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The BVS WWE: 2004-05


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Yeah, it's back.

Stupid board going down. Now, you'd think I was smart enough to save my backstory. You'd be wrong. You'd think I would learn by now. No, wrong again. You'd think I would have to start over, then? Wrong thrice.

Yes, this is a typical WWE diary, and as such the number of degrees of freedom is greatly reduced. C'est la vie. However, this doesn't resemble the current WWE except in a few major areas. You see, I took control of the WWE on August 1, 2003 game time. I have been running it as an EWR game since then. It is now two weeks before Judgment Day. Yeah, I need to catch up.

This means I skipped a show or two. Sorry, but I had it written up when III went kablooie. But I'll Virch it in my next post (I'm at the office and the game's at home) so that we can be completely caught up. Be thankful I can remember what I can. Below I will include major milestones in the WWE's history.

Now, with some of these milestones, you may be wondering how I simmed them in EWR. The short answer is: I didn't. You see, I knew my WWE booking would suck ass, so I decided to hide it behind some convoluted story. That story is the _Battle for Vince's Soul_, which is archived on my computer and my website. I don't want to say whether it was any good, but it sure was popular: it was 2003 EWB Diary of the Year, and made me the third writer ever to enter the old Hall of Fame. Did I deserve them? I dunno. But I got them, and that's what matters.

(For the record, yes, I have an ego. It's measured at about .7 Javert. ;))

So... on August 1, 2003, the champions were as follows:

RAW World: HHH

RAW I-C: Booker T

RAW Tag: La Résistance

RAW Women's: Molly Holly

SD! World: Kurt Angle

SD! U-S: Eddie Guerrero

SD! Tag: World's Greatest Tag Team

SD! Cruiser: Rey Misterio

And now, a look back...

AUGUST

SummerSlam was the big highlight of August, as you might expect. In it, the Dudley Boyz won the World Tag Titles from La Résistance (thankfully), while Brock Lesnar defeated Kurt Angle for the WWE Title and immediately turned heel. However, the big matches were the ones that didn't involve title changes. Eddie Guerrero retained the US title over the Undertaker after a crazy No Contest brawl that showed shades of Taker's X-7 contest. WGTT retained in an unbelievable ladder match against Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio. In the night's main event, Zach Gowen upset Mr. McMahon in a rematch and, due to stipulations, re-instated Hulk Hogan. The big off-screen news, though, was an injury to Chris Jericho that has taken him out to this day.

SEPTEMBER

Titles were more bouncy in September. HHH was set to face Goldberg in a rematch from SummerSlam, but Goldberg quit the company. After a poll was held, Chris Benoit emerged as the surprise #1 contender, and the even more surprising winner of the belt. Randy Orton defeated Booker T for the I-C title, also at Unforgiven. Meanwhile, Eddie Guerrero was upset for the US title by Kidman, who would hold the belt for a shockingly long time. The WWE tag titles went all over the place, as Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore won them in a TLC match, then lost them to the APA in MSG. The wrestling world, however, came screeching to a halt on the news of the death of Matt's brother, Jeff. (Like I said, this is all explained in the story).

OCTOBER

No Mercy saw Kurt Angle win the title back from Brock Lesnar in a 30-minute match. Also on that card, the APA dropped the WWE Tag Titles back to the World's Greatest Tag Team, while Rey Misterio lost the Cruiserweight Title to Jamie Noble after interference from a returning (and turning) Billy Gunn. Over on RAW, two stables debuted: the Right to Censor (Steven Richards, Sean Morley, and Mark Henry) and 3 Live Kru (Konnan, Road Dogg, and Ron Killings). I never said they were met with critical acclaim or anything, but there they are. On the night of their in-ring debuts, Booker T reclaimed the I-C title from Orton in a lumberjack match. Soon after, the Dudleyz lost the World Tag Titles to the odd pairing of Christian and the Big Show.

NOVEMBER

Most of November was spinning in place due to Survivor Series. The big match on SmackDown!'s side was a ten-man with Sable's job on the line. Rhyno, Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjamin defended her against Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, and John Cena, but lost after Angle made Eddie tap. Sable was stripped of her job, not to mention just plain stripped, as she made her memorable exit. Lost in the shuffle was Eddie, who nearly stole the show on SmackDown! with a memorable speech (now known as the "Viva Guerrero" promo) that signalled he was ready to enter the stratosphere. Meanwhile, RAW countered with the Elimination Chamber, as Benoit defended against Booker T, Christian, Big Show, Kane, and surprise wildcard entry Molly Holly (who was thrown in under the guise of being women's champ). Kane emerged with the strap, but not before Molly scored a stunning pin on Big Show and Benoit got hit with a fireball. Lita, meanwhile, seemed to be suffering from a stomach virus and was taken off the road.

DECEMBER

The Women's division took the top two stories of this month. Road agent William Regal was arrested for crimes against Molly, while Lita's "stomach virus" was actually pregnancy. Back in the ring, though, things were all the more bizarre. At Armageddon, Benoit and Kane rematched in a Wheel of Death match (because Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal has a negative connotation). It came out Inferno match, and Kane won, although Benoit made him tap (meaninglessly) mid-match. Christian bounced back from the tag belts to take the I-C title from Booker T. The tag belts were vacated by Big Show (since they only wanted them to be in the Chamber), and team of Randy Orton and Batista won a double-elimination tournament without blemish, beating the Dudleyz in the final. Meanwhile, Molly Holly dropped the women's strap to Ivory in a move that seemed designed to give her time off, but was really the start of something big. WGTT issued an open challenge on SmackDown, and found it answered by a pair of mid-carders, Ultimo Dragon and Tajiri. After one of the best matches in SD! history, the challengers took the gold thanks to the returning (and turning) Paul Heyman. Now re-christened Team JAPAN, they became a dominant force.

JANUARY

The Royal Rumble looked like it would be Eddie's moment of glory, but before the event, the wheels were spinning otherwise. Newcomer Michael Shane joined Evolution, organizing a coup to kick out HHH and replace him with Eric Bischoff. HHH went on a tear, taking out all of Evolution in turn. Shawn Michaels had a special match in mind for WrestleMania, asking a certain legend (who turned out to be Sting) to face him. Sting accepted. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan defeated Guerrero to win a title shot at the Rumble against Kurt Angle, setting up a seemingly needless face/face battle. Oh, how little we knew. At the Rumble, Christian escaped the defecting Chavo Guerrero with his belt still around his waist. Jamie Noble defeated Zach Gowen (who was booed by the Philly faithful) to retain the Cruiserweight title. In the most fun match of the night in Philly, Team JAPAN defeated Hardy and Moore when Paul Heyman morphed into Paul E. Dangerously for one night, using his world-famous cell phone. The seemingly disastrous Angle/Hogan match ended with Angle winning cleanly, but snapping and causing an Angle/Eddie double turn. Ivory lost the Women's title to a debuting Alexis Laree in just under a minute, while Kane/Benoit II was won by Kane with the debut of the Burning Hammer. All this was prologue to the Rumble itself, where HHH and Eddie Guerrero were the last two standing. Eddie thought he had the match won, but HHH landed on the apron and pulled Eddie out by the mullet, assuring himself a spot in WrestleMania. The match was also noteworthy for the re-debut of Nathan Jones, who simply beat the crap out of anything that moved.

FEBRUARY

As HHH sealed his title shot at the Rumble, other matches were falling into place for WrestleMania. Molly Holly answered an open challenge by Christian and nearly won the I-C belt, performing well enough to earn a rematch after Christian said some very unfriendly things we're better off not thinking about. On the SmackDown! side, Eddie Guerrero won an impromptu King of the Ring tournament to advance to WrestleMania against Kurt Angle, while Brock Lesnar destroyed Billy Kidman to take the US Gold. Meanwhile, during a tag match on SmackDown!, Nathan Jones blasted Undertaker with a boot to the face, giving him a concussion and causing him to miss WrestleMania. Team JAPAN was ready to take on any and all comers, and found it would happen.

WRESTLEMANIA

* In the first-ever SuperCage match, Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio defeated Team JAPAN, World's Greatest Tag Team, and Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore for the WWE Tag Team Titles.

* Nathan Jones beat an exiting John Cena in a Texas Death match.

* Randy Orton and Batista defended the World Tag Team Titles against Chris Benoit and Booker T.

* Molly Holly beat Christian in an I-C title match... by disqualification, as a returning Chyna (now Chynna Doll) broke up the winning pin.

* Michael Shane beat Chavo Guerrero.

* Shawn Michaels beat Sting in a match with surprise Special Guest Referee Mick Foley.

* Stone Cold Steve Austin won a 20-man "Immortals" battle royal, eliminating Hulk Hogan.

* Rob Van Dam pinned Brock Lesnar to win the WWE United States title.

* Jamie Noble defeated Paul London to retain the Cruiserweight title (although sooner than expected, as London broke an orbital bone during the match).

* Triple H beat Kane in a cage match to regain the World Heavyweight Title.

* Alexis Laree retained the Women's title over Lucille LaChienne (LuFisto repackaged as La Résistance's female associate).

* Eddie Guerrero FINALLY won the WWE Title over Kurt Angle in a 40-minute Match of the Year contender.

Oh, and the fun wasn't limited to onstage, either. Backstage, Vince McMahon and his son got into a huge fight, which indirectly led to Vince suffering a heart attack. He survived, mainly due to the efforts of Billy Kidman, who performed CPR. Shawn Michaels got mad when Kevin Nash was released, although Scott Hall was retained from the Immortals match as a regular performer. Meanwhile, Rene Dupree tore his knee up and is likely to miss the rest of the year. Let's just say WrestleMania is one show no one will likely forget.

THEN WHAT?

Well, then it was announced that Stephanie was leaving TV to help Vince recover. This necessitated a new GM for SmackDown, and the man put in the position was the unpredictable Roddy Piper. Meanwhile, Rhyno, Test, Hardcore Holly, and Dawn Marie were traded to RAW for 3LK and RTC. Dividends were immediate: Killings upset Jamie Noble to become Cruiserweight champion, while Rhyno went after HHH's World title, winning it at Backlash. Also at Backlash, Chris Benoit won the I-C title in his hometown of Edmonton, defeating Christian and leaving the I-C title scene in flux, while Jazz became Women's champion in an upset over Alexis Laree. Soon after a controversial episode of RAW which saw Orton and Batista use Michael Shane to retain the titles over Shawn Michaels and Sting, the belts switched hands to Tommy Dreamer and Sick Nick Mondo (due to Sting's help). Back on SmackDown!, RVD was beating all comers, and just when it seemed he was bored, Matt Hardy decided to have a go. Konnan found himeslf mixing it up with main eventers, but the upshot was the reunion of Team Angle, now fortified with Kurt's brother Eric. Edge had returned, but was almost immediately injured by Bull Buchanan (who rejoined the RTC) due to a powerbomb on the concrete. (It's thought the injury is a work, but who knows anymore?) Team JAPAN and Kidman/Misterio had a rematch on SmackDown! that ended in a time-limit draw, causing Piper to declare a ladder rematch for Judgment Day.

So here's where we stand...

RAW World title: Rhyno

RAW I-C title: Chris Benoit

RAW Tag titles: Nick Mondo and Tommy Dreamer

RAW Women's Title: Jazz

SD! World title: Eddie Guerrero

SD! U-S title: Rob Van Dam

SD! Tag titles: Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio

SD! Cruiserweight title: Ron Killings

JUDGMENT DAY is in two weeks. The matches confirmed so far (and some of these were confirmed in the Lost Episode)...

WWE Title: Eddie Guerrero © vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle

WWE US Title: Rob Van Dam © vs. Matt Hardy

WWE Tag titles, ladder match: Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio © vs. Ultimo Dragon and Tajiri

Mixed Tag: Undertaker and Torrie Wilson vs. Nathan Jones and Shannon Ward

More info such as rosters and the Virch Rant for the Lost Episode in the next post. Just letting you all know I'm not dead. :)

Edited by Dukes
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Guest Sean O'Haire

A very nice summary. Do you have the WrestleMania show written up you could send me, I would most definately like to read it.

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Yes Yes one of my favourite diaries is back.

*SPOILERS* For all who haven't red Dukes Story don't read the next question

*you were warned*

just one question, What happened to Owen once andy had to stay in Kidman's body. Just cause they got rid of the demon doesn't mean they saved him???

*Spoliers complete*

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Okay, I'm killing color. I can't do it right.

As for the WrestleMania -- it's long. Very long. Painfully long. Three-hours-of-in-ring-action long. But hey... I should still have it, so whoever wants it is free to ask.

*****

- The SmarKDown! Rant for Apr. 29 / 04, taped Apr. 27.

- from Oklahoma City.

- Your hosts are Michael Cole and James E. Cornette.

- Opening match: Eric Angle v. Ron Killings. Interesting choice for an opener, but I guess if you want to re-establish Eric as something, it's what you gotta do. Killings slides around Eric in the lockup, trying a rollup, but Eric stands tall (with Charlie Haas's help on the outside) and drops down for two. Well, if you're gonna cheat, start early. Killings slides outside to protest, but Eric follows and punches him down. Back in the ring, Eric gets a suplex for two. Belly-to-belly gets two. Killings slides under on a backdrop attempt and dropkicks Eric to the outside. Killings threatens to go airborne, but Haas stands in front of Eric, allowing Shelton Benjamin to throw him to the mat. The cheating here is Guerrero-esque. Shelton now distracts the ref, so Eric gets Killings' chain and hits him with it for two. This is great. Eric puts on a kneebar (and OF COURSE uses Haas and Shelton for assistance), but Killings trips Eric and sends all of Team Angle asunder. Killings with a clothesline and enzuigiri as Eric bails to talk strategy, and NOW Killings nails all three with a plancha. Eric in first as WGTT double-team behind the ref's back, but Konnan runs in to even the sides. Sadly, it's still 3-on-2, as Konnan is hit with the Star Spangled Blaster as Killings returns. Diamond Cutter is blocked, German suplex by Eric is blocked, Killings tries a rollup for two, but Shelton punches him down and Eric reverses (with feet on the ropes) for three at 7:53. As a match, it was nothing; as an exercise in establishing faces and heels, it was pretty concrete. **

- And now, Roddy Piper descends from on-high to talk. He mentions that Edge is out for Judgment Day (just what we need, too), and that it puts a wrinkle in the PPV schedule. But when life gives you lemons, pour the juice over someone else's open wound, sez Piper. The end result: Eddie, Brock, and Angle in a triple threat match at Judgment Day. Well, Brock/Angle/Show rocked, and Eddie is clearly a better worker than Show, so there's really no downside.

- Team JAPAN v. Jamie Noble and Billy Gunn. The heels won't even talk to each other pre-match, despite Nidia's pleading. You know, two months to build has its upsides and downsides. The upside is that every story gets two months to play out. The downside is that every story gets two months to play out. In the case of Christian/Molly, it was great, but in this case, it's getting painfully bad. Anyway, Noble and Tajiri start, and Tajiri dominates that matchup. Noble bails after taking one too many kicks, and Ultimo tosses him back in, acting almost heelish. Heyman barks orders as Ultimo comes in and chops down Noble, hitting a handspring elbow on a corner whip. Gunn reluctantly enters the ring as Ultimo goads him on (what's Japanese for "bring it, bitch!"?), but Noble adds a cheap trip as Gunn clotheslines Ultimo to make him Ricky Morto-san. Okay, this HAS to be a contest. For those not aware, it's my current theory that Ultimo and Kidman have a side bet running to see who can be the better face-in-peril with the more idiotic offense. Right now, I'd say Kidman leads by carrying the Maximos to a ****+ match. Anyway, press slam gets two. Noble in, and he gets a rana off of a Doomsday Device setup for two. Gunn tells Nidia he's only being a team player for her sake as Noble goes low and gets a powerbomb for two. Noble orders Gunn to take the top turnbuckle off, which is actually a distraction that allows Noble to choke Ultimo with the top rope as we go to break. We come back with Gunn going up top and getting a flying clothesline for two. One and Only gets two. Gunn kicks Ultimo in the leg for two. Fame-asser gets two as Tajiri breaks. Gunn brings Noble in, but a blind charge misses, hot tag Tajiri. Both heels get smacked around a lot with kicks, as Noble flies over the top on a roundhouse and Gunn gets misted. A blinded Gunn hits the first thing he can find (Noble) with the Fame-asser, and Ultimo enters with the Asai DDT to finish at 11:06. **3/4 Gunn sees his mistake and tries to apologize, but Noble will have none of it.

- Ron Simmons stars in the latest "Tell Me I'm Fake" ad. This may be the only time in history anyone mentions Simmons in the same breath as Deion Sanders, by the way. Or has reason to.

- Bra and Panties match: Shannon Ward v. Torrie Wilson. Okay, let's get this overwith. Ward slaps Torrie around and tries to rip her top off, but Torrie blocks and tries the ROPEWALK OF DOOM. Ward yanks her off the top, and a series of compromising camera angles follows over the next minute of alleged wrestling. Torrie gets a "clothesline" and tries the Kid Krusher, but Shannon shoves off and gets a back suplex and the shirt. Torrie chokes and slaps Ward a lot, setting her up for the 6-1-9. Oh, God, no. Oh, yes. The "6-1-9" connects as the stupidity-meter explodes. Torrie goes to the top rope as Cole wonders if she'll try the Shooting Star Press. How does he say these things with a straight face? Ward catches her with the Frankenscreamer and rips off the pants for the win at 5:08. Yecch. -** Nathan Jones enters to intimidate Torrie some more, but Undertaker comes out and stands between them. You want Torrie, you gotta go through Taker. There's a prison joke in there somewhere. Nathan accepts, but Torrie wants it to be a tag match. Ward laughs hysterically (as do I) before accepting, at which point Nathan cheapshots Taker and a HUGE brawl erupts. Can ANY good come of this match? Didn't think so. Although to be honest, the brawl was okay -- as long as Taker sells a bit, some good can come of this. Maybe.

- Shannon Moore v. Bradshaw. Punch, punch, punch, punch, Rogers at ringside, punch, kick, punch, kick, nightstick, Twist of Fate, seeya at 2:47. DUD Moore and Rogers continue the beating post-match. Yawn.

- BUT THE SHOW IS SAVED (almost) as Kurt Angle bitches out his brother for needing help to beat Ron Killings. "Do you think ANY of them have ever shown intensity in their lives?" WGTT bitch right back, standing up for Eric and getting Kurt to apologize (!!). Shelton then says they'll finish this once and for all next week, guaranteeing WGTT will beat 3LK in a tag match. Haas concurs, adding "Bring them on". Haas then tells Kurt to watch how well WGTT decimates these pretenders and sends them out in a puff of smoke. More weed references abound as Eric keeps trying to say something and gets ignored. As everyone walks off, Eric just shakes his head. Interesting, to say the least, and showing that Eric is seen as the fourth wheel.

- Nova v. Matt Hardy. MATT FACTS: Matt loves the US, and Matt is proud to be an American. Hardy sends Nova to the outside off a shoulderblock, but gets suckered outside and sent into the announce table. Did Nova invent the table spot? Back in, Nova gets a Spin Doctor for two. Nova ranas Matt to the outside, but Matt catches the dive and Hotshots him onto the railing. Ouch. Back in, Matt gets a rolling kick and dropkick for two. Rana gets two. To the top, and the yodelling legdrop gets two. Matt pounds on Nova's neck, getting a snapmare and dropkick to the head for two. Off the ropes, but Nova gets a desperation DDT. Suplex and elbowdrop gets two. Into the corner, but Nova gets shoved off trying for a bulldog, and Matt lands an inside-out lariat for two. Matt with a flapjack into the top turnbuckle for two. Nova gets a sunset flip for two, reversed for two. Nova is sent into the corner, but slams on the brakes and crossbodies Matt for two. Kryptonite Krunch is spun out of and both men collide for the double KO. Nova to the top, and a diving Fameasser misses as Matt stumbles out of the way. Twist of Fate is reversed to a Northern Lights suplex for two. Nova goes up, Matt follows, and a superplex gets two. Nova rolls up Matt for two. Matt sidesteps a Nova charge, Twist of Fate, seeya at 11:45. Got really fun near the end. *** RVD stops Matt from doing any more harm.

- The Right to Censor emerge to HUGE heat. Richards explains that this was a wakeup call to the SmackDown! roster. He replays a segment from Piper's speech last week, where Roddy includes a throwaway dig at the RTC, as being the reason for their actions. THEY ARE NOT A JOKE! THEY WILL BE HEARD! Edge is just the first of many they will decimate until they are respected. Piper emerges again and looks like he wants to slap Richards silly. Instead, he says that they'll be punished as heavily as possible RIGHT NOW.

Main event: Steven Richards, Sean Morley, Mark Henry, and Bull Buchanan v. Eddie Guerrero, Rob Van Dam, Billy Kidman, and Rey Misterio. Yeah, there's punishment. Faces clean house to start as the RTC bails to opposite sides of the ring. Champs hold a meeting in the center, and each one delivers a plancha on their respective shirt-and-tie guy to pop the crowd huge. In the ring, Eddie dropkicks Morley into a 6-1-9 into a Kidman rana into an RVD split-legged moonsault for two. Sweet. RVD gets Rolling Thunder for two. Cheapshot by Bull allows Morley and Henry to get a Russian legsweep / big splash combo for two. Henry misses a blind charge, and Kidman enters with a crossbody for two. Henry gets clotheslined out, so the RTC regroup and Kidman gets the backflip onto all of them as we take a break. We come back with Henry working the back of Kidman and slapping on a bearhug. Kidman tries to punch out, so Richards lands the Steven Kick to the back of his head and Henry covers for two before Rey saves. Bull enters with the springboard lariat and a powerslam for two. Richards tags in, punches Kidman, and tags out in a great bit. Morley gets the running knee strikes into a second Russian legsweep into an octopus hold. Kidman rolls Morley onto his back for two to break. Bull enters and tosses Kidman into the corner, getting an Avalanche and backdrop for two. Henry slaps on the torture rack, but Eddie dropkicks Henry and Kidman falls on top for two. Kidman rolls to the outside as Eddie and RVD get a double clothesline on Henry. Kidman is rolled back in, covering for two. Morley prevents the tag and gets a figure-four, but Kidman reverses it to break. Richards tags in, but gets caught with the Kid Krusher out of nowhere, and hot Hot HOT tag to Eddie. Dropkicks for everyone! Bull clotheslines down Eddie, but gets rana'd by all four men in turn and sent to the outside, totally disoriented (which, thankfully, he can sell). RVD barrels over onto him with a somersault plancha, while in the ring, Morley and Henry catch Rey in a side suplex and Moral High Ground for two. Kidman pulls down the top rope, sending Morley over the top, and Eddie gets the rolling verticals on Steven. Henry misses a blind charge, and the Frog Splash finishes for Eddie at 18:45. Not the best of matches, but if this doesn't get RTC heel heat, nothing will. *3/4

The Bottom Line:

Well, just when you thought certain groups were lost causes -- Team Angle's minions, RTC in general -- the WWE surprises you. The big problem here is that they seem to have too much going on, with run-ins every which way you look. Judgment Day almost has to deliver a five-star match given the frenzied TV buildup, and I don't see that happening.

Besides, all this is noise compared to the big news Monday -- he's baaaaaaaaaack.

*****

NEWS AND NOTES

Chavo Guerrero leaves WWE as part of new ownership deal

Chavo Guerrero regretfully informed the WWE that he was taking a leave of absence to help his father resurrect Ring of Honor, which was nearly destroyed in the wake of Rob Feinstein's arrest. We at the WWE wish both Guerreros the best of luck.

More talent cuts

The Dudley Boyz and Zach Gowen were among several talents let go by the WWE in the past few days. The Dudleyz were seen as stale and overpriced, with the new combination of Nick Mondo and Tommy Dreamer able to fill their void. Gowen, meanwhile, had fulfilled his novelty act purpose and had been doing nothing other than the odd job since (in storyline terms) re-instating Hulk Hogan. It is also suspected that Gowen never fully recovered psychologically from the mugging he took on a trip to Mexico. We wish all of them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Two new talents to debut?

