Mauro Ranallo: Good evening and welcome to Warfare! We are live from Birmingham, Alabama!
Nigel McGuiness: Tomorrow night it's the most violent night on the EBWF calendar, Christmas Eve of Destruction! And tonight we've got a gauntlet match to determine the number one contender for the EBWF World Heavyweight Championship.
Mauro Ranallo: Kicking things off though, we've got an announcement from a former EBWF World Champion, PJ Black...
The crowd erupts as “Sick Of It” by Skillet blasted onto the sound system. The EBWF Universe jumped to their feet and turned to the stage smoke filtered through the grates of the stage. Emerging from the smoke was former EBWF World Champion, PJ Black. He walked out onto the stage gingerly, dressed entirely in street clothes. Everything from a pair of a light blue jeans with a black “Property of EBWF” t-shirt. Black had his hand pulled back by a “Darewolf” bandanna. As he stopped at the top of the stage, a big part of his attire was completely noticeable. A rather large metal knee brace was wrapped around Black’s right knee. He leaned to his left side as to not put too much wait on the right knee. As he stood at the top of the ramp, Black soaked in the cheers from the Universe. Just then, Velvet Sky walked up next to PJ and wrapped her arm around his. She looked over at him with a subtle smile. Her attire was just as casual was PJ, however, she had her own flare on her outfit, with a few rips in the jeans and her shirt cut to show her midriff.
Mauro Ranallo: PJ Black making his return tonight after that brutal assault by Hardcore Holly and Bobby Lashley a month ago.
Nigel McGuinness: I won’t forget that night... My first night on commentary, and the brutality shown by Hardcore and Lashley to this man, I haven’t seen anything like it. I’m surprised he’s able to walk out here on his own tonight.
Mauro Ranallo: PJ Black has a no fear mentality, Nigel... I’ve seen his toughness in that ring.
PJ and Velvet slowly made their way down to the ring, Black clearly limping as he continued to try and not put too much pressure on his right side. The duo made it to the stairs and Black allowed Velvet to ascend first before he slowly made his own way up. The entire time, the EBWF Universe cheered on PJ as they began to chant, “Welcome Back”. He stopped at the apron and looked out at the crowd. From the inside of the ring, Velvet walked over and she assisted Black as he climbed through the ropes and entered the ring. Christy Hemme walked over to the two and she gave both Velvet and PJ a quick hug before she handed the microphone off to PJ. He stood there in the center of the ring with the microphone at his side as he listened to the EBWF Universe. He looked around the Legacy Arena for a few more seconds before he lifted the microphone. The crowd quieted down as PJ began to speak.
PJ Black: You don’t understand the rush listening to that gives me...
A crackle was heard in his voice as he spoke. The EBWF Universe took over again as they began to chant, “PJ Black”, as he stood there in awe. Velvet looked around and smiled as she took looked to watering up.
PJ Black: Last month... I promised you all one thing... I promised that I would beat Hardcore Holly and I would earn at shot at the EBWF Breakout Championship, and I would make that championship mean something again. Just like I did with EBWF Path to Glory Championship and the EBWF World Championship... Unfortunately... Because of the cowardly actions by Hardcore and his goons, I cannot fulfil that promise... Not now.
He paused as the EBWF Universe booed at the mention of Hardcore Holly’s name. Black shook his head as he looked over at Velvet. She put her hand on his shoulder and gave him a nod in support.
PJ Black: Last month, Hardcore Holly knew that he was on the verge of losing. He knew that he was on the verge of having to defend that championship that he prides himself on defending... But when a real challenger showed up, what happen. Hardcore attacked me with his steel chair. The weapon of choice that he’s used to his advantage since the day he showed up in EBWF. Now... I was foolish to think that Hardcore was going to play things fairly, so that’s on me... But in that lack of judgement, Hardcore go the better of me and for that...
Black paused for a second and looked down at his right knee. He took a deep breath and brought the microphone back up.
PJ Black: I hate to admit this, but in that attack, Hardcore Holly managed to injury me... At first, it didn’t seem like it was anything major, but... At the advice of Dr. Hope Clemente, I went to St. Louis to get x-rays and MRIs done on my leg and well... It turns out that things were a lot worse than I thought. After looking at the results, it turns out that in Hardcore’s attack, I fractured my patella and had a slight tear to meniscus. Which, these two injuries are pretty common and normally, any athlete would be back at it just a couple of months. No big deal...
