March 8, 2003: Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, CA
1) Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) def. Jimmy Yang via pinfall Taking on the young Yang, the former Cruiserweight Champion is caught off guard by the fight of his opponent. Nunzio, Chuck Palumbo and Chris Kanyon come down to ringside during the match, Noble being distracted briefly as he questions what they're doing, allowing Yang to hit him with a hurricanrana for a near fall. Noble ends up coming back with a double underhook powerbomb to get the pinfall. As the three on the outside applaud him, Noble passes by with Nidia not seeming interested in having them involved in his business.
2) Chris Kanyon (w/Chuck Palumbo and Nunzio) def. Johnny Xavier via pinfall After aligning with Palumbo and Nunzio on Smackdown, Kanyon attempts to show off a bit and it allows Xavier to get a brief opening. Kanyon takes things more serious after a two count on a backslide, however, and ends up putting Xavier away with the Flatliner. Palumbo and Nunzio join Kanyon in the ring afterward, Nunzio with a microphone as he warns for nobody to mess with these full blooded Italians. 3) Rey Mysterio def. B-2 via pinfall In his first match since coming up short in the number one contender's fatal four way, Mysterio comes out firing on all cylinders. Despite B-2's best efforts and a couple of hopeful spots including a powerbomb for a two count, Mysterio overcomes B-2 with the 619 and hits West Coast Pop for the win. Mysterio proceeds to celebrate the win with the audience to conclude Velocity.
March 9, 2003: Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY
1) Non-Title Match: World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (w/Spike Dudley) def. Johnny Stamboli and Nick Dinsmore via pinfall Having wrapped things up with Lance Storm, William Regal and Chief Morley, Bubba Ray and D-Von show why they are the champions against Stamboli and Dinsmore. After Stamboli is dispatched of with a toss over the top rope, Dismore is left to fall to the 3D, allowing Bubba to get the pinfall. Spike comes in to the ring to celebrate with his brothers after but Stamboli comes in to the ring and shoves D-Von. He gets in to an argument with him and Bubba until Spike comes up from behind and nails the Dudley Dog to Stamboli! Bubba, D-Von and Spike laugh it up before leaving together.
2) Maven def. D'Lo Brown (w/Theodore Long) via pinfall A rematch from last week, D'Lo is much more alert as he doesn't fall in to the same corner trap that cost him the match last Sunday, instead dropping Maven with a spinebuster for a two count. As Brown and Long argue with the official over the close count, however, he ends up being hit with a dropkick in to the corner and then rolled up in to a small package for the pinfall. As Maven is quick to roll out of the ring, Long is fast to enter. Instead of helping Brown, however, he demands a microphone and stands over Brown. "Are you kidding me?!" He asks. "Let me ask you something, playa! Why can't you be more like Jazz, huh? She came back with me and became the new Women's Champion and you've done nothing but lose! You're useless and a disappointment to your entire race and you can believe that!" Maven comes back down to the ring after that line and gets in the face of Long, backing him to the ropes until he leaves. Maven then turns back around to Brown and steps up to him, extending his hand. D'Lo appears surprised by it, but accepts the assistance to his feet. The two then shake hands and have some words together before Brown raises Maven's arm up. 3) Christian def. Test (w/Stacy Keibler) via pinfall The former Un-Americans alliance members collide with Test overpowering Christian and controlling the early portions of the contest with Christian making a comeback after a rake of the eyes on Test's shoulder. After an Unprettier is broken out of, Test goes for a big boot but Christian ducks and rolls him up, a handful of tights and grabbing the middle rope for the one, two, three! Christian bales from the ring as quick as he can, both fists raised in the air as Test is furious in the ring to end the show.
love, love, love the different take on the wrestlemania card. i predicted the dream matches - and in this era, totally believable. 2003 was one of my favorite years. keep up the great work guys. i could see edge/benoit challenge the wgtt for the belts in a hawt opener at 'mania. i'm really interested in lesnar/hhh. i can see triple h having a long, heel reign as champ - but how can lesnar NOT go over especially after winning the rumble and in the midst of rebuilding him as the top face in the company. i have no issues with taker challenging kurt as well. the actual wm was built on four main events, but this one should be insane. hogan/stone cold, rock/hbk, triple h/lesnar, and taker/angle all should be bangers. what main events i wonder? keep up the great build boys!
Straight live in to the Gund Arena, the theme music of Brock Lesnar hits to kick off the show as the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship makes his way down to the ring with a firey look in his eyes. He immediately calls for a microphone and says he's going to make this short and sweet. "Triple H, after what you pulled last week... I can't wait until WrestleMania! Get your ass out here right now!" After getting no response from 'The Game', Lesnar instead receives the arrival of his scheduled opponent for tonight, Christian. He struts his way out from the back with a grin, saying he hates to be the one to tell Lesnar this, but, Triple H is not here yet. "But you know who is here, Brock? Me. The guy that, as far as I'm concerned, deserves to be going to WrestleMania over you! And I'm going to step in to that ring with you tonight and prove just that!" He lets out a laugh and drops the microphone on the ring steps, entering the ring as Lesnar motions for him to enter.
1) Brock Lesnar def. Christian via pinfall An incensed and determined Lesnar completely runs through Christian off the sound of the bell, throwing him around like a rag doll. Christian ends up pulling the referee in front of him in the corner eventually, giving him just enough time to give a thumb to the eye of Lesnar and start to get some things going his way. During the match, Evolution is seen arriving in the parking lot and getting out of their limousine together happily. Eric Bischoffruns up to them, warning Triple H that Lesnar has called him out. Back in the ring, Christian avoids a Lesnar charge in the corner and goes for a roll up only for Lesnar to kick out, get back up and hit a devastating clothesline. He then drags Christian up and plants him with the F-5 in the center of the ring, hooking both legs for the three count.
Lesnar wastes no time celebrating after the match, instead demanding a microphone once again and telling Triple H if he doesn't show his face right now, he's going to go find him himself. After getting no response, Lesnar steps out of the ring and starts to head up the ramp only for a bunch of security to come through the curtains and stand in his path, Triple H not too far behind. "Listen, Brock, I know you're upset about last week but trust me, you didn't want to be in a match with me anyway. You'll find that out come WrestleMania..." He explains that these security members are here, by orders of Eric BIschoff, to escort Lesnar out of the arena and says that it is for his own good. "Because Brock, if you lay a finger on me tonight, your match at WrestleMania with me for the World Heavyweight Championship is off." Lesnar shakes his head angrily and begins to leave behind the security, having some words for Hunter on his way out. 'The Game' stops the security, however, and says that before Lesnar leaves he just had a couple more things to say. "Brock, you're just like every other big, tough muscular guy that has walked in to the WWE over the years that just can't cut it under the bright lights and I know it because I've seen it. You're just a flash in the pan, Brock. Hell, you owe everything to Paul Heyman and without him hoding your hand, you're nothing but a choke! You can't hold a candle to the World Champion and 'Cerebral Assassin' that I am and that is why you will never make it in this business and why you will never become World Heavyweight Champion!" Lesnar wants to break through the security team but they hold him back, HHH laughing as Lesnar moves away slowly. Instead, he turns his attention to Christian limping up the ramp and storms up to him, hoisting him on to his shoulders while locking eyes with HHH. "Wrong place, wrong time for Christian!" Says Lawler. Lesnar then delivers the F-5 on to the stage, getting back to his feet and pointing right at his WrestleMania opponent. Hunter backs through the curtains as Lesnar continues to be held off.
Following the break, the commentary team shows footage from beforehand between Brock Lesnar and Triple H. In the backstage area, Lesnar is seen being escorted still to the parking lot while yelling over security at HHH. "Yeah, okay, buh-bye!" HHH says mockingly before turning to Eric Bischoff, the Raw General Manager asking the World Heavyweight Champion if he is happy now because he has business to handle trying to get a hold of The Rock. "Don't worry about The Rock, Eric," Hunter says with a grin. "Worry about me. Worry about the fact that now that Brock had a match tonight, I want a match tonight... I want some tough competition!" Bischoff smiles and nods, telling HHH that he's got an idea already and he'll make sure that HHH has some tough competition later.
2) William Regal (w/Lance Storm) def. Rob Van Dam via pinfall A competitive contest in a rematch of last year's WrestleMania opener, Van Dam and Regal exchange in mat and high flying wrestling. After RVD breaks out of a chinlock with a kick to the head, he knocks Regal down with a spinning wheel kick. He then proceeds to head to the top rope where Storm tries to push him off only to be booted in the face. RVD then goes for a leaping side kick at Regal but it is avoided, Regal capitalizing with a half nelson suplex for the pinfall.
Storm enters the ring after the bell and has a brief conversation with Regal before they begin a beat down of Van Dam. A big flaming pyro hits the stage, however, signaling the arrival of Kane! RVD's tag team partner makes his way down to the ring, Regal running right in to a big boot. Storm then comes up and gets a few shots in but ends up being taken by the throat, Regal able to return with a chop block to the back of Kane's knee as he lifts Storm. Regal helps his partner out of the ring and they back down, RVD aiding Kane back to his feet and patting him on the shoulder.
In the back, the World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz are seen watching a monitor when they are approached by Chief Morley, whom quickly declares he comes in peace when they question what he wants. "Well, I'm glad you were watching and scouting your potential next opponents. Because next week, we're going to find out who you'll be facing for your titles against at WrestleMania when we have a number one contenders match: Lance Storm and William Regal versus Kane and Rob Van Dam." After Bubba warns Morley that his buddies Storm and Regal better pray they don't win, Morley turns right in to the chest of Booker T. "Quit ducking me, Morley. What do you know about Goldy?!" Morley puts his hands up and nervously laughs, telling Booker he'll tell him everything he knows about Goldust on one condition: He wins his rematch tonight with Christopher Nowinski. "Man, this ain't no game!" Booker yells. "Tell me before I beat your punk ass!" Morley raises a finger and tells Booker to either take it or leave it and never find out. Booker clenches his fists but doesn't throw any fists, Morley saying "that's what I thought" before walking away.
Back from the time away, J.R. reminds everyone of our main event still to come between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, also pointing out that we have yet to hear from The Rock as it sounds like he isn't going to be here tonight. "The Rock is a busy man, J.R.!" Lawler defends. The music of former Women's Champion Victoria then hits as she makes her way out with Stevie Richards, the duo heading down to the ring as Victoria gets right in to it by saying that last week, herself and Trish Stratus had a miscommunication so she wants Trish to come down to the ring so they can clear the air. After a little bit of waiting, Trish Stratus' music indeed does hit and she comes face to face with Victoria in the middle of the ring. "Trish, last week after your match with Jazz, I didn't mean to hit you. I really didn't. But... maybe if you had stayed out of the way it would have never happened!" The crowd boos and Stratus laughs, telling Victoria that she isn't going to stay out of the way because Jazz is her business too. "And if I remember correctly, I beat Jazz last week while at No Way Out you... what was it you did, Vic? You lost, didn't you?" Victoria begins to freak out over the reminder, trying to get in Stratus' face but being held back at the waist by Richards.
Out from the back before things can escalate any further is the Women's Champion Jazz and her manager Theodore Long. The latter speaks on their way down to the ring. "Trish, Victoria, neither of you deserve Jazz's Women's Championship! Neither of you deserve to share the ring with her! Neither of you are good enough or bad enough to even be in the ring with her and you can believe that!" He goes on to explain that Jazz came back from an injury after eight long, grueling months and in less than one month went on to re-gain the Women's Championship. Jazz takes the microphone out of Long's hands and steps forward to look at the other two women. "You're right, Teddy. But I don't care! I'll face both of these tramps at the same time!" The three look around at one another, staring until Richards decides to try and throw a shot at Stratus, whom ducks underneath it and nails him with the Chick Kick! Victoria comes up to Stratus and spins her around, the two arguing until Jazz runs through them both with a double clothesline. She then drags Trish back up and goes for the Bitch Clamp but Victoria strikes from behind, forcing Trish to drop and fall to the outside. Victoria then ducks a punch from Jazz and hits her with the Widow's Peak! Victoria emerges back to her feet, Richards returning holding his face while handing the Women's Championship over to her. As Victoria stands tall with the championship, Jazz remains laid out and Trish watches angrily from the outside.
In the back, Batista and Randy Ortonare seen standing with each other as Ric Flaircomes up behind them and puts his arms over their shoulders. "Y'know, Brock Lesnar is lucky he was escorted out of here because I've got unfinished business with him! Woo!" He tells Orton and Batista that while Triple H is busy with the match he has coming up later on, this is their moment and their time to shine. He tells them to remember what they talked about. All three of them then leave the room together.
Standing in the back is Jonathan Coachman with his guest Chris Jericho. Coachman brings up Jericho's match with Shawn Michaels later on and mentions that The Rock is not here apparently so the same thing that happened at No Way Out won't happen tonight. "Stop right there, Coach. First things first, I didn't need The Rock at No Way Out and I don't need him tonight." He says that Michaels' attention should be on him anyway, because things between them are far from finished. "Because I want to prove once and for all why I am better than Shawn Michaels... in the ring, on this microphone, as a showman and as an absolute sexy beast!" He says he is the real showstopper on Monday Night Raw, not Michaels and then walks away.
3) Scott Steiner def. Rico (w/3 Minute Warning) via submission Finally looking to get his hands on Rico after weeks of wanting to, Jamal and Rosey hold that up by jumping Steiner before the bell on the outside. Looking to feed him to Rico, a cover off the sound of the bell results in just a short two count. Rico gets a few shots in after and goes for a spinning kick only to be caught by 'Big Poppa Pump' and launched with a belly-to-belly suplex. Steiner starts to dominate from there, Rosey trying to come in only to fall to an inverted DDT. Jamal enters but ends up being hit with a belly-to-belly, leaving Rico to be placed in the Steiner Recliner for the submission.
Steiner gets to his feet and heads up to the second rope to flex for the crowd, coming back to the center of the ring after Rico, Jamal and Rosey are gathered on the outside in order to do some push ups, trash talking the trio as he has managed to defeat all of them over the last three weeks.
The cameras then pick up backstage to show Hulk Hogan arriving to the arena to a big ovation in the arena. However, the footage quickly transitions to show Stone Cold Steve Austin watching the monitor from the interview area. He then begins to make his way toward the entrance!
Following the break, glass shattering is heard and the crowd erupts for Stone Cold Steve Austin's arrival. He marches his down to the ring and after playing up the audience a bit, gets on the microphone. "Looks like I beat Hulk Hogan to the punch." He says while pacing back and forth some. "See, I wanted to come out here before Hulk could run his flaps because I've got a thing or two to say about ol' red and yellow." He says that Hogan has become synonymous with those colors and he agrees because Hogan not only tans like a son of a bitch, he's damn sure a yellowbelly. "Back in the days of WCW, Hulk didn't want a piece of 'Stunning' Steve Austin because Hulk knew he'd get his ass whooped by that young buck! Needless to say, I was surprised when ten years later, Hulk Hogan walked his ass down to this ring and laid down the challenge for WrestleMania." He says that Hogan knew he couldn't do it ten years ago, so what made him change his mind now? What makes him think he can get the job done today? "Because Stone Cold is a little rusty? Because Stone Cold is a little older? Well let me tell you something, brother, you sorry son of a bitch, you're gonna need to take as many vitamins and say as many damn prayers as humanly possible in order to get through Steve Austin at WrestleMania! And that's the bottom line because Stone Co—"
Before he can spit out the signature line, Hulk Hogan's music cuts him off. The legend makes his way out from the back pointing down at Austin in the ring and proceeds to head down and step through the ropes and right up to his WrestleMania opponent. The two lock eyes for a while before Hogan speaks up. "Well let me tell you something, brother!" He says to big cheers. "Ten years ago, you were a nobody. Ten years later, you're one of the biggest superstars of all time. But while everybody thinks that you're the baddest and toughest S.O.B. to ever step foot in to this ring, I want to find out first hand how tough you really are, brother, because personally I don't see it!" He says that he thinks Austin hides behind the cussing and middle fingers and that deep down inside, he's still little 'Stunning' Steve and not 'Stone Cold'. Austin takes exception to it and gets right in Hogan's face, the two nose-to-nose and having heated words off the microphone as the audience buzzes.
Interrupting any possibility of the two coming to blows, the signature 'Woo!' of Ric Flair is heard as he steps out to the stage alongside Batistaand Randy Orton. Austin and Hogan both look up the stage at the three, Flair addressing the two in the ring as two of the greatest of all time, but not the greatest. "Because he's standing right here — Woo!" He laughs and then pats Orton and Batista on the back. "But unlike the two of you, I know when it's time to step aside and look to the future and the future is standing right beside me." He says that Orton is a third generation superstar and Batista is one of the most physically gifted animals to ever step through those ropes. "So, Austin, Hogan... you've got two options! Either step aside or let Evolution run it's course!" The two stand their ground in the ring, prompting Flair to send Batista and Orton down. They hit the ring, Austin and Hogan not backing down as they battle with Batista and Orton respectively. As they're going at it on opposite sides of the ring, Orton is punched back until he delivers a low blow kick to Hogan! He and Batista then start a double team on Austin until 'The Rattlesnake' makes a come back, only for Flair to come in to the ring and get involved as well. Hogan returns to the battle, however, fighting off Orton and knocking him out of the ring with a big boot. Batista then falls to a Stone Cold Stunner, leaving Flair to be launched over the top rope by Hogan. As Austin and Hogan are circling either side of the ring, they end up coming back-to-back with each other, both men turning with their fists raised. "My God!" J.R. says. "Austin and Hogan fighting side by side, but will they now fight each other before WrestleMania?!" The two keep their eyes locked on each other but slowly begin to lower their hands. They instead keep staring down and exchange some words with Austin in particular seeming none too happy.
Flair, Batista and Orton are seen walking in the back after the break with 'The Nature Boy' angry and fired up when Triple H walks up to them, getting an apology from Batista and Orton which he quickly assures them it's fine — they made an impact and didn't back down. Flair assures they'll get their revenge and questions if HHH wants them to come down to the ring for his match. "Nah," He says with a laugh. "I assure you boys, I can handle this one on my own."
4) Non-Title Match: World Heavyweight Champion Triple H def. Al Snow via pinfall While Lawler mocks the selection of Snow as an opponent, J.R. defends him by saying not to take Snow lightly as he is a former European and Hardcore Champion as well as a Tough Enough trainer. Snow ends up side-stepping HHH out of the corner after being controlled throughout, hitting the World Champion with the Snow Plow! After a two count, he drags HHH back up but ends up eating a boot to the stomach and falls to the Pedigree, giving 'The Game' the one, two, three.
HHH celebrates briefly before calling for a microphone, taking a knee next to Snow. "Hey, Brock. You don't know who you're messing with... I want you to watch very closely from your hotel room and see what is going to happen to you at WrestleMania!" He proceeds to punch Snow repeatedly in the head and then drive the microphone to the skull as well until Snow is busted open. "This is completely uncalled for!" J.R. shouts angrily. HHH then tosses Snow shoulder first in to the ring post, following him to the outside and hurling him in to the steel steps. After seeming like he is going to leave, HHH stops himself and instead goes back over to Snow, dragging him to the steel steps and positioning him for the Pedigree! Before he can deliver the move, however, Tommy Dreamer comes racing down with a kendo stick in hand and delivers a big shot to the back of HHH! After another one to the ribs, he whiffs on a shot to the head as HHH quickly bails up the ramp, stumbling and falling in to a seated position at the top — eyes widened in disbelief. Dreamer points his kendo stick right at the World Heavyweight Champion, the crowd cheering as J.R. says thankfully somebody put a stop to this!
Tommy Dreamer is seen walking through the back and getting praise from his fellow superstars such as Maven, D'Lo Brown, Molly Holly, Jacquelineand Spike Dudley when he sees Al Snow being assisted by a couple of medics. Snow thanks him and tells him he is a good man and a better friend. The locker room appreciation is put to a sudden halt, however, as Eric Bischoff arrives to ask Dreamer what he thinks he is doing. "Get him out of here," He says while looking to Snow. "You just attacked the World Heavyweight Champion with a kendo stick, Tommy." Dreamer is quick to argue that Triple H and Evolution have been running wild on anyone they feel like, including himself, and he is sick of it. "I am the innovator of violence, Eric, and don't you forget it!" Bischoff scoffs and tells Dreamer to innovate this: Next week here on Raw, it will be him versus Triple H one-on-one. "And just for you, Tommy, I'm going to go ahead and make it a no disqualifications match. Now get the hell out of my sight!" Dreamer looks Bischoff up and down, clutches his kendo stick and heads off.
5) Booker T def. Christopher Nowinski via disqualification Much more fresh than for their encounter last week, Booker completely controls the contest against Nowinski, whose underhanded tactics prove to be ineffective. After a leaping side kick knocks the Harvard graduate to the outside, Booker performs a spinaroonie for the crowd. As he gets back to his feet, however, Chief Morley comes in from behind and drops him with a clothesline!
The Cleveland fans boo as Morley puts the boots to Booker until the five-time WCW Champion begins to mount a comeback, rocking Morley with punches and chops followed by a big kick to the gut. Booker then hits off the ropes and returns for a Scissors Kick attempt only to have Morley just barely move out of the way and roll to the outside. Booker isn't done, however, as he steps through the ropes and follows after Morley — chasing him up the ramp and to the back! Chief Morley is seen still running from Booker T coming out of the break, the two entering the catering hall where Booker finally catches Morley and launches him over a table of food. After a few kicks and punches while demanding answers, Booker grabs a pie and threatens to hit Morley with it. Breathing heavily, Morley looks up at Booker. "I'm not telling you sh—" Booker throws the pie in his face before he can finish the sentence, Booker shaking his head and kicking Morley in the face before leaving.
Elsewhere in the back, Christianis seen hobbling while holding his mid-section when a closet room door swings open next to him and out jumps The Hurricane. "Great Catholicism! Look at you! You thought you could hang with Brock Lesnar? Whatsupwiththat?" Christian questions why he was in that closet but moves on quickly to say he hasn't forgotten about about either, calling him 'small fry' in the process. Hurricane points behind Christian and asks 'what about him?', Christian turning and seeing Testlooking down at him with Stacy Keibler at his side. "Look, I'll deal with both of you when I feel like it. I don't have time for this right now!" He tries to walk away but Test throws his shoulder out, dropping Christian to the floor. Test, Hurricane and Keibler share a laugh and go in the opposite direction, Christian left groaning in pain about his shoulder and then his ribs.
In his office, Eric Bischoff is talking on the phone and has a big smile on his face, saying how he loves the idea and that it's brilliant. The call seems to suddenly drop, however, as Bischoff then turns to see Shawn Michaelswith his finger on the receiver. "Shawn! What the hell do you think you're doing?! Do you know who I was just talking to?!" Michaels questions if it was The Rock and tells Bischoff he doesn't care once told that it wasn't. "You want to have me versus The Rock at WrestleMania but The Rock isn't here, once again, to face me like a man. Meanwhile, Rock is over on Smackdown last week chumming it up with Stephanie McMahon. I want The Rock and I want to know where he is right now, Eric." Bischoff explains to Michaels that he doesn't know and that The Rock operates in a unique way. He then tells Michaels he should be more worried about his match coming up with Chris Jericho. "I'll handle Jericho out there in a few minutes, but I want The Rock. If you don't bring him to me, Eric, maybe I'll leave for Hollywood myself and find The Rock on my own." Michaels then turns and leaves the room, Bischoff left unsure what to say as he sits back down in frustration.
At the announce table, J.R. and Lawler talk about how we have seen quite a lot tonight but we've got even more coming next week from St. Louis. Already announced, Triple H will face off with Tommy Dreamer in a No Disqualificaitons match. Plus, the #1 contenders for the World Tag Team Championship will be determined when Kane and Rob Van Dam face Lance Storm and William Regal. Also, just confirmed moments ago, while the Women's Championship will be on the line now in a triple threat match at WrestleMania between Jazz, Trish Stratus and Victoria, the title will be up for grabs next week when Victoria invokes her one-on-one rematch clause with Jazz. But also, word from Eric Bischoff is we've got a blockbuster main event as for the first time ever, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin will team up when they face Evolution's Ric Flair, Batista and Randy Orton!
6) Shawn Michaels def. Chris Jericho via pinfall A hotly competitive match similar to that of their No Way Out bout a few weeks ago, the match lasts through a commercial break with each man getting close calls, including an elbow drop from Michaels and a lionsault from Jericho. Y2J works the back throughout and eventually manages to apply the Walls of Jericho after catching Michaels coming off the top rope. HBK fights through the pain and struggles to get to the ropes, but he finally does so eventually. As the referee goes to tell Jericho to let go, Y2J begins to celebrate. Having thought he won, Jericho argues with the official after being told that Michaels got a rope break. Angered, Jericho drags Michaels up by the hair only to be pushed back and dropped with Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere! Michaels covers and gets the pinfall!
Michaels rolls off of Jericho and lays on his back, the commentary team showing replays of the finish and showing that Michaels never tapped out. Back live, Michaels begins to celebrate the win but The Gund Arena starts to grow louder as sliding in to the ring from behind is The Rock! "The Rock is here! The Rock is here!" Yells Ross. "Look out, Shawn!" Michaels ends up turning around right in to the Rock Bottom! Rock hops right back to his feet and sniffs the air, looking around the building before calling for a microphone. "Finally... The Rock has come back to... to..." He looks puzzled and scratches his head. "Doesn't matter! The Rock came here to say just one thing to Shawn Michaels..." He stops and snaps his fingers over Michaels' face, waving his hand as well. "Don't worry, everyone, he's not blackout drunk again, he's just been knocked silly from the Rock Bottom! The Rock came here to say just one thing... at WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels, The Rock's going to take that 'Mr. WrestleMania' nickname you've got there, shine it up real nice, turn that sum'bitch sideways and stick it straight up your candy ass!" He then leans down over Michaels and quietly says: "If ya smell... what The Rock... is... cookin'..." He then steps over Michaels and tosses the microphone over his shoulder before leaving the ring, a wide smile on his face as Raw from Cleveland concludes.
Post by underjohngrohs on Aug 22, 2019 14:41:21 GMT -5
Honestly, this card for WrestleMania 19 looks super stacked, we got great matches like Undertaker/Angle, Michaels/Rock, Hogan/Austin and Triple H/Lesnar, I feel like this WrestleMania should've been in real life, I enjoyed the Austin/Hogan confrontation, But there's one thing that should've been added in the confrontation, It was 1995 when Austin mocked Hulk Hogan in his ECW Debut, why has this not been mentioned?. Funny, the Stunning Steve Austin was mentioned. But anyway, onto The Other Big Match i'm looking forward to is Michaels vs The Rock, and what's interesting about it is why hasn't The Rock mentioned Michaels costing him the WWE Championship on the first ever edition of SMACKDOWN?. But for these two icons to square off, like Hogan and Austin, this WrestleMania is truly a fantasy matchup for both The Rock, Shawn Michaels and dare I say it, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen between now and WrestleMania.
