1-2-3 after 4:39

RATING: 68/74/56

Shane McMahon enters the ring whilst a stunned Carlito remains in the mat looking surprised and hurt.

Shane: Carlito… YOU’RE FIRED!

Shane’s music plays as he and Khali head up the ramp, and Torrie climbs into the ring to console her man. She’s trying to hug him but he shoves her away and spits apple in her face! Carlito’s just been fired and he’s turned his back on Torrie at the same time!

Carlito has turned heel. Carlito gained overness from the turn

-- Ric Flair Reminisces --

We’re backstage with Ric Flair next, and The Nature Boy is with Todd Grisham.

Todd: Ric, last night at the Royal Rumble you…

Flair: Hold that thought, Todd. You see, The Nature Boy has been doing a lot of thinking lately. I’ve been looking back over my career and I’ve been trying to decide what my favourite moment was. I couldn’t narrow it down to one. I could only narrow it down to sixteen. Woo! I’ve done a lot in my career, but nothing in my life has ever topped winning the gold. Woo! I look at the business today and I see champions who weren’t even born when I won my first title. I see young punks like Carlito and Johnny Nitro strutting around like they invented the business, and I see cocky sons of bitches like Mr. Kennedy and Test who seem to forget that I invented cocky. I’m the dirtiest player in the game. Woo! The Nature Boy’s been in this business for thirty five years now and I’d be lying if I said it was as easy today as it was when I was a young superstar on his way to the top. But I’ve done a hell of a lot in my career. Royal Rumbles. Money in the Bank. Hell in a Cell. I’ve made and broken stars, and there’s not much else I need to do.

Todd: Ric, what are you saying? Are you…

Flair: Don’t say that word, Todd. Woo! Don’t you drop that ‘R’ word. You see, the Nature Boy has one last classic in him! The Nature Boy won’t retire; he’ll go out in a blaze of glory. Woo! This year at Wrestlemania, I’m going to hang up the boots. Woo! But before I do that, I’m going to tear the house down one last time. And when Wrestlemania 23 has come and gone. When the arena is empty and the people are driving home, they won’t remember the world title matches. They won’t remember Money in the Bank. They’ll go home thinking ‘Jesus Christ, that son of a bitch can wrestle’. Woo!

Flair brushes past a stunned Todd Grisham.

Todd: There you have it, guys. I think Ric Flair just announced he was…

Flair ducks back into the frame.

Flair: Don’t say that word. Woo!


-- Rated RKO © vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Cryme Tyme vs. The Highlanders for the World Tag Title --

This bout will be straight elimination, and the last team standing will walk away with the gold. We start off with the champions’ Randy Orton in against The Highlanders’ Rory. The Scotsman gets off some early offence, before Orton’s main event status kicks in and he starts to control things. He isolates Rory in his corner before tagging in Edge, who keeps on the pressure. Rory tags out to JTG, who knocks Edge down with a spinning heel kick to the delight of the fans. He comes off the ropes to deliver an elbow drop, but Shelton Benjamin tags himself in and enters with an attempted springboard elbow to Edge. The Rated R Superstar rolls away and tags in Robbie McAllister, who goes right after Benjamin with hard rights and kicks. A back body drop allows McAllister to tag out to Shad, who hits a series of clotheslines on Shelton before attempting a stalling suplex. Shelton rolls through it and catches Shad with a super kick before collapsing. Both men crawl towards a corner, and it’s Rory in for Shad and Randy Orton in for Shelton Benjamin. Orton ducks an attempted clothesline. RKO! Cover! 1-2-3! The Highlanders have been eliminated!

Charlie Haas is quick to enter, a dropkick putting Orton down for a two count. He locks Orton in a headlock that seems to be wearing him down, and Edge enters to break things up. Shelton Benjamin rushes across to break it up, but walks into Edgecution from the tag champion. A big boot from Shad isn’t so easily dodged by Edge, who rolls to the outside to avoid further punishment. Meanwhile, Orton’s battled out of Haas’ grip and puts him down with a dropkick of his own before tagging out to JTG. The smaller Cryme Tyme member ducks Haas’ clothesline attempt and retaliates with some hard chops to the chest. A whip to the corner is followed up by a splash. Cover gets two before Shelton Benjamin breaks things up. Shad comes in with a clothesline to Shelton, while Haas manages to tag out to Edge. Edge absolutely buries JTG with a Spear, while Orton tosses Shad to the outside. 1-2-3! Edge just eliminated JTG and Cryme Tyme.

Edge’s celebrations are short lived, as Shelton Benjamin catches him from behind with a clubbing blow and then a hard release German Suplex. The cover gets two before Orton breaks it up. Charlie Haas takes Orton to the outside where the two begin to brawl wildly. Haas’ face is bounced off the stairs before he whips Orton into the ring post. Both men are down as the battle continues in the ring. Shelton Benjamin leap-frogs a charging Edge and a springboard moonsault puts both men down. They’re crawling to their respective corners, but Orton’s still down. Benjamin tags out to Haas, while Edge looks in anger at his downed partner. He doesn’t react quickly enough, and Haas rolls him up. 1-2-3! The World’s Greatest Tag Team have snatched the titles after Orton wasn’t available for the tag! The match finishes up at 15:33

RATING: 73/73/73

JTG debuted his new gimmick (rapper), it got a positive response. The World Tag Titles have gained in image

-- Helms on Commentary --

The 2007 Royal Rumble winner makes his way out to the boos of the crowd and joins JR and The King on commentary. He boasts about his Rumble win and, during Michaels’ entrance, talks about how depressing it is that a man his age believes he’s still got it.

John Cena’s own entry gets a marginally smaller cheer, and JR asks Helms how he’d feel about facing Cena at Wrestlemania. He explains that John Cena is a bad rapper and an awful champion. He says he could release an album of spoken word political poetry and it would be far more successful than Cena’s album. Cena intentionally poses with the belt on Helms’ side, and this gets the Rumble winner on his feet and talking smack.


-- John Cena © vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWE Title --

The bell rings with Cena still talking trash, and HBK tries an ambitious roll-up that comes to giving us a new champion after less than five seconds. Cena kicks out after two and retaliates with some hard rights to put the Heartbreak Kid in his place. He attempts to pick Michaels up for an early F-U, but he’s able to escape and put Cena down with a neck breaker. Both men stagger to their feet and go for the block and punch routine, with Cena coming out on top. Michaels comes off the ropes with a flying elbow. He kips up to the delight of the crowd, Cena staggering into the inverted atomic drop. Michaels begins to tune up the band, but Cena smartly rolls to the outside. This draws some boos from the crowd. Michaels isn’t done, though, and he knocks Cena down with a baseball slide to get the crowd going. The champion is reeling and Helms is letting him have it on commentary.

