February 13, 2003: Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, CA
Footage from the end of last week's episode of Smackdown is shown with Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle brawling to the back during and after the main event. The General Manager of Smackdown Stephanie McMahon would arrive on to the scene as the fight was being broken up in order to announce that added stipulation of a Last Man Standing match to Angle and Benoit's match for the WWE Championship at No Way Out. The Smackdown opening video airs, the Centennial Garden stage hit with pyrotechnics as Michael Cole and Tazz give the introduction from commentary.
Making his way out to kick things off this week is Chris Benoit, the number one contender for the WWE Championship coming down and in to the ring. "You know, I was really looking forward to making Kurt Angle tap out at No Way Out en route to becoming the WWE Champion..." He pauses and says that now, with this added Last Man Standing stipulation, he can't wait to knock Angle out en route to becoming the WWE Champion. He says that he was the one that got the standing ovation at the Royal Rumble because he came up just short. "At No Way Out, I want a standing ovation for being the winner! For beating Kurt Angle and for becoming the new WWE Champion!"
The music of Kurt Angle interrupts, the WWE Champion stepping out to the stage smiling and laughing. "First of all, Benoit, you don't even deserve to be WWE Champion! I proved that when I made your ass tap out at the Royal Rumble, alright? You think you'd make me tap out? You think you'd knock me out?! I'm Kurt freakin' Angle!" He says that he received a standing ovation at the Royal Rumble for being a loser and that's the only type of standing there will be for him when he loses again at No Way Out and has his ankle broken! Benoit steps up to the ropes and leans across them, asking Angle why he doesn't come down to the ring right now. "Why wait another ten days? Why don't you get your ass down here so I can tap you out and knock you out right here, right now?!" The crowd cheers for the suggestion and begins to head down the ramp, Benoit getting ready for a fight. "You know what... I'm too good for this!" Angle says with a shake of his head, instead turning around and heading toward the back as the Bakersfield audience boos.
Cutting backstage to Stephanie McMahon is in her office watching her television with a smile when her door is pushed open and in storms Brock Lesnar. Before McMahon can say anything, Lesnar speaks up. "I want The Undertaker one-on-one tonight," He says — stopping McMahon from replying to that as well. "It's not a question, Steph. It's a demand." He then turns and leaves the room.
1) Non-Title Match: Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia and Nunzio) via pinfall A call back to a match from Survivor Series where Kidman became Cruiserweight Champion, he and Noble have a fast-paced match. The cameras pick up backstage in the middle of the contest to show Matt Hardyon a treadmill backstage watching a monitor with Shannon Moore encouraging him, saying that he beat Kidman last week but he has to lose weight to face Kidman at No Way Out! "Shut up, Shannon! I'm not fat!" He yells. Back in the ring, Noble gets distracted with Nunzio and Nidia flirting on the outside, allowing Kidman to hit a dropkick on the turnaround, head to the top rope and deliver the Shooting Star Press. He hooks both legs and gets the three count.
Kidman celebrates the win with his Cruiserweight Championship as Nunzio and Nidia seem to finally realize Noble lost the match. The cameras pick up backstage again to show Hardy getting off of his treadmill and on to a scale. "I lost an ounce?" He asks. "This treadmill you bought me with your life savings is useless, Shannon!" He slaps him upside the head and tells him to fix this.
Elsewhere in the back, Kurt Angle is seen talking up Team Angleand telling them that after last week's performance in the main event, they've earned themselves a match with Los Guerreros at No Way Out for the WWE Tag Team Championship! "I'm proud of you boys. But you need a warm up before you go up against those cheaters!" He looks over his shoulder and does a double take, walking off and up to Rey Mysterio sitting on a production trunk talking to some people. "Hey, little guy, remember me?" Mysterio rolls his eyes and says he remembers himself and Edge beating Angle a few times. "That's funny, real funny." Angle replies with his hands on his hips. "I hear Edge is busy tonight, but how about you find yourself a partner and face off against the next WWE Tag Team Champions, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, tonight?" Mysterio gets up off the production trunk and nods, telling Angle that sounds good to him. He then heads off, Angle muttering under his breath.
Coming out from the back and rapping following the break is John Cena, going on about how California is whack and that he came in on LAX and ended up here in Bakersfield. He continues on by saying that he is a star and belongs in Hollywood, not some crappy town like this. After giving his signature 'word life' he begins to head to the back, Rikishi making his way out for his match and the two men crossing paths for the second week in a row, staring down before going their separate ways.
2) Bill DeMott def. Rikishi via pinfall A rematch from last week where DeMott got disqualified, the two big men have a back-and-forth match until Rikishi nails a superkick and drops DeMott in the corner. He goes for the stinkface as he did last week but DeMott doesn't get himself disqualified this time, rather grabbing Rikishi and pulling him down back of the head first in to the turnbuckles. Rikishi staggers forward and is wiped out by a clothesline at the hands of DeMott, whom then pulls himself up to the top rope and nails a big moonsault across the ring on to Rikishi, covering him off of the move for the pinfall.
DeMott rolls out of the ring and holds his fists in the air to the booing crowd in celebration. As he is walking up the ramp, Funaki makes his way out with a microphone, introducing himself as Smackdown's #1 announcer before asking DeMott how he is feeling after the win. "I am feeling very, very confident... so confident, in fact, I'm challenging Rikishi to a third match next week. And since he wants to try and keep me kissing his ass, I'll have him kiss mine because I'm challenging him to a Kiss My Ass match!" He shoves Funaki away and laughs, continuing on his way toward the back.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahonis in her office and says that it sounds like we're having a Kiss My Ass match next week. Her door busts open and The Undertaker comes in, towering over McMahon and telling her that he isn't here to ask a favor, but rather make a demand. "I want Brock Lesnar. I want Brock Lesnar and I want him tonight, got it?" He then turns around and leaves, McMahon saying to herself that it seems like she doesn't have a choice — the match is on!
3) The Big Show (w/Paul Heyman) def. Edge via pinfall The size of Big Show obviously comes in to play and he grows very cocky very quickly. Edge surprises after a while of being beat down, breaking out of a Chokeslam attempt and beginning to get things going in his favor. After a top rope dropkick sends Show down, Edge begins to get more fired up. Heyman gets on the apron and begins to argue with the referee, prompting Edge to charge at Heyman and deliver a Spear that sends him flying down to the floor! Edge laughs as Heyman is in pain on the outside but turns right in to the grasp of Show and a Chokeslam for the pinfall.
Show gets back to his feet and raises his hand up proudly to the audience. He goes to the outside and assists Heyman back up, Paul still holding his mid-section and struggling to breath as Show leads the way toward the back while Edge sits up in the ring angrily over the loss.
Backstage in catering, Los Guerreros are seen talking about Team Angle and teaching the rookies a lesson at No Way Out when they defend the WWE Tag Team Championship. They stop in their tracks at the food and turn to see Matt Hardy yelling at Shannon Moore and ripping a burrito from his hand. "You're eating garbage like this?! We are supposed to be on this journey together, Shannon!" Eddie points out the burrito and asks Matt if he's supposed to be on a diet. Hardy quickly denies that he was eating it, to which Chavo says it's okay if he cheats once in a while! "If you want to compete with the Cruiserweights, you've gotta drop to 215, ese!" Eddie says with a laugh, Hardy responding that he is fully devoted to the way of Mattitude and if they want to find out what Mattitude is all about, he and Moore will be glad to teach them a thing or two. Eddie says they'll be glad to take them up on that offer, prompting Matt and Shannon to leave with Hardy yelling at his follower in the process.
A promo video with Sean O'Haire airs as he brings up rules on laws, saying that this country was founded on men that were brave enough to break the rules. "Didn't you ever drink before you were of the age of 21? Have an expired license? Fail to curb your dog?" He says it doesn't make you a criminal and that you're still a good person and that laws are merely suggestions and to live life the way that you want to. "Hell, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know."
4) Team Angle (w/WWE Champion Kurt Angle) def. Rey Mysterio and Tajiri via pinfall Benjamin and Haas seem a bit overconfident as Mysterio and Tajiri come back from some early trouble and turn things around in their favor. Some high flying moves stun Team Angle, Mysterio even hitting a senton over the top rope on to the WWE Champion Angle. As Mysterio goes to return to the ring, however, he is knocked off the apron by Benjamin with a clothesline, whom ducks a Tajiri kick and nails a superkick of his own in to a German suplex from Haas that is bridged for the pinfall.
Team Angle don't take the time to celebrate the win as they instead decide to try and prove a point by assaulting Tajiri further. Mysterio returns to the ring to try and aid his tag team partner, hitting a big hurricanrana that sends Benjamin under the bottom rope. He then trips Haas in to position for the 619 but as he hits off of the ropes, he comes back to a big clothesline from Angle. Kurt begins a beat down of his own on Rey and ends up applying the Ankle Lock! Chris Benoit comes running down to the ring, however, and tackles Angle from behind. The two brawl to the outside with Benoit hitting chops to the chest against the announce table but ends up being jumped from behind by Haas and Benjamin, whom end up hurling him in to the steel steps. Team Angle then bring Benoit over to Kurt on the announce table, the WWE Champion grabbing the leg and putting on the Ankle Lock. Benoit tries to find his way out and pulls himself halfway off of the table but Haas and Benjamin take hold of his arms and pin them against the desk, allowing their leader to continue wrenching back and forth on the hold! "Come on, Kurt! That's enough!" Cole shouts from commentary. Benoit yells out in pain and frustration, multiple officials coming down to ringside to try and put a stop to things. Angle eventually lets up and Benoit falls to the ground, clutching at his ankle and writhing in pain as Angle, Benjamin and Haas leave together, proud of what they have done to the number one contender.
Josh Mathews is standing by in the back after the break and introduces his guests at this time to be Paul Heyman, The Big Showand A-Train. Mathews says that we are just ten days away from the big tag team match of Show and A-Train versus The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar but it sounds like the opponents for Show and A-Train at No Way Out are going to be facing each other tonight. "It's fantastic, isn't it?" Heyman responds with a wide smile. "Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker are so busy with wanting to tear each other apart, how are they ever going to get on the same page when they go up against these two Goliaths? We, personally, are going to enjoy watching Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker decimate one another and after all of that is said and done, The Big Show and A-Train are going to be right there to pick up the scraps." The three then head off together.
Back inside of the arena, Ivory makes her way down to the ring with a microphone in hand and says that Torrie Wilson is trash. "Torrie is not worthy of being in the same ring as me! I've been a veteran of this business for over fifteen years!" She continues to berate her recent rival until Torrie Wilson's music hits and she heads down and in to the ring. "Ivory, you're stuck in the past! This is the 21st Century! But, let me be clear, I am more than just a pretty face or a good body." Ivory scoffs and tells Wilson that she can't hang with her in the ring and to step up next week and face the truth. Wilson looks around to the crowd, nods and drops Ivory with a punch to the face! The veteran rolls out of the ring off the strike, Wilson smiling as she tells Ivory that she accepts the challenge.
Seen in the back is Kurt Angle and Team Anglewhen they are approached by Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon. "I hope you're really proud of yourselves. Chris Benoit's ankle may not be broken, but he's hurt. However, he will be ready for his match with you at No Way Out, Kurt." Angle responds by saying that's a shame, to which McMahon says that she hopes Angle is ready to go next week because he, along with his proteges, are going to be in action. "We're going to have Charlie Haas versus Eddie Guerrero, Shelton Benjamin versus Chavo Guerrero and Kurt Angle versus Rey Mysterio." She tells them to get out of her site, she's sick of looking at them. Angle picks his WWE Championship belt up off of the table nearby and tells McMahon to get used to this site.
A split screen is shown of The Undertaker and Brock Lesnarpreparing for the main event as that match is just moments away after the commercial break.
6) Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker goes to a No Contest A slug fest initially, the match turns to a total brawl between the duo. Undertaker elbows his way out of an F-5 attempt and ends up dropping Lesnar with a big boot. The two continue to battle and in the midst of an exchange of strikes in the corner, the official gets laid out with an elbow from Undertaker, whom rocks Lesnar with a knee to the stomach. He then goes for Old School but as he is on the top rope, Lesnar ends up pushing him down to the floor on the outside! Lesnar drops to a knee to catch his breath, turning and looking up the ramp as Paul Heyman, The Big Showand A-Trainstep out to the stage. Lesnar gets fully back to his feet and motions for the three to come down to the ring, Heyman looking to Show and A-Train before sending Train down. He hits the ring and throws some bombs with Lesnar, Brock getting the upper hand until Big Show enters and strikes from behind.
Show and A-Train continue a two-on-one beat down of Lesnar, Heyman giving orders proudly from the outside. As Lesnar struggles to fend for himself, Undertaker gets on his motorcycle near the ring and drives it up the ramp! "I know these two haven't been getting along, Cole, but Undertaker's just gonna let Brock get the hell beaten out of him?" Asks Tazz. As Taker reaches the top of the stage, however, he looks over his shoulder to the ring as Lesnar is pinned in the corner and being pummeled by the two big men. Seeming conflicted, Taker gets up off of his bike and marches down the ramp, retrieving a steel chair from under the ring and getting in to whack A-Train across the back! He drills Show in the back as well and then swings the chair right in to Train's head to send him through the ropes and to the outside. Taker then turns to Lesnar and holds the chair out for him, Brock a bit hesitant as they stare at Show. Lesnar takes the chair and takes a moment before unleashing with a huge shot to the head of Show! The crowd cheers as Heyman is appalled, screaming that this wasn't a part of the plan! Lesnar and Taker stare at one another, the latter holding his fist out and Brock bumps his with it. The two stand tall as Heyman continues to look worrisome from the outside as Michael Cole signs things off.
What a great layout to this recent post. It flows like an episode of Smackdown and gives a reason for each segment taking place. The characters and story lines fit perfectly for the time period (and what a great period to book as well - so much talent and potential to work with.)
I’m waiting until no way out to give better feedback on the storylines. I’ve only started reading and seems a good place to start. On reading though the one thing that does strike me about the booking is how all the matches have a big match feel to them and are booked in such a way that all involved are protected, no one looking particularly weak.
And on this episode alone, you have captured Kurt Angles heel persona perfectly.
February 15, 2003: Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, CA
1) A-Train def. The B-Train (Brian Kendrick) via pinfall Interrupting a Paul Heyman promo about A-Train and The Big Show overcoming Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker at No Way Out is Brian Kendrick. He tells Heyman to forget about Show and A-Train, to consider 'The B-Train'. Heyman laughs initially but tells Kendrick that if he'll consider his offer if he defeats A-Train tonight. The match goes as one may expect, as despite a few hopeful spots for Kendrick, A-Train overpowers and dominates and puts things away with the Derailer. A-Train and Heyman raise their hands together and stand over the body of Kendrick proudly afterward.
2) John Cena def. Mike Knox via pinfall Cena begins a rap before the match but Knox gets in his face, beginning the match. Despite Knox's power, Cena manages to overcome and after tripping Knox in to the corner, display some power of his own with a spinout powerbomb that gets the three count. Cena continues his rap after the match, dissing Knox and saying he's going to prove every doubter wrong on his rise up. 3) Non-Title Match: WWE Tag Team Champions Los Guerreros def. Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore via pinfall A competitive tag team match, Hardy gets many near falls before turning things over to Moore and telling him to get the job done. In the midst of things, Hardy runs at Eddie from the apron and ends up getting caught on the ropes! Eddie laughs as Moore runs over to try and help his mentor out, getting slapped in the face by Eddie and turned right in to a brainbuster by Chavo for the win. As the WWE Tag Team Champions celebrate the victory together, Moore comes back to in order to help Hardy get out of the ropes. Once Hardy is up, he smacks Moore upside the head as they head to the back.
February 16, 2003: Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA
1) Christian def. Frankie Kazarian via pinfall The young Kazarian surprises an overconfident Christian with a few high flying moves but after a thumb to the eye in the corner, Christian delivers the Unprettier for the pinfall. He taunts to the booing crowd atop the turnbuckles after the bell, pointing to the audience with a smile on his face.
In the back, Tommy Dreamer is seen walking with his kendo stick in hand when he is stopped in his tracks by Ric Flair, Batistaand Randy Orton. "Hey, fat boy! You think you're tough?" Asks Orton. "Because you run around with a cane in your hand?" Flair says if you want tough, take a look at Batista! Dreamer holds his kendo stick up in front of him and says he has seen what they've been doing lately, it's not going to happen to him. Batista rips the kendo stick out of his hands, snapping it in half with ease! "Tomorrow." He simply says before shoving the two broken pieces in to Dreamer's chest. He, Flair and Orton then turn around and walk away.
2) Test (w/Stacy Keibler) def. Aaron Aguilera via pinfall Aguilera matches up in terms of size well with Test but doesn't fair well against the 'Test-icles' leader, ultimately falling to a running big boot. Test and Stacy celebrate after with some fans in the crowd.
3) D'Lo Brown (w/Theodore Long) def. The Hurricane via pinfall A much less one-sided contest than the previous two matches, Hurricane uses his high flying moves to take Brown down repeatedly. After a brief distraction from Long on the outside, Hurricane leaps off the top rope but is caught in mid-air and planted with a sit-out spinebuster that Brown transitions in to the pinfall. Long enters the ring afterward and preaches for the crowd to get 'Down with the Brown'! 4) William Regal (w/Lance Storm) def. Booker T via pinfall After recent weeks of issues with Regal, Storm and Chief Morley, Booker looks to extract some revenge on Regal. After a leaping side kick to Regal that knocks Storm off the apron, Booker prepares for the spin-a-roonie only to stop himself as Chief Morley comes running down and leaps on to the apron himself, yelling across the ring. As Booker approaches, Regal rolls him up for the sudden three count! Regal rolls under the bottom rope immediately and scurries away from the ring with Storm and Morley, having stolen a victory as Booker is left looking distraught and frustrated.
February 17, 2003: Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
Footage from last week's Raw is shown with Mr. McMahon evaluating General Manager Eric Bischoff, noting key moments from it including Bischoff's idea of Triple H vs Scott Steiner for the World Heavyweight Championship. After stating that The Rock would be back at No Way Out, McMahon would give Bischoff time and a warning to deliver The Rock or be fired. Footage from later on of Triple H backstage with Bischoff is also shown, with the World Heavyweight Champion questioning if Bischoff was being serious about the Steiner match, being angered by the silent response that indicated that Bischoff wasn't just saying that to save his job. The Monday Night Raw opening video then airs, the cameras entering the Nationwide Arena from Columbus as Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcome everyone to the show, just six nights away from No Way Out!
Making his way out to kick things off this week is Shawn Michaels, 'The Heart Break Kid' comes down to the ring with a microphone in hand, tapping it in to his palm a few times before speaking up. "Last week, I did something I rarely ever do — I hesitated." He clenches his fist, saying he didn't come down to the ring to help Jeff Hardy out quickly enough and in turn, Hardy got hurt at the hands of Chris Jericho. "This Sunday, however, I will not hesitate to drop Chris Jericho and defeat him! Show him that I'm still 'The Showstopper' and that I'm still Shawn Michaels!" He begins to pace a bit and waves his hands, saying to forget it, he's doing it again. "I'm hesitating... I say, I don't wait until this Sunday! I say Chris Jericho, be a man and get out here right now and we do this right now!"
The crowd cheers for Michaels' suggestion but instead of Jericho coming out, he gets Christian. A smile on his face, Christian tells Michaels he is sorry that this isn't what he asked for. "But due to some unfortunate weather in Winnipeg, Chris isn't here right now." Michaels scoffs, stepping up to the ropes and telling Christian he doesn't believe that for one second. Christian assures him that is the truth of the matter and if Michaels doesn't believe him, he can go search the back himself. "Or, you can listen to what I have to say, Shawn, because I've been thinking for almost a month now about how our last match ended in a way neither one of us would have liked: Disqualification." Christian says that he thinks that the two of them should give that another shot and this time around, they get the outcome everyone expects: Christian defeats Shawn Michaels. "I mean, you're not so much 'The Heart Break Kid' as much as you are as, say, 'The Dead Beat Dad', but..." He lets out a long and loud cackle, Michaels smiling and staring Christian down. "I tell you what. Since Chris Jericho isn't going to come down here and face me like a man himself, I'll take you up on that offer and I'll show you first hand what Jericho has coming to him this Sunday night, pal." Christian drops his microphone and begins to make his way down to the ring, as it seems we have our opening contest for the night.
1) Shawn Michaels def. Christian via pinfall Out of the commercial break, Christian is in control of the match as he keeps Michaels down and slowed. HBK eventually manages to make a comeback but as he goes to the top rope for an elbow, Christian catches him with a shot to the face. They battle a bit on the top rope with Christian hitting a superplex! After a near fall, he gets to his feet confidently and slaps his chest, mocking Michaels in the corner by stomping his foot. He then steps up for the Unprettier but Michaels shoves Christian off, ducking a shot on the return and nailing Sweet Chin Music! He then hooks the far leg for the pinfall!
Michaels gets right back to his feet, fired up as he has his arm raised as the winner. As he climbs up the turnbuckles to look out to the audience, however, he is struck in the back by Chris Jericho! The crowd boos as Jericho pulls Michaels down and stomps down on his chest. "The weather in Winnipeg must have cleared up!" Lawler says. Jericho, in full ring gear, taunts to the audience and heads over to the downed body of Christian, shaking him and yelling at him to wake up. "Let's get him, Christian! Let's get him! Come on!" As Christian is still out cold, Jericho turns back around but walks right in to Sweet Chin Music! Michaels throws his hands around wildly, towering over Jericho as he rolls underneath the bottom rope. "Sunday, Jericho! Sunday!" He shouts while pointing in Y2J's direction.