Starting at the top of page 2 just before No Way Out, so havent read from the start but I want to catch up before Wrestlemania is old news haha. Love that you've taken on all four shows, because that can be one hell of a burden to have to book and write so much. But, the c-shows are essentially showcase reels so it works really well giving spots to guys that wouldnt otherwise get screen time. Anyway, with no further ado, allow me to get in to character and give you that gimmicked feedback you obviously have always so desperately wanted! Hope it's as enjoyable for you guys as it is for me.
The SmarK Rant (trademarked) for AJ and DTP - No Way Out and the Road to WrestleMania *points at the Mania sign*
-The first smackdown was great. I enjoyed the finish to the main. Cant have a clean finish for it, but most DQ's dont really further an angle, but this does. - Love Matt Hardy trying to make weight. It's always funny. Was it Christian who did it in 2000 or something in a chicken suit? - A great job at turning backstage segments in to matches, although it does make me wonder what the booking team are doing with all their free time. Which matches actually existed before the show went on the air? - Love the Eddie segment with Matt and Shannon, but Sean O Haire is awful. Hate that guy.
- On RAW, I didn't like that you had a Rumble rematch on a free-show, but its such a Bischoff thing to do that it makes sense. - Shawn and Jericho is a great feud and I will no doubt enjoy your characterisations. Jericho being stuck by the weather is great, and I'm sure Shawn and Christian would put on a good match. - Is Batista the unstoppable monster who destroyed everyone until Kevin Nash books himself over him? Sorry, wrong decade. I liked Batista around this time, I'm sure you can do better than some of the stuff we got. - This might be the first instance I've seen of an angle where the referee (not a special enforcer or guest ref) has heat being built to a PPV match. Nick Patrick is totally that guy though, wasn't he NWO's official ref at one point? Surely Nick gets pulled from No Way Out, and then slides in last minute to make the count? - Ah man, you're making Easy E in to a babyface for me. I sincerely hope he manages to get The Rock at No Way Out. Don't hurt me again, I've been hurt before. - And now Morley! Super babyface authority figures. Ah but then he gets squashed so I don't care about him anymore. What's Booker T up to? - Scott Steiner is one immobile and useless guy, but he sure is focussed. Ah man, you swerved us! He gets derailed by Evolution and Trips wins the match. Austin does his best Sting run-in impression and clears the ring. I'd be surprised at the longevity of Austin, because after Mania I think his health would be seriously at stake here. Guy was struggling a lot around this time I think.
- The Smackdown Go-Home show before No Way Out, have them bookers sorted out their schedules and given us some damn matches, or will the talent continue to book themselves? Find out, tonight, on Smackdown! - YES! 4 matches announced right off the bat, I love it. - Team Angle are great, please throw them in a full feud with Eddie and his gang. - Ivory not beating Wilson clean is a travesty. I hope there is more to this because Ivory would pummel the hell out of Torrie. - Long may the Moore/Hardy storyline continue. Just a segment every week is enough. - A heinous attack on Taker and Brock, who were just minding their own business. I don't know why but I have never cared for The Big Slow, yet I've got plenty of time for B-Train. Fine with this feud, should be an okay big man match. Just wonder who plays babyface-in-peril in such an encounter. - Love a good best of 3, and this is exactly the high-caliber storyline I can get my head around. Rikishi is going to get his revenge! Wait, what's this!? John Cena? Was he a heel heading in to this? I don't know, but he's killed Rikishi and now they must fight (in the future, when alls well)! - Aw man, Matt Hardy makes weight! I almost thought Shannon might put a foot on the scale and screw Matt over, but he did it! Like the pushing of Kidman, he was really good once upon a time. Looking forward to the PPV match. - MAYBE Rey should have passed out, as a foreshadowing for the Last Man Standing, but Kurt is all about the Ankle Lock life. A fight breaks out after the match, and maybe there were too many other run-ins and fisticuffs around the matches to make this one stand out. Good sell for the match though with a crippled Benoit hobbling about waving chair shots at people. You've got my money for No Way Out.
- NO WAY OUT! Of where? Lets find out. (Ps. I loved Evanescence back then, great choice.) - Brock and Taker have to go over, and they do. I wonder what this leads to? Taker doesn't do Tag Matches at Mania... - Does Jazz breathe some life in to the womens divison? I'd buy her, Ivory, Victoria, Trish, and if you can throw a couple more in then you've got a decent divison to be working with. - NO! Jericho gets the cheap win which surely means this one carries on to Mania. A great match to be fair, and difficult to write when your babyface suddenly has to be a heel in Canada. I thought Shawn would be banned from enterting to be honest. Rock not cutting a promo is upsetting, but Bischoff is all about that Monday rating. He doesn't care about PPV buys. Jericho/Shawn with Rock as the enforcer at Mania? Works for me. Wife isn't well? Probably not an angle I'd write. - Team Angle win and I love them. Now they have all the gold! You worked the gimmick of the match, as Al Snow would tell you. When tag matches don't use the numbers advantage for the heels, its very frustrating. Did it really well here, and typical of No Way Out, this probably leads to a rematch. Did they botch that last spot? Or try to rework the classic 'One guy is about to get suplexed but his buddy pulls his opponents feet and he lands on him for the pin!' Either way I like it, and this one continues! - HARDY WINS! Excellent. Didn't need the Shannon Moore save but it's probably a cool spot. Either way its a clean-ish title change so thats great. Now I assume Matt goes to KFC to celebrate and never makes weight again and he just becomes the lifetime cruiserweight champion. - Why is Brock a self-appointed enforcer? What's his angle? - Love the WWE title match. This was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Really well written and booked. Angle goes over like an absolute machine, and Benoit isn't done any harm in taking all that punishment and so nearly standing up. I guess he's the guy who 'nearly' gets things done now, hopefully his time is soon to come. Stick a mouthpiece with him and he's got the potential to be a really strong draw for the company. - Dudleyz win, no real hype around the match. - The Big Gold Belt on HHH was a rather stagnant period, I thought. He faces Austin for the hundredth time and the ending is a cheap one. It does give Austin a direct angle back to get his revenge, but maybe this was a little bit overdone on this show. I understand wanting to be the penultimate chapter in a lot of these storylines, but overdoing it can detract from the impact these kind of angles can have. The last man standing match stole the show, and this didn't quite match it. I look forward to what Austin will do, but most of all, Evolution need to get their asses kicked!
I will read along and see how the road to Wrestlemania goes, because I'm definitely interested in a lot of the angles. Team Angle, no pun intended, are great, and I'm really enjoying what you're doing with Kurt and Benoit. Shawn and Jericho is intriguing but hasn't quite lit me up just yet. It's coming though, you're doing good things with a lot of these guys. I'll definitely be following and before you get to Mania I'll throw another one of these your way if you find it useful!
Following the Smackdown opening video, Michael Cole's voice from commentary welcomes all to the show alongside Tazz as we are going to be diving right in to things immediately... Making her way out to begin things tonight is Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon. She comes down to the ring with a microphone in hand, welcoming everybody in the arena to the show. "You know, WrestleMania season is upon us and while in the past month or so Smackdown has taken it's hits to it's roster, I have not given up." She thanks Brock Lesnar, The Rock and Hulk Hogan for their past contributions to the brand but she is looking to the future with the likes of Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and more. "And that is why I made a phone call last week amidst all of the turmoil around here to try and bring something out of our superstars. That is why I made a phone call last week to my father." She gestures up the ramp and introduces Mr. McMahon, the Chairman of WWE strutting his way out with a smile on his face. Stephanie holds the ropes open for him and he steps in to the center of the ring, looking out to the crowd and thanking them before getting down to business.
"Last week, my daughter Stephanie sounded a bit concerned over the phone so her and I had a quick chat. Stephanie's frustrations were mounting over the transfers of talent, injuries and so on." He says that it gave him an idea — an idea to add some incentive for everybody else to step up. "So that is why I came up with the idea to bring back something prestigious. Something that all of these superstars grew up wishing they could have! They watched the likes of 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and the late, great 'Mr. Perfect' Curt Hennig possessed. That's right, I'm talking about the Intercontinental Championship!" He says that it wasn't too long ago that the title was unified with the World Heavyweight Championship but with such a rich history, keeping it deactivate doesn't sit well with him and that is why at WrestleMania, we will determine a brand new Intercontinental Champion in a twenty man over-the-top rope battle royal! The crowd cheers for the news as Stephanie chimes in. "Dad, I just want you to know, my men are going to fight hard and whomever walks out as the Intercontinental Champion will wear that belt proudly around their waist week after week." Mr. McMahon nods and says that he likes to hear that but he can't guarantee that it will be one of Stephanie's men walking around as Intercontinental Champion. "See, Stephanie, I'm not just going to be giving you and your brand hand outs just because you are my daughter. You know I love competition and your men representing your brand are going to have to earn it because there will be ten Smackdown superstars in that battle royal but also ten Raw superstars as well!" Stephanie is shocked by the additional news, Mr. McMahon further elaborating that if a Raw superstar wins that battle royal, the Intercontinental title will be exclusive to Raw and if a Smackdown superstar wins, it will be exclusive to Smackdown. He then tells Stephanie that we should give the people a preview and that is why he selected two men from the Smackdown roster to compete in our opening match tonight that will be taking part in that battle royal when we have former Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman take on the 350-plus pound A-Train! He exits the ring, Stephanie still seeming shocked by the addition of Raw superstars to the battle royal.
Seen walking in the back angrily is The Undertaker, questioning backstage crew members where Kurt Angle is. He doesn't get any answers, so he flips a nearby table over and continues searching.
1) Billy Kidman def. A-Train (w/Paul Heyman) via pinfall After last week's attack, Kidman goes right after A-Train as the bell sounds. The power of A-Train counteracts the speed and high flying style of Kidman, but the former Cruiserweight Champion refuses to go down easily as he kicks out of each pin attempt. The Big Show ends up walking down from the back, arms crossed at the bottom of the stage. A-Train sees him out of the corner of his eye and leans over the ropes, questioning his presence. Heyman screams for him to turn around, A-Train spinning back in to a DDT off the top rope from Kidman, whom then goes in to a jackknife cover for the pinfall!
Kidman rolls out of the ring and races up the ramp, A-Train back to his feet and fuming mad! Show laughs on the outside in the mean time, further enraging A-Train. The two big men then come face to face, yelling back and forth. Heyman steps up between the two to try and control things but in the midst of it ends up being knocked down by Show. A-Train and Show are quick to stop their bickering and go to help Heyman up, but he wants no part of it as he instead stomps his way up the aisle and to the back.
Josh Mathews is standing by backstage with Los Guerreros, asking how they are feeling heading in to their rematch with Team Angle for the WWE Tag Team Championship tonight. "We're hungry, ese!" Says Eddie with a big smile on his face. Chavo says they're taking back their gold and they're making auntie proud. Eddie agrees, saying that Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas are going down. "Viva la raza!"
2) Chris Kanyon and Chuck Palumbo (w/Nunzio) def. Funaki and Tajiri via pinfall With Nunzio calling out orders on the outside to his fellow 'Full Blooded Italians', Kanyon and Palumbo work well together overpowering their cruiserweight opponents. After Funaki stuns Kanyon with a dropkick off the top rope, he goes to the outside to confront Nunzio. After chasing off Nunzio, however, he turns right in to a big boot from Palumbo! 'Capo' turns right in to mist to the face by Tajiri, causing him to yell out in pain. Tajiri then gets back in to the ring and falls to a Flatliner by Kanyon for the pinfall.
Kanyon is angered as he gets to his feet, Nunzio giving demands to him and Palumbo as the latter works to get the mist from Tajiri off his face. The three stand over Tajiri with Nunzio waving his hand up the ramp, Bill DeMott surprising everyone with his arrival — a baseball bat in hand! "What the hell is Bill DeMott doing?" Asks Cole. "And what is he going to do with that bat?!" DeMott enters the ring as the other three hold Tajiri up, allowing DeMott to crack him right in the mid-section with the bat! Tajiri rolls around and groans in pain, the four men standing tall together with Nunzio front and center proudly.
Seen walking in the back is Chris Benoit when Marc Lloyd approaches him and mentions Benoit made a return last week after a brief absence following No Way Out. Benoit quickly acknowledges that he understands he has to step aside when it comes to the WWE Championship for now, but he still has unfinished business with Angle's running buddies — Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Before he can say anything more, however, he is approached by Edge. "No offense, Chris, but those two cost me my shot at the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. So if anybody has unfinished business with Team Angle, it's me!" Benoit questions if Edge is forgetting that the two of them helped Kurt Angle take his leg out right before his Last Man Standing Match at No Way Out. Edge nods, telling Benoit the fact is, he appreciated Benoit coming to his aid last week, but he clearly didn't need the help since he won that match. "Seems to me like you were getting your ass whooped after the bell when it was 2-on-1, Edge." Benoit grins. "I wasn't doing it for you, anyway. I was doing it because it was the right thing to do and because, well, I hate Team Angle." Edge crosses his arms and says he hates them too. The tension between the two then breaks as they share a laugh, Edge then continuing on his way.
Seen in the parking lot after the break preparing to leave is Mr. McMahon when his limousine door is shut in front of him by a scrambling Shannon Moore, Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardynot far behind as he asks McMahon if he can have his ear for a minute. "I was hoping you would consider investing in the lifestyle sweeping the entire nation: Mattitude." McMahon looks up and down at the two and says he was in a cult once. He then looks off in to the distance for a moment. "Those damn people took my wallet! Thankfully, that phase of my life didn't stick and we ended up with WrestleMania!" He says that speaking of WrestleMania, he just finished speaking to Stephanie and tonight, if Rey Mysterio can win his match, he'll earn a shot at the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania. McMahon prepares to step in to the limousine but Hardy stops him, questioning who Mysterio is facing. "Shannon Moore!" McMahon says with a smile, closing the door behind him. The limousine then drives off, leaving Hardy staring at Moore and pointing a finger in his face, warning him not to screw this up.
Back inside of the Mellon Arena, John Cena makes his way out to the stage and begins to rap about becoming the Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania. "Patterson and Morales ain't got nothing on me, they're old news — I'm true history!" He continues on, saying that when there's twenty men in the ring at WrestleMania, he's throwing each and every one of the other nineteen over the top rope. "Forget about the rest, I'm the great white hope! That title's coming around my waist, it's gonna be sick... your girl's gonna have a lot of weight to lift if she wants a piece of this..." He raises the microphone up for the crowd to finish the line themselves before dropping it to the floor and returning backstage.
In her office in the back is Stephanie McMahon when The Undertakerstorms in, angrily demanding to know where Kurt Angle is. After she says she doesn't know of Angle's whereabouts, Undertaker angrily picks up a chair from her desk and hurls it in to the wall! "Maybe I'll go out there during Team Angle's match and get his attention that way." McMahon is quick to snap back that if he gets involved in that match between Team Angle and Los Guerreros, he'll lose his WWE Championship opportunity at WrestleMania. "If you want Kurt's attention, maybe you should go down to the ring later on and call him out... but you better not cause another cent of damage to my office or get involved in any of my matches, you understand?" Undertaker simply before backing up and leaving the room.
3) WWE Tag Team Championship: Los Guerreros def. Team Angle(c) via disqualification A long, back-and-forth battle between these two teams that have really gotten to know each other as of late. Battling through a commercial break, Team Angle attempts to resort to Los Guerreros' underhanded type tactics but it backfires on them, Eddie and Chavo getting red hot. After knocking Benjamin to the outside, Haas falls to a brainbuster from Chavo. Eddie then makes his way to the top rope and seems poised for a Frog Splash but Benjamin gets back on to the apron with one of the Tag Team Championship belts and clocks Eddie right in the head to cause the disqualification!
The boos come down from the Pittsburgh fans as Haas gets back to his feet and jumps Chavo from behind, Benjamin coming in to the ring to join in on the beat down. As the assault continues, down from the back runs Chris Benoit and he gets in laying in to the WWE Tag Team Champions with chops to the chest. After a big German suplex to Haas, he gets back up to a superkick from Benjamin. Team Angle regroup and begin to double team Benoit now, which ends up bringing Edge down from the back for the save. He tees off on Team Angle and Benoit eventually gets back up to help go after the two, Edge and Benoit eventually able to take Benjamin and Haas out of the ring. Benoit and Edge then lock eyes in the center of the ring, sharing a nod as both Team Angle and Los Guerreros look on from the outside.
Standing in the back looking unhappy is Paul Heyman with The Big Showstanding next to him and apologizing for what happened earlier. "A-Train is getting in my way, Paul. He better not do that when it comes to the Intercontinental Championship battle royal!" Heyman says that everything will be fine and that Show and A-Train need to get back on the same page, so he suggests that they team up together next week. "You trust me, don't you?" Heyman asks, Show a bit reluctant but assuring Heyman he does.
4) Torrie Wilson def. Ivory via pinfall Looking to gain a measure of revenge for Ivory's actions the last few weeks, Wilson comes out of the gates with takedowns and punches but Ivory's experience manages to give her some control. After getting a bit too cocky, however, Wilson jumps over a charge in to the corner and delivers a sunset flip back to the center of the ring, shocking Ivory as the referee makes the three count.
Wilson doesn't get much of a chance to celebrate as Ivory ends up hitting her from behind. After a few stomps, Ivory heads over to the corner and retrieves the grafitti covered Playboy poster of Wilson, storming back over to Torrie with it but being tripped face first in to the turnbuckles. Wilson then picks up the poster herself, looks down at it and proceeds to swing it over the head of Ivory and wrap it around her neck! The crowd cheers as Ivory is laid out and Wilson returns to celebrating the win.
In the back and walking down the halls are Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore, the Cruiserweight Champion doing his best to hype up Moore as he'll square off with Rey Mysterio after the break.
Pushing Brian Kendrick in a wheelchair backstage is Sean O'Haire, O'Haire stopping as they get near a set of stairs. "You know, Brian, I don't think your ankle is as bad as the doctors say. Doctors misdiagnose people all of the time and it's one of the biggest problems in this country!" Kendrick seems to grow a bit paranoid as he questions O'Haire if his doctors got his diagnosis wrong, too. O'Haire shrugs his shoulders and says that he has always believed in mind over matter and Kendrick can do whatever he sets his mind on, but he's not telling Kendrick anything he doesn't already know! "My ankle has been feeling a hundred times better the last few days, Sean." He says. "Maybe... maybe it isn't broken!" O'Haire tells him there is only one way to find out and gestures toward the stairs. Kendrick nods and slowly pulls himself out of the chair, looking back at O'Haire before taking a couple of steps down slowly. Once out of the frame of the camera, a big crash is heard and he is heard thumping down the steps. As he yells out in pain, O'Haire winces while taking a seat in the wheelchair himself. "That had to hurt." He says while running his hand through his facial hair while also laughing ever so slightly.
5) If Mysterio Wins, He Gets a Cruiserweight Championship Match at WrestleMania: Rey Mysterio def. Shannon Moore (w/Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy) via pinfall Hardy's attempts to get involved manage to give Moore some hope against Mysterio but Rey manages to overcome it all. After avoiding a corkscrew moonsault, Mysterio dropkicks Moore in to Hardy and then delivers a hurricanrana in to the opposing set of ropes, setting things up for the 619 and the West Coast Pop, both legs being hooked on Moore off of it for the one, two, three.
While the audience is elated, Hardy enters the ring furious and drops Mysterio back down to the mat with a clothesline. He then mounts over his number one contender and pummels him with strikes to the face until he seems satisfied, getting to his feet afterward and raising the Cruiserweight Championship up high. He then barks an order at Moore and the two leave the ring together.
The theme music of The Undertaker hits, the Pittsburgh fans rising to their feet for the arrival of the number one contender for the WWE Championship. After taking his motorcycle around the ring once, he steps in to the ring with a microphone in hand, pacing back and forth as he says he has been waiting all night. "Now, I know Kurt Angle is somewhere around here because this is his hometown after all." He adds that last week, Angle kept claiming that he wasn't afraid. "But all he did last week here on Smackdown was run, hide and jump me from behind. So, Kurt, how about you man up, get your ass down here and get face-to-face with the guy that's going to beat your ass at WrestleMania?" After waiting a few moments, Kurt Angle ends up appearing on the titantron, appearing to be in the parking lot. "Hey, 'Dead Man', WWE Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist and American hero Kurt Angle here. I'm out in the parking lot!" Angle asks if Undertaker really thinks he is going to go out there in front of the lowlifes of Pittsburgh that he broke away from years ago. Drawing boos from inside of the arena, Angle suggests that Undertaker bring himself to the parking lot like he did last week and he'll happily give him the face-to-face he wants so bad. Undertaker looks around the arena before dropping his microphone. He steps through the ropes and gets on to his motorcycle, proceeding to ride it toward the back.
The cameras follow as Undertaker makes his way in to the parking lot on his bike, stopping in the middle of it when he lays his eyes on Angle. "Come on, 'Dead Man'! Come on!" Angle says while motioning his hands in front of him. Undertaker shuts the engine off and steps off of the bike, beginning to head toward Angle only to hear a horn honk from behind and for his bike to be ran over by a van and crushed beneath it! Undertaker can't believe it as he storms over, the van backing up. "What the hell are you doing?!" He yells in question before noticing Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjaminsitting the front seats! Before he can make a move, Angle strikes from behind with his WWE Championship to the back of the head! Taker collapses to the floor in front of his bike, Angle proceeding to pick the leg and apply the Ankle Lock, 'The Dead Man' yelling out in pain as he reaches toward his totaled motorcycle, Angle wrenching back and forth. "Do you know who I am?!" Angle questions. "Do you know who you're dealing with, Taker?!" He throws the leg down as Undertaker clutches his ankle. Angle then stomps on the ankle once more for good measure, the van pulling up behind him. He opens up the sliding door and takes a step in. "See you at WrestleMania." He warns before closing the door, the van driving off with Undertaker left writhing angrily in pain next to his destroyed bike as Smackdown comes to an end.
1) Bill DeMott (w/Nunzio, Chris Kanyon and Chuck Palumbo) def. Jimmy Yang via pinfall Having expanded the 'Full Blooded Italians' this past Thursday night, DeMott shows his ruthlessness against the young Yang. Despite the attempts of Yang to get back in the match, a brief enough distraction by Nunzio leads to him leaping off the top rope and right in to a powerbomb from DeMott for the win. After the match, Nunzio, Kanyon and Palumbo all enter the ring with Nunzio holding a microphone. "This... this is the family... we are the Full Blooded Italians! 'Capo' Chuck Palumbo, Chris 'Tick Tock' Kanyon, 'Ha Ha' Bill DeMott and yours truly... 'The Boss' Nunzio... don't mess with the family!" He throws the microphone down and the four leave the ring together.
2) Rikishi def. BJ Payne via pinfall Looking to get himself back on track after a recent rivalry with John Cena, Rikishi takes it to the unknown Payne despite the best efforts of his opponent, Rikishi puts him away with a big superkick and Samoan Drop, giving him the easy pinfall victory. 3) Chris Benoit def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) via submission After declining help from The Full Blooded Italians backstage prior to the match, Noble gives Benoit his best and actually manages to catch 'The Rabid Wolverine' off guard a few times with a couple of near falls. Benoit turns it in to second gear, however, and after a flurry of suplexes and a top rope headbutt, he avoids a Noble clothesline and applies the Crippler Crossface. Noble spends a short time trying to fight the hold before tapping out, Benoit celebrating afterward to end the show.
March 16, 2003: Gund Arena in Cleveland, OH
1) Spike Dudley def. Johnny Stamboli via pinfall After last week's encounter, Stamboli comes after Dudley quickly and bullies him around. Getting a bit too confident costs Stamboli, however, as Spike ends up sliding under the legs and rolling him up for the three count. Stamboli is in disbelief as he tries to go after Spike only for the runt of The Dudley Boyz litter to make it out of the ring unscathed, fists raised in the air in celebration with a smirk.
2) Maven and D'Lo Brown def. BJ Payne and Matt Stryker via pinfall Teaming up for the first time after last week's alliance seemed to be formed, Maven and Brown manage to work well together and after Stryker misses on a top rope double axe handle, he is laid out by a Maven dropkick followed by a Brown splash that gives the new team their first win. 3) The Hurricane def. Shark Boy via pinfall Surprised by the appearance of another 'super hero', Hurricane shakes hands with Shark Boy before the two have a briefly competitive match that Hurricane ends up taking control of. After a top rope crossbody leads to a two count, Hurricane gets up and avoids a strike, catching Shark Boy with a Chokeslam, covering afterward and getting the one, two, three.
4) Non-Title Match: World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz def. 3 Minute Warning (w/Rico) via pinfall In a re-igniting of a feud, Jamal and Rosey give Bubba Ray and D-Von a challenge. The World Tag Team Champions manage to comeback from multiple double teams and Rico's involvement, taking Rosey out of the match before dropping Jamal with the 3D for the pinfall. As The Dudley Boyz enjoy the victory to close out the show, Jonathan Coachman reminds everyone on commentary that they'll have to keep an eye on Raw tomorrow night when they find out their WrestleMania opponents as Kane and Rob Van Dam take on William Regal and Lance Storm.
After the Raw opening video, the stage of the Savvis Center is hit by pyrotechnics as Jim Ross gives the introduction from commentary. Alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler, J.R. mentions how we are just thirteen days away from WrestleMania XIX! He says that tonight, we have a big main event when for the first time ever, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan team up to take on Evolution's Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista. Plus, J.R. says he had the opportunity to sit down with both Austin and Hogan separately and we'll see that later. Also, the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H will be in action in a No Disqualifications Match with Tommy Dreamer but right now, we have 'The Great One'...
The music of The Rock hits and the former fan favorite turned self-centered movie star makes his way out and down to the ring, not playing up to the crowd in the slightest. After standing in the middle of the ring for a little while, he pulls up a microphone to deliver his signature 'finally...' line, only to stop himself and shake his head. "Finally! The Rock has come back to St. Louis but St. Louis has a great history in this industry... the likes of Harley Race, Lou Thesz, The Funks... what a gift to the people of St. Louis... that The Rock has finally come back because it's the best damn thing that's ever happened to this city!" The Savvis Center boos as Rock keeps on going. "Harley Race was a king but he was no Scorpiong King! I didn't see him ever fight Memnon's entire army!" He lets the audience keep their boos coming and begins to hush them, telling them enough about the past, let's talk about what is in front of us: WrestleMania. He glides his hand through the air and says that WrestleMania is the grandest stage of them all, where legends are born, legacies continue and careers are defined. "Shawn Michaels, they call you 'Mr. WrestleMania'! So it's only fitting that at WrestleMania this year, The Rock whoops that candy ass up and down Seattle and ends your sorry ass comeback tour with a loss at WrestleMania!" He looks around the building and lifts his head proudly.