You could hear PJ’s voice crack once more with those last words he spoke. The EBWF Universe remained in silence as they listened to everything.
PJ Black: However... I’m not a normal case. After years of wear and tear inside, and outside this ring... After numerous injuries to my body, namely my knees. It has been advised by the Neurosurgeons at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, that I take a step back and look at my options. They could repair my knee with surgery and get me in shape to return to the ring, but they can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t be back on the surgery table in a few months from now, needing a total knee replacement. Especially if I kept up with my same pace. They said that if I wanted to make it work, I would have to adapt my style in the ring and take less risks...
He looked over at Velvet, who looked at him with a concerned look on her face.
PJ Black: But if you know me even the slightest, you know that when I’m in this ring, I will stop at nothing to achieve everything that set out to do. I have put my body through hell, week in and week out, just to make it to the top, and when I’m inside this ring, that will never change. Since the day I was born, my father breed me for this business. He taught me to give it everything that I have, every chance I had. Which is the mentality that I based my entire life on, especially in this ring. That is what made me who I am today. That is what got me all the championships and accomplishments I’ve fought hard to earn. My two EBWF World Championship reigns. My record breaking EBWF Path to Glory Championship reign... I would have never accomplished any of that, if it wasn’t for my father’s teachings, and giving it everything I have to this business. But... I always told myself that when the day came that I couldn’t give this business everything that I had, that would be the day that I walked away...
Black had to take a second as he seemed to have something in his throat. Velvet walked up to him and she put her hand on his back.
PJ Black: That is why... Um... Wow... This is harder than I thought.
Black looked very emotional as Velvet looked at him. She comforted him as she encouraged him that she was behind him.
PJ Black: That is why... While I can physically do it on my own. While I can have my head held high and do it on my own terms... After sitting at home this last month alongside my wife, and talking with her about everything. Getting her thoughts and her guidance... I have decided that since I know if I returned, I wouldn’t be able to give you everything... I have decided that it’s time that I walk away.
Gasps came from the EBWF Universe as the crowd stood there in disbelief.
Mauro Ranallo: Did I hear what I think I just heard?
Nigel McGuinness: I think so, Mauro...
The EBWF Universe didn’t want to believe it as the chanted out the single word, “No” over and over. Velvet consoled PJ in the center of the ring as he looked like he was having a hard time with this.
PJ Black: There is a lot that I still had yet to accomplish in this business, but after taking a long look at things, I have to think about my health and my body. Believe me, my heart wants to go back to that back and lace up my boots and storm into Christmas Eve of Destruction and destroy Hardcore Holly and take the EBWF Breakout Championship from his grasps... But, my body has failed me, and I don’t want my body to fail all of you. For that, I know that it’s my time to walk away and let all these younger guys step and carry EBWF into the future. As much as I wish that I could continue, I know that you all are capable hands with the Superstars in the back. Every man back there has the same mentality as I do, and while their capable, they will come out here and give you everything you have. Tonight... You will six of EBWF’s greatest give it all to get to the EBWF World Championship. They are your future... They are the men that you need to watch, because they will be ones that do great things in this business, just like I did. I lived my career to be the best and deliver the best each and every night. That, I did... And I have no regrets except one... That one regret is that it all has to come to an end tonight.
He paused again as he choked up once more. He shook his head as the EBWF Universe still had no words for what they were hearing.
PJ Black: Now believe me... I’m not going to go far... This isn’t a goodbye... This is a... See you later.
He smirked and with that said, PJ Black bent over and bowed as he set the microphone down on the mat in front of him. “Sick Of It” blasted back onto the sound system and the EBWF Universe stood up and in unison, they began to clap, as the thousands in attendance all gave PJ Black a standing ovation. Black and Velvet embraced in the center of the ring. Velvet took his head and she held it into her shoulder as she spoke into his ear word of encouragement. After a few moments, Black and Velvet exited the ring and they rounded the ring. PJ shook hands with the EBWF Universe at ringside as he personally thanked all of them, and they returned the sentiment.
Mauro Ranallo: I can’t believe this... After an abundance of injuries, PJ Black has decided that it’s best for himself and for his family, to retire from in ring competition.
