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KINGS UPDATE: 24-9 and ONLY 1/2 game out!

OLD BUSINESS: I was overwhelmed by the Christmas gifts I've received...and actually, I continue to find surprises in my PO Box. Big thanks to Llakor, BrewGuy, Cubs, Dave Mitchell, Jose, Sam, and especially auroralye, as well as the people who preferred to remain anonymous AND the people I've just forgotten and really didn't mean to, I swear!

UPN - Thursday!

TV-PG-DLV One World Leader Attitude - WWF!

Opening Credits are Beautiful, People!

HAPPY NEW PYRO! WE ARE LIVE ("Recorded Earlier") 3.1.2 from the MCI Center in Washington, DC and SAP transmitido en espanol on UPN & the Score - also, it's LIVE - did I mention it's LIVE?

TONIGHT: LIVE - The #1 Contendership is on the line as the Rock meets Booker T!

Attendance is announced at 17,109 as we go to our opening match

WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: DUDLEY BOYZ (with Stacy Dudley) v. TAJIRI (with Torrie Samuda - and Let Us Take You Back to Last Week) and TAZZZZZZZZZZZZ - Spike opts for his "I've crossed your faces out" Dudley Boyz T-shirt tonight. After watching the replay, the Dudleyz decide to rush Spike, and the doubleteam commences - into the ropes, big back body drop (double) - the music starts and Tazz has to wait for the pyro to hit, lest he run into it, sprints to the ring and starts throwing rights everywhere. D-Von into the ropes, back elbow. Over to Spike - forearm, forearm, whip is reversed but Spike gets the boot up - big bulldog gets 2. Forearm, blind tag, into the ropes, reversed, Spike takes a hot shot and goes outside. Bubba Ray after him - head to the commentary table - rolled back in. Tag to D-Von as we take a replay of the tumble outside. "We want tables" - umm they're HEELS, guys. Scoop...and a slam. off the ropes with an elbow and D-Von gets 2. Tag to Bubba Ray - axehandle, scoop slam, elbowdrop, 2. Quick tags - D-Von back in - into the ropes, big double flapjack. D-Von with a right, into the corner, two boots up to stop the charge, PERRO AGUAYO! but Spike collapses immediately afterward. Slow crawl as Bubba Ray gets the tag - HOT TAG to Tazz! LISTEN TO THAT CROWD! (That's sarcasm, right?) YEAH! Clothesline! Clothesline! T-bone Tazzplex gets 2 but D-Von breaks it up before 3. Right by D-Von, blind tag by Spike - whip is reversed, D-Von up and over and eating a missile dropkick. Bubba Ray charges but Spike ducks - armdrag takeover by Tazz and Spike covers for 2. Stacy up on the apron and showing her goodies (?) - Spike ducks a swing and skirts her so we can all admire her blue panties. Spike actually does his wave (!) then turns around to duck Bubba Ray's clothesline - Bubba Ray knocks Stacy off the apron, but fortunately D-Von catches her. Spike into the ropes, but he hooks 'em - and Tazz comes in to hook Bubba Ray in a Tazmission!! But Bubba's trick knee acts up (kinda - he BARELY lifts his leg) and Tazz goes outside. Meanwhile, Spike wants to give D-Von the 'dog but he has problems climbing up Bubba D-Von just feeds him to Bubba Ray for a superbomb - 1, 2, 3. (4:07)

Backstage, LILIAN GARCIA interviews Jazz. "Are you done? Huh? I thought so. I didn't come here to get interviewed by you - I came to make a statement, and tonight I want you to take it and pass it to Mighty Molly because tonight, it all begins with her. You see Lilian, I'm not like all these other bleach blonde s(beep)s around here in the World Wrestling Federation who sleep their way to the top - well - I fight my way to the top...because I can. Because I WILL. And there's not one woman in this Federation that can stop me? You got that? Thank you. Interview is over. Bye bye!" Lilian wants a followup, but Jazz grabs her wrist. "Am I funny? Do you find me amusing? Huh? Why don't tonight I forget about Mighty Molly and make the example out of you, b(beep?)" and shoves her away. Wow, that was ....not exactly enthralling of her.

Triple H returns Monday! Please watch RAW! PLEASE! We're BEGGING ya!

And now, the WWF Slam of the Week, brought to you by Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X for PS2! Last week on SmackDown! Ric Flair announced that Mr. McMahon had a match signed for Royal Rumble...against the Nature Boy.

