The Smackdown opening video airs, the cameras then coming inside of the New Orleans Arena from New Orleans, Louisiana. Michael Cole and Tazz welcome everyone from commentary after the stage is hit by pyrotechnics, mentioning that tonight we will have a Steel Cage Match main event for the Cruiserweight Championship as it is brother versus brother: Matt Hardy defends against Jeff Hardy! Plus, after Goldberg's confrontation of WWE Champion Kurt Angle last week - will he be named the new number one contender?
The theme music of Chris Benoit hits, 'The Rabid Wolverine' marching his way down to the ring with a clipboard in hand. Standing in the center of the ring with a microphone in hand, mentioning that last week he started a petition to remove Mick Foley as General Manager of Smackdown. "It was a nice trail run, Foley, but your days of tyranny are over! After I'm done winning my match tonight... I'm going to go and submit this petition to the WWE Board of Directors and make sure you are removed by tomorrow morning!" The crowd boos as Benoit sets the petition off in the corner, now prepared for action.
1) Chris Benoit def. Orlando Jordan as, a week after being assaulted by Benoit, Jordan puts in quite the effort. Surprising Benoit by escaping some holds and hitting a few hard knock downs, Benoit almost gets pinned after a swinging neckbreaker. After a missed clothesline, Benoit takes Jordan to task with a series of German suplexes. He then drags Jordan up and throws his shoulder in to the turnbuckles aggressively multiple times before applying the Crippler Crossface, which leads to a tap out at 3:37.
Benoit doesn't want to let go of the hold after the bell, the referee trying to pry his hands off of Jordan's face. As that proves to no avail, Benoit's eyes widen when the music of The Undertaker hits! 'Big Evil' rolls out on his motorcycle, being seen for the first time since his match with Goldberg at Summerslam. Benoit stands up in the ring and stares Taker down as he gets off of his bike and enters the ring. Staring Benoit down, Chris looks around the building and then wags his finger. He steps over to the corner and retrieves his clipboard with his petition to remove Mick Foley as General Manager, presenting it to Taker. "Maybe Undertaker is here to sign the petition, Cole! That seems to be what Benoit thinks!" Tazz says. "Oh, man, what a get that would be for Benoit to have Taker backing things up!" Taker looks like he is about to sign the petition but instead chucks the pen over his shoulder. He then takes the petition itself from the clipboard and rips it in half! Benoit is distraught, furious as he swings a right hand at Taker only to have his arm caught and eat a series of shots to the face. Benoit is then whipped across the ring and met with a boot on the return. Taker then raises his hand to the sky and waits for Chris to stand back up before dropping him with a Chokeslam! Benoit rolls under the ropes afterward with Taker raising his fists up to the cheering crowd - clearly not wanting to be a part of what Benoit had to offer!
Angrily marching in the back after the commercial break is Chris Benoit as he approaches General Manager Mick Foley at his makeshift office, outraged over what just happened moments ago. "So, you send The Undertaker out there to do your dirty work?! To rip up my petition?! My petition that was going to have you fired!" Foley puts his hands up quickly and tells Benoit he had nothing to do with that. Benoit quickly questions if that is some sort of joke, bringing up the Edge situation and saying - for the "millionth" time - he had nothing to do with that. "But you've continued to have it out for me since then, Foley. You pointed fingers and you can't stop trying to screw with me!" Foley assures Benoit it isn't a joke, but clearly he has his hands full with 'Big Evil' so maybe he shouldn't be so concerned about what he does from the confines of his office. "Maybe you should be concerned with The Undertaker in that ring, eh?" Benoit shakes his head and slams his hands down on Foley's desk, storming off.
Transitioning to a separate part of the backstage area, Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy is seen standing by himself with his hands held together. "Tonight, it's the end of the line for The Hardy Boyz. See, we grew up togethers. Brothers. Bonded by blood. We competed together as a team and we reached for the stars and snatched them out of the sky! But now... we are here to put everything to an end as opponents." Matt brings up how Jeff pleaded for this opportunity and he was more than gracious to accept this match, especially inside of a steel cage. "But I know that I will defeat you, Jeff. Just like I have before. See, you better live for the moment... because Matt Hardy... Version 1... is going to end you tonight."
Seen walking down the halls is Ultimo Dragon when he is approached by Rey Mysterio, the two bumping fists as they begin to walk together. A new alliance, perhaps, Dragon goes toe-to-toe with Shelton Benjamin of Team Angle - next!
Backstage following the break, WWE Champion Kurt Angle is seen standing with Funaki, Smackdown's '#1 Announcer'. Funaki asks Angle about being confronted by Goldberg last week with Angle quick to tell Funaki that it is as much of a joke for Goldberg to confront him as it would be someone like Funaki himself. "My point is that neither of you deserve an opportunity at my WWE Championship, alright? Hell, I don't think there is anyone left on the Smackdown roster - maybe even the entire WWE - that should share the ring with me! Rumor has it that Mick Foley is planning on giving Goldberg a shot at my WWE Championship at Unforgiven... well, that's not gonna happen. And I'm gonna go out to that ring in just a little while and make damn sure it doesn't!" Angle then tells Funaki to go and tell Foley to pay attention to what he has to say before walking off.
2) Ultimo Dragon (w/Rey Mysterio) def. Shelton Benjamin (w/Charlie Haas) in an athletic contest, Dragon and Benjamin with a ton of back and forth until Dragon ends up hitting a spinning DDT. Seeming to gain some strong momentum, Dragon is tripped up by Haas. Mysterio responds in kind by running across the apron, hitting a hurricanrana on Haas! Benjamin tries to take advantage of Dragon being a bit distracted, only to be tripped in to the corner and then hit with the Asai DDT for the pinfall at 5:56!
Dragon stands back up and has his arm raised as the winner, Mysterio coming to his side and raising the other arm. Benjamin, meanwhile, rolls to the outside and backs away from the ring with Haas - Team Angle looking very unhappy with the loss, clearly having their hands full with the new tandem.
In the back, General Manager Mick Foley is seen being hounded by The F.B.I., Nunzio saying they and a lot of others signed that petition to have him removed as GM and The Undertaker just happens to show up and rip it to pieces. "We know something is up, Foley! And we don't like it!" Mick shrugs his shoulders and sighs, telling the group that he had nothing to do with Undertaker showing up. "But, hey, if you guys want to do something about it I can put you in another match with Undertaker! But... you didn't seem to like it too much last time when him and Goldberg beat the hell out of you..." The F.B.I. are quiet after that comment, Funaki then arriving on to the scene and excusing himself, mentioning to Foley how Kurt Angle wanted him to come by and give him a heads up that he is going to the ring to address the Goldberg situation. "Is he really?" Foley asks. "Well, I wouldn't expect anything less from Kurt. I'll make sure to hear what he has to say." Angle is expected to speak - next.
The theme music of Kurt Angle hits out of the break, the WWE Champion marching his way down to the ring shaking his head. As soon as he steps through the ropes and retrieves a microphone, he demands that the crowd shuts up. "I bet all of you people are on the Goldberg bandwagon, aren't you?" Cheers come from the Louisana fans and Angle shakes his head. "In case you have all forgotten - not once, but twice now... Goldberg has had his chance at the WWE Championship! Back at Judgment Day, he had his shot one-on-one! And it wasn't my fault he pissed off the wrong people and led to the disqualification finish back then... just like it wasn't my fault when he had his shot at Vengeance in a fatal four way and got too caught up with The Undertaker and allowed me to retain the WWE Championship against all odds!" Angle shrugs his shoulders and throws his hands out, questioning why Goldberg deserves a third chance at the WWE Championship. "I don't care if he hasn't been pinned or submitted and I don't care about him going 173-0 in WCW! The fact of the matter is - he doesn't deserve this shot and the way I see it... nobody else does, either. So, the rumor has it that Mick Foley is going to have Goldberg versus me at Unforgiven... but the right thing to do would be to give me that night off!"
Goldberg's music then begins to play, bringing the audience to their feet as he eventually arrives out to the stage and then heads straight to the ring - eyes locked on an anxious looking Angle. Pacing back and forth slowly, Goldberg wags a microphone in his hand and then smiles at the WWE Champion. "You look a little nervous, Kurt! Hell, you sound a bit nervous to me, too." He says that Angle brings up some decent points of him having two chances before, but he has some counterpoints himself. "The Big Show and Vince McMahon wanted to get in my way at Judgment Day for their own agenda. You know what I did? I kicked both of their asses in a handicap match at King of the Ring. As for Vengeance? Undertaker and myself went to war and you scurried away by pinning Big Show... I went on to Summerslam a week and a half ago and I beat Undertaker one-on-one..." He takes a step forward and tells Angle that anybody that was in his way is no longer in his way. "And Kurt, you may have beaten just about everybody else around here just like I have... but you haven't beaten me... and I haven't beaten you... not yet. But at Unforgiven you can bet your ass... you're next!"
Angle looks around the arena and shakes his head, telling Goldberg that this isn't going to happen. "One chance was bad enough! Then you got a second chance and you blew it! You deserve this chance as much as these people deserve an NBA team: You don't!" While the crowd boos the local insult, out from the back then comes Mick Foley, the Smackdown General Manager looking down to the ring and telling Angle he seems to continue to forget who makes the final calls around here. "I get what you are saying, Kurt, believe me I do. But like Goldberg said: He hasn't beaten you and you, technically, haven't beaten him. That's why, whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, at Unforgiven it will be Kurt Angle defending the WWE Championship... against Goldberg!" Angle is absolutely livid and kicks the ropes in frustration, Goldberg with a wide grin as he licks his lips, motioning for the WWE Championship around his waist.
In the back, Josh Mathews is standing by with The Big Show. Mathews mentions how Show backed down from a challenge with John Cena, now he is set to face him here tonight. "Whoa, whoa, whoa," Show says angrily. "Let's get something straight - I didn't back down... I let John Cena live to see another day... but he wanted to push it and now he has a match with me tonight... he'll be lucky to live to see another day a second time." Show then heads off as he and Cena face off next!
In the back with a WWE Tag Team Championship defense coming up are the champions Los Guerreros when they are approached by their former rivals in La Resistance, whom quickly put their hands up and assure Eddie and Chavo they come in peace. "We just wanted to share an American custom with you two and wish you the best of luck tonight!" Dupree says, Grenier adding they hope they put The Dudley Boyz in their place. The Frenchmen then walk off, leaving Los Guerreros looking confused with the positive comments.
3) John Cena def. The Big Show via count out as, after an insulting rap prior to the match, Show comes out angry, dominating the beginning of the match. Getting perhaps a bit overconfident, Cena lays in to Sow with strikes that continue to keep him in the match throughout. Things eventually end up spilling to the outside after Cena escapes a Chokeslam attempt from Show, the giant with a couple of slams across the barricade and then the announce table. As he goes for anothe Chokeslam through the desk, however, Cena manages to slip himself free. A drop toe hold to a charging Show lands him face first in to the steel steps, Cena rolling back in to the ring at a count of eight - Show unable to get back in before the ten count and getting him counted out at 7:01!
Show's eyes widen upon the bell sounding, his hands held on to the bottom rope. Cena raises his hands in the air with a big smile, having his arm raised by the referee. As Show re-enters the ring, Cena dive through the ropes and begins to back up the ramp, waving his hand in front of his face in Show's direction. "You can't see me!" He says happily while Show is absolutely fuming over the loss!
The cameras pick up backstage to show The Dudley Boyz hyping each other up before turning to their little brother Spike Dudley, Bubba asking who the best family is in tag team history - to which Spike says The Dudleys. "That's right! And as much respect as I have for Eddie and Chavo... they ain't Bubba Ray, they ain't D-Von... hell, they ain't even Spike. They're not Dudley's! They're not made of what we're made of!" D-Von nods in agreement, giving an 'oh my brother, testify' before he and Bubba slap hands. They then head off as their rematch for the WWE Tag Team Championship is coming up next!
Seen in the back after the commercial is Torrie Wilson when she is approached by Sean O'Haire. She asks how he is doing with O'Haire mentioning that he just finished talking with Mick Foley. "I made sure that he kept Rhyno out of my business. So, next week, I've got a proposition to Rhyno. I'm willing to bargain with him if he so badly wants a match with me." Wilson asks O'Haire if he is sure about this, to which he tells her she doesn't have to worry about him - but he isn't telling her anything she doesn't already know!
4) WWE Tag Team Championship: Los Guerreros(c) def. The Dudley Boyz (w/Spike Dudley) in a very competitive, back-and-forth contest that lasts through a break. With Eddie in peril to Bubba Ray and D-Von, he eventually makes the tag to Chavo - whom comes in red hot. After a big flapjack across the ropes, however, Bubba makes the tag to D-Von as the tides turn back over for his team. Down from the back in the midst of things though comes La Resistance. The Frenchmen proceed to run in to Spike from behind with the French flag! D-Von is distracted as Bubba goes to chase after Dupree and Grenier, leaving D-Von to turn to a dazed Chavo hitting him with a DDT - a tag to Eddie then made for the Frog Splash and the three count just as Bubba slides back in to the ring at 11:13.
