The show begins with Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff in his office with a clipboard in hand. He removes his glasses as he notices the camera on him and walks up to it with a smile. "Last night, WWE presented Backlash and if you missed it I recommend you go back and watch it. However, while that event was taking place I have had a lot on my mind over the past week." He says that Chief Morley gave him the idea of trimming the fat here on Raw and while he didn't think much of it at first, the idea grew on him. "So tonight, ladies and gentlemen, live right here on Raw... somebody is going to be fired!" An evil grin forms across his face as the cameras fade out to the Raw opening video. The cameras then enter the Fleet Center afterward, the stage of the Boston arena hit by pyrotechnics with the voice of Jim Ross welcoming everyone to the show from commentary alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler. As we just found out, tonight somebody will be fired! While that dawns over everyone's head, we also have Triple H celebrating his World Heavyweight Championship victory, a No Way Out rematch of Rob Van Dam and Kane versus Lance Storm and William Regal, Brock Lesnar taking on Randy Orton of Evolution and right now, an Intercontinental Championship match! 1) Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Nash def. Chris Jericho(c) via disqualification; Jericho retains Coming off of last night's tag match, Nash is very aggressive out of the gates and it leads to Jericho trying to be quick and cheap. After being chased to the outside, he ducks a clothesline from Nash and pushes him knees first in to the steel steps. The match goes through a commercial break after where Jericho is doing his best to keep Nash down, only for the big man to make a come back with power moves. After a scoop slam and a raise of the fist, Jericho rolls to the outside to get away from Nash. The seven footer leans between the ropes but Jericho comes back up with a steel chair in hand and swings it right in to Nash's head! The referee frantically calls for the bell.
Jericho stays up against the ring apron to catch his breath and then pulls himself back in to the ring, slapping the chair off the mat as he calls for Nash to get up. Before he has a chance to even raise the chair, however, Shawn Michaels comes running down and in to the ring — ducking a chair shot and tackling Jericho to the mat! HBK pummels Y2J with rights as he tries to get away. Michaels picks the chair up as he gets back to his feet but Jericho pulls himself under the bottom rope and leaps over the barricade! Hurrying through the crowd, Jericho obviously wants nothing to do with HBK tonight! Michaels tosses the chair out of the ring and assists Nash back to his feet.
Cutting to the back, Stevie Richards and Victoria are seen talking with Victoria looking annoyed with what Richards is saying. "You know, you keep blaming me for everything, Vic! Maybe you need to take a good, long look in the mirror!" They both go silent before Richards apologizes, saying he didn't mean to get so aggressive. "But listen, I got a chance to prove a point tonight. I went to Eric Bischoff and got a match with Trish Stratus." Victoria stands up and asks if he is serious, if she is really getting another Women's Championship match. Richards scoffs, explaining that the match isn't for her. "It's for me! It's me versus Trish! I'm going to go out there and show you how it's done!" He recommends Victoria get a pad and a pen and take notes and walks away, leaving her looking flabbergasted!
Seen arriving in the parking lot is Brock Lesnar when Jonathan Coachman comes running up to try and interview him. Lesnar walks right past Coach, however, seemingly not having anything to say!
Returning from commercial, Terri is standing by in the back looking to get a word with Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels. She asks them about Chris Jericho and Nash is quick to get heated, saying he is going to break Jericho in half! Michaels stops him, however, and tells him that isn't necessary. Nash is confused, but Michaels begins to explain things. "Look, Kev, you're my brother and I love ya, but you're fighting a battle that isn't yours. I appreciate you having my back but I should handle Jericho on my own..." Nash crosses his arms and asks Michaels if he is sure, because he'll snap Jericho like a twig. "I know you would. But, I'm sure. This is my fight and you should be worrying about yourself." Nash nods and tells Michaels if that's what he wants, he respects that. The two give each other their Kliq signal together and embrace before walking off in different directions.
Elsewhere in the backstage area, Booker T and Goldustare seen having a conversation where the latter is very apologetic about what has happened as of late. "And I really wish I could explain everything but, there's so much. But I promise I can explain it all when the time is right. I just want us to be back to being friends especially if we're not here much longer..." Booker tells Goldust not to talk like that and says they're cool. He offers up a handshake but upgrades it to a hug when Goldust offers. Chris Jericho walks by the two and tells them to get a room. "I'm staying in Room 124," Says Goldust. Jericho tries to walk up to Goldust but Booker steps in front, asking Jericho why he's running from Shawn Michaels. "You keep that freak on a leash," Jericho responds. "And mind your own damn business..." He then continues on his way, Booker and Goldust going off in the opposite direction.
2) Women's Champion Trish Stratus def. Stevie Richards (w/Victoria) via pinfall In an intergender affair, Richards obviously displays power over Stratus but the Women's Champion surprises him by standing up to everything he puts forward. After Richards drops Stratus with a scoop slam, he flexes his muscles and tells Victoria to take notes. He ends up coming back to a series of slaps to the face and tries to respond with a clothesline but Stratus ducks underneath it and nails him with a Chick Kick! She then follows it with Stratusfaction and stuns Richards by getting the pinfall!
Stratus rises to her feet after pulling off the perhaps surprising intergender victory, the referee presenting the Women's Championship over to her. As she leaves the ring, Victoria looks on at Richards from the outside with an expression of disgust across her face.
Seen walking in the back is Christian, looking over his shoulders as he is going down the halls when he is approached by Jonathan Coachman, whom asks Christian how he is feeling after last night. "How am I feeling? How am I feeling?! Kevin Nash busted up my beautiful face last night so I'm not feeling too hot!" He says that he can't stand giants, he can't stand these big guys that think they can just push him around because they're not as 'pretty' as him. "You know what I do like, though, Coach?" He grows a smile across his face, licking his hands and slicking back as hair while also adjusting the bandage on his forehead before walking up behind Stacy Keibler off to the side. "Hey, Stace, how you doing?" He asks with a snicker, Keibler turning to him and trying to ignore him. He tries to charm her by saying he could use a friend after last night, saying he's a real good friend and to just ask Chris Jericho. As she continues to try and ignore his presence, Test walks up behind Christian, arms crossed as he clears his throat. Christian turns around to see him and puts his hands up quickly, telling Test he didn't mean anything by that. "Come on, man! Remember The Un-Americans?! Huh?! You know me!" Test smiles and looks Christian up and down, saying the only thing he remembers right now is that they have a match tonight and he's going to kick Christian's head clean off his shoulders. Christian gulps, backing off while warning Test that he'll see him later!
3) Brock Lesnar def. Randy Orton via pinfall Obviously furious after last night, Lesnar comes out of the gates plowing through Orton with ease. He tosses him around the ring and powers in the corner, the referee having to step in and back Lesnar off after getting to a four count. That opening allows Orton to rake the eyes of Brock over the official and go on the attack, hitting an inverted neckbreaker and attempting a pin but only getting a one count! Lesnar gets back up with his eyes widened, Orton trying to stay on the attack but once again being overpowered and dominated, Lesnar eventually hitting one huge F-5 that leads to the pinfall.
The Boston crowd cheers as Lesnar gets back up, standing over Orton and staring down at him. The referee tries to raise Brock's hand but he rips his arm away, demanding a microphone from ringside instead. "Tell your boy Triple H to enjoy his celebration while he can," He warns to Orton. "Because I'm going to take back the World Heavyweight Championship!" He throws the microphone down hard and leaves the ring, marching his way up the ramp and to the back.
Seen in his office looking over his clipboard is Eric Bischoff, tapping his pen to it when in to the room walks Chief Morley, asking Bischoff if he is ready. The General Manager looks down at his work and removes his glasses, saying he thinks so. He takes the paper from the clipboard and hands it off to Morley. "Tell those people to get themselves together. Somebody is about to be fired." An evil grin forms across Bischoff's face as Morley leaves the room as the firing is coming up next!
Already standing in the ring following the commercial break is Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, a smile on his face and a microphone in hand as he says that he is once again showing how he promotes can't miss television. "Admit it, people! Admit it! You love to see something like this, don't you?" He says that tomorrow, he knows he will be ragged on for firing somebody but right now, everybody is tuning in because they can't wait to find out just who is going to be out of a job. "It's not just because I want to create must-see television though, it's because it's the right thing to do. Because I want the best product possible every Monday night and some people around here just aren't giving me what I want." He says that he currently has The Bischoff Administration going around in the back and finding the individuals on his list so at this time, he's going to bring out those people so he can give them a once over before deciding just who is going to be let go tonight. He then proceeds to announce the names of Booker T, Goldust, Jim Ross, Jonathan Coachman, Terri and The Dudley Boyz. After all of the names are listed, they all stand at the top of the stage and none look happy at all. Bischoff says that he has been thinking this list over and they should all consider themselves lucky that Stone Cold Steve Austin is already gone, because he'd love to FedEx his ass out of here again! He then says he is going to go over them all one by one before deciding.
"Let's start with The Dudley Boyz... Bubba Ray, D-Von... last week, I offered you my support going in to your match against Rob Van Dam and Kane and what did you do? You may as well have spit in my face! And what happened? You lost last night and you're not the World Tag Team Champions! But maybe, just maybe, that's enough punishment for disrespecting me... or maybe not." He then goes on to Terri, asking what the hell she does around here. He then looks to Coachman and says he knows what he does, but he isn't at all sure if he likes it. "And how about good ol' J.R., Jim Ross?! All of you people love him don't you?" Bischoff scoffs and says he doesn't, because just like everybody else he hears the voice of J.R. every single week and there are times where it turns his stomach, between picking favorites and disagreeing with the decisions that are made around here — maybe it's time to find somebody to take J.R.'s spot. "And then we have Booker T... and Goldust. You two may as well be considered a package deal... where do you get off, huh? Where do you get off going up against Eric Bischoff and The Bischoff Administration?! Goldust, we gave you an opportunity and you slapped it out of our hands and your buddy Booker T is standing right by your side in the process! Why shouldn't I fire you?! Hell, why shouldnt I fire both of you right here and right now?!" Bischoff says that there is actually a reason why he isn't going to fire Goldust or Booker T, so the two of them can return to the back because there jobs are safe. The two look surprised by the news, having some words with each other before giving their best to the others. They stare down at Bischoff briefly before walking back through the curtains. "Terri and Coach," Eric continues. "I may not be too fond of your work but I don't see it as detrimental enough to take away your jobs... do better and get out of here. You're safe." As they return to the back, he moves on to Ross and says that he could fire J.R. really easily, but he knows it isn't best for Raw. "I may not like you, J.R., but I'm a reasonable man. Just don't push your luck, pal! Now get your ass back next to Jerry Lawler." Ross nods and shakes hands with The Dudley Boyz before returning to his post, Lawler pointing out on commentary as J.R. returns that he is glad that he is still here but only Bubba Ray and D-Von remain on the stage. "So, that leaves The Dudley Boyz!" Bischoff says while stepping to the ropes. "Everybody else I've sent back, huh? Well, that kind of narrows it down, don't it?" The brothers look at one another, seeming to realize what this means. Bischoff tapping the microphone in the palm of his hand and saying this doesn't feel right. "This doesn't feel right because... The Dudley Boyz, ladies and gentlemen, are one of the most decorated tag teams in professional wrestling history, right?! Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley are iconic! How could I..." He scratches his head and says that this is a very rare moment for him.
"I think today is your lucky day boys because I, Eric Bischoff, have had a change of heart." The brothers seem surprised from atop the stage as Bischoff says that he'd actually like for his Administration in the back to do him a favor and find Bubba Ray and D-Von's other brother. After a little bit of waiting, Spike Dudley ends up walking out to the stage next as Bischoff says it is nice to see a family all together. "I think this is the right thing to do," He says with a nod. "I think this is the right decision! I think it only makes sense that we have all three Dudley brothers standing together as I announce that Spike Dudley... you're fired!" All three men are shocked by the news, beginning to march down to the ring together. Bischoff warns them to not do anything stupid as they step through the ropes, Spike putting his hands out in front of his enraged brothers as he asks Bischoff if he can say a few things. "You want to say a few words, Spike? Well, I'm a reasonable man... go for it." He hands the mike off to Spike, whom again assures his brothers to stay put before saying that obviously he wasn't expecting this. "And I'm not happy, Eric. I'm not happy but I'll accept it. Because I know that at the end of the day this is because of your ego and not because of the work I've put in!" Bischoff tries to cut Spike off, telling him that's enough but Spike keeps the microphone away and tells Bischoff that he's got only one thing left to say. He looks to his brothers and then proceeds to drop Bischoff with a punch to the face! "D-Von, Bubba... get the tables!" The Fleet Center erupts as they abide Spike's orders, retrieving the table and bringing it in to the ring. They set it up as Spike pulls a pleading Bischoff back up and punches him again the face. He then throws the General Manager in to arms of Bubba where he lifts Bischoff up and plants him with the 3-D along with D-Von right through the table! The crowd continues to cheer as the three high five and hug each other before leaving the ring. They slap hands with members of the audience in the front row as they head up the ramp but as they reach the top of the stage, Bischoff is heard groaning out the Dudley's name. "All of you..." He says while trying to catch his breath still laying in the rubble of the broken table. "All of you... are gone! All of you... are fired!" The cheers of the audience turn to boos as The Dudley Boyz stand proudly together atop the stage, seeming to have accepted that fate. They hug one another and then raise their arms in unison before returning to the back as BIschoff is left to be attended to.
Ross and Lawler what just happened moments ago with Eric Bischoff firing all three Dudley brothers which led to him being put through a table with the 3-D. They then show during the break Bischoff being stretchered to the back. Live and in the back, Bischoff is seen being wheeled to the back when he is approached by The Bischoff Administration, all of the members expressing their concern for the General Manager. "Where were you?!" Bischoff asks repeatedly, Morley trying to explain they were busy rounding everybody up only for Bischoff to not care and saying they should've been out there! He continues to be wheeled off, Morley saying not to worry and that the show is in good hands!
4) Christian def. Test (w/Stacy Keibler) via pinfall The bell rings and after initially starting off aggressive, Christian begins to cower from Test when he comes back angrily. A big boot from Test causes Christian to roll to the outside and check his face for blood after being busted open by the same maneuver last night by Kevin Nash. Test stays on the attack but Christian manages to escape from a Pump Handle Slam and roll Test up with a handful of tights — the referee not seeing it as he counts the one, two, three!
Test gets back up angrily and tries to get his hands on Christian but he has already rolled out of the ring. Keibler gets in to the ring quickly to calm Test down and keep him back. Christian happily gloats about the win on his way up the ramp, patting his chest while trash talking Test over the victory.
Seen walking in the back are the World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane, talking about their upcoming match and teaching Lance Storm and William Regal yet another lesson. They stop in their tracks as Batista and Ric Flairare seen coming with handfuls of drinks. "Hey, man, heard you guys were throwing a party — are we invited?" RVD asks with a smile, Flair laughing right in his face and saying that the party has been going all night long and there is no way in hell they'd be invited. Kane steps forward and says not to worry about it. "While you two are busy riding Triple H's coattails as champion, we actually are champions. So enjoy your party... we've got business to handle." He and Batista stare each other down momentarily before RVD pulls Kane along for their match. The Women's Champion Trish Stratus is seen walking in the back when Jonathan Coachman approaches her and asks about facing a man in Stevie Richards earlier. "If you want to call him that," Stratus says with a smile. "I don't care how big you are, what gender you are or how tough you think you are. I'm the Women's Champion and I consider that a big deal and I'm going to keep on fighting anybody that wants a piece of Stratusfaction." She adjusts the belt over her shoulder and walks away.
5) Non-Title Match: World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane def. Lance Storm and William Regal via pinfall A competitive start to the match turns to Storm and Regal cutting Kane off from his corner. A few double teams get the crowd trying to will Kane on with him eventually dropping the members of The Bischoff Administration with clotheslines and boots before making the tag to RVD, whom comes in flying all around the ring. Overcoming some double teaming from the opponents, he ends up getting some assistance from Kane as he ends up taking Regal by the throat and catching Storm off the top the same way for a double chokeslam. RVD then heads to the top rope and nails the Five Star Frog Splash on to Regal, hooking both legs for the three count.
The World Tag Team Champions rise up and celebrate the win as their roll continues on, Regal and Storm left crumpled up on the outside as time will tell what is next for Kane and RVD.
Seen in the back is Evolution, the group leaving their room together with Triple H leading the way with the World Heavyweight Championship over his shoulder and a bottle of champagne in his hand. He drinks from it and asks his fellow members if they're ready to continue this party in the ring!
Seen walking in the back with their bags in hand are all three The Dudley Boyz as they are making their way down the halls and toward the parking lot, superstars and divas from the locker room watching on and beginning an applause for the fired men. They shake hands and hug some of those that they walk by, eventually reaching a car and giving a wave before getting in together to leave.
Back inside of the Fleet Center, the ring is set up with tables, balloons and drinks. Evolution's music hits and out comes Ric Flair, Batista and a somewhat hobbled Randy Orton being led by the new World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. The four make their way down and in to the ring, Flair popping a bottle from one of the tables and pouring them in to glasses for each man. "What a time," HHH says while raising his glass. "What a time to be alive! This... this is the way things should be on Monday Night Raw! Yours truly the World Heavyweight Champion once again and not Brock Lesnar!" He goes to say more but Orton requests to say something, so HHH hands it off to him. Orton looks out to the crowd and says that he felt the wrath of Lesnar earlier and they all saw it. "But I'll have you all know that it was nothing... I've been up all night so what you saw against me was nothing and his threats to take back the World Heavyweight Championship?! Nothing! There is no stopping the best this business has to offer! There is no stopping 'The Game' Triple H!" He offers to propose a toast and they all drink but Batista steps forward next and recommends they pour another glass for he has something to say as well. He steps up to HHH and says that these past few months as a member of Evolution have been some of the best of his life. "You saw something in me beyond the muscle, Hunter. And for the faith you've put in me, I will continue to have your back and you will remain our World Heavyweight Champion as long as I've got something to say about it!" He proposes another toast, so the four drink up once again. Flair steps forward after that and struts, saying to pour another one so he can also say something. "Boy, oh, boy, have Randy and Dave hit it right on the head! Hunter, you are the very best! There is no stopping you, woo! There is no stopping Evolution! Woo!" He says that Batista said that this has been one the best times of his life but it is only the beginning and things will only go up from here. "Brock Lesnar or anybody else tries to come your way, Hunter, there is no stopping them because there is no stopping Evolution or 'The Game'... now, we've had a hell of the last twenty four hours and we ain't stopping there, baby! Woo! We're celebrating all night tonight in Boston, too, woo! They need something to celebrate about, haha!" He proposes another toast and they all raise their glass again, the four downing the drinks again.
Before anything else can be said by the group, the theme music of Brock Lesnar interrupts. The former champion paces back and forth atop the stage, staring down at the ring. As Orton, Batista and Flair step forward, HHH holds them back with a smile and tells them not to do anything irrational and to let Lesnar speak. 'The Next Big Thing' stops in the center of the stage and pulls the microphone in his hand up slowly. "In case your boy didn't deliver the message earlier," He says with a scowl. "I'm going to take back the World Heavyweight Championship..." Hunter laughs at the words as he leans across the ropes, being handed yet another drink by Flair. He twirls it in his free hand while looking up the ramp at Lesnar. "Brock, I get it. You're upset because reality hit you right between the eyes last night and you're standing there looking down at me — the absolute frigin' best and your World Heavyweight Champion. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Every woman wants to be with me and every man wants to be me and Brock? You're no exception." He continues on by saying that he's sure Lesnar wants his rematch, but he's personally sick of dealing with him at all. He wants this all to be over with and for Lesnar to realize he doesn't belong. "Hell, Brock, I'll give you your rematch. I'll give you your rematch in about three weeks at, say, Judgment Day? Why not? Give you one last shot on the bigger stage! But here's the deal, Brock, I know... I know damn well I can beat you any way possible. I could beat you with one hand tied behind my back! I could beat you blindfolded! I could beat you no matter the circumstance and I tell you what, we have our rematch at Judgment Day, Brock... and I'll even let you name the stipulation, huh? All you gotta do is accept the fact that this is it! This is our last time... your last opportunity to step in here with me and your last opportunity to come anywhere close to the World Heavyweight Championship..." Lesnar looks down at the floor and begins to snicker, lifting his head back up slowly and asking HHH if he that's what he wants. "You got it. After this, Hunter, we're done... I guarantee it... because at Judgment Day it's you... and me... Hell in a Cell!" HHH drops the glass from his mouth and down to the floor below, obviously not expecting to hear those words! As the entire group can't believe what Lesnar just said, Brock returns to the back with a smile as the celebration for Evolution perhaps has been spoiled as Raw comes to an end!
May 1, 2003: Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH
Standing in her office to begin things tonight is Stephanie McMahon, the Smackdown General Manager with a smile on her face as she welcomes everyone to the show. "This past Monday on Raw, Eric Bischoff started his show in the exact same fashion I am tonight. However, while he decided he was going to fire one of his superstars — which turned in to three — I am starting my show off with the complete opposite: Opportunity." She says that since the Intercontinental Championship went over to the Raw brand at WrestleMania, she has been trying to figure something out to jolt her Smackdown superstars and that is why she is announcing the revival of the United States Championship! The cameras pan out to show a covered podium where McMahon says that tonight and next week there will be two fatal four way matches and the winners of those matches will end up meeting to crown the United States Champion. "The four superstars competing in tonight's fatal four way will be announced later on. However, I recommend everyone — including Eric Bischoff — keep a close eye on tonight's show for this is not all I have up my sleeve." She smiles to the camera as the Smackdown opening video follows, the cameras then coming inside of the Verizon Wireless Arena from Manchester, New Hampshire as Michael Cole and Tazz talk about the big news we just learned of, but we also have a big main event in store as Goldberg makes his Smackdown in-ring debut by taking on A-Train! The theme music of The Undertaker hits and out on his motorcycle comes 'The Dead Man'. He rides down to the ring and steps through the ropes looking obviously none too happy after losing the WWE Championship this past Sunday. He paces around the ring with a microphone in hand, saying that clearly things at Backlash didn't go the way he wanted or planned. "I could sit here and I could point fingers and place blame because of the circumstances of it not being a one-on-one match, but I'm not out here to do that." Taker says that he wants to cut right to the chase, he wants the WWE Championship back so he's calling out Kurt Angle right here, right now so he can do just that! The crowd cheers as Taker keeps trying to call Angle down, stepping up to the ropes and waving his hand.
Instead of Angle arriving, however, John Cena makes his way out to the stage. While Taker looks confused at the arrival, Cena calls for his music to be cut as he starts to rap about beating Rey Mysterio this past Sunday, dissing him on hiding behind a mask and being too small. "Now I'm standing in front of a dead man, who also couldn't cut it at Backlash. Unlike normal, dog, your mouth was writing check your ass couldn't cash! Now you ain't got the title, you ain't got the gold. You're staying stagnant while I'm out here breaking the mold!" He continues on, saying that it's time for Taker to step aside and to let him take over. 'Big Evil' tells Cena that he respects that he's trying to make a name for himself. "But doing it at my expense? At this time? Not the right move, kid." Cena steps up next to Taker's motorcycle and looks down at it before turning back to the ring, asking Taker about the use of the word respect. "I don't give a damn if you respect me or not! I'm John Cena! I'm doing what I want when I want and how I want, no second thought! You heard about my new move the F-U? Cause, dog, that's all I've got left to say to you!" He then turns to Taker's motorcycle again and tips it over! He throws his hands out and it enrages Taker, whom steps through the ropes and charges at him! Cena quickly rushes to the back, Taker checking on his bike before getting to his feet again and marching up the ramp to go after Cena!
Standing by backstage is Josh Mathews as he introduces A-Train to be his guest at this time. Mathews asks about A-Train's match coming up tonight against Goldberg, especially after what we saw last week with his involvement during the contract signing with Goldberg and The Rock. "Last week was business! This week it is all about me," A-Train rubs his hands together with a snicker. "Everybody talks about how great Goldberg is but I'm the real wrecking ball on Smackdown. I'm the A-Train and he's on the tracks while I'm coming through." He pushes Mathews aside and stomps off down the hallway.
1) Los Guerreros def. Nunzio and Bill DeMott (w/The F.B.I.) via pinfall Nunzio does a lot of relying on DeMott to overpower both Eddie and Chavo but makes sure to get himself tagged in frequently to get some shots in. As soon as one of the Guerreros makes a comeback on him, however, he tags out. Chuck Palumbo, Chris Kanyon and Dawn Marie try to get involved on the outside as well but after DeMott is taken out from the apron on to the two men on the outside following a low blow from Eddie, Nunzio is left to fend for himself against with Chavo hitting a brainbuster. He then tags in Eddie, whom makes his way to the top rope and nails the Frog Splash for the pinfall.
The celebration for uncle and nephew doesn't last long as The F.B.I. all hit the ring and knock them down, beginning separate two-on-one beat downs in the corners. The boos of the crowd turn to sudden cheers, however, as the stage is hit by a screeching pyro as the music of The Dudley Boyz music hits! "What the hell?!" Asks a shocked Tazz. Bubba Ray, D-Von and Spike Dudley all make their way down the ramp together after having just been fired from Raw on Monday! The three of them hit the ring and go at it with The F.B.I., overcoming the odds as DeMott and Palumbo are tossed to the outside by Bubba Ray and D-Von while Spike ends up hitting Kanyon with the Dudley Dog. Nunzio then staggers back to his feet and turns right in to the 3-D! They then drag him back up and toss him over the top rope and at the feet of the rest of The F.B.I.! As their music hits and they celebrate, they assist Los Guerreros back up and stand tall with them while exchanging words with The F.B.I. as they back down.
Seen stomping through the back is The Undertaker, looking for John Cena. He walks through a hallway and comes across Brian Kendrickand Crash Hollyhaving a conversation and asks them if they know where Cena went. Holly quickly says no, but Kendrick is still as a stone. "What's the matter with you, kid?" Taker asks, to which Kendrick struggles to even get a word out before turning around and running away. Holly shrugs his shoulders, Taker shaking his head as he walks off to continue his search.