Nigel McGuinness: Wow, Mauro... I never thought that I would see the day that PJ Black voluntarily walked away from the ring.
Mauro Ranallo: It might have been voluntary, but you know if PJ thought he could compete at the same level as before, this wouldn’t be an option. You have to admire his pride for this business.
PJ and Velvet walked around the final side of the ring and they turned to head up the ramp. Black’s eyes looked up the ramp and there, on the stage, stood the EBWF locker room as they all joined in with the EBWF Universe as they applauded PJ Black’s career. Velvet noticed this and smiled as she put her hand on PJ’s back. The two of them walked up the ramp side by side until they stood at the edge of the stage. Black looked from left to right at all the men and women on the stage in front of him. As his eyes scanned his coworkers, one man stepped forward and stood directly in front of Black. EBWF’s CEO and Chairman, Wes Ikeda stood in front of Black.
Mauro Ranallo: PJ Black has made his career on fighting against Wes Ikeda and his authority, believing that it was the company that held him down and kept him out of the title picture.
Nigel McGuinness: He vocalized his complaints which is what launched PJ Black into his best run here in EBWF, which led him the EBWF World Championship.
Velvet smiled at PJ as she stepped forward. She leaned into Wes and the two embraced in a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek. Velvet stepped to the side and turned back to PJ. Wes’ gaze turned back to Black as the two men for the first time in their careers stood toe to toe in an EBWF arena. Wes extended his hand out in front of him and PJ looked down at it. After a few seconds, Black reached forward and he shook Wes’ hand. Wes yanked Black next to him and PJ turned to the EBWF Universe as Wes held PJ’s hand in the air. The Universe and the Superstars all continued to applaud. Velvet wrapped her arms around PJ’s waist as he wrapped his free arm around her. With watery eyes, Black and Velvet stood in front of their friends, they family, and the entire EBWF Universe with complete content.
As Warfare returned from a commercial break, "How do you like me now" by Jim Johnston began playing over the arena sound system. The crowd had a mixed reaction as a mixture of cheers and boos were heard. After a few seconds, Hardcore Holly walked out onto the stage holding the EBWF Breakout Championship and looking pissed off. Hardcore then began walking down the ramp and towards the ring. Hardcore threw the Breakout Title over the top rope and into the ring as he ran up the stairs, then climbed through the middle rope and into the ring. Hardcore went to the turnbuckle, stood on the second rope and threw his arms in the air. Most fans cheered as Hardcore stepped down and grabbed a microphone. He picked up his Breakout title before speaking.
Hardcore Holly: Ya know! EBWF has a problem... A big goddamn problem! I mean I have in EBWF for over a year! I have said countless time that I'm looking for a fight! And what do I get? Not a damn thing but more BS from the top! Yea you Wes! You piece of garbage! Fact is you're lucky boy, because if you ever step one on one with me I will knock ya dick in the dirt! Let me ask all of you because this is my home state!
The crowd cheered as Hardcore continued speaking.
Hardcore Holly: How the hell does someone like Edge, Tommaso Ciampa, Hell even Chris Jericho get in this match tonight?! I have been a dominant title holder! I have done nothing but kick everyone's ass who stands in front of me! But it seems like that means nothing! So Wes I want ya to listen and listen good! First thing first! I am officially vacating the EBWF Breakout Championship!
The crowd booed as Hardcore continued.
Hardcore Holly: But not to you Wes! Not to EBWF! I will pick the new Breakout Champion! And before I do Wes! I want you to know that... I QUIT! Effective tonight! Fact is Wes, ya already proved ya ain't got no competition for me! I'm tired of fighting garbage! So I am gonna leave now! I am gonna head home, pet my dog, have a few cold ones and watch this sham take place on TV! But Wes if you even wanna settle our score I ain't far man! Anytime, anyplace bitch!
The EBWF universe looked bewildered as Hardcore continued.
Hardcore Holly: Now as far as who will be the new EBWF Breakout Champion! That man who will be taking over my reign! My good friend... My manager... The money man! Lio Rush!
