May 22, 2003: Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC
Following the Smackdown opening video, the cameras enter the Greensboro Coliseum from Greensboro, North Carolina. Michael Cole gives the introduction from commentary alongside Tazz, mentioning that tonight we kick off the Smackdown side of things in the King of the Ring tournament and also have a big main event when The Undertaker and John Cena have a rematch from this past Sunday at Judgment Day — except this time it will be contested under Falls Count Anywhere! 1) Non-Title King of the Ring First Round Match: Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio def. A-Train via pinfall The new Cruiserweight Champion is met with a bit of a daunting task with having to face the much bigger A-Train, the power being a big factor but Mysterio with a lot of high flying and low strikes to stay in it. A-Train lifts Mysterio by the throat but Rey is able to wrap his legs around the neck and perform a headscissors in to the ring post. A-Train then backs up to a dropkick that sets him up perfectly between the ropes, Mysterio with a 619 and springboard splash that gets him the pinfall!
Mysterio pops to his feet with the crowd cheering. "Would you call that an upset, Cole?!" Asks Tazz, with Cole saying he has a hard time ever doubting Mysterio. The Cruiserweight Champion leaves the ring and holds his title belt up high as his quest to become King of the Ring has begun.
Coming up next — Mr. McMahon and The Big Show will address why they cost Goldberg the WWE Championship this past Sunday at Judgment Day!
The theme song of Mr. McMahon hits, the Chairman of WWE strutting out from the back, standing atop the stage and gesturing his hands out as The Big Showfollows out through the curtains. The two make their way down and in to the ring together, McMahon with a microphone as he commands the audience to quiet down. After getting booed some more, he orders they shut up. "It is my understanding that you people aren't too happy with what happened to Goldberg at Judgment Day, are you?" He asks to more jeers from the fans. "Well, that's too damn bad! See, you people don't get it! All you see is what is on your television screens each and every week! But what you don't see and what you don't understand is what goes on behind the curtains!" He explains that years ago, The Big Show made the decision to jump ship from WCW to WWE and he has remained loyal ever since. He made the right decision and fought for the right side, but Goldberg remained defiant and stayed with WCW until the end! McMahon further explains that when he purchased WCW, he tried to bring Goldberg in to the fold but he was one of the stubborn ones. "Then my daughter Stephanie..." He mutters while shaking his head. "She went out and decided to make a splash! She went out and signed Goldberg to Smackdown... she went out and brought him in to face The Rock, one of the greatest superstars in WWE history! One of my greatest talents! And Goldberg... he sent him packing." McMahon says that maybe he could have lived with that but to top all of that off, Stephanie went ahead and gave Goldberg a WWE Championship match after just one match in the WWE and that pushed him to a point where he felt he had no choice but to step in.
Before he can say more, however, Stephanie McMahon's music interrupts as the Smackdown General Manager shakes her head on the way down to the ring. "Dad, what the hell is the matter with you?! And what is he doing here?!" She gestures to Show, her father responding by saying that he has lifted the 'wrongful' suspension she placed on The Big Show. "Regardless, dad, I want you to know that for your own safety I told Goldberg to stay home... but just because you don't like the way I did things didn't give you and The Big Show to ruin my main event at Judgment Day!" Vince steps forward and asks Stephanie if she remembers what happened to him just a couple of weeks ago and points up to the titantron, going back to the footage of Goldberg attempting to Spear Kurt Angle but the WWE Champion stepping aside, Vince being hit instead. Back in the arena, the Chairman scoffs in disgust. "That's all the more reason I did what I did, Stephanie! Clearly, Goldberg has it out for your old man!" Stephanie argues back that was clearly an accident and that he is just making excuses now. She says that this is her show and the two of them should consider themselves lucky that she told Goldberg to stay home. "Stephanie, do me a favor. You call Goldberg back up and you tell him to bring his sorry ass here next week and come to me face-to-face, mono e mono, man-to-man!" He then looks to Big Show, smiling and saying it won't be a problem. He then turns back to Stephanie and says that before he leaves, he just wants to make one more thing very clear. "This is my company, Stephanie! That means this is my show! And in this world, I'm not your daddy... I'm your boss!" He scowls and walks around her, exiting the ring. The Big Show walks behind, standing over and looking down at Stephanie briefly before leaving as well.
Seen hanging out in the back is Jeff Hardy when he is approached by his brother Matt Hardyand his follower Shannon Moore. "Jeff, where the heck were you at Judgment Day?! I thought we were on the same page!" Jeff crosses his arms and tells Matt that he wasn't going to help him win his match against Rey Mysterio and he doesn't feel like following the ways of 'Mattitude'. Matt is in disbelief and tells Jeff that he obviously doesn't understand how powerful it is and that he is going to prove it tonight! "In a match against Edge! That's right, Jeff... Shannon Moore is going to show you that anything is possible with Mattitude when he faces the new United States Champion!" Moore seems shocked by the news, Matt hooking a hold of his shoulders and pulling him along as Jeff shakes his head.
Standing in the back is John Cena, a scowl on his face as he begins to rap about how he pushed The Undertaker to his limits on Sunday and that tonight they're going to fight anywhere and everywhere. "It's falls count anywhere, Dead Man, meaning I can pin you wherever I feel! Time for you to step aside, time for me to take the wheel! I'm coming at you like a Ford mustang, I'm gonna beat you by myself, I don't need my gang. They call you a Dead Man but you aren't finished yet, but that's until tonight because you're looking at John Cena — your biggest threat! Word life!" He gestures his hands out in signature form to the camera as that match is still to come later on tonight.
2) Non-Title Match: United States Champion Edge def. Shannon Moore (w/Matt Hardy) via pinfall Coming off of his big victory to become United States Champion at Judgment Day, Edge dominates the match with Moore getting back in based on involvement from Hardy. After a missed moonsault on Moore, he is dropped with Edgecution. Edge then charges up to Hardy as he is on the apron and knocks him off before measuring up from the corner — drilling Moore with a Spear for the one, two, three.
Getting to his feet, Edge is brought his United States Championship belt and he holds it over his head. His celebration, however, is cut off by the arrival to the stage by Sean O'Haire. He steps out to the stage with a wry smile and a microphone in hand, congratulating Edge on being the United States Champion. "However, everyone knows that lightning doesn't strike twice. So, when it comes to our King of the Ring first round match next week... it's clear to me that you, my friend, aren't going any further than that. But, hey, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know!" He gives a wink and returns to the back.
Walking in the hallway backstage is Chris Benoit when he is stopped in his tracks by Rikishi. The big man tells Benoit that they had a chat a couple of weeks ago and he wants to have another one before they face each other again tonight. "I want Chris Benoit at his best," Rikishi says. "But I don't want the Chris Benoit that's been underhanded and cheap lately." Benoit recommends Rikishi get out of his face, because he doesn't care what he has to say — all he cares about is their match later. "And I'm going to beat you and advance in the King of the Ring." He gives a scowl before continuing on down the halls.
Elsewhere in the back, The Dudley Boyz are seen walking together as Bubba Ray, D-Von and Spike are set to take on The F.B.I. in a six man tag team match and that is coming up next!
3) Six Man Tag Team Match: The Dudley Boyz (w/Spike Dudley) def. The F.B.I. (w/Nunzio and Dawn Marie) via pinfall After nearly putting Nunzio through a table last week, The Dudley Boyz take it to his Full Blooded Italian brothers-in-arms. Palumbo, Kanyon and DeMott put up a fight, however, and drop Spike spine first in to the announce table. The match goes through a break with Spike continuing to be dominated until he makes a sudden escape from DeMott's grasp and makes a tag to Bubba, whom comes in and runs through all three opponents. Nunzio tries to get involved but is dumped over the top rope, Palumbo falling to a Bubba Bomb. DeMott comes in with a big clothesline but D-Von comes in and clotheslines him over the top. Kanyon then misses on a kick to Bubba and turns right in to the 3-D and the pinfall!
The Dudley Boyz get to their feet and begin their celebration together when Nunzio drags himself back in to the ring, getting up in the face of Bubba Ray before being dropped with a clothesline. Bubba then shoves D-Von in the chest before also grabbing Spike by the shirt and telling both of them to get the tables! The two then retrieve a table and bring it in to the ring, the rest of The F.B.I. watching on from the stage as Nunzio ends up being dropped with a 3-D right through the table! Bubba Ray, D-Von and Spike all stand tall together while pointing and warning the rest of The F.B.I. not to mess with them!
Seen getting her hair worked on is Torrie Wilson when she is approached by Jackie Gayda, Wilson asking Jackie what her problem is before being simply called a 'tramp'. "You're a flirt, a tease and, quite frankly, not as good looking as you think you are, Torrie. So, I'm challenging you next week to a bikini contest!" Wilson stands up from her seat with a smile and tells Jackie she's always up for a challenge. From the side, Jamie Noble drags Nidiaon to the scene and asks if he heard that correctly. "A bikini contest, huh?" He asks with an ear-to-ear grin. Nidia says she would love to be a part of that, too. "Yeah, yeah... that sounds good, baby, getting to see you... and Jackie... and Torrie... bikinis..." Nidia smacks Noble on the arm and storms off, Noble apologizing as he follows after his girlfriend, Jackie then telling Torrie she'll be seeing her next week and showing the world what true beauty is! She then walks away.
After the break, the two men that were introduced to last week Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier, La Resistance, are seen walking together in a museum going over some French history before stopping at a framed French flag, where they talk about how France came to be. As they are going on, behind them walks Los Guerreros with Eddie putting his finger over his nose to tell Chavo to be quiet. "We are a people of great culture," Dupree says while Los Guerreros remove the flag from the wall. "And we are well respected and revered and soon, we will show the entire world of wrestling entertainment what we have to offer!" As they smile to the camera, Eddie and Chavo sneak away behind them with the flag.
Standing in the ring is Crash Holly, a microphone in his hand as he says that he is back right here on Smackdown. "And Crash Holly is about to put himself back on the map, ladies and gentlemen," He says with a snicker. "Because anything is possible when you put your mind to it!" Before he can say anything more, however, Rhyno's music interrupts, 'The Man Beast' making his way down for the match! 4) Rhyno def. Crash Holly via pinfall Holly isn't happy with the interruption of Rhyno, having some choice words for him before throwing a punch that is ducked — Rhyno then ripping right through him with the Gore for the easy three count!
Rhyno hops right back to his feet with his fists raised over his head, a quick and easy victory for him tonight. "Rhyno looking awfully determined before he enters the King of the Ring tournament next week, ladies and gentlemen!" Cole says as 'The Man Beast' leaves the ring and returns to the back.
In the back, Matt Hardy is seen walking with Shannon Mooreand looking disgusted. "You realize how bad you made me look?!" Matt questions. "How bad you made Mattitude look?! How is Jeff ever going to realize that he needs me if you're not going to represent what Mattitude is all about?! What it has done for you!" Shannon apologizes but Matt puts his hands up and walks away, not wanting to hear it.
Standing by in the back is Funaki as he introduces Team Angleas his guests at this time, the WWE Tag Team Champions walking up as Funaki asks them about Tajiri's challenge last week. "Charlie's eyesight is getting better every day," Shelton says. "And we'll be more than ready next week." Haas removes his sunglasses and barely holds his eyes open, saying he has been blinded not once, but twice by Tajiri and they will get revenge on him and whoever his partner will be! Tajiri then walks up on to the scene and says that he has already decided who his partner will be. He then wraps his arm around Funaki with a smile. "Smackdown's number one announcer... Funaki!" Benjamin looks the two up and down and tells them they'll be seeing them next week before leaving along with Haas.
5) King of the Ring First Round Match: Chris Benoit def. Rikishi via submission A rematch of quite the competitive match two weeks ago with much more on the line, with Benoit looking for multiple submission holds only for Rikishi to power out of the attempts. The back and forth leads to a superkick from Rikishi that stuns 'The Rabid Wolverine', whom gets up in the corner and removes the turnbuckle padding. He then comes back to Rikishi and after a back and forth of chops and strikes, Rikishi scoops Benoit off the mat with Chris sliding off the shoulder and pushing Rikishi face first in to the exposed steel! The Crippler Crossface is applied immediately afterward, Rikishi struggling briefly in the hold before eventually tapping out to the hold.
Benoit refuses to let up on the hold even after the bell, the official having to intervene and pull Benoit off forcefully. He gets back to his feet with a scowl, staring down at Rikishi. "Benoit is getting more and more aggressive by the week, Cole." Tazz says. Benoit gives a throat slit taunt over Rikishi's body before walking around him and leaving the ring.
Seen moving toward his motorcycle in the back is The Undertaker when he is approached by Josh Mathews, excusing himself and asking Undertaker for his thoughts just a couple minutes before his rematch with John Cena. "I'll give Cena props for being a tough kid and a fighter... but that boy is real stupid for picking another fight with me... but if he wants it and he wants it Falls Count Anywhere, I'll be more than happy to whoop his ass anywhere I damn well please." He then takes a seat on his motorcycle and starts the engine as the main event is coming up next!
6) Falls Count Anywhere Match: The Undertaker def. John Cena via pinfall A brawling style match, the two battle out of the ring and even take things in to the crowd. The match works back toward ringside where Taker ends up applying Dead Man's Hand to Cena on the announce table but a monitor to the head breaks it up. Going through a commercial break, the battle between the two continues with fighting back in the ring, against the apron and along the barricade. After a whip in to the steel steps, Cena removes the top part and hits Taker in the shoulder with it for a two count. Angered, Cena drags Taker up and hips him in to 'The Dead Man's bike! Angered, Cena reaches in to his pocket and pulls out his chain with the wrench pendant. He waits for Taker to get back up before going to throw a punch with the pendant only to be caught by the throat and hit with a Chokeslam on the stage! Taker decides against going for the pin and instead brings Cena up and delivers a Last Ride Powerbomb on to the steel steps! The cover is then made, the referee counting the one, two, three.
The Greensboro crowd cheers as Taker staggers back to his feet, fists raised in the air with the official holding an arm up. After a couple of replays of the match, we come back to see Taker pulling his bike back up and dusting it off. He looks down at Cena and shakes his head before getting on to the bike, starting it up an driving up the ramp. With a fist raised to the crowd, Smackdown comes to an end.
May 24, 2003: Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC
1) Jeff Hardy def. Jimmy Yang via pinfall Getting in on the action against young up and comer Yang, Hardy gets a tough fight from the upstart. An exchange of near falls and acrobatic moves between the two, Yang almost upsets Hardy after avoiding Whisper in the Wind and getting a two count on a hurricanrana. Hardy stops the comeback with a Twist of Fate, which he follows up with a Swanton Bomb off the top rope for the pinfall. The ups and downs continue for Yang, but his impressive showings continue. Hardy offers a handshake after the match, Yang accepting the gesture before leaving and allowing Hardy to celebrate the win.
2) Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) def. Carly Colon via pinfall Looking to impress his girlfriend Nidia, Noble is cocky as he dominates the majority of the contest. Taking time to go to the second rope and boast to Nidia, Colon pulls Noble down with a powerbomb and almost gets the pinfall. The two go back and forth briefly before Noble ends up hitting a sit out double underhook powerbomb that gets him the three count. Noble goes to the outside and takes Nidia by the arm, pulling her with him up the ramp while mouthing off to the audience.
3) Sean O'Haire def. Phil Brown via pinfall In a relatively short contest, O'Haire seeks to gain momentum before his King of the Ring first round match this upcoming week on Smackdown, O'Haire dominates Brown before putting him away with the Widowmaker, giving him the easy victory which he hardly takes time in celebrating.
4) Funaki (w/Tajiri) def. WWE Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin (w/WWE Tag Team Champion Charlie Haas) via pinfall With the WWE Tag Team Championship on the line this Thursday, Funaki looks to prove something against one half of the champions. He and Benjamin have a competitive bout with a blinded Haas seeming to reveal he's not so blinded anymore when he shoves Funaki off the top rope. Tajiri comes over and nails Haas in the back of the head with a kick for his troubles, Benjamin throwing a kick between the ropes and in to 'The Japanese Buzzsaw'. That time of being distracted proves to be just enough as Funaki rolls Benjamin up from behind for the one, two, three! Team Angle is in disbelief as Funaki and Tajiri hurry away from the ring, smiles on their faces. The two hold their arms up together and motion for the belts around their waists as they will look to become tag champions on Smackdown!
May 25, 2003: Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, SC
1) The Hurricane def. Lance Storm via pinfall Storm tries to call Hurricane out before the bell about being 'Gregory Helms, Ace Reporter' as we saw confront him on Raw, but Hurricane denies it. The match ensues with Storm being very technical and Hurricane responding in kind with his high flying tactics. After a missed corner splash by Storm, he falls to the Eye of the Hurricane that secures the pinfall for the super hero. He then emerges to his feet and poses to the crowd.
2) Christopher Nowinski def. Damien Denucci via pinfall The Harvard graduate is very confident amidst his control of the match until Denucci stuns him with a couple of big slams. Nowinski survives Denucci's efforts and eventually nails the Harvard Roll and it gets him the pinfall. Nowinski stands over his beaten opponents body afterward, pointing to his temple and taunting to the booing Greenville fans.
3) Christian def. Tommy Dreamer via pinfall With some quality upsets and competitive contests under his belt as of late, Dreamer looks to beat Christian ahead of his King of the Ring first round match with Rob Van Dam tomorrow night, displaying power and even teasing bringing weapons in to the match. Christian distracts the official by bringing a chair in to the ring but instead takes a kendo stick out of Dreamer's trash can on the opposite side of the ring and cracks Tommy across the back with it. An Unprettier follows afterward, giving Christian the cheap victory. Quickly heading to the turnbuckles, Christian stands on the second rope and holds his hands out to the disapproving fans to conclude this week's edition of Heat.
