Guest Booker: Hustle & GLOW (Round Three - June 18th to July 15th)
Feb 12, 2013 - 8:46:10 PM
Writer's Note: So.. yeah.. it took much longer to post the next installment than I thought it would. There were some issues working against GLOW and I this time around, but those issues have been taken care of, and hopefully, we'll be back to a more regular schedule with future editions of the series.
In case you missed the first two installments, or would like to go back and read them again, here they are..
Guest Booker - Round One
Guest Booker - Round Two
Now, on with the show..
Monday Night Raw - June 18th, 2012
Opening segment: John Laurinaitis comes out, looking very proud of himself. He's flanked by a team of security on all sides as he walks to the ring. Laurinaitis mentions the WWE Draft, and how he feels his roster is clearly the best. He mentions that this week's WWE programming will see the rosters combined, as a bit of a "farewell tour" for those drafted to different brands, but starting next week, superstars will appear solely for their brand. He then says he has a special guest for the night, and that brings JBL out. No limo entrance for JBL. Just a regular walk down the ramp, saluting the fans. JBL gets in the ring and playfully punches Laurinaitis on the arm a lot harder than Laurinaitis would have liked, but Laurinaitis grins through gritted teeth, anyway. JBL thanks Laurinaitis for having him, and says that together, they have been talking things over with the WWE Board Of Directors, and because of those talks, they have a few special announcements to make.
- The first announcement is that on July 15th, King Of The Ring returns to pay-per-view, live from Phoenix, Arizona. He doesn't mention that it replaces Money In The Bank, but it does.
- The second announcement is that KOTR will be done a bit differently this year. Both General Managers would choose a "team" of superstars from their respective brands to compete in the tournament. He repeats that it will be the GMs choosing "teams", and not the usual method of having qualifying matches to enter the brackets. For the next few weeks, there will be matches taking place on both Raw and Smackdown, with superstars competing in an attempt to "impress" their brand's General Manager. A win doesn't necessarily mean you'll be moving on, just as a loss doesn't necessarily mean you're eliminated from contention. It's all about impressing people, and who the GMs feel can give their show the best chance of producing the KOTR winner.
- Before making the third and final announcement, Laurinaitis mentions some of the names that have won King Of The Ring through the years. He talks about how KOTR has always been a tournament that helped to skyrocket people to superstardom, whether it was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Triple H, Edge, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle or Owen Hart. Because of this, he and JBL both agree that this year's KOTR should be used to help take someone else to the next level, so the final announcement is that the only people who are eligible to compete in KOTR are those who have never been WWE or World Champion before. At the pay-per-view, we will see the two semi-final matches, as well as the KOTR final.
Before he can go any further, John Cena's music hits, and Cena angrily marches to the ring. As soon as he walks down the ramp, Laurinaitis' security team stands in front of him. JBL looks at the situation, tells Laurinaitis that this isn't his problem, and he leaves. Laurinaitis gets on the mic and tries to calm Cena down, but Cena appears ready for a fight. Without saying a word, Cena charges at Laurinaitis, running into a line of security guards, who are trying their best to hold him back as Laurinaitis comically yells in the corner. Just when it appears Cena is going to break through the chain of security, Laurinaitis says that he knows what Cena wants, and he's giving him a rematch with Albert. Just like that, Cena's entire demeanor changes, and he smiles. He looks at Laurinaitis, says "nice doing business with you" and leaves as Laurinaitis looks on, horrified.
Match #1: Zack Ryder VS Heath Slater, Raw King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Ryder)
A strong showing for Ryder, who needed to pick up the win after being on the losing end of things recently.
Match #2: Ryback VS Alex Riley, Raw King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Ryback)
In-ring promo: Daniel Bryan comes out, looking angry. He gets in the ring and wastes no time, calling AJ Lee out and demanding that she come to the ring right now. AJ gets a nice pop as she walks out, looking half-scared and half-smitten. When AJ gets in the ring, DB begins to yell at her, placing the blame for his loss at No Way Out squarely on her shoulders. He says that he and CM Punk were having the Match Of The Year, of a quality that only they could deliver, and he had the match won, locking Punk in the LeBell Lock. He says that it was only a matter of seconds before Punk tapped out.. only a matter of seconds before Punk dropped the WWE Title to him.. but AJ decided to stick her nose in his business again, even after he told her to stay home. He tells her to apologize to him. Near tears, she apologizes, saying that she just got excited at the thought of the love of her life being the new WWE Champion. She apologizes again and again, all while Bryan stands there, looking upset. Before he can respond, CM Punk's music hits, and he joins the festivities. Punk says that Bryan was certainly right about one thing.. their match at No Way Out was the Match Of The Year. He says that everyone knows their history now and what they're capable of. He said he went to sleep happy that he was still the WWE Champion, but something happened during the night. He woke up and he wasn't so happy. He knows that he and Bryan haven't always gotten along, but there is nobody in the wrestling business that he respects more. He says that he might be Daniel Bryan's biggest fan, and has always had nothing but positive things to say about what Daniel Bryan can do in the ring. He says that he can't just sit back, knowing that there wasn't a clear winner in their match. Punk mentions "Scotty", saying that he talked to him on the phone this morning to run an idea by him, and was told that the idea was bad. He couldn't live with himself otherwise, though, so the idea is simple.. CM Punk VS Daniel Bryan, one more time, at King Of The Ring. Bryan thinks about it, but says he wants AJ banned from ringside for the match. Punk says he has no problem with that, and offers a handshake. Bryan accepts.