Eddie and Chavo are announced as the winners and are awarded with their belts, Bubba slapping the mat in frustration. On the titantron amidst the celebration, Los Guerreros see how La Resistance got reviewed via the replay. Back inside of the arena, they express their unhappiness along with The Dudley Boyz. "Los Guerreros are all about lie, cheat and steal but I think that's more of on their own type of thing, Tazz!" Says Cole. Despite the unexpected interference, Los Guerreros keep the gold in their possession.
After the commercial break, Cole and Tazz discuss how we started tonight's show with Chris Benoit's petition against Mick Foley, planning to present it to the WWE Board of Director's tomorrow morning to have Foley removed as Smackdown General Manager. After defeating Orlando Jordan, he would be confronted by The Undertaker - whom would rip Benoit's petition in half after teasing signing it, then taking out a frustrated Benoit with a big boot and Chokeslam.
Backstage in the parking lot, The Undertaker is seen getting on his motorcycle when Josh Mathews approaches him, looking to get an answer from Taker as to if Mick Foley put him up to what he did earlier. "Nobody tells me what to do," Taker responds. "But what Mick Foley did do for me? Is give me the match I want at Unforgiven... against Chris Benoit." Taker then starts his bike up and drives out of the arena.
Transitioning to another part of the back, Jeff Hardy is seen sitting in a stairwell by himself with his hands folded together. "Tonight is a culmination of my now twenty-six years on this Earth. This past Sunday was my birthday and my brother Matt didn't even bother to give me a phone call." Jeff shrugs his shoulders and says that it's not that he considers his birthday to be anything overly special but that is just the type of person his brother has become. "So self-absorbed with himself that he doesn't have the time of day for anybody else! Not truly, anyway. He now uses anybody he can to his advantage just to make himself successful..." Jeff explains that this isn't necessarily about the Cruiserweight Championship but at the same time it is. "Matt has been scheming his way to be the Cruiserweight Champion all year long, including using me to get to it. So, tonight, inside of a Steel Cage... I get to not only put him in his place... but take away what he desires the most in this world." Jeff then stands up, takes a deep breath and heads off - ready for the main event.\
Back inside of the arena, the lights dim down and a spotlight comes over the ring as the steel cage begins to lower. The main event: brother versus brother for the Cruiserweight Championship - next!
5) Steel Cage Match for the Cruiserweight Championship: Matt Hardy(c) (w/Shannon Moore) def. Jeff Hardy in a dramatic main event, the two brothers going all out on each other. Moore is taken out early when he tries to open the door for Matt and Jeff dropkicks the door itself in to his face. The match goes through a commercial break, Jeff slamming his brother in to the cage wall repeatedly while Matt uses it in the same vein, also nailing a leg drop from the top rope using the cage for some extra leverage. Continuing the punishment of each other, a Whisper in the Wind from Jeff then leads to Matt going for the Twist of Fate only to have Jeff reverse it and nail one of his own. Moore is frantic on the outside as he holds on to the door - leading to Jeff instead going to the other side of the ring and climbing up the cage. Once at the top, he has an easy path to escape despite Moore running over to try and stop him. Jeff then looks around the arena and instead decides to stand up on the cage - looking down at his brother. "Oh no, no, no," Cole says. "Don't do this Jeff! Just win the match! Just win the match!" Jeff, however, gives a taunt to the crowd before flying off the top of the cage with a Swanton Bomb that Matt rolls out of the way of! The crowd gasps as Jeff is motionless, Matt beginning to slowly inch his way to the door. The official opens it up and Matt crawls out to the floor and wins at 13:51.
The New Orleans fans are obviously disappointed and voice their disapproval of the result with loud boos in Matt's direction. The older brother, still the champion, is assisted to his feet by Moore and aided up the ramp. After a few replays from throughout the match and the finish, back live Jeff remains laid out being checked on by officials while Matt smiles from atop the stage with the Cruiserweight Championship held high above his head while Smackdown goes off the air.
1) United States Champion Rhyno def. Chris Kanyon via pinfall following the Gore. (4:16) 2) Tajiri def. Altar Boy Luke via pinfall after the Buzzsaw Kick. (3:21) 3) Billy Kidman def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia and Shaniqua) via pinfall after an enzuigiri and Shooting Star Press, preceded by arguing from Nidia and Shaniqua causing Noble to be distracted. (5:34)
1) Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade def. The Basham Brothers (w/Rico) via pinfall after spinebuster/dropkick to Danny. (5:02) 2) Billy Gunn (w/Val Venis) def. Johnny Stamboli via pinfall with the Fame Asser after a missed top rope leg drop. (3:17) 3) Maven def. Lance Storm via pinfall after a top rope crossbody. (5:59)
Post by wolvenbear on Jan 21, 2022 15:17:57 GMT -5
And here I thought I was the only person to team up Rey and Dragon. Huge pop for that, and for having them face the World's Greatest Tag Team. You have built up a solid PPV card. Lesnar v Kane is always a favorite. And Kurt Angle v Goldberg for the title should be fantastic. I look forward to it.
The Monday Night Raw opening video airs, the cameras in to the Von Braun Civic Center from Huntsville, Alabama afterward. Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcome all from commentary, mentioning that tonight we will see World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar in action once again as he goes one-on-one with Rob Van Dam. But, first, we're kicking things off with a rematch from last week for the World Tag Team Championship!
1) World Tag Team Championship: Batista and Ric Flair(c) def. Chris Jericho and Christian in a rematch for the gold after the two from Evolution won the belts that is lengthy and lasts through a commercial break. Some arguing between Jericho and Christian, but they manage to stay enough on the same page to turn the tides for themselves against Flair. After a big crossbody from Christian, he stands up and slaps his chest - Jericho tagging himself in. Christian immediately looks peeved by the decision. Jericho takes Flair by the legs and looks prepared to apply the Walls of Jericho but Christian instead takes his partner's arms from behind - planting him with the Unprettier! "What the hell?!" J.R. questions. Batista and Flair look shocked as well, Christian staring down at Jericho before taking a step over his body as he leaves the ring! Flair seizes the opportunity by rolling Jericho over and covering him for the three count at 13:03.
The Alabama crowd boos as Christian keeps his back turned atop the stage, not even looking back at the ring as he walks through the curtains. Batista and Flair celebrate as they're still the champions as Jericho looks distraught against the ropes as to what just happened.
Seen talking backstage after the break is Billy Gunn and Val Venis, Gunn saying they've made quite the team. "But it's just the tip of the ice berg!" Gunn says with a laugh, Venis adding on with the innuendos by saying that as a team they're getting ready to explode! Storming past them off to the side is Triple H, looking very unhappy. As he keeps on going, Gunn says that he thinks HHH is about to explode, too.
In his office is Co-General Manager Eric Bischoff, sitting on the couch as he listens to Scott Steiner tell Christopher Nowinski that his loss to Booker T last week was a lesson in what not to do. "Now you know what you shouldn't do! I sacrificed myself to make you better!" Nowinski doesn't seem to be buying it but he nods in agreement, the door then busting open as Triple H barges in. Trying to get to Bischoff, Steiner stands in HHH's way. "Do I need to remind you what happens when you get in my way, Steiner?" Bischoff tells 'Big Poppa Pump' to back down, bringing up Nowinski's match is coming up and they should get ready for it. The two then leave HHH and Bischoff by themselves, 'The Game' telling Bischoff that he wants one thing and one thing only: a match with Shane McMahon. "Hunter, you know I can't do that..." Hunter furiously questions why not, demanding he gets his hands on Shane tonight. "Hunter, I'd love to see that happen! But with Shane being the Co-General Manager - wrongfully so, I might add - I can't place him into a match without his consent." HHH isn't happy about it, but Bischoff tells him that what he can do is make it happen is Shane agrees, so maybe they could do some convincing. "I tell you what... I'll let Shane know when he gets here about your challenge... and we'll go from there, alright?" HHH still isn't pleased, telling Bischoff that he better get this done. He then leaves the office, Bischoff with a twisted smile across his face.
Elsewhere in the back, Jonathan Coachman is standing by as he introduces his guests to be the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, Kane, as well as the opponent for World Heayweight Champion Brock Lesnar later tonight, Rob Van Dam. Coach asks RVD about getting a one-on-one opportunity at Lesnar and if Kane is going to be doing some scouting. "Coach, I don't think my big red friend here has to worry about doing any scouting." Van Dam chuckles and says that Kane is feared for a reason and Lesnar should be the one shaking in his boots. Kane adds on that the only thing he worries about is if Brock will be ready come Unforgiven. "Because my best friend RVD is going to smoke his ass tonight!" The two share a laugh and bump fists before heading off, that match still to come later on.
2) Christopher Nowinski (w/Scott Steiner) def. Booker T in a match early dominated by Booker, Steiner giving some instruction to Nowinski. After a spinaroonie following the Book End, Booker seems ready to go for the Scissors Kick but Steiner ends up grabbing his leg from the outside. Booker throws a boot through the ropes, backing Steiner off. Nowinski then takes advantage of the situation as he catches Booker on the turnaround with a kick to the stomach and the Honor Roll, leading to the pinfall at 4:49.
Nowinski rolls out of the ring with his fists raised high and a look of slight shock on his face. Steiner comes over to hold his arm up, shouting credit for the win. "I told you! I told you what not to do!" Booker looks up from the ring, shaking his head, as Steiner and Nowinski continue to enjoy the underhanded victory.
In the back, Jonathan Coachman stands by once again, this time introducing his guests to be the World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and his agent, Paul Heyman. Coachman tries to ask a question but Heyman cuts him off very quickly. "Let me guess, Coach. You're going to ask Brock Lesnar about facing Rob Van Dam tonight, right? How original!" Heyman scoffs and tells Coachman that Lesnar doesn't sweat anyone, he doesn't sweat RVD and come Unforgiven, he won't be sweating Kane either. "What Brock Lesnar does sweat is making sure that an impact is made and that pain will come." The two then walk off together as the match between Lesnar and Van Dam is coming up next.
Sitting in their 'office' backstage is The APA when Test and Stevie Richards storms up to them - Bradshaw quick to stop them and tell him to use the door. "We're not playing that game with you!" Test shouts. "We're sick of you getting involved in our business... then you embarrass us last week with Stacy and Victoria?!" Richards points at Simmons and says they're going to get their revenge. "We'll show you - you'll see!" Bradshaw chuckles and takes a big sip of his beer before standing up along with Simmons. "Tell you boys what," He says with a nod to his tag team partner. "You want a fight? You want a brawl?! Hows about next week we go to the local bar and brawl down there?" Test and Richards at first seem unsure about the suggestion, but Test eventually answers to tell The APA that they're on. He and Richards then storm off, Simmons saying that those boys don't have a damn clue what they're getting themselves in to!
3) Non-Title Match: Rob Van Dam def. World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) via disqualification as RVD goes it alone as him and his partner-in-crime Kane have done plenty times in the past, putting up a big fight against the World Heavyweight Champion but being overpowered constantly. As Van Dam starts to gain some momentum following a top rope side kick, he takes Lesnar to the outside and throws him off the ring post. After scaring Heyman off, Van Dam ends up turning in to a vicious chair shot to the head by Lesnar for the disqualification at 6:55!
The Huntsville crowd boos as Lesnar looks down at Van Dam's body - tossing the chair into the ring with a cackle. He pulls RVD up by his ponytail, blood trickling down the face of 'The Whole Dam Show'. Throwing RVD into the ring, Heyman gives some instructions to his client. Picking the chair back up, he slowly raises it above his head only for a big red pyro to hit the stage - Kane's music hitting as the number one contender marches out from the back. Lesnar slaps the chair to the mat and motions Kane into the ring, the seven footer obliging and avoiding a chair shot to the head - catching Lesnar with a hard uppercut on the turnaround. A few big punches and he scoops the chair up himself - plastering Brock with a shot to the spine! Kane then throws the chair to the outside and holds his hand high above his head. "Brock Lesnar is a monster but he hasn't ever had to deal with this one!" Ross shouts. Kane then clasps his hand around Brock's throat and prepares for a Chokeslam only to have Lesnar break the grip and dive through the ropes - backing up quickly with Heyman rushing to his side. Aiding RVD to his feet, Kane holds his bloody partner up while continuing to stare his Unforgiven opponent down.