"You see, The Rock is made for the bright lights, The Rock is made for the moment, it's in his DNA! The Rock doesn't choke and The Rock doesn't smoke away his opportunities!" He says that he doesn't have to hold anybody down because everybody knows just how good he is and anybody that has ever stepped in his path has found that out the hard way. "So, Shawn Michaels, you've avoided The Rock after all of these years! You tried to retire and you made your return for one more match last summer but when you found out that The Rock was leaving to make millions... and millions... of dollars in Hollywood, you figured you could stick around and you could have another run at the top without The Rock here but it's funny how things work because now at WrestleMania there is no more ducking The Rock! There is no more hiding from The Rock! There is no more holding The Rock down, the only thing to be held down will be your shoulders when The Rock pins your ass to the mat: One... two... three." He holds his three fingers up and stares directly in to the camera, adding that on March 30th, he's going to put an end to this once and for all. He then backs up, kneels in a little bit and preps himself, telling the crowd to shush as they begin to grow louder. "If ya sm... what the hell is wrong with you people?" He stops and turns to see Shawn Michaels standing behind him to deliver Sweet Chin Music! "Where did Shawn Michaels come from?!" Asks J.R. "He must've come out of the crowd! I was under the assumption he wasn't here tonight!" Michaels proceeds to do his signature pose over the body of Rock, pointing in his face afterward. Michaels then leaves the ring, having finally extracted some measure of revenge on The Rock after all these weeks.
1) Women's Championship: Jazz(c) (w/Theodore Long) def. Victoria (w/Stevie Richards) via pinfall A rematch from No Way Out and ahead of the triple threat they'll partake in at WrestleMania in just under two wees, Victoria is aggressive with Jazz and combats the power of the champion. Long and Richards get in to an argument on the outside and it allows Victoria to almost get a pin on a roll up from behind, both women getting back up and Jazz hitting a DDT. Jazz makes the cover and Victoria puts her leg on the bottom rope but Long runs over and shoves it off and giving Jazz the pinfall.
Richards is fuming as he slides in to the ring just as Jazz exits, storming up to the referee to tell him what just happened. Obviously not going to change the outcome, he just angrily kneels beside Victoria as Long raises Jazz's arm on their up the ramp and toward the back.
Seen in his office is Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff with Chief Morley, Lance Stormand William Regal. "If all goes according to plan, WrestleMania could be a great night for the three of you. Imagine, Chief Morley the new Intercontinental Champion by winning that battle royal... and Lance Storm and William Regal, once again, the rightful World Tag Team Champions by defeating those damn Dudley Boyz!" Regal assures Bischoff that they'll take care of Kane and Rob Van Dam tonight and go on to WrestleMania to win back their belts. Bischoff then turns back to Morley and asks about their 'little situation', to which Morley says that he has everything under control. Storm then mentions that their match is next, so he and Regal exit as Bischoff and Morley wish them luck.
Backstage after the break, Chris Jericho is seen pacing back and forth in the locker room area when the door opens and Christian walks in, telling Jericho that he has some great news. "Hold on," Jericho says to stop Christian from continuing. "I have great news, too. After Shawn Michaels robbed me last week and I found out about the Intercontinental Championship battle royal at WrestleMania, I went to Eric Bischoff and I told him that I should be handed, no, I should be gifted the Intercontinental Championship around my waist!" He says that he's actually going to do one better by entering that battle royal, eliminating the other nineteen jackasses and then rub that championship in Michaels' face! He then asks what Christian's news was. "Uh, I was just going to tell you that I was going to be in the Intercontinental Championship battle royal at WrestleMania." Jericho puts his hands on his hips and bites down on his lip, scratching his head and laughing awkwardly, saying that's awesome. "But, uh, anyway, we've got our match tonight! The Hurricane and Test, what a horrible team, let's go out there and show them what two sexy beasts like ourselves are capable of!" They then leave together.
2) #1 Contenders Match for a World Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania: Rob Van Dam and Kane def. Lance Storm and William Regal via pinfall A big opportunity on the line, RVD and Kane start off hot but Storm and Regal resort to underhanded tactics and cutting Van Dam off to take control of things. After breaking out of a double team from his foes, RVD makes a diving tag to Kane and 'The Big Red Machine' runs in and cleans house. After a big boot to Regal, Kane tags back out to RVD and he goes to the top rope ready for the Five Star Frog Splash. Storm races back in to the ring but Kane catches him with a throat thrust, allowing RVD to execute on his frog splash and hook both legs of Regal for the three count.
As RVD and Kane stand in the middle of the ring to celebrate the win, they don't manage to enjoy it for very long as screaming pyros hit the stage, The Dudley Boyz' music hitting as they make their way out from the back. On their way down the ramp, Bubba Ray and D-Von raise their World Tag Team Championship belts up over their heads. The two reach the ring, continuing the hold the gold up toward their WrestleMania opponents, whom motion for the belts around their own waists.
Seen taping his hands up in the back is Tommy Dreamer, then looking to his side and pulling a shopping cart from the side in front of him, the cart filled with weapons. A smile forms across his face as he sifts through all of the items as his match with Triple H is still to come.
Seen talking together in the back are World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and Ric Flair, the prior saying he knows Flair has a lot on his plate with Hogan and Austin later, but he's got his hands full as well. "Because I have to go out there in a No Disqualifications match with... Tommy Dreamer." The two stare at each other briefly before laughing and walking off together.
Back at the announce table, J.R. says that if he were Triple H, he wouldn't be taking Tommy Dreamer too lightly. He then says that earlier today, he had the opportunity to sit down with both Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin ahead of their WrestleMania battle and he's the first interview of the two, this one with Hulk Hogan. Cutting to the footage, Ross thanks Hogan for the time and starts things off, asking where he has been last summer, saying the last they saw him, he was getting squeezed out and now he's back to face Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania in what some could argue is the biggest WrestleMania match of all time. "I've gotten older and I'm not the same guy I was ten, fifteen, twenty years ago," Hogan responds. "But in these years, I've become wiser, brother." He says that he saw Stone Cold come back after the roller coaster of a year that he's had and he can see that in Austin's heart that he's concerned that he's losing his stance in the WWE. "And J.R., you know what I did when I felt that way? I was reborn. The New World Order, brother. But nWo is dead. And I realized in my time away that while nWo is dead, Hulkamania isn't... it never was and it never will be and it's gonna run wild on Steve Austin at WrestleMania. I'm going to show everyone at WrestleMania that Hulk still rules, brother." Ross then asks what happens to Hulkamania if he loses to Austin. Hulk thinks it over for a moment but then says that win or lose, Hulkamania will live on. "This isn't the end by any means, J.R. Don't get me wrong. I'm not too far gone from winning the WWE Championship at 48 years old, brother. I may be slower, but I'm not too old just yet." J.R. then moves on to the final question, asking Hogan if he respects Austin. Hogan stares at J.R. and then looks down at the floor, silent for a good twenty seconds before looking back to J.R. and simply responding with: "Yes".
Once again seen in the back is Tommy Dreamer, this time walking toward the ring while getting some praise from the locker room much as he did last week. After the break, he steps in to the ring with the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H in a No Disqualifications match.
3) Non-Title No Disqualifications Match: Tommy Dreamer def. World Heavyweight Champion Triple H via pinfall The bell sounds and HHH comes out dominating, pummeling Dreamer and knocking him down repeatedly. The World Heavyweight Champion hits off of the ropes and comes back to a kendo stick shot to the stomach! Dreamer continues an assault with the stick and gets a two count on a cover on HHH. He then brings a trash can in and removes a stop sign from it, using it on 'The Game'. Dreamer hits off of the ropes but comes back to a spinebuster right on to the trash can! HHH then proceeds to pull Dreamer up slowly and go for the Pedigree, Dreamer breaking free and hitting a DDT on to the stop sign he had previously used for a near fall! HHH comes back and gets very vicious with Dreamer, bloodying him amidst his attack. HHH then goes to the outside and retrieves his signature sledgehammer from under the ring, coming back and looking ready to use it on Dreamer. He stops in his tracks, however, as Brock Lesnar's music hits! His number one contender comes from the back and eventually enters the ring, ducking a shot with the sledgehammer and catching HHH the F-5! Lesnar gets up and looks around before dragging Dreamer's arm on top of HHH for the pinfall!
"Dreamer just beat Triple H!" J.R. exclaims. "Dreamer just got the pinfall on Triple H thanks to Brock Lesnar!" Dreamer struggles to his feet and has his arm raised as the winner, quickly falling back down to the mat. In the mean time, Lesnar stands over HHH and laughs over his WrestleMania opponent.
Seen walking together in the back is Women's Champion Jazz and her manager Theodore Long when they are approached by Trish Stratus. "You're lucky that it wasn't me in the ring with you earlier, Jazz, because it would have been a much different story." Jazz gets right in the face of Stratus but before the two can do anything to each other, Victoria runs in and hits Stratus from behind! She then starts to throw shots at Jazz, Stratus getting back up in to the battle as Stevie Richardsand a couple of officials arrive on to the scene to try and break things up along with Long.
4) Chris Jericho and Christian def. The Hurricane and Test (w/Stacy Keibler) via pinfall A preview of superstars in the Intercontinental Championship battle royal at WrestleMania, Jericho and Christian initially work well together until Jericho takes exception to Christian tagging himself in. A brief argument ensues and it allows Test to run through both men and take control of the match, a big powerslam leading to a tag to Hurricane where he hits a top rope crossbody for a near fall. As Christian begins to mess with Keibler on the outside, Test goes to the outside in her defense. That leaves Hurricane to be hit with an enzuigiri and the lionsault for the victory.
Test returns to the ring just after the three count, Jericho quick to roll to the outside and gather back up with Christian on the ramp, the two having a brief discussion before hugging and raising each other's arms up while Test stands at Hurricane's side, frustrated over the loss.
Jonathan Coachman is standing by in the back and introduces his guest at this time to be Booker T. He thanks Booker for his time and asks him how he is feeling with everything he has been dealing with as of late. "Chief Morley and his boys want to keep messing with me and they don't want to tell me what they know about my friend Goldy." He shakes his head and laughs to himself. "But I know just how I'm gonna stick it to 'em... I'm gonna enter that battle royal at WrestleMania and I'm gonna become the Intercontinental Champion!" He is then approached by Chief Morley, whom rubs his hands together with a smile as he tells Booker that he loves the fire and passion but he's going to have to stop there, because after what he did last week, he doesn't think Booker deserves to be in that battle royal. Booker threatens to beat Morley's ass right there but Morley suggests he doesn't do that. "Because if you want to be in that battle royal, I'll give you a chance to be by facing me in that ring. That's right, Book, you and me out there right now! And if you win, you're in." Morley tells Booker to get ready, he'll see him out there. He then walks off as Booker looks very unimpressed.
In the office of Eric Bischoff, he has his phone call interrupted by Scott Steinerstorming in and asking what the hell the deal is with Chief Morley making Booker T earn his spot in the battle royal at WrestleMania. He complains that it's B.S. and Bischoff tells him to watch it and not question the way things are done around here. "Or you'll find yourself out of the battle royal, too!" Steiner says he's going to win the Intercontinental Championship one way or another, prompting Bischoff to tell Steiner that he has the final say in that one. "So, you want to keep questioning me? You're going to go one-on-one with Chris Jericho next week and if you win, then you'll be in the battle royal." Steiner scoffs, telling Bischoff that he's not afraid and like he said, he's going to become Intercontinental Champion.
5) Chief Morley def. Booker T via pinfall Just as the bell rings, Lance Stormand William Regalmake their way down to the ring and get on to the apron, Booker stepping up and throwing a shot at Storm with Regal dropping down. Morley jumps Booker from behind off the distraction and gets a couple of near falls, Booker making a comeback until Christopher Nowinski comes running down to the ring. He provides a second distraction, Booker with a kick to the face before turning to a sit out spinebuster that gives Morley the pinfall.
Storm, Regal and Nowinski all get back in to the ring and, along with Morley, circle around Booker. They begin to put the boots to him but the music of Goldust ends up hitting! 'The Bizarre One' runs down to the ring for the first time in over a month, sliding in and throwing fists at the group of four. After the numbers game starts to get to him, Booker comes to his aid and the two manage to take out their adversaries before looking to each other, eyes wide before coming together and embracing. Booker and Goldust laugh, exchanging words from the ring with Morley, Storm, Regal and Nowinski. After the break at the announce table, J.R. mentions how earlier we saw his interview with Hulk Hogan and, now, it is time to go to his interview with Hogan's opponent at WrestleMania in just under two weeks time: Stone Cold Steve Austin. Transitioning to the footage, J.R. says to Austin that similar to Hogan but in a different way, he was gone for a while and now he's back. "I was fed up with being given what Vince McMahon was handing to me and now I'm back and I'm here to kick anybody's sorry ass and it just so happens to be Hulk Hogan's come WrestleMania and I've got a lot to say about Hulk, J.R." Ross says he'd like to hear it, saying that Austin has a bit of a history with Hogan and asks if he cares to elaborate. Austin says hell yeah, he'll elaborate, and says that Hogan doesn't want any piece of him. "Before 'Stone Cold', this was 'Stunning' Steve but Hogan was smart enough to know not to mess with me. And, conveniently enough, not too long later, I got a fax from Eric Bischoff saying I was no longer needed in WCW!" He says that Hogan thinks he can take advantage of his time off but it's not happening. "Eh-eh! Because I'm going to whoop Hulk Hogan's ass at WrestleMania and that's the bottom line!" J.R. then asks Austin if he respects Hogan, to which Stone Cold mulls over for a second, grinning as he says that he respects everything Hogan did for the business and how he built the business to what it has become. "But over the last seven years or so, it hasn't been Hogan leading the way — it's been Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hogan ain't what he used to be and the sooner he realizes that, the easier it will be on him to accept reality and if that means getting his ass whooped at WrestleMania, then so be it... so, to answer your question, J.R.? Yeah, I respect 'em, but I don't like 'em." J.R. thanks Austin for his time as the interview concludes.
Back at the announce table, J.R. says he saw a fire in the eyes of both Austin and Hogan today and they both seem very determined for WrestleMania and he has no idea how they are going to be able to co-exist in the main event tonight. "What I do know, King, is that Austin and Hogan will be in the ring next week to sign the contract for their match!" Lawler says he's looking forward to that, but that's not all next week as Eric Bischoff has also announced that Shawn Michaels and The Rock will finally be face-to-face, in the same ring at the same time. J.R. then asks what Triple H's response will be to Brock Lesnar after being cost his match against Tommy Dreamer tonight just six days before they go toe-to-toe for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania.
In the back, Terri is standing by with Ric Flair, Batistaand Randy Ortonof Evolution as she says that while the three of them have the numbers advantage in their upcoming match, they are also going up against two of the greatest of all time in Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Orton stops her right there, saying that Austin and Hogan may be two of the greatest of all time, but they have the greatest of all time on their side in Flair. "Woo!" Says 'The Nature Boy' with a smile. "That's right, baby! But it's not all about me! See, what Hogan and Austin are dealing with is what's standing by my side — the future! Batista and Randy Orton! Now, I'll be damned if I don't get a few shots in myself tonight but at the end of the day it's either step aside or watch Evolution pass you by... woo!" He pats Batista and Orton on their backs and the three head off for the upcoming match.
6) Two-on-Three Handicap Match: Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Batista, Ric Flair and Randy Orton via pinfall Hogan gets a lot of work in on Batista and Austin on Orton until Flair jumps Austin from behind as he and Hulk are arguing. Flair cuts Austin off from making tags frequently with Batista and Orton. Austin eventually fights back against Orton and finally makes the tag to Hogan, whom comes in and cleans house. The Evolution members attempt a triple team but Austin comes to Hogan's aid, tossing Batista in to the ring post before hitting Orton with a Stone Cold Stunner! Flair then falls to Hogan's big boot and his signature leg drop, Hogan covering 'The Nature Boy' for the one, two, three!
Hogan gets back to his feet and begins to celebrate the victory, cupping his ear to the crowd over the ropes before turning back to the center of the ring and coming chest-to-chest with Austin. The two stare down before Austin smiles, raising his hand toward ringside as he calls for a couple of beers. He hands one over to Hogan, whom seems a little bit hesitant as Austin proposes they toast. After some more encouragement from 'The Texas Rattlesnake', Hogan obliges and clashes his can with Austin's. The two begin drinking until Austin stops, flips Hogan off and drops him with the Stone Cold Stunner! He leans over Hogan's body and mouths off to him. "It's always about you ain't it, Hulk?! You sorry son of a bitch!" He eventually gets back to his feet and celebrates with a couple of more beers before leaving the ring, making his way up the ramp while Hogan sits up against the ropes, laughing to himself while watching Austin leave as the show comes to an end.
Michael Cole and Tazz welcome everyone to Smackdown after opening video and pyrotechnics as this week's show comes to Louisville, Kentucky. Cole mentions that we are under two weeks away from WrestleMania and we are sure to have a lot going on with the biggest show of the year on the horizon! 1) Rey Mysterio def. Tajiri via pinfall A competitive match between the two men, Tajiri with sharp kicks while Mysterio hits some big high flying moves. After a big crossbody to the outside that wipes out both men, Matt Hardy makes his way out to the ramp with Shannon Mooreat his side and handing Hardy his Cruiserweight Championship belt. The match lasts through a commercial break with Mysterio avoiding a Buzzsaw Kick and tripping Tajiri up in to the ropes, hitting him with the 619 and West Coast Pop for the three count.
Mysterio emerges to his feet having his arm raised as the winner by the official, only for Hardy to come in to the ring and drop him from behind with a shot to the back of the head! Moore enters the ring as well and the two begin a double team on Mysterio until Tajiri attempts to make the save, only to fall victim to both men as well. After Tajiri is tossed to the outside, Mysterio is caught by Moore and fed to Hardy to deliver the Twist of Fate in the middle of the ring. The crowd boos as Hardy stands back up, raising the Cruiserweight Championship over his head proudly before leaving the ring along with Moore.
In the back, The Big Show and A-Trainare seen arguing back and forth with each other when in between them steps Paul Heyman, trying to get them to stop before yelling at them to shut up! He looks at both of them and shakes his head, saying they need to get themselves together. "Not only do you both have a chance at becoming Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania, but you're in a match tonight with the former WWE Tag Team Champions — Los Guerreros. Think of it, you already have a shot at being Intercontinental Champion but you have the opportunity to beat former tag team champions and potentially earning yourself a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championship!" He tells them to think about it, Show and A-Train staring down before arguing more about who started it! Heyman places his face in his hands as his two giant clients continue arguing as they leave the room.
Seen walking in the back after the break is Matt Hardy with Shannon Moore, the two being stopped by Josh Mathews as he excuses himself and asks Hardy what that was all about moments ago. "Allow me to be very clear, Joshua," Matt begins to explain. "Rey Mysterio doesn't have what it takes to be a champion because he follows the opposite of the Mattitude lifestyle! He hides his ugly face behind a mask and, as a matter of fact, he is less than a cruiserweight and shouldn't even qualify for a shot at my Cruiserweight Championship!" He complains that he had to cut weight, therefore Mysterio ought to have to gain. He calls Mysterio a featherweight and says there isn't an ultra-Cruiserweight Championship. "Regardless, at the end of the day come WrestleMania, Mattitude will prevail and I will remain the greatest Cruiserweight Champion in the history of mankind!" He and Moore then continue on.
Seen pacing a bit in her office is Stephanie McMahon when the door opens and in walks the WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle. "About time!" McMahon says angrily. "I told you two to be here first thing tonight." Benjamin shrugs and says they were busy, Haas explaining it's a champions thing — she wouldn't understand. McMahon laughs and says that she wants them to understand something after what they pulled last week with The Undertaker and his motorcycle. "I think I'm going to reward the two of you, actually. By placing you in the main event tonight." Benjamin says he likes the sound of that until McMahon explains that they'll be in the main event defending their WWE Tag Team Championship against the team of Chris Benoit and Edge! The two are in disbelief and try to back McMahon up but she tells them that her decision is final and demands that they leave her office now!
Seen walking in the back elsewhere is John Cena, rapping to himself when he stops in his tracks to notice Billy Kidmanchuckling off to the side. Cena questions if something is funny, so Kidman shrugs his shoulders. "Yeah, John, I saw 8 Mile... it was hilariously awful." Cena scoffs, telling Kidman that he better watch himself, grow a pair and head down to that ring because he's challenging Kidman to a match right now! Cena walks off, Billy nodding and seeming to be okay with that proposal.
2) John Cena def. Billy Kidman via pinfall After going up against A-Train and The Big Show, Kidman faces someone closer to his size, yet still very powerful, in Cena. The rapper gets a little overconfident and it allows Kidman to get back in to the match but as he goes for the Shooting Star Press, Cena gets back up and swipes the legs out from beneath the former Cruiserweight Champion. Waiting for Kidman to make it back up to a knee, Cena then nails the Throwback, covers and hooks both legs for the one, two, three.
Cena gets to his feet and stands over Kidman, trash talking him some as the official holds him back. While Tazz suggests Cena could become Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania, Cole reminds him that Kidman will be in that battle royal as well as eighteen other superstars from Raw and Smackdown.
In the back, The Full Blooded Italians are seen playing cards at a table when the four of them are approached by Rikishi. "What is this?" He asks. "You guys know this is the locker room not your own personal clubhouse, right?" Nunzio quips back they know what it is and Rikishi's 'fat ass' is taking up most of it! "Just like I hear it's gonna be taking up most of the ring in the Intercontinental Championship battle royal at WrestleMania, eh?" Rikishi steps forward but the rest of The F.B.I. rise from their seats to stop him from making a move. The big man chuckles and tells Nunzio he hopes to see him in that ring at WrestleMania so he can toss him out! As Rikishi walks away, Nunzio holds back Palumbo, Kanyon and DeMott, telling them to let Rikishi go, he'll find out the hard way not to mess with the family.
Following the break, Michael Cole and Tazz talk about the WWE Championship match coming up at WrestleMania, mentioning that we received footage from earlier today from The Undertaker training for that match. The video shows the number one contender arriving to a gym on his motorcycle, entering the gym and being welcomed by Ken Shamrock. A side video shows Taker talking about how as much as he'd like to just walk in to WrestleMania and beat Kurt Angle's ass, he knows it will hurt much more to defeat him and take away the WWE Championship. "So I'm training hard and who knows the ankle lock better than 'The Baddest Man on the Planet' Ken Shamrock?" While a montage of the two training is shown, Shamrock is shown in the side panel introducing himself, reminding people of his run in the WWE. He says while he never got to the top, he instilled fear in every man that stood across from him in the ring, saying that The Undertaker may be the only guy that intimidates more than him when that bell sounds. "So, here we are to get 'The Dead Man' ready for an Olympic gold medalist in Kurt Angle and to re-claim the WWE Championship." The footage shows Taker escaping from a couple of holds and, lastly, the Ankle Lock. The two get to their feet together afterward, Shamrock telling Taker 'good work' as they bump fists, Taker motioning for the WWE Championship around his waist as they exit the ring.
3) Los Guerreros def. A-Train and The Big Show (w/Paul Heyman) via pinfall A hot start from Chavo and Eddie leads to Heyman getting his men to the outside to recuperate, the match going through a commercial break with Show and Train turning the tides and dominating the contest with their power. Each seeming to try and one up each other, Show takes exception to Train tagging himself in after a big military press to Eddie, causing an argument between the duo. Show finally steps to the outside as Heyman tries to talk some sense in to the team, Chavo and Eddie coming up behind Train and double dropkicking him right in to Show — knocking him from the apron. Show gets back up angrily as Train turns right in to a double DDT from Los Guerreros, Eddie making the cover as Show remains standing with his hands on his hips while the referee makes the three count.
"What are you doing?!" Heyman questions at Show's side. "Why didn't you do something?!" As Los Guerreros exit the ring and celebrate on their way to the back, Show just shakes his head at Train and walks away, leaving Heyman with his face in his hands, frustrated by his clients yet again.
In the back, WWE Champion Kurt Angle is seen re-watching the footage of Undertaker's training video. He shakes his head and scoffs, saying he's going to go address this right now!
Back from the break, Rey Mysterio is seen sitting on a production trunk and taking off his gloves when Josh Mathews approaches him, asking Mysterio for his thoughts on what Matt Hardy said earlier about him not having what it takes to be Cruiserweight Champion. "I don't have what it takes?" Mysterio asks, offended. "You know, Josh, we'll find out exactly who has what it takes come WrestleMania when Matt and myself are standing in that ring together and I become the new Cruiserweight Champion."
Inside of the Freedom Hall, Kurt Angle's music hits and the WWE Champion makes his way down to the ring, demanding a microphone before he steps to the center of the squared circle, laughing to himself before he speaks. "Was that serious?" He questions. "The Undertaker is training with Ken frickin' Shamrock to try and figure out how to compete with an Olympic gold medalist like me?" Angle shakes his head and says that he respects the effort, but it is all for naught because everybody knows what the outcome will be at WrestleMania. "Hell, I do the Ankle Lock better than Ken Shamrock ever did and you can bet your ass that at WrestleMania, I'll use it to tap Undertaker out!" He listens to the boos of the audience a bit and says that he has heard what everybody has been saying since Undertaker became the number one contender, claiming that he's afraid and that if he isn't, he should be. Not just because of who Undertaker is, but because of what he has done at the grandest stage of them all. "Everybody keeps talking about how Undertaker is undefeated at WrestleMania! That he is 10-0! Well, let's run through all of his previous opponents, shall we? Jimmy Snuka? Never had the athleticism that I have! Jake 'The Snake' Roberts? May have been smart, but not as intelligent as I am. Giant Gonzalez? Pfft, give me a break! King Kong Bundy?! May have been big, but never amounted to anything. Diesel? Tall and powerful, sure, but not the total package like myself. Sycho Sid? Intense, but not half the intensity of yours truly. Kane? He survived a fire but he didn't win a gold medal with a broken freakin' neck! Big Boss Man? May have been a cop, but not a real American hero. Triple H? He ran to Raw and they handed him the World Heavyweight Championship while I earned the WWE Championship! And Ric Flair? Sixteen time World Champion?! Sounds more like a sixteen time loser that will never, ever hold a candle to Kurt Angle." He looks directly in to the camera and tells Undertaker that he can train and train and try to figure out what it's going to take at WrestleMania but it will never be enough. "Because at the end of the day, 'Dead Man', you're going to end up just like your precious motorcycle: Broken, beaten, destroyed and stood tall over by me." He drops the microphone and leaves the ring proudly.
