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Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

2016 Survivor Series

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


The build is here.

Survivor Series 2016 – Toronto
(Dark – Nakamura d. Joe, Roode/Strong d. Revival/Gargano&Ciampa)

It’s the 30th Annual Survivor Series, it opens in a way unlike any previous – from the White House.

Outgoing US President Obama thanks the people of Canada for being great neighbors and partners over the past 8 years, says he’s leaving them in good hands.  The shot widens – sitting next to him is the President Elect, Linda McMahon.  Linda says regardless of to how many corners of the globe she’ll travel of the next four years, the WWF will always be home.  Days after the inauguration next January she and the Vice President, who asks that you just call him Vince, will be, in person, at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio.  She thanks the fans for their support and hopes they enjoy the show.

And then she coughs.

We then get a 30 year anniversary clip package.
-the first Survivor Series match from 1987, the Killer Bees defeating Power & Glory..
-the Anvil turning on Bret and Davey Boy at that first Survivor Series...
-the creation of the Heenan Family at the second Survivor Series: Hennig/Rude/Arn/Tully..
-Savage winning the WWF Title over Dynamite at that second show...
-Bobby turning on Rude, allowing DiBiase to win the IC in '89....
-Hennig winning the WWF Title in ’89 in Chicago, beating Savage..
-the Undertaker’s debut in ’90, squashing Jimmy Snuka..
-Hulk Hogan facing off against Dusty Rhodes in '90....
-Piper ending Bret’s nearly 2 year IC run in ’91 in Detroit...
-Flair winning his first WWF Title in '91, beating the Bulldog...
-Owen taking Shawn's IC title in '92...
-Bret successfully defending the WWF Title against Flair in ’92…
-Savage sticking the fork into Owen’s forehead in ’93…
-Razor and Waltman squaring off against Shawn and Diesel in '93...
-Waltman crashing through a table in a ladder match against Razor in '94...
-Shawn winning the Triple Crown in his hometown by beating Owen – and then getting jackknifed by his friend Diesel in ‘94...
-Razor and Diesel hitting the buckles with their tag belts after beating the Gunns in '95...
-Shane Douglas jumps from ECW to face Michaels for the IC in ’95…
 -Survivor Series 10 in ’96 from MSG (I was there, IRL) Cactus Jack takes Vader’s IC in a bloody, violent, brutal cage match
-a crazy end of show brawl in '96 with the Clique, the Harts, Austin and Pillman...
-Rock and DLo celebrating with the tag belts in '97...
-the Montreal Match in ’97, Owen defeating Bret in a four way that sent his brother out of the WWF…
-Austin hitting the Stunner on Regal in '98...
-Cactus taking the big bump in the first ever Hell in a Cell match in St Louis in ’98…
-Kurt Angle’s PPV debut, beating PAUL in ’99…
-the Dudleys winning the tag belts in '99...
-Eddy Guerrero beating Dean Malenko in Tampa in a classic in ’00…
-Benoit hitting 10 consecutive german supexles on Austin in the same show...
-DDP hitting the diamond cutter on Austin in '01...
-Taz taking the IC from Tajiri in Greensboro at Survivor Series 15 in ’01…
-RVD taking the IC from Shawn the following year in a ladder match at MSG…
-Brock killing HHH in '02, breaking him in half...
-Christian going over Jericho in '03...
-Eddy keeping the WWF Title in a 4 way against Brock/Benoit/Angle in ’03…
-Angle/Benjamin taking the tags from RVD/Rey in ’04…
-Benoit and Eddy doing a nearfall sequence in '04...
-Flair brawling with Steamboat at the top of the ramp in 2005...
-later Benoit beating Angle for the IC to win the Triple Crown…
-Sabu and RVD crashing through tables covered in light tubes in Philly in '06...
-10 years ago, Survivor  Series 20 from Philadelphia, CM Punk beating Ric Flair for the WWF Title and then throwing the WWF Title to the ground, proclaiming the promotion dead, RIP.  
-9 years ago from Miami, Rey Mysterio keeping the WWF Title over the Undertaker…
-Punk and Blood Dragon Jeff Hardy doing a forearm striking battle in '07...
-Randy Orton and Steve Regal brawling in a parking lot in '08...
-8 years ago from Boston, Chris Jericho winning the Triple Crown, beating Punk for the WWF Title with Steamboat as the guest referee…
-7 years ago from DC, Division One keeping the tag titles over Regal/Finley
-Punk and Christian both attacking Matt Hardy in '09...
-Rey beating Nemeth in '10...
-back in Miami again 6 years ago, Bryan Danielson beats Low Ki in a 5 star match….
-Sheamus sending Nitro into the ringpost in '11...
-Survivor Series 25 at MSG, Mick Foley leads GDI, with the Kings of Wrestling, Claudio and Hero to the ring to brawl with Underground…
-in '12, Claudio beats Cena in an  IC Tournament match...
-4 years ago in Indianapolis, Danielson beats Rey to keep the WWF Title…
-3 years ago, Ambrose keeping his IC title over Kingston...
-3 years ago in Boston, Danielson and Punk getting beaten down by Lesnar and Swagger, the Paul Heyman Guys…
-2 years ago, Natty winning the first ever women's title...
-2 years ago in St Louis, the Shield keeps the tag belts in a TLC win over the Usos…
-last year, Charlotte taking the women's title from Paige...
-last year in Atlanta, Claudio attacks Nemeth, aiding Steen’s keeping the WWF Title…