Following the opening Raw video, the cameras come in to the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama where the stage is lit up by pyro while Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcome all from commentary! Tonight, amongst many more things, the King of the Ring tournament continues and we're diving right in to it as we have Chris Jericho against 'The Big Red Machine' Kane!
1) King of the Ring First Round Match: Chris Jericho def. Kane via pinfall Coming off of very different weeks, Jericho having assaulted Dusty Rhodes and Kane losing the World Tag Team Championship, the two go at it hoping to advance to the Quarterfinals of the King of the Ring. Kane's power proves to be the focal point of the match with Jericho trying to find any way to get an upper hand. After rolling under the bottom rope following a big boot, Kane goes to reach between the ropes for Y2J but eats a chair straight to the chin! Jericho then comes back in to the ring and pulls Kane down with sunset flip and jack knife cover, feet on the ropes for the three count!
Jericho scurries out of the ring quickly, one hand behind his neck and the other with a fist raised in the air. As he hurries to the back, a date with Booker T in the quarterfinals set. Meanwhile, Kane sits up in the ring with a scowl, clearly upset after having been screwed over.
Seen in his office is General Manager Eric Bischoff, arms crossed and nodding as he watches the television. The door then opens as his new right hand man, Scott Steiner, enters the room arms crossed the exact same way. "Y'know, Eric, I feel like I let you down last week. I feel like you don't think you can trust me to get the job done! But I can! I can take him... and the International Championship." Bischoff is quick to correct Steiner in telling him it's Intercontinental, not International, but Steiner makes it clear that he doesn't care with a 'whatever', explaining to Bischoff that he wants another shot at Booker tonight and the title. "You know what, Scott, I like it. Tonight, you get another shot at Booker T... and a shot at the Intercontinental Championship." Steiner says he'll make Bischoff proud, patting him on the back aggressively before leaving, the General Manager left holding his shoulder in pain from the slap.
Transitioning to the parking lot, a limousine is seen pulling up. The driver steps out and walks to the back and opens the door, Evolution and Kevin Nash stepping out. Flair and Nash throw the World Tag Team Championship belts over their shoulders, Triple H with a big smile on his face as he wraps his arms around the two. They then begin to head in to the arena as they will be in the ring next!
The theme music of Evolution hits as out to the stage comes Triple H, Batista, Randy Orton and the new World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Kevin Nash. The group of five make their way down and in to the ring, Triple H with a microphone in his hand and a smile on his face as he gestures his hand out. "See, just when you people thought things were looking down for Evolution, they came right back up!" He mentions how Judgment Day wasn't particularly a great night for them, but they moved on and they adapted and they accepted the way things were and they moved on, therefore last Monday night was an incredible night for them. "First, the prodigal son himself... the third generation future of this business Randy Orton took the first step in to becoming the next King of the Ring when he defeated Test!" He pats Orton on the back and tells him he did great and he is sure he won't let him down going forward. HHH then brings up that also last week, in a stroke of his own genius, something incredible happened. "Paired together for the first time, 'Big Sexy' Kevin Nash and the living legend himself, 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair, went to battle with Rob Van Dam and Kane and walked out as the brand new World Tag Team Champions!"
Nash and Flair hold their belts up with the seven footer being handed the microphone by HHH, saying that he was skeptical about the idea of teaming with Flair at first. "But like always, Hunter, you had a vision and that vision came to fruition. I feel a part of this group." Flair pats Nash on the shoulder with a smile, HHH saying that he is well aware of how he can see things and make them a reality. "I am glad you are feeling at home with Evolution, Kev. I am glad that you have seen the light! I am glad that you are World Tag Team Champions with the greatest of all time and I believe in you... don't let me down." He then turns to Batista, whom is looking off in to the distance and calls for his attention. "Y'know, Dave, Ric and myself had our eye on you a while back because you are quite simply a genetic freak. You should be unstoppable! So, I've got to ask... when are you gonna step up, big man? When are you gonna prove Ric and myself right for hand picking you for Evolution?" Batista runs his hand across his face before stepping closer to 'The Game' and asking if he thinks he doesn't want this. "You think I like being replaced by a run down third wheel?" Nash takes exception to the comment and it forces Flair and Orton to hold him back, Batista continuing on by telling HHH that he has no problem stepping up to the plate tonight. "I'm challenging the World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar to a match tonight... and I'll do exactly what you couldn't do at Judgment Day and that is beat him in the middle of this ring... one, two, three." He then turns his back to the Evolution leader and leaves, making his to the back as the rest of Evolution is left discussing what just went down.
In the halls in the back, Rico is seen leading The Basham Brothers, whom he aligned with last week during their debut against his former partners 3 Minute Warning. Doug and Danny are in action once again after the break.
Seen stretching in the back is Women's Champion Trish Stratus when she is approached by the woman she defeated last week, Molly Holly. "Trish, I know we've had our differences but we got something in common: Jazz and Jacqueline." Stratus nods in agreement and says that is a big problem they have on their hands, so that's why she is willing to leave things in the past when they team up tonight as long as Molly is. Holly agrees and offers a handshake, Stratus hesitant to accept it but doing so. Molly tells Trish she'll see her later on then and walks away.
2) The Basham Brothers (w/Rico) def. Sean Evans and Jim Stack via pinfall Doug and Danny completely control the contest, Evans and Stack barely able to get any offense in as Rico gives orders from the outside. After tossing Stack in to the ring post, Evans is left to fall to a legsweep/clothesline combination, being covered by Danny with Doug pushing his brother's shoulders down from behind as the official counts the one, two, three.
Rico steps in to the ring immediately afterward and stands between Danny and Doug, raising their arms up proudly before demanding a microphone from ringside. "Take a good look!" He shouts to the Alabama crowd. "Because I am done with being laughed at! Done with image consulting, done with all size and no brains, done with being a loser! I've got a team destined to turn things around... I've found two of the toughest guys I could find. Doug and Danny: The Basham Brothers!" He throws his microphone down and the three leave the ring together.
Backstage, Kane and Rob Van Damare talking with the prior none too happy about being cheated by Chris Jericho earlier. "Kane, man, I know you got robbed. But I'll make it up for us tonight when I beat Christian, alright? And next week, we got our rematch for the World Tag Team Championship." Kane says he knows, he just really wants to rip somebody's head off! "Hey, man," RVD replies with a chuckle. "You need to lighten up... or light one up! Listen, it'll all be alright, alright? Alright." He pats Kane on the shoulder and heads off as his own King of the Ring match is still to come later on.
Seen arriving in to the building and walking down the halls is Shawn Michaels when he is approached by Terri, where she brings up how he now has a match with Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship at King of the Ring. "Aren't you afraid of what he might do to you? Especially after what he did to your former best friend, Triple H, at Judgment Day? Aren't you afraid of your career being put in jeopardy again?" Michaels smiles in response, saying that he's heard about how big, bad and tough Lesnar is and at King of the Ring he is going to find out first hand. "But he's also going to find out who 'The Heart Break Kid' is..." He flashes a smile and continues on his way. Back inside of the arena at the commentary table, J.R. and Lawler discuss last week the debut of Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel talk show, showing replays of his interview with Dusty Rhodes where things would escalate and lead to Y2J striking the legend with his microphone. The commentary team says for an update on Dusty, we go to his son Goldust, whom we see via satellite without his regular facepaint. J.R. says that this was obviously a heinous attack on Dusty by Jericho and asks Goldust how his father is holding up. "My father is one of the toughest S.O.B.s this business has ever seen, but he is also an old man at this point, J.R." He shakes his head and says that Chris Jericho only knows how to do two things in this business: Cheat and bully. "And I won't stand for it, J.R. I've been bullied my whole life and I've damn sure been cheated many of times. And when you bring my daddy in to this, there will be hell to pay. When I get my hands on Chris Jericho he will never forget the name... Rhodes." Goldust gives a stern look in to the camera, J.R. thanking him for his time.
Seen walking on his own in the back is Batista when he comes across the World Heavyweight Champion and man he challenged later on, Brock Lesnar. The two have a stare down with Lesnar eventually speaking up. "You got a lot of balls challenging me, boy. What, you doing this for Triple H?" Batista says to make one thing perfectly clear, this isn't for Triple H or Evolution, this is for him. "I'm doing this for me and me alone: Dave Batista. I'll see your ass in the ring tonight." Lesnar smirks in response, Batista then continuing on his way.
Making his way down to the ring following the break is Scott Steiner, snatching a microphone from ringside before he steps in to the squared circle. "Everybody knows that last week, Booker T's win was a fluke! 'The Big Bad Booty Daddy' has been out of action for a while and if it weren't for that, Booker T would've never stood a chance!" Steiner says that now that he has loosened up, he sees no way he doesn't beat Booker T and walk out as 'International' Champion tonight!
3) Intercontinental Championship: Booker T(c) def. Scott Steiner via pinfall In similar fashion to last week's match, Steiner's strength proves to be a major factor in the match. Booker fights back with the crowd behind him but after a Scissors Kick is avoided, Steiner clotheslines him over the top rope and to the outside, where he tosses Booker in to the barricade, steel steps and ring apron. Wearing down the back, 'Big Poppa Pump' looks to apply the Steiner Recliner but Booker manages to slip free before it can be locked on, teeing off on Steiner with punches once back to his feet. Slipping out of a belly-to-belly with elbows to the head, the Book End is delivered and after a spinaroonie, the Intercontinental Champion ducks a shot, kicks the stomach and nails the Scissors Kick, resulting in the pinfall and retaining of his championship.
Still the Intercontinental Champion and having beaten Steiner two weeks in a row, Booker rises to his feet and is presented with his title belt. He holds it up proudly over his head as he now looks forward to next week where he will face Chris Jericho in the quarterfinals of the King of the Ring tournament.
Jonathan Coachman is standing by in the back with Christian as his guest, asking about his confidence level going in to his King of the Ring First Round Match with Rob Van Dam. "When the brackets came out, everybody talked about how RVD made it to the finals last year. Well, this year, he is lined up against me! The Whole Peepin' Show!" Coachman looks confused, so Christian explains how RVD calls himself 'The Whole F'n Show', but he's busy representing his people — his peeps. "So tonight is just the first step in to me becoming King Christian and finally getting that World Heavyweight Championship match I've always deserved at Summerslam!" He snickers and heads off.
Seen throwing a fit in the back and knocking equipment over is Scott Steiner, yelling about Booker T when he is approached by General Manager Eric Bischofftrying to calm him down. "No, Eric! No! I let you down, I let myself down, I let all my freaks down!" He topples over another production crate before Bischoff steps in front of him, pleading with him to relax. "It's okay! It's okay, Scott! Please, just calm down! Look, you gave a hell of an effort out there and we both know deep down that you're better than Booker T. You're better than most of the guys on the roster!" Steiner puts his hands on his hips and raises his eyebrows, questioning Bischoff's choice of 'most'. He swipes a bunch of things off a nearby table and continues yelling as he walks away, Bischoff running his hands across his face before following after Steiner, still attempting to get assistant to calm down.
4) King of the Ring First Round Match: Rob Van Dam def. Christian via pinfall The contest is very back and forth, Christian resorting to some underhanded tactics to try and pull off the win. After reversing an RVD spinning wheel kick, he pushes Van Dam in to the referee. Christian sees an opening and goes to the outside, retrieving the timekeeper's steel chair and bringing it in to the ring. Prepared to strike, RVD manages to get up and hit the Van Daminator! With Christian down and the referee stirring, RVD kicks the chair out of the ring, heads to the top rope and hits the Five Star Frog Splash! The cover is then made and the legs are hooked for the three count.
Van Dam rolls back on to his feet in celebration, having had the success his tag team partner failed to have earlier in the night. Having moved on to face Randy Orton in the next round of the King of the Ring tournament in two weeks, he'll have a chance to keep things rolling when he looks to reclaim the World Tag Team Championship next week with Kane against Kevin Nash and Ric Flair.
Seen walking in the back is Theodore Long rubbing his hands together as he approaches both Jazz and Jacqueline. "Alright, sisters, you know the drill. Trish Stratus, Molly Holly, they representing the white woman that been holding you back for too long! Tonight, the power of both of you together is gonna rise up an teach those vanilla girls what y'all are made of, ya feel me?" Jazz punches her hand in to her palm and says she's ready to kick some ass, Jacqueline agreeing as they head off together.
Seen gathered up in the locker room area is Maven, D'Lo Brown and Al Snow, all laughing together about something. They are approached by Chief Morley, whom questions what is so funny. As he steps forward to read what is on the board the trio are chuckling at, William Regalsteps in and asks what is going on. Morley backs up with a grin, Regal stepping up to the paper — his eyebrows raising as he rips the paper down. "Helms says Morley well endowed, Regal not so much?!" Regal begins to steam as he rips the paper apart, asking what kind of joke this is. "Where is that bloody Helms?! Where is The Hurricane?!" Regal turns to Morley laughing and asks if he finds this entertaining. Morley shrugs in response and says he just personally doesn't find a problem with the truth. He then walks away still laughing, Maven, Brown and Snow all backing off as Regal is none too pleased!
5) Jazz and Jacqueline (w/Theodore Long) def. Women's Champion Trish Stratus and Molly Holly via submission After a bit of a rough start, Trish and Molly eventually manage to get on the same page and put up a good, competitive fight against Jazz and Jacqueline. Long tries to get involved but eats a slap across the face from Molly for his troubles. A baseball slide from Jazz takes Molly down, Stratus with a clothesline as she comes back. As Stratus bounces off the ropes, however, she has her hair pulled from behind by Jacqueline, leading to the Bitch Clamp from Jazz for the pinfall.
Long quickly goes up the steps applauding, entering the ring in between Jazz and Jacqueline and raising their arms up together. Stratus, meanwhile, rolls to the outside at Molly's side as this unit of Jazz and Jacqueline clearly is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the women's division.
Seen in the back is Evolution sans Batista and Kevin Nash, Flair walking in with women and Orton a bottle of champagne. Flair says it's time for them to have a good time, popping the cork. Before they can enjoy things, however, Batista ends up walking in to the room and up to Triple H. "I just wanted to let you know, Hunter, that this isn't for you, this isn't for Evolution. This is for me. This is about me proving to myself that I am what I think I am." HHH nods, Orton then suggesting that maybe they can hold off on the party and he can go to ringside with Batista. HHH puts his hand out, however, telling Orton 'no' and then returning his focus to Batista. "Dave wants to be a big man, he's going to go out there on his own. Good luck tonight, big man." Batista gives a brief stare to his Evolution leader before leaving the room, the rest of the group returning to grab champagne glasses and beginning to drink together. As they begin the rest of their night, Batista's continues next against Brock Lesnar! 6) Non-Title Match: World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar def. Batista via pinfall Stepping right up face to face to start things off, Batista stands his own ground and even knocks Lesnar back on an initial lock up. Lesnar has to take a minute to recoup on the outside, eventually getting back in to the ring where the two men go back and forth with some power on the other. Batista continues to impress and after a powerslam gets him a two count. Lesnar responds with some heavy hitting strikes and a series of knees to the stomach, overpowering Batista some more. He decides to switch things up a bit and goes to the second rope, leaping off for a double axe handle only for Batista to catch him mid-air and deliver a spinebuster for a two count! Both men begin to stir back to their feet, Batista positioning for a powerbomb with Lesnar suddenly scooping him up off of the mat and nailing the F-5 in the center of the ring! Both legs are then hooked for the one, two, three!
Lesnar sits up off of the hard fought victory, the official bringing him with the World Heavyweight Championship belt. He doesn't get much time to even stand and raise the title, however, as out from the back walks Shawn Michaels. He slowly makes his way down to the ring as Lesnar invites him in. Michaels cautiously steps through the ropes and moves forward toward Lesnar, getting some words from his King of the Ring opponent. Michaels returns the favor as they get in to an intense back and forth, both eventually smiling as Michaels motions for the belt around his waist. After pointing to it, he turns around and begins to head toward the ropes only to suddenly snap back and drop Lesnar with Sweet Chin Music! 'The Heart Break Kid' poses over Lesnar briefly before stepping through the ropes, a grin from ear-to-ear as he backs up the ramp and to the top of the stage. Lesnar, meanwhile, sits up in the ring with an angry look in his eye, pulling himself up via the ropes with the World Heavyweight Championship still in his hands as Michaels has managed to get one over on him for the second week in a row! With that, J.R signs things off and the show comes to an end.
May 29, 2003: Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, FL
A camera shot of a painting of Kurt Angle on an easel is seen, before slowly moving up to show the WWE Champion Kurt Angle himself standing behind it proudly. "Good evening, I am Olympic hero and current WWE Champion Kurt Angle. Of course, you should already know that. I know a lot of you missed me last week but I was taking a well deserved week off. In that time, I was planning what is to come tonight: Kurt Angle Appreciation Night." He gives a smile and says during the course of tonight, his accomplishments will be looked upon and at the end of the night, he will grace the people with his presence and speak on what he has done and what he plans on doing forward. Following the Smackdown opening video, the theme music of Goldberg immediately hits. The crowd erupts while Michael Cole and Tazz give the welcome to the show from commentary, Goldberg emerging from the back and not looking to be in a good mood at all as he marches down to the ring and takes a microphone, pacing back and forth before turning his focus up the ramp. "Vince McMahon! I ain't wasting any time tonight... get your ass out here because you and myself have to have a little talk!" The Pensacola fans cheer as Goldberg continues to walk around the ring, getting no response so he threatens to go to the back and drag the Chairman down to the ring by his collar! After waiting a little longer, Mr. McMahon's music does hit and he struts his way out to the top of the stage, eyes wide as he looks down at the ring, throwing his hands out to his sides and shrugging his shoulders. "What's the matter, Goldberg?! You think you're just going to bring me to the ring and kick my ass?!" He scoffs and says that what Goldberg doesn't seem to understand is that not only is this a business, this is his business and the reason that Goldberg was cost the WWE Championship at Judgment Day is because McMahon himself doesn't want Goldberg representing his company. "You've done nothing here to earn my respect! You've done nothing here to deserve the WWE Championship let alone an opportunity at one! You tried to take my business down and then you had the audacity to Spear me last month in the middle of that ring!" Goldberg shakes his head and steps toward the ropes, telling McMahon that the Spear he gave him a few weeks ago was his own fault for getting in his way. "But here's the thing, Vinny. That wasn't the last time that's going to happen to you... because you're next!"
