Someone just mailed me the sweater my brother was wearing when he disappeared ten years ago.
Here is what we know.
On January 22nd, 2008, Jack Hansen woke up at or around 8AM. He saw the portents of a blizzard in the grey sky through his bedroom window, so he dressed in his warmest clothes. He ate toast with butter for breakfast. He brushed his hair, his teeth. He put his books and pencils and pens into his old knapsack. He waved goodbye to me, and then he walked out the door, our car trapped in the garage by the previous night’s snow.
Bobby Sullivan says that he passed Jack on his way to school that day. He had been standing in the middle of the road, not moving, not speaking. He was just standing, staring intently at something just above Bobby’s truck. He had to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting him, and cussed him out furiously as his tires screeched. Jack didn’t even react. He says he was more pissed than confused, because ‘Jack was always doing weird shit like that’.
The attendance office record shows that he arrived late--around 9:30--odd, because the school was a fifteen minute walk from our house. To this day, no one can account for him for those forty five minutes between Bobby’s encounter with him and his arrival.
All of his teachers reported seeing him in class, and we have his receipts for a school lunch. The final bell rang at 2:45 PM. The first snowflakes of the worst blizzard Solomon Falls, Maine had seen in decades were beginning to fall. Ruthie Jones says she saw him leave the classroom--she didn’t see where he was going, except that he dashed out of the room like a bat out of hell.
Dad was at work--he always had to stay later at the hospital during the winter. I stayed home from school that day. I was too sick to even move, and had been drifting in and out of fever dreams. I fell asleep around 1 PM, and didn’t wake up til around 4 PM. I called his name--I needed a glass of water. I called it again. And again. When I realized he wasn’t home, I brushed it off, because he often stayed late working with his teacher, Mr. Wesleyan, on his art pieces. My brother was talented. Really, really talented. One of his paintings hangs in my room. Every time I look at it I am reminded of those hours I sat idle, falling easily into sleep again, assuming my brother would come home.
My father arrived at 8PM and woke me. He asked me where Jack was. I said I figured he would have known. He didn’t. We called Mr. Wesleyan--he had been home sick that day with my same flu, which had been particularly nasty that season. We called his friends, thinking that perhaps he had gone to their house to do homework. He wasn’t there.
By the time we called the police, the blizzard was in full force. Total whiteout. The phone lines went down. We couldn’t look for him until morning.
On January 23rd, 2008, we went out to search at dawn. I still thought we would find him. My dad told me he thought so, too.
It took me years to realize he was lying.
It was three hours into the search when we found it. I was the one that spotted it first. It was wrapped around the trailhead at the entrance to Donner Woods, the dense evergreen forest that borders the outskirts of our town, about a mile away from our school. It flapped like a flag in the fierce winds--a strip of corduroy fabric, the beige turned stiff copper with blood. Someone had written on it, in black Sharpie, At last!
The fabric was from the pants Jack had worn that day. The handwriting wasn’t his.
My name is Cara Hansen, and I have been without my brother for ten years now. Some people say that time heals all wounds, but I can’t agree. I think you just get better at masking the grief. I feel his absence every day--he had been an extension of myself, wildly different from me, and yet my complement in every possible way. Both my father and I loved him fiercely, and living day to day without him there was at first unbearable. Eventually, dad and I managed to carve out a life for ourselves in wake of the pain, but something was always missing. Dad still lives back in Solomon Falls, and he hasn't touched Jack's room in a decade.
I don't think either of us ever really moved on. My brother was something special--extraordinary--irreplaceable. I’m 26 now, and things aren’t easier than they were that day I found that awful piece of fabric in the snow.
But I guess that's neither here nor there. You don’t have to be interested in my sob story. I’m not posting on this sub for pity--I’ve had enough of that to last me a lifetime. I’m posting because I really, really need help. I know--maybe this isn’t the best place. But I don’t know what else I'm supposed to do, except get the word out to people who might be able to figure this out. I need help. I need to understand what's going on, and what to do.
The package was stuffed into my mail slot in my apartment building, haphazardly in between my bills and junk mail as if it was hot to the touch of the mailman. At first, I had to check to see if it was even addressed to me--I don’t have much by way of a social life, and although I’ve often stayed up til three AM binging purchases on Amazon Prime, this definitely was not an order. It wasn’t even a real box, just thin cardboard, practically tissue paper. But, sure enough, it was addressed to Cara Hansen in Chicago, Illinois. No return address.
I squinted at it and turned it over a few times in my hands, trying to discern its contents. It was light, smooth, the paper cool against my hands. Eventually, I took one look around the mailroom, and shrugged--fuck it, right? I tore the package open.
There, folded into a meticulous square beneath the paper, was a sweater knitted from mint green yarn.
My breath hitched. My hands began to shake, so intensely I dropped the sweater, which hit the floor with a thump, and splayed out like a mess of limbs. I stared at it, wide-eyed, like a dumb animal, unable to comprehend what I was looking at.
Abruptly, my eyes fell on a small white square that had spilled out of the folds. I bent down, all of me thrumming with a trembling dread as I picked it up. The world around me had begun to blur, but I realized through my cloudy vision I was looking at a newspaper clipping--a headline from February 2009's edition of the Solomon Falls Gazette that read “Huge Strides in Children’s Medicine for City Hospital”. After a cursory glance I shoved the note into my pocket, too mesmerized by what was before me to focus on the random cutout.
Could it really be? No, it couldn’t, but it was--the same brown stain on the right wrist from when he spilled dad’s coffee on Father’s Day. The same hole on the shoulder where the thread had begun to unravel. Fuck, it even smelled the way it had--the pine trees, his sandalwood aftershave, the stale must of our childhood home--as if he had never left the house that morning. As if he had never left at all.
The sweater was Jack’s--I had knitted it for him. He got cold so easily. He was always like that--fragile. He was thin, and hairless, except for the golden brown mop on his head. He was unfocused, contemplative, and incurably frail. The wind blew and he got sick. I wanted him to be safer, so I gave it to him on our twelfth birthday. He didn’t grow much after that, so he kept wearing it. It was his favorite. He liked the way the green offset his eyes. He said it could keep him warmer than any windbreaker ever could. Which is why he put it on the day he disappeared.
My stomach dropped, and I realized with fascination, almost terror, that my cheeks were hot with tears. The inky black letters on the newspaper clipping had begun to blur into violet. I snatched up the sweater from the floor and ran up all three flights of stairs back to my apartment.
It was after Brett moved away that the mittens started showing up. We were fourteen at the time. The sparkle in Jack’s eyes was just coming back after Brett’s departure. It was the first time he'd been without him. He had to adjust to life without his best friend, the person he had loved more than anyone--sometimes, I thought, even more than he loved me. My brother was gentle--hands like cool water, a voice like birdsong, eyes like a doe. When Brett left, I expected him to change, become rougher somehow, less wide-eyed. But he just became flatter, duller for a spell, his gentleness stemming from a lack of will rather than compassion. The thing is, my brother’s compassion was inexhaustible, so as the winter began, Jack had begun to return to me.