Match #3: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth VS Hunico & Camacho, Non-Title (Winners: Kofi & Truth)
Match #4: Trent Barreta VS Mason Ryan, Raw King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Barreta)
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler do well to put over how big of an upset this is, even though Ryan isn't exactly a top-level guy. Making the win even bigger for Barreta, he got the pinfall after hitting his springboard tornado Dudebuster DDT, and not something like a cheap roll-up.
Backstage segment: JBL is in John Laurinaitis' office. Simple segment, with each GM agreeing to allow one "special feature" match of the other brand's superstars on their shows this week, before the brand split becomes official. They also decide to make a special Raw VS Smackdown main event for the night.. Albert VS Randy Orton.
Match #5: Brodus Clay VS Derrick Bateman, Smackdown King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Brodus)
Match #6: Big E Langston VS Drew McIntyre, Raw King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: McIntyre)
You wouldn't expect it at face value, but a nice back-and-forth match here, with both men getting to look strong. McIntyre really needs the win, though, and gets it, in an attempt to build him up again.
Backstage segment: Randy Orton is warming up in the locker room, when John Cena walks in. Cena says that their history is well documented, but he's just here to warn Orton about what he might be getting into with the main event. He says that wherever Albert goes, John Laurinaitis and David Otunga aren't that far behind. Orton says that he appreciates the warning, but that he already knows what Laurinaitis and his cronies are capable of. Cena says that he's going to be at ringside, joining the commentary for the match. He says he knows Orton is more than capable of handling things himself, but he wants to make sure he stays within striking range of Albert. Orton tells Cena he can watch the match from wherever he likes, but if he decides to stick his nose where it doesn't belong, he'll have much more than Laurinaitis to worry about. The segment ends with a bit of a stare down between Cena and Orton.
Match #7: Randy Orton VS Albert (Winner: Orton, by DQ)
Good back-and-forth match. At multiple points, Albert gets out of the ring to taunt John Cena at ringside. Eventually, David Otunga sneaks up on Cena through the crowd and attacks him. Cena gets the upper hand and ends up chasing Otunga into the ring. Otunga accidentally runs into Orton, knocking Orton over, drawing the disqualification, as Cena goes after Albert. Cena ends up disposing of Albert, clotheslining him over the top rope, just as Orton drops Otunga with an RKO. Cena is jawing at Albert, and doesn't notice Orton behind him. As Cena turns around, Orton hits him with an RKO. We go off the air with Orton standing over Cena, yelling at him and saying that he told him not to get involved in his business.
Friday Night Smackdown - June 22nd, 2012
Match #1: Sin Cara VS Ezekiel Jackson, Smackdown King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Sin Cara)
In-ring promo: Alberto Del Rio's music hits, and he comes walking out with Ricardo Rodriguez. No car, no introduction in Spanish, no fanfare. ADR doesn't look happy at all. He grabs a microphone and immediately begins discussing how Sheamus shouldn't be the World Champion right now. He says that Sheamus got lucky, and that Sheamus knows it. While ADR is talking, Ricardo stands in the background. Before long, ADR turns his attention to Ricardo, yelling at him that he screwed up. He says that Ricardo decided to stick his nose into the match, but he couldn't even do that right. He calls Ricardo a screw-up. What is immediately visible is the fact that Ricardo doesn't seem to be responding the way he usually would. He doesn't seem to be as afraid as he usually is. He's just standing there as he gets yelled at. Eventually, ADR grabs Ricardo by the lapel, saying that he should slap the taste out of Ricardo's mouth for costing him the World Title. Ricardo shoots him a look as if to say "I wouldn't do that if I were you", but before anything else can happen, Sheamus' music hits. Sheamus has the World Title around his waist, but he has a horseshoe in one hand and a faux four-leaf clover in the other. Sheamus calls himself the "luckiest man on the face of the earth". He says he might as well embrace that luck and fly out to Las Vegas once Smackdown is over so that he can win millions in a casino and retire. This just angers ADR even more, as he thinks Sheamus isn't taking the situation seriously. ADR says that, if Sheamus was a real man and a real champion, he would put the World Title on the line one more time. Sheamus begins walking to the ring, saying that he's ready for a fight at any time. Before he gets too close to the ring, though, ADR says that he didn't mean for tonight. As the crowd boos, ADR says that he meant at King Of The Ring. He says that he will become El Rey by taking the World Title from Sheamus. Sheamus says he has no problem with it, but that he still wants to fight. On cue, JBL's music hits, and he walks out on stage. He says that he likes the idea of Sheamus VS ADR at King Of The Ring, but he also says that he can't leave tonight's fans empty-handed. He says that he wants both Sheamus and ADR in action tonight. He's going to have a singles match for each of them take place tonight, with the catch being that each man could pick the other's opponent. He tells them to think about the decision carefully before thanking them to end the segment, as Sheamus and ADR have a stare down.
Match #2: Layla VS Alicia Fox, Non-Title (Winner: Layla)
During the match, Beth Phoenix is shown watching backstage.
Backstage segment: Alberto Del Rio is shown talking to someone off-camera, saying that he's choosing this person to face Sheamus tonight. He says that he wants this person to "soften Sheamus up" for him, and says that this person will be rewarded, financially, for his efforts if he does what is requested of him. The camera pans over, and Kane is revealed to be the person ADR is talking to. Kane says that he doesn't need any money. He tells ADR that he wants the first title shot after ADR beats Sheamus, and then he walks away, leaving ADR looking slightly worried.