The theme music of Kurt Angle hits to boos from the crowd, the new WWE Champion stepping out to the stage with a smile on his face as the new WWE Tag Team Champions in Team Angle, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, follow along. The trio come down to the ring together, Kurt taking a microphone from ringside and saying that this feels right. "I know, I know, it was a hard time the last month for all of you to not have us as your champions but everything is back to normal now!" He says that he would have come out earlier when The Undertaker was asking for him but he was caught up with things that champions do. "But you know what? I'm going to make it up to everyone. Stephanie McMahon mentioned opportunity at the top of the show and that is exactly what I am going to do right here, right now... anybody in the back that wants to step in to the ring with the WWE Champion? Come on down and have yourself a shot." He waits for a few moments, encouraging the locker room once again before Tajiri's music hits. Angle grows a big smile on his face as 'The Japanese Buzzsaw' makes his way out, looking ready and determined for his opportunity against the WWE Champion.
2) Non-Title Match: WWE Champion Kurt Angle (w/WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle) def. Tajiri via pinfall Angle immediately drops Tajiri and controls things via his amateur background, but after taking time to laugh over it with Team Angle on the outside, he turns right in to a kick to the back of the head! Tajiri starts to chip away at Angle and even surprises him with a backslide for a near fall, a Tarantula even being broken out. A frustrated Angle tries to take it to Tajiri afterward but ends up getting launched shoulder first in to the ring post! Haas gets up on the apron to yell across the ring and ends up taking mist to the face! "The green mist!" Shouts Cole. "Green mist from Tajiri!" As Benjamin races to tend to Haas, Tajiri ends up being taken from behind by Kurt and hit with the Angle Slam for the three count!
Angle has some choice words for Tajiri once he gets to his feet, then demanding his WWE Championship from the referee. After holding the belt over his head, he turns to the outside to see Benjamin trying to assist Haas, quickly jumping to the outside and also aiding Haas to his feet and guiding him up the ramp, but making sure that Benjamin grabs their tag title belts in the process.
In the locker room area in the back, Chris Benoit is seen tying up his boots when the door is knocked on. In walks Edge, hands on his hips as he tries to start talking only for Benoit to quickly try and shut him down. "Chris, look, I just think you need to realize that you got the best of yourself this past Sunday." Benoit snaps back asking Edge if this is his way of blaming him for their loss at Backlash. "Because I'm not happy about it either, for the record," He looks Edge up and down and scoffs. "But I'm moving on, alright? I'm moving on because Stephanie McMahon told me I'm taking part in the first fatal four way tonight for that United States Championship match and I plan on not just winning tonight but whoever gets stuck facing me for the belt afterward. Now, if you'll excuse me..." He brushes shoulders with Edge on the way out, leaving his fellow former WWE Tag Team Champion shaking his head.
Making her way out following the break is General Manager Stephanie McMahon, standing atop the stage with a microphone in hand as she brings up the two fatal four way matches for a United States Championship match and says that while she will announce next week's four way later on tonight, it is time for tonight's. She starts things off by bringing out the first competitor in Chris Benoit, then following it up with one of the newer Smackdown superstars in Sean O'Haire. He is followed up by the high flying Rey Mysterio. As all three of them stand in the ring together, she says that the fourth participant in this match is a bit of a surprise, but she jumped on the opportunity to bring this man to Smackdown. She then steps to the side and holds her hand out as arriving from the back is Jeff Hardy! The crowd pops for the news as all three other men in the ring are shocked and confused. "Are you kidding me?!" Asks Cole. "Jeff Hardy is on Smackdown?! First The Dudley Boyz, now Jeff Hardy?!" Hardy makes his way down and in to the ring and stares the other three down as the referee calls for the bell.
3) Fatal Four Way Match To Enter The United States Championship Match: Chris Benoit def. Sean O'Haire, Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy via submission Hardy comes out on fire, taking it to all three of his opponents before O'Haire stops all his momentum with a huge boot to the face. The match is incredibly fast paced from there on, lasting through a break with every man getting repeated close call finishes. O'Haire hits a superkick on Hardy for a two count, Mysterio with a seated senton on O'Haire for a near fall, Benoit with a trio of German suplexes on Rey for a close count as well with Hardy then hitting Benoit with Whisper in the Wind for what seems like the finish until O'Haire breaks it up. Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moorethen come down to the ring, prompting further confusion in the arena. After Jeff hits O'Haire with Twist of Fate, he heads to the top rope and delivers the Swanton Bomb. Matt and Shannon applaud from the outside but Jeff is confused as to their presence, questioning what they're doing. Mysterio comes up from behind and dropkicks Jeff between the ropes, positioning him for the 619. Rey goes for it but Shannon hops on the apron and blocks it! Rey turns around and kicks Matt in the face, turning back to the ring and springboarding toward Benoit for a senton only to have Benoit yank Jeff in the way! Mysterio gets back up and is hooked from behind for a German, Benoit bridging it in to a pin for the one, two, three.
Benoit rolls under the bottom rope and holds his fists in the air in celebration, having advanced on to face the winner of next week's four way for the title. As he enjoys the victory, the other three remain down in and out of the ring, obviously disappointed in having come up just short in this competitive bout.
Seen in the back after the break is The Undertaker, still on the search for John Cena. He ends up walking up to Rikishi, asking him if he has seen Cena anywhere. "Sorry, brother, no luck." Rikishi stops Taker from walking off though by taking him by the arm. "But I had my own beef with Cena recently. The kid has no respect for anybody, including veteran guys like you and myself. So, find that punk and teach him a lesson." Taker tells Rikishi that he doesn't have to worry about that and continues on his hunt.
Walking backstage elsewhere is Kurt Angle and Team Angle, Angle and Benjamin talking over some things as Haas has a towel in his face trying to clean the mist from his eyes still. "I don't think it's coming out..." He mutters. He ends up stopping and falling back, however, as he ends up bumping his shoulder in to the back of Goldberg. "Hey, watch where you're going, kid." He says with a smile while slapping Haas on the shoulder, prompting confusion from him as he is blinded. "Maybe you should watch where you're standing!" Angle snaps back, leading to Goldberg slowly turning his head and locking eyes with the WWE Champion. He then steps in front of him, arms crossed with a snicker. "You happen to see my match with The Rock at Backlash?" He asks Angle. "Watch yourself or the same could happen to you." He pats the WWE Championship belt on Angle's shoulder and walks away, Benjamin putting his hand out in front of Angle to keep him from reacting as Haas questions who that was and what's going on!
Seen heading toward the ring is Billy Kidman when he is stopped on his way by Sean O'Haire. He tells Kidman that he heard about his match with Rhyno. "Let's be honest, William. You're just a Cruiserweight. Mad Rhyno is a powerhouse! He's a heavyweight! Are you capable of stopping him? In my opinion? I don't think so..." Kidman grows an angry smirk on his face, O'Haire putting both his hands up. "But hey, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know." He taps his temple and tells Kidman to think it through and walks off, leaving Kidman with his hands on his hips and silent.
At ringside following the break, Cole and Tazz talk about what we have seen so far tonight and mention we still have the Smackdown in-ring debut of Goldberg to come. Speaking of Goldberg, coming off of his win this past Sunday at Backlash, we have footage sent directly from the man he defeated: The Rock. Cutting to pre-recorded footage of The Rock sitting in a chair in Los Angeles is shown, Rock talking about all of his accomplishments since he decided to come back at No Way Out and how he feels like he has lit a spark on the WWE and is looking forward to seeing that flame carried more going forward. "This past Sunday at Backlash, The Rock stepped in to the ring with Goldberg but don't think nothing of it! Bill and The Rock are pals! Goldberg roughed up The Rock but, hey, Bill will be Bill!" He says that Goldberg always asks who's next but the question for himself is what's next. "What's next for The Rock is being in action, entertaining the masses, back to autograph signings and meeting the millions... and millions of The Rock's fans... in Hollywood." He laughs and tells everyone not to worry, though, he'll stay in touch and will see everyone soon. "If ya smell... what The Rock... is... cookin'."
4) Rhyno def. Billy Kidman via pinfall The match gets underway with Kidman coming out guns blazing, almost as if he's trying to prove himself to the likes of Sean O'Haire. After some big dropkicks and high flying moves, he ends up eating a knee to the stomach and turns things over to Rhyno. The power game on the mat and in the corner frustrates Kidman and leads to him mounting a comeback, getting a few near falls as he is fast paced and takes Rhyno off his feet repeatedly. He goes to the top rope and dives off, Rhyno avoiding it and as soon as Kidman gets up and turns around he is nailed with the Gore! Rhyno hooks the legs and gets the pinfall.
'The Man Beast' gets to his feet and has his arm raised as the winner but turns his attention up the ramp as Sean O'Haire has started making his way down. Rhyno motions for him to enter the ring and O'Haire hops on to the apron, a smile on his face. He places one leg between the ropes but instead pulls back and drops to the floor, wagging his finger to a rather unimpressed Rhyno.
In the back, Funaki is standing by and introduces three of the newest members of the Smackdown roster, The Dudley Boyz. He asks them about coming to Smackdown with Bubba answering first by saying that as soon as they were fired from Raw this past Monday, they got a call from Stephanie McMahon. "We could have fought to stay on Raw and tried to find a way back but why would we do that?" Asks Spike. "Why do that when we are wanted here?" D-Von pats both his brothers on the back and says that this is just another chapter in the lineage of The Dudley Boyz and time for new mountains to climb. Before they can say anything more, however, they are all dropped from behind by The F.B.I.! The four men beat on the brothers with Nunzio giving the orders, finishing the assault by dropping Bubba with a kick to the face as Palumbo and DeMott hold his arms back. "Welcome to Smackdown," Nunzio says. "Now get the hell out!" They then walk away with The Dudley Boyz left laying.
Seen in her office much like the start of the show is Stephanie McMahon. "Well, here I am again," She says. "First of all, I'd like to personally welcome The Dudley Boyz and Jeff Hardy to Smackdown. Gentlemen, I look forward to working with you going forward. Speaking of Jeff, he took part of our fatal four way match earlier tonight to enter the United States Championship match and the winner was Chris Benoit. Now, next week, we have our second fatal four match where the winner will face Chris for the championship. In that match, we will see A-Train, Rhyno, Billy Kidman and Edge." She wishes those four the best of luck and tells everyone to enjoy the remainder of tonight's show.
In the back once again The Undertaker is seen on the hunt for John Cena. He comes up to Jamie Nobleand Nidiaand asks them if they've seen him. "Hey, even if I did," Noble responds while sizing up Taker. "Why would I tell you?" After laughing a little bit, 'The Dead Man' grabs Noble by the throat with both hands and lifts him up against the wall! Nidia yells for Taker to let her boyfriend go as he demands answers. "Where is he?!" Taker yells, Noble struggling to talk as he says 'parking lot'. Taker drops Noble and begins to march in that direction, eventually reaching the parking lot and seeing nothing. "Alright, Cena. The gig is up... get your ass out here and face me like a man." Taker adjusts the gloves on his fists and hears a clanging behind him, so he turns in that direction but sees nothing. Suddenly, however, from behind comes John Cena with a wrench and he hits Taker in the back of the knee! He stands over a fallen Taker and mouths off to him. "You want a piece of me, huh, 'Dead Man'? You want a piece of me?!" Cena then mounts over Taker and pushes the wrench in to the throat of Taker! Cena presses and refuses to let up until he feels satisfied. He stands up and looks down at Taker struggling to breath. "Word life!" Cena says before dropping the wrench next to Taker's head and walking off.
The cameras then pan to a shot of Goldberg's locker room, Michael Cole saying from commentary that the Smackdown in-ring debut of Goldberg is moments away as tonight's main event is up next!
5) Goldberg def. A-Train via pinfall The bell sounds and Goldberg stands in his corner with his hands on his hips, A-Train charging at him but eating a knee to the gut and clubs across the back. A few heavy clotheslines and take downs lead to Goldberg getting fired up. He charges at Train in the corner but is side-stepped and slammed in to the turnbuckles. Train begins to get some momentum off of that and ends up crushing Goldberg in to the corner with a splash followed by a chokebomb for a short two count as Goldberg kicks out. Train can't believe the relatively quick kick out and waits for Goldberg to get up in the corner before running at him only to be avoided and crash shoulder first. Goldberg then waits for the turn and delivers a huge Spear! He pops back up and gives his signature throat slash taunt, waiting for Train to get back up before showing off the tremendous strength with the Jackhammer that leads to the pinfall victory.
Goldberg gets to his feet and raises his fists up high, heading to the second turnbuckle even after. The cameras then pick up backstage to show Kurt Angle watching a television and shaking his head. "Pfft, I could beat Goldberg... I don't see what the big deal is... I'm Kurt freakin' Angle... he's Bill who-the-hell Goldberg! People should be talking about me! I'm the WWE Champion after all!" Up beside him then comes Stephanie McMahon, saying she couldn't help but overhear Angle talking to himself. "Glad you're so confident, Kurt. Because at Judgment Day in three weeks? You're going to be defending that WWE Championship... against Goldberg." She smiles and walks away, Angle's confident smile slowly fading away as he slowly looks back at the TV where Goldberg raises two fingers to the crowd. "Who's next?!" He asks as Smackdown comes to an end.
May 3, 2003: Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH
1) Chuck Palumbo and Chris Kanyon (w/The F.B.I.) def. Aaron Stevens and John Walters via pinfall Displaying their power and total dominance, Kanyon and Palumbo allow very little offense from Stevens and Walters, eventually putting the latter down with a superkick to the back of the head via Palumbo and the Flatliner from Kanyon to secure the easy victory for The F.B.I. members. The group celebrates together after the match with Nunzio kicking the body of Walters under the bottom rope.
2) Jimmy Yang def. Crash Holly via pinfall Seen coming up just short on multiple occasions on Velocity over the past couple of months, Holly seems to be taking Yang for granted after controlling the match early on. After pulling Yang up for a two count after a springboard bulldog, he mocks the youngster. Whipping Yang in to the corner, however, Jimmy pulls himself up to the top rope and moonsaults on to Holly — pinning both of his legs on top of Holly's shoulders for the sudden three count! Holly can't believe it as he gets to his knees with his hands over his head, Yang escaping from the ring pumping his fists in the air.
3) Shannon Moore (w/Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy) def. Brian Kendrick via pinfall Much like Holly in the previous match, Moore seems to be taking Kendrick not so seriously. Brian surprises with a valiant effort and knocks Moore down on numerous occasions. After landing on his feet on an inverted suplex attempt, Kendrick rolls Moore up near the ropes but with the referee down to make the count, Hardy gets on to the apron and pushes Kendrick over, leading to Moore positioning for the cradle with both feet on the ropes for the one, two, three. The crowd boos as Hardy and Moore make a quick getaway, Kendrick knowing he was just robbed of his first win!
4) Edge def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) via pinfall After beginning things with a test of strength offer from Noble that Edge completely dominates, Noble throws a tantrum on the outside to Nidia. He stays in the match with underhanded tactics but after being dropped with the Edge-o-Matic, he staggers up in the corner with Nidia trying to warn him but he ultimately ends up staggering right in to a Spear which leads to Edge getting the pinfall. Grabbing some momentum ahead of his big fatal four way next week, Edge celebrates to end the show.
May 4, 2003: Fleet Center in Boston, MA
1) Jazz (w/Theodore Long) def. Jacqueline via pinfall Trading momentum with their power, Jazz and Jacqueline each put it on display by slamming and tossing the other around. Jazz is lifted for a powerbomb but she manages to pull herself down behind Jacqueline, pushing her chest first in to the turnbuckles before hitting the Bitch Clamp in the center of the ring for the pinfall. Long claps on his way up the steel steps, entering the ring and raising Jazz's arm up. As she goes to mouth off to the crowd, Teddy looks back down at Jacqueline multiple times.
2) Christopher Nowinski def. Arch Kincaid via pinfall Toying with Kincaid, Nowinski spends a ton of time gloating to the crowd and proclaiming how intelligent he is. Kicnaid almost backslides him for a shocking win but Nowinski kicks out, gets back up and nails a dropkick before hitting the Victory Roll to put the local away.
In the back, Terri introduces Ric Flair and Batistaas her guests, Flair not even letting her get out her question. "What you have in front of you, little lady, is the greatest of all time! Woo!" He talks about being a sixteen time World Heavyweight Champion and while he's gotten a bit older, he's got Evolution now, which includes the most powerful animal at his side. "I'm talking about Batista, man! How are you supposed to stop him? Look at him! Look at him!" He gestures his hand up and down to Batista, whom flexes his muscles a bit as Flair talks about how unstoppable he is and that he's only just getting started. "But it's only a matter of time before Batista takes the world by storm! Woo! That's the way it goes! That's the way Evolution works, baby." He pats Batista on the arm and they head off.
3) Batista and Ric Flair def. D'Lo Brown and Maven via pinfall After an initial dominant start from Batista, Flair is tagged in and he messes around with Maven on a slow attack, taunting and 'Woo'ing excessively. It allows Maven to suddenly come back with a dropkick and a back body drop before a tag is made to Brown, whom comes in and runs through Flair a bit before taking a thumb to the eye. A tag is made to Batista and he charges in with a clothesline, running through Brown viciously. Maven tries to get involved but ends up eating a massive spinebuster which is followed up by D'Lo trying to throw a punch but having his arm caught, taking a knee to the stomach and the Batista Bomb for the one, two, three. Flair enters the ring afterward and bows his hands in Batista's direction, refusing to allow the referee to raise the hand of 'The Animal' in order to do so himself to conclude the episode of Sunday Night Heat.
May 5, 2003: Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA
In Memory of Elizabeth Hulette, 'Miss Elizabeth', 1960-2003
The Monday Night Raw opening video airs, the cameras entering the Metro Centre, the stage blasted by the pyrotechnics as Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcome everyone to the show emanating across the border in Canada. Tonight, we have heard that Chris Jericho plans to call out Shawn Michaels on top of a big main event where World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and Randy Orton will team up to take on Brock Lesnar and a mystery partner of his choice! The theme music of Evolution hits and out from the back comes World Heavyweight Champion Triple H, Ric Flair, Batista and Randy Orton. The four make their way down and in to the ring together but before HHH can say anything, Flair steps out in front of him. "Last week your World Heavyweight Champion was celebrating! He had a bit to drink! He said some things that he clearly didn't mean and, Brock Lesnar, you know and I know and Triple H knows and everybody else knows that your match at Judgment Day shouldn't be happening because the champ's state of mind was altered!" Hunter puts his hand out in front of Flair, however, calming him down and taking the microphone from him. After some words away from the mike, he turns back to face the audience and tells them not to mind Flair, he's just looking out for him. "But Ric, there's no need to look out for me in this situation because I knew exactly what I was doing last week, alright?" He says that Lesnar is and has been way in over his head since coming over to Raw and he knew challenging him to name the stipulation he'd do something stupid like this. "See, Brock agreed to my terms. While Brock made the foolish decision to step in to Hell in a Cell with me, he also agreed that this would be the very last time he does step in to the ring with me. Once that match is over? It's done. I walk out as World Heavyweight Champion and Brock Lesnar is no longer my problem. See, Ric, I am 'The Game' and I know exactly what I am doing... just like I know that later on tonight that Randy and myself are going to be going against Brock and a mystery partner and if I'm not worried about Brock Lesnar... why would I give a damn about whoever his mystery partner is?" He shares a laugh with the group as Flair steps forward again and tells HHH this is why he is the man and why he's the World Champion.
As the four seem prepared to conclude their business, they are interrupted by the pyro of one half of the World Tag Team Champions Kane and the theme music of his partner Rob Van Dam. The duo come out to the stage where RVD says they don't mean to crash this party, but they really wanted to be involved in last week's so here they are. "And Hunter, dude, don't worry, we're not out here because of you. We're out here because of Ric Flair!" Flair seems confused by RVD's words as Kane speaks up to say that last night on Sunday Night Heat, they heard how he was talking about Batista. "And to think that he's unstoppable? The most powerful animal in WWE?" Kane shakes his head and says clearly they're overlooking someone. Batista rips the microphone out of Flair's hands and asks Kane if he has a problem. "Maybe you're forgetting about when I beat your ass at Armageddon, you masked freak!" Kane retorts that he also remembers Flair getting involved. RVD then points out that Flair has gotten involved in a lot of their business since last fall. "Those accusations are flawed! Woo!" Flair shouts back. "You don't know what you're on ab—" Van Dam puts his hand up and tells Flair to chill. "Listen, man, how about we settle it in the ring, huh? Yeah, Ric. You and me right here, tonight!" Flair's eyes widen as he tells RVD he's on! Kane then follows that up by suggesting that right now, he and Batista go one-on-one. 'The Animal' is receptive to the idea with Kane following up that they do things the right way in these matches and have nobody in their corner. "You're on." Batista says in acceptance before tossing his microphone to the side, getting some words of encouragement from the rest of Evolution before they begin to leave as RVD gives Kane a fist bump on his way out.
1) Batista def. World Tag Team Champion Kane via pinfall The match is under way following a break with Batista dominating in the corner and on the mat with his strength. Kane responds with a fiery comeback, booting Batista against the turnbuckles before slamming in to him with multiple clotheslines. After a sidewalk slam, he prepares for a Chokeslam but Batista ends up kicking his way out of the grasp. He ducks a boot to the face and plants Kane with a big spinebuster! He hooks the leg off of it but Kane manages to kick out. Batista is surprised by it and gets right back up, not messing around as he proceeds to nail the Batista Bomb and get the pinfall.
Having pulled off a big victory over 'The Big Red Machine', Batista gets to his feet and has his arm raised as the winner. He gives a yell over Kane's body before raising his fists and leaving the ring.
Transitioning backstage, Brock Lesnar is seen when up to him walks Stevie Richards. The two stare each other down before Lesnar asks what Richards wants. "Heard you needed a partner tonight." Stevie responds, prompting a laugh from Brock and asking if he thinks he'd pick Richards out of everybody in that locker room. Richards places his hands on his hips and looks around before pointing a finger in Lesnar's face, saying he'll show him — he'll see! He then charges at Lesnar but Brock side-steps, causing Richards to crash in to a bunch of equipment and have it land on top of him! "You really showed me, pal." Lesnar says with a laugh as he walks away, Richards reaching his hand out from the equipment on top of him and calling out for Victoria.
Elsewhere in the back is Jacqueline getting prepared for her upcoming match when she is approached by Theodore Long. "Hey, Jacqueline, let me holla at you girl." He says before explaining to her that he has done a lot with Jazz since pairing up with her and is offering to do a bit of the same with Jacqueline. "Listen, Jazz is still my girl but we all have one thing in common: We've been held back by the white man! By vanilla! They've tried to stop us from reaching our potential! Tonight, you've got a match with Trish Stratus, the Women's Champion, and I wish you the best of luck, but think about what I said." He then walks off, leaving Jacqueline thinking as her match is up next.
Seen arriving to the arena is Shawn Michaels, as the rumors have been swirling all day that Chris Jericho plans on calling him out later on tonight.
2) Non-Title Match: Women's Champion Trish Stratus def. Jacqueline via pinfall The match gets started with some back and forth, Molly Holly making her way out from the back and joining in on commentary to the confusion of Ross and Lawler with Molly explaining how she just found out from Eric Bischoff backstage that next week there will be a women's battle royal where the winner will receive a Women's Championship match against Stratus. Jacqueline's power is overcome by Stratus reversing a powerslam in to a shove in to the corner and a Chick Kick! She then takes Jacqueline as she drops to a knee in order to hit Stratusfaction and get the three count on the cover.
Stratus gets up and the official presents her with the Women's Championship, to which she makes her way to the corner and raises the belt in the direction of Molly, whom mentions on commentary that she plans on seeing Stratus very soon in a match for that title.
Seen talking in the back are General Manager Eric Bischoff and Chief Morley, the prior saying that last week's firing of The Dudley Boyz was justified and even more so after what they decided to do afterward. "But I'm not finished yet after that display... gather the boys and meet me in the ring." They head off in opposite directions as it appears Bischoff is heading to the ring after the break.
Coming out from the back following the time away is The Bischoff Administration, led by Bischoff and Morley with Lance Storm and William Regal. The four make their way down and in to the ring, Bischoff with a noticeable limp, likely from last week's attack from The Dudley Boyz. "Last week, I stood in this ring and I did what I promised to do by firing somebody from the Raw roster... but because I tend to deliver even more than expected, I fired not one, not two but three superstars in the forms of Bubba Ray, D-Von and Spike Dudley!" He says that while the three of them showed up on Smackdown days later, it doesn't hurt his feelings because it doesn't surprise him in the slightest that Stephanie McMahon picked out of his trash. "But after what The Dudley Boyz did to me last week by hitting me with a 3-D..." The crowd cheers and he scowls, ordering them to shut up. "It made me realize that maybe I need to put my foot down even more! Maybe firing The Dudley Boyz wasn't enough. Maybe I need to fire... one, maybe two more superstars right here tonight!" He laughs as the crowd boos. "Talk about an egomaniac," J.R. says. "This is horrible, King! Horrible!" Bischoff steps forward and says that he is asking for the friends Booker T and Goldust to come down to the ring.