I remember the day the first one came--December 16th, 2005, six o’ clock PM. It was of those December evenings where you couldn’t even see the sunset, just a grey tinted orange seeping through the window. My brother was singing a quiet, slow rendition of some George Michael song. “Cause I gotta have faith, faith, faith,” he mumbled to himself, absentmindedly dropping one ceramic plate onto another with a worrying smack.
“Jack,” I complained, looking up from my book, “You really have to pay attention when you’re doing that sort of thing.”
It seemed like such an insignificant comment at the time, something I would say to him on a regular basis, trying to pull him from his dream realm back down to earth. My brother’s eyes were a russet brown, almost amber, wide as saucers, and they would often grow hazy and wander as he entered the daydream world he created for himself. Every time I recall criticizing him for his dreaminess, I feel a wave of burning regret, so intense I could drown. I wish I had just let him be. I wish I had accepted him for who he was--been better. Hugged him tight while I could.
Before he could respond, the doorbell, a brassy, shrill noise, echoed throughout the house, followed by a rapid, terse succession of the same sound, as if someone were pounding on it. “Holy hell!” my father shouted from the next room. “Some mailman! Grab the door, Cara!”
I rolled my eyes. My father loved The West Wing so much he couldn’t even get up off his ass long enough to answer the psycho at the door? I pushed my chair back from the table and rose halfway before I felt Jack’s soft hand on my shoulder. “Let me.”
“Why?” I sat back down, brow furrowed, searching his face for a reason as the doorbell blared over and over again.
“I don’t know,” he admitted as he crossed the room--the doorbell was nearly a constant sound now, being hit so rapidly. And it was...different, somehow. Angry. Deeply, deeply angry. “I just don’t think they're here to see you.”
For some reason I couldn’t identify, my heart began to creep into my throat. Suddenly, the situation began to dawn on me. Who was so desperate to get into the house? What did they want from us? My brother’s intuition was an esoteric thing that I didn’t understand--I don’t think I was capable of understanding it--but it was never wrong. Something was not right here. Something was off. The air felt colder, and it wasn’t the blizzard. “Jack,” I said, and he stopped with his hand on the doorknob. “Maybe you...shouldn’t. They seem…”
He knew what I meant. He always did. He smiled at me, thin-lipped, almost mournful. He opened the door.
The sounds stopped immediately, and all I heard was the hiss of the wind, thick, and sharp. My brother uttered a simple “Oh,” before shutting the door and walking back to the kitchen. He didn't say anything, just sat down next to me, face placid and expressionless. I stared at him as if he had grown a second head.
“So? Who was out there?”
He shrugged. “Nobody. Just these.” He placed a pair of little white mittens onto the table. They were tiny--clearly intended for a toddler, even a baby.
“The hell do you mean, nobody?” I demanded as I studied the mittens. They weren’t completely white, I realized. The left thumb was marred by an odd, jagged, yellow stain, and there was a small tear in the area as well. “You mean they were playing ding dong ditch?”
“No. Nobody was ever out there, Cara.” I was waiting for the joke, but he just gave me a blank look, like he was telling me that the sun is hot. Dad chose that moment to enter the room, yawning languidly as he passed through the doorway.
“What is all this fuss about?” he asked, looking between me and Jack. “Who was there? Vacuum salesman? The IRS? Hell, sounded like President Bush himself was at the door. Wish he were, so I could give him the good ass kickin’ he deserves.” He laughed heartily to himself, and even I smiled a little bit, despite my pounding heart. Jack gestured to the mittens, and dad’s eyes followed his hand. Instantly, I saw his face go two shades whiter, but he attempted to compose himself right away, as if sensing my fear.
“Well, I’ll be damned.” He drew closer to the table, placing his hand on Jack's shoulder. “Who was out there, Jack-o-lantern?”
Jack didn't react. “Nobody was out there. Just those."
I crossed my arms and turned to my father. “Dad, he’s making shit up again...”
My brother just cocked his head. “No, Cara. There couldn’t have been anyone. There were no footprints.”
My stomach dropped to my shoes. I tried to speak, but my throat had dried up. Dad must have seen my blanched face out of the corner of his eye, because he immediately interjected, “It was the wind, I’m sure.” He picked up one of the mittens and brought it to his face, inspecting it as if he expected it to come alive and bite him. “The gusts out there are inhuman. I'll bet it blew into the doorbell, and carried these right onto the stoop. Creepy stuff, but nothing to worry about.” He kissed us each on the forehead. “Don’t you go and get anxious on me now--talking to you, Care-bear.” He gave me a pointed glance. I rolled my eyes--although I had always been the jumpy one, clearly, my dad was shaken up about this too, his eyes wider than they had been when he walked in, his legs stiff as boards.
Jack never, ever got nervous, though, and then was no exception. He was calm, serene, thoroughly unperturbed. Sometimes I wonder what allowed him to always stay like that. I don’t think it was naivete. It was...something else. Jack always had access to that--to something else--but it never scared him. My brother just didn’t get scared. Sometimes, I wish he did. Maybe, then, he wouldn’t have...well, it doesn’t matter. I try not to focus on the hypotheticals. It just...makes it sting, I guess. Anyway, eventually my adrenaline dissipated, and the nonchalance of my brother began to rub off on me and soothe my nerves. Soon I had forgotten about the incident entirely.
That is, until the next pair came.
It was almost exactly a month later. This time, there was no doorbell. My brother simply rose from the table when the clock struck six, opened the door, closed it after a brief moment, then deposited the mittens right next to our pine candle centerpiece. “These ones are red,” he said, simply, like I couldn’t see.
I didn’t know what to say. I just gaped. I still didn’t know what to say at the sight of the next pair, or the next, or the next, or any of the pairs my brother received every month for over two years.
It’s odd how humans assimilate to the inexplicable--he simply accepted the mittens as a reality of his life, and, eventually, so did I. Each time the color and size differed slightly, although they were all clearly for children, though which children we could never figure out. The only constant was the ripped thumb, the odd yellow stain, and the total lack of indication in the snow anyone had come to our door at all.
My brother didn’t donate any of them, simply stacked them neatly in a drawer--and on a gut level, I understood why. These mittens were...tainted. Wrong, somehow. No one could ever wear them. But he also claimed he couldn’t throw any of them away.
“They’re for me, Cara,” was all he told me. “I can't give them to anyone else."
When the sun began to set the day after my brother vanished, I stopped crying long enough to force my weary legs to the door. I don’t know why I thought the mittens would be there, or why I felt the need to pick them up. It simply felt like it was what I had to do--a feeling so guttural I couldn’t ignore it.
But, when I opened the door, there was nothing there. Our porch was empty. No mittens. I nearly sobbed out of relief--until my eyes drifted toward the snow beyond our stoop, I felt the familiar tears start again, and sting as the froze to my cheeks, as I took in what lay before me. There, in the snow, were huge, clear footprints. But they didn’t lead to the door. I followed their path as it wound around the side of my house, right outside of Jack’s bedroom window, where they abruptly ended.