Match #3: Percy Watson VS Damien Sandow, Raw King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Sandow)
Sandow gets a very impressive dominant victory here, looking strong.
Backstage segment: Sheamus is shown walking backstage, when a familiar voice calls his name. He turns around to see Randy Orton standing there. Orton says that he heard what JBL had to say earlier, and that he's now volunteering himself for a match with Del Rio tonight. Sheamus says he likes the sound of that, and then says that he will give Orton a shot at the title after King Of The Ring. Orton merely nods his head before walking away.
Match #4: Randy Orton VS Alberto Del Rio (Winner: Orton, by disqualification)
Very good, lengthy match, with both men showing a lot of fire. Once again, Ricardo Rodriguez gets involved, but this time, the referee sees it, and calls for the immediate disqualification. As ADR begins to put the boots to Orton, Sheamus runs to the ring, chasing ADR and Ricardo away.
Match #5: Tyson Kidd VS Bo Dallas, Smackdown King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Kidd)
Surprisingly good match, with both men getting some nice offense in. After the match, they shake hands.
Backstage segment: Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez are in the parking lot, arguing. ADR is angry about Ricardo costing him yet another match, and he grabs Ricardo again as he cocks his fist back. Ricardo just stares at him for a few seconds before saying "I wouldn't do that if I were you." ADR just seethes, looking like he wants to put his fist through Ricardo's face, but eventually, he lets Ricardo go and storms off as Ricardo smirks. On commentary, Michael Cole wonders what's going on with those two tonight.
Match #6: Sheamus VS Kane, Non-Title (Winner: Sheamus)
Good main event. Very hard-hitting, as you would expect with these two. A clean win for the World Champion, and he celebrates to close the show, with Cole saying that ADR isn't having the best of weeks.
Monday Night Raw - June 25th, 2012
Opening Segment: John Laurinaitis and his team of security guards kick things off once again. Laurinaitis gets in the ring and begins cutting a promo about the prestige and importance of King Of The Ring. He talks about how winning the King Of The Ring tournament is like being placed in the fast lane to the top of the wrestling business. He name drops some of the previous winners again, saying that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Edge all have more in common than just winning KOTR. He says they also share the unfortunate fact that they aren't as talented as the man who will win this year's King Of The Ring tournament.. David Otunga. An audible groan is heard in the arena as Otunga makes his way out with his dramatic bodybuilder-like entrance where he poses for several seconds. Once he finally gets in the ring, Otunga cuts a brief promo, saying the road to his Hall Of Fame induction begins here tonight, and that he wants to make short work of his opponent tonight. With that said, Laurinaitis orders Otunga's opponent to come out so we can have the first match of the night.
Match #1: David Otunga VS Hunico, Raw King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Otunga)
A basic squash, with Otunga looking dominant over a smaller opponent, and Laurinaitis almost looking like a proud father at ringside.
Match #2: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth VS The Usos, Non-Title (Winners: The Usos)
Nice back-and-forth tag match. The way it's booked, it almost looked like the champions underestimated the challengers, getting sloppy at times and failing to put the match away. In the end, The Usos pick up the upset victory, earning themselves a shot at the titles at some point in the future. The teams shake hands after the match is done.
Backstage segment: John Cena is interviewed, and he talks about his upcoming match with Albert at King Of The Ring. Typical "match hype" promo. Cena talks about how Albert has been a thorn in his side for a few months now, and how he has cost him so much already. Cena says that he's completely focused on getting rid of Albert so that he can move on to winning his WWE Title back.
Match #3: Leakee VS Camacho, Raw King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Leakee)
Match #4: Layla & Kelly Kelly VS Beth Phoenix & Alicia Fox (Winners: Layla & Kelly)
Layla pins Alicia to pick up the victory, but Beth immediately attacks her after tossing Kelly out of the ring. Soon, it turns into a two-on-one attack, with Alicia joining in to stomp Layla out. As Kelly gets back in the ring, she is kicked right in the face by Alicia, knocking her out. Beth lifts Layla up and lays her out with a Glam Slam. The heels celebrate to end the segment.
Backstage segment: Daniel Bryan is shown on the phone, apparently talking to AJ. He tells her that he has a plan for King Of The Ring, and that he needs her help with the plan. At that moment, he notices the camera, and he slams the locker room door in the cameraman's face.
Match #5: CM Punk VS Albert, Non-Title (Winner: No Contest)
Good match, with Albert getting to look like a real major player in the company by dominating the WWE Champion in stretches. Halfway through the match, Daniel Bryan came out to ringside and just watched the match from there. Later, in the match, John Laurinaitis and David Otunga also made their way to ringside. As the referee is distracted by Laurinaitis, Otunga tries to get involved in the match, which brings John Cena out. Cena sprints to the ring and goes after Otunga. The referee sees this and calls for the bell. We have ourselves a big brawl, with Punk, Cena, Otunga, Albert and Bryan fighting in the ring. The numbers advantage is too much for the faces to overcome, though, and we go off the air with Punk locked in the LeBell Lock and Cena being beaten down by Albert and Otunga as Laurinaitis watches at ringside and laughs.