Cena is in danger of being counted out, so Michaels goes out to drag him back into the ring. The champion was playing possum, though, and breaks the hold with some punches before whipping HBK into the steps! He rolls the challenger into the ring and covers, but the veteran calmly puts a foot on the ropes to break the fall. Cena whips him into the corner face first and charges after him, but HBK hits him with an elbow and comes out of the corner with a clothesline. Cena walks into two more clotheslines. He dodges a third and gets behind Michaels, putting him down with an uncharacteristic fisherman’s suplex that almost gets the pinfall. Helms is giving credit where credit is due, he says, Cena is a fighting champion.

Cena’s got HBK on his feet and he whips him, the hip-toss putting him down. Michaels gets back up and is whipped again, Cena hitting the modified power bomb. Now he’s pumping up his sneakers and letting everybody know it’s time for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He’s coming off the ropes, but HBK rolls clear. He kicks Cena in the gut and signals for a Pedigree! The crowd goes crazy! Cena stands up, tossing HBK over his shoulders and to the mat. He collapses from the exertion. Both men are down! You know what that means! HBK kips up and he’s tuning up the band! Cena’s to his feet. SWEET CHIN MUSIC! He’s nailed Cena!

Helms is in the ring with the cruiserweight title! He swings it at HBK and nearly decapitates him with it! The referee signals for the bell after 16:49

Gregory Helms is celebrating his ‘victory’ over Shawn Michaels, but Cena’s up. F-U! Cena’s laid out the Royal Rumble winner and stands tall at the end of tonight’s episode of Raw!

RATING: 83/87/75

The WWE Heavyweight Title gained image


BEST SEGMENT: Ric Flair Interview/Helms & HBK Opener

WORST SEGMENT: Paul Burchill’s Wench

MOTN: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

BIGGEST POP: Shawn Michaels

MOST HEAT: Gregory Helms

PLEASE NOTE: Poll on Ric Flair's retirement opponent is above for your voting pleasure

Edited by MisanthropeClassic
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"Chris," the guy at the door didn't even bother to knock, "We need to talk".

'We need to talk' had been the prelude to many an awkward break-up, but I somehow doubted that Hardcore Holly was here to end our relationship. I got the feeling he wanted to ask for something.

"By all means, come in". He had already come in. In fact, he was already setting across from me and helping himself to a cigar. I don't smoke, so he wasn't depriving me of anything I needed, but he could have asked. I was already booking him in for an embarassing loss. I wonder what Gillberg is doing these days?

"I'm not sure how much Vince told you before you took over," he began, "But I was in line for the ECW title and I just wanted to confirm that it was still the case".

The cocky son of a bitch leaned back and put his feet up on my desk. I got the feeling that he and Vince had enjoyed a special relationship. I made a mental note to dig around in Vince's personal files to see if I could find anything incriminating. If and when he regained his sanity, I wanted ammunition to ensure I wasn't left without a job.

"Is that so?"

Vince had mentioned it, actually, but my position afforded a certain amount of creative control. Perhaps I should explain what exactly my position is? For all intents and purposes, I run this company. Linda handles the cheque book, but it's me booking the shows and me hiring the talent. However, since Vince isn't dead and hasn't yet been ruled incompetant, I technically still answer to him. Hence, when I get a memo from Vince, I'm expected to act upon it. Sure, I suggested to Vince that we needed a surprise Royal Rumble winner, but even a smark like me wouldn't have opted for Gregory Helms. And sure, I'm a fan of Ace Steel, but my ideal debut for him wouldn't have included a toupee. So, Vince could technically force me to push Holly to the moon, but he hadn't so far. He'd just mentioned it.

"Your damn right it's so, you smart-ass little cock-sucker". He slammed his fist down on my desk. Had he somehow heard my inner exposition?

"I'm sorry?"

"Don't get cute with me," he leaned across the desk to grab me by the front of my shirt, "I know your type. You're one of those internet nerds. You're probably already planning a CM Punk World Title run and a series of sixty minute iron man matches between Chris Benoit and some indy punk. Well, it 'aint gonna happen! You know why? The fans won't buy it! The fans don't want top quality matches and indy superstars - they want smash mouth brawling, ladder matches, and big guys who look like winners. They want to see Hardcore Holly stiff the shit out of pretty little bitches like CM Punk and Paul London. They've got their place, I know, and that's what the cruiserweight division and tag divisions are for. Leave the rest to us professionals".

Dammit, he was on to me. I had indeed booked CM Punk to be the man to end Undertaker's Wrestlemania Streak and had pencilled in a three year Paul London unbeaten streak. [/sarcasm] I'm a smark, yeah, but I'm not fucking insane.

"Point taken" I did my best to give him a cocky grin, but I think it came across as more of a nervous grimace. He let go of my shirt and shoved me back into my chair.

"I'm glad we had this talk" he informed me. So was I. Unfortunately, I hadn't booked him to appear on this week's episode of ECW on Sci-Fi, but I made a mental note to do it next week. I couldn't kick his ass in person, nor did I have anyone to do it for me. But I could sure as hell make him do his job and do the job.



ECW on SciFi opens with highlights from Sunday’s Royal Rumble, focusing on the efforts of ECW roster members. Big Show’s dramatic elimination of The Great Khali is shown, as is CM Punk’s impressive run. Marcus Cor Van and Hardcore Holly’s roles are also touched on.

Then we’re welcomed to the show by Joey Styles and Tazz, who run down what happened on last night’s Raw and question whether or not Gregory Helms will make an appearance tonight to challenge Lashley for his ECW World Championship.

-- ECW’s Newest Extremist --

I spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool

But ECW is kicking off with its newest face, as Styles explains that Carlito’s firing from Raw made him a free agent and he was quickly snapped up by ECW’s mystery backer.

Carlito: So this is ECW…

He surveys the crowd and the ring and the commentary team with a look of something like disgust on his face.

Carlito: This is Extreme Championship Wrestling? This is the brand of wrestling that revolutionized the business? This is where Carlito has to go because he got fired from Raw? (Pause) That’s not cool.

The crowd boos and Carlito’s anti ECW comments are interrupted by the arrival of ECW Champion, Lashley. Quick highlights are shown of Lashley’s dominant title defence against Test at Sunday’s Royal Rumble. To the dread of many, he has a microphone in his hands.

Lashley: Not cool? I am the ECW Champion. On Sunday I dominated my title defence against Test. That is cool. What’s not cool is you running your mouth in the ring and mocking these ECW fans.

Carlito: It speaks! This does not concern you, Lashley. Carlito is out here to talk to the fans about the person who ruined his life – Torrie Wilson.

The crowd boos.

Lashley: Torrie? You blame Torrie for this? You ran your mouth and you got fired. Only a coward hits a woman.

Carlito: Wait a second. Isn’t this ECW? From what Carlito remembers, hitting women was a pretty big part of it. Maybe Lashley needs to do a little research.