McMahon gulps and begins to stumble over his words, warning Goldberg that wouldn't be in his best interest. "Th-th-th-that wouldn't be in my be-be-best interest?" Goldberg replies mockingly. "Maybe you should of thought of that before you screwed me over! Now, your ass is mine!" Throwing his microphone down, Goldberg proceeds to step through the ropes and begin to make his way up the ramp! McMahon puts his hands up and begins to back away quickly, Goldberg drawing nearer to him at the curtain when he is dropped with a running clothesline from The Big Show! Goldberg rolls back from it and gets right on to his feet again, charging back and Show and throwing fists! The two men go back and forth with McMahon giving encouragement for his seven foot accomplice. "Goldberg wants his hands on Mr. McMahon," Cole says. "But he might have to get through 'The World's Largest Athlete' first!" As the brawl continues on, referees and backstage officials rush out to try and break things up, struggling to separate the two powerhouses. General Manager Stephanie McMahon also arrives to the stage to try and assist in restoring order, Show and Goldberg eventually pulled enough apart to stop the fighting.
Back from the break, Goldberg and The Big Show are still trying to fight but continue to be separated, Mr. McMahon mocking Goldberg while standing by Show. "That's it!" Stephanie McMahon yells as she stands between the two piles of people. "Get him out of the arena! That's enough!" She says toward Goldberg, causing him to question what she is doing. She then turns to a laughing Show and orders the same for him! "What the hell are you doing?" Asks Vince, Stephanie shaking her head and saying that this is her show and she is taking control of things. She then calls for security to take her father away as well! They come and grab him by the arms and he is in disbelief, yelling as he is pulled away. "Whatever happened to daddy's little girl?! Whatever happened, Stephanie?!"
1) WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Angle(c) def. Tajiri and Funaki via pinfall After bringing out the easel and picture of Kurt Angle to the stage, Benjamin and Haas come down to the ring in an attempt to retain their gold. Tajiri and Funaki, despite having much less tag team experience, work well together and nearly defeat the champions with various pin attempts. After Funaki is cut off with a big suplex from Benjamin, Team Angle takes total control of things, showing off their amateur wrestling skills. After hitting an enzugiri to get out of Haas' grasp, Funaki crawls over to make the tag to Tajiri, whom comes in with hard kicks. After the Tarantula to Benjamin leaves both members of Team Angle on the apron, Tajiri attempts to mist Haas once again but he ducks and the champions drop to the floor below. Funaki then launches himself over the top rope on to Benjamin, followed by Tajiri on Haas. After taking Charlie back in to the ring, the two have a lot of back and forth before Benjamin ends up swiping Funaki's legs out on the apron. He then comes in to the ring and cuts Tajiri off on a handspring with a superkick in to a Haas German suplex and bridge for the three count!
Benjamin embraces Haas as he rises back up after the bell, as they are announced as the winners. "Can you imagine if Haas and Benjamin lost the WWE Tag Team Championship tonight, Cole?" Tazz questions. "On Kurt Angle Appreciation Night?! Man, he's gotta be proud!" The duo head to the top of the stage and pose with the WWE Tag Team Championship belts next to the picture of Kurt.
Standing by in the back is Josh Mathews with his guest at this time being United States Champion Edge. Mathews mentions that we are just moments away from his King of the Ring First Round Match with Sean O'Haire and asks for his final thoughts beforehand. "You know, Josh, I won this tournament two years ago." Edge says. "And while that was great, there wasn't a WWE Championship match after the win. This is bigger and this means even more and it starts tonight..." He tails off at the end of the sentence as Sean O'Haire ends up approaching him, running his hand through his chin hair. "It's a nice story, Edge. But like I told you last week... lightning doesn't tend to strike twice. First your United States Championship win, and now you think you'll become a two-time King of the Ring? But hey, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know." He laughs and walks away with that match up next.
Footage for 'Kurt Angle Appreciation Night' is shown, highlighting No Mercy 2000 where he won his first WWE Championship by defeating The Rock in a No Disqualifications match.
2) Non-Title King of the Ring First Round Match: United States Champion Edge def. Sean O'Haire via pinfall An incredibly competitive match up, both men are clearly intent on advancing in the King of the Ring tournament. Big moves on each other and near falls on both sides, an Edge-o-Matic nearly pulls off the win for Edge as does a big powerslam for O'Haire. After appearing to be closing in on a win following a clothesline to Edge coming off the second rope, O'Haire grows a bit cocky and begins to taunt to the crowd. He then drags Edge up by his hair and prepares for the Widowmaker but Edge manages to slide down with his arm around O'Haire's neck and deliver the Edgecution which leads to the pinfall!
Edge rises to his feet as the winner, leaning back in to the corner as the referee raises his arm up. Presented with the United States Championship belt, Edge's recent success continues as he now advances to the next round of the King of the Ring against his former partner, Chris Benoit.
Seen watching the television monitor in the back is Chris Benoit himself, arms crossed when he is approached from behind by Billy Kidman, patting Benoit on the back. "Hey, Chris, just wanted to wish you luck against Edge in the next round." Benoit turns with his eyebrows raised, asking Kidman if he really believes that he requires his good luck wishes. "I don't need that crap! I'm Chris Benoit! I'm 'The Rabid Wolverine' and if you look back at this year I should be the WWE Champion, WWE Tag Team Champions and the United States Champion. So the way I see it, I should and will be the King of the Ring and not because of your wishes of 'good luck' but because of who I am." Kidman tells Benoit to take it easy, prompting Chris to respond that he doesn't take anything easy and if Kidman wants to find out — he'll meet him down in the ring right now! He then brushes shoulders with Kidman and leaves the room.
Footage for 'Kurt Angle Appreciation Night' is shown, highlighting Unforgiven 2001 where he won the WWE Championship in his hometown of Pittsburgh by defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Transitioning to a video from earlier today, Nunzio is seen wearing a neck brace and getting a shoulder massage from Dawn Marie. Nunzio starts to complain about how aggressive she is being. "Not the neck, what the hells the matter with you?!" Dawn argues back that she was just trying to help and that she didn't touch his neck. "I asked you to soothe my pain and instead you inflicted it! Are you trying to cripple me?! Was The Dudley Boyz putting me through a table not enough, eh?!" The rest of The F.B.I. then enter the room as they hear the commotion. "Ho! What's goin' on here?!" Asks Palumbo while puffing on a cigar, Nunzio throwing his hands up and saying he's sick of this, he's sick of everything. "We're not living up to who we are! We are full blooded Italians!" He says that they are supposed to be tough and be feared and instead, they're the laughing stock of the locker room and it's time for a change. "We gotta kick these guys asses! We gotta cut their hands off! We gotta leave horses carcasses in they beds! Slice 'em up! Any of you guys know how to slice 'n dice someone up?" Everyone's eyes are widened as Kanyon says that he doesn't think they can actually do any of that kind of stuff. DeMott says he thinks Kanyon is right, Nunzio adjusting his neck brace. "Well, we can still kick they asses, right?!" The group yells 'yeah!' in agreement and follows Nunzio out of the room.
3) Chris Benoit def. Billy Kidman via submission A firey battle out of the gate, the two men exchange hard strikes and take each other down in different fashions, Benoit using hooks of the waist and clotheslines while Kidman throws high flying kicks. After a BK Bomb is reversed in to a facebuster, Benoit takes control of things and nails a series of big German suplexes before going to the top rope only for Kidman to catch him with an enzuigiri. Benoit falls to the mat in a heap, Kidman seeing his opportunity as he races to the top rope — standing up straight and going for the Shooting Star Press only for 'The Rabid Wolverine' to roll out of the way! Benoit quickly strikes afterward by applying the Crippler Crossface, Kidman trying to pry the hands off from around his face. He then tries to get to the ropes but Benoit has him locked in the center, forcing the submission.
Benoit refuses to let up on the hold just as he did last week with Rikishi, the referee continuing to call for the bell. He continues to not stop on the crossface, however, prompting the official to step out of the ring and move over to Tony Chimel — having some words to him before he makes an announcement to the crowd: "Ladies and gentlemen, the referee has just informed that he is officially reversing the decision of this match... therefore the winner of the match via disqualification, Billy Kidman!" Benoit hears the announcement and releases the hold, looking in disbelief as he turns his attention to the official. He tries to follow after him on the outside but the referee books it over the barricade! Benoit puts his hands over his head before turning back to the ring, charging in back after Kidman, dragging him up and hurling him through the ropes, following after and launching him shoulder first in to the ring steps. "What the hell is wrong with Benoit?!" Asks Cole. He stares down at Kidman's body and shakes his head, backing away slowly before stomping up the ramp and returning to the back.
Seen in the back is Jeff Hardy when he is stopped by his brother Matt Hardyand Shannon Moore. Jeff rolls his eyes as Matt expresses to him how he still wishes he could understand and comprehend what Mattitude is all about and what it can do to better him. "Matt, maybe I'm just not that interested." Shannon steps forward and tells Jeff that they are going to prove it to him tonight! Matt pushes Moore back, elaborating further. "Tonight, Shannon and I are going to show you we can take on demons from our past, prior enemies and we can overcome them. Myself and Shannon are going to go out there and face our old nemesis', The Dudley Boyz. And with the power of Mattitude, we will overcome them." Jeff crosses his arms and scratches his head, saying that sounds great. Matt points a finger at his brother and tells him to just watch and think long and hard about what Mattitude could do for him. He and Moore then head off, leaving Jeff shaking his head at his brother's suggestion.
After the break, La Resistance is shown walking through a car showroom, Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier talking about the great history of automobiles, but there is something special and rare about the French vehicles, much like themselves. They stand in front of a brand new Bugatti, Grenier explaining that he hasn't met a single person that wouldn't want this fine car. "Much like Rene and myself, men wish they could have it and women wish they could be with it." The two have a chuckle and continue to go on about what they are going to bring to Smackdown when Los Guerreros sneak in behind the two of them. While the Frenchmen continue to speak to the camera, Eddie and Chavo hop in the car and get it started up, high fiving one before driving it straight out of the showroom! Dupree and Grenier's eyes widen as they turn to see the car peeling out, chasing toward it and yelling in French, albeit too late as Los Guerreros have stolen the brand new Bugatti!
Back inside of the Pensacola Civic Center, John Cena's music hits and he slowly steps through the curtains. He has a microphone in his hand and pulls it up slowly. "Yo, yo, yo... cut the beat..." He adjusts his hat and looks around the arena. "Taker got me last week but y'all won't stop talking about the past, I'm looking to the future where I'm on top and making all kinds of cash. Tonight it begins, I'm taking a man beast right out of this thing, first step toward John Cena becoming King of the Ring!" He continues on as he heads down and in to the squared circle, standing in the center as he calls Rhyno out for his 'ass whooping' right here and right now. "I'm gonna beat your ass in like a catcher's mitt and if anyone doesn't think so, they can eat..." He holds the microphone up for the crowd to finish the line and drops it. 4) King of the Ring First Round Match: John Cena def. Rhyno via pinfall A brawl out the gates, the more experienced Rhyno frustrates Cena when he begins to knock him to the mat repeatedly. A couple of back suplexes and take downs from Cena start to get him some momentum but his F-U attempt is blocked by a couple of elbows to the side of the face. After a clothesline and big overhead suplex, Rhyno starts to get fired up along with the crowd as he gets prepped in the corner. Set up for the Gore, he charges right at Cena once he gets up but is met with a big punch to the face! Rhyno's legs start to give way beneath him, Cena scooping him up for the F-U and the three count!
Cena rises to his feet as the winner and puts his fists together with pinkies out, the commentary team looking at the replay to the finish of the match to find out Cena used his wrench pendant chain that he had used against The Undertaker in recent weeks to punch Rhyno with. "John Cena robbed Rhyno of advancing in the King of the Ring!" Says Cole in disgust. As Cena leaves with with a grin, he continues to hold his hands up in signature form to the booing crowd as he has advanced to face Rey Mysterio.
Seen in the back in three different shots are Torrie Wilson, Jackie Gaydaand Nidiawearing bath robes as they will be competing in a bikini contest after the break!
Footage for 'Kurt Angle Appreciation Night' is shown, highlighting Armageddon 2002 where he defeated The Big Show to become a then three-time WWE Champion.
In the back, Josh Mathews is standing by with Team Angle, congratulating them on retaining the WWE Tag Team Championship earlier against Tajiri and Funaki. "Yes, Josh, we showed why we are the world's greatest tag team!" Charlie says with a smile. "But we wouldn't be where we are without the great Kurt Angle!" Benjamin says that because of Angle's leadership and showing them the three I's, they are where they are today. The Dudley Boyz then walk by, looking the two of them up and down. "Boys," D-Von says with a grin. "How about a fourth I? Ignorance. Because if we're talking about the greatest tag team in the world... you're looking at them." Bubba pats his brother on the back and adds on to it. "How about a fifth I? As in... I want your titles!" The two share a laugh together before continuing on their way, leaving Team Angle holding their tag team title belts close to their chest and appearing a bit worrisome.
In the arena, Tazz stands in the ring with a smile on his face as he says that he is more than happy to be hosting tonight's bikini contest! He then proceeds to introduce, first, Jackie Gayda. She makes her way down to the ring with a green bath robe covering her up. Next, he calls out for Nidia, whom arrives along with her boyfriend Jamie Noblewhile wearing a blue bath robe. Last, Playboy cover girl Torrie Wilson is introduced with a pink robe. The three stand in the ring as Tazz explains the rules, that each woman will get twenty seconds to disrobe and show what they're wearing. He will then gauge the crowd and whoever gets the best reaction will be declared the winner! He starts things off with Nidia, showing a bikini that is less revealing than one would expect. Noble is happily cheering on from the corner for his girl as she finishes her turn receiving boos from the crowd. She appears offended by it but Noble tells her not to listen. Next up is Jackie, revealing a relatively thin red bikini that gets a mixed response from the crowd. Once she is finished, Torrie steps up and has a very revealing bikini that Cole says on commentary is about as close to wearing nothing as she could get! After she is done posing to the very happy audience, Tazz begins to poll the crowd, which leads to Nidia and Jackie not getting much of a reaction and Torrie getting a big one. Noble, meanwhile, is noticeably eyeing Torrie and Jackie and Nidia catches him! She begins to smack him around, leading to him racing out of the ring with her right behind! As she chases him to the back, Tazz laughs and says that he knows who is sleeping on the couch tonight. "Although they seem like the type to have a pull out couch so, hey, who knows... anyway, let's try this one more time..." He then polls the audience between Jackie and Torrie once again, getting a clear winner as he announces Torrie as the bikini contest victor! She begins to celebrate to the crowd but Jackie ends up tackling her from behind! The two begin to get in to a catfight, rolling around the ring and then under the bottom rope. As they stand up on the outside, Jackie takes Torrie by the hair and launches her full force in to the barricade! As Wilson is down, Gayda backs away, having lost the bikini contest but standing tall in the end.
Footage for 'Kurt Angle Appreciation Night' is shown, highlighting Backlash in April where Angle would team with Team Angle to defeat The Undertaker, Chris Benoit and Edge to become WWE Champion and WWE Tag Team Champions, respectively.
Seen talking to some production members in the back is Rey Mysterio when he ends up being approached by John Cena. The two stare each other down, Cena snickering as he begins to rap on Mysterio about facing him next week in the quarterfinals of the King of the Ring, rattling off reasons why he'll beat Mysterio while trash talking his size. "Your face I'm gonna smash, just like when I beat your ass back at Backlash!" Mysterio shakes his head and tells Cena that he isn't afraid of him or anyone else and next week, they'll damn sure find out who the better man is. He then walks off, leaving Cena looking none too happy as Mysterio is clearly not intimidated by him or his raps.
5) The Dudley Boyz def. Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore via pinfall With Hardy and Moore attempting some underhanded tactics to try and stay in the match, The Dudley Boyz manage to dominate most of it. After Hardy makes a blind tag and side effects D-Von for a near fall, Jeff Hardy walks out from the back and stays atop the stage. Matt takes notice and has a smile, pointing to his brother. "Watch this, Jeff!" He says before turning to Moore and calling for him. He then pulls D-Von back to his feet as Moore goes to the top rope, attempting a crossbody only for it to be avoided by D-Von and for Moore to hit Matt instead! Bubba then comes in and tosses Shannon to the outside, Matt rising up to the 3-D! The cover is then made by D-Von for the one, two, three.
While The Dudley Boyz celebrate their win together, Jeff watches on from atop of the stage, shaking his head as his brother's attempt to show him 'the power of Mattitude' clearly didn't impress him at all.
Seen coming out of his locker room in the back is Kurt Angle, the WWE Champion with a big smile on his face as he looks around him. The culmination of 'Kurt Angle Appreciation Night' is next!"
Footage for 'Kurt Angle Appreciation Night' is shown, highlighting Judgment Day a couple of weeks ago where Angle would survive his match with Goldberg by disqualification, but remain WWE Champion.