Friday Night Smackdown - June 29th, 2012
Backstage segment: Alberto Del Rio is on the phone with someone who is apparently Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio is yelling, wondering why Ricardo isn't there with him. "Business? Business?!? You can handle your business here!" is what you hear, and then ADR breaks into Spanish to end the segment.
In-ring promo: Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring for a promo, and he talks about King Of The Ring. He starts talking about the dark places that his mind often takes him, and how, to win King Of The Ring, you can't be "normal". He name drops some of his possible fellow KOTR competitors by saying that he may not have the physique of a David Otunga, the intellectual capacity of a Damien Sandow or the flash of a Sin Cara, but he has something that none of them have.. and that nobody else in the company has.. he's more than a little crazy. Nobody is safe around him, because nobody knows what he's going to do next. He will do anything.. anything.. to get what he wants, and he doesn't care who he has to step on to move up that ladder to the top. Just a brief hype promo to get Ambrose's mic skills over before his match.
Match #1: Richie Steamboat VS Dean Ambrose, Smackdown King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Ambrose)
While it wasn't a squash, it was a nice showcase match for Ambrose, allowing him to get a nice amount of offense in, as the WWE Universe continues to learn about him.
Match #2: JTG VS Kane (Winner: Kane)
Dominant performance, making sure that Kane isn't forgotten, and keeping him in people's minds as a threat at any given time.
Backstage segment: JBL is in his office, talking to someone off-screen. He says that he granted this person a week off to "play rock star for a while", but he didn't authorize a second week off. Chris Jericho is revealed to be the person JBL is talking to. Jericho doesn't appear to be interested in anything that the General Manager is saying, though, and JBL picks up on that. JBL asks Jericho if he's bored. JBL says that if Jericho's bored, he should give him something to do. He tells Jericho to go and get dressed because he has a match coming up after the break. Jericho tries to ask who his opponent is going to be, but JBL just repeats himself and tells Jericho to go and get dressed.
In-ring segment: Chris Jericho comes out for his match. JBL then walks out onto the stage and says that he walked around backstage to find an opponent for Jericho, but he found someone who barely broke a sweat earlier and is more than willing to have another match. Kane's music hits.
Match #3: Kane VS Chris Jericho (Winner: Kane, by countout)
Good, lengthy match with two veterans who have been through the wars on numerous occasions. At the end, Kane signals for a chokeslam, but Jericho sees it, avoids Kane, and gets out of the ring. He signals that he's had enough, and he walks out. As soon as the referee reaches his ten count, Kane leaves, too, chasing after Jericho.
Match #4: Kelly Kelly VS Beth Phoenix (Winner: Beth)
Absolute destruction by Beth, who hits Kelly with three Glam Slams back-to-back-to-back, before the referee calls for the bell, giving Beth the win by stoppage. After the match is over, Beth grabs a mic and cuts a mini-promo, saying that she will take back what is rightfully hers at King Of The Ring. She tells Layla to say goodbye to the Divas Title to close the promo.
Backstage segment: Ricardo Rodriguez walks into Alberto Del Rio's locker room, and ADR begins yelling at him for being so late. Ricardo merely stands there, waiting for ADR to stop yelling, then tells ADR that he has been on the phone trying to get business done. He says that he will be bringing in an "insurance policy" from Mexico, and this seems to worry ADR. He asks Ricardo what he means, and Ricardo simply repeats the line about being an "insurance policy". ADR then says he has a match to prepare for, and he leaves the room, as Ricardo breaks into a smirk, again leaving commentary to wonder just what's going on with these two.
Match #5: Sheamus & The Great Khali VS Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler (Winner: ADR & Dolph)
Good main event, with Sheamus wrestling the majority of the match for his team. ADR gets back on the winning track by making Khali tap out. After the match is over, ADR won't let go of the armbreaker, so Sheamus gets in the ring to chase him off. The show ends with a stare down between the World Champion and the #1 contender.
Monday Night Raw - July 2nd, 2012
In-ring segment: Albert comes to the ring for a promo, and he talks about John Cena's long reign atop the WWE "mountain". He discusses the titles that Cena has won, the men that Cena has beaten and the events that Cena has headlined. He says that Cena has been in the ring with some "big, bad dudes" through the years, but now, he's dealing with a man who is 6'7" tall and weighs 375 pounds. He says that Cena loves granting wishes to sick children all across the world, and that's admirable, but come King Of The Ring, he's going to make sure that Cena will be the one who needs to have a wish granted, and that's when Cena's music hits, bringing him to the stage. Cena goes into comedic promo mode, deciding to give a career recap for Albert, too, saying that Albert used to star in the nightmares of people all across the world because of his body hair, and he shows a Photoshopped picture on the TitanTron of Albert posing as a bearskin rug in someone's living room. Cena then says that the rumor backstage is that both men have singles matches tonight, as a bit of a "warm up" for King Of The Ring, but that he's already warmed up, so he might as well make his way to the ring for a fight right now. The crowd pops as Cena makes his way to the ring, but Albert bails as Cena gets there. As Albert backs his way up the ramp, John Laurinaitis' music hits, bringing the Raw General Manager to the stage. Laurinaitis says that Cena was only partially right about something he said. While Cena and Albert will be involved in matches tonight, they won't be singles matches. He says that, instead, Cena and Albert will be competing in handicap matches. Albert shoots Laurinaitis an angry look, but Laurinaitis puts his hand up as if to say "don't worry about it". Laurinaitis thanks everyone for their time and leaves with Albert, ending the segment.