Questions abound as to whether new talent will appear on RAW in the near future. Tough Enough winner John Hennigan is seen as ready for the prime time, while former NWATNA talent Tracy Brooks is currently riding a hot streak in OVW. In addition, there has been some clamoring for the return of Victoria following a long cooling-off in OVW. We could see any or all of them appear in the near future.

*****

May 3, 2004

WWE.com

From the land of the hot desert sun, RAW prepares for a night of returns tonight on SpikeTV at 9 / 8 Central!

He's been gone for eight long months. He was to captain team RAW in the Interpromotional Brawl at SummerSlam in Phoenix. Now, in Phoenix, he is to return. Chris Jericho is due back TONIGHT! How will he be? What does he think of the state of the WWE now? One thing's for sure -- if he returns, he'll let us know!

Her betrayal of Steven Richards led to the formation of the Right to Censor, which has since been sent to SmackDown! She herself has become quirkier as of late, unpredictable in her very nature. Tonight, Victoria makes her grand return to the ring, facing off against fellow WWE Diva Lucille LaChienne! How will it go? Is she still in top form? Tune in to find out!

Randy Orton is mad. Oh, is he ever. The so-called "has-been" Sting is responsible for Orton no longer having the World Tag Team belt over his shoulder! This is inexcusable in his eyes, and he wants Sting in the ring to get even. Will the wily crow accept? Or does he suspect -- as we do -- that there's more to this? Either way, we can't wait!

All this and more -- including a reunion of an historic friendship -- tonight on RAW! Tune into SpikeTV, the First Network for Men, to catch all the action!

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Guest y2gudge

I will keep an eye on this now to see if you garner the hype that you are given, the first Smackdown I found entertaining plus the history was good for new readers, much like myself, to know how you are where you are.

*y2gudge*

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Guest Demon2K4

I've been following this diary since the beginning of the 'story', and have even given a nice little review for this (The original story I mean) in the past, and now I just have to say that I still think this diary is the shit. Personally, I find nothing wrong with your booking, and actually enjoy it, Your layout I think is awesome, (I even stole it for my own diary) Virch is the bomb, (Though I have to admit I like your written-out reports more) and overall this diary is my current favorite on the board, even though you've posted nothing but a Smarkdown Rant so far on the new board. Not that my opinion matters, but, just wanted to say that. Keep going. You've got a lifetime fan in me.

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Guest Demon2K4

Is there any way I could get the link for the last part of the BVS 2003-2004? I followed it right up to a week or so after No Way Out and I was really disappointed when the board went down.

From 2003 to March, 2004 the diary was still in 'story' form. Not until AFTER Wrestlemania XX did it go to just results. I believe Dukes has the full story on his website, which you can find a link to in his profile. Don't know how you'll get the full month of April. Might take a while for him to send it all to ya. ;)

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WWE RAW

May 3, 2004

LIVE from Phoenix, AZ

Our opening montage is highlights of Chris Jericho's WWE career. His debut; his first title win; his WCW championship; his taking of the Undisputed Title; his victory over Shawn Michaels by submission in LA; a series of catchphrases and appropriate reactions to them; and finally, the b&w shot of Jericho in pain, on the mat, with a torn leg muscle. It fades out to the message: "The Countdown Ends Tonight".

IT WAS HOT ENOUGH IN THE DESERT BEFORE WE DECIDED TO TACK ON A MILLION POUNDS OF PYRO from inside the America West Arena! Sign(s) in the crowd: "J" "E" "R" "I" "C" "H" "O".

JR: "Welcome to a big night of returns here on RAW! I'm Jim Ross, alongside Diamond Dallas Page, and DDP, the whole locker room has been on the lookout for one man, and that's Y2J Chris Jericho!"

DDP: "I'm jacked, Jimbo, absolutely JACKED to see him come back, and I can't imagine ANYONE feeling otherwise, but before he comes out, I got a feeling we're gonna have a lot more goin' on, and it starts right now!"

Intros for the next match begin.

JR: "Folks, we're getting things started tonight with a huge tag match, as a couple of guys who -- well, one of them's a tag specialist looking to rebound, so he appears to have gotten a new partner."

DDP: "I wouldn't go so far as to say this is permanent, Jim, but when there's gold involved a LOT of past differences can be put aside."

JR: "That may be so, but you gotta be a full-time team to be able to do that sort of thing on a regular basis, Page, and their opponents certainly are a regular team -- they're the champs!"

World Tag Team title match: Nick Mondo & Tommy Dreamer (w/Stacy Keibler, champions) vs. Sylvain Grenier & Johnny Jeter (w/Jackie Gayda, challengers)

Mondo and Jeter start. Jeter wins a lockup and goes behind, but Mondo flips out of his German suplex and dropkicks him. Jeter gets up and charges, but Mondo vaults him and Dreamer punches him down. Grenier enters to protest, so Mondo hits a standing monkey flip on him. Jeter charges Mondo, but Mondo sidesteps and Jeter tumbles to the outside, where he and Jackie talk strategy.

Mondo goes to the top rope as Grenier is being sent outside, but Jackie shakes the ropes and crotches Mondo. Jeter rolls in and climbs up, superplexing Mondo and covering for two. Jeter brings in Grenier, and the duo whip Mondo into the ropes and catch him with a double elbowsmash. Grenier bounces off the ropes and hits an elbowdrop.

Grenier tags Jeter back in, and the duo send Mondo into a neutral corner. Jeter gets a running dropkick, then tosses Mondo back to Grenier, who flapjacks him. The referee tries to get Grenier to leave, which allows Jackie to enter and stomp on Mondo with her spiked heel. Jackie exits as Jeter slams Mondo's head into the top turnbuckle. The ref notices Mondo's head is bleeding (from the heel) and questions Jeter, who fakes innocence.

Meanwhile, on the outside, Dreamer starts to look for something under the ring.

Jeter pounds away on Mondo's cut, then sends him across the ring. Mondo vaults onto the top turnbuckle and catches a surprised Jeter with the M.Bison Attack. Grenier is tagged in, but so is Dreamer. Dreamer slugs away on Grenier, sending him into the ropes and hitting a backdrop on the way out. He slugs Jeter off the apron and catches Grenier with a DDT.

Jeter enters, but Mondo cuts him off and it's a full scale brawl. In the chaos, Jackie sneaks in with the title belt and nails Mondo. Stacy follows her in, sending her out of the ring and chasing her to the back (on high heels -- trust me). Jeter rolls on top of Mondo, but Dreamer makes the save.

Jeter goes to the top rope, but Dreamer charges and sends Jeter flying to the outside, through a previously unacknowledged table. Grenier staggers to his feet, but Mondo picks him up from behind and completes the Assault Driver. Mondo holds for the cover, and the champs retain at 9:05.

WINNERS and STILL World Tag Team champions: Nick Mondo & Tommy Dreamer

JR: "And the Extreme Team hangs on to remain World Tag Team Champions!"

DDP: "What a gutsy performance these two guys had, Jimbo! I can't believe what we just saw out there!"

JR: "And it's just the first match, folks! Things can only get better from here! Stay tuned!"

***COMMERCIAL***

As we return, Eric Bischoff is on the office phone. He is talking to... well, you'll figure it out.

Bischoff: "Look, we're both reasonable men here, and I think that... The deal has been sealed? How?... No, I sent the contract. I sent it two weeks ago... They offered more money? How is that possible? My deal was... I don't believe it. I thought we were the same company!... Oh, is THAT how the game's played now. I see... So there's nothing I can do?... Look, I'm a man short. Your job is to ensure competitive balance... But he was already on my... You didn't count him?... Are you trying to make things difficult on me?... What do I think? I think you... IT DOES TOO MATTER WHAT I THINK!... Uh-huh... Uh-huh... I see... Well, that's just fine with you, I guess, but you can overturn this decision... Oh, you already voted?... Fine. Well, if that's the game, I'll play it too... You bet I will... Okay, swell... Yeah, tell Hogan I said hi. Thanks. Bye."

He hangs up.

Bischoff: "Dammit! How'd I let that happen? Well, it's no big deal. After Jericho comes back tonight, they'll forget all about that loser. Yes, sir -- things are going well for Bischoff tonight!"

We go back to the announcers.

JR: "Well, Page, it looks like our family on RAW has been reduced, but I wonder who left."

DDP: "I dunno, Jim, but it's always problematic when someone leaves the company in a lurch like that. I hope he's happy, because I'm pretty sure Bisch won't want him back any time soon."

JR: "Certainly it's difficult when somebody is caught between loyalty and finance, Page, and... I just hope it never comes to that for either of us."

As they speak, Teddy Long's music hits and he and Jazz make their way to the ring.

JR: "Well, here's someone who never has a shortage of loyalty, as long as it's to himself..."

DDP: "Easy now, Jim. You gotta admit -- Jazz has been pretty good since WrestleMania. His group is clicking right now."

JR: "It's just the truth. What people see in this guy, I have no idea. And now he's got Jazz, the Women's champion, with him... the guy's never gonna shut up."

Long: "Lemme holla at ya playa! Now right here in Phoenix, I see a lot of ol' crackas who probably still think of us as bein' less than them, belie dat! Well, you think you The Man, but right now, I'm with the top woman, the top sista in the WWE, belie dat playa!"

As he speaks, we see security struggling to hold a couple people back. The crowd is distracted.

Long: "Look at her! She's the paragon of feminine power, belie dat! She's the greatest woman when it comes to beatin' down on other people, ya hear me?"

A woman escapes from the security grasp and vaults the rail behind Long and Jazz.

Long: "And there's no one who--"

The woman has entered the ring and grabbed Long's cane away from him. She smacks both Jazz and Long over the head with the cane, then rips the Women's title off of Jazz and holds it high before being swarmed by security. As they lead her out, Jazz gets up and grabs a microphone.

Jazz: "No, wait, wait! Bring her back in here! Let her go!"

Security returns the woman to the ring, where she rolls in. Jazz begins attacking her, but to everyone's surprise, the woman fights back. The brawl goes all around the ring and back outside, as Jazz tosses the woman through the Spanish announcers' table. WWE officials dive forward to separate the two and restrain the woman, taking her backstage.

JR: "Folks, we make it perfectly clear that if you come to a WWE event and get involved, we are not responsible for your injuries, but... man, I don't know what to say now!"

DDP: "That girl put a hell of a fight up! Forget whoever just left RAW, sign HER!"

JR: "We gotta sort this out, folks -- I, uh... I don't think this is what we had in mind..."

***COMMERCIAL***

JR: "Welcome back, folks, and... well, I dunno what to say right now, Page. We've had a bizarre night already."

DDP: "Well, Jim, I've been collecting my thoughts, and I wanna share them with our television audience right now in a little something we call, Good Thing Bad Thing!"

The graphic appears as music for the next match plays and intros begin.

DDP: "When you're attending a WWE event, it says right there on the ticket that any injuries suffered as a result of this event aren't the responsibility of the WWE. Heck, we pay our athletes mucho money to go out there and do some really insane stuff, and for them to be on top of their game, they can't have just any ordinary person come up and attack them. These are tough people -- you saw what Jazz did. And as easy as it looks to beat these people up, just cuz o' how much they do it to each other, ya gotta remember -- these are legitimate athletes. You can't tell them they're fake without being proven wrong, ya can't attack without being destroyed, and ya can't get involved without paying the price. And when you pay the price, that's definitely a Bad Thing."

DDP smiles.

JR: "Speaking of prices, in the ring right now is one woman I wanna see pay the price for beating and bloodying poor Molly last week, Page. And it looks like someone's coming out to do just that!"

Intercontinental Title match: Chris Benoit (champion) vs. Chynna Doll (challenger)

Benoit bullrushes Chynna and backs her into the corner, punching her in the head a few times before winding up and chopping her to the ground. Chynna struggles to breathe as Benoit picks her up and snap suplexes her. Benoit heads up to the top rope, but his diving headbutt misses its target. Chynna picks Benoit up and whips him into the ropes, hitting a clothesline on the way out.

She tosses Benoit into the corner, but her handspring elbow entering to follow is blocked by Benoit and turned into the Crossface. Chynna scrambles to the ropes. Benoit picks Chynna up from behind and clubs her in the back, then cinches up and delivers a German suplex. He rolls through with it and pulls Chynna up, delivering a second German suplex. He rolls through and tries for a third German suplex, but Chynna mule kicks out of it.

She smashes Benoit in the face with her forearm, then picks him in a military press. Benoit swings to the mat on Chynna's arm, however, and instantly locks in the Crippler Crossface. Chynna taps at 4:03.

WINNER and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

JR: "What a dominant performance from the Rabid Wolverine tonight! He blew through Chynna like a... wait! What the hell is this?"

It's Christian, that's what. He storms the ring and attacks Benoit from behind.

JR: "Why is he here? He has no business being out here!"

DDP: "Yes he does! Chynna is his partner in crime! He's getting even for her!"

Chynna slowly gets to her feet as Christian heads outside and retrieves the IC title. Chynna holds Benoit up, and Christian slugs Benoit with the belt. Chynna sets the belt on the mat and pretends to polish it as Christian picks Benoit up. Christian hooks Benoit and delivers the Unprettier on the belt. Christian and Chynna hug and prepare to walk off with the I-C title around Christian's waist when Molly Holly emerges and hits a bodypress on both people in the aisle. She heads to the ring to check on Benoit as Christian and Chynna discuss in the ring. Christian goes to the back and gets a mic as the camera focuses on Molly helping Benoit up.

Christian: "Hey! Hey Molly! Didn't you learn your lesson last time? Don't you get it -- the only woman worthy of being involved in my matches is this one here? You're just not good enough! Why don't you go back to Bra and Panties matches where you belong, huh? In fact, I got an idea."

JR: "Oh no. This isn't good."

Christian: "It's like this, sweetcakes. Next week, I wanna face Benoit one more time for the Intercontinental Title. And when I win that match -- you heard me, doll, WHEN -- I want you to give a little performance for everyone in the arena. You'll do what I say you should do, and you'll do what every other right-minded woman on the roster isn't afraid of doing! You hear me?"

Molly instinctively covers her chest, even though she's wearing very modest clothing to begin with.

Christian: "Oh, I'm sorry, you don't want to do that? Well, you can always wimp out! But I thought you were a fighter, Molly! I thought you were willing to get through your struggles! Besides, would it really be that bad?"

DDP: "Shut up! Now!"

Christian: "Come on! You think these people wouldn't want to see what you got? Yeah, they support you and all, but at the end of the day, these mindless, pathetic people just wish they can get into your bed and see you in your underwear -- if even that! You know it, I know it, we all know it! So why not give them what they want? Be a real woman, Molly! C'mon! Accept the challenge -- or are you so ashamed of your body that you don't want anyone ever seeing it again?"

Molly: "Stop it! Stop it, stop it, stop it! You want a rematch with Benoit? Fine! Have it! But there's no way I'm going through with any show after you win! I won't do it! But I know what I will do! I'll be right there at ringside to make sure you and your transgendered life partner never get your filthy paws on the Intercontinental Title again!"

The crowd cheers louder than ever, and various "Molly" chants begin. Slowly, Chris Benoit makes his way to his feet and takes Molly's mic.

Benoit: "Wait a minute! There's no match and there's no anything until I say there is! I'm still the Intercontinental Champion here.... but Christian, after hearing what you said, it'll be a pleasure of mine to beat you to within an inch of your life next week! So bring your best, and hope I don't send you home in a full body cast, because you're about to see why they call me the Crippler next week!"

Christian: "Good. I knew you'd be a sucker for defending the title. Prepare to give it to me, because just as easily as I just knocked you out, that's how easily I'll destroy you in seven days' time. C'mon Chynna, let's split. Oh, and Molly -- if you are at ringside, I will make sure you live up to my challenge, whether you like it or not."

Christian's music plays.

JR: "Oh my gawd! Christian and Benoit next week! The Intercontinental Title is on the line! Who's gonna win? And what will happen?"

DDP: "I can't wait, I can't wait! I hope Christian gets what's coming to him!"

JR: "Folks, up next is the RAW return of someone who has been tearing up Heat and the minor leagues. Victoria goes one-on-one with Lucille LaChienne, next!"

***COMMERCIAL***

And now, the Boot of the Night, brought to you by Lugz! From way back in October on HeAT, Victoria boots Steven Richards to the curb, setting off a transformation that led to his return of the RTC the next night on RAW.

JR: "Well, Page, I know you've never had the privilege of calling a match with this woman on RAW, and so I guess this'll be a new experience for you!"

DDP: "It sure will. I've heard a lot about her in the back, and I can't wait to see if she lives up to the hype!"

Lucille LaChienne (w/Sylvain Grenier) vs. Victoria

They lock up, and Victoria pushes Lucille into the corner. She offers a clean break, but Lucille slaps her, which causes Victoria to look at her in shock. Lucille reverses Victoria into the corner and pounds away on her as Victoria tries to block. Lucille is restrained by the referee, which leads to Grenier wrapping the French flag around Victoria's throat.

Victoria pulls herself up as Lucille charges, but Victoria ducks and Lucille slams herself into the turnbuckle. Victoria rolls Lucille up for two. Both women get up, and Victoria wins a lockup and rides a headlock to the mat. She turns it into a half-nelson and tries to turn Lucille over, but Lucille bridges out and gets free. Victoria catches Lucille from behind with a cradle for two. Lucille tries to clothesline Victoria, but Victoria catches the arm and turns it into a fireman's carry.

Victoria tries to bridge Lucille's shoulders onto the mat, but Grenier cracks the flagpole on her leg. Victoria collapses, and Lucille falls on top for two. Lucille goes up top, but Victoria shakes the ropes and causes Lucille to land on the top turnbuckle. Victoria brings Lucille to the mat gently and applies a front chancery, turning it into a small package for two.

Lucille gets up and stomps away on Victoria, who covers her head the whole time. Lucille mouths off to the ref, allowing Victoria to get up behind her. Lucille turns around into a double-leg takedown, and Victoria flips over the top to a pinning predicament for two. Lucille picks Victoria up from behind into a German suplex, but Victoria shifts her weight and lands seated on Lucille. She grabs Lucille's legs, and finally her efforts get her a three-count at 6:58.

WINNER: Victoria

JR: "And Victoria is successful in her return to RAW! What a performance from her, Page!"

DDP: "Yeah, but something was off. I thought she was a hard-nosed competitor. She seemed almost passive here. I mean, look at her now!"

As DDP speaks, Victoria shakes the referee's hand, then offers her hand to Lucille. Lucille stares at it, then her, then shakes her head and walks off. Victoria shrugs and rolls out of the ring, slapping hands with everyone in the front row.

JR: "Well, you're right about that. This is definitely a kinder Victoria than we're used to. I just gotta wonder what led to her change, and why after the way she treated Steven Richards -- not that I feel sorry for him at all -- but this is totally opposite what we remember. We'll be back, folks."

Before going to commercial, we get another PSA. For those who haven't seen them before, they show an empty training gym -- empty except for a ring. The ring has one person in it, who looks at the camera as their life story is being told. Today, it's Shawn Michaels.

HBK: "I made my name as a man able to take all sorts of punishment."

Clip from: WrestleMania X, Shawn Michaels riding the ladder onto Razor Ramon.

Lawler: "He IS Superman!"

To the ring.

HBK: "People used me to prove they were some tough guy -- made my life hell for their own benefit."

Clip from: WWF Mania, October 1995.

Pettengill: "Shawn Michaels was attacked by nine men in Syracuse this week..."

To the ring.

HBK: "I hit new lows, both professionally and personally, always being selfish and getting burned."

Clips from: Thursday RAW Thursday...

HBK: "I've just lost my smile, Vince."

...the early days of DX...

HBK: "Go ahead, Vince! Fire me!"

...Montreal...

JR: "Certainly this is somewhat controversial..."

...and Mania XIV as Shawn is being helped to the back.

HHH (as he carries HBK): "Careful, Shawn. It's all right."

To the ring.

HBK: "But out of the darkness I stepped into the light. I became a better man."

Silent clips from Shawn's baptism and wedding play before we return to the ring.

HBK: "Now I'm at my best as a person..."

A shot of HBK consoling Hurricane and Lita from Confidential.

HBK: "I'm always here for you, guys."

To the ring.

HBK: "...and as an athlete."

Clip from Survivor Series 2002 as Shawn holds the World Title high.

JR: "What a comeback for the Heartbreak Kid!"

We go back to the ring, and this time Shawn speaks directly to the camera as opposed to via voice-over.

HBK: "My name is Michael Hickenbotham. With God as my witness, you'd better not tell me I'm fake."

The screen fades to the WWE logo: Real People, Real Lives. It then fades to black.

***COMMERCIAL***

JR: "Well, folks, on WWE.com we were promised an old friendship would get together, and in this next match it's gonna happen. I don't wanna spoil the surprise though, Page, but... these guys ain't it."

DDP: "No, no -- we all knew that Teddy Long's crew was working together. But who is this reunion we keep hearing about? I thought about this for a long time, and there aren't too many people who ran in the same circles back then and don't now!"

JR: "I wish I could say, Page. All I know is Christopher Nowinski here, well... he's on a mission to eliminate Scott Hall, cuz he hasn't forgiven the Bad Guy for the nWo! That was well over two years ago, Page! Isn't that time enough?"

DDP: "Well, for most people it would be, but... hold on! What's this?"

DDP hears Shawn Michaels' music play.

DDP: "So THIS is the old friendship, Jim! What a duo this is! I think Teddy Long better pack some extra Haterade for his team if they wanna have a hope in this one!"

Christopher Nowinski and Rodney Mack (w/Teddy Long) vs. Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall

HBK and Hall charge the ring, where they get into a brawl with Nowinski and Mack. Hall works on Nowinski, punching away in the corner, as HBK sends Mack into the ropes and hits a flying forearm on the way out. Hall sends Nowinski across the ring and follows in quickly with a clothesline. Hall then whips HBK into Mack, causing Mack to fall out of the ring. Nowinski soon follows, as the heels hold a conference with Long (minus the cane).

As they do, Hall heads outside and slams Nowinski's and Mack's heads together, then pops Long for good measure. He rolls Nowinski into the ring and follows, but gets told by the ref to exit as HBK is in the ring. This allows Mack to follow him in and choke HBK while Nowinski punches him. HBK crumbles to the ground as Nowinski exits, allowing Mack to slam HBK and choke him. Mack picks HBK up and hits a straight right hand, knocking him down again.

Mack steps on HBK on the way over to tag Nowinski. Nowinski enters and grabs a front chancery on HBK, but HBK reverses to a surprise Northern Lights suplex for two. HBK sends Nowinski into the ropes, Nowinski ducks HBK once, and Nowinski grabs HBK's hair as he runs by the second time to slam him to the ground. Nowinski preens to the crowd, then grinds his boot into HBK's face. He tags in Mack, and the two execute a double hiptoss on HBK.

Mack covers for two. Mack picks HBK up and puts on a chinlock, making sure to put his feet on the ropes with the ref not looking. HBK tries to get up, but Nowinski enters and chop blocks HBK, keeping the hold from being broken. With HBK face down, Mack switches to grinding HBK's face into the mat. He picks HBK up and tries to hook on the Blackout, but HBK tosses Mack over his shoulder instead. Mack bounces up quickly as HBK runs off the ropes, but Nowinski trips him. HBK yells at Nowinski, but gets caught from behind with the Blackout. HBK grabs the ropes immediately.

Mack tags Nowinski in. Nowinski goes up top, but his missile dropkick finds nothing but air. HBK tags in Hall, who levels Nowinski with a series of clotheslines. Mack tries to enter, but Hall punches him and tosses him in a fallaway slam. Hall picks Nowinski back up and gives him an atomic drop. As Nowinski staggers around, Hall signals for the Edge, but Mack enters and nails Hall with a chair. The ref calls for the bell at 9:59.

WINNERS by disqualification: Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall

Nowinski picks Hall up and mocks his Edge pose before delivering a piledriver on him. HBK is knocked off the apron by Mack, who then sets the chair up beneath Hall. Nowinski picks Hall up again, this time delivering his Double Arm DDT to him on the steel chair. Satisfied, the men leave.

JR: "This is utter chaos! This has been decimation! Chris Nowinski is almost as bad as the man he claims to rail against!"

DDP: "Yeah, but you gotta believe Hall won't take this lying down, and if Nowinski ain't suspended for that piledriver, I know a few people who will wanna do it back to him."