In the back once again, Jamie Noble is seen walking when he stops and sees Nidiatalking to Funaki. He storms up to the two of them and grabs Nidia by the arm, asking her what she is doing. "Oh, Jamie, Funaki was just telling me about how he's going to be in the Intercontinental title battle royal at WrestleMania!" Funaki raises a finger and says he will not only be Smackdown's number one announcer but Smackdown's new Intercontinental Champion! "They're just letting anyone enter that battle royal now, ain't they?" Noble asks in disgust. He tells Funaki they have a match next and after he's done beating him there, he'll be chucking him out of that battle royal too! He then drags Nidia away.
Seen away from the arena in a doctors office is Brian Kendrick, getting physical therapy done. The door opens, however, and in walks Sean O'Haire. Kendrick is quick to say 'no' to O'Haire's arrival and the doctor tries to intervene but O'Haire holds his hands up, apologizing and saying this will be quick. "Look, Brian, sometimes my intuition gets the better of me. However, you had the choice to listen to me last week and the results were what they were." KEndrick says that he is trying the traditional way of doing things so he can get back to trying to earn a full time Smackdown contract. "I can make that happen for you, Brian. But you have to be willing to listen to and trust me going forward." Kendrick says he's not so sure about that, but O'Haire asks if he really wants to be a WWE superstar. When Kendrick says that of course he does, O'Haire tells him that this traditional medicine and methods is so antiquated. "You should be following my way of doing things and kick this doctor to the curb!" Kendrick looks to the floor, the doctor and then O'Haire before nodding in agreement and kicking the doctor in the face! "You're right, Sean! You're right!" Kendrick struggles to get back to his feet, O'Haire saying he didn't mean literally kick the doctor, suggesting that maybe they should get out of here. Sean assists Brian out the door but returns to the doctor, leaning over him. "Hey, uh, that traditional medicine thing? No offense, but, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know." He pats the doctor on the chest, whom groans in pain, before getting back up and leaving the room along with Kendrick.
4) Funaki def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) via pinfall Aggressive and perhaps trying to prove something to his girlfriend, Noble taunts Funaki as he controls things to start. After being hung up on the ropes, Noble is rocked by Funaki and after a missed clothesline, the Rising Sun DDT is nailed and Funaki hooks both legs for the pinfall!
Noble is stunned and in disbelief as he rolls on to his side, Funaki sliding under the bottom rope with his fists raised in the air, a smile on his face as he has defeated the former Cruiserweight Champion. Nidia, meanwhile, looks unimpressed on the outside with her boyfriend.
Seen talking with each other backstage are Los Guerreros when they are approached by the WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle, whom quickly tell their recent rivals they come in peace. "We just thought it was funny that Stephanie McMahon just hands out a WWE Tag Team Championship match to Chris Benoit and Edge." Benjamin says, Haas quick to point out that Los Guerreros are the former champions and their rematch last week ended in a disqualification. "Just something to think about, boys. Just something to think about." Team Angle then continue on their way with the main event up next.
5) WWE Tag Team Championship: Chris Benoit and Edge def. Team Angle(c) via disqualification; Team Angle retain A highly competitive match, fast paced and technical throughout with both Benoit and Edge nearly submitting the champions with respective sharpshooters only for them to each reach the ropes. After the match goes through a break and all four men end up down, Los Guerreros make their way down from the back with Haas getting to his feet to see them, a smile on his face as he points to Benoit and Edge. As the referee is checking on the challengers, Eddie and Chavo instead go up to Benjamin and toss him in to the steel steps! Haas is in disbelief and turns back around, Edge charging at him for a Spear but he is just barely able to avoid it. Edge comes back and Haas drops to a knee to hit a low blow for the DQ!
The crowd boos as Benoit tries to get his hands on Haas only for him to escape from the ring just in time, Los Guerreros unable to get after Benjamin as he scurries away along with Haas. The WWE Tag Team Champions retreat up the ramp, holding each other up and smiling toward the ring. Their joy is quickly put to rest, however, as Stephanie McMahon's music hits and the Smackdown General Manager comes out to the stage, shaking her head. "Charlie, Shelton. Much like your leader, Kurt Angle, you think you can outsmart everyone! As intelligent as you think you are or may be, you can't outrun defending the WWE Tag Team Championship." She says that this is the second week in a row they've found a way out of their defense by getting disqualified but she has the perfect solution where they won't be able to run that easily. "In ten days at WrestleMania, you're going to defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against Chris Benoit and Edge... and Los Guerreros in a triple threat tag team match!" While the two teams at the ring are happy with the news, Team Angle are livid! "No more running away for Team Angle!" Says Cole. With yet another big WrestleMania match added, Smackdown concludes.
1) Non-Title Match: Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy (w/Shannon Moore) def. Garrison Cade via pinfall Eight nights from defending his championship at WrestleMania, Hardy gets a warm up with Cade. A bit of cockiness allows Garrison to get a few clotheslines in but after taking the time to clothesline Moore on the outside, Cade returns to the ring to a boot to the stomach and the Twist of Fate. Hardy has Moore come in to the ring afterward, a microphone being handed to the Cruiserweight Champion. "Next Sunday night is WrestleMania... the grandest stage of them all! And upon that grand stage I defend my Cruiserweight Championship against Rey Mysterio!" He scoffs and says that he just beat a heavyweight and questions what makes Mysterio think he stands a chance. 2) Jackie Gayda def. Ivory via pinfall Prior to the match, Ivory requests a microphone from ringside and runs down Gayda, her outfit and her lack of experience. "Allow me to teach you a thing or two before you return to being a nobody." She warns before being surprised in the match, Gayda avoiding a corner splash and rolling Ivory up for the three count! Gayda escapes from the ring as quick as she can, Ivory with her hands over her head in disbelief, asking the referee repeatedly what happened as Gayda has shocked everyone. 3) Nunzio (w/The F.B.I.) def. Rikishi via pinfall After their encounter on this past week's episode of Smackdown, Nunzio appears confident but is quick to rush out of the ring as soon as Rikishi strikes. The big man begins to dominate the contest until Chris Kanyon and Bill DeMott begin to intervene from the outside. As the referee is distracted, Palumbo enters the ring to hit a superkick to the back of the head, allowing Nunzio to go to the top rope and hit a big leg drop which allows him to make the cover and get the pinfall. Afterward, The F.B.I. gather together atop the stage and celebrate to end the show as Rikishi looks furious.
March 23, 2003: Savvis Center in St. Louis, MO
1) Spike Dudley def. Stevie Richards via pinfall Looking to keep things going for not just the Dudley family but himself as well, Spike takes the fight right to Richards, avoiding a Stevie Kick and nailing the Dudley Dog for the three count.
2) Scott Steiner def. Johnny Stamboli via submission With a match with Chris Jericho on the horizon for tomorrow, Steiner gets some warm up with a tough and game Stamboli. After a big military press to show off his strength, 'Big Poppa Pump' applies the Steiner Recliner and forces Stamboli to tap. Steiner then does push ups afterward to celebrate. 3) Maven and D'Lo Brown def. Mark Gallagher and Steve Fendler Having been victorious in their first match as a team last week, Maven and Brown attempt to keep things going and do just that against locals Gallagher and Fendler as they put the latter away with a dropkick and splash combo as it appears we have a new team on the rise on the Raw brand.
4) Trish Stratus def. Molly Holly via pinfall A week away from getting a shot at regaining the Women's Championship, Stratus faces an admirable opponent in Molly, whom actually almost pulls off the win after the Molly Go Round but she is stunned when Stratus manages to get her shoulder up just in time. After a big Chick Kick, Stratusfaction is delivered and Trish hooks the legs for the pinfall to earn the hard fought victory. Stratus proceeds to celebrate by motioning for the Women's Championship around her waist to the approval of the crowd to end the episode of Sunday Night Heat.
The opening video for Raw airs, the cameras then entering the Arco Arena from Sacramento, California, no pyrotechnics as Jim Ross gives the welcome alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler just six nights away from WrestleMania as he sends things straight down to the ring as we've got very important business to attend to and we're diving right in to it!
Standing in the ring behind a desk is Eric Bischoff, the Raw General Manager with a microphone in his hand as he says that this Sunday night at WrestleMania, he is proud to have his Raw brand represented with one of the biggest matches not just in the history of WrestleMania, but one of the biggest matches in the history of this business. "I've known both of these men for quite some time and one could argue I know them all too well. And one thing that I and all of you know is that these are two of the biggest names this industry has ever seen and for the first time ever this Sunday night they will go one on one. No championships, no title shots on the line, just two of the absolute best to ever lace up a pair of boots!" He says that he isn't going to wait any longer, it's time to get down to business and sign the contract for that match so without further ado, he introduces Hulk Hogan! The crowd cheers loud for the legend as he plays up to the audience atop the stage and on his way down and in to the ring, shaking hands with Bischoff before taking a seat at the table. After waiting a little bit, Bischoff seems a bit less excited to introduce Stone Cold Steve Austin. 'The Texas Rattlesnake' arrives to a thunderous ovation and he makes his way down and in to the ring, playing up the crowd a bit before standing on his side of the table, locking eyes with Hogan. Bischoff urges Austin to sit down but Stone Cold tells him to shut up in response, taking his seat after staring Hogan down some more.
Bischoff says he wants to keep this nice and simple and get the contract signed but Austin tells him that's going to have to wait. "Because I've got some things to get off my chest before I sign this contract, before I go on to WrestleMania and before I whoop Hulk Hogan's ass!" He says that he finds this kind of funny that Bischoff is running this contract signing, saying he knows damn well how close Hogan and him are. Hogan is quick to respond, telling Austin that this has nothing to do with Bischoff. "This is about Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin! This is about the biggest match in the history of WrestleMania and this is about showing that Hulkamania still rules, brother!" Austin quips back that Hulkamania has been dead for a long time and Hogan is holding on to that last little bit of nostalgia. "Stone Cold is still Stone Cold, Hulk. Stone Cold hasn't changed. Have I done some things I could have done differently? Hell yeah, but I don't regret a damn thing. You on the other hand, Hulk, you did everything to undermine and get what ever you damn well pleased and we all know that if it wasn't for this son of a bitch right here..." He points toward Bischoff, whom gets a bit defensive but Hogan stops him and tells Austin to look him in the eyes. "Forget that Eric is even out here right now. You know what this is all about. We admitted last week that we respect one another but it's very clear we don't like one another and that's fine. But you know that this is all about Hulkamania still being alive and strong and Stone Cold Steve Austin's spotlight fading more and more and you're afraid that when it's all said and done for Stone Cold... Hulkamania will still be running wild." Austin questions how that will be possible after Hogan has had a mudhole stomped in his ass and walked dry. "But you know something, Hulk?" He stands up from his seat and signs the contract. "I'm tired of talking. I'm tired of the back and forth. I'm ready to raise a little hell right here, right now!" He then throws the contract at Hogan, whom stares at Austin before signing his name. After putting the contract back down, Austin turns to Bischoff and flips him off before delivering the Stone Cold Stunner! Bischoff flies back and rolls under the bottom rope, Hogan pushing the table aside and eating punches from Austin. The crowd is loud as Hogan catches a punch and begins to fire back, rocking Austin backwards before whipping him off the ropes and nailing the signature big boot. Hogan then prepares for the leg drop but before he can leap in the air, Austin rolls to the outside. "Austin knows if Hogan hits that leg drop this Sunday, he's in trouble!" Says Lawler. Hogan cups his ear to the crowd on all sides of the ring as Austin sits up against the barricade, laughing to himself as he watches Hogan go on.
1) Tommy Dreamer def. Randy Orton (w/Evolution) via disqualification After getting the upset win over Triple H last week (albeit with Brock Lesnar's assistance), Dreamer fights one of Evolution's youngsters in Orton, whom is very aggressive but less experienced, Tommy overpowering him and getting some momentum going. After blocking a charge in to the corner, Dreamer delivers a big side slam and gets to his feet fired up, charging to the ropes only to be tripped up by Flair! Batista then drags him to the outside and delivers a clothesline — causing the DQ.
After Flair and Batista get some stomps in, they hand Dreamer off to Triple H, the World Heavyweight Champion looking to extract some revenge on Dreamer for last week. After slamming Dreamer in to the steel steps, Brock Lesnar's music hits to loud cheers from the Sacramento crowd! The number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship races toward the ring and plows right through Flair with a clothesline, Batista assisting HHH over the barricade, leaving Lesnar fuming as he watches them leave. Orton comes up behind Lesnar and delivers a shot to the back, 'The Next Big Thing' slowly turning around to Orton putting his hands up, taking the Evolution youngster by the arm and hoisting him over his shoulders and nailing an F-5 on to the floor! As HHH and Batista look on from near the stage, Lesnar points in their direction and warns Hunter that he isn't done with him!
Seen in the back is Christopher Nowinski, a smug smile on his face as he approaches the duo of Booker Tand Goldust, sarcastically saying it's good to see them back together. "Rumor has it that the two of you want to enter the Intercontinental Championship battle royal this Sunday at WrestleMania!" Booker says that's right and one of them is going to win. Nowinski says that it isn't going to be that simple because by orders of the Bischoff administration, he's here to inform the two of them that they'll only enter the battle royal if they can win their match tonight. "Against myself and Chief Morley... oh, by the way... that match is next!" Nowinski grins and walks away.
Seen hustling in the back toward their locker room after the break is Triple H and Batista, the World Champion saying Brock Lesnar had no business getting involved in that and he's going to learn the hard way. "You know what, champ?" Batista responds. "I'm going to go find Lesnar myself and show him who he's messing with. I've got this." HHH nods in approval, telling Batista to 'kick his ass' before heading in to the locker room, Batista pounding his fist in to his hand as he marches off.
2) If Booker and Goldust Win, They Enter the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal at WrestleMania: Booker T and Goldust def. Chief Morley and Christopher Nowinski via pinfall Booker begins things and is firing on all cylinders against both Morley and Nowinski, eventually making the tag to Goldust as he comes in and goes through Nowinski. Morley gets the tag, however, and Goldust is oddly hesitant to do anything. He instead tags out to Booker, whom comes in confused and it allows Morley and Nowinski to get some momentum going. After Goldust hits Nowinski with a punch from the apron, Booker whips the Harvard graduate in to Morley, knocking him off the apron and it leads to the Scissors Kick, the hook of the legs and the pinfall.
As Booker and Goldust embrace to celebrate the win and advancing to WrestleMania, Morley takes a microphone from ringside to rain on their parade. "Gentlemen! Gentlemen!" He says while waving his free hand. "That... that didn't count! See, you're not entering the Intercontinental Championship battle royal, alright? That's not what you won... what you won was an opportunity to enter that battle royal." Booker is livid as he steps up to the ropes, pointing at Morley and asking what the hell he's talking about. "This Sunday on Heat before WrestleMania, you're going to compete in a tag team match for two spots in that battle royal when you go up against these men..." Lance Stormand William Regal then come in to the ring from behind and toss Goldust to the outside before double teaming Booker! The five time WCW World Champion begins to fight back against both men, however, chopping away at them and hitting Storm with a side kick to the face. He then goes for the Scissors Kick on Regal but Nowinski intercepts him and takes him down, Morley standing on the apron and keeping an eye on Goldust, whom watches on from up against the barricade but doesn't move. "Morley has abused his power once again," Says an angry J.R. "And now his goons are beating up a defenseless Booker T!" Morley then proceeds to make his way to the top rope in order to hit Booker with the Money Shot. He then stands tall along with Storm, Regal and Nowinski as Goldust looks on angrily from the outside.
Out of the break, The Rock is seen arriving in the parking lot to a loud response from inside of the arena. He notices Jonathan Coachman as he is walking and calls him over. "The Rock remembers you! Yeah, yeah, what's going on, copacabana?" Coachman smiles and says Rock remembered that he likes Barry Manilow and Rock says of course he did! He then asks Coachman if he wants to conduct an interview with 'The Great One'. Coachman looks surprised but before he can even say 'yes', Rock laughs. "The Rock doesn't have time for you! Are you kidding The Rock?" He slaps his knee and chuckles some more as he continues on his way, leaving Coach upset and confused.
3) Victoria (w/Stevie Richards) def. Trish Stratus via pinfall Long-time rivals now, the two challengers for the Women's Championship this Sunday really go at it with one another. The Women's Champion herself, Jazz, along with Theodore Long, make their way down to the ring, Stratus escaping Victoria's grasp and hitting a kick to the chest. She then turns and makes eye contact with Jazz, having some words for the champion. That gives Victoria just enough time to come back to Stratus, lift her off the mat and hit the Widow's Peak before getting the pin.
Richards pumps his fist on the outside for Victoria on the outside when Jazz comes up from behind, spins him around and punches him right in the face! Victoria rolls under the ropes and steps right up to Jazz, the two sharing some words before getting in to a shoving match. They start to throw punches with Long and Richards trying to separate things only for Stratus to come flying off of the top rope and on to all four of them! She gets back to her feet and raises a finger to the sky, backing up the ramp as she looks to regain the Women's Championship this Sunday at WrestleMania.
In the back again, Shawn Michaels is seen walking down the halls when Jonathan Coachman approaches him and asks if he can get a quick word. "Sorry! No can do, Coach!" Michaels says. "I'm saving my words for when The Rock and myself come face to face in that ring..." He pats Coachman on the shoulder and says maybe another time and heads off as that face to face is up next!
The theme music of 'The Heart Break Kid' Shawn Michaels hits coming out of the break as anticipated, Michaels playing up the crowd a bit on his way down and in to the ring, a microphone in his hand and a smile on his face as he starts off by saying he has been waiting for this exact moment for over a month now. "Everybody knows what I'm here for. Everybody knows that after weeks of not being here at the same time and attacks form behind... it's time for The Rock and myself to go face to face before we go one-on-one this Sunday at WrestleMania." He goes to say some more but is interrupted by The Rock's music, 'The Great One' delivering a very slow, dramatic entrance as he takes an extensive amount of time getting down to the ring. He even stands on the apron for quite a while before finally entering the ring and getting up close to Michaels before backing up enough to create some space between the two of them. The crowd buzzes and after they eventually die down, Michaels goes to speak only for Rock to put a hand up and stop him. "The Rock speaks first, okay?" He says. "Let's clarify that. The Rock is going to say what is on his mind and you're going to listen and then The Rock will allow you to speak!" Michaels grins back at Rock and gestures for him to go ahead. Rock looks around the building and says he isn't going to pander to the people. "There's not going to be any finally... tonight! No, no, no, you people don't deserve it! The Rock heard enough boos when he showed up a little while ago, you people don't appreciate the greatness of The Rock. You don't deserve it just like Shawn Michaels doesn't deserve to be sharing this ring with The Rock!"
He motions his hand up and down at Michaels, asking what the hell he is even wearing. "You've got your stupid little T-shirt tucked in to your blue jeans, what is that? Huh? Are you kidding The Rock right now?" He shakes his head and says that he understands that Michaels has been trying to change his ways over the past few years but that is not a good change, that is for sure. He then moves on to say that maybe Michaels should go back to his old ways, disappear, lose his smile and stay the hell away. "But The Rock knows better than that. The Rock knows Shawn Michaels all too well! The Rock knows how stubborn you are, yeah, and that's why The Rock knows it's only a matter of time before you're lining it up again, ain't ya?" He slaps his knee and laughs to himself, Michaels taking a step forward and saying it's his turn. Rock goes to respond but Michaels puts his hand over Rock's microphone and lowers it back down. "You've been dragging up my past — personal and business — ever since you showed up at No Way Out and cost me my match with Chris Jericho. I did some bad things and I'm not particularly proud of a lot of them but I wouldn't change any of it because it molded me in to the man that stands in front of you today." Michaels says that if Rock wants to keep focusing on all of those things, that's fine, because all that truly matters is what happens between the ropes on Sunday and that's going to be him beating Rock. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!" Rock says back while wagging his finger and waving his hand. "What have you done on this side of the millennium at WrestleMania? Huh? The Rock ain't worried about winning — The Rock already knows he is going to win! No, no, no, see, Shawn, this Sunday it's all about embarrassing you and holding you down just like you tried to do to The Rock himself!" He reminds Michaels that last year he took it to Hulk Hogan and says that Michaels is way past his prime and that the 'Mr. WrestleMania' nickname no longer applies to him. "So this Sunday, The Rock is going to layeth the Smackethdown like no other on your candy ass!" Michaels remains calm, putting his hand out before wishing The Rock luck, telling him he's going to need it. Rock looks back and forth between Michaels' hand and the audience before putting his hand out, faking Michaels out and pulling back quickly with a laugh. Michaels nods as if he expected it, Rock beginning to walk away only to turn around and hook Michaels for the Rock Bottom! HBK responds with an elbow to the back of the head and pushes out of Rock's grasp, quickly sending his leg up for Sweet Chin Music only for Rock to drop to the mat and out of the way just in time! 'The Great One' rolls out of the ring as fast as he can, jogging halfway up the ramp before turning back to the ring at Michaels, whom puts his finger and thumb closely together to tell Rock he almost had him! Rock points back at Michaels and the two continue to mouth off at one another.
Seen walking through the back is Triple H, the World Heavyweight Champion coming around a corner to find Batistalaid out in a pile of equipment. "Dave, what the hell happened?!" Questions Hunter. "I thought you said you were going to take care of Lesnar!" Batista leans over a crate and explains that Lesnar shoved him back and he tripped over some of this stuff and next thing he knew he was getting thrown left and right in to everything! "Where did he go?" Asks HHH. "Where the hell did he go, Dave?!" Batista says he doesn't know, frustrating HHH as he helps him up.
4) Rob Van Dam (w/Kane) def. World Tag Team Champion Bubba Ray Dudley (w/World Tag Team Champion D-Von Dudley) via pinfall A hard hitting contest between two men that have known each other for quite some time, RVD hits a ton of high flying moves while Bubba responds with power. Van Dam misses on a leaping side kick from off the top rope and the Bubba Bomb is attempted but RVD rolls through, pulling Bubba over him and on to his back, pinning his shoulders down with the legs for the one, two, three!
Van Dam pops up to his feet looking a bit surprised by the win, Kane entering the ring to raise RVD's arm as the winner. D-Von comes in to help Bubba back to his feet, the World Tag Team Champions obviously frustrated but nodding as they step to the center of the ring and offer a handshake to their challengers for this Sunday. RVD and Kane accept it and The Dudley Boyz go to leave, RVD leaping on to the second rope to continue celebrating the victory. Bubba and D-Von then come back as he does so and proceed to plant Kane with the 3D! The champions quickly slide out of the ring just as Van Dam rushes back over to Kane, kneeling beside him as Bubba and D-Von back up the ramp, holding their World Tag Team Championship belts up over their heads.
In the locker room area is Chris Jericho talking with Christian, the two having a discussion about the Intercontinental Championship battle royal and Jericho complaining about his upcoming match with Scott Steiner, but saying he's going to beat 'Freakzilla' and keep him out of the battle royal. "Yeah, but, what happens if it comes down to the two of us on Sunday?" Asks Christian. Jericho pauses and scoffs, saying it's simple — Christian either steps out or he'll throw him out! Christian argues back that he could just toss Jericho out himself. The two stare down but each begin to smile, laughing it off and the two continuing on their way. Seen walking in the back toward the ring is Scott Steiner when he is approached by Terri, whom mentions that if Steiner doesn't beat Chris Jericho in his upcoming match, he won't be in the battle royal for the Intercontinental Championship this Sunday at WrestleMania. "You don't have to worry about that! Do you know who I am?! Do you know what I'm capable of?! I'm a genetic freak! Jericho? He's a twerp! And I'm going out there, winning that match and going to WrestleMania to become the Intercontinental Champion... holla if ya hear me!" His music then hits as he goes through the curtains.
5) If Steiner Wins, He Enters the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal at WrestleMania: Scott Steiner def. Chris Jericho via pinfall Jericho does his best to try and avoid letting Steiner get his hands on him, being quick and taunting Steiner for it which leads to 'Big Poppa Pump' delivering a powerful clothesline. Steiner begins to overpower Jericho but a rake of the eyes starts to get things back in Jericho's favor. A missed lionsault leads to the Steiner Recliner being applied, Y2J looking to be in trouble as Christian runs down from the back and hops on to the apron, prompting Steiner to head over and get in his face over the shoulder of the official. Steiner sees Jericho coming up behind him and moves and Jericho runs right in to Christian! Steiner then hits the inverted DDT and gets the pinfall on Jericho.
Steiner briefly celebrates on his feet before doing push ups over the body of Jericho, whom slowly pulls himself to the outside and at the side of Christian. "Could Scott Steiner become Intercontinental Champion this Sunday?" Asks Ross. "You know Jericho and Christian have to be worried about that!" Steiner motions for the belt around his waist and continues enjoying the win with the fans.
In the back, Brock Lesnar is seen heading down the halls, Jonathan Coachman trying to ask him a question but Lesnar ignoring him. General Manager Eric Bischoffstops Lesnar, holding the back of his neck — obviously still feeling the effects of the Stone Cold Stunner from earlier — and questions where he thinks he is going. "I'm heading to the ring to call Triple H out and if he doesn't come down there and face me like a man, I'm going to come back here, hunt him down and rip his head off." Bischoff puts his hands out and tries to stop Lesnar but Brock isn't having it. "What are you going to do about it?" He asks, leaving Bischoff without an answer. Lesnar then suggests that Bischoff go give his prized champion a heads up and then continues onward. After the break at the announce table, Ross and Lawler talk about how we have had a wild night but it is going to be nothing compared to this Sunday as it is WrestleMania live from Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. They then proceed to talk about what we will see six nights from now, starting with the Sunday Night Heat match up on Spike TV as Goldust and Booker T face Lance Storm and William Regal. The winning team will then advance on to WrestleMania to compete in the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal featuring ten Raw and ten Smackdown superstars as the illustrious title returns. On the Smackdown side, Matt Hardy will defend the Cruiserweight Championship against Rey Mysterio; Team Angle put the WWE Tag Team Championship on the line in a triple threat match against the team of Edge and Chris Benoit as well as Los Guerreros; And for the WWE Championship, Kurt Angle goes up against The Undertaker; Meanwhile, on Raw, we have Rob Van Dam and Kane challenging for the World Tag Team Championship; Jazz putting the Women's Championship on the line against both Trish Stratus and Victoria; Shawn Michaels and The Rock face off for the first time ever; Triple H defends the World Heavyweight Championship against this year's Royal Rumble winner, Brock Lesnar; And, of course, perhaps the biggest match in WrestleMania history when Stone Cold Steve Austin goes toe-to-toe with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan!