Match #1: R-Truth VS Jimmy Uso (Winner: Jimmy Uso)
Nice match, and on commentary, Michael Cole reveals that The Usos will receive their Tag Team Title shot the night after King Of The Ring. Jimmy picks up the win in an upset, and Truth is left in the ring, almost in disbelief, as Jimmy celebrates with Jey, who comes to ringside after the match.
Match #2: Santino & Zack Ryder VS Hunico & Camacho (Winners: Santino & Ryder)
Just a match to get Santino back out into the spotlight, as the United States Champion, while the King Of The Ring tournament to possibly crown the title's next contender is about to take place.
Backstage segment: Albert is in John Laurinaitis' office, still upset over the idea of being in a handicap match on the show. Laurinaitis tells him not to worry, and that he always has everything under control. He tells Albert not to worry, and says that Cena's match is coming up next, so they should watch it together.
In-ring segment: John Laurinaitis and Albert walk out to ringside, and Laurinaitis does the ring announcements for the match. First, he introduces John Cena, who comes out to his typical loud mixed reaction from the crowd. Once Cena is in the ring, Laurinaitis begins introducing Cena's opponents by listing their accomplishments. He says that, together, they have a total of seven World Title reigns, and have even held the Tag Team Titles with each other. He finally reveals that Cena's opponents are ShowMiz themselves.. Big Show and The Miz. Cena just shakes his head as their music hits, bringing them to the ring.
Match #3: John Cena VS Big Show & The Miz, Handicap Match (Winner: ShowMiz, by countout)
Lengthy match, following a tried-and-true formula for Cena matches, with him getting beaten for a while, making a comeback, getting beaten for a while, making a comeback, and so on. In the middle of the match, out of nowhere, Laurinaitis walks over to Justin Roberts and tells him something. Roberts gets on the house mic and says that, by order of the Raw General Manager, this match is now No Disqualification. ShowMiz take advantage of this fact, double-teaming Cena on several occasions. Eventually, Miz throws Cena out of the ring, right in front of Albert, who picks Cena up and sends him crashing into the ring steps. Laurinaitis begins yelling at the ref, saying the match is No Disqualification, but nothing was said about being counted out, so he orders the count to begin. As the ref counts to ten, Albert stomps away at Cena while ShowMiz looks on from inside the ring. Cena gets counted out, and Laurinaitis just laughs at Cena, who is then thrown back in the ring, where he gets chokeslammed by Big Show to close the segment out.
Match #4: Percy Watson VS Daniel Bryan (Winner: Bryan)
A squash match, with Bryan picking Watson apart with surgical precision and winning via submission. CM Punk is shown watching the match in the back.
Match #5: Ryback VS Heath Slater (Winner: Ryback)
Match #6: Kofi Kingston VS Jey Uso (Winner: Kofi)
Another nice match. With both teams going 1-1 in the "series", Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler put over how even the teams are heading into their Tag Title Match, helping to put the match over.
Backstage segment: CM Punk is interviewed about his match with Daniel Bryan at King Of The Ring, and he says that he and Bryan have one major thing in common.. whenever they step into a wrestling ring, whether it's against each other, with each other, or against other people, they're both looking to show the world why they feel they're the best wrestler on the planet. He says that there's a certain magic when he faces Daniel Bryan, and he's expecting nothing different at King Of The Ring. He has nothing but respect for Bryan and everything that he's accomplished, and he tells the fans who like to keep track of things like Match Of The Year to pay very close attention at the pay-per-view.
In-ring segment: John Laurinaitis and Albert come back out again for the main event, and Laurinaitis says that Albert will be facing this man.. and Trent Barreta walks out. Albert pretends to be scared, and begins hiding behind Laurinaitis with a worried look on his face. Laurinaitis then says "Oh, and this man..", and as David Otunga comes out, Laurinaitis finishes the sentence with "..will be Albert's tag partner for this handicap match" to the disgust of Jerry Lawler on commentary, while Michael Cole points out that Albert is still involved in a handicap match, just as promised.
Match #7: Trent Barreta VS Albert & David Otunga, Handicap Match (Winner: No Contest)
Albert and Otunga are basically abusing Barreta, beating him all over the ring, and just toying with him. Eventually, John Cena comes running to the ring, and he immediately goes after Albert, getting the match thrown out. Cena fights and fights, but eventually, the numbers game is too much, and the heels gain control. As Albert is setting Cena up for a Baldo Bomb, some familiar music hits, and Ryback runs to the ring. Ryback ducks an attack from Otunga, and then lays him out with the Meathook Clothesline. As Albert is distracted by things, Cena is able to make his comeback, and ends up clotheslining Albert out of the ring. Laurinaitis gathers his troops and they make their way back up the ramp. We go off the air with Cena and Ryback staring at each other in the ring, with Cena looking like he doesn't quite know what to think of what just happened.
Friday Night Smackdown - July 6th, 2012
Match #1: Christian VS Ezekiel Jackson, Non-Title (Winner: Christian)
Similar to Santino's match on Raw, this match is used to just keep Christian in people's minds, so the Intercontinental Champion doesn't get lost in the shuffle as a possible contender for his title is crowned at the upcoming pay-per-view.