JR: "Folks, coming up next, the World Heavyweight title is on the line as Rhyno defends against the man he attacked last week, Booker T!"

DDP: "And in addition to that, we have been told Chris Jericho will be here tonight, and it's just a matter of time! Stay tuned! He could arrive any minute!"

***COMMERCIAL***

We are backstage, as Shawn Michaels is returning with a weary Scott Hall.

HBK: "Hey, don't worry about it, man. He'll get what's coming to him, I guarantee. I'll make sure of it myself if I have to."

Hall: "Thanks, bro, I knew I could count on... hey, you hear something?"

HBK: "Sounds like a fight's going on. You go to your locker room -- I'll check it out."

As Hall walks back, Michaels rounds the corner to find Evolution beating on someone. He pulls Shane aside and tosses him back a few feet, but we still can't see who it is. Shane charges Michaels, only to get hit with a superkick. At this point, Orton and Batista walk off, and we see they were beating on...

HBK: "Sting! What happened, bro?"

Sting: "Eric told me he wanted me as part of Evolution, and I said no!"

HBK: "Wait -- they WANT you in Evolution?"

Sting: "I think... it might've been a setup! There wasn't nearly enough time for me to say no. It was... dammit!"

HBK: "All right, all right... don't worry about it. C'mon, me and Scott are gonna watch the show in our locker room. Let's go."

Shawn helps Sting up, and the two of them walk off, with Sting making sure to take time to kick Shane as he's getting up. Intros begin for the next match as the announcers talk.

JR: "They wanted Sting in Evolution? I mean, I know Ric Flair was in it, but... does that make sense?"

DDP: "Nah, that was just a trick. They wanted to soften him up -- they want him out of the business. These guys have no respect for the elders. It's pathetic, Jim. I hope they never -- NEVER -- win another title as long as I'm calling their matches."

JR: "Now, be careful, Page, cuz they might come after you."

DDP: "Let 'em."

JR: "Well, this next match is for the World Heavyweight Title, and it came about after Lucille LaChienne set Booker T up for a GORE and a huge attack last week."

Footage rolls.

JR: "And now Rhyno is putting the title on the line against Booker T in what oughta be a slobberknocker of a match, Page."

DDP: "Oh yeah! Can't wait to see it!"

World title match: Rhyno (champion) vs. Booker T (challenger)

Rhyno and Booker lock up, and Booker applies a headlock. Rhyno shoves him off and shouldertackles him to the ground. Rhyno drops an elbow and punches away at Booker. Booker shoves him off and gets up, but Rhyno is ready and clotheslines him back down. Rhyno picks Booker T up and slams him, covering for two.

Rhyno grabs Booker and rams him into the turnbuckle, then gets a suplex on him. Rhyno covers again for two. Rhyno whips Booker into the ropes, but Booker returns with a DDT after Rhyno puts his head down. Booker dropkicks Rhyno to the floor and follows. Booker and Rhyno slug it out on the floor as we go to break.

***COMMERCIAL***

Rhyno has a surfboard on Booker as we see During the Break footage that shows Booker hitting the steps. Booker gets to a standing position, so Rhyno begins to club the back of Booker. Rhyno delivers a back suplex to Booker, covering for two. He picks Booker up off the mat and bearhugs him, squeezing Booker around the lower back. Booker slowly fades, then tries to punch out of the bearhug, succeeding in breaking it.

Booker bounces off the ropes, but Rhyno simply catches him in a spinebuster for two. Rhyno picks Booker up and sends him into the turnbuckle, causing Booker to collapse in pain. Rhyno stomps Booker's back, then picks him up in a military press. Rhyno drops Booker into an Oklahoma slam and covers for two. Rhyno goes up top as Booker crawls around and splashes Booker's back. He turns Booker over for two.

Rhyno picks Booker up and sends him into the ropes, but Booker comes flying out with a forearm. Booker gets up quickly and stands poised over Rhyno, hitting the Book End on him. He covers for two. Rhyno axhandles Booker's back, causing Booker to be paralyzed by pain. Rhyno tries to whip Booker into the ropes, but Booker reverses and leg lariats Rhyno. He looks around, then at his hand. He shakes his head, nods, and...

...his back gives out in the middle of the Spinaroonie. He pulls himself up by the ropes as Rhyno gets to his feet. Rhyno sees Booker and charges, hitting the GORE on him in the center of the ring. Rhyno covers, and the title stays at 10:07.

WINNER and STILL World Heavyweight champion: Rhyno

Rhyno smiles as he's announced as the winner. He looks down at Booker, who can barely stand up. As Booker gets to his feet, Rhyno applauds him.

DDP: "Now there's a sign of sportsmanship you don't see every day."

JR: "He's mocking him, Page!"

DDP: "Hey, let's not rush to judgment."

Rhyno raises Booker T's hand, only to clothesline him back down.

DDP: "Okay, maybe you were right."

Rhyno continues stomping away on Booker T's back as the referee tries to pry him off. Rhyno demands the mic.

Rhyno: "Booker! You think you can provide security for someone? No security can stop me! No one man can stop me! You have felt my wrath, Booker! FEAR ME!"

Rhyno's music starts again as he stares maniacally at Booker T.

JR: "This man is a perverse being. He loves pain! There's no way around it!"

DDP: "I know he does, but what can we do about it?"

JR: "I don't know. I just hope he loses that title soon. Triple H is still out from the beating he got; now he's threatening to put Booker T out as well!"

DDP: "Hopefully someone will put him in his place. That's all I can say."

***COMMERCIAL***

We go straight to the arena as the RNN set is up. Randy Orton stands in the ring, smiling as he enjoys the boos of the crowd. The OrTron number is 5001 this week.

Orton: "Welcome to the greatest thing ever to happen to RAW since I arrived in a trade for the Big Show -- RNN! Tonight, my friends, I have as my guest a very special individual. I have on someone that I know all of you want to see every chance you get. That person is the guide of Evolution and the General Manager of RAW, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together and give a warm Phoenix welcome to... ERIC BISCHOFF!"

"I'm Back" plays over the PA as Bischoff walks out with his million-dollar grin. Bischoff shakes Orton's hand when he enters the ring and sits down next to him.

Orton: "Welcome to RNN, Mr. Bischoff. My first question to you is..."

But he doesn't have the time to ask, because the Crow Music starts up. Sting appears on the entranceway, pointing his bat at a nervous Bischoff. He slowly walks to ringside, then climbs up the stairs and into the ring. He never takes his eyes off of Orton.

Sting: "Let's just clear this up once and for all, Randy. You've said quite often that I was and you are, right? And if that's the case, why did your buddy ask me to join your little group just before you tried to beat me into next week?"

Orton: "Shouldn't you ask him directly? You know, it's pretty rude of you not to respect your boss like that."

Sting: "You think I was born yesterday, Randy? I may have done some short-sighted things before, but not this time! I'm not falling for your little scheme. The minute I look at him, you'll attack!"

DDP: "Wow, the man CAN learn."

Sting: "Now listen to me, Randy. Next week, I want a match. I don't care if I have to take on all three of you at once. I want to get even and show you people that I can still go with the best of them. You jumped me from behind! I am not letting that happen again!"

Orton: "Why the hell should I give you a match? I beat you fair and square, right in the middle of the ring in Calgary, two weeks ago! I don't owe you anything, Sting! Now beat it, so I can do an interview here with Mr. Bischoff!"

Swing suddenly turns and swings his bat at Bischoff, stopping it just short of his face. Bischoff flinches, nearly falling out of his seat. Sting keeps his eyes on Orton as Bischoff slowly recovers his demeanor.

Sting: "Next time, my old man's reflexes may not allow me to stop the bat. And next time, this old man will be aiming at you. So Randy... have we a deal?"

Orton: "You want a match that badly? You can have it! But it'll be on MY terms! First and foremost, it'll be a tag match. Secondly, you're not teaming with Shawn Michaels. Oh, and third, you have until the end of the show to find a partner, and we're planning on ending the show with another beating right now!"

The camera pans back to show Batista standing behind Sting. Don't ask how Batista managed to sneak in without being noticed. He just did, okay? Anyhow, Batista slams his forearm between Sting's shoulder blades, and Orton joins in, stomping away on Sting as he writhes on the mat. Bischoff picks up the stool he's seated on and slams it on Sting's back as well. After a few moments of this, Bischoff waves off Orton and Batista, taking a microphone.

Bischoff: "Gee, Sting, this looks awfully familiar. Ah, yes, I believe we did this to you 30 minutes ago! Hey, I got a question for you, Sting -- since this an interview show -- now that you've not only failed to find a partner for next week, but you've been beaten down twice in one night, can you provide one good reason why I shouldn't fire you right now?"

Sting: "How's this?"

In one quick motion, he grabs Bischoff's legs and stands up. He almost gets Bischoff in the Scorpion Deathlock when Orton slams a stool into Sting's back, knocking him over again. The beating continues until a familiar voice plays over the PA system.

Familiar voice: "Hold it right there, you wannabe stars!"

Evolution stops their actions and looks around.

Familiar voice: "If Sting needs someone to be at his side, then baby, I guess I am the man to do it! So Evolution, prepare yourselves and your filthy, dirty, disgusting, bottom-feeding, trashbag ho of a leader for a beating you will never, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeever forget as long as you live! And it starts at zero!"

The TitanTron lights up. Twenty. Nineteen. Eighteen. Seventeen. Sixteen. Fifteen. Fourteen. Thirteen. Twelve. Eleven. The crowd begins chanting along. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

The place goes dark. An explosion of pyro goes off, bringing us back to light. We see the familiar silhouette on the TitanTron walking "towards" us. As the singer bellows out, "Break the Walls Doooooooooooooooooooown!", the silhouette hits a familiar cross-like pose. We cut back to the ring, where we see Bischoff, Orton, and Batista facing the entrance, Sting pulling himself up...

... and Chris Jericho helping him. As the music stops, Evolution look at each other in confusion. Jericho takes a mic.

Jericho: "Oh boys!"

Sting and Jericho charge, getting the jump on Orton and Batista. A single Jericho clothesline sends Batista over the top and out. Jericho whips Orton into the turnbuckle, and Sting flies in with a Stinger splash. Orton collapses as Bischoff tries to run off. Jericho catches him, tossing him to Sting, who hits the Death Drop on Bischoff. Batista returns to the ring, but Jericho catches his right hand and suplexes Batista. He runs to the ropes and hits the Lionsault on him. Batista rolls out to join his Evolution mates as Jericho and Sting stand tall. Jericho gets a mic.

Jericho: "Hey Uncle Eric... WELCOME BACK TO RAW - IS - JERICHO! And next week, I can guarantee one thing!"

He places the mic between himself and Sting.

Sting/Jericho: "IT'S SHOWTIME!"

Jericho's music hits as Evolution argue with Sting and Jericho.

JR: "GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY! WHAT A RETURN FOR Y2J CHRIS JERICHO! WHAT A WAY TO COME BACK TO RAW! NEXT WEEK! JERICHO! STING! EVOLUTION! CHRISTIAN! CHRIS BENOIT! THE TITLE IS ON THE LINE! WE GOTTA GO! SEE YOU IN SAN JOSE IN SEVEN DAYS! BE THERE!"

<<<FIN>>>

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- The SmarK RAW Rant for May 03 / 04.

- Live from Phoenix, AZ.

- Your hosts are JR and DDP.

- I have the official counter going, and it's at 1:59:43 and counting babee! HE'S COMIN' BACK, and it is ON!

- Opening match, World Tag Team titles: Nick Mondo and Tommy Dreamer v. Sylvain Grenier and Johnny Jeter. Weird choice for challengers, but hey, might as well give them opening match duty. Mondo out-flips Jeter to start and takes care of both heels using a lot of sticking and moving. He goes up, but Jackie shakes the ropes and Jeter gets a superplex for two. Double elbow and elbowdrop by Grenier and Mondo is YOUR freak-in-peril. Dropkick/flapjack combo on Mondo, and Grenier distracts the ref, allowing Jackie to spike Mondo with her heel. Mondo, ever the sportsman, blades from the shot as I get WCW 1995 flashbacks. Mondo reverses a corner whip into M.Bison out of nowhere, hot tag Dreamer. DDT for Grenier, and it's BONZO GONZO as Jeter returns. Beltshot to Mondo, and Stacy chases off Jackie in one of the unintentionally sillier moments of the night. Jeter gets two. He goes up, but Dreamer knocks him through the table on the outside, and an Assault Driver finishes Grenier at 9:05. To quote Dana Carvey's impression of George Michael, "It's a formula, but it bloody works!" *3/4

- Eric Bischoff is on a cel phone, talking to the Rock (who is never named but doesn't have to be). Apparently, someone jumped from RAW to SmackDown!, and the Board of Governors figure, what the heck, since Jericho's coming back it's all even anyway. Bischoff pretending to argue with the Rock's catchphrases is pretty funny.

- Teddy Long and Jazz come out to yammer on, but a fan (former NWA starlet Tracy Brooks) charges the ring and starts a fight. Everyone acts like it isn't part of the show. Right.

- DDP talks about fan safety in "Good Thing, Bad Thing". Ugh.

- Intercontinental title: Chris Benoit v. Chynna Deadmeat... er, Doll. Sorry. Benoit unloads a HUGE chop that nearly asphyxiates Chynna. Snap suplex, but the diving headbutt misses. Clothesline by Chynna, but her handspring elbow is nearly turned into the Crossface. Benoit with the rolling Germans, but Chynna goes low on the third. Benoit slides out of a military press into the Crossface for the tap at 4:03. *

- And now the interesting part, as Christian charges the ring and beats Benoit down. But that's not interesting. Molly makes the save, hitting a crossbody on both heels. But that's not the interesting part either. No, the fun part is that Christian says he will beat Benoit next week and wants Molly to put her dignity on the line. If he wins, she strips. But it gets better: Christian then accuses the fans of not really liking her and only caring about seeing her in sexy outfits, and when Molly (rightly) refuses the stipulation, the crowd CHEERS. This may be the first time a WWE crowd DOESN'T want to see a Diva in their underwear. But Molly will be at ringside to even the odds. Oh, and Benoit accepts, by the way. Christian promises that when he wins, Molly's his next target. Filler business segment, but an astounding experiment in reverse psychology.

- Victoria v. Lucille LaChienne. Big mistake right here: you've just produced an emotionally charged segment and you're already building to one superstar's big return, and now you've thrown away Victoria's first RAW match in months. Victoria acts shocked -- SHOCKED -- when Lucille refuses a clean break, which allows Lucille to attack. Grenier adds a bit of choking on the outside. Blind charge misses, and Victoria with a rollup for two. Victoria tries for an amateur pinfall, but Lucille evades, only to be caught in a cradle for two. Fireman's carry by Victoria, and Grenier gets involved, giving Lucille two. Lucille up top, but Victoria pulls her down into a small package for two. This is just weird. Lucille goes on the attack (as Victoria pitifully tries to block), but she stops to argue and gets sent into a pinning predicament for two. German suplex by Lucille gets reversed for the pin at 6:58. Victoria's all-new "nice girl who just wants to win the match" gimmick seems doomed to failure, and I really hope they add some ATTITUDE to it fast. *1/2

- Shawn Michaels "Tell Me I'm Fake" ad. Don't get me started...

- Chris Nowinski and Rodney Mack v. Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall. Faces absolutely clean house to start, including some a fun double-team by the Kliq. Heels regroup (continuity: Long is missing the cane that Brooks smashed on Jazz), so Hall beats up everyone outside. Miscommunication involving the ref allows the heels to double HBK. Mack slams HBK and uses a blatant choke hold. Nowinski enters but gets suplexed. To the ropes, but Nowinski yanks HBK's hair to slam him down. Well, what's left of it. Nowinski rakes the eyes with his boot, and the heels get a double hiptoss for two. Mack HITS THE CHINLOCK. He redeems himself by using the ropes. Nowinski stops HBK from powering out of it, too. Mack rubs HBK's face in and tries the Blackout, but HBK blocks. Missile dropkick by Nowinski misses, "hot" tag Hall. I use quote marks cuz the crowd ain't buyin' this as an upset. Fallaway slam for Mack, atomic drop for Nowinski, but a chair gets involved and it's a beatdown at 10:00 or so. Weird booking, but it almost worked. *1/4

- HBK helps Hall shake the cobwebs out backstage, only to see Evolution beating Sting up. Sting claims Bischoff distracted him by offering him a spot in Evolution. Ah, that Sting, always a sucker for a heel beating. Michael Shane gets a superkick from his uncle as an afterthought.

- World title: Rhyno v. Booker T. A nice video package reminds us of last week's sneak attack. Rhyno floors Booker with a shoulderblock to start, then unloads some punches. Lariat and slam get two. Into the turnbuckle, and a suplex gets two. Booker gets a DDT after Rhyno idiotically puts his head down, and to the floor we go as we take a break. During the Break, Booker hits the STEEL steps, and when we come back, Rhyno has a surfboard applied. Booker stands up, so Rhyno resorts to CLUBBERIN', TONY, THEY BE CLUBBERIN'. Back suplex gets two. To the bearhug. Just what we need for this match: a bearhug. Booker escapes, but Rhyno is ready with a MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for two. Cross-corner whip causes Booker to collapse, and Rhyno gets a military press into a powerslam for two. Rhyno splashes Booker's back for two. Ahhhh, now the bearhug makes sense. Doesn't make me like it, though. Flying jalapeno cues the comeback. Book End gets two. Rhyno stops Booker with an axhandle to the back, though. Booker comes back with the crescent kick, but he can't complete the Spinaroonie because of his back. PSYCHOLOGY~! Rhyno ends it with a GOAR GOAR GOAR at 10:07. Slow but not bad. *1/4 Rhyno beats Booker up as a lesson to all wannabe challengers.

- Main event interview: RNN. OrTron is finally up to 5000, I see -- funny how that works. His guest: Eric Bischoff. But Sting immediately crashes the party and demands a match with Evolution, even if it's 1-on-3. Great way to sign a death warrant. Of note: Sting remains focused on Orton, even when talking to Bischoff. Obviously, he knows who the danger is. Orton refuses, so Sting fakes hitting a home run on Bischoff's skull ("Next time, my old man reflexes might NOT kick in" -- straight out of a Mafia movie). Bischoff agrees, but says Sting has until the end of the show to find a partner. Oh, and he's going to be busy getting beaten down, as Batista attacks. Bischoff gloats, so Sting tries the Scorpion. More beating until CHRIS MOTHERF*CKING JERICHO's voice tells them to stop. The countdown starts at 20, and the crowd is chanting along and I'm out of my seat! The entrance -- BREAK THE WALLS DOOOOOOOOO... hey, where is he? Ah, Jericho sneaks in behind Evolution, and the faces clean house. It's Sting/Jericho v. Evolution for next week! What a return.

The Bottom Line:

Yeah, I marked out for Jericho's return, what's it to you? Actually, that's about all this show had going for it, as the whole thing was obviously being built to that moment. But that's okay, because it's a pretty big moment, and the crowd was ready for it all night. Set them up and deliver, sez I.

Until next week, BREAK THE WALLS DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWN!!!

*****

May 6, 2004

WWE.com

The fun continues for the hottest brand in Sports Entertainment as we present WWE SmackDown! tonight at 8 / 7 Central on UPN!

A huge tag match has already been made for Judgment Day, and GM Roddy Piper has made another one tonight! It's WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero and US Champ Rob Van Dam squaring off against their Judgment Day opponents -- Brock Lesnar and Matt Hardy! Can either challenger get the mental edge on his opponent entering the big PPV event in LA? Find out!

Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio have proven themselves willing to defend against all comers. They're not about to stand back and let some PPV title defense keep them from thrilling crowds everywhere! So tonight, they have promised to go out and square off against Matt Hardy's Mattitude Followers, Shannon Moore and Big Bubba Rogers! Moore was in the SuperCage, but can he use that knowledge to his advantage?

Last week, Team Angle was in disarray. This week, though, they have promised to make it better. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin have issued the challenge to 3 Live Kru in order to start things right! The Kru, who have been reduced to 2 for some time, have accepted the challenge, so it's Ron Killings and Konnan going to battle with the World's Greatest Tag Team!

All this and more -- including the news on who defected from RAW -- tonight at 8 / 7 Central on UPN! Prepare to Smack Your TV and enjoy the proceedings!

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Howdy Dukes,

It's been a while since I replied, and for that I apologize.

Now I am caught up, and can see that you have still been bringing the awesome.

Looking forward to Smackdown, and seeing who jumped.

-Raist

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My computer is being a bitch when it comes to working with Yahoo. Part VII of the BVS will be up soon, and I'm not sure whether to post Part VIII or sell copies of it. :)

Virch. That would be Virtual Scott Keith, my imitation of 411mania's erstwhile show reviewer. I've been told it's somewhat accurate. You be the judge, though I'd like to think I'm more entertaining than he is ;).

SPECIAL BONUS HIDDEN CONTEST: There is an incident (match, spot, angle, or promo) that I have blatantly ripped off from WWF/E history outside of the 7-year statute of limitations. First person to find it names the main event of the Judgment Day pre-show. Answer to come in Virch's RAW Rant.

*****

WWE SmackDown!

May "6", 2004

"LIVE" from Tucson, AZ

We open with a montage from the previous week, including Roddy Piper making the three-way match, Undertaker's war with Nathan Jones, the RTC's devilish announcement and subsequent loss, and WGTT challenging the Kru to a match.

JUST BECAUSE WE'RE IN THE BASTARD STEPCHILD OF PHOENIX DOESN'T MEAN WE CANNOT OUTDO THEIR PYRO for another thrilling show in front of a red-hot crowd. Sign: "This sign got censored."

Cole: "We are live from the campus of the University of Arizona as we present the WWE's two best hours of television! Welcome to SmackDown! I'm Michael Cole alongside James E. Cornette, and Corny, do we have a great main event for you tonight!"

Cornette: "That's right, Michael Cole, cuz we are going to have the WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero and the United States Champion Rob Van Dam entering tag team competition against Brock Lesnar, the Next Big Thing, and Matt Hardy Version 1, who is going to be going against RVD at Judgment Day!"

Cole: "In addition, we should have an announcement concerning just who it is Eric Bischoff was so upset about defecting to our roster. General Manager Roddy Piper has said he has a special task in mind for this new SmackDown! superstar!"

Intros for the first match begin.

Cole: "But first we have a special match for you. This has been brewing for some time, ever since the singles debut of Eric Angle in which, well... things didn't quite go according to plan."

Cornette: "That's one way of putting it, but let's come out and say it -- Bradshaw was more than a handful for the youngster who probably figured, hey, he's a tag wrestler, what's the big deal? Well, he found out the big deal, and now it's time for Big Brother to step in and show him how it's done."

Kurt Angle vs. Bradshaw

Angle ducks Bradshaw's charge into the corner and slugs away, sending him across the ring and meeting him on the way out with an overhead suplex. Kurt picks Bradshaw up and lands a kick to the midsection, following up with a gutwrench suplex, but Bradshaw pops up and lands a boot to the face.

Bradshaw picks Angle up for a fallaway slam, but Angle lands on his feet and sneaks up behind Bradshaw with a German suplex. He rolls through and goes for a second German suplex. He rolls through, but instead of a third, he cradles Bradshaw for two. Both men are up, and Angle runs into a slam, but floats over the back and hits the Angle Slam.

He covers for two, picking Bradshaw up. Angle tries to whip Bradshaw into the corner, but Bradshaw reverses. He climbs the ropes and gets the ten-punch countalong, but Angle goes low to stop the offense and slips under Bradshaw before yanking his legs, dropping Bradshaw's face on the top turnbuckle. Bradshaw is dazed, so Angle hits a second Angle Slam and goes to the top rope.

The moonsault misses, and Bradshaw runs in for the Clothesline from Hell, but Angle ducks it and catches Bradshaw on the rebound with an overhead suplex. Angle yanks his straps down and stalks Bradshaw, but a second overhead suplex is caught with a forearm to the face. Bradshaw tries another clothesline, but Angle gets a drop toe hold into the Angle Lock. Bradshaw fights for the ropes, but Angle pulls him back, and Bradshaw taps at 6:08.