Seen running in the parking lot after the break is Terri as she is trying to get a word with Christian, but he seems to be uninterested in listening to her. He finally stops in his tracks and turns angrily toward Terri, whom says she just wants to know why he just attacked his partner, his supposed best friend, Chris Jericho and cost them the World Tag Team Championship. "Chris is the only one that cost us anything, Terri. The way I see it... I'm done with Chris Jericho." He then walks off, not giving any more answers than that. Christian then gets into his car and drives out of the arena - a limousine pulling in at the same time. The driver gets out and opens the back door with Shane McMahon stepping out, thanking the driver. Terri then comes up to him and is quick to bring up the rumor that Triple H is going to challenge him to a match. "Is that so?" McMahon asks. "Well, Terri, I'm running late because of some business meetings so I have to get settled in. But that's good to know." He thanks her and heads off.
Talking to each other elsewhere in the back is Stacy Keibler and Victoria. The two are happily talking until they are approached by the Women's Champion, Gail Kim. "I'm sure you ladies are so proud of yourselves for last week, aren't you?" Gail asks with a laugh. "You beat your old boyfriends! You embarrassed them! But you didn't do any of the heavy lifting, did you?" Victoria asks Kim what the hell she wants, to which the Women's Champion says she just wants to make it perfectly clear who runs the women's division around here. "It may have been Trish Stratus for a long time. You may have held the Women's Championship before, Victoria. And, you, Stacy... what have you done? The point I'm making is that this all runs through me and it is going to be that way for a very, very long time... got it?!" Kim adjusts her sunglasses and championship belt before walking away, leaving Victoria and Stacy looking very unimpressed with Kim's words and ego.
Seen heading to the ring is Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton. He was challenged to a match tonight by Goldust last Monday and that match will take place next!
Entering his shared office backstage after the commercial break is Shane McMahon, standing and waiting for him Eric Bischoff - quick to tell McMahon it is nice of him to show up. While Shane mentions his business meetings postponing his arrival, Bischoff yawns at the subject and instead brings up more important matters: Triple H. Shane is fast to try and shut down any ideas of them having a match, but Eric wants to be heard out. "Look, Shane, you're a very, very powerful man! Hell, you're a McMahon, damn it! And you're the Co-General Manager of Raw! I may not like it, but it's all true!" Bischoff tells Shane that he should stand up for himself and not take threats from Triple H lightly. "Eric, I know what you're trying to do," McMahon replies while patting Bischoff on the shoulder. "And I'm not falling for it. As for Triple H, I'll go down to that ring later and I'll address this situation and clear the air, okay? Okay." Bischoff doesn't appear happy as McMahon takes a seat and picks up the phone.
4) Non-Title Match: Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton def. Goldust as, after taking Goldust very lightly, Orton is surprised by some offense following an awkward position on a pump handle slam. A couple of big impact moves from Goldust but after Orton evades an attempt at Shattered Dreams, he hits a hard backbreaker before putting 'The Bizarre One' away with the RKO, getting him the pinfall at 3:59.
Orton rises to his feet and is announced as the winner but doesn't allow the referee to raise his hand up. He instead rips his Intercontinental Championship away from the official and holds it in Goldust's face before planting some boots into the chest. A few punches are thrown in as well before Orton slowly moves back in the corner with a sly grin on his face. Orton then lifts his leg up and stomps his boot to the mat. "Is... is Randy Orton tuning up the band?!" Lawler asks. The crowd begins to buzz just as Orton looks prepared to deliver some Sweet Chin Music but Shawn Michaels races down from the back - staring down with Orton and tapping his own chin. "Come on!" Michaels encourages, Orton looking all around the building before wiping at his face and rolling under the bottom rope to loud boos. Michaels shakes his head as Orton is backing down - HBK calling for a microphone. "So last week, Randy, you come out here and you run your mouth! You say that you're 'The Legend Killer' and you brag about being such a great Intercontinental Champion and then you even try and use my move!" Michaels chuckles and says he supposes he should be flattered, but he just wants to understand why Orton talks a big game but refuses to back it up. "So let me make it simple, kid! At Unforgiven... I want a match with you. And, just because you're so darn good, I want it for the Intercontinental Championship!" Orton shakes his head in disapproval as Michaels' music hits, HBK strutting around the ring with a smile as he has laid the challenge down!
At the commentary table after the break, J.R. and Lawler discuss the situation with Triple H and Shane McMahon developing tonight, as earlier on HHH would go to Eric Bischoff to try and demand a match with McMahon, a match Bischoff is unable to make. Bischoff would suggest a challenge be made, however. McMahon himself plans to address things later on but doesn't appear to have any interest in a match.
Backstage, an angry Randy Orton is walking with his Intercontinental Championship in hand when Terri walks up to him - excusing herself as she says she just wanted to come by and inform Orton that a match between himself and Shawn Michaels for Orton's championship has been made official for Unforgiven. A scoff as Orton seems disgusted, he tells Terri he's not concerned. "No, no. See, I tried two weeks in a row now to make it incredibly clear to Shawn Michaels that he shouldn't be messing with 'The Legend Killer'... but how does that old saying go? Be careful what you wish for? Well, Shawn Michaels wants a match with me... I'll be glad to kill the legend of Shawn Michaels."
5) Billy Gunn (w/Val Venis) def. Rodney Mack (w/Theodore Long and Jazz) in a contest that Mack controls at first with some hard suplexes and near falls. The veteran Gunn, however, manages to come right back and dominate the rest of the way. A couple of flapjacks stun Mack and after Rodney misses a corner clothesline, is dropped with the Fame Asser at 3:31.
Venis enters the ring and begins to celebrate with Gunn, but Long cuts things short from ringside. "No! No! No!" He shouts. "Y'know something, playas, there's a reason this is happening! There's a reason why you're getting past 'The Mack' and it's because he doesn't have anyone to back 'The Mack', you feel me?" Long says that next week things will be different. He, Mack and Jazz then head toward the back while Gunn and Venis brush off the words, continuing their celebration of the win.
The cameras pan backstage to Shane McMahon walking down the halls. He promised to address Triple H and his challenge for a match and he'll do just that after the break!
Following the break, J.R. and Lawler bring up how next week Raw will be live from Columbia, South Carolina just six nights away from Unforgiven. Graphic then appear for next week's show as it has been announced that in the main event, Kane and Rob Van Dam will be teaming up to take on World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and his agent Paul Heyman!
The theme music of Co-General Manager Shane McMahon hits back inside the Von Braun Civic Center, the crowd cheering for the arrival of Shane O'Mac as he makes his way down and into the ring. Microphone in his hand, he asks the fans if they've had a good time tonight. "I'd like to apologize for being a little late tonight and, well, apparently I missed out on a challenge from Triple H of some sorts." McMahon says he just wants to make it very clear before getting anyone's hopes up that he isn't going to accept a challenge. "I get it! Hunter is very upset because not only is he a competitor, but he isn't getting his way, either." He brings up how a couple of weeks back, he broke HHH's heart by reminding him of a stipulation he had nothing to do with where he couldn't challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship so long as Brock Lesnar was champion. "Then, in a generous gesture in my eyes, I gave Hunter a chance regardless of that stipulation and he tried to take advantage of it. He saw it as personal when I got involved, but it was necessary. Then, last week, he tried to use a sledgehammer on Kane or Rob Van Dam and, regardless of who he was even targeting, I wasn't going to allow it not just because of the integrity of the World Heavyweight Championship match at Unforgiven, but because, once again, it was necessary and the right thing to do." Shane goes further by saying that if HHH is upset about this, maybe he needs to change the way he handles business. "And he needs to change how he handles business regarding myself because, Hunter, a match between you and me? It isn't going to happen. Sorry."
As McMahon seems prepared to leave the ring, Triple H's music interrupts things. 'The Game' has a long stare down to the ring from atop the stage before making his way down the ramp, McMahon stepping back as HHH enters and keeps his eyes locked. "So, you think that's that, huh, Shane? You don't want to do things my way, fine. What do you suggest we do about this then? Because you keep getting involved in my damn business and I'm sick of it!" McMahon puts his hand up and tells HHH to relax, first of all. "Maybe, Hunter, if you didn't cross lines and cut corners... I wouldn't have to get involved in your business. Although, as Co-General Manager of Raw, it kind of is my job to get involved in your business just a little bit." HHH shakes his head and tells McMahon that's where he is wrong. "You mess with me, Shane, you're messing with the best in the damn business. You're messing with 'The Game', you're messing with an eight-time World Champion, you're messing with Triple H. This is my ring, this is my show, this is my industry, and this is my business and you do not mess with any of it! But you did! And now I want to beat it in to your head metaphorically and literally!" Shane nods, telling HHH that he's going to have to beat something into his head, metaphorically speaking, and that is that there is not going to be a match between the two of them.
"I tell you what, Shane. I'll make it easy for you." Hunter says with a smile. "We'll do this in a way that gives you half a shot and makes me even happier. I'll do you a favor and I'll tell Evolution that they're banned! It's just me and you! Then, we'll make it even easier, and we won't even have a match, Shane. We'll go out there and we'll have a fight... a Street Fight." The crowd approves of the idea, but Shane continues to be stern in the fact that it isn't going to happen, prompting HHH to draw closer to him. "You know, Shane, I guess I can't say I'm too surprised, honestly. Because here's the thing, you've got the name McMahon... but you've never had the balls like your father..." The crowd gives a sharp 'ooh' at the comment while Shane remains stable. "Hell, you've never even had the balls of your sister... so, I guess I'll just have to follow your advice, huh? I guess I'll have to find a different way to handle my business... I guess I'll have to go to plan B and, well, you know what plan B is, Shane? Since you won't give me what I want... I'll take what I want." He then drops his microphone down and throws a hard right hand in to the head of McMahon! "That's the Co-General Manager of Raw!" J.R. shouts from commentary. "And Triple H, the son of a bitch, he doesn't give a damn who he is!" HHH continues to unload with punches into the corner with McMahon refusing to fight back, even when HHH tries to give him a free shot. A boot to the stomach and a toss to the outside, HHH follows and takes a camera cord and wraps it around Shane's neck - choking him ruthlessly! Throwing Shane back down on to the floor, HHH then mounts over him and throws more punches to the face before forcing the Co-GM back to his feet again and launching him face first into the ring post. Pacing back and forth, 'The Game' shouts for Shane to get back up. Struggling to get his legs underneath him, McMahon staggers with blood trickling from his skull. Putting his hands up, he motions for more from HHH and it only seems to enrage Hunter more. A boot to the stomach and HHH nails a Pedigree on to the floor! The booing is loud as HHH stands over McMahon's motionless body, slowly beginning to back away. A frustrated kick to the steel steps and HHH begins to make his way up the ramp. Some choice words for the crowd, Hunter begins to walk through the curtains when McMahon is heard from the floor at ringside with a microphone in hand calling for HHH. "Hunter... you son of a bitch..." He says through struggled breaths, bringing Triple H back out to the stage with a scowl. "I'll see you at Unforgiven..." Big cheers break out for the accepted challenge, even bringing a smile to the face of HHH. A bloodied McMahon drops the microphone as he uses the steel steps for support to stay standing - a blockbuster Street Fight now set for Unforgiven as Raw comes to an end!
"World Wrestling Entertainment salutes the heroes and honors the memory of those who were lost on September 11, 2001"
After the Smackdown opening video, the cameras come inside of the Jefferson Civic Center from Birmingham, Albama. The fist-themed stage is lit up by pyros and the crowd is fired up as Michael Cole and Tazz welcome everyone to the show from ringside! Tonight, they've received word that the WWE Champion Kurt Angle intends to hold some sort of celebration. Plus, we'll hear from Chris Benoit after he was confronted and attacked by The Undertaker before being placed in a match with 'The Dead Man' at Unforgiven! But right now, we're kicking things off with 'The Doctor of Thuganomics'!
The theme music of John Cena hits, drawing cheers from the crowd as he throws his hands up and down on his way out to the stage - looking down at Bill DeMottin the ring and saying he'll get to his match in a minute, he needs to talk about the elephant in the room. "Don't worry Bill, there's someone bigger than you! I'm talking about a seven foot, five-hundred pound bastard! Big Show has been doing this for nearly ten years twice the size of anyone and he still don't got it mastered!" He keeps going on with weight jokes toward Show and throws out a rematch challenge for Unforgiven. "You stink, dog, so I went out and got you a deodorant stick... I just hope it doesn't hurt your feelings seeing something that's bigger than your..." He raises the mike up for the audience to finish the line, then removing his hat and jersey to toss into the crowd.
1) John Cena def. Bill DeMott as, after initial angry offense from DeMott gives him some early momentum, Cena comes back with a series of big knock downs topped off with a spinout slam. After a toss into the ring post shoulder first, Cena displays his strength by hoisting DeMott off of the mat and planting him with the F-U in the center of the ring for the pinfall at 3:34.