Inside of the Pensacola Civic Center, the ring has a red, white and blue carpet with the easel of Kurt Angle's picture standing next to a glass case displaying his Olympic gold medal. Standing in the ring together already is Team Angle, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin each speaking of Angle's accomplishments from Olympic gold medalist to WWE Champion before asking the audience to stand in appreciation for Kurt Angle! He makes his way out with his title belt displayed around his waist and a smile on his face, coming down to the ring and embracing Haas and Benjamin before turning his attention to the crowd with a microphone in hand. "Your 'you suck' chants can't get to me on a night like this, folks, so you can just go ahead, sit down and shut up!" He laughs as the Florida fans boo him, continuing on by saying that a little over thirty-four years ago, the world was presented with a gift from God himself and God called that gift 'Kurt Steven Angle'. "So each day that passes by, when you pray to God and thank him for everything he gave you, make sure to thank him for having Kurt Angle grace your presence day in and day out! Thank him for giving you the greatest WWE Champion you could ever ask for and giving your children a hero and role model to look up to!" Angle then continues on by bringing up his match with Goldberg just a couple of weeks ago at Judgment Day, where everyone said he didn't stand a chance to walk out still the WWE Champion but, yet, here he stands. "I've either beaten or outlasted everyone in my path, ladies and gentlemen! And because I am so great, I will continue to do so and continue to be your WWE Champion! And if there is anybody in that locker room that doesn't appreciate me for the honorable and fighting champion that I am, well, you need to get a frickin' clue!" He smiles as Benjamin and Haas applaud him, preparing to say more until...
The theme music of The Undertaker hits, 'Big Evil' shortly thereafter arriving on his motorcycle to a big ovation from the crowd. He rides it down and around the ring before parking it at the bottom of the ramp, slowly getting off of it and going up the steel steps. Angle holds Haas and Benjamin back as Taker watches on from the apron. He then takes one step over the top rope and then the next, staying on high alert as Angle continues to keep his men back. Taker walks across the ring still watching the trio, being handed a microphone from ringside. "Y'know, Kurt, I've been watching all night long and I've been seeing you show these clips of your accomplishments but I don't see a lot of your failures... and while you've been plenty successful, you've damn sure come up short plenty of times — including against me," He says that with all due respect, considering it is 'Kurt Angle Appreciation Night', he'd like to say how much he appreciates him having such a big mouth and providing such an easy target. Angle steps forward and tells Taker to quit being a wise guy. "Did you come out here to show me some real appreciation like I deserve or did you just come out here to rain on my parade just because you're still bitter about me taking back the WWE Championship from you at Backlash?" Taker looks around the building and says it's funny he brings that up, because that's exactly the reason why he came out here. "See, Kurt, maybe you don't remember this, but I do... you won the WWE Championship at Backlash. Granted, you never beat me for it. It was a six man tag. But regardless, I still have myself a rematch to be had..." Angle begins to put the pieces together, Taker proceeding to announce that he had a talk with Stephanie McMahon and he's going to be invoking that rematch clause of his at King of the Ring! "So, the way I see it, Kurt... you need to do a little appreciating of the time you've got left as WWE Champion because if my math is right... you've got just a little over two weeks before I take back what's mine." Angle mutters under his breath and then goes to throw a punch only for Taker to catch his arm and throw a big right hand of his own! Benjamin and Haas try to come at Taker and push him in to the corner but he begins to fight both of them off. After a clothesline to Benjamin and a big boot to Haas, he catches Benjamin by the neck and launches him head first in to the glass case holding the gold medal! Haas then staggers back up and has the picture of Angle slammed down and wrapped around his head! As Angle watches on from the ramp holding his WWE Championship belt close, Taker proceeds to pull Benjamin up between his legs and plant him with the Last Ride Powerbomb! The audience is loud for 'The Dead Man' as he paces back and forth around the ring, motioning for the WWE Championship around his waist to a stunned and upset Angle as this week's Smackdown draws to an end!
May 31, 2003: Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, FL
1) A-Train def. Brian Kendrick via pinfall Perhaps expected to be one sided, Kendrick surprises everyone and especially A-Train as he avoids the big man early on and surprises him with a couple of low shots to take him down. After a top rope crossbody attempt has Kendrick caught, however, A-Train hurls him across the ring and crushes him in the corner. After a couple more slams to display his power some more, A-Train delivers the Derailer, leaving Kendrick down and out for the three count. Post-match, A-Train drags Kendrick up by his hair and tosses him to the outside to boos from the crowd, raising his fists up after proudly.
2) Jeff Hardy def. Joey Matthews via pinfall Despite the efforts of Matthews, he never really gets anything going as Hardy simply dominates things. After a Whisper in the Wind when he ducks a clothesline, Jeff makes his way to the top rope and delivers the Swanton Bomb, securing him the easy pinfall victory. He tosses his shirt out to the crowd from the second turnbuckle afterward, posing and enjoying the win with the fans.
3) Rey Mysterio def. Crash Holly via pinfall With his King of the Ring Quarterfinals match against John Cena coming up this Thursday, Mysterio gets a bit of a warm up as he and Holly have some fast paced action to begin things, Mysterio looking close to getting a quick win when Holly hits a low blow behind the back of the official. After a few stomps and some taunting, his attempt at the Crash Landing is reversed in to a hurricanrana that drops him perfectly between the ropes for the 619! Mysterio then hits the West Coast Pop, hooking both legs off of it for the one, two, three. The Pensacola fans cheer Rey on as he gets to his feet, pointing all around the arena as he hopes this is the momentum he needs going in to his match with Cena this upcoming Thursday on Smackdown.
June 1, 2003: Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, AL
1) Lance Storm def. Tommy Dreamer via submission A competitive match clashing technical and brawling styles, Storm keeps Dreamer down as much as he can. Eventually, Tommy manages to flip Storm over his shoulders and on to the outside and it turns the tides briefly. After a missed running knee in to the corner back in the ring, however, Storm kicks the back of that knee from behind and follows it with the Canadian Maple Leaf submission. Dreamer tries to fight through the pain but with no way out in sight has to tap out. A much needed win for Storm coming off of The Bischoff Administrations recent disbandment, he trash talks Dreamer after the bell while having his arm raised by the official.
2) Test (w/Stacy Keibler) def. Stevie Richards (w/Victoria) via pinfall Both men perhaps trying to impress the woman in their corner, they have a back and forth battle with Richards almost pulling off the win when he rolls Test up from the ropes with a handful of tights. Thinking he secured the three count, he begins to celebrate early, getting in to an argument with the referee over the count. Victoria tries to warn him from the outside to turn around but as soon as he does, Test runs through him with a big boot! A pump handle slam then follows, giving Test the pinfall. He gets to his feet and insists on Keibler entering the ring and she does so seemingly hesitantly, Test holding her arm up to the fans while Victoria berates Richards on the outside for yet another loss.
3) Randy Orton def. D'Lo Brown (w/Maven) via pinfall A Quarterfinals match in the King of the Ring against Rob Van Dam eight nights from now, Orton gets an opportunity against the veteran Brown, whom gives him some tough competition. After a big spinebuster from Brown almost snags him the win, he heads to the top rope for a splash but Orton rolls out of the way. He then wastes no time with Brown getting back up to hit him with a backbreaker followed up by the RKO for the one, two, three. Orton rises right to his feet as the bell sounds and gets an eye on Maven, taunting right in his direction. The former Tough Enough winner isn't impressed by it as he slowly slides in to the ring to check on his tag team partner, Orton exiting the ring and posing as he backs up the ramp as the show ends.
June 2, 2003: San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA
The opening Raw video airs, the cameras coming inside of the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California afterward as the stage is hit by pyro. Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler give the welcome to the show on commentary as we are going to be diving straight in to the action here tonight with the World Tag Team Championship on the line!
1) World Tag Team Championship: Rob Van Dam and Kane def. Kevin Nash and Ric Flair(c) (w/Triple H) via pinfall A rematch from two weeks ago, Van Dam and Kane are intent on regaining the World Tag Team Championship. While Nash and Flair take their turns double teaming RVD, Kane ends up coming in to even up the odds, spilling the champions to the outside and forcing them to regroup in to a commercial break. Afterward, RVD continues to struggle a bit against his opponents but after a spinning wheel kick to Flair, he makes the diving tag to Kane, whom comes in and corners a pleading 'Nature Boy' before teeing off on him with punches, boots and slams. Nash gets involved and goes toe-to-toe with the fellow big man, RVD getting back in to the mix of things. Seeing an opportunity, Triple H gets on the apron with his sledgehammer and looks to hand it off to Nash - whom takes a look over and refuses. HHH continues to insist but as Nash keeps ignoring him, 'The Game' enters the ring himself and goes to strike Kane with the hammer only for Nash to rip it from his hands just beforehand! HHH gets in Nash's face and the two begin to argue with each other on how to handle things. Kane and RVD see their opening, Kane with a boot to Nash that sends him through the ropes and to the outside with HHH then taking a clothesline from RVD over the top rope. Flair then walks up and has a strike ducked by Kane, the 16-time World Champion then turning right in to a Chokeslam. Kane then follows over to RVD on the apron and tags him for the Five Star Frog Splash and pinfall!
The audience cheers loud as RVD gets back to his feet with his fists raised, as he and Kane have regained the World Tag Team Championship! "The miscommunication of Triple H and Kevin Nash just cost Nash and Flair the gold," Says J.R. "You know none of those three are happy about this!" While HHH and Nash glare at one another on the outside, RVD and Kane celebrate inside with the gold.
After the break, the commentary team highlights and talks about what we just saw moments ago with the World Tag Team Championship match. The cameras then pick up backstage to show Evolution and Kevin Nashall gathered together in the back, Triple H and Nash yelling back and forth at one another about what just happened. "Hey, he may need your help but I don't!" Nash shouts while pointing in Batista's direction, angering 'The Animal' but HHH puts his hand out in front of Batista to stop him from jumping forward. "At least Dave manned up last week, Kev! Meanwhile you're out here making excuses for losing!" The two continue to stare down before Nash walks away, HHH turning to the other three and telling them not to mind Nash, he'll get over it.
Elsewhere in the back, the new two-time World Tag Team Champions Kane and Rob Van Damare seen continuing to celebrate the victory, RVD saying to Kane he told him this would happen, adding on that next week he's going to beat Randy Orton and advance to the semi-finals of the King of the Ring tournament. "And then we'll be riding real high!" Kane says with a nod, RVD laughing as he pats his partner on the chest, saying that he'll toast to that.
Seen in another part of the backstage area is Shawn Michaels when Jonathan Coachman approaches him, excusing himself to ask Michaels if he thinks he is doing himself any favors by what he has done the last two weeks by blindsiding Brock Lesnar with Sweet Chin Music. "Coach, my man, you've gotta understand... a guy like Brock Lesnar? Built like a tank? The best way to beat him is to get in his head and..." He trails off as he is then walked up to by Randy Orton. The two lock eyes, Orton smirking as he tells Michaels that he just got done having a conversation with the rest of Evolution and after Batista stepped up last week, it got him thinking do something similar. "And think of it, Shawn. If you become World Heavyweight Champion... when I inevitably win the King of the Ring tournament, it'll be you and me at Summerslam." Michaels grins in response, telling Orton it sounds a lot like he's looking for a fight so if he wants to find out how he measures up, to meet him in the ring later tonight. "Maybe we can find out what you're made of, kid." Orton nods and tells Michaels he's on, suggesting that maybe they also find out what just may come to be in a couple of months.
In the parking lot, World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is seen arriving with the title over his shoulder and bag in hand — appearing to be in a foul mood tonight.
Marching down the halls and muttering under his breath is William Regal, coming up to a door and opening it as he enters the office of Eric Bischoff, busy looking at paperwork as Scott Steineris at his side, quick to stop Regal and ask what he wants. "Are you bloody mad?! Get your hands off of me!" He says while swiping Steiner's arm from is chest, demanding there be action taken against Gregory Helms. "Who?!" Questions Steiner. "Who the hell is that?" Regal explains that it is the alter ego of The Hurricane, or perhaps the other way around. Steiner laughs and says that he knows The Hurricane, he's The Hurricane 24/7 believe it or not. "So you think." Regal says before showing him the paper he pulled down last week with Helms' story accusing him of not being well endowed. Steiner at first laughs until Regal suggests Helms could present blasphemy like this about him as well! Steiner slowly removes his sunglasses and then looks over to Bischoff. "Eric, you mind if I lead the investigation on this one?" Bischoff quickly waves his hand, saying 'sure' and insisting Steiner leave him alone, this is important business he's attending to. Steiner looks back to Regal and assures him he'll get to the bottom of this before pulling Regal along out of the room.
2) Women's Championship: Trish Stratus(c) def. Jacqueline (w/Theodore Long and Jazz) via disqualification With Long and Jazz in her corner, Jacqueline gets many of opportunities with Stratus as she is distracted multiple times. After a big press slam gives her a near fall, Jacqueline begins to grow frustrated, slapping and kicking Stratus around. After tossing the champion over her shoulders, however, Stratus manages to pull down with a hook of the neck and hit Stratusfaction! She goes for the pin but just as the official is about to count three, Jazz jumps in on the cover and causes the DQ!
Jazz continues the beat down with Jacqueline eventually getting back up to join in and make it a two-on-one affair, Long yelling instructions from the outside. Molly Holly then comes charging down to the ring from the back, coming in and leveling Jacqueline with a forearm to the face. An exchange with Jazz then ensues with Stratus coming back in to even the odds, her and Molly then dropkicking Jazz and Jacqueline from the ring simultaneously. The two then stand up together and march around the ring, Long holding his women back as Stratus raises her Women's Championship up. Molly then raises Trish's other arm but her eyes drift toward the title belt, Stratus slowly turning to look toward her as while Molly may have helped her now, she clearly still has her eyes on the prize.
Transitioning to the back, Terri is standing by with Chris Jericho and asks him about his upcoming match with Booker T in the King of the Ring tournament. "Before I get in to Booker T, let me talk about his good friends Goldust and Dusty Rhodes. Y'know, the old saying goes like father, like son and after I dropped that old bag of dirt two weeks ago and having spent way too much time around Goldust over the past year or so, I'd say that saying is pretty damn accurate because both of them are pretty damn pathetic!" Jericho snickers and says that as for Booker T tonight, he's not only out for revenge for Booker 'wrongfully' taking his Intercontinental Championship from him last month, but also looking to move on in the King of the Ring tournament. "And the thing is Terri, I'm already the 'King of the World'... it's only fitting that I become King of the Ring!" He then walks away with the match up next.
3) Non-Title King of the Ring Quarterfinals Match: Intercontinental Champion Booker T def. Chris Jericho via pinfall A back and forth battle, Booker gets a ton of momentum brewing after coming back from Jericho's control, knocking him down repeatedly. Upon a Book End attempt, Jericho grabs hold of the referee's shirt to block it, pulling the official in to Booker and knocking him down. Jericho then catches the Intercontinental Champion with an enzuigiri, seeing an opening off of it and thus going to the outside. Taking a steel chair from ringside, he returns with a twisted grin while the crowd boos. As he prepares to use the chair, however, Goldust — in street clothes — slides in to the ring from behind and delivers a low blow to Jericho! The audience turns their earlier boos in to loud cheers as he then picks up the steel chair, looking down at it briefly before walloping Y2J in the head with it! The unpainted Goldust then backs to the ropes, slowly leaving the ring as Booker stands back up in the corner. He sees Goldust backing down and then sees Jericho trying to get himself together while bleeding from his forehead. Once Jericho finally gets to a knee, Booker bounces back in to the ropes and returns for the Scissors Kick! The referee slowly crawls over as Booker covers and counts the one, two, three. Booker's music plays throughout the arena as he stands back up, looking out to Goldust and pointing his direction with a smile. Goldust gives a nod and walks through the curtains as Booker is handed his Intercontinental Championship from ringside, celebrating with it as he has moved on to the King of the Ring Semi-Finals where he awaits the winner of Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam next week!
Standing in the back after the break is Stacy Keibler when she is walked up to by Test, whom gives her a hug and a kiss on the cheek with a smile. "What's the matter, Stace?" He asks. "Last night on Heat I finally got myself a victory. I may not be King of the Ring, but I'm still your king, baby." She doesn't seem impressed or interested, prompting Test to ask her what her deal is, he's out there trying! "Maybe you're trying out in the ring, Test, but it doesn't seem like you're trying with us." She rolls her eyes and walks away, leaving the big man looking both angry and confused.
4) The Basham Brothers (w/Rico) def. Maven and D'Lo Brown via pinfall Maven and Brown get off to a good start against Danny and Doug, causing Rico to call them to the outside and slap them both across the face. Re-charging The Basham Brothers it seems, they begin to take back control of the match until Brown hits a back body drop on Danny. A tag to Maven is made and he comes in all fired up, gaining back control for his team with axe handle clotheslines and dropkicks. When Rico trips him up coming off the ropes, Brown drops from his apron and charges at Rico only to take a roundhouse kick behind the back of the official! Maven tries to point it out but all it ends up doing is giving Doug and Danny the opportunity to hit the legsweep/clothesline combination for the pinfall.
As The Basham Brothers stand together, Rico enters the ring to hold their arms up as the winners when their music is interrupted by that of 3 Minute Warning's! Rosey and Jamal don't appear to be in the least bit of a good mood, stomping down to the ring. As Rico seems poised for Danny and Doug to fight, they quickly leave the ring as soon as 3MW enters. The San Diego crowd boos the cowardly back down, Rico instructing The Basham Brothers up the ramp as Jamal demands a microphone. "You can't keep running from us!" He shouts, saying that they want to settle this. He hands the mike over to Rosey, whom says that they want The Basham Brothers in this ring next week! Rico looks back from atop the stage, scowling before ushering Doug and Danny through the curtains.
Seen sitting in a dim lit room is Gregory Helms when the light shines further in his face and leaning across the table is Scott Steiner. "What are you doin' spreading rumors, huh?!" He questions while drawing closer to Helms' face. "Spreading lies, smearing names... who do you think you are, Helms? Or should I say... Hurricane?!" Helms looks up to Steiner and says he has no idea what he is talking about, he is simply Gregory Helms, 'ace reporter'. He says that, as a matter of fact, he knows a few things about Steiner, asking how those burgers he was mowing down this afternoon were. "What?!" Steiner questions right back. "You... I don't know what you're... get out of here, Helms! Get! Meeting over!" Helms says he can show him the pictures if he wants but Steiner just grows more angry, again demanding Helms leave. As he indeed does so, Steiner mutters he'll reveal the truth soon enough.