WINNER: Kurt Angle

Kurt stands tall as his arm is raised, staring at Bradshaw the whole time. Bradshaw slowly gets up and tries to attack Angle, but Kurt is ready and trips Bradshaw into the ropes. He chokes Bradshaw against the middle rope as the staff tries to pry him off, so Kurt switches to an Angle Lock as he's shoved away. Officials are barely able to pull him off of that, and when they do, Kurt leaves, making the belt motion. Bradshaw hobbles to the back.

Cole: "Kurt Angle making short work of the big Texan there, and showing us, Cornette, that he wants the WWE title at Judgment Day."

Cornette: "Well, he got his chance comin' up in just 10 days on Pay-Per-View, and given that he tapped out at WrestleMania he damn better not blow it again."

Cole: "Folks, when we come back, Rowdy Roddy Piper is going to speak to us, and he says he has the newest member of the roster with him! Who is it? Who could it be?"

***COMMERCIAL***

We return with the Hot Rod himself in his office, decorated in a lovely shade of... plaid. Well, no one ever accused Piper of being a fashion plate.

Piper: "Well, it's the time I love once again. The beginning of a new month. The sun is shining, the grass is greener, and heck, even Steve Richards has gotten out his best pair of white socks for his outfit. Yes, nothing says optimism quite like a Pay-Per-View called Judgment Day. Now, first I just wanna say that ol' Edge sends his condolences and tells me that although he would really love to get his hands on Bull Buchanan -- and really, what male comfortable in his sexuality wouldn't? -- he's gonna be unable to show up. Well, this got ol' Uncle Hot Rod watching the waiver wire again, and it turns out that Eric Bischoff made a mistake. Yes, I know, I'm as shocked as you are. BUT, it means that Buchanan's gonna be busy on May 16 in Hollywood. Yes, folks, when you're dealing with an over-the-top bad guy like the Right to Censor, there's really only one guy you can call -- well, besides me, of course. You need an over-the-top good guy, and really, I think we all know what that means. It..."

Suddenly, we hear the music of Jamie Noble, as he and Nidia walk to the ring, though no longer hand-in-hand (a detail Cornette points out). Noble takes the mic and faces the TitanTron, which still has Piper's face on it.

Noble: "Roddy! Me and all these other people don't give a damn who you got comin' in, so maybe you should just shut your mouth and git on wit' the show! Or better yit, throw this new boy to me and I'll teach him a thing or two about how we do it on this show!"

Piper: "Oh? You think you wanna face this guy? Well... okay, why not. Send him down!"

PA: "STAND BACK!"

Cornette: "What??"

Cole: "Look who's back on SmackDown!"

Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) vs. The Hurricane

Noble attacks Hurricane off the bat, sending him into the ropes but getting caught with a Shining Wizard on the way out. Noble staggers into the ropes, so Hurricane adds a crossbody that sends both men to the floor. On the floor, Hurricane continues the attack with fists on Noble, but Nidia comes up and flirts with him.

Both men notice, but Hurricane is distracted and Noble goes low on him. Noble tosses Hurricane into the steps, then stops to yell at Nidia about what she did. This allows Hurricane the chance to toss Noble back into the ring. Hurricane goes to the top on his way in, and as Noble stands up, Hurricane tries for an Overcast, only to miss and land on his back. Noble picks Hurricane up and sends him into the ropes, hitting a tilt-a-whirl powerbomb on the way out as we go to break.

***COMMERCIAL***

We return with Noble clubbing the back of Hurricane with his forearm, then delivering a back suplex. He covers for two. Noble whips Hurricane into the corner and follows him in with a clothesline. Hurricane staggers out, so Noble is in position to land a bulldog for two.

Noble sends Hurricane into the ropes and tries a rana on the way out, but Hurricane catches him and changes to a catapult, sending Noble into the second rope on the inside. Hurricane runs the ropes and dropkicks Noble's back as he stays in that position. Noble rolls onto his back as Hurricane goes to the top, and when Noble gets up, Hurricane dives off with a crossbody for two, reversed by Noble for two. Hurricane gets a backslide for two. Noble gets a small package for two, reversed by Hurricane for two. Hurricane leaps over Noble in a sunset flip, but Noble sits down for two before Hurricane reverses for two.

Both men up, and both try a dropkick which leads to both men going down. The referee counts one, two, three, four, five, six before Hurricane pulls himself up. He superkicks Noble down and covers for two. Noble reverses a Hurricane whip into the ropes and catches Hurricane with a rana and punches before covering for two. Noble grabs Hurricane for a powerbomb, but Hurricane shoves off and tries a chokeslam on the rebound, but Noble shifts his weight and both men crash into the referee.

With everyone down, Nidia enters the ring. She once again flirts with Hurricane, who seems a bit confused. Noble sees it and is irate. He pulls Nidia away from Hurricane, clearly asking what the heck she's doing. This allows Hurricane to grab Noble from behind in the Eye of the Hurricane. Nidia (who was in the process of leaving the ring) doesn't see it, and the referee comes to in time to count three at 11:41.

WINNER: The Hurricane

Cole: "And Hurricane wins in his big return to SmackDown! What a way to prepare for Bull Buchanan at Judgment Day!"

Cornette: "There's a bigger story here, though, Michael, and it's what was Nidia doing and why was she so intent on distracting Hurricane?"

Cole: "She was trying to do Jamie Noble a favor, which begs the question of why Noble was so paranoid about Nidia!"

Cornette: "Hey, how's he to know she was just trying to be a distraction?"

Cole: "Folks, all is not well in Trailer Park Paradise, that's for sure."

We are back in the empty gym, with the ring. In the ring: Charlie Haas.

Haas: "I was all-state in Oklahoma as a high schooler -- the toughest state of all to stand out in. I went to Seton Hall University and was an All-Big East star and Academic All-American. Just months into my pro career I lost my brother to heart failure. I made a promise I would wrestle in his honor, and when the time came, I lived up to it. I have done some crazy things in my time, and I have participated in some memorable death-defying matches, but through it all, I have my degree, my amateur talent, and a fallen brother's memory to keep me going."

As he has spoken, we see photographs and clips of what he his talking about at the time. We end with a close-up of Haas himself.

Haas: "My name is Charles Haas. Go ahead. Tell me I'm fake."

WWE: Real People, Real Lives.

***COMMERCIAL***

Cole: "Well, folks, this next match was set up due to the actions, or rather the inactions, of Team Angle the previous week, Corny. Apparently Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin want to make it perfectly clear that they can carry their end of the load."

Cornette: "Hey, after hearing about Haas's story, you doubt he's gonna win this? He's more fired up than ever, and this is the best duo -- maybe not the two best wrestlers, Cole, but the best duo -- on SmackDown! right now, no matter who holds the tag titles."

Cole: "Well, I think I know a couple of teams who would argue that, but, as you said, I'm not sure I like the chances of Konnan and Killings in a match like this."

As they speak, Ashes to Ashes plays over the PA and Konnan comes out with Ron Killings... and a microphone?

Konnan: "Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait one minute there, gato. Charlie, Shelty, da Kru is ready, and willing, and able to take both of you down. You see, you made a big big mistake las' week challenging da Kru, becuz we gonna make you stick to yo' promise, homes. And when we done, they ain't no doubt in my mind that da Kru will stand tall again. And if you didn't know that..."

Road Dogg's voice is heard over the PA.

Dogg: "Yo ass betta CALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL somebody!"

Cornette: "What the hell is this?!"

Cole: "The Road Dogg is back!"

Cornette: "What's he doin' here?"

Dogg: "Oh, you look a little surprised to see me, doncha? You figured it would be 2 on 2 with 3 Live Kru? Well, from where I stand, that math don't add up, partners. See, you've now officially bitten off more than you can chew, and it's time to make you pay for what you've done. Let's go, boys!"

Cornette: "This is not fair! They can't be serious!"

Cole: "I think they are! It looks like we have a handicap match!"

3-on-2 Handicap match: 3 Live Kru vs. World's Greatest Tag Team

The Kru call a huddle to start, but Haas and Shelton attack Dogg and Killings from behind. They knock both of them into separate corners, blitzing them with right hands. They whip the two into each other before tossing them over the top ropes, which allows Konnan (who had been watching all this) to connect on WGTT with a double clothesline.

Dogg returns to the ring, and he and Konnan deliver a double backdrop to Haas and Shelton. Killings goes up top, and as Haas gets up, Killings nails him with a rana. Konnan is sent out of the ring by the referee as Dogg and Killings deliver a double bulldog on Haas and Shelton. Killings is told to leave as well, and during the distraction, Shelton nails Dogg with the Dragon Whip. Haas takes over on Dogg, slamming him down for two.

Haas picks Dogg up with a German suplex, bridging for two. Shelton tags in, and the duo get the leapfrog choke. Shelton sets Dogg up with a suplex, floating over for two. Haas returns, and the duo attempt the Star Spangled Blaster, but Dogg ducks Shelton's superkick and Haas gets hit with it instead. Shelton can't stop Dogg, who somersaults to his corner and tags in Killings. Killings vaults over the top rope onto a charging Shelton, getting a one-count on the cover before popping up and nailing Haas.

He bounces back and forth, nailing both men with punches, before he misses a shot on Haas and gets launched in a back suplex lift into atomic drop combination. WGTT clothesline down Killings, then dispose individually of Dogg and Konnan. However, Killings is back up and gets a sunset flip on Haas. As he struggles, Shelton tries to reverse it, but Konnan and Dogg hook the rope he bounces off of and send him to the outside.

Killings completes the flip for two. Killings goes to the top, but Shelton shoves him off to the mat and Haas covers for two. Everyone enters the ring to duke it out, and as the ref escorts Killings away, Eric Angle runs in. He tries a bodypress on Dogg, but Konnan whips Shelton in the way and the heels collide. Konnan gets a rolling lariat to dispose of Eric as Dogg cradles Shelton for the three at 8:42.

WINNERS: 3 Live Kru

Cole: "Looks like Road Dogg made a successful return here to the WWE!"

Cornette: "Big deal, he won a handicap match where his side had the numbers! Look at what's happening now!"

Indeed, in the ring, Team Angle is pounding down on Dogg and Konnan, but Killings climbs the top rope and dives onto all five men. As the officials try to separate everyone, Kurt re-appears on the stage with a microphone.

Kurt: "Hey, guys! Leave them alone! The Kru isn't worth your time right now. Besides, you wanna show everyone you're the best? Do it when it counts! Konnan, on behalf of my team, the greatest group of guys any man can freely associate with, I challenge you to a six-man tag team matchup at Judgment Day. What do you think of that?"

3 Live Kru make general body signals to indicate they accept. As they do, though, Team Angle attacks them a second time and it's a Pier Six as officials go flying trying to separate them.

***COMMERICAL***

And now, the WWE Slam of the Week, brought to you by TROY (in theaters soon as of this taping): From last week, Rob Van Dam helps Nova fend off an attack from Mattitude.

Kevin Kelly is backstage with Rob Van Dam.

Kelly: "Rob Van Dam, at Judgment Day, your United States title is on the line as you will square off against the sensei of Mattitude, Matt Hardy, Version 1."

RVD: "You know, it's kinda funny, Kev. I never really thought of Matt as being into that whole sensei thing, like he's channeling the Lakers coach. But hey, everyone to their own pleasures, right? All I know is, when the time comes around, the only person who will ever get a chance to be the United States champion won't be some new age guru from North Carolina. It'll be the better wrestler -- me, Rob - Van - Dam."

Kelly: "Any concerns about tonight's match, then?"

RVD (scoffing): "Concerns? I'm the US champ, and I'm with the WWE champ! The only real concern I have is who picks up the tab at our victory meal. Eddie really should -- his pay's a lot more than mine, I'm sure. Anyway, tonight, Matt Hardy's gonna get a taste of what RVD is all about. That much I can guarantee."

Kelly: "Thank you very much. Good luck in your match."

RVD: "Hey, thanks, man. That means a lot."

RVD holds up a hand for a high-five. Kelly simply looks on, confused.

RVD: "Hey, don't leave me hangin', man."

Kelly figures it out and high-fives Rob. Rob walks off, satisfied.

Kelly: "Back to you at ringside."

Cole: "Well, that big tag match is coming up later tonight, but right now we are being joined by a special guest, Jim!"

Cornette (sarcastically): "Well, hallelujah for that! It's the high and mighty Paul Heyman here to save the day!"

Heyman: "Thank you very much. It's a privilege to be able to call the action next to a great announcer."

Cornette: "Well, at least you have good taste."

Heyman: "Oh, and you too, Corny."

Cornette: "What?"

Cole: "Well, I suppose my speculation would be accurate, but I'll let you tell us anyway -- why are you out here for this next match?"

Heyman: "Because it's a WWE Tag Title match, and I have to do some advanced scouting on whichever team has the unfortunate honor of defending against Team JAPAN at Judgment Day."

Cornette: "Oh, come on -- with you by their side, there's no way they can lose!"

Heyman: "Thank you."

Cornette: "No, I meant the champs."

Heyman: "Shut up or I'll have Josh Matthews take your job."

Cole: "Are you two going to keep this up all match?"

Cornette AND Heyman: "Not if he doesn't!"

Cole: "Oh, great. Let's just call the action."

WWE Tag Team title match: Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio (w/Torrie Wilson, champions) vs. Shannon Moore and Big Bubba Rogers (challengers)

Kidman and Moore start. Moore gets a headlock off the lockup, but Kidman shoves off. He leapfrogs first, Shannon leapfrogs back, then Kidman gets an armdrag, followed by two more. Rogers runs in, but Kidman trips him up. Rey enters with a springboard headscissors on Rogers.

The champs double dropkick Rogers out of the ring, then get a an armdrag (Rey) into a legdrop (Kidman) on Moore. Rey exits as Kidman bounces off the ropes, only to be tripped by Rogers' nightstick. Moore comes up from behind on Kidman and cradles him for two. Moore gets a trio of dropkicks on Kidman, flooring him, then adds a senton for two.

Rogers tags in. He whips Kidman off the ropes, hitting a powerslam on the return for two. Rogers backs Kidman into the corner and punches away at him. He sends Kidman across the ring, following in with an avalanche (Bossman still sucks, for those who care).

Rogers tags Moore in and lays Kidman across his knee. Moore gets a guillotine legdrop on Kidman. Moore covers for two. Moore sends Kidman into the ropes, hitting a back elbow on the way out and adding a kneedrop for two. Rogers is tagged back in. Rogers clubs Kidman's back and puts on a chinlock as we go to commercial.

***COMMERCIAL***

Kidman powers out of the chinlock, getting to his feet. Rogers yanks Kidman's hair, sending him back to the canvas. Rogers bounces off of the ropes and splashes Kidman. He covers for two. Moore tags in, and the MFers get a Rocket Launcher on Kidman for two. Moore pulls Kidman up and starts kicking him in the torso, winding up for a superkick. Kidman ducks the superkick, but Moore goes low and gets a facebuster.

Rogers is tagged in. Rogers whips Kidman into the ropes, hoping to catch him in a Bossman slam, but Kidman handsprings up into a Samurai Driver (his powerbomb reversal). Moore gets the tag, but so does Rey, and Rey gets a rana on a charging Moore. Moore tries again, but this time Rey armdrags him. Moore leans on the ropes, so Rey dropkicks Moore over and out. Rogers enters and gets caught with a rana of his own.

Moore gets onto the apron and pulls down the top rope to steady himself, so when Rey whips Rogers into the ropes, he goes sailing over and out, wiping out Moore with him. Kidman pulls himself onto the top rope and hits a crossbody onto both men to keep them down. He rolls Moore back in, but Rogers goes low and picks Kidman up in a bearhug on the outside.

Moore springboards to the top rope and dives down with a dropkick to Kidman as Rogers falls forward with the move. However, Rey has been gaining momentum, and as Rogers and Moore celebrate, Rey gets a somersault tope con hilo on both of them.

Back in the ring, Moore rolls Kidman onto his back and covers for two. He runs the ropes to try to get a move on Kidman, but Kidman trips him up and Moore lands on the second strand. Rey returns to the ring, hitting the 6-1-9 as Kidman baseball slides Rogers backwards. Rey connects with the West Coast Hop, and the champs retain at 13:49.

WINNERS and STILL WWE Tag Team champions: Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio

Cole: "And it's still the Filthy Animals against Team JAPAN at Judgment Day!"

Heyman: "All right, I guess my work is done here, and not a moment too soon. I don't think I could stand being anywhere near this guy more than I had to be."

Cornette: "Believe me, the feeling is mutual. Now go back to managing your Midnight Express wannabes."

Heyman: "Hey! Ultimo and Tajiri are the greatest team of all time, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to listen to you who could beat them."

As Cornette and Heyman continue arguing (which they've been doing basically the entire time), Kidman and Torrie kiss in the aisleway and head to the back. We switch camera views to just behind the curtain, where Nathan Jones and Shannon Ward are standing.

Ward: "Whatcha doin', Natey?"

Nathan: "I'm gonna teach those two a lesson. They think they're so special -- just cuz these people like them. They think they can fool 'em. They can't fool me. I know just what they're about. And as soon as one of 'em appears -- I don't care who -- they're gettin' it, mate. They ain't makin' it to Judgment Day. It's gonna be right <bleep> now!"

He winds up. In an instant, Kidman and Torrie walk through the curtain. Torrie screams. Nathan swings forward -- but the chair is no longer in his hands. Kidman and Torrie race to the locker room. Nathan spins around as the camera switches viewpoints to over his shoulder. The Undertaker is standing behind him, holding the chair with both hands.

Taker: "I wouldn't do that if I was you, kid."

Before Nathan can answer, Taker swings and KOs Nathan with the chair. He throws the chair down and looks at Ward, who is frantically throwing "temper tantrum punches" at Taker -- until she looks up. She then smiles broadly and waves innocently.

Taker: "See you in ten days, kid."

***COMMERCIAL***

When we return, the RTC's "music" is "playing" as Cole and "Corny" provide "analysis" of what "just" happened.

Cole: "Welcome back, folks, and... you know, Nathan Jones is an animal. There's just no other way around it. He's a snake; he's the lowest form of creature there is. He wanted to ambush Torrie Wilson and... he could've killed her!"

Cornette: "Well, for Torrie's sake, I'm glad the Undertaker was there. I don't think I could've been able to stop that man, and it's pretty clear that Taker feels... well, he seems to feel a responsibility towards eliminating the WWE of this man."

Cole: "I wonder how he got out of prison with an attitude like that. Folks, in the ring right now is the always-endearing Right to Censor, and... I guess Steven wants to lecture us."

Richards: "The Right to Censor wishes to express its utter disappointment at the altercation just seen backstage. Someone like Torrie Wilson, who has degraded and will degrade herself in the pages of a publication so pathetic we won't even mention it, should not be allowed to corrupt the young minds of America by parading herself around in such a low manner. The type of justice that should have been inflicted on her was not allowed to take place, and for that, the Right to Censor apologizes to the parents of America. Torrie Wilson, know that at some time, you will receive the punishment you deserve in Hell, and it will be for your own good."

Cole: "Is he serious?"

Cornette: "He... he wanted Torrie to get hit?"

Cole: "Corny, I know in your day you ordered some pretty low things to be done, but... I always assumed women and civilians were off-limits to you."

Cornette: "They are! Or they should be! Look, I condone a lot of things in rasslin to get ahead, but I would never -- EVER -- strike a woman. That's just not right."

Cole: "I hope someone stands up to this group and shows them what they said is wrong. Well, I... we still have to call the match, and up next is someone who has had a lot of trouble with the RTC as of late, mainly due to being outnumbered."

Cornette: "It's kinda strange, Michael, but when he's had even sides, Nova's done very well for himself, but when the numbers are against him, he hasn't had a hope in a million of winnin', and right now, the numbers don't look too good, do they?"

Bull Buchanan (w/Steven Richards, Sean Morley, and Mark Henry) vs. Nova (w/no one)

Before anything can happen, Nova dives out of the ring on all three other RTC members, which pretty much allows them to pound on him carte blanche. As they attack him, Hurricane returns from the dressing room and enters the ring. He trades blows with Bull as the referee tries to restore order.

This goes as well as you'd expect, as a wayward Bull clothesline catches the referee. This opening, though, allows Hurricane to hit a swinging neckbreaker on Bull, then dive over the top on the RTC to save Nova. He punches Henry several times, rocking the giant, when Steven blasts him with a superkick.

Just as things look bad, Nova's music starts up again and his tag team partner, Paul London, races to the ring, back for the first time since WrestleMania and wearing a protective facemask. He headbutts Richards down, then begins pummelling Morley. Bull slides outside, but Nova intercepts him. With Richards recovering on the outside, everyone enters the ring for a full-on brawl (Hurricane with Bull, Nova with Henry, London with Morley). Just when it looks like we're headed to our second uncontrollable donnybrook of the show, though, we hear Piper's voice.

NO MATCH

Piper: "Everybody listen up!"

They all ignore him.

Piper: "Hey! Anyone who doesn't stop fighting right now is suspended for 90 days! I mean it!"

This gets their attention, as everyone regroups -- the RTC in one corner by Richards, the faces in another. Piper is shown on the stage.

Piper: "That's better. Now, I see here that ol' London is back in town, and I wish him the best. But also, I see that you thought you could get away with brutalizing Nova 4-on-1. Well, in my book, we don't do things that way. If you ain't good enough to be a man and back your words up, I don't want you in my company! So, at Judgment Day, I'm gonna have me a six-man tag match. On one side, I want you Morley, you Mr. Henry, and even you Steve-o. And on the other, I'm puttin' Nova, and I'm sanctionin' Paul London's return to the ring. But wait, yer sayin' to yerselves, that's only two! Isn't it a 3-on-3? Well, sure it is, but don't ya worry, boys. Ol' Uncle Roddy wouldn't allow it if ya suffered short-handed. Yer gonna have yerselves a partner. Now, I could go ahead and tell ya who it's gonna be, but after that comment about Torrie, I'd wager fair money that the RTC doesn't deserve to know! So Steven -- you'd better prep your boys fer damn near anyone, cuz if I was just able to get Hurricane, you damn better believe I can drop anyone on your lap faster than you can say seven-second tape delay! My work is done here, so Steven... enjoy."

Piper smiles as he chews his gum and his music plays.

Cole: "What a match for Judgment Day! Nova's gonna have the backup he deserves! The Right to Censor may have run out of upper hands!"

Cornette: "This is totally uncalled-for! I demand an investigation into General Manager Piper's actions! The opponents have a right to know who they're going against!"

Cole: "Well, up next, everyone knows who they're going against: it's Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam against Brock Lesnar and Matt Hardy! What a main event it's going to be!"

***COMMERCIAL***

Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam vs. Brock Lesnar and Matt Hardy (joined in "progress")

Eddie and Hardy start. They lock up. Hardy backs Eddie into the heel corner, and Brock holds Eddie back while Hardy punches away. Eddie is doubled over, so Hardy pulls him into a gutwrench suplex. Hardy sends Eddie into the ropes, but Eddie recovers with a satellite headscissors takedown. Hardy charges, and Eddie armdrags him.

Brock enters to Steinerline Eddie, but RVD intercepts him with a crucifix rollover. RVD holds Brock down as Eddie heads to the apron to attack Brock, but Hardy dropkicks Eddie off the apron and into the railing. In the ring, RVD tosses Hardy into the ropes and backdrops him over the top onto Eddie. Brock gets dropkicked to the outside, while Eddie escapes and climbs the top turnbuckle. He dives off onto both Brock and Hardy.

As everyone recovers, RVD gets a tope suicida of his own. Back in the ring, Eddie chops on Hardy, then sends him into the opposite corner. Eddie catches Hardy staggering out with a rana. He picks Hardy up on his back in the Gory Special, but Brock enters the ring and yanks Eddie into an overhead suplex (Eddie, of course, dropped Hardy as soon as Brock entered). Hardy tags in Brock, who tosses Eddie into the turnbuckle. Brock grabs Eddie in a bearhug on the way out.