"I Came To Collect" by CFO$ began playing as Hardcore rolled under the bottom rope holding the Breakout Championship. Lio Rush walked out onto stage clapping and holding a microphone. Lio was laughing and smiling as Hardcore met him on the stage and handed him the EBWF Breakout title. The two men hugged, then Hardcore walked to the back as Lio began speaking.
Lio Rush: Well look at this! HA! HA! I mean honestly who deserves this belt more right?
The crowd booed loudly.
Lio Rush: Ok... Ok... Ok I get it HAHA! But as the new EBWF Breakout Champion things are about to get crazy around here... HA! HA! Man forget y'all I am going to celebrate! And oh yea one more thing... Since I ain't dumb! And I am after all the money man! The Man of the hour... Every hour. Let's just say I hired a few people to watch my back HAHA! Ya know cant mess up the money flow. HA! See I know how most people around here get down! HAHAHA! But the tables will soon turn around here best believe! HAHA! I'll see y'all later! And I will be paying very close attention to tonight's match! So Good luck boys! HAHA!
"I came to collect" by CFO$ began playing again as Lio held up the EBWF Breakout Championship, smiling and laughing. After a few seconds Warfare went to commercial.
Nigel McGuinness: Welcome back! What a crazy night it's been so far... PJ Black has announced his retirement, and Hardcore Holly has quit EBWF!
Mauro Ranallo: Well it's about to get even crazier, Nigel, because up next, for the first time ever here on Warfare, we've got a six man gauntlet match! The winner challenges Aiden English for the EBWF World Title at Christmas Eve of Destruction, and the runner up gets a shot at Randy Orton's Gateway Championship! It's time to find out which of the six superstars has drawn number one...
"Metalingus" by Alter Bridge hit and the crowd cheered as Edge made his way to the ring.
Nigel McGuiness: Edge is one of three former EBWF World Champions competing in this gauntlet match, but if he wants another shot at the big one tomorrow night, he's going to have to outlast five other superstars!
Upon entering the ring, Edge removed his trenchcoat and stared down the ramp, waiting to see who was out next. "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads hit and the crowd booed as Tommaso Ciampa headed to the ring. When Ciampa was in the ring, the referee called for the bell. Ciampa charged towards Edge and hit him with a series of punches, but Edge fought back with some right hands of his own, then whipped Ciampa against the ropes. As Ciampa ran back towards him, Edge hit a spinning heel kick. Both men got to their feet and Edge took Ciampa down with a Russian legsweep, then hooked the leg. The referee counted – 1... 2... kickout!
Nigel McGuinness: Edge trying to put Ciampa away quickly... he wants to conserve his energy!
Edge pulled Ciampa to his feet and hit him with some more right hands, then whipped him into the corner. Edge ran at Ciampa, going for a corner clothesline, but Ciampa got his knees up and blocked it. Ciampa then climbed to the second rope, before hitting Edge with a double axe handle! Edge fell to the mat, and Ciampa stomped on him several times, then pulled Edge to his feet and hit a neckbreaker. Ciampa hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Another near fall, this time Tommaso Ciampa gets a two count! Can the "Psycho Killer" seize control?
Ciampa pulled Edge to his feet and dragged him back towards the corner, slamming his head off the top turnbuckle. Ciampa trapped Edge in the corner and hit him with a series of punches and kicks, then as Edge fell into a sitting position, Ciampa hit him with a running knee strike! Edge slumped to the mat, and Ciampa pulled him away from the ropes, then hooked the leg once more. The referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out! Ciampa looked frustrated, and he pulled Edge to his feet, then set him up for Project Ciampa. Edge countered with a back body drop, then as Ciampa got back to his feet, Edge hit an impaler DDT!
Nigel McGuinness: Edgecution! This could be it, Mauro!
Edge hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... Ciampa kicked out! Edge got to his feet and stomped on Ciampa's knee several times, then logged in the Edgecator! Ciampa cried out in pain, and when he was unable to reach the ropes, he tapped out! Edge broke the hold as the referee called for the bell.
Mauro Ranallo: Ciampa has a history of knee problems, and Edge took full advantage to eliminate him from this match!
Nigel McGuinness: That's why they call him the Ultimate Opportunist, Mauro! One down, four more to go...
"Dominance" by CFO$ hit and Christy Hemme introduced Bobby Lashley as the third entrant in the gauntlet... but there was no sign of Lashley making his way to the ring. Suddenly, the camera cut backstage, where Bobby Lashley was found unconscious in his locker room.