Cena gets to his feet and holds his fists in the air in signature form to the approving fans. As he leaves the ring and has some words back toward DeMott - he is stormed in to from behind by The Big Show with a club to the back of the head! The giant drags Cena back up and slams him into the ring steps before tossing him back into the ring. Show takes his time stepping over the ropes, stalking Cena as he gets up in the corner. After a few wild punches from Cena, he is grabbed by the throat and forcefully slammed into the turnbuckles. Show does it a few more times before hitting a Chokeslam in the center of the ring. One isn't enough for Show though as he hits a second and a third. Show then goes to the ropes afterward and demands a microphone, coming back to Cena afterward and placing a foot on his throat. "I'll take my rematch at Unforgiven, Cena... and I'm going to break you in half." He then throws the mike to the mat and exits the ring, Cena left clutching his throat and curled up in pain.
Arriving after the break is the combination of Sean O'Haire and Torrie Wilson. They come down to the ring together, Wilson handing an appreciating O'Haire a microphone as he quickly brings up how two weeks ago, he passed up on an opportunity to face the United States Champion Rhyno and instead gave the opportunity to Billy Kidman. "Yet, Rhyno, ever the intellectual, wanted me to come into this ring with him afterward. Yet, I have already had my time with Rhyno and I find nothing to prove!" He suggests that Rhyno is the type of person who just fuels himself off of rage and doesn't think anything through, while he himself doesn't revisit old problems - he solves them and moves forward. "Last week I decided I would come here tonight and give Rhyno a proposition. So, Rhyno, my good man, how about you come out here and we help you move on?"
After a few moments of waiting, Rhyno's music hits and 'The Man Beast' arrives. He comes stomping down the ramp and stares right at O'Haire once in between the ropes. "Rhyno, I think I know exactly what your problem is," O'Haire says while rubbing his chin. "You and I had an issue a couple of months ago and I beat you fair and square and, well, you can't handle it. You need to beat me to move on but the problem with that, Rhyno, is that you cannot beat me. It isn't possible! And the sooner you learn to accept it... the sooner you can move on. But, hey, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know." Rhyno quickly snaps back that he knows what O'Haire is doing - he's twisting this because he is afraid of what will happen to them if they step into the ring again. "Since we last met, I've become the United States Champion and you know damn well I'm more dangerous than ever! You're a smart guy, but you're also a coward... see, as the United States Champion, I think I should represent the people of this country that aren't afraid to stand up and fight!" O'Haire shakes his head as the audience even breaks out in a 'U-S-A' chant, reminding Rhyno that he is also an American. "But Rhyno, it just seems like you don't get it. So, I'll do you a favor and I'll make it easier by just leaving." O'Haire then takes Wilson by the arm and begins to lead her out of the ring, Rhyno shouting at O'Haire he's not going anywhere! He then charges toward him for a Gore but Wilson is pulled in the way and is instead hit with the move! "Oh no!" Cole shouts. "Rhyno... Rhyno just Gored Torrie Wilson! I mean... of course it wasn't on purpose but... he just Gored Torrie Wilson!" O'Haire's eyes widen as Rhyno is checking on Wilson in shock - Sean throwing a boot to the back of Rhyno's head. He then drags the United States Champion back to his feet and delivers a Widowmaker. O'Haire then hurries back over to Wilson - carefully pulling her out of the ring and carrying her in his arms, proceeding to take her up the ramp and to the back.
The cameras then pick up in the back to Josh Mathews as he says that hopefully Torrie Wilson is okay and he will try to get more information later. He then turns to his side as he introduces the WWE Champion Kurt Angle as his guest, the Olympic gold medalist quick to dismiss Wilson's situation by saying that Mathews should be worried about this interview. "I'm giving you a big scoop, Josh! Tonight is a celebratory night for yours truly! Tonight, we are going to honor me - Kurt Angle - as the best in the business. So, make sure to tape this show! Make sure to get your streamers out! Because tonight is the celebration of a lifetime. Oh, it's true. It's damn true." Angle adjusts his WWE Championship belt on his shoulder with a smile and returns to his locker room.
Following the break, Nidia is seen walking into the locker room area backstage calling for her boyfriend, Jamie Noble. She doesn't find him but ends up coming up to what is apparently his bag sitting on a bench. She looks around before opening it up, shifting through a few things before growing a strange look on her face. She then pulls a black whip out from the bag. "What the?" She questions out loud. "What is this?!" Into the room then comes Jamie Noble and Shaniqua with Noble quickly asking Nidia what the hell she is doing, prompting her to ask what the whip is for. "Baby, baby, baby! This is top secret workout equipment!" Noble says while stuffing the whip back into his bag. "See, Shaniqua, she has to get me sweating! She has to get my body working and it's all a part of the plan to lose some fat and get me shredded just like her, y'know?! But don't let anyone else know about this because they'll try and steal my training regimen! It's very top secret!" Nidia hangs her head and apologizes to Noble, who tells her it's alright. He then takes his bag and says that him and Shaniqua got some training to do anyway, he'll talk to her later. The duo then leave the room, Nidia saying she'll see him later.
2) La Resistance def. Brian Kendrick and Paul London in a match predominantly controlled by the Frenchmen with London and Kendrick catching them off guard with dual high-flying moves. Moonsaults lead to a near fall for London but Dupree ends up clotheslining him from behind and clotheslining Kendrick over the top rope. London is then left to fall to the Bonsoir at the hands of Dupree and Grenier, leading to the pinfall victory at 3:02.
A brief celebration for La Resistance, but they stop once they see Kendrick coming into the ring to check on his partner. Dupree and Grenier pull Kendrick to his feet by the hair, planting him with the Bonsoir as well! The boos of the crowd turn in to cheers as down from the back runs The Dudley Boyz! Bubba Ray and D-Von charge right at Dupree and Grenier but the two manage to avoid any damage from the brothers. Bubba calls for a microphone as the two are backing down. "You can run for now you French pansies!" He shouts. "But you committed a cardinal sin by messing with us! And sooner or later both of your asses will be put through a table at the hands of The Dudley Boyz!" He then hands the microphone off to D-Von, who gives a loud: "Oh my brother - testify!" La Resistance don't look very impressed with the threats as they continue to make their way to the back.
3) Shelton Benjamin (w/Charlie Haas) def. Rey Mysterio (w/Ultimo Dragon) in a very back and forth matchup between two super athletic superstars, the contest going through a break with Ultimo fighting off Haas' attempts to get involved in the match multiple times. After Mysterio sunset flips on to Haas following one too many times, he returns to the ring but it is enough to allow Benjamin to catch him with a big spinning kick to the face and a jack knife pin with a hand on the ropes for the pinfall at 9:35.
Haas quickly pulls Benjamin out of the ring and the two of them back away just as Dragon gets in to mix things up. Aiding Mysterio back to his feet, the duo seem to indicate that this isn't over between them and Team Angle!
In the back, Chris Benoit is seen walking through the halls looking very unhappy. He is heading to the ring after the break to address his situation with The Undertaker and Mick Foley - next!
After the time away, footage from the last few weeks is shown, beginning with Chris Benoit demanding Mick Foley be removed as Smackdown General Manager. He would begin a petition, planning to submit it to the WWE Board of Directors. After appearing to have enough signatures last week, Benoit would be confronted by The Undertaker - who would instead attack Benoit and rip up the petition. Later in the night, he would deny any involvement with Foley, but confirm having a match with Benoit at Unforgiven.
Back inside of the arena, Chris Benoit's music hits and 'The Rabid Wolverine' makes his arrival to boos from the audience. Once in the ring, he paces with a microphone in hand, saying that he - and everyone else on Smackdown - are victims of a conspiracy. "Whether they know it or not... our own General Manager, Mick Foley, has his own agenda. He's had it out for me since he first showed up here and now, because I did the right thing by getting a petition to have him removed from his position... Mick sent The Undertaker after me." Benoit says that something like this may not mean much to some people, but that is because they are blind to how dangerous this situation is. "If we continue to allow this to get out of hand, Mick will do whatever he damn well pleases! He'll send whoever he wants after those he doesn't agree with! He'll point fingers without any evidence like he did with me and he'll try to inflict harm as he sees fit."
Benoit begins to say more but is cut off by The Undertaker's theme song, 'Big Evil' rolling out on his motorcycle and staring down at Benoit. After taking a trip around the ring, Taker enters the squared circle across from Benoit with a microphone in hand, cutting him off from speaking. "Nobody wants to hear you bitch anymore, alright?" Taker scratches his chin and tells Benoit he gets his frustration but is completely wrong. "Mick Foley didn't ask me to come down here last week. He never asked me to run you off and rip up your little petition. I chose to do all of that, Chris, because I have a real bone to pick with you that I've been holding back on for far too long." Taker explains that Benoit crossed him way back at Backlash in April, so this goes back a long way now. "It all started with that ego of yours. That chip on your shoulder. You costing me the WWE Championship because you couldn't stand not being in the spotlight yourself." Taker explains that it has continued to build up from there and after hearing him bitch and moan about every little thing, he just had to come out here and finally do something about it. "For all the talent you've got, Chris, you've become an embarrassment to this ring... and this ring is my yard, boy. So that's why it's time for your receipt, Chris. For costing me what was mine and for driving everybody nuts with your non-stop complaining. At Unforgiven, I'm going to humble your ass. I'm going to shut you up. I'm going to knock some sense into you and maybe get you back on the right track. And if I don't knock some sense into that thick head of yours, you best believe I'll come back for more." The crowd cheers the words of 'The Dead Man' as he tosses his microphone aside. As he turns to leave, however, Benoit runs up from behind and throws a forearm to the back of the head. Taker stiffens up and then turns around - Benoit quick to back away, drop to the mat and roll under the bottom rope. A slight grin forms on Taker's face as he wags his finger at Benoit, warning him once again that his receipt is coming!
Making their way down to the ring out of the break is the Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and his protege Shannon Moore. With Hardy's opponent, Spike Dudley, already waiting in the corner, Josh Mathews stands in the ring once Hardy enters. Mathews mentions Hardy requesting this time out here before his match, asking what he would like to say to everyone. "Joshua, the world is constantly moving and constantly upgrading! At the same time, so is yours truly!" Hardy mentions defeating his brother inside of a steel cage last week, but it isn't just that he defeated him - it was how. "I knew that my brother would do last week given the opportunity! I knew that he would try and be a hero to all of his pathetic fans! And I knew that he would fall flat on his face... or, in this case, flat on his back." Matt snickers as he says he knew that his brother wouldn't be able to resist once on top of that cage, that he would go for a Swanton Bomb and he would once again fail. "You know how I knew this, Joshua? You know how I planned on that happening? Because I am no longer Matt Hardy Version 1.0. No, no, no. See, I am Matt Hardy Version 2.0: Wrestling savant, master of entertainment!" The crowd boos while Cole on commentary exclaims, "Give me a break!" Moore raises Hardy's Cruiserweight Championship belt up high as Matt says that he is a genius in this business and he will continue to prove it going forward while continuing his reign as the Cruiserweight Champion of the World!
4) Non-Title Match: Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy (w/Shannon Moore) def. Spike Dudley as Matt controls the opening couple minutes of the match, taking a moment to bow following a big suplex. That taunting allows Spike to get some offense in but as he attempts a Dudley Dog, Matt reverses it by pushing Spike over the top rope and to the floor below! In obvious pain, Spike doesn't even get a chance to pull himself together as Matt pushes right past the official to bring Spike back into the ring and drop him with the Twist of Fate! Demanding a count from the referee despite concern for Spike after his fall, Matt gets the pinfall victory at 5:05.
Boos from the Alabama fans as Hardy gets to his feet with his hands held out to his sides. Refusing to allow the referee to raise his arm, Moore enters the ring with the Cruiserweight Championship belt and straps it around the waist of 'Version 2.0' before holding the arm up of the champion himself.
In the back, Funaki is standing by with the WWE Tag Team Champions Los Guerreros. Funaki mentions Eddie and Chavo retaining their championship gold last week and now they face off against The F.B.I. "Last week we went head-to-head with one of the best tag teams of all time!" Chavo says. "Now, you've got us against... The F.B.I.?" Eddie hits his nephew in the chest and tells him that he shouldn't be underestimating The F.B.I. "You know... the uh... The F.B.I. You know what that stands for man!" Chavo assures Eddie they don't work for the government, 'Latino Heat' with a realization of things, saying that they're looking forward to getting in there tonight. "Because Los Guerreros are en fuego, Funaki! Los Guerreros are on a roll, ese! And we're gonna keep that going here in Birmingham, Alabama!" Him and Chavo are fired up and head off as they're prepared for tag team action - next.
Seen in the trainer's office after the break is Spike Dudley, an ice pack being placed on the back of his head as into the room walks La Resistance, Dupree asking Spike how he is feeling. "We'd like you to deliver a message to your brothers!" Grenier adds before the duo drag Spike off of his seat and slam him into the wall! A few stomps to the body and head as the trainers and a couple of officials hurry back in to try and restore some order. The Frenchmen laugh over Spike's body before leaving, a clear message sent to his brother's Bubba Ray and D-Von.