Lashley: Maybe Lashley needs to come down there and kick your ass.

Lashley tosses the mike aside and begins to advance towards the ring. Carlito decides that discretion is the better part of valour and makes a hasty exit, leaving Lashley to stand tall in the ring.


-- A Murder of Crows (Cassidy Riley & Minion) vs. Nova & Big Stevie Cool --

Riley and Minion arrive together. Riley wears torn off jeans and a black singlet, his hair is in dreadlocks and eye makeup emphasizes his eyes. He looks remarkably like Raven. Minion at his side is a more instantly recognizable face, former Smackdown superstar, KC James. However, he too has dreadlocks and wears the same kind of street clothes that mark his ally.

They’ll be up against a pair of ECW originals, as Big Stevie Cool and Nova come out to begin the match.

The fans are right behind the ECW originals in this one, and Nova controls things against Cassidy Riley in the early going. Things turn on their head when Stevie tosses a garbage can lid into the ring, only to have Riley duck underneath the attempted swing from Nova and hit him with a DDT. He then collects the discarded weapon and goes to town on Nova before tagging out to Minion – who enters the ring with a flying elbow for the two count. Nova tags out to Richards, who cleans house on both members, putting an interfering Riley down with a superkick. He’s pumped up, but Minion puts him right back down with a brutal chair shot to the head. Minion drags him to his feet and hits something that the commentary team calls a Gravedigger Spike (similar to the Michinoku Driver). The cover is made, and Riley puts down Nova with a drop toe hold to the chair. 1-2-3! It’s over. Cassidy Riley and Minion score an upset victory on debut after 6:29

RATING: 64/56/73

Big Stevie Cool debuted his new gimmick. Nova debuted his new gimmick. Minion gained overness from this match. Cassidy Riley gained overness from this match

-- Thriving on Competition --

We’re now backstage with CM Punk, ECW’s MVP in the Royal Rumble match. Highlights are again shown of his efforts, including the high profile elimination of King Booker. He’s with Kelly Kelly, who makes no effort to conceal her open admiration of the Straight Edge Superstar.

Kelly: CM Punk, on Sunday at the Royal Rumble you made an impressive impact. How do you feel?

Punk: Disappointed.

Kelly looks confused

Punk: I thrive on competition and I fight to win. I didn’t enter the Royal Rumble to make an impression. I didn’t enter to make an impact. I entered it to win. Am I pleased with my efforts? Sure. Am I pleased with the outcome? No. I didn’t come here to impress people. I came here to prove myself in the biggest company in the world and to win the big matches and main event the big pay-per-views; and I won’t rest until I’ve achieved that.

He leaves a rather stunned Kelly Kelly standing with the microphone in hand, while the crowd cheers arguably ECW’s most popular superstar.


-- James Gibson vs. Tommy Dreamer --

Dreamer is first out to the ring, with Styles and Tazz discussing his history and the way he epitomizes ECW. The newcomer is introduced as James Gibson, and while fans will recognize him as Jamie Noble, he’s wearing neither the torn off jeans of his redneck past nor the spiked collar of his short lived pit bulls run. He wears a simple set of black wrestling trunks.

At first it looks as if the newcomer is here simply to be fed to Dreamer, and it’s the veteran who dominates the match with all manner of stiff chops and hardcore brawling. But as the match winds on, Gibson’s technical ability begins to shine through. A series of hard back suplexes get the momentum on his side, and he’s then able to lock in a Tazzmission like choke hold. Dreamer battles to his feet and rams Gibson back into the ring post, but he won’t release the hold. Another attempt doesn’t get it done either. Tommy is fading with the tenacious smaller man on his back. Dreamer collapses to one knee and then onto his face. Gibson scores a win by knock-out after 9:37

RATING: 69/64/74

James Gibson gained overness from this match

-- Bobby Lashley vs. Little Guido & Big Guido --

This is a blissfully short match, with Lashley dominating both men. Little Guido is tossed around like a rag doll and gets of a little token offence, before Lashley is able to exhibit his strength with a spear and powerslam on Big Guido for the 1-2-3 after 3:09.

RATING: 62/58/67

Joey Styles and Tazz alternate between commenting on how dominant Lashley is and discussing the upcoming main event, which will see CM Punk, The Big Show, Test, and Rob Van Dam battling to decide who will be next to receive a shot at Lashley’s ECW Title. They also comment on whether or not Gregory Helms will make an appearance tonight.

-- Rob Van Dam vs. The Big Show vs. CM Punk vs. Test for Title Contendership --

The fans are torn in who to support here, with Punk up against the ‘face’ of ECW in Rob Van Dam. Even the returning Big Show draws some praise from the fans, whilst Test is booed roundly after his recent run of matches with Lashley for the ECW gold. This bout will be played under elimination rules, with the winner getting to face Lashley on an upcoming episode of ECW on Sci-Fi.

At first things are something of a cluster-fuck, with The Big Show tossing Punk and RVD aside and going to work on Test. The brawl turns in Test’s favour thanks to a low blow, but Test is a shock first elimination when, in attempting to pick Big Show up for the Test Drive – RVD hitting a Van Damninator on the former contender and following it up with the frog splash for the 1-2-3 after 5:13.

The Big Show doesn't show a great deal of gratitude, immediately running over the top of RVD with a big boot. CM Punk's also back in the ring now, and he hits a diving tackle to the back of Big Show's knee to halt the behemoth's momentum. The Big Show turns around and grips Punk's throat in preparation for a choke slam, but the smaller extremist rakes Big Show's eye - allowing RVD to come off the top rope with one of his many kick variations to the chest of Big Show. The giant stumbles backwards, and Punk rolls him up. 1-2-kickout! RVD attempts to hit Rolling Thunder on the downed big man, but Show gets the knees up to wind the Whole F'N Show. CM Punk tries to keep him grounded with a headlock, but Big Show's to his feet and crushes CM Punk with a sidewalk slam. He again signals for the chokeslam. He hits it! Punk's buried! The Big Show is moving for the cover when RVD gets back to his feet and batters him with a series of kicks. Show catches a foot but gets caught with the step-over enzuguri. RVD comes off the ropes to attempt a flying crossbody, but gets caught and crushed against the ring posts. Big Show places RVD on the turnbuckle, but CM Punk is to his feet. RVD sees this, kicks Show in the jaw, and then leaps over the doubled over Big Show to deliver a precise kick to the chest of Punk! The R-V-D chants start, but RVD doesn't have time to celebrate. A brutal clothesline from Big Show puts him right back down.