Placed very gingerly beneath the window was a pair of mittens. They were adult-sized, knitted from thick, russet yarn--my mother's last gift to him before she died. I picked them up with a sinister calm that came from a place deep inside me I never want to return to, a place devoid of emotion built specifically to house my grief. That moment is forever preserved in amber in my mind, forever tainted by the anguish of the realization that it was real. This was real. He was gone.
Then, something else dawned on me. Something I hadn’t noticed before. The footprints did go straight to Jack’s window--but they started at the window, and led to our front door. The window itself was slightly open, as if someone had been unable to shut it all the way. There were no other prints leading to the house, only away from it.
I have never sprinted as fast as I did right then. I slammed the door shut and locked the deadbolt.
I never told the police. I never told dad. If you asked me why, I couldn't explain my reasoning in a logical way. Somehow, I just knew that this was a delivery for me, and for me only.
I am the only one who knows about what I found in the snow that day.
The mittens stopped coming after that.
His paintings were oil on canvas. When he would work, you'd never see his brow furrow, his hazel eyes narrow. He would smile slightly at the corners, moving the brush in languid, assured strokes. He knew exactly where he was going to end when he began--he never asked questions, he simply carved out the beauty he saw in the blank white. When I see his paintings, the air leaves my lungs, every time. It is like filling your chest with a thing you cannot name, but that you need.
For the first few weeks afterward, we were terrified to touch them. Losing him wasn't like the absence of something, rather like a presence, something sinister, that jealously guarded the evidence he had lived in our house. Every time my dad would take a step toward one of his paintings, it's as if the thing living in our house would snap at him, and we'd recoil. I walked down the long hallway to my room, every night, catching parts of the shadowed paintings out of the corner of my eye.
Eventually I came home one day to my father ripping them down in a whirlwind, as if something were hot on his heels. His eyes were wild--hair haphazard--practically snarling. In a way, my father's heart froze over that day. He didn't have any fear left in him. He tossed the remaining reminders of his son into a closet and we haven't touched them since.
The only one I've seen since that awful winter day is the one I'd had in my room. He'd painted it just for me. When I burst into the room today, Jack's sweater clutched to my chest like a talisman, it was the first thing that caught my eye. I'd spent the money from my college graduation gifts to frame it in the finest mahogany I could find, and I hung it above the wall that faced my doorway. Aurora Borealis Over Donner Woods--glowing ribbons of light looming over the snow-capped pines. If you looked at that picture for long enough, I swear, the lights began to glimmer, the way the sun does on a summer lake, taking on every shade between wine red and rosy pink.
When I looked at it then, they were a rusty copper, like the fabric had been that day. Suddenly I was nauseous. I chucked the sweater as far away from me as I could, as if I could banish it to the corner of the room and bind it there forever. Finally bind the grief. Finally banish the memory.
"I need to call the police," I squeaked. The room couldn't hear me. I fumbled my phone from out of my pocket, but, as I did, the newspaper clipping fell out and fluttered to the floor. It landed on the opposite side--and on it there was a handwritten note, in elegant, fastidious writing.
Do you remember the window behind him that night at the party?
I gaped at the note dumbly. I had no clue what it could mean. Who was the him? Jack? Dad? Before I could even begin to comprehend what that meant, my phone, clutched weakly in my hand, began to blare. The screen flashed some number I didn't know....with a Solomon Falls area code. I thought maybe it would be the sherriff--maybe they'd received something related to my brother too? Another personal possession? Or...oh, god. Or worse. A body. I picked up the phone.
The person on the other end spoke before I did. "Hey, is this, uh, is this Mary Jones?" There was a brief pause on the other end. Before I could muster a response, the voice--male, crackling, and reedy--spoke again. "I know...I know, it's more customary to uh, to text. But...I had fun last night, so, I, so I called."
"Um..." I choked, this conversation seeming like such a wild diversion from my state of mind that day. "No, uh, you have the wrong number. My name is Cara Hansen."
Another brief silence. "Cara...Cara Hansen, like Cara Hansen from the class of 2010? At Solomon Falls High?"
"Um, I mean, yeah--yes. Yes, that's me--sorry, I'm, uh, I'm a little shaken up right now. Who...who's this?"
The voice on the other end grew in pitch and enthusiasm. "Holy hell! It's me, Cara, Jamie Brown! Do you remember me?!"
"Oh...my God. Yes, of course I do!" Jamie was an old friend of mine from back home. Once, way back in '99, third grade, he'd climbed to the tallest branch of a tree and his arms got frozen to it, so everybody called him Brown Bear for far too long afterward. He'd been my first kiss, and I thought he would be my first boyfriend--but I didn't have much of a stomach for that sort of thing in the wake of losing my brother. Like with all of my friends from the Falls, we'd lost touch after high school graduation. "How are you? How did you end up calling me?"
"I'm great, just great! I, uh, I moved back home a few weeks ago, actually. I drive, uh, drive for Uber. Whole fuckin' lot of good that Art History master's did me, eh?...And, uh, I called this number trying to call Mary Jones--you remember her, don't you?"
I did remember. She'd been my friendly acquaintance. She was smart. Very pretty.
"We...we uh, well, she uh, she stayed over last night and left her, left her number and uh...I wanted to call her, to, uh..." I could practically feel his cheeks getting hot, even from a thousand miles away. Something was gnawing at the back of my mind--something having to do with the note--but I couldn't quite place it yet. "Well, nevermind, it isn't all that important why I called, but, I, uh, I entered the last couple of digits wrong, I see that now--I have ya on speaker, actually, I'm driving!"
"No, no! Nothing like that, nothing at all, just driving around. Business ain't boomin' here, know what I mean?" I did. Our town had a population of 1200, most of whom were older than the mountains that lined the edges of our little hamlet. "I'm, uh, actually drivin' by Kate's house, that is, uh, Kate Williams. Hah, remember her? Remember Christmas Eve? Before uh...before your brother, I mean. Sorry about that, sorry to, uh. Hey, I saw your dad at the supermarket the other day! He, he looked good! Real good! All smiles! Lotta color in his cheeks! Was good to see! Good to see!"
His voice was muffled and indistinct. I could hardly comprehend it over the buzzing in my mind.
I had connected the dots.
The Christmas Eve party, in 2007, a month before my brother disappeared. One moment, Jamie and me were kissing, his hands in my hair, my chest gloriously warm, and the next, he had stopped, and he was laughing to himself, oddly, almost absently. He told me some odd story--completely unrelated to anything we had been talking about--about the time he and I were playing in the clearing near the entrance to the woods, in 1996, when we were five, and I had stolen his...jacket? His hat? No...no, he said, he said I'd stolen his mittens. Yes, his mittens! That his grandma made. And that I'd...stuffed them into his locker just that last month. They were definitely the ones I had taken. The little heart was sewn into the palm and everything. Did I remember?