The theme music of Brock Lesnar then hits, 'The Next Big Thing' arriving for the second time tonight but this time with a bit more planning. He paces around the ring a bit before speaking in to the microphone in his hand. "Triple H has been hiding behind his group since I came to Raw. But I've managed to tear through all of them tonight so now it's just me and you, Hunter... and I'm not waiting until Sunday to get you all to myself. So, I'm giving you two options: Either come out here and face me like a man, or I track you down in the back and make it ten times worse for you." The crowd cheers for the threat, Lesnar pacing a bit more and getting no response, thus making his way to the ropes and preparing to step through them only for Triple H's music to end up hitting at long last. The World Heavyweight Champion is slow to step out to the stage, hesitant to even make his way down the stage as he proceeds to respond to his number one contender. "I just want to re-iterate something to you, Brock. You have no idea what you are getting yourself in to come WrestleMania." Hunter says that Lesnar may want to beat his ass tonight, but it wouldn't change the outcome of this Sunday. He says that it is inevitable, because while Brock has taken the likes of The Undertaker to hell and squeezed the life out of Hulk Hogan and sent The Rock to Hollywood, he has never faced a guy like him before. "You have never played 'The Game', Brock. You've had a hell of a year and I'm not taking that away from you but this won't be a celebratory occasion for 'The Next Big Thing' becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. It will be a wake up call when you are forced to realize how damn good I really am!" He says that in six nights, WrestleMania won't be a fairytale ending for Lesnar, it will be a nightmare when he finally comes to and realizes he just got his ass kicked by the best that this business has to offer. He stands on the apron and proudly holds his championship up.
Lesnar simply nods, telling HHH that he talks a big game, but maybe he should step through these ropes and back those words up. "I could do that, Brock," Hunter responds. "I could step through these ropes and we could brawl through this entire building and for what? See, Brock, I'm not stupid. You think you outsmarted me by laying out Evolution tonight, but you've got a lot to learn being on my show. This is my show and things go my way." Lesnar says that it is very clear that this is his show, considering that he has had everything handed to him on a silver platter after he went to Smackdown. "It's part of the reason why I decided to come over here to Raw, Hunter. Because this Sunday, I'm going to take it all away from you. I'm going to take your show, I'm going to take your ego and most importantly I'm going to take the World Heavyweight Championship." He says that HHH doesn't have what it truly takes, just like he doesn't have the balls to step in to the ring right now. He says that HHH is a paper champion and that he's all talk, no action. "As a matter of fact... You know what you are, Hunter? I know exactly what you are! You're a p*ssy!" The crowd pops for the remark, Triple H's eyes widening in disbelief. "Can he say that?!" Asks Lawler as J.R. explains Lesnar does whatever he wants, but that's what censorship is for. HHH removes his suit jacket and throws it down, loosening up his tie as he questions what Lesnar called him, Brock motioning for him to come in the ring!
Triple H finally steps through the ropes and the two begin to exchange punches back and forth! Lesnar gets the upper hand as he backs HHH in to the corner, plowing in to him with shoulder after shoulder to the mid-section. HHH fights back after a knee to the side of the head, rocking Lesnar back to the center of the ring until he responds with a big time clothesline! Lesnar grabs HHH by the hair and drags him back to his feet, hoisting him over his shoulders and in position for the F5 only to have his attention taking away by Ric Flair, Batistaand Randy Ortoncoming down the stage, each a bit sluggish from the attacks of Lesnar earlier on. Brock drops HHH and rolls to the outside, looking to beat Evolution to the punch as he begins to fire off on all three of them, managing to hold his own until HHH comes up from behind and launches 'The Next Big Thing' face first in to the ring post. A four-on-one beat down commences, HHH giving some orders to Orton. Randy then heads over to an event security guard and tries to take his handcuffs but the guard isn't allowing it, Batista storming over and punching the guard in the face! Orton then retrieves the cuffs and returns to HHH and Flair, handing them over to 'The Nature Boy' and pulling Lesnar up along with Batista, Flair proceeding to handcuff Brock to the middle rope from the floor! Brock tries to keep fighting back but struggles, HHH with punch after punch until busting him open. Orton, Flair and Batista each get their shots in too until Lesnar is left swinging a weak arm, HHH kneeling on to the apron and cradling the neck so he can continue with punches until Lesnar has no fight left in him, blood dripping from his forehead to the floor. The rest of Evolution looks a bit shocked at the viciousness of their leader themselves as he demands they give him his belt. He then pushes the World Heavyweight Championship in to the face of the lifeless Lesnar, yelling in his ear. "You will never be champion, Lesnar! Do you hear me?! This is my show! This is my championship! You're nothing!" He continues to glare at the barely conscious Lesnar as the show draws to it's conclusion.
The Smackdown opening video airs, the cameras entering the Compaq Center as the stage is lit up by pyrotechnics as Michael Cole welcomes everyone to Smackdown alongside Tazz as we are just three nights away — seventy-two hours to be exact — from the biggest show of the year: WrestleMania!
The theme music of Kurt Angle hits to boos from the San Jose audience, the WWE Champion making his way down and in to the ring, microphone in hand as he lets the crowd have at him for a moment. "Alright, that's enough. You're in the presence of the WWE Champion — past, present and future." He says that this Sunday at WrestleMania, he's going one-on-one with The Undertaker and while most people would be shaking in their boots at the idea of that, he's not afraid one bit. "Yeah, that's right. I've heard everyone saying that I'm scared of The Undertaker for weeks and weeks now. But what is there to be scared of, huh? You think I'm afraid of his size? The fact that he's undefeated at WrestleMania? That he put in a day or two of training last week? Give me a break. I won an Olympic Gold Medal with a broken freakin' neck and I've beaten everyone that has stepped up to me in my career! 'Dead Man Walking'? Come WrestleMania, it'll be 'Dead Man Limping'!" Before Angle is able to go any further, he is interrupted by Edge's music. He comes down to the ring and stands across from Angle, saying that if it weren't for his buddies in Team Angle, it might be them facing off at WrestleMania. "But don't worry, Kurt. Chris Benoit and myself? We'll take care of Shelton and Charlie — as well as Los Guerreros — this Sunday night. Meanwhile, The Undertaker? Well, he's going to make you his bitch!" Angle takes exception to the comment, Edge questioning why he doesn't do something in their match right now. 1) Non-Title Match: WWE Champion Kurt Angle def. Edge via pinfall A hotly competitive match, the former partners in crime and rivals take their match through a commercial break where Angle starts to dominate on the mat. Edge begins to mount a comeback and after an Edge-o-Matic leads to a near fall, he sets up in the corner for a Spear. Team Angle begin to make their way down the ramp. Edge is quick to point them out and bark at them to get out of here. Before he can return to the WWE Champion, he is hoisted off the mat and dropped with the Angle Slam for the pinfall.
Angle hops back to his feet with a big grin from ear to ear, the referee presenting him with his WWE Championship belt. Kurt points toward Benjamin and Haas atop the stage and then celebrates some more on his way out of the ring, Edge rolling on to his side looking on angrily from the mat.
In the back, The F.B.I. are seen hanging around together sans Nunzio, arguing about what the best mafia and mobster movie there is. "Look, guys, let's be honest," Kanyon says. "When it comes to mafia or mobster movies it isn't even about Italians. Yeah, I'm talking about Scarface, chico!" DeMott and Palumbo are disgusted, Chuck pointing at Kanyon. "Watch it, Chrissy!" Nunzio then arrives to the table as the three continue their bickering, snapping his fingers to try and get their attention before slamming his hands down on the table. "Hey! What the hell is yous doin'? We've got a match coming up with the fat man, the phony announcer and the washed up former champ!" DeMott, Palumbo and Kanyon all stand up and tower over Nunzio, looking fired up as they say he's right — let's get to it! Nunzio pops the collar on his leather jacket and says they're going to go make a movie of their own where The Full Blooded Italians beat everyone's ass and he becomes Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania.
2) Rikishi, Billy Kidman and Funaki def. The F.B.I. (w/Chris Kanyon) via disqualification Fast paced and back and forth, frequent tags come from either side until Nunzio starts to get in trouble at the hands of his opponents. Palumbo and DeMott come to the aid of their partner and a brawl begins between them and the tandem of Rikishi and Funaki, leaving Nunzio to be knocked down and in prime position for the Shooting Star Press. Kidman nails the move but as the referee is about to make the three count, Kanyon drags Kidman under the bottom rope and drops him with the Flatliner!
Funaki attempts to come to the aid of Kidman but ends up being flipped inside out by a clothesline from Palumbo. Rikishi rolls back in to the ring and starts to come toward Nunzio in the corner but Palumbo ends up nailing the big man from behind with a superkick to the back of the head! Nunzio gets back up via the ropes and trash talks Rikishi a bit while stomping on him, the rest of The F.B.I. coming in to the ring as the group of four stand tall together, taking in the boos of the crowd.
Standing by in the back is Josh Mathews, introducing his guest to be the Smackdown General Manager herself, Stephanie McMahon. Mathews thanks her for the time and asks how she is feeling heading in to this Sunday at WrestleMania and more specifically the big Intercontinental Championship battle royal. "Josh, I have the utmost confidence in the ten superstars I have representing Smackdown in that battle royal. Whichever one of them brings home that championship will..." She stops herself as up walks John Cena, laughing to himself as McMahon asks if she can help him. "Steph, it's like this, see. Nobody else is gonna win that battle royal but me. You don't have to worry about those nine other clowns that you say bleed blue, I'mma make 'em all bleed red — Raw and Smackdown too. The facts are there, the reality is clear: John Cena's gonna be Intercontinental Champion, there's no need for fear!" He says he's going to make it simple for every one in that ring ready for the rise of their stock — they're not going anywhere and they can all suck his... McMahon puts his hand up before he can say it, Cena waving his hand in front of his face and flicking his jersey before walking off.
Seen getting examined by a doctor backstage is Brian Kendrick, his ankle being tested out as the doctor writes something down on his clipboard and tells Kendrick that he thinks he should be ready to go. "Really?! You mean it?!" He questions with excitement, the door of the room opening as in walks Sean O'Haire, Kendrick quick to shake his head and wave his hands as he tells O'Haire that he doesn't need any more of his so-called help! "Really, Brian? I thought we were friends..." O'Haire says before pulling his hand out from behind his back to hand over a stack of papers. "Congratulations, Brian. Now that you're cleared by WWE doctors, you've got yourself a Smackdown contract. And guess what? Your first match as an official member of Smackdown is next week." Kendrick is shocked by the news and tells O'Haire he doesn't know what to say, thanking him and saying that he might not agree with his methods but he did what he promised. "Well, Brian, you're welcome. However, be careful what you wish for... hey, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. See you next week." He pats Kendrick on the ankle and Brian winces a bit in pain as O'Haire proceeds to leave the room.
In the locker room, Edgeis seen with his head down and tapping his hands on the bench he sits on. In to the room walks Chris Benoit, asking Edge what he is doing moping around. "I'm pissed off, Chris! I'm pissed off because Team Angle screwed me over once again!" Benoit grabs Edge by the chin and demands he looks at him. "None of this crap! This Sunday at WrestleMania, we're going to get the ultimate revenge on Team Angle by taking the WWE Tag Team Championship! Los Guerreros, Team Angle, both of them are going down but only if you get your damn head in the game!" Edge stands up and tells Benoit he's right and says that tonight, Benjamin and Eddie are going to get a sneak preview of what is coming this Sunday. He pats Benoit on the back and they exit the room together.
3) Chris Benoit def. WWE Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin and Eddie Guerrero via submission High octane, action packed and lightning fast. The three superstars looking to gain some momentum rolling in to Sunday's WWE Tag Team Championship match take it to one another with big move after big move. After Benoit is knocked off the turnbuckle by Benjamin, he ends up falling to the three amigos from Guerrero, whom then goes to the top rope and nails the Frog Splash! As the official is about to make the three count, however, Benoit yanks Guerrero off of Benjamin and applies the Crippler Crossface! With Shelton down and out and nowhere to go, Eddie is forced to tap out.
Before Benoit has much chance to celebrate, Charlie Haas hits the ring and clotheslines him from behind. Stomps to the back as Haas mouths off to Benoit, the boos of the San Jose fans turn to cheers as in to the ring from behind comes Edge — measuring up Haas before drilling him with a Spear on the turnaround! Edge rises back up and looks out to the crowd before going to check on Benoit, being pulled back by the arm by Chavo Guerrero and laid out with a DDT. Eddie then heads to the top rope and nails a Frog Splash on Edge, Los Guerreros emerging to their feet and looking around at the two teams they'll go up against on Sunday. Eddie and Chavo then leave the ring together as Cole questions which one of these ultra talented teams will walk out as WWE Tag Team Champions at WrestleMania.
Back from the break, The Big Show is seen being talked to by Paul Heyman about his big match tonight with The Undertaker, Heyman expressing the need for revenge for everything Undertaker has done to him. In to the room then comes A-Train, hands on his hips as Heyman pleads with him to keep his composure. "I just wanted to wish you luck against Undertaker tonight," He says while extending his hand to Show. "But I'm not going to be out there to help you just like I won't be there to help you in the Intercontinental Championship battle royal." Show explains to A-Train that he doesn't need his help, he's got his match tonight and he's got the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania. "We'll see about that." Responds A-Train with a scoff before leaving the room. While Show looks frustrated it prompts Heyman to tell him to relax and to stay focused with The Undertaker before anything else.
The cameras come to ringside where Cole and Tazz bring up once again how we are just three days away from WrestleMania and while The Undertaker has his hands full with The Big Show later on in tonight's main event, he has a special message for his opponent on Sunday — the WWE Champion, Kurt Angle. Cutting to a video, a dark and foggy graveyard is seen an scanned over before the cameras pan to The Undertaker sitting on a bench with his arm hung over a shovel as he looks around. "Last week I was in the ring training and learning the secrets to the Ankle Lock and numerous other holds that Kurt Angle can and will try this Sunday at WrestleMania." He stands up from the bench and begins to walk in to the graveyard, eventually stopping as he says that while he knows the ring like no other, this here is his roots. He gestures his hand out to the graveyard, saying this is where all of his former victims rest after he's through with them. "And after I am done with Kurt Angle this Sunday, I will bring him back to these hallowed grounds where he can finally rest in peace..." He then picks up a pile of dirt with the shovel and he holds it over an open grave. "Unlike your Ankle Lock, Kurt, there's no escaping from this." A camera inside of the grave is then cut to as Undertaker proceeds to bury it in dirt.
Standing by backstage is Josh Mathews and he introduces his guest at this time: Rey Mysterio. He steps up and Mathews asks how Mysterio is feeling just a few days away from his match with Matt Hardy for the Cruiserweight Championship this Sunday at WrestleMania. "See, Josh, Matt has been concerned with my size, concerned about me wearing a mask, concerned about spreading 'Mattitude', concerned about the country I come from! But as far as I'm concerned, all it's going to take this Sunday night is me dialing up the 619 with the entire world watching and become the new Cruiserweight Champion! I'm going to do it for Mexico, I'm going to do it for my fans and I'm going to do it for me."
4) Rey Mysterio and Tajiri def. Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore via pinfall Opponents last week and partners tonight, Mysterio and Tajiri work well together until Hardy and Shannon cut Tajiri off after a double team behind the referee's back. After Tajiri escapes and makes the hot tag to Mysterio, he comes in and flies around taking down both Hardy and Moore. As Shannon looks to be in trouble, Matt runs in and drops Mysterio with a shot to the back of the head. He then begins to berate Tajiri as Shannon stomps away at Rey, 'The Japanese Buzzsaw' misting Matt in the face! The Cruiserweight Champion yells in a panic and turns around, yelling for Shannon! Moore comes up but Hardy ends up throwing a punch to the face, Mysterio then catching Moore with a hurricanrana that sends him in to Matt — Tajiri pulling the ropes down and dropping Hardy to the outside. Mysterio then hits Moore with the 619 and then hits the West Coast Pop for the one, two, three.
Mysterio gets back to his feet, Tajiri joining him in the ring as the referee raises their arms up as the winners. Matt wipes away at the mist on the outside as Moore crawls to his side, Hardy pushing him away angrily while Mysterio stands on the second rope and motions for the Cruiserweight Championship around his waist as he looks to claim the belt for the first time on Sunday.
Back at ringside following the break, Michael Cole and Tazz discuss what we have to come this Sunday at WrestleMania. Beginning with a Sunday Night Heat match up on Spike TV as Goldust and Booker T face Lance Storm and William Regal. The winning team will then advance on to WrestleMania to compete in the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal featuring ten Raw and ten Smackdown superstars as the illustrious title returns. On Raw, we have Rob Van Dam and Kane challenging for the World Tag Team Championship; Jazz putting the Women's Championship on the line against both Trish Stratus and Victoria; Shawn Michaels and The Rock face off for the first time ever; Triple H defends the World Heavyweight Championship against this year's Royal Rumble winner, Brock Lesnar; And, of course, perhaps the biggest match in WrestleMania history when Stone Cold Steve Austin goes toe-to-toe with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan! Meanwhile for Smackdown, Matt Hardy will defend the Cruiserweight Championship against Rey Mysterio; Team Angle put the WWE Tag Team Championship on the line in a triple threat match against the team of Edge and Chris Benoit as well as Los Guerreros; And for the WWE Championship, Kurt Angle goes one-on-one with The Undertaker!
5) The Undertaker def. The Big Show (w/Paul Heyman) via submission Rekindling their rivalry, the two big men slug it out before Show starts to target the ankle off a missed boot in the corner. After an elbow drop across the ankle and a wrap around the ring post, Show drags Taker to the outside and after a brief fight back from Taker, Show throws a knee to the stomach and launches 'The Dead Man' across the announce table. The match goes through a break as Show continues his power control, Taker mounting a comeback and going for a Chokeslam but unable to lift Show up due to the ankle, nursing it and allowing Show to come at him again. After a few big shots in the corner, he launches Taker across the ring and laughs about it. Heyman has a big smile on his face as he tells Show to finish it, the 500-pounder walking back over and grabbing Taker by the throat only to get the legs wrapped around the neck and for a triangle choke to be applied! "What the hell?!" Asks Tazz. Show waves his hands a bit and tries to get out but ends up tapping out rather quickly.
Taker pulls himself up via the ropes as the audience cheers, Show rolling to the outside at Heyman's feet. As Taker tries to shake off the ankle, Kurt Angle runs down to the ring and looks prepared to strike but Taker locks his eyes on him — stopping the WWE Champion in his tracks. "What are you going to do now, Kurt?!" Questions Cole. Taker limps away from the ropes and motions for Angle to come at him, Kurt with a grin as he obliges and walks in to a few strikes but manages to duck down and pick the leg, applying the Ankle Lock! Taker struggles for a moment in the hold before rolling through and sending Angle flying in to the corner. 'Big Evil' staggers back up and catches Angle by the throat, lifting him for the Chokeslam only for Kurt to slip free, drop to the mat and roll under the bottom rope. Eyes widened and shocked, Angle watches as Taker walks up to the WWE Championship belt, picks it up off of the mat and raises it over his head as the final Smackdown before WrestleMania comes to an end!
1) A-Train (w/Paul Heyman) def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) via pinfall Mismatched by size, Noble tries to evade A-Train as best as he can twenty four hours ahead of the Intercontinental Championship battle royal they're participating in. After pleading with the big man from the corner, Noble rolls to the outside and is followed. After using Nidia as a shield, Noble manages to trip A-Train in to the steel steps and start to get some momentum going after getting back in to the ring. Noble ends up coming off the ropes to a huge big boot, however, and A-Train starts to toss him around some before finally nailing the Derailer for the three count.
In the back, Jackie Gayda is seen in the make up area when she is approached by Torrie Wilson, whom congratulates her on her victory last week. The woman she beat, Ivory, then arrives on to the scene and scoffs. "What are you up to, Torrie? Teaching this girl to flaunt herself to get whatever she wants in this business?" Gayda laughs as she stands up from her seat, reminding Ivory that it wasn't her looks that got her the win last week in their match. Ivory scoffs and says that it was a fluke and that everybody knows that sooner or later, she'll become a slut just like Torrie! Gayda looks to Wilson and then takes powder from the table next to her — throwing it right in to the face of Ivory! Jackie and Torrie laugh and walk away together as Ivory is left shocked and stunned. 2) WWE Tag Team Champion Charlie Haas def. Chavo Guerrero via pinfall Before taking part in the triple threat tag team match at WrestleMania, Haas and Guerrero battle one another in a back and forth, quick and technical. After a string of near falls, Haas knocks Guerrero to the outside, Chavo getting back on the apron and catching Charlie with a shoulder to the stomach. A sunset flip is then performed but Haas holds the ropes, dropping a knee down on Guerrero, hooking a leg and using the other hand to grab the top rope with the official not seeing as he counts the one, two, three! Charlie is quick to roll out of the ring and retrieve his championship belt as Josh Mathews questions if Haas and Benjamin will be able to pull this off and retain on Sunday.
March 30, 2003: Safeco Field in Seattle, WA (Held Live Before WrestleMania XIX)
Josh Mathews is backstage talking about WrestleMania when he is approached by the Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore. "Did you hear the news, Josh?" Mathews shakes his head as Hardy throws his hands out. "It appears that the powers that be have put Rey Mysterio and myself in the first match tonight. We — correction, I — should be the main event!" He argues that since he became Cruiserweight Champion last month at No Way Out, the belt has never meant more and it's all thanks to Mattitude. "But you know what, Josh? It may not technically be the main event but it is the main event for the fans of Rey Mysterio. The people of Mexico! The little kids that wear his mask to hide their ugly faces as well! They're all rooting and cheering for Rey Mysterio while knowing deep down in their uneducated hearts that he will lose... to Matt Hardy... Version One." He grabs Moore by the shirt and drags him along, saying they've got to go get ready.
Seen admiring his own muscles in the halls is Chris Jericho when John Cenawalks up to him, Y2J with a laugh as he looks up and down at Cena, saying it appears things have changed since they tangled it up last summer. "You've changed your look, you've got an attitude... you think you're hot stuff and you think you're a big rap star! Well guess what, junior, there's only room for one music artist around here and it's this sexy beast, Chris Jericho." Cena scoffs and begins to rap on Jericho, saying his music is whack and intimidates no one, but he's shaking in his tights at the sound of his voice. "You're busy wanting to make love to yourself, looking at your arms. Tonight, in that battle royal up against me, you're in trouble... so keep on thinking about going home and doing the five knuckle shuffle. I'm gonna be the new Intercontinental Champ, don't get it twisted. Once I toss your ass over the top rope you're gonna wish you never even existed! So, yeah, I've changed but I've changed for the better... your ass is one of nineteen going down, but don't worry, Chris, you'll still be number one... the number one assclown! Word life!" He pops his chain in Jericho's face and laughs before turning around and walking off, Jericho muttering under his breath as Christian comes walking up beside him and asking what that was about. Jericho tries to play it off as nothing. "Was he just rapping on you?" Christian asks, shaking his head. "That guys got nothing. Check out these mad rhymes, bro." Jericho quickly snaps at Christian to shut up and storms off, leaving his best friend looking confused. "Pfft, he wasn't ready for my shizzle anyway." Christian then follows along after Jericho. Jonathan Coachman is standing by and introduces Theodore Long as his guest, asking him about Jazz defending her Women's Championship tonight against not just one, but two formidable challengers in Trish Stratus and Victoria. "Jazz and me ain't worried about those two bimbos, playa. We know full well that the bitch is back, the bitch is black and the bitch is WWE Women's Champion and it's gonna stay that way, ya feel me?" Before he can go on any further, Stevie Richards arrives with his hands on his hips, not saying anything at first before pointing a finger at Long. "We both know that Jazz's win at No Way Out against Victoria was a fluke! Tonight she's... she's..." Long tells Richards 'spit it out, white boy' and Richards just shouts that she's going to win back the Women's Championship. "We'll see about that," Long responds. "But you better not get in Jazz's way, because we all know that she can whoop your ass too, playa." Long then walks off with a smile.
Seen inside of Safeco Field after a video package for Triple H and Brock Lesnar's match later tonight are Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, the two discussing the World Heavyweight Championship bout to take place later on before Ross says he had the opportunity to sit down with the champion earlier today. Cutting to footage of that, Triple H sits across from Ross as J.R. says that HHH has faced the absolute best this business has had to offer but some could argue he has never been in the ring with an entity quite like Brock Lesnar. "An entity? J.R., with all due respect, but if you want to use a word like entity use it with somebody that deserves it. Brock Lesnar is a rookie that had one good year. Myself? I'm an entity. I'm a six time World Champion that has beaten everyone that has ever stood in my way year after year after year." Ross says that he can't help but bring up Evolution and questions their possible involvement in tonight's match. "How about we not worry about Evolution, J.R.? How about we not worry about me stepping in to the ring with Brock Lesnar and worry about Brock Lesnar stepping in to the ring with me? Fact of the matter is, J.R., it doesn't matter at the end of the day: Brock Lesnar will lose because he doesn't stand a chance. He's out of his league." Ross tries to bring up the list of name Lesnar has managed to overcome, to which Hunter says he's been there and done that. "Plain and simple: I'm 'The Game', I'm the World Heavyweight Champion, I'm the face of the Raw brand — hell, of WWE itself — and whether you like it or not I'm the very damn best this business has to offer and that is the way it will continue to be when everyone wakes up tomorrow."
Back live in the office of Eric Bischoff, the Raw General Manager has Chief Morley, Lance Storm and William Regalwith him as he says that Storm and Regal's match coming up is very important. "See, the Intercontinental Championship doesn't just need to come to Raw, it needs to come to somebody we all can trust and get behind as champion." He looks specifically to Morley, whom says that it would and will be an honor to be the new Intercontinental Champion but he knows full well that if Booker T and Goldust enter that battle royal, they're gunning for him. "We've handled Booker T and that freak friend of his before." Storm says with Regal adding they'll be more then glad to do it again.
1) Winners Enter the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal: Booker T and Goldust def. Lance Storm and William Regal via pinfall A back and forth match with Booker taking up most of the time in the ring for his team. After being cut off from Goldust for a while, he finally makes a tag and 'The Bizarre One' hits the ring and comes right at Storm and Regal. After ducking a running shot in the corner leads to Storm hitting Regal off the apron, Goldust nails The Final Cut! He doesn't go for the pin, however, instead deciding to tag out to Booker. A bit confused, the five-time WCW World Champion comes in to the ring and hits Storm with the Scissors Kick. Booker then hooks both legs and gets the one, two, three.
While the audience cheers, Booker emerges to his feet and continues to look perplexed as to what Goldust was doing. His partner gives an explanation, seeming to claim he just got nervous. Booker laughs it off and hits Goldust in the chest before raising his arm up in celebration as the two of them are finally heading on to compete for the Intercontinental Championship later tonight.
