The feud over the Cruiserweight belt on SmackDown has been one of the most intriguing heading in to WrestleMania. In the last few weeks, we’ve learned that Captain Charisma orchestrated the attack that’s kept Richie Steamboat out of action for several weeks.
Was it a desperate act from a desperate champion who knows his time is running out? We should know the answer at the outcome. The additions of Zack Ryder and Christian’s lackey, Heath Slater, give a different dynamic to the match.
What roles will they play as this battle for the Cruiserweight Title gets underway!
Up now, we have a triple threat match for the Cruiserweight Title.
A promo airs first of when Richie was injured, short parts of Richie’s segments and Ryder and Christian's last match, as well as Christian's latest promo and Heath Slater attacking Ryder at No Way Out.
Christian's theme hits to instant heat. He walks out alongside Heath Slater. They taunt the fans. Heath is applauding Christian as he holds up his belt. He then places it on his shoulder and walks to the ring.
Zack Ryder’s theme hits to a decent pop. He strides out and he points to the fans. He then turns to Slater and Christian and walks to the ring, eyes firmly fixed on the two.
Matthews: Well, Ryder doesn’t look very happy! He’ll be going all out to beat up Christian and Heath Slater for what they have done to him in his last few matches and his match at No Way Out!
Striker: Yeah, Ryder looks like he could do it tonight. But more focus may be on the one man who’s out next! The man who has made a recovery to fight now at WrestleMania. And here he is!
Richie Steamboat's theme hits. The crowd instantly goes wild. He walks slowly out onto the ramp and the fans go ecstatic. He points both hands to the sky and points at all the fans before running down the ramp (slapping each fan on either side’s hands) and into the ring. He mounts a turnbuckle to huge cheers before jumping off. The crowd begins to chant, "Richie."
Striker: So here he is, Richie Steamboat! These fans love it!
Matthews: Richie may have made a recovery, but will he be able to perform well enough to beat Christian and Ryder tonight?
The match gets underway as Richie heads straight for Christian. He unleashes punch after punch to the head of Christian before hitting a dropkick that sends him down. Before Richie can continue, Zack Ryder runs at Richie and takes him out from behind. Ryder then sends Steamboat into the turnbuckle and starts to hit punches and kicks of his own. He takes Richie and sends him into the ropes and then hits a sidewalk slam.
Christian is back up and hits a backbreaker to Ryder from behind and goes for the cover and gets a only a one-count. He locks in a leglock on Ryder, but he can’t hold it in for long as Ryder kicks the head of Christian and breaks free. Ryder tries the Rough Ryder already, but Christian reverses into a swinging neckbreaker.
Richie is up and runs at Christian, who just sends him over the ropes and to the outside. On the outside, Heath Slater sees his chance and kicks at Richie’s body before dropkicking his crawling body back down.
Matthews: There you see Christian's advantage he has with Heath Slater in his corner backing him up and getting involved whenever he can.
Striker: I wish he would just stay out of the way; I want to see this match won fairly, not because of some stupid lackey!
In the ring, Christian has applied a sleeper to Ryder who is struggling to break free. After a few minutes in the hold, Ryder appears to be totally out. The referee lifts Ryder’s hand and drops it for one. Again he does it, but this time Ryder’s hand doesn’t drop. He doesn’t fight back, but he isn’t out yet.
Christian releases the hold and laughs. He drags up Ryder and hits a DDT. Dragging him up once again he hits a suplex before going for the cover. He only gets a two-count, though.
On the outside, Richie is back on his feet. He rolls into the ring behind Christian and hits him by surprise with a roundhouse kick. Steamboat goes for the cover on Christian, but he only gets a two-count. Richie mounts the turnbuckle. He looks ready to fly! Heath tries to knock him off the turnbuckle, but a kick from Richie knocks him away. Christian, though, pulls the rope and Richie falls to the mat. All three men are down in the middle of the ring
Matthews: This match seems like anyone could win this. It’s been interesting to watch so far.
Striker: I know, Josh. I can’t seem to predict a winner. It seems all even.
Ryder is up first followed by Christian. The two trade blows in the centre. Richie gets up and dropkicks Christian in the back. He then turns to Ryder and sends him into the ropes before hitting a hurricanrana! Christian is back up and tries to take Richie by surprise, but he only eats a huricanrana of his own! With both men down, Richie points both hands to the sky to huge cheers.
Striker: Richie is on fire! He is more than ready for this.
Matthews: He certainly seems it. Richie is doing very well.
Richie picks up Christian and sends him into the turnbuckle. He then runs at him and hits a flying clothesline. Christian remains in the turnbuckle and Richie pulls him up to the top turnbuckle. Both men are on the top. Richie looks for a huge tornado DDT from the top! Heath gets on the apron and tries to save Christian, but Richie pulls Heath onto the top as well and performs a double-tornado DDT from the top rope!! Heath and Christian’s heads smash the mat and Richie clambers to his feet. The fans are going mad.
Matthews: How about that for a move! My God, Christian may have been broken in half.
Striker: And what about Heath? He landed very badly in that! He may have broken something! That’s Richie for you; he doesn’t care for himself, he only wants to win!
Heath rolls out of the ring. Christian is down in the middle. Ryder is to his feet behind Richie. He turns and...ROUGH RYDER! Zack hits the Rough Ryder! He goes for the cover. One...two...but Christian manages to break it up!
Ryder can’t believe it! He drags up Christian and tries to hit the Rough Ryder on him, but Christian pushes him away. Ryder runs at Christian, but Christian reverses into a spear! Now Christian heads to the ropes. He gets to the top and leaps off, connecting with a frog splash on Ryder! He goes into the cover but only gets a count of two.
Christian waits for Ryder to get to his feet. Ryder is up and turns round only to be hit with the Killswitch by Christian! Christian is about to go for the cover when Richie turns Christian round. He grabs him in a DDT type lock, but then leaps over onto his back with Christian still in the hold!
Matthews: What was that? That move was astonishing! Pure brilliance by Richie.
Striker: I know—to be able to have him in that lock and then leap into a neckbreaker type position and bring him down like that?! What is that?!
Richie is about to pin him when Heath grabs his legs and sends him to the outside. Richie is on the outside and Heath hits a big boot that sends Richie flying. In the ring, both Ryder and Christian are down. Ryder slowly gets to his feet using the ropes. He goes to Christian and is about to hit a Rough Ryder again on him, but Heath is on the apron and hits Zack from behind. Zack turns round to confront Heath, who leaps off the apron. Richie comes to help, though, and hits that same DDT/neckbreaker type move on Heath, who lands hard on the outside. But in the ring, Ryder turns to face Christian, who performs a roll-up pin on Ryder. Christian gets the one...two…three!
Winner and still Cruiserweight Champion, Christian! (Match time: 10:14)
Christian instantly rolls out of the ring and grabs his belt. He celebrates and taunts the fans and Richie and Zack while walking up the ramp. He leaves Heath, who is still down on the outside. Zack is in the ring looking shocked and unhappy while Richie sits on the outside, head in his hands.
Matthews: Well, Matt, that was a brilliant match. Christian managed to win, though, thanks to the work of his lackey, Heath Slater.
Striker: Thanks to him, Ryder was pinned. I’m glad Richie hit that move on him, he deserved it! Heath just couldn’t stay out of it.
The camera zooms to Christian, who is at the top of the ramp, holding his belt high.