But I didn't. I'd never played with Jamie in the woods when we were young. I hadn't even met him til everybody started calling him Bear, so it must have been in '99, or after. I told him that, and that he must have had me mixed up with someone else.
Katie Williams had a nice house. Built a long time ago, probably from wood from Donner, before it was protected land. There was this nice, square window on the wall facing the bed. Jamie was sitting crosslegged, facing me. I was staring right out the window. He asked 'do you remember'?
And as I said no, my eyes drifted to the window behind him. And...fuck, sorry. I haven't thought of this in so long. I don't know how to describe it.
It was my mother. Oh, god. It was my mother, dead for eight years by then. Except it...wasn't her. Not really. Half of her face was normal, as beautiful and smooth as the last time I'd seen her, but...the other half was a mass of exposed, bloody pulp, the flesh that had once covered the quivering muscle flapping up and down in the cold wind. She had no teeth. Instead, her mouth was full to the brim with writhing, slimy earthworms, more than it seemed should be able to fit. Some of them had slithered her face and were creeping into the empty eye socket. With one hand, as slim and elegant as it had been in life, she motioned for me to come outside, pointing insistently toward the dense pines behind her. In the other hand, she held some amorphous, black mass--which I discerned, to my horror, was a raw, matted clump of hair, a chunk of the scalp still clinging to the end.
I didn't scream. I couldn't. In a split second I looked back to Jamie, then back to the window. The only thing outside of it was the still winter night, the light of the full moon shining down softly on the blanket of snow.
I whispered very meekly that I did not want Jamie to tell that story anymore. I said I wanted to go home. I was hammered drunk--too drunk for Jamie to even help me off the bed. I called Jack, and he drove me home while I sobbed. The next morning, horrific as the thing I saw was, I brushed it off. The whole image was foggy, marred by my partial memory loss, and had surely been a hallucination borne of alcohol and the adrenaline of my first kiss. It was awful, but, with my brother disappearing soon after, his was the only face I had room for in my nightmares.
The note had made reference to it. If Jamie hadn't called, it would've taken me hours for remember. Instead, he called, right after I read it, and then he drove by Kate Williams' house, and he reminded me.
"Jamie." I interrupted his tangent. "Tell me again. You called me because you dialed the wrong number?"
"Uh, yeah!! All on accident. Silly me, right?"
I went quiet for so long that he cut in, "Cara? You, uh, still there?"
"Yes," I said, "I am." I crossed the room and picked up Jack's sweater from the ground. My brother. My brother, who had been another part of myself. My brother, who had always been there for me, no matter what. At once, I knew what I had to do. "Jamie. Any chance you can cut the cost for me when you pick me up from the airport?"
I am on the plane as I write this. I called dad. He has my old room waiting for me back home. Jamie is already at the airport, waiting for me at the gate. The sweater is stuffed into my suitcase, rumbling somewhere below the plane. I am reminded of something Jack told me when Brett moved away--if you love someone, they never really leave you. I feel his presence, thrumming somewhere, somewhere near my hometown. I don't know who has him, or what they want from me. But here is what I do know: I will not leave my brother behind again.
Hold on, Jack. I'll see you soon.
submitted by tamikaflynnofficial
Rebook The Miz vs Shane McMahon Feud - Part 2
Post Wrestlemania 35
The Miz is seen backstage talking to Kurt Angle with the WWE Championship over his shoulder, dressed in a custom made suit. A Special MizTV is advertised to celebrate Miz’s big victory.
The Miz makes his way out to the ring, he takes in the appreciation from the audience as they chant “You deserve it” tears begin to form in his eyes. He exits the ring and walks up to Maryse who is sitting in the front row and invites her to join him in the ring with their daughter. He takes his child from her and then holds the ropes open for Maryse so she can get in.
The Miz takes the microphone and says that everything he has done in his life has been leading to this moment, and at Wrestlemania was the culmination of it all. After Mania he feels like he is in a place where he can be a good influence for his children and make them proud. And now that he’s put the issues with Daniel Bryan behind him he can get on with his life and his career, going in a more positive direction now. He says that he wants to fight as the WWE Champion that not only the WWE Universe deserves, but the kind of Champion that his family deserves. The locker room files out onto the stage to congratulate The Miz and in a show of respect Miz bows to the roster, saying that he doesn’t deserve this any more than they do, they’ve survived under the tyranny of Shane McMahon trying to push his own agenda, but now, hopefully the future is bright for everyone. The Miz applauds the roster standing on the stage.
The next week is the Superstar Shakeup, Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley are the big trades to Smackdown. The Revival also move to SD.
Kurt Angle allows The Miz to select any member of the Smackdown roster to be his opponent at Money in the Bank. The Miz thanks Kurt for allowing him to give an opportunity to a guy who has impressed immensely since arriving on Smackdown, and at Money in the Bank he wants to face Mustafa Ali for the WWE Championship.
The match is made official, and the next week, Ali approaches Miz and shows his appreciation for the opportunity and the two men shake hands. The Miz tells Ali how much he respects him, and says that Ali is genuinely someone who he looks up to when he thinks about the kind of person he wants to be for his kids, and at Money in the Bank he hopes to tear the house down together, all for the top prize in WWE.
On the go home show Mustafa Ali and The Miz are put in a tag team match against The Revival, during the match there is a slight miscommunication between Miz and Ali which causes Ali to be pinned by Shane Dawson. Miz and Ali have a staredown which has some tension between the two, but they once again shake hands showing that they still want to have a fair fight.
Money in the Bank
The Miz and Mustafa Ali have a fun back and forth affair, with both men getting their chance to shine throughout. This match would be treated as Ali’s true breakout performance, showing how much of a star he really is. The crowd are torn on who to root for so it’s split pretty evenly. After about 17 minutes The Miz does manage to hit a Skull Crushing Finale to finally score the victory. After the match The Miz helps Ali back to his feet and raises his hand, putting him over as a main event worthy competitor.
The MITB contract is won by Sami Zayn.
The WWE returns to Saudi Arabia and a new No. 1 Contender to Miz’s WWE Championship needs to be found, in a Battle Royal on Smackdown, featuring many of the top stars from Smackdown. Aleister Black being the only competitor that needs to not be involved. The match is eventually won by Rey Mysterio after he last eliminates Bobby Lashley. Mysterio and Miz are set to go one on one at Super ShowDown.
The Miz vs Rey Mysterio ends up being a good match that goes back and forth for about 15 minutes, since the match is on a Saudi show it’s pretty inconsequential and The Miz ends up scoring the victory after a Skull Crushing Finale.