Back at the announce desk, J.R. comments that he is not too sure he'd trust Steiner leading any sort of investigation. Lawler then says that he is sure, however, that this Saturday the WWE is going over to the United Kingdom for their special Insurrextion event! A joint production of Raw and Smackdown, J.R. points out, the Raw side of things has been made official by General Manager Eric Bischoff. In the main event, an explosive eight man tag team match as Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista and Kevin Nash team up to take on World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels and the new World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane. Plus, the Women's Championship is going to be on the line as Trish Stratus defends in a fatal four way against Jazz, Jacqueline and Molly Holly. Also, Booker T will be defending his Intercontinental Championship against England's own William Regal and Chris Jericho will be hosting The Highlight Reel with his guest to be announced.
Seen getting prepared for his match in the back is Randy Orton when up to him walks Batista, the two having a little bit of a stare down with Batista asking Orton if this is his way of trying to show him up as the future of Evolution. "I wouldn't call it showing you up, Dave. However, it might look that way after I do, indeed, beat Shawn Michaels in the main event of Monday Night Raw." The two continue to stare down a bit before each cracking a smile, Batista saying he has no doubt in his mind that Orton has what it takes to not only beat Michaels tonight, but go on to win the entire King of the Ring tournament. "But don't forget about us little people when you're on top, huh?" Orton gives him an 'of course' as down the hall comes Triple H, Ric Flairand Kevin Nash, HHH leading the charge as he tells Orton they're all going to be down there to watch as he beats 'The Heart Break Kid'. He pats Orton on the back and Flair lets out a 'Woo!' as the entire crew heads off for the upcoming match. 5) Shawn Michaels def. Randy Orton (w/Evolution and Kevin Nash) via pinfall Michaels controls the early portions of the match, dominating the young Orton. The involvement of Evolution on the outside keeps Orton in things and even gets him a near fall after a backbreaker to the surgically repaired back of 'The Heart Break Kid'. During this, Brock Lesnar walks out from the back. The World Heavyweight Champion walks down to the ring once Michaels is sent to the outside, standing over his opponent for King of the Ring. As Evolution draws in, however, Lesnar throws his title belt down and draws closer to HHH. The two former rivals have an exchange of words, Orton going back to grab Michaels and drag him back in to the ring. After a bit of a beat down, he goes out to the apron and the top rope, diving off for a crossbody only for Michaels to step out of the way. A few chops to the chest and a ducked shot later, Michaels delivers a scoop slam and heads to the top rope himself to hit the elbow drop. HBK stands up and throws his hands around, getting the crowd going as he prepares for Sweet Chin Music. Flair gets up on the apron and causes a distraction, Michaels stepping up to him and punching him down. Orton then catches Michaels with a kick and hooks him by the gut, lifting him up off of the mat only for Michaels to slide down the shoulder and catch Orton on the turnaround with Sweet Chin Music! HBK then falls in to the cover, hooks both legs and gets the pinfall!
Michaels fails to get a chance to celebrate the win, however, as HHH, Flair and Batista all come in to the ring and beat down on him. The San Diego Sports Arena fills with boos, Nash watching on from the outside on one side and Lesnar the other. The World Heavyweight Champion seems to having some inner conflict when he finally decides to enter the ring and throw strikes and knees at the Evolution men! Nash responds in kind by entering the other side, cutting Lesnar off with a boot to the face. As Michaels and Lesnar start to the fall to the numbers, Rob Van Dam and Kanerace down from the back and join in the battle! In the midst of things, HHH retrieves his trusty sledgehammer from under the ring and brings it back in, preparing to strike Michaels from behind only for Nash to grab the hammer just in time. 'The Game' turns to Nash with his eyes widened, questioning what Nash is doing! As they begin to argue, RVD flies off the top rope from behind and kicks Nash right in to HHH! The two fall to the mat and end up rolling to the outside at the feet of Batista, Orton and Flair. Kane and RVD pace back and forth at the ropes, trying to call for them to continue the fight. Instead, Nash and HHH continue bickering with one another and have to be held apart by the rest of Evolution. During all of this, Lesnar comes face-to-face with Michaels and stare each other down. J.R. gives the sign off for Monday Night Raw, inviting all to join them again this Saturday for Insurrextion!
After the Smackdown opening video and the pyros across the stage, Michael Cole and Tazz give the introduction to the show from commentary where we have an incredible main event set as Goldberg and The Big Show go one-on-one! But right now, the continuation of the King of the Ring tournament! Arriving from the back is John Cena, microphone in hand as he begins to rap about how he is one step closer to becoming King of the Ring. "The finest king wearing all of this bling, I've got Mysterio's ass on the docket — I'mma break his back and bust his eye socket! I'll rip his mask off and wear it like a crown, like the crown I'll be wearing as the King of the Ring and the king of Smackdown." He prepares to keep going but Rey Mysterio's music interrupts, the Cruiserweight Champion popping out atop the stage as Cena is furious over being cut off! 1) Non-Title King of the Ring Quarterfinals Match: Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio def. John Cena via pinfall (9:34) A renewing of a rivalry from a couple of months ago, Cena having bested Mysterio at Backlash with some help from Matt Hardy, the two have a quick start to the match with Cena using his strength over Mysterio but the Cruiserweight Champion responding to a powerslam attempt with an arm drag that sends Cena under the bottom rope. Mysterio goes for a high flying move over the ropes but stops himself when Cena moves out of the way. The match goes through a break with Cena continuing to use his size and strength advantage, Mysterio trying to chip away at him on his way back to his feet. After getting some momentum going off a few knock downs of Cena, Mysterio springboards off the ropes but comes back in to Cena's grasp where he flips Rey on to his shoulders for the F-U! Mysterio, however, manages to land on his feet, ducking a Cena punch and tripping him in between the ropes. The 619 is attempted but Cena moves out of the way, a roll up with the tights being just barely kicked out of, Mysterio then being pulled in for a powerbomb only to reverse it in to a hurricanrana with the legs hooked upon landing, knees on the shoulders as Mysterio gets the one, two, three!
Mysterio slides out of the ring quickly with his hands raised over his head and a smile from underneath his mask, Cena in disbelief as he sits up in the middle of the ring questioning the referee. The official assures him of the three count and then follows after Mysterio to bring him his Cruiserweight Championship belt and raise his arm up as the winner as Rey has moved on to face the winner of next week's match between Chris Benoit and Edge in the semi-finals at the King of the Ring pay-per-view!
Transitioning backstage, Chris Benoit is seen watching a monitor when he is approached by Josh Mathews, whom excuses himself and mentions that Benoit has his match with Edge next week, but Benoit doesn't want to talk about that right now. "I'll talk about that next week. Tonight, I have a bone to pick... a bone to pick with Billy Kidman." He says that last Thursday night, he beat Kidman in the middle of the ring and because the referee didn't like the way he handled things after the bell, he reversed the decision and claimed Kidman the winner. "That's not how it works, Josh! I won! And I'm 'The Rabid Wolverine'! I'm Chris Benoit! I do what I want when I want... so, tonight, I'm challenging Billy Kidman to a rematch so I can beat him again." He stares at Mathews briefly before walking away.
Seen walking backstage after the break is The Undertaker when he ends up walking up on and up to General Manager Stephanie McMahon, saying he wanted to talk to her real quick. "You already made one big match for tonight, how about another?" He suggests before saying he wants Kurt Angle's boys tonight. "You want Team Angle in a two-on-one handicap match? Are you sure?" Taker nods, telling Stephanie he wants to make an example of them before he gets his hands on Kurt again at King of the Ring. While McMahon is a bit reluctant, she tells Taker if that's what he wants, that's what he'll get.
Back inside of the Arrowhead Pond arena, Matt Hardy and Shannon Mooremake their way down and in to the ring, the prior being presented a microphone from his 'MFer'. He says that he has come out here tonight to try and make things crystal clear for his brother, thus he is inviting him down to the ring at this time. After a little bit of waiting, Jeff Hardy's music indeed does hit and he arrives to cheers from the crowd. Once in the ring, Matt places a hand on his shoulder. "My brother, I've come to realize that I have been approaching this entirely wrong. Instead of trying to come out here and competing in matches, I should be standing in front of you and explaining." He says that Jeff has gone down troubled roads and it is no secret, but it is also no secret that he is loved by many — including himself. He insists that perhaps Jeff take the idea of 'Mattitude' one step at a time and take the first step right now by coming forward and giving him a good old brotherly hug. Jeff looks around the arena to a mixed response, scratching his head and twirling a microphone in his hand. "Well, Matt..."
Before Jeff can make a move or say anything further, however, Sean O'Haire's music interrupts things. O'Haire comes down and in to the ring, apologizing for his disruptive nature. "But I couldn't help myself standing back there and listening to this, Matt. You're trying to persuade your brother to follow your own way of life when, perhaps, Jeff just isn't that interested." He turns to Jeff, whom looks back at him with his arms crossed. "Sure, Jeff, you could go ahead and you could embrace your brother and you could begin to live the same way he does... but that isn't you, is it? You've always been the one to stand out. You've always been one to go down the road less traveled, or 'troubled' as Matt called it... but maybe you're comfortable being the way you are. Maybe you've accepted the fact that you're the black sheep of the family, that you're the disappointment... and maybe you're just more interested in going back home and having another sip, another hit, anot—" He ends up being cut off as Jeff suddenly smacks him across the face! O'Haire drops his microphone and then charges at Jeff — pinning him in to the corner with a choke. As Jeff struggles to try and fight out of it, Matt looks to Moore and then they come forward to drag O'Haire off and throw punches at him. The duo then hit a double dropkick and send O'Haire to the outside, standing right back up and at Jeff's side. An angry O'Haire backs down as Matt gets a nod from his brother, subtly showing his appreciation for the assistance.
Standing backstage once again is Josh Mathews, this time with Billy Kidman. Mathews is quick to mention the reversed decision last week and Kidman quickly shuts it down, saying that he didn't win last week, but Benoit made a big mistake. "Attacking me after the bell only made me angry. So, tonight, he'll get his rematch and this week I'll beat him — for real — one, two, three in the middle of that ring..." He then heads off as that match with 'The Rabid Wolverine' is coming up after the break.
Following the break, The Dudley Boyz are seen talking to each other about having finished their problems with The F.B.I. and now looking toward the WWE Tag Team Championship when up to them comes Los Guerreros. "Órale vato, wassápenin!" Eddie says with a laugh, patting Chavo on the chest and saying that Bubba Ray and D-Von seem to forget that they had a little help taking care of The F.B.I. before a couple of weeks ago. "If I remember correctly, it was us saving your ass in the first place." Bubba says with his arms crossed, Chavo quick to respond that they still have a score to settle with Team Angle and the way he and Eddie see it, they deserve the next shot at them. D-Von then suggests that they settle things in the ring, Bubba asking Eddie if he wants to have a match tonight. "You know I never turn down a fight, ese." Eddie replies with a smirk, then walking off alongside Chavo.
2) Chris Benoit def. Billy Kidman via pinfall (4:22) Benoit comes out aggressive but Kidman responds in kind. After a crucifix pin for a near fall and a roll up for a two count, Benoit plows through Kidman with a clothesline. A couple of big suplexes and Benoit applies the Crippler Crossface, Kidman fighting to try and break it off. He fights through the pain and struggles to get to the bottom rope, forcing Benoit to have to break the hold at a count of four from the official. Benoit, angry over the defiance of Kidman, drags him up with a hook of the waist and nails a German suplex before heading to the top rope and delivering a diving headbutt that leads to the pinfall.
After shaking off the cobwebs from the headbutt, Benoit grabs the referee by the shirt and gets in his face. After some choice words for the official, Benoit tosses him to the mat and applies another Crippler Crossface on Kidman! After Billy taps out to it, Benoit drags him to the outside and for the second week in a row launches him in to the steel steps. Not stopping there, however, 'The Rabid Wolverine' retrieves a steel chair and walks back toward Kidman, looking ready to use the chair only for Edge to come racing down from the back and dive in to Benoit against the ring! The United States Champion unloads with punches with Benoit quick to back down and hurry his way up the side of the ramp. "Thank God for Edge, ladies and gentlemen," Cole says. "Who knows what Benoit would have done to Billy Kidman with that chair!" Edge checks on Kidman to make sure he's alright, as he has stood up to his former tag team partner and the man he will go one-on-one with next week in the Quarterfinals of the King of the Ring.
Backstage, WWE Champion Kurt Angle is seen leading WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle down the halls ahead of their match with The Undertaker when he stops in front of Rhynositting on a production trunk. "Charlie, Shelton, it's my old pal Rhyno!" He says with his hands on his hips. "Wow, man, remember when we were running around together with Edge and Christian a couple of years ago? We were really doing something special... y'know, before you were losing all the time?" Angle smiles and pats Rhyno on the arm, asking him how he'd feel about pairing up one more time for old time's sake, suggesting that 'The Man Beast' join him in his crusade to destroy The Undertaker once and for all. Rhyno then stands up, looks up and down at Angle and shrugs his shoulders. "I'll think about it." He replies before walking off in the opposite direction, Angle watching him leave and then turning to Haas and Benjamin. "Wow, I think I might have actually got through his big, dumb, thick skull. Damn, I'm good!" He lets out a laugh, wrapping his arms around the two as they continue onward for the match.
3) Handicap Match: The Undertaker def. WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle (w/WWE Champion Kurt Angle) via pinfall (5:10)
The match begins with Taker pummeling Benjamin and Haas, a brief Angle distraction proving to be the turning point as Haas is able to get an opening to chop the leg from behind. Team Angle tag in and out frequently to work against Taker, the WWE Champion on the outside giving instruction. After Benjamin is caught by the throat springboarding off the ropes, however, Taker lays him out with a Chokeslam! Haas comes back in and eats a big boot, followed up by Old School. Angle once again gets on the apron and provides a distraction, Taker stepping toward him and forcing him to drop to the floor. The crowd then begins to get louder as Rhyno makes his way down the ramp, Angle turning to see 'The Man Beast' and holding his arms out with a smile only to end up eating a Gore! Rhyno pounds his chest and raises his fist as he gets to his feet again, slowly returning to the back. In the ring, Taker catches Haas coming at him again but tosses him to the outside, catching Benjamin off the top rope with a shot to the stomach followed by the Last Ride Powerbomb! The cover is then made for the three count.
Taker gets back up and stands over Benjamin's body, looking to the outside as Angle sits up holding his ribs. Haas crawls to his side and aids him back up, Taker celebrating the victory while also motioning for the WWE Championship around his waist.
Seen backstage together is The Big Show and Mr. McMahon, the Chairman expressing that he tried to get Show a WWE Championship match by being reasonable with Stephanie, but she had other ideas. "Maybe I'll have to do something about her role..." McMahon mutters, Show telling Vince not to worry about it, he'll earn his WWE Championship match soon enough. Tonight, he has other matters like taking out Goldberg. The two then share an evil laugh together and walk off.
Walking in the back is Jackie Gayda, looking down the halls when she finally starts heading straight as she ends up approaching Torrie Wilson. "Hey Torrie, was just wondering how your head was feeling after I threw it in to the barricade?" Wilson rolls her eyes and says she's just fine, questioning back how Jackie is feeling having lost the bikini contest. "As a matter of fact, Jackie, I think I could beat you in the middle of that ring in a match just like I did in the bikini contest." The Playboy cover girl grins as Jackie looks her up and down, snarling as she tells Wilson she accepts her challenge — she'll meet her in the ring next week. Wilson says she's looking forward to it, Gayda then stomping away. 4) Eddie Guerrero (w/Chavo Guerrero) def. Bubba Ray Dudley (w/D-Von Dudley) via pinfall (4:38) A back and forth bout combating power and speed, Eddie uses Chavo to his advantage to provide many distractions and mess with Bubba repeatedly. As D-Von tries to get revenge, Eddie feigns being struck by him behind the official's back, prompting the referee to question D-Von! Chavo then comes in to the ring and pulls Bubba off of Eddie from behind and hit him with a spinning DDT, rolling under the ropes after and leaving the golden opportunity for his Uncle to hit the Frog Splash for the win.
Eddie pops back to his feet with a laugh, having his arm raised as the victor. He doesn't get a chance to celebrate much longer though as D-Von comes in from behind with a clothesline! Chavo then gets up on the apron and flies off the top rope for a clothesline but D-Von sidesteps it, Chavo rolling back to his feet but turning right in to the 3-D! The Dudley Boyz stand back up together and double high five one another, stepping over both Chavo and Eddie and having some choice words for them on the way out of the ring. "Thou shalt not mess with The Dudley Boyz!" D-Von lastly states as they back up from the ring.
Backstage, Josh Mathews catches up with Edge walking down the halls, looking for a quick word from Edge about his match with his former tag team partner Chris Benoit next week. "Y'know, Josh, I thought Chris was just a little bit off after things didn't go right at Backlash," The United States Champion begins. "But no, he's just fully lost it. He's fully lost it and turned in to something... something else... and next week, I'm going to do to him what I did at Judgment Day and that is beat him."
A shot of La Resistance sitting in a French restaurant is seen upon the return from break, Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier expressing their disgust for the actions of Los Guerreros last week. "There will be repercussions for what they did." Grenier warns, Dupree adding that the Bugatti they stole last week was a heinous and criminal act punishable in many ways, but little do they know, La Resistance has their own way of settling scores. "Soon, Los Guerreros and the entire WWE will know our names." Dupree says. "Soon, La Resistance will arrive!" He and Grenier then receive their meal from their waiter and proceed to begin dining as the camera backs up and fades out.