Your announcers are Ranallo, in his 5th PPV, Regal, in his 15th, and Nigel, working his second.  Nigel and Regal are still in opposition to each other, but it’s more playful now with only some sharp edges here and there.  They disagree but aren’t enemies – and they bond over jabbing Ranallo about how his best friend Aries isn’t there (Ranallo and Aries are the Dark Ride announce team and have become close while doing a podcast).

Let’s do it:

1. Survivor Series Quarterfinal Match: AJ Styles (w/Anderson and Gallows) d. Kalisto

-How they got here:  AJ d. Cena, Sombra, Ibushi.  
                                      Kalisto d. Primo, Crews, Tozawa
-The WWF Champ Styles comes to the ring first, behind him are Anderson and Gallows waving the Bullet Club flag, each in Bullet Club t-shirts, they mug for the camera, Anderson and Gallows shout out to the Young Bucks – it’s a full Bullet Club party here at Survivor Series 30.  Kalisto is super game, he and AJ have the best workrate match they can, but AJ gets him with the Styles Clash in the middle.  He’ll advance to the semi-finals to face the winner of Black/Ambrose.


2. Survivor Series Quarterfinal Match: Luke Harper d. Sheamus
-How they got here: Harper d. Eric Young, Ciampa, Bray. 
                                     Sheamus d. Killings, Kendrick, Miz
-It’s a sprint, the first match was longer than you’d expect from a tournament match, we really need the quality out of that one – this is more like the 10 minute match you’d expect given that one of these men might wrestle twice more tonight.  Just a hard hitting 10 minutes with Harper beating him clean.  Harper will meet the winner of the next match in the semi-finals.

3. Survivor Series Quarterfinal Match: Chris Jericho d. Roman Reigns Uso
-How they got here: Jericho d. Corbin, Strong, Nemeth
                                     Reigns d. Rhyno, Jimmy Uso, Gable
-This one lights up the Toronto crowd, Jericho’s been getting the “one more time around the track” old guy push all year, a documentary series highlighting his entire career has been on the Network, and his coming to Toronto, maybe for the last time, has been part of the build – he’s wearing  a #7 Maple Leafs jersey as he enters the ring.  As has been the case all year he’s completely outmatched physically by his younger opponent, but he uses veteran wiles to find a way to pull it out.  We’ll see Jericho v. Harper in the semi-finals later tonight.

4. Survivor Series Quarterfinal Match: Tyler Black draw Dean Ambrose
-How they got here: Black d. Woods, Dawson, Perkins
                                     Ambrose d. Dar, Kingston, Anderson
-it’s the first meeting between the longtime tag partners, but prior to the bell ringing the third member of the Shield, now part of the New Day, Langston, comes to the announce table. This drives Black to distraction – Langston turned on his partners, ending their historic title reign, and costing Black a year of his career.  Ambrose’s failure to avenge that has created a fissure between the two men who have been together since their time in Developmental, Black has been unable to get his hands on Langston since his return due to the big man’s injury.  But now here he is – Black jaws at him, Ambrose is offended that Black’s attention is taken away even a second, he feels disrespected that Black thinks he could give anything less than 100% and still compete. That gives the match some gas but at the point when Black is able to overcome Ambrose’s aggressiveness and get some level of control – he leaps out of the ring, gets in Langston’s face – Langston press slams him off the announce table – right onto the injured knee that took him out of action for a year.  Ambrose exits the ring – he starts shoving Langston, Black writhes in pain – both men counted out and eliminated from the tournament.  Styles will advance to the finals in a walkover.  