5) Non-Title Match: The F.B.I. (w/Dawn Marie) def. WWE Tag Team Champions Los Guerreros as Eddie and Chavo are red hot out of the gates, but a distraction of the official by Dawn Mare allows Palumbo to blindside Chavo with a boot to the back of the head. The F.B.I. work over Chavo for a while until he makes the hot tag to Eddie, who comes in and cleans house. After his signature three amigos on Nunzio, however, Palumbo gets on to the apron to try and stop him. Chavo runs over and dives into him, but with the official distracted again Marie manages to get herself on the apron and crotch Eddie on the top rope. Nunzio then nails an enzuigiri and pulls Eddie down to the mat in a roll up with a hand full of tights for the upset pinfall at 5:47.
Chavo slides back in after the bell sounds and tries to grab at Nunzio but he escapes from the ring and in between Palumbo and Marie. All smiles, The F.B.I. have gotten one over on the WWE Tag Team Champions. Chavo slaps the mat out of frustration, questioning his Uncle as to what happened, but Eddie seems just as confused and angered by things.
In the back, the locker room of Kurt Angle is focused on. Angle will have a celebration, explaining earlier tonight it will be in honor of him as 'the best in the business'. That celebration takes place next!
Standing in the ring following the commercial break is Team Angle, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. The ring has a red, white and blue carpet over it and a podium in the center. Also in the ring is an easel covered with a black cloth while Benjamin has a plaque in his hand. Haas welcomes everyone to this 'very special occasion', as he says tonight they celebrate a man that deserves more than his words can describe. "A man that is a leader! A man that is a fighter! A man that is... an American hero! A man that is a champion!" Benjamin adds on that when he and Haas came to the WWE less than a year ago, they had to no idea what they were in for but they were lucky enough to be placed under the wing of this man. "Guided by one of... no, the greatest this business has ever seen!" The audience boos and the team demands they show some respect. "Now, if you would all shut your mouths..." Haas says. "We can bring out the man of the hour! The man of the evening! The man of our lifetime!"
The music of Kurt Angle hits as Team Angle welcomes him at the same time. The WWE Champion makes his way out with a smile from ear-to-ear. Entering the ring, Angle hugs both Haas and Benjamin with Shelton stating that the two of them went out and got a couple of things for Kurt. "First, we went out and we got you this plaque. Let me read it to you: 'To the best in the business: Leader, champion, American hero - Kurt Angle'. To you, Kurt!" He hands it over to Angle, whose smile glows even more as he says that is absolutely incredible - and very accurate! Haas says it doesn't stop there, because they found a well-respected artist. "Certainly, nobody from Alabama, I may add," He says to boos. "But this artist captured you in all of your glory, Kurt! We present to you this masterpiece!" He then removes the covering from the easel, unveiling a very high-quality painting of Angle. "Wow! They even got the gold medal in there! What a piece of art! You see this people?!" He gestures to the painting and says that it is absolutely incredible. Giving his proteges a big hug, Angle then gets up on to the podium, kneeling his head down as Haas places Kurt's gold medal around his neck.
"Let me tell you people something," Angle says proudly while straightening up. "This is a celebration, and you are all very fortunate to bear witness to it! Being in my presence is a gift from God! I am the best in the business. I have proven it time and time again! And if you think for one second that I won't prove it against Goldberg at Unforgiven then, well, you're in for a world of disappointment. See, Goldberg huffs and puffs and lifts weights and looks all big and bad and you people buy every single bit of it! But I am a decorated athlete! Goldberg isn't! He's a pro football flame out meat head while I'm an Olympic gold medalist! I outclass everyone I step into the ring with and in this case, I outclass Goldberg inside and out of the ring!" Angle vows that at Unforgiven, he showcases how he is the best in the business and picks Goldberg a part. "Limb by limb, I will dominate Goldberg and prove to the entire that he is a nobody! That he doesn't belong! That I, Kurt Angle, the best in the business, the WWE Champion cannot be touched! At Unforgiven, Goldberg: You're next!"
After a laugh, Angle looks to continue his speech only for Goldberg's music to hit to a big ovation from the Alabama fans. The number one contender steps out through the smoke, Angle giving orders from in the ring. Haas goes through the ropes and charges up the ramp, but Goldberg hits him with a Spear in the aisle! Popping back to his feet, Goldberg points toward the ring and slides in - charging toward Benjamin but being leapfrogged over by the athletic young superstar. As soon as Benjamin turns around, however, he is run right through with a Spear as well! "Goldberg is on an absolute tear!" Cole shouts. Angle then tries to get out of the ring, but Goldberg catches him by the gold medal around his neck! Pulling Angle back, Goldberg grins and throws a knee to the stomach before picking up the painting of Kurt on the easel. Looking at the artwork, Goldberg gives a shrug before swinging it and wrapping it around the head of the WWE Champion! Angle is dropped to the mat as Goldberg marches around the ring fired up! As a struggling to stand themselves Team Angle pull their leader under the bottom rope, Goldberg picks up a microphone from off of the mat. Stepping to the ropes, he tells Angle he is so worried about outclassing everybody, he doesn't realize that he is out here looking like an ass to everybody. "So, allow me to set something straight, Kurt! You've got yourself ten days until Unforgiven! That's ten days to accept reality, my friend. Accept the reality that you're in for the best ass kicking in the business! Because at Unforgiven, Kurt, I'm taking the WWE Championship... because you're next!" Throwing the microphone to the mat, Goldberg continues to stare down Angle, Haas and Benjamin, all three left sitting together in the aisle, Kurt with the painting still around his neck as the show concludes.
1) Sean O'Haire (w/Torrie Wilson) def. Orlando Jordan via pinfall after the Widowmaker. (5:53) 2) Shannon Moore (w/Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy) def. Scott Vantastic via pinfall after a Twist of Fate. (2:58) 3) Ultimo Dragon (w/Rey Mysterio) def. Charlie Haas (w/Shelton Benjamin) via pinfall following an Asai DDT. (7:12)
1) The Hurricanedef. Johnny Stamboli via pinfall after the Eye of The Hurricane. (4:01) 2) Stevie Richards and Test def. Alan Steele and Jason Static via pinfall with a Pump Handle Slam from Test to Static. (2:42) 3) Val Venis (w/Billy Gunn) def. Bobby Rude via pinfall after the Money Shot. (2:55) 4) Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski def. Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak via submission with the Steiner Recliner from Steiner to Cade. (6:12)
A video airs recapping last week's events between Triple H and Shane McMahon, as HHH had challenged Raw's Co-General Manager to a match at Unforgiven. At the end of the night, the two would share words with Shane refusing to accept the challenge up until HHH decided to attack, choking McMahon with a camera cord, busting him open via the ring post and delivering a Pedigree on the floor. Being left in a bloody heap, McMahon would muster enough strength to respond to 'The Game' and tell him he was on for Unforgiven.
The Monday Night Raw opening video proceeds to air before the cameras enter the Carolina Center from Columbia, South Carolina. Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcome all from commentary, noting that we are just six nights away from Unforgiven and before we get there, we have plenty to get to tonight: World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar teams up with his agent Paul Heyman to face his number one contender Kane and his partner, Rob Van Dam. Plus, we will hear from Triple H after his assault on Shane McMahon last week and his challenge for Unforgiven being accepted. Plus, a bar room brawl as The APA goes to battle with Test and Stevie Richards and we will be hearing from Christian after turning his back on his partner, Chris Jericho. Right now, however, we're diving straight into the action as two of the all-time best, 'The Heart Break Kid' Shawn Michaels and 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair are set to mix it up before Michaels' Intercontinental Championship match with fellow Evolution member Randy Orton this Sunday!
1) Shawn Michaels def. World Tag Team Champion Ric Flair (w/World Tag Team Champion Batista) in a battle between two of the very best to ever grace the ring, Flair's underhanded tactics keeping him in it against Michaels' elite abilities. Involvement from Batista tripping Michaels up, however, gets Evolution's 'Animal' ejected from ringside. The match goes through a break with Flair continuing to try and get a cheap edge on Michaels, low blowing HBK in the corner out of sight of the referee. Flair then grabs brass knuckles from his tights and prepares to sock Michaels with them, only to have his punch ducked and Sweet Chin Music to be nailed, leading to the pinfall for Shawn at 11:29.
Michaels gets to his feet and prepares for celebration, but Batista charges back down the ramp and hits him from behind! A few more clubs to the back and Batista aims for his signature powerbomb but Michaels manages to roll off and clothesline the big man over the ropes instead. Michaels then dives through the ropes as an enraged Batista tries to get back after him, backing up the ramp with a smile. "Shawn Michaels knows damn well that Evolution is trying to do Randy Orton's dirty work for him," Ross says. "But he'll be damned if he isn't going in to Unforgiven fully ready to take the Intercontinental Championship!" Michaels affirms J.R.'s statement, telling Batista and Flair from the ramp 'not tonight' but they'll get their chance soon enough.
Backstage, Paul Heyman is seen, sporting black sweatshirt and sweatpants while pacing a bit. The door opens behind him as in walks the World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. "Brock, I-I-I-I don't know what we're supposed to do about this. Me? In the ring? Against RVD? Against Kane?!" Lesnar shakes his head and tells Heyman not to worry about it, he'll make sure things are taken care of. The two are then approached by Co-General Manager Eric Bischoff, Heyman saying it's 'about time' that Bischoff got here, pleading with him to come to his senses and change tonight's match. Bischoff rubs his chin for a moment to ponder the suggestion, before giving Heyman an assured 'hell no' in response. "See, Paul, I don't forgive, nor do I forget. But being the mastermind that you are and the monster that Brock Lesnar is... I'm sure you'll have no problem figuring things out for yourselves." A huge grin on Bischoff's face as he wishes Heyman luck, patting him on the arm before heading off. Heyman then looks back to Lesnar, who assures his agent that he'll take care of things tonight.
Jonathan Coachman is standing by backstage after the break as he welcomes Booker T as his guest at this time, bringing up the situation he has had on his hands the last couple of weeks with Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski, leading to a tag team match tonight. "Yeah, that's right, Coach. As good as I can be, going out there alone against two is never easy. I know I could win on my own but that's not how it's going down. So, I've got to find me a partner tonight to stick it to the brains... and the lack of brain cells." He is then walked up to by Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski themselves, 'Big Poppa Pump' with a mocking laugh over Booker's joke. "Real funny, but Christopher has plenty of brain cells!" Nowinski tries to correct Steiner on what the joke was implying, but Scott talks right over him to tell Booker that it doesn't matter who he gets as a partner tonight. "You think you're so good, you should be able to beat us with anybody! Hell, you could beat us with... Jonathan Coachman?" Nowinski laughs at the idea, but Booker looks to Coachman and then back to his opponents and says they're on. "Are... are you serious?" Coachman asks, to which Booker says with confidence he's damn sure serious. "Come on, Coach. Me and you against these two fools tonight! Now can you dig that... sucka?!" He wraps his arm around Coachman's neck and pulls him away, Steiner and Nowinski left with very pleased looks on their faces.
Back inside of the Carolina Center, Christian's music hits to boos from the crowd. He makes his way out with a smug grin, coming down and into the ring with a microphone in hand as he requests that his 'peeps' let him speak. "Because I know for a whole week now everyone has been wanting to get the scoop on why Christian dropped the dead weight that is known as Chris Jericho!" The jeers continue to come down on Christian as he says that things are pretty simple. "Chris and I have known each other for a long time, and we've had a partnership going on for the better part of a year now. We had our success, including being two-time World Tag Team Champions. But like I said... we've known each other for a while, and I've known who Chris Jericho was deep down inside this entire time and I've had enough of pretending that doesn't exist for the greater good of some crappy partnership!" He proceeds to call Jericho out as 'selfish' and not caring about anything except being in the spotlight. "And when he almost cost us the World Tag Team Championship two weeks ago against Ric Flair and Batista by being that self-absorbed bastard that he is - I knew that I had dragged Chris Jericho as far as I possibly could!" He says that is why last week in their rematch - that he never even agreed to take part in - he pulled the plug. "Because I don't have time to keep wasting my career with Chris Jericho attached at my hip! Living off of my success! Taking away the attention of my peeps with his terrible talk show and crappy catch phrases!" He mentions that he was told earlier today that a match was made for Unforgiven this Sunday between himself and Jericho, but he hasn't even seen Y2J in the back today. "Believe me, I've kept an eye out because if I saw Chris Jericho I'd smack the taste out of his mouth! Oh yeah, I would! But also believe me when I say that Chris Jericho is a coward!" He says that this Sunday at Unforgiven, he bets Jericho doesn't even show up there either. "And you know what? I wouldn't blame him! Hell, I'd advise, even, that he stays home! Because if you get into this ring with me on Sunday, Chris, I'm going to expose you to the entire world as not even being good enough to carry my jockstrap, junior!" He then throws the microphone down with a grin from ear-to-ear, holding his hands out proudly to the disapproving crowd.