Cover gets two, and Big Show pounds the mat in frustration. CM Punk is back to his feet but his charge is halted when Big Show again grabs his throat for the chokeslam. He goes up, but manages to slip out of Big Show's grip. Up on Big Show's shoulders, he scrambles to lock in the Anaconda Vice, but Big Show tumbles backwards in a crude Samoan drop to break the hold. RVD has a chair in hand and he cracks it across Big Show's back! Big Show staggers under the beating of a second blow. He slumps face first into the corner. Now Punk is back up, and he catches RVD with the Devil Lock DDT. Seeing Big Show's position, he nimbly climbs to the turnbuckle. Big Show is stirring and, in classic pro wrestling style, clubs Punk in the stomach. He begins to climb to the middle rope to attempt some kind of 'super' maneuvre. Punk's battling back. The crowd are chanting. PEPSI PLUNGE! CM Punk finally hits his ROH finisher! He covers Big Show. 1-2-3! Big Show's eliminated after 10:17

CM Punk allows himself a moment to savour his victory before going after the still floored RVD. But Mr. Monday Night was playing possum, and he explodes to his feet with right hands and a dropkick to put Punk down. He picks up the discarded chair and lies it across the felled CM Punk, signalling to the crowd for Rolling Thunder. Punk's wise to it, and tosses the chair aside before rolling away. He whips RVD to the corner, following with his trademark running knee thrust and bulldog out of the corner. He locks in the Anaconda Vice! RVD is struggling. RVD's in a world of trouble. Wait! It's King Booker! King Booker is here! Sharmell's on the apron distracting the referee. CM Punk charges Booker, who ducks a clothesline and kicks Punk in the gut. Scissor Kick! The damage is done. He drags RVD onto CM Punk and gets the referee's attention. 1-2-3! It's over. RVD pins CM Punk after 13:09!

But the run ins aren't over. RVD's celebrations are interrupted as Carlito hits the ring, ambushing the #1 contender with the back cracker. Now Lashley's in the ring, and he treats Carlito to the Dominator! It looks as if he'll stand tall when Gregory Helms enters the ring with the cruiserweight title. He clobbers Lashley with it and adds insult to injury with the Shining Wizard. King Booker and Sharmell are already retreating, and so it is Gregory Helms who stands tall as ECW on Sci-Fi goes off the air.

RATING: 78/79/77


BEST SEGMENT: Carlito’s Debut

WORST SEGMENT: Lashley vs. Little Guido & Big Guido

BEST MATCH: Big Show vs. Test vs. Rob Van Dam vs. CM Punk


MOST HEAT: King Booker

Edited by MisanthropeClassic
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Fair warning to the fans of this:

The rules that Misanthrope passed here were as follows:

1- Candice Michelle must get a managerial client(s) on Raw.

2-Cassidy Riley must be assigned to ECW as a Raven ripoff

3-KC James must be assigned to ECW

4-Ace Steel MUST be given a gimmick as Donald Trump and must be assigned to RAW

5- Carlito must turn heel and be traded to ECW...

6- Jamie Noble must be traded to ECW...

Edited by Reflecto Is My Favorite Poster
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Thanks for the running update, Flec. Apologies to those who read the ECW show and found no ending to the main event. I must have missed a chunk in the copy/paste process. It's updated now, and makes much more sense (I hope).

A question with regards to format. Is it alright with everybody? I find that I get burned out when writing lengthy matches too often, so I'm trying to cut it back except in cases I deem necessary or feel like writing a detailed match. The ECW main event, for example. PPVs will likely all be lengthy matches, where applicable.

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Wow I am very intrigued by this diary. Aside from some things that are wrong, such as HBK cursing, I have no complaints for you or about this diary. It's kinda fun to see the randomness of it, and how you manage to make it make sense. Helms is an intriguing choice for the RR winner, and almost makes no sense at all, until you remember how long he has been a succesful Cruiser Champ. This is almost an inspired choice by Flec, but how you have thus far made me almost believe that he is worthy to hold this spot is also something to be applauded for. You're not there yet, but I can only assume that in the coming weeks Helms rise to superstar will continue to make more and more sense.

I admit I only skimmed the rather lengthy BS as it seemed like I had read it before, so i have a few questions that may have already been answered in it and I missed it. If so I apologize, but

-Is HHH out with a torn quad as happened IRL?

-No retirement for Big Show I assume?

-Why are the Raw Tag Title vacant and decided on Raw?

Otherwise, I am looking forward to more. Good luck.

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Excellent that you managed to catch why I chose Helms as the Rumble winner, TGC. One of the major purposes of this diary and my choices, going based on how the last diary failed due to being too random, was me also trying to keep things calmer for this one. As a result, my main goal for the weird and non-weird ones are that I will give Misanthope things that are off the beaten path at most times, but at the same time are (for the most part :shifty: ) things that a really good diary writer could more than work with (yes, Misanthope, I AM including your MITB with that one...)

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-Is HHH out with a torn quad as happened IRL?

-No retirement for Big Show I assume?

-Why are the Raw Tag Title vacant and decided on Raw?

Edited by Misanthrope
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The rules that Misanthrope hit this time were:

From ECW:

6- Jamie Noble must be traded to ECW for Matt Striker.


1- Two of the five random hirings who were TV-ready: Misanthrope must hire Matt Morgan (and as such, has the option to hire Mark Jindrak.)

2- Matt Striker must be turned face and given a push...

3- Gregory Helms must lose the WWE Cruiserweight Title on the first Smackdown of the game.

4- Shannon Moore must win the Cruiserweight Battle Royal and immediately defect to Smackdown.

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WWE PPV Schedule for 2007

In a move that has shocked many, the WWE has made sweeping changes to its pay-per-view setup. The company has announced it will cut back from sixteen pay-per-views a year to just twelve. The current plan is for Raw and Smackdown to each have three brand specific events, ECW to retain One Night Stand as its pay-per-view, and five 'big' events interspersed throughout the year. This has seen the cancellation or replacement of Blacklash, Judgement Day, Vengeance, No Mercy, Unforgiven, and December 2 Dismember on the PPV calendar.

Perhaps most shocking in the new lineup has been the resurrection of the King of the Ring pay-per-view, which has been out of action since 2002. Bad Blood also gets a reprieve, having not taken place since 2004. Whether or not the King of the Ring will still act as a guaranteed main event at Summerslam remains to be seen.

The new look PPV schedule looks like this:

No Way Out - March 18th, 2007

Wrestlemania 23 - April 22nd, 2007

ECW One Night Stand - May 20th, 2007

WWE King of the Ring - June 17th, 2007

Bad Blood - July 29th, 2007

WWE Summerslam - August 19th, 2007

Great American Bash - September 16th, 2007

Cyber Sunday - October 21st, 2007

WWE Survivor Series - November 11th, 2007

Armageddon - December 16th, 2007

New Year's Revolution - January 6th, 2008

WWE Royal Rumble - February 4th, 2008

Current No Way Out Card

After this week's edition of Smackdown we can confirm a number of matches for the upcoming No Way Out pay-per-view.