5. WWF Women’s Title: Charlotte Flair d. Natty Neidhart
-2 years ago the Women’s title was crowned for the initial time, Natty becoming the first Champion, Charlotte is the only 2 time champion and she keeps the belt here in the best match they can have, disappointing the Canadian crowd.  

6. Brock Lesnar (w/Heyman) d. Bill Goldberg
-Lesnar’s former tag partner returned after over a decade away from the ring, interrupting what perhaps was Brock’s retirement announcement – Brock dispatches him here in a short, explosive match modeled after their IRL Mania bout.  This, almost certainly, ends Goldberg’s wrestling career.  

7. Survivor Series Semi-Final Match: Luke Harper d. Chris Jericho
-The ride ends, at least for tonight, Jericho again is overwhelmed by a younger competitor, and again uses his experience to stay alive – but the wear and tear of trying to do it twice in one night is too much at his age, and he can’t overcome Harper.  Jericho stays in the ring postmatch to get the standing ovation from the fans.  He is emotional as he thanks them and exits.  Luke Harper has advanced to the Finals of the Survivor Series to meet the Champ, AJ Styles.

Hey, look who’s coming to the ring.  It’s the WWF Commissioner.  

Everyone’s always glad to see Danielson, his popularity rating is super high, that won’t change tonight, he says that we won’t have a second semi-final match given that Black and Ambrose were counted out – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be a match at all.  In the back are two tag teams ready to go.  Anderson and Gallows will meet American Alpha right now!

8. Bullet Club (Anderson/Gallows) d. American Alpha (Gable/Jordan)
-Bullet Club has been taking Alpha to the learning tree since Mania, including ending the WWF career of their manager Jack Swagger during the Survivor Series tournament.  This is their first meeting since that beating so Alpha comes out brawling, no real wrestling here – it’s a fistfight, the announce notes that demonstrates Alpha’s youth, as now they’re wrestling the Bullet Club’s match.  We hear the new enmity that Regal has for Bullet Club; he and Swagger were very close. Anderson and Gallows go over – there’s still more learning to do.    

9. Claudio Castagnoli/TJ Perkins d. Kevin Steen El Generico
-Probably this was the most anticipated match of the show, until Neville’s injury at the end of the build made it a non title and caused the replacement of Neville with Perkins.   Still, it’s probably the match of the night, Steen and Generico working as a babyface tag in Canada is tremendously over and they have Claudio to work against, even if Perkins is a step down from Neville.  They do a distraction finish, Perkins gets the referee’s attention, Neville (who – as it turns out – it’s hurt at all, he’s just a piece of trash lying heel) emerges from underneath the ring, hits a 450 on Steen, rolls back to the outside, Claudio gets the pinfall and the bad guys win.  

10. Survivor Series Finals:  AJ Styles d. Luke Harper
-So, some backstory.  The night after the Rumble was the Harper/Bray blowoff, really the blowoff to the entire Wyatt Family storyline, and after Harper went over the Bullet Club, who debuted the night prior, killed both of them dead.  They were out until this tournament, so the Harper/AJ final has storyline precedent that has largely been downplayed if not entirely ignored until now so as not to tip that this was how the tournament would play out.  Pre-match, as Harper begins to come to the ring, he’s assaulted by the Bullet Club, Anderson/Gallows and Nakamura, making his first appearance on the actual show tonight.  They put the boots to him – until interrupted by Cena, making the save for his former stablemate.  The tournament, recall, started with Cena losing to AJ – Styles treated him postmatch with disdain, as if Cena wasn’t worth the beating.  Cena takes that beating here, absorbing it until Danielson emerges and orders everyone to the back, Harper drags himself to the ring, and once AJ enters, they begin the match.  Harper’s not only wrestled a match more than has AJ tonight, but now he has this beating to overcome, he fights through all of it – but in the end, Styles is too much, he goes over, the Bullet Club emerges from the back, they hoist Styles upon their shoulders.  We’re told that he’ll be presented a trophy on RAW tomorrow from Danielson – there’s a Bullet Club celebration in the ring as the show ends.  

Back next month for the build for Royal Rumble 2017.  The main event is a rematch - Styles vs. Harper for the WWF Title.  And of course, the President and Vice President, Linda and Vince McMahon, will make an in person appearance just days after the inauguration.  It's gonna be a happening.  









Road to Survivor Series 2016 - Part 2

Sunday, October 01, 2017


Part 1 is here.