The cameras then pick up to show an undisclosed bar here in South Carolina, The APA walking through the doors. They look around the room and nod in approval before stepping up to the bartender, offering up a round for the house on them. The patrons all cheer happily, Bradshaw announcing to them all that there's going to be a fight tonight!
In the back stands Terri as she has the Women's Champion Gail Kim with her, mentioning that Kim requested this time. "Yeah, Terri, I requested this time because you didn't bother to come to me like you should have on your own! Because tonight is a very special night, Terri. Because tonight, I'm going to give an opportunity like no other!" She pats her Women's Championship belt and says that she is going to put her championship on the line in an open challenge. "I don't care who it is! Any woman can accept my challenge and Terri, I will beat them."
Back in the ring, Billy Gunn and Val Venis make their way to the ring together, awaiting the arrival of their opponents. Out to the stage then comes Theodore Long with Rodney Mack and Jazz, Long with a microphone in hand as he brings up how he promised last week he'd have someone to back 'The Mack' this week. "Because that's the only reason you two white boys are getting past this man believe that! So, I did what I do best. I went looking into things and I went searching and I made a couple of phone calls. So, allow me to introduce to you, the newest member of Thuggin' & Buggin' Enterprises: 'The World's Strongest Man' Mark Henry!" Gunn and Venis seem caught off guard by the arrival, as do J.R. and Lawler, the prior mentioning that he doesn't believe we've seen Henry in about a year and that this is a big get for Theodore Long!
2) Mark Henry and Rodney Mack (w/Theodore Long and Jazz) def. Billy Gunn and Val Venis as Mack is combated against fairly well by Gunn and Venis, but a tag out to Henry turns the tides for the team. After a couple of impressive slams and tosses, Henry tags back out to Mack and gets into a fight with Gunn on the outside. Slamming Gunn back first against the steel post. it allows Mack to catch Venis in the ring in the Blackout - forcing him into submission at 3:01.
Mack keeps the hold on Venis after the bell rings, Long entering the ring and convincing him to let go. Henry then enters the ring as Long gives some instruction, Mark dragging Venis off of the mat and planting him in the middle with a falling slam that Long shouts is 'the world's strongest slam' afterward. He then raises the arms of Mack and Henry up, having seemed to have found a formidable force.
Seen preparing together in the back is Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski, the Harvard graduate expression his excitement to get his hands on Booker T tonight and beat him again. "Hey!" Steiner shouts. "Are you telling me that you're underestimating the abilities of Jonathan Coachman?" They share a laugh over it together with Nowinski making his own joke that Coachman is finally getting off of the couch. Steiner doesn't find that funny and orders Nowinski to shut up. He then orders him to come along, they've got to talk to Eric Bischoff before their match.
Seen in the local bar once again is The APA, finishing their respective drinks as they question to each other if Test and Stevie Richards are even going to show up tonight. "I don't know if they've got the balls!" Simmons says. Bradshaw nods in agreement but the bartender turns to them to say he actually thought he was saw Test and Richards walk outside a few minutes ago. "Oh yeah?" Bradshaw questions. "Well, let's go take a look, huh?" Him and Simmons then stand up together and head out the front door, seeing two people with their back turns and approaching them. "So, what's it gonna be, boys?" The two then turn around, turning out to be an elderly couple instead. "Oh, damn," Simmons says as he is surprised by the size and looks of the two. "Y'know, the retirement home is down the road!" Bradshaw says. "And if you see Test and Stevie Richards down there getting their diapers changed, let 'em know that The APA is waiting right here for them!" He pats Simmons on the back and they walk back into the bar.
Back at the arena, a limousine is seen pulling up into the parking lot - the driving getting out and opening the door to let out Triple H, whom has two women with him as he is looking very happy. He is approached by the rest of Evolution with Orton expressing how glad he is to see 'The Game' being in such a good mood. "Yeah, we're pretty pissed with Shawn Michaels! Probably just like you are with Shane McMahon!" Batista says sternly, Flair then preparing to go off into a tangent until HHH sends one of the girls to Flair's side. He hands the other off to Batista and tells them to relax, because he's sure Randy will take care of everything with Shawn. "You better believe it, Hunter. And I'm not too sure if I'm going to wait until Sunday to let that be known." HHH says he likes the sound of that, saying he is proud of how Randy has grown. "As for Shane McMahon, guys? I'm not even worried about it. I got what I wanted. I got a match with him this Sunday at Unforgiven and it's a formality that I am going to crush him. So, I'm going to have a few things to say later on and once we're done, we'll get back into this limousine together and we'll have a great night: Evolution style." The group appears very confident as they walk off in unison.
In the locker room area, Rob Van Dam is seen doing some stretches when he is stood over by Kane. RVD pulls himself to his feet and pats his partner on the chest, asking Kane how he's feeling. "Not only do you get a chance to get your hands on Brock Lesnar tonight... but Paul Heyman, too!" Kane agrees that it should be a good opportunity to make it very clear that he is going to walk out of Unforgiven on Sunday as the new World Heavyweight Champion. "No doubt in my mind, dude!" RVD says. "But, hey, when you do become the new World Champion - you know who to give the first shot to, right? Rob Van Dam!" He smiles with his thumbs above his head, Kane with a snicker as he tells RVD he isn't too sure he'd want to do that. "You're my friend, Rob. I wouldn't want to have to hurt you." Van Dam laughs, then stops, then laughs again and tells Kane 'whatever', saying all he knows is that they're going to definitely hurt Lesnar and Heyman here tonight!
At the bar once again is The APA, both downing another beer before deciding amongst themselves that Test and Richards aren't showing up tonight. "Sorry, everyone, looks like we've got ourselves a couple of yellowbellies and there won't be any fight!" Bradshaw says before suddenly being hit from behind by a man wearing flannel with long blonde hair. Simmons is then jumped from behind by a similar looking person, who soon identify themselves as Test and Stevie Richards having been in disguise. The brawl is on as the two sides fight along the bar and throughout the people, Test and Richards using the bar itself and the stools to get an upper hand on The APA. After a clothesline from Simmons to Test over the bar, he takes Richards and pins him on top - Bradshaw bringing over a bottle of whiskey and popping it open. "This one's on me!" He says before proceeding to pour it down Richards' throat! Struggling and spitting up the alcohol, Richards rolls off of the bar with The APA dragging him toward the back of the room - opening up an ice chest and tossing Stevie inside! They close the door open and Simmons grabs a couple of pool cues, placing one in between the handles to keep Richards locked in. Test comes storming over but eats a boot to the stomach from Bradshaw and is thrown into the nearby jukebox. He then throws Test on to the pool table nearby where Simmons hands over the pool cue. "Check this one out, Ron! Eight ball - corner pocket!" Bradshaw then takes a shot and drives a ball in to Test's groin! "Damn!" Simmons shouts as Test groans in pain while dropping to the floor. "My bad, I guess that was the two ball, huh?" Bradshaw says with a hearty laugh. "You know what, Ron? I think we got a way to alleviate the pain for our friend here!" Simmons then heads over to the bar and grabs a mug filled with beer - Bradshaw taking a sip out of it before pouring it over Test's head. With a shrug of the shoulders, Bradshaw then cracks the mug over Test's head and drops him to the floor out cold! The patrons give cheers and applause as The APA raise their fists up in celebration. "Now that's a damn fight!" Simmons says happily. Bradshaw offers another round for the house before they leave, him and Ron heading back to the bar together. Meanwhile, Test remains out cold on the floor as pounding from the nearby ice chest is heard with muffled shouts from Richards of 'let me out!' from inside.
Back at the arena, Booker T and Jonathan Coachman are seen walking together with the five-time WCW Champion firing up the broadcaster. They will team up against Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski - next!
Seen in his office talking on the phone is Eric Bischoff when in walks Paul Heyman, hands clasped in front of him as he gets Bischoff to finish his conversation before pleading with him to show him some compassion. "What the hell is the matter with you?!" Bischoff asks. "Are you afraid of Kane? Do you owe RVD money? Paul, after all these years of you bad-mouthing me, it's time that you take your beating like a man! You're lucky that I allowed Brock Lesnar to be in that match with you! Like I said earlier, you should be able to figure it out. So, get the hell out of my office before I remove Brock Lesnar from the match!" Heyman looks down at the floor before lifting his head up again slowly, advising Bischoff never to do anything to piss off 'The Executioner'. Heyman then leaves the room, Bischoff's smile fading ever so slightly over that threat.
3) Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski def. Booker T and Jonathan Coachman as, perhaps unsurprisingly, Booker tells Coachman to stay in the corner as he attempts to take on Steiner and Nowinski on his own. After the numbers game becomes a bit much, Booker attempts a comeback and ends up knocking both himself and Nowinski down off of a leaping side kick. Both sides then make a crawl to their corner and tag out, Coachman stepping in fired up but freezing in place when he realizes he is in the ring with Steiner. Scott encourages him forward and ends up shoving Coachman right down. Booker gets back up on to the apron and Coachman begs for a tag out - Steiner taking him by the waist of his pants to pull him back. Coachman fights to get out of it and does make the tag to Booker, whom while still a bit dazed comes into the ring. As he goes to step up to Steiner, however, Coachman comes up from behind, drops to a knee and low blows Booker! "What the?" Lawler asks. "What did Coach just do?!" Coachman smiles as Steiner claps his hands, slowly stepping over to Booker and placing him in the Steiner Recliner - Coachman leaning in Booker's face shouting for him to tap out! Booker ends up eventually passing out in the hold, bringing the match to an end at 5:12.
The crowd boos as Coachman continues to trash talk Booker until Steiner lets go of the hold. "I don't know what we just saw," J.R. says. "Well, I do, but I just don't believe it..." Nowinski then steps back into the ring happily, hoisting Steiner's arm up. Coachman then steps up in between the two of them to hold their arms himself, even placing a foot on Booker's downed body in the process.
A replay of what just happened moments ago is shown after the break, coming back to, in the traditional interview area, Jonathan Coachman standing in the back with Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski, asking the two of them what it feels like to be part of such a master plan. "Gentlemen, I feel like this is the beginning of a wonderful partnership!" Nowinski says, drawing agreement from the other two.
Back in the arena, Women's Champion Gail Kim makes her down to the ring. "The fact that you boo someone as generous as me to have an open challenge for my Women's Championship just shows how pathetic you all are!" She says. "Do you people even know the first thing about the history of this Women's Championship?! And how I am making history?!" She prepares to say more but is cut off by some old-fashioned music, looking up the ramp as out through the curtains walks The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young! "What in the world?!" J.R. asks. "Fabulous Moolah! Mae Young! These two ladies are legends of this business but... don't tell me they're answering Gail's challenge?!" The elderly women make their way to the ring together, Kim clearly caught off guard by their arrival. "Why... why are you two out here?" She asks, Moolah putting her hand out for the microphone with Kim reluctantly giving it up. "Well, sweetheart, this is Columbia, South Carolina," Moolah says to cheers. "This is my hometown that I just celebrated by eightieth birthday in!" More cheers come down as Moolah says that eighty years old or thirty years old, it doesn't matter, she heard about a Women's Championship opportunity so she's here to take it! Kim laughs it off like it's a joke, but Mae steps up and slaps her in the face! Kim responds with a punch and Moolah pushes her right in to the corner for it!
4) Women's Championship: Gail Kim(c) def. The Fabulous Moolah (w/Mae Young) as, officially, the match is on with Moolah lighting up the champion the best she can with punches and chops. As the referee intervenes, Kim hits a boot to the face and Moolah falls to the mat. Mouthing off to the crowd and to Young on the outside, Kim lets Moolah get up and is hit with a surprising arm drag! Another one hits but Moolah ends up being nailed with a kick to the back of the head, Kim then applying her signature Cross Armbreaker (that J.R. identifies as her calling it 'The Matrix') and makes Moolah tap very quickly at 1:19.