The Undertaker vs. Batista © for the World Heavyweight Title

King Booker vs. CM Punk

There are also rumours we could see a second cross promotional match on the card involving Gregory Helms and Raw's Shawn Michaels. Kane vs. Sylvan has also been tentatively put down on the card.

Wrestlemania News

It is expected that the Money in the Bank match will again feature in this year's Wrestlemania, with the WWE administration said to be very pleased with the success of the concept. As expected, all three World Titles will also be defended on the event. Also, WWE.com has recently ended their poll to decide an opponent for Ric Flair in his retirement match at the event. At the time of the poll's closure, Chris Benoit had narrowly edged out TNA's Sting and retired wrestler, Ricky Steamboat.

ECW on Sci-Fi Goes Primetime!

ECW on Sci-Fi has been promoted to a primetime slot in light of the WWE's committment to improving the brand. Sci-Fi has stated its delight at the presence of Carlito on the roster, as well as the cameos from established superstars such as Gregory Helms and King Booker. The WWE is said to have big plans in store for the brand, and will use the additional hour of TV time to make the brand a legitimate entity rather than an afterthought to the 'big two'.


Raw Preview

Shawn Michaels and Gregory Helms' bad blood came to a head when the Heartbreak Kid cost Gregory Helms his Cruiserweight Title on last week's episode of Smackdown, and you better believe that the Royal Rumble winner will be on Raw tonight to respond to HBK's involvement. Will Helms make his decision about who to face at Wrestlemania, or has he got more pressing business with the DX member?

Last week Shane McMahon threw his weight around by firing Carlito, but Donald Trump came out on WWE.com earlier this week and promised that he still had an axe to grind with the WWE chairman and his son. What does Trump have in store for his billionaire rival?

Plus we'll see The World's Greatest Tag Team defend their newly won gold against Cryme Tyme, a Diva Battle Royale to decide a Women's Title contender, Paul Burchill in singles action against Chris Masters, and we'll also see the in ring debut of Russian mixed martial artist, Vladimir Koslov.

It's going to be a huge Raw, so don't miss out!

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-- The Fallout --

Raw opens with highlights from last week’s episode of Smackdown, in which Shawn Michaels interfered to cost Gregory Helms his Cruiserweight Title. Gregory Helms has vowed to be here tonight and respond to the Heartbreak Kid’s meddling.

Gregory Helms…

The 2007 Royal Rumble winner comes out to the howling boos of the big Raw crowd, Sylvan at his side.

Helms: Last week on Smackdown, you witnessed the petty depths to which Shawn Michaels will sink when he can’t get his way. Like a child deprived of his favourite toy, HBK chucked a tantrum and it cost me my Cruiserweight Title. I was the longest running champion in the company, and now I’ve got to endure seeing my reign tainted by a nobody like… who won again?

Sylvan whispers the answer into his ear.

Helms: Shannon Moore? Who the hell is that? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that despite all I’ve achieved, I’m still not getting any God damn respect. Shawn Michaels, you are playing with fire. Last week, Kane found out first hand what happens to people who are stupid enough to get in my way. I’m going to give you a choice, because I used to respect you. Either stay out of my way and let me do what I want, or get in my way and end up like Kane did last we…


The arena erupts in a roar as Kane’s pyros go off and the Big Red Machine stalks out onto the ramp. Helms steps instinctively behind Sylvan, who doesn’t look too confident of being able to go toe to toe with Kane.

Kane: Helms, we have unfinished business. I want redemption. I want…

Degeneration X’s music hits and it’s the Heartbreak Kid out now, cutting off Kane’s challenge.

HBK: Hold on a second there, Kane. I understand that you’ve got an axe to grind with this big mouthed little troublemaker, but you’ll have to wait your turn. You see, the Heartbreak Kid has unfinished business as well. The way I see it, Gregory Helms robbed me of my rightful place at Wrestlemania. The way I see it, he owes me a chance to win that spot back. What do you say, Helms?

Kane tosses his microphone aside and lays out Shawn Michaels with a hard right! The crowd don’t know how to react!

Here comes the money…. Here comes the money!

Now Shane McMahon’s out on the ramp, the stand in CEO looks all business as he has a burly offsider drag the two stars apart.

Shane: What the hell is going on out here!? This is Raw God damn it! Behave yourselves! Now, I understand that there’s a lot of unfinished business out here, so I’m going to make a couple of matches to sort it all out. Kane and Shawn Michaels, you’ve both got issues with Helms, so on Smackdown this Friday it’s going to be Shawn Michaels against The Big Red Machine to decide who will face Gregory Helms at No Way Out!

The crowd go crazy, while Helms looks furious.

Shane: And that match, that match at No Way Out, it’s going to be for Gregory Helms’ Wrestlemania Main Event spot!

Helms is livid, kicking the ropes and yelling at the top of his lungs.

Shane: And Gregory, since you decided to disrupt my show with an appearance, I’m going to put you in a match as well. It’s going to be Gregory Helms and Edge against John Cena and Shawn Michaels!

Shane and his offsider leave the four men standing in various states of surprise. What a huge set of main events!


-- Paul Burchill vs. Chris Masters --

Raw’s resident pirate comes out to huge applause to face Chris Masters and his unbreakable Masterlock, Candice Michelle looking all kinds of fine in a low cut shirt, short skirt, and pirate style boots. Her hair has been done in dreadlocks and she wears a sword at her side. Amazingly, this may well be one of Chris Masters’ finest ever matches, with the cocky young superstar finding great chemistry with Burchill. It’s a short, fast paced brawl with some good comedic spots. Whether it’s Burchill ducking underneath a clothesline and slapping Masters on the ass with the flat of his sword or escaping from a hold by planting a kiss on his opponent’s lips. Things look to have gone awry for the high seas superstar when Masters manages to cinch in the Masterlock, but Burchill manages to get his feet onto the top rope and flip backwards, rolling over to slam the back of Masters’ head into the mat and force him to break the hold. He goes to the top rope and hits a moonsault! 1-2-3! Burchill scores a second straight win!

RATING: 74/66/82

Paul Burchill gained overness

After the match, Candice leaps onto Burchill and wraps her legs around him to give him a kiss, leaving a dejected Masters on the mat. Seeing this, Burchill puts Candice down and offers a hand to Masters. He slaps it away and storms off, leaving Burchill and his wench to celebrate.

-- Ace Trump vs. Val Venis –

Money money money money… money!

The big screen shows various shots of Donald Trump in his life, mainly stills from The Apprentice. Lillian Garcia announces that Donald Trump is on his way out to the ring! But the man stepping from behind the curtain isn’t the billionaire, but a man in a business suit and an oversized grey toupee. His opponent is Val Venis, which means a one way trip to jobsville for the adult film star. It’s a short match, Venis getting off a little offence, before Trump hits You’re Fired (a spinning Samoan Drop) for the 1-2-3.