Seen in the back is Evolution, World Heavyweight Champion Triple H laughing as he says that him having to defend his championship against Scott Steiner tonight, just six days before he has to face Stone Cold Steve Austin, is absurd. Flair points out that if Steiner were to find a way to win tonight, he'd be in the main event of No Way Out against Austin. Triple H scoffs, saying they'll have to make sure that doesn't happen. "As a matter of fact, I know it won't happen... I'll beat Steiner tonight and I'll destroy Steve Austin this Sunday." Flair says he likes the confidence, but right now he has Batista's match with Tommy Dreamer. He leads Batista out of the room, telling Orton to stick with the champ.
2) Batista (w/Ric Flair) def. Tommy Dreamer via pinfall After last night's confrontation on Sunday Night Heat, this match is on. Dreamer tries his best against the powerhouse Batista and even gets a few hope spots, including a roll up after an elbow in the corner. After coming off the ropes in to a spinebuster, however, Dreamer is put down with a sit-out powerbomb. Batista makes the cover, hooking the leg for the one, two, three.
Flair enters the ring applauding, raising Batista's arm up proudly. Batista continues to stare down at Dreamer instead of leaving, however. He pulls away from Flair and walks over to the corner to grab Dreamer's kendo stick, looking up and down at it before swinging it viciously and repeatedly across the back of Dreamer! "Oh for crying out loud!" J.R. yells. "That's enough, Batista! You beat the man, it's over! Leave him alone!" Batista is relentless until the kendo stick snaps in half, causing a twisted grin to form across his face. He finally begins to leave but Dreamer pulls himself to a knee with assistance from the ropes, yelling to Batista and motioning for him to come at him with more! "Dreamer is absolutely nuts, J.R.!" Says Lawler. Batista then storms back over and uses one of the broken pieces of the kendo stick to beat Dreamer down some more, eventually breaking that one down and causing him to go to the other and do the same. Then, for good measure, Batista delivers a second sit-out powerbomb before finally leaving the ring along with Flair. 'The Nature Boy' praises Batista on the way up the ramp as the referee checks on the downed Dreamer in the ring.
In the parking lot, a limousine is seen pulling up. The driver stops the car, exits and comes to the back door, opening it up for Mr. McMahon. The WWE Chairman nods to the driver and begins to walk through the parking lot when Jonathan Coachman rushes up to him, asking McMahon what he is doing here. "This is my show, is it not?" McMahon says with a shake of his head. "Anyway, I'm here to check up on Mr. Bischoff as I don't feel like our confrontation ended so well so I want to see how he is doing... especially with No Way Out this Sunday." He excuses himself and continues on his way.
Following the break, Terri is standing by with Lance Storm and William Regal. Thanking the two for their time, she asks about The Dudley Boyz and facing them for the World Tag Team Championship this Sunday at No Way Out. "We hate The Dudley Boyz," Storm responds. "They represent everything that is wrong with professional wrestling today!" Regal calls Bubba Ray and D-Von thick headed apes and says that they don't have the dignity to be nearly the Tag Team Champions that he and Storm were and soon, once again, will be. Storm adds that once The Dudley Boyz are done being destroyed at the hands of 3 Minute Warning tonight, he and Regal are going to take back their World Tag Team Championship this Sunday night. The duo then head off together.
3) Non-Title Elimination Tables Match: World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz def. 3 Minute Warning (w/Rico) Bubba Ray and D-Von dominate the early portion of the match but as soon as D-Von goes to the top rope to put Jamal through a table, Rico leaps on to the apron, pushes D-Von off and sends him through a table on the outside! As 3 Minute Warning and Rico celebrate, Spike Dudley comes down to the ring and pushes Rico in to the steel post from behind! He then hits a Dudley Dog off the apron and through a table! The match goes through a commercial break, Bubba still trying to fend off Jamal and Rosey. As 3MW is about to put Bubba through the table with a flapjack, D-Von is back in the ring just in time to push the table out of the way. After some back and forth, The Dudley Boyz hit Rosey with a 3D through a table! As they look to put Jamal away, Lance Storm and William Regalcome running down to the ring and on to the apron. Spike returns to the battle and helps fight off Storm, Regal and Jamal, evening the odds. After Storm and Regal are taken out, Rico tries to get involved but eats a big clothesline from D-Von. Jamal is hit with the 3D and placed on to a table after. Bubba then gets on to the second rope, D-Von and Spike lifting Rico up to him in order to leap off the ropes with a powerbomb on to Jamal and through a table to win the match!
Bubba, D-Von and Spike get to their feet together in celebration, pointing in the direction of Storm and Regal up the ramp. They then look over their shoulder to referee Nick Patrick. D-Von and Spike grab Patrick by the collar, Bubba with a smile across his face. "Sorry, Nick!" He says to the referee before he and D-Von hit a 3D through a table on Patrick! "That's the referee for this Sunday's World Tag Title match!" Lawler exclaims. Storm and Regal are in shock as The Dudley Boyz laugh with each other.
In his office is Eric Bischoff talking on his phone when Mr. McMahonwalks in. "Eric! How ya doin'?" He asks with a smile, Bischoff wrapping up his conversation as McMahon doesn't even give him a chance to say anything, asking if The Rock is ready to go this Sunday. "Everything is good, I actually talked to The Rock earlier." McMahon says that's great and suggests that Bischoff give The Rock a call right now! Bischoff pauses, McMahon saying that he hasn't talked to The Rock in a while and he'd like to hear from him. Bischoff waves his hands and tells McMahon that The Rock is a very busy man. "If The Rock is going to work for my company against, I think a simple phone call from him would be appropriate." Bischoff continues to hesitate but McMahon isn't having it, demanding that the Raw General Manager make the call. Bischoff takes a deep breath and clears his throat, grabbing the phone and dialing. After a bit of silence, he begins to talk away from McMahon but the Chairman tells him to put it on speaker phone. Bischoff slowly does so and a woman on the other line asks 'hello?' repeatedly. "Uh, yes, Christina? This is Eric Bischoff, looking to speak to The Rock." She tells him to please hold and The Rock's music plays on the other line. Bischoff and McMahon stand waiting, the latter looking at his watch and seeming to grow impatient. "Mr. Bischoff?" Christina says on the other line, asking if he is still there to which he confirms so. "Hi Eric, The Rock told me to ask — and I quote in verbatim - 'Who in the blue hell is Eric Bischoff'?" Bischoff scrambles to hang up the phone, having to press buttons repeatedly to end the conversation. Stumbling over his words, he laughs and tells McMahon it's a friendly joke. "You know The Rock, you know how he is, sir..." McMahon nods and says that Bischoff better deliver on Sunday because no Rock, no more Eric. "If ya smell what Vinnie Mac is cookin'!" McMahon then struts out of the office happilyas Bischoff is left looking nervous.
Seen walking through the back after the break once again is Mr. McMahon when he is rushed up to by Chief Morley. "Mr. McMahon! Mr. McMahon! Did you see what The Dudley Boyz did out there to a WWE Official?!" McMahon says he did and he'll make sure D-Von and Bubba Ray are reprimanded. Morley says that is unacceptable and Nick Patrick was set to referee the World Tag Team Championship match this Sunday at No Way Out. McMahon tells Morley to relax, he has it all taken care of. "I found a more than suitable replacement for Nick Patrick with Earl Hebner... and, Chief, you do realize this is Earl Hebner and No Way Out is in Montreal, right?" Morley grows a worrisome look on his face, McMahon laughing and telling Morley not to stress. "Maybe it'll allow you to relieve some of that tension if you had a match!" Morley says he hasn't brought any gear, he isn't prepared. McMahon says he likes a man that can do anything asked of him on the spot and that is why he is sending him out there right now to face Booker T! "Time to man up, Chief!" Morley tries to argue otherwise but McMahon turns much more serious very quickly. "If you don't get out there right now, Eric Bischoff won't have himself a Chief of Staff anymore and you'll be going back to making adult videos! So what's it going to be?" Morley is frustrated and bites his tongue before storming off.
4) Booker T def. Chief Morley via pinfall Far from prepared and not even in ring gear, Morley hardly gets any offense in as Booker enjoys every minute of dominating Eric Bischoff's right-hand man. After avoiding a corner clothesline, Booker rips Morley's dress shirt right off of him, angering Morley further. Chief then runs right in to a kick to the stomach followed by a Scissors Kick, leading to Booker covering for the pinfall victory.
The crowd cheers for Booker as he gets to his feet in celebration. "That may not have been a competitive match, but Booker T damn sure isn't afraid to show how glad he is to beat Chief Morley!" Says Ross. With the encouragement of the Columbus audience, Booker performs a spinaroonie much to the chagrin of Morley, whom looks on from the outside, disgruntled.
Seen lifting weights in the back is Scott Steiner when he is approached by Jonathan Coachman, whom asks Steiner about his World Heavyweight Championship match tonight. "Last week, my match with Stone Cold Steve Austin didn't end the way I wanted. So, after I beat Triple H's ass tonight and become World Heavyweight Champion, I'm gonna go to No Way Out and kick Austin's ass! Then, I'm gonna go on to the main event of WrestleMania..." He continues to lift weights as Coachman leaves.
5) Jazz (w/Theodore Long) def. Molly Holly via pinfall Pre-match as Jazz is making her entrance, a video box of other Diva's making their predictions for the Women's Championship match this Sunday is shown, practically split down the middle albeit with Molly specifically on the side of Victoria and claiming Jazz isn't as tough as she says she is. Jazz in the match argues otherwise, however, as she is ruthless with Molly. Despite Molly's best efforts, she ends up being knocked out by a big boot and dropped with the Bitch Clamp for the pinfall.
Jazz rises to her feet and stands over Molly's body, trash talking her as Long gives encouragement from the outside. Catching the audience's attention coming down from the back is Women's Champion Victoria with Stevie Richardsclose behind trying to keep her from getting in the ring. As Jazz eggs Victoria on, the Women's Champion pulls out of Richards' grasp and slides under the bottom rope, getting to her feet and trading strikes with her challenger for Sunday! As Long yells for Jazz to get Victoria, Richards gets in to the ring and pulls the champion off, lifting her over the ropes and on to the apron, telling her to save it for Sunday! The two have a brief argument with each other before Jazz pushes Richards from behind right in to Victoria — launching her down and in to the barricade! Richards looks shocked as he is fast to get out of the ring and check on his fallen partner in crime, Jazz leaving on the opposite side of the ring with a proud Long raising her arm up.
Standing backstage is Chris Jericho with Terri, whom asks Jericho about being laid out with Sweet Chin Music earlier by Shawn Michaels and if it worries him going in to his match on Sunday. "First of all, if it wasn't for the bad weather back home in Winnipeg and my flight being delayed, that wouldn't have happened! Plus, I was concerned for my best friend Christian and his well being, so I was a little distracted from Shawn Michaels!" He says he will be just fine this Sunday at No Way Out and he's going to put an end to this charade that Michaels is still the HBK of old. "After I'm done with Shawn Michaels this Sunday, he'll never... ever... want to be heard... of again." Jericho then walks away.
Returning back inside of the Nationwide Arena, Christopher Nowinski makes his way out from the back with the picket sign he has used lately hanging over his shoulder. He enters the ring and begins to speak but stops himself repeatedly as the crowd mocks and boos him. "Listen, unlike all of you, I am highly educated! I went to Harvard. I'm not some fraternity boy like the illiterate and unintelligent people that go to Ohio State!" He lets the boos sink in and says that he isn't out here to talk about the fans in attendance, but he is out here to request Test and Stacy Keibler come down to the ring because he would like to call for a truce. Waiting a few moments, Test and Stacy Keibleranswer the call of Nowinski and a bit hesitantly come down to the ring. Once in with Nowinski, the Harvard grad explains that he understands that some people just aren't as sophisticated and educated as he is, therefore he would like to let bygones be bygones and just move past their differences. Test looks to Keibler and they have a conversation in each other's ears. "I tell you what, Chris," Test says while shaking his head. "As much as I'd love to kick your head off your shoulders right now, I'd be even happier to never have to deal with you again." Nowinski smiles and extends his hand, Test going to accept it only to instead be hit over the head with the picket sign! "I knew that damn Nowinski was up to no good!" Exclaims J.R. Keibler is shocked as she drops to the mat to check on Test, Nowinski leaving the ring and tapping his temple with a laugh as he makes his way toward the back.
Seen talking backstage ahead of the main event is Evolution with Triple H leading the conversation when the group is approached by Mr. McMahon. "So, this is Evolution, huh?" The Chairman asks. "The past, present and future. Well, if I see what I've seen in the past happen in the present tonight and this main event gets out of hand, then in the future I'm not going to be very happy..." The silence between McMahon and Evolution is interrupted by a phone call for the Chairman, whom answers it and tells the four he has to go. He wishes Triple H luck before leaving, the World Heavyweight Champion looking to Batista, Flair and Orton and telling them to forget what the old man said and to keep an eye out for Austin. "If he decides to show up fashionably late again, we'll handle him and Steiner the same way we did last week." They then head off together with the main event up next. 6) World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H(c) (w/Evolution) def. Scott Steiner via pinfall Similar to their Royal Rumble encounter, Steiner dominates with his power and Triple H struggles to find offense. Trying to slow Steiner down works to his advantage but Steiner's strength continues to prove to be the biggest factor in the match. The match lasts through a commercial break with Flair getting involved continuously. As a Steiner Recliner is being applied, Flair gets up on the apron and it provides a distraction of the referee, allowing Batista to get in to the ring and slug it out with Steiner. As soon as 'Big Poppa Pump' gets the upper hand, however, Orton slides in to the ring and hits Steiner in the face with the World Heavyweight Championship belt! Orton and Batista get out of the ring and Flair drops down from the apron, leading to Triple H hitting the Pedigree and pinning Steiner.
The Columbus crowd boos as Evolution gathers together in the ring and begins to celebrate. "And Steve Austin is nowhere to be found!" Lawler says with a laugh. As Triple H raises up the World Heavyweight Championship, the glass shatter is heard and Stone Cold Steve Austin rolls out from the back on a four wheeler! The audience erupts as Austin gets to the bottom of the ramp, Orton getting out of the ring but being pounced on by Austin, whom pummels Orton a few times before tossing him in to the ring post! Austin then rolls under the bottom rope and gets to his feet, staring across at HHH, Flair and Batista. "Stone Cold is the toughest S.O.B. I've ever met," J.R. comments. "But I don't know if he thought this one through!" The three start to step toward Austin but he ends up reaching in to his boot and pulling out a tire iron! A smile forms across Austin's face as he begins swinging wildly! Triple H avoids a shot and dives out of the ring, Batista taking a big strike to the stomach and rolling out of the ring off of it as Flair eats a shot right to the head! As Triple H, Batista and Orton gather together on the outside, Austin points the tire iron at them before dropping it and flipping Flair off as he gets up before hitting the Stone Cold Stunner! The Columbus crowd is loud as Austin begins to celebrate atop the turnbuckles with beers being tossed to him, making a point to throw the bird toward the rest of Evolution in the process as he looks to become World Heavyweight Champion this Sunday at No Way Out. Austin continues his beer bash as Raw comes to an end.
this was right around the time i got back into wrestling, so i'm already a fan of this diary. i like the subtle changes you made with the no way out card. great having stone cold back "full" time and in the main event picture of raw. i hope there is some sort of realism (due to austin's neck, health issues, etc..) and maybe you conclude his run as a big time player in wwe after wrestlemania. angle/benoit last man standing should be great, but i see angle going over and go into mania against brock. that match should defiantly elevate benoit to the main event and maybe a possible wwe champion before the year is over.
i'm curious to see what you're going to do with hbk/jericho. maybe a no contest then having a blow off at mania (like real life). or they finish the feud here, then the rock returns and you guys could finally pull the trigger on hbk/rock~! like i said, no way out card is looking great and i'm excited to see how you handle edge (not getting injured), along with a possible hulk hogan and rock returns. what about goldberg as well!?
good stuff, as always from you two. keep up the great work.
February 20, 2003: Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
The Smackdown opening video airs before the cameras enter the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana as Michael Cole and Tazz welcome everyone to the show from commentary as we are just three days away from the No Way Out pay-per-view! Before we can get to that, however, we have a lot to get to tonight as it will be The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar teaming up against Nunzio and Jamie Noble, Eddie Guerrero versus Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero against Shelton Benjamin and then our main event as the WWE Champion Kurt Angle will be going one-on-one with Rey Mysterio!
1) WWE Tag Team Champion Eddie Guerrero def. Charlie Haas via pinfall An athletic and combative match up, Guerrero and Haas have plenty of close calls as the contest is very quickly paced. Haas sits Guerrero on the top rope and climbs up looking for a superplex. Guerrero blocks it, however, throwing some strikes to the side before tossing Haas off with a front suplex. He then straightens up and hits a frog splash in the middle of the ring for the one, two, three!
Guerrero gets back to his feet with a wide smile across his face, dancing a bit to the crowd as he celebrates the victory. The cameras cut backstage to Kurt Angle and Shelton Benjaminwatching a television, Angle angry as he says that Guerrero cheated! Benjamin looks confused and tries to say something about Guerrero not cheating but Angle is having none of it. "Charlie got cheated! Now, you and I have to bounce back tonight against Chavo and Rey and bounce back is exactly what we will do because we are Team Angle!" Benjamin nods in agreement as Angle hugs his WWE Championship belt.
Seen sitting in his locker room is Brock Lesnar when the door opens and in walks The Undertaker. Lesnar stands up as Undertaker places his hands on his hips. "I think we're on the same page now after last week," Undertaker says. "But I want to make it clear that after our match this Sunday, I want Paul Heyman." Lesnar argues back that he has a longer, more personal history with Heyman and he wants to be the one to get his hands on Heyman. The two have a stare down before breaking with laughter. "Hell, why don't we both get our hands on Heyman?" Lesnar suggests with a grin. Undertaker says he'll see him out there for their match later on tonight and leaves the room.
2) Ivory def. Torrie Wilson via pinfall Perhaps more than she bargained for, Ivory's overconfidence provides Wilson multiple openings as Torrie catches the veteran off guard with suplexes and simple submission holds. Ivory ends up rolling Wilson up from the corner and holds the tights, giving Ivory the three count.
As Ivory rolls out of the ring holding her arms up in victory, Wilson gets up in the corner and questions the referee while trying to explain to him that Ivory cheated to win with the handful of tights.
Seen limping in the back is Chris Benoit as he is walking through the halls, eventually opening a door and entering the office of Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon. "Steph, you've got Team Angle and Los Guerreros competing tonight and I want to be in action too!" McMahon responds by saying that Benoit's action will be a chair because he needs comfort and rest before his match this Sunday. She says that she might end up losing The Rock completely to Eric Bischoff and Raw, so she can't be risking losing him, too. "Well, I'm not The Rock, Steph! I'm not out making movies! I'm here and I'm here to wrestle!" McMahon says that if Benoit wants to become WWE Champion this Sunday, he needs to listen to what she says and rest his ankle after what Kurt Angle did to him last week. Benoit is clearly frustrated, but seems to accept that he won't be in action tonight. "One leg or not, Steph, I'm going to be the last man standing at No Way Out." He then turns and hobbles back out of the room.
Seen elsewhere doing push ups is Matt Hardy with Shannon Moorestanding over him and giving some encouragement. Moore tells Hardy he needs to make weight tonight, prompting Hardy to stop and get to his feet. "Shut up, Shannon!" He yells. "You're stressing me out! Everybody knows that stress adds weight!" Hardy shakes his head and says that maybe Moore is the reason he has gained weight in the first place! He orders Moore to leave the room and returns to doing push ups after Moore exits.
Walking through the back is Jamie Noble, Nunzio and Nidiawith the two men arguing about who arranged this match tonight with Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. Neither one of them takes the blame for setting the match up and Nidia tries to speak up only for Noble to cut her off. "It was you, wasn't it?" Nunzio nods in agreement and says that broads these days have no idea what they're getting their men in to. Noble asks what he means by 'their men', the trio continuing on their way for that tag team match.
3) Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker def. Nunzio and Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) via pinfall Nunzio and Noble both don't want to start the match before Nunzio ends up being stuck in the ring with Undertaker and beat up until he is rocked in to the corner and in to a forced tag to Noble. Jamie is brought in and is destroyed at the hands of Lesnar and Undertaker, Nunzio eventually trying to get involved as he leaps off of the top rope only to be caught with a boot from Undertaker. A Last Ride is hit after that, Noble left to fall to a Chokeslam before Lesnar is tagged in for the F-5 and the pinfall.
Lesnar and Undertaker stand tall together, bumping fists before going to celebrate the win but they both stop in their tracks as Paul Heyman steps out to the stage. "Wow, oh, wow!" He says with a smile on his face. "It is amazing that the two of you have righted the ship and are on the same page now. However, like all great war Generals, I will adapt and I will overcome with my soldiers!" He draws closer to the ring and gets on to the apron, a bit hesitant before stepping through the ropes. "Although, I couldn't help but hear earlier that the two of you want a piece of me! Hell, why wait until Sunday? I'm right here, right now!" He holds his arms out, Undertaker and Lesnar looking to one another and having a brief conversation before beginning to walk toward Heyman. Before they can even get their hands on him, however, The Big Show and A-Trainstrike from behind! "I knew this was a damn set up!" Cole says. As Heyman gives instruction, Show and A-Train take turns on the two men with double teams, eventually taking things to the outside. Undertaker tries to fight back but A-Train ends up dropping him with a bicycle kick before dumping the motorcycle of 'The Dead Man' on top of him! The crowd gasps as Brock is caught in Show's grasp and hit with a Chokeslam right on top of the steel steps! Heyman instructs that is enough and backs down his two 'soldiers', multiple referees and medical staff coming down to help get the motorcycle off of Undertaker and to check on him as well as Lesnar.