The Miz has now scored two successful retentions of the WWE Championship, the reign is off to a good start and he comes out to talk about what comes next. But he’s interrupted by Andrade and Zelina Vega, they want a shot at The Miz’s WWE Championship at Stomping Grounds. Before Miz can even answer their challenge, Kevin Owens comes out and says that he wants that opportunity, and he deserves that opportunity. The Miz says both guys are great and an argument could be made for both men having the opportunity, but he wants to fight the best of the best, the people who truly deserve an opportunity at the title. So…
EC3’s music plays and he walks out, claiming he has a message from Shane McMahon that he just received while he was backstage. He says that Shane has been sitting back at home ever since The Miz threw him off the stage, and he’s left Kurt to make his decisions, but this is where he needs to step in, so he’s making the match at Stomping Grounds official, it will be a Triple Threat Match, The Miz vs Kevin Owens vs Andrade for the WWE Championship. All three men look pissed off to about Shane McMahon finding a way to interject himself into their business, but Andrade and Owens are still pleased to be getting a WWE Championship match. EC3 just stares at Miz with a smug look on his face.
Later in the show, Miz storms into Angle’s office and asks if this is even allowed to happen, and asks if he is actually facing Kevin Owens and Andrade in a Triple Threat match. Kurt Angle apologetically says that it is true, Shane just called him as EC3 was out there and told him about his decision, and since he is still the commissioner he technically can still do that. Over the next few weeks, Shane starts to be making decisions from afar more and more, causing a lot of the roster to become annoyed and despise their place of work.
The Miz, Kevin Owens and Andrade tear the roof off with quick paced action, ending up all over the ringside area. Towards the end of the match, EC3 makes an appearance to try and take out The Miz, but when he gets on the apron, his Mania opponent from months prior, Kevin Owens superkicks him off the apron, and then hits a Tope Con Hilo. Meanwhile Andrade goes for the Hammerlock DDT but Miz reverses and slips behind and hits the Skull Crushing Finale to retain the WWE Championship.
Post Stomping Grounds
The Miz has had enough and calls out EC3, but gets no answer, instead who else but Kevin Owens would make his way down to the ring. He demands another shot at the WWE Championship after The Miz “stole” the win on Sunday. The Miz says he didn’t steal the win, but he’s more than happy to give Kevin Owens another shot. Kevin Owens says great, because he wants to fight Miz tonight. Angle makes the match official for the Main Event.
The Miz manages to successfully defend the WWE Championship against Kevin Owens in the main event of the evening, EC3 spends the match on commentary trash talking both competitors saying he’s better than both of them. After the match is done, Kevin Owens still doesn’t look happy with The Miz and then EC3 attacks him from behind, Kevin Owens gets up and looks like he’s about to attack EC3 and save The Miz. EC3 turns to KO who squares up looking like he’s going to fight EC3, EC3 just tells Owens to get out of here, and that this doesn’t concern him. After contemplating it, Owens just walks away. EC3 turns back to Miz and removes his suit jacket, rolling up the sleeves of his shirt. He lfts Miz’s head up and lays into him with punches, he then rolls out the ring and gets a chair before sliding back in and setting it up. He then hits a Headlock Driver to Miz through the Chair. Leaving The Miz laying, he picks up the WWE Championship, raising it above his head.
The next week, The Miz once again calls out EC3, but he gets no response, The Miz then decides to just trash talk EC3 calling him Shane’s lackey and nothing more than a messenger. He says that EC3 calls himself the Top One Percent yet has to resort to an attack from behind rather than stepping in the ring like a man and fighting him 1 on 1. He then ends it by coming to the conclusion that EC3 is afraid to compete against Miz because he doesn’t want the world to realise that he’s not worthy of the main event.
Later in the show we see EC3 backstage on the phone to Shane McMahon. He is told something by Shane to which he replies saying that he doesn’t understand why that guy should get a title shot. We then hear a sound coming from the otherside of the phone, EC3 moves the phone away from his ear and he simply says fine.
After the commercial break he comes down to the ring, he gets on the microphone and says he has received a phone call from Shane McMahon where he decided who The Miz’s opponent will be at Extreme Rules. He then goes to say who it is but hesitates, he then looks around with a look of contemplation on his face. He then lifts the microphone back up to his mouth and says that The Miz’s opponent for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules is…. EC3. A smug smile crosses his face and he leaves the ring.
On the go home show we find out that EC3 wasn’t actually the person who was supposed to be facing The Miz at Extreme Rules, but EC3 tells Shane over the phone that he’s the best man for the job, and that he can be trusted to end The Miz’s title reign.
Later in the night, The Miz is once again in the ring to call out EC3, and once again it goes unanswered, The Miz is fed up at this point and decides that he’s going to go backstage and find EC3. He makes his way up the ramp and through the curtain, he asks everyone he passes if they’ve seen EC3, but no one has, when The Miz gets to the Parking Lot he sees EC3 entering a limo and runs up to it but just as he gets near the limo it speeds off. The Miz is left in the Parking Lot with revenge still in his mind, but he has to wait till Sunday.
On Friday, the official WWE Twitter account post that Kurt Angle has made the WWE Championship match a Falls Count Anywhere Match by request of the Champion himself.
On the pre show, Miz is interviewed and he says that unlike on Tuesday, tonight EC3 won’t be able to escape because wherever he goes, Miz will follow, the match could end up across town in a nightclub for all he cares, EC3 won’t get away from the ass kicking that is coming his way.
EC3 makes his way down to the ring first looking confident as all hell, and when The Miz’s music plays, he doesn’t come out right away, EC3 motions for The Miz to get out here. And then the crowd pop when The Miz walks out from backstage with a shopping cart filled with weapons to use. EC3’s face falls as he sees this, he assumed they’d just end up having a more regular match despite the Falls Count Anywhere Rules. EC3 slides out the ring and begins to make his way up the ramp but The Miz rams the shopping cart into EC3. he then takes a kendo stick from out of the cart and whacks it across the back of EC3. The bell is rung and the match is officially underway. The Miz smacks the kendo stick across the back of EC3 once again, and continues again and again until the stick is broken in half. EC3 starts to crawl away and uses the barricade to hold himself up, back next to the ring, The Miz pulls a Steel Chair out from under the ring and goes to smash EC3 in the head but he kicks Miz in the gut which causes him to drop it behind him. EC3 goes to climb over the barricade to get away from Miz but he grabs EC3’s tights and pulls him back over, sending him head first into the ring post. Miz goes back to the shopping cart and picks up the lid of a trash can and goes back over to EC3 and smashes it on the back of EC3.
EC3 is about to be hit again when he low blows The Miz, he takes the opportunity to cover The Miz, but isn’t able to get the win. EC3 throws Miz over the announce table, and then throws him into the apron back first. He looks under the ring apron and finds a metal bat, he smashes it into the ribs of The Miz who clutches at his ribs in pain. EC3 walks a few paces away as he processes what to do next, but when he turns back, The Miz tackles him to the ground and starts laying into him with the punches, EC3 is trying desperately to crawl away and block the punches, eventually managing to slip away and escape. He jogs away as fast as he can, but Miz manages to catch him and throws him into the ring post again, and then attempting to set his head up next to the post and smash a Steel Chair into it. EC3 gets out the way before he can do that and instead hits another low blow, he does exactly what Miz tried to do and is successful, he goes to pin but then stops, he looks to have realised something, he picks Miz up and throws him into the now cleared out cart. He pushes Miz up the ramp and takes him backstage. When Miz begins to stir he would stop and attack him more until he stopped. He brings The Miz to a staircase, where he positions the cart so that it’s facing the stairway, but his ego messes up his plans as he goes to talk trash to Miz before pushing the cart down the stairs, only for Miz to have pulled a pair of brass knuckles from his trunks and punching EC3.