Backstage segment: Sheamus is interviewed, and he's asked about the recent happenings between Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. He says he doesn't know what's happening, but maybe we're seeing "little Ricky" growing up before our very eyes. He says that it really doesn't matter what those two are going through, because at King Of The Ring, he'll beat "Bertie" one more time. A simple promo/interview, with Sheamus' thoughts on what's happening out of the ring in his feud.
Match #2: Seth Rollins VS Johnny Curtis, Smackdown King Of The Ring "Tryout" (Winner: Rollins)
Another "showcase" match, allowing Rollins to look really good in controlling a match on WWE television and showing his unique offensive arsenal to the world.
Match #3: The Great Khali VS Kane (Winner: Kane)
Backstage segment: Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero are in the locker room, discussing strategy for Dolph's upcoming match.
Match #4: Brodus Clay VS Dolph Ziggler (Winner: Ziggler)
Dolph looks good in picking up a win over a much larger opponent, able to use his speed and athleticism to get the nod.
Match #5: Tamina VS Beth Phoenix (Winner: Beth)
This match allowed Beth to look dominant against a Diva that is a physical specimen, as well, and not just a skinny "Barbie" of some sort.
Match #6: Sin Cara VS Alberto Del Rio (Winner: ADR)
Good main event, since both men are comfortable with each other, thanks to their previous matches. Sin Cara gets to look strong to give him momentum heading into the King Of The Ring tournament, and ADR gets to look strong to keep his momentum going for the World Title match at King Of The Ring. After the match, ADR refuses to give up the armbreaker, so Sheamus runs out to make the save. ADR clears out of the ring, and Sheamus goes to check on Sin Cara. As Sheamus is distracted, ADR sneaks back into the ring with a steel chair and hits Sheamus across the back with it. We go off the air with ADR standing over a fallen Sheamus, looking proud of his work.
Monday Night Raw - July 9th, 2012
In-ring segment: John Laurinaitis kicks the show off with a promo, saying that King Of The Ring is only six days away, and to protect the interest of the Raw brand, he's inserting a "no contact" policy into effect for the top two Raw matches at the pay-per-view.. CM Punk VS Daniel Bryan and John Cena VS Albert. He says that if Daniel Bryan physically touches CM Punk before King Of The Ring, he will lose his shot at the WWE Title, but if Punk touches Bryan before Sunday, he will be stripped of the title. Before he can get any further, though, John Cena's music interrupts him, and Cena comes to the ring. Right away, Laurinaitis begins to yell "I'm your boss! I'm your boss!" in an attempt to keep Cena from assaulting him. Cena gets his own mic and says that he heard through the grapevine that Albert and David Otunga haven't arrived at the arena yet. Cena smiles at Laurinaitis, who looks like he's ready to cry. Cena tells him to relax, and he puts his arm around Laurinaitis. Cena says that he's not here to beat the hell out of Laurinaits.. although he would love to do just that. He says that he heard Laurinaitis mention the "no contact" policy, but he didn't say anything about physical contact with David Otunga. He then demands Laurinaitis book him in a match with Otunga tonight. When Laurinaitis doesn't say anything, Cena wraps his arm around Laurinaitis' neck tighter, almost in a headlock position, until Laurinaitis finally agrees. Cena says that he has a recommendation for Laurinaitis, and tells him to stay as far away from the ring as he possibly can for the match, because if he sees him, he'll put his fist through his face. He pats Laurinaitis on the back hard and leaves the ring to end the segment, as Laurinaitis looks upset.
Backstage segment: Albert and David Otunga arrive at the arena and show up in John Laurinaitis' office after the commercial break. Laurinaitis flips out and says that he could have been badly injured because of their tardiness. He notifies Otunga that he had to put him in a match with John Cena tonight, and then tells Albert about the "no contact" policy. Laurinaitis says that he can't have this type of extra stress tonight. He says that he has to choose the Raw brand's competitors for King Of The Ring tonight, so he needs Albert and Otunga to plan things out for themselves tonight.
Match #1: Alex Riley VS The Miz (Winner: Miz)
Backstage segment: CM Punk is in his locker room, warming up for his upcoming match. AJ Lee shows up, and Punk doesn't quite know how to respond. She extends her hand for a hand shake, and she offers him luck. Punk questions her motives, and starts looking around the room for Daniel Bryan. AJ says that she has always been a fan of Punk, and she just wants to see the best match possible. Punk, as politely as he can, tells AJ that he's kind of in the middle of something, so she should probably go find her boyfriend or something. AJ nods, looking kinda sad, and she walks off. As she walks out of the room, the camera catches her sad face slowly turning into an evil look.
Match #2: CM Punk VS Mason Ryan, Non-Title (Winner: Punk)
Like Daniel Bryan's match the previous week, this one saw Punk looking as good in the ring as he has in a long time. Commentary puts over how Punk and Bryan may be in the best shapes of their lives, and how that should translate to a classic at King Of The Ring.
Backstage segment: Back to John Laurinaitis' office, and he talks about King Of The Ring. He says that he will be taking four finalists from the Raw "tryouts", and they will be facing off against each other, with the two winners going to the pay-per-view. The first match will be tonight, and the second match will be on the King Of The Ring pre-show. He announces the first match will be Zack Ryder VS Damien Sandow. The second match will be David Otunga VS Drew McIntyre. On commentary, Jerry Lawler wonders "No Ryback?" out loud.
Match #3: Zack Ryder VS Damien Sandow, Raw King Of The Ring Qualifier (Winner: Sandow)
Good match, with both men looking strong. Sandow picks up the win, moving on to the official King Of The Ring tournament.