RATING: 68/52/85

Val Venis lost overness. Ace Trump gained overness

-- The McMahon Show --

Shane McMahon’s in the ring when we return from the commercial, a pair of comfortable looking leather chairs and a big screen television in the ring. Essentially, it looks like a classier edition of the Cutting Edge or Carlito’s Cabana. Shane is again accompanied by his large offsider, who JR and Lawler say is Drew Damage.

Shane: It seems Carlito’s Cabana was cancelled last week, but like any good businessman, I recognize a good idea when I see it. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to The McMahon Show.

Classical music plays, but it fails to drown out the booing crowd.

Shane: Tonight, we have a very special guest. One of the true legend’s of the business, and a man who last week announced his retirement from the business. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Nature Boy… RIC FLAIR!


Ric Flair struts out in his trademark feathered robe to the adoration of the crowd. He spends time waving to the crowd and shaking hands on his way to the ring.

Shane: Welcome to the show, Ric.

Flair: It’s good to be here, Shane. Woo!

Shane: I guess the burning question is, now that you’re retiring, how much of an influence on your career was my pops?

Flair: Excuse me?

Shane: I asked you how much of your storied career was a direct result of my father's brilliance?

Ric Flair laughs for a moment, as if amused, but then turns deadly serious.

Flair: Ask me that again.

Shane: Pardon?

Flair: I said ask me that again. Go on, ask me! Ask The Nature Boy what your no good, arrogant, egomaniac of a father did for my career. Ask me! Ask me!

Flair's looking almost maniacal, as he's famous for, and he's right up in Shane's face.

Shane: I said...

Flair drops McMahon with a right hand and the crowd goes nuts. But the cheers turn to boos as The Great Khali's Indian themed music hits and the Punjabi giant makes his way down to the ring. Flair tries to jump him before he can enter the ring, but it's no good. Khali buries the legend with a two handed choke-bomb.

Shane staggers to his feet and checks his mouth for blood.

Shane: You know what? I liked last week so much, I think I'll do it again. You want to retire, Flair? Well, I'm going to accelerate the process. Tonight it's going to be you against The Great Khali in a No DQ match. And Khali won't just retire you. He'll kill you.


Ric Flair lost overness. Shane McMahon lost overness

-- Vladimir Kozlov vs. Jim Duggan --

Duggan's already in the ring when we return from commercial, which never bodes well for a wrestler up against a debuting monster. Speak of the devil, the Russian mixed martial artist is on his way down to the ring to make his Raw debut to the ambivalence of the crowd. It's a short and sloppy match, with Kozlov dominating with a series of stiff kicks and punches before slamming Duggan to the ground with the Russian Rack (a spinning torture rack into an Argentine backbreaker drop similar to Abyss' shock treatment). The cover gets three after 2:07

RATING: 50/47/53

Jim Duggan lost overness. Vladimir Kozlov gained overness

-- Allegiances --

We're backstage in the dressing room of Rated RKO, who are watching the finish of last week's shock loss to the World's Greatest Tag Team in a tag title match.

Edge: Where were you on that one, Randy?

Orton: I explained this already. Haas whipped me into the God damn ring post!

Edge: Well, you dropped the ball there.

Orton: Oh yeah?

Edge: Yeah.

The two tag team members are in one another's faces when there's a knock on the door. Gregory Helms enters.

Helms: Whoa, am I interrupting something? If I didn't know better, I could've sworn you two were getting ready to mack on. Whatsupwitdat?

The last word draws a cheer from the fans, and a wolfish grin from Edge.

Edge: He's right. This is stupid. We're Rated RKO. We decimated DX and put Triple H on the shelf. An unlucky loss isn't any reason to fall out. What do you say, Randy, friends?

He puts out a hand, but Orton hesitates. For a moment it looks as if he'll refuse, but then he grasps his partner's hand and they shake.

Orton: Sure. Sure. Hey, good luck tonight.

Orton leaves Helms and Edge to talk.

Helms: Are we on the same page tonight?

Edge: Are you kidding me? If it meant getting a chance to beat down John Cena and Shawn Michaels, I'd be able to team up with Matt freakin' Hardy and keep it civil.

Edge and Helms nod as we fade to black.


-- Meanwhile, in Shane McMahon's Office... --

Shane McMahon and his burly offsider, Drew Damage, are sitting in his office and laughing to one another when the door slams open and Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Hardy enters.

Shane: Whoa there, Jeff. What the hell do you think you're doing?

Jeff: You saw what Umaga did to me last week on Raw?

Shane: Of course I did. Me and Drew thought it was hilarious.

Jeff: (Ignoring Shane's comment) I want him tonight. I want a chance to kick his ass and I don't care if the title is on the line.

Shane: That's very courageous of you, Jeff, but I'm afraid the card's full for tonight.

Jeff doesn't look happy, but turns to leave.

Shane: Oh! Wait! I have an idea. Tell you what, Jeff. How about I add you and Umaga to tonight's little tag match? Make the main event a six man tag instead?

Jeff: Perfect

Shane: Alright, get out of my sight and get ready.

-- SNM? --

Johnny Nitro and Melina sit backstage on a comfortable leather couch sipping at champagne.

Johnny: You'd better get ready, babe. You've got a match coming up.

Melina: Against those scrubs? Please. I could wrestle it in an evening gown and still come out looking fabulous. Besides, I want to see this 'friend' of yours.

Johnny: Stephen? He should be here any...

Nitro is interrupted by a knock on the door.

Johnny: This should be him now! (To the door) Come in!

The door opens and a familiar face enters, Idol Stephens of former Smackdown 'fame'. He's dressed in an expensive silk shirt and has wraparound sunglasses on. He cuts a figure of a wealthy young party goer.

Johnny: Stephen! Great to see you, man!

Stephen: (To Melina) How you doin', gorgeous? (To Johnny) Good to see you, Johnny. You're lookin' good. You've done well for yourself.

Johnny: Did you get a chance to think about my proposal?

Stephen: I did

Johnny: And?

Stephen: You kidding? You've got yourself a beautiful girl, a premium wardrobe, and a setup like this... You know I'm interested.

Johnny: Excellent. Well, Melina, you've got your match coming up, so how about Stephen and I sort this little proposal out and when you come back as #1 contender to the Women's Title, we'll all go out clubbing. I hear Justin's in town.

Melina gives each of them a kiss on the cheek and heads off. Idol's eyes linger on Melina just a little longer than is appropriate.

Johnny: Nice, huh? You play your cards right, you'll be baggin' a girl just as fine.

Nitro throws his arm around Idol's shoulder and leads him to the couch. We fade to black.