Just moments before the official start of the show, Stone Cold Steve Austin is seen arriving the parking lot to a big ovation from inside Safeco Field. "Ladies and gentlemen, Stone Cold Steve Austin is here!" J.R. says on commentary. "He's here to face Hulk Hogan! Hes here for the main event! He's here for WrestleMania! If you haven't already, contact your local pay-per-view provider because this is something you're not going to want to miss!"
After a performance of "America The Beautiful" from WWE's own Lilian Garcia, a video package showing highlights of past WrestleManias are shown, with voice overs from today's current stars comparing the event to the likes of the World Series and the Super Bowl, commenting on their favorite personal moments and the ones yet to come. A voice over then introduces Raw and Smackdown's presentation of WrestleMania XIX! With "Crack Addict" by Limp Bizkit in the background, the cameras come inside of Safeco Field as the stage lit up by pyros while the voice of Jim Ross from commentary gives the official welcome introduction to WrestleMania XIX! He sits alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler for Raw as they discuss what an epic night we are in store for. They then send things briefly to Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera, the Spanish announce team, whom say their piece before we head over to Michael Cole and Tazz for Smackdown, whom say that while we have a ton to get to, WrestleMania is kicking off with Smackdown and the Cruiserweight division!
In a Daredevil inspired costume, Mysterio comes out red hot and flies around the ring, sending Hardy flying multiple times with takedowns, crossbodys and hurricanranas. After a near fall on a backslide, Hardy rolls to the outside to regroup with Shannon Moore. The two have a conversation that results in Hardy slapping Moore upside the head, the two then turning to see Mysterio launching himself over the top rope with a corkscrew — prompting Matt to pull Shannon in to harm's way! "Yet another underhanded move at the hands of our so-called champion!" Cole comments. Hardy tosses Mysterio in to the barricade and then back in to the ring, going after him and controlling things on the mat. A few slaps to the head get Mysterio angered and he starts to tee off on Hardy with kicks to the legs once he makes his way back up, Matt putting a stop to it with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker after Rey comes off the ropes, a cover being made for a count of two. Hardy continues to slap Mysterio around and mock him, dragging his challenger back up by the mask. After a few words, Hardy is met with a couple of strikes to the face, Mysterio then chopping at the legs again with kicks. He then springboards off the ropes with a crossbody in to a cover, Matt kicking out just in time. Both men get back up and Hardy delivers a huge big boot! Another two count upon the hook of the leg and Hardy slaps the mat, yelling at the official. He puts the boots to Mysterio and puts his weight over him, the crowd getting behind Rey as he starts to work his way back to his feet yet again. Matt pushes him down on all fours as he starts to get back up so Mysterio wisely slides under Hardy's legs, getting back up quickly and coming quick with the take downs and high flying moves. He heads to the outside and delivers a springboard seated senton for a close near fall, getting back up and ducking under a big clothesline but running back in to a knee to the stomach that flips him up and over. Hardy drags Mysterio right back up and sets him up for the Side Effect but Mysterio is able to elbow his way free, being shoved back in to the corner but avoiding a charge, catching Hardy on the turnaround with a hurricanrana that sets him up perfectly between the ropes! "Here we go! Dial it up!" Tazz yells. Mysterio then goes for the 619 but just as he is about to swing between the ropes, Moore pushes Hardy back with a hand to the face! Mysterio lands back in the ring on his feet and points at Moore, having some choice words for him only to turn right in to a boot to the gut and the Twist of Fate! Hardy covers and Mysterio puts his leg on the bottom rope only for Moore to shove it off in order for the official to not see it as he makes the count of three! Matt Hardy def. Rey Mysterio via pinfall to retain the Cruiserweight Championship!
Hardy staggers back to his feet and falls against the ropes, hands raised in signature 'V1' form. The referee hands him the Cruiserweight Championship and he goes to the outside, hugging Moore and rubbing the top of his head proudly. The two then raise their arms up together as Mysterio is left sitting up in the ring knowing he arguably would be Cruiserweight Champion if it weren't for Shannon Moore.
Transitioning to footage from earlier in the day, Hulk Hogan is seen arriving in the arena. He comes in through a door from the parking lot and begins to make his way down the hall when he stops in his tracks as he comes face to face with Mr. McMahon. "Been a while..." Hogan says, McMahon agreeing. The two then exchange 'good to see you's, McMahon nodding and beginning to walk away only to stop himself and turn back to Hogan and says to give Austin hell tonight. "I'm not here to give Steve Austin hell, brother. I'm here to let everyone know that Hulkamania lives." Hogan says it was nice catching up, adjusts the bag over his shoulder and continues on his way.
Seen hanging out in the back is The F.B.I., the group taking turns throwing cards in to a hat when right in the way of things walks Scott Steiner, admiring his own muscles and prompting Nunzio to yell at him to get the hell out of the way. "Oh, I'm sorry! Did I interrupt something important?" DeMott assures Steiner that he did, prompting 'Big Poppa Pump' to pick up the hat and walk up to the group. "Well I don't give a crap! You're looking at the next Intercontinental Champion, you hear me?" Palumbo pats Nunzio on the chest and says he's right, 'Nunz' is standing right here. Steiner seems confused as he asks if he's in the battle royal, to which Nunzio says he damn sure is and he's winning the whole thing. "Out of all of you, you're in the battle royal?" Steiner begins to laugh and places the trilby hat on his head, saying this is going to be easier than he thought. He then walks off as Kanyon hollers that's his hat! The rest of the group stops him from following after Steiner, however.
During the entrance of the challengers, J.R. and King show a replay of this past Monday on Raw where The Dudley Boyz returned to the ring to 3-D Kane after shaking hands with their number one contenders following RVD's victory over Bubba. The Dudley Boyz offer a handshake as the bell sounds for the match but Kane responds with a big punch to Bubba, RVD with a spinning kick to D-Von. The match goes on from there with Kane doing early damage and getting things going for his team, responding to an attempted Bubba comeback with a huge side slam after he comes off the ropes. A tag to RVD is then made as he comes flying in with his quick feet, rocking Bubba and sending him to the mat multiple times. After the Rolling Thunder, RVD makes a tag to Kane and he comes in prepared to finish things off as he looks for the Chokeslam. Bubba elbows his way free, however, and rocks 'The Big Red Machine' with big punches and ducks a strike, comes off the ropes and nails a clothesline. He drags Kane to the corner and tags D-Von in, the very experienced World Tag Team Champions cutting the big man off from his side of the ring completely, tagging in and out and staying on the pin attempts. As The Dudley Boyz look to have things rolling, they set up for their signature Whassup? when Kane manages to overpower Bubba and flip him up and over his legs! D-Von adjusts himself and dives off at Kane once he is up but eats a mid-air uppercut. The tag is then made to RVD, whom ascends to the top rope and delivers a leaping side kick to D-Von. Bubba comes charging at Van Dam but he ducks under a shot, Kane meeting him with a big clothesline over the top rope. He then turns to catch D-Von by the throat and lay him out with the Chokeslam! The crowd cheers as RVD looks around Safeco Field, pointing to the turnbuckles! He then leaps to the top rope, getting the crowd to chant his name before diving off with the Five Star Frog Splash! RVD rolls over to D-Von after the impact, hooks the legs and gets the pinfall! Rob Van Dam and Kane def. The Dudley Boyz via pinfall to become the NEW World Tag Team Champions!
The Seattle crowd cheers as RVD hops to his feet, he and Kane being announced as the new champions! "This unlikely duo have been teaming over the last few months and it has culminated in them becoming your new World Tag Team Champions!" J.R. says. As the new champions celebrate with the gold, The Dudley Boyz look on from the outside visibly frustrated with their defeat.
Backstage, Chavo Guerrero is seen getting talked to by Christopher Nowinski, Michael Cole on commentary questioning what Chavo is doing talking to him. The cameras then pan back to show his uncle Eddie Guerrero behind Nowinski going through the pockets of his Harvard letterman jacket. As Nowinski goes to turn around, Chavo stops him and tells him to wait a second. "Explain to me again how my tax return works, will you?" Nowinski smiles and begins to ramble on about it, Chavo looking over his shoulder as Eddie raises a wallet in his hand, prompting Chavo to stop Christopher. "Hey, Chris, man, I appreciate it but I think I'm all set now. I think I'll be getting my tax return real soon anyway!" He pats Nowinski on the arm and walks off next to Eddie with a smile, Nowinski shaking his head as he turns, picks up his jacket and throws it over his shoulder before walking in the other direction oblivious to the theft by Los Guerreros! "Benoit, Edge and Team Angle better hope Los Guerreros don't rob them blind of the WWE Tag Team Titles later on!" Tazz says with a laugh.
Back inside of the arena, Tony Chimel introduces to the crowd Playboy cover girl and Smackdown's own Torrie Wilson! She makes her way out to the stage and waves to the audience, but doesn't get too much time as the music of the Women's Champion Jazz hits. She comes out with Theodore Long and steps right up to Wilson, looking her up and down before raising the Women's Championship up. Jazz then pulls it down and bumps shoulders with Wilson, prompting Torrie to back away slowly as the Women's Champion then turns and starts to make her way down to the ring.
The referee calls for the bell, Jazz and Victoria stepping up to one another and beginning a shoving contest. Stratus steps in and gets in on the shoves as well, her and Victoria then sharing a look before each throwing a punch at Jazz that sends her rolling to the outside. An exchange between the two long term rivals comes of it with Jazz returning to the ring as they are going at it and delivering a double clothesline, flexing her muscles to the booing crowd afterward. She drags Stratus back up in the corner and throws some hard strikes and boots to the stomach before going after Victoria and doing the same on the opposite side of the ring. Stratus then charges out of the corner and knocks the champion down repeatedly, hitting a couple of big tosses and a hurricanrana. Victoria then steps up and hits a suplex on Trish for a two count, then doing the same to Jazz only for Stratus to jump on the pin. Trish begins to chop and punch away at Victoria as they both get up, whipping her off the ropes but being met with a kick to the face on the comeback. Jazz then gets to her feet and, along with Victoria, the two work together long enough in order to take Stratus out by tossing her shoulder first in to the ring post. Right after that, however, Victoria looks to roll Jazz up and almost manages to put her away. Jazz gets up with an angry look across her face, Victoria putting her hands up as she backs away slowly, Stevie Richards hopping on to the apron and providing a distraction as Jazz steps toward him — allowing Victoria to strike from behind. As she begins a beat down, Theodore Long confronts Richards on the outside and the two argue with each other. In the ring, the Widow's Peak is nailed and Victoria covers and looks to be on the verge of victory when Long pushes right past Richards in order to put Jazz's foot on the bottom rope! The official takes notice of it and points it out to Victoria, whom gets up looking shocked by it, pointing to the outside at Long as he and Richards continue arguing. Victoria then turns to see Stratus returning to the ring and after she ducks a shot, she proceeds to hit a baseball slide in to both Long and Richards! Stratus gets back up and avoids another punch from Victoria before laying her out with a Chick Kick! Trish goes for the cover but Jazz uses her strength to pick Stratus up by the arms off the mat, holding her up in the air proudly before nailing the Bitch Clamp in the center of the ring! "That's gotta be it!" Says Lawler. "The bitch is still the champ!" Just before the referee's hand can hit the mat for a three count, however, Victoria manages to dive in and break it up. As Jazz and Victoria go at it once again and the champion gains the upper hand, Richards gets on to the apron once again. This time, however, Jazz isn't having any of it and rips him over the ropes! He stands right back up and gets in the face of Jazz only to end up being knocked in to her after Stratus dropkicks Victoria in to him from behind! Jazz rolls to the outside after being hit, Trish then setting up for Stratusfaction on Victoria only for Richards to step in the way. Instead, Trish kicks him in the stomach and hooks a hold of his head before hitting both him and Victoria with Stratusfaction! She then covers Victoria for the one, two, three! Trish Stratus def. Jazz and Victoria via pinfall to become the NEW Women's Champion!
Another new champion tonight, Stratus rises to her feet with a look of surprise and relief as she is presented with the Women's Championship for the fourth time in her career! As she exits the ring and celebrates on her way up the ramp, Jazz angrily looks on with Long attempting to calm her down while Victoria berates Richards for his involvement assisting in her defeat.
Standing by in the back is Jonathan Coachman and he is happy to welcome his guest at this time to be none other than The Rock. Coach goes to say something but Rock is quick to put his hand in his face, then a finger to his own nose as he shushes Coach. "Do you hear that? Do you hear that, Coach?" He looks off in to the distance as the crowd reacts loud with a mixture of boos and cheers from inside the arena. "That's the sound of the millions... and millions of the backstabbing no good jabronis that walked out on The Rock when The Rock went on to do bigger and better things! See, The Rock went from being 'The People's Champ' to The Scorpion King, Hollywood box office sensation!" He says that the people are the ones that turned on him, not the other way around, because when he left they thought they filled their void by cheering for a crackhead! "Yeah, that's right! They cheered for a crackhead looking to make one more run! Looking for another big pay day! Looking for a way to pay for his next rock but what did he get? He got The Rock instead!" He raises an eyebrow and mocks Michaels for being in Playgirl and now being a 'rootin' tootin' cowboy son of a bitch'. He says that the days of Michaels running the locker room and running the show are over and the time has finally come for The Rock to give Michaels what he has had coming to him for years now. "You say you're a changed man yet you still call yourself 'The Heartbreak Kid' well let The Rock tell you this: Tonight. WrestleMania. Safeco Field. Seattle, Washington. The Rock is going to break off his foot in your Heartbreak ass! The Rock is going to embarrass you, Shawn Michaels. The Rock is going to send your sorry ass back to the retirement home because you are no 'Mr. WrestleMania', you are no 'Main Event' and you for damn sure are no longer 'The Showstopper' because it is The Rock that is going to be putting a stop to your show tonight..." He takes the microphone completely out of Coachman's hands and looks directly in to the camera, squinting as he says he just wants to make one more thing perfectly clear. "This may be a dream match for the fans but let The Rock tell you all something... this is a nightmare for Shawn Michaels because he knows tonight just like he knew all those years ago with 'The Kliq' that The Rock is the better man... Philippians 4:13 states 'I can do all things through him who gives me strength' and you're going to need every bit of that strength after The Rock is done laying the Smacketh down on your candy ass, Shawn Michaels... if ya smell... what The Rock... is cookin'..."
The cameras come back to the Raw announce team, Lawler speechless over the words of The Rock as J.R. speaks on how confident Rock is, but says he is certain Shawn Michaels is just as ready. A video package then airs, showcasing the return of Michaels last year, highlighting moments from it while also flashing in past bits of him being on top in the WWE. Footage from No Way Out is then shown, HBK going one-on-one with Chris Jericho when The Rock would make his return, causing a distraction and allowing Jericho to win the match. Rock would go on to explain his agreement to return to the WWE from Hollywood was by being given a WrestleMania match with Michaels. He'd explain how Michaels held him down during Shawn's last time in the WWE, claiming he used his position backstage to keep him away from the top himself knowing how great 'The Great One' truly was. The shots would be fired from there on, Rock ripping on Michaels' personal life and past repeatedly with Michaels vowing he was a changed man but he would ensure that he'd hold Rock down one more time at WrestleMania. The question is: Will we see the Shawn Michaels of old in his first WrestleMania in four years? Or will The Rock add to his own legacy by defeating 'The Heart Break Kid' in this first time ever match?
Both men step up to the center of the ring and get in each other's face, silence at first before Rock starts to mouth off to Michaels. Shawn smiles in response, prompting Rock to take a step back, wipe away at his face and then go for a big punch only to have his arm caught and be met with punches and chops. Michaels sends him against the ropes and whips him across the ring, looking for Sweet Chin Music early only for Rock to quickly throw himself to the mat before contact can be made and roll under the bottom rope. The crowd boos as Michaels leans across the ropes, Rock pacing back and forth and telling some members of the audience to shut up before pointing at Michaels. "The Rock's gonna get in the ring when The Rock feels like it!" He then heads over to the steel steps and takes his time going up them, stepping through the ropes at the referee's count of eight. Rock stalls a bit still, however, before side-stepping the official and hitting Michaels with a scoop slam. Tapping his head and mocking Michaels, Shawn comes back at Rock and hits him with a scoop slam of his own, prompting some frustration from Rock as he gets back up and gets a punch blocked but manages to respond to Michaels' strikes before the two beginning some fast paced chain wrestling with a few quick pin attempts from both men. Michaels bounces off the ropes after a backslide for a two count but Rock manages to catch him with a kick to the stomach and a big DDT! A hook of the leg leads to another count of two, so Rock begins to take control of things on the mat, working the back and neck with variations of headlocks and a surfboard stretch. With the crowd willing him on, Michaels starts to work his way back to his feet and works to get himself free. A few elbows to the stomach force the release of Rock's grip and Michaels starts to come at him again with strikes and chops. Rock whips him off the ropes but Michaels comes roaring back with a huge flying forearm that sends 'The Great One' flying under the bottom rope and to the outside! Michaels kips back up and throws his hands around, fired up as he then steps out to the apron and heads to the top rope, looking over his shoulder before diving off with a moonsault right on to Rock! A pumped up Michaels tosses Rock back in to the ring and follows for a cover and a two count. He then begins to turn the tables on Rock as he begins to apply a variation of holds on the mat, Rock dragging himself back up upon a chinlock and fighting his way out, big punches coming to Michaels including a huge one that sends HBK to the mat. Rock lets him get back up and after a whip across the ropes nails a big spinebuster in the middle of the ring! Rock stops himself, however, and looks around the arena with a smirk. He then takes the legs of Michaels, steps through and applies a Sharpshooter! "I bet this is a familiar feeling for Shawn Michaels!" Says Lawler. HBK refuses to submit and begins to dig his way toward the ropes, fighting hard as Rock shakes his head. Michaels keeps digging and eventually manages to get his hand on the bottom rope, the referee calling for the break.
Rock lets go and raises his fist in the air as if he won, the official explaining to him quickly that Michaels got to the ropes. Rock isn't listening, however, and waves his hands — going to the outside and over to the timekeeper in order to ring the bell himself. The referee follows after and questions Rock's actions, The Scorpion King movie star returning to the ring and going right back at Michaels, whipping him hard in to the corner and sending Shawn flying up and then back down, Rock stepping forward confidently only to be hoisted in the air and put down with a back body drop. Michaels tees off with a flurry of chops but Rock roars back with a clothesline. After catching his breath against the ropes, Rock makes his way to the second rope and waits for Michaels to get back up before diving off only to end up being caught mid-air with an inverted atomic drop! "Right in the most electrifying jewels in sports entertainment, ladies and gentlemen!" Says Ross. Michaels follows up with a big scoop slam and proceeds to make his way to the top rope in order to deliver a big elbow drop. Both men are down off of it but it's not long after that Michaels kips up once again, throwing his hands up to get the Seattle fans going. He starts to tune up the band, stomping his foot harder and harder until Rock rises before going for the Sweet Chin Music only to be side-stepped and caught in the center of the ring with the Rock Bottom! Rock doesn't go for the cover, however, as he stops himself while kneeling over Michaels' body. He wags his finger and staggers back up, kicking the arms in to Michaels' sides before slowly removing his elbow pad. Rock stops himself as the crowd calls for it, so he wipes his nose with the pad before tossing it! He then waves his arms and goes for The People's Elbow but Michaels swings a boot up before Rock can land it and stuns his adversary. Michaels gets back up and ducks a big punch, catching Rock on the turn with Sweet Chin Music! He makes the cover and hooks the far leg but Rock manages to send his arm in the air just before the referee's hand can hit the mat for the three count! 'The Heart Break Kid' is in disbelief as he sits up, asking repeatedly the count from the official. Shawn can't believe it as he gets back to his feet slowly, hands on his hips as he looks around the building and then back to Rock. He steps to the corner and begins to tune up the band once again, Rock in a daze as he stumbles on to his feet again, this time catching the leg of Michaels on the Sweet Chin Music attempt, spinning him around 360 degrees and nailing a big Rock Bottom in the center of the ring! Rock hooks the leg but Michaels this time manages to kick out! Rock's eyes widen as he is distraught, not believing or understanding that he didn't just win the match! "I said it before the match began, I'll say it again now! As confident as The Rock is, Shawn Michaels is just as ready!" J.R. yells out. "And he's not going down without giving it his absolute all!" Rock pushes himself back up and marches all around the ring, trash talking the crowd and then Michaels, pulling HBK up by his hair and having some words before lifting him for a spinebuster only to have Michaels hook the neck and reverse it in to a DDT. Michaels then begins a slow crawl across the ring, eventually making his way to the ropes. He pulls himself up between the top and middle, looking over to see Rock still laid out. He then pulls himself out to the apron and once again heads to the top rope, slowly but surely. Getting balanced enough, HBK then dives off for another elbow drop but Rock manages to roll out of the way! Rock gets to a knee and then back to his feet as Michaels again pulls himself up via the ropes, struggling to stay up. Rock gives a 'Just Bring It' motion with his hand, Michaels slowly turning right in to the Rock Bottom! Rock then hooks both legs and gets the pinfall! The Rock def. Shawn Michaels via pinfall!
Rock rolls off of Michaels, being announced as the winner. As the referee raises his arm, the commentary team shows replays from throughout the hard fought battle. Back live, Rock proceeds to make his way to the second rope and raise his fist to the crowd while Michaels sits looking distraught across the ring while Lawler says that HBK gave it his all and it still wasn't enough to beat The Rock.
A video package airs for WrestleMania XX. Taking place next year on March 14, 2004 as WrestleMania returns back to it's original home at Madison Square Garden from New York!
Seen walking in the halls backstage is Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon when she approaches a door and enters to see Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, a smile on his face as he acknowledges McMahon's arrival and asks if she brought her father for back up to save her ass again. "My father holds more power than you'll ever know, Eric," She says. "But maybe you would considering you came this close to being fired last month." Bischoff laughs and says unfortunately for her, his job is secure when he brought The Rock to Raw. He then tells McMahon that his deal with The Rock was nothing and if she wasn't Vince's daughter, she'd be out of a job a long time ago. He says that she wouldn't know the true meaning of competition if it spit in her face. "Oh, you're spitting my face now, Eric? Funny, I always took you for a swallow kind of guy..." His eyes widen over the comment as McMahon adds on. "Speaking of swallow, you're going to be swallowing your pride when Smackdown takes home the Intercontinental Championship in the battle royal coming up."
Back inside of the arena, standing in the ring for the Intercontinental Championship battle royal already are Chief Morley, Christian, The Hurricane, Tommy Dreamerand Scott Steinerfrom Raw and Billy Kidman, Funaki, Jamie Noble, Nunzio, Rikishiand Tajirifrom Smackdown. The theme music of Evolutionthen hits as Batista and Randy Orton make their way out with Ric Flair standing behind them. They make their way down before Booker Tand Goldustmake their way out after having earned their way in to the match on Sunday Night Heat. Following up after them is Test with Stacy Keibler, Chris Jericho, The Big Showand A-Trainbefore John Cenamakes his way out to rap to the crowd and the other participants in the match, saying that there's twenty participants but only one winner and that's obviously going to be him. "Doesn't matter if you're black or white or red or blue, John Cena's the name so F-U!" As he reaches the bottom of the stage, a roar is heard and Rhyno makes his way out from the back! "Wait a minute! Rhyno?!" Questions Cole. "We haven't seen Rhyno in over a year!" Apparently the final entrant in the battle royal, 'The Man Beast' runs down the ramp and catches Cena with a Gore on the outside! He pops back to his feet and looks around the building with a smile, nodding and raising his fists over his head before sliding under the ropes and entering the ring.
A big brawl to kick things off, the first elimination doesn't take very long as Rhyno ends up hitting Funaki with a clothesline and sending him over the top and to the floor. Funaki is eliminated. On the other side of the ring, Rikishi starts to get ganged up on as one of the bigger men in the match, Morley calling for help as over to him comes Christian. The two start to get Rikishi over the top but finally get some more assistance in the form of Nunzio, whom comes over and gives the final push! Rikishi is eliminated. Nunzio leans over the ropes and flicks his chin at Rikishi a few times before turning around and right in to the chest of Steiner, whom with ease lifts Nunzio up off of the mat and over his shoulders — charging to the ropes and chucking him out on to the other Full Blooded Italians! Nunzio is eliminated. The F.B.I. quickly get back up, aiding Nunzio to his feet as he mouths off toward Steiner in the ring, the distraction proving to be enough as Batista and Orton come up from behind to dump 'Big Poppa Pump' over the top rope! Scott Steiner is eliminated. After some continuation, two cruiserweights in Noble and Tajiri go at it in a corner when Booker T and Goldust come up and team together to push the pair over the ropes and to the floor. Tajiri and Jamie Noble are eliminated. Booker and Goldust high five one another and begin to work away at others in the ring. Meanwhile, Hurricane flies off the the top rope and right in to the arms of Batista, whom steps right up to the ropes and hurls the superhero down to the floor. The Hurricane is eliminated. Dreamer races up behind Batista and with his recent rivalry with Evolution, takes it to the big man aggressively. He steps to the corner after stunning 'The Animal' and reaches for a kendo stick from his trash can he brought down to the ring, raising it in the air and looking prepared to use it on Batista only for Orton race up with a street sign and crack it over the head of Dreamer! Batista wastes no time after that and clotheslines the hardcore superstar over the top rope. Tommy Dreamer is eliminated. After a failed attempt at eliminating Booker from behind, Morley puts his hands up but takes a beating at the hands of the five time WCW Champion. Booker proceeds to launch Morley over the top rope and to the floor after pummeling him for a while in the corner. Chief Morley is eliminated. Booker then begins to wave his hand in front of his face, Safeco Field growing louder as he proceeds to do the Spinaroonie in the center of the ring. He gets back up but is hit with a low blow by Goldust! "Wait... what?!" Asks J.R. Goldust slowly stands back up behind Booker and shakes his head, Booker down to a knee as he looks up confused to his friend, Goldust then taking Booker by the hair and launching him over the top rope! Booker T is eliminated. Standing and watching on with a smile on his face is Morley, giving a thumbs up to a seemingly emotionless Goldust! "What in the world is going on over there on Raw?" Asks Tazz.