Mauro Ranallo: It looks like someone didn't want Bobby Lashley in this match, Mauro... he's been taken out!
Warfare went to commercial as trainers and EMTs checked on Lashley.
As Warfare returned from commercial, Christy Hemme was stood in the ring.
Christy Hemme: Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been informed that Bobby Lashley is unable to compete, therefore Edge wins the second fall of the gauntlet via forfeit. Introducing the fourth competitor in the gauntlet...
"Break the Walls Down!"
Christy Hemme: From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, weighing in at 227 pounds, Chris Jericho!
The crowd cheered as Jericho made his way to the ring. Upon entering the ring, Jericho nodded respectfully towards Edge, who nodded back. The referee called for the bell and the two men locked up. Edge put Jericho in a headlock, but Jericho hit Edge with a series of elbows to the midsection, forcing him to break the hold. Jericho then whipped Edge against the ropes, before hitting a dropkick. Both men got to their feet and Jericho whipped Edge into the corner, then hit a series of backhand chops. Jericho took several steps back, then charged towards Edge, going for a forearm smash. Edge got his foot up and went to hit Jericho with a boot to the face, but Jericho ducked out of the way and slid out of the ring, then grabbed Edge by the legs, tripping him up!
Mauro Ranallo: Chris Jericho rolling back the years with that move!
Nigel McGuinness: Amazing that he can still move so quickly, Mauro!
As Edge got to his feet, Jericho climbed to the top rope and hit a diving crossbody, then hooked the leg. The referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out! Jericho pulled Edge to his feet and hit him with a kick to the midsection, then set Edge up for a suplex. Edge blocked it, then whipped Jericho against the ropes. As Jericho ran back towards Edge, he went for a clothesline, but Edge ducked out of the way and grabbed Jericho from behind, lifting him up onto his shoulders and hitting the electric chair drop! He hooked both legs and the referee counted – 1... 2... Jericho kicked out! Edge grabbed Jericho by the legs and went for the Edgecator, but before he could lock it in, Jericho kicked him away and got to his feet. Jericho and Edge exchanged right hands back and forth, and after gaining the upper hand, Edge went to whip Jericho against the ropes. Jericho reversed the Irish whip, sending Edge into the ropes, then took him down with a shoulder block. As Edge got to his feet, Jericho hit an enzuigiri, then followed up with a running one-handed bulldog. Edge was down on the mat, and Jericho ran towards the ropes, hitting the Lionsault! He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out just before the 3!
Mauro Ranallo: Incredible athleticism once again by Jericho, but it's not enough to put Edge away!
Nigel McGuinness: Edge and Jericho need to try and conserve energy, Mauro... whoever wins this fall still has Tommy End and The Miz to contend with!
Jericho got to his feet and grabbed Edge by the legs, locking in the Walls of Jericho! Edge cried out in pain, but he was able to crawl towards the ropes, and as he grabbed onto the bottom rope, the referee ordered Jericho to break the hold. Jericho did so, then pulled Edge away from the ropes and stomped on him several times. Jericho was about to reapply the Walls of Jericho when he saw Michael Dante running down the ramp...
Mauro Ranallo: Oh come on, what is Michael Dante doing out here!
Nigel McGuinness: Gunning for Jericho I'd imagine, Mauro!
Jericho rolled out of the ring and ran towards Dante, taking him down with a clothesline! Dante got to his feet and Jericho hit him with a series of punches, then threw him into the ring steps. Jericho quickly re-entered the ring and grabbed Edge by the legs, going for the Walls of Jericho, but Edge kicked Jericho away and sprung to his feet. Edge then charged towards Jericho, taking him down with a Spear! He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... 3!
Mauro Ranallo: Edge eliminates Jericho! But you have to wonder what would have happened if Michael Dante hadn't rushed to the ring!
Nigel McGuinness: Well you can't blame Edge for that, Mauro... besides, Jericho should have kept his focus on the match!
Mauro Ranallo: After the commercial break, we'll find out who the fifth entrant in the gauntlet is... will it be The Miz or Tommy End?