After waiting a few moments, Bischoff makes further demands that the two come out and, finally, the music of Booker T hits and he makes his way out very slowly along with Goldust. Bischoff continues to urge them to come down and in to the ring. While the two of them are hesitant, they step between the ropes and stand across from The Bischoff Administration. Eric paces back and forth in front of Booker and Goldust before continuing to speak. "The two have you have been a thorn in mine and my Administration's side for months... last week, I spared the two of your jobs and told you there was a reason and that reason was because I felt like I'd be better off making your lives a living hell by keeping you here! Putting you through the ringer and to the test time and time again until you couldn't stand it anymore!" He has a sinister grin on his face but says that after talking it over with Morley, Storm and Regal, they decided that it wasn't worth the time and effort. He then says he was going to offer them the opportunity to say something, but looking at his watch they don't seem to have the time for that! "So, I guess that means... Booker T, Goldust... the two of you are..." He ends up being cut off, however, by the line of 'American Dream...' to cheers from the crowd as Dusty Rhodes steps out to the stage! "My God, it's 'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes!" Exclaims J.R. Rhodes struts his way down to the ring as everyone in the ring look shocked by the arrival of the legend. He comes in to the ring with a microphone in his hand but before speaking, he shakes Booker's hand and hugs his son, Goldust. "Let me ask you something, Eric," Rhodes says he steps toward the Raw General Manager. "Do you remember when we first met way back when in WCW?" Bischoff says he does and with all due respect to Dusty, he questions what the hell he is doing out here now. Rhodes says before he gets to all of that, he just wants to point out that he and Eric had worked together a lot and while they would debate back and forth, he saw a lot of potential in Bischoff and heard him out and they worked together but as he has been watching him since becoming Raw General Manager last year, this isn't the same Bischoff he knew before. "You get a kick out of putting your hard working men and women out on the street, do you? You think last week when you fired The Dudley Boyz that it didn't matter! You had no idea that they'd land a job on Smackdown the very next day but they did... but that doesn't happen to everybody, Eric. You have no idea what it is like for those people when they're left with nothing but as somebody that came from nothing, Eric, somebody that is a common man I know all too well what it is like to be scratching and clawing and even getting down on your knees and having to beg just to be able to put the next meal on the table..."
Bischoff runs his hand across his face and tells Rhodes that he's right, he doesn't know exactly what it is like to have to struggle like Rhodes or other people because he has been good at so many things over his life, that he has been successful with everything he does. "And I question why shouldn't more people be like Eric Bischoff? What do I care if they're out on the street? It's not my fault they aren't able to succeed in life!" Rhodes steps up to Bischoff and says that is why he is a no good, heartless son of a bitch! Dusty points a finger in Eric's face and tells him that he used to think he was a good man and now he knows the truth. "And tonight, you're not going to fire Booker T, you're not going to fire my boy and you're not going to fire anybody!" He looks behind him to Booker and Goldust, whom nod in his direction, prompting Morley to step forward next to Bischoff and ask Rhodes if he is serious. "Really, old man? You think just because you come out here and give a rah-rah speech that Eric Bischoff, the General Manager of Raw, is going to listen to you? No, if he wants to fire Goldust and Booker T, he's going to fire them and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!" Rhodes laughs and shakes his head, telling Morley that's where he is wrong because there actually is something he can do about it. "You may not know this, Eric, because you're too caught up in your own little world but as it turns out, yours truly is a member of the WWE Board of Directors!" Bischoff is stunned by the news, telling Rhodes that he can't be serious. "Oh, yes, Eric, I am! And as a member of the Board of Directors, they sent me up here after what you did last week to keep an eye on you but this goes a little bit deeper than that for me!" He says that he was talking to Goldust earlier and he told him all about what went on when Bischoff and his Administration decided to threaten him and attempt to manipulate his good-nature. "Yeah, he may have a screw or two loose but that's what we love about him... but to threaten his daddy to get him to work for you was the biggest mistake you could have made!" He says that he is making an announcement, because nobody is getting fired, that at Judgment Day there is going to be a match. "Hell, it won't just be a match. We're gonna have ourselves a fight... and we're gonna call it a Bunkhouse Brawl! In one corner, we'll have Chief Morley, Lance Storm and William Regal... in the other, it'll be Goldust, Booker T and... me, Dusty Rhodes!" He shoves the microphone in Bischoff's chest and leaves the ring along with Goldust and Booker, leaving The Bischoff Administration looking floored over the news they just received!
Dusty Rhodes, Booker T and Goldust are seen walking together in the back following the break when they are approached by Jonathan Coachman, welcoming Rhodes back to WWE TV and asking if he is serious about the match he just made for Judgment Day. "I've never been more serious in my life!" He assures Coach, Booker then saying that when you come for his best friend and his father, there's going to hell to pay. "My father talked about hard times a long time ago," Goldust said. "And these have been some hard times themselves. But The Bischoff Administration is going to find out about hard times at Judgment Day!" Booker gives a 'now can you dig that' before turning to Dusty, whom finishes it off with a smile. "Sucka!" He pats Booker and Goldust on the back and they continue on.
Seen in another part of the back is Brock Lesnar, walking through the halls when he is stopped in his tracks by The Hurricanejumping out in front of him. Both fists on his hips, Hurricane looks up to Lesnar and says that the rumor in the air is that he needs a tag team partner tonight. "Think about it! Brock Lesnar, super strength... and The Hurricane, super hero!" Lesnar crosses his arms and asks Hurricane if he is really a super hero. "What can you do, kid?" Hurricane tells Lesnar that he can fly, causing 'The Next Big Thing' to chuckle and tell Hurricane that he doesn't really believe in that crap. Hurricane says he really can fly! Lesnar looks up and down at the green 'super hero' and takes him by the collar and belt, Hurricane asking what he is doing! Lesnar then tosses him out of the camera frame to the sound of a 'woosh', followed by some bins crashing. "Guess he can fly..." Brock says.
Talking to each other in another backstage area are Kane and Rob Van Dam, the World Tag Team Champions. "Listen, dude, what happened earlier won't happen again, alright?" RVD says, patting Kane on the arm and telling him not to worry about it. "I've got a plan against 'The Dirtiest Player in The Game' Ric Flair, alright? He won't even see it coming!" Kane remains silent, RVD telling him that they'll be fine and at the end of the night, Kane will be back on cloud nine. "And you know what cloud RVD is going to be on." He snickers and walks away as his match with Flair is coming up next.
3) Ric Flair def. World Tag Team Champion Rob Van Dam via pinfall During the entrance of Flair, RVD surprises 'The Nature Boy' by attacking him from behind! Perhaps taking a page of the legend's book, RVD brings Flair down to the ring and the match gets underway with RVD controlling the contest. As Flair is struggling throughout despite his attempts to get back in to things, he gets to the corner and has the referee hold Van Dam back. Removing the padding from the second turnbuckle, he ends up getting back up to a flurry of offense from RVD but ends up tripping him in to the exposed steel of the turnbuckle, leading to a roll up for the pinfall!
After having been dominated most of the match, Flair rolls under the bottom rope looking like he needs time to breath. He rips his arm away from the referee and gives a tired 'Woo!' on his way up the ramp, RVD sitting up against the ropes shaking his head, knowing he was cheated.
Standing in the back watching a monitor is Tommy Dreamer, shaking his head when he is approached from behind by Randy Orton. "What's the matter, Tommy?" He asks with a laugh. "You thought that when you messed with Evolution it'd make a difference? Thought it would change the course of Evolution's trajectory to the top of Monday Night Raw? Please..." Dreamer says that he would recommend Orton walk away. Orton doesn't listen and instead spins Dreamer around to look at him, prompting Tommy to reach off to the side and pull up a kendo stick in Orton's face. "I said walk away." Dreamer says, Orton putting his hands up and backing away, telling Dreamer to watch himself.
Walking down the halls for his upcoming match is Test with Stacy Keiblerin tow, the two having a conversation with Test saying that he has a feeling that things are going to change tonight. "I mean, we're in my home country of Canada. Things are going to go right tonight against that stupid Nowinski..." Keibler tells him to make all of his 'Test-icles' proud and they continue on. The Women's Champion Trish Stratus is seen drinking water in the back after her match earlier when up to her walks Terri, asking her about the battle royal announced next week to determine her next number one contender. "I'm all for a challenge," Trish says. "I'm ready to face anyone. I don't care who it is. I wish all of those women the best of luck..." She trails off at the end of the sentence as Jazz and Theodore Longstep up, Jazz saying that the battle royal is a joke because everyone knows who is going to win. Up then approaches Jacqueline, saying she knows Trish felt what she was capable of earlier and maybe she has even more to offer. Up then comes Molly Holly, bringing up how she pushed Trish to the limit just a few weeks ago. Next, Victoria comes on to the scene with Stevie Richardsin tow, holding the back of his head. "If anybody knows Trish... it's me... and I'm sick of losing and it ends next week!" The non-champion women all begin to yell at each other before getting in each other's faces and shoving, a bit of a brawl beginning with multiple backstage officials and referees quick to arrive on to the scene and begin pulling everyone apart from each other!
4) Christopher Nowinski def. Test (w/Stacy Keibler) via pinfall A re-igniting of a feud we saw a couple of months ago, Test is hot out of the gates as he runs right through the Harvard grad, forcing him to have to retreat to the outside on multiple occasions. After a pull down on the ropes, Nowinski begins to get some work in on Test as he takes the big man down with chop blocks and dropkicks. Gloating to the crowd leads to him being ran through with a big boot, the Canadian Test feeding off of his home country fans as he positions Nowinski for a Pump Handle Slam only for Chris to slide off the shoulder and roll Test up — putting both feet on the ropes in order to get the one, two, three!
The Metro Centre boos as Nowinski quickly rolls out of the ring jumping in the air with his fist pumping. Test is livid as he gets to his feet, pulling at his hair and kicking the ropes. "God bless America!" Nowinski says proudly on his way up the ramp, Keibler entering the ring and attempting to calm Test down but to no avail as he just ends up punching the corner turnbuckles angrily.
Following the break, Brock Lesnar is seen once again when he ends up being approached by Christian. "Time is ticking, huh, Brocky boy?" Lesnar stares back and Christian apologizes. "Brock, sorry. Look, you don't got a lot of time and you don't seem to have decided on a partner for your match yet. So, why don't you get somebody that knows about being in a tag team or two... and, hey, think about it! Think about it! 'The Next Big Thing' and, hey, Rock's gone so you've got 'The Next People's Champ'! What do you think?!" Lesnar doesn't have any words in response but instead looks over Christian's head, leading to him slowly turning around to see Kevin Nash standing behind him, arms crossed with a smile. "Oh, uh, hey, Kev... didn't... didn't see you there..." He looks back and forth between Lesnar and Nash and then quickly gets out of the way. Brock and Kevin then lock eyes with one another before each giving a nod of supposed agreement.
The music of Chris Jericho hits inside of the arena, Y2J finally arriving after being mentioned all day long of calling out Shawn Michaels. The Canadian crowd is very happy to see their native as he cockily struts down to the ring, Intercontinental Championship draped over his shoulder. Once in the ring, he twirls a microphone in his hand and says that it is good to be back in a country that understands how great he is. "And just how much of a pile of crap Shawn Michaels is!" He nods and says Canada hasn't forgotten and moves on. "See, Shawn decided to come back and that was the biggest mistake of his entire career. Perhaps, his entire life. See, when he came back for that one more match it was a cool, y'know? As a fan of his growing up it was a sight to behold. To be in the same locker room as him for one night was... a dream... but, Shawn just couldn't stay away and it ate away at me and it ate away at me and while almost everybody else was so glad to have 'The Heart Break Kid' back I wasn't because this is my time! This is Chris Jericho's era! I am the Intercontinental Champion and one sexy beast, damn it!" He says that Michaels just keeps coming back for more and more and he can't just let it go and he can't get Michaels out of his life. "Well, I say it's time to put a stop to the showstopper. I say it's time to put him back in the retirement home! Shawn, you don't have 'Big Daddy Cool' to back you up anymore so now it's just you and me, mono e mono, so why don't you get your ass out here and we put it all out on the table, huh? What do you say?"
After a few moments of waiting, Shawn Michaels makes his way out from the back to a strong mixed reaction from the crowd, obviously more boos than he is accustomed too. Once in the ring, the two have a bit of a stare down with Michaels cutting off Jericho as he goes to say more. "Let's make one thing clear here, Jericho. You can't get me out of your life? Seems more to me like you're the one obsessed with putting me down." Jericho scoffs at the idea so Michaels asks if he seriously wants to put an end to this. Y2J says that he would love to, but he thinks Michaels' ego won't let it end. Shawn shakes his head and tells Chris that he can think what he wants to think, but bottom line is he wants a match one-on-one at Judgment Day. "What? You think you deserve a shot at my Intercontinental Championship?" Michaels again shakes his head, saying this isn't about the Intercontinental Championship, causing Jericho to turn things and accuse Michaels of thinking he's too good for it. "No, Chris, it's because I know sooner or later one of these younger guys is going to step up and knock you off your pedestal and take that title from you. I'm not asking for this match to become champion, I'm asking for this match because I want to shut you up once and for all, alright?" Jericho calls Michaels stupid, saying that if he shouldn't want to have a match because he could beat him not once, but twice in the same night! He reminds Michaels that he beat Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock twice in the same night, two guys Michaels seems to have had problems beating himself! Michaels quickly asks if that is a challenge. "If you can supposedly beat me twice in one night how about we put that to the test? How about at Judgment Day we don't just have a match... we have a Two out of Three Falls Match?" As Jericho looks away, Michaels tries to pry an answer out of him and questions what the matter is. "You said it, but can you back it up?" Jericho looks off toward the crowd and hangs his head down, seeming prepared to answer but suddenly striking Michaels with a punch!
Jericho pounces on top of Michaels off of it and the two begin to scuffle back and forth, eventually spilling to the outside with Michaels tossing Jericho in to the timekeeper's area. HBK goes after Y2J but ends up getting a cord wrapped around his neck! Jericho pulls Michaels around a bit as Shawn tries to fight his way out, eventually breaking free after a series of elbows to the side of the head. Michaels staggers forward and catches his breath while freeing the cord from his throat, turning back around and having his legs swept out from beneath him, Y2J seeming to be trying to put the Walls of Jericho on but having it fought against. Thus, instead, Jericho decides to fall back and launch Michaels up and in to the ring post face first! A couple of referees come down toward the ring and try to get Jericho to back off and he raises his hands to say he is done. "Thank God," J.R. says. "Thank God somebody is going to stop this before it gets bad look... oh, no, look at Shawn..." Michaels uses the ring apron to pull himself up as he is busted open from the ring post. Like a shark in the water, almost, Jericho ends up pouncing and pummeling Michaels with punches to the open wound. He backs off again with the officials once again trying to get involved, this time moving back to the timekeeper's area and retrieving a steel chair. He approaches Michaels and opens the chair up, wrapping it around his neck! Despite the attempts of the referees to get in the way of things, Jericho ends up taking Michaels and driving the chair in to the ring post! Very quickly, the referees call for help from the back as Jericho has a twisted smile across his face. As the doctors come down to aid the struggling to breath and bloodied Michaels, Jericho grabs one of the microphones from inside of the ring. "Oh, as for your challenge, Shawn? I accept!" He says before tossing the mike aside. He then grabs his Intercontinental Championship belt and holds it above his head, seeming like he is finally ready to leave. Instead, however, he decides to come back to Michaels once again and put him in the Walls of Jericho! The referees begin to try and force Jericho off as Michaels lays face down in a pool of blood, the Intercontinental Champion eventually letting go and holding his fists proudly in the air as even some of his fellow Canadians begin to boo his actions on his way out.
Footage is shown following the break of what just happened moments ago with Chris Jerichos' brutal assault of Shawn Michaels, the cameras then catching up backstage to show Michaels on a stretcher being placed in to an ambulance as J.R. says he prays for the best for 'The Heart Break Kid'.
5) World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and Randy Orton def. Brock Lesnar and Kevin Nash via pinfall Lesnar and Orton start things off with the latter trying to get some moves in but constantly being overpowered. An early commercial break comes in the match when Nash is tagged in and tries to come at HHH but he tags out to Orton immediately. The contest continues after the break where Orton ends up in the ring with Lesnar again and after a low blow with the referee distracted with HHH, ends up bringing 'The Next Big Thing' to the mat. Lesnar eventually ends up making the tag to Nash, however, and in he comes to knock Orton down repeatedly with clotheslines, boots and tosses. Nash then charges toward HHH on the apron and takes him by the hair — ripping the World Heavyweight Champion over the ropes! The two former friends lock eyes with each other as HHH gets up against the ropes with his hands up. Nash has some words for him when from behind Orton comes with his jumping cutter! Lesnar returns to the ring and goes to lift Orton on to his shoulders but HHH steps up and kicks Lesnar in the gut, leading to him dropping Orton and being hit with the Pedigree! Orton then crawls back over to the body of Nash and hooks the far leg for the three count.
Orton hops to his feet and looks even a bit surprised by the win himself. Leaning in to the corner, HHH looks over to him and then down at the body of Nash. The referee presents him with the World Heavyweight Championship belt and raises the arms of the two winners, HHH then quickly ordering for Orton to get out of the ring. The two step through the ropes and begin to back up the ramp as Nash is back up to a knee, using the ropes to stand back up straight as he stares at the duo. Lesnar then stands back up in the ring and takes Nash by the arm — spinning him around and getting up to him chest-to-chest. "Look at this stare down!" Lawler says. The two begin to argue with each other pointing in the direction of HHH, confusion and animosity in the air as Raw comes to an end!
May 8, 2003: Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA
The Smackdown opening video airs with the cameras entering the Metro Centre from Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada as the voice of Michael Cole from ringside welcomes everyone to the show from ringside. Tonight, a big main event as we find out who will challenge Chris Benoit for the United States Championship at Backlash as A-Train, Edge, Rhyno and Billy Kidman face off in a fatal four way. Plus, John Cena disrespected The Undertaker last week and 'The Dead Man' is out for blood. And, our first look at Smackdown's newest tag team The Dudley Boyz when they take on The F.B.I. But right now, the boss is here to address the WWE Championship match at Judgment Day! The Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon makes her way down and in to the ring, a microphone in hand as she welcomes the fans in attendance to the show. "Last week, I made a decision at the end of the show. After what happened between The Undertaker and John Cena, I think it was only right to give those men what they clearly want and put the two of them in a match against each other. So, at Judgment Day, we will see The Undertaker take on John Cena." She says that left her without a WWE Championship match for the pay-per-view in just ten days, because The Undertaker seemed prepared to make it clear he was going to invoke his rematch clause against Kurt Angle, but clearly he has other things to take care of first. "Therefore, I decided that the next best option was the biggest free agent signing yet in Smackdown history the number one contender: Goldberg!" The crowd cheers the mention of Goldberg's name and Stephanie goes to say more, only to end up being cut off by the theme music of her own father, Mr. McMahon! "Wait a minute... what?!" Cole asks. "Mr. McMahon is here! What for?!" The Chairman struts his signature strut down to the ring, entering and ignoring a hug from his daughter as he instead makes his way across, being handed a microphone. "Stephanie, now isn't the time for hugs," He says while putting his hand out as she appears confused. "This isn't a family dinner, this is business... my business... and I am your boss. Your decision to make Goldberg the number one contender is something that I seriously question. The man has had two matches in the WWE and you're just going to go ahead and place him in a WWE Championship match?" He shakes his head as Stephanie attempts to explain that Goldberg's history of dominance and name value alone more than makes him a worthy contender and it was her father that taught her things like that.
The theme song of Kurt Angle then hits as the WWE Champion doesn't give a typical entrance as he rather stomps his way down to the ring, a microphone in hand as he tells Mr. McMahon that he agrees with him. "Stephanie, as WWE Champion — a four time WWE Champion, to be exact — I almost feel insulted that you would allow Goldberg to step in to the ring with me for my championship after just two matches in this ring." He says that what he did in WCW, which he is quick to point out was years ago, is what it is and Goldberg was one of the most dominant products of that company but he hasn't proven a thing in the WWE yet. Angle suggests that Stephanie do the right thing and reverse her decision and to find a more admirable and worthy opponent. "What's the matter, Kurt?" Stephanie responds while taking a step in his direction. "Are you... maybe afraid of Goldberg? Worried that he'll beat you for the WWE Championship?" Angle is quick to deny that claim, Mr. McMahon then interjecting and telling Stephanie that's enough. He says that as General Manager, let alone his own daughter, he expects better treatment of the WWE Champion. "Stephanie, I don't want to have to overrule your decision making but it almost seems like you've left me with no other option!" Before he has the opportunity to continue speaking, Goldberg's music hits to an ovation from the Halifax fans. Chants of his name ring throughout the building as he makes his way down and in to the ring, pacing back and forth as he looks across at Angle and Mr. McMahon. "Hell, I'd expect better from the two of you." He says to start. "We've got the man that took WCW head on and won! You bought your competition... including me." He shrugs his shoulders and turns to Angle, saying that he is an Olympic gold medalist and a four-time WWE Champion, a very impressive resume. "Yet, you both stand there and think I don't deserve a title match because I've only won two matches here in the WWE. Hell, if you ask me, that sounds like an advantage on paper, don't it? You said so yourself... unless, the two of you are just making excuses because you're afraid of me running roughshod through Kurt Angle's chickensh*t ass!" The crowd pops as Mr. McMahon steps forward to try and say something only for Angle to put his hand out and tell the Chairman he can handle this. He stands right in front of Mr. McMahon and scoffs at Goldberg's words, calling him incredibly unprofessional. "Y'know, Bill, I was trying to do you a favor, honestly. I was trying to save you the embarrassment of getting out-wrestled and outclassed at Judgment Day. Something you're not used to! Because, personally, I believe you could be really good for business here on Smackdown... but if you step in to the ring with me? Boy, oh, boy... you won't know what's coming next, buster." He places his hands on his hips as Goldberg looks around the arena and then back to Stephanie. "Oh, I'm well aware of what's next, Kurt. You're next!" He warns before tossing the microphone away — charging forward with Angle diving out of the way and causing Goldberg to run through Mr. McMahon with a Spear! Angle's eyes widen in disbelief in the corner, Goldberg getting back to his feet and whipping his head in the direction of the WWE Champion, whom quickly books it out of the ring! Goldberg approaches the ropes and leans across them while locking eyes with Angle. Meanwhile, Stephanie kneels down at her father's side as he is curled up clutching his mid-section and yelling out in pain and anger!
After a replay from what just happened moment ago, we come back to Stephanie leading her father to an ambulance in the back. He refuses, however, and tells his daughter that he isn't going to the hospital! "I'm staying here... and you're banning Goldberg from the arena!" She questions what he is talking about, saying that Goldberg was supposed to be in a match tonight! Mr. McMahon re-iterates he wants Goldberg removed from the building and says he's going to her office!
Transitioning to ringside, Cole and Tazz talk about the accidental Spear to the WWE Chairman. They then transition to something that transpired earlier today between Chris Benoit and Rikishi. The footage is then aired, showing Rikishi approaching Benoit in the back and questioning what is with his attitude lately. Benoit would give a glare, questioning what Rikishi was talking about. "First, brotha, you cost yourself the WWE Tag Team Championship... you cost Undertaker the WWE Championship... and last week you pulled Jeff Hardy in harm's way to win your match." He would tell Benoit that it wasn't the Chris Benoit he has come to know with integrity and focus. "How about I put my focus in to kicking your ass in the ring tonight?" Benoit would respond with Rikishi trying to say he isn't trying to start any trouble. "If you want to call me out — the soon to be United States Champion — then meet me in the ring tonight and settle things like men!" Benoit would storm off, setting the stage for our opening match.
1) Chris Benoit def. Rikishi via submission After initial disinterest in doing the match still, Benoit comes at Rikishi with strikes and forces the big man to respond with a kick to the face. Benoit ends up recovering on the outside and then coming back at Rikishi with big take down attempts and trying to work away at finding a way to make things technical but Rikishi gives him a tough outing in going down, including in multiple German suplex attempts. Benoit attempts a sunset flip from the apron but Rikishi stays up and plants on top of Benoit for a close two count. The two get up with Benoit ending up surprising Rikishi by finally hitting a German suplex! He then goes to the top rope and hits his signature diving headbutt but flops around the mat in pain off of it. "Don't forget about that hard head of the Samoan Rikishi!" Says Tazz. The two get up and Rikishi wobbles a bit but knocks Benoit down with multiple clotheslines. He then goes for a Samoan Drop but Benoit manages to reverse it by pulling Rikishi down to the mat and in to the Crippler Crossface! He pulls back on the hold and traps the arm of Rikishi after a brief struggle and forces the submission.
A tough battle for 'The Rabid Wolverine', but ultimately a victory. He gets to his feet and has his arm raised as the winner but he makes sure to motion for the United States Championship around his waist as well. He exits the ring, heading up the ramp while noticeably ignoring fans with their hands out to him.
Seen laying on a couch is Mr. McMahon, groaning in pain as sitting behind him and talking on the phone is Stephanie McMahon. "Will you hang up that damn phone and get me an ice pack?!" Stephanie puts her hand over the phone and tells him that it's the network calling and asking about Goldberg being banned from the arena and his match being canceled. "You tell them to come down here and get Speared by Goldberg and see how much they like it!" He mutters as Stephanie asks the other line if they heard what he said. She apologizes and wraps up the conversation, shaking her head as she hands her father an ice pack, the Chairman groaning as he places it over his ribs.
2) WWE Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin (w/WWE Tag Team Champion Charlie Haas) def. Tajiri via pinfall With Charlie Haas having to use a cane and wear sunglasses after being misted last week, he has to stay near the ring steps. Benjamin and Tajiri have a back and forth, athletic contest with Tajiri avoiding a corner splash and applying the tarantula! He lines up for a kick to the back of the head but Benjamin ducks underneath it, going for a suplex with Tajiri blocking it and knocking Benjamin back as he finally nails the kick to the head. As the referee checks on Shelton complaining about an injury, Tajiri goes for a handspring off the ropes only for Haas to end up cracking him in the back with his cane! Tajiri then stumbles back in to Benjamin's grasp for a bridging German suplex that leads to the pinfall.