Just as Tazz makes that comment, on the other side of the ring Big Show comes to the aid of A-Train against Batista and Orton, fending off the Evolution members before taking A-Train by the neck and chucking him over the ropes himself! A-Train is eliminated. Paul Heyman puts his hands over his head in disbelief on the outside, Show leaning over the ropes and exchanging words with his partner in crime. As they are arguing, Test comes up from behind and starts to push Show over the ropes! Show holds on but A-Train steps up despite Heyman's pleas and he takes Show by the arm to assist in the elimination! The Big Show is eliminated. Show stands up and gets chest-to-chest with A-Train, prompting Heyman to try and step in between the two of them in hopes to keep them from going at it with one another. They start to move away from the ring, Heyman continuing to try and keep the peace but the two big men keep on yelling at each other for costing the other the Intercontinental Championship. Back in the ring, Goldust sets Kidman up in the corner for Shattered Dreams and backs across the ring, breathing deeply before charging only for the former Cruiserweight Champion to pull his legs free, hook the head of Goldust and hurricanrana him up and over the ropes and to the floor. Goldust is eliminated. Kidman pulls himself back up slowly via the ropes but Christian charges up quickly and shoves him right off of the apron! Billy Kidman is eliminated. Jericho walks over to Christian and the two have a conversation with Jericho giving some direction before going separate ways, Y2J being plastered with a big boot out of nowhere by Test! Jericho falls between the ropes and to the outside, J.R. quick to point out on commentary that he did not go over the top and is not eliminated. Test then takes a dropkick from behind via Orton and starts to fall over the ropes, Orton quick to get back up and finish the job by pushing the legs of the big man to send him out. Test is eliminated. The crowd boos as Orton leans over the ropes and blows a kiss to Keibler on the outside, the boos turning to cheers as the third generation superstar turns in to a Gore from Rhyno! The powerhouse drags a writhing Orton back to his feet and throws him out of the ring! Randy Orton is eliminated. Batista then runs at Rhyno to try and avenge his Evolution brethren but Rhyno side-steps him, charging on the turnaround with a clothesline that sends Batista down at Orton's side on the outside! Batista is eliminated. Rhyno raises his fists in the air, shouting a signature 'Who's the man?!' to the crowd. As he turns, John Cena slides in to the ring after being on the outside this whole time and runs through him with a shoulder block. Cena then takes Rhyno by the hair, runs to the ropes and launches him over, turning and celebrating what he thinks is an elimination only for Rhyno to have kept himself up via the ropes. He steps back in to the ring and shakes his head, leaning down in the corner as he waits for the cocky Cena to turn around before ripping through him with a Gore! He drags Cena back up by his neck and jean shorts, running to the ropes and sending him flying up and over! John Cena is eliminated. Rhyno doesn't even get a chance to turn around, however, before Christian takes his legs from behind and dumps him over the top! Rhyno is eliminated. Christian falls back to the center of the ring on his knees, fists raised in the air! "Christian has done it! Christian is the Intercontinental Champion!" Shouts Lawler. However, he doesn't realize just as much as Christian doesn't as Jericho slowly comes back in to the ring behind him. Y2J seems hesitant at first but after looking around the arena, he takes Christian by the neck and tights, runs to the ropes and sends him up and over and to the floor to win the battle royal! Chris Jericho last eliminates Christian to become the NEW Intercontinental Champion!
Jericho stumbles backwards with his fists raised in the air in celebration as he is announced as the Intercontinental Champion. He jumps to the second rope and pounds his chest to the crowd, trash talking them. He then leaps back down and turns to see Christian standing in the ring with the title belt in his hand, causing Y2J to stop himself. The two stare down and Jericho looks to be explaining himself, Christian suddenly giving a shove to the chest! "Uh oh..." Lawler mutters. However, Christian grows a smile on his face as he then opens his arms and embraces his best friend before presenting him with the Intercontinental Championship himself, giving some applause before leaving the ring and allowing Jericho to soak in his moment of glory as he continues to be braggadocios to the booing audience.
Standing by in the back is Josh Mathews as he introduces his guest at this time to be the current WWE Champion, Kurt Angle. Angle immediately questions Mathews using the term 'current', asking if he is doubting him. "Are you doubting the great Kurt Angle? The Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle? The three time WWE Champion Kurt Angle?" He says that he was doubted when he won his medal in the '96 Olympics because he had a broken freakin' neck, saying he went out there and took it. Now people want to doubt him because The Undertaker is undefeated at WrestleMania. "You know what I'm going to do with that streak of his, Josh? Just like I did with that gold medal I'm going to go out there and I'm going to take it... and I'm going to do it all by myself. No Team Angle, no nothing because I don't want any excuses from 'The Deadman' when I outwit, outwrestle and outperform him on the grandest stage of them all and walk out still the WWE Champion..." He adjusts his belt over his shoulder and walks away.
As Team Angle are holding their belts up following their entrance, the other two teams attack from behind. Benoit and Edge on Haas while Los Guerreros target Benjamin. After disposing of the champions, Eddie and Benoit stay in the ring and circle around while locking eyes on one another. "To say these two have a history would be an understatement, Cole!" Tazz says. The two start off slow exchanging holds on one another before picking up the pace quickly with takedowns and mat holds, Benoit catching Eddie's arm on a transition and looking for an early Crippler Crossface, Eddie quick to roll himself toward the ropes and tag out to Chavo. His nephew enters the ring and has a similar exchange with Benoit and after eating a big German suplex, a tag is made to Edge. He comes in and makes a cover for a two count before taking things over himself, working away at Chavo and looking for a pin multiple times but coming up short. After Chavo works his way up to his feet from a chinlock on the mat, Edge whips him off the ropes and Benjamin makes a blind tag — Chavo coming back to a clothesline from Edge and rolling out with Benjamin blindsiding Edge with a top rope crossbody that almost pulls off the win for Team Angle! Benjamin is quick to get up and throws a cheap elbow to the head of Benoit before mounting over Edge and showcasing his amateur wrestling skills by continuing to keep him grounded. As soon as Edge starts to get back up, Benjamin pushes him in to the corner and tags out to Haas, Team Angle with frequent tags in and out to one another as they keep a constant attack on Edge, working him in the rope and pushing the five count of the official repeatedly. After Benoit comes between the ropes and is stopped by the referee during one of the holds against the ropes, Benjamin storms over and kicks him to the outside, returning to be laid out by the Edgecution! With his own partner down, Edge is left to crawl to Los Guerreros where he makes the tag to Eddie while Haas is also brought in. Eddie charges with a big right and a clothesline followed by a back body drop, getting fired up. He then hits Haas with a suplex, rolling through for a second one. As he looks to complete the trifecta of the Three Amigos, Benjamin runs in but Chavo cuts him off and Los Guerreros hit synchronized suplexes on the champions. They get to their feet and Chavo points to the top rope, Eddie making his way there and shaking his chest proudly. Just before he leaps for the Frog Splash, Edge makes a tag via the leg so after hitting the move, Eddie is told by the official he isn't legal. He gets back to his feet and turns to Chavo being tossed over the ropes and walks straight in to a Spear! Chavo returns to the ring quickly and begins to go back and forth with Edge with strikes against the ropes, Haas coming up behind the two of them and mustering them both up off of the mat — Benjamin racing up behind and leapfrogging over his partner on to both men! He aids in getting Chavo out of the ring and it leaves Charlie to apply the Haas of Pain on Edge! As Haas is pulling away at the hold he ends up having it broke up by Benoit coming off the top rope with a flying headbutt! Benoit rolls to the outside off of it, Edge and Haas crawling to opposing sides of the ring and making tags to Chavo and Shelton, the two coming and having a back and forth with Benjamin rolling through on a suplex to go for a superkick, Chavo ducking beneath it and getting a small package for a two count. Both men get back up and Benjamin throws Chavo off the ropes, Benoit making a tag to the back with Benjamin lifting Chavo up over the ropes on the return on top of Eddie. Benjamin doesn't realize it as Benoit then comes in to the ring and pulls him down in to the Crippler Crossface! "Crossface is locked in! Crossface is locked in!" Shouts Cole. Haas stumbles in to the ring but before he can break up the hold, Edge comes in and scoops out the legs, Haas struggling but being turned in to the Edgecator! Haas reaches out to Benjamin but can't get to him. With Los Guerreros still down on the outside and nowhere to go, Benjamin waves his hand in the air before tapping out! Chris Benoit and Edge def. Team Angle and Los Guerreros via submission to become the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions!
Benoit and Edge each release their respective holds from Team Angle, the official bringing them the WWE Tag Team Championship belts. The duo hold the gold up high before leaving the ring together, continuing their celebration up the ramp while Los Guerreros look on from near the announce tables in disappointment as Team Angle are still laid out next to each other in the middle of the ring.
Seen walking in the back is the new Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho, a proud smile on his face when he is stopped by WWE legend Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat! "Chris Jericho, from a former Intercontinental Champion to the new champion, I just wanted to extend my hand to you and say congratulations." Jericho looks down at the hand and laughs, wiping away at his face as he says he remembers Steamboat being Intercontinental Champion. "I remember WrestleMania III like seventy five years ago when you beat Randy Savage! You beat one guy! I just beat, like, twenty and I only had to eliminate one of them to do it! That takes skill only a sexy beast like me could possess! So, yeah, congratulations to Chris Jericho. Now get out of my way, old man." Jericho chuckles and brushes shoulders with Steamboat as he goes down the hall, the legend left shaking his head in disgust.
Ahead of the upcoming WWE Championship match, a video package airs highlighting the rivalry of Kurt Angle and The Undertaker beginning with 'The Dead Man' winning a fatal four way elimination match to become the number one contender. In the following weeks, Angle would deny fear of his new number one contender look to get under Taker's skin by attacking him in the parking lot with an Angle Slam on to a car and having Team Angle run over his motorcycle before applying an Ankle Lock. As Angle promised to end the WrestleMania winning streak of Taker, the challenger would vow to overcome Angle's abilities in the ring and get extensive training with Ken Shamrock while also giving a more eerie threat in a graveyard and saying unlike Angle's Ankle Lock, there's no escaping the grave. Back inside of Safeco Field following the video, Tony Chimel introduces Limp Bizkit to the crowd as they proceed to perform their song "Rollin'" with The Undertakereventually making his way out on his motorcycle to the song. As the performance winds down, Taker stands and waits for the WWE Champion to arrive.
Angle runs right at Taker as the bell sounds and pushes him in to the corner while trying to pick the leg. Taker spins it around quickly and unloads with punches to the body and a few to the face. Angle ducks under a big elbow, however, and rolls to the other side of the ring, Taker following and Angle sweeping the legs and mounting over, going for a leglock but having Taker quickly roll out of it. Angle swings around and goes in to a crossface chickenwing on the mat with a few shots to the face, turning in to a sleeper after that. Taker works his way to a knee and then up straight to his feet before flipping Angle over his shoulder and hard in to the mat. More corner strikes follow and Angle ducks through the ropes, going out to the apron but walking right in to a clothesline. Laid out on the apron, Taker steps through the ropes himself and backs up against the ring post, nodding to the audience before running to Angle and going for a leaping leg drop only for it to be avoided and for Taker to fall to the floor on the outside holding the back of his leg. Angle takes a moment but like a shark smelling blood in the water, chop blocks Taker's leg from behind as soon as he stands up via the barricade. A couple of wraps of the leg around the ring post and Angle rolls in and out of the ring to break up the count of the referee. He pulls Taker back to his feet and takes an elbow to the side of the head, Taker then looking to whip the champion only to have it be reversed and be sent legs first in to the steel steps and be flipped up and over! Angle laughs as he makes his way back over to Taker, dragging him up and in to the ring, following to make a cover for a two count. Not allowing any time to recover, the WWE Champion continues to go after the leg as he drives his knee in it and drops an elbow a few times. Kurt then picks the leg and goes for the Ankle Lock, Taker quick to try and dig toward the ropes. After only being in the hold for a short amount of time, he manages to dig his shoulder in to the mat, roll through and send Angle in to the turnbuckles chest first. 'The Dead Man' rises back to his feet and lifts Angle up in order to drop him in to the top turnbuckle with snake eyes. He then hits off the ropes and returns with a big leaping clothesline. Staggering back to his feet and shaking the bad leg, waiting for Angle to get back up before taking the arm and twisting it, backing in to the corner and climbing to the top rope slowly. "Here comes Old School!" Shouts Cole. Taker carefully begins to walk across the ropes but Angle manages to pull himself in, bring Taker off the ropes and drop him back in the center of the ring with the Angle Slam! The champion rolls over and hooks the far leg for what ends up being an incredibly close count of two!
Angle can't believe it as he looks to the referee, slapping the mat in frustration. Angle lets Taker start to stir before hooking hold of the waist, looking for a German only to have Taker hold on to the ropes and then throw a few elbows back wards. Angle races across the ring and comes off the ropes to a grasp of his throat! Taker lifts him for a Chokeslam but Angle is able to push off but run right in to a big boot. Taker drops down as Angle rolls on to his side and hooks his arm around the neck, Angle quick to get his hand on the bottom rope just as Taker wraps his legs around the body for a rear naked choke. Angle rolls out to the apron and pulls himself up via the ropes, Taker back toward him and blocking a fist. The number one contender proceeds to throw the champion face first off the turnbuckles and then clothesline him back down, trying a second time and succeeding with the signature apron leg drop. After limping it off and taking a moment near the announce tables, Taker returns to the ring and lifts Angle up on to his shoulder for the Tombstone Piledriver but Kurt slips over the shoulder, kicks the back of the leg and nails a big time German suplex. Angle keeps his grip on, however, and brings Taker up to hit a second one. A third one is gone for but Taker keeps himself grounded, instead throwing Angle over his shoulder and catching him by the throat once again. He lifts for the Chokeslam but his leg gives out, so Angle is quick to sweep the legs out from the front but Taker quickly adjusts to the situation and pulls Angle in to a triangle choke! "We saw this this past Thursday on Smackdown!" Says Tazz. "Undertaker put The Big Show in this hold and made him tap out!" Angle flails his legs around wildly and shifts his body around trying to find a way out, eventually managing to put them on to the ropes behind him and force Taker's shoulders down, the referee's hand almost hitting the mat for three before 'The Dead Man' releases the hold by kicking out. Both men are down and the official checks on each of them before backing up and beginning a count. At about five, both men begin to go to opposite sides of the ring, each grabbing the ropes and pulling themselves up at eight. Angle then charges forward and shoots for the legs only for Taker to drop to his knees and stuff it, hooking the waist of Kurt as he stands back up as he then looks for the Last Ride! His leg buckles once again, however, and Angle lands down on his feet as Taker drops to a knee — the WWE Champion then charging forward with an absolutely brutal clothesline! He then mounts over Taker and begins to throw forearms and elbows to the face over and over. The crowd boos as Angle gets back to his feet and steps over to the corner, grabbing hold of the ropes. Looking over his shoulder, he then makes his way to the top rope, stands up straight and proceeds to hit a moonsault on top of The Undertaker! Angle makes the cover, hooks the legs and some how, some way, Taker throws his shoulder up at two! The champion immediately then goes for the leg, standing back up and putting the Ankle Lock on! Taker yells out in pain as he tries to fight through it, dragging himself to the ropes and grabbing the bottom one only for Angle to rip him right off of them! Taker tries to get back over once again but Angle isn't allowing it. Taker instead begins to rotate his hips, turning on to his back and pulling Angle in to the triangle choke once again! Angle waves his free hand and kicks his legs wildly, the crowd buzzing as he tries to get out. The champion pulls his body closer and closer to the ropes but Taker keeps applying pressure, his face turning red as he puts everything he can in to the hold! Angle's fingertips draw close to the ropes, skinning across them briefly before his hand goes completely limp and the referee steps in to call the match as Angle is unconscious! The Undertaker def. Kurt Angle via technical submission to become the NEW WWE Champion!
Angle's lifeless body falls over as Undertaker remains laying on his back, the official checking on both men. The commentary team highlights replays of the finish with Undertaker's excellent reversal before we come back live to the new champion getting on to his motorcycle and throwing the WWE Championship over his shoulder. 'The Dead Man' then rides his way to the top of the stage, stopping there in order to pound his chest and raise the belt up high over his head before departing.
After a WWE Shopzone advertisement, we come back live to Kurt Angle being assisted out of the ring by Team Angle, appearing completely confused about what just happened. The cameras then pick up backstage to show the entire Evolution group prepping Triple H for his title defense coming up. Transitioning elsewhere, Brock Lesnar is seen coming out of his own locker room as the big time match with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line is just moments away!
A promo video begins, showing the parallels between the careers of Triple H and Brock Lesnar with the prior's continued success over the years compared to Lesnar's one year dominance we have never seen the likes of before. The video shows Lesnar winning the Royal Rumble match and then deciding to jump to the Raw brand to challenge Triple H, stating he did everything he had to do on Smackdown and it being time to conquer Raw. Footage of him running through Evolution and even aiding Tommy Dreamer to a win over Triple H is shown, with Hunter's voice coming in of him running down Lesnar being out of his league and not belonging, that his entire year will mean nothing when he loses at WrestleMania. The video package lastly shows Evolution handcuffing Lesnar to the ring this past Monday, bloodying him with Triple H holding the World Heavyweight Championship in Lesnar's face.
The bell is called for but HHH puts his hands up as soon as it rings, instead stepping over to the ropes and waving his hand as Ric Flair, Batistaand Randy Ortonmake their way out from the back slowly and make their way down to ringside, Hunter with a smile on his face as he has reminded Lesnar what he has in his back pocket. The two then come to the center of the ring and lock up, Brock with a big shove down. HHH looks out to Evolution and slowly pulls himself back up, coming up to Lesnar and locking up once again - this time being grabbed by the neck and hurled across the ring! Lesnar storms up and hits a couple shoulders to the stomach before HHH spins it around, getting a choke in before Brock pushes him back across the ring, the champion laughing to himself. Lesnar tries to rush at him but HHH ducks between the ropes, forcing the referee to get in between them. 'The Game' comes back in and proceeds to slap 'The Next Big Thing' across the face over the shoulder of the official! As he shouts that this is his ring, Lesnar spins back around and hooks hold of the waist to deliver a belly-to-belly! He doesn't stop there as he does it twice more before a series of clotheslines before driving HHH in to the corner and continuing the shoulder thrusts. Orton gets on the apron and it leads to Lesnar storming over and ripping him over the ropes, Randy quick to scoot away but the distraction proving to be enough as HHH comes from behind with a shot to the back of Lesnar's head to drop him to a knee. A sleeper hold is applied and HHH begins to work on keeping Lesnar grounded, even going to an Indian Deathlock which continues to slow Lesnar and keep him down. After a knee from off the ropes, HHH goes for his signature one with Brock standing but is scooped up on to the shoulders! HHH scrambles and slips free, this time able to hit the knee. He then sets up for an early Pedigree but Brock is able to lift him up over his shoulders and send the champion over the top rope and to the floor! Flair gets on the apron and removes his jacket, throwing it down in frustration as he argues with the official. Orton gets up on the other side and challenges Lesnar to come after him, but drops to the floor as soon as he follows. Orton hides behind the ring post and Brock ends up turning right in to a clothesline from Batista! He and Orton then proceed to clear the Spanish announce table as HHH comes stumbling over, getting on to the table and having the youngsters of Evolution put Lesnar up on the table with him, the World Champion proceeding to hook the arms and hit the Pedigree right through the table! After Orton and Batista help HHH back in to the ring, Flair points over to what just happened, the official coming across the ring and seeing Lesnar down and out and, thus, begins the count out. At five, Lesnar finally begins to stir. At six, he gets to his hands and knees. Seven, he starts to crawl. Eight, he reaches the apron. Nine, he pulls himself up and rolls under the bottom rope just in time to not end up being counted out!
HHH is in disbelief and shakes his head, storming over to Brock and laying in to him with boots and knees before mounting over with punch after punch to the head. Lesnar starts to fight his way back to his feet and gets up in the corner while the World Heavyweight Champion continues to come at him. Lesnar begins to throw fists back of his own, the crowd getting in to it as they slug it out with cheers and boos just as back and forth as the punches thrown. Lesnar eventually roars back with a huge clothesline and is fired up! Batista then slides in to the ring with a steel chair in hand, raising it over his head as he prepares to use it only for the referee to catch the chair and toss it to the outside before pointing to all three men not in the match and ejecting them! "Damn right!" Shouts J.R. "About time!" Batista gets in the face of the official in disbelief, putting his hands over his head and turning right to Lesnar, whom lifts him off the mat and hits the F-5! Brock gets right back up and kicks Batista under the ropes at the feet of Flair and Orton. They continue to argue with the referee, whom in turns goes to the outside to continue ordering them to the back! As Lesnar is watching them go, HHH comes up from behind and throws his arm up between the legs for a low blow! The crowd boos loud as 'The Game' slowly gets back up with a sinister grin, pulling Lesnar toward the center of the ring before planting him with the Pedigree! The cover is made and the referee, with Evolution now conveniently obeying his orders, races down from halfway up the ramp and slides in to begin the count with Lesnar kicking out at what seems like 2.9! HHH shakes his head and grabs the official by the shirt, telling him over and over that was a three count. He then turns to Lesnar, drags him back up and tosses him to the outside. Following, he rams Brock's face off the steel steps and then mounts over him against them throwing punch after punch. Hunter backs off for a moment, Lesnar struggling to pull himself up as he begins to bleed heavily from the forehead. HHH storms back over and chucks him over the barricade before rolling back in to the ring, demanding the official count. "Is this what you want from your champion, King?" Asks J.R. "You want a champion that's going to take the easy way out?!" As HHH begins celebrating, Lesnar gets back to his feet via the barricade at a count of four, dragging himself over it and falling on all fours. He then stumbles back to the ring and rolls back under the ropes at a count of seven, HHH turning to see him back in the ring and his smile turning quickly to scowl. "You've got to be kidding me..." He says to himself before storming over as Lesnar gets to his feet, whipping him off the ropes and catching him with the signature spinebuster. He hooks the leg off of it but Lesnar kicks out at two! HHH is again in disbelief as he mounts back over Lesnar, pummeling him with more fists and drawing more blood. Hunter then gets on to his feet and starts to mouth off to the crowd, motioning the belt around his waist and pointing to his chest to indicate how he's the champion. He then pulls Lesnar back up slowly and positions him for the Pedigree once again only for Brock to slip his arms free and pull HHH on to his shoulders for a ring-rattling F-5! Both of the legs are then hooked for the three count! Brock Lesnar def. Triple H via pinfall to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion!
After the bell, the referee checks on both men as they remain down before retrieving the title from ringside and placing it over Lesnar's body, pointing to him as the winner. After some replays are shown with commentary over it, back live Lesnar finally gets to a knee, breathing heavily before getting back to his feet and looking around building. He then slowly raises the World Heavyweight Championship belt over his head with both hands, pyrotechnics going off at the top of Safeco Field. "In one year, Brock Lesnar has done it all, ladies and gentlemen!" J.R. says. "And tonight he has become the Heavyweight Champion of the World! Hats off to you, kid!" Lesnar then leaves the ring as the cameras fade out.
Following an advertisement for the next pay-per-view after tonight, Backlash on April 27th, the cameras pick up backstage to show Stone Cold Steve Austin walking down the halls with the main event soon to come. He stops in his tracks, however, when Mr. McMahon approaches him. The two have an awkward silence at first before McMahon clears his throat. "You know, Steve, we've had our differences, needless to say... so have myself and Hulk Hogan... but, I told Hulk to give you hell earlier, I'm telling you to go out there and do the same." Austin continues to stare at McMahon, whom says that the bottom line is, the two of them are perhaps the two greatest WWE superstars of all time and it is going to be an absolute honor to watch them go out there and tear the house down in the main event of WrestleMania. He then slowly puts his hand out to Austin, whom looks at it with his hands on his hips. He then looks McMahon in the eyes and gives him the middle finger! He then continues on his way down the halls, McMahon lowering his hand but not seeming surprised in the slightest as he laughs.
Cutting elsewhere in the back, Gene Okerlund is standing by! "Ladies and gentlemen, what a tremendous pleasure it is to be back here at WrestleMania, I am here with, what seems like for the millionth time, 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan and boy, oh, boy, Hulk, where did nineteen years go?" Hogan has a smile on his face as he pats Okerlund on the back. "Well you know something, Mean Gene, it may have been nineteen years ago when you and I first stood here together on the grandest stage of them all - WrestleMania, brother — but well years come and go, days go by and we have WrestleMania after WrestleMania... one thing remains true: Hulkamania still lives, brother." He says that Okerlund was there with him when it all began and to this day, he goes out there and he sees all of his Hulkamaniacs out there with the red and yellow, saying there prayers and taking their vitamins and it reassures him that Hulkamania is still out there and he still has something left to give. "So, with that being said, I've just got one thing to ask my opponent tonight Stone Cold Steve Austin... what'cha gonna do brother when Hulkamania, Mean Gene Okerlund and all of the Hulkamaniacs in Seattle and around the world run wild on you?!" He points right at the camera, gives Okerlund a hug and then heads off.
Back inside of the arena, Tony Chimel once again introduces Limp Bizkit as they come out for the second time tonight, performing the WrestleMania theme song "Crack Addict" this time around. After a big pyro hits behind the band following their performance, J.R. is fired up on commentary. "I tell you what, King, if you weren't ready for our main event before, you ought to be now! It's Hogan! It's Austin! It's perhaps the biggest match in the history of our business! Two legends! One winner!"
A video package airs, showing the rise of Hulkamania and the arrival of 'Austin 3:16'. Hogan and Austin being at the lows of their careers to the highs, reaching the top of the WWE mountain and each being the biggest stars of their generation. The promo then gets up to Hogan's return a year ago and Austin leaving, before the two would cross paths a month ago where Hogan would make a shocking return from time off to confront Austin, explaining in the coming weeks that he came back wanting the dream match at WrestleMania. In separate sit down interviews, the two would talk down about the other but in the end, express some respect. The video package concludes with showing Austin hitting a Stone Cold Stunner and leaving Hogan sitting up smiling with Hulk returning the favor the following week with a big boot, leaving Austin watching on from the outside with a grin in the exact same fashion.