As Warfare returned from commercial, the camera opened on the silver handle of a closed door. A hand jutted into frame and turned the knob, the door swung open. The camera bobbed and swayed as if mounted to someone. Inside the room was an array of chairs spread out. Each one was turned to face a small wooden podium at the front of the room, the camera was making its way there. The footsteps pushing the camera forward were like gunshots cutting through the silence of the room. The swaying of the camera panned across the empty chairs as it drew ever closer to the podium. There was a cough and the camera swung around seeking out the source of the sound but there was nothing there. Finally the camera reached the podium and stepped up behind it, still facing the back wall. A deep breath.
Aiden English: As I look out on these familiar faces, I am reminded of the highs and lows we had to walk through to make it to this point. Long days, a perilous journey. I have called you all here in order to discuss the state of things!
The camera turned around and there he was. Aiden English was sitting in every seat. Each of them had on a different outfit that matched up with a specific time in the champion’s career. Up in the front among several others were an Aiden with the Gateway Title over his shoulder and an Aiden with the Breakout Title over his shoulder. Somewhere in the back there was another Aiden with a title but it was obfuscated by those in front of him rather purposefully. The camera panned to the podium as Aiden’s hands brought the EBWF World Title into frame and gracefully laid it on the podium.
Aiden English: When I look at all of you I am reminded of our time with Seth. I am reminded of our time with Miroslav in the old country. I am reminded of bright futures and greener pastures. I am reminded of great pasts and previous failures. It’s sweet as sugar and bitter as bile.
Several of the versions of Aiden listening nodded along. One or two made quips and comments in response to the speech. Three in the back talked amongst themselves. The camera panned over the room and then focused back in on the title.
Aiden English: We all know that the deal stands. The past is just that. We look to the here and now! It's the present that has gifted us our biggest bounty. I am the one who made us both King and Champion. It is I who have made us the most important man in professional wrestling but I couldn’t have climbed this mountain without your sacrifices! I come before you to ask something that has never been asked before.
The room fell silent. One of the Aiden’s coughed and drew the attention of all the others. In near unison they turned back toward the camera.
Aiden English: This industry has left us Shattered. It has isolated and abandoned us. This industry has attempted to silence us when we proved too talented and paraded us around when we weren’t at our best. This industry has made a mockery of us and we can’t stand for it. We have to right the wrongs! CM Punk doesn’t have to pay for what happened to Raquel. Natalya doesn’t have to pay for what happened. We will not have our vengeance satiated through destroying the locker room. This hunger can’t be quenched by destroying the EBWF from within! No, something worse has to happen! Something so much worse for everyone involved.
Aiden slammed his fist down on the podium.
Aiden English: We must have unity! Join me in the present! Abandon the past and together we shall be stronger! Together we shall be faster! Together we shall be UNSTOPPABLE.
Several versions of Aiden stood and cheered. They were nodding and celebrating the opportunity. Only a handful of the versions of Aiden stayed seated. Their emotions ranged from shocked to angry. As they reacted the hands reached out and touched the title. The screen started to fade to black and then suddenly flickered with static. The room was empty. The screen went black. With another crackle the shot cut away back to Nigel McGuiness and Mauro Ranallo standing behind the announce table. Both men were clearly confused.
Mauro Ranallo: I’m not exactly sure what we just saw? Was that inside the mind of EBWF World Champion, Aiden English?
Nigel McGuiness: I’m not sure Mauro. I feel uneasy.
Mauro Ranallo: Ladies and gentlemen, we’re not sure what to say. We’re sorry if you are feeling the same discomfort we are right now!
Back in the ring, Edge was staring down the ramp, awaiting the arrival of his next opponent. "I Came To Play" by Downstait hit and the crowd cheered as The Miz made his way to the ring.
Mauro Ranallo: The Miz is entering at number five!
Nigel McGuinness: That means Tommy End is entering last, Mauro... whoever wins this fall will take on the leader of Legion!
Upon entering the ring, Miz charged towards Edge, hitting him with a series of punches. Miz whipped Edge into the corner, then ran at him, hitting the Awesome Clothesline! As Edge staggered out of the corner, Miz set him up for the Skull Crushing Finale... but Edge blocked it, countering with a jawbreaker!
Mauro Ranallo: Miz almost put Edge away in less than a minute!