Seen backstage together is the trio of Matt Hardy, Shannon Mooreand Jeff Hardy, Matt smiling to his brother as he says it felt good to be back on the same page together earlier. "Yeah, yeah it did," Jeff replies. "But now, I want to go up against Sean O'Haire next week! He thinks he knows everything there is to know about me but he doesn't know who he's dealing with in that ring!" Matt puts his hands out and tells Jeff that he understands where he is coming from, but if he is going to embrace 'Mattitude' and their brotherhood, he should let him take this one. "See, if you go up against Sean O'Haire next week, you will be fighting with anger and all that will do is hurt yourself. I suggest you and Shannon stand in my corner next week while I face Sean O'Haire." Jeff doesn't appear too receptive to the idea, but Matt insists that he just trust him on this one. Moore gives Jeff a shrug of the shoulders, 'The Charismatic Enigma' sighing and telling Matt 'alright' while patting him on the arm.
Back over at ringside, Cole and Tazz discuss how this Saturday is a very special event as Raw and Smackdown head over the pond in England for Insurrextion! On the Raw side of things, Eric Bischoff has announced an eight man tag team match as Evolution's Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair will take on Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Kane and the World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. Plus, Booker T will put his Intercontinental Championship on the line against England's own William Regal, Trish Stratus defends the Women's Championship in a fatal four way with Jacqueline, Jazz and Molly Holly and Chris Jericho will be hosting The Highlight Reel. As for the Smackdown side of things, Stephanie McMahon has made the following matches: In non-title action, WWE Champion Kurt Angle will take on Rhyno, Rey Mysterio will have his Cruiserweight Championship on the line against Billy Kidman and in a number one contender's match, The Dudley Boyz will face off with Los Guerreros!
In the back, the locker room of Goldberg is seen as security knocks on his door. Josh Mathews then shows up and tries to get by, but is stopped by one of the guards. Goldberg then opens the door up and locks eyes with Mathews, asking what the hell he wants. "I just wanted your thoughts ahead of your match with The Big Show, sir." Goldberg places his hands on his hips and towers over Mathews. "You want my thoughts? My thoughts are that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. That doesn't just go for size, that goes for ego as well... so once I'm done ripping through that big son of a bitch, I'm coming for Vince McMahon." He then marches off with the main event just moments away!
5) Goldberg vs The Big Show (w/Mr. McMahon) goes to a No Contest (4:31) With the audience hyped up for this one, Goldberg comes out on fire and comes right at Show with big strikes and tackles, but being the giant he is, he is hard to take down, tossing Goldberg around in response and even placing him in a bear hug to try and slow things. After a missed corner splash from Show, he takes a clothesline off of the ropes that stuns him. A second one follows and Show wobbles, leading to a big Spear that takes him down! Goldberg hops to his feet all amped up, looking around the arena as he heads to the corner and positions himself for another Spear! Show staggers back to his feet, Goldberg charging at full speed only for it to be avoided and for the referee to go down! Show stumbles across the ring and falls in to the corner, Goldberg standing back up and looking down at the official. He then turns his attention back over to Show, moving toward him only to have McMahon slide in to the ring from behind with a steel chair and connect with a huge shot to the back! Eyes widened, Goldberg straightens himself up and turns around with a glare right in to the eyes of McMahon - whom realizes the mistake he just made! "Bad idea by Vince!" Tazz says. "Very, very bad idea!" Goldberg then begins to step toward him, the Chairman backed all the way in to the corner. Right in the face of McMahon, Goldberg then takes him by the throat only to have Show make the save with a big club across the back of Goldberg!
The match basically an afterthought at this point, Show throws a few more clubbing blows to the back and then puts the boots in as Goldberg drops to the mat. A series of elbows are then brought down with Show then picking the steel chair McMahon had used up. Raising it high over his head, he brings it down with tremendous authority across Goldberg's back! The California crowd boos loud as McMahon then stops Show from using the chair a second time, a sick grin across his face as he puts his hands out and insists Show give him the weapon. Smiling back, Show then hands it over with McMahon then swinging the chair down right in to the spine! He does it a second, third and fourth time before taking a moment to taunt to the audience. Goldberg drags himself back to his feet despite being in obvious pain, standing right up in front of Show and taking a headbutt, causing him to turn around right in to a vicious shot to the head from McMahon - causing him to fall backwards through the ropes and to the floor below. While the jeers continue to come down from the crowd, McMahon gives some instruction to Show, thus he follows after a now busted open Goldberg on the outside. Clearing the announce table, McMahon slaps his hands on it, Show understanding completely as he proceeds to lift Goldberg up off of the floor and Chokeslam him right through the desk! "Another vicious attack on Goldberg at the hands of The Big Show and our own Chairman, Mr. McMahon..." Says a disgusted Cole. McMahon then demands a microphone as he stands over Goldberg's body. "You think that I'm next, huh? You think you're going to rip me limb from limb? Do you know who I am?! I'm Vincent Kennedy McMahon! Nobody beats me! Not even you, Goldberg! You want me in that ring? You've got it!" A surprised audience cheers that news, although McMahon is not finished. "At King of the Ring it is going to be Goldberg versus Mr. McMahon... and The Big Show!" He drops the microphone with a grin as he and Show raise their arms together over the downed body of Goldberg as the show comes to an end.
After an opening video package, the cameras come inside of the Telewest Arena, the crowd rambunctious as the stage is lit up by pyrotechnics for this special event from the United Kingdom. The voice of Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcome everyone to the show, representing Raw! Meanwhile, down at ringside, it is Michael Cole and Tazz for Smackdown!
The England fans let out big cheers to kick things off tonight as their native William Regal makes his way out from the back. Looking very chipper and happy to see his home country, Regal enters the ring with a microphone in his hand and says that he always gets very different response when he returns home. "It's almost as if I am considered some sort of hero over here," He says to cheers. "However, this... this is a bloody awful place!" Boos ring out for the comment as Regal proceeds to list off reasons why the place he once loved is not what it used to be. "Yellow teeth goons, pregnant teens, crimes through the roof! You lot are just bad as America, aren't you?" He shakes his head as the boos continue on. "While you've been boozing off in the pubs and living off benefits, I've been becoming a master across the pond! And make no mistake about it, sunshine, I will leave this place in the dirt once again!" The theme music of Booker T then hits, the Intercontinental Champion and Regal's opponent for tonight making his way out. Once in the ring, he points out that Regal is as much of a grouch over here as he is back home. "Y'know, man, I love America! I love England! Hell, I love me some fish and chips!" Regal wags his finger. "Tell me... you didn't just say that." Regal says to a chuckle, Booker saying indeed he did, sunshine! "See, I represent all kinds of nations and different types of people as the Intercontinental Champion. And tonight? I'm gonna shut your punk ass up and send you on an express flight back to the USA. Now can you dig that, sucka?!" He then tosses the microphone aside, ready to go as Regal mutters under his breath angrily as he waits for the match to get started. 1) Intercontinental Championship: Booker T(c) def. William Regal via pinfall (5:22) Booker starts off hot, leading to Regal fighting back dirty and then working things technically. Hard forearms and working the shoulder, a straight jacket hold leads to Booker mounting a comeback. While Regal cuts him off, Booker responds with heavy strikes and a spinebuster. After a near fall, Booker follows Regal in to the corner but takes a thumb to the eye. A missed running knee from Regal, however, and he takes a boot to the stomach followed by the Scissors Kick for the one, two, three!
The audience cheers for Booker as he is announced as the winner, having defeated what J.R. describes as a 'turncoat' in Regal. After being presented with his Intercontinental Championship, Booker holds it up to the crowd in each direction. He then puts it down on the mat and plays up to the fans a bit as they anticipate the spinaroonie. After teasing it for a little bit, Booker does his spin on the mat and then, with a smile on his face, continues his celebration as he now will return his attention toward the King of the Ring tournament as he is competing in the semi-finals next Sunday night.
A few live images of the England scenery are shown outside, the cameras then heading back inside of the Telewest Arena as Shawn Michaels is seen talking with World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane, while the World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnarsitting off to the side of his tag team partners in tonight's main event.
Meanwhile, right outside of the backstage curtains, Los Guerreros are seen sitting on a table when they are approached by their opponents for tonight, The Dudley Boyz. "Oh, boys, boys," Eddie says while standing up. "Looks like we were sitting on your table!" Chavo snickers and says that, actually, they stole all of their tables out under the ring, too. Eddie shrugs and says that he knows Bubba Ray and D-Von were hoping for a clean and fair fight out there. "And I'm with you! I want that too... but we'd be lying, ese!" Bubba crosses his arms in front of his chest and says they mean business tonight, they'll beat their Mexican asses all across jolly old England. "And we'll be taking the WWE Tag Team Championship come King of the Ring!" Eddie is fired up over it, telling the two of them no way - those titles belong back around the waists of Los Guerreros! As things seem to be growing more heated, the music of The Dudley Boyz begins to play inside of the arena, leaving the two teams staring as Bubba states they'll go out and settle this right now!
2) #1 Contenders Match: The Dudley Boyz def. Los Guerreros via pinfall (8:59) Back and forth early, Bubba Ray and D-Von begin to dictate the pace of the match. Eddie ends up being controlled by the boys from Dudleyville, a pop up dropkick being reversed in to a powerbomb by Bubba for a near fall. A lot of double team work and damage being done in the corner, a Dudley Device leads to another two count. Chavo has to break up a bunch of near falls and the Dudley Boyz even pull off a little on Chavo and Eddie as a blind tag keeps them in control. Eventually, the Uncle/Nephew combination makes the comeback. As Eddie tags in Chavo and heads to the to rope, La Resistance ends up making their way out from the back. Waving the French flag, Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier distract both teams. Bubba is the first to make a move in the ring as he brings Eddie down with a slam back in to the ring, bringing Chavo in to the ring to try his hand at a two-on-one. After knocking both men down with a spinning DDT to Bubba while kicking D-Von, he heads to the top rope. Dupree and Grenier come to the ring, however, with Sylvain on the apron distracting the official as Rene hits Chavo in the back with the flag pole! Chavo then falls back down in to the ring, La Resistance backing off as it leads to Chavo staggering back to his feet and right in to the 3D for the pinfall.
As Bubba Ray and D-Von take some time to enjoy the win, having earned a shot at Team Angle next Sunday at King of the Ring, they leave the ring and begin to head up the ramp. As that happens, Eddie coming to check on Chavo leads to La Resistance coming in to the ring and putting the boots to the two of them! The Dudley Boyz then turn back from the ramp, looking at one another before running back down to the ring - standing up and pummeling Dupree and Grenier with punches! A couple of back body drops and Bubba pushes D-Von in the chest, telling him to get the tables! Chavo stands back up and he looks to D-Von, nodding as he goes along with him. As they lift the apron skirting up, however, there are no tables to be found. D-Von gives this information to Bubba, Chavo shrugging his shoulders. Back in the ring, Bubba looks to Eddie, whom gives a similar shrug. In the midst of it all, La Resistance escapes under the bottom rope and scurries their way up the ramp and away from the other two teams.
Seen in the back is Chris Jericho talking to a man in the back, saying that this entire weekend has been a nightmare. "And now you're telling me that the Jeri-tron 5000 isn't here, Gordon?! What happened to it?! Maybe you don't understand... this is the biggest guest The Highlight Reel ever has and maybe ever will see and you're telling me the Jeri-tron 5000 isn't anywhere to be found?!" He says that it's a giant TV, it couldn't have gone far! He then demands the person go and find it.
3) Women's Championship: Trish Stratus(c) def. Jazz (w/Theodore Long), Jacqueline (w/Theodore Long) and Molly Holly via pinfall (5:18) A competitive four way battle, Jazz and Jacqueline working together in the early goings to control Trish and Molly. After some brief arguing between the two, a series of near falls happens between all four women. A sequence of cradles, backslides and sunset flips comes between Stratus and Holly, Jazz breaking up things with a double clothesline. As Jazz is flexing to the crowd, she is suddenly rolled up from behind by Jacqueline for a close two count! The two then stand up and get face-to-face as Jazz questions what Jacqueline is thinking. On the outside, Long tries to get them back on the same page. Both end up being knocked through the ropes as Holly dropkicks the two of them, only to get right back to a Chick Kick from Stratus! The cover is made and the legs are hooked as Stratus gets the three count.
The referee presents Trish with her Women's Championship as she has once again kept her title around her waist. As she enjoys the win inside the ring, Long has to try and keep the peace on the outside between Jazz and Jacqueline.
Jonathan Coachman is standing by in the back with Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio, mentioning that Mysterio has been on a roll since winning the Cruiserweight Championship, including advancing to the semi-finals of the King of the Ring tournament next week, but says that in his opinion, Mysterio doesn't stand a chance. "I mean, you are a Cruiserweight and, well, even if you get to the finals... you aren't going to be able to hang with any of the boys from Raw." Mysterio smirks and tells Coach he has been hearing all his life about his size and how he can't hang, but he loves to prove the doubters wrong time and time again. "And tonight, I've got a hell of an opponent in a fellow Cruiserweight in Billy Kidman. Now, hopefully I can defeat him because if I can do that, all my attention can go towards becoming the King of the Ring because I know that I can hang with anyone... even any of your boys from Raw. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a match to get to." He then heads off for that match with Kidman.
4) Cruiserweight Championship: Rey Mysterio(c) def. Billy Kidman via pinfall (7:06) A handshake before the bell, the two have an acrobatic back and forth out the gate, Mysterio with a sweep to the mat and a whiffed 619 that causes Kidman to take a second to gather himself. Cautious to get back in, Kidman reverses a hurricanrana in to a powerbomb for a two count. Mysterio keeps coming at Kidman but keeps being cut off. After a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for another count of two, Mysterio rolls out to the apron and begins to mount a comeback from there. After a springboard splash brings Kidman down for a two count, Rey keeps coming at him with forearms and eventually sends him to the outside. A springboard moonsault leads to Mysterio back to his feet pointing out to the crowd, dragging Kidman to his feet but being pulled by the tights hard in to the barricade. After tossing Mysterio back in to the ring, Kidman heads to the top rope and stands up straight - the Shooting Star Press blocked by knees to the chest! Mysterio then gets back up, dropkicking Kidman between the ropes before hitting the 619, the West Coast Pop following with the legs hooked for the pinfall.
Mysterio gets up against the ropes following the bell sounding, the referee bringing him the Cruiserweight Championship. As Kidman pulls himself up in the corner to a knee, Mysterio heads over to help him up. Kidman is a bit reluctant to accept the help, Mysterio putting his hands up before extending one. Frustrated by the loss clearly, Kidman still accepts the gesture and shakes Mysterio's hand before leaving the ring, allowing Mysterio to continue enjoying the victory himself.
Following a promo video for the King of the Ring pay-per-view taking place next Sunday, June 15th, we come back inside of the Telewest Arena where the theme music of Kurt Angle hits, the WWE Champion arriving from the back to 'You suck!' chants. Once in the ring, he calls for a microphone. "You know, everywhere I go I have to hear those 'you suck' chants and, well, it never sounds better than when you people say it." He nods his head to some cheers and explains further. "Because with your ridiculous accents, I can barely understand it!" While the boos come out, he says that they shouldn't be booing the WWE Champion, but he gets it - they've never had one to call their own! He then moves on to the guys in the locker room, saying it's nothing against their people, however, because there isn't even anybody on the Smackdown roster that deserves to be champion other than him. "Undertaker? I beat him. The fact that he is even getting another shot next week at King of the Ring is a joke! Benoit? I beat him. Hell, Goldberg couldn't even pin me! No man can beat me!" With that, out from the back comes his opponent Rhyno. Entering the ring and standing up to Angle, he looks him up and down. "No man can beat you, huh? How about a 'Man Beast'?" Angle begins to laugh and puts his hand up, telling Rhyno that they have known each other for a couple of years now and, obviously, Rhyno needs to get a grip on reality. "You're a strange dude, Rhyno. I mean, look at you... your hair is so wet all the time! Change conditioner or something, man! And you're... you're big and you're oily... like a rhinoceros! But you know what you're not, Rhyno? As tough as an Olympic Gold Medalist! As tough as the WWE Champion! As tough as me - Kurt Angle." He the advises that Rhyno save himself the embarrassment and back out of this match while he still can. After seeming to pause and take a moment to think things over, Rhyno responds to that suggestion with a clothesline!
5) Non-Title Match: WWE Champion Kurt Angle def. Rhyno via pinfall (7:41)
Rhyno controls things off the start as he rattles Angle repeatedly and forces him to take some time to regroup on the outside. Angle decides he's had enough already and grabs his WWE Championship, beginning to head up the ramp with it. Rhyno follows after him but it appears to be a bait as Angle throws an elbow to the head as soon as Rhyno gets to him. A toss off the barricade and ring apron, Angle brings Rhyno back in to the ring and takes him down a few times, going through multiple holds. After an Ankle Lock has Rhyno refusing to submit, Angle lets go and follows in the corner, hooking the waist but eating multiple elbows to the face. Rhyno then comes at him with a series of shoulder blocks, clotheslines and slams. A big spinebuster gets Rhyno fired up and Angle tries to fight back, but ends up eating a Gore in the mix of things! Before a cover can be made, however, Angle rolls to the outside and it forces Rhyno to have to go out after him. After picking Kurt back up though, he is hit with a belly to belly on the hard floor! Angle slowly gets back to his feet and throws Rhyno back in, following and pulling his straps down. Going after the ankle again, Rhyno manages to throw his other foot up before he can be turned over and push Angle far back. Getting to his feet again, Rhyno charges for the Gore but Angle avoids it - Rhyno crashing in to the turnbuckles, leaving him to be hit with the Angle Slam and covered for the three count.
Angle gets to a knee and shakes the cobwebs from the bout, getting to his feet and ripping the WWE Championship away from the referee. After holding it over his head above Rhyno's body, he exits the ring and heads up the ramp gloating with the gold.