Eddie tries to punch out, but every time he does, Brock squeezes harder, forcing a wave of pain through Eddie's system. When it becomes clear the hold is an impasse, Brock lets go and backdrops Eddie. Hardy comes back in, and Eddie is suplexed by a corner. Hardy goes up, yodels, and drops the leg on Eddie. He covers for two. Hardy sends Eddie into the ropes, but on the way out Eddie gets a flying forearm. Hardy tags in Brock, who manages to cut off the tag to RVD.

Brock hits Eddie with a release German suplex. He covers, but Eddie gets his foot on the ropes at two. Brock picks Eddie up and tries for another overhead suplex, but Eddie punches out. Eddie runs the ropes and tries a clothesline, but Brock smiles at him before turning him inside out with one of his own. Hardy tags in, and Brock suplexes Eddie into a Hardy legdrop.

Hardy covers for two. Eddie pulls himself up by the ropes as Hardy charges, but Eddie sidesteps and Hardy hits the floor. Eddie crawls over and tags in RVD, but the referee is busy counting Hardy out and doesn't allow it. As the ref works on restraining RVD, Brock enters and F-5s Eddie. Hardy returns and goes to the top rope.

He slaps his chest like Eddie and dives in a frog splash, but Eddie gets his knees up. Both men are down and crawling for the tag. Hardy crawls to the wrong corner first before stumbling over and bringing Brock in. This momentary lapse allows Eddie to get to RVD. RVD punches away on Brock, backing him into the corner, where he gets a pair of shoulder thrusts, handsprings, and nails another shoulder thrust.

Hardy charges, but RVD catches him in a monkey flip. Brock tries to kick RVD, but RVD catches that and hits the stepover enzuigiri. Hardy returns, only for RVD to toss him onto Brock. RVD whips Brock into the ropes, does the splits on the return, then monkey flips Brock. He bounces off the ropes and gets Rolling Thunder, covering and getting two before Hardy saves. Eddie enters now, and all four men are at it.

Brock is sent over the top rope to the floor, and on the outside, Kurt Angle appears and attacks him. Back in the ring, Eddie sets Hardy up on the corner as RVD climbs another. Eddie hits a superplex on Hardy into an RVD Five-Star, but Kurt runs in and nails an unsuspecting Eddie with the Angle Slam. RVD grabs Kurt before he can leave and delivers an elevated Pedigree, but this allows Hardy time to recover and cradle RVD for the pin at 15:28.

WINNERS: Brock Lesnar and Matt Hardy

Cole: "And Matt Hardy gets the advantage on Rob Van Dam! Can he maintain that advantage on Judgment Day?"

Cornette: "And what about Kurt Angle? What role did he play? He took out Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero -- he looks strong entering the big Pay-Per-View!"

Cole: "Folks, be sure to join us next week for our final show before we head to Los Angeles for Judgment Day! Who's judgment day will it be? Who will be the champion? For Jim Cornette, this is Michael Cole, saying we'll see you in 7 days!"

<<<FIN>>>

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- The SmarKDown! Rant for May 06 / 04, taped May 04.

- From Tuscon, AZ.

- Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jim Cornette.

- What, no Cinco de Mayo wishes from Eddie Guerrero?

- Opening match: Kurt Angle v. Bradshaw. Apparently Kurt is a little ticked that Bradshaw went out of his way to make brother Eric look bad, and this is his punishment. The announcers try to find a way to say this while maintaining kayfabe, which is ten times easier for Corny than Cole as you can imagine. Angle ducks a charge and gets an overhead suplex. Bradshaw no-sells a gutwrench and boots Angle down. Angle slips out of the fallaway slam and goes for the rolling Germans with a cradle for two. Angle Slam gets two, but Angle picks Bradshaw up. At this point I get scared. Bradshaw with the ten punches, but Angle delivers a variant of Snake Eyes and another Angle Slam. The moonsault misses (why bother?), but a Hades Clothesline is ducked into an overhead suplex. He tries again, but Bradshaw forearms out, only to walk into the Anklelock for the tap at 6:08. Bradshaw still doesn't get it. DUD Angle adds a post-match beatdown, just to hammer home who the star is. You go, Kurt.

- Roddy Piper joins us from his office. Edge will miss Judgment Day, but Piper has an appropriate punishment for Bull Buchanan: the defector will face him at Judgment Day. Jamie Noble is sick of the talk and wants a match (hey, no wrestling here! what do you think this is, a wrestling show?), so Piper gives him...

- Jamie Noble v. Hurricane. Well, they ran out of things to do with him on RAW, so let's see if this helps any. Hurricane lands a Shining Wizard and crossbody to empty the ring, but as he attacks, Nidia gets all "check THESE out" with Hurricane. In a BRILLIANT bit of continuity, Cole brings up King of the Ring 2002, where Hurricane met Jamie Noble for the Cruiserweight title. Why is this brilliant? Because it all started when Nidia was revealed to be (1) Jamie's girlfriend and (2) Hurricane's obsessive stalker. We need more of that shit in our lives. Noble sends a distracted Hurricane into the STEEL steps, then bitches out Nidia for flirting behind his back. Wait a second: didn't these two have a VERY open relationship back in the beginning? Hurricane takes advantage, but back in, a Buff Blockbuster misses. Tilt-a-whirl powerbomb by Noble as we take a break. We return with CLUBBING FOREARMS by Noble, and a back suplex gets two. Raven corner combo (clothesline/bulldog) gets two. Hurricane catches a rana into a catapult, then dropkicks a guillotined Noble. Hurricane goes to the top, but his crossbody is caught, setting off a pinfall reversal sequence. Both men try a dropkick for the double KO. Hurricane with the Sugar Smack for two. Noble gets the elusive rana for two. Hurri-chokeslam try, but Noble blocks and the ref is bumped. Nidia again distracts Hurricane with her Divinely Secret Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but Noble gets distracted instead with jealousy. Eye of the Hurricane finishes at 11:41. Storyline was hammered home too much for my liking, but it's nice to see Helms in the ring again. **1/2

- Charlie Haas "Tell Me I'm Fake" ad. Wasn't about to.

- And now you'd think since Haas and Shelton Benjamin are out, they're going to squash Konnan and Killings, right? Well, not so fast, as Konnan reminds us WGTT/3LK was the challenge. Be careful what you wish for...

- Handicap match: Konnan, Road Dogg, and Ron Killings v. World's Greatest Tag Team. Presumably this is setting up a tag match at the PPV. WGTT attack Dogg and Killings and clear them, but that leaves Konnan to knock them both down. Kru go nuts with the numbers, including a double backdrop, diving rana, and double bulldog. Finally, Shelton gets a Drtagon Whip on Dogg to make him hippie-in-peril. German suplex by Haas gets two. Leapfrog choke and suplex get two. Star Spangled Blaster misfires, hot tag Killings. Back and forth, forth and back, until Haas ducks and tosses him groin-first onto Shelton's knee (ouch). Killings is isolated, but WGTT waste their time with Dogg and Konnan and Killings gets a sunset flip on Haas for two. It's BONZO GONZO as WGTT try to keep control despite being short-handed, but Eric Angle runs out of the penalty box to make it even strength, only to hit Shelton by mistake. Dogg gets a cradle for the pin at 8:42. Not enough Killings. * Everyone brawls until Kurt Angle offers to put his team against Konnan's at Judgment Day. There we go.

- RVD proclaims his zen to be better than Matt's, then confuses Kevin Kelly with a high-five.

- WWE Tag Title match: Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio v. Shannon Moore and Bubba Rogers. Paul Heyman is on commentary, and he and Cornette establish almost immediately that they hate each other. Poor Michael Cole is lost as to how to handle this. Kidman and Moore start and get a cruiser sequence in, which Kidman wins. Rogers enters, but Rey cuts him off with a headscissors. The champs do a RnR double dropkick, which allows Cornette and Heyman to argue about who the best tag team of all time is. Rogers catches Kidman with the nightstick, and Moore gets a series of dropkicks and a senton for two as Kidman plays Ricky Morton. This prompts a further argument about whether Ultimo has more martial arts talent than Stan Lane, and I don't think Cornette's winning that one. Rogers enters with a powerslam for two. Corner crush as Bossman still sucks and Cornette and Heyman still hate each other. I await a banana reference any minute now. The heels get a form of Demolition Decapitation for two, as Cole offers that team up as maybe the greatest ever and both managers tell him to stick to calling the match. Rogers back in, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK as we go to break. Hey, that's how I like my Bossman matches -- during the ads. We return with Rogers yanking Kidman by the hair to the canvas and splashing him for two. The heels get the Rocket Launcher for two, as Cornette points out the Midnight Express invented that move. Heyman: "Why couldn't they have practiced on you?" Kidman ducks a superkick, but Moore gets a facebuster and brings in the big man. Kidman does a handspring YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB KIDMAN out of nowhere, hot tag Rey. Rey goes ballistic with armdrags and ranas on both men as Heyman almost makes a VERY personal comment about where Cornette can stick his tennis racket. Heel miscommunication leads to a dump to the floor, and Kidman dives onto both men. Moore is sent back in, but Rogers catches Kidman and the heels do a missile dropkick / slam combo to the outside. Rey gets a maniacal dive on both heels as they celebrate. Back inside, Moore covers Kidman for two. Kidman trips Moore into position, 6-1-9 and West Coast Hop finish at 13:49 as Cornette and Heyman promise to continue hating each other. Even setting aside the hilariously spiteful commentary, this was a very good tag formula match, and Bossman was used quote well. **3/4

- BUT WAIT! As Kidman and Torrie head backstage, Nathan Jones lies in wait to give a chairshot to either one of them. He's stopped by Undertaker, who scrambles Nathan's brains as Kidman ushers Torrie to safety. Ward trying to beat up Taker makes for a funny visual, until he stares at her and she slinks off. Nothing like implied male-on-female violence to get my heart going.

- The RTC are disappointed that Nathan failed, because Torrie is an immoral degrading slut who deserves to be punished. See, that's the kind of stuff I didn't like in 2000 -- the twisted backbreaking logic to establish them as heels. Why not go for the "hey, he's got a point" route?

- Bull Buchanan v. Nova. No match, as the RTC gang up on Nova until Hurricane and Paul London make the save. Piper appears and threatens suspension on anyone who throws another punch. Somehow, this works. If you can't back up your own words, get out of SmackDown, sez Piper. Does that mean he'll leave? No, it means it'll be Steven, Morley, and Henry against Nova, London, and a mystery partner at J-Day. Great, another throwaway six-man.

- Main event: Brock Lesnar and Matt Hardy v. Rob Van Dam and Eddie Guerrero. Entrances were done during the break, so no Matt Facts. Heels double-team Eddie right away, and Matt gets a gutwrench suplex. Eddie is sent into the ropes, but comes back with a headscissors and armdrag. Brock enters, so RVD holds him off with a... crucifix? Okay then. Matt sends Eddie to the outside, so RVD tosses Matt into Eddie. Eddie climbs to the top and dives onto the heels, and RVD follows to complete the trainwreck. Eddie gets a rana when back in the ring. Gory Special, but he drops it as Brock enters and suplexes him (oops). Brock tags in and gets a bearhug, which lasts a while before Brock switches to a backdrop. Matt gets a suplex and yodelling legdrop for two. Eddie with a flying jalapeno, but Brock cuts off the tag. Release German suplex gets two. Brock punches out of an overhead suplex, but gets clotheslined into next week. The heels get a suplex / legdrop combo for two. Matt charges Eddie and falls to the outside, and the ref misses the hot tag because he's counting Matt out. Well, that's different. Not necessarily good, but different. Brock with an F-5 on Eddie, and Matt tries Eddie's frog splash (blasphemy) but hits the knees. Hot tag RVD, who gets the shoulder thrusts in the corner. Monkey flip to Matt, enzuigiri to Brock, and the heels collide. Brock gets monkey flipped off the ropes, and Rolling Thunder gets two before Matt saves. It's BONZO GONZO as Brock is tossed out and Kurt Angle runs in to attack him. Champs hit the POWERPLEX~!, but Kurt gets an Angle Slam on Eddie. RVD hits a facebuster on Kurt, but trips over Matt and gets cradled for the pin at 15:28. Could've been better. **1/4

The Bottom Line:

The hard sell is on, and it's only going to get harder next week. Matches are being made left and right, and the angles are actually beginning to take shape (the three-way, which seemed thrown together, is now actually getting heat). I'll let you decide whether it's worth ordering...

- WWE Title: Eddie Guerrero v. Brock Lesnar v. Kurt Angle

- US Title: Rob Van Dam v. Matt Hardy

- WWE Tag Titles, ladder match: Kidman/Rey v. Ultimo/Tajiri

- 3 Live Kru v. Team Angle

- Right to Censor v. Nova/London/(?)

- Undertaker and Torrie Wilson v. Nathan Jones and Shannon Ward

- Hurricane v. Bull Buchanan

Hey, I'm willing to give it a shot.

*****

May 10, 2004

WWE.com

San Jose is the sight of one of the biggest RAWs in recent memory, as the superstars get ready for another live show tonight at 9 / 8 Central on SpikeTV!

Last week, Chris Jericho made his presence felt for the first time in months. This week, he steps into the ring. In a blockbuster handicap main event, Evolution faces Sting and Y2J in Jericho's first match in ages! Does he have ring rust, or is he back to top form already?

Christian goaded Chris Benoit into an Intercontinental Title match for tonight, and the stakes are high not only for them, but for Molly at ringside! Christian has promised that if he wins, he will force Molly to "be a Diva" -- a harrowing thought for little Miss Holly. With Chynna Doll assumed to be at ringside, Molly has promised to be there to neutralize her, but could this be signing her own humiliation? What could happen?

A new Victoria returned last week -- a quieter, gentler lady than we are used to seeing. She will be back in action this week, taking on Trish Stratus in one-on-one competition! We all remember when these two were fighting over the Women's title, and now it comes back full circle. Can they rekindle their chemistry, or will things explode in a wild throwdown? Either way, it'll make good TV!

All this and more -- including another edition of RNN -- tonight on SpikeTV's presentation of RAW! Be sure to tune into the First Network for Men for all the details.

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Okay, folks, we have a winner. jesse_ewiak PM'd me the correct answer to the Hidden Contest. The answer is that this is the rehashing...

Ward: "Whatcha doin', Natey?"

Nathan: "I'm gonna teach those two a lesson. They think they're so special -- just cuz these people like them. They think they can fool 'em. They can't fool me. I know just what they're about. And as soon as one of 'em appears -- I don't care who -- they're gettin' it, mate. They ain't makin' it to Judgment Day. It's gonna be right <bleep> now!"

He winds up. In an instant, Kidman and Torrie walk through the curtain. Torrie screams. Nathan swings forward -- but the chair is no longer in his hands. Kidman and Torrie race to the locker room. Nathan spins around as the camera switches viewpoints to over his shoulder. The Undertaker is standing behind him, holding the chair with both hands.

Taker: "I wouldn't do that if I was you, kid."

Substitute Randy Savage for Kidman, Miss Elizabeth for Torrie, Jake the Snake for Nathan, and Deadman Taker for Badass Taker, and you have the famous SNME angle from 1991 that was Undertaker's face turn. It led to Jake Roberts showing up on the Funeral Parlor and questioning whose side Taker was really on. Taker gave the famous reply "Not yours" and the rest is history.

*****

WWE RAW

LIVE from San Jose, CA

May 10, 2004

We open with a look at last week's Intercontinental Title challenge, including a look back at how far these four have come and how they got to tonight. This segues to RNN (somehow), where a beating on Sting is interrupted by the countdown. Jericho returns out of nowhere to clear the ring. Two motion graphics are shown: Chris Benoit w/Molly Holly v. Christian w/Chynna Doll, and Sting and Chris Jericho v. Evolution.

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE WOULD TELL YOU THAT TWENTY SECONDS OF UNINTERRUPTED PYRO IS A GOOD THING as we begin the show live from the Shark Tank. Sign in the crowd: "CRZ ->" (Hey, remember him?)

JR: "We saw him for the first time in ages last week, and now he squares off against a man who was in the ring with him when he suffered his injury! Welcome to San Jose, California! Welcome to RAW! I'm Jim Ross alongside Diamond Dallas Page, and DDP, I can't wait for tonight's main event!"

DDP: "Oh, man, Jimbo, you talk about excitement and you got it in spades here as Chris Jericho and Sting team up against the three-man wrecking crew that is Evolution!"

JR: "And speaking of Evo... oh, no."

Yup. We're off to the ring, where Randy Orton's RNN NewsDesk is set up.

Orton: "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the greatest thing ever to happen to your lives, RNN! Now, last week, a few plans got turned on their head when it comes to how this show is run, but we aren't about to let a minor setback ruin what is a fine institution, are we? No, no! Just because some old, washed-up, banged-up wrestler came to the ring -- actually, make that TWO old, washed-up, banged-up wrestlers -- we're not about to take this as a setback."

DDP: "Does he mean Jericho?"

Orton: "Instead, we will do what we do best, and that's bring excitement, star power, and of course ratings into your humdrum existence. But, you say, don't I, Randy Orton, have enough excitement and star power for five? Why, of course, and thank you for noticing, but I am referring to what makes wrestling great: conflict. And so, without further ado, let me introduce one of my opponents later tonight -- back after an exclusive 9-month tour of Dr. James Andrews' Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham, Alabama -- Chris Jericho!"

The countdown starts at 15 and counts down to 0, allowing the crowd to pick up the count at 10. The pyro goes off, and Jericho's elaborate entrance begins. JR and DDP spend the time during his entrance to recount his long road back and compare it to HHH's road back from a similar injury just two years ago. Make your own joke here. The point is, as Jericho gets into the ring and stands next to Orton, a HUGE "Y2J" chant breaks out for the next two minutes. Jericho just looks around, half-starstruck, half-humbled. Orton appears to be fed up with it, but he still betrays the feeling of inner happiness that comes from being in the presence of someone as respected and appreciated as Jericho.

Orton: "Chris... welcome back. I'm sure you're thrilled to be making your return in the presence of a real superstar like myself."

Jericho looks around the set, shaking his head.

Jericho: "Randy, Randy, Randy... what have you done with this place? Look at all these props! Is this the Highlight Reel I see before me, drenched in the ego of a man whose accomplishments pale compared to my own? Tell me, Randy... when did I give you permission to do this? Why did you take it upon yourself to act like you could replace me? Are you the hottest commodity in the business? Are you a Living Legend, a Highlight of the Night, an Undisputed Champion? Do people look forward to Raw Is Orton?"

Orton: "They..."

Jericho: "Shut up, Junior; that was a rhetorical question! Look at this place! Look at all the uselessness you have around here! Why even bother with a news desk? Did your feng shui consultant suggest it? And this OrTron 5001 -- is it unbelieveably expensive, like my JeriTron? Looks like you picked it up at a garage sale. Come on, Blandy, get with the program! You're supposed to be the star, not the set!"

Jericho smiles.

Jericho: "Of course, that may explain why the ratings went in the toilet during my injury for the 9 to 9:15 segment."

Orton: "Listen, punk, I did not invite you on this show for you to insult me. You are here to do one of two things -- either apologize for disrupting last week's show or announce your retirement so that you can join the other legends where you belong on the sidelines. I won't have you..."

He stops suddenly, and a camera change reveals why: Jericho is pretending to be asleep on the stool.

Jericho ("waking up"): "Huh? Sorry, I was simply unable to appreciate your THRILLING social commentary, Blandy."

Orton: "Hey! Randy's the name!"

Jericho: "And boredom's your game!"

Orton: "Hey! You're on MY show! This is RNN! You will treat me with respect while I'm on my show!"

Jericho: "No, no, no, Blandy, you don't understand... this is your SKETCH; this is MY show. This is... RAW - IS - JERICHO! And Blandmaster Flash, tonight, on MY show, I'm gonna show you why I am a LIVING legend and not some old washed-up loser... like, say, Cowboy Bob Orton?"

Orton gets serious and stands toe-to-toe with Jericho. We see that Orton is 4-6 inches taller than Jericho, and certainly looks more physically impressive.

Orton: "Why should I be afraid of you, Chris? Look at you. Look at your muscles -- did you even bother to stay in shape while you were in rehab? You're a pathetic, unimpressive being. And tonight, you will see why YOU WERE and I AM. I will take your legacy, your career -- your LIFE -- and I will destroy it. That's not just a promise; that's a statement of fact."

Jericho takes a step back.

Orton: "What's wrong? Scared?"

Jericho: "Nah... just that sometimes, you gotta step away from a problem to solve it!"

With that, Jericho leaps and tackles Orton. Both men begin brawling all over the set before Jericho gets the upper hand. Orton leaves the ring and brushes himself off, as if he doesn't want to be soiled by Jericho. Jericho looks around the set before getting an idea. He picks up one stool and, with a mighty swing, takes down the news desk. He then takes the other stool, steps back a few paces, yells, and with a mighty heave, shatters the OrTron's screen. Jericho's music plays as he stands over the remains of RNN.

JR: "Thank gawd, Randy Orton has just been put in his place! Y2J is back with a vengeance, and it's high time, too! I can't wait for the main event tonight! Come back, folks! We're just warming up!"

***COMMERCIAL***

We see Molly Holly and Chris Benoit backstage.

Molly (holding Benoit's feet down as he does sit-ups): "You got him, Chris. Don't worry about Chynna; just focus on Christian. There's no way he can beat you."

Benoit (between situps): "That's right... I'm the best technical wrestler ever... he can't hold a candle to me... he..."

Benoit stops. Eric Bischoff is leaning over the both of them, smiling his classic million-dollar smile. Molly sneers at him, instinctively covering her top to keep Bischoff from looking down her shirt.

Molly: "What do YOU want?"

Bischoff: "Oh, nothing. I just wanted to make sure you knew that WHEN Christian wins tonight -- and Chris, it will be a when -- then next week, you're going to have to go through with whatever he wants. I mean, he can't force you to do something illegal, but... well, if he wants you to act like a Diva, I'm not going to stop him."

Molly (desperate): "You can't do that!"

Bischoff: "Why not? I'm the GM of RAW. What I say... goes. Oh, and Molly, I'll make sure to have the cameras rolling. I'm sure what Christian has in mind will earn a spot in my personal favorite videos collection."

Bischoff walks off. Molly stares at Benoit, her face a mask of concern.

Molly: "Is he serious?"

Benoit: "Doesn't matter. I'm winning the match. You got nothing to worry about."

We return to the announcers as intros for the next match begin.

JR: "What a pathetic, sick human being. Eric Bischoff... you shouldn't be allowed to humiliate someone like that! She wants to be a wrestler, dammit! This is sick!"

DDP: "Jim, I'd like to comment on this, but... to be honest, the only thing I can think is, thank God Lawler ain't here in my place. Why can't Bischoff separate his business from his pleasure? It's just not right."

JR: "I'll tell ya what it is, Page. It's the act of an immoral, worthless human being! Molly's flesh and blood! She's not a walking Playboy magazine! And even if she was comfortable... it's a matter of permission! You're supposed to... dammit."

DDP: "Look, Jim, can we just focus on the match at hand? After all, it might be enough to get out of this bad mood."

JR: "Yeah, I guess... folks, our next match is between a couple of rising stars here -- and they were opponents last week as well in a tag match."

DDP: "That's right, Jim, and while Mondo here got the pin, he didn't get in on ol' Jeter. And now, Johnny wants to show he can go with the big boys. This oughta be a fun one."

Johnny Jeter (w/Jackie Gayda) vs. Nick Mondo (w/Stacy Keibler)

Jeter and Mondo lock up. Jeter backs Mondo into the corner and unloads with right hands. He winds up and hits a discus punch on Mondo, then shows off for Jackie. Mondo pulls himself up and tosses Jeter into the corner, punching away at him. He tosses Jeter across the ring, but his followup attack hits the turnbuckle, and Jeter gets a back suplex. He covers for two.

Jeter punches down on Mondo, then bounces off the ropes, but his elbowdrop misses. Mondo scampers to the top rope and dives off for M.Bison, but Jeter sidesteps. Of course, Mondo lands on his feet, but turns around straight into a spinkick from Jeter. He covers for two. Jeter picks Mondo up and whips him into the ropes, but Jeter puts his head down.

Mondo kicks Jeter and delivers a clothesline. He picks Jeter up over his head for the Assault Driver, but Jackie gets on the apron. Mondo is distracted by her feminine wiles, allowing Jeter to counter to a Victory Roll for the three and the win at 4:12.