Miz clambers out of the cart and falls onto EC3, the referee counts the pin but EC3 somehow kicks out. Miz looks to continue the punishment and drags EC3 to the nearby Parking Garage and drags him over to one of the parked cars, opens the door and positions EC3’s leg in the door, but he gets his leg out the way in time. He gets the advantage against Miz and pushes him away before climbing into the passenger side of the car, attempting to climb over into the drivers side, Miz grabs his leg and tries to drag him out, but he pushes Miz away with his foot and gets in the car driving away. The Miz stops a car that is coming into the parking lot and forces the man out of the car, he gets in the car and the referee quickly climbs into the back seat too, and speeds away after EC3. Commentary are left confused and say that they will keep the audience updated if anything else occurs and they can give some answers and more information. The show moves along for now with the Raw Women’s Championship match up next.
But first, there is an interview with The Revival who vow to win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships tonight. After the interview is over we see a clip of a high speed chase between The Miz and EC3 on the highway.
After the Raw Women’s Championship match we find out that The Miz and EC3 stopped at SugarHouse Casino EC3 has found refuge in a private room that he is paying good money for. The camera cuts to EC3 sitting in his private room with a drink, looking smug thinking he’s gotten away with it, and we then see The Miz’s perspective where he’s asking which room EC3 is currently in but they aren’t allowed to give away that information. Miz decided he will just check every room, he knocks on one door, and a middle aged man answers the door, Miz apologises for bothering him. He knocks on the next door and a woman answers she tries to pull Miz into the room but he stops her and tells her he’s married, she straight away slams the door in his face. Miz then goes to a third door and knocks, but no answer, he then steps back and kicks the door in. EC3 is sitting in the room with his drink and when Miz approaches him he smashes the glass over Miz’s head but it does very little damage. Miz throws him around the room, eventually going out onto the balcony and throwing EC3 into the spa. EC3 is all soaked and Miz drags him out of the spa, hits a Skull Crushing Finale on the concrete and covers him to finally get the 3 and retain the WWE Championship.
Post Extreme Rules
The Tuesday after Extreme Rules, The Miz comes out looking very banged up from Extreme Rules. He takes a microphone and says that now he’s taken out all of the people trying to hold him back he can focus on his Championship reign again. He then asks Kurt Angle to join him in the ring and tell him who he will be facing at Summerslam. Kurt Angle invites out Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley, he says to Miz that he wanted to give him a fresh opponent for Summerslam. And because of that reason, Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley will face off, right here, right now and the winner will challenge him for the title come Summerslam.
Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns have a back and forth, hard hitting match which takes them to their limits. This isn’t the kind of match you usually expect to see on TV, both men are able to put on some very good matches, and they both give this match their all. In the end though, Bobby Lashley is able to put Roman Reigns away to everyone’s surprise, most expecting Roman to win here. So at Summerslam it will be, The Miz vs Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship.
After the match, Bobby Lashley looks to hit another Spear to Reigns as he sets him up, but Miz who was sitting on commentary slides in the ring and hits a Dropkick into the corner which sends Lashley crashing over the top rope. He is back on his feet but stands by the ramp looking at Miz, defeated. The Miz turns back to Roman to see if he’s ok, and Lashley sprints back in and when Miz turns around again Spears him. He then ends up hitting another Spear on Reigns too for good measure.
In the following weeks, Bobby Lashley gets a sit down interview and he talks about his time in WWE over a decade ago, his time away from WWE and his return, discussing what it means for him to be here getting a WWE Championship match in the Main Event of Summerslam. How winning the title at Summerslam would mean everything to him, and he will stop at nothing to make that happen.
On the go home show they have the contract signing, this signing doesn’t end in violence, but rather ends with a simple stare down between the Champion and the challenger. Miz offers a handshake to Lashley, but he just looks at Miz and scoffs before walking away. The contract has been signed and the match is on.
Bobby Lashley makes his way out first and stands in the ring looking confident, The Miz makes his way down to the ring next, he looks confident himself too and looks like a million bucks. The two men stand face to face as the bell rings, Lashley takes the advantage quickly managing to back Miz into the corner and drives his shoulder into Miz’s abdomen repeatedly. Because of the power advantage Miz struggles to gain control and gets thrown around the ring. Towards the end of the match, The Miz has managed to gain control and the match has been slightly more back and forth with Lashley getting the majority of the offence. Miz gets him in a precarious position and looks to hit the Skull Crushing Finale when EC3 comes through the crowd and gets the attention of The Miz. Lashley pushes The Miz from behind and sends him crashing into the referee and knocking him to the outside. EC3 and Lashley begin to beat down The Miz, hitting him with a Headlock Driver and then a Spear. EC3 then gets the referee back in the ring and Lashley covers The Miz, the referee counts the 1… 2… 3.
Bobby Lashley is the new WWE Champion, he raises the WWE Championship high but then drops it and lifts Miz up for a Dominator. EC3 enters the ring once again and puts Miz on his knees facing the entrance. Then Shane McMahon’s music plays and he walks onto the stage with an eruption of boos from the crowd. Shane enters the ring and grabs Miz by the hair, screaming at him. He then lays into Miz with a bunch of punches before telling EC3 and Lashley to hold Miz in place for him as he hits the Coast to Coast to Miz. A horrible ending to the match, and a horrible ending to Miz’s title reign at the orders of Shane McMahon. The show cuts away and continues with the next match of the night.
The Tuesday after Summerslam, Shane McMahon is in the ring with EC3 and he introduces the new WWE Champion, Bobby Lashley, down to the ring. He introduces a brand new WWE Championship for him as we head into this new era in Smackdown with the FOX debut coming up. Shane McMahon says that he could not be more thankful for the services of Bobby Lashley as he handled that pest The Miz. he says that The Miz is out of their hair and will not be getting another WWE Championship match in his time with WWE, if he has anything to say about it.
The King of the Ring Tournament is announced, and the participants are announced as being, the 8 from Smackdown: The Miz, Kevin Owens, Buddy Murphy, Mustafa Ali, Andrade, Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev and Chad Gable. And for Raw: Samoa Joe, Cesaro, Ricochet, Finn Balor, Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, Cedric Alexander and AJ Styles.
The Miz defeats Shinsuke Nakamura in the first round, before going up against Buddy Murphy in the second and managing to win once again. In the Semi Finals The Miz manages to beat Chad Gable in a back and forth match with Miz making Gable look like a star.