Seen backstage getting prepared for the main event is Randy Orton, taping up his wrists as Batista then enters the room and asks Orton if he is ready. "More than ready, Dave." Orton replies. Coming in behind Batista is Ric Flair, 'The Nature Boy' with cheers from inside the arena as he lets out a big 'Woo!' while patting Orton and Batista on the back. "Jolly old England, huh? I have travelled the world, boys, and it is good to be back! Woo! We're going to have a hell of a time later tonight!" The door then opens up again as in comes Triple H and Kevin Nash, 'The Game' looking to the three in front of him and saying that tonight is a big night. "We will have plenty of time to go on the town after business is handled, 'Naitch'. You know we have four opponents standing across from us tonight that are not only tough competitors, but have it out for Evolution..." He says that Rob Van Dam and Kane have their problems with them with the World Tag Team Championship, but Evoluton has overcome then before and knows how to do it again. He then mentions Shawn Michaels, someone he has obviously the most history with, but also the person he knows best and he knows how to beat him. "Then you've got Brock Lesnar... all of us know first hand about Brock... and know it will take everything we've got to defeat him tonight!" HHH then particularly looks to Nash and says that if things get out of control, they have 'Big Daddy Cool' in their corner. "All you have to do is follow orders... and things will go fine. Learn from past mistakes and things will go smoothly." He gives a nod to Orton, Flair and Batista and the four of them leave the room, Nash staying behind briefly with a glare in their direction before following along.
Back in the arena, the ring is set up with a couple of stools on a rug as arriving from the back and not looking particularly impressed is Chris Jericho. Once in the ring, he picks up a microphone and shakes his head in disgust at the stools. "This weekend here has been absolutely awful!" He says to the crowd, prompting booing from them. "First, I get off the plane here and everything smelled terrible. Then, I go to get my luggage and it's missing! Then I end up going to the hotel and get locked out of my room, the soup I ate was cold and now... now you people can't even get my set for The Highlight Reel anywhere close to right!" He taps the stools with his boot and asks if this is the best they've got. Scoffing, he says that regardless of this travesty, he is going to let bygones be bygones and go through with his show tonight. "See, I've got a very special guest. Perhaps the greatest guest this show will ever see and, honestly, perhaps the greatest guest any talk show you've seen in this ring will ever see... ladies and gents, without further ado, 'The Ayatollah of Rock 'n Rollah' Chris Jericho and The Highlight Reel give to you... our fearless leader, the General Manager of Raw: Eric Bischoff!"
Bischoff comes down and in to the ring smiling through the crowd that is clearly not excited to see him. Shaking hands with Jericho once in the ring, 'Y2J' says that this is an absolutely tremendous honor. "How about this set, though?" Jericho asks, to which Bischoff says he is going to find out who is responsible for this atrocity and make sure they face proper repercussions. Jericho thanks him for that and says, once again, it is a tremendous honor to have him as a guest here tonight. "Thank you, Chris. It's great to be sharing this ring with a fellow sexy beast!" Jericho smiles and laughs, telling Bischoff it's good to finally see someone with some class and culture, much like himself, unlike all of these 'tossers' in Newcastle. "So let me ask you, Eric, how does it feel to be such an inspiration to the non-feeble minded around the world by displaying the traits you do as the best General Manager there is?" Through more boos, Bischoff says that he has a long history of being in this type of position and it comes with a combination of wisdom and experience. He says that a lot of people have trouble respecting authority and mistake that for bad leadership, even Chris and him have had their differences in the past. Jericho puts his hands up and tells Bischoff that is absolutely true, they had their problems after WCW and all, but one thing he always knew is how great of a mind Bischoff has and it is great to be back on the same page and working together once again. "But the thing is, Chris, unlike Smackdown's Stephanie McMahon or, hell, even the Queen of England - the old bag - I have learned how to handle anything that comes my way. I've made Monday Night Raw the flagship show featuring talent such as yourself." Jericho says that is absolutely true, saying that Bischoff has done a lot of great things, like bringing in the World Heavyweight Championship, bringing over the likes of The Rock and Hulk Hogan and even Brock Lesnar. "You're the best General Manager there is, Eric!" Bischoff at first seems to brush that compliment off, but then nods in agreement and says that Jericho is right!
Interrupting things is Stephanie McMahon as her music hits, both Jericho and Bischoff looking surprised and unhappy with the Smackdown General Manager making her way out from the back. "The ego in this ring right now," She says with a chuckle. "Unbelievable. You know, I couldn't help but come out here, boys, because I've just heard enough!" She says that Bischoff seems to think he is so great but, maybe it's just her, but she thinks she is just a little bit better. Bischoff and Jericho share a hearty laugh over the suggestion, Bischoff saying that she has absolutely no control over her roster! "You even have your daddy breathing down your neck over every move, Steph!" McMahon smiles back and tells Bischoff she knows one thing for sure: Every single person in her locker room shivers at the thought of ever being under his management. "As a matter of fact, I've got a whole line of superstars that would love to come down here and kick your ass right now." Bischoff is quick to shut that idea down, saying that is not going to happen - he is not here for a fight. Stephanie then says that he thinks he has such a great rapport with his talent, maybe he'll allow one to fight for his honor tonight - someone like Chris Jericho? Taking a step forward, 'Y2J' asks if that is some sort of challenge, because he knows he can beat absolutely anybody - especially any scrub from Smackdown! "Bring it on, baby!" McMahon grins back and says she wasn't kidding when she said she had a line of guys ready to go, so she has the perfect opponent for Jericho right here, right now. "The United States Champion, Edge!" He arrives to the stage to big cheers from the crowd, fired up as he proceeds to head down the ring for the impromptu match! 6) Non-Title Match: United States Champion Edge (w/Stephanie McMahon) def. Chris Jericho (w/Eric Bischoff) via pinfall (10:26) Cocky upon the bell ringing, Jericho and Edge tangle up with at the start with the latter coming out with the upper hand. After rattling 'Y2J', Jericho rolls to the outside and after some motivation from Bischoff, he moves over to McMahon and has some words for her - their history going back quite a ways. Edge interrupts that with a baseball slide that slams Jericho in to the barricade. Continuing on the attack, Jericho reverses a toss toward the ring and instead hurls Edge in to the ring steps. He then drags Edge to the timekeeper's area by the hair and sits him down in the seat, a few slaps across the face being responded to with Edge turning the tables and pummeling Jericho with punches. Bringing Jericho back to the ring, Edge goes to slide in but has his foot grabbed by Bischoff - allowing Jericho to drop an elbow on the head and turn things back in his favor, a lionsault leads to a near fall. Beating Edge down for a bit and making multiple pin attempts amidst smacking him around and trash talking, a foot on the chest leads to another two count and some frustration. After a double underhook backbreaker, he has a hold on Edge but a spinning wheel kick knocks him down. After Jericho hits off the ropes, he ends up taken down with a Spear for a close near fall! An Edgecator is fought for but Jericho makes it to the ropes before it can be fully synched in, but Edge yanks him back and applies the hold. After a bit of a struggle, 'Y2J' brings Edge down to the mat and instead turns things in to the Walls of Jericho, leading to Edge now in trouble. With motivation from the crowd as well as McMahon on the outside, however, he eventually reaches the ropes. Jericho breaks off with his fists raised in the air, convinced he has won. "He didn't tap, Chris!" Says Lawler. As the referee explains it, Bischoff gets on the apron to try and argue that it was a submission as well. As Edge staggers back to his feet, he runs at Jericho but is side-stepped, leading to Bischoff being hit with a Spear and knocked down to the floor! Jericho tries to take advantage as he rolls Edge up from behind quickly, only for it to be reversed in to a cradle for the three count for Edge!
Edge rolls under the bottom rope as the crowd cheers for his victory, Stephanie coming to his side with the United States Championship belt and handing it over before raising his arm as the winner. Back in the ring, Jericho looks on furiously while on the outside, the referee checks on an in-pain and angered Bischoff, whom shouts from the floor toward McMahon and Edge.
With the main event coming up next, we transition in to a video package highlighting the debut and formation of the Evolution group consisting of Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista and their rise together since January. Battling multiple hurdles, they've stayed strong together and had plenty of success. The video then shows the history of rivalries Triple H has had with Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Kane and Brock Lesnar over the past year and that tonight, all four are teamed together to face a man and a group they have had their differences with in Evolution, even with Lesnar and Michaels' recent budding rivalry being in question. The promo video last highlights the big brawl between the two sides taking place this past Monday on Raw ahead of this big eight man tag team match.
7) Eight Man Tag Team Match: World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels, World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane def. Triple H, Randy Orton, Ric Flair and Batista (w/Kevin Nash) via pinfall (16:52) RVD and Flair kick things off, with 'The Nature Boy' incredibly confident only for RVD to out maneuver him with relative ease. Leading the crowd in a chanting of his name, RVD is then met with Flair charging at him out of frustration but a drop toe hold leads to a tag to Kane. Flair tries to beg off 'The Big Red Machine' but instead is met with a flurry of punches and boots. Working Flair in to the corner, he has Batista come in and throws an elbow to the head. Flair then throws a thumb to the eye through Kane's mask and heads to the top rope, Kane catching the veteran and tossing him off the top only for Batista to catch his mentor. RVD is tagged back in and he proceeds to launch himself off the top with a flying kick that knocks both Batista and Flair down. RVD ends up going for Rolling Thunder on Flair but when he bounces off the ropes, he takes a knee to the back from Orton. Flair takes the opportunity to finally get out of the match as he tags Orton in, whom enters and drops RVD with a couple of clotheslines as well as an inverted backbreaker. Frequent tags between him and Batista happen for a bit as they keep the attack on, HHH even coming in as well. With both Lesnar and Michaels calling for a tag amidst all this, Orton eventually applies a headlock and pushes RVD in to the mat. Eventually getting back to his feet with some fan motivation and his corner behind him, Van Dam gets to his feet and fights his way free of Orton's grasp. Trying to get to his corner, RVD has his leg grabbed in mid-dive. He responds, however, by pulling himself back up enough to nail Orton with an enzuigiri! RVD then makes the diving tag to Lesnar, the World Heavyweight Champion entering and plowing through Orton with a clothesline, the other three members of Evolution trying to get involved but also being ran over. After tossing HHH over the top rope and in to Batista, Lesnar hoists Orton on to his shoulders and in position for the F-5! As he is prepared to hit the move, however, Michaels ends up tagging himself in. Lesnar - confused and angered by the tag - drops Orton to the mat and gets right in the face of Michaels. "These two may be tag team partners tonight but you know they both have it out for the other!" J.R. explains. As the two are arguing, Flair runs forward but Michaels nails him with Sweet Chin Music! 'The Nature Boy' spins off of the connection and flops right down in to the downed Orton's groin! Lesnar and Michaels continue to argue with one another, RVD and Kane having to try and calm things down and get them on the same page. HHH and Batista then return to the ring and go right at the duo, forcing the World Tag Team Champions to enter the ring and mix things up. An all out brawl between the two sides ensues out of it, with the referee even being knocked down through the ropes as things end up spilling to the outside. Michaels then follows HHH back in to the ring and gets him backed in to the corner, but ends up being blindsided from behind with the RKO from Orton! The crowd boos as Randy stands back up with a smile, HHH now out on the apron as he demands a tag from the youngest member of Evolution. Orton abides and 'The Game' enters, standing over his former best friend, having some words for him as he pulls him by the hair and in position for the Pedigree, only to stop himself and instead point toward Nash on the outside. He calls Nash in to the ring and after a little hesitation, Nash does so with HHH throwing Michaels back down to the mat. "Finish him, Kev," He orders. "Put his ass down! Do it! Now!" Nash then looks down to 'HBK' and pulls him up slowly and looks ready for the Jackknife Powerbomb but stops himself after hooking the waist. He instead lets Michaels go, letting Hunter know he can't do it. HHH responds by getting in Nash's face and questioning where his loyalty lies. Orton then gets involved with things, leading to Nash pushing Orton through the ropes and to the floor! Batista and Flair then come in to the ring and join the argument on behalf of HHH, RVD and Kane then coming back in to the ring to fend them off. Lesnar then returns and clotheslines HHH down to the mat, turning to Nash and avoiding a boot to the face, lifting 'Big Daddy Cool' off the mat and planting him with the F-5! The World Heavyweight Champion then stands back up and takes a kick to the stomach from HHH, the Pedigree being set up only for Michaels to come in and nail Sweet Chin Music! With the referee returning to the ring, Michaels then makes the cover and hooks the legs of HHH - looking up to Lesnar as he gets the one, two, three!
The bell rings as the Newcastle fans cheer the result, Michaels standing back up and looking right in to the eyes of his opponent for next Sunday. After the referee holds their arms up as part of the winning squad, they begin to have choice words for one another, prompting RVD and Kane to try and hold them apart over it. Meanwhile on the outside, HHH is aided to his feet by his Evolution brethren and he locks eyes with Nash staggering up against the announce desks. "What the hell is the matter with you?!" Questions HHH, while Nash yells back in defense that he doesn't have to do what HHH tells him! With two big arguments going on, Jim Ross signs things off from the UK as Insurrextion comes to an end!
1) Funaki and Tajiri def. Bill DeMott and Chris Kanyon (w/The F.B.I.) via pinfall (4:19) A relative back and forth match, the members of The F.B.I. attempt to get involved on the outside but it ends up backfiring as while the official is busy dealing with them, it leads to DeMott being dispatched from the ring, leaving Kanyon to fall to a kick to the back of the head from Tajiri and a tornado DDT from Funaki, resulting in the pinfall victory for the upcoming tandem. As the rest of The F.B.I. hit the ring after the bell sounds, Funaki and Tajiri quickly escape as they back up the ramp with smiles on their faces.
2) Orlando Jordan def. Jimmy Yang via pinfall (3:34) Looking to continue to prove himself as a newcomer to Smackdown, he faces the unknown Jordan and is surprised by some of the fight in him. After a Yang lands on his feet off the top rope, Jordan ends up ducking a punch and backslides Yang for the sudden three count to Yang, as well as everyone else's, surprise. Jordan rolls out of the ring with his hands over his head, the referee following and holding his arm up as the winner as he may be the next surprising newcomer on the Smackdown brand with this win. 3) Jeff Hardy (w/Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore) def. A-Train via pinfall (5:26) Battling the much bigger A-Train gives Jeff some trouble in the early goings, almost being pinned on multiple occasions from being slammed and tossed around. After a missed splash in the corner, Whisper in the Wind almost knocks off A-Train for Jeff. After being turned inside out with a clothesline, however, Moore gets on to the apron and distracts A-Train, leading to him being tossed in to the ring and backed in to a corner. Matt then provides another distraction on the other side of the ring, a frustrated A-Train chasing him off only to turn right in to a kick to the stomach and the Twist of Fate! Jeff then races to the top rope and nails the Swanton Bomb for the one, two, three. As Jeff appears oblivious to Matt and Shannon's involvement, he becomes more aware of it on the titantron upon replays, leading to him expressing his unhappiness with his brother and Moore aiding him to victory.
1) Victoria (w/Stevie Richards) def. Stacy Keibler (w/Test) via pinfall (3:43) Not a technical masterpiece by any means, Victoria is aggressive in her attack as Keibler remains scrappy. While Test tries to give some instruction from the outside, Stacy grows frustrated with him. As they argue over things, Victoria takes advantage by lifting Stacy and planting her with the Widow's Peak for the pinfall. Richards is shocked from the outside as he and Victoria have finally found some success, even if at the expense of a fellow couple also not being on the same page.
2) Christopher Nowinski def. Keiji Sakoda via pinfall (2:19) After berating the audience for not being as intelligent as him, Nowinsk is met with a surprising start from Sakoda, but quickly puts him down with a well-timed dropkick. Dominating things from there, the Honor Roll eventually gets the job done as Nowinski scores the pinfall and gloats to the crowd that clearly has no love lost for the Harvard graduate.
3) Batista (w/Ric Flair) def. Tommy Dreamer via pinfall (6:05) Getting one more crack at part of Evolution, Dreamer is aggressive with Batista but the power of Evolution's 'Animal' keeps him control. Much to the spirit of Dreamer, he manages to kick out of multiple power moves, eventually coming back at Batista with a few big shots and a clothesline that takes him down. A top rope axe handle, however, is reversed with Batista catching a hold of him and delivering a spinebuster. Batista then slaps Dreamer around a bit as he stands back up, a sit-out powerbomb then nailed for the three count. Flair enters the ring and has some choice words for Dreamer after, then holding Batista's arm up as the winner.
The opening Monday Night Raw video airs, the cameras then in to the American Airlines Arena as the voice of Jim Ross welcomes everyone in from commentary with Jerry 'The King' Lawler as we may be just two nights removed from Insurrextion, we are now just six nights away from King of the Ring!
The theme music of Triple H hits, the Miami fans booing as 'The Game' steps through the curtains, making his way down to the ring sans Evolution. "It's funny how things work out, huh?" He asks to the crowd. "I entrust one of my best friends and promise him a good future here in the WWE and what does it result in? My former best friend Shawn Michaels pinning me in the middle of this ring at Insurrextion this past weekend." While the audience cheers that reminder, HHH says that the rest of Evolution had their doubts when he brought Kevin Nash in close with them and the more time that has gone by, the more he has started to have doubts of his own. "Back at Judgment Day, Kevin got involved in my Hell in a Cell match with Brock Lesnar but... it seemed like he had his own agenda with Brock and in the end, it led to my defeat and now I can't even challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship as long as Brock's champion and let's be honest: Who is going to beat Brock besides me?"
HHH moves on to say that he let that go and he helped Nash to become World Tag Team Champions with one of - if not the - greatest of all time, 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair. "And two weeks later, he gets in to an argument with me and right back goes the tag titles with RVD and Kane! Then we fast forward to where he lets us all get our ass kicked because he still has a problem with me! Then at Insurrextion this past weekend, I tell him to stick to the plan and follow my orders and what does he do? He tells me he can't put Shawn Michaels down... and why, Kev? That's what I want to know." Shaking his head, HHH says that is why he is really starting to question things because it seems a lot like Nash doesn't want to get with the program and it boils down to one thing: "You're either with me or you're against me, Kev. Right now, it seems like you're against me... but I'm going to give you until the end of the night to look me in the eyes and tell me which one it is... and I think you know what will be the right decision." He stares in to the camera and then proceeds to leave the ring, a stern, clear message sent to Nash.