4) Shelton Benjamin def. WWE Tag Team Champion Chavo Guerrero via pinfall Similar to the opening contest between the other two participants in the WWE Tag Team Championship match this Sunday, Benjamin and Guerrero have a very competitive match up. Chavo does go for a roll up with his feet on the ropes but Benjamin manages to get out of it just barely. Much like earlier with his uncle Eddie, Chavo gets in position for a frog splash but Benjamin races up the ropes and delivers a huge belly-to-belly suplex off the top! He hooks both legs off of it and scores the pinfall.
As Benjamin is elated by the victory, the cameras pick up backstage to Kurt Angle and Charlie Haas just as happy as they applaud in front of a monitor. "2-0 tonight, baby!" Angle says, prompting some confusion from Haas but no response. "You know what this means, Charlie? After I beat Rey Mysterio tonight, it'll be a clean sweep. Just like it'll be a clean sweep for us this Sunday at No Way Out!"
Seen drinking a water in the back is Ivory, bragging about her victory earlier to some backstage hands when she is approached by Torrie Wilson asking what the hell that was about earlier. "I just proved everything that I've been saying all along." Ivory snickers and walks away without any more explanation.
5) Kiss My Ass Match: Rikishi def. Bill DeMott via pinfall The rubber match with higher stakes this time around as challenged by DeMott, he appears to grow overzealous as he attempts to get Rikishi to kiss his ass during the match only to be shoved away and laid out with a superkick for a near fall. DeMott begins to mount a comeback but ends up coming off of the ropes right in to a sudden Samoan drop, Rikishi turning it in to a pin for the three count.
The Indianapolis crowd cheers as Rikishi stands back up, grinning ear to ear. He keeps the audience going a bit and prepares to do the deed only for DeMott to strike from behind and club Rikishi repeatedly in the back. Rikishi responds with a huge superkick that sends DeMott falling back down in to the corner, however, putting him in prime position. Rikishi begins to smack his backside in preparation and takes his time backing up for the stinkface and with Rikishi not seeing it, John Cena slides in to DeMott's position! "What is John Cena doing?" Questions Tazz. As Rikishi draws close, Cena hits him with a low blow! Rikishi falls forward to a knee, Cena getting up and wrapping his chain around his fist before rocking Rikishi with a big punch to the head! The big Samoan staggers but doesn't go down, prompting Cena to throw a second punch that rocks Rikishi against the ropes but, once again, doesn't send him down. Cena looks around the building and then re-adjusts the chain, grabbing hold of the padlock and sending it straight in to the forehead of Rikishi — sending him crashing through the ropes and to the outside! As Cena is celebrating the successful beat down, Rikishi is left busted open and motionless on the floor.
Backstage, Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman is seen hanging out when he is approached by Shannon Moore, whom tells Kidman to count the days. "3 days until Mattitude reigns supreme!" He claims that Matt Hardy is in the best shape of his life and that he is going to beat Kidman this Sunday at No Way Out and become the Cruiserweight Champion we all deserve. "We'll see," Kidman says with a laugh. "He has to go out there and make weight first." Kidman pats Moore on the back and walks away.
A video package featuring Sean O'Haire airs where he talks about eating unhealthy. He says that the old saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but why not enjoy some donuts or have a cake even when it's not your birthday. "Maybe it takes some years off your life, but while you're here, treat yourself. Hell, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know!"
Making her way down to the ring back inside of the Conseco Fieldhouse is Stephanie McMahon, a referee and a scale in the ring already. She holds a microphone in her hand, introducing to the ring the Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman followed by Matt Hardyand Shannon Moore. With everyone in the ring together, McMahon addresses the situation at hand. "Very simple, if Matt Hardy is 220 pounds or under, he will challenge Billy Kidman Sunday at No Way Out for the Cruiserweight Championship." She tells Hardy to go ahead and step on the scale but Moore stops McMahon and begins promoting the idea of her following the way of Mattitude, giving Hardy some time do so extra push ups and jumping jacks. She thanks Moore for the offer and again insists Hardy get on the scale but Moore again interrupts her, frustrating the General Manager. "I tell you what, if you interrupt me one more time, Shannon, not only will there be no Cruiserweight Championship match for Matt on Sunday, both of you will be fired!" Moore and Hardy's eyes widen as Hardy puts his hands up, apologizing to McMahon before slowly and gently stepping on to the scale. He covers his eyes and looks over to Moore while sucking his gut in, the referee revealing that Hardy is at 218 3/4 pounds! Moore and Hardy celebrate and embrace one another as Hardy shouts that's the power of Mattitude, baby! Moore breaks from the hug and tries to throw a cheap shot at Kidman but his arm is blocked and he is punched right back in to Hardy — knocking Matt off of the scale! Hardy and Moore roll out of the ring together, Kidman stepping up on to the second rope and holding the Cruiserweight Championship above his head.
Standing in the back is Rey Mysterio as Josh Mathews is standing with him, whom asks about his upcoming match with Kurt Angle. "Once I beat Kurt like I have before, you'll be looking at a new WWE Championship contender!" Chris Benoit arrives on to the scene, telling Mysterio he wishes it was himself out there kicking Angle's ass tonight. He says it's not though, so he asks Mysterio to make him proud and do it for him. The two share a handshake and Benoit wishes Mysterio good luck.
6) Non-Title Match: WWE Champion Kurt Angle (w/Team Angle) def. Rey Mysterio via submission Incredibly fast paced contest between the amateur wrestler and high flyer, re-kindling some magic from their contest at last year's Summerslam. Mysterio has a lot of close calls on inside cradles and roll ups while Angle tries to work the ankle to slow his opponent down. Slipping out of the Angle Slam late, Rey hobbles a little but manages to trip Angle in to the ropes and in position for the 619 but as he goes for it, the WWE Champion grabs the legs and drags Mysterio right to the center of the ring for the Ankle Lock! Mysterio is in clear pain but tries to fight his way to the ropes, drawing closer and closer only to be yanked back to the center and be put in Angle's leg lock — forcing him to tap out!
Angle gets to his feet and holds his fists up high in celebration, Benjamin and Haas joining him in the ring as well. As they go to present him with the WWE Championship belt, however, Angle stops them and looks down at Mysterio. He gives some instruction to the two and they proceed to drag Mysterio to to the outside! "Oh come on, what's the meaning of this?" Cole questions. Mysterio tries to put up a fight but eats some heavy rights from Angle, Benjamin and Haas getting Mysterio on to the announce table for Angle to apply the Ankle Lock once again and in the same fashion he did to Chris Benoit last week! Haas and Benjamin hold Mysterio's arms down across the table to avoid him escaping, the Indiana crowd starting to buzz as Chris Benoit comes hobbling down from the back with a steel chair in hand! Following behind him is Los Guerreros as they charge right at Haas and Benjamin and chase them over the barricade and through the crowd. Angle leaps down from the announce table and stumbles a bit, Benoit swinging the chair but Angle avoiding it just in time as the chair wraps and bends around the ring post! Angle scurries away from the ring and up the ramp, Benoit with a focused stare on the WWE Champion. "Chris Benoit may be on one leg, but he's damn sure intent on being the last man standing and new WWE Champion this Sunday." Tazz says. Cole then signs things off as the show concludes.
February 22, 2003: Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, CA
1) John Cena def. B-Ry Kendrick (Brian Kendrick) via pinfall After interrupting Paul Heyman last week, Brian Kendrick comes in during the middle of a John Cena rap with one of his own, dubbing the rap name of 'B-Ry Kendrick'. Taking offense, Cena challenges Kendrick to a match and despite the strongest efforts of 'B-Ry', he ends up being put away with a spin out powerbomb at the hands of Cena, whom gets back on the microphone after the bell to continue, making a point to say that he's the only one with real rapping skills around here.
2) Tajiri def. Johnny Jeter via pinfall Jeter puts forth a relative challenge to Tajiri in the early goings but after getting caught in the Tarantula, Jeter is left to fall to the Buzzsaw Kick, giving Tajiri the pinfall victory. 3) Edge def. Kanyon via pinfall After having his hot streak be halted slightly in a loss to The Big Show a little over a week ago on Smackdown, Edge looks to come back strong against a returning Kanyon, whom gets some offense in himself. After the match goes to the outside, Edge ends up nailing a Spear before bringing Kanyon back in to the ring to hit the Edgecution and put Kanyon down for the three count.
February 23, 2003: Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, CA (Held Live Before No Way Out)
Standing outside in the middle of a snow storm outside of the Bell Centre is Eric Bischoff, the Raw General Manager bundled up as he is trying to get reception on his cell phone. "Yes... yes — hello? Hello?! This is Eric Bischoff calling for The Rock!" He repeats his name a few times but seems to lose his signal. "You've... you've got to be kidding me!" He closes the phone and walks away angrily.
Jonathan Coachman is standing by backstage with Jazz and Theodore Long, asking about Jazz's match later on tonight with Victoria for the Women's Championship. "Coach, are you on Jazz's side?" Long asks, to which Coachman says he is impartial. "Well, you shouldn't be! Because just like the white man, the white woman is holding us down! Unfortunately for Victoria and all of the other women in WWE, the bitch is back and the bitch is black!" He says that after tonight, however, the white woman no longer holds down Jazz because you'll be looking at the new Women's Champion.
Josh Mathews is also backstage for the Smackdown side of things, getting a word with Team Angle, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, and asking if the duo are prepared to face the veteran WWE Tag Team Champions Los Guerreros. "We are students of the WWE Champion Kurt Angle," Haas replies. "We are learning from the absolute best!" Benjamin adds that they are prepared for anything because they have been going through Angle's rigorous training regimen. "We follow the three I's: Intensity, integrity and intelligence! Something Eddie and Chavo Guerrero don't have." Haas and Benjamin share a laugh with the prior saying Team Angle is walking out with all of the gold tonight.
Terri is with Shawn Michaels, mentioning that he is not only facing a bitter enemy in Chris Jericho but that he is in a hostile environment here in Montreal. "Let's address the elephant in the room, shall we?" He responds with a grin. "Obviously, Montreal and myself have a bit of history. We don't have the best relationship but regardless of whether the fans boo me or cheer me, it doesn't matter where I am because I am going to beat Chris Jericho tonight clean as a whistle, fair and square." 1) Booker T def. Chief Morley via pinfall After being unprepared and surprised by Mr. McMahon with a match against Booker T on Raw, Morley set up a chance at redemption and revenge tonight. Things are much more competitive than they were this past Monday night, but after a flapjack in to the turnbuckles, Booker drops Morley with the Scissors Kick to beat him for he second time this week. After the match, Booker celebrates with the Montreal audience by doing a spinaroonie as Morley is left watching angrily from the outside.
February 23, 2003: Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, CA
With "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence in the background, a voice over welcomes everyone to a Raw and Smackdown production: No Way Out! The cameras then pan inside of the Bell Centre above the border in Montreal, the stage lightening up by pyrotechnics as the voice of Jim Ross welcomes all to the show, representing Monday Night Raw alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler as we are on the last big stop before WrestleMania! After they discuss some of the things on their side of the card tonight, J.R. sends things down to ringside to Michael Cole and Tazz for Smackdown, whom do much of the same to talk about what is to come on their side of things. After briefly sending things over to Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera for the Spanish commentary, Cole mentions that the upcoming opening contest features four of the blue brand's biggest and baddest superstars competing in tag team action!
Kicking the match off is Lesnar and A-Train, the latter getting some early offense in only to grow a bit too confident too early on as he decides to do some premature celebrating with Show and Paul Heyman, leading to Lesnar plowing through him with a clothesline. After some powerful suplexes and tosses, Lesnar makes a tag to Undertaker. The two dominate for a while as they tag in and out, taking turns going off on A-Train. They get him up in the corner, at one point Taker unloading with punches and tagging out to Lesnar for some shoulder thrusts. As Taker goes for Old School, Show ends up getting involved by pushing him down and hanging him across the ropes. A-Train gets a chance to recover, turning the tables in the contest as he and Show take their turns coming in and out of the ring and dominating 'Big Evil'. Show locks hands with A-Train behind the back of the official during an abdominal stretch, coming off with an elbow across the chest for a two count. Show tosses Taker in to his corner and has some words for Lesnar, warning him that he's next before charging at Taker and missing with a clothesline! As he drops to a knee, Taker stumbles across the ring to make a tag to Lesnar at the same time A-Train is brought in, the two slugging it out with Lesnar getting the upper hand. After a couple of belly-to-belly and German suplexes, he takes Show over the top rope with a clothesline. Heyman gets on the apron and begins to yell at Lesnar, prompting his former client to storm over, take him by the back of the neck and drag him in to the ring. As Heyman begs and pleads, Lesnar hoists him up on to his shoulders! "Paul Heyman's about to get what he's had coming for a long time!" Says Cole. Show gets back in to the ring, however, and takes Lesnar by the throat to put a stop to it. Taker comes in and clasps his hand around Show's throat himself, Lesnar stumbling back in to the corner. A-Train comes charging in with a bicycle kick, Taker moving out of the way just in the nick of time and it leads to Show being blasted by his own partner's boot and knocked through the ropes to the outside! A-Train is in disbelief and turns right to Lesnar and the F-5! Brock then hooks the far leg for the one, two, three! Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker def. A-Train and The Big Show via pinfall!
Lesnar hops back to his feet as Undertaker walks up next to him, the referee raising their arms up as the winners. The two have a brief stare down before bumping fists with one another, sharing a respectful nod while Heyman, A-Train and Show sulk on their way up the ramp and toward the back.
Turning things over to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, they bring up how Eric Bischoff's job was on the line a few weeks ago when he promised Mr. McMahon he would deliver The Rock tonight at No Way Out. The two head back to footage from Sunday Night Heat earlier where Bischoff was trying to call The Rock outside but due to the bad weather, couldn't get any connection. Back live, Eric Bischoff is now in his office still trying to get a hold of The Rock is on his phone, but failing to get reception. "This... this is why I live in the United States..." He closes the phone, saying that his job is all in the hands of The Rock.
Seen elsewhere backstage looking in to a mirror with her Women's Championship is Victoria, talking to herself as Stevie Richardscomes up from behind and asks if she is sure she wants to go through with this. "I know that you're worried, Stevie, but I'm not!" Victoria snaps back as she turns to Richards. "What? Because she took poor little Trish Stratus out I should be worried?" She says that Jazz thinks she is the baddest bitch around but she's going to find out the truth tonight.
Off the sound of the bell, the two Divas charge at each other and have a scrappy slap and hair pulling fight to kick things off, turning in to fists being thrown and power on display. Stevie Richards and Theodore Long get in to it on the outside as the two women trade back-and-forth momentum. After a powerslam leads to a two count for Jazz, she begins to work the neck more on the mat. Jazz makes it a point to show her strength over Victoria but the champion eventually works her way back up and begins to get things going herself, taking Jazz down repeatedly and surprising her with a boot to the face in the corner. After a near fall following a superkick, Victoria starts to grow a bit frustrated. After a Widow's Peak is broken out of and Jazz gets a near fall on a roll up, Victoria hits a big clothesline. After a few stomps and punches away at Jazz, the two get up in the corner and Jazz shoves Victoria across the ring and away from her. Richards gets on to the apron and argues with the referee and, eventually, Jazz as well. As they are going at it, Victoria rolls out of the ring and retrieves her Women's Championship belt. She holds it in position to go after Jazz with it but Long gets on the apron away from behind and rips the title out of the champion's hands! As Victoria turns and glares at Long, Jazz clocks Richards with a punch to the face and sends him down. With Victoria and Long yelling at one another, Jazz comes up from behind and delivers the Bitch Clamp! She then rolls Victoria over and gets the pinfall. Jazz def. Victoria via pinfall to become the NEW Women's Champion!
The crowd boos as Jazz gets to her feet proudly, Long entering the ring smiling with the Women's Championship in his hand and presenting it to the new champion! "Jazz said she was back," Lawler says. "And now she's definitely back as the new Women's Champion!" As Long and Jazz celebrate the big win, Victoria is consoled and controlled on the outside by Richards.
Hanging out backstage is Chris Jericho and Christian bashing Shawn Michaels. "We may not be from Montreal, but we are Canadian," Christian says. "So maybe we should get a little Montreal Screwjob revenge on Shawn Michaels tonight!" Jericho laughs and tells Christian as sweet as that kind of payback would be, it won't be necessary because the Michaels of today is nowhere near the Michaels of old and he is going to prove that tonight. Jericho then heads off with the match coming up next.
Jericho charges right at Michaels out of the gate but 'The Heart Break Kid' is ready for him and takes him down multiple times, frustrating Jericho early on. The two end up locking up with one another and Jericho turns the tables with take downs of his own, growing cockier by the minute as he forces Michaels in to the corner and flexes toward him as the referee gets in between them. The contest continues being very back-and-forth, the pace ramping up with near falls for both men until Y2J ends up going for the Walls of Jericho, Michaels fighting against it and prompting Jericho to instead fall back and launch Michaels up and over the turnbuckles and face first in to the ring post! Michaels collapses over the ropes and to the outside, leading to Jericho beginning a slow and methodical vicious assault of his bitter rival, pulverizing him with strikes on the outside and eventually back in the ring where he works to tire the veteran. With the crowd not on Michaels' side due to the hostile environment, they boo as he begins to come back from a chin lock and begin to get some momentum going. After ducking a Jericho clothesline, he chops the chest repeatedly and clotheslines him over the ropes, proceeding to ascend the turnbuckles to the top and hit a big crossbody to the outside. Michaels is fired up and embraces the disapproval of the Montreal crowd. "Shawn Michaels is fueled by the boos of this audience just as much as the cheers he would receive anywhere else in the world!" Says Ross. Michaels brings Jericho back in to the ring and begins to tune up the band but Jericho catches the leg, sweeps the other and puts Shawn in to the Walls of Jericho! The crowd cheers happily as Michaels appears to be in trouble, HBK scratching and clawing his way to the ropes with Jericho pulling him right back to the middle. Struggling for quite some time, Michaels keeps on fighting and refusing to submit, at long last managing to find his way to the ropes and force the referee to make a four count and get Jericho to break the hold. Y2J takes no time to let Michaels recover, however, as he continues to go after his opponent with punches to the head and stretches to the back. A flurry of strikes followed by a flying forearm lead to Michaels kipping up, getting fired up once again as he lets Jericho rise, whiffing on a superkick but ducking a punch and nailing one directly to the chin! He makes the cover but Jericho is wise enough to get his foot on the bottom rope just as the referee is about to count the three. Michaels can't believe it and both men are growing tired as Jericho is brought back to his feet, a whip off of the ropes with Jericho coming back with a slide under Michaels' legs, tripping him up and dragging Shawn to the outside only to be pushed back in to the barricade and then tossed face first in to the ring post. Michaels then pulls himself on to the apron and goes to the top rope, looking around the arena before hitting a moonsault to Jericho on the outside! Michaels gives a taunt to the crowd as he tosses Jericho back in to the ring again, rolling back in to the ring and standing in the corner, beginning to stomp his foot and tune up the band. As Jericho starts to stir, however, the Bell Centre roars upon hearing 'If ya smell! What The Rock! Is cookin'!', causing Michaels to pause completely and look up the ramp, a puzzled look across his face. The distraction proves costly as Jericho comes up from behind and rolls him up for the three count! Chris Jericho def. Shawn Michaels via pinfall!
Jericho rolls out of the ring, fists in the air in celebration as Michaels gets back to his knees, pulling his hair back as he looks up the ramp to The Rock stepping out to the stage! "He's here!" Lawler yells. "The Rock is actually here!" He stares down to the ring, lowering his sunglasses slightly to lock eyes with Michaels. "And it looks like he has business with Shawn Michaels..." Mutters Ross. Rock raises an eyebrow, pushes his sunglasses back up and returns to the back as Michaels is fuming!
Seen hanging out in their suite together is Evolution, Ric Flair bringing women in to hang around as they take seats on the couch with Randy Orton and Batista, Flair looking to Triple H as he is staring at the table and his World Heayweight Championship belt. "Champ, you good?" Asks Flair, to which Hunter stands up and says he is more than good. "Scott Steiner is in the rear view mirror and soon enough, Stone Cold Steve Austin will be as well and I've got the three of you to thank." He says he'd propose a toast but since he has his match tonight, he'll save that toast for their celebration later on.
Storming through the backstage area is Shawn Michaels, questioning backstage officials and on hands where The Rock went. He comes across Al Snow, The Hurricaneand Mavenhanging out together and asks them as well. They point in him a direction and he starts heading that way only to be cut off by Jonathan Coachman. Michaels attempts to blow him off but Coachman says he really needs to talk to him. "Your wife called while you were out there and she needs you home right now." Michaels asks if Coachman is serious, to which he tells Michaels it sounds serious. 'The Heart Break Kid' looks visibly frustrated but hurries off in the opposite direction of where he was headed before.