Meanwhile, Shane McMahon has been using his power to find the “best” opponent for Bobby Lashley at Clash of Champions. That being none other than, Sin Cara.
Clash of Champions
The Miz and Drew McIntyre have a match to determine who will be the King of the Ring, In a match where The Miz comes inches from victory on multiple occasions, McIntyre manages to score the victory with a Future Shock DDT and Claymore Kick.
In the Main Event of the show we see Bobby Lashley vs Sin Cara, Lashley is accompanied by the conniving Shane McMahon and EC3, the three men scoff at Sin Cara as he stands across the ring from Lashley. When the bell rings, Lashley runs across the ring and hits a Spear, he covers Sin Cara, believing the match to be over, but Cara kicks out. Lashley is shocked and Shane gets on the apron to argue with the referee, EC3 tries to get on the apron and attack Sin Cara behind the referees back, but he hits an Enziguri knocking EC3 off the apron. Lashley runs across the ring and goes for a Spear again but Cara jumps over him and then kicks his legs, he manages to hit a Spanish Fly to Lashley and covers him for a 2 count. Sin Cara goes to the top rope and hits a Swanton which connects and Shane is freaking out, he covers Lashley as the referee counts, 1… 2… right as the referees hand is about to hit the mat, Lashley’s shoulder comes up. Sin Cara lifts him up and tries to put him on the second rope, but Lashley clubs his back and pushes him away, when Cara tries to walk back, Lashley hits a second Spear, and then waist for Cara to get back up and hits another for good measure to finally get the 3 count.
After the match, they’re all annoyed that the match didn’t go how they expected it to, ad the fact that Sin Cara put up a fight. Kurt Angle’s music plays as he makes his way out onto the stage, he says that the display these three men have shown tonight, and the way Lashley has acted as Champion has quite honestly been pathetic. And he thinks Lashley needs a challenger that will show if Lashley truly has what it takes to be WWE Champion, on the debut on Smackdown for the FOX Network, Bobby Lashley will defend his WWE Championship against this man…
Kurt Angle motions to the entrance way and Brock Lesnar’s music plays, Brock Lesnar makes his way out from the back and storms down the ramp, Shane looks on in terror, sending EC3 and Lashley to handle him. EC3 is right away thrown aside with a German Suplex, as Lesnar and Lashley face off, the crowd goes crazy. Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar, it will take place on October 4th, live on FOX. Brock Lesnar F-5’s Lashley and then turns his attention to Shane but he rolls out the ring and runs away, Lesnar just looks at the WWE Championship and lifts it up. He throws it to the ground outside the ring next to Lashley, he says “I’m coming for that title October 4th.” The show goes off the air with Lesnar’s first appearance since Wrestlemania setting up his first TV match in 15 years.
The Miz is in Kurt Angle’s office asking for a shot at Lashley’s WWE Championship, but they are cut off when Shane McMahon walks into the room. Shane and Miz have a tense staredown, The Miz proceeds to leave the room and Shane McMahon says that what Kurt Angle has done was completely out of line, he then says that he needs to see Kurt Angle in the ring later that night.
When Shane and Kurt Angle are in the ring, Lashley and EC3 are nowhere to be seen, Shane McMahon says that Angle doesn’t know his place on this show, and he can’t worry about people who don;’t understand how to do their job, therefore, “Kurt Angle, You’re Fired!”
We get to the FOX debut, the WWE Championship match, Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar and it’s a brawl between two massive monsters, a very clear MMA feel accompanies the match with both men looking very evenly matched. The match lasts about 9 minutes and the Brock Lesnar takes firm control, about to end the match, Shane and EC3 shrug at each other from ringside before Shane tells EC3 to get in there, he slides into the ring but Brock Lesnar just German Suplexes him and sends him out of the ring. Shane has his hands on his head, not knowing what to do next, Brock lifts Lashley onto his shoulders and sets up the F-5, screaming at the hard cam and then we just see Brock drop. When the camera shows the full shot, Shane has slid in the ring and low blowed Lesnar, the referee rings the bell and the match ends by DQ.
The 3 men celebrate in the ring, and EC3 and Lashley slide out of the ring, Shane is still celebrating when he bumps into Lesnar who F-5’s Shane before kicking him out of the ring.
At Hell in a Cell, this storyline doesn’t really have a place after what happened on Smackdown.
Shane McMahon is out in the ring with Lashley and EC3 and they are bragging about how they took down the Beast. Shane claims that he is the best Commissioner in all of WWE history, claiming he is the best to ever step in the business. The Miz’s music plays and he walks onto the stage, and he stops, but he doesn’t have a microphone or stop and say anything, he just motions to backstage, and the entirety of Smackdown’s roster files out. Everyone from The Revival to Apollo Crews, Kevin Owens to Carmella. They all surround the ring, a few key players happen to be out there, such as the aforementioned Kevin Owens, but also Andrade, Randy Orton and probably most surprisingly, Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan.
The Miz speaks on the past year of Smackdown, saying that especially in the last year, he has used Smackdown to fuel his own ego and nothing more. And for even longer he has held people back purely due to his personal biases. For examples simply look as far as Kevin Owens. He says that the entire roster have decided that they think Shane isn’t doing his job correctly and a vote of no confidence has been struck between every single one of them. Shane is enraged, saying that this is all The Miz’s fault, saying he’s filled the rosters heads with lies and brainwashed them to turn against him, saying that The Miz is still an evil, snide human who is just looking out for himself and nothing more. He vows to destroy The Miz and tear him down to nothing. The Miz points out that Shane McMahon is doing exactly what he was talking about, holding him back because of the personal bias he has towards him, ever since 1 year ago when he removed Miz from Team Smackdown, he’s been trying to hold Miz back in any way possible. The promo ends with Shane McMahon vs The Miz being set up for Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. The Miz wants the stipulation to be added that if he wins, Shane is out of power. But Shane says he’s the boss around here, not The Miz, and he says no.
The Miz and Shane McMahon go to war for about 10 minutes with Miz seemingly about to win after a mostly one sided match in the Miz’s favour. Other than interferences from EC3 here and there. But then Miz is about to win when Shane low blows Miz, the referee turns to call for the bell, but once again, Shane uses his powers as Commissioner to make the match No DQ. EC3 and Shane beat down The Miz. Rusev makes his way out to save his long time ally. He pulls Shane and EC3 off of The Miz and hits EC3 with a Superkick. When he looks at Shane, Miz is getting to his feet and Rusev turns, hitting The Miz with a Superkick instead and then at the request of Shane locks in the Accolade. He forces Miz to pass out, and then Shane pins his lifeless body to get the 3 count.