WINNER: Johnny Jeter

JR: "And Johnny steals another one! I tell ya, if he keeps Jackie by his side, he'll have a long career here!"

DDP: "Hey, I don't blame Nick at all for being distracted there, do you?"

Jackie hugs Jeter in the ring, then performs a victory dance that Jeter watches, smiling.

We cut to backstage, where Christian and Chynna are watching on a monitor.

Christian: "Yeah... that's what I'm talking about. That's what Divas should be doing -- not trying to win men's titles. And next week, that's what Molly will find out first-hand."

Chynna: "I'm going to enjoy seeing her so humiliated."

Molly (off-camera): "If you like it, try it, freak!"

Molly pounces on Chynna, taking her down and smashing her fist into Chynna's face. Christian tries to separate them, but Benoit holds him off. Molly yanks Chynna's top off (Chynna is face-down the whole time) and leaves her wearing only the slightest of covering. She rips the pants off of Chynna as well. Chynna stumbles off-stage, trying to fend off Molly.

Molly: "That's one thing you'll NEVER make me do! How do you like it?"

***COMMERCIAL***

JR: "Welcome back, folks, and before we left, we saw a very determined Molly Holly attempting to send a message to Chynna about tonight's match."

We replay the footage, for the five of you just tuning in. After this, the intros begin for the next match.

JR: "And later tonight, when Chris Benoit and Christian face off... well, we've just found out that there's a bigger stipulation involved. If Christian wins, not only is he the Intercontinental Champion, but next week, he has pretty much free reign over Molly!"

DDP: "And how would any of us like to be in that situation? How can you possibly justify it? It's a death knell, really, for decency. We all know what Christian thinks of her, we all know what he plans to have her do, and we all hate it."

JR: "Well, let's not jump the gun, Page. Benoit is an astounding technical competitor, and right now, I would imagine he has the advantage over Christian, especially if their match at Backlash is any indication."

DDP: "You're right -- Benoit made short work of Christian there. But I think he's gonna find it tougher going tonight. Christian is a motivated man, and he's motivated by a dangerous emotion -- lust."

JR: "Lust? It's pure hatred!"

DDP: "Hear me out, Jim! He sees Molly not as a person, but as something to satisfy his needs. Whether he believes it or not, he's turning into someone very dangerous here. This is no way to go through life, Jim. Women -- even the Divas -- they're more than just their image. They're people too! And in the real world, that's how they wanna be treated -- like people! Unless Christian can get over his childish notions and act like people are equal... well, he may be champion, but he'll never be respected. His attitude right now is most definitely a Bad Thing."

JR: "I can't agree more. Folks, our next match... well, I don't think it's going to be as competitive as the title match later tonight..."

DDP: "Let's just say it! It's a rookie against a man at the top of the ladder. This is going to be a slaughter."

Sylvain Grenier (w/Lucille LaChienne) vs. Shawn Michaels

Michaels locks up and applies a headlock. Grenier tries to suplex Michaels, but Michaels lands on his feet. Grenier turns around and is punched into the ropes. Michaels tries to whip Grenier into the ropes, but Grenier reverses. Michaels comes flying out with a forearm shot, sending Grenier to the outside.

Grenier heads to Lucille for advice, allowing Michaels to dive over the top onto both of them. Michaels continues punching down Grenier before tossing him back into the ring. Michaels climbs to the top rope and, as Grenier stands up, hits a bodypress to Grenier's back (turn around, Sylvain! oh, never mind), rolling him over for two.

Michaels picks Sylvain up and sends him into the ropes, but Sylvain returns with a clothesline on Michaels. He hits the ropes and drops his knee in the general vicinity of Michaels' head for two. Grenier puts on a headlock, trying to wear down Michaels' neck, but Michaels fights up to his feet. Michaels gets a back suplex on Grenier, then ascends to the top rope.

He dives off with the flying elbow, and a split second later, the pyro explodes from the stage as Kane makes his entrance. Michaels pops back up, scared out of his mind, as Kane steps over the top rope and into the ring. Kane grabs Michaels by the throat at 5:06.

WINNER by disqualification: Shawn Michaels

Kane chokeslams Michaels to the mat. Grenier and Lucille head to the back as Kane stalks Michaels. He picks Michaels up over his back and plants him with the Burning Hammer. As Michaels twitches on the mat, Kane raises his arms and sets off the pyro again. He stares at Michaels as his music plays.

JR: "This is disgusting! Why, Kane? Why are you doing this? What did Shawn Michaels ever do to you?"

DDP: "I don't think it matters, Jim! You're talking like you expect Kane to be a logical being! He's a monster! Everything he's done has been for nothing more than pain! You still have the scars to prove it -- why are you so surprised?"

JR: "This is a pathetic assault on... NOW what?"

Michaels is on his hands and knees. Kane perches himself on the top rope as Michaels slowly stands up, unaware of Kane's presence. Kane dives off the top rope with his lariat onto Michaels. He gives the cut-throat signal and picks Michaels up in the Tombstone position. As he does so, he puts one foot on the middle turnbuckle.

JR: "Oh no... good gawd don't do it..."

Kane shifts his weight so that he pushes off the second turnbuckle upward, with Michaels in the position. He gets elevated up almost to the height of the top rope before crashing down on his knees. He releases Michaels soon after impact, and Michaels' head gets to almost a foot and a half in the air before Michaels lands on his back. Kane folds Michaels' arms over his chest before smiling.

JR: "AND DAMMIT HE MAY HAVE JUST KILLED THE HEARTBREAK KID RIGHT THERE IN THE DAMN RING! KANE -- THE INHUMAN MONSTER -- MAY HAVE ENDED THE LIFE -- NOT JUST THE CAREER BUT THE LIFE -- OF SHAWN MICHAELS!"

DDP: "He's not moving."

JR: "No he isn't, Page. This... I was at ringside when he suffered a blackout against the late, great Owen Hart. This is too frighteningly similar. Folks, we'll be right back... we need to help Shawn out here."

***COMMERCIAL***

JR: "Folks, welcome back, and... the mood has been somewhat darkened here by the knowledge that Shawn Michaels has been taken to a local hospital for observation... he received probably the damnedest move I've ever seen in my 25 years of calling this sport... a Tombstone's bad enough, but Kane pushed off the turnbuckles to get elevation on it!"

DDP: "What just happened was a travesty. Kane should be fined and susp... no, no... Kane should be ARRESTED for what he did. There is zero excuse for the way he treated Shawn Michaels in there. I really hope Shawn is in good condition, and we've seen him bounce back from a lot of bad things in there, Jim. But this is... I'm disgusted."

Evolution's music begins as the announcers continue talking.

JR: "Folks, the show really has to go on here, and... well, this is an interesting decision here by Eric Bischoff. I thought this would be on at the end of the show. But anyway, it looks like we're about to see the first match in 38 weeks of a man that I've sorely missed. Evolution is coming out here -- and they certainly aren't pushovers, Page."

DDP: "Oh, absolutely, Jim, these guys are tough, and they are ready to take on anyone that comes in their way. But I gotta wonder if they're as unified as they claim. I mean, ya look at how Michael Shane was treated at Backlash -- ya don't think that still eats at him?"

We cut backstage, where Sting and Jericho are headed to the ring.

Jericho: "Let's go, Stinger! This is for all of us, man. This is our time now!"

They round the corner, but Rhyno is waiting for them as they wait in what insiders would call the gorilla position, behind the curtain.

Jericho: "You in this match?"

Rhyno: "I'm in your life. I just want to remind you that whether it's your show or not... it's MY TITLE."

Jericho: "I see that. So you beat HHH for this? Man, things sure changed while I was gone. Well, it's nice to meet ya, shorty. Just remember to keep the belt warm for me, got it?"

Rhyno: "You're making a mistake. You should fear me!"

Jericho: "Why? You got a gun?"

Sting: "Hey, hey -- save this for your time. I gotta get going, and I want you in one piece in my corner, you got that?"

And with that, Sting walks through the curtain to the Crow Music. He stands in the aisle, awaiting his tag team partner, staring at Evolution. Thankfully, the countdown starts at only 5 this time and goes from there.

3-on-2 Handicap match: Evolution vs. Sting and Chris Jericho

Sting starts with Shane, and the duo lock up. Shane punches Sting, but a whip into the ropes is reversed and Sting gets a powerslam. Batista enters, and Sting catches him with a chop on the run, staggering him. Sting picks Shane up and throws him at Batista, then turns to Orton and demands to face him.

Orton backs off, noting he's not the legal man, allowing Shane to roll Sting up for two. Shane tries to send Sting into the corner, but Sting reverses and follows in with a Stinger Splash. Shane staggers out, and Sting scoops Shane up before planting him in position for the Death Drop. Before he can execute it, however, Orton blasts Sting in the back, and Shane escapes to the top rope and missile dropkicks Sting.

Shane brings in Batista, who immediately picks Sting up and throws him to the outside. As Batista distracts the ref, Orton and Shane stomp Sting on the outside. Orton tosses Sting into the steps, then rolls him back in. Batista tosses Sting into the Evolution corner, where he gets triple-teamed. Batista tags in Orton, who tosses Sting into the ropes and chop blocks him on the way out.

Orton grabs the leg and twists it in a spinning toe hold near the ropes, and as the ref checks on Sting, Orton grabs Batista. Sting begins to fall onto his back, earning a two count before popping back up. The referee looks up, but Batista has let go just in time. However, the act of letting go allows Sting to cradle Orton for two.

Sting stands up, but Orton kicks him in the leg to stop the rally. He grabs Sting and wraps his leg around the bottom rope, pulling up in an illegal hold for emphasis. The referee orders Orton to break, so he does, then makes a show of being clean. Sting pulls himself to his feet and spins Orton around, punching him repeatedly. Orton stops it with a kick to the leg, then brings in Batista as we take a break.

***COMMERCIAL***

Batista is applying a leglock to Sting, who is crawling his way to his corner, trying to drag Batista behind him. As Sting is inches away, Batista pulls Sting back to the Evolution corner and brings Orton back in. Orton stomps on the back of Sting's knee, then lifts Sting's leg up and slams it down knee-first. With Sting incapacitated, Orton spins the leg around, howls mockingly, then completes a figure-four.

Sting struggles, but Orton is the one near the ropes, so Sting has a long way to go. Shane drops off the apron and grabs Orton's hands, then Batista drops off and grabs Shane's legs, forming a long chain that almost makes it to the aisle. Sting is desperately reaching for anything to break the hold, as well as trying hard not to hit the mat with his hands (the ref is asking if he wants to tap). Sting finally passes out, and the ref makes two before looking up and seeing the chain. He breaks the chain (Shane falls face-first on the floor), and Sting is able to reverse the figure-four.

Orton scrambles to the ropes and demands Batista come in for the tag. Batista grabs Sting in a powerbomb position, but Sting trips Batista and catapults him into Orton. Sting makes the long crawl to his own corner, but just before he can make the tag, Shane dives in and cuts it off. Shane stomps Sting, then whips him into the ropes. Shane hits a superkick to Sting, covering for two. Shane goes up top, and the Picture Perfect Elbow connects.

Orton demands to tag in, so Shane obliges. Orton covers, but it's only two. Orton looks shocked, then confident. He bounces off the ropes for the RKO, but Sting uses his momentum to guillotine him on the top rope. Jericho gets the tag and blasts away at Orton, sending him into the corner and getting the facejam on the way out. Jericho then hits the springboard dropkick (which is how he got hurt) on Batista, followed by shaking his leg out and smiling.

Shane enters the ring and crossbodies Jericho for two before an Evolution triple-team begins. Sting enters and picks off Batista whipping him into the corner and Stinger Splashing him. Sting stares at Orton, who simply leaves ringside. Meanwhile, Jericho gets a powerbomb on Shane, then (Jericho/Sting) gets the (Walls/Scorpion) on (Shane/Batista), respectively. Both men struggle before tapping out at 18:07.

WINNERS: Sting and Chris Jericho

JR: "What a comeback for Chris Jericho! What a way to return to RAW! It was 3 against 2, but Jericho got the victory! He and Sting have the huge mental edge! What do you think of them now, Randy? What do you think of them now?"

DDP: "He probably thinks they aren't better than he is! Soon as it became clear his team could lose, he left the ring! He's been hanging teammates out to dry left and right!"

JR: "The man's got a pristine reputation to protect, and rather than do it in the ring, he runs away! What a gutless man he is! Folks, coming up next, we have two of the top contenders to the women's title going at it, as Victoria battles Trish Stratus! Get ready for women's action as only the WWE can provide!"

***COMMERCIAL***

JR: "Folks, welcome back, and it's time for two top fighters in the WWE women's division to be going at it, as the always-dangerous Trish Stratus faces off against Victoria. But before we do that, we want to show you this interesting confrontation from earlier tonight backstage."

We are backstage as Victoria is walking the halls, noticeably more intense than the previous week.  Lucille LaChienne taps her on the shoulder.

Victoria: "WHAT?"

Lucille: "Don't what me.  You know why I am here.  What was with thinking I would shake your hand last week?"

Victoria: "What the hell are you talking about?"

Lucille: "Last week.  After our match.  You offered your hand to me.  Why?"

Victoria: "Listen, bitch, I've never seen you before in my life.  Now beat it before I use you as warmups for Trish.  Have I made myself clear?"

Lucille: "What are you, mad?  We fought last..."

Victoria shoves her aside, into some conveniently placed garbage bags.  She storms off.

Lucille: "Ick!  American filth!"

DDP: "That doesn't seem to make much sense. I mean... where was the nice girl we saw last week? Has someone lit a fire under her?"

JR: "I wouldn't be too surprised. Alliances around here can change in an instant. You know that, Page."

When Victoria enters, she almost stomps to the ring, sneer on her face. Trish appears a little concerned, but offers her hand for a pre-match handshake.

Trish Stratus vs. Victoria

Victoria slaps away Trish's hand and throws a forearm into her face. Trish gets sent into the ropes, and Victoria hits a backdrop on Trish. She grinds her boot into Trish's eyes, then lifts her up and backs her into the corner. Victoria punches Trish in the throat, and while Trish is gasping for breath, the referee warns Victoria.

Victoria threatens to hit the ref, but the distraction allows Trish to attack with a kick to the head and a rollup for two. Victoria gets up and clotheslines Trish inside out. She goes up top, but Trish shakes the ropes, then hits the Stratusphere for two. She tries to punch Victoria in the mounted position, but Victoria simply shoves her off. Victoria then punches Trish repeatedly in the corner, boxing her down to the mat.

Victoria grabs Trish and tosses her like a piece of luggage across the ring. Victoria sets Trish throat-first on the ropes and slingshots the top rope into Trish's neck. Victoria nonchalantly covers for two. Victoria slugs away on Trish, but Trish punches back, only to lose that battle when Victoria grabs Trish's hair and yanks her down. Victoria chokes Trish on the mat, as the ref counts to four. Victoria picks Trish up and turns her around, nailing the Widow's Peak. She covers Trish with one hand, getting the pin at 5:18.

WINNER: Victoria

JR: "Wow. This is not the same Victoria we saw last week. She's almost... this is vicious! This is a mean streak a mile wide, Page!"

DDP: "Hey, you never know. Maybe she saw her tape last week and said, no way can I get away with that against someone as skilled as Trish, so I gotta mix it up."

Or maybe not, as Victoria picks Trish up and delivers a second Widow's Peak after the bell.

JR: "How about that, Page?"

DDP: "Hey, I'm allowed to be wrong once every five years."

JR: "Whatever, Page. You're as bad as Lawler was. Folks, when we come back, it'll be the Intercontinental Title on the line. Chris Benoit and Christian square off, and with Chynna a known factor, Molly Holly will be at ringside to even the score. Don't go away!"

DDP: "I am not!"

***COMMERCIAL***

Backstage, Teddy Long and his wacky mismatched cast of wrestlers are in an unidentified storage room.

Long: "Hey playas. This is Theodore Long here. Now after the injustice of last week, I figured there was no way The Man was gonna let us get our own revenge, Playa's Club style, on that white woman who stole our property, belie dat. So we decided to exact a little street justice on her. Now, don't be scared, all you crackas out there, we didn't kill her or abuse her. That ain't what a brutha's about, belie dat. But we are interested in showin' her and all the white fans out there that we ain't some carnival. We are the new wave, belie dat. Show 'em what we mean, girls."

The camera pulls back to show Jazz and Gail standing on either side of the fan from last week, who is bound, gagged, and terrified. Jazz leans over and gets in the girl's face.

Jazz: "Girl, you damn better be grateful we ain't like you white people think we are. Otherwise, we'd send these badasses after ya."

She points off-camera, from whence Chris Nowinski and Rodney Mack emerge.

Jazz: "When the time comes, we gon' show you that we demand respect. None o' you crackas seem to get it, do ya? Well, now ya do! Now we have yo' attention, girl! Tell 'em, sista!"

Gail: "Are you scared of what we can do? Can you appreciate what it's like now to be held back? Cuz that's what we've been. But now, with Jazz owning the women's title, we won't be held back. It'll be white chicks like you who have no appreciation for us, who see us by the color of our skin. Well, I joined this group to get respect -- to stop being seen as the token Asian chick. Is that how you see me?"

The fan shakes her head rapidly.

Gail: "I think she's lying."

Jazz: "Girl, you betta not be lyin!"

She shakes her head more emphatically.

Jazz: "I think we got through to her."

(Of note: as Long speaks, Nowinski changes from a smile to a look of pondering.)

Long: "All right, all right, dat's enough, girls. You see, missy, we ain't your daddy's group. We ain't gonna let The Man and his high-and-mighty glass ceiling stop us anymore. Soon, all y'all crackas gonna feat Theodore Long and his Playa's Club. C'mon... let's go. She can sit here a while and think about it. Chris, keep this cracka fool company."

The others walk off. Nowinski sits by the girl, who's now petrified. Nowinski does nothing, as he's still lost in thought. We go to the announcers at ringside.

JR: "I don't know what to say, other than... maybe that poor girl shouldn't have shown up at the arena this week. Just despicable actions by Theodore Long. Is this how to be a player, Page?"

DDP: "You know, Booker T's sitting at home right now, nursing the back that Rhyno beat up last week, but I gotta wonder... what does HE think of this? I mean, not to generalize, and that's not my intention, but... does Booker T think of Theodore Long as a representative of the street, or of the black community? I don't know anymore."

JR: "I seriously hope he doesn't."

Intros for the next match begin.

JR: "Well, folks, we've been waiting for this all night. Earlier tonight, Eric Bischoff upped the ante when he promised that a win for Christian would give him essentially free reign over how Molly would present herself next week. And Page, I gotta tell ya -- I'm not sure I wanna know what he thinks."

DDP: "Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that. This is why Molly Holly is at ringside in the first place -- to prevent that sort of thing from happening. This is why Chynna Doll is going to be neutralized. And if it's one-on-one, well, we already know how that'll go -- Chris Benoit destroyed Christian at Backlash."

JR: "Granted, but that was at Edmonton. This is worlds away."

Intercontinental title match: Chris Benoit (w/Molly Holly, champion) vs. Christian (w/Chynna Doll, challenger)

Christian attacks as Benoit is being checked by the referee. He punches away at Benoit in the corner, stopping only to say something to Molly. Benoit uses the opening to reverse Christian to the corner and chops away. He mounts the second turnbuckle, punches Christian nine times (with the fans counting), gets down, and chops Christian hard again, knocking him to the outside for a conference with Chynna.

Benoit also heads to the outside and lands forearms and punches to Christian's head, but Chynna intercepts him and goes low. Christian gets a DDT on the outside as Chynna gloats, but Molly leaps off the apron onto Chynna and punches away. Back in the ring, Benoit grabs Christian from behind, but Christian gets a mule kick. Christian runs the ropes and delivers a clothesline to Benoit.

Christian gets in the UFC position and punches away at Benoit before pointing at Molly and making gyrating motions. This draws Molly into the ring, but Earl Hebner restrains her, allowing Chynna to enter and the heels to get a double suplex on Benoit. Christian covers Benoit as Hebner turns around, but it only gets two. Christian sends Benoit's face into the top turnbuckle, hitting a German suplex on him as he staggers out.

Christian then puts an armlock on Benoit while seated over him. Benoit slowly gets to his feet with Christian riding piggyback, but Chynna trips him up from the outside and Christian goes back to the armlock. However, their newfound vicinity to the ropes allows Benoit to hook his leg in them, causing the break. Christian picks Benoit up and delivers a shoulderbreaker to him. He goes back to the seated armbar as we take a break.

***COMMERCIAL***

Benoit makes it to his feet and begins chopping Christian to break the hold. He sends Christian into the ropes, and this time Molly trips him up. Christian stops to yell at Molly, who feigns innocence, but this allows Chynna to come up from behind and toss Molly into the steps. As Christian points and gloats, Benoit grabs him from behind in a German suplex. He rolls through with it and hits a second German suplex. He rolls through with that and gets a third German suplex.

As Christian lies prone on the mat, Benoit goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers the cut-throat signal. Before he can leap, though, Chynna shoves Benoit off the top to the mat. Chynna gloats, so Molly spins Chynna around and slaps her. Chynna slaps back, so Molly spears Chynna into the apron.

Meanwhile, back in the ring, Benoit gets up first and shakes his arm. He pulls Christian to his feet, but Christian grabs Benoit's arm and pulls it into a Crossface of his own. Benoit struggles to make the ropes as Molly cheers him on. Benoit rolls through the move, putting Christian on his shoulders and getting two before Christian pulls it back.

Benoit slowly slides over and finally gets his free hand to the ropes. Christian tries to pull Benoit back, but Benoit gets a solid grip on the ropes and Christian is forced to break. Christian starts hitting Benoit's bicep, but in doing so leaves himself open for a Benoit clothesline, which knocks him down.

Benoit picks Christian up and tries a vertical suplex, but he can't pick Christian up with the bad arm. He switches to a DDT. Benoit covers for two. Benoit tosses Christian into the turnbuckle, but Christian reverses and Benoit hits shoulder-first. Christian gets the Rear Naked Stretch. He covers for two. Christian argues with the referee over the count, and Benoit delivers a dropkick to Christian, who collides with Hebner.

With the referee down, Christian calls Chynna into the ring. She steps in and grabs a tired Benoit, throwing him over her head in a military press. However, Molly enters the ring and kicks Chynna from behind, allowing Benoit to slide down Chynna's back and get a German suplex on her. Christian corners Molly for interfering with her plan, while Chynna rolls out of the ring. Benoit grabs Christian from behind and German suplexes him three more times.

Meanwhile, Chynna returns to the ring with the I-C title belt. Molly grabs a loose strap from behind, and the two women have a tug-of-war over it. Benoit, meanwhile, stands over Christian, waiting for him to get up. Molly yanks the belt away from Chynna as Christian stands up.

Benoit grabs Christian from behind for a dragon suplex, while Molly charges Christian, ready to hit him with the belt. Christian flips over the top of Benoit as Molly charges in, and the end result is Benoit getting hit with the I-C title belt. A stunned Molly gets hit from behind by Chynna with the drop sleeper as Christian grabs a dazed Benoit in the Unprettier. Chynna rolls Molly out of the ring and follows, and Christian covers as the dazed ref comes to. To everyone's dismay, the ref's count makes three at 20:37.

WINNER and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Christian

JR: "NO! DAMMIT! DAMMIT! THIS CAN'T HAPPEN! POOR MOLLY! CHRISTIAN OWNS HER SOUL! DAMN YOU, CHRISTIAN! DAMN YOU!"

As JR goes off on his rant, Christian holds the belt high and hugs Chynna. The two then look at Molly, who looks like she wants to curl up into a ball and die. Christian laughs at her while Chynna does a mocking dance, indicating her humiliation. RAW goes off the air with Molly on the outside, staring at her hands that held the weapon with which she caused Benoit's loss, broken down in tears, as we see over her shoulder the TitanTron image of Christian pointing and laughing.

<<<FIN>>>

Edited by Dukes
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- The SmarK RAW Rant for May 10 / 04.

- Live from San Jose, CA.

- Your hosts are JR and DDP.