"Wait a minute, I thought Charlie Haas was blind from that mist last week!" Cole points out. Haas then enters the ring with a smile, removing his sunglasses and tossing his cane away to show it was all an act! He and Benjamin high five both hands and raise their arms together, Haas then turning right in to Tajiri hitting him in the face for the second week in a row with the green mist! Haas spins around and lets out a scream, dropping to his knees against the ropes as Benjamin looks on shocked! "Shelton, I can't see again! Shelton!" Haas screams as Tajiri leaves the ring and walks away, Benjamin scrambling to go to ringside in order to retrieve a towel, returning to attempt to wipe the mist out of Charlie's eyes!
Standing by in the back is Josh Mathews as he introduces his guests at this time to be D-Von, Bubba Ray and Spike: The Dudley Boyz. Mathews thanks them for the time and asks about their first match tonight on Smackdown against The Full Blooded Italians. "Last week we stepped up to The F.B.I. after they tried to beat on Los Guerreros," Bubba says. "Then they decided to jump us when we were getting interviewed back here." Spike says that his brothers are ready to step in to the ring as members of the Smackdown roster for the first time and beat Chris Kanyon and Chuck Palumbo. "Oh my brothers, testify!" D-Von says loudly, wrapping his arms around Spike and Bubba as the three then head off.
Back inside of the Metro Centre, The Undertaker's theme music hits to a big ovation from the crowd. 'The Dead Man' walks down to the ring rather than ride his motorcycle like usual, entering the ring with a microphone in hand as he paces around the squared circle. "Last week, a punk kid by the name of John Cena decided to show me some disrespect. I was out here to address Kurt Angle about my rematch for the WWE Championship and John decided to come out here and try and make a name for himself at my expense..." He then congratulates Cena, saying he caught his attention, he got his message loud and clear and now at Judgment Day, instead of a match with Angle, he's going one-on-one with Cena. "But I don't feel like waiting until then, John. You wanted to make a name for yourself last week? How about right here tonight I go ahead and make you famous?" The crowd cheers the challenge but instead of getting Cena, Jamie Noble's music hits. He arrives from the back with his girlfriend Nidiaand the two stomp down to the ring, Noble stepping toward Taker and looking up at him as 'Big Evil' looks surprised and confused about Jamie's arrival. "I got a real problem with you, Undertaker!" Noble says as Taker's eyes widen in response. "You put your hands on me last week when you were looking for John Cena! You put your hands on me and I want an apology!" He jabs a finger in Taker's chest and it leads to the veteran looking around the building, balling up a fist and drilling Noble with a punch to the forehead! He continues to tee off with punches all the way in to the corner, Noble unable to even fire back as he ends up being pummeled by strikes to the mid-section followed by one big one that sends him up and over the ropes and down to the floor below! Taker steps over the ropes and pushes Noble down before going to the timekeeper's area and retrieving a steel chair — walking back over to Noble and wolloping him over the head with the chair! "What a shot!" Tazz exclaims. Even the crowd gasps over the shot, Taker stepping back in to the ring as Nidia races over to her boyfriend, whom now bleeds from the forehead. As officials come down to also check on Noble, Taker sits in the chair in the middle of the ring.
"Now, John, I'm going to give you to the count of ten to get your ass down here or we're going to have to do things the hard way..." He taps his finger in to the microphone briefly before starting the count. As he gets to a count of nine, John Cena appears on the titantron standing in the parking lot. With a wrench pendant on his chain, he mocks Taker for feeling disrespected and raps about knocking his bike over and using a wrench on him. Cena then mentions that he's superstitious in a good way, he has a wrench on his chain like it's a rabbit's foot or a horse shoe, it's a good luck charm. "Man, you out here thinking you're so tough, it's whack. Better recognize, I ain't afraid to step on no crack. 'Cus son I already went and broke your mother's back! You're done Dead Man, I'm burying you six feet under! Once I'm done beating your ass at Judgment Day, get the pink slips... I'm taking your bike and forming a new gang: John Cena's sons of plunder! Word life!" He crosses his arms to the camera, Taker standing up in the ring and saying clearly Cena doesn't feel like coming down here. "Have it your way, kid." He says before folding the chair up, stepping through the ropes and making his way toward the back!
Once again in Stephanie McMahon's office is her and Mr. McMahon, the latter bickering with his daughter when in to the room walks WWE Champion Kurt Angle. "Did you see what Tajiri just did?!" He questions. "He just misted Charlie Haas for the second week in a row! What an animal! He should be punished!" He turns to Mr. McMahon and says speaking of animals, Goldberg is in trouble at Judgment Day after what he did to 'our fearless leader' and vows to break his ankle! "That sounds great, Kurt," Mr. McMahon replies as he struggles to sit up. "You know what would help ease this pain, Steph? A nice hot cup of coffee..." Angle says that sounds like a great idea, Stephanie suggesting she get her assistant right on it only for her father to tell her to make it herself, she knows exactly how he takes it. "Oh, I'll take a cap—" Angle tries to add only for Stephanie to tell him that she's not doing that for him. "How dare you disrespect the WWE Champion like that!" Mr. McMahon says angrily. "Get that man a coffee, damn it!" Stephanie crosses her arms as Kurt smiles at her. She leaves the room as Angle takes a seat next to the Chairman, whom asks Angle to tell him more about what he's going to do to Goldberg!
3) The Dudley Boyz (w/Spike Dudley) def. Chris Kanyon and Chuck Palumbo (w/The F.B.I.) via pinfall An explosive start to the match for Bubba Ray and D-Von as they tag in and out and work over Kanyon and then Palumbo after allowing him to get brought in. After Nunzio grabs D-Von's foot from under the bottom rope, however, it allows Palumbo to charge with a clothesline that sends him to the outside. The F.B.I. take advantage with distracting the referee and having the numbers game to end up getting cheap shots in on D-Von repeatedly on the outside, continuing to get involved until Spike ends up racing in to the ring and go behind the referee between the ropes — launching himself over the top and on to Nunzio and DeMott! Dawn Marie hurries over to check on the two as back in the ring, Bubba is tagged in and enters, ducking a Kanyon strike and dropping him with a Bubba Bomb. Palumbo then misses a clothesline on D-Von in the corner and turns right in to the 3-D and the pinfall!
The Dudley brothers gather together in the middle of the ring and raise their arms together, posing to different parts of the arena. The F.B.I. men all then come in to the ring and jump the three from behind! Nunzio leads the charge as he gives directions, Spike trying to fight off the group but being held by his arms on his knees by Palumbo and DeMott as Nunzio slaps him across the face. Down from the back, however, comes Los Guerreros! They get in to the ring and start teeing off on The F.B.I., giving the opening for The Dudley Boyz to get involved the brawl, The F.B.I. eventually being cleared from the ring entirely. "The Dudley Boyz helped Los Guerreros out last week against The F.B.I.," Cole points out. "And it appears Eddie and Chavo have returned the favor!" Eddie, Chavo, Bubba, D-Von and Spike all stand tall together as the members of The F.B.I. back down from the ring, Nunzio promising this isn't over.
Arriving after the break is Jeff Hardy, one of Smackdown's new acquisitions. The Canada crowd cheers as he enters the ring and plays up to the crowd a bit before requesting a microphone from ringside. "It's weird being on Smackdown, not gonna lie," He says with a laugh. "But it's good. It's good because it is change! It is change that I needed in my life!" He explains that he has been going through some dark times but he got used to the same thing over and over again that not only did he feel it was time to make drastic changes outside of the ring, but inside as well and that is why he began a new journey last week by becoming a member of Smackdown. "I just wanted to come out here and say it's good to be here and I look forward to entertaining y'all every Thursday night!" He seems prepared to leave the ring but the music of his brother Matt Hardy hits. The Cruiserweight Champion heads out with Shannon Moorein tow, the pair entering the ring with Matt giving his brother a hug. "Jeff, as your brother, I know you better than anyone! Hell, I may know you better than you know yourself!" He says that Jeff might not know, but he is well aware of why his journey has led him to the Smackdown roster. "Because you need Mattitude, Jeff. Look, I tried to help you last week to get you off on the right foot around here but Rey Mysterio got in the way! Jeff, all I'm saying is to give Mattitude a chance and let your big brother show you the light!"
Before Jeff has a chance to respond to Matt's offer, Rey Mysterio's music interrupts. He marches his way down and in to the ring, apologizing to Jeff for interrupting his time but he has a beef with his brother, Matt. "You've been ducking me ever since I came this close to beating you for the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania! You hid behind John Cena at Backlash and you keep hiding behind your fake injury! I want my rematch for the Cruiserweight Championship that I was supposed to have at Backlash, Matt." The Cruiserweight Champion puts his hand out and tells Mysterio he needs to calm down because he has good news, Rey is going to get his title shot. "But not tonight because, believe it or not, Rey, I am still injured! So, you'll get your match when I am back to 100% health and you'd understand how necessary that is if you would follow the way of Mattitude!" He says that, however, if Mysterio is looking for a match right now, Moore will be more than happy to face him! Rey wags his finger and says that he has faced and beaten Shannon countless times, he wants Matt to quit faking this injury and face him. "I'll face him." Jeff interjects. "I'll face Shannon right here, right now!" The crowd cheers for the suggestion, Matt smiling and turning back to Mysterio and saying he had his chance!
4) Jeff Hardy def. Shannon Moore (w/Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy) via pinfall With Mysterio heading to commentary, the match gets started with an early Moore take down and taunt to the crowd leads to him turning to a jawbreaker and falling through the ropes and at Matt's feet. A commercial break comes after that early action, Jeff still in control afterward until he chases after Moore on the outside and almost hits his brother — stopping himself just in time. The brief pause allows Moore to hit him from behind, tossing him over the announce table and in to Mysterio! Matt questions what Moore is doing but Shannon is very pleased with himself as he tosses Jeff back in to the ring. He is grabbed by the arm by Matt and continues to be disowned. Once Moore finally returns to the ring, he walks right in to the Twist of Fate from Jeff! The Swanton Bomb then follows and leads to the pinfall.
Jeff rises up and is announced the winner, Mysterio coming in to the ring after Moore starts to get back up and dropkicking him between the ropes in position for the 619! Mysterio points around the building but as soon as he turns to run off the other side of the ring, Matt is in the ring to catch him with a kick to the stomach and the Twist of Fate! "I thought Matt Hardy was still injured!" Shouts Cole. Matt looks up to his brother standing in the corner, shaking his head. Matt rolls out of the ring and retrieves his Cruiserweight Championship belt, keeping an eye on his brother as he makes his way to the other side of the ring, bringing Moore under the bottom rope and backing away along with him.
In the back yet again are Mr. McMahon and Stephanie McMahon, the Chairman telling his daughter that after talking to Kurt Angle earlier, she doesn't have to worry about Goldberg getting his ankle broken at Judgment Day. "Because that match isn't going to happen!" Stephanie quickly argues that it is and the two go back and forth before Stephanie stands up from her seat and tells her father that he put her in charge of this show. "You allowed me to be the one to make matches and run things around here and I personally think I've been handling things pretty well! If you want things to change so bad then just go ahead and fire me, dad!" He shakes his head and says that he isn't going to do that, prompting Stephanie to tell him that he'll have to deal with it then. "Goldberg versus Kurt Angle at Judgment Day is on!" She takes her father's ice pack and throws it down on to his ribs before exiting the room, leaving Mr. McMahon clutching his midsection and groaning in pain.
5) Fatal Four Way Match To Face Chris Benoit for The United States Championship at Judgment Day: Edge def. A-Train, Billy Kidman and Rhyno via pinfall A chaotic beginning to the match with everyone getting offense in, things get even more hectic when Kidman ends up jumping off the top rope in to his opponents with a Shooting Star Press! The contest runs through a commercial break with each man getting near falls on quick pin attempts before getting more heated. After A-Train is clotheslined over the ropes by Rhyno, Edge ends up being knocked off the top rope with a dropkick from Kidman. Rhyno hits BIlly with a clothesline in the corner and then backs up to the other side of the ring, getting fired up and positioning for the Gore! Kidman gets to all fours but Rhyno ends up being yanked down to the mat and under the bottom rope by Sean O'Haire! Rhyno is tossed in to the ring post and then the steel steps, O'Haire standing over him with a laugh. "That beef O'Haire with Rhyno may have just cost Rhyno the match there, Cole!" Tazz says. O'Haire backs up the ramp with a wave toward a downed Rhyno. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Kidman staggers back up but turns right in to a running bicycle kick from A-Train! Pounding his chest and raising his fists to the crowd, Train then turns right in to a Spear from Edge, whom then hooks both legs for the one, two, three!
The fellow Canadian fans cheer for Edge as he rises to his feet, arm raised as the winner as he is advancing to Judgment Day! Out from the back slowly walks Chris Benoit, his opponent at the event. The two lock eyes with each other, both motioning for the belt around their waist as they exchange words with one another from a distance as the showdown for the United States Championship is set.
The cameras pick up backstage to The Undertaker walking in to the parking lot with a steel chair in hand. "C'mon, John," Taker says. "I know you're out here... let's do this, boy." He slams the chair off the ground as John Cena slowly comes around the corner about twenty feet away. Cena doesn't move from his spot so Taker starts walking toward him but suddenly gets hit from behind! About eight men come running on to the scene donning loose clothing and basketball jerseys, punching and kicking away at 'The Dead Man' as Cena watches on! "These... these common street thugs are beating up The Undertaker!" Cole exclaims. "And John Cena seems to be the mastermind behind it all!" Taker throws some punches back but the numbers completely overwhelm him, the group eventually getting him face down on the concrete and putting the boots to him further until Cena tells them that it's enough. The group walks away laughing as Taker gets on all fours, slowly lifting his head and looking up as Cena wraps the chain with the wrench pendant around his wrist. "Word life!" Cena says while crouching in front of Taker before leveling him with a punch to the face with the chain! Taker collapses back down to the floor again, Cena stepping over his motionless body and walking away, his footsteps heard in the distance as Taker is left out cold as the show concludes.
May 10, 2003: Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA
1) Jimmy Yang def. Crash Holly via pinfall A rubber match between the two, back and forth action with Holly trying to find a cheap way to win with the tights and ropes multiple times but to no avail. He goes for a second rope bulldog but Yang holds on to the rope, Holly getting back up to a running kick to the face for the pinfall! Holly looks up in a daze as Yang, having established himself a bit now, celebrates the win on the turnbuckles.
In a backstage interview, Funaki stands by with Sean O'Haireand O'Haire quickly stops him from asking questions. "Funaki, Smackdown's number one announcer, right?" Funaki nods, with O'Haire saying he is much more than that though, isn't he? "Aren't you tired of people... thinking that is all you are, Funaki? Don't you think you should get more of an opportunity to prove yourself? Don't you think you should step in to that ring tonight and show you're not just Smackdown's number one announcer, you're Smackdown's number one cruiserweight! Hell, maybe you're even Smackdown's number one superstar overall!" Funaki has a smile on his face as O'Haire suggests that they show the world what Funaki is capable of and have a match later on. Funaki's smile fades a little bit but O'Haire tells him not to worry about, he'll see him out there.
2) Los Guerreros def. Mark Bartilucci and Mike Hughes via pinfall Bartilucci and Hughes have trouble even getting out of the gate against the Uncle and Nephew duo, Eddie and Chavo proving to be too much for them. After Eddie messes with Hughes a bit, Chavo ends up hitting a swinging DDT on Bartilucci and kicking Hughes off the apron in the process, leading to the three count. Los Guerreros celebrate happily with the crowd after the match.
3) Sean O'Haire def. Funaki via pinfall The match begins with O'Haire completely dominating Funaki, yet offering him the chance to fight back repeatedly. Funaki ends up coming at him with punches and O'Haire delivers a big slam. After taking some time in getting Smackdown's #1 Announcer up, Funaki surprises with a surge of offense. After a sunset flip for a two count, O'Haire gets back up and nails a vicious spin kick! He goes for the cover but is surprised when Funaki ends up kicking out. O'Haire shakes his head once back to his feet, drags Funaki up and lays him back out with the Widowmaker for the pinfall victory. O'Haire has his arm raised as the winner after as he stands over Funaki's body with a smile on his face.
May 11, 2003: Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA
1) Tommy Dreamer def. Stevie Richards (w/Victoria) via pinfall With Richards telling Victoria "I'll show you, you'll see!" he ends up being rocked right out of the gate with a clothesline. Dreamer continues his hot start but Richards ends up hanging him up across the ropes. After a bit of offense to knock Dreamer off his feet, Richards once again gives his signature line to Victoria, jumping from the second rope with a sunset flip only for Dreamer to reverse it and instead get Richards in to a pin, both shoulders down for the three count! Dreamer rolls to the outside with a laugh as Richards is stunned, Victoria shaking her head as their losing ways continue.
2) D'Lo Brown and Maven def. Mark Bartilucci and Mike Hughes via pinfall After coming up short last night on Velocity, the team of Bartilucci and Hughes get another shot on Heat but a motivated Brown and Maven, coming off a loss to Batista and Ric Flair last week, prove to be too much for them with Bartilucci being tossed over the top rope, leaving Hughes to fall to a top rope crossbody from Maven and a Brown frog splash for the pinfall. Maven and Brown raise their arms together after in celebration as they hope this win gets them back on track.
3) Ivory def. Victoria (w/Stevie Richards) via pinfall A return to the Raw side of things for Ivory as she and Victoria have a back and forth exchange to kick things off, Victoria with a jawbreaker that causes Ivory to fall in to the corner. As Victoria chokes her with a boot, she tells Richards that this is how it's done! She attempts the Widow's Peak not too long after but Ivory ends up pulling herself down and gets in to an inside cradle for the sudden one, two, three! Much like the sudden loss of Richards earlier, Victoria can't believe it! As Stevie shakes his head from the outside, Ivory pumps her fists in celebration as she makes her way to the back.
4) Goldust def. William Regal (w/Lance Storm) via pinfall A week out from the Bunkhouse Brawl at Judgment Day, Regal is very firm and aggressive with Goldust as he vows to teach him a lesson multiple times. After a slap across the face, however, Goldust starts to mount a comeback with strike after strike until he ends up being tripped on the outside by Storm. The referee takes notice of it and heads over to the ropes to warn Storm, Regal pulling out the brass knucks and stepping up to Goldust only to be hit with a low blow! Regal's eyes widen as Goldust gets back up and lays him out with The Curtain Call and results in the pinfall! Storm is livid on the outside and tries to charge the ring but Goldust escapes while wagging his finger, scoffing in Storm's direction to further his anger as Goldust has pulled one off on The Bischoff Administration, hoping it's just a sign of things to come next Sunday!
May 12, 2003: First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA
The cameras come inside of The First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania following the opening Monday Night Raw video, the stage lit up with pyrotechnics as the crowd is loud. Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler give the welcome from commentary as just six nights out from Judgment Day we have quite the main event when the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship Brock Lesnar goes one-on-one for the first time ever with Kevin Nash. Lawler says that Eric Bischoff also has a 'gift' for everyone as he worked out a deal with Stephanie McMahon to have Smackdown's Divas come over to Raw tonight to take part in the Women's Championship number one contender's battle royal! All this and more to come right now on Raw! With a smile on his face, Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho arrives to kick things off this week. Parading his title belt around on his way down and in to the ring, Y2J demands a microphone from ringside. "We are just six nights away from Judgment Day," He begins. "And on that night it is supposed to be yours truly versus Shawn Michaels in a Two out of Three Falls Match... but, I don't think that is going to happen!" He says that if the people don't know why, allow him to refresh their memory. He gestures up to the titantron, which airs a replay from last week where the challenge would be made by Michaels for the match with Jericho responding by attacking 'The Heart Break Kid', a brawl spilling to the outside with Jericho busting Michaels open, using a chair on him against the ring post and putting him in the Walls of Jericho. Back live, the Philadelphia crowd boos as Jericho laughs to himself, saying that was quite the impressive showing, he thinks. "So, I'll be at Judgment Day this Sunday and I guarantee you not one, but two things: I will walk out as the winner by default and I will walk out still Intercontinental Champion because, guess what? It's not even a title match, anyway!" He continues to laugh as he says that Michaels says it isn't about the Intercontinental Championship, but he doesn't understand what is happening to his mind in his old age to not even want the belt on the line. "But maybe, just maybe, Shawn knows that he can't handle the extra pressure!" Before Jericho has the chance to say anything more, Dusty Rhodes' music hits. Having returned last week to announce his position on the Board of Directors, 'The American Dream' jives atop the stage and tells Jericho he just had to interrupt because he has an important announcement to make. "You're right, Chris, you're not defending the Intercontinental Championship at Judgment Day this Sunday! But, you're still entitled to defend your title!" Jericho asks what he is talking about, leading to Rhodes announcing that on behalf of the WWE Board of Directors, Jericho is going to defend the Intercontinental Championship right here and right now against... Booker T! The five-time WCW Champion makes his way out to a big ovation from the crowd, Booker and Dusty shaking hands as Jericho is in disbelief in the ring as Booker enters, a referee following shortly thereafter.
1) Intercontinental Championship: Booker T def. Chris Jericho(c) via pinfall Jericho strikes from behind before the bell and it leads to his control to start things off but Booker ends up hitting him with a leaping side kick, prompting the champion to roll to the outside and regroup early. A commercial break follows with some back and forth afterward, Jericho looking to apply the Walls of Jericho after catching the legs but Booker able to spin out of it, surprising Jericho with a powerful spinebuster. After a spinaroonie, however, Jericho ends up shoving Booker in to the referee! He then goes to the outside and retrieves a steel chair, stepping back in to the ring and slamming it in to the back of Booker! The boos come down as Jericho tosses the chair back to the outside, taking Booker by the legs and applying the Walls of Jericho! Booker struggles in the hold, groaning in pain as the referee is still down. The audience begins to buzz, however, as Shawn Michaels ends up coming in to the ring with a bandaged forehead and blasts Jericho with Sweet Chin Music! "Shawn Michaels is here! Shawn Michaels is here!" J.R. yells. "We didn't know if Shawn Michaels would make it to Judgment Day, let alone to Monday Night Raw tonight!" Michaels then shakes the referee, both Booker and Jericho staggering up slowly at the same time. Booker ends up ducking a punch, kicks the stomach and nails the Scissors Kick! He then hooks the legs for the one, two, three!
The First Union Center cheers loud as Booker rolls on to his side, hands in the air with a big smile. The commentary team comments on replays of Jericho's attempt to use a chair to win and Michaels' involvement, coming back live to Booker raising the Intercontinental Championship above his head from the turnbuckles as Michaels smirks at Jericho, whom watches on angrily from the ring apron.
Seen arguing in the back after the break is Eric Bischoff and Dusty Rhodes, the Raw General Manager telling Rhodes he doesn't care if he is on the Board of Directors or not, this is his show to run and that he has no right to be out there making championship matches! "Well, you better start caring, son, because if you keep making an ass out of yourself you ain't gonna have no control no more! No sir!" Rhodes follows that up with a proud 'excuse me' before walking away.
Elsewhere backstage, Christian is seen walking down the halls with a grin, his eyes widening as he ends up approaching Torrie Wilson. "Hey, Torrie, I don't know if you remember me... Christian," He laughs and reaches behind him, pulling out a copy of Wilson's Playboy magazine. "I was just hoping you could, uh, sign my copy of Playboy? I mean, jeez, I've looked at this... a few times, even, and was thinking you could sign it and maybe leave me your phone number while you're at it?" Wilson raises her eyebrows and tells Christian she'll sign it, but she'll leave the phone number out. He laughs and says he understands, she just wants to skip this whole charade and take it back to his hotel room. "You know what, Christian... uh, I'm going to get out of here, I've got a battle royal to prepare for." She hands him back his copy of Playboy and walks off, Christian quick to point out she didn't even sign it!
Jonathan Coachman is standing by and introduces his guest at this time to be Kevin Nash. He asks him about the match with Brock Lesnar after their differences last week and what the problem was with Triple H. Before he has a chance to answer, however, Evolution approaches and tells Coachman to scram. The World Heavyweight Champion Triple H puts his hand up and tells Nash to take it easy, he just wants to chat. "I don't know what your problem is with me, Kev. I don't know what compelled you to want to get your hands on me so bad last week or if it was a heat of the moment thing being in the match or what, but I'm willing to let bygones be bygones." He points out to Nash that they are friends and that he has sacrificed a lot for Kevin over the years. He says that while Shawn Michaels may have left him high and dry to do his own thing, he and Evolution are here. "I have your back, Kev. We have your back. And, look, you got that match with Brock Lesnar later... I know you don't like how Brock got up in your face last week and, y'know, truth be told... I don't think it'd be the worst thing in the world before I face Brock inside Hell in a Cell this Sunday if you, uh, happened to take him out." He pats Nash on the shoulder and tells him to remember that they have his back. The four then walk away together, Nash left to think with his arms crossed.
Seen in their locker room together getting ready to head out for their match are the World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane, when in to the room walks Tommy Dreamer. Van Dam is happy to see him and the two hug, RVD saying it's awesome to have him as a partner tonight — in Philadelphia no less. "What's his deal?" Dreamer asks as he points over to Kane hanging his head a bit low. RVD looks to his partner and asks him what the problem is. "Oh, I know, you're jealous of Tommy aren't you?" Kane quickly denies that, but RVD isn't buying it. "Look, man, I've knwon Tommy for a long time, we go way back and we made a lot of memories together especially in Philly. But don't worry, man, we're still friends. We're still buddies and we're still the World Tag Team Champions! And we still will be after we beat Ric Flair and Batista at Judgment Day on Sunday." He says that right now, though, they're going to go out there with Tommy in their six man tag team match and give Flair, Batista as well as Randy Orton a preview of what's to come. The three then head off together.
2) Tommy Dreamer and World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane def. Batista, Randy Orton and Ric Flair via pinfall A match filled with frequent tags on each side, Evolution ends up getting the upper hand after Batista spine busters Dreamer. Orton and Flair come in and out repeatedly and work over Tommy. The match goes through a break and the contest eventually ends up with Batista being tagged back in but he ends up missing a splash in the corner. Dreamer dives to make the tag to Kane and he comes in and cleans house. 'The Big Red Machine' ends up tagging RVD but after a leaping side kick off the top rope, Flair comes in and chop blocks the back of the leg. Both sides end up brawling with Kane going at it with Flair and Dreamer with Orton, the four ending up back on the outside. In the midst of the things, the referee tries to gain order between Kane and Flair, allowing Dreamer to end up cracking Batista in the back with his kendo stick against the ropes! 'The Animal' ends up getting rolled up off of it by RVD, the referee returning to the pin make the three count!