In the back stands Jonathan Coachman as Goldust is introduced to be his guest, Coachman bringing up his match just moments away with Chris Jericho while mentioning costing Jericho his King of the Ring quarterfinals match with Booker T last week. "That's what he gets for putting his hands on my father," Goldust responds. "But that wasn't enough, Coach! That wasn't enough! Because since my daddy's still at home recovering, I've got to take matters in to my own hands! That's why I've gotten my match with Chris Jericho changed.... to a Street Fight!" He gives a determined nod to Coachman and continues on his way, as that match is coming up after the break.
With Goldust arriving to the ring after the break, out to the stage comes Chris Jericho, a microphone in hand as he grins toward the squared circle. "It's real sweet of you, Goldy, to want to honor your father," He says. "But the problem with that is - all you're going to do is what you've done your whole entire life: Let him down!" Jericho laughs and says that it is quite embarrassing really, prompting Goldust to step through the ropes and charge right at him with a clothesline as the match is under way!
1) Street Fight: Chris Jericho def. Goldust via submission (5:26) Brawling on the outside, Goldust keeps the upper hand as he punishes Jericho around the ring. After a low blow from Jericho, however, it turns things in the favor of 'Y2J' as he retrieves a kendo stick from under the ring. Whacking Goldust cross the back repeatedly. Taking Goldust back in to the ring, Jericho also retrieves a trash can and proceeds to go and put it over the head of Goldust, walloping the stomach to drop Goldust to his knees. Mockingly, Jericho then begins to hit the kendo stick across the trash can as if he is playing the drums. Tossing the stick aside, he lets Goldust get back to his feet but has the trash can thrown right in to his face as he charges! Goldust then gets a few knock downs in before putting Jericho in to the corner and in position for Shattered Dreams! As he charges for it, however, with Jericho trying to beg it off - he stops himself. "Why did Goldust stop?" Asks Ross. Goldust then picks up the kendo stick and instead uses that to finish off the Shattered Dreams instead! As Jericho falls out of the turnbuckles, he eats a big bionic elbow as Goldust pays homage to his father. After picking up the kendo stick, however, he whiffs on a shot to the head and Jericho sweeps the legs - proceeding to apply the Walls of Jericho! Struggling for a while in the hold, a rope break not able to help out, Goldust ends up with no choice but to tap out.
Jericho doesn't let go of the hold until he feels likes it, eventually letting up and kicking Goldust's body under the ropes. He then demands a microphone from ringside, looking out to the booing crowd. "Now that we have that taken care of, we can look forward to next week!" He says that next week, there will be a special edition of The Highlight Reel. "With all due respect to our General Manager, If you thought this past weekend at Insurrextion with Eric Bischoff was huge, this will trump that! Because we've got one of the biggest stars there is making his awaited return! He's been out in Hollywood and he can't wait to see the millions and millions of his fans! So get ready for the biggest Highlight Reel yet..." The crowd seems very excited about the suggestions as Jericho leaves the ring, throwing a kick to Goldust as he passes by and heads toward the back.
Backstage in the office of General Manager Eric Bischoff, he is seen watching the television when in walks Scott Steiner, grabbing the remote and turning the screen off. "What the hell, Scott?" Bischoff asks, to which Steiner responds that if Bischoff had him to face Edge at Insurrextion, things would have gone right for them and Monday Night Raw. "Whatever, I don't like Australia anyway." Bischoff points out that they were in England, with Steiner replying 'they all sound the same to him'. "If you're going to speak English, you should be doing it in America! That's besides the point though, Eric, because I'm going to get to the bottom of all this Hurricane and Gregory Helms nonsense! See, I'm not just 'Big Poppa Pump', I'm also Scott Steiner, P.I. And the P.I. doesn't stand for pumping iron, it stands for private investigator! So tonight, after William Regal is through with The Hurricane, we're going to prove that The Hurricane and 'ace reporter' Gregory Helms are one in the same!" Bischoff rolls his eyes, Steiner saying this is important business and once this is done, he can focus on bigger projects with Eric.
Seen talking to each other in the back are the World Tag Team Champions Kane and Rob Van Dam, both excited after regaining the belts last week, but Kane mentions that tonight, RVD needs to focus on advancing in the King of the Ring and beating Randy Orton. Passing by them is World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, locking eyes with the two of them. "Remember when I beat you in the finals of last year's King of the Ring?" Lesnar asks RVD, which causes Van Dam to chuckle - Kane stepping forward and causing Lesnar to ask if he has a problem. "Yeah, I do." Kane replies, the two drawing closer to one another. RVD tries to step in between them but Lesnar pushes him back, saying he thinks that 'the big red freak' can fight for himself. "So what do you say, you want to go tonight?" Lesnar questions, with Kane giving a nod as he tells Lesnar he'll see him later. The World Heavyweight Champion then heads off, RVD questioning his partner if he knows what he is getting himself in to!
In another part of the backstage area is Terri as she welcomes Randy Orton as her guest, asking him if he is prepared for his match with Rob Van Dam tonight. "Terri, Terri, Terri... I was born for this!" He replies with a big grin. "I'm a third generation superstar! Triple H and Ric Flair hand picked the likes of Batista and myself because they knew what we were capable of and tonight is just another step in to me proving that they made the right choice! I'm going to beat RVD and all anybody is going to be talking about is RKO... the next King of the Ring." He winks and then heads off, that match still to come later on.
Walking together through the halls are The Basham Brothers and Rico, appearing to be coming up with a game plan as after the break Doug and Danny go up against Rico's former partners, 3 Minute Warning.
The Women's Champion Trish Stratus is seen preparing backstage for her tag team match still to come later on when she is approached by her partner Molly Holly, whom tells Stratus that she is ready for their match tonight, but she isn't happy about what happened at Insurrextion. "Molly, it was every woman for herself." Stratus replies, Molly saying she knows that - but she still feels like Stratus got away with a cheap shot to win. "What I'm saying, Trish... is my quest for the Women's Championship is far from over. Even if you're still champion." Molly then heads off, Trish with a scowl as she does so.
2) The Basham Brothers (w/Rico) def. 3 Minute Warning via pinfall (2:37) Jamal and Rosey, obviously none too happy with The Basham Brothers or Rico, come out on fire as they overpower the brothers, hitting variations of slams and crushing the two in the corner. After taking things to the outside, however, a Rico distraction provides Doug and Danny with the opportunity to throw Rosey in to the steel steps. Jamal is then left to try and fend for himself, but the double teaming of The Basham Brothers becomes too much as they end up hitting a legsweep/clothesline combination, leading to Danny covering and getting the pinfall.
Rico slides in to the ring and kneels over Jamal, mouthing off and slapping his former ally. Rosey then returns to the ring and hits The Basham Brothers with a double clothesline! He then looks to Rico and starts to move toward him - backing the former manager of him and Jamal in to the corner. Taking Rico by his collar, Rosey is unable to inflict any damage as Doug and Danny jump on him from behind. After the punches and strikes drop Rosey to a knee, the duo then proceed to hit him with the legsweep and clothesline combination as well, allowing Rico to now stand over both members of 3 Minute Warning and berate them at the same time. He then raises the arms of The Basham Brothers as it seems this new team is here to stay and Rico plans on leading the way.
Meanwhile walking in the back is the World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, his challenge to Kane having been accepted and made official as that match is going to take place next!
3) Non-Title Match: World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar def. World Tag Team Champion Kane via pinfall (4:26)
The two big men slug it out to kick things off, exchanging big blows before getting in to clotheslines, boots, side slams and work in the corner. As Lesnar seems to have control of things, Kane grabs him by the throat and prepares for the Chokeslam. Lesnar slips off the arm, however, and proceeds to plow through 'The Big Red Machine' with a knee to the stomach. A couple of clotheslines and a series of shoulders in the corner, Lesnar lets out a roar before hoisting Kane on to his shoulders and nailing a big F-5 in the center of the ring! Both legs are then hooked for the one, two, three.
Lesnar stands back up but refuses to have his arm raised by the referee, instead continuing on by putting the boots to Kane. "What the hell has gotten in to Brock Lesnar?!" J.R. asks. Lesnar doesn't stop there as he shoves the official out of the way in order to throw Kane to the outside, following after him and hoisting him on to his shoulders - delivering an F-5 leg first in to the ring post! Lesnar stands over Kane's body as he grabs his ankle and groans in pain, backing the referee off and applying the Brock Lock! Kane yells out in pain as Lesnar torques away at the leg, eventually tossing the big man back down to the floor and staring at him with an intense glare. He then rips his World Heavyweight Championship belt from the apron, wiping away at his face while backing away - this sudden mean streak of Lesnar being something we haven't seen since when he first debuted!
In the parking lot, Kevin Nash is seen arriving. He is approached by Jonathan Coachman, whom wants to get his thoughts on Triple H asking if he is with him or against him. "I know all about it, Coach," Nash replies. "But I'm not going to talk about it until I go down to that ring later on."
Standing in the ring following the break are William Regal and Scott Steiner, the prior with a microphone in his hand as he says that over the last few weeks, he has been subject to humiliation by false claims from Gregory Helms. "But we all know who Gregory Helms really is! We know that he and The Hurricane are the same! And Gregory Helms is a poor reporter because he spreads lies!" Steiner then takes the microphone and says that after Regal beats Hurricane tonight, they're going to unmask 'that little freak' and expose him! 4) The Hurricane def. William Regal (w/Scott Steiner) via pinfall (3:58) A clash of mat work and high flying techniques, Regal even tries to unmask Hurricane a few times when he takes things to the mat but Hurricane continues to escape. After a top rope crossbody gets a near fall for the super hero, Steiner gets on the apron and swipes at him, getting hit with a leaping kick to the head for his troubles. Regal then tries to sneak a pair of brass knuckles in, only for Hurricane to duck under an attempt with the punch and backslide Regal for the three count!
Regal sits up in disbelief and questions the count of the referee, Hurricane rolling under the bottom rope but being blocked off from coming around the ring with Steiner standing there waiting. After looking around to try and figure out what to do, Hurricane jumps on to the steel steps and leapfrogs right over Steiner! He then races his way up the ramp and toward the back - coming away with a victory and escaping from a post-match attack!
Walking in the back ahead of her upcoming match is the Women's Champion Trish Stratus when she is stopped by a referee, being asked to come with him quickly. They then hurry together around a corner where Molly Holly is seen laying unconscious and being checked on by another referee and a doctor. While the official say they just found her like this on the way to the ring, Stratus seems to think she has it all figured out. "Jazz and Jacqueline," Stratus replies. "It was them. Who else could it be?" She shakes her head and asks the referee what this means because her match is next!
Seen walking in the back after the break is the World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar when he is approached by Shawn Michaels, his challenger for this Sunday at King of the Ring. "What the hell was that all about?" Michaels questions. "We were partners with Kane at Insurrextion and tonight you cripple him?! What's the matter with you?!" Lesnar breaths heavily as he gets right in the face of Michaels, warning that he better pray that he doesn't do the same to him this Sunday. Lesnar then brushes shoulders with 'The Heart Break Kid' and continues on his way.
5) Handicap Match: Jazz and Jacqueline (w/Theodore Long) def. Women's Champion Trish Stratus (3:15) Left to fend for herself with Molly Holly obviously unable to compete, Stratus does her best and puts up a good fight against both Jazz and Jacqueline but when the double teams begin, it spells disaster for the Women's Champion. A Chick Kick to Jacqueline actually almost manages to get Trish the win but Jazz breaks up a cover, leading to yet another double team that eventually ends in a boot to the face from Jacqueline in to the Bitch Clamp from Jazz, resulting in the pinfall victory.
The bell rings but the beat down isn't finished as Jazz and Jacqueline take turns holding Stratus up for the other as they smack her and throw heavy boots. As Long is encouraging it, Jacqueline is suddenly taken down to the mat by an unknown woman! Fists come flying from the young lady as security quickly comes in to the ring to try and pull her off. "I don't recognize this young woman, King!" J.R. says. "I think that's a fan!" Jazz tries to throw a shot but the woman ducks and responds with a kick to the face! Security then finally pulls her to the mat and out of the ring, dragging her off and over the barricade! As Long regroups with Jazz and Jacqueline over what just happened, Stratus looks on from the outside confused, but perhaps relieved, at what just happened.
Seen talking in the back are Triple H and Ric Flairwith Batistaat 'The Nature Boy's side, HHH wondering what Nash is going to have to say for himself. "Well, Hunter, you know that Evolution has got your back!" Flair replies while patting Batista on the chest. "And if you want Evolution to come down there and take Nash out - woo! - we'll do it, baby!" HHH quickly puts his hands up, however, and tells Flair he doesn't want that. "Yes, I tried to bring Kevin in to the fold but this is about a lot more than Evolution. This is bigger than Evolution... this comes down to trust with one of my best friends... and we're going to find out exactly where his loyalty lies tonight: With me... or against me."
6) King of the Ring Quarterfinals Match: Randy Orton def. World Tag Team Champion Rob Van Dam via pinfall (7:50) A very competitive bout with a lot on the line, the winner to battle Booker T in the semi-finals of the King of the Ring this Sunday. A backbreaker from Orton gets a near fall, as does the Rolling Thunder from RVD. Hard take downs and strikes battle high kicks and sweeps, RVD gains the upper hand after hitting Orton with a huge kick to the head on a charge in the corner. RVD then sees an opening, leaping to the top rope and measuring up before diving off with the Five Star Frog Splash - Orton getting his knees up! Orton stumbles back to his feet, realizing his opening as Van Dam staggers up, the RKO being nailed and Orton hooking both legs for the three count to advance!
Orton gets to his feet with a look of both shock and excitement, as the young superstar's fast track to success continues. "Triple H and Ric Flair hand picked Randy Orton," Says Lawler. "And now he's just two wins away from becoming King of the Ring!" As the referee raises Orton's arm up as the winner, he stands proudly over RVD while proclaiming to the crowd that this is his tournament!
Seen walking in the back is Kevin Nash, as he is headed toward the ring. Triple H has given him the ultimatum of being with him or against him and Nash will answer that question - next!
Back from the commercial break, Jonathan Coachman is in the back with the Intercontinental Champion Booker T, mentioning how we just found out he will be facing Randy Orton this Sunday at King of the Ring in the Semi-Finals of the tournament. "Randy Orton's a kid with a lot of talent," Booker replies. "But he ain't ready for this, man." Up to him then comes Randy Orton, scoffing as he tells Booker he has it all backwards. "You're not ready for me, Book. I'm going to be the youngest to ever win that tournament. Evolution chose me because it is in my blood, because I'm made for this... I was born for this." They stare down briefly, before Orton tells Booker he'll see him Sunday and walks away.
The theme music of Kevin Nash hits, 'Big Daddy Cool' making his way out. Heading down and in to the ring, he holds a microphone in his hand and says he's not going to beat around the bush. "Hunter, you want to know whether I'm with you... or against you... I'm not going to stand here and answer that until you're right here in this ring with me, face to face... man to man." After a little bit of waiting, Triple H arrives and heads down to the ring, staring at Nash before bringing up how they go back a ways now. He says that they've been on the road together, they've been the best of friends but ever since they've come together since Nash returned, things have been up and down. "I brought you in to the fold, Kev, because I trusted you. Because I've considered you like a brother to me over the years. But now I'm wondering... after all I've done: Are you with Evolution? Are you with me or are you against me?" Nash runs his hand across his face and says he is not with Evolution, but he is not against HHH either. "We go back a long way, like you said. We've ridden together hours and hours, days at a time. The fact that you question my loyalty to you hurts. Why does it got to be this way, man?" HHH nods to the response, saying that's all he needed to know - because he doesn't want to fight Nash either. "Like I said, you're like a big brother to me, Kev. But this... this is who I am now..." Nash nods in acceptance, saying HHH may be Evolution now, but the Kliq is for life! He then raises the Kliq's symbol in the air but HHH refuses, putting Nash's hand down slowly before pulling him in with a hug.
As the two are embracing and talking to one another, Ric Flair and Batista step through the curtains, two of the other three members of Evolution making their way down to the ramp and locking eyes on Nash. As they circle the ring a bit, HHH points to both of them and orders them to back off. As Nash has his eye on Batista, he is suddenly spun around and planted with a Pedigree! "Damn him! Damn him!" An angered J.R. shouts. "It was a damn set up!" Flair and Batista then enter the ring, putting the boots to Nash while the Miami crowd boos. As they are stomping on Nash, HHH goes to the outside and retrieves his trusty sledgehammer from underneath the ring. Looking it up and down, HHH re-enters and steps up to Nash as his arms are being held by Flair and Batista, having some choice words and throwing a slap across the face. "I didn't want it to come to this, Kev! You made this decision yourself!" He then backs up with the hammer but Nash ends up pulling his arms free and catching it as HHH goes to swing it! A kick to the stomach sends HHH backwards, Nash then using the hammer with a shot to the head of Batista and then to the gut of Flair! He then turns to swing it at 'The Game' but getting out of the way and through the ropes is HHH, eyes widened as he just avoided being struck by his own weapon! Nash, breathing heavily, then charges forward and launches the hammer up toward the ramp and right at the feet of his now, clearly, former best friend. "I know you better than anyone in this business," Nash says after picking his microphone back up. "And I know what kind of rat bastard you are! So this Sunday at King of the Ring, Hunter... I'm against you!" HHH looks back toward the ring and nods in acceptance, telling Nash that he's on! As they continue to stare one another down, the show concludes.