Stephen Idol gained overness. Melina gained overness. Johnny Nitro lost overness

-- Diva Battle Royale for Women's Contendership: Melina vs. Candice Michelle vs. Victoria vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Maria vs. Kelly Kelly --

Perhaps the shock here is the presence of ECW’s Kelly Kelly, the Extreme exhibitionist getting a moderate pop as she makes her way out for this entirely eye candy match. The match itself is thankfully short. Victoria dominates with her brutal style - sending both Torrie Wilson and Maria out in the early going, much to the anger of the fans. Candice Michelle's newfound pirate roots seem to have had a positive effect on her as they did on her new beau - the former Playboy diva even impressing with a Fujiwara Armbar that has Melina tapping out to no avail. Kelly Kelly's contribution has been to look pretty and shove at people, meanwhile Victoria hits the Widow's Peak on Candice and tosses her out of the ring. Melina capitalises on Victoria's momentary distraction to send her out with a dropkick from behind, leaving a timid looking Kelly Kelly facing off against the more experienced Melina. Melina dominates a short 'match', and gets cocky enough to go to the top rope. Kelly Kelly shows some knowledge of the game, racking Melina up and then bundling her out from the top rope. ECW's Kelly Kelly has made a shock debut on Raw to become #1 contender to Mickie James' title!

RATING: 56/64/39

Kelly Kelly debuted her new gimmick (Girl Next Door). It got a positive response

-- Trump Card --

The big screen devolves into static for a moment, before Donald Trump's face appears on screen to a surprising cheer from the crowd.

Trump: First of all, may I be the first to congratulate you, Kelly.

Kelly blushes and bows.

Trump: Now, to the business at hand. Lately I've been noticing a distinctly negative vibe coming from Vince McMahon towards me. Tonight I even had the pleasure of watching myself in the ring! But I still get the feeling that Vince McMahon doesn't know what his audience wants. They don't want to see you taking shots at me when it takes the place of a more deserving star, and they sure as hell don't want to see their favourite superstars being fired by your egomaniac of a son. Ric Flair is an icon, and yet his career could end tonight on the whim of your son? That's not right, and I won't let it happen. So Vince, wherever you are, keep a close eye on that match tonight - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

The picture returns to static, and then back to the Raw logo. JR and Lawler debate over what Trump could mean, and whether or not he's justified in appearing on WWE programming without Vince's permission.

-- The World's Greatest Tag Team © vs. Cryme Tyme for the World Tag Titles --

These two teams played a big part in last week's four way title match, and we're treated to highlights of that encounter as the two teams get into the ring and prepare for the match ahead. With two big main events scheduled, this match probably doesn't get the time it deserves, but it still manages to produce a decent clash with some memorable, mostly Shelton Benjamin inspired spots. The end comes with a T-Bone suplex from the former Intercontinental Champion delivered to JTG - delivering a 'clean' win thanks to Charlie Haas blocking Shad's attempted interference.

RATING: 71/65/78

The World Tag Titles gained in image

-- Ric Flair vs. The Great Khali (Flair is fired if he loses) --

There are Ric Flair chants from the moment he appears at the head of the ramp to the end of this encounter, whilst The Great Khali draws perhaps the greatest heat of his career up against a legend. Average fans know that Flair has announced his retirement, and many seem to think that tonight could be the night that it all ends. Indeed, the early going of this match would indicate that it could be his swansong, with The Great Khali making Flair look like an amateur as he beats him mercilessly around the ring. Flair bumps like a madman, but everytime a pinfall is made, he somehow finds it in himself to kick out. His memorable spots are there - from the Flair flop out of the corner to the classic move of being tossed bodily from the top turnbuckle in attempting to hit some high flying move.

But he just won't die. His resilience slowly begins to wear The Great Khali down, and a running shoulder block to the back of the knee knocks the big man down. A rare dropkick from Flair draws more love from the crowd before The Nature Boy locks in a figure four leg lock on the Indian giant. Could he really make The Great Khali tap out? Jesus, he could! The Great Khali is tapping out! Ric Flair's career lives to fight another day! He just made The Great Khali tap out!

He gets up to celebrate his victory, but Drew Damage hits the ring. He spins Flair around, but walks right into a few rights and lefts from the legend. Damage is clotheslined to the outside! Khali's up, but who's that entering the ring? It's Kevin Nash! Big Daddy Cool's in the ring! He steps in between The Great Khali and Ric Flair, eye to eye with the behemoth. For a moment there's a tense standoff, and then Nash begins to unload with rights. He's staggered The Great Khali and got him back against the ropes. Clothesline to the outside! Kevin Nash has sent The Great Khali packing! He turns to Ric Flair, and for a moment it's unclear where his allegiances lie, but then he extends a hand and the two shake.

RATING: 62/70/46

Donald Trump again appears on the big screen, applauding Ric Flair and Kevin Nash.

Trump: You tell your fans what they want to see? I'm giving them what they want to see.

-- Gregory Helms, Edge, and Umaga vs. Shawn Michaels, John Cena, and Jeff Hardy --

This is the big one, with the fans having no doubt which side they'll be going for in this one. Those who aren't chanting for HBK or Cena are chanting for the Hardy Boyz member, and there's no love available for any of the opposition team. Things start out with Edge in the ring against Jeff Hardy, and JR doesn't forget to remind people of the long history these two have against one another. Edge controls things early on against the Intercontinental Champion, hitting a painful looking suplex at one point before tagging out to Gregory Helms. Helms comes off the top rope to deliver a leg drop to the back of Hardy's head, covering only to have Shawn Michaels break it up. HBK chops away on the man he could be facing at No Way Out, backing him into a corner before whipping him hard into the other. He gets down on his hands and knees, allowing Jeff Hardy to hit Poetry in Motion on the 2007 Royal Rumble winner. Shawn Michaels exits the ring as Jeff Hardy stands Helms up and attempts to hit the Twist of Fate, but Helms shoves Hardy away and into the hostile corner. Edge holds onto Hardy, allowing Helms to hit the IC champion with a corner dropkick.

While Hardy falls face first on the mat, Helms tags out to Umaga. The Samoan Bulldozer goes right after his opponent from last week, bodyslamming him to the mat and covering for two. He drags Hardy to his feet and whips him hard into the corner, catching him with the wrecking ball. Hardy's down and Umaga's feeling brave. He clambers to the top rope as if to hit a splash, but nobody's home! Hardy dives for his corner and tags in John Cena, and the WWE Champion has plenty of reasons to go after Umaga. He ducks a clothesline and hits a pair of right hands, ducks a second clothesline, and kicks Umaga in the gut. Running knee lift! He puts Umaga down and comes off the ropes to deliver an elbow to the fallen giant. With Umaga down, he tags out to Shawn Michaels and the crowd go crazy. Umaga's to his feet and attempts to clobber HBK, but he ducks it and comes off the ropes with a dropkick. Edge is in the ring now, but HBK dodges his attempted clothesline and gets behind him, hitting an inverted atomic drop on the Rated R Superstar. He turns to Gregory Helms, who remains outside the ring, and beckons for him to step in. Helms stalls long enough for Umaga to collect HBK from behind with a running elbow.