The audience cheers the result, Van Dam quick to roll out of the ring as Flair and Orton try to come after him. Batista gets to a knee and punches his fist in to the mat angrily, his Evolution brethren having to hold him back against the ropes. Kane, RVD and Dreamer gather together on the ramp, Dreamer raising his kendo stick up in unison with his partners holding the World Tag Team Championship belts up as they share some words with the members of Evolution still in the ring.
Seen talking in the back are Test and Stacy Keibler with the latter telling her boyfriend she has to go with the battle royal coming up. "Stace, I don't think you need to do that," Test tries to explain. "You have everything you need right here! I'll take care of you!" Stacy sighs and tells Test that she doesn't mean to hurt his feelings, but things haven't been going that great for him as of late. "I just... y'know, think this could be really good for us so I'm going to go out there and try to win! Okay? I'll see you soon." She then walks away, leaving Test with his hands on his hips and shaking his head.
Elsewhere, Christian is seen once again, this time talking to Jackie Gayda. The two are laughing with each other as Jackie holds Christian by his hands, saying she can't believe Torrie Wilson could resist him! "I know, right? It's unbelievable. But, hey, you know what would make me really happy and forget all about that, Jackie?" He cups her ear and whispers to her, causing her eyes to light up. She says she would love to do that! The two then walk away together arm-in-arm!
Women's Champion Trish Stratus' music hits following the break as she makes her way out with her title belt raised to the crowd. She makes her way over to the announce table to join in on commentary for the upcoming match to determine her number one contender.
3) Battle Royal for a Women's Championship Match Next Week: Molly Holly defeats Dawn Marie, Ivory, Jackie Gayda, Jacqueline, Jazz, Nidia, Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson and Victoria Jacqueline and Jazz work together with Theodore Long at ringside giving them some direction, taking out Nidia and Dawn Marie early. Keibler doesn't last much longer at the hands of Victoria with Ivory also going at her hand, perhaps some revenge for last night on Heat. Wilson and Gayda are working together to try and eliminate Molly when Jackie ends up pulling back and dumping Wilson out of the ring! She has some words for her fellow Smackdown Diva but it leads to Jacqueline and Jazz coming up from behind and tossing her to the outside. The two of them are then surprised as from behind, Victoria takes them by the legs and dumps them out! Victoria raises her hands in the air in celebration, moving to the turnbuckles and motioning for the belt around her waist. "Victoria did it! What do you think of that, Trish?!" Asks Lawler. Stevie Richards tries to warn Victoria from the floor below but it's too late as Molly is still in the match — coming from behind and pushing Victoria off the top rope and on to Richards on the floor below for the final elimination!
Molly has a smile on her face as Stratus removes her headset from the announce table, nodding as she looks down to the ring. Molly takes Victoria's spot on the turnbuckles, pointing up in Stratus' direction, whom raises the Women's Championship belt in her direction as they'll meet next week.
In the back, Terri approaches Shawn Michaels and begins to ask him about costing Chris Jericho the Intercontinental Championship earlier but Michaels ends up being hit from behind by Chris Jericho himself! Terri runs off as Michaels and Jericho start to throw fists back and forth, tossing each other in to equipment around the back. Referees and backstage officials quickly arrive on to the scene to grab both men and begin to pull them apart, Jericho yelling there will be hell to pay on Sunday!
Jonathan Coachman is in the back and has Brock Lesnar welcomed in as his guest, asking Lesnar about his match with Kevin Nash tonight just six nights away from his Hell in a Cell Match with Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. "Kevin Nash took his eye off the ball last week," Brock replies. "And had some choice words for me after our match last week... so tonight, I'm going to do business and take care of him. As for Triple H? This is our final time facing each other on Sunday win or lose... I don't think Hunter thought it through. Because once I get back the World Heavyweight Championship, I'm not letting it go." He heads off, his match with Nash still to come later on.
4) Goldust vs Chief Morley (w/Lance Storm and William Regal) goes to a no contest Morley is aggressive with Goldust out of the block, beating up his opponent in the corner with punches and boots. After a big suplex, Morley has some words for Goldust but ends up eating a jab to the face for it. Once Goldust begins to mount a comeback, however, Regal trips him from the outside. As Morley distracts the official, Storm drags Goldust to the outside and tosses him in to the steel steps! Booker Tthen makes his way down from the back, the new Intercontinental Champion marching to ringside and getting in the face of Storm and Regal. As they begin to shove back and forth, Dusty Rhodes makes his way down from the back and joins in on things with an all out brawl beginning! Morley goes to the outside and gets involved as well with Goldust also coming in to join the fight, leaving the referee with no choice but to call for the bell and throw the match out!
The brawl continues on all around the outside of the ring, Rhodes throwing elbows everywhere to all three members of The Bischoff Administration. Help comes from backstage to try and put a stop to things, including General Manager Eric Bischoff as we head to a commercial break!
Things having been calmed down a bit after the break, Bischoff stands atop the stage along with Morley, Storm and Regal. A microphone in his hand, the Raw General Manager asks Rhodes what the hell he is thinking. "A member of the Board of Directors wouldn't be getting involved in a match like that! Wouldn't be assaulting members of the Raw roster! What the hell is the matter with you?! You can't be doing stuff like that!" Rhodes calls for a microphone from ringside and points up the ramp, telling Bischoff that he can do whatever he wants! The crowd cheers but Bischoff tells them all to shut up, telling Rhodes that he has been here for barely a week and he is already sick of him. "I want you out of here! I want you off of my show, Dusty!" Rhodes looks to Goldust and Booker and says that if Bischoff wants him out of here so bad, he has a proposition. "This Sunday, it's your boys versus me and my boys in a Bunkhouse Brawl! But why don't we spice things up a wee bit? If your boys can win, I'll give up my position and my oh, so luxurious pay as a member of the Board of Directors and get out of your hair! If me and my boys win, though, the Bischoff Administration as we know it is no more!" Morley, Storm and Regal seem a bit hesitant about the suggestion but Bischoff ignores all three of them, instead stepping forward to tell Rhodes that he accepts! He then returns to the back, the trio left following after him and asking if he knows what he just did! Rhodes then raises the arms of his son Goldust and the new Intercontinental Champion Booker T to the crowd.
Seen in their locker room backstage is Evolution, Flair, Orton and Batista still upset about their loss earlier with Triple H telling them to get their crap together! "Well if you didn't get us worrying about Kevin Nash getting involved in this..." Flair starts, Hunter putting a finger in his face and telling him not to blame his loss on that and to make up for it this Sunday by becoming World Tag Team Champions. He looks to Batista and Orton as they remain silent, telling them that Nash could be good for them. "Kev and I go way back. If we can bring him in and have him on our side it's a lot better than being against us... now, if he can do some damage to Brock Lesnar... it's going to be a cakewalk inside Hell in a Cell this Sunday... but I might just have to take care of some things myself." He tells the boys to relax, take a seat and watch what Nash is capable of against 'The Next Big Thing'.
Walking down the halls with the main event coming up is Kevin Nash, Jonathan Coachman approaching him and mentioning that he really didn't get a word in with him earlier and just wanted his thoughts on Triple H's interaction with him earlier. "I'm worried about Brock Lesnar and Brock Lesnar only, Coach." He says before continuing on his way as that match is next. At the announce table following the break, J.R. and King mention Judgment Day being this Sunday. Featured that night on the Smackdown side of things is a match for the WWE Championship as Kurt Angle takes on Goldberg for the very first time ever; Plus, a match about respect between the veteran The Undertaker and young John Cena; And, the United States Championship is back when Chris Benoit goes one-on-one with Edge; As for here on Raw, In a Two-out-of-Three Falls Match it will be Shawn Michaels going toe-to-toe with Chris Jericho in a personal battle; As we learned earlier, the World Tag Team Championship will be on the line as Rob Van Dam and Kane defend against 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair and Batista; In a Bunkhouse Brawl with a lot on the line, The Bischoff Administration's Chief Morley, Lance Storm and William Regal put their partnership with the Raw General Manager up for grabs against new Intercontinental Champion Booker T, Goldust and Dusty Rhodes, whom is removed from his position on the Board of Directors if his team loses; Lastly, the World Heavyweight Championship is on the line inside Hell in a Cell as Triple H defends against Brock Lesnar in what is a final meeting between the two regardless of the outcome!
5) Brock Lesnar def. Kevin Nash via disqualification Size versus power, the two men slug it out to kick things off with Nash eventually surprising Lesnar with a big slam in the center of the ring. Lesnar gets back up and ends up responding with a big German suplex! Nash staggers back to his feet and Brock pushes him in to the corner, hitting a few shoulder thrusts before taking a knee to the chest. Nash clubs away on Lesnar and ends up putting him down with a big boot. The two continue to slug it out after a cover for a two count, Brock eventually avoiding a corner clothesline and showing off his freakish strength by pulling Nash on to his shoulder and nailing the F-5! He starts to crawl toward Nash to make the cover but Triple H ends up sliding in to the ring, mounting over Lesnar and pummeling him with punches to cause the DQ!
Lesnar begins to fight back as the two get up in the corner, the battle spilling to the outside. Lesnar misses a punch and HHH responds with a push in to the ring post. He then hurls Lesnar face first in to the steel steps, forcing them to pull apart. As Brock is bloodied from the attack to his head, the World Heavyweight Champion then drags Lesnar up on the bottom part of the steps — hooking the arms and delivering a Pedigree on the steel! The Philadelphia fans boo as Hunter picks up his World Heavyweight Championship belt and raises it over his head. He begins to walk away but stops himself halfway up the ramp, turning his head back around with a scowl. "That's enough, damn it!" J.R. says. "Somebody stop 'The Game'! Somebody tell Triple H that enough is enough!" He walks back toward the ring and reaches under the apron, eventually pulling out a sledgehammer. Holding it in front of his face, HHH then begins to move toward Lesnar as he is still face down on the steps. Hunter raises the hammer above his head prepared to strike down but Nash pulls it away from him just in time! HHH turns around as Nash questions what he is doing. "I'm doing us both a favor, Kev!" Responds the World Heavyweight Champion, Nash putting his hand to HHH's chest to back him up, telling him to save it for Sunday! Lesnar stirs back to his feet with the help of a couple of referees, trying to motion for HHH to come at him but Nash continues to hold him back. "You're finished on Sunday, Lesnar! Finished!" Warns 'The Game' as the show comes to an end.
Walking through the halls to begin the show is WWE Champion Kurt Angle, looking at the doors before stopping at General Manager Stephanie McMahon's. He knocks on the door and then enters after getting the okay, approaching Stephanie and saying he just wanted to talk to her before the show gets underway. "Look, if you're going through with me versus Goldberg this Sunday, I think you should make him prove his worth tonight." McMahon crosses her arms and asks Angle what he had in mind. "I'm thinking maybe... put him in the ring with A-Train again! But, not like before, you know, maybe we... tie a hand behind the back or... hell, why not blindfolded?! Or both!" She looks at him and asks why she would do such a thing and Angle says if Goldberg is as good as she says, he'd go out there and do that. "I don't think so, Kurt," She replies. "But, maybe he should be in action tonight since he wasn't last week... say, in a handicap match?" He likes that idea and McMahon says that he'll be in a handicap match against the WWE Tag Team Champions — Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, Team Angle. "Wow, Steph, I never thought I'd s—" He pauses and frowns, pointing out that Haas is still blinded by Tajiri's mist! He can't compete! "Hey, you suggested blindfolded, Kurt! Blind, blindfolded... you never said who had to be blind necessarily." He considers this an outrage but McMahon tells him to deal with it, suggesting he go give his team one of his classic pep talks. Angle then leaves the room angrily. 1) Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy def. Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore via pinfall Diving straight in to the action, Michael Cole points out on commentary that after Matt Hardy showed he was fine last week, Stephanie McMahon had him looked at by a doctor and he was cleared for action. "As a result, Cole, we got ourselves a Cruiserweight Championship match at Judgment Day this Sunday between Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio!" Tazz says. The contest features Mysterio and Jeff taking their turns on Moore, with Jeff hesitant to fight his brother and much the same the other way. After Matt is the legal man against Mysterio, he hits him with a side effect and then charges toward his brother only to hesitate in throwing a shot at him. Mysterio takes advantage of the situation by hitting Matt with a dropkick from behind, running across the ring and elbowing Moore off the apron before returning with the 619 on Matt! He then dives off the top rope with a seated senton in to a pin for the three count!
Mysterio hops to his feet in celebration, Jeff entering the ring and looking down at his brother as he rolls to the outside in the arms of Moore, whom hands him the Cruiserweight Championship. Matt shoves him away as Mysterio motions for the belt around his waist while Jeff stands by his side, seemingly neutral.
Backstage, The F.B.I. are seen walking together with Nunzio talking about whacking not one, not two, not three but four people tonight. "Hell, maybe five if you include Spike Dudley." He looks at the rest of the group and says that Los Guerreros and The Dudley Boyz are going to learn a lesson tonight in respect and why not to mess with The Full Blooded Italians. He pops his collar and they continue on.
In the women's locker room after the break, Jackie Gaydais seen doing her makeup in the mirror when behind her comes Torrie Wilson. "Hey, Jackie," She says with her hands on her hips. "I just wanted to know what the heck that was all about on Monday eliminating me from the battle royal. Seems like you had a problem with me." Jackie rolls her eyes and tells Wilson she does have a problem, thinking she is all that just because she was on the cover of Playboy. "You rejected Christian because you think you're just so much better than every other woman, didn't you?" Wilson tries to say that's not the case but Gayda doesn't want to hear any of it, putting her hand in Wilson's face and leaving the room.
The theme music of Edge hits to a pop from the crowd. After winning a fatal four way to earn his spot in the United States Championship match this Sunday, he makes his way down and in to the ring with a microphone in hand to say how much he is looking forward to his opportunity at Judgment Day. "But before I go in to that match I need to talk to my opponent..." He gestures up the stage and asks for Chris Benoit to make is way down to the ring. After waiting a few moments and getting no response, he urges Benoit some more and, at last, Chris Benoit's music does hit. 'The Rabid Wolverine' slowly comes down to the ring, standing across from Edge, whom thanks him for coming to the ring but Benoit is quick to talk back. "What do you want, Edge?" He questions, leading to Edge seeming surprised by the attitude. He says he just wants to make it clear that this Sunday they're competing for the same prize but it's not anything personal, he just wants to wish him luck. "I don't need luck, Edge. I know how good I am how and I know that I am capable of beating anyone... and I know that this Sunday at Judgment Day I am going to become the United States Champion." Edge is still confused by the way Benoit is acting and says that he didn't want to have to talk about this but it seems like he is going to half to. "Ever since Backlash you've been acting like a real assh*le, Chris." The crowd gives a big 'ooh' as Benoit is taken aback, trying to respond but Edge keeps on going. "You cost The Undertaker the WWE Championship and you cost us the WWE Tag Team Championship. I figured I'd let bygones be bygones, maybe you just got caught up in the moment. I know how much of a competitor you are and maybe you just needed time to blow off some steam but it turns out that you're still acting like that three weeks later, Chris. So, if you want to make things more tense between us going in to Judgment Day, that's your decision. But know this... you may think you're going to become the United States Champion but I know it's going to be me, pal." Benoit stares back at Edge, looks him up and down and tells him they'll see. He then drops the microphone and leaves the ring, returning to the back while Edge is left with his arms crossed.
Seen walking through the halls in the back and heading toward the ring is The Undertaker. Just three nights before his personal match with John Cena, he goes one-on-one with Jamie Noble — next!
2) The Undertaker def. Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) via pinfall At first hesitant, Noble decides to charge Taker and throw punches in to his chest and face. Taker quickly takes Noble by the neck and thrusts him to the corner, completely dominating with strikes. After Noble rakes the eyes he jumps off the second rope but eats a boot to the face. Taker then continues the beat down, giving Noble Old School, followed up by a Chokeslam. The crowd seems to want more, however, so he gives Noble a Last Ride Powerbomb for good measure, leading to the pinfall.
Taker gets back up and pushes Noble under the bottom rope with his foot before heading to the outside and taking the timekeeper's steel chair. He returns to the ring with it and a microphone, sitting in the center just as he did last week. "Alright, John," He says. "Last week I did this exact same thing and I had to come find you... except I came and found your goons instead." He says that this week is going to be different and Cena is going to man up and bring himself out here. After a bit of the waiting game, the music of John Cena ends up hitting. He walks about halfway down the ramp as Taker continues to encourage him to enter the ring. "Last week my boys left you layin', but you keep on asking for more! If you want some, you're gonna get some, we'll leave you down on the floor." He asks Taker if he has gone senile in his old age or if the big dog is looking to get put down, leading to him holding his arms out and making a motion in both directions. Taker then stands up from his chair as the same gang of men from last week end up hitting the ring! Taker throws bombs with left and right hands, the numbers game beginning to add up on him until he takes hold of the steel chair and begins to use it on everyone! Shots to the stomach and back followed by a couple to the head are topped off by one big one that drops the final man through the ropes and to the outside! Cena then comes in to the ring from behind with his chain wrapped around his fist. "Look out Undertaker! Look out!" Yells Tazz. He then turns to Cena stepping up to him ready to throw a punch but he raises the chair above his head — causing Cena to fall backwards and in to a seated position. His eyes widen as Taker comes forward with the chair and swings it down, Cena just barely able to avoid it and escape under the bottom rope! Cena backs down as Taker tosses the chair aside, motioning for Cena to come back to the ring with the cocky young superstar clearly wanting no part in that now. As he continues to head up the ramp, Taker points in his direction. "Your ass is mine at Judgment Day, kid!" He warns with a scowl.
Standing by backstage is Funaki as he introduces the WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angleas his guests at this time, asking them about their handicap match with Goldberg tonight. "You're damn right this is a handicap match!" Benjamin replies angrily. "For us, not Goldberg! Charlie is still blinded after what Tajiri did to him last week!" Up to them then comes Tajiri, Benjamin asking what the hell he wants. "I took Charlie's vision... Now I want... Tag Team Titles..." Benjamin scoffs and tells Tajiri that once Haas is able to see again, Tajiri can find himself a partner and they'll teach him a lesson. Tajiri smiles and walks away, Haas pointing where he was standing. "You hear that, you little son of a..." Funaki cuts him off to inform Haas that Tajiri is gone, Benjamin giving a dirty look and leading Haas away.
Seen talking to each other in the back are Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy, Mysterio saying he knows Matt is Jeff's brother, but he plans on beating him this Sunday and becoming Cruiserweight Champion. "Look, I ain't getting between that right now," Jeff says with a shrug. "But I know if you do end up becoming Cruiserweight Champion, it'd be real interesting if one day the two of us crossed paths." Mysterio nods and says it would be, the two then shaking hands before parting ways.
3) The Dudley Boyz and Los Guerreros (w/Spike Dudley) def. The F.B.I. (w/Dawn Marie) via pinfall A competitive eight man tag team match that features a lot of action on both sides from all competitors. The F.B.I. cut the ring off after a break on Chavo, forcing him to have to fight his way to his corner, eventually making a hot tag to Eddie, whom comes in and clears out the competition. Palumbo delivers a superkick to the back of the head as Eddie is approaching Nunzio, leading to Bubba Ray and D-Von getting involved. An all out battle between both sides results in the legal men in Eddie and Nunzio being left in the ring together, the leader of The F.B.I. looking for a win via the tights. He then tosses Eddie in to the turnbuckles chest first but ends up turning right in to the 3-D from The Dudley Boyz! Eddie then staggers his way to the top rope, diving off and hitting the Frog Splash for the pinfall!
Bubba Ray, D-Von, Eddie and Chavo all celebrate together before looking to the outside at Spike. The four look around at one another before telling Spike to get the tables! The crowd cheers as he retrieves one from underneath the ring, sliding it under the bottom rope as The Dudley Boyz look prepared to put Nunzio through out! DeMott takes Nunzio by the legs as he starts to get up, however, and drags him out of the ring! "Family watching out for family, Cole!" Says Tazz. The F.B.I. back down from the ring as The Dudley Boyz and Los Guerreros point out how close they were to putting Nunzo through the table.
Meanwhile backstage, Josh Mathews is standing outside of Goldberg's locker room, mentioning that he is waiting on getting a word with Goldberg before his match later on tonight. After a little bit of waiting, a security guard steps out of the room with Goldberg right behind him, Mathews thanking Goldberg for the time and asking about the handicap match with Team Angle tonight. "It doesn't really matter who I face or how many people I face," He replies. "I'm going out to that ring to kick ass! After I'm done with Kurt Angle's boys, I'm coming for him and the WWE Championship this Sunday." He tells Mathews he hopes that answers his questions and then returns to his locker room, shutting the door behind him.
Following the break, two men are seen standing in front of a painting of the Eiffel Tower. With big smiles on their faces, they turn to the camera and introduce themselves as Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier, the latter saying they are known as La Resistance. "We are coming to WWE to show what a real, quality tag team looks like," Dupree adds. "Nous avons le style, l'équilibre, la grâce et la jeunesse de notre côté!" He snickers as he and Grenier then say they will be seeing everyone very soon.
In the office of General Manager Stephanie McMahon, she moves from behind her desk to the front of it, a smile to her face to the camera as she says that she hopes that everyone has been enjoying the show thus far and that starting next week on Raw and Smackdown, things are going to be getting even more interesting. "Because both Raw and Smackdown are proud to present the return of the King of the Ring tournament. Sixteen superstars, eight from each brand, will take part in this prestigious event with a prize not just to be known as the King of the Ring, but to also earn a WWE or World Heavyweight Championship match against their brands champion at Summerslam this August." She then proceeds to announce that taking part in the tournament for Smackdown will be the likes of Edge, Rikishi, A-Train, John Cena, Rhyno, Sean O'Haire, Chris Benoit and the winner of this Sunday's Cruiserweight Championship match between Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy. "You know, just to add even more to that spicy title match! So, I wish both the competitors for Raw and Smackdown the best of luck as we begin the quest to find out who the next King of the Ring is following the conclusion of Judgment Day."
Standing by elsewhere in the back is Josh Mathews with Sean O'Haire, looking to get his thoughts ahead of his match with Rhyno. "Before I get to my upcoming match, Josh, did you just hear what Stephanie McMahon had to say?" He smiles and says that he believes he fits the mold of King of the Ring higher than anybody else, for his ability to articulate and question what is right and wrong as well as his ability in the ring. "That mad Rhyno is a loose cannon! Can you imagine somebody like him as King of the Ring? Can you imagine somebody like him getting a WWE Championship match? The answer would be no. On the contrary, can you imagine somebody like Sean O'Haire being in the main event of Summerslam as King of the Ring and WWE Champion? You don't have to answer that, Josh, because I'm not telling you anything you don't already know." He then heads off for the match.
4) Sean O'Haire def. Rhyno via pinfall Playing some mind games with Rhyno, O'Haire constantly backs down from the battle but, eventually, 'The Man Beast' is able to get his hands on O'Haire as he powers him in to the corner and fires away with punches and clotheslines. The battle goes to the outside with Rhyno missing on a Gore attempt as O'Haire side steps and he goes crashing in to the steel steps. O'Haire begins to target the neck and shoulder off of it, Rhyno able to avoid a clothesline in the corner, using his good arm to send O'Haire down a few times before tossing O'Haire up and over his head. Rhyno then goes to the corner and prepares for the Gore, but O'Haire throws a boot in to the bad shoulder. He then lifts Rhyno on to his shoulders and delivers the Widowmaker, leading to the legs being hooked for the three count.
O'Haire gets to his feet and stands over Rhyno's body, throwing a couple of boots to the chest while having his arm raised, forcing the referee to intervene and keep O'Haire back, whom leaves the ring with a grin as he hopes this is a sign of things to come in the upcoming King of the Ring tournament.
In the back, Chris Benoit is seen in the locker room when he is approached by Edge. "Look, Chris, things got a little heated out there and I just wanted to come to you and apologize. I just want us to have a competitive match this Sunday and then move on." Benoit looks up and down at Edge and tells him that he doesn't believe that he is sorry, he meant every word he said out there. "We're not tag team partners anymore. We're out for the same prize on Sunday and that means we can't be friends. This is business. I'll see you at Judgment Day... when I become United States Champion." Benoit picks up his bag and brushes shoulders with Edge on his way out of the room.
Seen walking down the halls is WWE Champion Kurt Angle, stopping and turning around to wave his hand behind him. "Hurry up, come on!" He says as Team Anglefollow behind him as Haas is clearly still blinded as he needs Benjamin's assistance to walk. Kurt shakes his head and runs his hands across his face before continuing on as the main event handicap match against Goldberg is coming up next!
5) Handicap Match: Goldberg def. WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle (w/WWE Champion Kurt Angle) via pinfall The bell rings as Benjamin is very hesitant to get things started. With Angle's encouragement, Benjamin steps forward but is quickly lifted off the mat and slammed in to the corner by Goldberg. An assault against the turnbuckles leads to a couple of big tosses across the ring with Benjamin crawling to his corner and tagging in the blinded Haas! A look of shock comes across the face of Angle from the outside, questioning Benjamin what he is doing! Goldberg steps over to Haas and rips him over the top rope before walking to the other corner, a smile on his face with the crowd cheering as he proceeds to rip right through Haas with a Spear after he gets up not knowing where to look! Benjamin tries to come back in to the ring but he ends up being whipped off the ropes and caught with a Spear as well! Goldberg then decides it's time to finish things as he drags Haas back up and lays him out with the Jackhammer in the center of the ring! He mounts for the pin afterward and gets the one, two, three.