Beginning things are Eddie and Benjamin, an athletic and quick paced start to the match with both men looking to be on their A-game with their transitions both on their feet and on the mat. Eddie gains the upper hand after a spinning DDT and begins to tag in and out with Chavo, the champions firing on all cylinders and not even having to get in to their lying, cheating and stealing tactics. After Benjamin hits a spinning wheel kick on Chavo, both men crawl to their corners and make respective tags with Eddie and Haas going back-and-forth. After a series of suplexes, Chavo goes to the top rope but Haas runs up with him and goes for a hip toss, Chavo fighting back and pushing Haas down. He seems to be prepared for a frog splash but Benjamin comes over and sweeps the legs out from beneath Chavo. Eddie charges over and he and Benjamin begin to battle on the floor, leaving Chavo and Charlie to go at it for a little bit before Haas delivers an Angle Slam! He hooks both legs but Eddie pulls him under the bottom rope to break up the count. They exchange strikes and Eddie begins to take control, chopping the chest and rocking Haas against the apron. The referee orders Haas back in to the ring and then goes back to check on Chavo, Benjamin taking advantage and low blowing Eddie from behind! Haas tosses Eddie to the side and returns to the ring, coming up to Chavo but being rolled up for a close two count! Haas responds with a backslide that leads to a two count of his own, then rolling Chavo up with a handful of tights. Team Angle starts to double team Chavo and tag in and out frequently, keeping him cut off from his own corner. Chavo kicks out of many pin attempts, however, frustrating Benjamin and Haas as they continue to resort to underhanded tactics with Benjamin almost getting the win on a sunset flip with both feet on the ropes, Chavo able to bust out of it just in time and begin to mount a comeback. He makes a hot tag to Eddie, whom comes in unloading on both members of Team Angle. After a back body drop to Benjamin sends him scurrying under the ropes, Eddie proceeds to nail Haas with the three amigos. Fired up, he points over to Chavo and makes the tag to him, telling him to finish things off. Benjamin returns to the apron and battles with Eddie a bit, kneeing him in the stomach and dragging him to the outside and following after him. Haas and Chavo, meanwhile, have a brief battle in the corner with Chavo going for a brainbuster, Haas pulling Chavo down on it and in to a cover, Benjamin hurrying over to hold Chavo's feet down out of the sight of the referee as he makes the count of three! Team Angle def. Los Guerreros via pinfall to become the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions!
Benjamin and Haas are absolutely ecstatic as they embrace one another on the outside, Chavo and Eddie in disbelief as they kneel beside one another against the ring ropes. "Team Angle has all the gold now, Cole!" Says Tazz. "For now, anyway!" Benjamin and Haas are presented with the belts and they hold them over their head jumping for joy as if they have just won the Super Bowl!
In the back, WWE Champion Kurt Angle is seen pumping his fists proudly as Josh Mathews enters the room and congratulates him on his proteges winning the WWE Tag Team Championship, questioning if he believes he'll do the same later on against Chris Benoit. "Did you see that? My boys, Team Angle, just won the WWE Tag Team Championship fair and square! The American way! They remind me of a young man in the '96 Olympics who won a gold medal with a broken freakin' neck!" He asks Mathews if he knows who that person is, cutting him off before he can answer saying that was a rhetorical question because everyone knows the answer. "Tonight, I face somebody who similarly suffered a broken neck but the difference, Josh? Chris Benoit is not winning the gold. He's losing to that man that won in those Olympic games... Kurt Angle. The WWE Champion. The absolute best! Oh, it's true... it's damn true."
Heading back to ringside to Michael Cole and Tazz, the two discuss Angle's words as well as the WWE Tag Team Championship changing hands just moments ago and now we have another championship match coming up as Billy Kidman defends the Cruiserweight Championship against Matt Hardy. They then show a short video package highlighting Hardy's training over the past few weeks, all leading up to him just barely making weight to be classified as a cruiserweight this past Thursday on Smackdown, the weigh in descending in to chaos with Kidman standing tall with his Cruiserweight Championship belt.
Starting things off with a test of strength, Hardy boasts about overpowering Kidman. The champion laughs it off and comes right back at Hardy, fast and agile as he moves around Hardy with relative ease, stunning him with multiple take downs, dropkicks and other fast maneuvers that force Hardy to roll to the outside and recuperate with Shannon Moore. As they are talking things over, Kidman takes it upon himself to dive over the ropes and on to both men! He brings Hardy back in to the ring for a cover and a near fall, continuing with the quick pace, causing Hardy to get winded more and more. Ducking a clothesline coming off of the ropes, Kidman bounces off of the other side of the ring but returns to a sleeper hold from Hardy. Matt uses the opportunity to slow the match down and gain some control at his own pace, Kidman working to fight his way out of Hardy's grasp only to be brought down to the mat and for Hardy to dominate the contest on the mat for a bit. They eventually get back up in the corner where Kidman elbows himself out of Hardy's grip and drops him with a leaping kick to the back of the head. Kidman steps out to the apron and looks to Moore on the outside trying to will Hardy on, giving himself the opportunity to drop down and lay Moore out with a punch. The champion then gets back on to the apron and takes a kick to the stomach, Hardy following up with a forward suplex across the ropes that leads to a two count on a cover for him. Hardy keeps up off of that with once again keeping the match speed slowed down completely, the crowd getting a bit behind Kidman as he begins a second wind of momentum his way, stunning Hardy briefly with a hurricanrana and a near fall. After a big enzuigiri to counter Matt's attempt at offense of his own, Billy brings himself out to the apron and begins his ascent to the top rope with Hardy in position for the Shooting Star Press. Just as he leaps off, however, Moore is in the ring to push Hardy's body out of the way and take the move! "Shannon Moore just sacrificed himself for Matt!" Exclaims Cole. Kidman gets back to his feet after realizing he just hit Moore and walks in to position for the Twist of Fate. Kidman breaks free of it though and pushes Hardy away, stepping in to an attempt at the Side Effect instead, the champion with elbows to the back of the head to get out of that grip. A kick to the stomach and a DDT attempt for Kidman is reversed with a shove in to the corner, a kick to the stomach and the Twist of Fate! Hardy hooks both legs and gets the one, two, three! Matt Hardy def. Billy Kidman via pinfall to become the NEW Cruiserweight Champion!
The bell sounds and Hardy leaps to his feet, fists in the air as he falls back against the ropes in celebration. After the commentary team highlights the replay to Moore giving himself up for the Shooting Star Press and Hardy's win, we come back live to Matt ordering Shannon to place the Cruiserweight Championship belt around his waist, Moore doing so and falling back down to a knee in a daze after, Hardy holding both fists in the air as he yells to the audience: "Mattitude will make you a champion!"
Seen walking backstage with the WWE Tag Team Championship belts around their waists are the new champions Team Angle, smiles on their faces as they pass Edgeand Rey Mysterio. The two sides have a stare down with Edge looking them up and down, congratulating them on their win, mentioning that it was their leader, Kurt Angle, that he and Rey won those belts from to become the second ever WWE Tag Team Champions. "Maybe another run is in the future, huh, Rey?" Team Angle scoffs and continues on their way, coming around a corner and stopping as Brock Lesnar stands in their path. "Where do you two think you're going?" He asks. Haas and Benjamin look to each other with Charlie saying they're heading down to the ring to support Kurt Angle in his WWE Championship match. Lesnar shakes his head and says they aren't going out there unless they want a problem on their hands. "And being the winner of the Royal Rumble match, I don't think Kurt would appreciate it too much if you pissed me off." Team Angle look to one another, then at Brock before turning and walking away.
A video package showing the history of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit over the past year is shown, from the two being forced in to being a team together to being bitter rivals and battling in an instant classic last month at the Royal Rumble event. Angle would be victorious but Benoit would receive a standing ovation from the audience for his valiant effort. Coming out of that pay-per-view, Benoit would still stake his claim to another title match, willing to prove himself and doing so multiple times including in a handicap match against Team Angle. After a brawl between the two during a six man tag team match main event on Smackdown, the two would battle to the back where General Manager Stephanie McMahon would declare their match at No Way Out would not just be a normal contest but a Last Man Standing match. The video highlights the ruthless attack of Angle, Benjamin and Haas on Benoit on the announce table where they would injure Benoit's leg, 'The Rabid Wolverine' responding the following week by telling McMahon that one leg or not, he'll be the Last Man Standing and the new WWE Champion as he would chase Angle off at the end of the night with a steel chair.
The referee calls for the bell and a hobbling Benoit comes out of the corner strong with punches and kicks to the mid-section via his good leg as he corners Angle. Hard chops and a series of big suplexes has Angle stunned and Benoit fired up, Angle cowering in the corner and hitting Benoit with a low blow as he draws near! The boos come down as Angle then begins to target the bad leg of Benoit, working it with kicks, submission holds and even wrapping it around the ring post — prompting multiple counts of four and five from the official in the process. Angle brings Benoit to the outside and drops him on his back, looking to bring the leg to the steel steps only for Benoit to use his good leg to shove Angle off and trip him over the steps. Angle gets back up and is laid out with a big suplex on the floor! The referee reaches a five count and Angle is back up for another suplex, another five count coming out of it. Benoit goes for another one but Angle holds the ring ropes to stay grounded, throwing an elbow to break his opponent's grasp. Angle then goes over to the timekeeper and takes the steel chair, going to swing it at Benoit only to be hit with a drop toe hold that causes Angle to hit the chair face first on top of the ring steps! After a six count from the referee, Benoit takes the chair himself and begins to unload on the WWE Champion relentlessly. He brings things back in to the ring and after giving one big shot across the back, Benoit tosses the chair aside and makes his way to the corner, heading to the top rope slowly as he nurses his leg on the way up. He stands up straight after getting there and the referee breaks up his count on Angle to try and reason with Benoit to get down but 'The Rabid Wolverine' dives off for a headbutt only for Angle to pull the steel chair in his place and cause Benoit to crash and burn right in to it! Angle gets back to his feet in the corner with a smile, watching on as Benoit is laid out. The official checks on the number one contender, prompting Angle to storm over and demand he start counting and quit checking on Benoit. The referee reaches a count of seven before Benoit starts to stir, just barely getting himself to his feet by nine. Angle shakes his head and hooks the waist of Benoit from behind, the two struggling with each other for a bit before Angle drives a boot in to the back of Benoit's leg. He goes for an Angle Slam but Benoit is able to slip out of it, crawling to the opposing side of the ring and catching Angle with a belly-to-belly suplex over the top rope and to the floor!
Benoit drops to a knee and tells the referee he's fine and to start counting. The official goes to the outside to check on Angle before counting, the champion staggering to his feet at a count of seven with Benoit coming at him with a hard punch to the face, chops to the chest and slamming Angle's head repeatedly off the announce table. "Benoit is taking it to Angle here, Cole!" Tazz says. "Right in front of us, too!" Benoit brings Angle on to the desk and takes him by the legs, applying a Sharpshooter! Benoit pulls back on the hold as hard as he can, yelling out as Angle suffers for a long time in the hold, even tapping out although it doesn't mean anything! Eventually, Benoit's bad leg gives out and he is forced to let go and fall to the floor. The official begins a count with Benoit dragging himself up via the ring apron at five, Angle slowly pulling himself off of the table at eight with his feet wobbling beneath him. Benoit steps up behind Angle and turns him around, being smashed right in the face with a television monitor! The crowd gasps and boos as Benoit slams down to the floor, the referee checking on him before starting his count. At seven, Benoit gets to a knee with blood coming from his forehead. At eight, he manages to get himself up, falling back against the ring to stay standing. Angle shakes his head in disbelief, muttering to himself before charging at his rival and unloading with punches to the open wound. "Kurt Angle is like a wild animal!" Says Cole. "Maybe more like a shark because there's blood in the water!" Angle throws Benoit in to the steel steps, the ring post and the barricade before tossing him back in to the ring, pulling his straps down and putting the Ankle Lock on. Benoit yells out in pain as he tries to drag himself over to the ropes, Angle ripping him right back to the center and latching a leglock on to the hold! Benoit continues to lose blood and starts to lose his fight, eventually not moving at all. Angle lets go of the hold and rises to his feet, fists in the air as he begins a celebration. The referee begins his count, Angle climbing to the second turnbuckle and raising his fists to the booing audience. They start to cheer, however, as Benoit grabs on to the ropes at seven and works his way up at nine, Angle in disbelief! He looks around the ring and picks up the chair from earlier, storming up to Benoit and driving it horizontally in to the back of Benoit's leg! Benoit drops and screams in agonizing pain, grabbing at the back of his leg as Angle tosses the chair to the outside, watching intently as the referee's count grows higher. Benoit takes the ropes at a count of six and tries to pull himself up only to fall back down halfway up, the referee's count coming to ten and bringing a merciful end to the match. Kurt Angle def. Chris Benoit to retain the WWE Championship!
The bell rings, Angle still standing in the corner as he looks down at Benoit, still hurting badly. The official brings Angle his WWE Championship belt, although the champion remains staring down at Benoit rather than celebrating at first. Eventually, he raises his belt up to the booing crowd and leaves the ring, making his way toward the back with his title over his shoulder. Back in the ring, the referee calls for help down to the ring as a second official comes down to aid Benoit to the outside. The two throw Benoit's arms over their shoulders as they assist him toward the ramp, the crowd giving a standing ovation to their fellow Canadian. Getting to the aisle, Benoit tells the referees to stop and pushes them aside, starting to walk under his own power only to make it a few feet and collapse back down to all fours. The officials hurry back up to him, help him to his feet and take him backstage.
A video package for WrestleMania XIX airs as the biggest show of the year heads to Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington live on March 30th! The cameras pick up backstage after the video to Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff talking with Mr. McMahon, the Chairman congratulating Bischoff on delivering on The Rock and keeping his job. As Bischoff is patting himself on the back, The Rockwalks by on his cell phone and McMahon notes his presence with a smile, offering up a hug only for Rock to put a hand in McMahon's face. He then looks at Bischoff, whom offers up a handshake while welcoming him aboard. "The Rock doesn't know what kind of ship you're running but The Rock only swings one way!" He says with Bischoff saying he means welcome to Monday Night Raw. Rock appears confused and questions Bischoff what his name was again. "Rock... come on, it's me, it's Er—", the crowd coming alive as Rock cuts him off. "IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS!" Rock returns to his conversation on his phone as McMahon laughs, telling Bischoff that he has missed that!
Storm and Regal struggle to start things off so they try and bully referee Earl Hebner as they have Nick Patrick recently but Hebner isn't having any of it, prompting further frustration. As Storm tries to tower over Hebner in the corner, Bubba Ray comes up from behind and hits him with a Bubba Bomb. A near fall as Regal breaks it up. The match gets more conventional following that as there are frequent tags in and out on both sides, D-Von eventually getting caught in the corner of Storm and Regal as they take turns striking away at him. D-Von nearly gets to his corner but Regal catches him by the leg and drops him to the mat, applying a headlock on the mat. The audience gets behind D-Von as Bubba fires them up on the apron, D-Von eventually working his way back to his feet and breaking out of Regal's hold, teeing off on him and then flying off the ropes with a shoulder block. Both men then crawl to their respective corners, each making the tag with Bubba storming in and ducking a clothesline from Storm before unloading on him with punch after punch. Ducking a strike back, Bubba charges at Regal and clotheslines him over the ropes before hitting Storm with a boot. He then tags back out to D-Von and holds Storm's legs wide, the crowd's cheers turning to boos as before they can even say 'whazzup?!' to one another, Chief Morley storms down from the back yelling at the two of them. He gets on the apron as D-Von drops down, The Dudley Boyz looking at one another before pulling Morley in to the ring, holding him by the collar before dropping him with a 3D! They get back up together and kick Morley out of the ring, Storm rushing in from behind and throwing Bubba in to D-Von and knocking Bubba out of the ring in the process, a tag is made to Regal and the duo drop D-Von with a double flapjack across the ropes. The cover is made but Bubba returns to the ring to break up the pin just in time. All four men get up and a brawl ensues between the two teams, Storm getting chucked from the ring just as Morley returns on to the apron, taking Hebner by the shirt and trying to boss him around. As he is doing so, Spike Dudley comes down from the back and gets on to the apron with Morley, taking him by the neck and hitting the Dudley Dog on top of Storm! Back in the ring, Regal attempts to hit Bubba with brass knuckles but it is ducked underneath, the Englishman turning right in to the 3D and the pinfall! The Dudley Boyz def. Lance Storm and William Regal via pinfall to retain the World Tag Team Championship!
As D-Von and Bubba Ray get to their feet together to enjoy the win, Spike retrieves the World Tag Team Championship belts and presents them to his brothers in the ring. The champions proceed to lift their little brother on to their shoulders as they have managed to overcome Morley, Regal and Storm once again. As they enjoy the moment, their adversaries remain laid out.
J.R. transitions onward to say that we have one more left and it's a big one: The World Heavyweight Championship is on the line as two old rivals meet once again. A promo video proceeds to air, going back to the night after the Royal Rumble where Eric Bischoff announced the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin to Raw as the number one contender for Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship. That night, Austin would return to the ring to face Batista only to end up running in to a new group on Raw known as Evolution: Triple H leading the way with Batista as well as Ric Flair and Randy Orton. The video highlights the weeks of Evolution showing their dominance as a group, as well as Austin's lack of care for what he has to go through in order to become World Heavyweight Champion. Footage from last Monday on Raw finishes off the video, showing Austin standing up to all four members of Evolution on his own with a tire iron, fists, middle fingers and stunners before concluding things with a beer bash.
Backstage, Jonathan Coachman is standing by to introduce his guest at this time, the challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship: Stone Cold Steve Austin. The crowd erupts from inside of the Bell Centre as Austin steps forward, Coachman asking how he is feeling just moments away from his match with Triple H. "I came back to the WWE for two reasons: To raise hell and become World Heavyweight Champion!" He says he's already raised some hell since he came back, so it's time to check number two off the list. "It don't matter if good ol' Stone Cold has to go through Batista, Randy Orton, Ric Flair and that sorry son of a bitch Triple H, line 'em up and I'll knock 'em down because there's gonna be a new sheriff in town over on Monday Night Raw and that's the bottom line 'cause Stone Cold said so!" He pulls away from Coachman and begins to march his way toward the curtains as his music hits.
The referee signals for the match to begin, the bell sounding and Ric Flair getting on to the ring apron immediately, prompting Austin to knock him off with a big punch. Triple H leaps on Austin from behind, striking away at him until Austin responds with punch after punch, HHH getting knocked back in to the corner and met with boots as Austin starts to stomp a mudhole in signature fashion! The crowd is electric as Austin throws fingers around to the outside, whipping the champion off of the ropes as he gets up and meeting him with a Lou Thesz press, continuing to fire off punches. After his signature elbow to 'The Game', he makes the cover but Orton puts his Evolution leader's foot on the bottom rope to save him from early defeat. The boos come down as Austin gets to a knee, staring out to Orton and shaking his head. Orton's eyes widen as Austin slides under the bottom rope, following the second generation superstar in to the crowd and firing off on him with punches as he continues to try and escape. After a slap to the face, Austin responds with a middle finger and the Stone Cold Stunner that sends Orton down on to a set of stairs! Austin mouths off to Orton as he goes back to the barricade, heading over it and sliding back in to the ring only to be met with a knee drop to the back of the neck by HHH. The champion works over Austin slowly, taking control of things until he gets a bit too cocky with Austin up in the corner, the smile on his face being wiped off by a shot to the chin. Austin continues to unload and sends HHH down with a clothesline, the champion struggling to pull himself up via the ropes. Austin hits off the opposite side of the ring and comes back for his signature leg guillotine to the back of the head only for HHH to drag the referee in harms way and be taken out! As Triple H rolls to the outside, Austin checks on the out cold official before following to the outside, Batista stepping in between the champion and challenger. Batista has some words for the legend in front of him and it leads to punches being thrown from both men! "We've got 'The Texas Rattlesnake' and 'The Animal' going at it, J.R.!" Says an excited Lawler. The crowd grows louder as Austin starts to gain the upper hand, HHH trying to come at him with a steel chair but Austin ducking beneath it and Batista taking a shot right to the face! Austin throws HHH in to the ring post from behind afterward, following after Batista and going off on him with punches and kicks at the Spanish announce table before pushing him on top of it. Following, Austin lets Batista rise back on to his feet before hitting him with the Stone Cold Stunner!
As Batista crashes behind the desk, Austin comes back down and stares Flair down, giving him two middle fingers! He gets back in to the ring and walks right in to a kick to the stomach and in position for the Pedigree from HHH! After a brief struggle, Austin reverses it in to a back body drop and steps in to the corner to once again stomp a mudhole in the champion. As he mouths off to 'The Game', Flair comes in to the ring from behind and hits a low blow on the number one contender! Austin falls down on to his side, wincing in pain as Flair checks on Triple H. The two have a conversation and HHH rolls to the outside, Flair taking off his jacket and stomping on Austin a few times. He then pulls him up to a knee and HHH returns to the ring with a sledgehammer in hand! "Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" Says an angered J.R. HHH holds the hammer up close to his face and points at Austin, Flair holding him up as the World Heavyweight Champion charges forward and swings the hammer — Austin moving out of the way and Hunter just barely stopping in front of Flair! HHH turns around and right in to a clothesline from Austin, whom then locks eyes with Flair and backs him in to a corner. The Montreal crowd keeps cheering Austin on as Flair keeps his hands out in front of him, pleading with 'The Texas Rattlesnake' to not do him any harm. Austin plays the 'what?' game with 'The Nature Boy', eventually backing up with his hands up as well. Flair smiles and steps forward, about to thank Austin only to flip Flair off and drop him with the Stone Cold Stunner! Austin mouths off to Flair as he leans over his head, giving him another pair of fingers as he gets back to his feet only to turn around and in to a sledgehammer shot right to the head from HHH! "Damn it, no!" Yells out J.R. "Not this way! Not this way, damn it!" HHH goes over to the referee to shake him, returning to Austin after getting the official stirring enough. Taking Stone Cold up by the neck, HHH positions him for the Pedigree and takes one long look out to the upset crowd before delivering the move right in the center of the ring! He then rolls Austin over and hooks both legs up, the referee crawling over to slowly make the count of three. Triple H def. Stone Cold Steve Austin via pinfall to retain the World Heavyweight Championship!