Umaga hauls HBK to his shoulders and lifts him Gorilla Press style before dropping him into a brutal Samoan Drop. He covers, but Cena makes a diving save just shy of three. Umaga clotheslines Cena to hell and is in the process of coming off the ropes when Gregory Helms makes the blind tag. Umaga turns in confusion and anger, but Helms seems to placate him with words. He's wasted valuable time, and Shawn Michaels catches him as he approaches with a regular atomic drop. Helms staggers back against the ropes and HBK attempts Sweet Chin Music, but the Rumble winner smartly rolls to the outside to avoid the impact. He's backing up the ramp as if intending to leave, but John Cena's not having any of that. He runs down Helms and knocks him down with a clothesline before dragging him back towards the ring. HBK pounces on the former Cruiserweight champion Lou Thesz style, but Helms has the presence of mind to throw an arm on the ropes and force HBK to break the hold. He quickly tags out to Edge.

Edge blindsides HBK with an elbow to the face, and drags him back to his corner, tagging out to Umaga and holding HBK so that the Samoan can deliver some hard rights to the Heartbreak Kid's exposed midsection. Estrada's up on the apron and signalling for Umaga to hit the Samoan Spike, but John Cena rushes in and spins his Royal Rumble opponent around, kicking him in the gut and hauling him up onto his shoulders. F-U! Cena turns right into a Spear from Edge, who is in turn nearly decapitated by Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels. Jeff Hardy's attempting to make an entry, but Sylvan grips him by the ankle and yanks him backwards, bouncing the Intercontinental Champion's head off the apron! Shawn Michaels is the legal man and he moves to cover Umaga, but Estrada's up on the apron! Helms slides into the ring and dazes HBK with an elbow to the back of the head. He's got the Heartbreak Kid up. VERTABREAKER! He shakes Umaga into consciousness and makes a hasty exit as the referee decides Estrada has nothing important to say. Umaga covers. 1-2-3! Umaga pins Shawn Michaels after an assist from Gregory Helms in a match that lasted 16:47

RATING: 85/87/81

Sylvan is losing overness because of his weak gimmick

The night ends with Gregory Helms having the last laugh against Shawn Michaels and bodies scattered in and around the ring. The Royal Rumble winner has certainly sent out a loud and clear message to the rest of the WWE roster here!




MOTN: Val Venis vs. Ace Trump


MOST HEAT: Gregory Helms

Edited by Misanthrope
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WWE Bolster ECW Ranks

In light of the recent promotion of ECW on Sci-Fi to a primetime slot, WWE management have swooped on a large crop of talent recently released by Wrestling Society X. Key amongst these signings were B-Boy, Matt Sydal, The Human Tornado, Arik Cannon, Scorpio Sky, Quicksilver, Lacey, and Luke Oren. Just what roles these new signings will play in ECW remains to be seen.

Helms at the Helm

Reports from the locker rooms on both Smackdown and Raw have said that Gregory Helms remains humble despite the recent push he's been given. Many believe that Helms' years of paying his dues as an undercard feature and comedy character have prepared him well for his time at the top, and locker-room leaders such as The Undertaker and Chris Benoit have commented on how much more grounded he is than others who were pushed far more rapidly. Batista is believed to still be in the doghouse backstage due to his ego.

WWE Going Retro?

The WWE are rumoured to be in talks with Lex Luger and Rick Steiner with plans to return both veterans to the active roster sometime after Wrestlemania. Just what the company intends to do with the pair remains to be seen, but a Steiner Brothers reunion seems out of the question given Scott's commitments with TNA. Other veterans Roddy Piper, Barry Windham, and Mike Rotundo have recently requested that they also be added to the active roster for a time. Whether or not WWE creative approves such requests is a matter of much debate.

Draft to Return!

After a brief hiatus, the post Wrestlemania Draft will make a return this year. Each show will receive six 'random' drafts from either of the rival rosters. The current plan is for each show to receive two 'main event' calibre stars, a two reliable midcarders, and two lower tier stars who will use the change of rosters to potentially reinvent their characters. The draft will also see the ECW brand receive genuine top tier superstars, with the company determined to enhance the brand's legitimacy in the eyes of fans. Expected leaps would see The Undertaker move to Raw for one last run, CM Punk to move to either of the 'main brands', and Shawn Michaels moving to Smackdown for the first time in his career. These changes are, of course, subject to the outcomes of matches at No Way Out and Wrestlemania. The WWE seems reluctant to shift champions as it did in 2005.


ECW on Sci-Fi Preview

It's ECW's prime time debut and there's two huge matches to ring in a new age for Extreme Championship Wrestling. In a collosal main event, CM Punk gets a rare chance at the ECW gold when the straight edge superstar clashes with Lashley with the gold on the line. The fledgling rivalry between Carlito and Rob Van Dam also kicks up a notch as Carlito pairs with The Big Show against Rob Van Dam and a mystery partner. Who will RVD choose to stand at his side in a battle against the 'new blood' in ECW?

Another huge tag match is also set to take place as Hardcore Holly & Test team up against Sabu and the Bulldog, James Gibson. Gibson made a hell of a debut when he choked out Holly last week - can he do it again in the volatile tag team atmosphere?

Plus we'll also see Kevin Thorn facing stiff opposition against The Sandman, and Marquis Cor Van will be in action to follow up his impressive role in the 2007 Royal Rumble.


Smackdown! Preview

The rivalry between Raw's Shawn Michaels and Smackdown's Gregory Helms continues to build, but HBK's attention will need to be focussed entirely on Kane as the Heartbreak Kid clashes with the Big Red Machine to decide which superstar will face Gregory Helms at No Way Out for his Wrestlemania title shot. Can HBK overcome the monster that is Kane?

No Way Out opponents Batista and The Undertaker will be forced to put their differences aside in a collosal main event, as the two will pair up to take on Gregory Helms and Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy has plenty of history with both opponents, whilst Helms will undoubtedly use the match as a chance to scout out the the two men - either of which could be his opponent at Wrestlemania.

Matt Morgan & Mark Jindrak made an explosive debut when they destroyed the tag team champions last week, and they make their in ring debuts on Smackdown tonight - whilst Shannon Moore will make his first defence as Cruiserweight champion against a fired up Joey Mercury. Plus we'll see Chris Benoit defending his United States Championship against The Boogeyman, and King Booker will face a mystery ECW superstar to 'warm up' for his No Way Out clash against CM Punk. Will the straight edge superstar make an appearance?

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The rules that Misanthrope passed here were:

From ECW:

1) Carlito must be traded to ECW for Kelly Kelly...

From Raw:

1) Drew Hankinson, aka The Fake Kane, must be repackaged and promoted but can be assigned anywhere.

2) Idol Stevens must be assigned to RAW.

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