The Baltimore crowd cheers as Goldberg gets back to his feet as the winner. He locks eyes with Angle on the outside and motions for the WWE Championship around his waist. The commentary team goes over replays of the finish of the match, coming back in the arena with Goldberg on the second rope raising his fists to the crowd. Behind him, however, Angle comes in to the ring waiting. Goldberg steps down from the ropes and Angle runs up with a forearm to the back! "Oh no," Says Cole. "I don't know if that was such a good idea from our WWE Champion!" Angle's look of determination turns to dismay as Goldberg snaps his head around with a scowl. He takes a few steps toward Angle but the WWE Champion thinks twice about his decision and quickly hops through the ropes and to the outside, backing down with his hands up. Goldberg leans across the ropes and has some words for Kurt when he is hit from behind by Benjamin, whom clubs him over and over again. Goldberg turns around and catches a punch, kneeing Benjamin in the stomach before lifting him in a suplex — turning in the direction of Angle and pointing at him before giving a slit throat taunt and dropping Benjamin with the Jackhammer! Goldberg pops back to his feet and continues to keep an eye on Angle, pointing in his direction and motioning for the belt one last time as Smackdown comes to an end!
1) Spike Dudley def. Jimmy Yang via pinfall Starting off quick and competitive, Yang begins to dictate the match over Dudley as he looks to continue to establish himself as a member of the Cruiserweight division. After cutting off a Spike momentum run, Yang hits a springboard crossbody for a near fall, looking to follow it up with a back suplex only for Dudley to end up reversing it and nailing the Dudley Dog for the pinfall. Coming off the success of the victory of his brothers Bubba Ray and D-Von on Smackdown, Spike gets his own time to celebrate and shine on Velocity.
2) A-Train def. JR Ryder via pinfall After suffering defeat to Goldberg a couple of weeks ago and failing to secure his spot in the United States Championship match at Judgment Day, A-Train looks to get things back on track ahead of his position in the King of the Ring tournament and does so by not allowing Ryder to get any offense in, eventually putting the local away with the Train Wreck. Deciding to send a message after the bell, Train decides to squash Ryder in the corner with a running clothesline before finally leaving the ring.
3) Rikishi def. Crash Holly via pinfall Similar to A-Train, Rikishi looks to get some momentum ahead of the King of the Ring tournament. Holly tries some underhanded tactics as he looks to try and get one over on the big man but after a leap off the top rope backfires with him being caught. Crash tries to go over for a sunset flip but Rikishi drops down and sits on Holly's chest for the three count! Rikishi has his arm raised as the victor afterward and then calls for his sunglasses from ringside, preparing to dance only for Holly to get up in a daze next to him, prompting Rikishi to bump his hip in to him and begin to dance, trying to get Crash in on it. After not getting much out of Holly, Rikishi delivers a superkick! Holly crashes in to the corner in perfect position, leading to 'Big Kish' backing in to him with the Stinkface! Holly leaves in disgust as Rikishi continues his dance afterward with a smile on his face. 4) Tajiri def. Funaki via pinfall A handshake to start things, the two go through some chain wrestling with tons of speed and strikes, Tajiri eventually bringing things down to the mat and stretching the back. Funaki fights his way back in to things, however, and after a big back suplex, Funaki charges and eats a boot to the stomach, He manages to reverse a sunset flip, however, but Tajiri swings himself out of it in return and delivers a sharp kick to the back of the head for the finish. Tajiri emerges up after as the winner but pulls his arm away from the official, stepping up to Funaki and standing over him. He extends his hand, however, and aids Funaki back to his feet. The two have a stare down before Tajiri gives a bow, 'Smackdown's #1 Announcer' soon returning the favor. Tajiri then leaves the ring and makes his way up the ramp, giving another bow in Funaki's direction as the show comes to an end.
May 18, 2003: Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, NC (Held Live Before Judgment Day)
Standing by in the back is Josh Mathews talking about things to come tonight on Judgment Day when he is approached by John Cena, whom pushes Mathews aside and takes the microphone from him when he goes to ask a question. Cena begins to rap about how he has had The Undertaker's number over the past few weeks and tonight will be another. "Maybe I've got my gang lined up for you one more time, or maybe I'm gonna take you out back like old yeller 'cept I'll clip you with a nine! Nah, that's too much, that's all not necessary! I've got my chain, my wrench and fists, a shovel to so your ass I can bury!" He goes on that tonight he doesn't care if he earns Taker's respect, but he's gonna be the winner - it's gonna to be sick. "And if you don't like that 'Dead Man', you can suck my..." He puts his fists together for his signature gesture to the camera and walks away.
Seen in their locker room together is Evolution, all talking with one another when Triple H calls for everyone's attention. The World Heavyweight Champion looks to the other three and nods, saying that tonight is a big night for them. "Randy Orton, the blue chip prospect! The second generation superstar! You get things started for us here on Sunday Night Heat by putting the final nail in the coffin of Tommy Dreamer! I'm through with him!" He then looks to Batista and Ric Flair, saying he has 'The Animal' and the greatest of all time looking to become World Tag Team Champions. "In the hometown of 'The Nature Boy', what a perfect opportunity, huh?" Flair lets out a big 'Woo!' as Batista says it'll be an honor to share the gold with Ric. "And then we have the main event... Triple H. Brock Lesnar. Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship! The end of it all!" He says that only one of them will be walking out champion after it's all said and done and if he has things his way, he'll be the only one walking out of there at all. "It'll be me! It'll be 'The Game'! It'll be the very best this business has to offer today! It'll be me — Triple H!" Flair lets out a few 'Woo!'s afterward and says that at the end of the night, Evolution will have the biggest celebration his hometown has ever seen! Elsewhere in the back, Jeff Hardy is seen talking to some female fans when up to him comes his brother and Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy, as well as Shannon Moore. "Excuse us, ladies," He says while shooing them away. "Jeff, are you going off the wagon again?!" Jeff questions what the hell Matt is talking about, the older brother shaking his head and saying that clearly Jeff needs a sense of direction and now that he is a part of Smackdown, he can show him the way. "What the hell are you talking about, Matt? Are you gonna go on about this Mattitude crap again?!" Matt says that it isn't crap, it is a lifestyle that has led him to the ultimate success of being the greatest Cruiserweight Champion of all time! "And I'd like to remain Cruiserweight Champion, Jeff. I'd like that very much and I'd like to have my brother be at my side in my quest to keep this title and in return, I will show you the way to inner peace and how to unlock Jeff Hardy... Version 1!" Jeff seems perplexed by the words of his brother, Matt telling him to think about it before heading off with Moore in tow.
Standing by elsewhere in the back is Jonathan Coachman as he introduces Chris Jericho as his guest at this time, asking him about his Two out of Three Falls Match with Shawn Michaels tonight and Michaels costing him the Intercontinental Championship this past Monday on Raw to Booker T. "You know, Coach, I had motive before this past Monday but Shawn decided to make things even worse... he made things even worse and now tonight I am going to show him why I am so much better than he ever was or ever will be. I'm going to beat him twice in one night and I'm going to do it twice in a row and I am going to finally, finally break 'The Heartbreak Kid' once and for all..." He tells Coach that this will be the night that he will never forget and one Michaels will never remember.
Inside of the arena to Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, the duo talk about what a personal battle that match between Jericho and Michaels will be tonight at Judgment Day, but it's not all they have to offer as we also have the World Tag Team Championship on the line as Rob Van Dam and Kane look to keep their reign going when they face Evolution's Batista and Ric Flair. Plus, a Bunkhouse Brawl with the potential to be a 'slobber knocker', J.R. says, when The Bischoff Administration's Chief Morley, Lance Storm and William Regal put their allegiance on the line against new Intercontinental Champion Booker T, Goldust and Dusty Rhodes — whose spot on the WWE Board of Directors is also on the line. And, of course, the main event where the World Heavyweight Championship is up for grabs inside Hell in a Cell, where Triple H and Brock Lesnar will do battle for the final time! There will be no rematch regardless of who walks out tonight as the World Heavyweight Champion!
J.R. then sends things down to Michael Cole and Tazz where they say that Raw's lineup tonight is impressive but so is Smackdown's! Things are going to be interesting in a WrestleMania rematch when Matt Hardy defends the Cruiserweight Championship against Rey Mysterio, with an important added factor by Stephanie McMahon this past Thursday as the winner also gets the final spot in the Smackdown field for the King of the Ring tournament! On top of that, we will crown a United States Championship as the title has been revived when former tag team partners Edge and Chris Benoit go one-on-one. In a personal battle surrounded by respect, the young, loud and brash John Cena goes against perhaps the biggest dog in the yard — The Undertaker! And, for the WWE Championship, we will see Kurt Angle go up against one of the biggest challenges in his entire career: Goldberg!
1) Randy Orton def. Tommy Dreamer via pinfall The bell rings with Orton dominating and growing more and more confident by the minute. He ends up putting Dreamer down in a chinlock with Tommy fighting to his feet only for an inverted neckbreaker to cut off his comeback attempt. Randy gets a two count on a cover but remains cocky, mocking Dreamer as he pulls him up in to the corner, throwing a few shots before sitting Tommy on the top rope and going up with him. A superplex attempt is blocked though and Dreamer ends up throwing Orton down to the mat before delivering an axe handle to the top of the head. He then begins a hot stretch and after a back body drop, goes to the outside and retrieves his kendo stick! The crowd cheers as Dreamer twirls it over his head, re-entering the ring but the official intervening. The two of them argue over the potential use of the kendo stick and it allows Orton to come running up from behind and nail the jumping cutter he has dubbed the RKO and get the one, two, three!
The Charlotte fans boo as Orton gets up to his feet with a smile, standing over Dreamer and giving him some words before letting the referee raise his arm. As Orton exits the ring and taunts on his way up the ramp, Dreamer rolls on to his side, angrily looking toward the confident young Orton.
After a WWE Shopzone advertisement and a few packages for Judgment Day coming up, the cameras come back to show the Hell in a Cell structure hanging above the ring. "One of the most dangerous creations this business has ever seen," Ross says. "And tonight, we will see it once again with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line." Lawler says he cannot wait for the show to get under way and tells everyone at home to contact their local pay-per-view provider right now if they haven't already — they aren't going to want to miss this! Ross is in agreement, saying that they are in for one hell of a show as he signs things off for the Sunday Night Heat broadcast.
A video package airs focusing on the Hell in a Cell structure, with some of the biggest moments being shown over the previous battles, culminating in showing Triple H's victory over Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar over The Undertaker in the last two matches in that match. Tonight, the two of them battle for the final time with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line. The promo continues to also highlight the WWE Championship battle between Kurt Angle and Goldberg and the Two Out Of Three Falls bout between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho before returning focus to the main event, with highlights of HHH and Lesnar standing tall over the other and raising the World Heavyweight Championship. The cameras then come inside of the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, the stage hit by pyro as the voice of Jim Ross welcomes everyone to the show alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler. The two of them representing Raw talk about how there is of course the Hell in a Cell match but so much more to come on their side of things including Jericho versus Michaels, the Bunkhouse Brawl and the World Tag Team Championship being on the line! They then send things over to ringside to Michael Cole and Tazz as they say Raw has a hell of a line up but so do they, as they have three championship matches as well as The Undertaker versus John Cena. After sending things to Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera at the Spanish announce table, we go back to Cole where he says the first of those three championship matches is set to take place as we are about to determine who will be the United States Champion!
The bell sounds and the two men step to the center of the ring with Edge extending his hand. Benoit looks down at it but doesn't accept the gesture, Edge backing up with a grin. The two then circle around before coming to the middle, some back and forth chain wrestling ending up on the mat with Benoit on top and shoving Edge's face in to the mat. The two work their way back up and end up pushing each other back and forth in a lock up, getting in to the ropes with the referee having to intervene. After splitting the two apart, Benoit throws a punch to the face and it prompts Edge to push past the official and begin to push Benoit across the ring again. The two go back and forth against the ropes before going in to the corner, the referee once again having to get in between them. This time, however, Edge throws a punch and sends Benoit down. A clothesline, spinning wheel kick and bulldog follow up with a dropkick coming soon after that sends Benoit through the ropes and to the outside. Fired up a bit now, Edge bounces off the other side of the ring and comes across for a baseball slide only to be side-stepped, Benoit quick to hook his arms around the waist and deliver a big German suplex on the outside floor! Getting back up, Benoit is quick to notice Edge is clutching his shoulder so he brings him back in to the ring and slams the arm in to the mat a few times before applying a fujiwara armbar. Edge is in clear pain as he works his way over to the ropes, eventually hugging the bottom one with his good arm. Benoit breaks the hold at a count of four but doesn't give any window of opportunity for Edge to recover as he hooks the waist and drags him back up, a brief struggle leading to Benoit shoving Edge shoulder first in to the turnbuckles before nailing another German suplex. Benoit motions Edge back to his feet and lets him rise in to the corner, throwing a couple of chops to the chest that are responded to with some from Edge! A knee to the corner puts a stop to that quickly, however, Benoit proceeding to nail a snap suplex that leads to a two count. Benoit stays on the attack as he stomps the arm a few times and stretches it out, working away at it before delivering a shoulder breaker that ends up in another near fall.
Benoit gets back up and shakes his head, clearly growing angry as he grabs Edge by the arm and looks to apply the Crippler Crossface! Edge fights toward the ropes as Benoit attempts to lock it in. By the time the hold is applied, Edge doesn't have to struggle for too long as he manages to get to the bottom rope again. Benoit keeps it on by pushing the referee's count again, getting back up with his hands on his hips and pacing back and forth. Visibly frustrated, Benoit steps over as Edge is on a knee, clubbing the back and kicking the shoulder. Another big suplex is delivered and Benoit decides it is time to go to the top rope, giving a slit throat taunt before diving off for his signature headbutt only for Edge to roll out of the way just in time! The two are down for a brief amount of time with the referee getting to a count of seven before they both get up, Benoit stepping up and having his punch caught and met with a few from Edge followed by a series of clotheslines with his good arm. After one with the bad arm, however, Edge drops to a knee against the ropes and clutches his shoulder. Benoit comes right back up and misses on another punch, Edge taking him by the neck from behind and nailing the Edge-o-matic! The leg is hooked off of it but Benoit kicks out at two. Edge rolls back up and backs in to the corner, looking around before pulling himself out to the apron and ascending to the top rope. Benoit is back to his feet, however, 'The Rabid Wolverine' getting to the second rope and clubbing Edge with fists. Looking for a potential superplex, Edge manages to keep his position. After a couple of headbutts, he pushes Benoit down and leaps off with a missile dropkick. Crawling over to make the pin, Edge hooks the far leg but once again only a two count comes from it. Edge takes some time to catch his breath before coming back over to Benoit and taking him by the legs, trying to step through and apply the Edgecator but Benoit swings his hips and manages to launch Edge through the ropes and crashing to the outside. Following after, Benoit grabs Edge by the hair and tights and charges in to the ring post with him shoulder first! Not stopping there, however, he does a pull back and another slam in to the post before doing it a third time before throwing Edge back under the bottom rope. "What has gotten in to Benoit?!" Asks a concerned Cole. Benoit re-enters the ring and has some words for Edge as he is trying to crawl away. Dragging Edge back up by the hair, he is suddenly kicked in the stomach and laid out with the Edgecution! The crowd cheers loud as Edge drags himself to the corner, pulling himself to his feet via the ropes with his one good arm, eyes widening as he positions himself for the Spear! Waving his hand up and down, Benoit slowly staggers back to his feet — Edge charging at full speed only for Benoit to catch him on the run, bring him down to the mat via the arm and apply the Crippler Crossface! The audience is buzzing as Edge is clearly in trouble, Benoit pulling back on the hold as the two of them are in the middle of the ring! Looking to be on the verge of tapping out, Edge pushes his hand in to the mat and pulls himself over on top of Benoit — the referee re-positioning and counting the one, two, three! Edge def. Chris Benoit via pinfall to become the NEW United States Champion!
Benoit lets go of the hold as the bell rings, his eyes widening as Edge is announced the winner! As Benoit sits in the corner in disbelief, Edge staggers back to his feet against the ropes as the referee retrieves the United States Championship belt and presents it to the winner. Edge raises it high above his head to cheers from the crowd and then goes over toward Benoit and extends his hand. Chris stands up with his hands on his hips, wiping away at his face as he considers accepting the offer. Instead, however, he just walks past Edge and leaves the ring. The Charlotte fans boo as Benoit walks away, Edge shaking his head and continuing on with his celebration regardless.
An outside shot of the Charlotte Coliseum is shown, J.R. saying that was an exciting start to the show but it's time for some Raw action! The cameras then pick up to the back to Ric Flair, letting out 'Woo's down the hallway as his hometown crowd inside of the arena can be heard cheering for him. "Let's go, baby! It's time for us to become World Tag Team Champions!" He says while opening a door, Batista walking out and looking determined. "You're ready?" Flair asks to a nod. "You're not gonna let me down are ya? Nah, you wouldn't do that! You're 'The Animal!' You're Batista! And we're gonna go out there and beat Rob Van Dam and Kane and Evoluton is gonna be flying high tonight! Woo!" Batista puts his hand on Flair's shoulder and gives him a simple "I know". Flair smiles and pats Batista on the back, letting out one more big 'Woo!' before they continue on their way for the match.
The referee calls for the match to begin, Batista looking prepared to start things off against Kane but Flair insists on being in first. Batista questions why as Flair is all fired up. "This is Flair country! Woo! Let me take him! Let me take him!" Batista doesn't seem too sure of it but he obliges, Flair then strutting up to Kane and laughing before throwing a chop to the chest! Kane stands stern as Flair comes at him with a few more chops, realizing it isn't doing much and starting to fire off more rapidly. Kane takes Flair by the neck and tosses him in to the corner, throat thrusts following before whipping Ric to the opposing turnbuckle, 'The Nature Boy' flipping up and over on to the apron and making his way to the top rope with Kane stepping right up and sending the legend flying across the ring with a slam. Flair begs for mercy and Kane responds with a boot to the face, making a tag to Van Dam. RVD leaps over the ropes with a leg drop on Flair, getting back up and leading the crowd in a chant of his name. Flair gets back up and throws a poke to the eye, then grabbing RVD in multiple head holds before being pushed off in to the ropes and met with a spinning kick to the face. RVD continues with an assault of different kick variations as he sends Flair back in to the corner, hitting him with shoulder thrusts before monkey flipping Flair across the ring. Ric stands back up off of it before taking a few steps forward, flopping face first on to the mat! Kane is tagged back in and he continues work on Flair, whipping him off the ropes and nailing a big boot on the return. Kane rises back up with his hand in the air, Flair staggering back up as 'The Big Red Machine' looks for the Chokeslam only for Batista to charge in on the lift and chop the back of the knee out. Batista stays on the attack a bit and the referee interjects, forcing him back to his corner as Flair returns to Kane and begins to give leg drops and throw elbows down on the knee, then pointing in RVD's direction and mocking him, trying to goad him in to the ring. Van Dam steps between the ropes but the official is quick to get in front of him, Batista taking advantage of the distraction to step in and help Flair continue to attack Kane's leg. After a double team to lift Kane's leg up and slam his knee in to the mat, Batista goes back out to the apron with Flair making a cover for a two count. A couple of knee drops to the bad leg, Flair gets Kane back up in to the corner and chops away at him before going for a whip in to the ropes, Kane managing to reverse it with Batista making a blind tag off of it. Kane catches Flair on the rebound with a sidewalk slam but gets right back up to a powerful spinebuster from 'The Animal'! A cover is made and the interior leg is hooked but Kane manages to kick out at two. Batista stays on the attack from there, working the leg while also showing his power in the mix of things. After a powerslam, he decides to try and bring things to an end by setting up for the powerbomb. Kane reverses it by flipping Batista over him, a sudden tag being made by Flair as he comes in and quickly goes for a Figure Four Leglock but Kane manages to kick him away before it can be locked in, 'Naitch' falling through the ropes and to the outside. A tag is made to RVD and he comes in, leapfrogging a charging Batista and striking away at him with forearms and kicks. After a sweep of the legs, Van Dam goes for Rolling Thunder but Batista catches him getting up for the last roll and absolutely demolishes him with a clothesline! Pulling RVD back up by the hair, he attempts the powerbomb on him but RVD manages to pull back toward the ropes and hurricanrana Batista to the outside. Kane then makes his way to the top rope and leaps to the outside on to both Batista and Flair! Dragging Ric back up, Kane hurls him back in to the ring and follows - Flair pleading with RVD as he gets back up only to be responded to with a spinning wheel kick! Flair then turns right in to the grasp of Kane for a Chokeslam! RVD then hops on to the top rope and leads the chant of his name with the crowd before diving off with the Five Star Frog Splash! The cover is then made for the three count. Rob Van Dam and Kane def. Batista and Ric Flair via pinfall to retain the World Tag Team Championship!
Their reign continuing onward, RVD and Kane are presented with their World Tag Team Championship belts as they hold them up together. After Kane throws his arms down and flames come up from the turnbuckles, Flair is on the outside being helped toward the back by Batista but also making sure to continue yelling back at the men that just defeated them in the process.
Seen walking in the back with a cheeky grin is Christian when he is approached by Torrie Wilson, her arms crossed as she questions what the hell all that was about on Raw this past Monday. "Do I know you?" Christian responds, Wilson not impressed at his lack of acknowledgement. "What, you sicced Jackie on me because I wouldn't spend the night with you?" Christian puts his hands up and tells Wilson that what she is saying is absolutely preposterous and questions if she hears herself right now. "What kind of chauvinistic pig would ever do something like that? I'm hurt, Torrie. I'm truly hurt. Maybe Jackie doesn't like you because of outlandish accusations like that!" He says that if she thinks that of him, maybe she is out there saying even worse things about Jackie. "Really hurt." He re-iterates while holding his chest and shaking his head, walking away and leaving Wilson in disgust.
Cutting elsewhere, Shawn Michaels is seen standing as Terri Runnels is beside him for an interview, asking for his final thoughts before his match with Chris Jericho later on tonight. "Y'know, Terri, I heard what Chris Jericho had to say earlier on Sunday Night Heat... as a matter of fact, I've heard what Chris Jericho has had to say for months on end now. He thinks he's going to break 'The Heart Break Kid' here tonight..." Michaels shakes his head and says that when he returned to the ring last summer, he thought it was entirely possible that he'd break himself, but he found out how strong he was and that he was still capable of competing with the very best of the best. "And while I consider Chris was one of the best going today, I also consider him having the loudest mouth that needs the most shutting up and if that requires me kicking his teeth down his throat, then I'll make sure to go top row first, bottom row second when I beat him not once, but twice tonight." Michaels nods to Terri and heads off.
Some trash talk to begin things, Hardy mocks his height advantage over Mysterio and for that, takes a stomp to the foot that gives Mysterio a red hot start. On the attack with armdrags and takedowns over and over, Hardy ends up getting dropped in prime position for the 619 after a headscissors but Hardy is able to pull himself to the outside before Mysterio is able to connect. Having just avoided early disaster, Matt calls Shannon Moore over and they have a conversation together. They then turn to face the ring as Mysterio launches himself over the top rope with a crossbody on to both men! Mysterio gets right back up and points out to the fans, throwing Hardy back in to the ring and following after him, shelling the Cruiserweight Champion with sharp kicks to the legs. After being pushed in to the ropes, Mysterio comes back and attempts a tornado DDT but Hardy ends up launching him away and face first down on to the mat. Mysterio staggers back to a knee and Hardy takes him down with a hard clothesline, hooking the legs for a two count. Hardy drags Mysterio back up and whips him to the corner, charging and being leapfrogged with Rey performing a sunset flip, getting to his feet and nailing a seated Matt with a dropkick. Mysterio then charges to the ropes and looks for a springboard but Hardy manages to catch him in mid-air and deliver a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for another near fall. Continuing to work on Mysterio, Hardy has some fun at his expense and puts him in a tree of woe in the corner, standing on his crotch on the turnbuckles and getting the referee to count to four before coming down. Showboating as he controls the contest, a gut wrench suplex for a near fall starts to bring out a more aggressive side. After beating Mysterio down, he backs in to the corner with the number one contender and sits on the top rope, pulling Rey up and looking for a powerbomb from off the top. Mysterio manages to wiggle his way around, however, managing to reverse things and nail a frankensteiner! Mysterio gets back up and delivers a swooping kick to the back of Hardy's head, running to the ropes and getting his leg grabbed by Moore! Mysterio manages to fight his foot free, getting Hardy down with a drop toe hold as he charges, landing the champion between the ropes. Mysterio attempts the 619 again but this time Moore pulls himself in the way and takes the boots to the back of his head! Mysterio doesn't take any time in standing up straight on the apron, springboarding to Matt but being caught with a kick to the stomach and dropped with the side effect! Hardy hooks the legs quickly but Mysterio manages to kick out just in time! Hardy is furious and questions the count of the official, arguing that it was a three count. He then steps back up to Mysterio and takes him by the legs, pulling him up only for Mysterio to reverse with a wheelbarrow DDT! A cover is made and the exterior leg is hooked with Hardy able to get his shoulder up just in time! Both men get back up and go in to a flurry of pin attempts with small packages and backslides, Moore getting up on the apron in a bit of a daze with Hardy getting thrown in to him head first to the groin from behind by Mysterio! With Matt once again in prime position in between the ropes, Mysterio points around the arena, hits off the opposite side of the ring and returns with the 619! He then leaps off the top rope and nails the West Coast Pop — both legs of Hardy hooked for the pinfall! Rey Mysterio def. Matt Hardy via pinfall to become the NEW Cruiserweight Champion!
Mysterio crawls across the ring with his hands over his head in disbelief before slapping his hands in to the mat in celebration. The referee presents him with the Cruiserweight Championship and raises the arm of Mysterio as Hardy crawls to Moore on the outside, shaking his head in denial. While the celebration is on for Mysterio and he stands atop the turnbuckles, Hardy blames Moore for the loss and points in his face, blaming him for the loss before storming toward the back.