Nigel McGuinness: Edge has beaten both Tommaso Ciampa and Chris Jericho, while Miz is fresh into this match... Edge is fatigued, and Miz intends to take full advantage!
Edge rolled out of the ring, giving himself a moment to recover. As Miz got to his feet, he followed Edge to the outside, and the two men began exchanging punches at ringside. Edge gained the upper hand, and he set Miz up for a DDT, but Miz blocked it and shoved Edge into the ringside barrier. Miz then hit Edge with a series of kicks to the chest, before lifting him up and dropping him onto the barrier! Edge fell to the ground, clutching his ribs. Miz threw Edge back into the ring, then slid under the bottom rope and made the cover. The referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out! Miz got to his feet and stomped on Edge several times, then grabbed him by the legs, locking in the figure four leglock!
Mauro Ranallo: Miz is in control here... can he make Edge submit?
Edge cried out in pain, but he was able to get to the ropes and the referee ordered Miz to break the hold. As Miz got to his feet, the camera cut to the stage. Tommy End walked through the curtain and sat at the top of the ramp, watching the match intently.
Nigel McGuinness: Tommy End is out here to watch the action unfold... he knows he just has to beat one of these superstars to get a shot at the World Title tomorrow night!
Miz sat Edge up and applied a chinlock, but Edge was able to fight out of it and both men got to their feet. Miz went to whip Edge against the ropes, but Edge reversed it, sending Miz into the ropes. As Miz ran back towards him, Edge hit a big boot, then ran against the ropes and hit a running leg drop. Edge hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... Miz kicked out! Edge pulled Miz to his feet and hit him with a series of punches, then whipped him into the corner. Edge sat Miz on the top rope, setting him up for a superplex, but Miz fought back and kicked Edge away, then hit a missile dropkick! As both men got to their feet, Miz hit a kick to the midsection, dropping Edge to his knees, then followed up with a snap DDT! Miz hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out just before the 3!
Mauro Ranallo: Miz can't believe it!
Nigel McGuiness: Impressive resilience from the Rated R Superstar!
As Miz got to his feet, the camera cut to Tommy End at the top of the ramp. Perhaps sensing the end of the match, End had got to his feet and was walking towards the ring. Back in the ring, Miz set Edge up for the Skull Crushing Finale... but again Edge blocked it, this time countering with a Russian legsweep! Both men were down, and the camera cut back to Tommy End, who was now sitting halfway down the ramp.
Mauro Ranallo: Tommy End is like a lion hunting his prey...
Edge pulled Miz to his feet and lifted him up for a powerbomb... but Miz countered with a hurricanrana! He hooked both legs and the referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out! Both men got to their feet and Miz whipped Edge against the ropes, then went for a clothesline. Edge ducked out of the way, ran against the ropes, then hit Miz with a Spear! Edge draped an arm over The Miz, and the referee counted – 1... 2... 3!
Nigel McGuinness: He's done it! Edge advances to the final stage of the gauntlet!
As soon as the bell rang, Tommy End rushed into the ring, throwing Miz to the outside and stomping on Edge several times. End pulled Miz to his feet, hitting him with a brainbuster, then hooked the leg. The referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Edge didn't have a moment to catch his breath there... Tommy End immediately started the final fall!
Nigel McGuinness: Edge has defeated three other superstars... four if you count Lashley's forfeit! He's been in the ring for over 40 minutes, and you have to wonder how much he's got left in the tank.
End pulled Edge to his feet and whipped him into the corner, then ran at him, hitting a running knee strike! Edge staggered out of the corner, and End went to the top rope, hitting Edge with a diving double knee strike to the chest. End hooked the leg once more – 1... 2... again Edge kicked out! End looked frustrated, and he pulled Edge to his feet, locking in the Octopus hold! Edge cried out in pain, and the referee asked him if he wanted to submit, but he shook his head then tried to reach the ropes. End pulled him back, keeping the ropes out of reach. In doing so, End loosened his grip, and Edge countered the hold, lifting End up onto his shoulders and hitting a fireman's carry slam. Both men were down for several seconds, then Edge slowly got to his feet. End also got to his feet, and the two men exchanged right hands back and forth. The crowd were fully behind Edge, and they cheered every one of his punches, while booing every punch Tommy End hit. With the crowd behind him, Edge was able to seize the momentum, and after hitting a series of punches in quick succession, Edge whipped End against the ropes. As End ran back towards him, Edge hit a hip toss, then as End got back to his feet, Edge got behind him, hitting an inverted DDT. He hooked the leg but the referee counted – 1... 2... End kicked out! Edge then got to his feet, grabbing End by the legs and locking in the Edgecator!