Here now is BILLIONAIRE VINCE to share some wisdom with you and me. "Happy New Year! My primary New Year's resolution - why I'm glad you asked. My primary New Year's resolution is to embarrass Ric Flair, to embarrass Ric Flair at the Royal Rumble - to *annihilate* Ric Flair at the Royal Rumble - to beat Ric Flair beyond recognition at the Royal Rumble! A little courtesy, please. Speaking of recognition, that would lead me to my next topic - and that would be...Time Magazine's Person of the Year, take a look if you would. (Time Magazine cover on the screen) There he is - the honourable Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, individual with great integrity, a man of action, yet there were a number of other individuals considered for that extraordinary accolade - please don't be rude - among those other individuals considered to be Time Magazine's person of the year is...this man (switches to picture of Vince, with the Empire State Building now displaying a WWF flag) That's right, I was considered to be Time Magazine's Person of the Year. Look, if you say that word one more time, I'm gonna take action. Oh yeah? I dare you to say it one more time, I'll shut the show down! All right, all you wise(beep)s over here, cut their lights out - cut their lights out - I said, dammit you can hear me back there, cut those lights out - cut 'em out. (cheesy sound effect accompanies lights being turned off) You don't like that, do ya? You wanna boo me (Vince McMahon)? Cut their lights out, also - cut 'em out - cut 'em out! (chunkachunka) You wanna mess with me? You wanna give me that 'what?' chant, I HATE that word! All right, you people go to darkness too. Cut 'em out! And if that's not enough...just to make it all four corners, cut those lights out as well, cut 'em out! Now then, yeah! How do you like that, huh? That's not good enough for ya? Say what one more time, I dare ya. All right, cut out ALLL the lights, cut 'em all out! You see? That's just how powerful I am! I can make you people at home watch in total darkness - I can make as well you people here in the MCI Center, I can make you stand here and watch in total darkness, watch a dark screen...have you learned your--" the sound of breaking glass and the flashing of every camera in the arena give away STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN standing behind Vince in the ring - Vince frantically asks for the lights to be brought back up, the mugs for our benefit. "What? What? What? What? What? What? What did I hear you say? Did you come out here and call yourself the person of the year? Did you call yourself the person of the year? Once again, in my opinion, if you think Vince McMahon is the jack(beep) of the year, gimme a hell yeah. You come out here flappin' your little gums, running your mouth, flappin' your gums some more, you're still runnin' your mouth, I don't hear nothin' but garbage. You talk about your little resolutions - Stone Cold made some resolutions, too. This year, I said, at the beginnin' of the year, Stone Cold Steve Austin was gonna drink more beer, drink more whiskey, drink more tequila, more vodka....more red wine. And the biggest thing I said I was gonna do, because of what you've done the last few weeks, this year the first time I laid my eyes on you, I was gonna knock you flat on your (beep). Take your little jacket off." The crowd's booing - ah, THE BOOKER MAN & THE BOSS MAN are out. Vince tries to take advantage of a distracted Austin, but Austin spins around and lands a right and a stomp before T and Boss Man take over - Austin does his best to come back, but he's still one and they're still two. Two REFS come out but stay out of the ring, pretty much ensuring they have *no* change of getting anything stopped. Boss Man grabs the mic - BOOM! - and clocks Austin with it. T holds him up for another THUMP mic shot. Austin's bladed in here - Now Austin is draped over the second rope and Boss Man continues punching - although, now they look more like I should be typing "Boss Man continues to pat Austin's head gingerly." Crowd chants "What?" as Boss Man lays in the knees. Boss Man outside, those are like SLOMO punches, Boss Man. Back in, Boss Man holds Austin for a superkick from T. Play his music! McMahon adds a final word before all three men head up the ramp. Wisely, Boss Man has a black shirt this week - doesn't show off all that perspiration, see. Vince mocks the crowd with some "What?"

Trish Stratus shills Stacker 2 - some Italian guy stands nearby and makes faces

MOMENTS AGO! (Two paragraphs ago)

MIGHTY MOLLY (with Let Us Take You Back to Last Week) v. JAZZZZZZZZZZZZ - I've figured it out - Jazz' music is a ripoff of "Paranoimia." Jazz was "hired into the WWF by Mr. McMahon." Ohhhhhhhhkay. Jazz starts it up with a gutshot and short clothesline. Into the ropes, sidewalk slam attempt but Molly continues the flip to get out. Clothesline ducked, Molly with a headscissors, clothesline, cover, and 2. Jazz comes back - knee to the gut, hot shot, another hot shot, off the ropes, jumping legdrop (yikes), 1, 2, no. To the headlock. Jazz shouting to the crowd - LISTEN TO THAT CROWD! Molly up - elbow, elbow, off the ropes, Jazz ducks, gutshot, double underhook - butterfly suplex, hanging on for two, hanging on for three - shoots the half, 1, 2, no. Off the ropes, jumping splash - misses. Molly with an Oklahoma roll (I think - you know how often we see it these days) but only gets 2. Whip into the corner is reversed, but Molly steps aside - there's a dropkick. Scoop...Jazz back to her feet - gutshot - delayed fishermanbuster - 1, 2, 3. (2:32) I'm not exactly sure that bringing in Jazz instead of, say, Malia Hosaka is the way to build a women's division...but then, I can't exactly say I'm sure that they're actually *trying* to build a women's division, at that.

Backstage, a security guard lets in somebody and doesn't let Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (button your SHIRT, girl!) in. Her name's not on the list, see. She says Flair forgot to put her on the list but she's sure he expects her. The security guard says she's not on the list and there's nothing he can do - and says it about a MILLION times (well, three, okay). Stephanie tells us her husband is returning in just three days, and when she's back in power, he'll be the first person she fires.

Catch the WWF LIVE! MONCTON! MONCTON! MONCTON! Fredericton, St. John, MSG, and MSG, and MONCTON!

I hope I get that house show report from MONCTON!

UPN isn't out of holiday greetings yet! "This is Booker T. Happy Holidays to all the troops overseas. I know all of America joins me in thanking you for defending our freedom and our diversity. Come home safe."

Take a look at the MCI Center! Listen to "Cocky!" THIS IS.....WRESTLING!

Oh, here's the "Cocky" CD cover, too.

To the locker room we go! Test: "Listen, New Year's...I hooked up with this hot Swedish broad!" Christian: "European chick? What was her name?" "Like I even asked. Anyways, I said to her, 'baby, it don't matter if you don't speak any English, 'cause I got a language you can understand..." Storm keeps him from dropping his pants. "That's all well and good, but do you have any idea what we're doing here?" "None." "I was just told to be in this locker room." "Me too--" Jericho barges in. "THERE YOU ARE! The Undisputed Champion's best buddies! You know, has anyone told you guys just how HOT you've been looking in the ring lately? I know I sure hadn't, and you know what else I haven't told you guys? I haven't told you just how much your friendship means to me. I mean, I couldn't ASK for a better bunch of guys, and that's why even though the holidays are over, I still wanted to give you guys a little token of my appreciation, a little gift, so please, accept this." "Sweet." "On behalf of me. You'll like that one." "All this for me?" "All that and a whole lot more, Daddy O! And Lance...happy Hanukkah, that's for you." "I'm not Jewish..." "Yeah I knew you'd like it." "Hey, Chris, uh...Chris, I don't want you to think I don't appreciate this, because, you know, I do..." "Oh, of course!" "...but um, this sudden burst of festive joy wouldn't happen to be because Triple H is coming back Monday night on RAW, would it?" Dramatic zoom. "Triple know are a kidder! You're a wack job! Man you're so kooky, that's what I love about you. Triple H - no. That's not why I gave you guys gifts - I gave you gifts because you DESERVE them! Think about your accomplishments. Not only do you get to stand in front of the living legend, the larger than life UNdisputed WWF Champion...think about what you've done. Test, Mr. Immunity, you can do anything you wanna do. And Christian, the champion of Europe, muy bueno, amigo! Dos countries! And Lance, you got your job back by beating Therock - do you know hard it is to beat Therock? I do, I beat him three times, 1, 2, 3! You guys got those gifts because you deserve them, and because I think you deserve them. So that's it - a token of my appreciation, it's good to know that there's such guys that will watch each others' backs. Amigos. So that's it, I've got a match to go get ready for, guys, so if you could just hit the road, that'd be great. Thanks. Yeah, enjoy those! Enjoy those. Triple H...hmph."

JONATHAN COACHMAN stands with Undertaker - he's annihilated everyone in his path, but he sure seemed to drive away from Big Show last week. "Rode away? What are you some kinda smart(beep)? Is that what you think, I got on my bike and rode away 'cause I'm scared of the Big Show? It's called psyching your opponent out, Coach! Who is the Big Show to call me out? You see, I've been here for about eleven years and for eleven years I've been takin' people like the Big Show and I've been bustin' 'em up. I do things on my terms...but I tell you what, the Big Show - and a lot of other people around here including you - got a lot to learn about the word respect. So what I want you to do, Coach, is make sure that the cameras are rolling, because I'm gonna ride my bike down to the ring, I'm gonna climb in the ring, I'm gonna get face to face with the Big Show, I'm gonna look down at him, and I'm gonna teach him the word respect. And when it's all said and done, we'll find out who's scared of whom. Do I make myself clear?"

Test is WALKING! He happens upon Torrie Wilson and decides to hand her his present. "I got you a New Year's present, because I'm such a great guy and all." She opens it, and finds a Chris Jericho T-shirt. "Listen, it's the thought that counts, all right? Anyways, I thought maybe later you and I could ah...go out in the nation's capital and...partay, if you know what I mean." "Yeah, well, I don't know if you heard, but I'm already taken." "Taken? I don't wanna be your boyfriend. I mean, come on - look at me! You're gonna tell me that you're gonna pass up on this? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, baby! Once you go Test, you forget aboat the rest." "Like I said, I already have a boyfriend, his name is Tajiri?" "Oh, really? Well why don't you tell your boyfriend Tajiri to meet me in the ring later, and I'll SHOW you what a real man's all about. Pfft!" "Pffff....jerk." And she tosses the shirt.

UP NEXT: Undertaker vs. Big Show for the hardcore title!

And now, the Boot of the Week, brought to you by Lugz! Clips of Undertaker dismantling all his recent opponents - Spike, Tajiri, both Hardyz and Lita


I GET LETTERS: Twoflowers was THERE, MAN: After I saw the first guy do it, I just couldn't resist. Share and enjoy. Call it my gift to you for years of damn good recaps.

What can I say? Stefan, I love you. Strictly platonic, mind you, but the love is SO THERE.

WWF HARDCORE CHAMPIONSHIP - WELL IT'S THE BIG SHOW v. AWESOMETAKER (on his Beautiful Bourget Python Bike) - Austin's in the hospital for his injuries, which means he'll be back in the closing segment, most likely. After Taker does his lap around the ring..he heads back up the ramp (ha!) - Show RUNS after him and catches him! Yanking him off the bike, Show throws the right hand. Taker winds up but Show catches him with another right. Taker tries again - nope. Well it's a big headbutt. They're back in the ring, now. "Hardcore, baby!" Show has a little trouble getting the garbage can out from under the ring but eventually does - another trashcan - stop sign - lid - lid - Show in - but Taker has the lid - WHACK! Head to the buckle, soupbone, got a can - WHACK - NO SALE!! Show slaps the can away and dares Taker to hit him again. Soupbone - BLOCKED - right from the Show - got the lid, WHACK, WHACK, WHACK, WHACK. Show grabs the other can - TO THE HEAD! Cover - 1, 2, Taker shoots a shoulder up. Well it's a big body shot, right, right, into the opposite corner, back to the first corner, back to the second corner, international sign of the chokeslam but Taker falls to the mat to chop block Show. Show taken out through the ropes - soupbone blocked, well it's the big headbutt. Show takes Taker's head to the STEEL steps standing against the barrier (how'd they get THERE?) Show running at Taker - oops he's out of the way and Show ends up wrapping his leg around the post. Soupbone, soupbone, Show elbows him away. Taker with a forearm in the back. Got a set of steps - INTO the knee! Taker rushes the timekeeper and grabs his chair - chair ot the ribs - WHACK in the back. Show rolled back into the ring and Taker follows. Boot to the head. "Call somebody out, (beep), huh? Look at me, dammit! Ahhhhhhhh!" That's the sound of getting caught in the choke. Taker kicks the knee to escape - but coming off the ropes, Taker *still* ends up caught in ahhhhhTHECHOKESLAAAAAM! Unfortunately, Show has to clutch his knee before making the cover - 1, 2, JOHNNY ACE! Show tries to get back to his feet - Taker IS to his feet and got the chair again....but Show punches the chair into Taker's face! Show explodes with a clotehsline. Show back to his feet - or foot, maybe. DOWN COME THE STRAPS!! Crowd actually *is* getting hyped as Show does an Undertaker Black Power Salute. HE'S GONNA GIVE HIM THE LAST RIDE ohh no he's not, Taker with an uppernut. DRAGON SLEEPER - oops, Lawler said it's called the TCB, which stands for "Taker Care-o' Business" - Show quickly taps out. (5:07) They should have saved this match for the pay-per-view - hey, maybe they'll do it again at the PPV?