The Bell Centre continues to boo in disgust as Triple H gets back to his feet slowly, falling back in to the corner as he is still a bit dazed, J.R. continuing to express his anger from commentary. "It took four different men and a sledgehammer to keep Stone Cold Steve Austin down!" Following replays of the match with Austin's beat downs on all four members of the group only to have the number's game catch up to him in the end, the cameras come back live inside of the arena to Evolution gathered together atop the stage, all beaten up and struggling to stand as Austin watches on from his side against the ropes, knowing how close he was to overcoming all the odds and becoming World Heavyweight Champion. As Evolution raises their arms up together, J.R. signs things off as No Way Out concludes.
February 24, 2003: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, CA
After the Monday Night Raw opening video airs, the stage of the Air Canada Centre is lit up by the display of pyrotechnics while Jim Ross welcomes all from commentary alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler, mentioning what a night last night at No Way Out was. Tonight, the fallout as we journey on the road to WrestleMania as Stone Cold Steve Austin has an announcement later on, The Rock is back and will address the people and, right now, the World Heavyweight Champion...
Out from the back comes Evolution, Triple H still with the World Heavyweight Championship belt held proudly over his shoulder. With Batista, Randy Orton and Ric Flair in tow the four make their way down and in to the ring, Triple H with a microphone in hand as he looks around at the booing crowd. "What's the matter? Did you people really expect anybody else to be standing out here tonight as the World Heavyweight Champion?" He snickers, saying that he is 'The Game' for a reason, because you can't beat him and last night, Stone Cold Steve Austin came at him with everything he had but at the end of the day it was not enough. "Austin would be standing there as champion right now if it weren't for the rest of Evolution and a damn sledgehammer!" J.R. comments in frustration. HHH continues on by saying that now the question becomes: What's next? "Because with WrestleMania on the horizon, Steve Austin in the rear view mirror... who is going to step up to face me for my World Heavyweight Championship? Huh? Who's it gonna be?" He holds his arm out and looks up the stage as the music of Tommy Dreamer hits to the surprise of everyone. Dreamer comes out with his kendo stick in hand, a scowl across his face as he gets on to the ring apron and stares at Evolution. Being handed a microphone, he breaths heavily before speaking. "Over the past few weeks, I've watched and been a victim to your bullying and numbers games... and if nobody else is going to stand up to you, I will!" He drops the microphone and steps in to the ring, going to swing his cane only to eat a boot to the gut by Orton. He and Batista begin an assault in the corner, pulling Dreamer back up from a seated position and holding his arms out for Flair to come in and delivers chops to the chest. After some punches from Batista and Orton, they toss Dreamer on all fours in front of Triple H, whom removes his suit jacket and rolls up his cuffs with a laugh. He then proceeds to plant Dreamer with a Pedigree right in the middle of the ring. Batista and Orton then drag Dreamer up and toss him from the ring.
The champion picks his microphone back up and snickers. "Now that the trash is taken care of, is there seriously anyone deserving? Because if that is the best there is to offer then I may as well just not even show up to WrestleMania!" His eyes bulge and the Toronto audience rise and roar as the music of Brock Lesnar ends up hitting. "WHAT?!" Lawler exclaims. Lesnar comes through the curtains and stares down to the ring, everybody in shock, disbelief and confusion. Evolution has some words together as Lesnar begins to make his way down the ramp! Batista charges on the outside but ends up being tossed off the side of the ramp and in to the barricade, Orton charging forward to a big back body drop! Lesnar then slides in to the ring and clotheslines Flair, blocking a punch from Triple H and lifting him on to his shoulders and in position for the F-5! Flair comes in and chops the knee out of Lesnar, however, allowing HHH to roll under the bottom rope and out of harms way. Flair is fired up, however, as he kicks Lesnar a few times and lets him get up in the corner, throwing a chop to the chest but not phasing 'The Next Big Thing'. After a second chop, Lesnar hoists Flair off of the mat and on to his shoulders, staring to the outside at the rest of Evolution before nailing the F-5! "Brock Lesnar with a ring-rattling F-5 to Ric Flair!" J.R. says. "But what is he doing here?! Lesnar is property of Smackdown!" He leans across the ropes with a grin as Triple H, Batista and Orton gather together atop the stage, completely stunned and wondering what just happened!
Seen in the back out of the break is Evolution yelling at General Manager Eric Bischoff, Triple H asking what the hell Lesnar is doing here. "Did that big ogre forget what day of the week it is?!" Bischoff tells the group to calm down, there is a perfect explanation for this. Orton says it better be good, to which Bischoff says it is good, but they might not like it. "See, um, Brock Lesnar's contract when he won the Royal Rumble match... stated he could challenge for either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship and, well, he... he decided after last night to come here to Raw and challenge you, Triple H, for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania..." As the four are up in arms and outraged over the news, Bischoff asks what he wants him to do about it, it wasn't his decision and he isn't going to just say no to a star like Lesnar jumping over to Raw. He says if they want to do something about it themselves, be his guest. "That big, dumb punk nearly dropped me on my head!" Flair yells. "I want my hands on him tonight, Eric! Give 'em to me!" Bischoff is hesitant at first but Flair continues to insist, thus Bischoff says to have it his way — tonight, it will be Brock Lesnar versus Ric Flair. Evolution then leave the room as Bischoff takes a deep breath.
1) Non-Title Match: Women's Champion Jazz(c) (w/Theodore Long) def. Jacqueline via pinfall In her first match as new Women's Champion, Jazz takes it right to Jacqueline after having ruined her match two weeks ago with Molly Holly. After dispatching of Molly last week, Jazz does much of the same to Jacqueline, taking a little bit of offense from Jacqueline but ultimately slamming her face and chest first in to the turnbuckles before hitting the Bitch Clamp and covering for the three count.
Before Long can even make his way up the stairs, Victoria comes marching down from the back against the wishes of Stevie Richardsbehind her. Victoria enters the ring and steps right up to Jazz, the two going nose-to-nose and having some heated words. Before they can throw any shots at one another, however, Trish Stratus' music hits! "Hey! Trish is back!" Says an excited Lawler. She runs down to the ring and avoids a shot from Victoria, ducking a boot from Jazz that ends up driving Victoria through the ropes. Stratus then gets a few shots in on Jazz before laying her out with the Stratusfaction! Jazz rolls out of the ring at the feet of Long, Richards holding Victoria back as Trish gets to her feet and celebrates to her home country crowd as she is back after nearly a month out.
Making their way to the ring after the break are Chris Jericho and Christian, the latter saying he wishes he could say it was nice to be home, but this isn't really home. Jericho then takes over, saying that these people don't represent what Canada is really about. "I do!" He proudly states. "I mean, look at what I did last night! Look at what I did! I beat Shawn Michaels one, two, three in the middle of this ring!" As a good portion of the crowd cheers, Jericho says they don't get to celebrate that whether they like Michaels or not because they didn't accomplish anything! Before Jericho can say anything more, he is cut off by the music of The Hurricane. He comes down to the ring with a microphone of his own in hand, looking up and down at the two. "Do you really think you accomplished something last night, Jericho? Or were you just in the right place at the right time for The Rock to help you out?" Jericho scoffs and asks what Hurricane wants, with the super hero proposing a match right now. Jericho and Christian look to one another, Y2J stretching his arm out and saying that he's really tired from kicking Shawn Michaels' ass last night but Christian didn't have a match last night, so he's good to go! Christian seems surprised by the suggestion, but toughens up quick to call Hurricane 'Mighty Mouse' and tell him he's going to show him what a real super hero is like.
2) The Hurricane def. Christian (w/Chris Jericho) via pinfall All of Hurricane's fast paced efforts in the early goings end up being countered by Christian slowing the match down and putting it in to the corner and the mat. After a top rope crossbody from Hurricane nearly gets him the win, Christian hits a big DDT for a two count. Frustrated off the near fall, he drags Hurricane up by the neck and trash talks him before going for the Unprettier only for Hurricane to hook Christian's arms himself, pull him down for the backslide and get the sudden pinfall!
Hurricane rolls out of the ring quickly as Jericho dives in, hands on his hips as Christian slaps the mat repeatedly out of frustration. Hurricane, meanwhile, smiles and poses up the ramp at the two.
Seen in his office on the phone is Eric Bischoff, talking about Raw getting Brock Lesnar, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin recently but he has even more up his sleeve. He wraps up his conversation as Chief Morley, Lance Stormand William Regalenter the office, applauding the General Manager and congratulating him on delivering last night and continuing to deliver tonight. Bischoff shrugs his shoulders and says he is just doing his job, which prompts Storm to suggest that he and Regal, after last night, get another crack at The Dudley Boyz tonight. "You know, guys, just because I've gotten things going doesn't mean I'm not still on the radar of Mr. McMahon. I like you guys, you know that, but it's going to look bad if I just give you another title shot..." Regal argues that Nick Patrick was supposed to be the referee last night but because of The Dudley Boyz, he was taken out last week and they should be punished for it. Bischoff puts his hands up and says he is very busy, but he'll give them one more chance. "However, it's going to have to be amped up a little bit. Therefore, you'll get your last shot against Bubba Ray and D-Von... in a Tables Match for the World Tag Team Championship." The three look a bit caught off guard by the news, Bischoff saying he knows they can do it and to make him proud because that match is happening next!
3) Tables Match for the World Tag Team Championship: The Dudley Boyz(c) (w/Spike Dudley) def. Lance Storm and William Regal (w/Chief Morley) Spike is taken out on the outside during the entrance of the challengers and Morley, leading to a total brawl between the two sides. Morley tries to aid Storm and Regal in a three-on-two attack until Spike makes the save and evens things up, dropping Morley with a Dudley Dog to the outside in the same fashion as last night. Storm and Regal set up a table in the center of the ring for Bubba but he is saved by D-Von, The Dudley Boyz making a complete comeback against their adversaries. Storm is placed on the table, allowing Bubba and D-Von to 3D Regal on top of him and through the table.
The crowd cheers as Spike comes in to the ring with the World Tag Team Championship, The Dudley Boyz standing tall as the winners. A big pyro hits the stage, however, Kane and Rob Van Dam stepping out from the back and making their way down to the ring. "What is this about?" Asks J.R. The duo step in and stand across from the three, staring down but not making any moves. Morley stumbles back in to the ring, having some words for The Dudley Boyz before being shoved back in to the chest of Kane by Bubba! 'The Big Red Machine' proceeds to take Morley by the neck and drop him with a Chokeslam! RVD then leaps on to the top rope, gets the crowd to chant his name and hit the Five Star Frog Splash! Morley rolls back out of the ring and RVD gets back up, standing back at Kane's side as they continue their stare down with the World Tag Team Champions.
Transitioning to the parking lot, a limousine is seen pulling up. The vehicle stops and the driver gets out, going to the back door and opening it with The Rock stepping out! The crowd inside of the Air Canda Centre is loud as Rock adjusts his sunglasses and closes the door, taking a sniff out of the air before walking away as J.R. says that The Rock is here and he'll be addressing the people — next!
Seen in the back after the break is Brock Lesnar when is approached by Jonathan Coachman. He excuses himself and asks Lesnar what made him decide to come to Raw and challenge Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. "I was looking over my contract that came with my Royal Rumble match win," He begins to explain. "And when I saw that with the two brands that I had an option, I thought it over. I accomplished everything over on Smackdown. Now, I can come over here and conquer Raw, Triple H and the World Heavyweight Championship." He adds that he has his match with Ric Flair later and he's going to go out there and show Flair, as well as Evolution, that the real evolution of this industry is 'The Next Big Thing' Brock Lesnar.
Back inside of the arena, Eric Bischoff is standing in the ring with a microphone in his hand. "A little over a month ago, Mr. McMahon stood in this ring and gave me thirty days to turn things around. I brought in Stone Cold Steve Austin and, apparently, that wasn't good enough! So, being as great as I am, when the thirty days came up, I made a promise to Mr. McMahon that I would deliver The Rock at No Way Out." He grins and says that being a man of his word and being the genius that he is, of course he delivered on it. So, without further ado, he is here to introduce the biggest star not just in this business today, but perhaps of all time! He gestures up to the stage, the titantron playing footage of a skyline, highways and a helicopter with dramatic music building up before the line "...is cooking" is heard. The Rock then proceeds to come through the curtains and look around the building to the mixed response of the crowd. He heads to the ring and stands atop the turnbuckles, continuing to look around the building before coming down in to the ring and standing across from Bischoff, his music fading out as he continues to let the crowd go with their cheers, boos and chants. "Finally! The Rock has come back to Toron... Toron... To run his mouth on all your candy asses!" Rock takes in the boos of the crowd as he continues on. "Who booked this show in Toronto, Ethan?" He says while looking to Bischoff, whom looks confused by being called by the wrong name. "What's the matter? You people want The Rock to say that he's finally come back to Toronto?! Like nobody has ever said your cities name before! Yay! Yay! He said Toronto! Woo! That's where we live! We live in Toronto! Yay! Shut up!" He shakes is head and continues on, saying that The Rock first came to Montreal and it was a lot nicer there but he made it a point to make it back in Toronto because it was Toronto where 'all you mothercanuckers' booed him out of the building against Hulk Hogan! "Yeah, yeah, you did! Don't pretend you didn't! The Rock doesn't forget! The Rock doesn't forget that you wanted Hulkamania to run wild on The Rock last year but The Rock also doesn't forget that he put that old man down, walked out of Toronto the winner and told each and every single of you to take your little feelings, turn them sumbitches sideways and stick 'em straight up your candy ass!"
After making a point to call out a fan as 'fatty', he tells him not to boo him just because he gets more pie in a week than he'll ever get in a lifetime. "The Rock isn't just back here in Toronto, The Rock is back on Monday Night Raw because The Rock got a phone call from Ethan here begging and pleading with him a few weeks ago to come back to Raw but The Rock was busy! The Rock was busy making movies, getting pie and doing anything better than come here to Toronto, you know?" He says that 'Ethan' persisted, continuing to call day after day, night after night and his secretary finally convinced him to get on the phone and when he answered the phone he asked who it was. "It didn't matter who it was! The Rock hung that phone up but Ethan called right back and The Rock didn't even let his secretary get it — The Rock picked it up himself and ready to tell Ethan to pound sand but Ethan got through to The Rock by saying if he came back to Raw, he could have a match at WrestleMania against anyone..." He pauses, saying that he thought about that long and hard and he says that he could have chosen a match for the World Heavyweight Championship, could have faced Ethan himself, could have taken on Al Snow if he felt like it but there was one man on his radar. "One man on The Rock's radar and that man is a man that The Rock has never had the pleasure of laying the Smacketh down on in the middle of this ring and that man is Shawn Michaels..."
Rock looks across the ring at Bischoff and says that he wanted one match and one match only if he was going to come back at WrestleMania and that match was with Shawn Michaels and that's exactly what he is going to get. "And let The Rock tell you why! Let The Rock tell you why he wants to beat that ass at WrestleMania, alright? Back when The Rock was first getting started and The Rock was on the rise and everybody knew it, The Rock was just about to break through when Shawn Michaels decided to snort a line, wave his hands in the air and say 'hey, I'm Shawn Michaels! I'm the WWE Champion! If you don't keep The Rock away from me, I'm out of here!' and guess what? Shawn Michaels got his way..." The Rock smiles and says that Michaels got his way because he was 'the guy' back then but after a while, there was no more holding The Rock down so Michaels left. Rock says that Michaels will try to spin it any other way but he knows the real reason why. "So, The Rock is back and The Rock is getting that match with Shawn Michaels because there is absolutely no way you can deny that The Rock is 'The Great One'.... no, no, The Rock is 'The Greatest One'!" He brings up that last night after The Rock showed up to look Michaels in the eye, Michaels conveniently had a family emergency and went back home to Texas. Questioning what that was all about, asking if he was just afraid to be here tonight and face him mano-a-mano. "Well, you born again bitch, whatever it was, you can pray to God, you can pray to Allah, you can even pray to the people's strudel but at WrestleMania you will be going one-on-one with 'The Greatest One' and The Rock is going to go Hollywood all over your candy ass, Shawn Michaels! They call you 'Mr. WrestleMania' but that's just like calling Toronto the best city in Canada because this place absolutely sucks!" The crowd gets even louder with boos to Rock as he prepares to deliver his signature final line. "If ya smellalalalal..." He stops himself, shaking his head and wagging his finger. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! You wanted to boo The Rock, you lost your privilege to sing along with The Rock! You don't get to do that! So, I tell you what, take your boos and stick 'em straight up your maple syrup sucking candy asses!" The audience is heated and breaks out in 'assh*le' chants for Rock as he just shakes his head over it. "Y'know what, Ethan? Give The Rock a raise if you want The Rock to smell what he's cookin'..." He throws the microphone at Bischoff, exits the ring and makes his way to the back.
Seen going back to his limousine in the parking lot is The Rock when Eric Bischoffruns up behind him and asks where he is going. "The Rock's a busy man, Ethan! The Rock has things to do!" Bischoff asks if he will be there next week, because Shawn Michaels is going to be here. Rock taps his nose and tells Bischoff he might want to keep his eye on Michaels then. He runs his hand over his head, saying he's not sure if he'll be there. "Tell you what, The Rock will check his book and The Rock will let you know next Tuesday, alright?" Bischoff stops him as he goes to close the door and says that Raw is on Monday, prompting Rock to laugh and say he knows that and he is just messing with Bischoff. "The Rock will talk to you next Wednesday." He closes the door and the limousine drives off, Bischoff left looking a bit concerned as he throws his hands up and walks away.
Back inside of the arena, Scott Steiner arrives and heads down to the ring, prepared for action. Out then comes Rico, staying atop the stage as he tells Steiner that he would be more than glad to beat Steiner tonight. "But I've got some nagging injuries, so, I went to Mr. Bischoff and I found a suitable replacement for myself." He smiles as 3 Minute Warning come out with Jamal entering the ring.
4) Scott Steiner def. Jamal (w/Rico and Rosey) via submission The bell sounds and the two powerhouses slug it out, Jamal with some slams and near falls with Steiner responding with a big belly-to-belly. He gets fired up and after another big suplex, proceeds to apply the Steiner Recliner. Jamal struggles briefly, but ultimately ends up tapping out.
Rosey hits the ring almost immediately but he runs right in to a belly-to-belly from 'Big Poppa Pump' as well! 3 Minute Warning gather on the outside, Rico keeping the duo from going back for more.
In the back, Terri is standing by and mentions that while we still have Stone Cold Steve Austin's announcement to come later on, we also have a match between Brock Lesnar and her guest at this time, 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair. Terri questions Flair if he knows what he is getting himself in to by asking for this match with Lesnar. "I may have been out of the game for a bit supporting the champ and Evolution but I've still got something to prove! Brock Lesnar may be big and bad and he may have laid me out earlier but I'm the dirtiest player in the game! I'm the sixteen time World Champion! I'm still the stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun! Woo! And I'm coming for Brock Lesnar tonight!" He heads off with that match still to come later on.
Seen talking with one another in the back are Victoria and Stevie Richardswhen up to the two of them comes Trish Stratus, whom puts her hands up in peace. "Listen, Vic, I know you're upset after losing the Women's Championship to Jazz last night, but Jazz gave me a concussion last month and put me out for weeks..." Victoria says it sounds like they both have their issues with Jazz, but she hasn't forgotten about their unfinished business either. She suggests that maybe they find a way to work together and take Jazz down before settling things. Stratus gives a 'maybe' back and leaves.
5) Test (w/Stacy Keibler) def. Christopher Nowinski via pinfall After weeks of insults and mind games, Test completely overpowers Nowinski. The Harvard graduate tries to use his picket sign after raking the eyes but Test completely runs through him with a big boot. He then drags Nowinski up, drops him with the Test Drive and hooks both legs for the pinfall.
Keibler steps in to the ring and raises Test's arm up as the winner as well as the referee. The two then stand over Nowinski and mock him a bit before continuing their celebration together.
Backstage, Brock Lesnar is seen getting up from where he was sitting and jogging in place. Getting himself fired up a bit, he heads down the halls. He battles the legendary Ric Flair after the break!
6) Brock Lesnar def. Ric Flair via pinfall Sending Batista and Randy Orton to the back prior to the match, Flair falls to the freakish strength and athleticism from Lesnar right off the bat. After a low blow behind the back of the referee though, Flair starts to turn things a bit for himself. As Flair continues his classic cheap tactics and chops the chest of Lesnar, Triple H comes out to commentary and grabs a headset. "You see this? You watching this, J.R.?" He asks. "That is the greatest of all time right there taking it to that meat head Brock Lesnar!" Just as HHH says that, Lesnar bursts out of the corner with a powerful clothesline to Flair! After a series of suplexes and a big toss in to the corner, Lesnar hoists Flair on to his shoulders, looks up the ramp to HHH and drops Flair with the F-5 before covering for the one, two, three.