Nigel McGuinness: Clever strategy there by Edge... he's giving himself a chance to recover while also doing damage to Tommy End's legs, potentially limiting the effectiveness of his kicks!
End cried out in pain, and tried to reach the ropes, but Edge had him in the center of the ring. Edge applied more pressure, and the referee asked End if he wanted to tap out, but End shook his head then began swinging punches at Edge, forcing him to break the hold. End struggled to get to his feet, but when he was up Edge hit a kick to the midsection, then hit the Edgecution! He hooked the leg once more – 1... 2... End kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Edge is in control now! Can he win the gauntlet against all odds?
Edge pulled End to his feet and whipped him hard into the corner. End hit the turnbuckles with such force that he fell to the mat. As End got to his feet, Edge charged towards him, going for the Spear... but End moved out of the way and Edge speared the ring post! Edge staggered out of the corner, clutching his shoulder, and End grabbed him from behind, hitting a deadlift German suplex! Both of Edge's shoulders were down, and the referee counted – 1... 2... Edge got his shoulder up! As Edge got to his feet, End hit a standing cutter, then locked in the Owari Death Clutch! Edge was unable to get to the ropes, and as he began to lose consciousness, the referee lifted up his arm. Edge's arm fell to his side, and the referee lifted the arm up a second time. Once again, Edge's arm fell to his side, and the referee lifted the arm up for a third time... the arm fell slightly, but Edge was able to hold it up! Edge then hit End with an elbow strike to the ribs, forcing him to break the hold. Edge looked dazed as he got to his feet, and End grabbed him, hitting an exploder suplex. He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... Edge kicked out!
Nigel McGuinness: Another near fall! Goodness me, Mauro... what is it going to take to end this match?
End dragged Edge to his feet, and went for the Owari Death Kick... but Edge ducked out of the way, then hit End with the Edge-o-matic! Edge rolled out of the ring to catch his breath, but as he walked around the ring, a hand came out from underneath the ring and grabbed Edge's leg, trying to trip him! Edge stomped on the outstretched hand, then lifted up the ring apron, revealing...
Mauro Ranallo: It's Michael Dante! What is he doing underneath the ring?
Nigel McGuinness: Well he came out here earlier and unsuccessfully tried to attack Chris Jericho, Mauro. We all assumed he had gone to the back, but I guess he's been hiding underneath the ring the whole time!
Edge pulled Dante out from underneath the ring and hit the Edgecution! But as Edge got back to his feet, Tommy End hit him with a baseball slide! End slid out of the ring and grabbed Edge, lifting him up and suplexing him onto the ring apron!
Mauro Ranallo: Mamma Mia! Edge just landed on the hardest part of the ring!
Edge cried out in pain, as Tommy End climbed back into the ring. End waited for Edge to get to his feet, and when Edge was up, End hit the Owari Death Kick! He hooked the leg and the referee counted – 1... 2... 3!
Nigel McGuinness: It's over! Tommy End is the new number one contender for the World Title!
Mauro Ranallo: Once again, he got a helping hand from Michael Dante! This is so unfair...
The referee called for the bell and raised End's arm in victory. As Tommy End celebrated, "Sound of Madness" by Shinedown hit and the crowd cheered as Wes Ikeda stepped out onto the stage. Wes had a microphone in his hand, and when his music was cut, the Chairman and CEO began to speak.
Wes Ikeda: Congratulations, Tommy. I mean, what a win! Edge outlasted everyone else in the gauntlet match, and you still needed help to beat him. I mean bravo, really. Tomorrow night, you will get your shot at the World Title, but mark my words, you won't be getting any help from Legion. Because your match with Aiden English is going to be an Electrified Steel Cage Match!
End looked stunned. Smirking, Wes Ikeda turned around and walked back through the curtain.
Mauro Ranallo: Well there you have it, our main event for Christmas Eve of Destruction is set! We'll see you tomorrow night from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois!