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A New Beginning

Chris Mc Geown, Nice to meet you. You know people often ask me the question, what do you do for a living? And quite frankly, I never know how to answer. Its not that I don’t have a job or that I’m embarrassed for the job I do. Its simply because I have lots of jobs all with one thing in common: wrestling. ‘But you’re so young’ they would say, ‘all but 22 and running your own promotion?’ yeah, you heard me. I was the owner/head booker/referee/commentator/ring announcer/what-ever-the-hell else of SCW, Squared Circle Wrestling. At just eighteen, I opened the SCW as my first promotion. No, we didn’t have much money…hell; as a matter of fact we didn’t have anything. We were you’re standard backyard fed hoping to make it big with the only real difference being the fact that we were in Ireland. So progress was slow for the first couple of months, it rained…No-one wanted to work in the rain. We eventually moved into a gym hall to satisfy our crew. We ran weekly shows and got like an overall attendance of something like twelve people a show, I did most of the work in-ring and out. I’d wrestle in my own matches and referee in the others…I gave it my all and it eventually paid off. I don’t like to blow my own horn but back in the day, the day being four years ago, I was a pretty damn good wrestler. Good psychology, good grasp of the ropes and overall a nice ring presence. My key field was submission wrestling and it showed in the ring pulling out hold after hold and stretch after stretch. You could almost say I earned a bit of a reputation, word spread and the next thing I knew I was wrestling all over England for promotions such as the FWA, they even invited me to join they’re academy but I decided to keep my priorities with SCW which was becoming increasingly harder to manage as its popularity grew. So the SCW went on, gaining numbers of a few hundred per week and eventually we decided to call it quits.

I left Ireland and worked another couple of shows in England before eventually joining the FWA Academy. I trained for weeks and weeks with no signs of a call-up to the main program; it was hard to get by. I found myself running double schedule for both the FWA and a number of local promotions before finally getting the phone-call I had been waiting for. I was invited to join the full-time FWA roster, it wasn’t much but it was a start. I remember my first match like it was yesterday, myself and another academy graduate against the team of Double Dragon. The whole match I bumped my ass off even hurting my arm through a botched Belly-to-belly. I fought on and finished the match, the crowd weren’t buying into my act and nor where the officials. I was called to the owners office following the match he said he was disappointed with my performance and that he’d like to try me out in another role, that of a manager. Seemingly having no other choice I agreed. The boss claimed he’d heard me talk back at SCW and he liked it, he said I had some sort of natural charisma or something like that and he wanted me to show that passion of the next show. After a complete gimmick makeover I was paired with up-and-comer, James Tighe. Tighe had been with FWA for a while now but wasn’t really making that much progress, a heel turn later and I was his new manager. I built up a name for myself with the fans as your typical cocky male manager. Hell I even got Tighe over pretty well before I ditched him for another up and coming Tag Team of Mark Belton and Jack Xavier who would later become big names in the FWA. Unfortunately my success wasn’t as great with the two as was with Tighe, the chemistry just wasn’t there. So I opened my eyes and set the bar a little bit higher, I looked to America…the land of the free, and a world of opportunity. I got in touch with a few friends I’d made over the years, those that have worked in the FWA among other companies and they set me up with a few auditions. So I sent a few tapes and eagerly waited the responses only to be disappointed almost every time.

Wrestling was a dying fad, the ‘attitude’ era run by the WWF was quickly burning out and its only real competition in WCW had just went under and up for sale. ECW, the third-tier promotion in many respects was trailing behind and struggling to pay the bills. No one wanted a talent like me across the water and if they did they probably could have found one a lot closer than Ireland or England. Nevertheless, I continued my quest and sent tapes to promotions all over the world whilst making a steady but slow run in the FWA. It was early 2001 before I finally got the call I had been waiting for. It was Johnny Storm, An FWA homegrown talent who extended himself to America like I had wished to. Johnny had made a big name for himself within the controversial Xtreme Pro Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling and even a few appearances on WCW. He told me he got a shot at the WWF and was to attend a try-out down at Ohio Valley Wrestling alongside such famous Independent wrestlers as AJ Styles, Juventud Guerrera and Christopher Daniels. He said he could get me in if I wanted and I quickly agreed.

I requested some time off from the FWA and spend my savings on the cheapest flight I could get to America. When I arrived I was broke and stayed with a friend of mine in New Jersey, I trained everyday and every night both in my speaking skills and wrestling skills in his small apartment working a few days a week in his uncle’s convenience store. I met with Johnny on weekends and we would wrestle for hours on end preparing for the big try-out in a months time. When the time came I was ready both physically and mentally, I did every challenge those trainers told me to do and I gave it my all…that wasn’t enough. They weren’t looking for a charismatic submissionist or a manager in my case, nor a technical lightweight like Johnny as neither of us were told to come back. Instead they called back the hosses, those in which we were unluckily pitted against who damn near stiffed the hell out of us…Typical WWF logic I guess. Anyways, I figured my money was wasted just as packing my bags, I decided rather than to keep trying I’d get enough money gathered together and who knows, go home. Maybe the FWA would welcome me back with open arms or maybe they’d screw me over for leaving them in the first place, needless to say it was a risk I had to take.

So I went back to New Jersey and continued to work the dead-end job, saving some cash week after week for a plane back to England. In doing so, I took on another job on local Independent, Jersey All Pro Wrestling. It was there I met the family, the ECW family. ECW had been choking the life out of itself for months now lasting a lot longer than people had expected. Sure, they sacrificed some of their top draws to pay the bills but they still did so, slowly crawling out of the slump they were once in. Heyman had lost Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer and even Raven to the WWF over contract disputes and one thing and another but still kept his stance as one of the best promoters on the planet. I was offered a full time spot with JAPW but declined, instead I continued to work with them on a part time basis as both wrestler and manager earning my keep amongst my peers. I made a lot of new friends including that of Steve Corino. Corino was on-again off-again with Extreme Championship Wrestling at the time, one of their only stars left, It was this reason why he was often accompanied by Paul Heyman to some of JAPW’s shows.

After working a solid Tag Team match with Danny Doring, another ECW worker I was approached backstage by Heyman. He said he has admired my work and that I reminded him of a younger version of himself. I was practically lost for words at this point given the fact that he of all people was telling me how much he admired me…Heyman told me that he saw my try-out in OVW and was impressed, he claimed that I had a talent no other man there had and that I was unique. He invited me to come to ECW, not to work but mainly to get a feel for the kind of business that he runs, I agreed and the following day I was on the road with Corino, Doring and a number of other ECW stars. I watched the show and took notes down of the style of booking Paul employed; it was full of what looked to be illogical mistakes things that from day one you were taught to avoid. Things such as Heel vs. Heel feuds, controversial segments and all sorts of things I’d never seen before. I met with him following the show and just my luck he seen the notepad I was carrying, He asked what it was and I told him. He read it and took the criticism lightly before explaining to me that the best way to make an impact is not to break the rules but to bend them. He explained that he wanted to change the world of wrestling to his liking, just like any other promoter. He said that this was his style; to bend the boundaries and to give the loyal fans something they had never seen before. I know it doesn’t make much sense now but at the time I was hooked, He really spoke to me that day and it felt like I’d learnt more than I would in a lifetime. He asked me if I was interested in booking and I told him my story. I told him of SCW and the roles I played there and in the FWA not to mention JAPW, needless to say he was impressed.

The way Paul spoke to me showed that he had respect for me and vice versa. I had taken the same road he had but at a much faster pace so-to-speak and he claimed with his help I would take the next step. He offered to coach me, free of charge to take me step by step around how he runs his company. He told me to compare it to the likes of how I ran my company and how others ran there’s and there proved to be a great difference. He taught me the basics and then his basics. He opened his mind to me before I even realised who I was dealing with.

The time flew past, I was making my living working as a gopher in exchange for his teaching. I had forgotten all about my past, the FWA, SCW…everything. For Paul taught me it all and I learned more than words could explain. One day he called me in, ‘This is it’ he would say, defeat clearly marking his eyes, ‘we’re finished’. He held out to me an extended arm, clutching at a pile of red letters that could only appear to be bills. Obviously upset, we talked and he revealed that ECW was from tomorrow forward, dead. Paul was a tremendous booker, the best. But when it came to being a businessman, the best he truly was not. Bankruptcy was his only option, an option that he reluctantly took to keep his life in order. He sold the ECW name to sworn enemy, Vince McMahon along with the majority of his employees to extend the invasion angle he was currently running. Even Paul himself worked with the WWF, a humiliating on-screen role that secretly poked fun at his defeats through his life-like ECW leading character. To him, this was a punishment, an idea conceived by Vince to spit on the ECW legacy, a matter in which he had no choice in after he signed the contract. For the WWF continued to dwindle as I made my way back to New Jersey working the Indies. First came the invasion, then the roster cuts followed by the roster split…it was almost a new company and that’s just what the poor ratings displayed.

Rather than being given the head booker chair to begin with, Heyman was neglected from any backstage decisions or meetings and instead the honour went to Brian Gerwitz, a bad decision maker if the world ever saw one. It was this reason and many more that the booking behind the Invasion angle was not up to standard. The roster split got off to a good start with the undercard, for the first time in years, getting pushed in their own rights, this however soon died and finally they came crawling to Paul for a solution. He booked a number of good an exciting shows even when limited to such a small choice of options. He helped revive the product and give it the burst of energy it needed, then they dropped him like a bad habit. Heyman was taken out of his role in the booking team and taken out of his on air position and the ratings once again plummeted. I kept in contact with him throughout the whole situation, I listened to everything he had to say as I was his shoulder to cry on.

The ratings meanwhile plummeted like never before on the Raw brand anyway, Heyman was put back in charge and he slowly steered Raw to become the better brand once again. It was hard to believe at the time that one man was capable of so much change, that one man could cause such a huge jump in ratings and another such a giant drop but it was happening and still, still they were never persistent enough, they never kept him as head booker long enough to make any permanent change. In a way I guess, Vince was afraid of giving his former rival too much power. He seemed to believe that if Heyman were given the right position, he would just as quickly screw him over than help him which although probably the case would never happen. Heyman was limited, he was on the booking team full time but still under a leash from the watching eyes of the McMahon’s, each one as cunning as the other. If Paul had an idea, it would have to go through Shane, Linda, Stephanie and the booking team before finally reaching Vince’s grasp. That’s why his ideas were no longer fresh, that’s why his ideas were choked and restricted to a certain extent.

As I continued to float around the independents working my ass off in every kind of work available, The (then) WWE remained dry. As usual they turned to Paul, seemingly the only man on the whole board with half a brain able to book a wrestling show and rather than simply do the norm and say ‘fair enough’, shrug your shoulders dropping all self-respect and do what you’re told. Heyman didn’t do a thing, Heyman turned to me and the next thing I knew I had the fancy suit, the briefcase and I was working for Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment.

So that’s my story. Believe it or don’t believe it, fact of the matter is this; I’m here and this is the WWE.

Wrestlemania XX, on paper the biggest show in all of our sport. An extravaganza, the showcase of the immortals…Whatever you wanna call it, It was undoubtedly a success. However, not much can be said for the current state of affairs surrounding the Pay-Per-View. Smackdown, whose house show attendance is already down substantially just lost out on perhaps they’re biggest draw in Brock Lesnar. They’re other biggest name; a Kurt Angle is suffering from ongoing neck-problems and can no longer work the full WWE schedule. This leaves them with WWE Champion, Eddie Guerrero in the main-event spot along with a minorly injured, Big Show. Not much of a show, huh? Luckily enough, Edge is set to make a return from shoulder surgery and Cena looks to break through the glass ceiling any day now. But…and there’s always a but, Triple H (That’s Vince’s Son-in-law, Stephanie’s husband) as always has something to complain about. This time, requesting a match with Edge or at least a few new opponents to fill himself with and thus gives us, the lottery draft. So anyway, on Raw following Wrestlemania Vince comes out and says that there needs to be a change in the WWE. There needs to be new storylines, new rivalries and such and it will happen next week on Raw. He briefly runs down how the whole thing is going to work and watches his footing incase he falls down any of the numerous plot-holes he’s dug. Anyway, next week on Raw rolls around and the trades are made seemingly evening out the rosters and still giving the politically ‘gifted’ Triple H some new opponents. This is where the good part comes in…From now, Paul and myself (his protégé) are in charge, we call the shots. Well, he calls the shots but I have a major influence on them I just don’t get as much credit. Nevertheless, On with Smackdown I say!

Trades In Draft Lottery

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Billy Gunn

From Smackdown to Raw, Billy once again has to make the transition. Billy never achieved much in his tenure over at Smackdown other than a brief stint with Torrie Wilson and a noticeably awful feud between the two against Jamie Noble and Nidia. Nonetheless, Billy is most likely more suited to Raw anyway due to his limited brawling abilities, at least now he has the chance to spend more time with his real life buddy, you guessed it…Triple H!

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Booker T

From Raw to Smackdown comes Booker T. Arguably one of the best trades for both show and wrestler, as Booker was horribly misused on Raw and is seemingly for Smackdown, just what the doctor ordered. On Raw, Booker’s only success has been a number of Tag Team title runs with makeshift partners. Upon moving to Smackdown, Booker was forced to drop his WWE Tag Team Championship with his partner RVD. Now on Smackdown, Booker would make a great challenger for Eddie’s WWE Championship.

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Chuck Palumbo

One third of the Full Blooded Italians, The American Chuck Palumbo makes the transition from Smackdown to Raw. Chuck has had his best success in the WWE with Billy Gunn as the Gay Team, Billy and Chuck on Smackdown. Chuck has been a Tag Team wrestler for the most part of his career minus his short run as WCW World Champion, a little known fact in itself.

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Chris Jericho

The most charismatic man on Raw makes the switch to Smackdown in an exchange that perhaps for Y2J is best suited. His phenomenal wrestling ability and charisma make him a shoe in for a number of high-profile feuds on Smackdown. The first undisputed champion never did get to end his undercard feud with Christian and Trish Stratus off the heels of Wrestlemania, Lets see who he takes out his frustration on, on the Smackdown side of things.

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Danny Basham

Here’s a little known fact about Basham, He can actually wrestle. Yes, playing the part of the Basham’s Tag Team, Danny alongside his partner have both been restricted. Rather than fighting with the tenacity both shared down in Ohio Valley Wrestling, the two are lowered to nothing more than the vanilla tag team of the month. His successes on Smackdown include an instant push into the Tag Title picture, this can be somewhat blamed on the lack of Tag Teams on Smackdown and the longing for something new.

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Garrison Cade

Like Basham, Cade was thrown into a makeshift vanilla Tag Team with Mark Jindrak on account of they’re OVW work. Cade still has a lot to learn in the wrestling business and has the youth to perhaps pull it off, time will tell. Unlike Basham, Cade and his makeshift partner have yet to achieve any success failing to win the Tag Team Titles on a number of occasions.

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Doug Basham

Doug and his on-screen twin brother Danny play the act of the Basham brothers. Again, he is restricted by his excessive Tag Team matches and has yet to prove himself as a singles wrestler. Doug is often referred to as the more talented Basham given his extensive background touring the Indies for over a decade. He and Danny have achieved Tag Team gold in quite a short time which is partially due to the sources accredited to earlier.

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Kane

When Kane found out he was heading to the same show as his rival and brother, The Undertaker he went on a rampage. Known for his brawling, Kane is a more talented Big Man than a lot of people like to think. He is however not really suited for the Smackdown environment making this seem like an odd choice for a trade. Kane didn’t achieve that much success on Raw other than a few top-tier feuds. Sadly for him, nothing ever came of such and his monster push died a painful death.

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Johnny Stamboli

Stamboli along with Palumbo make the muscle behind Nunzio’s FBI. A decent worker from WCW descent all in all makes a solid team with Palumbo. Blessed with good superstar looks and charisma, Stamboli could still make an impact out of Tag Team competition but looks unlikely now drafted to Raw.

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Lance Storm

Reduced to jobber Tag Team with fellow underrated Canadian, Val Venis, Lance was set to break through the glass ceiling before WCW’s crippling defeat. Lance has been horribly misused on Raw in the past with his only success captaining the Un-American’s stable and capturing the Intercontinental Championship along with the Tag Titles. Lance seeks true gold on Smackdown, A show were he will be finally allowed to go all out.

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John Bradshaw Layfield

The former Acolyte, Bradshaw fresh off a heel turn has taken to the Million Dollar Man routine. Previously in line for a world title push on Smackdown, Bradshaw takes to Raw where hopefully, things will not be as kind to him.

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Rhyno

Former ECW forerunner, Rhyno now takes to Raw perhaps the best habitat for this man-beast. Since arriving in the WWE, Rhyno has been misused like most other WCW/ECW stars. He quickly went from a company’s top title to the scrap of a strap in the WWE Hardcore Title. Declining since his shoulder injury, Rhyno’s career doesn’t look to be heading anywhere fast. A trip to Raw should hopefully reunite his flame.

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Rikishi

The comedy act of Too Cool 2k4 alongside Scotty 2 Hotty takes a more serious route on coming to Raw. Rikishi, best suited on a programme like Raw, hopes to get back to his old trends like only the bad man can.

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Ron Simmons

Coming to the end of his career, Farooq came out of retirement to rejoin Bradshaw as the APA. Looking to pursue a career as a Road Agent, the former WCW champion surely won’t last long amongst the Raw ranks.

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Rob Van Dam

RVD, the self-proclaimed ‘Mr. Monday Night’ is coming to Thursday Night. The former ECW star was under-pushed on Raw despite capturing the Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships. A solid worker, RVD was forced to vacate the Raw Tag Team Titles as he and his partner, Booker T were both drafted to Smackdown.

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Shelton Benjamin

Since his arrival at the WWE, Shelton has been held back. From his college days teaming with Brock Lesnar to they’re tenure at Ohio Valley Wrestling, Lesnar always stole the spotlight. Now with Lesnar out of the picture and Shelton breaking free from his ‘Worlds Greatest Tag Team’ persona, who’s to say he won’t make an Impact, Lesnar sized over on Raw.

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Steven Richards

Richards broke into wrestling and made his claim for fame as Raven’s lackey in ECW. A solid charismatic worker never got his chance to shine in the WWE with his only moderate success coming in the form of his much-hated Right To Censor Stable. Playing the lovable heel, Richards recently began to take over the WWE B-Show, Sunday Night Heat and re christened it ‘Stevie Night Heat’. Will Richards have the same effect upon Velocity or will he make a stand of his own on Smackdown?

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The Big Show

In undoubtedly the biggest trade, The Big Show makes a somewhat unwelcome return to Raw. A former Raw wrestler, Show got involved with Eric Bischoff claiming he was under pushed and more deserved on Smackdown. From then on, Bischoff made it his sole duty to punish the giant in a variety of matches that later led to his leaving of the Raw programme. Now making a return, who knows what Bischoff has in store for the big man.

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The Hurricane

The Hurricane is a prime example that just not everything that comes out of backyard wrestling is headed for a failure. Beginning his career in WCW, He went onto moderate success even commanding the comedy team of Three-Count. Wasted as a Tag Team Wrestler on Raw, Hurricane sets off into a brand new world with his fellow cruiserweights over on the Smackdown side of things.

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The Undertaker

Making a huge return at Wrestlemania XX to battle his brother Kane, The Undertaker was arguably the biggest asset to Smackdown. When Kane was drafted for Smackdown he broke down in a fit of anger knowing that his brother, The Undertaker was not finished with him quite yet. Luck however was on the big red machine’s side as just as he headed for Smackdown, The Undertaker packed his bags for Raw. Hugely over, The Undertaker has limited skill but still has the ability to work a good match.

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And there they are, Twenty Men. Twenty individuals who hope and dream for new chances of success. Some will reign supreme, others will get lost in the shuffle. Nevertheless, the revival of the two brands is in effect and the only thing left to say…It’s Showtime.

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Preview

Last Monday saw the birth of a new WWE and indeed the birth of a new Smackdown with the assist of the draft lottery. Many of Smackdown’s top stars said goodbye to the show, jumping to the rival raw brand. On the otherhand, Smackdown was quick to gain several huge stars, clinging on to the returning Edge and gaining the presence of the monster, Kane.

After being on the shelf for several months nursing a shoulder injury, Edge will make his return to Smackdown. Fresh off a win from the monster, Batista on Raw last Monday, Edge appears to be on a role. The question is, what will the multi-time Tag Champion have to say about his own main-event spot prior to his injury.

As said, Kane narrowly escaped his brother The Undertaker in the draft lottery with both men undergoing a switch. Now with his brother on Raw, Kane promises to reek all kinds of hell on the Smackdown brand in the way that only the big red machine can.

Chris Jericho’s Highlite Reel will make its Smackdown debut as the first ever-undisputed Champion takes over the Smackdown brand. His guest…None other than Kurt Angle. This is one show you don’t wanna miss.

Also, Smackdown will see a special Bikini contest marking the Smackdown diva’s victory at Wrestlemania XX. Torrie and Sable will engage in what promises to be a heart-stopping show-down to prove just why they are the premier divas in the WWE.

Tune in to Smackdown Thursday night at 8/7 CT on UPN

Edited by public enemy
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Show Level: Flagship

Length: 2hr

Time Slot: 8.00

TV Network: UPN

Brand: Smackdown!

Tonight’s Location: Texas

Affluence: 50.8%

Interested Population: 70,000

Casual Fans: 55,090

Hardcore Fans: 2,922

Pure Fans: 3,057

Old School Fans: 3,176

MMA Fans: 358

Women’s Fans: 0

Popularity: 90.0%

Segment 1 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Authority Hands Over Power

Kicking off Smackdown, The cameras go to the office of Smackdown General Manager Paul Heyman. The cameras would be positioned to face Heyman who sat at his desk seemingly doing some paperwork. The door would open and Heyman would quickly drop everything he was doing standing up giving the nod to his entrant. ‘…Sir’ said Heyman as the camera’s swung around the reveal the figure to be Vince McMahon. ‘Yes…Good Evening Paul’ replied the chairman. ‘Now Paul, You know why I’m here tonight don’t you?’ said Vince. ‘Yes, Mr. McMahon.’ replied Heyman. ‘Good. You see Paul, and let me make this clear…I don’t want any screw-ups. Smackdown is my show, I handed it over to you and quite frankly you’ve ran it downhill…But enough of the past, There is a time and a place. Tonight Paul, I’m going to be observing every last thing you do to make sure Smackdown runs as efficiently as possible. Is that Understood? Good.’ With that said, Vince would walk off presumably to his private skybox to watch the happenings of tonight. As he left Heyman mocked the chairman imitating what he had just said, implying the two’s hatred for one another. Heyman would sit back down but another knock at the door would again disturb him…

Overall Rating = 88.0%

Thoughts: A nice opening segment, which in most part was Paul’s idea. It helped show the hatred between the two rivals in the heel General Manager and the Tweener Authority Figure, which in the WWE is always something nice to open on.

Segment 2 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Worker Asks For Match, Rejected

Heyman is greeted by the returning Edge. With the trademark smirk, Edge would extend his hand to the general manager to which Paul would reluctantly take wondering just what Edge wanted. ‘Let me cut to the chase boss’ said Edge, ‘Tonight, there’s been a dirty little rumour flying around backstage regarding the next Smackdown pay-per view.’ ‘There has?’ replied the clueless Heyman. ‘Yeah, Its…Well, put it this way. A few weeks is Backlash, A raw-only event and following that is Judgement Day right? Well words spread that tonight you’re to chose the challenger for Eddie Guerrero’s WWE Championship…’ said Edge. ‘Ah…’ said Heyman. ‘Well before you could get down to business, I just wanted to tell you…that the ‘Edgemister’ here is back at full health. That’s right, 100% medically cleared. But hey, I don’t have to tell a wise man like you, you seen my match on Raw…I was smokin! As a matter of fact…’ ‘…uh, The rumour?’ said the impatient General Manager. ‘Oh yeah, The rumour is that tonight when you announce the Number One Contender…It’s a, Its said to be a Raw competitor.’ Heyman looked surprised. ‘I mean don’t get me wrong boss its just that Raw and Smackdown are two completely different worlds, I mean these new guys they’re not worth half the paper they’re printed on over here believe me. You wanna choose someone loyal, someone that has stuck with Smackdown through thick and thin. I mean someone like…’ ‘Kurt Angle?’ Heyman interrupted questionably. ‘Well sure there’s that option, but I was thinking more along the lines of…well, myself.’ Said the cocky Edge. ‘You?’ replied Heyman in somewhat of a patronising way. ‘Yeah, I mean who better than to face Eddie Guerrero than the cutest, most energetic, flashiest, charismatic…’ ‘Edge’ ‘I mean get with the times chief, there’s no one the crowd want to see more’ ‘…Edge! I get the point.’ ‘…So I get the match!?’ ‘Well…Hey, I’ll put it this way. You’re on the list…somewhere at least. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m wanted in the ring.’ Pushing past Edge, The general manager would exit the room leaving the multi-time Tag Team Champion looking on disappointedly.

Overall Rating = 85.2%

Thoughts: Again another good segment, this time working on the previous. Edge continues to impress and pulled off what we were aiming for almost flawlessly, that being the cocky heel character. Heyman was great as usual.

Segment 3 (7 Minutes)

Angle: Authority Books 1 vs. 1 Match

Smackdown would officially begin next with the pyros exploding and the commentary team of Michael Cole and Tazz welcoming the hot Texas crowd. They weren’t long to speak before the music of General Manager, Paul Heyman inevitably hit the arena. Heyman triumphantly strides down the aisle and into the ring, he is quick to get on the microphone and address the crowd.

Paul Heyman: ‘Good Evening…Good Evening. And let me, the Smackdown General Manager, Paul Heyman be the first to welcome you all to a brand new Smackdown! Tonight, we will take the Wrestlemania Tag-Line and put it into fruition…Tonight for Smackdown is where it all begins again! And what better way to make a fresh start than to address the man who overcame the odds at Wrestlemania, to address the WWE Champion…Eddie Guerrero!’

‘Viva La Raza’ would hit as the WWE Champion, Eddie Guerrero would make his entrance coming to the ring in the traditional low-rider. Eddie was severely bandaged up and had apparently not fully recovered from his Wrestlemania triumph over Kurt Angle not to mention his match with Triple H last Monday. Nonetheless, Eddie would enter the ring to a clap from Paul Heyman and stare the General Manager down.

Paul Heyman: ‘Welcome Eddie, Welcome and I must say…For a man that has been through the wars as of late you…’

Eddie would angrily grab Heyman by the collar and sway the microphone in his own direction to speak.

Eddie Guerrero: …Cut the crap, Heyman. The fans and I want to know one thing and that’s who…just who will I be facing…who is the number one contender, holmes?

Heyman innocently persuades Eddie to let him go and backs off from the hasty champion before getting back on the microphone.

Paul Heyman: ‘Eddie, Eddie. Such an impatient man. You know ‘essa’, I’m sick of you’re lack of disrespect to me, The Smackdown General Manager. I’m damn sick Guerrero! So maybe Eddie, Maybe you should just keep you’re cool or I just mightn’t tell you you’re challenger is huh…how would you like that? No, of course you wouldn’t so with all due respect Mr. Guerrero why don’t you just keep you’re little ‘Viva la whatever’ act and let me get down to business like a true businessman should…can you do that Eddie? Can you?

Eddie looking pissed decides to keep his distance from the powerful Heyman who continues to talk.

Paul Heyman: ‘…Good. Now as I was saying, Tonight is a very special night, a night of new beginnings on a new Smackdown and I, Paul Heyman…I am proud to announce the man who will challenge Eddie Guerrero for that WWE Championship at Judgement Day. I, Paul Heyman am proud to announce you to…

Before Paul can spew out the words the people are waiting for, he is interrupted by the music of Edge. Edge would appear on the aisle causing confusion amongst the arena. He would slowly walk down the aisle and into the ring sided by Heyman looking confused as the next man. Edge would then begin to speak on a microphone he had brought to the ring.

Edge: ‘…Paul, please. As much as I hate to interrupt you, I think you’re making the wrong decision here. Now I know you’re a wise businessman, Paul - No doubt about it – but you’re not making the right choice here. I mean, none of these fans wants to see Eddie Guerrero defend the WWE Championship against someone like Chris Jericho, Kane or Kurt Angle…Not one of them, not at least when I of all people should be receiving the title shot. I was the centre of the title picture Paul, I was the title picture but by hook or by crook I was never given the opportunity to hold the WWE Championship…That, Paul…That is a travesty! I am Championship material Mr. Heyman, I am the poster boy for the next generation of Sports Entertainment and the Smackdown brand…Eddie Guerrero, Eddie Guerrero is nothing…’

It would be at this point that Eddie would snap and approach the cocky challenger getting face to face with Edge. The two would begin to shove one another putting heads together ready for blows. Heyman protecting his investment as always, snapped the microphone from Edge and stopped the two from taking this any further.

Paul Heyman: ‘Stop It! Stop this at once…If…If either of you two lay a finger on each other…you’re…You’re both suspended! And you, Eddie Guerrero…I’ll have you stripped of that title faster than you can say so! …Now back off…both of you!’

With neither man succeeding to punk one another out, Edge would back off as Heyman would begin to speak again.

Paul Heyman: ‘Edge, first and foremost you have no reason to be here nonetheless interrupt me. Now I told you, damn it…I told you that this decision was my decision. I am the man responsible for Smackdown and I am the man that will be responsible for my Judgement Day main event god damn it! …So at Judgement Day, You Eddie Guerrero will be defending the WWE Championship…’

Heyman is again interrupted, this time by Eddie who produced a microphone of this own.

Eddie Guerrero: ‘Whoa, Whoa…Hold it holmes. I’ve got a suggestion for you essa…You see me and the fans are keen to see just how our pal Edge here will pull up in the main event…But no, no holmes I’m not talking about Judgement Day…I’m talking about tonight! What I’m proposing is that you put off naming you’re challenger for the Pay-Per View and concentrate on tonight holmes!

Heyman would pause to think about the new proposal, as Edge and Eddie looked keen for a fight. A smirk would appear on the face of Heyman as he began to speak again.

Paul Heyman: ‘Alright Eddie, I’ll tell you what. …Tonight its gonna be, Eddie Guerrero in a non-title match-up against…Edge! And Edge, if you win - I Paul Heyman, will allow you to fight for Eddie Guerrero’s WWE Championship at Judgement Day! How’s that for fair?’

Both men agree to the terms and engage in a brief stare down before each man leaves.

Overall Rating = 86.7%

Thoughts: More progression on the Eddie vs. Edge match with Edge getting some serious heel heat from the champion. His egomaniac routine seems to be working pretty well as the three’s battle of words made a good filler.

Segment 4 (10 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Number One Contendership For The

WWE Cruiserweight Championship

The Hurricane vs. Jamie Noble

In our first match of the night, The Smackdown newcomer Hurricane would take on the former cruiserweight champion for the rights to challenge the current in Chavo Guerrero. Fresh off a successful defence in the cruiserweight open at Wrestlemania, Chavo joined commentators Michael Cole and Tazz for the bout. First out was Jamie Noble to a good heel pop and then Hurricane to an equally as big face pop. The two put on a clinic as far as actual wrestling is concerned with submissions playing a key part in the match. It seemed the specialist; Noble had the upper hand for the most part of the match working on the legs of The Hurricane with a variety of holds. Hurricane was able to break free and hit his series of trademark moves, finishing off Noble with the shining wizard for the three count. Throughout the match, Chavo seemed to be rooting for Noble and putting down the Hurricane as a comedy act under all circumstances…Someone obviously hasn’t been watching WCW recently but that’s neither here nor there. Following the match, Chavo Guerrero alongside his father – Chavo Classic who had surfaced mid-way through the match to accompany his son – took to the ring to take down The Hurricane. A brutal attack with the Cruiserweight title belt saw The Hurricane left down in his first night with the Smackdown brand as Los Chavo’s left in celebration.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 65.8%

Match Quality = 85.9%

Overall Rating = 68.7%

Thoughts: A nice match between the two cruisers with the only downfall being the lack of crowd involvement. Chavo did quite a good job on colour commentary and really built towards a feud between himself and The Hurricane.

Segment 5 (5 Minutes)

Interview w/ Tag Team

Following the match the cameras would again cut to the backstage area. Standing by was rookie WWE Interviewer, Josh Matthews with the Team of Booker T and Rob Van Dam. RVD did most of the incoherent speaking and was the one to complain about the team’s forfeiting of the Raw Tag Titles. He told Book not to worry as he has secured them a match for the vacant Smackdown Tag Titles up next. Booker didn’t seem to care and refused to show much reaction to Van Dam’s good news.

Overall Rating = 81.7%

Notes: Rob Van Dam ended up rambling during the interview. Josh Matthews did a good job as interviewer, and helped lift the segment.

Thoughts: A good interview despite the involvement of RVD who occasionally lost his place, luckily enough he was over enough with the crowd for them not to realise. Booker hinted heavily towards a heel turn barely speaking on the downside. Young Josh Matthews continues to impress as an interviewer and announcer.

Segment 6 (3 Minutes)

Interview

After being informed of the Tag Title Match up next, Cameras once again caught up for an interview this time with Scotty 2 Hotty. Scotty stood by Rue who appeared to be filling in as an interviewer. He told her that tonight although without Tag Team partner Rikishi, Scotty would secure a Tag Team Title victory along with his mystery partner.

Overall Rating = 79.2%

Thoughts: Good to see the charismatic yet underused, Scotty 2 Hotty on the microphone – a rare instance within itself. Scotty put on a good interview and actually got the crowd interesting in his mystery partner, which more or less fitted the aim of the interview to the tip.

Segment 7 (11 Minutes)

Regular Tag Match

WWE Tag Team Titles

Booker T and RVD vs. Scotty 2 Hotty and (?)

First out were RVD and Booker with that god awful new music of theirs, following them was Scotty going solo and standing on the aisle by himself doing his little dance routine. Rather than entering the ring, Scotty stood by and bowed as the lights cut only to hit his music again as his partner made his welcomed return, that being Grandmasta Sexay! The New Too Cool would dance around for a while before actually beginning the match in which Grandmasta and RVD would start. A back and forth match saw Too Cool score a number of almost upsets against the favoured team. Booker got his opportunity to make an impact half-way through the match with the hot tag that saw him clear the ring of both Too Cool members. After hitting the scissor kick on Grandmasta in the ring, Book made the tag to Van Dam who hit the five star frog splash for what would have been the three count had Grandmasta been the legal man. Instead Scotty attacked Booker on the outside throwing him into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Too Cool double Teamed Van Dam until Booker made the save. Referee Charles Robinson backed Booker off into his corner allowing for the trademark ‘Too Cool Elbow’ on his partner for a two count. As Booker begged for the Tag, RVD extended his arm but was pulled back by Scotty. A stiff enziguri later and a weakened Van Dam was still stretching for the Tag as was Scotty on the opposite side of the ring. Grandmasta was tagged in as RVD lept for his corner to surely make a tag…no. Booker jumped off the apron to the outside ignoring the Tag gesture of his partner. RVD literally looked shocked as he had now no-one to turn to but a Scotty 2 Hotty bulldog. Booker watched on as Scotty hit the Worm and then Grandmasta with the Legdrop. The duo covered Van Dam for the three to secure another Tag Title victory, Rather than caring for his loss…Booker simply laughed from the aisle at Van Dam as the two engaged in another heated staredown.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 72.2%

Match Quality = 81.4%

Overall Rating = 75.4%

Notes: The lack of heels hurt the crowd a little, as they had nobody to boo.

Thoughts: An average match that could have been a lot more. Grandmasta and Scotty got back to old ways and the nostalgia effect got them a good face pop. Neither team played the heel and so the crowd reaction died, The Booker heel turn at the end could have came across more effectively than it did but was still a success in my books.

Segment 8 (5 Minutes)

Angle: 1 vs. 1 Bikini Contest

Torrie Wilson came to the ring in nothing but a robe and got on the microphone claiming that because her and Sable won the playboy evening gown match at Wrestlemania against Miss Jackie and Stacy Kiebler, she would give the fans a special little treat tonight. She removed the gown to reveal herself wearing a bikini that left nothing to the imagination. Sable’s music hit and the creature emerged in a gown of her own, she came to the ring and got on the microphone saying that Torrie did indeed have a great body but there was one diva in the WWE who had better and that was her, She removed her robe to reveal herself in another skimpy bikini. The two got into an argument and agreed to let the fans decide, the fans – male especially – went nuts as the music hit for each women. Despite there being no real difference in the cheers, Torrie was declared the winner and celebrated.

Overall Rating = 86.0%

Thoughts: Your typical non-wrestling women’s crap on Smackdown. The eye-candy went down well with the crowd and Vince, I can almost here Lawler’s perverted ramblings from here.

Segment 9 (10 Minutes)

Angle: Highlite Reel w/ Kurt Angle

Chris Jericho came to the ring next as the monkey’s set-up his set for the Highlite Reel. Jericho welcomed the fans to what he called ‘Smackdown is Jericho’ to a huge pop as both he and his guest were extremely over. His guest was Kurt Angle. The two got into the interview and treated it like you’re typical feud kick-start…which it was. Jericho asked Angle how it felt to be outsmarted by Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania. Angle said that Eddie did none of the sort and that Eddie could not outsmart him even if he were the dumbest man on the planet.

Kurt Angle: ‘Outsmart? …Me? …Eddie? What the hell show were you watching Chris!? Eddie Guerrero couldn’t outsmart me if I were the dumbest man on the planet, which indeed I am far from. Eddie Guerrero did not outsmart me, he out cheated me and rather than playing my game at Wrestlemania he chose to through whatever pride he had left out of the window and cheat to beat me.’

Chris Jericho: ‘Well Kirk…’

Kurt Angle: ‘Kurt’

Chris Jericho: ‘Kurt. …It sounds to me like the baby doesn’t like his bottle. Well you know what, that’s just too damn bad. You were beaten for the one, two, three. You were not out wrestled, you were not out cheaten…You were beat and quite frankly I don’t think you can accept that.

Kurt Angle: ‘Excuse me Jericho but where were you on Wrestlemania? Where you wrestling for a title as prestigious as the WWE Championship…Where you wrestling for a title at all? No, you were battling in the under card Jericho and why? Because you let yourself go. Think back two years Chris, two years and you were Main-Eventing Wrestlemania, the grandest show of them all…You were defending you’re undisputed Championship against Triple H in a match that many considered the match of the century. And now look at you, you’re not in you’re prime…You’re presenting this half-assed talk show in front of these morons! You’re not a main-eventer…You’re a failure.

It was this that really ticked Jericho off as he attacked Angle yelling out profanities like only Y2J can as he laid the boots into the Olympic Champion. Jericho teased Angle waiting for him to turn around into a Chair-Shot but Angle ducked and hit Jericho with a low blow to seal the deal. With Jericho down, Angle tore apart his set in front of him including the unbelievably expensive Jerichtron 5000 as Y2J could do nothing but watch on from the aisle.

Overall Rating = 92.9%

Thoughts: A Fantastic Segment as expected from two of the most charismatic workers in the world. The two-showed great chemistry together in a key moment of they’re memorable feud.

Segment 10 (8 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Steven Richards vs. Charlie Haas

The commentary team were quick to point out how deeply effected both men in this next contest were effected by the draft lottery, Steven Richards being separated from his ally and suggested partner, Victoria and Charlie Haas losing his Tag Team Partner in Shelton Benjamin. Frustrated at this, Haas took to Richards like a house a fire showing a darker side to Haas. The cult hero, Richards put on a contest himself but was not enough to steal the win from Haas after tapping out to the Haas of Pain.

---- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 67.3%

Match Quality = 81.6%

Overall Rating = 74.7%

Thoughts: Somewhat of a filler but again aimed to put Charlie over as a legitimate singles wrestler which I believed it did. Richards didn’t appear to be happy about the loss but we felt it went down well regardless.

Segment 11 (5 Minutes)

Angle: Open Challenge

The ever so controversial, John Cena would take to the ring next with his U.S. Championship in hand. Dressed in the city’s colours, Cena would get on the microphone to cut another one of his raps.

John Cena: ‘Yo, Yo, Yo…the docta is in the house and thuganomics? Its my game…’

‘John Cena don’t give a damn what show go through change’

‘Smackdown? Raw? It don’t matter’

‘The show that’s got John Cena…It’s the main course forget the platter’

‘So we dropped a lil’ extra baggage and The Undertaker, he not here’

‘Hell, neither is Lesnar…We all know he’s queer!’

‘You see there ain’t no denying Smackdown is the better show’

‘Without John Cena, Smackdown’d had to go’

‘Paul Heyman? Eric Biscoff? They all want a shot’

‘Ain’t neither of ’em got what I got!’

‘I’m the franchise baby, U.S. Champ through and through’

‘I’ll knock y’all senseless to y’all asking who’

‘John Cena, I’m for real, I ain’t no prick’

‘Anybody disagree in here…You can suck my…’

As Cena holds us the microphone, signalling the crowds part a familiar music would interrupt. That of vintage Lance Storm who little behold would make an entrance. Storm himself would get on the microphone and begin to speak in his usual boring dialogue.

Lance Storm: ‘…If I can be serious for a minute.’ *Crowd Boos* ‘You know, that is exactly within the context to what I am referring to. You people sicken me. You all obviously have no idea of what wrestling is supposed to consist of and rather than by cheering a legitimate athlete and respected citizen in myself…It seems you ignorant individuals out there would rather cheer this preposterous moron in the ring. John? …Isn’t it? I’m sure it is. You see John I used to be a fan of yours back when you made your in-ring debut against Kurt Angle. You were in my eyes everything a wrestler should be, straight up and down to business. You even reminded me of a younger Lance Storm, John. However John, You let yourself go and in order to communicate more with this audience you took on a different role and went down the route filled with controversy. You let go of your roots John and you become nothing more than a comedy act when in reality you could have been much more…You perhaps may have been the next Lance Storm had you played you’re cards right. Now John I’m not here strictly on a personal note, I’m here on a business request. I realised just moments ago that you were not scheduled for a match tonight and nor was I. Therefore it occurred to me that perhaps I may serve as a challenger for that U.S. Championship of yours…A title that I’ll have you know, I revolutionised as the Canadian Championship. Nonetheless, I would like to prove to you that not only are my Raw cohorts that of superior athletes to those of Smackdown’s but also that I still am what many consider to be a role-model for the next generation of Americans and Canadians today. What say you, John?’

Cena would laugh momentarily; he would straighten up his posture and re enact Storm before accepting his challenge.

John Cena: ‘What Say you John, old boy? …What say me!? I say Its on like Donkey Kong Biatch!’

After further agreement from Lance, the match was set as both men entered the ring in an intense staredown, the U.S. Title match just seconds away.

Overall Rating = 82.2%

Thoughts: Cena appears a bit dry with the whole Rap act but is still getting over with the crowd. Lance delivers the goods on the microphone going back to his roots with the whole Un-Americans charade.

Segment 12 (11 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

WWE U.S Championship

John Cena © vs. Lance Storm

Storm played the heel well in the match working his legitimate athlete gimmick and applying a barrel-full of submissions to the rookie U.S. Champion. As a result the match came out as somewhat slow but watch able nonetheless. Lance looked to have the win secured about half way through the match as he capitalised on an enziguri counter with a Boston crab. Keeping the hold, Lance seemed determined to steal the win as Cena struggled to break free. As he reached the ropes, the referee made Storm break the hold. Focusing on the same leg for the remainder of the match, Storm appeared as the superior wrestler in terms of technical ability. The veteran out-wrestled the youngster in many ways until finally throwing the match as a result of Cena’s Five Moves of Doom…Those of course being, the shoulder-block to F-U combination. This led to a near-fall before Lance could secure his leg on the ropes. Frustrated, Cena took to the outside picking up his U.S. Title belt and brining it into the ring before Brian Hebnar forced him to drop it. From there came Storm who inadvertently hit the referee knocking him out cold. A stiff DDT later and Storm was down giving Cena just the right amount of time to line up the challenger to a cheap belt shot for the three count as the ref regained consciousness. Following the match, Cena celebrated until the irate Storm extracted some revenge with a belt shot of his own. Storm laughed over the fallen U.S. Champion, posing with the Championship belt before leaving the ring.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 79.4%

Match Quality = 84.3%

Overall Rating = 84.9%

Thoughts: A decent match with the two showing some good chemistry. Lance felt after the match that Cena still had a lot to learn and that some future work together might secure that. We agreed and the two’s feud was further stabilised.

Segment 13 (8 Minutes)

Regular Tag Team Match

Jindrak and Cade vs Billy Kidman and Paul London

Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade fasten they’re seatbelts on they’re Tag Team push here on Smackdown kicking off with a win over the resident jobbers. The talented Paul London and to a certain extent, Billy Kidman couldn’t even carry the Vanilla Team to a decent match and with the wrong team going over this admittedly wasn’t much of a match. Nonetheless, the heel team picked up the win with a low-blow roll-up following the double team. The crowd didn’t seem to buy into either’s act as they expressed they’re cockiness following the match through a celebration.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 56.4%

Match Quality = 78.7%

Overall Rating = 65.6%

Thoughts: Another McMahon intervention here again, to mine and Paul’s displeasement. Clearly the wrong team went over as London and Kidman continue to be buried amongst the Smackdown ranks. A segment we clearly weren’t happy with but were forced to book nonetheless. Look for the Vanilla Tag push to continue as long as Vince breathes down our necks as he was said to enjoy the work put in by Cade and Jindrak.

Segment 14 (6 Minutes)

Angle: Worker Assaulted, Failed Save.

Kane came to the ring next and got straight on the microphone. He told the crowd that for him, Smackdown was just what the doctor ordered as Kane claimed he was sick of pulverising the Raw opponents. He told the people that he would take over from where his brother The Undertaker left off on Smackdown by tonight taking on the toughest man Smackdown has to offer in a match set up by General Manager Paul Heyman. His opponent sadly was Funaki who didn’t even make it into the ring before being beaten down. Making a mockery over the Smackdown ‘Numba 1 Announcer’, Kane through Funaki into the steel steps and slammed him against the ring post before finally throwing him into the ring. Tossing the cruiserweight around like a rag doll, Kane appeared as vicious as ever, even hitting a huge chokeslam on his challenger. Kane took to the outside and picked up a steel chair, bringing it into the ring. Taking the referee out of the picture, Kane lined Funaki up for a chair-shot when from the crowd came Rey Mysterio. Rey took to the apron before Kane could even realise. Just as Kane set to level Funaki with a chair-shot, the former Kaientai member pointed behind the Big Red Machine to which he turned around into a west coast pop…Or at least an attempted one as Kane held onto Mysterio and in mid-air nailed a Stiff Powerbomb! With Mysterio down, Kane once again lined up the chair this time laying out the luchadore. With the ring looking like carnage, Kane walked off with a look of satisfaction.

Overall Rating = 72.6%

Thoughts: A fair enough segment with Funaki once again playing the Smackdown whipping boy to the new monster heel. A lot of people noted the irony in the ‘taking where Undertaker left off’ speech but we marked it as a mistake on Kane’s behalf. All in all, this secured a push for Kane in the monster role and perhaps another in the form of Mysterio maybe playing the big-hearted hero. I guess only time will tell…

Segment 15 (15 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Main Event

WWE Championship

Eddie Guerrero © vs. Edge

Coming straight off a shoulder Injury, Edge appeared to be in fine form and played the heel character with great passion. A great Pay-Per-View quality match indicates a nice interest in a potential rematch. The action was back and forth with neither man getting the upper hand so to speak. A number of near-falls had the resident crowd biting they’re fingernails at an almost title change. Edge looked to have the win after tricking Eddie and the referee into a false injury claim leading to a cheap shot on the champion. This was however not enough as Eddie kicked out on two and put the pressure back on the challenger, pulling out all the stops with the Gory Special and the vicious Lasso From El Passo, which almost scored a submission victory. The brawl between the two got out of hand and spilled onto the outside floor with Nick Patrick letting it go until there was a decisive winner. Playing possum once again, Edge lay beside the ring-steps until the champion approached him. From there, Edge would take Eddie down with the drop toehold right onto the steel. With the champion out, Edge took matters into his own hands and took a chair from the timekeeper’s position only to be stripped of it by the referee. After a short tantrum, Edge got his head focused back onto the match and launched himself at Eddie only to fall short into the Steel Guard Rail. Eddie continued to slam the challenger, groin-first into the Guard Rail until he appeared to be stranded. It was from there that Eddie showed great agility hitting a Vintage Hurricanrana from the guard rail onto the steel steps causing Edge to wrench in pain. As both men battled to they’re feet the action once again took to the ring this time with a chair and Eddie’s WWE Championship belt added to the equation. Caught with an off guard, accidental Spear the referee was taken down and a shocked Edge left himself open for a huge backdrop. Now in position, Edge lay out cold with the title nearby as Eddie took to the top rope to deliver the Frog Splash! Eddie dove from the top rope across the ring only to find the belt waiting as headfirst, the gold met skull with Edge rolling out of danger. With Eddie battling to his feet, Edge stalked the WWE Champion and ran at him for the spear only to be quickly thrown into the turnbuckle post as a result. As Edge stumbled back, Eddie picked up a steel chair and swung it at the challenger to which he ducked only to have Eddie hit the recovering Referee’s back from behind. As Referee Patrick let out a yelp with his back to the action, Eddie kicked Edge where the sun don’t shine and threw the chair in his direction. As the challenger stumbled, Eddie fell to the ground faking a loss of consciousness. The referee would then turn around and seeing Edge with the chair would disqualify the challenger much to Eddie’s delight. With a win in hand, Eddie automatically jumped to his feet and celebrated with his belt as Edge questioned the referee. As Eddie descended from the Turnbuckle he was met by a post-match Spear showing that his battle with Edge was indeed far from over.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 86.7%

Match Quality = 90.6%

Overall Rating = 88.6%

Thoughts: A great Main-Event that all in all amounted to everything we would have hoped for. With a cheap win in hand, expect Eddie to get his comeuppance as the two’s feud looks to continue.

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Wrestling News Round-Up

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Quick Results

Akio def. Shannon Moore with the help of Sakoda

Sean O’Haire def. Orlando Jordan

Tajiri def. Nunzio

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Rico beat Rob Conway

Test beats Spike Dudley

Tommy Dreamer beats Johnny Stamboli

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Bill Goldberg To Return?

The rumour mill has been flying this week with the most notable news being the rumoured negotiations between Bill Goldberg and the WWE. Goldberg who had worked for the WWE for quite some time reached his contract expiration at Wrestlemania XX following his match with Brock Lesnar. Now, not currently tied down by contract Goldberg is looking for work outside of Japan and sources have said that the WWE are leading the queue. Nothing yet has been signed but Goldberg coming back to the WWE can only be a good thing for either brand during this time of re-tweaking.

WWE to raid TNA talent?

Many sources are suggesting that the WWE have been in contact with many TNA contracted workers to work a number of WWE shows over the summer. TNA appeared to be outraged by this statement and claim that this is not the first time Vince has turned to the independents for talent. The company have only just recently booked they’re workers to an Indy-Exclusive deal cutting they’re ties with ROH among others. Those said to have been spoken to by the WWE are ‘Primetime’ Elix Skipper, Chris Harris and Mr. Aguila who has previously worked for the WWF under the name Essa Rios. At the minute these are only rumours but we’d keep an eye open incase such rumours develop.

Amazing Red to WWE?

Following yesterday’s rumours of a possible TNA steal from the WWE, The Amazing Red has stated that he has indeed signed to contract. Red who works for Indies around the world is well reguarded as a future prospect if he can tone down his high-flying act just a bit in order to further emphasise on his actual wrestling ability. At the minute it is still unclear whether he will show up in the WWE or not with the only source being the kid’s own words.

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Copywrite News Concerning WWE

Rumours of a possible Hardy Boyz reunion were running wild earlier in the week as the WWE’s Copywrite and Trademark renewal details were publicly released. Several wrestlers’ names were trademarked as expected however there were some that came not so expected. The renewal of ‘The Hardy Boyz’ and ‘The Hardyz’ not to mention several other variations were trademarked. Other strange names included ‘Hirohito’, ‘Tyson Tomko’, ‘Luther Rains’ and ‘Mordecai’. Tyson Tomko is expected to be Christian’s bodyguard who has remained un-named since his debut last week, however the other names are not as publicly known.

Ultimo Dragon News

Ultimo Dragon could not make last night’s Velocity show due to his work overseas with Toryumon. Plans were to have the Dragon go over Kyo Dai member; Akio on the Smackdown ‘B Show’ but Shannon Moore later took his place. Sources suggest that the WWE are furious with Ultimo’s actions but as the owner of Toryumon It seemed he had no choice. More on this story as it breaks out.

Draft Lottery To Continue

It has been said that Vince McMahon, the WWE Chairman has felt that last Monday’s draft lottery was so successful he is aiming to make the ceremony an annual event. It has also been suggested that the trades are not yet finished by any means. In an exclusive interview on WWE’s Byte This talk show, Former Smackdown wrestler Hardcore Holly has stated that he will be moving the Monday Nights ending his Smackdown run. Not involved in the trade what-so-ever, it is expected that Hardcore will use the old ‘Contract Loop-hole’ excuse in order to appear on a rival show. What is questionable however is the aftermath of such a trade as Smackdown further seems to be left in the dark on the trade matter.

Ultimate Warrior Rants Again

Former WWF star, The Ultimate Warrior has released an interview on his website. The interview can be viewed here. In the interview the Warrior speaks on a possible WWE return, his squash victory over an early Triple H and also how he could out-rap Macho Man and John Cena put together.

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H2 Pro-Wrestling

The much anticipated show debut of H2 Pro-Wrestling is just around the corner. However such an event is not without change as The Stampede Bulldogs have apparently dropped out of the event. The show is to be headlined by owner, Teddy Hart taking on Jack Evans in what’s sure to be a Spot-Fest. It had also been stated that TARO has been in discussions with Court Bauer to join the company, more on that as it develops.

Backstage Tension in CZW

Apparently things are heating up in the CZW lockerooms with suggestions of backstage politics running rampant. Both Teddy Hart and New Jack are said by an un-named wrestler to be ‘sucking up to the owner’. Both men are considered friends to John Zandig and have recently been suggested into using the friendship for they’re own benefit. In other related news, New Jack has also been involved in a backstage argument with The Messiah. A new member of the booking team, The Messiah had a disagreement with New Jack and the two almost broke out into a scuffle as it has been reported. This cannot be good news for the company and backstage moral in total.

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Preview

After watching his stablemates in Evolution lose they’re huge six-man tag match last week, The Game was outraged until Randy Orton challenged him to do something about it. Flair was quick to step in, telling Triple H that he was no longer champ and is no longer ‘the man’ in his eyes. Challenging Triple H to prove his worth, Evolution forced they’re leader into a match this week to prove that he’s still ‘got it’. His opponent, none other than Smackdown up and comer Shelton Benjamin. Can The Game still hang with the ruthless Evolution? Tune in to Raw to find out.

Following last week’s trades in the draft lottery, Raw is now home to the Deadman. Making a return at Wrestlemania to take out his brother Kane, the Undertaker is in top form and is promised a match this week on Raw by General Manager Eric Bischoff.

Speaking of General Manager Eric Bischoff, many of his associates close to him including Johnny Nitro have stated that the General Manager is furious with the gain of The Big Show through the draft lottery. Show was part of the Raw Roster once before and came into many disagreements with Bischoff before eventually walking out to Smackdown. Now is the ball in the General Manager’s court?

The Eight-Team Tag Team Title Tournament will begin this week with plenty of surprises, already announced for the tournament are The Dudley Boyz, La Resistance and the new-found team of Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno.

After coming off successful last week in the ten-man battle royal, Mark Henry will finally challenge Chris Benoit for the WWE World Championship. HBK Shawn Michaels lost the battle royal last week thanks to Chris Benoit’s distraction, what part will he play in this title match?

For all the answers and more, tune into Raw 9/8 CT on Spike TV

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Show Level: Flagship

Length: 2hr

Time Slot: 9.00

TV Network: Spike TV

Brand: Raw

Tonight’s Location: Oklahoma

Affluence: 50.8%

Interested Population: 47,000

Casual Fans: 35,438

Hardcore Fans: 1,792

Pure Fans: 370

Old School Fans: 2,555

MMA Fans: 578

Women’s Fans: 0

Popularity: 83.2%

Segment 1 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Authority announces Tournament

Eric Bishoff kicks off this week’s Raw as following the opening pyros, the General Manager would make his way to the ring. Bishoff quickly welcomed his new Raw stars and boasts that as usual, Raw came out on top on the draft lottery. Eric also stated that because of the loss of RVD and Booker T, the last Tag Team Champions, the Tag Team Title Belts would be declared as vacant for the time being whilst a Tournament is held starting right about…now. Bishoff would leave to a chorus of boo’s leaving both Raw and the Tag Title Tournament to kick off.

Overall Rating = 71.9%

Thoughts: Standard opener here, Bishoff gained a lot of heat off the crowd and as always done the job on the microphone. Good Segment.

Segment 2 (10 Minutes)

Regular Tag Team Match

Tag Title Tournament (Round 1)

The Dudley Boyz vs. The Basham Brothers

In the first match of the night, The Dudley Boyz cemented they’re place in the quarterfinals of the Tag Title Tournament going over the Bashams. The commentary team pointed out the similarities between the two teams throughout the match including they’re similar styles. Strangely enough, the similar styles did’nt seem to gel and the end product was not what was hoped for. Still a standard match by all means but nothing worth calling home about. The Dudleyz were the better team throughout scoring a number of near-falls and never really losing they’re face as the aggressors. The win was ensured following a 3D on the legal man, Doug Basham. Following the match the Multi-Time Tag Champions celebrated the win taking a step closer to the gold once again.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 66.0%

Match Quality = 76.7%

Overall Rating = 70.2%

Thoughts: We got a lot of criticism from booking the segment. A lot of people argued that the match would be ‘a draw’ within itself, with both teams being top of they’re brands in the past, that such a match between the two would best be saved for Pay-Per-View and not just standard Television. We pushed for it to happen and as expected it wasn’t anything exciting.

Segment 3 (6 Minutes)

Singles Interview

Making his Raw return, Bradshaw came to the ring a little different than expected. Dressed in a black suit, cowboy hat and all, the newly rechristianed ‘John Bradshaw Layfield’ introduced himself to the crowd. Marking himself as an ‘Impact Player’, Bradshaw put himself over to a large extent stating that his venture to Raw was a blessing in disguise and a chance for new beginnings…something of which his interview was heavily emphasising on. JBL spoke on his work as a Financial Analyst and even on his upcoming Financial Radio Show, boasting that ‘all this’ is what money can buy. A cocky yet decent interview that ran into the next segment.

Overall Rating = 75.7%

Thoughts: A good evolution of character in our eyes, Bradshaw showed some charisma at last proving that the new role for him may already be working. Vince is still urging us for a Bradshaw push due to his loyalty and ability to work the WWE style but this segment and the next proved as a compromise for the time being.

Segment 4 (3 Minutes)

Angle: Worker Interrupts, Assaulted.

Just as JBL comes to a close, the old APA music hits and out comes Tag Team Partner, Farooq a.k.a Ron Simmons. Farooq would enter the ring looking at Bradshaw in disbelief; he would eventually get on the mic and question JBL’s new motifs. Bradshaw told Farooq that they’re move to Raw couldn’t have came at a better time, that the APA act was growing stale and that John Bradshaw Layfield felt it to be time for a change. He said that he thought, Farooq of all people would be in support of him. Farooq asks him ‘what about us…the APA?’ to which Bradshaw simply replies ‘sorry’. As a saddened Farooq attempts to leave the ring, he is struck by Bradshaw from behind taking him to the floor. After a number of stiff boots, JBL picks up his former partner once again to deliver the Clothesline From Hell. With Farooq out cold in the center of the ring, Bradshaw would adjust his hat before speaking once again. ‘I always knew you were a selfish son of a bitch, Ron…always. Next week, I’ll show you and these people that I, John Bradshaw Layfield, mean nothing but business when I beat you’re ass for the one, two, three. Now how’s that for an Impact!?’ With those strong emotional words, Bradshaw would leave the ring to his new music waving to the booing crowd along the way.

Overall Rating = 69.7%

Thoughts: Classic turn-on-partner heel turn right from the textbook here, Bradshaw really put himself across as a heel and actually did the job convincing the crowd that he did indeed ‘mean business’. Next week’s match will judge if his wrestling ability can live up to the standard set by the gimmick.

Segment 5 (8 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

The Big Show vs. Christopher Nowinski

First out was The Big Show, making his welcomed Raw return, cheered all the way by the fans as he took to the turnbuckle in celebration. Obviously playing the face, Show waited impatiently for his unknown opponent to arrive. The music of Christopher Nowinski would hit and accompanied by Theodore Long, the Harvard Graduate would make his Raw return. On the shelf for several months with a minor concussion syndrome, Nowinski was back on jobbing duty and provided the literal squash for the returning big man. Theodore Long and his Thuggin n’ Buggin enterprises watched on as Nowinski was picked apart by the giant before eventually being finished by a Choke-Slam. Following the three count, Show celebrated his Raw win as Nowinski lay splattered on the canvas.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 64.8%

Match Quality = 66.0%

Overall Rating = 66.6%

Thoughts: Instant Face Turn~! Hurray! Really in all seriousness, I didn’t expect the fans to buy into Show as easy as they did and I’m actually quite proud of the guy possessing the ability to do so. Nowinski didn’t have to do too much only stand around and sell his ass off to which he did so pretty well. Show’s celebration following the match again hinted towards his face turn as did the following segment.

Segment 6 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Authority Punishes Worker

Just as The Big Show is about to leave, the music of General Manager, Eric Biscoff would hit for the second time this evening. Show looking confused could only watch on as the GM appeared on the aisle, Microphone in hand. ‘Well, Well, Well.’ Said Bishoff. ‘Look who we have here. Come crawling back already Show? Yeah that’s right, I haven’t forgotten Show…I haven’t forgotten what you did to me when you were last on Raw. Do you remember, Show? Do you remember walking out on me, Eric Bishoff and signing for the rivalled Smackdown brand…Do you? Well I certainly do, Big Show and quite frankly, I’m sick to my stomach of you already. Don’t think you’re in for an easy ride Big Show, by all means. You’re matches here on Raw aren’t gonna be a walk in the park, You wanna go picking on people smaller than you like poor Chris Nowinski here? Well tough luck. Next week I’ve got a special challenge lined up for you, a challenge that I’m not gonna unveil just yet. I guess all that can be said Show, is good luck and enjoy the rest of Raw this week and next because I know Show…I know I will.’ With the strong words, Bischoff left the confused Big Show to ponder who his opponent will be as he left for the back.

Overall Rating = 77.2%

Thoughts: Great Segment with both men delivering the goods as usual. Not only was Show surprisingly over as a face but he even drew more heat towards Bishoff. Promoted next week’s match well with the mystery opponent and all in all did everything as planned.

Segment 7 (10 Minutes)

Regular Tag Team Match

Tag Team Title Tournament (Round 1)

Val Venis and Rico vs. Rikishi and Rosey

Now on the other side of the bracket, these two teams battled for a place in the quarterfinals. First out were Val and Rico, the makeshift jobber team who were unaware of they’re opponent’s tonight. A mysterious jungle beat played next, the old theme music of ‘The Islanders’ as the shocking reformed team of Rikishi and Rosey made they’re way to the ring. Both men appeared to be victim of a huge makeover, Rikishi wearing his old ‘Bad-Man’ get-up shades and all whilst Rosey dressed more like his old Three Minute Warning Character. Nonetheless, the team captured they’re old flame and worked well with one another getting loud heat from the crowd signifying they’re planned heel turn. Rico made the match more of a comedy segment playing on his gay antics with both opponent and partner even demanding a Stinkface from an angry Rikishi, rather than deliver Rikishi nailed the Ambiguous Rico with a running Knee with attitude. On the other side of things, Val attempted a Fisherman Suplex on the legal man that was Rosey only to be thwarted by Rikishi’s interference. The duo would then hit Val with a stiff Double Team Suplex-like manoeuvre before Rikishi finished him off with a Rikishi Driver. Following the match, The now-dubbed ‘New Islanders’ laid the boots into they’re opponents.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 71.2%

Match Quality = 76.5%

Overall Rating = 78.5%

Notes: Val Venis has gone through with the proposed gimmick change. Rosey has gone through with the proposed gimmick change.

Thoughts: Decent Match but really only used as an extension to the gimmick-alignment change of The New Islanders. The new gimmicks seem to have gone down pretty well with the crowd also with them really buying into the heel act once again.

Segment 8 (5 Minutes)

Interview In Ring

Christian and Trish Stratus took to the ring next accompanied by they’re ‘Problem Solver’ Tyson Tomko. Christian was first to speak and stated that although last week, Y2J Chris Jericho won the battle inside the steel cage; It was Christian that had won the war. Christian stated that Jericho simply took his ball and went home, that he had arranged his move to Smackdown before the draft lottery even took place. Trish also went in on saying that Jericho was smarter than she thought and rather than sit around getting his ass kicked by the superior athletes that are herself and Christian, He abandoned ship before any serious damage was done. The duo then pondered what was next on they’re agenda with both suggesting at possible title reigns in aid of naming themselves the WWE’s golden couple. As the two spoke on, a familiar music hit interrupting them…

Overall Rating = 69.4%

Thoughts: Good work again; both Christian and Trish played convincing heels on the microphone with Tomko just standing there looking intimidating. Solid Interview.

Segment 9 (5 Minutes)

Angle: 1 on 3 Assault

…Hardcore Holly would unexpectingly make an entrance to Raw, coming onto the aisle and ruining Christian’s little party as he described it. Holly got on the microphone and said that earlier this week, his contract with Smackdown had effectively ran out and that he just signed a new one with Raw! Holly told Christian that he better watch himself now that he’s here and that if he thought Chris Jericho was a pain in the ass, He ain’t seen nothing yet. Christian responded by asking Holly to prove himself and Holly did so by walking down the aisle. Christian and Trish would hide behind the behemoth, Tomko as Hardcore persistently slide into the ring. As both men stood face to face, the tension grew until they tore into a battle. Holly appeared to be getting the clear advantage until Christian added to the scuffle and even then the Alabama Native took matters into his own hand striking Christian and almost nailing the Alabama Slam before Tomko made the save. Christian and Trish exited the ring as Tomko beat on Holly, he eventually whipped the former Smackdown star into the ropes only to come to the receiving end of a huge dropkick knocking the ‘problem solver’ flying. With the ring cleared, Holly celebrated as Christian and his ‘Inner Circle’ watched on.

Overall Rating = 65.8%

Thoughts: Holly didn’t really come across too well as a face and played the Bad Ass role a little too effectively killing any signs of cheers towards him. His battle with Tomko drew a few cheers from the crowd but not enough action soon gave way to the inevitable silence. Still an average segment that did the job in drawing interest to a potential Hardcore vs. Christian match.

Segment 10 (6 Minutes)

Interview

Backstage WWE Interviewer Todd Grisham stood by ‘The Game’ Triple H and his idol and Evolution team-mate, ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. The two spoke with great chemistry on whether or not Triple H has still got it. An emotional interview that was altogether effective in putting over the former Champion. Hunter promised that tonight he would defeat Shelton Benjamin and kill any chance of the kid breaking through the glass ceiling. Triple H promised that we have not seen the end of him or his title reigns and that his Evolution era was indeed far from over. Flair did most of the talking in the interview and helped Hunter keep on track throughout.

Overall Rating = 93.1%

Notes: Ric Flair helped Triple H during the interview.

Thoughts: Fantastic Interview from both men and truly one of the best in a long time from any man. Flair proves that he’s still the man and Hunter proves he’s still got the charisma that got him his push in the first place.

Segment 11 (15 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Triple H vs. Shelton Benjamin

In the most hyped match of the night, Triple H indeed proved that he still had ‘it’ and pretty much everything else under the sun. Although coming out on the losing end thanks to a Ric Flair botched interference, Triple H gave the match his all and pulled out an astonishing match at that. Credit where credit is due also goes to the rookie Shelton Benjamin who showed some of the best potential in a long time. For the match, the sixteen time world Champion, ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair joined the commentary team for some outstanding commentary on his own part. In the ring the action was non-stop, the cocky Triple H attempting to prove to the rookie that he had no chance in the big leagues only to be shocked with his out-wrestling. Truth be told, Hunter could have had the win in the early stages but rather he chose to continue to punish Shelton, repeatedly taking it to the youngster. In the end however, Shelton gave it his all showing a side of his idol and former WWF star Sting by hitting a variety of the man’s moves. Just as Shelton took the advantage, Triple H snuck a chair into the ring with the referee being momentarily distracted by Flair. Charging at the rookie, Triple H swung the chair down as Shelton dove out of the way. Ricocheting off the ropes and into the Game’s face, the chair effectively cost Hunter the match as he stumbled into a schoolboy roll-up. After securing his feet on the ropes for extra leverage, the unbeknownst referee counted the three and declared Shelton as the winner. Following the match, Shelton hightailed it up the ramp as a rampant Triple H went wild in the ring even attacking the referee. Shelton celebrated his victory as an irate Triple H watched on from the ring.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 83.8%

Match Quality = 84.8%

Overall Rating = 83.2%

Thoughts: A fantastic match that will truly go down in the history books as one of the greatest upsets of all time. Triple H done the job clean-ish for once and demonstrated a respect-worthy performance. Shelton displayed great agility and potential to hang with even the top stars, a future main-eventer in my eyes. Although upset about putting such a young star over, Triple H seemed confident with Shelton’s progress even when talking to him later in the night.

Segment 12 (3 Minutes)

Angle: Stable members argue

Following the commercial break and endless amounts of replays, J.R. and King assess the situation before camera’s immediately cut to the back stage area into the Evolution lockeroom. Security guards are holding both Triple H and Ric Flair back as both men appear to be arguing. Randy Orton would then step in and tell both men to chill out. Randy promises and assures both men that win, lose or draw…Evolution will still make an Impact tonight if he has anything to do with it. He tells Triple H to cool off and leave it to the rest of Evolution as he leads his stablemates off.

Overall Rating = 85.6%

Thoughts: Again, another great segment. Hunter and Ric have some great chemistry together whether they’re on the same page or not. Orton proves to be a decent asset within the stable also playing the usual cocky champion that he is.

Segment 13 (9 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Rodney Mack vs. The Undertaker

In only his first match since Wrestlemania XX where he returned to battle his brother Kane, The Undertaker took back to action against Rodney Mack. Theodore Long watched on from the commentary table as The Deadman made his entrance with Paul Bearer by his side. Taker didn’t take too long in squashing Mack and didn’t sell any offence whatsoever. In the end it was The Undertaker who finished Mack off with the Tombstone for the three count to which he celebrated his victory by worshipping the urn.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 61.0%

Match Quality = 76.9%

Overall Rating = 63.2%

Thoughts: Another standard squash with The Deadman getting up to his old tricks once again. Solid enough match between the two with The Undertaker being the clear aggressor and fan-favourite throughout.

Segment 14 (6 Minutes)

Angle: Stable assault Worker

Just as The Undertaker is about to make his leave, Batista slides into the ring and attacks the returning deadman from behind. The Undertaker begins to fight back pummelling at the Evolution Enforcer until Randy Orton changes the odds by applying himself to the brawl. Flair even takes out Bearer and the Urn on the outside before joining the scuffle in the ring. Taker fights back as much as he can but falls victim to the numbers game as all three stomp away on the deadman even allowing Orton to hit the RKO. As the vultures lay in the boots to the fallen Undertaker, one man comes to the save…THE ROCK. Coming sprinting down the aisle is the Great One who takes it to all of Evolution, striking Flair and even mocking The Nature Boy’s signature strut. After nailing a spinebuster to Orton, The Rock takes out Batista over the ropes leaving The Undertaker to revive himself in time to hit the Chokeslam on the Intercontinental Champion. With Evolution cleared from the ring, The returning Rock and The recovering Undertaker grab a microphone between them and begin to address to fleeing stable…

Overall Rating = 87.4%

Thoughts: Good stuff again, Orton getting some serious heat amongst the rest of Evolution. The Rock’s save really got the crowd going as he and The Undertaker joined each other in the ring for the first time in years.

Segment 15 (4 Minutes)

Interview

With the microphone in hand, The Rock ran down on Evolution like only the people’s champion can. The Undertaker got in the occasional word with his signature catchphrases as both men promised revenge on Evolution. The Rock challenged Batista, Ric Flair and Randy Orton to a Wrestlemania Rematch pitting Himself and Mick Foley, The Rock and Sock Connection against Evolution…One Last Time, Right here next week! Before the match was set in stone it seemed one man had something to say about it…

Overall Rating = 91.7%

Thoughts: Not much to say, The Rock is great as usual on the microphone and The Undertaker proves to be a nice inclusion for the meantime.

Segment 16 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Authority books 4 vs. 4

Eric Bischoff would interrupt the great one asking him just who in the hell did he think he was booking matches around here. Bischoff stated that although The Rock and Sock Connection sounds like a good idea, He has a better one. And as punishment for interfering and attacking The Undertaker, Evolution would all be in action next week. In one corner Bishoff announces it to be Triple H, Batista, Ric Flair and Randy Orton and in the other…The Rock, Mick Foley, Shelton Benjamin and The Undertaker!!! After booking the monumental match, Bishoff would make his leave as would the others.

Overall Rating = 88.9%

Thoughts: Huge announcement from Bishoff really promoting to the crowd next week’s match, should draw a lot of viewer’s if used right.

Segment 17 (12 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Chris Benoit © vs. Mark Henry

In the main event of the night, Number One Contender Mark Henry as of last week took on the current reigning WWE World Champion of Chris Benoit. In a surprisingly good match, the two battled back and forth until the interference of Shawn Michaels caused a stir-up. Michaels who had been previously sited at the commentary table, made his presence felt by grabbing the leg of Benoit almost costing him the title to a near fall following the World’s Strongest Slam. Benoit would later lock in the crossface as a counter to Henry’s military press, keeping the hold applied until the big man reached the ropes. As Benoit turned round he was struck by a stiff chair shot from none other than Shawn Michaels causing a shocking DQ victory to the champion. Michael’s having effectively ruining what was shaping up to be a good match took to Benoit even laying out the champion with his own championship belt. As Raw went off the air, a bloody and beaten Benoit was left to stare at a smirking Shawn Michaels half-way up the aisle.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 81.2%

Match Quality = 73.0%

Overall Rating = 84.3%

Notes: Mark Henry has gone through with the proposed gimmick change.

Thoughts: Henry was still sluggish in the match but his variety of counterable moves and Benoit’s ability to counter such moves made this a watchable match. HBK’s interference cemented his heel turn and made the two’s rivalry just that more interesting leaving Raw to go out on a high note.

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OK. Have to say, awesome diary, I love the style it is written in, the thoughts are great at the edn of each segment.

The Big Show/Bischoff storyline could be could and also the angle involving Edge and Eddie, keep it up, can't wait for the next show :D

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OK. Have to say, awesome diary, I love the style it is written in, the thoughts are great at the edn of each segment.

The Big Show/Bischoff storyline could be could and also the angle involving Edge and Eddie, keep it up, can't wait for the next show :D

Thanks for the feedback, Its greatly appreciated. :thumbsup:

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Wrestling News Round-Up

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Bret Hart signs WWE Deal

We can now officially confirm that Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, former WWE champion has signed a deal with the said company. For years the tension over the Montreal Screwjob has questioned rumours of a possible return but recently in his public meetings with Vince McMahon a deal has apparently been signed. An inside source has stated that Bret will come back to an on-screen role as an authority figure set to oppose Eric Bishoff, much like the Stone Cold character before his untimely departure. It is unlikely Bret will take to the ring again but many argue that in-ring or out, Hart is and always has been a draw. Expect ‘The Hitman’ to debut in the upcoming weeks.

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Media Bookings

Raven will be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on 13th April.

Mick Foley will be appearing on Late Night on 15th April.

Rob Van Dam will be appearing on Regis and Kelly on 12th April.

Mike Tennay will be appearing on The Late Late Show on 22nd April.

Edge will be apearing on The Late Show on 12th April.

Booker T will be appearing on The Tonight Show on 19th April.

Edge vs. Eddie for Backlash

It was reported earlier that the shedualed Backlash Main Event will be Eddie Guerrero defending the WWE Championship in a rematch against Edge. The two recently fought a great match on Smackdown to decide whether or not Edge would challenge for the title. Allthough Edge lost the match, it is expected that Paul Heyman will have a part to play in his rematch.

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield in Line for Push?

Bradshaw’s new gimmick as a trash-talking, cocky financial analyst has apparently went down as a hit in WWE offices. Bradshaw has been recently getting good heel responses at House shows and even on last night’s edition of Raw where he debuted the gimmick on national television. The idea originally pitched by Bradshaw himself and enforced by Bruce Pritchard may gain the Texan a huge push on the Raw roster beginning next week with his program against former partner Farooq.

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Christopher Daniels PWG Head Booker

The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels, world renowned as one of the best indy workers not to work for the WWE, has secured his standing as part of the PWG Administration team. The company Pro Wrestling Guerilla that is own by a number of East Coast Stars runs straight out of California. Daniels is perhaps the companies biggest draw was offered the position of a booker role just yesterday and has reportedly taken the opportunity. Daniels follows a recent trend among worker’s recently as just some time ago D’Lo Brown and Steve Corino aligned themselves in booker roles with FWA and JAPW respectively.

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Preview

Last week on Smackdown, Edge and Eddie Guerrero battled to a breath-taking match in our main-event. Set out to prove to Paul Heyman that he is worthy of a World Title Match at Backlash, Edge gave it his all but in the end was out-cheated by Guerrero. This week, Edge hopes to gain revenge and furthermore prove to General Manager, Paul Heyman that he is a worthy candidate.

Also making its debut last week was Chris Jericho’s Highlite Reel with none other than Kurt Angle as his guest. Angle and Jericho soon broke out into a vicious brawl so much so that Chris Jericho won’t be able to make it to Smackdown this week. Rather than calling off this week’s Highlite Reel, Kurt Angle has promised he will take Y2J’s place this week and steer the show into the right direction.

In a true shocker of last week, Booker T walked out on Team-mate Rob Van Dam costing the duo the Tag Team Titles. This week, Booker T promises he will reviel all and prove to the world that he is better than his former partner if he chooses to get in his way, this is one confrontation you don’t want to miss.

Following his rampage last week, Kane still reckons he is the best choice for a title shot at Backlash. How will Rey Mysterio feel about this?

All these answers and more this week on Smackdown!

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Show Level: Flagship

Length: 2hr

Time Slot: 8.00

TV Network: UPN

Brand: Smackdown!

Tonight’s Location: Quebec

Affluence: 59.0%

Interested Population: 48,000

Casual Fans: 33,072

Hardcore Fans: 1,344

Pure Fans: 4,523

Old School Fans: 4,284

MMA Fans: 756

Women’s Fans: 851

Popularity: 90.0%

Segment 1 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Worker asks For Favour, Rejected

In a similar start to last week, the cameras find they’re way into the office of Smackdown General Manager, Paul Heyman. Heyman appears to be briefing through a document of some description until Edge dramatically arrives, standing in the doorway. Paul asks can he help Edge as the returning star begins to speak for himself once again. Edge says that he is outraged at Eddie Guerrero in the fact that he had to cheat in order to win they’re non-title match last week. Announcing that he is sick of Eddie’s cheating ways himself, Heyman agrees with the youngster and admits that the only way to beat Eddie Guerrero is not to out-smart or out-wrestle him…but to out-cheat him. A tough lesson that Edge has just recently learnt. Edge wonders and asks Paul if he has yet to choose a candidate for The World Title Match at Backlash to which Paul simply replies ‘No’. Edge once again tries to convince the General Manager that he’s his man for the job but without giving him a definite answer announces that he was just on his way to the ring to sort out the matter. Edge follows Heyman to the ring, curious of his decision.

Overall Rating = 86.2%

Thoughts: Edge leaned more towards the Tweener role in this segment, one that quite resembles his old Edge and Christian Routine, A shift that was vital for tonight’s show. Heyman as always played a convincing heel and seems to work well with Edge under his wing.

Segment 2 (7 Minutes)

Interview

Accompanied by Edge, General Manager Paul Heyman would triumphantly march to the ring. The two would stand in the ring with Heyman doing the talking, cutting a badass promo on Eddie Guerrero. Heyman stated that he was suffering from a sickness, that he was sick of Eddie Guerrero and his cheat-to-win tactics. Heyman told the fans, to a heat-filled response albeit, that Eddie Guerrero was not a champion to be proud of and that rather, he is one to be ashamed of. He told the fans that the real championship material was the guys like Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar and even Edge. He stated however that those three men all had one thing in common, they we’re cheated. Cheated by Eddie Guerrero and cheated out of a much deserved Championship Reign. He promised that at Backlash, things will be different and that whomever he chooses to face Eddie Guerrero one thing is for sure…He will be in they’re corner to see them capture Eddie’s World Title. On the subject of the number one contender, Heyman runs down through the likely candidates. He says that he once doubted Edge but last week, his mind was changed so much so that he was impressed with him. He admits that Edge is now worthy of a championship reign but says he broke a bond between the two in breaking his promise of an Eddie Guerrero defeat. Heyman says he would just love to grant Edge with a title shot but such a thing can no longer happen thanks to his loss last week. An outraged Edge pleaded with the General Manager, promising he could beat anyone set in his way to which produced a smirk on the GM’s face…

Overall Rating = 83.6%

Thoughts: Great Promo from Paul that again pushes the odds against the babyface champion in the build-up to the Pay-Per-View. Again there’s a lot of chemistry between he and Edge and that paid off greatly in this segment.

Segment 3 (2 Minutes)

Authority Books 1 vs. 1 #1 Contendership

…Anyone? Responded Paul. ‘Anyone’ said Edge. The words Paul Heyman undoubtedly wanted to hear. ‘Well in that case, Edge you got yourself a match tonight…A number one contendership match.’ The very idea bringing some colour back into the cocky Edge’s face. ‘Only you’ll be facing another man that’s new to Smackdown, one that is undefeated since his arrival…One that I hope you’ll agree with me, made a very impressive debut last week.’ The colour faded, Edge looked like he had seen a ghost and Paul, Paul said the words Edge did not want to hear…‘You’ll be facing Kane’. The expression of Edge was priceless, one side of his face happy at a potential rematch with Eddie Guerrero and the other in sheer terror at the thought of a match with Kane. Edge begged with Heyman to reconsider another opponent, questioning if Kane was mentally stable to be wrestling but it all had no effect. Set in stone was the Main Event as Heyman left the ring.

Overall Rating = 87.6%

Thoughts: Edge was gold in the segment with his facial expressions speaking louder than words ever could; Paul was once again great on the microphone.

Segment 4 (8 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Grandmasta Sexay vs. Mark Jindrak

With the severe lack of Tag Teams on the Smackdown side of things, crash course irrational booking seems to be the only option. Fresh off a Smackdown return and Tag Title win, Grandmasta Sexay took to the ring for some solo action with Scotty nowhere to be seen. His opponent was another Smackdown newcomer, Mark Jindrak who was accompanied by his Partner, Garrison Cade. The two battled back and forth with Jindrak eventually scoring the pin following the distraction from Cade on the outside. The announcers as instructed worked the whole thing off as a Number One Contender Match and thus giving Jindrak and Cade a Title Match in ten days time at Backlash. Following the match, Jindrak and Cade looked to extract more punishment on the Tag team veteran but it was Scotty 2 Hotty who made the save in the end even delivering a WORM to Garrison Cade sending the challenger’s running.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 68.0%

Match Quality = 75.6%

Overall Rating = 74.7%

Thoughts: Like I said, Crash Course booking was our only option. Still not a terrible match by any means and I guess the build-up could be slightly worse.

Segment 5 (5 Minutes)

Interview

A pre-taped interview next saw Mordecai make his Smackdown debut. Previously Seven/Kevin Fertig of the Disciples Of Synn back in OVW, now rechristened, he seemed to work the occult routine finding himself dressed in a white robe in front of a table glowing with gothic candles. He talked in a rather deep, evil voice and spoke on the sins of the many people in the wrestling world. He promised that he would make an impact and cleanse the Smackdown roster to they are once again clean of they’re sins whether that means punishment or not.

Overall Rating = 68.6%

Thoughts: The concept itself was introduced by Vince McMahon, who reported stole the gimmick from ‘The Fallen Angel’ Christopher Daniels, and the promo written by the writers. Not much of our involvement whatsoever only to dedicate it some time. The gimmick itself seems promising the only question is whether or not the big guy can wrestle come his debut.

Segment 6 (10 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Chavo Guerrero Jr. © vs. Nunzio

Casting all logic aside, Nunzio was his week’s challenger for the Cruiserweight Strap with The Hurricane a.k.a The Number One Contender nowhere to be found. Chavo worked his regular heelish act with Chavo Sr at ringside and dominated Nunzio for most of the match. The two worked around submissions rather than the old-fashioned high-flying with both men putting on a clinic with some impressive holds and manoeuvres. As cocky as ever, Chavo often found himself shocked to be on the receiving end of some of Nunzio’s moves but still took out whatever fight was left in the challenger. In the end however, the match would reach a full on stop as with the referee distracted Chavo levelled Nunzio with the Cruiserweight Title Belt. Before he could take advantage, Chavo was met by the interference of The Hurricane as the two brawled in the ring sending the bout into a No Contest. Even after the bell had rung all four men broke out into a fight and with no clear sign of stopping, Referees and Senior Officials were sent to the ring to break it up. It was then that for the second time, and not the last, in the night that Paul Heyman would make his presence felt…

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 67.8%

Match Quality = 84.8%

Overall Rating = 79.4%

Segment 7 (2 Minutes)

Authority Punishes Worker

Paul Heyman would make his way to the aisle in order to address the happenings; he begins by sarcastically thanking Hurricane for what was otherwise a Smackdown quality match. He says as punishment, Hurricane can kiss his Number One Contendership goodbye and that tonight he would be facing Chavo Guerrero Classic to determine who’d be facing Chavo Guerrero Jr right here next week for the Cruiserweight Championship. Heyman wished the two the very bets of luck as he left the match to get underway.

Overall Rating = 85.0%

Segment 8 (7 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Number One Contendership For

WWE Crusierweight Championship

The Hurricane vs. Chavo Guerrero Sr.

With Nunzio and Chavo Jr taking to the outside, Hurricane and Classic were left to get it on in the ring. The match begun slowly with a collar and elbow tie-up with Classic still showing that even at his age, a legend can still go at it. Working away on the Hurricane’s weak knee, the veteran showed great psychology but not enough to top the challenge of The Hurricane. Hurricane instead battled back hitting a variety of his signature moves on the much heavier Chavo Classic. As Hurricane took the advantage Chavo Jr made his presence felt, helping his father by grabbing the leg of Hurricane from the outside. His interference was met however by Nunzio who attacked the reigning Cruiserweight Champion only to be cast aside and later into the ringpost. Meanwhile in the ring, Classic took control once again pulling out all the stops even hitting an impressive moonsault on the superhero. The tide would again switch in the closing minutes with the Hurricane hitting the Hurrislam on the challenger before ascending the turnbuckle. Leaping with his cape and all, The Hurricane would attempt a cross body block on Classic but would instead be caught and swung around into a power slam accidentally knocking out referee Nick Patrick. With all three men down, Chavo Jr again injected himself into the match attacking The Hurricane even laying him out with The Gory Special, a move passed down through his own family tradition. With Hurricane out for the count, Chavo Classic made the cover unaware of his son’s interference and shockingly got the three count crowning himself Number One Contender for the Cruiserweight Championship. Following the match, Chavo Classic’s Ego took over as the Veteran celebrated his victory ignoring Chavo Jr’s request to raise his arm. Hurricane on the other hand, retreated up the aisle not quite knowing what had just happened.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 63.6%

Match Quality = 83.2%

Overall Rating = 75.3%

Thoughts: At first I was a little sceptical about making Chavo Classic the Number One Contender through Vince’s intervention but all in all the segment worked out pretty well, lets just hope this isn’t going where we think its going.

Segment 9 (9 Minutes)

Angle: Worker takes over Talk Show

With the Highlite Reel set, set-up in the ring and Chris Jericho apparently being absent from the arena tonight it meant one thing…Kurt Angle. The cocky Angle following his confrontation and brawl with Chris Jericho last week took over The Highlite Reel and took every verbal cheap shot he could at Y2J Chris Jericho. Angle took it upon himself to crown himself the new king of talk-shows stating that he could do a better job of this than Jericho any day of the week. Angle would speak for quite a long time before finally positioning himself on Chris Jericho’s chair and making himself comfortable only to be interrupted by the man himself…

Overall Rating = 93.0%

Thoughts: As previously predicted this would turn out to be a fantastic segment. Angle is comedy gold as usual and proves to be one of the, if not the most charismatic men in our sport. Excellent build-up on the Angle/Jericho situation and works perfectly into our next segment.

Segment 10 (4 Minutes)

Angle: 2 on 1 Assault

Chris Jericho appeared on the Aisle and Angle was shaking in his boots, heavily stitched up from last week Jericho did not look pleased that Angle had chosen to take over his show. With his actions speaking for himself, Jericho did’nt take long to run towards the ring engaging into a stiff brawl with Angle. This week it was Jericho that took the advantage, throwing Angle into the turnbuckle and ripping off his shirt in a fit or rage. As he looked to level Angle with another stiff right hand, Jericho was met with a clothesline from behind taking him to the ground. Looking up he saw a man almost twice his height and of muscular build, a monster by all proportions. Unknown to Jericho and the WWE fans, the man physically dismantled Chris Jericho with a little help from Kurt Angle who he seemingly had aligned himself with. With Jericho left out cold on his set for another week, Angle and his mystery accomplice left the ring.

Overall Rating = 74.1%

Thoughts: Decent enough segment, the fans didn’t respond too well to the mystery attacker though as he just seemed like another WWE Big Man, more will be revieled on that next week.

Segment 11 (8 Minutes)

Interview

Booker T took to the ring next in order to give an explanation to his actions of last week. Booker explained all and said that he was not happy with his move to Smackdown, that he thought of Smackdown as the Minor League to Raw’s Major. He said that he was always capable of much more than what he received and that not once in his WWE career was he used to his full potential. He hinted towards an air of racism towards his character also before going on to blaming Rob Van Dam. Booker said that he respects RVD as a person but as a wrestler he admits that RVD can no longer cut it. Booker says that he always has been and always will be the better team member and that he could out-wrestle and beat RVD any day of the week. He refers to his actions last week as a sacrifice that in the long run will be better for both men. He says he had no choice but to dump RVD like he did and that if the situation presented itself, he’d do the exact same again. Booker finishes by announcing that in ten days time at Backlash, he will go one on one with RVD in order to make an example out of his former friend but pauses in order to question himself stating, ‘You know what sucka…why wait?’, with that said Booker would proceed to calling out Rob Van Dam to which he would get his answer…

Overall Rating = 86.5%

Segment 12 (8 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Booker T vs. Fake Rob Van Dam

As RVD’s music continues to play, Booker put son a frightened face in the ring. Rather than the real Rob Van Dam making an enterance, it turns out to be a fake RVD complete with attire and wig. The fans know the fake RVD to be Shannon Moore and don’t buy into the match in the slightest booing both men. From the start it was obvious that Shannon never stood a chance as Booker dominated the full way through mocking RVD at ever opportunity he could get even stealing some of his signature moves. In the end, Booker would pick up an already unconscious Shannon Moore to deliver the Book-End for the three-count. With Booker celebrating his win over the fake RVD, one thing was left and that was an appearance from the real RVD who appeared behind Booker in the ring. Tapping the Five-Time WCW Champion on the shoulder, Booker would walk right into a Van Daminator and the later Five-Star Frog Splash clearing the ring of the Bookerman.

Match Reaction = 67.6%

Match Quality = 80.4%

Overall Rating = 70.8%

Thoughts: Not a bad match despite serving its comedy purpose, more of a storyline based segment but decent nonetheless.

Segment 13 (12 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

WWE United States Championship

John Cena © vs. Charlie Haas

Following his win over Steven Richards last week, Charlie Haas appeared to be next in line for a U.S Title Shot. With his business unfinished with the ring-side Lance Storm, Cena was always distracted in keeping an eye out and thus gave Haas an unneeded advantage. The two put on a good back and forth match with Cena almost tapping out to the Haas Of Pain a quarter way through the match. In the end however, Cena took firm control and hit his Five Moves Of Doom even laying out the challenger with an F-U. Before he could get the pinfall however, Lance Storm took it upon himself to cause a Disqualification attacking Cena with his United States Title Belt. As Lance locked in his signature version of the STF, Haas brought a chair into the ring and looked to be torn between decisions. Lance with his back to him was completely unaware of his presence until he turned around and in shock fell to his feet. As the crowd cheered Haas on to get Storm with the chair, Haas shocked them all with a Swerve nailing the U.S. Champion right in face busting him open. Having aligned himself with Storm and satisfied with the damage done, the duo left the ring and the fallen U.S. Champion.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 77.4%

Match Quality = 80.2%

Overall Rating = 78.2%

Thoughts: Good match, killer ending in my book. Haas’s Tweener – Heel turn worked out perfectly by aligning himself with Storm and added even more fuel to the fire of the Storm/Cena fued.

Segment 14 (4 Minutes)

Angle: Authority Books 2 vs. 1

Following the commercial break, Haas and Storm celebrated backstage by the snack table until they were attacked from behind by John Cena. Throwing Haas clean over the table, Cena and Storm brawled with each other exchanging right and left-hands until a few near-by Road Agents could break the two up. As the three where held apart, Paul Heyman appeared and got right into the middle of the action telling all three men to cool it. He announced that next week, Lance Storm and Charlie Haas would be teaming up to take on John Cena and a partner of his choice with the added stipulation that if Lance’s team were to win he would challenge Cena for the U.S. Title in a rematch at Backlash. Heyman then asked Cena what will it be to which he simply replied, ‘John Cena don’t need no partner’ making next weeks match a handicap match…

Overall Rating = 82.0%

Thoughts: A continuation of the action before the break, easy booking and a decent segment.

Segment 15 (5 Minutes)

Interview

Making his unexpected appearance just before tonight’s main event, Eddie Guerrero came to the ring in his low-rider and got on the microphone. Eddie stated that even though he was given the night off and told by Paul Heyman not to go near his planned main event, he wouldn’t miss Edge getting his ass kicked for the world and that tonight he’d be sitting right at the commentary table to get a first class view of the action next.

Overall Rating = 91.5%

Thoughts: Simple and effective booking, Eddie goes against Paul’s orders and adds more tension to the main-event.

Segment 16 (15 Minutes)

No Disqualification

#1 Contendership Match For

The WWE World Championship

Kane vs. Edge

First-Class Wrestling Action in our main event showing that there’s still plenty of gas in the Smackdown tank. Edge played the cocky tweener underdog to Kane’s Monster Heel and did so effectively. Surprisingly the match was back and forth with neither man gaining a clear advantage as once one man did, the other struck back occasionally with the addition of weapons. Edge pulled out all the stops as he usually does when Main-Eventing and to a certain extent carried Kane at least so much as he put on a better performance. No disrespect to Kane however as he also put up a great fight for the most part doing his usual no-sell of a lot of Edge’s offence. Eddie put on a dramatic voice-over on commentary, seemingly very anxious of either man pulling out a victory. In the end however it was Edge’s ego that led to the Champion’s interference. With Kane out following a vile chair-shot in the ring, Edge took to the outside and got in the face of Guerrero even showing as much disrespect to spit in his face, a step to far by all means as Eddie struck the cocky challenger extending himself into the fight. As the two brawled, Kane soon got back to his feet and took out not one but both men. As Kane and Edge battled on it would be Eddie’s interference that would ultimately signal the end as a missed chair-shot on Edge saw Kane fall victim. Momentarily shocked, Eddie stumbled into a Spear from Edge who made the cover on the fallen Kane to secure his title shot at Backlash. After the match had ended the action heated up as Kane went on a rampage, destroying everything in sight including champion and challenger. As he picked up both Edge and Eddie for a double chokeslam, Rey Mysterio came from nowhere with a West-Coast-Pop taking down Kane and embarrassing the Big Man in retaliation from his actions last week. A four-way brawl would then break out between Kane, Mysterio, Eddie and Edge as Smackdown went off the air.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 90.0%

Match Quality = 80.4%

Overall Rating = 91.5%

Thoughts: Amazing Match with Edge and Kane working a lot better than we had previously thought. The added stipulation of No DQ’s gave way to multiple interferences, which made the match what it was, something clusterfuck finishes rarely do. All in all, An Excellent Main-Event and a good indication of things to come.

Edited by public enemy
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Wrestling News Round-Up

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Smackdown Viewing Figures

The TV figures for last night are now in: WWE Smackdown! drew 904,043 viewers (down by 62,136). The highest drawing segment was the Edge/Kane Main Event.

Christian Signs Contract

WWE Star and former Intercontinental Champion, Christian signed a contract extension just last night signifying that he will stay with the company for at least another year. Christian had announced a few months ago that he wanted to expand his career overseas to get a better taste of the wrestling world but a pay-rise soon caused the youngster to stay with the WWE.

Kevin Nash And A Possible NWO Reunion?

Kevin Nash a former WCW and WWF Champion is probably the hottest free agent in wrestling right now, however there are reportedly already talks of bringing the big man back to the WWE with none other than Scott Hall. This shocking news came early this morning as apparently Vince McMahon has stayed in contact with his former employee since his release all but a few months ago. In the past, the NWO have been problematic but where always a benefiting factor for WCW’s huge rating increase during the Monday Night Wars. Who only knows what could happen if the Klique returned on Raw…

Mystery Man Unveiled

Last week Eric Bischoff announced that as punishment for The Big Show walking out on him he would face a mystery challenger of his choosing. Well, we can now confirm here at grapplefanatics that the mystery man will be one of two candidates. The first suspected challenger is none other than Test. Test has been rumoured to be in-line for his annual push as he has impressed recently with victories on Heat over Maven and Rico respectively says management. Test has also stated that he plans on working with The Big Show in the near future in a recent interview, all the sources seem to make him the number one choice. The number two choice however is much more unknown, a debuting wrestler rumoured to be getting the call-up from OVW and said to be a great future prospect for the company, Bobby Lashley. Lashley is you’re standard big man one of which the WWE have remained high on for the past few months, could he be Eric Bischoff’s special mystery man?

Making The Injured List

We just recently heard that OVW Heavyweight Champion, Matt Morgan has suffered an injury whilst competing for the said company. It is still unclear what the injury is but sources are suggesting Morgan will be out to the start of the summer. Morgan joins the list of recently injured WWE wrestlers such as Scott Steiner, Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho who, all but Steiner, are continuing to work on a slightly toned-down schedule.

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Kid Kash Leaves NWATNA

It is now official that TNA and former ECW star Kid Kash has effectively left TNA. For the past few weeks there has been suggestions of him leaving after an argument with AJ Styles about his ‘over-pushing’ in comparison to his own and several other arguments and disagreements with TNA Management. We can now officially confirm that Kid Kash will not be working for TNA in the near future. Kash who was rumoured to be in negotiations with the WWE for a possible run is seemingly happy about his release and feels he can achieve a lot more away from the company.

Matt Stryker Pulled From ROH Shows

The technically sound Matt Stryker after arriving late to a ROH show has been told to pack his bags from the company. It was informed to us yesterday that following a dispute with management, Stryker will be pulled from all future Ring Of Honor shows. Stryker has also been rumoured recently with a TNA deal as long-time partner, Chad Collyer just recently signed with the company.

‘Hotstuff’ Hernandez To WWE?

You heard it here first folks, TNA and NWA:Wildside star Shawn ‘Hotstuff’ Hernandez has reportedly been in negotiations with the WWE. Hotstuff has been cooking up a storm down at Wildside whilst only reaching jobber status in TNA. If the big man signs with the WWE, chances are he’ll probably end up in OVW for a few months before making it to our screens. Nonetheless, Hotstuff is more than you’re average big man and despite his size is incredibly agile in taking to the air. Hotstuff would make a fine addition to either of the WWE rosters as we here at wrestlecircle wish him the best of luck.

Further News On TNA’s TV. Deal

For months now NWA:TNA have been in negotiations with Fox Sports in order to secure a Television deal for the struggling company. We can now confirm that a deal will indeed be signed within the next week or so. Plans are to continue to use the Weekly Pay-Per-View aswell as the Re-Cap show, Xplosion but lean more towards having the T.V. Show they’re ‘A’ Show. If the deal were to go through, TNA would surely benefit from the exposure and perhaps pull the company out of the current debt it is in.

Trent Acid Returns To ROH

Independent wrestler, Trent Acid whom has made a career as half of the Backseat Boyz Tag Team is now apparently going solo cutting his ties with long-time partner, Johnny Kashmere. The pair in a mutual decision just a few months ago left Combat Zone Wrestling due to a disagreement with management and ever since have been struggling to find work, even pulling out of the H2 Debut show unexpectedly. Now, Trent Acid is signed for the next ROH event without Johnny Kashmere.

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Stephanie McMahon To Return Next Week

You heard it here first folks, following an anonymous tipster we can now confirm that Stephanie McMahon will be returning to our screens as soon as next week. Stephanie was last seen being beaten by her father thus effectively costing her Smackdown General Manager job. Inside sources suggest that not only will Stephanie appear on Smackdown next week but also will have a shocking announcement to make concerning Backlash.

Lance Storm – Retirement?

It has been hinted towards for quite some time both on-screen and on his website but we can now confirm that at Backlash, Lance Storm will wrestle his last match in a WWE ring. Scheduled to face John Cena in a U.S. Title Rematch, Lance will apparently go out with a bang capturing the title on his leave. Inside sources have said that management are very happy with Storm and feel that now is a better time than ever to hang up the boots and pass on the torch to such a younger prospect like John Cena.

Exclusive: WWE Mystery Man Uncovered

That’s right. Wrestling-Heat.com can now officially announce the identity of Eric Bischoff’s Mystery Man without speculating to guesses like so many other so-called ‘rumour-sites’. Some of which say Test, others hint towards a random OVW-er but we can exclusively confirm that tonight’s mystery man is none other than…Goldberg. Yes, You heard us, Bill Goldberg. Following his ‘supposed’ firing from the WWE after Wrestlemania, Goldberg has remained in the shadows apparently staying away from the wrestling world. Well, we can now say that it was all…a hoax and that Goldberg is still under WWE contract ready and waiting to make his return tonight. Don’t believe us? Watch this space as you’ll be shocked when you see it.

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Quick Results

Jamie Noble d. Funaki

Sean O’Haire d. Steven Richards

Billy Kidman, Paul London and Ultimo Dragon d. Tajiri, Akio and Sakoda

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Quick Results

Rikishi d. Val Venis

Jazz d. Nidia

Test d. Maven

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Preview

Last week on Raw following a heinous attack on The Undertaker, Evolution were met by the challenge of The Rock who insisted on a Wrestlemania handicap rematch. Before Evolution could answer the challenge, Eric Bischoff made his presence felt and booked a Main-Event of monumental proportions pitting all of Evolution against The Rock, Shelton Benjamin, Mick Foley and The Undertaker.

Last week also saw one of the greatest upsets in Raw history matching up with the 1-2-3 Kid’s victory over Razor Ramone. Challenged by Evolution to ‘prove himself’, Triple H took on the Raw newcomer of Shelton Benjamin. In the end following an attempted run-in by Ric Flair, Shelton scored the roll-up and will this week attempt to prove his victory was more than a mere fluke. Can Benjamin hang with the top dogs? Tune in to Raw to find out!

Who is Big Show’s mystery opponent? Last week, following a victory over Christopher Nowinski, The Big Show was met by an irate General Manager in Eric Bischoff who assured that the giant would get his just deserves in a match next week. Who is Big Show’s opponent? Only time will tell.

And also, In a shocking development, the newly christened John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield will battle his age-old friend Farooq this week in a match that has been over ten years in the making. With both men as tough as a two-dollar steak, this one won’t be pretty.

For all the action and more tune into Raw 9/8 CT on Spike TV!

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Just one slight problem; Doug Basham is not Damaja. That was Danny.

Doug Basham = "The Machine"/Doug Basham

Danny Basham = The Damaja

Just thought I'd clear that up.

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Show Level: Flagship

Length: 2hr

Time Slot: 9.00

TV Network: Spike TV

Brand: Raw

Tonight’s Location: New York

Affluence: 79.5%

Interested Population: 48,000

Casual Fans: 34,656

Hardcore Fans: 3,696

Pure Fans: 2,615

Old School Fans: 3,643

MMA Fans: 1,414

Women’s Fans: 1,308

Popularity: 78.1%

Segment 1 (1 Minute)

Worker Arrives

As Raw opens up with its spectacular pyros, the camera’s automatically cut to the backstage area. As the commentary team question just what is going on, we are soon to find out as the camera crew turn a corner into a long hallway where at the other end is The Undertaker. Making his arrival at the arena, The Undertaker looks to be in an ‘all business’ mood as he pushes past the petrified stage hands. He quickly goes into his lockeroom and slams the door behind him as Raw officially begins.

Overall Rating = 89.6%

Thoughts: A nice little teaser opening by having one of the most over men on the roster make a short cameo, should keep a few fans tuned in at least.

Segment 2 (10 Minutes)

Regular Tag Team Match

Matt Hardy and Billy Gunn vs. La Resistance

In our first match of the evening, we see advancement in the Tag Team Title picture in this first round tournament match-up. A decent match that was only brought down by the teams involved. La Resistance thoroughly worked they’re Anti-American charade almost a little too much as the fans seemed to concentrate on booing them more than watching the actual match. The team of Matt Hardy and Billy Gunn was an awkward choice and didn’t seem to work well off another, J.R. was quick to point out that both men were multi-time Tag Team Champions and should have the experience factor over the rookie team. Experience, however did not play a part as they match was for the most-part you’re typical paint-by-numbers action with nothing exciting going down either side of the line. Much to the crowds anger, La Resistance went over and advanced to the next round via they’re Double-Team Suplex Slam. Following the match, there was a brief Flag-Waving Celebration with Rob Conway joining his buddies.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 63.1%

Match Quality = 75.9%

Overall Rating = 66.3%

Notes: Matt Hardy is getting very poor crowd reactions because of his gimmick.

Thoughts: Not the worst of matches by a long-shot but for whatever reason didn’t go down well. The fans seemed to tear into La Resistance and they’re cheap heat tactics were seen right through. Billy and Matt didn’t function as well as planned and would perhaps be better served in singles competition once again.

Segment 3 (3 Minutes)

Interview

In the much-anticipated Interview, Shawn Michael’s took to the stick backstage in order to give an explanation to his attacking of Chris Benoit last week. Michael’s played the classic heel revealing all, admitting that he was jealous of Chris Benoit. He accused Benoit of taking the easy way out at Wrestlemania by beating Triple H rather than him and called him a coward on several occasions. The Heartbreak Kid made it clear that there is no one to blame but Chris Benoit himself, reminding the crowd that it was Benoit’s distraction after all to cost him the Number One Contender’s Battle Royal all but two weeks ago. Promising revenge on the World Champion, Michael’s seemed very passionate during the Interview and worked well as a heel. He spoke on for a number of minutes before an interruption cut him off…

Overall Rating = 94.7%

Thoughts: Solid Interview from the challenger clearly marking that himself and Benoit had unfinished business in the ring. Michael’s played the Heel Character flawlessly and put over both himself and Benoit in doing so.

Segment 4 (5 Minutes)

Stable Interruption

Before Michael’s could finish the interview, he is met by Theodore Long backed up by his Playa’s Club of Jazz, Mark Henry, Rodney Mack and the oddball Christopher Nowinski. Doing most of the talking for his group, Theodore congratulated Michael’s on his attacking of Benoit last week. He asked him if he felt good following the attack, if he slept as a happy man that night knowing he got the better of the World Champion. After being told to ‘cut to the chase’ by Michael’s, Long announced that while Michael’s may have been happy…he most certainly was not. He claimed that HBK had not only injected himself into the match last week but had cost ‘his playa’, Mark Henry an opportunity at the World Title. Henry then got into the face of Michaels, shouting his incoherent ramblings of his ‘stank’ and whatnot. Thankfully, Teddy interrupted telling the big man to back-down doing the remainder of the talking himself. ‘Tell me Teddy, Is there a point to all this?’ Michael’s would ask. ‘Why thank you, I was just coming to that’ replied Long as he finally explained himself. ‘You see, playa all but two weeks ago you were tossed over that top rope in dat Elimination Battle Royal by none other than my man, Mark Henry. Now I don’t know if you’ve been reading up on things but that kinda made my man the number one contender, you feel me? You see last week, Mark Henry – The World’s Strongest Man, he got his shot against Chris Benoit. Did this playa win the match? No. He lost. And why did he lose? Because you went and cost him the match…you feelin me?’. ‘Listen ‘Theodore’, I don’t really give a damn what ‘you’re man’ did or did not do…You know why? Because it has nothing to do with me taking that World Title from Chris Benoit, now does it?’ ‘…Playa, you’d be surprised. You see, Mark Henry was the number one contender and thanks to you, he ain’t no more…No-one is. But you see, I just got off talking to Eric Bischoff and that playa, he told me to come tell you about a certain match tonight. He said that tonight, its gonna be Shawn Michael’s against The Real Number One Contender, Mark Henry…Now how about that?’ ‘…So let me get this straight Long, If I can beat that big Son of A Bitch…If I can beat him tonight, I get my shot at Chris Benoit’s World Title?’. ‘You right, playa’ responded Long. ‘…Good. So you tell ‘you’re man’ over there that tonight, HBK Shawn Michaels is going to bring it and that Shawn Michael’s is going to be walking out Number One Contender…Whether you all like it or not…Playa!’. With that said, Michael’s walks off leaving an Irate Teddy Long to deal with his posse as the cameras cut to a commercial.

Overall Rating = 65.3%

Notes: Mark Henry is getting poor crowd reactions because of his gimmick.

Thoughts: A poor segment as the crowd didn’t seem to respond well to the heel vs. heel confrontation. Both Michael’s and Long carried themselves well on the microphone but the inclusion of the stable and the duo’s alignments brought this one down a notch or two.

Segment 5 (7 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

The Big Show vs. Rico w/Miss Jackie

The Big Show would make his way to the ring next following the commercial break, completely unaware of whom his opponent may be. To his surprise it was Rico’s music that hit as the Ambiguous comedy act made his way to the ring accompanied by Miss Jackie. Before Rico could even enter the ring, The Big Show was in hysterics, laughing at the potential thought that it was Rico who was Eric Bischoff’s mystery challenger. Nonetheless, Rico didn’t respond too well and straight off the bat attacked The Big Show from behind to little effect. From then on The Big Show overpowered Rico in everyway imaginable eventually defeating him effortlessly with a Gorilla Press.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 74.2%

Match Quality = 73.4%

Overall Rating = 78.1%

Thoughts: The definition of a ‘squash’ I do believe. The match itself was more of a comedy segment than anything but still went down pretty well with the crowd. Neither man played the heel in the encounter but it wasn’t worth much focussing on in the long run.

Segment 6 (2 Minutes)

Authority reveals Bodyguard

As Big Show celebrates his victory in the ring, the music of Eric Bischoff could only mean one thing as the General Manager made his way out onto the aisle. Easy E quickly got on the microphone and dismissed Rico who seemed to be checking him out before hand. ‘…Do you really, think you’d get off that easy Big Show? Did you think that I, Eric Bischoff would make such a fool out of myself by having that laughing stock, Rico be my mystery man!? Oh, Show…I always knew you weren’t the brightest. Rico my mystery challenger? Please, Rico was just you’re warm-up. So without further ado, Let me Introduce to you…My new personal Bodyguard…

Overall Rating = 79.0%

Thoughts: Couldn’t you just cut the tension with a knife? What? Alright already! The Mystery Challenger is…

Segment 7 (5 Minutes)

1 vs. 1 Assault

…Scott Steiner!!!’ Yelled the General Manager as Big Poppa Pump’s music hit the arena. However, rather than the traditional aisle entrance, Steiner made his return sneaking up behind Big Show coming from the crowd. Quickly making his mark, the returning Behemoth attacked The Big Show from behind throwing the two into a wild brawl. Show pummelled Steiner into the corner as Eric watched on only to see his man fight back with a knee. With Show momentarily winded, Steiner shouted at Eric to throw him a chair to which the General Manager quickly did so. One stiff Chair Shot later and the giant was out with Eric Bischoff now laying in the cheap shots like the vulture he is. Locked in the Steiner Recliner with Bischoff screaming ‘…you son of a bitch! That’ll teach you to mess with me’, The Big Show looked to be out for the count. Adding insult to injury, Eric told Steiner to ‘finish him off’ which is what he soon did. Picking up the giant and positioning him towards the turnbuckle, Steiner somehow lifted Show to the third rope to which he proceeded to nail a huge Belly-to-Belly Suplex that had J.R. screaming the ring was broke. With The Big Show fallen, Bischoff and the returning Steiner triumphantly left the ring.

Overall Rating = 80.1%

Thoughts: A decent two segments I thought, Steiner as the mystery man seemed to work out well and his Belly-To-Belly from the top-rope left many a fan in awe.

Segment 8 (5 Minutes)

Interview

In another Backstage Interview, Christian is met with Terri Runnels. It is worth noting, Christian is dressed in casual attire as if not to be working tonight. He is also wearing a cast over his left hand showing that he is perhaps as injured as he says he is.

Terri Runnels: Christian, last week you were met by an unexpected challenge, that of Hardcore Holly. What do…

Christian: Hold up…A Challenge? You call that, a challenge!? …Are you insane? That Terri, last week, that was an assault. Hardcore Holly made his Raw debut by attacking an already injured man and delaying my recovering process by attacking the said hand. Hardcore Holly had no right to show his face during my Interview time, Terri…No Right.

Terri Runnels: Well, Christian be that as it may. Hardcore Holly has issued you with a challenge, a match if and when you are fully recovered.

Christian: What do you mean ‘if’? Of course I’m going to recover, and when I do I’m gonna kick Hardcore Holly’s ass, hell I’d do it right now if I was one hundred percent and he of all people knows that!

Terri Runnels: Well, Christian with all due respect…Why do you think Hardcore Holly has singled you out of the Raw roster and issued you with a challenge?

Christian: Why? Why the hell not!? Hardcore Holly may not look it, but he’s got more brains than we’re led to believe. It’s true, by singling me out…one of the, if not the best wrestlers on Raw and most attractive man in Sports Entertainment, Holly’s got nothing to lose! And the fact that I’m an injured man only adds to my problem…But luckily for me, while I’m still recovering I have a how-shall-we-put-it…A Problem Solver.

Terri Runnels: Well Christian, while that is true you can’t denay that last week Hardcore Holly gave you’re Problem Solver, Tyson Tomko a run for his money…

Christian: A Run for his money? …Dear God Terri, have you completely lost it!? Hardcore Holly caught Tyson Tomko on a bad day last week and he still got his ass handed to him, there was just no competition. Hardcore Holly thinks he’s a such a big man just because on his Raw Debut he attacked a Women, A Crippled Man and they’re bodyguard on a bad day! I mean, c’mon on! Who in the hell does he think he is!? …Hardcore Holly…Hardcore Holly is acting like a spoilt child! Face it Terri, Hardcore Holly is Jealous of me! I mean who would’nt be if you were in his shoes? I’m an attractive, world-class athlete and he’s…well he’s a trailer park albino who gets off on beating on the innocent! …yeah that’s right…I said it! Hardcore Holly…

Overall Rating = 86.5%

Thoughts: Good interview by Christian but really only used to led into the following segment

Segment 9 (2 Minutes)

Attack and Save

Then, From nowhere Christian is attacked from behind by Holly who had apparently been listening all along. Shouting out insults, Hardcore would kick at a fallen Christian, even taking his injured hand and laying in the boots causing the multi-time Tag Champ to yell in pain. Before Hardcore could do any serious damage, he was met by Tomko who had just appeared at the scene alongside Trish Stratus. Tomko and Holly would go at it once again as Trish tended to Christian, the two wouldn’t brawl for long as nearby referees and senior officials broke up the fight. As they were being separated, a fallen Christian picked up the microphone and told Holly that next week he would go one on one Tyson Tomko…A Challenge to which Holly could only smile at.

Overall Rating = 62.1%

Thoughts: Ugh, what is it with good interviews and poor angles tonight? For some reason this segment didn’t quite click as the fans appeared the be sick of Holly/Tomko confrontations already, ah well hopefully it’ll all come to an end after next week.

Segment 10 (5 Minutes)

Interview

In the third interview of the night (wait, isn’t this a wrestling show?), John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield takes to the ring prior to his match with life-long friend and Tag-Team Partner, Ron Simmons a.k.a Farooq. Bradshaw rambles on for quite some time saying nothing of worth and resorting to mostly cheap heat insulting local football teams and the high crime rate. JBL states that ‘if only more men were like him, this world would be a better place’, he also refers to Farooq as ‘Dead Weight’, claiming that for his career he has been held back because of him. Being the Financial Analyst that he is, JBL gives the fans one last stock tip; ‘John Bradshaw Layfield’ claiming that for him business is about to pick up. He says that after securing victory tonight, dropping all of his dead weight, JBL is set on the World Heavyweight Title, something that Shawn Michael’s and Chris Benoit put together couldn’t separate him from. Bradshaw finishes with the phrase, ‘So mark you’re calendars because this is one stock tip you won’t want to miss out on, John Bradshaw Layfield. And just like you’re fat wives, I’m going places whether you all like it or not…’, Quite the catchphrase, wouldn’t you agree? Nonetheless, the old A.P.A music would hit as a reluctant Farooq makes his way to the ring.

Overall Rating = 77.9%

Thoughts: Not the worst of Interviews but the New York crowd came here to see action and so booed him every step of the way, a decent build-up to the match that follows.

Segment 11 (13 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Ron Simmons

In a match that was Ten Years in the making, John Bradshaw Layfield and Ron Simmons took each other to the limits…Unfortunately, they’re limits weren’t that high and this was once again you’re standard brawl-a-thon. The match begin with Farooq backing down from the fight, trying to convince Bradshaw this was not the way to go, even threatening to walk out rather than fight his best friend. Bradshaw on the otherhand was eager to go at it and tried to persuade Farooq to fight him by stopping him from exiting the ring, those tactics did’nt seem to work so in desperation, JBL hit Farooq with a cold slap in the face enough to set any man off which indeed it did. Simmons fought back with a few rights and lefts of his own even hitting a huge shoulder block on the former college footballer taking him to the floor. Bradshaw oversold the hit enough for Farooq to try and console him, only to be struck by another cheap shot. The match was back and forth with a lot of offence and intensity from both men, mid-way through the match Farooq got all fuelled up and exploded on his former friend with a flurry of punches taking him off his feet. The once reluctant brawler was now in full tear even nailing his trademark Spinebuster on Layfield only to get a near three. Bradshaw then battled back even taking the fight to the outside where he used just about anything he could get his hands on to choke the life out of Farooq. The action slowed down with Farooq when they took it back into the ring, the two veterans exchanged blows and rest-holds before finally working up to a vertical base once again. It was from there that Farooq hit a huge backdrop as a reversal shifting the momentum completely. Farooq was first to battle to his feet and got a sudden burst of energy calling for the Dominator, an old finisher of his. As Bradshaw turned around, he hit him in the gut and wrenched him overhead for the deadly finishing manoeuvre. Bradshaw however was able to wriggle out and fall behind the Georgia Native, giving him enough time to run off the ropes nailing a stiff Clothesline, dubbed ‘The Clothesline From Hell’. With Farooq looking to be out cold, Bradshaw choose to inflict more pain, picking up his fallen friend and nailing a stiff powerbomb. Smirking to the crowd and showing no sign of remorse, Bradshaw picked up the already unconscious Farooq for another Clothesline to which the referee had no choice but to call for the bell. Bradshaw had shown no mercy and as a plea to get him to stop for both men’s safety, the referee awarded JBL the match and called for the medics to assist Simmons out of the building. With the win in hand, Bradshaw gave a sick grin to the crowd obviously happy with his vicious assault.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 72.6%

Match Quality = 73.0%

Overall Rating = 76.2%

Thoughts: Technically, this was not a great match but given the emotion and toughness of the two, it stands out in my mind as a great battle. Bradshaw’s push seems to have gotten off to a good start with this big win in hand.

Segment 12 (3 Minutes)

Interview

Backstage next to Todd Grisham stood all four members of Evolution. They got on the microphone one after another and addressed they’re huge match tonight, each man ensuring victory. Sadly it was Randy Orton and to a lesser extent, Batista who were made to do the most of the talking rather than leaving it to the truly charismatic Ric Flair or even Triple H. You’re standard interview with each men taking swipes at they’re four opponents.

Overall Rating = 78.4%

Notes: Todd Grisham did a good job as interviewer, and helped lift the segment.

Thoughts: A slight let-down with a lot of the focus going on the youngster, Randy Orton who took every opportunity to cheap shot Mick Foley. The interview itself still did its job but in a lot of people’s opinion could have been a lot better given the group’s history.

Segment 13 (10 Minutes)

Regular Tag Team Match

Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno vs. FBI

In the second Tag Title Tournament Match of the night, the new-found team of Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno took on Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli, The FBI. Prior to the match, a recap was shown of last week’s heat in which Tommy Dreamer picked up a win over Johnny Stamboli. Following that match, Dreamer was assaulted by both members of the FBI but saved by the debuting Rhyno, a former ECW star along with Dreamer. Given the slight history between the two, both teams worked off it pretty well with Dreamer still selling slight signs of injury. A decent match that saw both teams pull out the stops with the eventual win going to Tommy Dreamer following the Dreamer Driver on Palumbo whilst Rhyno gored Stamboli on the outside. Following the match, Rhyno and Dreamer celebrated the next step to the Tag Titles until the run-in of Rikishi and Rosey put a quick stop. Rikishi and Rosey, who will face Dreamer and Rhyno in the next round, pounded on the team softening them up for they’re match next week at least until they were ran off by The Dudleyz who also made they presence felt on the matter by saving they’re former ECW pals.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 69.6%

Match Quality = 77.6%

Overall Rating = 80.0%

Thoughts: A decent enough match with the finish being the only real highlight. Rhyno and Dreamer seem to function well as the makeshift Tag Team afterall.

Segment 14 (1 Minute)

Worker Warms Up

Backstage we see Shelton Benjamin, who fresh off a huge upset last week over Triple H, will play a big part in the Eight Man Tag Team Match Tonight. Shelton appears to be warming up doing several stretches and manoeuvres for his match shortly.

Overall Rating = 79.6%

Thoughts: Decent Enough Segment, No Complaints here.

Segment 15 (13 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Shawn Michaels vs. Mark Henry w/Theodore Long

HBK didn’t seem to be in top form tonight and didn’t really carry Mark Henry to as great a match as expected. Michael’s was looked upon as the dominator in the match, gaining most of the offence over a man almost twice his size, which cost both men a lot of credibility. Another factor was the lack of legitimate faces, Michael’s was shown to be the bigger heel and Henry was pushed towards the tweener role, which the crowd failed to accept him as. Quality wise, the match was all right but nothing special with both men failing to wrestle to they’re full potential. Mid-way through the match, the referee was taken out of the equation being accidentally squashed in the corner by Henry. This then led to the interference of the World Champion, Chris Benoit who was quick to make an impact locking HBK in the Crippler Crossface to which he was instantly to tap out. As Benoit turned around, he met face to face with Mark Henry who was torn between his next move. Benoit instructed him to lay down the huge splash on Michael’s to which he had to reconsider before eventually doing so, getting the three count and the win in the process. Following the match, Benoit raised Henry’s hand as the clear winner as if the big man had made a shocking face turn…this was however not the case as Henry was quick to lay out Benoit with a clothesline, motioning to him that he will be the next champion.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 75.8%

Match Quality = 69.0%

Overall Rating = 74.6%

Thoughts: A lot of people didn’t see the swerve at the end with both the Benoit run-in and the failure of HBK to win the match. A lot of criticism was issued as to what was the next step with Mark Henry as the number one contender but we assured the situation to be answered by the next show.

Segment 16 (3 Minutes)

Interview

In the final Interview of the night and just minutes away from the main event, cameras caught up with The Rock N’ Sock Connection who tonight would team up with The Undertaker and Shelton Benjamin to face Evolution. Terri Runnels again played the part of the flirtatious interviewer as The Rock and Mick Foley cut an intense interview, albeit filled with catchphrases galore. The Rock promised that tonight, Evolution would pay the price for messing with Mick Foley to which Mick Foley himself was quick to back up, ensuring that tonight Randy Orton will get his just deserves.

Overall Rating = 94.6%

Thoughts: A great Interview as expected from two of the most charismatic men in the business today, Added a lot of interest to the already huge Main Event.

Segment 17 (20 Minutes)

Main Event

Eight Man Elimination Tag

The Rock, Mick Foley, Shelton Benjamin and The Undertaker vs. Evolution

In the main event of the night, Evolution faced they’re biggest challenge to date in a match to be fought under Survivor Series Rules. Set to put and end to the rivalries involved, the match did everything but that and instead added un-needed fuel to the individual fires. The action was non-stop from the word go, with Shelton Benjamin’s amazing agility getting the better of the monster Batista. Hitting a huge springboard cross body from the top-rope, Shelton took Batista out for the three count scoring yet another upset for the rookie. Triple H was quick to capitalise on the youngster’s turned back, assaulting Shelton from behind and gaining the automatic advantage. Triple H showed no remorse on the very man he lost to last week and pounded on the rookie beating him to a pulp and isolating him from making the tag to the awaiting Undertaker. Triple H would eventually pin Shelton via a low blow, against all signs of interference now making the match three on three. Next in for the opposition was The Undertaker to which Triple H tried to make the Tag only to have Evolution bail out on him jumping from the aisle away from they’re leaders stretched arm. From here the brawl spilled everywhere with Randy Orton eventually getting disqualified for nailing Foley with the Intercontinental Belt on the outside. Unable to continue the match, an unconscious Mick Foley was quickly pinned by the veteran Ric Flair who was quick to take the advantage. Flair then brawled with The Rock as Triple H and The Undertaker battled on the outside, Just as The Rock looked to have the People’s Elbow Hit, Randy Orton again injected himself into the match despite being eliminated hit the RKO on the Rock, securing the victory for Flair. As the referee tending to the chaos, the match continued with The Undertaker taking on both Ric Flair and Triple H. Shockingly The Undertaker took out both men with a double chokeslam, putting away Flair for the three count in the process. With only the two men left, The Undertaker stalked Triple H for a second chokeslam as The Game staggered into his grasp only to escape nailing a low blow on the dead man and later the pedigree for the three count. As order was restrained, Evolution celebrated until the Rock N’ Sock connection returned to help The Undertaker. Eventually all eight men resurfaced and the brawl continued like no other until referees and senior officials of all descriptions were called out to put an end to the carnage just as Raw went off the air.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 88.2%

Match Quality = 78.0%

Overall Rating = 85.9%

Thoughts: A great match that amounted to everything we could have hoped for, an excellent continuation to all the feuds involved and a great match in the process.

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WOW. Your shows are really awesome, and you can tell that you put alot of effort into them. THe only problem I see (which is the problem with most WWE diaries) is that you have too many superstars on your shows that don't get the airtime that they normally do. GREAT diary though, keep it up.

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I'd like to thank everyone for all the positive comments thus far and as always, Feedback is always welcomed and apreciated.

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Wrestling News Round-Up

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Raw Rating

Last night's WWE RAW show got an overall rating of 79.3%.

The TV figures for last night are now in: WWE RAW drew 902,330 viewers (down by 43,115)

The attendance for last night’s event was 12,979.

Mystery Man Changed

Prior to Raw, we here at Grapplefanatics announced that Eric Bischoff’s mystery man was none other than Test or the distinct possibility of an OVW Graduate rumoured to be Bobby Lashley if anyone. It has been reported that these were indeed the original plans to use one of the two men stated but Scott Steiner was brought in as a substitute to confuse Internet Fans. This of course has not been the first time the WWE have changed something at last minute in order to challenge the internet fans.

Edge and RVD Media Appearances

Both Edge and RVD of the Smackdown brand were featured yesterday on The Late Show and Regis and Kelly respectively. When asked about they’re influences, Rob Van Dam mentioned a number of names but thanked Linda McMahon in specifically for his opportunity with the WWE and put her over heavily in the interview. Edge who was asked the same question, responded that Antonio Inoki the undisputed god of Puroresu was his biggest influence and thus put the NJPW Owner over in great proportion. Take it as you will folks that Edge’s failure to mention anyone in the McMahon family may just cost him his world title push.

Terri Runnels and Chavo Classic on Thin Ice?

It has been said that Interviewer, Terri Runnels and Manager/Wrestler, Chavo Guerrero Sr are on thin ice with the WWE. Both veterans of the wrestling world in they’re own individual aspects, the two’s contracts are set to expire late next month and have turned down recent offers of renewals because of money issues. Sources have said that the WWE are heavily considering not renewing the contracts whatsoever given the lack of gratitude at the minute.

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Hotstuff Hernandez’s Future with NWA:W

Last week, we here at Wrestlecircle informed the general public and Internet fans alike that Shawn ‘Hotstuff’ Hernandez was in negotiations with the WWE. We can now declare those rumours as true as NWA:Wildside have released an official statement, which can be seen here. Nothing has been signed as of yet but it appears the dispute may turn into a bidding war that will determine just how bad the WWE want the big man.

Ken Shamrock to TNA

Former NWA:TNA World Champion, Ken Shamrock has stated in his web-blog that he will be returning to the Tennessee based company over the summer in a full-time wrestling role. Shamrock who had for quite some time been rumoured to be in negotiations with the WWE has now laid it on the table that he will be returning to TNA most likely to continue a programme with Jeff Jarret. Still no news on TNA’s Television deal as of late as discussions continue.

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Bill Goldberg Gone From WWE

Controversy surrounded the Wrestling-Heat studios when we officially announced that Bill Goldberg would be Eric Bischoff’s mystery man last week. Phone calls and E-Mails from WWE headquarters swarmed in demanding to know who let the cat out of the bag. In the end it turned out, the WWE changed whatever plans they originally had to shock the Internet fans and replaced Bill Goldberg with Scott Steiner. Said to be furious with the change of plans, Goldberg walked out of the company early Monday morning and is said to be in high rivalry with the company at this point in time.

Bret Hart To Cost Guerrero World Title

WWF legend, Bret Hart who recently signed a deal with WWE as Wrestling Heat first reported will make his re-debut at Judgement Day. It has been rumoured that Hart will attack Eddie Guerrero, turning heel and aligning himself with Edge and later Lance Storm to reform the Team Canada Stable that WWE now owns the rights to. Be warned that at the minute these are only suggestive rumours but one would’nt be surprised to see Eddie Guerrero vs. Bret Hart as soon as Summerslam.

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Preview

Through Hell and High Water, last week Edge became the rightful Number One Contender for Eddie Guerrero’s WWE Championship. Set to square off in what’s sure to be an exciting rematch, Edge promises to make a statement regarding they’re match this week on Smackdown. What will Edge have to say concerning the two’s match, what ‘special stipulation’ will be laid down? Tune in to find out.

Also in a bizarre twist, Chavo Guerrero Sr scored an upset over The Hurricane declaring him the Number One Contender for his Son’s Cruiserweight Title. This week, Father and Son will collide as Chavo Guerrero Jr defends his Cruiserweight Championship against Chavo Sr…This is one Family Feud you don’t want to miss.

After losing his opportunity at the World Title last week, Kane promises to continue his rampage this week with his sole Target being Rey Mysterio who once again humiliated the big man. With his target set, can Mysterio survive?

Also schedualed this week, the newfound partnership of Lance Storm and Charlie Haas will take to action in a Handicap Match against U.S. Champion, John Cena. With the numbers game to his disadvantage, will Cena hold onto his beloved U.S. Title?

With Backlash just around the corner who knows what will go down on Smackdown this week. One man that will have his eyes surely open is Chris Jericho who last week was assaulted by Kurt Angle and a mystery attacker. With Angle promising to reviel all this week, how will this shape up between the two at Backlash?

All these answers and more, this week on Smackdown!

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Guest Deathblow

awesome diary. i have even started a new game in EWR and used some of your ideas. Nice work. I hope you continue the good work and not flake out like so many diaries before this. :)

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awesome diary. i have even started a new game in EWR and used some of your ideas. Nice work. I hope you continue the good work and not flake out like so many diaries before this. :)

Thanks, that means alot to me and rest assured, I'll try not to 'flake out' in the long-run.

Its been a while since my last update mainly because I like to keep a show ahead of myself as far as booking is concerned. The show following Smackdown is Backlash, and Pay-Per-View's usually take alot more work hence the absence. Nonetheless, I've decided to post Smackdown and keep working on Backlash in the mean-time. I'll also been running a prediction contest shortly for the Pay-Per-View with the winner winning, I dunno a graphic or something...

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Show Level: Flagship

Length: 2hr

Time Slot: 8.00

TV Network: UPN

Brand: Smackdown!

Tonight’s Location: Michigan

Affluence: 36.9%

Interested Population: 43,000

Casual Fans: 32,809

Hardcore Fans: 2,334

Pure Fans: 163

Old School Fans: 2,089

MMA Fans: 774

Women’s Fans: 662

Popularity: 79.7%

Segment 1 (8 Minutes)

Interview

Kicking off Smackdown for the third consecutive week since his return was Edge who alongside Paul Heyman triumphantly made his way to the ring. Paul treated Edge with a lot more respect than he had been for the past few weeks, holding down the ropes for him as he entered the ring and using every opportunity he could find to kiss his ass. Paul began the interview by admitting that he was wrong, he reminded the fans of several weeks ago when he said that Edge was not ‘championship material’ and admits that following last weeks win over Kane, Edge is more deserving of the WWE title than any man on the roster. Paul takes the time to apologise to Edge for ever doubting him as he hands over the microphone. First and foremost, Edge declares that Paul was right and that he was not championship material all but two weeks ago; but that the Edge now and the Edge of then are two completely different people. He thanks Paul and admits that he has changed him for the better and brought him to realise that the world is a sick and sadistic place…full of cheaters and shortcuts as he described. Edge tells the fans that he used to be Mr. Nice Guy who played by the rules but unfortunately in the long run, that didn’t bring him anywhere. He says that thanks to Paul, he has realised that building a good reputation is not everything, especially given the fact that Eddie Guerrero has made a name out of himself for taking on the ways of a common thief! Edge says that at Backlash, he will show Eddie Guerrero first hand just what violence he can produce and finally prove to the world that he is much more than just ‘a pretty face’ by capturing the title that means most. ‘But How?’ Edge would ponder. ‘Sure I can out-wrestle Eddie Guerrero. And Sure, I can compete on levels far ahead of Eddie Guerrero…but what…And I say this in all seriousness…What if he does, what Eddie Guerrero usually does? What if, he cheats…What if he lies…and what if…what if he steals his way to victory once again!? …I will not have it. I am no idiot, Guerrero…I know that for every match you’ve been in, you’ve got a hundred and one tricks up you’re sleave! Is’nt that right Paul? Demanded Edge as his voice raised in tone. ‘You see Eddie, I’ve battled you before…Not just last week but for all my career…For all of my life I have been battling the Eddie Guerrero’s of this world and being pushed aside in the process. Well now Eddie, Now I am ready and at Backlash I will show you just how far a man will go to win that WWE Title! At Backlash, they’re will be nowhere to run…At Backlash they’re will be nowhere to hide…’ shouted the number one contender as a sick smirk arose on his face. ‘At Backlash…Eddie Guerrero…At Backlash, they’re will be no escape. This is more than a match, Eddie, this is my destiny and so, there is no better reason than to dust off that special stipulation they only use every once in a while…At Backlash Eddie, you will have nowhere to run…and you will have no other choice to fight me like the man you are not. At Backlash, this will not be you’re standard run-of-the-mill singles match…oh no, At Backlash with Paul Heyman in my corner, I’m going to embarrass you and beat you inside a fifteen foot high steel cage!’ ‘…Now tell me Eddie, just how you going to cheat you’re way out of this!?’ …And with the stakes raised, Edge would drop the microphone signalling his and the General Manager’s exit.

Overall Rating = 99.0%

Notes: Paul Heyman helped Edge during the interview.

Thoughts: Fantastic Interview with great intensity from the challenger Edge. Although doing little of the talking, Heyman helped the youngster throughout playing the manager role along with the authority figure. Nonetheless, a great job by both men.