The Toronto crowd cheers for Lesnar as he gets to his feet and locks his eyes on the World Heavyweight Champion at the announce table. He motions for the belt around his waist as Triple H stands up, yelling toward Lesnar that he doesn't belong here. Lesnar turns back around and looks at Flair barely moving on the mat, dragging him up and on to his shoulders again to hit yet another F-5! HHH looks stunned as Lesnar gets right back to his feet with a smile, while continuing to motion for the championship around his waist!
The cameras then pan backstage to a shot of the locker room of Stone Cold Steve Austin. We've been waiting all night to find out what Austin's announcement is and we will find out next! The unmistakable glass shatter of Stone Cold Steve Austin's music hits, 'The Texas Rattlesnake' emerging to the back and marching his way down and in to the ring, climbing the turnbuckles and throwing middle fingers in the air as he looks out to the roaring audience. He stands in the center of the ring with a microphone in hand, going to speak but stopping himself as he steps up to the ropes and looks around the arena. Building up some more anticipation from the crowd, he again lifts the microphone as well as a finger but stops himself a second time. Smiling to the audience ever so slightly, he nods and goes to speak yet again but before he can get a word out, the building is stunned for to hear 'Real American' as Hulk Hogan steps out to the stage! "WHAT THE HELL?!" Yells Ross in question.Hogan points toward the ring and then around the arena, the Air Canada Centre electric as the living legend proceeds to make his way down the ramp and in to the ring, cupping his ear to the ropes and working the crowd over for quite a while until his classic music that he hasn't walked to the ring to in ten years eventually fades out, locking eyes from across the squared circle with Austin. The crowd is alive as the two keep staring one another down, not moving a muscle.
After a good minute or so, Hogan finally speaks. "Well let me tell you something, brother!" But it is met very quickly with Austin having some words off microphone before speaking for everyone to hear. "What the hell are you doin' in Stone Cold's ring, son?" The two again stare down as some tension seems to be rising rather quickly, Hogan slowly forming a smile across his face as he tells Austin that while he was sitting back at home a few weeks ago, he tuned in to Monday Night Raw and he watched as Austin made his return. "See, after you took your ball and went home, you still came back and you still got a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship! And it got me thinking! It got me thinking about my return, brother." Austin snickers and paces back and forth some, lifting his head up from the mat and accusing Hogan of stealing the spotlight. "After all, that's the thing you seem to know how to do better than anyone else, Hulk." Hogan still grins despite the comment, telling Austin that he has no idea what this big announcement of his was going to be exactly, but before he decides to make a decision on that announcement, he has a few things to say. "See, after seeing you come back, it got me thinking that I don't know how much time I've got left in this ring, brother. Blood, sweat, tears and everything left on this mat over the years. I've given it all to this business and now that you're standing here... and I'm standing here... and we've got the showcase of the immortals coming up... and, brother, I am 'The Immortal'... so, what's it gonna be, Steve? Austin! Hogan! WrestleMania! Or are you gonna take your ball and go home again?" The crowd is hyped up for the suggestion, Austin looking out to the Toronto fans. He looks down at the mat, then steps up and glares at Hogan. "We're out of time, ladies and gentlemen!" Says J.R. "But by God, can you imagine?! Can you imagine if we get Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania?!" As Hogan and Austin continue to stare down and no answer to the challenge yet given, the cameras fade to black.
Post by underjohngrohs on Jul 31, 2019 23:06:22 GMT -5
Wow, WrestleMania 19 is looking to be some pretty high expectations, we got 3 blockbuster matchups on the card, first we have Lesnar vs HHH for the World Heavyweight Championship, And that's a pretty good call to have Lesnar back on RAW to face the one man he's never faced one on one and that is Triple H, We are going to get that match at WrestleMania 19, and if I was Triple H and Evolution, i'd be aware of a hungry animal wanting that World Heavyweight Championship because he is hungry, plus, we are going to get the dream match that we never saw in real life, The Rock vs Shawn Michaels on the grandest stage of them all, and what a big match this should be, I expect a series between the two in the near future, speaking of dream matches, here's another one I thought we would never see at WrestleMania, Austin vs Hogan at WrestleMania 19, if you want to see the WrestleMania Match between Austin and Hogan, gimme a HELL YEAH Brother!. HELL YEAH! That should be an amazing match and probably should main event the card, But what's going to happen on the SMACKDOWN side I wonder?. Who will have the fortitude to challenge Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship, Angle's bested Benoit twice, so I don't know who can take him. We'll have to wait and see on SMACKDOWN.
February 27, 2003: Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, CA
Michael Cole and Tazz give the welcome to Smackdown after the opening video and pyrotechnics, saying that we wrap things up in Canada this week in the aftermath of No Way Out. "The landscape of the Smackdown brand may have changed with Brock Lesnar going to Raw," Cole states. "But that isn't going to stop things here as we are on the road to WrestleMania, Tazz!"
Coming out proudly to the stage to kick off this week's show is the WWE Champion Kurt Angle. A wide smile across his face, he heads down to the ring and calls for a microphone. "I'm still standing!" He says to boos from the Ontario crowd. "What? Are you upset because your fellow Canadian Chris Benoit isn't still standing?! Because I was the Last Man Standing at No Way Out this past Sunday and I'm still the WWE Champion?!" He lets the audience go on for a while before continuing on, saying that he is moving on from Benoit and he is looking forward. He mentions that Team Angle, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, are the new WWE Tag Team Champions and he couldn't be more proud. "Because that means that myself, Charlie and Shelton are all heading to WrestleMania as champions! Now, while my boys are going to be having their first match as Tag Team Champions a little while later, I'm thinking that after my hard fought victory at No Way Out, I deserve the night off." He adds that he not only deserves the night off, he has earned the night off. He begins to leave, but Stephanie McMahon's music hits.
The Smackdown General Manager comes out to the stage, wagging her finger and telling Angle that while he is still the WWE Champion, he doesn't get to make those kind of decisions. "That's what I'm here for, Kurt. Regardless, you're not going to want to take the night off because we're going to find out what the main event for Smackdown is going to be at WrestleMania right here tonight." She explains that last night on Raw, Brock Lesnar made a decision to jump ship and challenge Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. She says while unfortunate, the show must go on. "Therefore tonight, we are going to have a fatal four way elimination match between four of Smackdown's very best to find out who will go on to WrestleMania and challenge for the WWE Championship." She proceeds to announce the participants in the match to be The Big Show, The Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and Edge. Angle scoffs in response, telling McMahon that it doesn't matter who wins that match, he will beat them at WrestleMania. She stops him right there, however, and says that is if he is still the WWE Champion come WrestleMania. "Because tonight, Kurt, you're not getting the night off. You're going to be in that ring defending the WWE Championship!" The crowd cheers for the big news, Angle livid as he argues that he just went through hell with Chris Benoit a few nights ago. McMahon tells him that there is some good news to this for him, though, because she is going to allow him to hand pick his opponent. "Either you compete in that match tonight, Kurt, or I'll make that fatal four way for the WWE Championship!" She flashes a smile and returns to the back, Angle left looking baffled at the news.
Backstage in the Cruiserweight locker room, new champion Matt Hardy enters the room along with his follower Shannon Moore, proclaiming to the room that they too could become Cruiserweight Champion one day if they follow the way of Mattitude, that is, of course, when he decides to step down as the champion. "The era of Mattitude is upon us all! V-ONE-UH!" Hardy then leaves the room as he faces Billy Kidman in a rematch from No Way Out for the Cruiserweight Championship — next.
1) Cruiserweight Championship: Matt Hardy(c) (w/Shannon Moore) def. Billy Kidman via pinfall Similar to their match on Sunday, the contest is back and forth with Hardy looking to keep things on the mat. He gets a little more cocky, however, as Cole suggests on commentary it has to do with him being the champion. Jumping jacks and push ups allow Kidman to find an opening and take control of the match. After a big DDT, he goes to the top rope with Hardy in prime position for the Shooting Star Press. Moore, however, leaps on to the apron and wraps his arms around Kidman's legs. Billy pushes Shannon down but Matt runs up and delivers a super Twist of Fate! He hooks both legs and gets the pinfall.
Hardy leaps back to his feet with his hands raised in the air in celebration. "Shannon Moore sacrificed himself for Matt on Sunday, tonight he helps him to the win!" Says Cole. "Talk about a tainted reign as Cruiserweight Champion and we're barely even four days in!" As he and Tazz bicker a bit, Moore enters the ring and Hardy has him place the championship around his waist before they leave.
Seen in the back is Paul Heyman, talking in between The Big Showand A-Train when the latter cuts Heyman off to question why Show is in the fatal four way later tonight but he isn't. "Maybe because I wasn't the one who lost the match on Sunday!" Show yells back, bringing A-Train close to him. Heyman quickly puts his hands between the two in order to tell them to calm down. "Same team! Same team!" He hollers while wiping his brow. "Look at it this way, when The Big Show wins the fatal four way match tonight, he'll go on to WrestleMania and become WWE Champion. If you decide to stay on the same team, on the same page, A-Train, then you'll be able to get the first title shot." A bit reluctant, A-Train tells Heyman he's right. Show nods in agreement as well and the three head off together.
Making their way down to the ring following the break is Team Angle, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, the new WWE Tag Team Champions. Once in the ring, they look across at their opponents, locals Bobby Roode and Tyson Dux. "Here stands the new WWE Tag Team Champions," Haas says. "And there stands a couple of Canadian hack wannabe wrestlers." The crowd boos as Benjamin adds that they proved at No Way Out that they were better than Mexico by beating Los Guerreros, they'll prove they're better than the Canadians tonight. "And soon, the whole world will realize nobody is better than Team Angle!"
2) Non-Title Match: WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle def. Bobby Roode and Tyson Dux via pinfall Dominating the match off the sounding of the bell, Team Angle start to toy around with Roode and Dux, allowing Roode to shove Benjamin in to a near fall by Dux. The new WWE Tag Team Champions then start to take things a bit more seriously, taking control of the contest once again with Benjamin dropping Roode off the apron with a superkick, leaving Dux to be placed in to the Haas of Pain — Haas' modified leg lock — forcing Dux in to tapping out.
As the bell rings, Haas refuses to let go of the hold. Benjamin mocks Dux in the process, Roode trying to get back in to the ring but being knocked down from the apron again. Los Guerreros then proceed to race down to the ring, Haas letting go of Dux as he and Benjamin quickly leap through the ropes as Eddie and Chavo get in. "The new champions are running from the old champions!" Cole says. "But Los Guerreros have a rematch clause! Team Angle can't run away from them forever!"
Seen walking in the back is WWE Champion Kurt Angle when up to him comes Funaki, 'Smackdown's #1 Announcer', asking Angle if he has decided who he is going to face tonight in his WWE Championship match. "Maybe I'll choose you, Funaki! Get out of my face!" He continues to walk and passes by Brian Kendrick talking to Sean O'Haire, giving them a brief stare down before going forward only to not make it very far as Edgestands in his way, arms crossed with a smile. "Hey, Kurt. I noticed your boys out there were disrespecting my country." Angle scoffs and says that Canada sucks, which prompts Edge to bring up that Angle's music goes to the beat of 'you suck' and reminds him that he was the one that came up with that. "Anyway, Kurt, I've got a suggestion for you. Tonight, I drop my spot in the fatal four way and instead, I face you for the WWE Championship right here tonight in my home country." Angle is hesitant to respond when O'Haire and Kendrick walk up, the prior introducing himself and saying he doesn't mean to interrupt. "But Kurt, allow me to ask — why would you defend your WWE Championship against a proven, hungry, rising superstar like Edge when you could defend it against a determined rookie and give him the opportunity of a lifetime: Brian Kendrick. Hell, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know." Angle looks to Edge and says he would love to face him, but he has an opponent already in Kendrick. Brian's eyes widen as he turns to thank O'Haire, only for him to be gone. "Oh... well... you mean it, Kurt?! Me?! A WWE Championship match?!" Angle says that's right and Kendrick exclaims that he has to go call his mother. As he runs off, Edge is left shaking his head at the Angle. "I guess I'll have to just have to wait until WrestleMania to become WWE Champion." He warns before walking off, Angle left clutching his title belt close with a conniving grin.
Coming out to the stage after the time away is John Cena, microphone in hand as he begins to rap to the crowd, dissing Canada, the bad weather, their hockey teams and more. He then moves on to bring up his recent rival. "Rikishi's been starting beef, looking at me all funny... he thinks cause he's got a big ass I'm afraid, but my fear is as real as the Easter bunny... I cracked his head with my chain, popped open his Samoan head like a coconut, they said they have all have hard heads, but Rikishi's is softened up from all the doughnuts." He gives a 'word life' and prepares to leave the ring only for Rikishi's music to interrupt. The big man arrives with a bandage over his forehead, coming to the ring and staring Cena down. "John Cena, you think you're tough and a bad man, but nobody believes that, you're your own #1 fan," He looks up and down at Cena, whom is stunned by the rap. "You better put your chain down and cover up, 'cause it's time for 'The Big Kish' to back this ass up!" He proceeds to superkick Cena in to the corner, the crowd cheering as he pumps them up a bit before backing in to Cena with the stinkface! "I hate to say Cena had it coming," Tazz comments. "But I think he had this coming!" Rikishi pulls off after a bit, Cena rolling out of the ring and wiping away at his face in disgust as Rikishi dances in celebration.
Seen in the back together are Jamie Noble and Nidiawith Noble apologizing to Nidia for how he acted last week, but expresses his concern for Nunzio. "After last week's match, Nunzio just disappeared! He told me he was going home and I haven't heard from him since! I'm worried!" Nidia assures him that everything is fine and that Nunzio probably wanted to have some of his mom's great Italian cooking or something. She's sure he'll turn up. "But right now, you have to focus on you and your match with Tajiri tonight, right?" Noble says that's right, giving Nidia a kiss as the two head off together.
Seen doing pull ups on a bar is Rey Mysterio, preparing for the main event tonight. He has the chance of a lifetime still to come later on in the fatal four way number one contender's match.
3) WWE Championship: Kurt Angle(c) def. Brian Kendrick via submission Kendrick offers a handshake as the bell rings and Angle accepts before taking him down with ease, dominating the match on the mat and showing why he was an Olympic Gold Medalist as Kendrick is clearly outclassed. Angle slaps Kendrick around and laughs about it, Brian surprising with a backslide for a two count! He then hits a dropkick and runs to the top rope, hitting a crossbody that leads to another near fall. Angle gets right back up and clotheslines Kendrick and begins to beat Kendrick viciously with punches, forearms and elbows. After slapping him around a bit and hitting a series of German suplexes, an Angle Slam is nailed. Kurt covers but pulls Brian up at a two count, laughing about it as he proceeds to apply an Ankle Lock! Kendrick doesn't end up lasting too long before submitting.
Angle hops to his feet and raises his fists in the air in celebration. He stops himself as he is about to leave the ring, however, looking around at the booing audience. "You wanna boo me? You wanna boo the WWE Champion?!" He then turns to Kendrick and storms back over to him, re-appyling the Ankle Lock! Kendrick yells out in pain and taps out, the referee continuing to call for the bell. It only seems to irritate Angle more though it seems, as he drops to the mat and leg locks Kendrick, twisting away at the hold with Kendrick letting out a scream of horror. "I think he just broke this kid's ankle!" Says Cole. Angle finally lets go as Kendrick continues to cry out, the WWE Champion proudly back to his feet with his title held over his head as the referee hurries over to check on Kendrick. He calls for help from the back, the medical staff running to ringside as Angle laughs on his way out of the ring.
Seen in the parking lot sitting on his motorcycle is The Undertaker, Josh Mathews approaching him and asking about the fatal four way number one contender's match later on. "Are you aware that I am 10-0 at WrestleMania, Josh? I plan on going 11-0 and becoming the new WWE Champion this year... No disrespect to Edge, but I'm out there crushing dreams tonight. Rey Mysterio may have a big heart, but it's not black like mine. As for Big Show?" He scoffs, revs his engine and drives away.
At ringside following the break, Michael Cole and Tazz discuss what happened during the break as Brian Kendrick was stretchered out of the arena as early speculation is that Kurt Angle broke his ankle.
4) Tajiri def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) via disqualification A competitive Cruiserweight contest, Noble and Tajiri trade near falls in a string of high flying and fast paced moves. Tajiri ends up kicking Noble in the head off the top rope and to the floor below. Nidia goes to check on her boyfriend, Nunzio strutting down from the back wearing a leather jacket. He has some words for Tajiri as he stands next to Noble and Nidia, Chuck Palumbosliding in to the ring behind Tajiri and hitting him with a superkick to the back of the head! The referee then calls for the bell.
As Palumbo stands over Tajiri's body and pops the collar on the leather jacket of his own, Nunzio applauds him. He offers Noble a hand getting up but Noble seems hesitant to do so, instead taking Nidia by the arm and backing up the ramp with her. Palumbo exits the ring and stands at Nunzio's side, asking if he wants him to do anything about it only for Nunzio to hold Palumbo back and tell him it's fine.
The music of Torrie Wilson hits after the break as she proceeds to head down to the ring where there is a stand set up with a cloth covering it. She enters the ring with a microphone in hand and waves to the crowd, saying that she is so glad to have the opportunity to come out here and make an announcement that is career and life altering. "I have been working on a project on my days off and I am so proud to present to each and every one of you. I enjoyed doing it and I hope you enjoy seeing it..." As she goes to remove the cloth, however, Ivory's music interrupts. Wilson's recent rival shakes her head as she comes down and joins Torrie in the ring. "This is a joke, right? Torrie, you don't deserve the time to talk! The clothes you wear, the way you flaunt yourself... you've got that but no real skill. You don't belong in the WWE. It's time for you to step aside and let a real woman star on Smackdown." Wilson smiles back at Ivory and says that not only is she going to continue to flaunt herself all she wants, she's going to continue to star on Smackdown and she's going to beat Ivory's ass when she feels like it. "But I'm also going to be starring in something else, Ivory. Something I'm sure you'll get a real kick out of." She then removes the cloth from the stand, revealing herself as the cover girl for Playboy magazine! Ivory looks appalled by the announcement as Wilson proudly tells the crowd that there's a whole lot more inside of the magazine when it comes out next month. As she has her back turned, Ivory takes the poster from the stand and angrily looks at it. Wilson turns around and Ivory raises the poster over her head only to eat a dropkick from Wilson! Ivory rolls under the bottom rope but makes sure to grab the poster in the process. "Torrie Wilson in Playboy?! Dreams do come true!" Cole says giddily. Ivory backs up the ramp continuing to look enraged at the poster while Wilson continues to play up to the crowd happily.
Seen talking with each other backstage are Kurt Angle and Team Angle, the WWE Champion laughing about what he did to that kid Brian Kendrick earlier. "Did you know they call him Spanky?" Haas asks with a chuckle. "Yeah and Kurt just spanked his ass in the ring!" Benjamin chimes in. The three continue to make fun of Kendrick until Stephanie McMahon shows up, the Smackdown General Manager not looking pleased at all. "You know, Kurt, I'm getting real fed up. Not only has Eric Bischoff and Raw poached away The Rock, Hulk Hogan and now had Brock Lesnar jump ship, but I've got you here trying to injure the remaining members of my roster." Angle asks if she is comparing Spanky to those guys, because if she is that's really pathetic. McMahon says that Angle might have broken Kendrick's ankle. "Good, I'm glad!" He responds, which angers McMahon even more as she tells Angle he'll be glad to hear that she is sending him home right now and he'll have to wait until next week to meet his WrestleMania opponent. "That's fine, Steph. It doesn't matter, anyway. We know who will be the WWE Champion after WrestleMania... Shelton, Charlie... you've got this. Team Angle, baby, woo!" He gives another laugh in McMahon's face before walking down the hall as the main event is up next.
5) Fatal Four Way Elimination Number One Contenders Match: The Undertaker def. The Big Show (w/Paul Heyman), Edge and Rey Mysterio A long battle with four of Smackdown's absolute best, the first elimination in the match comes as Edge and Mysterio trip Show in to the ropes. Edge then runs across the ring and hits a Spear on Undertaker to the outside, leaving Mysterio to hit Show with a 619. As he goes for West Coast Pop, however, Show catches him in mid-air and delivers a Chokeslam for the three count. After a commercial break, Edge takes control of the match as he combats well against the two bigger men. After Show hits a big boot to Taker, Edge hits a Spear for a two count. He then goes to the second rope after a brief battle and hits a second rope Spear! Before he can cover again, however, Team Angle hit the ring and begin to pound away at Edge! "What is the meaning of this?!" Cole questions. Benjamin and Haas then hit a German suplex/Superkick combination, allowing Show to cover but having Edge kick out at two. Team Angle, angered, pull Edge up and feed him to Show for a Chokeslam and the pinfall. After another break, Taker and Show have a big fight between each other, Taker avoiding a corner clothesline and hitting a Chokeslam! Show just barely manages to kick out and it leads to the two doing further battle with one another. Show goes for a Chokeslam of his own but Taker manages to slip out of it, pummeling Show with strikes in to the corner. Show responds by tossing Taker against the turnbuckles, smacking the chest and then sitting him on to the top rope. Taker tries to respond with Old School but Show blocks it, bringing Taker back down to the turnbuckles. He climbs on to the second rope and grabs the throat, Taker with elbows and fists before taking Show's throat himself before leaping off with a Chokeslam! The ring rattles and Taker makes the cover, hooking the far leg for the one, two, three.
The Ontario crowd cheers as Undertaker gets to his feet, looking around the building as his arm is raised as the winner. "Oh man, Cole, 'Big Evil' is headed to WrestleMania to face Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship!" Tazz says. Pounding his chest and raising his fists in the air, Undertaker celebrates along with the crowd before exiting the ring and hopping on to his motorcycle. He revs the engine and heads to the top of the stage, stopping and turning around to motion for the WWE Championship around his waist as this week's edition of Smackdown comes to an end.
March 1, 2003: Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, CA
1) Chuck Palumbo (w/Nunzio) def. Funaki via pinfall After forming an alliance on Smackdown, Nunzio stands in Palumbo's corner as he dominates 'Smackdown's #1 Announcer'. Funaki manages to hit an enzuigiri and goes for a DDT only to be shoved in to the ropes. Palumbo side-steps a comeback and blasts Funaki with a superkick to the back of the head. He makes the cover and gets the three count. Nunzio gets in the ring afterward and stands at Palumbo's side, holding his arm up and giving chin flicks to the audience.
2) Los Guerreros def. Eric Young and Petey Williams via pinfall Taking on two local Canadians, Chavo and Eddie are quite dominant in the contest, ultimately catching both Young and Williams with three amigos of their own before each nailing a frog splash with Eddie making the cover on Young for the three count. The uncle and nephew celebrate and make their way to the back, but make sure to make a stop in order to tell Team Angle through the cameras that they're coming for them and to get the WWE Tag Team Championship back. 3) A-Train (w/Paul Heyman) def. Rikishi via pinfall A big man battle, A-Train and Rikishi trade big knock downs and near falls of each other with an A-Train big boot and a Rikishi superkick. After slamming A-Train in to the corner, Rikishi looks ready for the stink face but John Cena comes running down to the ring, hopping on to the apron and providing a distraction of Rikishi, whom takes a swipe at Cena only for him to drop back to the floor. Rikishi then turns right in to a bicycle kick from A-Train, whom hooks the legs for the three count. Heyman steps in to the ring with a big smile on his face, holding A-Train's arm in the air as Rikishi rolls on to his side, staring up the ramp at Cena, whom grins and holds his hands up in signature 'word life' form.
March 2, 2003: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, CA
1) Rob Van Dam and Kane def. Bobby Roode and Tyson Dux via pinfall Getting their second chance in in action this week, Roode and Dux once again run in to tough competition. Despite their best efforts, a chokeslam to Dux from Kane followed by a Van Dam 5-Star Frog Splash leads to the three count for RVD and Kane, whom celebrate the win afterward while Al Snow mentions on commentary their desire to compete for the World Tag Team Championship.
2) Chief Morley def. Spike Dudley via pinfall Looking for a smaller sample of revenge on The Dudley Boyz, Morley declares a shot against Spike. Surprised by the tenaciousness of Spike, Morley resorts to an underhanded tactic for victory: Pulling Spike's hair as he is on the second rope to slam him down to the mat, making the cover with a hand on the ropes for leverage. Morley rolls out of the ring quickly after, raising both fists in the air proudly as Spike is left in the ring slapping the mat in frustration.
3) Maven def. D'Lo Brown (w/Theodore Long) via pinfall With Long preaching Brown to teach Maven to 'get down with the Brown', D'Lo is physical with the young superstar. Maven comes back after a dropkick, stunning Brown until he is shoved in to the corner. Maven, however, leaps up and over Brown and sunset flips him in to a pin for the pinfall. As Maven enjoys the victory, he stops atop the stage to look back down at the ring at Long berating Brown for his loss, Long shaking his head and not wanting to hear a word Brown says. 4) Randy Orton (w/Batista) def. Tommy Dreamer via pinfall Looking for some revenge on Evolution after beating him down once again this past Monday, Dreamer actually does quite a number on Orton. Distracted by Batista on the outside, however, he decides to go after the big man with his kendo stick. Dreamer returns to the ring after just missing a shot to Batista but walks right in to an inverted headlock backbreaker from Orton for the one, two, three. Batista comes in to the ring afterward and drags Dreamer back up in order to lay him out with a sit-out powerbomb. He and Orton then stand tall together to conclude the show.
Seen arriving in the parking lot is a limousine, the driver getting out and opening the door. Out first steps Randy Orton, then Batistaand lastly the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. The three begin to walk together when Jonathan Coachman arrives on to the scene, asking the group what their thoughts are after Brock Lesnar's arrival last Monday night. "What are my thoughts?" Triple H snaps back as he stands close to Coachman. "My thoughts are that ape injured the greatest of all time, Ric Flair... notice he isn't with us tonight." He says that 'The Nature Boy' is recovering from Lesnar's unnecessary attacks last week outside of their match and assures Coachman that it wasn't just a big mistake to jump to Raw, but a monumental one to mess with Evolution. "That's why tonight I am issuing a challenge to Brock Lesnar. That's right, Coach. I'm challenging Brock Lesnar to a non-title match tonight! He doesn't deserve to share the ring with me or challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship... but that is why I have to put him in his place." The trio then continue on their way.
The opening Raw video airs and the pyrotechnics hit inside of the Nassau Coliseum as Jim Ross welcomes everyone from commentary alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler. The two discuss the possibility of WrestleMania coming early with the potential Triple H versus Brock Lesnar match. J.R. also brings up how we will also be hearing from Hulk Hogan later on as we were left waiting for an answer to his challenge to Stone Cold Steve Austin at the end of last week's show! The theme music of Shawn Michaels then hits throughout the building to a big ovation from the crowd. "Speaking of WrestleMania, here's 'Mr. WrestleMania!" Says Lawler. "And he's got a date with The Rock in four weeks in Seattle, J.R.!" Michaels makes his way down and in to the ring, a microphone in hand as he taps it lightly while looking around the arena. "Y'know, it's real unfortunate that The Rock didn't make it here tonight. I suppose he's busy shooting a movie or, maybe, he's afraid of having his million dollar smile be ruined by a sweet ol' kick to the chin." He smiles and says that last week, The Rock came out here and electrified everyone in a way only The Rock can, joking around and laughing it up but behind all of that was the very serious subject as to why he came back. "See, Rock brought up the history between he and myself. Rock said that five, six years ago that I was trying to hold him down. That I didn't want to get in to the ring with him and that I was in Vince McMahon's ear telling him not to give Rock any opportunities! Now, I'll admit, I was in a bad place back then and, yes, Rock did call me out on that... but I'm a changed man and as I have changed, times have changed as well... And, clearly for The Rock, time has changed in the worst possible way for him."
Michaels continues on by saying Rock claimed he was afraid of him becoming a success, but Rock overcame all the odds and proved to be one of the very best in the business anyway. "But all of that success went to The Rock's head and as great as he is, he's still to his very day no Shawn Michaels. He's not 'The Showstopper' and he's not 'The Main Event'!" He says that it used to be that no matter what kind of politics were going on in the back, Rock was always 'The People's Champ' but now not even the people can stand him. "Now, Rock is back. He's back because Eric Bischoff promised him if he came back he could have any match he wants at WrestleMania and here we are. Rock, you stuck your nose in the wrong business and you should've let the past stay in the past but you couldn't. Now, you're stepping in to the ring with 'Mr. WrestleMania'... and when we finally face off, you're going to be held down one last time at the hands of 'The Heart Break Kid' Shawn Michaels..." The Long Island crowd cheers as Michaels prepares to leave, only for Chris Jericho's music to hit before he can step through the ropes. Jericho comes out to the stage with a smile, telling Michaels that maybe he should step away from the ring as he has suggested before and have a career as a politician instead. "Because that speech of yours sounded real good but it was completely littered with B.S.!" Michaels takes a few steps back while staring Jericho down on his way to the ring, Chris saying that Michaels is no longer 'Mr. WrestleMania' or 'The Showstopper' and he's damn sure not 'The Main Event' either. "You couldn't get the job done at No Way Out against me and you probably blame The Rock for that but you know what? It doesn't matter. Because when you look in the record books, it will forever go down in history with a big fat 'W' next to my name, baby!" Michaels draws a bit closer to Jericho and looks him up and down, saying that he's right about what will be listed in the annals of time, when it comes to No Way Out, he was victorious regardless of what happened. "But I assure you, Chris. That I will get my hands on you again soon enough and when I do, you'll have to let me know how your teeth taste after I knock them down your throat." The two stare down with Michaels suddenly backing up and lifting his leg for Sweet Chin Music, Jericho quick to throw himself down to the mat and roll under the bottom rope! As Michaels grins from ear to ear at Jericho, Y2J telling HBK that he is lucky that he has a match right now! Michaels then leaves the ring and makes his way to the back.
1) Chris Jericho def. The Hurricane via submission Working the back of Hurricane right away, Jericho mocks the super hero in multiple holds and after each drop to the mat. Hurricane begins to mount a comeback, however, getting a series of two counts on different pin variations. After swinging free of the Walls of Jericho, Hurricane races to the top rope and nails a crossbody for a very close near fall. As he gets back up waiting for Jericho, however, on to the apron comes Christian to spin Hurricane's mask around and blind him! Christian drops back down and Jericho takes advantage of it by hitting an enzuigiri and applying the Walls of Jericho. Hurricane fights in the hold but unable to see and nowhere to go, he has to tap out.
Jericho is joined in the ring in celebration by Christian, the two mocking Hurricane before leaving the ring together. As they head up the ramp, Hurricane turns his mask back the right way and stares them down angrily from up against the ropes, pointing at the two and vowing 'Hurri-venge'.
Terri is standing by backstage with Trish Stratus as her guest. Terri welcomes her back after last week's return, asking for her thoughts on Jazz and the match against her tonight. "Since Jazz came back to Raw, she has done nothing but bully everyone. She gave me a concussion, she assaulted you, Terri, and as much as Victoria and myself don't see eye to eye, she came in and ran over her, too." Stratus says it's time somebody step up and put Jazz in her place when Victoria walks up with Stevie Richards at her side. "I just wanted to let you know, Trish, that after you're done with Jazz tonight, she — and the Women's Championship — is all mine." Richards asks Victoria why she is even talking to Stratus, Victoria telling him to shut up. "But, Vic, sh—" Both women then tell him to shut up, Stratus looking back to Victoria and saying that maybe after they're both through with Jazz, they can finish the unfinished business of their own. Trish then turns around and walks away.
2) Lance Storm and William Regal def. Rob Van Dam and Kane via pinfall After last week's confrontation with The Dudley Boyz and Chief Morley, RVD and Kane look to prove themselves against the former World Tag Team Champions and perhaps get themselves in to title contention. While The Dudley Boyzare seen watching on in the locker room, the two teams have a competitive match that sees RVD and Kane take control, prompting Regal to try and take out his brass knuckles only for RVD to kick them from his hand and out of the ring. Chief Morley ends up running down and gets on the apron, Van Dam charging at him and knocking him off. Kane hits a Chokeslam on Regal and big boots Storm, putting the latter in position for the Five Star Frog Splash. As the referee is trying to get control of Kane to go to the apron, Morley gets on to the apron with Regal's brass knuckles and cracks RVD in the head! Kane quickly moves past the official to go after Morley on the outside, returning to the ring too late as Storm has already covered for the three count.
Kane gets in to the ring and very quickly, Storm and Regal bolt out. 'The Big Red Machine' stands over the body of his fallen partner, visibly upset as Storm and Regal laugh on their way to the back.
Back from the break, Chief Morley, Lance Stormand William Regalare walking together and laughing it up after the win over Kane and RVD moments ago when up to them comes Booker T. "Y'know, I'm getting real sick and tired of seeing y'all get away with the stunts you've been pulling." Booker says, Storm suggesting he does something about it, but it probably wouldn't be the best idea considering he doesn't have a tag team partner anymore. Morley snickers and says it's a real shame what happened to Goldust. "What?" Booker asks. "You saying you know something about Goldy?!" Regal scoffs and asks wouldn't he like to know, which sets Booker off as he punches Regal right in the face! Morley and Storm are quick to grab Booker's arms and allow Regal to get some shots in return. They get some punches and kicks in of their own before all three toss Booker in to a production trunk nearby. "Hey, good luck in your match tonight!" Morley says with a chuckle as the three walk away, leaving Booker laid out in and wincing in pain on the floor.
3) Scott Steiner def. Rosey (w/Jamal and Rico) via submission After taking down Jamal last week, Steiner delivers a similar performance against Rosey as he displays his tremendous power by lifting the big man off the mat with a belly-to-belly suplex. After a clothesline, Rosey goes for a big splash off the ropes but Steiner avoids it, getting back up and dropping Rosey with another powerful suplex before applying the Steiner Recliner. Despite Rosey's best efforts and strength of his own, he ends up stuck in the hold and forced to in to submission.
Jamal angrily gets in to the ring and comes right at Steiner with punches, 'Big Poppa Pump' coming back with big strikes of his own, eventually clotheslining him over the ropes and at the side of Rosey. Rico tries to come in to the ring and strike Steiner from behind, but it proves to be a big mistake as Steiner takes Rico by the collar, lifting him up over his head and launching him over the ropes and in to his 3 Minute Warning friends. Steiner then proudly flexes his muscles to the Long Island crowd.
The cameras then pick up backstage to show Hulk Hogan coming out of a room, beginning to walk toward the ring as he addresses Stone Cold Steve Austin and his WrestleMania challenge — next!
Seen in the back are Women's Champion Jazz and Theodore Long when Jonathan Coachman comes up to them, asking for a word only for Long to laugh at him and say 'brother up first' before talking to them. The two then walk away, Coachman left looking confused before Scott Steiner walks up, telling Coachman he can interview him. "Come on, talk to 'Freakzilla' because that fruity son of a bitch Rico has been hiding between those two Samoan fat asses back-to-back! He wants to hit me from behind? It's his turn next!" Steiner then marches away, the cameras coming back to the announce team where J.R. and Lawler briefly talk about trouble for Rico with Steiner coming for him. J.R. then mentions the challenge laid down at the beginning of the night by Triple H and tonight, it will indeed be him versus his WrestleMania opponent Brock Lesnar in a non-title match. Lawler then also makes the announcement that next week, a No Way Out rematch between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho will be taking place! But right now, we've got Hulkamania on the way!
The music of Hulk Hogan hits and brings the Long Island crowd to their feet as he arrives out to the stage. Hogan plays up the audience for a while on his way down and in to the ring. Cupping his ear against the ropes, Hogan then calls for a microphone and stands in the center of the squared circle, observing the Nassau Coliseum a bit before finally speaking. "Well let me tell you something, brother!" He says to cheers. "Last week, I laid down the challenge to Stone Cold Steve Austin for the biggest WrestleMania match of all time, brother!" He says that Austin didn't give an answer, however, and instead left everybody wondering what could have been, what could be. "So, maybe Austin took his ball and went home again... but that doesn't mean that I'm not still here, dudes! I'll be at WrestleMania one way or another! So, whatcha gonna do brother when Hulkmania runs..." He trails off, however, as the crowd starts to react and he turns his attention to the titantron.
Seen marching through the back is Stone Cold Steve Austin, the crowd growing louder and louder as Austin makes his way through a set of curtains, his theme music hitting as 'The Texas Rattlesnake' comes out to the stage and stomps his way down and in to the ring, stepping right up to Hogan and staring him down. After an extended silence, Austin pulls his microphone up. "So you've been waiting all week long to hear from good ol' Stone Cold, have you?" He asks. "Well, I've been thinking long and hard. I've been thinking long and hard all week... had a few beers, watched back some old tapes, had a few more beers, thought about it some more..." He paces back and forth a little bit before looking around the building, asking the audience if they want to see perhaps the biggest match in WrestleMania history take place between himself and Hogan to give him a 'hell yeah'. The crowd reacts as expected and Austin turns his attention back to Hogan. "I think you've got an answer," He says. "And I can guaran-damn-tee that at WrestleMania, Stone Cold Steve Austin is going to walk in there and run wild all over The Hulkster's ass and that's the bottom line... because Stone Cold said so!" The crowd is ecstatic over the acceptance of the match, Hogan grinning and extending his hand. "Can you believe it, King?" Ross asks. "Hogan! Austin! WrestleMania 19!" Austin looks down at Hogan's hand and instead flips off 'The Immortal'. Austin then turns and leaves the ring, making his way up the ramp as Hogan is left standing smiling to himself with his hand still held out.
In the back, Christopher Nowinski is seen being talked to by Chief Morley. "Booker T is all eased up for not knowing how to shut his big mouth earlier," Morley says. "Now I'd like for you to do the honors of going out there and giving Booker T a Harvard educated lesson." Nowinski says it would be his pleasure. He and Morley shake hands and Nowinski heads off as his match is after the break.
Seen hanging out in their locker room is Evolution, sans Ric Flair, with Orton and Batista talking about the girls they were with last night. "Those Asian twins I roped in," Orton says with a big smile. "That would have made 'Naitch' proud." Batista agrees and Triple H intervenes, saying what would really make 'The Nature Boy' proud would be them focusing on the matter at hand tonight. "You boys still got a lot to learn. See, after Brock Lesnar is taken care of tonight, you can worry about another night on the town. But right now, all of your focus should be on that 300 pound gorilla coming for me and the World Heavyweight Championship." Orton apologizes as he and Batista stand up, Batista telling HHH they've got his back tonight as always.
4) Booker T def. Christopher Nowinski via pinfall Banged up from his assault at the hands of Morley, Storm and Regal earlier, Booker struggles against Nowinski, whom dominates the match. Nowinski does some jumping jacks and trash talk over Booker, allowing the five-time WCW Champion to make a big comeback with punches and chops in the corner. Nowinski pushes Booker back, however, and delivers a big clothesline. Nowinski then mocks the spinaroonie sloppily, getting back up and tapping his temple. He turns right in to a side kick to the face from Booker though, whom then follows it up with a Scissors Kick for the one, two, three.
Booker staggers back to his feet and after having his arm raised as the winner, he calls for a microphone as he has something to say. "Now I know Chief Morley has something to do with my boy Goldust's disappearance... and if they aren't gonna tell me what's going on... I'll keep fighting him and his crew and whatever else they wanna throw at me to find out! Now can you dig that... sucka?!" He throws the microphone down and exits the ring, high fiving some fans on his way to the back.
In his office is General Manager Eric Bischoff, pulling out his cell phone and saying to himself he's going to try this one more time. He makes and call and The Rock picks up on the other line, asking who this is, cutting Bischoff as he asks why Rock wasn't at Raw. "The Rock is training hard in the gym, The Rock is getting ready for WrestleMania and whooping Shawn Michaels' candy ass!" Bischoff tries to interject but Rock cuts him off again once again, asking how he even got this phone number. "The Rock's gonna have to change his number because people like you keep calling The Rock's private cell," Eric tries to say that it's him. "The Rock doesn't want to know you! Do The Rock a favor, alright? Never, ever call this number again, make sure to order WrestleMania and watch the jabroni beating, lalalalalow pie eating, trail blazing, eye brow raising Hollywood box office smash hit The Rock beat Shawn Michaels! If ya smell what The Rock... is cooking." The other line hangs up on Bischoff as the General Manager closes his phone and squeezes it tight in frustration.
5) Non-Title Match: Trish Stratus def. Women's Champion Jazz (w/Theodore Long) Her first match back in over a month, Stratus comes out hot against Jazz, taking her down with a Lou Thesz press and punches as she looks for revenge. Jazz turns things around for herself fast, using her power and controlling Stratus. As she goes for the Bitch Clamp, however, Stratus manages to roll through it and in to a pinning position — stunning Jazz as she gets the three count!
Stratus doesn't even get a chance to celebrate the win as Jazz gets right back up and kicks her in the face. Jazz pulls Trish up in to the corner and continues her attack, Victoria running down from the back and hitting Jazz from behind — driving the Women's Champion right in to Stratus. She then tosses Jazz from the ring, Stratus coming up and spinning her around. The two get nose-to-nose as they argue with each other. Jazz ends up returning to the ring and hitting a double clothesline on both Trish and Victoria! With both women down, Jazz stands over both of them with a scowl. She then pulls Victoria up by the hair and lays her out with the Bitch Clamp on top of Trish! Jazz then leaves the ring, Long presenting her with her Women's Championship as they head backstage together.
Backstage, Brock Lesnar is seen working out with some resistance bands when they snap in half on him. He tosses them to the side and begins to head down the halls as J.R. says that we have a WrestleMania main event before WrestleMania as it will be him versus Triple H coming up next! The theme music of Triple H hits coming out of the break, the World Heavyweight Champion making his entrance to boos from the Nassau Coliseum. After he's done making his arrival, he paces in the ring and waits until Brock Lesnar makes his way out. 'The Next Big Thing' grins as he heads down to the ring, keeping his eyes locked on Triple H's. "Do you think Triple H is regretting this decision yet?" Asks Lawler. As soon as Lesnar jumps on to the ring apron, however, he is pulled down at the hands of Batistaand Randy Orton! They tee off on the number one contender, Lesnar trying to put up a fight against both of them but struggling. He throws an elbow to Orton's head and fights back against Batista, lifting him off the ground and ramming 'The Animal' in to the ring post! He then turns back around to Orton charging at him and sends him flying on the floor with a belly-to-belly suplex! Lesnar then gets back to his feet and once again sets his sights on Triple H inside of the ring.