Post Crown Jewel
Shane comes out to celebrate finally being done with The Miz, but wasting no time The Miz has other ideas, he comes out with a letter in his hand. He says that the Board of Directors have sent a letter, it states that due to the majority of Smackdown’s roster signing the petition to have Shane McMahon gone from his role as commissioner, they have no choice but to relieve him of his duties, Shane starts to freak out. The Miz stops him and says that he spoke to them on the phone and came to another agreement, that being that at Survivor Series, Shane McMahon will pick 4 people to join him, and he will pick 4 to join him. The two teams will compete in a Survivor Series Elimination Match, if Shane’s team loses, he is out of power. If Shane’s team wins, then The Miz is gone from Smackdown.
Shane still isn’t happy, but he quickly realises he has a pretty impressive team to back him up, they surround The Miz when…
Brock Lesnar was screwed out of the WWE Championship by Shane McMahon, he storms down to the ring, and goes right after Bobby Lashley while Miz goes after Shane. As the numbers amazingly seem to be overwhelming Miz and Brock, Roman Reigns makes his way down to help and the three send Shane and co. into retreat. Roman, Miz and Brock look at each other uneasily, with Brock and Roman having plenty of history, Miz and Roman also having some history from their time on Raw.
The next week, The Miz is backstage taping up his wrists for a match later in the night, when Paul Heyman approaches him saying that Brock Lesnar has agreed to offer his services for the moment due to his issues with Shane and Lashley. But don’t think this means they are allies, they just share a common enemy.
During the show, The Miz approaches Rey Mysterio and asks if he will please join his team, Mysterio is a true legend, and he would be a great addition to the team. Mysterio says he can see the corruption coming from Shane McMahon and he believes that Smackdown is the best place to be for wrestling, but Shane is ruining everything he built in the early 2000’s alongside guys like Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, as well as others. So he agrees to join Miz’s team and fight for Smackdown.
The Miz also gets Andrade to agree to join his team. And his team is filled out.
The next week of Smackdown begins, and about 30 minutes into the show we see a backstage segment where Shane McMahon approaches Andrade, but they shut the door so we don’t know what their conversation is about. But we don’t have to wait long because Andrade and Zelina Vega go right to The Miz and tell him that they can’t fight on his team anymore, when The Miz asks why, they simply say that other opportunities have arisen and they will be busy at Survivor Series. Miz goes into panic mode as next week we are set to see the two teams face off in the ring just 2 nights before they fight for the future of Smackdown.
(And here is where it gets a little over the top and soap opera-esque)
The Miz is stuck for a tag team partner, he asks any and everyone but no one is willing to, seemingly being bribed to not compete at Survivor Series. So The Miz goes to the only person left who he can think of, he knocks on the door to a private locker room, someone opens the door but we don’t see who, instead just seeing The Miz’s face looking solemn, slightly embarrassed even.
The next week, the show is almost over and Shane McMahon makes his way out, revealing that the last member of his team is Andrade. Shane McMahon looks super proud of himself having poached The Miz’s teammate. But then The Miz’s music plays and he makes his way out, followed by Rey Mysterio, and a man he never officially announced, but everyone just assumed anyway, Roman Reigns. Finally Brock Lesnar makes his way out, and the 4 men enter the ring. Shane says to Miz, who else did he find for his “team”. The Miz says that he admittedly took a big hit when Shane stole Andrade from him, but he found someone even better, which angers Andrade slightly. This man has a lot of history with himself, and he doesn’t feel great having to go to this guy as they really don’t get along, but they both realise that Shane needs to go. So my final team mate is… Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan comes out and his music cuts off, Bryan has a microphone and he says that like Mike said, they don’t get along at all, but if there is one thing they can agree on, it’s that Shane McMahon is a tumor that needs to be cut out. And at Survivor Series, surgery is in session as they will remove him from Smackdown and leave Smackdown with a brighter future. Bryan slides in the ring and the two teams face off.
We reach the Main Event of Survivor Series both teams have made their way down to the ring, the match begins and the action begins right off the bat, Roman starting off the match against Rusev. The match goes with both teams getting their licks in.
EC3 eliminates Rey Mysterio after he goes for a 619 but EC3 catches him into The One Percent. He covers Mysterio for the 3 count.
Next eliminated is Rusev, eliminated by a Spear from Roman Reigns.
Daniel Bryan is tagged in and for the next 7 minutes or so the opposing team take their turns beating him down. Finally, Bryan manages to make a hot tag to Lesnar who clears house Germans for all, and then hits an F-5 to EC3 and eliminate him from the match. But then Lashley gets in and Spears Lesnar which cuts off his momentum, we see Lashley dominate Lesnar for a little bit which puts over his abilities compared to Brock Lesnar.
Shane gets off the apron and stands at ringside watching the match from safety. Andrade is tagged into the match and manages to get the advantage against Miz who gets tagged into the match. Andrade ends up being put in a position where he needs to tag himself in but Lashley is unavailable, he looks to Shane begging him to tag in, Zelina gets in Shane’s face telling him to tag into the match but he consistently refuses, Miz has now tagged in Daniel Bryan who crouches in the corner waiting, when Andrade turns around he hits the Running Knee to Andrade and eliminates him from the match. Once again, Shane McMahon has gotten Andrade eliminated from the match for the second year in a row. Shane McMahon slides into the ring, he runs into Bryan and back him into their corner, Roman tags himself in and Shane quickly backs away.
Lashley gets on the apron and distracts the referee which gives Shane the chance to low blow Roman and roll him up, scoring a 3 count.
Lashley ends up eliminating Bryan a few minutes later, but is then eliminated himself by Brock Lesnar, giving him a claim for the WWE Championship. Lashley once again tries to distract the referee so Shane can take advantage, but it doesn’t succeed as well as it did with Roman, instead just cause Brock to go into The Miz’s corner who tags himself into the match.
The Miz and Shane McMahon, the way it should be, Miz attacks Shane letting out everything that has built up in the past year. He ends up ending the match pretty soon after with a Skull Crushing Finale, ending the reign of terror by Shane McMahon.
The Miz and Lesnar are the sole survivors, after the match, The Miz just looks at Lesnar cautiously, Lesnar attacks him hitting him with an F-5 before motioning that he’s going for the WWE Championship.
The reign of terror is over, and The Miz is free to continue his career without Shane hanging over his head. The direction I’d go after this event is having Shane not appear on TV ever really. Maybe eventually being as regular as Vince or Stephanie and having a match here and there before officially retiring. For The Miz I’d have that F-5 be set up for a match a Royal Rumble where it would be The Miz vs Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.
EC3 was given something to do, and some might say he looked more like a lackey, which i can see, but I think ultimately this would propel him after Shane is gone where he can truly shine solo now that he has been established as a heel. Bobby Lashley could be a main eventer on Smackdown, and I think he could have a super serious threatening reign, but having him do something similar to his run in IMPACT with MVP is what I was thinking, having Shane there to use his power to assist Lashley while he still looks dominant, with his performance against Lesnar. Daniel Bryan could head towards a face turn, Roman can go on to do whatever he’s going to do. And the rest of Smackdown can have their precious time on TV back from any Shane segments that would usually happen.
submitted by UnicornDick31