Segment 2 (9 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Steven Richards vs. Keiji Sakoda

One of the new fresh faces to Smackdown, Steven Richards took to curtain jerking for tonight for a match of little significance. His opponent was the preferred Tag Team wrestler of Keiji Sakoda who was accompanied by his Kyo Dai stable mate Akio. The match itself got off to a slow start as both men despite being of similar build didn’t know what to do with each other. Doing most of the carrying, Richards was only mildly entertaining when made to look the weaker side. Sakoda was quite unfamiliar with the fans and got a very small reaction, this combined with his domininance for the most part of the match proved not to be a good combination. In the end, the numbers game broke down as the outside interference from his partner actually cost Sakoda the match. Stevie who had taken the advantage was distracted by Akio on the apron, as Sakoda took a dive at Stevie, he accidentally hit his partner only to stumble back into the Stevie T for the three count. Following the match, Richards was attacked by Akio before Sakoda joined in to make it a two on one. With Richards down from the attack, a shocking revelation saw former ECW star Nova make his WWE debut in saving Richards and clearing the ring of Kyo Dai. Shocked at his former partner’s untimely arrival, Richards and Nova celebrated with a hug in the ring as Kyo Dai hit the bricks for the meantime.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 54.0%

Match Quality = 76.9%

Overall Rating = 66.1%

Thoughts: Richards carried Sakoda for the most part in the match with the crowd not really buying into either man’s act. The return of Nova saw a few marks’ scratching they’re heads and could have been handled slightly better.

Segment 3 (3 Minutes)

Hype Video For Worker

Before cutting to a commercial a pre-taped promo was aired, again hyping the debut of Mordecai. Not much was revealed in the promo only a few split-second glimpses of his appearance and even still they were nothing worth calling home about. The promo ended with the date 18th April hinting that he would make his debut this Sunday at Backlash.

Overall Rating = 67.8%

Thoughts: Again, Vince remains high on the Mordecai character who he supposedly created. The crowd did’nt seem to care for this segment proving that it may take a little more effort to get the big guy over.

Segment 4 (10 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Garrison Cade

In continuation from last week where Mark Jindrak picked up a win over Grandmasta Sexay, the other two half’s of the two teams would battle in a bore-fest. Scotty who came to the ring with his Tag Title Belt played the usual stale act of dancing whenever plausible whereas Garrison Cade had the ‘down to business’ look. Unfortunately neither man put on a show and the match itself was a disappointment. Towards the end, Scotty nailed the bulldog and set up Cade for the WORM until he was met from behind by an interfering Mark Jindrak. After costing his teammate the match, Jindrak naturally took out his anger on Scotty with an impressive Tilt-A-Whirl Slam. As the two looked to add insult to injury to the already hurt Scotty, Grandmata Sexay arrived and made the late save on his partner.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 68.4%

Match Quality = 72.0%

Overall Rating = 66.9%

Thoughts: Again, a part of a dull build-up to the Tag Title Match at Backlash.

Segment 5 (2 Minutes)

Interview

Rob Van Dam arrived next and made his way to the ring. Not scheduled for a match, the newly dubbed Mr. Thursday Night got on the microphone and challenged Booker T to a match at Backlash in order to continue they’re on-going feuding. RVD stated that he wasn’t going anywhere to Booker T answered him which could only lead to one thing…

Overall Rating = 76.9%

Thoughts: Interviews were never Van Dam’s strong point as he usually comes across as too false so-to-speak. Not necessarily the worst of interviews given the short amount of time after all.

Segment 6 (5 Minutes)

Interview

Booker T would then arrive at the scene in his casual attire, again not scheduled for a match tonight…Haven’t these guys ever heard of a night off? Producing a microphone, Booker would answer RVD’s challenge questioning his manhood in the process. Booker said he would be glad to prove he is the better man at Backlash but announces RVD has another challenger tonight. This would be the cue for Shannon Moore, who again dressed as ‘Fake RVD’ would then make an appearance. Attacking the real RVD in the ring, the predicted dud match would officially get underway with Booker watching from the aisle.

Overall Rating = 89.5%

Thoughts: Booker shows him how its done on the stick with a strong interview, really a build-up to the following match.

Segment 7 (8 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Rob Van Dam vs. ‘Fake RVD’ Shannon Moore

Surprisingly this was actually a good match…No, really. Shannon and RVD seemed to work well together and had this been more wrestling orientated than comedy, we could have been onto a show stealer. Sadly we weren’t and thus the match suffered. The Real RVD dominated entirely with Shannon only getting little offence, that of which he did were RVD’s moves. Booker watched on as Van Dam took apart Shannon eventually finishing him off with the Five Star Frog Splash for the three count. Following the match, RVD took part in a small celebration before being attacked by Booker who eventually nailed the Scissor Kick. With both RVD and the fake RVD down and out, Booker made his exit.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 62.6%

Match Quality = 82.0%

Overall Rating = 77.3%

Notes: Shannon Moore is getting poor crowd reactions because of his gimmick.

Thoughts: Like I said, not a bad match that would have been a lot better had the emphasise not been on Booker T. Still, a decent build-up to the eventual match between the two.

Segment 8 (1 Minute)

Angle: Two Workers Talk

Backstage, the cameras catch up with The Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero Jr alongside his father and challenger for tonight, Chavo Guerrero Classic. Chavo Jr is running through the plan that his father will lay down for him tonight, thus beating The Hurricane’s plan of a new Cruiserweight Champion. Chavo Classic does not seem pleased and is quick to speak out about it…

Overall Rating = 54.6%

Notes: Chavo Guerrero Sr. is getting very poor crowd reactions because of his gimmick.

Thoughts: Chavo Classic brought this segment down, as he didn’t seem sure whether he was a face or a heel, despite the pitched gimmick we gave him quite some time ago.

Segment 9 (1 Minute)

Angle: Two Workers Argue

…The conversation would then begin to heat up and eventually push would come to shove between the two. Just as it looked for one to make a definite strike, the two announced they would settle it in the ring.

Overall Rating = 59.9%

Notes: Chavo Guerrero Sr. is getting very poor crowd reactions because of his gimmick.

Thoughts: No-one seemed to care for the two’s arguing and again, Classic didn’t quite know what route to go with his new gimmick.

Segment 10 (1 Minute)

Angle: Worker Watches On

In another short segment, the cameras reveal the Hurricane watching on from a monitor and smiling at the two’s bickering, obviously things are falling his way.

Overall Rating = 69.6%

Thoughts: A lot of people questioned the point of the Hurricane and his involvement in the Classic vs. Chavo Jr argument. It wasn’t until later it was explained.

Segment 11 (9 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Chavo Guerrero Jr. © vs. Chavo Guerrero Classic

In a match that had zero interest, The two Chavo’s battled for the Cruiserweight Championship despite one of which not being of the correct weight to do so. Nonetheless, the father and Son showed some great expected chemistry and put on a good varied match of wrestling styles. Unfortunately it was not all good as the crowd hated almost every second of it, again not accepting Chavo Classic as a legit Face or Tweener for that matter. In a shocker ending we saw the title change hands thanks to The Hurricane who took on the referee position after Jimmy Korderas was knocked out in the shuffle. The Hurricane, knowing he would become the rightful contender had the title change hands, dragged the unconscious Chavo Classic over the unconscious Chavo Jr and counted the pinfall declaring Chavo Classic the new Cruiserweight Champion. When both men came to, the irate Chavo Jr refused to give the title to his father and blamed The Hurricane. A three-way argument insured until a settlement was reached by a forth party candidate…

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 54.8%

Match Quality = 79.0%

Overall Rating = 61.6%

Thoughts: The initial idea itself, that being Chavo Classic winning the Cruiserweight Title had been pushed for months. As much as we were against it we came to a compromise and eventually this and the next segment were reached.

Segment 12 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Authority Books Triple Threat

General Manager Paul Heyman would make his way onto the aisle next, and looking rather furious would tear into yet another set of Guerrero’s. He began by asking ‘what is it with you people?!’ before addressing the given situation. Heyman eventually booked the match for Backlash seeing Chavo Classic’s first defense against Chavo Guerrero Jr and The Hurricane in a Triple Threat Match where the champion does not need to be pinned. All three men agreed and engaged in a stare-down before finally making they’re leave.

Overall Rating = 71.6%

Thoughts: And there was our compromise, not a bad angle that does it job of setting another Backlash match.

Segment 13 (8 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Ultimo Dragon vs. Tajiri

In the midst of the Dragon’s mini-push, he has successfully taken out the team of Kyo Dai on the number of occasions. Now faced off with the challenge of they’re leader Tajiri, the two battled in this cruiserweight exhibition. A great match for actual wrestling ability as both men seem to be cult heros in that respect. The crowd however didn’t respond as much as predicted and thus the overall rating was brought down a notch. The match got off the a fast paced start with moves that resembled scenes of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon but unlike much Indy-Spotfests there still remained good psychology throughout. The two exchanged holds with Ultimo playing the part of the sheer professional with Tajiri’s angry and stiff strikes speaking for himself. The two battled on and Ultimo almost outwrestled Tajiri, which undoubtedly angered the Kyo Dai leader. In the end, Tajiri had Ultimo locked in the Tarantula but refused to break it after the five count causing an automatic disqualification through the illegal move. Even after the bell, Tajiri kept the move applied until the two were torn apart by the referee. As Ultimo writhed in pain, Tajiri simply smiled hinting that this rivalry was far from over.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 73.6%

Match Quality = 86.2%

Overall Rating = 73.7%

Thoughts: Great wrestling action in the match but not what the fans came to see, still proved as an excellent reminder that some WWE wrestlers can wrestle though.

Segment 14 (6 Minutes)

Interview

Following a commercial break, the music of Kurt Angle would hit as The Olympic Gold Medalist would make his way to the ring accompanied by the giant Horshu of OVW fame that made his debut last week in saving Angle from the hands of Chris Jericho. Angle cut a lengthy promo and introduced the man as Luther Raines, a Bodygueard/Head Hunter that he hired last week to ensure his safety. Angle told the crowd that he had been hiding a secret, stating that he is still recovering from a minor injury that he received prior to Wrestlemania. Angle told the crowd he knew damn well that Chris Jericho would have to show himself last week after being humiliated by an injured man the week before. He reminds Jericho and the fans that it was Y2J who fired the first shot in this feuding, provoking Angle to attack him on his debut on the Highlite Reel. Again, Kurt runs down on Jericho until the man himself can interrupt…

Overall Rating = 90.7%

Thoughts: Another strong interview by Angle that introduced the fans to Luther and again hinted towards a potential Jericho vs. Angle match.

Segment 15 (3 Minutes)

Interview

Chris Jericho would appear on the aisle with a pissed off look on his face. Jericho would get on the microphone himself and insult Angle and his, as he referred to, ‘Toy Boy’ Luther. Angle would later ask Jericho ‘Who in the hell does he think he is, interrupting him’ to which Jericho challenges him to do something about it, Angle says that if Jericho really wants a shot at revenge he’ll face Luther Raines at Backlash, one on one. Angle says that if Jericho wins, He’ll get an opportunity at Kurt Angle…Injured or not. Jericho agrees and Angle finishes by announcing not only will he be watching on Sunday, but he will be doing so in a referee’s shirt as the Special Guest Referee!

Overall Rating = 96.4%

Thoughts: Good Segment again, Jericho works wonders on the Microphone as usual and actually wants people to spend they’re hard earned cash on a match between him and Luther!

Segment 16 (8 Minutes)

2 vs. 1 Handicap Match

John Cena vs. Lance Storm and Charlie Haas

The dynamic duo and newfound team of Charlie Haas and Lance Storm took on Cena in a match booked of last week. Non-Title, the three men battled it out with Cena coming out on top of the numbers game for the most part. The match itself never officially got underway as only after a few minutes, The Pyro’s of Kane exploded onto the scene as The Big Red Machine made his way to the ring. Unknowing what to do, the referee watched on as Kane dismantled all three men one after another on a rampage effectively putting an end to the match.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 78.3%

Match Quality = 86.6%

Overall Rating = 74.8%

Thoughts: A decent match from what we did see and also delays the potential U.S. Title Match to Backlash. Kane played the monster role by effectively destroying all three men with Choke-slam’s galore.

Segment 17 (3 Minutes)

Interview

With the carnage already unveiled, Kane picked up a microphone to revile his motives. Kane off the ball, demands a match with Rey Mysterio after he embarrassed him last week and claims he will take his anger out on Mysterio once and for all at Backlash. It would be then that Rey’s music would hit…

Overall Rating = 79.7%

Thoughts: Quick and to the point, not a bad interview.

Segment 18 (2 Minutes)

Angle: 1 vs. 1 Assault

…Rey however, was nowhere to be seen as Kane stared at the blank entrance way in anger. Jumping from the crowd came Mysterio, little to Kane’s knowledge. Mysterio would sneak up behind Kane and from the apron would leap with a huge dropkick to the back on the big man’s head, causing Kane to tumble over the top rope and to the outside. Furious, Kane would throw a tantrum pushing the camera man out of the way in anger. Rey however would only laugh before running out of sight from the angry Kane.

Overall Rating = 81.9%

Thoughts: Nice to see Rey getting the better of someone a lot bigger than him, given the right build-up the match between the two could be huge.

Segment 19 (2 Minutes)

Angle: Worker asks for match, Granted

An out of breath Lance Storm catches up with General Manager Paul Heyman backstage, Storm asks Heyman did he see what just happened and eventually demands his shot at Cena. Paul declaring that Storm has caught him in a good mood, grants his match for Backlash against John Cena in an Old School vs. New Match.

Overall Rating = 85.0%

Thoughts: Both men were excellent here, Lance showing his natural charisma that many tend to look over and Paul just being…well, Paul.

Segment 20 (4 Minutes)

Interview

Backstage, WWE Interviewer Rue caught up with the WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero for a few questions. Rue asked Eddie what he thought of Edge’s proposal of a Cage Match this Sunday to which Eddie simply replied ‘It doesn’t matter to me’. Playing the cocky champion as usual, Eddie claimed he could beat Edge in any type of match and that he looks forward to nailing one of the biggest Frog Splashes Ever from the top of the cage. Eddie puts himself over and insults both Edge and Heyman claiming that no man can take the title from him no matter what they’re name is.

Overall Rating = 91.7%

Thoughts: Another great Interview with Eddie showing a darker side to himself to match the new character of Edge.

Segment 21 (13 Minutes)

Regular Singles Match

Non-Title

Eddie Guerrero © vs. A-Train

Making his un-awaited return since Injury, The A-Train is back in action as Eddie’s warm-up prior to Backlash. The focus however is between Eddie and the distraction of Edge who remains on the outside for the most part of the match. Trying to keep an eye on both men, Eddie is at the disadvantage, one of which A-Train is quick to capitalise on. Being cheered on by Edge all the way, A-Train dominates over Eddie for a few minutes using his sheer power to his advantage. Attempting a body avalanche in the corner, A-Train’s weight and power would ultimately be his downfall, falling victim to a drop toe hold onto the exposed steel of the corner. Groggy after the hit, A-Train would stumble back into the Eddie who would attempt the Gory Special, a moved passed down through the generations of the Guerrero Family. A-Train, however struggled to get free and eventually did so taking out the referee in the process. It would be from there that Eddie would hit his triple-suplex combination, setting the big man in perfect position for the Frog Splash. As Eddie ascends the top rope, he forgets about Edge on the outside who is quick to take the WWE Champion down. With Eddie, A-Train and The referee down in the ring, Edge is resourcefull enough to add a chair into the equation lining up Eddie for a shot. Eddie however would duck, causing Edge to hit the ropes sending the chair right back to him face first…Eddie would then hit a back-drop on Edge before signalling for the Frog Splash, This time there would no interruptions and Edge would be sent out of the ring winded by the move hit to perfection. As Eddie celebrated whilst heating up, he was hoisted from behind by A-Train in position for the De-Railer. Eddie fought on and was able to slip out of the finishing predicament, scoring a roll-up in the process. Securing his feet on the ropes for extra leverage, Eddie made the fall as the groggy referee counted the three. Following the match, an irate Edge would attack Eddie once again and the two would fall into a wild brawl in which Senior Officials were summoned to break up. Chaos then insured as virtually no-one could break up the carnage between the two, finally separated by wrestlers from the back the show left Eddie and Edge fighting as we went off the air.

----- Match Summary -----

Match Reaction = 81.2%

Match Quality = 75.1%

Overall Rating = 77.4%

Thoughts: Not the best of matches but nor was it meant to be, the Edge and Eddie situation has heated up beyond proportion with neither man getting the better of each other adding heaps of interest to our Backlash Main Event all but this Sunday away.

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Guest Sport Boy

I like this diary alot. Only thing that bothers me, is in the smackdown before this one (the one with Edge v Kane) you mentioned Mordecai being a Jewish God, where that's not true. Jews only believed in one god, and still do

Great diary though

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I like this diary alot.  Only thing that bothers me, is in the smackdown before this one (the one with Edge v Kane)  you mentioned Mordecai being a Jewish God, where that's not true.  Jews only believed in one god, and still do

Great diary though

Ah, My apologies. I recall reading somewhere about the Mordecai name and a Jewish connection, obviously I was wrong with what I had said and I'll get on to editing that. Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone...

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Mordecai does have some religious relation, but not a Jewish God.

Pushing Edge quite well, i like that he's got some sort of personality rather than "Duuuude"

EDIT: This is what you read, i take it.

mordecai

the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. It has been alleged that he was

carried into captivity with Jeconiah, and hence that he must have been at least

one hundred and twenty-nine years old in the twelfth year of Ahasuerus

(Xerxes). But the words of Esther do not necessarily lead to this conclusion.

It was probably Kish of whom it is said (ver. 6) that he "had been carried away

with the captivity." He resided at Susa, the metropolis of Persia. He adopted

his cousin Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he tenderly brought up as

his own daughter. When she was brought into the king's harem and made queen in

the room of the deposed queen Vashti, he was promoted to some office in the

court of Ahasuerus, and was one of those who "sat in the king's gate" (Esther

2:21). While holding this office, he discovered a plot of the eunuchs to put

the king to death, which, by his vigilance, was defeated. His services to the

king in this matter were duly recorded in the royal chronicles. Haman (q.v.)

the Agagite had been raised to the highest position at court. Mordecai refused

to bow down before him; and Haman, being stung to the quick by the conduct of

Mordecai, resolved to accomplish his death in a wholesale destruction of the

Jewish exiles throughout the Persian empire (Esther 3:8-15). Tidings of this

cruel scheme soon reached the ears of Mordecai, who communicated with Queen

Esther regarding it, and by her wise and bold intervention the scheme was

frustrated. The Jews were delivered from destruction, Mordecai was raised to a

high rank, and Haman was executed on the gallows he had by anticipation erected

for Mordecai (6:2-7:10). In memory of the signal deliverance thus wrought for

them, the Jews to this day celebrate the feast (9:26-32) of Purim (q.v.).

Just incase anyone was interested ............... They took the name of a man who is a religious hero and turned him into a heel hated my many ..... and all probally because the name hasn't "a certain ring to it".

Edited by IAceI
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Mordecai was a prophet. Check towards the back of the Old Testament - he has his own book and everything...

Like others, I'm digging Edge with the cocky heel gimmick. Kind of like he was back in 2000, only less goofy. The concept of the 'Fake RVD' Shannon Moore amuses me, even if it apparently bombed.

You're using TEW to it's potential and managing to keep a whole load of feuds flowing with all of the flexible segments (hell, it often seems like you're fitting two shows into the space of one. At least, that's what I find with TEW).

Overall, the roster and feuds seem to be solid from top to bottom - somewhat of a miracle considering. A very strong series of shows so far.

Edited by stokeriño
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