Lesnar slides under the ropes and HHH gets defensive immediately, pummeling him with punches in the corner. Lesnar is quick to respond with big knees to the stomach, however, backing the World Heavyweight Champion up to the center of the ring. He then hoists 'The Game' on to his shoulders and in position for the F-5 but Batista comes in and makes the save by striking Lesnar from behind. The two big men then begin to trade punches back and forth, Lesnar managing to get the upper hand as he rocks Batista in to the corner. Orton and HHH come running up from behind and drop him, however, allowing Batista to get back in and begin a three-on-one assault. "We should have known from the start that this was a damn set up!" J.R. says in frustration. Lesnar tries to fight back but every time he starts to get something going, is put back down. Finally, Batista ends up hoisting Lesnar on to his shoulder and lays him out with a running powerslam. Lesnar struggles back to all fours off of it, Orton letting him get to a knee before dropping him down again with an inverted headlock backbreaker. Lesnar then crawls to HHH's feet, the World Heavyweight Champion laughing as he lets Brock stir enough in order to drop him with the Pedigree! He then makes a cover, Orton dropping to the mat and making a three count himself. The crowd boos loud as the three Evolution members get up and raise their arms together, Triple H with the World Heavyweight Championship belt in hand as he in particular stands over Lesnar's body as J.R. signs things off for Monday Night Raw.
March 6, 2003: Harbor Yard Arena in Bridgeport, CT
The Smackdown open video airs before the cameras pan inside of the Harbor Yard Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the stage hit by the opening pyrotechnics as Michael Cole welcomes all to commentary from ringside along with Tazz. Cole mentions that last week we found out the number one contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania would be The Undertaker and tonight, he is in action when he teams with Edge to battle the WWE Tag Team Champions, Team Angle. But right now to start things off tonight, the former champions Chavo and Eddie Guerrero are in action!
1) Los Guerreros def. Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore via pinfall Hiding behind Moore and only getting involved when convenient is Hardy, but despite Shannon's near fall surprises on Eddie and Chavo, he ends up being taken control of. Hardy tries to get involved but eats a big DDT at the hands of Chavo. As Moore is left to fend for himself with Chavo, Eddie goes to the outside and ties Matt's shoelaces together while he is down on the apron. "The hell is Guerrero doing here?" Asks Tazz. Back in the ring, Chavo catches Moore coming off the top rope with a dropkick, following that up with a brainbuster. He races to the top and hits a big frog splash, Hardy trying to come in to the ring to break it up only to fall flat on his face as the referee makes the three count!
Both Chavo and Eddie get to their feet and laugh at Hardy as he slaps the mat in frustration, realizing what has been done to him. As Los Guerreros leave, Matt yells for Shannon to help him. As Moore comes to and understands the situation at hand, he races to the outside and up to the announce table. "We need scissors! Now! Hurry!" He shouts at Cole, whom tells Moore he doesn't have any. One of the ringside crew members hands a pair to Moore and he runs back to the ring only to find out Hardy has already untied the shoes himself. He slaps Moore upside the head and demands he bring him his title. Moore then retrieves the Cruiserweight Championship and the two leave together.
Back in the parking lot, General Manager Stephanie McMahon is seen standing and waiting as in pulls a limousine. She insists to the driver that she has the door and opens it up with a smile. "I've only been waiting for you for about three hours, but what else would I expect from a traitor like you?" Out from the vehicle steps The Rock, an eyebrow raised as he studies the parking lot. "Hey, Steph! What were you gonna do if The Rock didn't show up, huh? Were you gonna sue The Rock?" He puts his arm around her and says that they can settle all of this outside of the court room, if she knows what he's saying. McMahon says as a matter of fact, they can settle this in her office. "Now you're speaking The Rock's language!" He responds while adjusting his pants and belt. Stephanie tries to explain that this is strictly business, Rock saying back he doesn't care if it's business or personal, pie is pie! "Well, Rock, I'm actually wondering what my piece of the pie is for you going over to Raw." Rock removes his sunglasses and looks around with his eyes widened, waving his hand in front of Stephanie's face. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa... whoa! The Rock does not have pie, Stephanie! The Rock has strudel and let The Rock tell you something he has plenty of it! And it could all be yours if you play your cards right, mama!" He sticks his tongue out with a laugh, Stephanie rolling her eyes and telling him to meet her in his office in five minutes. Rock tries to say he'll get there when he gets there but McMahon re-iterates that when she says five minutes, she means five minutes. "Bossy... The Rock likes that! In and out, huh? That's how you wanna do it? Is this a hook up or The Rock's doctor's appointment?" McMahon tells him that it's a meeting and raises her five fingers before walking away.
Walking backstage frustrated after losing moments ago are Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore, Hardy livid over Eddie Guerrero tying his shoes together. Hardy puts his hand out in front of Moore as he spots Rey Mysterio standing off to the side laughing. Hardy steps up to him and questions if something is funny. "I just thinks it's funny that, as you would say, in a cruel twist of fate, you lost because your shoelaces were tied together, man. Props to Eddie for that one!" Hardy snaps back that first off, that child-like behavior is nothing to laugh at and second, Mysterio has no right to steal his catchphrase. "You don't follow Mattitude! You don't deserve to say that line! Just like you don't deserve to be a champion like me! Show him, Shannon." Moore takes the Cruiserweight Championship belt and holds it up in Mysterio's face, Rey looking up and down at Matt and suggesting maybe he'll change that for the both of them. Mysterio then heads off with Hardy ripping his title back out of Moore's hands.
Seen elsewhere in the back is WWE Champion Kurt Angle heading to his locker room when he is stopped in place by Josh Mathews coming up to him, excusing himself and asking Angle if the rumors are true that he is afraid of his new number one contender, The Undertaker. "No, no, no. Absolutely not. Where did you hear that?! Don't answer that. I'm not afraid of anyone, alright? Get out of here." He shoos Mathews away and enters the locker room, walking up to Team Angle, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. He tells the two of them to put Los Guerreros out of their minds for tonight and to put all of their focus on their match later on. "Edge wanted to start trouble with us and he paid last week, but he needs to pay even more tonight. As for The Undertaker, he's the new number one contender for my WWE Championship and he needs to be brought down." Haas apologizes for interrupting but asks Angle if it's true that he is afraid of The Undertaker. "What? Why is everyone saying that?! I'm not afraid of anyone, Charlie! I just want him to be taken down a peg or two and to know who he is messing with!" He tells them to go get ready and clutches his WWE Championship close to his chest.
Over in the women's locker room, Torrie Wilson walks in to see her Playboy poster from last week set up in the center of the room vadalized with words like 'slut' and 'tramp'. Wilson is in shock over it when she is suddenly hit from behind by Ivory! She stomps on Wilson a few times and then stands over her, pulling the hair to make Wilson look at the poster. "You see that, Torrie?! All those words are exactly what you really are. She then throws Wilson down and heads out of the room. The cameras then pick up to the halls where The Big Show and Paul Heymanare walking together, Heyman pumping Show up and reminding him that he was so close to going to WrestleMania and challenging for the WWE Championship last week and asks what Show is going to do about coming up just short. "I'm going to rip somebody's head off!" Show yells, Heyman with a sinister smile on his face as Show is in action next.
2) The Big Show (w/Paul Heyman) def. Billy Kidman via pinfall Facing the much smaller former Cruiserweight Champion, Show dominates early and while not taking Kidman seriously, doesn't show it with his attack. Kidman begins to mount a comeback, however, and stuns Show with a series of dropkicks and fast paced moves. After a sleeper hold brings Show down to a knee, A-Train comes marching down the ramp and up to the ring. Heyman hurries over to question his actions but Kidman hits a baseball slide on A-Train before anything can come of it. Kidman returns to a big boot and a military press, Show then looking to put things away as he lifts Kidman by the throat, Billy fighting his way out and racing to the top rope only to leap off in to a Chokeslam and the pinfall.
Show gets to his feet and stands over Kidman, knowing he got a tougher battle than expected. As he goes to raise his hand to the crowd over the ropes, A-Train comes in to the ring and drags Kidman to his feet, Show turning to see the Derailer be hit. Show walks up to A-Train and shoves him in the chest, prompting an argument between the two as Show questions why he's getting involved. Heyman rushes in to the ring to get in between his two clients, holding them back from each other as he works to calm things down between the two of them. He then leads both men out of the ring together.
Standing in the back is John Cena, a scowl on his face as he raps about how last week, Rikishi gave him the stinkface and he hasn't gotten the taste off of his tongue. "But I noticed the bandage on your head, too, was it my padlock that stung? Tonight, you get a chance at me, the baddest man there is on Smackdown, tonight I don't just rock your skull — I spin it around. You messed with the wrong cat Kish, I'm pissed off like a divorcee, I'm dropping your fat ass tonight and pinning you for the one, two, three." He throws his hands up in signature form to the camera and heads off for the upcoming match.
3) John Cena def. Rikishi via pinfall A competitive match featuring some impressive power from both men, Cena ends up being caught off the ropes with a powerful Samoan Drop, leading to him crawling to the corner. Rikishi sees a chance to do the stinkface for a second week in a row and begins to go for it, Cena rolling out of the ring before it can be done. He retrieves a steel chair from ringside and returns to the ring with it, the referee taking it away from him and the two arguing. As the official is disposing of the chair, Cena ducks underneath a superkick and scoops up his chain from the corner in order to strike Rikishi in the head with his padlock! "What an underhanded move from John Cena!" Says Cole. Cena tosses the chain away and bounces off the ropes, dropping a kneeling Rikishi with the Throwback which leads to the pinfall.
A fired up Cena gets to his feet and mouths off to Rikishi, the referee having to step in front of him as he is threatening his downed opponent. Cena then taunts to the booing crowd and leaves.
In the parking lot backstage, The Rock and Stephanie McMahonare seen walking together with the latter saying she was glad they could meet up and clear the air. Rock stops himself as they get to his limousine, however, and turns McMahon around as he says he doesn't think he is done here tonight. McMahon throws her hands up and tells Rock she has told him a million times tonight that this was strictly business. "Oh no, no, no, Stephanie! The Rock has already figured out that you're quite the tease. The Rock has different business to take care of! See, The Rock has business with the people..." He says he'll be right back, starting to walk away with McMahon unsuccessfully telling him to hold on.
On crutches backstage is Brian Kendrickwhen he is approached by Sean O'Haire, whom says it's a real shame what happened to Kendrick last week. "Yeah, well, it's all your fault Sean!" Kendrick shouts. "You're the one who volunteered me for that match with Kurt Angle!" O'Haire smiles and holds his hands up, saying he was just trying to give Kendrick the opportunity of a lifetime. "See, Brian, sometimes in life you have to gamble for those kinds of opportunities. Sure, you had your ankle destroyed at the hands of Kurt Angle but what if things went your way? What if you had become WWE Champion? Now, are you going to fold or are you going to go all in and stand up to Kurt Angle for what he did to you?" He says that Kendrick should go find Kurt, get under his skin and make him vulnerable enough to take a shot. "Hell, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, Brian." Kendrick nods, telling O'Haire that he is right and that he is going to go find Angle and show him exactly who Brian Kendrick is! He turns around and heads off on his crutches, O'Haire folding his hands in front of him and chuckling.
Back inside of the Harbor Yard Arena, the music of The Rock hits and 'The Great One' makes his way out, taking his time coming down to the ring as he gauges the mixed reaction of the crowd. After waiting for a bit, he finally speaks. "The Rock knows what you're all thinking... what an awesome occasion! Wow! What a shocker! The Rock is here! Finally... The Rock has come back to Smackdown!" He looks up to the air for an extended amount of time before bringing up how last year, he was the number one draft pick for Smackdown, the number one pick to his show, but he had to move on. "The Rock had to move on and go to Los Angeles, head to Hollywood and become The Scorpion King! See, The Rock wasn't making enough money, wasn't getting enough pie and wasn't being appreciated for the star that The Rock truly is! So The Rock had to make a tough decision and leave Smackdown but let The Rock tell you all something from the heart... The Rock hasn't missed a damn thing about Smackdown!" The crowd roars with boos at Rock as he starts to point out members of the crowd, saying he hasn't missed 'you, you, you and especially not you, fat boy'. Rock says he loves Hollywood and Rock loves him but he had to come back and take care of some business but it isn't here on Smackdown.
"Yeah, The Rock's business is over on Monday Night Raw! Ethan Hitchcoff is paying The Rock all kinds of money to get some revenge on Shawn Michaels' candy ass for all the years he tried to hold The Rock down all those years ago!" He says that the people would be shocked at the amount of money he is getting to not even be on Raw this week, it's more money than the people here will make in an entire lifetime. "So The Rock is doing just fine! The Rock is doing just fine so you all can take your 'Rocky' chants, turn those sum'bitches sideways and stick 'em straight up each and every one of your candy asses! If ya smell..." He stops himself as the crowd starts to go along with the line, questioning if they like that. "You like to sing along with The Rock, huh? You wanna say smell what The Rock is cooking with him, huh? Tell you what! Tell you what! Do The Rock a favor... buy the pay-per-view, go to the movie theater for Rock's next hit, rent The Scorpion King, then maybe, just maybe you can smell what The Rock is cooking!" He throws the microphone down and smiles from ear to ear to the jeers of the Connecticut fans. He then steps through the ropes and makes his way backstage.
Making his way down to the ring following the break is Funaki, whom says that he is Smackdown's #1 announcer and he is here to interview his tag team partner and fellow countryman. He introduces Tajiri, whom comes down and joins Funaki in the ring. "Tajiri, what are your thoughts on our opponents tonight: Nunzio and Chuck Palumbo?" Tajiri answers in Japanese and Funaki laughs, the two speaking back and forth in their native tongue from there and continuing to chuckle together. In the midst of it, however, Nunzio and Chuck Palumbomake their way out to the stage with Nunzio asking that's funny how? "Funny how like 'Capo' Chuck Palumbo kicked your head in last week, Tajiri? Or funny like how he did yours on Velocity, Funaki? Or funny how we're going to teach you two a lesson right here, right now and show you not to mess with full blooded Italians?" They then make their way down the ramp.
4) Nunzio and Chuck Palumbo def. Funaki and Tajiri via pinfall After initially starting off strong with a couple tags in and out, Nunzio runs in to a bit of trouble with Tajiri, whom hits with strong kicks and strikes. After a Tarantula, Tajiri takes Funaki in and he gets some work in. After reversing a bulldog, Nunzio makes the tag to Palumbo whom comes in and displays his power. After a superkick to the back of Funaki's head, he tags Nunzio back in and runs Tajiri off the apron. Nunzio heads to the top rope and nails a top rope leg drop on Funaki, leading to the pin and win.
Celebrating the win, Nunzio climbs to the second rope and gives chin flicks to the crowd. As he is busy enjoying the victory, Palumbo turns right in to mist to the face from Tajiri! Nunzio comes back down to see Palumbo freaking out against the ropes, turning in to an attack from Tajiri in the corner. A man comes in from behind, however, and hits Tajiri from behind. Tazz is quick to identify Chris Kanyon, whom drags Tajiri back up and lays him out with the Flatliner. He checks on Palumbo and Nunzio, the three gathering back together in the center of the ring and holding their arms up together. "How many members of this 'family' do you think there is, Tazz?!" Asks Cole.
Seen in the back stepping out of his locker room after a knock on the door is Kurt Angle. He looks off to the side with a grin, Brian Kendrick approaching him on his crutches. Angle asks 'Spanky' how the ankle is and Kendrick stumbles a little bit over his words. "One good leg or not, I'll still kick your ass, Kurt! Or... or are you afraid of me like you are The Undertaker?" Angle looks up and down at Kendrick and asks what he just said to him before smacking one of the crutches out from beneath him. "What'd you say to me?!" He yells before dropping Kendrick to the floor by sweeping out the other crutch, mounting over him and punching the cast around the ankle repeatedly! Kendrick yells out in pain as Angle proceeds to apply an Ankle Lock despite the cast, Kendrick immediately tapping out but Angle not caring. The WWE Champion does eventually let up and warns Kendrick to stay out of his way if he knows whats good for him. Angle then returns to his locker room, slamming the door behind him. As Kendrick groans in pain, Sean O'Haire walks up. He pulls a marker out from his jacket pocket and signs Kendrick's cast. "At least you tried." He says before stepping over Kendrick and walking away.
In her office is Stephanie McMahon, sighing to herself as she takes slumps at her desk. She then reaches for the phone and dials a number, waiting briefly before the other line picks up. "Hey. I, uh, just wanted to call because I'm just having a rough day... yeah. It's just frustrating, you know? The Rock and Hulk Hogan on Raw and Brock Lesnar, too. Plus, Kurt Angle is running around hurting people left and right! But he's my WWE Champion." She shakes her head and asks if there is anything he can do, listening for a little bit before nodding and saying she'll see him next week. She hangs up the phone and appears to have a relieved smile on her face.
Josh Mathews is standing by in the back and introduces Los Guerreros as his guests, asking how they are dealing with no longer being the WWE Tag Team Champions. "Did you see our match earlier?" Asks Chavo. "We're doing just fine." Eddie adds that it doesn't mean they don't want the WWE Tag Team Championship back, though, and they'll get those belts back soon enough. Team Angle is passing by and stops to come up to Eddie and Chavo. "Did you hear that right?" Benjamin asks Haas. "They're doing just fine without being WWE Tag Team Champions. Well, that's good because you're not getting them back from us." Haas nods in agreement and says that he and Benjamin are world class athletes and collegiate wrestling stars. "Is there even amateur wrestling in El Paso or do the two of you just watch cock fights?" Eddie raises an eyebrow and laughs, saying he doesn't know what kind of fights Kurt Angle has been showing the two of them, but quickly says to forget about that because all that matters is he and Chavo have decided to invoke their rematch clause for the WWE Tag Team Championship next week! "But hey, good luck against Undertaker and Edge tonight." Chavo says with a smile, wrapping his arm around Eddie as they head off with Team Angle not looking too happy.
One of the opponents for Haas and Benjamin coming up, The Undertaker, is seen preparing for the match by shadowboxing when Edge walks up to him. "Hey, I just wanted to say that before we go out there tonight, we leave last week in the past. You won the match, I've got beef with Team Angle. But after WrestleMania, I'll be coming for the WWE Championship." Undertaker nods and tells Edge that he can bet his ass that the WWE Champion after WrestleMania will be him. "So you'll have to go through me when the time comes. But tonight, let's teach Kurt Angle's boys a thing or two." Edge is in agreement and tells Taker he'll see him out there. He heads off as the main event is coming up after the break.
5) Non-Title Match: Edge and The Undertaker def. WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle (w/WWE Champion Kurt Angle) via pinfall Haas and Benjamin make frequent tags in and out as they cut Edge off from Undertaker after his early hot start. The match goes through a break with Edge continuing to struggle as he fails to reach his corner repeatedly. After a Benjamin superkick nails Haas after a duck from Edge, the tag is finally made to Undertaker and 'Big Evil' enters, cleaning house of Team Angle. Benjamin and Haas begin to double team Undertaker after being dominated individually, getting a near fall after a double flapjack across the ropes. As Benjamin goes for a splash in the corner, Taker side-steps it and goes across the ring to tag in Edge, whom comes in fired up and plowing through both members of Team Angle, whom again look to get a double team advantage. Taker returns to the ring to even things up, taking Haas out with a Last Ride in the center of the ring. Angle enters from behind as Edge and Benjamin are going at it on the outside, the WWE Champion looking ready to strike. Undertaker turns and catches Angle ready to go, Kurt hesitating and instead diving through the ropes. 'The Dead Man' follows and chases after Angle to the back! Edge rolls back in to the ring and steps up to Haas as he staggers to his feet, driving a boot to the stomach and nailing Edgecution! Both legs are then hooked for the one, two, three!
The Bridgeport fans cheer as Edge emerges to his feet as he and Undertaker are announced as the winners. Edge's celebration doesn't last very long, however, as Benjamin comes in to the ring from behind and takes him down with a shot to the head. "Talk about sore losers!" Says Cole. "They really have taken after Kurt Angle!" Haas eventually comes back to and joins in on the attack of Edge in the corner until the theme music of Chris Benoit hits! After missing last week's show, Benoit races down to the ring and goes after the two men that assisted in injuring him a few weeks back. After a German suplex to Haas, Benjamin comes at Benoit only for Edge to make the save. Team Angle are backed down to the opposite sides of the ring and hit with simultaneous clotheslines that send them over the top rope and to the floor! Benoit and Edge then turn back to the center of the ring and lock eyes with one another. The two stare each other down before Benoit takes Edge by the wrist, raising his arm up. The crowd cheers for the two as they then look toward the escaping Team Angle as they head up the ramp.
The cameras then pick up in the parking lot to The Undertaker slowing down and placing his hands on his hips. "Where are you, Kurt?! You wanted to mess with the big dog so get your ass out here!" Taker looks around and then is suddenly dropped from behind with a tool box to the head by Angle! The WWE Champion stands over his WrestleMania challenger, whom tries to grab one of the tools that went flying. Angle, however, drives a wrench in to the back of Taker! He then pulls him to his feet and proceeds to deliver an Angle Slam on top of a nearby car's windshield! Laid out in the glass, Taker groans in pain while Angle leans over him. "I'm not afraid of you, 'Dead Man'! I'm not afraid of you... I'm the WWE Champion... I'm Kurt freakin' Angle!" He slowly backs away as Smackdown comes to an end.