UP NEXT: Rob van Dam teams with Edge to take on Chris Jericho & Kurt Angle. Cole promises "major implications" - I think HE'S LYING TO ME

UPN bumper: Stacy Keibler: "Our deepest gratitude goes out to all the troops currently defending the ideals and principles of this diverse nation. Now more than ever, unite. We are all Americans." Hey you know I think she might be READING A TELEPROMPTER

Commentators shill "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Stephanie tries to wheel James Dudley (Vince J.'s old chauffer and the first mystery Hall of Famer? I thought he was dead!) into the arena - he IS on the list, but Stephanie still isn't on the list. He has another guy wheel him off. "You know, Mike, I think I'm going about this all wrong. I mean, the way you're being so really quite a turn-on. I mean, you're really a man who knows what he wants. And I like that." "Stephanie...this is all--" "I promise - if you let me in, I will make it worth your while." "Stephanie...I'm gay. Billy! Chuck! Good to see ya! Stephanie, I'm telling you, if they would ever come out with a calendar, it would be UNBELIEVABLE! That's a calendar, I'm telling ya!" Stephanie storms off. Cubs Fan told me that was Cheetah Master....I think that's what he told me.

KURT ANGLE (with TV-PG-DLV & SAP transmitido en espanol) and MR. JERICHO (with SmackDown! is brought to you LIVE! by "Black Hawk Down," Stacker 2, and Final Fantasy X) v. KING EDGE and POINTS TO SELF - I have NO idea why EITHER of these duos have teamed up, okay? On his way down the ramp, Jericho holds the big gold belt out...then snaps it away before the crowd can touch it. Angle and Edge start - lockup, knee by Angle, right, right, into the ropes, Edge with a Viscera. Angle runs in and ends up taking the Edgeplant - 1, 2, Jericho makes the save by elbowdropping Angle when Edge slips out of the way...and tags van Dam after foreraming Jericho away. But van Dam runs into an Angle forearm - right, right, into the corner, van Dam flips up and over, superfluous backflip, crossbody from the second rope for 2 - van Dam catches the kick and hits the stepover heel kick - Jericho in and HE gets a heel kick - Angle with a forearm in the back to turn things around. Right hand, into the ropes, van Dam hooks 'em, then lets Angle run into his thrust kick. Off the ropes, off the other ropes, Rolling Thunder. Vaulting to the top - but Jericho shoves him off, crotching him in the process. Angle takes over - kick, kick, kick, kick, stomp, stomp. Tag to Jericho, Angle right, right, double into the corner, do si do whip and Jericho spears him. Field goal kick by Jericho - make it six points for two. Hung out on the top rope. Jericho flexes for Edge - van Dam brought back in - kick in the gut. van Dam tries a gutshot - Jericho forearms him and tags Angle. Right by Angle, right by Jericho, double into the opposite corner, do si do whip FAILS this time and Jericho shoulders the post. Angle manages to drive HIS shoulder into van Dam three or four times, though. Sat on top, right hand, right hand, Angle climbing up as well - superplex coming up? - "RVD" chant - Angle's on the top rope - van Dam punches out and a big right takes Angle to the floor. van Dam pulls himself up and lands the Fivestar frog splash - but backs up too close to Jericho, who gives him a stun gun. Both men are down and both partners are straining to reach for a tag. Referee "Blind" Tim White is up to five - tag to Jericho - HOT TAG TO EDGE! Edge with a clothesline! Clothesline! Jericho ducks a clothesline, so Edge gives him the Edge-omatic. Angle eats a right - Jericho takes a right, right, Angle runs in and Edge runs him into Jericho - double leg takedown on Angle - anklelock (!) but Edge knocks him down. Bulldog. Free shot for van Dam - Lionsault misses but Jericho lands on his feet - but all that does is put him in perfect position for the SPEAR - 1, 2, Angle breaks it up!! van Dam flies in with a kick - split-legged moonsault (!) misses (!) - while White takes van Dam back to his corner, Edge ducks a clothesline from Jericho, gutshot, Edgecution....and Angle sneaks in to give him the Olympic Slam! van Dam runs at Angle, clotheslining both himself and Angle outside...meanwhile, Jericho has an arm draped over Edge - 1, 2, 3. Another sneaky win for Our Undisputed Champion. (5:12k enhanced Macintosh) Give it a replay.

Here's Ric Flair, just arriving at the building. Arn Anderson meets him and wonders why he's so late. Flair says he was "taking care of some real serious business. This is cool!" Anderson takes it upon himself to stooge off McMahon, Boss Man and Booker. Flair says he'll show HIM - *he's going to the ring!*

Tazz hijacks ANOTHER truck of Stacker 2 - geez you'd think they'd stop sending the trucks down that route

Why is there an ad for "Darrin's Dance Grooves" during this show? Is this another amazing crossover demographic I've somehow managed to escape being lumped in with until this moment? Ha ha who knew Lance Bass was so MISCHEVIOUS lookin' like Snoop Dog pointing at him

Experience the WWF live, tomorrow in Binghamton, Saturday in Springfield, Sunday in Trenton, and Monday (sold out) and Tuesday at MSG!

THE MAN is out for HIS fifteen minute interview segment. Gosh, they don't usually put Flair out when it's LIVE!, do they? Maybe it just *seems* that way. "Has Vince McMahon been acting up again? That's what I hear. Well let me go on record, first of all, I wanna endorse the Rock in his campaign to beat Booker tonight to get a shot at Jericho. Woooo! But now I wanna get to Vince McMahon. Wherever you are, McMahon, whatever room you're hiding in, come out, get in front of a monitor woooo! and listen to the Nature Boy, because pal, you now have got a date woooo! with destiny. You are gonna wrestle the Nature Boy woooo! Ric Flair at the Royal Rumble! You may think you can sit in an ivory tower in Stamford, Connecticut and control people's lives, like little pawns, that's fine. You're rich, you're famous, but NOW you've got to walk that aisle. Woooo! You've got to style and profile! You've gotta get your eye poked out - you gotta get kicked in the (beep) - you gotta get your nose broken, your eye cut - in other words, you've got to learn to bleed, sweat, and pay the price to be a wrestler. And WHAT in God's green earth ever made you think that you could be like the Na-ture Boy. I'm dyin' to know. Because at the Royal Rumble...McMahon, I'm gonna walk down that aisle, lookin' only as..." STEPHANIE CAN'T ACT has hopped the rail but two security guys (dressed completely unlike every other security guy in the arena) restrain her. "Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa - whoa - heeeeey - hey - whoa! Whoa! Whoa - hey guys, let her go! Let her go. We got a McMahon in the house. Stephanie stops to zip up her pants (huh?) before hitting the ring. SHE'S HUMONGOUS but the camera angles are mostly friendly - so's the jacket. "Do you wanna talk to me?" "Yes, Ric, I do. Letting me in this ring...was a very smart business decision. I'm impressed! But what I came here to tell you, Ric, that I didn't tell you last Thursday, is that I've been impressed with you for a very long time. I've got to admit, I'm a Ric Flair fan, much like all of you. I mean, I've been watching wrestling since I can remember- and I'll even admit when I was a little girl, I had a crush on the Nature Boy. But as I grew older, that rush turned into respect. I mean, after all, Flair, you are the fouteen-time World Champion! You are a legend around the world! You are an ICON in this business! Ric, you earned my respect so much that Shane and I sold you our stock in the WWF. And while there is no doubt that you are a general in the ring, when it comes to business, you fall just a little bit short. Now Ric, with all due respect, in this ring you ARE the Man, but pardon the expression - when it comes to business, I'M the man. And while I have no doubt that you will ANNIHILATE my father, In This Very Ring at the Royal Rumble (Flair removes his jacket - off the ropes with an elbow) - YOU NEED ME to beat him (off the ropes with a knee) WHY? (Flair off the ropes with a strut and a dance) WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" "Tell 'em all you came here for a shot at the title, baby! Woooo!" Well that was unexpected - so is Stephanie slapping him one. Flair bounces right back up with his dukes ready... "What do you think this is, Ric? Some big party? You think my father won't hesitate for one second to cut your heart out or slit your throat? You NEED me, Flair. You need me on your side - and guess what: you have four days to make your decision. I'll have my cel phone on all weekend long, but come this Monday whether you like it or not, my husband (the Game Triple H) is coming BACK to the WWF - and come this Monday, the game will REALLY begin." She drops the mic and leaves to no music and a "slut" chant. Flair...glares.

And now the Blast of the Night, brought to you by the JVC Giga-Tube! From Heat, Hurricane takes the Wotsitolla Boot, but Rikishi comes out and uses the Rikishikick to help Hurrican take the fall. Get the tube, FEEL THE POWER

TAJIRI (with Torrie Samuda - with Triple H on "Live" hype) v. THE NARCISSIteST in a nontitle match - Tajiri tries to get the jump on the big man but has no luck - forearm to the back by Test, forearm, forearm, forearm, out to visit Torrie - Tajiri heads him off with a kick, right, head to the apron, rolled in the ring - Test comes right back with a knee, right, into the ropes, handspring elbow attempt by Tajiri caught into a full nelson into a uranage. Head to the buckle, right, back elbow, right, threatening referee "Blind" Teddy Long, into the ropes, Tajiri ducks the swing, kick to the inner thigh, kick to the outer thigh, left right, kick, left right, kick, whip is reversed but Tajiri DOES hit the handspring elbow. Into the corner is reversed - Tajiri puts up the knee to stop Test coming in - second rope leap into a Jericho-esque "bulldog" - jumping kneedrop - leg is hooked - 1, 2, no. Kick, into the opposite corner is reversed - Test in - Tajiri wants the tarantula but Test turns round, grabs him, and drops him gut first on the top rope. Test waiting to unleash his kick...Tajiri swats it away and hits a spin kick for 2. Tajiri winds up for the KICK but Test ducks - then sweeps the leg. Off the ropes, Tajiri ducks a clothesline, but the Wotsitolla Boot hits - see ya. 1, 2, 3. (2:29) Test gives Torrie another look but she doesn't suddenly decide to go sleep with him.

To the office for a formerly private conversation between Boss Man. "Hey, calm down, Vince. It'll be all right. But I got a little problem I wanna ask you about. Aren't you just a little bit worried about Ric Flair bringing Stephanie McMahon back into the fold?" "I am worried about that, Boss, but he said he was considering it. Quite frankly, I'm more worried about ...where was Ric Flair earlier today? Why was he late arriving? And what was that serious business he had to take care of earlier?" Knock at the door - it's Booker T. "Book! Are you ready? Are you ready? All right, good, man. Booker T - the #1 Contender, facing the WWF Champion at the Royal Rumble!" "You know, tonight, I'm gonna go out there and become the #1 Contender....but uh, who am I facing tonight?" "The Rock." "Who?" "The Rock." "Who?" "Hey buddy, didn't you hear the man? He said the Rock." "Who? Don't y'all get it, man? Tonight, I go out here and become the #1 Contender and establish my new catchphrase, all in the same night! Can u dig it?" "I can dig it....but let me just say if you go out there and say 'Who?' this audience could very well say 'What?'" "No no no, it ain't gonna happen. Tonight, it's gonna be over like Rover, T-shirts gon' be selli'n like hotcakes today!" "Go get 'em, book!" "Get the job done, man!" Vince looks at Boss. "'Who?'" "What?"


Royal Rumble ad - featuring lots of midgets and a cowboy saying "That ain't right." Sir, you're so, so right.

Royal Rumble ad #2

Well one thing about Triple H returning is we won't have to watch this Special Video Look about him set to "Beautiful Day" any more - anyway, he returns on RAW this Monday night, yep, uh huh, and so on

Commentators hype up Triple H's return - Stefan's sign says "What?" in Japanese.

Coachman stands with the Rock - he wants to know Rock's New Year was. Rock looks at him like he's a Martian. Then waits out a "Rock E" chant. "Finally, the Rock HAS COME BACK to Washington, DC! You see, Coach, the Rock's New Year was simply electrifying? But what the Rock wants to know is how was YOUR New Year? Did you sit at home all day playing pocket pool as you usually do? Did you watch yourself on Excess as you usually do? Or maybe you sit and listened to your favourite artists, some music? Do you listen to some of the Rock's favourite? Listen to a little bit of Mystikal, is that who you l- Jay-Z maybe Destiny's Child, is that who you like, Coach? Who's your favourite?" "mumble" "Who?" "(ahem) Actually, I like Barry Manilow, Rock." A beat. "Barry Manilow? Okay, well the Rock digs it, the Rock understands that, yeah, the Rock is a little familiar with Barry Mani - the Rock'll tell you what, Coach. Why don't you do the Rock a favour? Why don't you sing a little Barry Manilow?" "Well--" "Whoawhoawhoawhoa - you don't make the decision. Would you like to hear Coach sing Barry Manilow? You see, Coach, they believe in you - the Rock believes in you - and keep in mind, Coach, why don't you sing because we are live, we are live, live on the Rock's show, LIVE on SmackDown! So go ahead and sing, Coach, sing like you've never sang before." "All right, here goes... at the Copa, Copacabana..." Coach starts to REALLY get into it - Rock grabs the mic and, in the process, the plug comes loose. Rock seems DOUBLY taken aback...then takes the cord and plugs it back in - then taps the mic for effect. "As the Rock was saying, finish your song." No ad lib, I guess. Coach repeats himself. "SWEET CREAM ON AN ICE CREAM SANDWICH, what in the blue hell are you doing? Nobody wants to hear that, nobody wants you sing Barry Manilow, especially on the Rock's show, SmackDown!, even with a broken microphone, nobody wants to hear that. You like to sing?" "Yeah." "You like Barry Manilow?" "Yeah!" "You like the Coco - cococacana. Is that what you like? You like the Copa?" "Yeah, I--" "Well Copa your ass on outta here, jabrone, beat it! ... You see, Booker T, on to you. You see, the Rock is gonna start the new year just like he ended the old year, and that's stopping at nothing, and the Rock means nothing, at becoming WWF Champion once again. And you see, Booker T, what you're failing to realise, is you see, the Rock is ready to roll. The Rock was BORN ready to roll. The Rock came out of his momma's womb ready to roll! Booker T, the doc held up the baby Rock and was about to spank him on his bottom, and the Rock said "Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoa - whoa, doc - you see this is not just any baby bottom, THIS is the People's Baby Bottom! And you see, then, Booker T, the Rock turned around, looked at all the nurses, the nurses lookin', gawkin' at the Rock, eyes wide in amazement, and the Rock lookin' at the nurses said 'ladies, that's not the umbilical cord. Nononono, no, no, ladies, THAT is the People's...Strudel. You see, Booker T, tonight - tonight, LIVE on SmackDown!, the Rock's show, you're not gonna be seeing the People's Bottom, you're damn sure not gonna be seeing the People's Strudel, but what you will see, Booker T, is without a shadow of a doubt, not just any ass whuppin', you are gonna see the People's Ass Whuppin', 1, 2, 3. If you smelllllllalalalowwwwwww what the Rock is cookin'!"