Kim releases the hold and gets to her feet, being handed her championship by the referee. She holds it over Moolah's body and walks over her while leaving the ring. The boos keep coming for Kim as she heads to the back, Moolah being assisted back to her feet by the official and Young. The unhappy crowd then proceeds to give a standing ovation for the hometown eighty-year-old, appreciating her efforts. The music of Evolution then ends up hitting, Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton making his way down from the back. "What is he doing out here?" Lawler asks. He comes down the ramp clapping his hands, entering the ring with a microphone and apologizes for interrupting. "But I just had to come down here and show my respect for you, Moolah," He says. "I had to show my respect because... I mean... eighty?! Eighty years old?! I thought you were dead, to be honest!" Orton shrugs and says he's glad that she isn't, but there's this thing. He extends his hand to Moolah and she accepts the offer. "I'm Randy Orton. 'The Legend Killer'." He then hooks a hold of Moolah's head and drops her with his signature RKO! "That damn Orton!" J.R. shouts. "I knew he was up to no damn good! That punk!" As Orton is very pleased with himself, down from the back runs Shawn Michaels! 'The Heart Break Kid' throws a few punches Orton's way, but the Intercontinental Champion gets out of dodge as quickly as he can, backing up the ramp as Michaels tries to urge him back into the ring. "Fight me! Fight me!" Michaels yells, with Orton wagging his finger and saying his legend dies on Sunday. A frustrated Michaels then kneels down at Moolah's side along with Young and the referee, Orton proudly raising his Intercontinental Championship up over his head from atop the stage.
In their locker room in the back is the rest of Evolution, Ric Flair giving tons of praise toward Orton for what he just did. "I never liked that Moolah anyway!" He says with a laugh and 'Woo!' afterward. HHH says that is exactly what Evolution is all about. "And I've got to go down to that ring myself and get a few things off my chest." He mentions, the girls that he brought into the arena with him not wanting him to go, suggesting they get things off their chest instead. "That's an enticing offer," Hunter replies. "But, ladies, you've got all night long to party with Evolution! Dave and Ric here will be glad to stay with you while I'm gone. But I'll be back soon, and we'll go and have ourselves one hell of a night!" He gives Batista a pat on the arm and leaves the room as he heads to the ring to speak - next.
Following the break, J.R. and King go over a replay of Randy Orton RKOing The Fabulous Moolah a few minutes ago. Back live, Terri is seen outside of the training room as Shawn Michaels steps out, Terri asking how Moolah is doing. "The Fabulous Moolah may be up there in age, but she's one tough broad. She's a hundred times tougher than Randy Orton, that's for sure." Michaels calls what Orton did absolutely disgusting. "You want to make a name for yourself, kid, and I've told you I get that. But doing it that way... doesn't fly. You've got one shot this Sunday at 'The Heart Break Kid' and you better not miss. Because while I'd love to become the Intercontinental Champion and represent it like a real man and a real champion - I'd love just as much to be the legend that kills 'The Legend Killer'." He then gives a long stare in to the camera and walks away.
Back in the arena, Triple H's music hits and 'The Game' proceeds to make his way to the ring. Standing in the center, he pats a microphone in his hand and smirks to the crowd. "I'll be honest, I was a bit surprised last week when Shane McMahon agreed to a match with me at Unforgiven! But, hey, sometimes you have to beat some sense into people." HHH explains that he takes care of his problems and this Sunday at Unforgiven, he will eradicate his problems. "See, here's the thing, because as long as Shane McMahon has any control around here, it is a problem. That is why I am going to destroy him and make things right around here on my show. Because on my show I should be calling the shots! I should be getting what I want because I deserve it... and Shane can't help but stand in my way. No more, Shane. No more." HHH says that he needs to start taking more around here, so maybe he'll take a little bit more before this Sunday now that he thinks about it. However, before he can say anything else, on the titantron a black car is seen pulling into the parking lot. Out of the car then steps Shane McMahon, opening the back door and retrieving a sledgehammer. "Screw Sunday, Hunter!" He shouts. "I'm ready to fight you right here, right now." He then walks through the parking lot, coming across the Evolution limousine. "Be a real shame if you had no fancy way of going out on the town, huh, Hunter? Huh?" He then swings the hammer through one of the windows! HHH shouts from in the ring for Shane to stop right now. "I swear to God I'll-" Shane doesn't listen, however, as he proceeds to smash another window in! HHH tosses his microphone down and steps out of the ring - marching toward the back as he is after Shane!
The cameras then pick up to another part of backstage to show World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman walking together. While Triple H is on the hunt for Shane McMahon, we have a main event to get to as Lesnar and Heyman take on Kane and Rob Van Dam - next!
5) Kane and Rob Van Dam def. World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman via disqualification as Lesnar makes sure that Heyman stays on the apron, taking it right to RVD while letting Paul get a couple of cheap shots in. After Van Dam takes a beating for a couple of minutes, he mounts a comeback on Lesnar and knocks him off his feet with a springboard thrust kick. A diving tag out of Lesnar's grasp to Kane is made, 'The Big Red Machine' coming in and unleashing on Lesnar with big strikes. A big sidewalk slam surprises Lesnar as Kane then knocks him through the ropes with a big boot. Kane then gets his eyes on Heyman - taking him by the ponytail and dragging him in to the ring. A clasp around the throat and the crowd cheers for the idea of a Chokeslam but in from behind comes Lesnar with a steel chair that he smacks right into the spine of Kane - causing a disqualification at 4:33.
Kane releases his hold on Heyman, who falls to the mat and rolls to the outside. Kane then turns around and takes a horizontal chair shot to the stomach and then a big one across the back. Kane responds with a throat punch, but Lesnar swings the chair right into the head for a knock down! RVD then comes flying off the top rope but he is hit with the chair right in the face in mid-air! Lesnar then tosses the chair aside and brings Kane to his feet, hoisting him on to his shoulders and nailing the F-5! Heyman then re-enters the ring with the World Heavyweight Championship, presenting it over to Brock. 'The Executioner' then raises the belt over his head over Kane and RVD's downed bodies, fully intending on being in the same position after this Sunday.
The cameras pick up in the back as Triple H is seen storming in the back and demanding to know where Shane McMahon went. He gets into the parking lot and sees the Evolution limousine even more smashed up, slapping his hands on the hood and demanding Shane show himself. Continuing to look at the damage, Hunter is then hit from behind by Shane McMahon and drilled with punches all over! Hunter throws a knee to the stomach in response and gets a few shots in, but Shane comes back with a big shot to the face. He then pulls out the sledgehammer he used from around the corner and charges forward with the hammer - HHH moving out of the way as the hammer goes flying through one of the busted windows. Shane then turns to a shot to the face that sends him down on the front. HHH comes up after him and delivers a series of punches to the head. He then sets up for a Pedigree on the limousine as multiple officials and Eric Bischoff arrive on to the scene, causing a brief distraction that allows Shane to flip 'The Game' over him and back first on to the windshield! Shane slides off the vehicle as the officials step in front of him. Giving a smile in Bischoff's direction, Shane tells HHH that he'll see him on Sunday as the show goes off the air.
The opening video for Smackdown airs, the cameras then coming inside of Raleigh, North Carolina's RBC Center as Michael Cole and Tazz welcome everyone from commentary just three nights away from Unforgiven! Tonight, WWE Champion Kurt Angle and his proteges of Team Angle, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, are in six-man tag team action against Angle's challenger at Unforgiven, Goldberg, and his partners Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon! Also, The Undertaker will be in action with A-Train. Before all of that, however, we have a WWE Tag Team Championship match to kick things off!
1) WWE Tag Team Championship: Los Guerreros(c) def. The F.B.I. (w/Dawn Marie) in a back-and-forth rematch from last week, Nunzio and Palumbo looking to pull off a second week in a row upset but this time capture the gold. Chavo is cut off from his corner, eventually leading to a diving tag to Eddie where he comes in, lighting up both members of The F.B.I. The three amigos to Nunzio, Eddie is then wiped out with a boot to the face from Palumbo. Chavo makes the save though, reversing a slam with a spinning DDT and sending Chuck rolling to the outside. Nunzio gets back up and goes for a suplex on Chavo but has it reversed into a brainbuster from Chavo himself. Eddie then heads to the top rope and nails the Frog Splash, leading to the pinfall victory at 6:21.
Los Guerreros happily celebrate the victory as they are presented with their belts. As Eddie goes to the second rope to raise the belt above his head, however, Palumbo rolls back into the ring behind both men and clobbers Chavo in the side of the knee with a lead pipe! Chavo yells out in pain as he drops to the mat, Eddie jumping down and chasing after Palumbo as he scrambles through the ropes. Dragging Nunzio along, a furious Eddie kicks at the ropes and then returns to his nephew, who continues to yell out in tremendous pain, leading to a member of the medical staff to come running down, The F.B.I. looking very pleased with what they've done despite coming up short in the match.
In the locker room area, Team Angle are seen talking to each other discussing their leader, Kurt Angle, and questioning if he can really take down Goldberg. "I don't know," Shelton says with some doubt. "I mean... after last week?" Charlie argues that he believes in Kurt, the door then opening as Kurt Angle himself walks in and asks them what they're talking about. The two quickly shut down it being anything important, leading to Kurt telling them that he has a plan tonight and a plan for Unforgiven. "A plan that will show everyone why Smackdown belongs to us and show Goldberg that he doesn't belong!" He encourages the two to follow along and they do so, that six man tag still to take place later tonight.
Seen walking in the parking lot after the break is Smackdown General Manager Mick Foley as he approaches The Undertaker sitting on his motorcycle. "Hey, Taker," Foley says while giving a thumbs up and a pat on the arm. "I just wanted to stop by before your match and let you now that I appreciate you standing up for the Smackdown brand and Chris Benoit." Taker removes his sunglasses and crosses his arms, telling Foley that he wouldn't necessarily word it like that - but he does know one thing: Benoit needs to be shut up and taught some respect. "For being as damn talented as he is, the ego needs to be knocked down a peg or two. The size of his head needs to be driven down a bit. So, Sunday at Unforgiven, I'll be more than happy to do the honors. As for tonight, though, I'm gonna go down there and make an example out of my old pal A-Train." Foley wishes him luck and walks away, leaving 'The Dead Man' to get some preparation in.
Elsewhere in the back, Goldberg's locker room is shown when Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon come up and knock on the door. They then enter to see Goldberg with his back turned, the big man slowly turning around with his hands on his hips. "Hope you boys are ready for tonight." He says after staring them down, giving a chuckle and a hard pat on their backs. Mysterio says they're definitely ready, because they've got some real beef with Team Angle and he has plenty of history with Kurt, himself. Dragon nods in agreement, Goldberg telling them he'll make it real simple: They hit them with the speed, he'll hit them with the power. "And just like when I get Kurt Angle's punk ass in the ring one-on-one this Sunday... we'll leave 'em laying... the only difference being I walk out of Unforgiven the new WWE Champion."
Walking down the halls is The Big Show when he sees a couple of production members laughing. He stops in his tracks and asks what is so funny. "Are you laughing at me?!" He questions to scared and repeated answers of 'no', but he doesn't seem to be buying it. He then takes one of the crew members by the neck and sends them flying down the hall. He then stares at the other one and backs them against the wall. "You know what will be funny? When I end John Cena's short career at Unforgiven. When I break him in half! Hell, you know what would be even funnier? If I didn't wait until Unforgiven! How about I do it right here... tonight?" He then backs off and continues on his way, the crew member looking petrified as they look back at the other one left unconscious on the floor in the distance.
Seen walking in the back rubbing his hands together with a big smile is Jamie Noble when he is cut off in the hallway by Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore. "Where you off to, Jamie?" Matt says with a smile, Noble not giving him a straight answer. "Oh, I know where you're off to, Jamie. It was a rhetorical question. I know, a big word. See, 'Matt Hardy Version 2.0: Wrestling savant, master of entertainment' is just part of who I am because, on top of all of that, I know more than you think I do." Noble asks what Matt wants, to which Hardy explains that Noble's 'secret' is safe with him and Nidia won't need to know so long as Jamie doesn't go where he was going and instead goes to the ring for a match with Moore tonight. "Matt, come on, man, I was rea-" Matt wags his finger and says he better think about this one long and hard because it'd be a real shame if Nidia found out. Noble remains silent, Matt saying that it sounds like they've got a match tonight. "Thank you, Matt! Thank you!" Moore says while hugging his caught off guard mentor. He then points in Noble's face and says he's going down!
Back in the arena, The Big Show's music hits and the seven-foot tall, five-hundred-pound giant marches his way out to boos from the crowd. He quickly demands the Raleigh fans shut up and listen. "Last week, John Cena acted like he has a pair and he challenged me to a match at Unforgiven. I Chokeslammed his ass into the mat not once, not twice, but three times! And I accepted his challenge! But still, all I hear is how much everybody loves John and they love his jokes and his raps and everything he has to say... because for some reason they think that John Cena can hang with me." Show scoffs and says that Cena doesn't stand a chance in hell against him, and he is sick of hearing about it and he doesn't want to wait until this Sunday, he wants Cena out here right now.