Standing by in the back is Jonathan Coachman as he introduces his guests at this time to be the new Intercontinental Champion Booker T, Goldustand Dusty Rhodes. The trio step up as Coachman mentions that everybody knows what is on the line going in to their match, where if they lose, Rhodes will lose his position on the WWE Board of Directors and if they win, The Bischoff Administration will be disbanded. He asks, however, what exactly a Bunkhouse Brawl is. "It's exactly what it sounds like, son. It's gonna be mean, it's gonna be bad and it's gonna be a brawl! There's gonna be no rules except for a pinfall! See, Eric Bischoff, we know you ain't no wrasslin' fan, so you're in for a treat because this ain't no wrasslin' match, no sir, this is a fight! This is me and my boys versus your boys and you can bet your sorry behind that we're gonna go out there and we're gonna disband your little administration because it's been a long time coming, daddy! Now... can you dig that, sucka?!" He gets a chuckle out of the fans in the arena, Goldust waving his hands and telling his father he's doing it all wrong and gives his own rendition of Booker's signature line. The Intercontinental Champion puts his face in his hands as the father and son go back and forth on the 'sucka' like before he finally shouts at them. "Stop! Enough, man! Enough!" Booker walks away, leaving the two questioning what they did wrong only for Booker to step back in the frame. "It's NOW CAN YOU DIG THAT... SUCKAAAAAAA?!" He lets out a big laugh and motions for them to come along, Rhodes and Goldust then following with the match up next.
After the entrance of The Bischoff Administration, their opponents step down to the aisle together before charging the ring full force! The bell sounds as both sides throw fists right off the bat, the brawl going on different parts of the ring and then spilling to the outside. In the midst of things, Rhodes tosses Storm over the barricade and gives a little dance only to turn right in to a chair shot to the face from Morley! "Night night, old man!" He says while tossing the chair aside, pulling Storm back over the barricade by the arm and returning to the ring with him to jump on Booker and Goldust from behind as they are attacking Regal in the corner. Putting both Booker and Goldust to the mat, stomps come down from The Bischoff Administration before they drag Goldust up in to the corner, Regal with a series of uppercuts and a double suplex following. After dropping Booker down in the corner again, Goldust is whipped off the ropes by Morley and comes back by falling to the mat and hitting his signature uppercut only for Regal to charge in and drop a knee on the head. Booker runs in and throws fists wildly at everyone but Morley ends up stopping the surge with a low blow kick! Storm and Regal then take Booker by the arms and get him to his knees, holding him in place as Morley steps forward and has some choice words. A series of slaps turn in to vicious punches with Regal then tossing Booker in to the ring post shoulder first. The Bischoff Administration stand together in the center of the squared circle, smiling to the booing crowd. The Charlotte fans' boos soon turn to cheers, however, as Rhodes re-emerges under the bottom rope with blood covering his face. Fists shaking, Rhodes motions for The Bischoff Administration to come to him. After laughing about it, Morley motions Storm and Regal and they go at Dusty but the legend rises up and begins to fight back! Teeing off on all three, he ends up going on a Bionic Elbow spree! "Get 'em, Dusty! Get 'em, 'Dream'! Get 'em!" J.R. shouts. Booker and Goldust return to the ring and catch Storm and Regal charging them, ducking in to the legs and launching them up and over the ropes, dropping them to the floor below. Morley is left by himself with the trio and puts his hands up, begging for them to show him some mercy. As they close in, he suddenly gets up and looks to throw a punch at Dusty but Goldust takes his arm and spins him around, a throat punch leading to yet another Bionic Elbow with Booker following up with a boot to the stomach and the Scissors Kick! Booker prepares to go for the cover but pauses, looking up to Goldust and giving him a nod, backing off and allowing him to make the cover, Goldust hooking the legs and getting the one, two, three. Booker T, Goldust and Dusty Rhodes def. Chief Morley, Lance Storm and William Regal via pinfall to disband The Bischoff Administration!
The fans cheer for the victory as Goldust gets to his feet with a smile on his face, being embraced by Rhodes and Booker as they have finally managed to rid themselves of their problems with The Bischoff Administration. The three of them raise their arms together, Morley left sitting against the barricade on the outside while Storm marches up the ramp. Regal, meanwhile, looks on from the aisle in disgust as Booker prepares to perform a spinaroonie, only to be stopped by Rhodes as he instead decides to go for one! The attempt doesn't go very well, but the winning team have a good laugh over it. They embrace once again before leaving the ring together happily.
Seen in the back preparing for his Hell in a Cell match later tonight is Brock Lesnar when he is approached by Mick Foley! The two stare at one another, Foley telling Lesnar it is nice to meet him. "Brock, I've heard what everyone has been saying... that Triple H is going to destroy you like he did me inside Hell in a Cell. But, Brock, I may be one tough son of a bitch but I was never! NEVER! The monster that you are! Never physically gifted like you are!" He tells Lesnar that he could do things to Triple H inside Hell in a Cell tonight that nobody else could even imagine, but to know that if he is fortunate enough to walk out of that match tonight, he'll never be the same. "Were you living under a rock last year, Mick?" Lesnar replies. "Because the same guy that threw you off the top and through that cell five years ago was the same guy I beat inside of Hell in a Cell... I appreciate your advice, Mick, but I don't think I'm gonna need it." Lesnar then walks away, leaving Foley shaking his head.
A video package airs, showing a few weeks back where The Undertaker was calling WWE Champion Kurt Angle down to the ring when John Cena would arrive, disrespecting Taker and further stirring things by knocking over his motorcycle. Cena would be chased throughout the night and end up attacking Taker with a wrench from behind. The following week, Cena would be called out only to stay in the parking lot and invite Taker, whom would make his way back there only to end up being jumped from behind by a gang of Cena's. Then, this past Thursday, Taker would be charged by the same group in the ring but would end up wiping them out before going after Cena, whom would back down and run away. The question coming in to Judgment Day will be if Cena gets the biggest win of his career to date, or if Taker finally extracts his revenge on the cocky young rapper.
The match begins as Cena puts his shirt in the corner, followed by his chain with the wrench pendant that he makes sure to show to Taker. He then removes his hat and throws it at Taker, quick to jump out of the ring after with a laugh as he paces around the outside for a bit. Taker orders him to get back in and Cena takes his time in doing so, 'The Dead Man' stepping right up and getting Cena in to the corner with punches, pounding away to the head and mid-section. After a whip off the ropes and a big boot, Taker follows Cena to the outside and works away at him against the barricade. Cena tries to throw fists back but ends up being whipped right in to the steel steps for his troubles. He tosses Cena back in to the ring and gets on to the apron, looking around the building and adjusting his elbow pad. As he steps between the ropes, however, Cena kicks the ropes up in to him! Taker collapses in to the ring clutching below the belt, Cena goes on the attack with a forearm to the back of the head and then a series of punches. Taker pushes him away and gets up in the corner, catching Cena with an elbow on the charge. He then hoists John over his shoulder and walks across the ring looking for snake eyes but Cena slides down behind him, gives a shove in to the turnbuckles and nails a back suplex for a two count. Cena then hooks hold of the neck and rolls Taker over to put his face down in the mat, wrenching at the neck and digging Taker's face down as well. After a bit of a struggle, Taker starts to work his way back to his feet and eventually does, elbows to Cena's gut eventually forcing a release. After a couple of hard tosses and slams, he clotheslines Cena over the top rope and causes him to land on the apron. Seeing an opportunity, Taker steps through the ropes and goes for his signature leg drop but Cena manages to roll out of the way! Taker drops to the floor limping a bit and Cena wastes no time in charging from behind and chopping out the back of the leg! Taker is in clear pain as Cena gets a few stomps in on the leg before bringing Taker back in to the ring, continuing to target that leg before applying a single legged Boston crab. He kneels down in the hold as Taker tries to dig himself toward the ropes, eventually getting closer. Cena begins to stand as Taker draws closer, allowing Taker to roll himself on to his back. Using his good leg, he pushes Cena back and gets right back up only to be put back down as his leg is kicked out from beneath him as soon as he stands.
"I'm gonna make you tap, bitch!" Cena warns before putting the leg on the ropes and leaping up and sitting down on it. He then goes to the outside and grabs Taker's leg again, pulling him toward the corner before throwing it hard in to the ring post! Cena comes back in with a smile as Taker is yelling in pain while rolling to the center, Cena coming up and putting a foot down on the ankle. Taker throws a few swipes up but Cena laughs in his face over it, then leaning in to grab the leg and put it in another hold only to have Taker pull him in to the triangle choke! "Dead Man's Hand!" Cole exclaims. "Undertaker has locked in Dead Man's Hand!" Taker pulls back on the hold and Cena flails his arms and legs around! Clearly feeling the effects, however, Taker ends up having to let go. Both men crawl to opposite sides of the ring afterward and get back up, Cena stepping forward right in to a boot with the good leg. Taker then musters up enough to hit off the ropes and return with a flying clothesline, hoisting Cena up afterward and hitting snake eyes. Despite the bad leg, Taker then grabs the arm and backs in to the corner, making his way up the turnbuckles in an attempt of Old School. The bad leg seems to give way, however, and it gives Cena the time to pull Taker off on to his shoulders and nail the F-U! Cena slowly crawls over to make the cover, throwing his arm over only for Taker to kick out just in the nick of time! Cena can't believe it as he slowly rolls over, shaking his head in disbelief. He pulls himself back up via the ropes, waiting for Taker to get back up before lifting him up for another F-U attempt. Taker slides off the shoulders this time, however, pulling Cena with him and on to his shoulder presumably for the Tombstone Piledriver. Cena elbows his way free though and bounces off the ropes, coming right back to a Chokeslam! Taker falls down and makes the cover but Cena throws his hand up in the air before the referee can make the count of three! Taker gets back to his knees with a chuckle, shaking his head at the fight Cena is giving him. He stands back up and waves his hands as if to say it's over, Cena crawling in to the corner near his gear and looking to have grabbed his chain with the wrench pendant! Taker then pulls him in for the Last Ride Powerbomb, bringing Cena up only to be hit right in the face with the pendant! Cena tosses it to the outside as he hits the mat so the referee doesn't notice! "John Cena will stop at nothing to win this match, Cole!" Tazz says. Cena gets to his feet and gives a 'word life' to the crowd, returning to Taker and standing over him, having some words in his face before returning toward the leg and looking prepared to apply another hold only for Taker to suddenly snap back up and pull Cena down in to Dead Man's Hand once again! Cena kicks and tries to pull the hands apart of Taker, not getting anywhere as Taker fights through the pain to keep the hold locked in! Cena can't find a way out nor a way to the ropes, so he is left with no choice but to tap out! The Undertaker def. John Cena via submission!
The fans cheer for Taker as he remains laid out on the mat, the referee checking on him as his leg is clearly still hurt. Eventually getting back to his feet and using the ropes for leverage, giving a nod in Cena's direction as he lays on the apron. 'The Dead Man' has his arm raised the winner and he holds his arms out in celebration to the crowd as despite the tough effort from Cena, he walks out victorious.
Transitioning to the back, WWE Champion Kurt Angle is seen sitting in his locker room looking down at his title belt when in walks Team Angle, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin as the prior is still blinded. "Where have you guys been?!" Questions Kurt, Haas throwing his hands out and saying he obviously can't see and he needed Benjamin's help! "Well be glad you're blind, Charlie. Be glad because you don't want to see what I'm going to do out there to Goldberg tonight! Hell, all of these people wish they were blind so they won't see me expose the myth of Bill Goldberg!" The three then share a laugh together.
Cutting back to J.R. and King at the Raw announce table, J.R. expresses excitement for that match still to come between Kurt Angle and Goldberg but coming up next for Monday Night Raw is a very personal battle between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. A promo video airs highlighting this feud that has been going most of the year, centered around Jericho having an obsession with taking out one of his former heroes, a match between them culminating at No Way Out where Jericho would get the victory with the assistance of The Rock. After WrestleMania with Jericho as Intercontinental Champion, he would mock Michaels and rub it in his face that he won at the grandest stage of them all but Michaels did not, claiming he was washed up and should have never returned. After a tag team match victory by Michaels and Kevin Nash over Jericho and Christian at Backlash, the two would separate from their partners with Jericho challenging Michaels to a match at Judgment Day claiming he could beat him twice in one night, prompting Michaels to make a challenge for a Two Out Of Three Falls Match. Jericho would assault Michaels afterward brutally, busting him open and wrapping a chair around his head and slamming Shawn in to the ring post. A Walls of Jericho would follow before Jericho would accept. This past Monday, Jericho would be cocky that Michaels would not be able to compete at Judgment Day following the assault, but in his Intercontinental Championship defense against Booker T, Michaels would ultimately cost him the match and the championship. The two would then brawl in the back with this battle of pure dislike for one another set to culminate in Two Out Of Three Falls.
After making an arrogant entrance, Jericho decides to rush Michaels after his pyros on the stage but ends up being back body dropped on the aisle! Michaels drags him back up and hits a few chops and punches against the barricade going down toward the ring, eventually bringing Jericho in to the ring as the match begins. A few more chops to the chest follow in the corner before a whip in to the opposing corner, Jericho pulling himself up and moonsaulting over Michaels but standing back up straight to even more chops. Michaels then mounts on to Jericho and unleashes with punches to the face, Y2J trying to push him off repeatedly. They go to the outside and Michaels follows, Jericho grabbing the steel chair from the timekeeper's area only to have it kicked right in his face! Michaels stands over Jericho and looks around the arena, pointing a finger in Jericho's face. "You want to end my career, huh, punk?!" He then picks the chair up and slaps it off the Spanish announce table, motioning for Jericho to get up. Once he does, Michaels unleashes an unholy chair shot to the face! Chris Jericho leads 1-0. Michaels tosses the chair aside and throws his hands up to the crowd. "Shawn Michaels just sacrificed a fall in this match to extract some revenge on Chris Jericho," Says J.R. "I don't know if I agree with the strategy but I'd be lying if I didn't say that son of a bitch deserved every bit of that malicious chair shot!" Michaels then drags Jericho up by his hair, blood streaming down his face. Tossing Jericho back in to the ring, Michaels follows and stamps his foot in the corner, tuning up the band as he looks to even the score. Jericho, in a daze, staggers back to his feet and turns, Michaels coming at him with Y2J sending a boot up on the Sweet Chin Music attempt and delivering a low blow — causing a disqualification of his own to even the odds! Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels are tied 1-1. Jericho, blood still dripping down his face but a smile forming as he holds his arms out. He taps his temple to gloat to the crowd, as he thinks he has outsmarted Michaels. He then returns his attention to Shawn getting up against the ropes holding himself below the belt, pulling back on the hair and throwing punch after punch in to the forehead. "You wanna make me bleed, Michaels?!" He asks. "I'm gonna make you bleed, too!" He then slaps Michaels around a bit and eats a couple of punches back, Shawn being thrown off the ropes but returning with a flying forearm. He kips back up and has his leg caught and is hit with an enzuigiri. Jericho follows up with some arrogant kicks to the head, then a body slam. A foot on the chest for a cocky pin flexing his muscles leads to a two count, leading to Jericho pacing and plotting his next move.
Jericho positions Michaels between the ropes, bouncing off across the ring and returning with a leaping knee to the back of the head. Kicking Shawn to the outside afterward, Y2J showboats some more to the crowd and follows. A double axe handle off the apron, Jericho grabs the legs after and turns back to the ring post. Preparing to toss Michaels in to it, Shawn kicks his legs around and twists his hips, trying to fight his way out. He then throws the feet in to Jericho's chest and sens him back first in to the post. Michaels staggers back up and then charges at Jericho only to be side-stepped and thrown face first in to the post! Michaels drops to the floor and rolls away, clutching at his forehead as Jericho falls back against the barricade with a grin. As HBK gets on all fours, he has blood dripping from his head again. Jericho storms up and throws a big kick to the stomach, then dragging Michaels to the steel steps and rubbing his face in to it before dragging him up and preparing to drop him face first in to the steps only for Shawn to fight his way free and back drop Y2J. Michaels then just barely manages to roll in and out of the ring to break up the referee's count, coming back up to Jericho but being tripped up face first in to the ring apron. Jericho throws him back in to the ring, moving to the corner and clobbering with fists, kicks and knees. After a throw down face first in to the mat, Jericho steps out to the apron and flexes to the booing Charlotte fans. He heads to the top and waits for Michaels to rise, going for a top rope headscissors but Michaels reverses it in to a slam to the mat and flips over for a bridge but Jericho is able to roll through it and apply the Walls of Jericho! Michaels reaches out in pain toward the ropes as Jericho pulls back hard on the hold, yelling for Michaels to tap out! 'The Heart Break Kid' tries to dig his way to the ropes but it is a struggle as he comes close to tapping out. Jericho yanks back even harder but Michaels manages to just barely get his hand on the bottom rope! The referee intervenes to tell Jericho to get off but he waits until the final warning to do so. He walks across the ring with a snicker and goes over to the corner, wagging his finger to the crowd before stamping his foot in to the mat. He skips towards Michaels as he gets up and goes for a Sweet Chin Music of his own but Michaels catches the foot, spinning Jericho around and nailing an atomic drop. A flying forearm and a scoop slam follows, Michaels throwing his arms as he makes his way out to the apron and to the top rope, diving off with an elbow drop! The crowd is loud as he returns to the corner, tuning up the band once again. "Chris Jericho may be the front man of his own band Fozzy," Lawler say with some concern. "But I don't think he wants to go on tour with Shawn Michaels!" Jericho rises and he catches the foot this time, spinning Michaels around and hitting a one handed bulldog. Jericho jumps back up and goes for the lionsault but Michaels puts his knees up! Both men stand back up with the blood streaming down each of their faces, Shawn with a mutter under his breath before he nails Sweet Chin Music dead on! He falls back first on to Jericho's chest off of it, the referee sliding down to count the three! Shawn Michaels def. Chris Jericho, 2 falls to 1!
The audience erupts for Michaels as he remains laying on top of Jericho. The referee checks on him as both men are a bloody mess, J.R. and King reviewing parts of the match via replay. Back live, Michaels is aided to his feet by the official but he pulls away to stand on his own, looking out to the fans as he leans across the ropes with a smile. As he brings himself to give his signature pose in the center of the ring, Jericho lays on the outside with his hands covering his bloodied face.
After an advertisement for WWE Shopzone, Christian and Jackie Gayda are seen having a flirtatious conversation in catering with each other when Christian suggests that they return to his hotel room. Before Jackie can give an answer, however, Torrie Wilson walks up to the two of them and says that she thought about what Christian had to say to her earlier. "And you're right," She says to his surprise. "Maybe you're not a chauvinistic pig. Maybe you're just totally pathetic! I mean, how pathetic do you have to be to get in Jackie's head just to get back at me for not sleeping with you?" Christian puts his hands up and tells Wilson she needs to back off, Jackie telling her to mind her business. She calls Wilson a tramp and a tease before grabbing a pie off the table. She goes to swing push it in to Torrie's face but she blocks the arm and sends it in to Christian's! Torrie laughs in his face and leaves the room, Christian wiping away at his eyes as Jackie apologizes repeatedly. "What the hell is wrong with you?!" He questions to Gayda, scoffing and storming away as he continues to wipe the pie off his face.
Before the official calls for the bell, Angle requests a microphone from ringside. "Hold on just a second," He says while the fans boo. "Goldberg, I'm going to give you one last chance to save face. I'm going to give you one last chance to walk away! See, you can step out of here and return to the back and nobody will think anything less of you... Because if you go through with this match, Bill, I promise you that I will out wrestle, out perform and out class you! I will expose you and I will embarrass you! So, what's it gonna be?" Goldberg looks around to the Charlotte Coliseum and the crowd buzzes, so he turns and charges right in to Angle - lifting him off the mat and slamming him in to the corner! The bell rings and after a series of shoulder thrusts to the gut, Goldberg backs up and charges to a boot to the face. Angle then runs up from behind and delivers a German suplex! He gets back up and twirls around with his hands out. "I told you! I told you!" Goldberg is back up in no time, however, and drills him with a kick to the face on the turn! Goldberg cranks his neck and drags Angle up and on to his shoulder, looking around the building before delivering a powerslam. Already looking for a finish, he backs in to the corner and sets up for the Spear. Charging for it, Angle is able to step out of the way and nail the Angle Slam! The far leg is hooked but Goldberg kicks out at two by pushing Angle off of him. Both men get back up and Kurt charges again only to eat a huge clothesline. Goldberg goes to the corner again and this time he rips right through Angle with the Spear! He then goes to the ropes and signals for the end, ready for the Jackhammer but Angle rolls under the bottom rope. Goldberg laughs about it and follows, asking Angle what the problem is. "Huh? What's the matter, Kurt?" He then heads to the opposite side of the ring and leans near the barricade, looking ready to set up for another Spear when he is suddenly grabbed by the throat from behind in the crowd by The Big Show! The seven footer steps over the barricade with Goldberg and sends him back first in to the Spanish announce table, causing the DQ. Goldberg def. Kurt Angle via disqualification; Kurt Angle retains the WWE Championship!
As the crowd boos, Goldberg is brought back up and he tries to fight back but he eats a knee to the gut and is then hurled in to the steel steps! "The Big Show was indefinitely suspended by Stephanie McMahon a few weeks ago," Cole points out. "What the hell is he doing here?! Why the hell is he attacking Goldberg and costing him the WWE Championship?!" As Show stands over Goldberg and keeps pushing him back down, Mr. McMahon ends up strutting down from the back. He comes around the ring to Show and questions what he is doing. "...put the son of a bitch through the table!" He then orders, Show bringing Goldberg up by the throat again as McMahon himself clears off the Spanish desk! Show then proceeds to throw Goldberg right through the table with a Chokeslam! While the audience continues to boo and jeer, Angle is seen stumbling up the aisle with his WWE Championship in hand. As he escapes to the back, Mr. McMahon raises the arm of Show over the body of Goldberg.
An advertisement for King of the Ring airs, the next pay-per-view set to take place on June 15th from Houston, Texas where one of sixteen superstars between Raw and Smackdown will earn their shot at the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam!
Seen walking together in the back is Evolution, the group hyping up Triple H just moments before his Hell in a Cell match when they are cut off by Kevin Nash. He asks HHH how he's doing before sharing a stare with Batista, Flair backing down 'The Animal', telling him and Orton to give Nash and HHH a minute. As they walk away, the World Heavyweight Champion looks to Nash and asks if he gave any thought to what he said on Monday. "Yeah, I did." Nash replies. "Good luck tonight, Hunter." He pats him on the arm and walks away, HHH looking over his shoulder as Nash heads down the hall.
The cameras then pan inside of the arena to show the lights dimmed and the Hell in a Cell structure beginning to descend, J.R. saying that it is time for our main event inside one of the most barbaric matches this business has to offer! A video package proceeds to air, going back to Brock Lesnar winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, overcoming Evolution in the process. At Backlash, however, it would be a different story when Triple H would use a sledgehammer after Evolution's interference to get the win and regain the title. The following night in a celebration of HHH re-gaining the gold, he would offer facing Lesnar in whatever type of match he wanted in their rematch, but also noting this would be their final battle ever. Lesnar would decide on Hell in a Cell, setting the stage for an epic conclusion to their rivalry. The promo shows the history of the Hell in a Cell match, including the last two featuring Lesnar and HHH while also showcasing their recent problems, with Kevin Nash being an interesting man in the middle including this past Monday when HHH would try and crush Lesnar's head with a hammer only to be stopped by Nash, having to hold HHH back despite Lesnar motioning under his crimson mask for more from 'The Game'.
The door is locked as the two men stand in the middle of the ring, the bell ringing as they lock up with one another before powering off. Lesnar powers HHH off a second time on another lock up, prompting 'The Game' to try and respond with strikes, the two getting in to an all out fist fight! As Lesnar starts to get the upper hand, HHH rakes the eyes to get out of it. The fists keep on coming with HHH then throwing Lesnar off the turnbuckle, taking the legs as he falls to the mat and attempting to send Lesnar over the top rope but Brock fights back to push HHH through the ropes and to the floor. Lesnar follows to the outside and the two exchange attempts to get the first throw in to the cage with HHH kicking the lower leg and grinding Lesnar's face off the cell wall. He then pulls Brock back briefly before slamming him full force in to the wall and then in to the steps, which barely budge do their placement near the cell. HHH tosses Lesnar back in to the ring and comes at him with a couple of knee drops before covering for a short two count. HHH proceeds to apply a sleeper hold with Lesnar working to fight his way out, eventually rising back up and lifting HHH up on his back. He steps toward the corner and HHH pulls himself off to sit on the top rope. The champion seems prepared to leap off but Lesnar turns and press slams HHH to the middle of the ring. After a few hard knock downs, Lesnar ends up going for a powerslam but HHH slides down and nails a neckbreaker to regain control. Mounting with punches, HHH once again brings things to the outside and vaults Lesnar in to the wall, then a second time. On a third attempt, Lesnar reverses and whips HHH full force back first in to the cage. A big belly-to-belly on the floor follows, Lesnar forcing HHH up by his hair and hoisting him over his shoulders, looking for an F-5 in to the wall only for HHH to grab the cell and pull himself off — beginning to climb up it! Lesnar jumps up behind and tries to bring HHH down but eats a kick to the face. 'The Game' drops back down and pushes Lesnar from behind in to the cell. HHH begins to pummel Lesnar with punches against the wall afterward, grinding his face in to the cage. He tosses Brock back under the ropes and 'The Next Big Thing' is busted open, HHH coming behind him and digging fists in to the open wound. HHH then goes off the ropes and returns for a knee but Lesnar side-steps and connects with a German suplex. He stands back up and charges at HHH against the ropes and clotheslines him over, following to the outside and whipping the champion in to the cell door as hard as he can. He then runs at Hunter once standing back up but is caught and lifted off the ground, slammed back first in to the ring post before being tuned around and slammed in to and through the door with a spinebuster! Both men are laid out outside of the cell as the crowd rises up a bit with the two laid out side by side.