- Opening interview: RNN. He's still doing this? He talks about a couple of washed-up has-beens, then brings out his guest: Y2J. Jericho immediately beings to talk circles around Orton, first by criticizing what Orton's done with the decor. He then proceeds to call him "Blandy" and mock his tone of voice, including pretending to fall asleep at one point. This may be Orton's bit, but this is RAW IS JERICHO! You tell him! Jericho then expands it to "Blandmaster Flash", which I just KNOW is going to be carried in as a sign by about 30 different marks next week, each one thinking they're totally original. Orton tries to intimidate Jericho physically (since he's CLEARLY not winning a war of words), so Jericho tackles Orton down, then systematically destroys the RNN set. Beautiful segment, as Jericho just absolutely trashed Orton in so many different ways I can't possibly do it justice.

- Molly is helping Benoit train when Eric Bischoff comes by and informs her that Christian's "Be a Diva" stip has been made official. Molly is concerned, but Benoit just knows he's going to win. Uh-huh.

- Opening match (why not): Johnny Jeter v. Nick Mondo. What, did Dreamer get the day off? Slugfest to start, but Mondo misses a blind charge and Jeter gets a back suplex for two. Elbowdrop misses, M.Bison misses, spinkick gets two for Jeter. Mondo with a clothesline, Jackie distracts during the Assault Driver, and Jeter wins with a Victory Roll at 4:12. This is why Mondo and Dreamer are the tag champs. 1/2*

- Jeter allows Jackie to do a dance, and backstage, Christian points out that that's how you be a Diva. I wonder what Christian thinks of the RTC? Anyway, Molly attacks Chynna from behind as Benoit holds Christian off. Molly yanks off Chynna's outfit to get pre-emptive humiliation out of the way. For women who don't want to be thought of as sex objects, there's a lot of sexuality in this program.

- Shawn Michaels v. Sylvain Grenier. DDP basically promises a squash. HBK flips out of a suplex and beats on Grenier. Flying jalapeno and Grenier bails, so HBK gets a plancha on La Résistance. Back in the ring, a bodypress (for which Grenier's facing the wrong way -- idiot) gets two. Grenier with a clothesline and something resembling a kneedrop for two. We go to the headlock. Way to keep things moving, Sylvain. HBK suplexes out and gets the flying elbow, but Kane wanders in for the Sportz Entertainment Finish at 5:00 or so. *1/4 Kane administers the mother of all beatings, as he nails a chokeslam, a Burning Hammer, a diving clothesline, and the sickest Tombstone you've ever seen. Kane uses the turnbuckles to leap into the air on the Tombstone, and HBK sells it by bouncing a foot or two off the canvas. I think Shawn may be legally dead. Oh well, he'll just rise again on the third RAW after this.

- Evolution v. Chris Jericho and Sting. JR seems confused as to why this match is on now. You know, another company couldn't keep their matches straight, and they're out of business. Jericho stops to exchange pleasantries with Rhyno ("You will fear me!" "Why, you carrying a gun?") on the way to the ring. Sting opens with Shane and gets a powerslam. Batista charges, so Sting chops him down, then tosses Shane onto Batista and demands Orton. Orton refuses, and Shane rolls Sting up for two. Sting recovers with a Stinger Splash and tries the Scoop Deathdrop (which I thought he only did in the SD video games), but Orton stops it, allowing Shane to go up with a missile dropkick. Batista sends Sting to the outside, where a double-team makes him YOUR Crow-in-peril. Back in, Sting gets beaten on some more. Orton enters with a chop block and spinning toe hold, using Batista's help. Sting breaks with a rollup for two. Orton kicks his leg out of his leg and uses the ropes to damage it further. Sting starts getting uppity, so Orton kicks the leg to stop him and brings Batista in as we go to break. We return with Sting crawling for the tag while Batista has a leglock on. Batista pulls Sting away and brings Orton in, who beats the knee up some more and gets a figure-four. Using the ropes. And Michael Shane. And Batista. Actually, Michael Shane IS the rope connecting Orton and Batista. Sting fights it for minutes on end, getting several twos before the ref sees it and breaks the chain (Shane does a great pratfall as a result of gravity). Sting reverses, so Orton immediately bails and brings Batista in. Demon bomb is reversed to a catapult, wiping out Orton AND Batista, but now Shane runs in and cuts off the tag. Superkick gets two. Picture Perfect Elbow, and now Orton wants the pin. So of course it gets two. RKO misses as Sting drops Orton on the top rope, hot tag Jericho. Jericho goes nuts on all three guys, hitting the facejam on Orton and the springboard dropkick on Batista. Cute bit: Jericho shakes his leg afterwards and smiles to indicate it's all healed. This leads, of course, to Shane getting a crossbody for two, and it's BONZO GONZO ALONZO. Sting stares at Orton, who bails on his teammates, and stereo submissions lead to synchronized tapping out at 18:07. They're bringing Jericho back slowly, but the Orton/Sting side-issue was the whole focus of what should have been Jericho's big return. **

- Victoria v. Trish Stratus. A pre-match vignette establishes that Victoria has no memory of last week and is a bit cranky. Victoria refuses a handshake and slugs away on Trish. Backdrop and boot rake follow, then a punch to the throat. Trish with the Chick Kick and a rollup for two. Victoria blasts Trish with a clothesline, but going up top proves to backfire as Trish gets the handstand rana. Victoria shoves Trish off of a mounted position, then Vaderizes her in the corner. A very nonchalant toss across the ring leads to a brutal throat attack for two. A slugfest is won by Victoria when she yanks Trish down by the hair. Some choking sets up the Widow's Peak for the win at 5:18. ** Victoria adds a second one post-match. Now, one week may seem a bit quick to reboot a character, but Victoria the Nice Gal clearly didn't work and it's best they treat it as an aberration.

- Theodore Long and the rest of the group have the still-unnamed Tracy Brooks under surveillance, apparently having kidnapped her. They make several comments about how Whitey ain't holdin' them down no more, which actually causes Nowinski to stop in his tracks and think. While this would be a good character development, neither Nowinski nor Long works as a face.

- Main event, Intercontinental Title: Chris Benoit v. Christian. To recap, Chynna Doll accompanies Christian, while Molly Holly accompanies Benoit, and if Benoit loses, Molly has to Be a Diva next week on RAW. Christian attacks early and punches away, but pauses to taunt Molly and gets creamed. Benoit does the ten-punch countalong, with the 10th punch being some CANADIAN VIOLENCE, and Christian bails out. Benoit continues the attack, but Chynna low blows Benoit for a DDT. Molly attacks Chynna to keep it even, allowing Benoit to rally. Back in, Christian gets a mule kick and a clothesline on Benoit. Ground and pound allows Christian to taunt Molly some more, so Molly runs in and distracts the ref. Chynna enters for a double suplex, which gets two. Benoit goes into the turnbuckle hard, and Christian gets a German suplex and armlock. Benoit carries Christian to the ropes until Chynna trips him up. Christian with a shoulderbreaker, and back to the arm as we take a break. We return with Benoit breaking the only way he knows how -- chopping the f*ck out of Christian. Christian gets tripped by Molly and starts to argue, so Benoit gets the rolling Germans. To the top, but Chynna shoves him off for a double KO. Molly kicks Chynna's ass on the outside to a MONSTER pop as Benoit recovers first, but walks into a Crossface. Benoit tries to roll over and gets two, but Christian keeps it on until Benoit gets a vice grip on the ropes. Christian works the arm some more, but Benoit lariats Christian down and tries a vertical suplex, which fails because his arm is dead. DDT gets two, since you only need one arm for that. Benoit goes shoulder-first into the turnbuckle, and Christian gets the Rear Naked Stretch for two. Christian argues the count, so Benoit dropkicks him... straight into the ref. Dammit, why does Hebner always get bumped at the wrong time? Chynna enters and military presses Benoit, but Molly tips the tower over and Benoit gets a German on her, then three more on Christian for good measure. Chynna enters with the belt, and the women fight over it. Benoit sets Christian up for a dragon suplex as Molly secures the belt. What follows is one of the most beautifully choreographed things I've seen: Christian flips out of the suplex as Molly goes to hit him with the belt, leaving Benoit to take the shot and Christian standing behind him, allowing Christian to turn it into the Unprettier in one motion. Chynna disposes of Molly, and Hebner revives for the pin and the title change at 20:37. Crowd boos the finish out of the building, but unlike at WMXX, this is GOOD heat. This match, meanwhile, absolutely rocked on many levels, with phat psychology and a red-hot crowd, and the run-ins meant something was always going on and fit within the context of the match. ****1/4 That's probably too high for the match, but dammit, nothing does my heart better than watching two Canadians beat the everliving crap out of each other.

The Bottom Line:

BOOYAH! Not only does the main event mean an automatic thumbs-up, but we have some very good setups for down the road. Orton/Sting is getting hotter than ever, and with Christian riding a wave of heel heat not even I can believe, you know he's headed to the history books. And HBK got his ass kicked, which is always nice.

Until next week, BE A DIVA!

*****

May 12, 2004

WO.com

* A lot of RAW was re-arranged at the last second. The I-C title match and Evolution match were switched because management was surprised by the reaction to Kane's decimation of Shawn Michaels and wanted to keep the crowd from getting too down. No one was upset by the move, although many feel that the McMahons are milking Molly's feel-good story at the expense of the rest of their roster.

* Speaking of which, the storyline's next few weeks have been approved -- and in some cases written -- by Molly personally. The general feeling of the writing staff is that it should be an allegory for her own personal struggles, with Christian representing a sort of internal doubt. A source backstage said, "Apparently they're trying to make the whole thing an inspirational story for women -- kind of an apology for all these years. It would mean more if they weren't always calling Playboy."

* The Chavo Guerreros are said to be a new look and a fresher approach to Ring of Honor. While Rob Feinstein and Gabe Sapolsky seemed intent on pushing younger people before they were ready (such as Special K), the fed now has a more old-school feel, if such a thing is possible. Plus, the last few weeks have led to a renewed spirit with everyone in the locker room. "We're all about proving ourselves all over again now," AJ Styles said. "The new management is using a clean slate approach, and it's really causing a lot of people to re-evaluate their own talent level."

* Matt Bloom has been given permission to use the name "A-Train" on the independent circuit. Bloom walked out on his WWE contract after an accident during a Velocity taping which left Brandon Robinson temporarily paralyzed. Strangely, Chavo Guerrero and RoH are interested in the hirsute power wrestler, feeling it would give the promotion a monster heel it lacked.

* Chris Harris' negotiations with NWATNA have soured. It now appears he will become a free agent, and the WWE is very interested in adding him to their roster. Some NWA insiders, however, feel the move would be detrimental to Harris' career, as thus far he is unproven when not in the tag ranks with James Storm. Further, although a cruiserweight, Harris would be lost on SmackDown! as the CW title is being de-emphasized during Ron Killings' current reign, and RAW does not seem to fit his strengths. He may re-sign with NWATNA after all, if only because it's the best option.

* WWE creative acknowledges that the Nathan/Taker conflict from last week's SmackDown! was lifted from their own archives. Numerous people noted the similarities between the segment and Taker's original face turn in 1991. WWE has confirmed that they were hoping to capture some of the same magic and draw comparisons between Nathan Jones and Jake "the Snake" Roberts, a participant in the original angle on Saturday Night's Main Event. "We figured it was safe. Corny told us it was more than seven years old, so no one would remember it anyway," said one creative team member.

* Despite a series of rumors, The Rock will NOT be the mystery partner at Judgment Day. If he were to appear, WWE would advertise it heavily.

* Shawn Michaels is only expected to miss a few weeks after the attack. He is not hurt, but will sell the injury and get time to return to 100% condition.

*****

May 13, 2004

WWE.com

Three days to go until the next WWE Pay-Per-View, and that means it's time for one red-hot SmackDown!, only on UPN!

Rowdy Roddy Piper, always one to stir the pot, has decided he will make a special main event tonight in honor of the show being in Reno, NV. He will make a wildcard elimination 10-man tag match! In this match, teammates and opponents will be chosen completely at random, and anyone could end up with anybody!

Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar could be teammates. Billy Kidman could be forced to wrestle Rey Misterio. The Right to Censor could be divided 2 against 2. Hurricane might be on a team with Bull Buchanan. Heck, Undertaker and Nathan Jones might have to co-exist! We might even see Nidia, Torrie, or Shannon Ward enter the ring. We don't know!

We do know that the Hot Rod loves controversy, and after the show RAW put out, he's going to have to up the ante if he wants to remain the topic of discussion heading into his banner weekend at Judgment Day! Will this match be enough, or will he have to dig even deeper? Tune in tonight at 8 / 7 Central on UPN to Smack Your TV and find out!

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WWE SmackDown!

"LIVE" from Reno, NV

May "13", 2004

We start with clips of the previous week, as Nathan Jones waits behind a curtain but is intercepted by Undertaker. Kurt Angle disrupts the main event, getting shots in on both of his Judgment Day opponents before leaving, as Matt Hardy gets a pin on Rob Van Dam. Hurricane has arrived on SmackDown!, and we see his victory over Jamie Noble and Noble's subsequent blowup at Nidia. We also notice Road Dogg's and Paul London's returns, as they even the scores in feuds.

I'M WILLING TO GAMBLE THAT THERE'S A LOT OF PYRO BEING USED as we are live from Little Vegas, aka Reno, Nevada. Sign in the crowd: "RTC better Stand Back!"

Cole: "Three days away from one of the biggest nights on the calendar, and just when you thought we had all the answers, Roddy Piper changes the questions! Welcome to SmackDown! I'm Michael Cole alongside James E. Cornette, and Corny, the Hot Rod has promised a 10-man Wild Card elimination match but he's not letting us know who's in it!"

Cornette: "That's right, Cole, only the wrestlers involved are aware of who is in the main event, and all of them have been sworn to secrecy with the penalty of forfieture of their Judgment Day match, so it look like we'll all be in the dark until later tonight!"

Intros begin for the first match.

Cole: "Well, we are off and running here, and it looks like our first match is going to figure a group of guys that... well, they've made a lot of enemies over their short stay here on SmackDown!"

Cornette: "Certainly enough, the Right to Censor has gotten the short of end of quite a few ideas from GM Roddy Piper, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who feels any sympathy for them, given their overbearing agenda to clean up the WWE of what they perceive as a problem, which, honestly, usually isn't!"

Cole: "And tonight they will be facing their Judgment Day opponents in six-man tag team action, as Steven Richards appears to be ready to join us for commentary on this match. Steven, how are you?"

Steven: "That's Mr. Richards to you, Mr. Cole. I am a representative of an official organization of righteousness, and I will be treated with respect."

Bull Buchanan, Sean Morley, and Mark Henry vs. Nova, Paul London, and the Hurricane

All six men brawl in the center of the ring to start, and the RTC gets the early advantage. Bull is on Hurricane, Morley on London, Henry on Nova. London is the first to get a reversal, due largely to his face protector, and he mounts Morley in the corner and punches away. Nova tosses Henry at London/Morley, but London (given warning) moonsaults out of the way and Henry flattens Morley in the corner.

Hurricane whips Bull into a double superkick from Nova/London, and Hurricane goes up top with a superfly splash for two. Nova adds a lightning legdrop, but on his attempt to send Bull into the corner, Bull bounces off the top turnbuckle with a springboard lariat. Bull tags Morley in, and Morley gets his running knee strikes on Nova, followed by a Russian legsweep. Morley slams down Nova and covers, getting two.

Henry enters the ring and tosses Nova into the corner. He gets a head of steam and avalanches Nova, then picks him up with a Samoan drop. Bull tags in, and Henry gorilla presses Nova onto Bull's extended knee for a gutbuster. Bull covers for two. Bull picks Nova up and delivers a shoulderbreaker. He goes to the top, but the diving legdrop finds nothing but air. Both men stagger up, and Nova hits the Spin Doctor on Bull. Henry and London tag in, and London punches away on Henry, knocking him down with a discus punch.

London gets a double clothesline on Morley and Bull, knocking them from the apron, then returns and hits a backflip dropkick on Henry, landing on his feet. He connects with a senton for two before Morley saves. Morley pounds away on London, but as he does, Hurricane hits Henry with the Shining Wizard. Both men are down as the ring clears, so Bull tosses Henry onto London. The count gets two.

Henry tries to lift London up in a torture rack, but London swings out onto his feet. London goes for the Contra Code, but Henry tosses him groin-first into the post. Henry splashes London for two. Morley comes in via the top rope, but the Moral High Ground misses. Hurricane is tagged in, and Morley gets nailed with chops in the corner.

A cross-corner whip is met with a flying clothesline to knock Morley down. Hurricane covers, but Bull saves and everyone enters the ring. In the chaos, Morley picks Nova up for a powerslam, but London dropkicks both men out of the ring and follows with a pescado. In the ring, Hurricane goes for the Hurri-chokeslam on Henry (riiiiight), but Bull boots Hurricane down.

Nova returns via the top rope with a missile dropkick. He picks Bull up and lands the Kryptonite Krunch, but Morley re-enters and nails the Moral High Ground onto the pile. Morley covers Nova, and the referee counts it as the three at 11:06.

WINNERS: Right to Censor

Cole: "And I guess it was a fair result, as the Right to Censor pick the win and have the momentum entering Judgment Day. Well, Mr. Richards, thank you for coming here."

Steven: "The pleasure is all yours. Remember, Mr. Cole, fight the good fight for your own good."

Cole: "All right. See you Sunday at Judgment Day. This Sunday, of course..."

Cornette: "Is he gone?"

Cole: "I think so."

Cornette: "Good, I was beginnin' to think I'd need to hit the bathroom and purge myself of all his crap."

Cole: "Careful, Corny. He's got friends. Still to come tonight, folks, we have a huge 10-man main event. Who's siding with whom, and who will be in the ring? We'll find out when you do!"

***COMMERCIAL***

And now, the Boot of the Week, brought to you by Lugz: from last week, Nidia distracts Noble and Hurricane gets the victory, leading to Noble threatening to boot Nidia from his presence. Or something.

We head backstage, where already a war of words has begun between Billy Gunn and Jamie Noble.

Noble: "Where the hell have you been when I needed ya? How come yer always causin' us to lose anyway?"

Gunn: "Hey, it's an accident! I'm not trying to do anything wrong -- it just happens."

Noble: "The hell it does. You gotta lotta nerve tryin' to screw me like this. I'm so mad I oughta slap you right in that purty face o' yours!"

Gunn: "Oh really? Well, go ahead, if it makes you feel better."

Noble: "Nah, not now. We gonna do this at Judgment Day."

Nidia: "Wait, Jamie, wait... we don't have to fight..."

Noble: "Don't have to? Hell, you're as bad as he is! I'm not the Croozer champ cuz o' you! Whose side are you on, anyway?"

Nidia: "No one's! Honest! I just want the two of you to get along!"

Noble: "Yoo ain't on mah side, now quit yer lyin!"

Nidia: "I swear it's true!"

Noble: "Is it now? Well, in that case, you git yerself a little stripey shirt and go be a referee, and we'll see just how fair yoo are on Sundey. Now git outta mah way!"

Noble storms off. Gunn and Nidia stare at each other in confusion. Gunn shrugs.

Gunn: "Hell, why not? If it'll prove anything to him, we'll do it."

We go back to commentary at ringside as intros begin for the next match.

Cole: "Well, Jim, it looks like we have another match at Judgment Day, and I can't say this one is a surprise here. Jamie Noble has been somewhat paranoid ever since his loss just after WrestleMania, and now he's gotta find out whose side everyone's on."

Cornette: "Paranoia's a dangerous thing, Michael Cole, and it's gotta be cloudin' Jamie Noble's judgment right about now. But maybe, just maybe, he's justified... or maybe he's gonna snap for no reason. Right now, Michael, I don't know. I'm not a mind reader!"

Cole: "Folks, this next match is as a result of last week, when this man Shannon Moore was pinned in a tag title match, and now he wants a chance to prove himself one-on-one. It looks like Billy Kidman's stepping up to the plate, and Corny, could that be a clue about the main event?"

Cornette: "Entirely possible, Michael. When I was in WCW, we had somethin' called a BattleBowl that I've been pushing Roddy to do sometime, and it was basically a bunch of random tag matches. I had to prep my guys for whoever they were facing based on who was already out of the hopper, so I had a lot of prep to do, and that's what's goin' on here. Right now, I'd be tellin' my guys to think about Misterio, cuz the chances just went up that he's in the big one."

Shannon Moore vs. Billy Kidman

They lock up. Moore goes behind Kidman and gets a wristlock, but Kidman moves to the ropes and slides under them, sending Moore to the outside. Kidman runs the ropes as Moore gets onto the apron. Kidman dives as Moore is bent over to enter, and Kidman gets a sunset flip bomb on Moore to the outside. Kidman grabs Moore and tosses him back in.

In the ring, Kidman sends Moore into the ropes and tries a dropkick, but Moore holds onto the ropes. Moore does a jacknife pin on Kidman, getting two. Moore picks Kidman up and whips him into the ropes. Moore hits the opposite side and gets a swingaround bulldog on Kidman. He covers for two. Moore picks Kidman up and nails him with taped fists. Kidman falls into the corner, so Moore charges in and gets a monkey flip.

Kidman sits up, straight into a Moore dropkick. Moore covers for two. Moore lifts Kidman up and kicks him in the gut, then grabs his head for a Twist of Fate. Kidman backdrops Moore out of it. Moore staggers into the corner, and Kidman rolls him up from behind for two.

Kidman dropkicks Moore back into the corner and mounts him, hitting ten punches and a monkey flip. Moore lands on his feet on the monkey flip and gets a back elbow on Kidman as he stands up. Moore gets a suplex for two as we take a break.

***COMMERCIAL***

Moore chokes Kidman against the ropes. He releases at four, running the ropes and spearing Kidman. Kidman slumps down, and Moore covers for two. Moore picks Kidman up and sends him into the ropes, getting a rana on the way out. Moore goes to the top, holds up the V1 signal, and dives off with a legdrop. He covers for two.

Moore lifts Kidman up and places him on the top rope. He follows up, looking for a Frankensteiner, but Kidman is quick to react, reversing it to a BK Bomb on the way down for a double KO. Kidman is up first, and as Moore gets up, Kidman hits him with a DDT. Kidman picks Moore up and sends him into the ropes, but Moore ducks an elbowsmash.

Moore ducks a clothesline. Moore dives at Kidman with a crossbody, only to be caught and powerslammed. Kidman drags Moore to the corner and climbs, but Moore kips up just as Kidman reaches the top. Moore follows Kidman up and gets a Frankensteiner. Moore covers for two. Moore goes back to the top rope as Kidman slowly stands up, and he hits corkscrew bodypress for two. Kidman charges Moore as both men get up, but Moore pulls the ropes down and Kidman flies out.

Kidman slowly gets up as Moore runs the ropes and hits a tope on Kidman. Back in the ring, Moore covers for two. Moore tries for a Twist of Fate, only to have it reversed as Moore turns around into a back suplex. Moore lands on his feet and tries a backslide, but Kidman flips over it, punches Moore to spin him around, and goes for the Kid Krusher.

Moore shoves him off into the ropes, but on the rebound, Kidman hits a handspring into a Samurai Driver. Kidman heads to the top rope, steadies himself, and dives off with the Shooting Star Press on Moore. He covers, and that'll get the three at 14:08.

WINNER: Billy Kidman

Cole: "And Billy Kidman gets all the momentum entering Judgment Day with a solid win over Shannon Moore!"

Cornette: "Kidman is flying high right now, but... oh, dammit, what does HE want?"

"He", it goes without saying, is Paul Heyman, who has emerged on the stage, applauding.

Heyman: "Very nice, Billy. Very, very nice. However, you're going to have to do a lot more than that on Sunday. You see, Kidman, I've been watching you. Yes, every little move you make, I've scouted and thought of a counter to. You know, it's funny; I know your style so well that... it's almost like I can get inside your head and discover who you really are -- like I know the real you no one else does. And Kidman, don't imagine I'm not relishing the chance to share every last detail of information with my proteges, Ultimo Dragon and Tajiri. When Judgment Day comes around, we'll know you better than you know yourself. And Kidman, that is why we will walk out once again as the official greatest tag team in the WWE. You have three days to enjoy that belt; after that, polish it up and send it to us."