UP NEXT: #1 Contender's Match for the Royal Rumble: Rock vs. Booker T!

BOOKER T. (with Royal Rumble proudly presented by Final Fantasy X!) v. THE ROCK in a #1 Contender's match - Cole says the MCI Center isn't this loud even when Michael Jordan is in the building - errrrrrrr. Booker tries to surprise Rock before he climbs the second corner, but Rock slips him - right, right, right, right, into the ropes, reversed, Rock with a clothesline. Samoan Drop. Leg is hooked, 1, 2, no. "Rock E!" Right, into the ropes is revesred, head down, kick by Rock, off the ropes, Booker catches him with a spinebuster. Booker takes over - stomp, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, right. Chop. Chop. Booker removes his glove (!) and chops again. Elbow. Into the ropes, reversed, reversed back, Rock ducks the standing heel kick - right, right, right, off the ropes - but CAUGHT with a Harlem sidekick - leg is hooked - 1, 2, no! T takes issue with referee "Blind" Earl Hebner but gets back on track by looking at his hand and waiting for Rock to get up - gutshot, off the rope, going for the axe kick (Cole: "leg scissors") but Rock ducks out - right, right, right, right, right, NOW KISS THAT RIGHT and T goes over the top to the outside. Rock out after him...but T manages a gutshot. Into the steps, no, reversed and Rock puts *T* into the steps. Head head the barricade. Rock rolls him back in...and here comes BILLIONAIRE VINCE with a forearm from behind. Uppernut by Vince! Rolled back in for T - T *hits* the axe kick (Cole: "leg scissor") - 1, 2, NO!! T disbelieves. Right hand by T - Rock reverses the whip attempt and hits the gutshot/DDT. Both men are down and Hebner puts on the count. At 5, Rock manages to crawl over for a cover - 1, 2, Vince pulls him away! Here comes THE MAN - right hand for Vince! Right right right right, right, right, ran over the barricade...and Flair follows - they go out through the crowd, Flair chasing Vince - meanwhile, back in the ring, T is up - Rock is up - "Iblockyourpounchyoudon'tblockmine," right, right, right, right, whip is reversed, but Rock hits the flying clothesline off the ropes. T rakes the eyes. Into the ropes, reversed, spinebuster by the Rock. Well here we go - elbowpad is off - off the ropes, off the other ropes - wait, BIG BOSS MAN is there and Rock stops short - Boss Man ducks the right hand - Rock turns back to eat a right. Into the ropes, reversed, Rock runs T into Boss Man, ROCK BOTTOM!, 1, 2, 3! (5:19) Boss Man hits the ring too late but still manages to punch away on the the ropes - into a spinning BOSS MAN SLAM. T asks him to pick him up - DOUBLE BOOK END!! Poor Boss Man, his braces came loose! Boss Man adds a heapin' helpin' of right hands. Two more REFS join Hebner but don't have much luck keeping them off Rock - so the breaking of glass heralds the return of a stitched up STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN - right for T, right, right, right, right, right, right, kick, Boss Man takes a back elbow, right, right, stomp stomp stomp stomp, clothesline out of the ring for T, elbow for Boss Man, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, mount and twenty-two rights (I counted) before T is back in with a WHACK chairshot. One more stomp. Play his music! T leaves the ring - Boss Man manages to follow. Rock and Austin are left laying in the ring. Replay of Rock's win - and the aftermath. I don't know about you, but I smell a big tag team main event for RAW!

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