Backstage segment: Ryback bursts into John Laurinaitis' office and wants to know why he wasn't chosen for King Of The Ring. Laurinaitis tells him that there is a certain price to pay for sticking your nose in business that doesn't belong to you. He tells Ryback that his one objective is to go out and win matches, not to interfere in the General Manager's affairs. Ryback flips Laurinaitis' desk over, and Laurinaitis threatens to suspend Ryback indefinitely if he doesn't get out of his office. After a few tense seconds, where Ryback is right in Laurinaitis' face, he leaves, but not before saying that this isn't over.
Match #4: Heath Slater VS Big Show (Winner: Show)
In-ring segment: As Michael Cole is running down the King Of The Ring card, some familiar music.. the old ECW theme.. hits. To the shock of everyone, none other than Paul Heyman walks out. Cole wonders what Heyman is doing here, as Heyman walks to the ring quickly and angrily. Heyman grabs a mic and begins his promo by re-introducing himself to the WWE Universe. He lists his many accolades, but says that he is not here for any of that. He says that he is standing in the middle of a WWE ring as Brock Lesnar's legal advisor, confidant and friend. Currently, Brock Lesnar is sitting at home, unable to appear on WWE television after being banned from all events. However, after looking over his contract, Heyman says that he discovered something that struck him as interesting. As a part of Brock's return to the company, his contract featured a guarantee of a "marquee match" at SummerSlam. The contract was signed by Brock Lesnar, Vince McMahon, and by Triple H. That makes it legally binding. He says that Vince, Triple H and the WWE Board Of Directors can try all they want to keep Brock barred from events because "they're afraid of him", but they won't win a court case if they do not grant Brock his "marquee match". Heyman says that he talked to Mr Lesnar earlier in the day, and at Brock's request, he is here to issue the following challenge.. at SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar VS Triple H, one-on-one. The reason Brock has targeted Triple H is simple.. Brock never forgets. He hasn't forgotten the comments that Triple H has made about him, publicly and privately, through the years. When Brock first arrived in the world of pro wrestling, Triple H thought he was "all hype", and that he didn't deserve to be given the WWE Title shot. Even after Brock defeated The Rock to win the WWF Title, Triple H referred to it as a "fluke". He had all these things to say about Brock, but you'll notice that he never went public with it. He never challenged Brock to a match. He wanted nothing to do with being involved in a physical confrontation with Brock. Once Brock left the company for "other ventures", Triple H decided to continue the "incessant verbal attacks". Heyman says that Triple H would go on to say that Brock was never "cut out" for the wrestling business, and that he "took his ass home". Heyman again points out that Triple H never said any of these things directly to Brock, and then waited until Brock had left the company to really ramp up his attacks. He says that shows what kind of man Triple H really is. However, now that Brock Lesnar is back with the company, Triple H has to face his past and deal with the things he has said and done. He wants to see if Triple H will appear on Raw in the next few weeks to accept Brock's challenge. He closes the promo by thanking everyone for their time, and he leaves the ring as Cole and Lawler wonder if we'll actually get Lesnar VS Triple H at SummerSlam.
Match #5: John Cena VS David Otunga (Winner: Cena)
Cena spends a nice chunk of the match toying with Otunga, passing up pin attempts in order to continue beating him down. Towards the end of the match, Albert comes to ringside, and he provides enough of a distraction for Otunga to gain the advantage for a while, but eventually, Cena picks up the win via pinfall. After the match, Albert gets in the ring, and we go off the air with Cena and Albert face-to-face, and the "no contact" policy not allowing them to fight it out.
Friday Night Smackdown - July 13th, 2012
Backstage segment: We kick things off with JBL, in his office, discussing King Of The Ring. He says that, like Raw, we're going to see two more matches.. one tonight and one on the pay-per-view pre-show.. to officially give us the Smackdown competitors. Tonight will see Sin Cara VS Dean Ambrose, while Seth Rollins VS Tyson Kidd will take place on Sunday. He wishes the four of them the best of luck, and thanks everyone for their time.
Match #1: Sin Cara VS Dean Ambrose, Smackdown King Of The Ring Qualifier (Winner: Sin Cara)
A very good television match, with both men looking very strong at times. Ambrose gets control towards the end of the match and goes for his Midnight Special finisher, but Sin Cara reverses it and gets Ambrose in a roll-up for the win. Ambrose sits in the middle of the ring, looking stunned, for a few seconds before he attacks Sin Cara. He locks him in a Fujiwara armbar, and Sin Cara is heard yelling in pain through his mask as he taps out. As the referee tries to break the hold, Christian runs out and makes the save, chasing Ambrose off. Multiple officials come out to help Sin Cara, who appears to have injured his arm.
Match #2: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth VS Darren Young & Titus O'Neil, Non-Title (Winners: Kofi & Truth)
The champions get to look strong heading into the pay-per-view.
Match #3: Michael McGillicutty VS Dolph Ziggler (Winner: Ziggler)
A much better match than expected. Commentary helps to put McGillicutty over, mentioning his bloodline, with him being a third-generation wrestler. He gets multiple believable near falls, but in the end, Ziggler gets the victory.
Backstage segment: Ricardo Rodriguez makes his return, and he walks into Alberto Del Rio's locker room. Ricardo says that he had some things to square away at home, but now, Alberto has some things to square away. Ricardo says that ADR will become World Champion again at King Of The Ring. He says that the "insurance policy" will be watching the match very closely, leaving Josh Matthews to wonder what that means to end the segment.