After a little bit of waiting and Show growing impatient, John Cena's music hits and the young superstar makes his way out to a big ovation. Cena plays up the crowd some and Show demands he hurries to the ring. Cena waves his hands, however, and begins to cut a rap on Show about how he is urging him to come down to the ring like he wants to do something weird. "You do what you want, man, if you like coffee with just cream, but I'm on the other side, bro, I don't play for that team!" Show shakes his head as Cena continues to take digs at Show, eventually proclaiming that he'll pick Show up and lay him out with the F-U on the way to victory on Sunday. A hearty laugh from Show in response, he tells Cena there is no way. "There is no way you'll be able to lift me... let alone beat me." Cena stands in front of Show and shrugs his shoulders, suggesting maybe they do what Show wants and prove things right now! He then tosses the microphone to the side and pummels the giant with punches to the face and chest. A bounce off of the ropes and he returns with a shoulder block. A couple bigger tosses into Show's body and Cena aims to lift him on to his shoulders - Show getting slightly off of the mat but managing to stay grounded. Show then takes Cena by the throat and plants him with a Chokeslam! Show stands back up and has some words for the disapproving crowd, then dragging Cena by the arm to the ropes and then to the outside. Show then pulls the ring steps apart and removes the top - catching a staggering Cena by the throat once again and this time nailing a Chokeslam on to the steel! Show stands back up and raises his fists over his head to boos - placing a boot on to Cena's motionless body on the steps, as well.
In the back following the break is Josh Mathews as he welcomes Sean O'Haire as his guest at this time. O'Haire steps up with his hands folded, Mathews bringing up how last week, an incident happened where the United States Champion Rhyno hit Torrie Wilson with a Gore. "Intentionally," O'Haire says while pointing his finger. "There is no doubt in my mind that Rhyno - an unsafe, reckless wild man - Gored poor Torrie Wilson on purpose." Rhyno then storms up on to the scene and shouts that O'Haire is so full of it. "You know damn well I didn't hit Torrie on purpose! You know I was trying to rip you in half!" O'Haire squints his eyes and asks Rhyno if he really believes that, because he is completely delusional. "But you know what, Rhyno? I'm going to give you what you have been asking for... this Sunday at Unforgiven, I'm going to face you for the United States Championship and I'm going to take it from you in honor of Torrie." Rhyno scoffs and tells O'Haire he'll see him then and he'll make sure he hits his target this time. O'Haire then turns and walks away, Rhyno left snarling and pounding his fist in to his palm.
2) The Dudley Boyz def. La Resistance as Bubba Ray and D-Von seek revenge after La Resistance attacked their little brother, Spike, last week. Aggressive out of the gate, the young Frenchmen use underhanded tactics to keep the upper hand on the veterans. A fired-up Bubba gets tagged in, however, and tees off on both men. A 'wazzup?' between him and D-Von to Dupree but Grenier is the legal man, allowing a cheap shot that sends Bubba in to the official. Dupree then runs in with the French flag and runs through D-Von with it, waving it over his head proudly afterward. Spike Dudley then suddenly slides into the ring and takes the flag out of Dupree's hands - running to the outside with it! As Dupree chases after Spike, Grenier is left yelling from in the ring, eventually turning in to the 3-D from Bubba Ray and D-Von, leading to the cover and three count at 6:55.
Spike returns to the ring still holding the French flag, laughing it over as Dupree slaps his hands in to the ring apron angrily. As he assists Grenier out and begins to back up the ramp, Bubba Ray makes it a point to take the flag from Spike and break the stick over his knee! The three Dudley brothers stand tall together, leading some 'U-S-A' chants to the disapproval of the defeated La Resistance.
In the back, Chris Benoit is seen talking with A-Train, patting the big men on the chest as he encourages him to destroy The Undertaker tonight. "He is a puppet! He has no respect for you or me! He thinks he runs this show, and he doesn't! I want you to run right through him and break him in half!" A-Train breathes heavily and nods in agreement, assuring Benoit that there won't be anything left of Taker one he's done with him. The two then head off, A-Train taking on The Undertaker - next!
Seen walking backstage angrily after the time away is La Resistance when they are approached by Josh Mathews how they are feeling after what just happened with The Dudley Boyz. "Stupid Americans!" Grenier shouts angrily, Dupree trying to calm his partner before telling Mathews that this isn't over with Bubba Ray and D-Von. "They will be weakened and bend a knee to La Resistance!" The two then continue on their way, angrily talking in French to one another.
3) The Undertaker def. A-Train with Chris Benoit on commentary at ringside, providing a distraction from an initially red-hot Taker and allowing A-Train to strike from behind on the outside and launch 'Big Evil' into the ring steps. The match goes through a commercial break afterward, A-Train continuing to be very aggressive as he pummels Taker in the corner and uses his strength to lift him off the mat repeatedly. Taker begins to mount a comeback, however, and after a few high clotheslines and Old School, Taker aims for the Chokeslam but has Benoit leap on to the apron. A missed punch to his Unforgiven opponent, Taker is then dropped with a running boot. Slipping out of A-Train's grasp on a chokebomb, however, Taker throws a boot to the face, followed by one to the stomach and a huge Last Ride! The cover is then made, and A-Train is put away at 8:43.
Taker emerges back to his feet and holds his fists out to his side, turning around to see Benoit getting into the ring from behind. Taker motions for Benoit to bring it on, yet 'The Rabid Wolverine' backs out through the ropes instead. Backing away from the ring, Taker shakes his head as Benoit looks around the arena and steps over toward Taker's motorcycle - looking to 'The Dead Man' with his eyes widened before pushing the bike over! Benoit then runs away as fast as he can as an enraged Taker steps over to his bike, yelling for Benoit to get his ass back there to no avail as Benoit has shown an utmost amount of disrespect for his Unforgiven foe.
In the back, Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon are seen talking with each other when they are suddenly dropped from behind by Team Angle! Mysterio and Dragon are quick to try and respond but the jump gives Benjamin and Haas the upper hand as they toss the luchadors into production trunks and against the hard wall. Team Angle catches Mysterio running at them and hit him with a back body drop on to the floor! Dragon then wobbles up and he is tossed head-first into the wall and then suplexed on top of Mysterio. Multiple crew members come running on to the scene to put a stop to things, Benjamin and Haas sharing a laugh as they bump fists and walk away from the scene.
Walking through the halls looking very unhappy after the commercial is Mick Foley, coming up to the door of Goldberg and knocking on it before entering. "Bill, I hate to interrupt your preparation but those... those... no good punks from Team Angle just jumped your partners for tonight!" Goldberg crosses his arms and asks if they're alright, to which Foley says he thinks they'll be fine, but they probably won't be able to compete tonight. As soon as Foley suggests that he'll call the match off, however, Goldberg stops him and says that isn't happening. "I get it. I get why you made the match, and I was cool with teaming with those boys... but just because they can't go... doesn't mean I won't." Foley seems hesitant about it but gives Goldberg a pat on the shoulder and wishes him luck.
Back inside of the arena, Jamie Noble stands in the ring with Nidia and Shaniqua at ringside when out to the stage comes Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore, the prior with a microphone in hand as he calls for the crowd to quiet down. "Last week, you people had the honor of being introduced to Matt Hardy Version 2.0: Wrestling savant, master of entertainment! This week, I give you all the honor of meeting Shannon Moore Version 1.0: Mattitude follower, leader of Moore-ons!" He gets a chuckle and points to the crowd, indicating that they are the 'Moore-ons', but they obviously wouldn't get it. "And tonight, Shannon Moore is stepping up to the plate and displaying everything he has learned under my tutelage against you, 'secret boy' Jamie Noble!"
4) Shannon Moore (w/Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy) def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia and Shanqiua) in a back-and-forth contest between the two cruiserweights. As Noble gains the upper hand off a double underhook powerbomb, he is distracted by Hardy talking to Nidia and Shaniqua, prompting Jamie to yell at them to not talk with the Cruiserweight Champion. Noble then returns to Moore and pulls him to his feet, only to end up taking a kick to the stomach and the Twist of Fate! Moore hooks both legs and gets the three count for the win at 3:50.
Hardy smiles and applauds from the outside as he follows Moore out of the ring, raising the arm of his protege. Noble, meanwhile, looks to the outside at Nidia and Shaniqua arguing with his eyes widened - crawling to the ropes and shouting at Nidia to not listen to what Matt had to say! In the meantime, Moore remains hyped over the win on his way to the back with Hardy.
In the trainer's office, John Cena is seen being attended to, wincing in pain as the medical staff attends to him. Josh Mathews then comes into the room and asks Cena if he thinks he'll able to make it to Unforgiven this Sunday. "Don't even question it," Cena says while holding his ribs. "Big Show thinks I'm a push-over, but he ain't seen nothing yet... I'm gonna beat him at Unforgiven and leave him full of regret. He may have bruised my ribs, but in time that will pass... better get that boy a cushion because I'm gonna whoop that giant ass... word life." Cena puts his hands together but again feels the pain and clutches his mid-section, the doctors going back to work on him.
WWE Champion Kurt Angle is seen walking with Team Angle in the back, all smiles, with the main event coming up shortly. The three are then approached by General Manager Mick Foley, asking the group if they are proud of themselves. "You ruined the main event for tonight, I hope you're happy." Angle says that they didn't ruin anything - if Goldberg doesn't want to go out there himself, he'll be the one that ruined things. Foley assures Kurt that Goldberg was adamant about going out there on his own tonight. "Perfect," Angle says. "See, Goldberg is an idiot and doesn't compare to me. At Unforgiven, I'm going to outclass him in every single aspect! Show him what a real superstar, a real athlete is like! But tonight... we're going to have some fun sending a message." The three then continue on their way, Foley left looking none too pleased with their antics and attitude.
At ringside, Cole expresses his disgust over what Angle, Haas and Benjamin have pulled while Tazz counterpoints that it is a part of their strategy. Cole says that nonetheless, we do have Unforgiven coming this Sunday and the duo proceed to run down the card: The Undertaker seeks revenge and to instill respect when he goes one-on-one with Chris Benoit; the Intercontinental Championship is on the line for Raw when 'The Legend Killer' Randy Orton defends against the living legend himself, Shawn Michaels; for Smackdown, the United States Championship is up for grabs as we found out earlier when Rhyno puts his gold on the line against Sean O'Haire; Chris Jericho is set to make his first appearance since his best friend and partner turned on him, Christian, and go against his former ally; John Cena, injured ribs and all, will face The Big Show; the Co-General Manager of Raw Shane McMahon will step back in to the ring in a No Holds Barred Match - Evolution is banned - against Triple H; plus, Brock Lesnar will put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line as he faces a different kind of monster in Kane; then, the WWE Championship match: Kurt Angle defends against the man that has still yet to be pinned or submitted in the WWE: Goldberg!
A knock on the locker room door of Goldberg is then made in the back by security, the number one contender for the WWE Championship busting out from the room with a scowl. He will apparently go it alone against Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas - next!
5) 3-on-1 Handicap Match: WWE Champion Kurt Angle and Team Angle vs Goldberg goes to a no contest as Goldberg shows no fear in getting involved in this match, pushing over Haas as he tags out to Benjamin, only to do the same. Angle refuses to tag in as he orders his proteges to keep going after Goldberg, only to continue to be overpowered. A chop block from Angle allows Haas and Benjamin to gain a bit of an upper hand but a toss over the ropes to Haas and Goldberg catches Benjamin coming off the top rope with a Spear in mid-air! As he gets fired up and sets the stage for a Jackhammer, Angle comes in from behind and throws a series of shots to the back. As Goldberg turns around, Haas returns and, with Benjamin, they jump on the back of Goldberg and bring him down to the mat, all three men with an attack. The referee tries to gain some control, but Angle gets in the face of the official and delivers a headbutt! The assault continues and with the referee out cold, the bell rings as the match appears to be thrown out at 4:33.
The boos come down as the three-on-one assault continues, Goldberg trying to fight back but having Angle run right through him with a shot to the face via the WWE Championship belt! Kurt then mounts over his Unforgiven opponent, throwing punch after punch to the head as Goldberg is busted open. Angle then puts a headlock on while Benjamin and Haas keep putting boots to the body. Kurt then gives some instruction as Benjamin and Haas begin to target the leg. "This is a total mugging!" Cole says. "All according to plan!" Angle eventually releases his headlock on the struggling Goldberg, having Haas and Benjamin pin Goldberg's arms and head to the mat while Kurt applies an Ankle Lock. "Tap out, Goldberg! Tap out!" Angle shouts over and over as Goldberg refuses and struggles in the hold, the blood dripping down his face as Haas applies a headlock just as Angle had before, the beat down eventually causing Goldberg to slowly fade and pass out. Angle continues to twist away at the ankle despite Goldberg's lifeless body, Benjamin lifting the hand and slapping it to the mat in order to display Goldberg tapping out. Angle finally let's go after that, picking his WWE Championship up off of the mat and raising it above his head. "Kurt Angle... WWE Champion... best in the business!" He says, then leaning down over Goldberg and lifting his motionless, bloody skull. "You don't belong, Goldberg! And I will pick you apart at Unforgiven!" Angle shoves the belt in Goldberg's face before rising back up, standing tall with Team Angle at his side looking very proud as Smackdown comes to an end.