HHH crawls away slowly while keeping a hand on the cage. "Good God almighty," J.R. says. "That was a hell of a lot of force to break through that locked cell door!" Lesnar staggers back up and follows after HHH, catching him by the hair and vaulting him in to the wall. HHH continues to try and get away and Lesnar continues to follow, continuing to slam him in to the cell as they make their way around and against the Smackdown announce table where a now bloodied HHH flips the cover off of it in to the face of his rival. As Lesnar stumbles from it, HHH then grabs the monitor and cracks it in to Lesnar's head! Brock falls across the announce table and Hunter falls back in to the barricade, breathing heavily and wiping at the blood on his face. Kevin Nash is then seen making a slow walk down from the back, moving toward the cell and around it. "What is Kevin Nash doing, J.R.?" Asks Lawler. Walking up to HHH, he asks if he is alright as he checks on him struggling to stay standing. In the mist of this, Lesnar gets back up off of the table and comes over, pushing Nash out of the way and drilling HHH with shots to the head. Nash then takes Lesnar by the arm and spins him around. "The hell is your problem, kid?!" He questions, Lesnar looking up at him before ducking in, lifting the seven-foot Nash on to his shoulders and putting him right through the table with the F-5! The crowd pops as Lesnar gets up with a fire in his eyes, turning around to see HHH beginning to scale his way up the cell wall! Lesnar isn't having it, however, as he decides to follow! HHH makes it to the top with Lesnar not far behind, the champion crawling to try and get away but being caught by his hair. Brock drags him to his feet and has some words in his ear before hooking the neck and delivering a suplex from one panel to another! The cell gives in slightly as the crowd gasps, Lesnar then deciding to try and really do some damage as he sets Hunter up for a powerbomb! HHH drops to a knee, however, and lifts Lesnar up and over him with a back body drop that also causes the steel to give in a bit! Seeing the opportunity to get out of this situation, HHH crawls to the edge and starts to make his way back down the wall. He drops himself on the floor once near the bottom and begins to head back through the door, Lesnar not far behind as he begins to climb down. Brock uses the cell to stay on his feet, staggering back inside of the structure and walking up to HHH only to have 'The Game' spin around and crack him right in the face with the sledgehammer! He stands over Lesnar's body and poses to the booing crowd, dragging Brock back up and tossing him under the bottom rope. Following, HHH looks to bring an end to things as he pulls Lesnar to a knee, hooks the arms and plants him with a Pedigree! Slowly rolling Lesnar over, he makes the cover and hooks the leg but Brock kicks out just before the referee's hand hits the mat for the third time! "No! It's not over! It's not over yet!" J.R. yells out. HHH can't believe it as he looks to the referee, shaking his head and repeatedly saying 'no' in disbelief. He returns to the outside and retrieves the sledgehammer once again, looking it up and down before getting back on the apron and in to the ring. He watches as Lesnar is on all fours slowly making his way toward the ropes, the champion sizing him up. HHH then raises the hammer high over his head and charges to Lesnar as he gets up but just as he goes to swing it down, Brock scoops him up off of the mat, the hammer being dropped as Lesnar takes a step to the middle of the ring and delivers the F-5! Brock then hooks both legs for the one, two, three! Brock Lesnar def. Triple H via pinfall to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion!
Lesnar stirs to his knees, the referee raising the arm of the now two-time World Champion. Meanwhile on the outside, Nash stirs up with his hands against the cell and a scowl across his face. Lesnar rolls out of the ring and staggers out the door, the official coming back around to present him with the World Heavyweight Championship belt and raise his arm once again. Lesnar moves his way up the aisle as Nash enters the cell and in to the ring, kneeling at HHH's side as he remains sprawled out. Atop the stage, Lesnar brings the title above his head triumphantly to conclude the pay-per-view.
Seen talking in the locker room to start the show are Ric Flair, Batistaand Randy Ortonof Evolution when the door opens off to the side and Triple Hwalks in. The other three go silent as 'The Game' looks to his group, saying that last night didn't go according to plan. "But today... is a new day... and Brock Lesnar can't remain World Heavyweight Champion forever... and I will one day regain what belongs to me." He says that they need to look forward, however, and he needs to focus on the rest of the group tonight. He mentions that Orton has his King of the Ring first round match with Test later and to build off his momentum. He then looks to Flair and says that this is their second night in his home of the Carolinas and that he wants to give him a shot at redemption and that's why he talked to Eric Bischoff and got him another shot at the World Tag Team Championship tonight. "Woo! Hunter, man, that's awesome! You hear that, Dave?!" He pats Batista on the chest but HHH puts his hands up, saying that he wasn't finished because Batista isn't going to be his partner tonight. The rest of the group is confused as the door opens once again, this time Kevin Nash walking in. He stands at Hunter's side with his arms crossed, leaving the rest of the group unsure how to react. The opening Raw video airs, the cameras then entering the Bi-Lo Center as Eric Bischoff makes his way out immediately after. He heads down to the ring with a microphone in hand, confirming to the crowd in attendance that what they just heard in the back is true, there will be a World Tag Team Championship match tonight when Rob Van Dam and Kane defend against Kevin Nash and Ric Flair! The audience cheers for the confirmation as Bischoff continues on, saying that isn't all. "See, last night at Judgment Day, The Bischoff Administration was brought to an end..." He shakes his head and says that Chief Morley, Lance Storm and William Regal let him down and now Dusty Rhodes is still a member of the WWE Board of Directors. He says that despite that 'atrocity', he is moving forward. "I am not going to form a new Administration but I do have a right to appoint myself an assistant so without further ado ladies and gentlemen, Scott Steiner!" The signature 'Holla, if ya hear me!' line is heard and after going unseen for over a month now, 'Big Poppa Pump' makes his way out and in to the ring, a clipboard in hand as he shakes hand with Bischoff.
"Alright, everybody shut up!" He starts with to the crowd, prompting boos to start coming his way as he explains he needs absolute silence so he can do his job. He removes his sunglasses and replaces them with a pair of specs, lifting the clipboard and proceeding to read from it. "First things first, we got the main event for the World Tag Team Titles as Mr. Bischoff said. Also, we're gonna have the new World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar in the house tonight!" He adds on that we will also see the debut of a new talk show here called The Highlight Reel hosted by Chris Jericho. Plus, there is a Women's Championship match set to take place between Trish Stratus and Molly Holly, a new tag team is set to debut here tonight and the King of the Ring tournament is getting under way. "In one of the two first round matches tonight, it'll be that young, cocky punk Randy Orton taking on brawn but no brains Test... and in the other, the new Intercontinental Champion that shouldn't be Booker T going one-on-one right here, right now with the big, bad booty daddy himself! Yours truly, Scott Steiner!" The music of Booker T then hits, Intercontinental Championship around his waist as he makes his way out, beginning to march his way toward the ring as that match is coming up next!
1) Non-Title King of the Ring First Round Match: Intercontinental Champion Booker T def. Scott Steiner via pinfall Bullying Booker around after coming back from break, Steiner is cocky as he covers and breaks off to do push ups. He continues with his strength as he puts on multiple strong holds. Booker eventually gets some motivation from the crowd to come back and, after a few high kicks, he goes for the Book End but Steiner elbows free, nailing a belly-to-belly suplex before applying the Steiner Recliner. Booker appears to be in trouble again but ends up powering himself to his feet and backing Steiner in to the turnbuckles, staggering back to the center of the ring after. Booker then ducks a clothesline and kicks Steiner in the stomach before putting him down with the Scissors Kick for the three count!
The Greenville fans cheer for Booker as he rises back to his feet, arm raised as the victor as his last seven days have gone incredibly well. From winning the Intercontinental Championship, to winning his tag team match at Judgment Day to tonight as he advances in the King of the Ring tournament.
Seen looking at the monitor in the back are Test and Stacy Keibler, the former shaking his head and saying that's what that loudmouth gets. "Don't worry, Stace, I'm going to beat Randy Orton later tonight like I should have when he was messing with you. Then I'm going to go on to become King of the Ring and then I'm going to win the World Heavyweight Championship."
Transitioning elsewhere, Trish Stratus is seen walking down the halls when she is approached by Jonathan Coachman and asked about her upcoming title defense against Molly Holly. "Molly and I have had our fair share of battles, Coach," Trish replies. "And I'm sure she's going to give me a tough fight tonight but I'll be prepared and I'm ready to walk out still the Women's Champion."
Seen in the locker room area after the break is Chief Morley with William Regal, the two having a conversation with each other when Lance Stormwalks in wearing nice clothes and a blazer, questioning what they're doing. "Eric Bischoff was kind enough that despite us letting him down last night to allow us the night off to go and have one last dinner together and the two of you aren't even dressed yet?!" Regal apologizes and says they were just talking about how they felt replaced already with Scott Steiner. Morley scoffs and says that Steiner already failed by losing to Booker T and Bischoff won't stand for it! He tells Storm they'll be ready soon, grabbing his bag. Storm says he'll meet them at the car and leaves the room. The camera follows to show him leaving when he is approached by The Hurricane, but not wearing his superhero outfit, as he introduces himself to Storm as Gregory Helms, 'ace reporter'. Storm tries to call him Hurricane but Helms says that's he understands why Storm would think that due to their striking good looks but, alas, he is no Hurricane. "Like I said, Gregory Helms, ace reporter, I just wanted to get the scoop on what really went on behind the scenes for The Bischoff Administration? What is Eric Bischoff really like when the cameras are nowhere to be seen?" Storm shakes his head and tells Helms he has a dinner to get to, maybe ask Morley and Regal. He then continues on his way, Helms opening the locker room and immediately getting yelled at! He runs off as Regal comes out with a towel covering himself. "Didn't anyone ever tell you to knock, you bloody hooligan?!" He then slams the door behind him.
2) Women's Championship: Trish Stratus(c) def. Molly Holly via pinfall A back and forth competitive contest for the two women, Molly very aggressive and Trish responding in kind. After a Chick Kick is ducked, Molly gets a roll up for a close two count and the women begin to trade pin attempts. After a handspring elbow in the corner gives Molly another near fall, she makes her way to the top rope, Stratus getting back up and being landed on with the Molly-Go-Round only for Stratus to roll through and hold the legs down over the shoulders for the one, two, three!
Stratus crawls forward with a look of surprise and then a smile as the referee brings her the Women's Championship belt. As Molly is in disbelief on the outside, Stratus raises the title in the ring when she is suddenly dropped from behind by Jazz and Jacqueline! With Theodore Longcoming around on the outside giving orders, a two-on-one beat down of Stratus ensues. "I guess Teddy Long has got himself another sister on his side, J.R.!" Lawler says. As they take turns teeing off on Trish, Molly decides to enter the ring and stand up to the two, helping Stratus in knocking them back and eventually sending them packing to the outside. Long stands in between Jazz and Jacqueline, pointing in the ring and telling Molly she'll regret getting involved in this business!
Seen walking in the back is Chris Jericho as he will be debuting his new talk show 'The Highlight Reel' after the break! However, the question is: Who will be the very first guest?
Seen in the back preparing for his match later on in the night is Kevin Nash when he is approached by Ric Flair. "Listen up, big man, clearly we ain't no tag team but Hunter got us together..." Nash stands up and stops Flair right there, saying he doesn't have all the answers, but HHH set this up for a reason and he trusts him. "So, I'm asking you trust me so we can go out there and become World Tag Team Champions, alright, Ric?" Flair says that this is his home state and after coming up short last night, he wants to make good on it! He tells Nash to follow his lead and everything will be just fine. He lets out a big 'Woo!' and leaves the room, Nash sitting back down slowly. Back inside of the arena, the ring is set up with a carpet and two black chairs. Chris Jericho's music hits and Y2J makes his way out. Strutting down and in to the ring, Jericho has a microphone in his hand as he explains that the dynamic of Raw has changed. "Because 'The Highlight Of The Night' presents The Highlight Reel, baby!" He says that it is only fitting that the most charismatic superstar on Raw gets his own talk show. He mentions how the last week, Shawn Michaels has turned his world upside down but at the end of the day, they know who the real winner is. "See, after tonight, nobody is going to talk about Shawn Michaels, no, they're going to talk about Chris Jericho and the premiere of The Highlight ReeI So, I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, a guest like no other... member of the WWE Board of Directors and living legend — Dusty Rhodes!"
The crowd cheers for the arrival of 'The American Dream', Rhodes with a smile on his face as he gets in the ring and struts in front of Jericho, whom offers him a seat. "Wasting all your energy before you even get a word in with me, aren't you?" Rhodes tells him that he is just fine and takes the seat with a grin, Jericho saying it is a tremendous honor to have a legend like Rhodes be the first guest on The Highlight Reel and it is also an honor to just have him be a part of the WWE once again. Jericho then says that while it is good to have him back, he wants to go back to Rhodes getting involved on Raw and with Eric Bischoff, gesturing up to the titantron as he shows the replay of Rhodes returning a few weeks back to stop the firing of his son, Goldust, as while as Booker T. He then goes to footage from last night, Rhodes getting busted open in his match but coming back and putting up a fight against The Bischoff Administration en route to victory. "All of this, Dusty! All of this is amazing! Awe inspiring! Inspiring... for all the wrong reasons, Dusty." Jericho leans in to Rhodes, saying that it is giving hope to any washed up, fat, old hack can just waltz right in and steal the spotlight from guys like him. Jericho calls himself a 'sexy beast' with all the talent in the world. "I don't have time for hasbeens like you or nobodies like your freak son!" Rhodes stands up from his chair and places one of his hands on his hips as he glares at Jericho. "Why don't you shut your damn mouth for just one minute, boy?" He says to cheers from the crowd. "You think you're all that and a bag of chips, you think the world revolves around you and you think it's going to take you to the top once more but let me tell you something, son, you're a superstar on the decline! The decline! You had the Intercontinental Championship and what did you do? You lost it! Sure, maybe Shawn Michaels had something to do with that but that was your own doing. And then when you had the opportunity to redeem yourself what did you do? Huh? You blew it! So what do you do? You don't accept defeat and try to recognize what went wrong, you try to cover it up with a flashy talk show but little did you know that you were going to get a life lesson from 'The American Dream', now did you? You need to learn to close your mouth for a minute, take a step back and realize you're ruining your own career! Nobody else!" Jericho looks down at the mat and taps his microphone in his hand, eventually looking back up to Rhodes and saying he's right, he didn't expect that. "Maybe you're on to something, Dusty... or, maybe..." He then drills Rhodes right in the head with the microphone! "Oh, good God!" Says J.R. Jericho stands over Rhodes' fallen body — pointing down at him and telling him that he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut! After two more shots to the head, he finally exits the ring, making his way up the ramp to boos as a couple of officials rush to the ring to check on the fallen Rhodes.
After the break, J.R. and Lawler talk about what we just saw moments ago with Ross calling it a 'despicable attack' by Jericho. Cutting to backstage, Rob Van Dam and Kane are seen talking when they are approached by Terri. The World Tag Team Champions are asked by her about their title defense tonight against Kevin Nash and Ric Flair. "Look, Terri, if anyone knows about odd tag team pairings, it's us!" Van Dam says with a smile, Kane adding that they are different, however. He says that they know how to be there for the other and how to act as a team. "So tonight, Nash and Flair, as good as they may be, don't stand a chance against us!" The two then head off together.
3) King of the Ring First Round Match: Randy Orton def. Test (w/Stacy Keibler) via pinfall While Orton dodges getting things going in the match, he decides to flirt with Keibler and it sets Test off. The big man overpowers while perhaps looking for revenge on Orton for their rivalry in the past, he manages to almost defeat the young Evolution superstar after a diving elbow. Test then attempts a Pump Handle Slam but Orton slides off and nails his RKO and it gives him the first round victory!
Orton gets to his feet with a smile, having his arm raised as the winner while pointing to Keibler and telling her she had her chance! He throws his hands up in a pose before leaving the ring, Stacy getting in to check on her frustrated boyfriend as his recent struggles continue.
Standing by backstage is Jonathan Coachman with Christian, asking him about his thoughts on the first round King of the Ring matches that we've seen tonight ahead of his next week. "I don't care about Randy Orton or Booker T advancing, Coach," He says with a scoff. "And neither do my peeps!" Coach asks what he means by 'peeps', to which Christian clarifies 'the people', saying that with The Rock going back to Hollywood, he has taken it upon himself to become 'The New People's Champ'. While Coach is skeptical, Christian says he will prove worthy. "Because soon enough, Coach, I'll be 'The Peep's King'..." He smiles, nods, tells Coach that sounds perfect and walks away.
Coming up next, World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar speaks after regaining his title!
Seen still preparing for his match still to come later on is Kevin Nash when in to his locker room this time comes Batista. Nash stands up and the two stare at each other, Batista saying that he just wanted to come by and wish Nash luck tonight. "I hope you and Naitch take home the World Tag Team Championship... but I hope you don't think just because you and Hunter are friends that you're taking anyone's spot in Evolution..." Nash tells Batista not to worry about it, if he's cool, they're cool. Batista nods, simply saying "we're cool" before leaving the room slowly.
Back inside of the arena, the theme music of Brock Lesnar hits, the World Heavyweight Champion arriving with a bandaged forehead but the title around his waist. "Brock Lesnar went through hell," J.R. says. "Quite literally, last night, as he defeated Triple H inside of Hell in a Cell to regain the World Heavyweight Championship that I personally don't think he ever should have lost!" Lesnar steps in to the ring with a microphone in hand and looks out to the Greenville fans. "Well, here I am." He says with a smile. "Two times the World Heavyweight Champion! It wasn't easy, but I didn't expect it to be. People thought I was outmatched and outclassed. Just because Triple H has been around longer doesn't mean he can handle me! The way I see it, I'm no longer 'The Next Big Thing'... I am 'The Big Thing', folks." He lets out a chuckle, unclips his belt and raises it over his head proudly.
As Lesnar is holding the gold up, Shawn Michaels' music hits. 'The Heart Break Kid' performs his entrance before coming down and in to the ring, standing across from Lesnar with a smile. "So, this is Brock Lesnar, huh?" He says, looking up and down at the World Heavyweight Champion, pointing out that last summer while he was making his return, Lesnar was making a name for himself, destroying everyone in his path and becoming the youngest WWE Champion in history. "Impressive... and you haven't backed down from a single challenge, have you? Well, that'd be why I'm here right now. I'm here to make you a humble man, Brock, and I'm here to challenge you to a match for the World Heavyweight Championship." Lesnar nods in response as he takes a step forward. "Bring it, old man." He says before suddenly being dropped with Sweet Chin Music! Lesnar falls down and Michaels gives a little dance before stepping through the ropes, grinning from ear to ear as he makes his way up the ramp with his arms held out. As he turns back to the ring, however, Lesnar is back on his feet leaning across the ropes, breathing heavily and angrily. Michaels shrugs his shoulders atop the stage before walking back through the curtains, having clearly poked the bear!
Back from the commercial break, Eric Bischoff is in his office talking with Scott Steiner, saying that he is glad to have him aboard but he can't overlook the loss to Booker T earlier! "Hey, you want me to be your assistant, that's fine! But don't be getting started with me! You hear me?! You'll regret this!" He clears his throat and points his finger at Bischoff. "You won't regret this!" He puts his hand out and Bischoff accepts it, Steiner squeezing hard and causing Bischoff to shake his hand in pain once Steiner leaves. The door swing back open moments later, however, as Brock Lesnar barges in. "Give me Michaels!" He shouts, Bischoff confused as Lesnar continues. "Give Shawn Michaels a World Heavyweight Championship match, Eric! Do it!" Bischoff tries to calm Lesnar down and explain to him he can't just do that but Lesnar steps close to him and asks if they have a problem, because this is how he has problems start. He then re-iterates to give him Michaels. "Alright," Bischoff replies. "You want Shawn Michaels? You've got him... at King of the Ring." Lesnar nods and pats Bischoff on the arm aggressively, telling him it's a pleasure doing business with him before walking out.
4) The Basham Brothers def. 3 Minute Warning (w/Rico) via pinfall Rico sends Jamal and Rosey right in to the ring after the new tag team promised to debut tonight in brothers Doug and Danny Basham, a bit of a free for all at first becoming controlling for 3MW. After a toss in to a Samoan Drop leads to a two count, a missed splash in the corner by Rosey allows The Basham Brothers to get back in to it, grounding Rosey a bit. Eventually, Jamal gets the hot tag and he comes back in on fire. Doug and Danny distract the referee from the ropes, however, Jamal trying to urge them back in to things only to suddenly be hit from behind with a low blow from Rico! "What in the world?!" Lawler questions. Doug and Danny then hit the ring together and proceed to drop Jamal with a legsweep/clothesline combinatiton, leading to the cover and pinfall.
Rico slides right in to the ring applauding, raising the arms of The Basham Brothers as everyone is confused as to what is going on. He leaves the ring with them, the trio raising their arms up again atop the stage as Jamal and Rosey are left watching from the ring wondering what just happened!
At the announce table, Ross and Lawler talk about what just happened briefly before moving on to talk about the King of the Ring tournament, mentioning that Booker T and Randy Orton advanced earlier. Next week, Chris Jericho will face Kane and Christian will battle Rob Van Dam! The tournament continues before that, however, as this Thursday on Smackdown it will be Rikishi battling Chris Benoit and new Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio going toe-to-toe with A-Train!
In the back, Ric Flair and Kevin Nashare seen walking side-by-side and seeming to go over a game plan when they are approached by Triple H. "You know what you gotta do." He says with a smile. "Bring the World Tag Team Championship home... to Evolution." The three seem to be in agreement, Flair letting out a 'Woo!' before they head their separate ways as the main event is coming up next! Seen walking backstage after the time away is Chris Jericho when he is suddenly struck from behind by Goldust! The two start to throw blows back and forth at each other, multiple officials rushing on to the scene to try and break things up, Jericho hurling insults about Goldust's father as they are separated, prompting Goldust to break through and get a few more shots in on Y2J! "You golden son of a bitch!" Jericho shouts as they are finally pulled far enough apart to end the brawl.
5) World Tag Team Championship: Kevin Nash and Ric Flair def. Rob Van Dam and Kane(c) via pinfall Flair gets his hometown crowd going a bit behind him after faking a handshake and running his hands through his hair. He even has a hot start against RVD, chops flying but he ends up getting knocked down with a big kick. The champions begin to make frequent tags and keep Nash from being brought in to the match. After a thumb to the eye of Van Dam and a chop block to the back of the knee, Flair crawls to his corner and makes the tag to Nash just as RVD tags in Kane. The two big men slug it out after a stare down with Nash eventually hitting a big sidewalk slam. Flair then insists on being tagged back in and he comes in for a Figured Four attempt but Kane powers him right off. Getting worn down by 'The Big Red Machine', Kane ends up hitting a back body drop followed by a big uppercut. A whip to the ropes has Nash making the blind tag, Flair kicking a leaning Kane in the chest before strutting and letting out a 'Woo!' to the crowd only to turn right in to a big boot. Nash comes in then with a clothesline to Kane, an elbow drop and another big slam. RVD then flies off the top rope and catches Nash with a side kick! Flair charges in and gets tossed through the ropes by 'The Whole F'n Show', Van Dam then heading to the corner and making his way to the top rope as he measures up Nash. Flair gets back on the apron and shoves him down face first in to the barricade, however, Kane stepping up to a punch to the face that knocks him silly! "Flair has the brass knucks!" J.R. points out as Flair disposes of them in his tights. Nash then catches the groggy Kane and uses all of his power to deliver the Jackknife Powerbomb! He falls back in to the ropes and Flair tags himself in, running in to make the cover and hook the leg of Kane for the one, two, three!
The Greenville crowd cheers as Flair gets up with a smile, Nash looking on from against the ropes, a bit surprised. "We have new World Tag Team Champions, J.R.!" Lawler shouts. "And it's... Ric Flair and Kevin Nash?!" The referee retrieves the belts and presents them to the two men, Flair very excited as he struts all around the ring letting out 'Woo!'s to the crowd. Nash, meanwhile, watches on from the side while looking down at the belt. 'The Nature Boy' is in full celebratory mode as one half of the new World Tag Team Champions as the broadcast comes to an end!
I do think this diary is a very fun read. My only issue is that the formatting doesn't allow you to read it on mobile, and that is where I do most of my reading. I like Steiner as Bischoff's assistant. I think that can be real funny given how loud and abrasive Scott can be. I liked the gag of Regal in the towel. A very 2003-Regal gag, I liked it! I think Orton is a good choice to win the whole KOTR. KOTR almost seems like it was made for a guy like Orton. Shawn & Brock is an interesting matchup! Very different styles and sizes. I like that we got right to the match being made! Rico & Bashams is unique. Very intrigued to see where that goes. See if Rico sorta acts like a Shaniqua to the group, giving the team gay undertones or something of that nature. Nash & Flair winning the belts is exciting! A great way to end the show, makes you excited for next week to see what exactly is gonna happen with Nash and Evolution.
I do think this diary is a very fun read. My only issue is that the formatting doesn't allow you to read it on mobile, and that is where I do most of my reading. I like Steiner as Bischoff's assistant. I think that can be real funny given how loud and abrasive Scott can be. I liked the gag of Regal in the towel. A very 2003-Regal gag, I liked it! I think Orton is a good choice to win the whole KOTR. KOTR almost seems like it was made for a guy like Orton. Shawn & Brock is an interesting matchup! Very different styles and sizes. I like that we got right to the match being made! Rico & Bashams is unique. Very intrigued to see where that goes. See if Rico sorta acts like a Shaniqua to the group, giving the team gay undertones or something of that nature. Nash & Flair winning the belts is exciting! A great way to end the show, makes you excited for next week to see what exactly is gonna happen with Nash and Evolution.
If you flip your phone sideways, you should be able to read the diary.