Backstage segment: Christian is walking down a hallway, and he gets jumped from behind by Dean Ambrose. Ambrose slams Christian's head off the wall before slamming him through a table. He kneels down next to Christian's fallen body and tells Christian to pray that a Smackdown guy wins King Of The Ring, because if they don't, Christian's precious Intercontinental Title will be coming home with him and to consider this a challenge.
Match #4: Randy Orton VS Chris Jericho (Winner: Orton)
Very lengthy main event. Pretty much at pay-per-view length and quality, giving both men a chance to shine since they won't be wrestling at King Of The Ring. The ending saw several reversals and counters, but when Jericho lined up for a Lionsault, Orton popped back up to his feet and maneuvered his way into hitting Jericho with an RKO on the way down. Another "out of nowhere" variation to the move that will be in highlight reels (no pun intended) for years to come.
King Of The Ring - July 15th, 2012
Match #1 (Pre-show): David Otunga VS Drew McIntyre, Raw King Of The Ring Qualifier (Winner: Otunga)
Match #2 (Pre-show: Seth Rollins VS Tyson Kidd, Smackdown King Of The Ring Qualifier (Winner: Kidd)
Very good match. The kind of match that could end up as a Match Of The Year candidate if they were given ten more minutes to work with. Both men look very strong, and appear to be building towards big things in their futures on Smackdown.
Match #3: Sheamus VS Alberto Del Rio, World Title (Winner: Sheamus)
Good match. Sheamus wins cleanly. After the match, Ricardo gets into the ring and hits Sheamus in the back with a chair. It doesn't quite faze Sheamus, though, and he just turns around to stalk Ricardo into a corner. Suddenly, a masked man hops the guardrail and runs into the ring. The man attacks Sheamus and then grabs the chair that Ricardo used, and he continues the assault. ADR, Ricardo and the masked man assault Sheamus for a while until Randy Orton runs out to make the save, chasing them off.
Backstage segment: John Laurinaitis and JBL are discussing the King Of The Ring tournament, and talking about how their brand is going to be the home of the tournament winner.
Match #4: Damien Sandow VS David Otunga, King Of The Ring Semi-Final (Winner: Sandow)
Otunga has the advantage at the end, but his continued attempts at underhanded chicanery bring Ryback out. Ryback comes to the ring, distracting Otunga, giving Sandow the opportunity to hit his finisher for the win. After the match, Ryback runs Sandow off, and then hits Otunga with Shell Shock. Ryback looks into the camera and tells John Laurinaitis that "the animal is hungry".
Match #5: Tyson Kidd VS Sin Cara, Smackdown King Of The Ring Semi-Final (Winner: Kidd)
Relatively short match, but packed with athleticism. Sin Cara kept fighting, but having Alberto Del Rio lock him in an armbreaker and Dean Ambrose lock him in a Fujiwara armbar in back-to-back weeks put him at a disadvantage, and Kidd was savvy enough to use his submission background to work for him, picking up the win to move on.
Match #6: Layla VS Beth Phoenix, Divas Title (Winner: Beth)
Basically an extended squash. Beth has plenty of momentum built up now, and she steamrolls her way to the title once again. New Champion.
Match #7: John Cena VS Albert (Winner: Cena)
Cena finally gets to move on from this feud, and wins in a slugfest after hitting two Attitude Adjustments.
Match #8: Damien Sandow VS Tyson Kidd, King Of The Ring Finals (Winner: Sandow)
Good match, with both men getting to look strong. Kidd was the favorite going in, but Sandow pulls it off with a clean victory to become the new King Of The Ring. For his trouble, Sandow now gets a shot at the United States Title. The United States Champion, Santino, along with Intercontinental Champion Christian were sitting at ringside for this match. Sandow glares down at Santino and motions that he wants his title.
Backstage segment: Daniel Bryan is warming up in the locker room, and AJ Lee walks in. She kisses him and tells him to "bring the WWE Title home", wishing him luck. He says that luck is for people who don't work hard.
Match #9: CM Punk VS Daniel Bryan, WWE Title (Winner: Punk)
Another technical masterpiece. Their match at No Way Out lasted a little over 40 minutes, and this one creeped beyond the 50-minute mark, with both men coming out looking like absolute studs once again. Both men break out of each other's submission finishers, and Bryan wasn't put away by the Go To Sleep twice (kicking out once and rolling out of the ring after the other). The end of the match comes when Bryan attempts an MMA-style standing LeBell Lock, but as he's trying to wrap his leg around, Punk lifts him up and hits him with his third Go To Sleep of the match. Punk goes for the pin and he gets it, even though Bryan had his foot under the bottom rope. The referee never saw it, and he awards Punk the match. After the match, AJ Lee runs down and tells Punk what happened, but Punk says that he didn't see anything. He says he just went for the pin, and replays show that he was facing away and couldn't have seen Bryan's foot under the ropes. We go off the air with Punk holding the WWE Title up in celebration, and AJ trying to console Bryan, who is finally coming to and is being told what happened.
In our next installment, we have the first major pay-per-view of our "tenure", SummerSlam, so that should be fun. As usual, if you would like to contact GLOW or I directly, the best option would be to do so on Twitter. Follow us if you aren't already doing so..
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