Austin and Hogan step to the center of the ring and get face-to-face, the crowd buzzing loud as they keep their eyes locked on one another. Hogan then backs up to look at the Seattle fans, stepping to the ropes and cupping his ear against the ropes, going to the other side of the ring and doing the same. He finishes going to all four sides before coming back to the middle of the squared circle where Austin gives him two middle fingers and kicks the stomach only to be pushed off in to the ropes. Austin stops and turns back to Hogan, laughing before getting a serious look on his face. He comes back at Hogan and they begin to trade fast punches back and forth, Austin getting the upper hand and rocking Hogan against the ropes, whipping him across the ring and catching him with the Lou Thesz press on the return and laying down the strikes. Austin gets back to his feet and raises both fists in the air to the crowd, turning and going to hit Hogan with another punch as he gets up only to have it be caught, whipping off the ropes and caught with a Lou Thesz from Hogan himself! Hulk gets back up after a few punches and begins to flex to the crowd and to Austin, 'The Texas Rattlesnake' seeming to grow angrier as he gets back to his feet, charging at Hogan and blocking a punch before whipping Hogan in to the corner. He follows and whips to the other side, Hulk with a reversal on a third whip but Austin roaring back with a big clothesline. He then pounces in to position, motioning for Hogan to get up before attempting the Stone Cold Stunner with Hogan managing to power Austin off the mat and toss him forward instead! Hogan stays on the offense until Austin comes back with heavy rights, eventually putting Hogan against the ropes and clotheslining him over. The referee tries to stop Austin from following but gets a middle finger to the face for his troubles, following Austin to the outside in an attempt to still keep things under control. Austin continues to ignore the official, however, as he throws Hogan off the ring apron and barricade before punching him over it and in to the crowd. Austin follows over and the battle continues around the fans with the referee still in tow trying to get things back to the ring, Austin walking toward some stairs and throw Hogan off a railing. He then searches around the area and grabs a table set up, clearing it off and throwing Hogan's body on to it. Austin throws another finger to the referee trying to stop this and goes up in to the first row above Hulk, dropping down with his signature elbow to send Hogan through the table! Both men remain down momentarily before Austin gets on all fours, taking Hogan by the back of the neck and dragging him back up and toward the ring area again, Hogan spinning free, taking Hogan by the neck and launching him over the barricade himself. Hulk even gets in the face of the referee, telling him to let this go. He then follows after Austin, ducking a shot and lifting him off the floor and dropping him back first on to the Smackdown announce table. Hogan then looks around the building and starts to cup his ear, waving his hands up and down some before clearing off the Raw announce desk. "What is Hogan doing?!" Questions Lawler. Hulk then gets on to the table and stands up straight, pointing down at Austin before clapping his hands, charging forward and hitting his signature leg drop right through the Smackdown table! Hogan is slow to get back to his feet, taking Austin with him as he does and throwing him back in to the ring, making the cover once back in but Stone Cold is able to throw his shoulder up just in the nick of time!
Hogan sits up after the kick out and runs his hands over his head, using the ropes to get back up and moving across the ring while taking his time, clearly a bit winded. He regroups and then moves back over to Austin as he is getting on all fours and goes to bring him up only for Steve to take him by the hands and begin to squeeze. Austin slowly begins to pull himself to his feet and Hogan starts to go down, Austin holding on tighter and tighter, Hogan wincing in pain as he drops to his knees. Hulk starts to kick a foot though and starts to work his way back up, gripping harder than Austin and beginning to lower him. Steve releases the grip as soon as Hogan gets level and throws a kick to the stomach, Hogan not moving off of it. Austin can't believe it and shakes his head, throwing another kick. Hogan shakes his head and Austin throws him the middle fingers, throwing one big kick and lowering him in order to hit the Stone Cold Stunner! "Stunner! Stunner!" Yells J.R. "That's gotta be it! That's gotta be it!" Austin scrambles over and hooks the inside leg, raising his hand to count with the official only for Hogan to kick out at two! Austin is shocked as he sits up, his shock turning quickly in to rage as he gets to his feet and paces back and forth, arguing with the referee over the count before stepping up to Hogan against the turnbuckles and meeting him with boots as he starts to stomp a mudhole. After the referee reaches a four count, Austin pulls back and cups his ear to the crowd in mockery of Hogan, coming back for another boot only to have his leg caught! Hulk then rises to his feet, holding the leg of Austin still as Stone Cold puts his hands up, Hulk shaking his head and giving Austin a middle finger of his own! The crowd erupts as Hulk throws the leg down, catching Austin as he comes forward by scooping him off the mat and laying him out with a body slam! Austin staggers back up and is met with a series of heavy rights that put him against the ropes, Hogan going for a whip across the ring only to have Austin block it, pull him in and nail another Stone Cold Stunner! Austin then leans over Hogan's face and has some choice words for him before making the cover, hooking the inside leg again and just as the referee's hand is about to hit the mat for the three count he points to the ropes as Hogan has his other leg on the bottom rope! Austin's eyes widen as he looks back and forth between the referee and the leg of Hogan, muttering to himself before swinging on top of Hogan and laying in to him with punches. He takes Hulk by the hair and pulls his head up, having some words before throwing a big shot. Hogan begins to push his body up some, Austin throwing another punch but Hogan continues to push up, eventually working his way to a knee, Austin to his feet as he begins to 'Hulk up'! The audience goes wild as Austin throws another punch, Hogan to both knees, another bringing him to his feet. Hulk gets fully to his feet and motions for Austin to come at him, getting the middle fingers for it. Hogan slaps them away and points his finger in the face, wagging it as the crowd goes wild. He blocks a punch and lays in to Austin, whipping him off the ropes and nailing the big boot! "Hulkamania is running wild, J.R.!" Lawler exclaims. Hulk then walks around the ring and cups his ear on each side, clapping his hands as he stands back over Austin. He then runs off the ropes, comes back and Austin is back to his feet to nail the Stone Cold Stunner a third time! Austin then crawls over and hooks both legs for the one, two, three! Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Hulk Hogan via pinfall!
The bell rings. Both men remain down on the mat. The crowd is electric as the battle of the two legends has concluded. Austin slowly gets back on to his feet, the referee holding his arm up as the winner. "What a battle," J.R. says. "What a battle between two of the absolute best to ever lace up the boots!" Austin then ascends to the second turnbuckle and raises his fingers in the air in signature fashion. He then drops down, takes a look back at Hogan still down on the mat and rolls under the bottom rope. As Austin makes it halfway up the ramp, he turns back to the ring to see Hulk staggering back up. He holds on to the ropes as he and Austin lock eyes with one another, Hogan giving a subtle nod and receiving one in response. "A sign of respect," Comments Ross. "They may not like each other, and some at home may not either, but just like these two men you have to respect them for everything they have and continue to give to this business! Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us for an incredible WrestleMania!" Austin stands atop the stage, both fists raised in celebration as the cameras fade to black.
A highlight video package airs showing the results of last night's WrestleMania XIX event before the Monday Night Raw intro plays, the cameras entering the Key Arena from Seattle afterward with the stage hit by the pyrotechnics. Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcoming everyone to the show!
The theme music of Hulk Hogan hits and the Key Arena crowd rises to their feet, Hogan coming off of a loss in his big match with Stone Cold Steve Austin last night but seeming to be in good spirits. He comes in to the ring and requests a microphone, stepping to the center of the squared circle as the crowd lets out 'Hogan' chants. "Well let me tell you something, brother!" He says while pointing his finger to the audience to more cheers. "Last night I was in for the fight of my life with one tough S.O.B. in Stone Cold Steve Austin!" He says that he and Austin gave it everything they had last night and at the end of it all, Austin ended up being the better man and he's willing to accept that. "But in defeat, I confirmed something... Hulkamania still lives, brother!" He nods and says that despite the fact that he came up just short at WrestleMania, he isn't done. He wants to settle things with Austin right here, right now! The audience buzzes until the glass shatters and Stone Cold Steve Austin marches his way out from the back, coming straight down to the ring and entering the ring, raising his fingers in the air atop the turnbuckles before stepping in front of Hogan and locking eyes with him. They remain staring down for a while before Austin raises his hand up, catching a beer from ringside. He then passes it over to his other hand and raises back up for another beer — catching that one and extending it out to Hogan. Hulk is a bit hesitant but eventually accepts it, the two men opening the cans up and clashing them against one another before going to drink them only to be interrupted...
By the theme music of Eric Bischoff. The Raw General Manager steps out to the stage, a twisted grin across his face as he twirls a microphone in his hand. "Sorry to rain on this pathetic parade! But before the two of you drink those beers and celebrate surviving last night, allow me to inform everyone about how Stone Cold Steve Austin's career might not be surviving much longer under my watch!" Austin turns around and locks eyes with Bischoff, whose smile grows as he asks Austin 'what's the matter?' and continues on. "You didn't think I'd find out? Did you think I would wait until tomorrow to FedEx it to you? See, I now know what you know and your doctors know and now everyone is going to know..." He explains that the neck injury Austin sustained those number of years ago has only gotten worse and it's at the point where Austin has become a liability to have here on Raw. "So, Steve, that's why I'm telling you that right now you need to leave this arena before something possibly happens to you because as a man in the position that I am in... I have no choice. Oh, and if you don't? You'll be banned from entering a WWE arena at all ever again!" Austin runs his hand across his face, in disbelief at the words. "I don't believe this..." J.R. mutters. Austin looks back at Hogan and his head drops, Hulk not having anything to say as Austin steps through the ropes with his hands on his hips, slowly making his way up the ramp and standing next to Bischoff. The two then stare down, Bischoff appearing much more confident in front of Austin than ever before. As they have their eyes locked in on one another, the music of Triple H hits. The former World Heavyweight Champion steps out with the rest of Evolution at his side, the four surrounding Bischoff and Austin as Eric asks Austin what his decision is going to be. "Hey! Hey!" Hogan yells from down in the ring. "Don't do it, Steve. It ain't worth it, brother! If you dudes are looking for somebody to mess with, I'm standing right here! I'll give you goons everything I've got, brother!" Austin puts his hands over his head as Evolution begins to make their way down the ramp, waving at Stone Cold as they surround the ring, Hogan with his fists raised and ready to go. The four then enter the ring together and Hogan throws a fist at Flair and knocks him down, going after Orton next before being pushed in to the corner by Batista, all four members of Evolution firing off on Hogan as Austin paces back and forth atop the stage with his hands over his head. Hulk struggles to fight back and eventually falls to the mat against the ropes, struggling to get back to a knee via them as blood starts to run down his face. Austin then pushes past Bischoff and starts to storm down the ramp again to wild cheers from the Seattle crowd only to have Hogan wave his hands between the ropes to tell him not to intervene. "What? Austin wants to help but Hulk is telling him not to!" Lawler says. As J.R. argues that Hogan doesn't want Austin out of the WWE completely like Bischoff warned, Hulk gets to his feet and turns to a kick to the stomach from Triple H and the Pedigree in the center of the ring! He gets right back to his feet, breathing heavily as he paces around the body of Hogan as Evolution stands tall. Austin, meanwhile, remains looking on helplessly from the ramp unsure what to do.
Bischoff is seen walking in the back following the break when Evolution marches up behind him, Triple H calling his name. "I want Brock Lesnar, Eric! I want Brock Lesnar and I want him tonight!" Bischoff puts his hands up and tells Hunter to relax, 'The Game' responding by questioning if he just saw what happened to Hulk Hogan at his hand. "I'm not in the mood for games, Eric. I want Lesnar and I want my World Heavyweight Championship back!" Bischoff says he has a better idea, saying that HHH will get his rematch but tonight, he suggests that Lesnar competes in the main event against Batista. Hunter is hesitant but Bischoff starts to reason with him. "Think about it! Think about it! You get your rematch with Lesnar another time but tonight... tonight Brock has to go toe-to-toe with 'The Animal' of Evolution just twenty four hours after his grueling match with you." He raises his eyebrows as he seems to be suggesting Lesnar getting worn down, Hunter calming down a bit and telling Bischoff he sees what he's saying, but he better get his rematch soon enough.
1) Non-Title Match: World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane def. 3 Minute Warning (w/Rico) via pinfall The new World Tag Team Champions take it right to the powerhouse Samoans, overcoming their size and strength. Rico tries to get involved by grabbing RVD's leg on the top rope, Kane coming in to the ring to cut Rosey off with a big boot, then catching Jamal by the throat and hitting him with a Chokeslam! After Rico is finally kicked down, RVD hits the Five Star Frog Splash for the pinfall.
The champions hardly have time to celebrate as Rosey returns to the ring and hits Kane from behind, Rico getting in and beginning an attack on RVD. Jamal eventually comes back to and joins in on the beat down, the boos of the crowd becoming cheers once the music of The Dudley Boyz hits, D-Von and Bubba Ray racing down to the ring and coming to the aid of the team that defeated them last night. After clearing the two big men from the ring, they look to Rico crawling to the ropes. Bubba then calls for D-Von to get the tables, his brother abiding. They set the table up and seem prepared to put Rico right through it only to instead grab RVD and hit him with the 3D right through the table! "What the hell?!" Questions J.R. The brothers then roll out of the ring as Kane tries to come after them, 'The Big Red Machine' pacing back and forth and staring The Dudley Boyz down before returning to RVD's side and checking on him as they've been completely blindsided by Bubba Ray and D-Von!
Seen waiting in the back outside of the locker room area is Stacy Keibler when she is approached by Randy Orton, a smile on his face as he asks her what she is up to, to which she explains she's waiting for Test as his match coming up. "Why?" Orton asks with a laugh. "Why Test, huh? I mean, I'm a third generation superstar a part of the most powerful force in the WWE today... not to mention I tossed your big dumb boyfriend over the top rope last night and, hey, I'm pretty good looking, right?" Keibler rolls her eyes and tries to walk away but Orton puts his hand on the wall next to her. Before things can escalate any further, however, Test steps out of the locker room and asks what the hell is going on. Orton is quick to put his hands up and back away, telling Test they were just talking. "What the hell did he want?!" Test questions to Stacy, but she has no answers for him.
In a separate part of the back, Victoria and Stevie Richardsare walking together with the former Women's Champion berating Richards and blaming him for her losing the Women's Championship triple threat match last night. "Vic! It wasn't my fault!" Richards argues. "Can... can we talk about this later? I've got my own match to worry about!" Victoria twitches but stays silent as they continue on.
2) Test (w/Stacy Keibler) def. Stevie Richards (w/Victoria) via pinfall Richards comes out firing away at Test but after bouncing off the ropes, runs right in to a powerful clothesline. Test takes control from there with Richards managing to slip off his shoulder and get a brief amount of work in, only to come off the second rope right in to a big boot that leads to the pin.
As Richards rolls to the outside following the bell, Victoria yells at him much like she was backstage prior to the match. In the ring, Keibler enters to raise the arm of Test but lets out a scream as from behind comes Randy Orton, blindsiding Test with a jumping cutter! Stacy is shocked as Orton stands over Test with a smile on his face, blowing a kiss to Keibler before leaving the ring with a smirk.
Following the break, the music of Shawn Michaels hits and 'The Heart Break Kid' arrives from the back, still giving the crowd a show for an entrance despite seeming a bit down after coming up short last night, which is the first thing he says once in the ring. "It was what some would call a dream encounter when The Rock and myself faced off last night at WrestleMania and, well, it didn't finish the way I wanted it to." He says that he isn't going to blame ring rust because he's been back for a while now, he isn't going to blame the big stage being too much for him because it never has been and never will be and he's not going to say that The Rock didn't earn the win, because he did. "So, hats off to The Rock... I may have not walked out the winner of the match, but I walked out a winner in many other ways because now I know for sure that 'The Heart Break Kid' has still got it and that 'The Heart Break Kid' ain't going anywhere anytime soon!" The crowd cheers as he takes a step forward.
As he leans across the ropes to say more, the theme song of Chris Jericho interrupts. The brand new Intercontinental Champion proceeds to make his way out with Christianat his side, Y2J calling for his music to be cut halfway down the ramp. "Are you kidding me, Shawn?" He questions. "I knew you were washed up and pathetic but this is what you've become? 'I didn't win the match, but I'm still a winner'! Give me a frigin' break!" Jericho shakes his head as he and Christian get on to the ring apron, Y2J saying that this isn't the Shawn Michaels that he grew up watching and idolizing, not even close. "You think you still have what it takes but what has happened ever since you came back, Shawn? Sure, you had a few weeks as World Heavyweight Champion but other than that? You've failed over and over again and last night was no different and yet you think you're a winner?" He takes the Intercontinental Championship belt off from around his waist and holds it up in front of Michaels, asking if he sees this because that represents a winner. "Because last night, Shawn, unlike yourself, I actually won my match! I won a battle royal and I only had to eliminate one person!" Christian's facial expression changes as he interjects and says that to be fair, he could have won. Jericho says that doesn't matter because he didn't and then turns his attention back to Michaels. "So why don't you do us all a favor, Shawn? Pack your bags! Hang up your boots! Save us from having to watch you wither away even further." Michaels runs his hand across his face and then through his hair, chuckling as he steps forward and tells Jericho that he isn't going anywhere. Christian then steps right up next to Jericho and asks Michaels if they're going to have to force him back in to retirement. He and Jericho then begin to draw closer to Michaels, circling around him as they seem prepared to strike at any moment. The crowd roars, however, as music hits with the titantron revealing the name Kevin Nash! He steps out from behind the curtains and locks his eyes on the ring, Jericho and Christian stunned by his arrival! "My God, King! We haven't seen Kevin Nash in about nine months! A torn quadriceps put him out of action but he is back!" As Nash gets on to the ring apron, Michaels spins Christian around and drops him with Sweet Chin Music! Jericho tries to come after HBK but has his arm caught, being met with punches and then backed in to the chest of Nash. Y2J slowly turns around and tries to go back the other way, Michaels hitting him with Sweet Chin Music as well and sending him right in to the grasp of Nash, whom proceeds to hit a Jackknife Powerbomb! Jericho and Christian roll to the outside on opposite sides of the ring, Michaels and Nash looking to one another before shaking hands and embracing as these two former best of friends have been reunited!
3) Non-Title Match: Molly Holly def. Women's Champion Trish Stratus via pinfall Just twenty four hours removed from reclaiming the Women's Championship, Stratus faces a game Molly Holly as the two have a very competitive match. After a corner hurricanrana, Stratus looks ready to put things away but Theodore Long's voice is heard saying to hold up. He steps out to the stage with former champion Jazzat his side, calling Stratus 'vanilla' and saying that last night she didn't pin the champion. "Because she knows that she ain't good enough to beat Jazz, playa!" Stratus then turns back around to Molly and is pulled in to a small package for the one, two, three!
Molly is quick to get out of the ring as Stratus gets to a knee, shocked by the defeat. She then turns her attention toward Long and Jazz watching from the ramp, smiling as they've ruined Stratus' first night as Women's Champion while making sure she knows Jazz is in waiting.
In the back, Tommy Dreamer is seen walking when he is approached by Batistaand Ric Flair. "Alright, where is your good friend Brock Lesnar?" Flair asks with a smile, saying there won't be any trouble if he just coughs it up. Dreamer looks at both men and shakes his head, saying he has no idea what they're talking about. "I'm not friends with Brock Lesnar and even if I was and knew where he was, why would I tell you?" Batista takes Dreamer by the collar and Flair tells him to hold on just a second, chuckling as he steps closer to Dreamer and asks if he wants to re-think that. "Screw you!" Dreamer responds, leading to a slap across the face from Flair and a toss in to a production crate by Batista! The two men then begin to stomp away at Dreamer before Batista drags him back up and hurls him in to the wall nearby. The duo then walk off together, Dreamer left groaning in pain. Standing by after the time away is Jonathan Coachman as he introduces his guests at this time to be Shawn Michaels and the man we saw return earlier on, Kevin Nash. Coach thanks them for their time and welcomes Nash back, asking Michaels if he knew about this. "Did I know?" Michaels asks with a scoff and a smile. "No, no, no! But boy am I sure glad to have 'Big Daddy Cool' back!" Coach then turns the microphone over to Nash whom says that he was watching WrestleMania last night and after being cleared for action last week he figured he'd pop in tonight and see some old friends. "And when one of my old friends is out there getting teamed up on, I'm gonna step up to the plate. You mess with me, you mess with my brothers, things will go down." Michaels says it's good to have him back, patting the big man on the shoulder as they head off.
Back inside of the arena, Lance Stormand William Regal stand in the ring, each with a microphone in hand. "For about three days now, I've been stuck in this Canadian wannabe state!" Storm says to boos from the crowd. Regal then adds on that it has been absolutely dreadful being here and they can't wait to catch their flight out. "I mean, WrestleMania... in Seattle?" He shakes his head. "If Lance and I had it our way, WrestleMania would have been in a much more appropriate setting such as Buckingham Palace!" Before they can delve further in to bashing the city of Seattle, the theme music of D'Lo Brown hits and he arrives with his tag team partner Mavenfor their match.
4) D'Lo Brown and Maven def. Lance Storm and William Regal via pinfall Forming their team just over the past month, Brown and Maven get a big test in the former World Tag Team Champions and veterans, the duo cutting Brown off repeatedly. He eventually fights back and makes the hot tag to Maven, whom runs in and hits dropkicks and punches. Storm tries to come in and help Regal but Brown enters and cuts him off with a spinebuster! Regal then goes for a brass knuckles shot to Maven but it is ducked and Regal is brought down by a backslide for the pinfall!
The crowd cheers as Brown and Maven get up together and embrace, raising their arms in celebration as the new team on the block has pulled off the upset on the former champions! Seen in his office is Eric Bischoff when his phone rings, he walks over to it and scowls, pressing a button to put it on speaker phone, saying he's been waiting all day for The Rock to return his phone call! He goes to say some things but hears a bunch of noise in the background. "Rock?! Hello?! Hello?!" Eventually Rock speaks and tells 'Eddie' he isn't going to be making it to Raw tonight. "Yeah, I figured that part out, Rock! First off, my name is Eric and you need to get it right! You've been getting it wrong for quite some time now and... you know, you may be a big Hollywood movie star and all but you still work for me!" He say that Rock needs to respect that and when he tells him to come to work, he needs to come to work! "Hold on, hold on, hold on!" Rock says on the other line. "You think that you can just talk to The Rock like that? No, no, no, no, no! Let's make something clear: The Rock don't work for you! The Rock don't work for the people! The Rock don't work for nobody! The Rock don't need this!" He asks Bischoff what he said his name was again and Eric walks right in to it. "It doesn't matter what your name is! The Rock don't need Monday Night Raw, hell maybe The Rock don't need the WWE at all! But maybe... maybe The Rock needs to check himself in to the Smackdown hotel, how about that? Yeah! Yeah! How about that?!" Bischoff apologizes and tries to reason with Rock but Rock ends up hanging up! Bischoff looks stunned and slowly slouches down in to his office chair, slamming the phone down on the receiver repeatedly in frustration.
The music of Goldust then hits inside the arena and 'The Bizarre One' is slow to come down and in to the ring, a microphone in hand as he struggles to begin saying anything at all. "Last night," He begins while hanging his head down. "Last night I did what I had to do. Booker, I hit you below the belt and I eliminated you from the battle royal because I had to. I'm sorry, but that's just the way that it is and it's just what I had to do." He gives a nod and goes to leave the ring just off that statement but Booker T isn't allowing him to get off that easy as he makes his way down from the back, entering the ring and shaking his head. "That's not how this is gonna go down, Goldy!" He says. "You can't just say you did what you had to do and not tell me why it is what you had to do! What the hell is going on?!" Goldust doesn't want to say anything, so Booker steps up to him and continues to yell at him for answers, backing him in to the corner. "We're supposed to be friends, man! I don't want to hurt you but I will! So tell me what the hell is going on!" Goldust continues to apologize but won't explain himself, Booker balling up a fist only for the voice of Chief Morley to be heard from atop the stage telling Booker he wouldn't advise him laying a finger on one of his men. "That's right, Book, Goldust is one of my guys now!" Booker turns from Goldust and starts to walk to the center of the ring, pointing at Morley. "You didn't say that... tell me you didn't just sa—" Booker is cut off as Goldust hits him with a low blow from behind just like last night! "Damn it, Goldust!" J.R. says angrily. "I can't believe this! Not again!" Morley gets in the ring and tackles Booker to the mat, pummeling him with punches to the head. He then makes his way to the top rope and hits a big splash, looking ready to leave the ring afterward with Goldust only to stop in his tracks and poke Goldust in the chest, giving him some direction. Goldust is very hesitant to listen and tries to leave but Morley pulls him back in by the arm, pointing in his face. "You'll do this or else!" He warns, Goldust still seeming conflicted. He looks over to Booker getting back to a knee and steps up to him, apologizing before hitting him with The Final Cut! Morley applauds and laughs, stepping up to Goldust and patting him on the back. He then escorts his new partner in crime out of the ring, up the ramp and to the back.
Seen walking down the halls in the back is the new World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar with the main event just moments away when he is raced up to by Terri, whom excuses herself as she mentions to Lesnar that members of Evolution has been looking for him all night and mentions his upcoming match with Batista. "Clearly they weren't looking hard enough." Lesnar replies. "As for Batista, maybe he should be less worried about looking for me and asking for advice from Triple H on how to survive tonight. Because Hunter may have survived last night, but he didn't win because I'm standing right here as the new World Heavyweight Champion." He pats the belt and walks off.
5) Non-Title Match: World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar def. Batista (w/Ric Flair) via disqualification A battle of strength, Batista manages to stand his ground against Lesnar. The World Heavyweight Champion starts to gain the upper hand when Flair grabs his leg on the outside, allowing Batista to show off his muscle with a powerful spinebuster. "Y'know, Brock Lesnar was dubbed 'The Next Big Thing'," Lawler says. "But look at Batista! Look at 'The Animal'! He's hanging with Lesnar! Imagine where he could be in a year, J.R.!" The pace of the match slows with Batista continuing to get assistance from Flair, leading to him setting up for a powerbomb when Lesnar musters up enough strength to flip Batista up and over him! He then charges up to Flair on the apron and drills him in the face with a forearm. Brock then turns and ducks a clothesline from Batista, catching him on the turnaround with the F-5! He starts to crawl over for the pin, making the cover just as Randy Orton hits the ring — diving on top of the pin as the referee is about to count three and cause the DQ!
The Key Arena fills with boos as Orton clubs the back of Lesnar, Brock working back to his feet and pushing Orton in to the corner only for Flair to come in for assistance, Batista eventually managing to get back up and make it a three-on-one. As Lesnar isn't giving much fight to get back up, down the ramp slowly walks Triple H with a sledgehammer in hand. "I've got a sickening feeling in my stomach right now, 'King'! Earlier tonight it was Hulk Hogan, now Evolution is going to decimate Brock Lesnar!" HHH slowly enters the ring as Evolution holds Lesnar up in position to be struck, 'The Game' taking the time to get in Lesnar's face and have some words for him. He then delivers a slap across the face before backing up and readying the sledgehammer. Before he can strike down, however, Lesnar pulls Orton in to Batista and forces a release on him. The World Champion gets to his feet and starts to fight off Flair, Batista and Orton. He ducks a strike from HHH and the sledgehammer drops, Brock with a clothesline to the man he defeated last night before picking the sledgehammer up for himself! He then swings it at Orton but he falls backwards to avoid it, sliding out of the ring. Batista and Flair get out of dodge as well, HHH left on all fours as Lesnar locks his eyes in on him. Brock then brings the hammer up over his head and he swings it down — the rest of Evolution able to pull HHH out of the ring on the downswing and causing the hammer to slam in to the mat instead! Hunter's eyes widen on the outside as Flair, Batista and Orton hold him back from the ring, Lesnar motioning for him to come back in. "This isn't over, Lesnar!" HHH yells. "This isn't over until I say it is!" The two keep their eyes locked on one another as the show concludes.