Cole: "Paul Heyman sounds extremely confident in Team JAPAN's abilities, Corny."

Cornette: "Of course he does; he's always counting his chickens before they hatch."

Cole: "Well, folks, we're still trying to figure out who's in the ten-man main event, so stay tuned! It's gonna be a barnburner!"

***COMMERCIAL***

John Hennigan stands in the ring.

Hennigan: "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, accompanied by Shannon 'Psycho' Ward, Nathan Jones!"

The didgeridoo music plays as Nathan Jones walks with purpose to the ring. Shannon Ward stands in front of him, smiling and waving at the camera while wearing a shirt that says "Sexier Than Torrie". Nathan steps over the top rope and enters the ring.

Hennigan: "Nathan, this Sunday at Judgment Day, you and Shannon Ward will face off against the Undertaker and Torrie Wilson. Are you prepared to face one of the most decorated veterans in the WWE?"

Ward: "Nuh-uh-uh..."

Ward points at Hennigan. Nathan smiles.

Nathan: "You know what, mate? Not yet I'm not. But I know what I gotta do to be ready."

With that, Nathan coldcocks Hennigan as Ward starts making the "ring the bell" motion. Surprisingly, it works.

Nathan Jones vs. John Hennigan

Jones picks Hennigan up and punches him in the gut to double him over. He then nails Hennigan in the back of the head with a clenched fist. Jones waits for Hennigan to stand up, then boots him in the face, which sends Hennigan back into the corner. Jones boxes Hennigan's ears, dropping him to the mat. Jones pulls Hennigan up and lands a right cross, flooring Hennigan. He covers, but picks him up at two. Jones sends Hennigan into the ropes and hits a rabbit punch, doubling Hennigan over. Jones takes a couple steps back and Punts Hennigan in the face. He stands over him with one foot, and Ward counts the three at 2:21.

WINNER: Nathan Jones

Jones smiles and stands over Hennigan, then picks him up and sets him in the corner. He heads outside and grabs a chair from ringside, climbing back into the ring. He winds up, but as always, the lights go out. A single gong is heard. The revving of a motorcycle follows it. Now the lights come back on, and Nathan has headed outside, chair in hand, ready to confront what has to be Undertaker. Taker emerges on his bike, revving it again at the top of the stage. He zooms to the ring, with Nathan in his way, both men daring the other to go through with it. Finally, Nathan sidesteps the bike and tries to hit Taker with the chair, but he misses. Taker gets off the bike and slugs away on Nathan. The two men punch it out on the floor before Ward sneaks up behind Taker and taps him on the back. Taker turns around, ready to swing, but Ward just stands there and waves. This allows Nathan to take control temporarily. Nathan throws Taker into the ring and continues slugging away while Ward screams and laughs in delight. However, that doesn't last long as Torrie comes to the ring and pounces on Ward. Referees and security flood the ring and face a dilemma: do we try to break up the men and risk getting killed by Nathan and Taker, or try to break up the women and risk getting killed by the audience? Answer: both, and they fail miserably as the war rages out of control all the way up to the commercial break.

***COMMERCIAL***

Cole: "Man, what a war this was, Corny. That sick Nathan Jones was about to level John Hennigan with a chair when we saw one of the damnedest things I've ever seen."

Cornette: "Damn right, Michael Cole, it's pretty obvious that Nathan and Undertaker are a pair of sick sons of guns that wanna get in each other's heads, and right now it ain't working very well, but they're gonna keep right on trying."

Cole: "And then, of course, after that, Torrie Wilson risked her own neck to come out and deal with Shannon Ward. The hatred here -- especially with Torrie -- is absolutely through the roof, James."

Cornette: "There's no doubt about that, Cole."

Intros begin for the next match.

Cole: "Well, we have another match to provide you with, as it appears one-half of the World's Greatest Tag Team is going at it here, and we've been told he will be facing a man who will be on the opposite team from his at Judgment Day, that being the Cruiserweight champion, Ron Killings."

Cornette: "Now, like I said before, this may be a clue to the ten-man. We saw Kidman going solo earlier, and now Shelton Benjamin is without his tag team partner. Ya gotta think Charlie Haas is in the match later tonight."

Shelton Benjamin vs. Ron Killings

Killings dives over the top rope to intercept Shelton on the way out. Killings punches away on Shelton, rolling him into the ring. Killings backs Shelton into the corner and punches away, but Shelton grabs a punch and gets an armdrag out of it. He switches it up to an armbar, but Killings fights to his feet and tries to turn it over. Shelton sweeps out Killings' leg, winning the impromptu test of strength, and switching to a leglock.

Killings works his way to his foot and connects with an enzuigiri on Shelton to slow him down. Killings whips Shelton into the ropes as Eric Angle marches to ringside. Killings gets a back drop, then runs the ropes to dropkick Shelton, but Eric catches his foot. Killings turns around and drags Eric into the ring, but this starts a double-team. Road Dogg emerges from the back to even the sides, and it's a huge mess.

Cole: "This has totally broken down, folks! Why isn't the referee stopping it?"

Cornette: "No kidding, the Kru are using double-teaming! They've cleared the ring!"

Cole: "Folks, this is a strange development, but... hang on..."

Referee Nick Patrick calls Michael Cole off the headset. The two begin a discussion, then Patrick turns to Tony Chimel and barks instructions.

Chimel: "Ladies and gentlemen, due to outside interference, this match has been changed. It is now a tag team match with Shelton Benjamin and Eric Angle against Ron Killings and the Road Dogg!"

Cornette: "Is that your lamebrained idea, Cole?"

Cole: "Better than a no contest."

Eric and Shelton return to the ring, and the teams pair off (Eric/Dogg, Shelton/Killings). Shelton and Eric whip the Kru together, but they do-si-do and return to sender with clotheslines. Killings and Shelton leave the ring as Dogg punches away on Eric, setting up the jump, jive, and wail punch. Dogg bounces off the ropes for the shaky-legs kneedrop, but Eric rolls away. Eric catches Dogg in a belly-to-belly suplex and tags in Shelton. Shelton enters, backing Dogg into the corner.

He sends him across the ring, hitting a Stinger splash on the way in. Dogg falls to the mat, and Shelton climbs to the top rope. He waits for Dogg to get up and hits a flying clothesline, covering for two. Eric tags in, holding Dogg prone on the ropes. Shelton hits the leapfrog choke on Dogg, and Eric covers for two. Eric grabs Dogg in a butterfly position and flips him over in a suplex. He covers for two. Eric goes up top, but Dogg is ready and grabs him from behind in a back suplex.

Both men are down, and Shelton and Killings return to the ring. Killings chops away on Shelton, backing him into the ropes and hitting a flying elbowsmash on the way out. Eric returns to the ring, only to get clotheslined. Killings bounces back and hits Shelton with a crossbody for two. Killings runs the ropes and tries a sunset flip, but Eric drops a fist on Killings' face, allowing Shelton to drop down for two.

Dogg enters to take care of Eric, and those two brawl to the back, leaving us where we started. Killings wins a slugfest with Shelton, then bounces off the ropes, only to run into an overhead suplex. Shelton whips Killings into the corner, following in with a forearm smash. He dumps Killings on the ground and heads to the top, connecting with the 450 splash. He covers, and that gets the three at a total wrestling time of 11:01.

WINNER(S): Shelton Benjamin (and Eric Angle)

Cole: "After a wild turn of events, Shelton Benjamin emerges victorious, and you gotta think Team Angle has a huge advantage entering Judgment Day!"

Cornette: "That's right, and you notice he pinned Ron Killings, as the match ended like it started, despite your best intentions, Cole."

Cole (ignoring him): "Folks, when we come back, Roddy Piper will let us know about the huge 10-man main event! We're still not sure who's in it, but with Piper involved, you know it'll be a barnburner!"

***COMMERCIAL***

Cole: "As Roddy Piper is on his way from the office to the ring, we have just enough time to give you one last look at Judgment Day, this Sunday on Pay-Per-View! Call your cable company or satellite provider now!"

Here we go, to the tune of the official song of Judgment Day... "All Downhill from Here" by New Found Glory.

You're hiding something (Brock beats RVD up on the outside)

'cause it's burning through your eyes (Brock yells into the camera)

I try to get it out (Eddie hits the frog splash on Matt Hardy)

But all I hear from you are lies (Kurt Angle attacks Brock on the outside)

And I can tell (Angle and Brock double-team Eddie)

You're going through the motions (Kurt and Eric twirling in unison)

I figured you (Team Angle reunites)

Were acting out your part (Ron Killings holds the CW title aloft)

Once again (Road Dogg drops the knee)

We're playing off emotion (Konnan clotheslines Brock down)

Which one of us will burn until the end? (Killings dodges Nidia's interference)

Catalyst (Noble looks shocked)

You insist to pull me down (Gunn hits a Fame-asser on Noble by mistake)

You contradict the fact (The two men argue)

That you still want me around (Nidia is near tears on the outside)

And it's all downhill from here (Ultimo Dragon pins Jamie Noble)

It's all downhill from here (Tajiri kicks Rey Misterio)

Your good intentions (Kidman and Tajiri shake hands)

Slowly turn to bitterness (Heyman goes ballistic)

Reoccurring episodes (Kidman grabs the belts at WrestleMania)

With each and every kiss (Kidman kisses Torrie)

Let's go! (Nathan smashes Torrie with a chairshot)

And I can tell (Nathan stands in front of Ayers Rock)

That you're going through the motions (An irate Kidman tackles Nathan)

I figured you (The lights go out)

Were acting out the part (Taker zooms down on his cycle)

Once again (Taker powerbombs Doug Basham)

We're playing off emotion (Torrie cowers in fear)

Which one of us will burn until the end? (Ward laughs into the camera)

Catalyst (Torrie cheers as Kidman covers Moore earlier tonight)

You insist to pull me down (Moore and Matt Hardy attack RVD)

You contradict the fact (Van Dam dives onto Bubba Rogers)

That you still want me around (Matt rolls up RVD)

And it's all downhill from here (RVD and Nova clear house of Mattitude)

It's all downhill from here (RTC gangs up on Nova)

And I can't believe (Steven superkicks Nova in a tag match)

You pulled it off again (London smashes his faceplate into Richards)

Or notice till it all sets in (Richards superkicks Piper)

You deny it till you're at your bitter end (Henry is frog splashed by Eddie)

And I can tell (Piper yells at Richards)

That you're going through the motions (Bull pins Nova)

I figured you (Henry crushes London)

Were acting out the part (Richards on the mic)

Once again (Nova and Edge double-team Morley)

We're playing off emotion (sign in crowd: RTC SUCKS)

Which one of us will burn until the end? (Bull powerbombs Edge on the floor)

Catalyst (Hurricane charges the ring)

You insist to pull me down (Bull hits a springboard lariat)

You contradict the fact (Hurricane nails Noble with a Shining Wizard)

That you still want me around (Bull and Hurricane slug it out earlier tonight)

And it's all downhill from here (Bull covers Nova with one foot)

It's all downhill from here (Bull is given a senton by Eddie)

(We now show the motion graphics of each match)

And you keep pulling me down (Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle)

Pulling me down, pulling me down! (Rob Van Dam vs. Matt Hardy)

You contradict the fact (3 Live Crew vs. Team Angle)

That you still want me around (Team Japan vs. Kidman/Rey, ladder match)

And it's all downhill (Taker/Torrie vs. Nathan/Ward)

From here (Nova/London/mystery vs. Steven/Morley/Henry)

It's all downhill (Hurricane vs. Bull Buchanan)

From here (Jamie Noble vs. Billy Gunn, Nidia as referee)

We go to the ring, where Piper's music is playing and he stands with a microphone in one hand and a notecard in the other.

Piper: "All right, Reno! This is the moment you've waited for! It's the ten man, wildcard elimination match! Now, I'm the only guy who knows just what the teams are, but the people who are in the match... they know who they are, and they've agreed to go all-in. So boys, come on out and ante up!"

"Medal" plays as Kurt Angle and Charlie Haas march to the ring, wearing matching velour tracksuits. Kurt's pyro goes off. They enter the ring and twirl in unison.

"Viva Guerrero!" plays as Eddie Guerrero emerges from the back, WWE title around his waist. He rolls into the ring and stares down Kurt and Haas, not trusting them.

"One of a Kind" starts as Rob Van Dam enters the arena proper, hitting the thumb pose. He rolls into the ring and spin-jumps around to the crowd, posing with the thumbs one more time.

"Here Comes the Pain" plays as Brock Lesnar emerges from the back, jogging in place. He jumps onto the apron, setting off his pyro, and walks into the ring, jogging again.

The silhouette of the mask appears on the TitanTron as Rey Misterio pops up from beneath the stage. He carries the Tag Title over his shoulder as he walks to the ring, standing next to Eddie.

Oriental music is piped in over the PA as Paul Heyman leads Team JAPAN to the ring. Tajiri stalks ahead, while Ultimo hits his pose and sets off spurts of flame. Both men enter the ring as Heyman waits on the outside, talking trash to Rey.

The TitanTron shows a loading screen at 10, 30, 70, and 100%. Matt Hardy walks out from the back, holding the V1 sign aloft, as we learn that Matt doesn't fear Judgment Day, and Matt is proud to be a US citizen. Matt rolls into the ring and hits his V1 pose on the second turnbuckle before shouting words at RVD.

"Ashes to Ashes" plays as Konnan walks in from the back. He looks around slyly before entering the ring, circling it and yelling "Arriba La Raza" at all four sides.

All ten men meet in the center of the ring as Piper starts pointing to various corners. Some people -- notably Haas and Heyman on the outside -- are livid, while some -- such as Kurt and Matt -- are smiling broadly.

***COMMERCIAL***

Wild Card 10-man elimination match: Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar, Charlie Haas, Rob Van Dam, and Tajiri vs. Kurt Angle, Konnan, Matt Hardy, Ultimo Dragon, and Rey Misterio

Both teams talk strategy as the announcers play up the matchups. Eventually, Brock and Rey start it off. Rey charges Brock, who grabs him and flings him halfway across the ring. Rey quickly bounces back up and tries a rana on Brock, but Brock catches him again. Before anything can come of it, Ultimo kicks Brock in the back of the knee, allowing Rey to complete the rana. Rey quickly tags in Kurt, but Brock brings in Haas.

Haas and Kurt stare uneasily at each other as they lock up. Kurt gets a double-leg takedown and tries to bridge to a pinning predicament, but Haas rolls through it and grabs Kurt's arm, trying a half-nelson. Kurt squirms free and gets in the advantage position on Haas, who rolls Kurt underneath him, only to have Kurt reverse that to a leglock and pinfall combo for one before Haas rolls enough to get his shoulder up. Both men stand up, and Ultimo and Tajiri are brought in.

Heyman yells for them to tag out, but they lock up. Tajiri tries a wristlock, but Ultimo flips out and goes for an armdrag, but Tajiri lands on his feet and tries a spinkick, but Ultimo ducks. Tajiri lands on his feet while Ultimo goes for a headstand, so Tajiri tries a baseball slide, but Ultimo flips onto his feet. Now RVD and Konnan enter the ring.

Konnan punches away at RVD, but a kick is caught and RVD hits the stepover enzuigiri. Konnan is back up, only to get caught with an armdrag. Konnan charges again, and RVD dropkicks him to the outside. Haas, Kurt, and Brock find Konnan and a 3-on-1 ensues, but Tajiri breaks that up with a baseball slide.

As everyone gets up, Matt dives on the pile from the guardrail. When they get up, Ultimo heads to the apron and hits the Asai moonsault onto the pile. As they recover from that, Eddie springboards onto everyone with a tope. As everyone regains their footing, Rey runs the ropes, gets a boost from RVD, and scores a corkscrew senton on everybody. As they slowly stand up, RVD launches himself with a 450 plancha.

Konnan and Haas are the first ones to enter the ring after this melee, and Konnan sends Haas into the turnbuckle. He charges in with a rolling lariat that misses, and Haas rolls him up from behind (with his feet on the ropes) for the first elimination at 9:08.

Haas gets dropkicked from behind by Ultimo, landing him in the ropes. Rey re-enters with the 6-1-9. He springboards up with the West Coast Hop to re-even the sides at 10:11.

Tajiri enters the ring and kicks Rey down from behind, backing him into the turnbuckle. He then hooks the Tarantula on Rey, holding it for four seconds before letting go at the ref's behest. Tajiri brings in RVD, who stomps on Rey before picking him up and sending him into the turnbuckle. RVD hits two shoulder thrusts, backflips, and misses the third as Rey gets out of the way.

Rey scoots to the top rope as RVD looks around, and Rey gets a dragonrana on RVD. Kurt is tagged in, and he goes nuts on RVD with punches. RVD is sent into the ropes, and on the way out he's hit with an overhead suplex. Kurt pulls the straps down, and as RVD staggers up, Kurt hits the Angle Slam. He covers, and the US champ is out at 13:11.

Tajiri enters the ring and tries a superkick, but Kurt catches his foot and applies the Angle Lock. Ultimo enters to save Tajiri from his teammate, but Matt stops him. No matter, because Brock gets a release German suplex on Kurt to end the hold. Tajiri limps to his feet, and Kurt clotheslines him back down before tagging in Matt. Matt sends Tajiri into the ropes. Tajiri handsprings out, but is caught by Matt in a German suplex.

Matt tosses Tajiri into the turnbuckle and kicks him in the gut. He grabs Tajiri and hollers to the crowd, but Eddie dropkicks Matt and Tajiri tosses him into the turnbuckle and the Tree of Woe. Tajiri gets a running start and baseball slides in, but Matt pulls himself up and Tajiri crotches himself. Matt pulls a wounded Tajiri out of the corner and goes to the top rope. He yells, drops the leg, and the cover makes it 4-on-2 at 16:41 as we take a break.

***COMMERCIAL***

Eddie floors Ultimo with a dropkick as we see a split-screen of Team Angle assaulting Konnan backstage. Eddie heads to the apron and slingshots in with a senton for two. Ultimo reverses Eddie's whip into the corner, though, and charges in with a dropkick. Ultimo dashes to the top rope, then dives off, looking for the Asai DDT. Eddie ducks, but Ultimo lands on his feet. Eddie reaches behind him with a jawbreaker to Ultimo, then bounces off the ropes and scores a satellite headscissor takedown. He quickly dashes over and puts La Majistral on Ultimo, rolling him over for the three-count at 20:37.

Kurt enters the ring, but Eddie tags in Brock. Kurt tries a fireman's carry on Brock, but Brock clubs Kurt in the back. Brock sends Kurt into the ropes and hits him with a Steinerline on the way out. Brock stomps on Kurt, then picks him up in a gutwrench suplex. Brock smiles at Kurt, but the pause allows Rey time to go to the top and hit a swinging rana to Brock. Kurt gets up and scores a German suplex on Brock. He rolls through with it and connects with a second German suplex. He rolls through again, this time hitting a release German suplex on Brock.

Kurt goes to the top rope, but the moonsault hits Brock's knees, leading to a double KO. Rey and Eddie both tag in, and Rey scores an immediate crossbody on Eddie for two. Rey dropkicks Eddie twice, the second one slumping him in the corner. Rey charges in with the Broncobuster, but Eddie gets hit foot up. With Rey incapacitated, Eddie sets him on the top turnbuckle and grabs his arms. He steps forward and drops Rey with Splash Mountain (an Edge off the turnbuckle), and the sides are all even again at 25:11.

Kurt enters the ring and clotheslines Eddie down. He backs Eddie into his corner and tags in Matt. The two send Eddie into the ropes and hit him with a double backdrop on the way out. Matt covers for two. Matt kicks Eddie in the gut and delivers a gutwrench suplex. Matt covers again, but again it's two. Kurt tags in, and he stands behind Eddie, who backs into a crossface chickenwing. Eddie falls into the ropes, and Kurt is forced to break. Kurt spins Eddie around and tries the Angle Slam, but Eddie lands on his feet. Kurt instead gets an overhead suplex on Eddie. Kurt tags Matt back in, placing Eddie on the top rope. Matt follows him up and superplexes Eddie to the mat, but Eddie floats back over and cradles Matt. It gets a surprise three count at 28:36.

Kurt charges in, unfazed, and pounds away on Eddie. He whips Eddie into the ropes and nails him with an overhead suplex on the way out. Kurt calls out to the crowd, then grabs Eddie's ankle for an Angle Lock. Eddie kicks Kurt away, but as Eddie stands up, Kurt gets him with a release German suplex. Kurt covers for two. Kurt picks Eddie up and tries for another German suplex, but Eddie mule kicks him. Kurt runs the ropes and charges, but Eddie dropkicks him in full stride for a double KO. Kurt pulls himself up, while Eddie brings Brock in.

Brock catches Kurt in an overhead suplex right away. Kurt stands up, dazed, so Brock charges in and Steinerlines him, causing Kurt to flip through it. Brock picks Kurt up on his shoulders, dropping him with the F-5. Eddie climbs to the top rope and frog splashes Kurt for good measure, and Brock covers to end the match at 32:10.

SURVIVORS: Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar

Eddie and Brock celebrate in the ring, but it isn't for long as Brock hits Eddie with a Steinerline. With Eddie down, Brock heads to the outside to get the WWE Title belt. He waits as Eddie staggers to his feet, then smashes the belt into his face. Brock stands tall with the WWE Title belt.

Cole: "Brock Lesnar has all the momentum entering Judgment Day! He's pinned Kurt Angle and laid out Eddie Guerrero! Is this a sign of what will happen Sunday? Tune in on pay-per-view to see it all play out! For James E. Cornette, this is Michael Cole, saying we'll see you at Judgment Day!"

<<<FIN>>>

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I had Virch all written up when a misplaced backspace ate the post. Dammit. Well, lemme give you his ratings, at least...

Opening six-man: *1/2. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling.

Kidman/Moore: ***. Nice counter-sequence near the end, and Kidman's improving daily.

Jones/Hennigan. 1/4*. Whatthehellever.

Team Angle/Gettin' Rowdy: **1/4. Perfect example of the tag team formula at work, and it makes me feel optimistic about their six-man provided they keep Konnan at bay.

Ten-man tag: **1/2. Surprisingly good considering it lacked a real story and flow to it, but the unusual pairings drag it down a bit. Eddie's awesomeness carries it back up, though.

Sorry, guys. But I have good news...

JUDGMENT DAY PREDICTION CONTEST~!

I've added jesse_ewiak's match to the PPV proper (why not?), bringing us to nine matches. Here's the list. For this contest, use RoH-style confidence points. Each match is given a number from one to nine based on how certain you are of your prediction. If you're right, you win the number of points equal to the number you gave the match. In addition, there will be five bonus questions, worth one point each, bringing your total to 50 points maximum. First tiebreak is number of matches, then whether you scored your 9-pointer, then your 8-pointer, etc. The matches and questions are below. Winner gets to influence the booking of Badd Blood to a certain degree.

* WWE Title: Eddie Guerrero © v. Brock Lesnar v. Kurt Angle

* US Title: Rob Van Dam © v. Matt Hardy

* WWE Tag Titles, ladder match: Filthy Animals © v. Team JAPAN

* 3 Live Kru v. Team Angle

* Undertaker and Torrie Wilson v. Nathan Jones and Shannon Ward

* Hurricane v. Bull Buchanan

* #1 Contenders Match: Los Maximos v. APA v. Shannon Moore and Bubba Rogers

* With special referee Nidia: Jamie Noble v. Billy Gunn

* Sean Morley, Mark Henry, and Steven Richards v. Nova, Paul London, and a mystery partner

QUESTIONS:

1. Who's the mystery partner?

2. Which match goes on first?

3. What is EWR's Match of the Night?

4. What match will be the shortest?

5. Someone gets legitimately hurt on this show. Who?

SURVEY QUESTIONS (no credit, but please help me out):

1. Is this card worth the $35 WWE would charge for it?

2. What match would you most be looking forward to?

3. What match do you wish wasn't on the card?

4. Who is underpushed on SmackDown!?

5. Who has gotten overpushed on SmackDown!?

6. What independent signing should I look into making?

7. What storyline has been the best written?

8. What storyline should be dropped without hesitation?

Thanks!

Dukes

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