In Part 1, we began the Survivor Series, a 64 man tournament to culminate in Toronto at the annual Survivor Series PPV.  Here's the card so far.  Okay, most of the build is for a tag defense from Trash against Steen/Generico,

AJ Styles v. Kalisto
Tyler Black v. Dean Ambrose
Chris Jericho v. Roman Reigns
Sheamus v. Luke Harper
Styles/Kalisto winner v. Black/Ambrose winner
Jericho/Reigns winner v. Sheamus/Harper winner
Finals

3 more matches.  


Steen/Generico v. Claudio/Perkins
Brock Lesnar v. Bill Goldberg
Women's Title: Charlotte Flair v. Natty Neidhart

Okay, most of the build is for a tag defense from Trash against Steen/Generico, there's a lot of Neville and Claudio explaining the reasons for the turn (Neville is just fury, Claudio is multilingual Euro prick) and placing the blame for busting up GDI on Steen (which is fair). The argument is less "Steen's an asshole" and more "Steen was a crappy leader because he always put his pet Generico first to the detriment of the squad" (which is less fair, but they're heels).  Steen calls them whiny bitches, says he's glad they aren't together anymore, and even glad Trash is the WWF Tag Champs - because they're the 99th tag champs - and that means Steen and Generico will be the 100th.  


Gargano and Ciampa start to mix in here, as the Dark Ride GDI team they're in the middle, they wind up wrestling against both teams and working as singles against all 4 guys, it allows us not to do any Trash v Steen/Generico tag matches in the build.  

Neville gets hurt like 3 weeks before Survivor Series, the tag titles will now not be defended, but Claudio says he'll find a partner to wrestle Steen/Generico anyway - that partner turns out to be Perkins, who was an end of the road babyface in the tournament (the sport has just ground him down, even into homelessness, but he just keeps going) and he wrestles Generico in the go home RAW, works as a subtle heel, Claudio interferes to get Perkins the win - and then they beat Generico down.  Perkins cuts a "this sport has ground me down, even into homelessness" heel promo and he and Claudio will wrestle together at Survivor Series in a non title match.  In the build to Summer Slam, Steen's being Canadian was emphasized, so that doesn't seem forced here as we ready for a match in Toronto.  

Brock lost to Devitt at Summer Slam, but then fractured his skull postmatch and that's enough for a victory lap. He makes a heavily promoted appearance on Heyman's Hustle where he's going to announce his plans for the future.  There's a couple of weeks of graphics "What's Next for Brock Lesnar?" Lots of speculation - Lesnar can't fight for the WWF Title, he's gotten revenge against Devitt, Danielson is long gone - are there any worlds left to conquer in professional wrestling?  

At RAW, in the front row is Bill Goldberg; we haven't seen Goldberg in a dozen years since he and Lesnar were tagging together.  He signs some autographs, poses for some pictures, but otherwise watches the show like everyone else.  Then we get to the Lesnar segment, they tease an announcement - but Lesnar then notices Goldberg and tells Heyman to wave him into the ring.  Goldberg shakes his head - but Lesnar is insistent.  Goldberg enters, Heyman puts him over to the portion of the crowd that doesn't know him, he was an NWA Tag Champ, he's one of the few men who Brock could stand for long enough to be in a tag team with him - so it's nice to see him here.  

Goldberg says if tonight was going to be Lesnar's last night in professional wrestling, he needed to be there, because he wants to spit on his grave.  Goldberg says he came to the WWF after the NWA died wanting to be WWF Champion - and here, Brock Lesnar, the Next Big Thing, wanted to tag up with him.  And Lesnar ruined his career.  He winds up on the wrong side of Mick Foley, which meant he was on the wrong side of The Rock, which meant the wrong side of this entire promotion, and soon enough he's out on his ass.  Goldberg says Lesnar ruined his life - and now he's back in Atlanta working a 9-5 and Lesnar's standing here the 2 time WWF Champion and screw that.

Heyman tells Goldberg to go home before he gets hurt.  

Goldberg gets into Heyman's face - says he should shut his fat, parasite face - Lesnar grabs him - but Goldberg shoves him down.  Lesnar rises, but Goldberg spears him.  Goldberg stands over the fallen Lesnar, stares into the camera "Hey, Brock - What's Next?  I'm next."

Goldberg works once in the build, a squash against someone small - spear, jackhammer. We don't see Lesnar again, but we do see Heyman, he cuts a "it doesn't matter what Brock's announcement was gonna be, what matters is that at Survivor Series, the wrestling career that will come to an end, again, is Goldberg's" promo.  

The women's title match is Flair vs. Neidhart in Canada - ideally all the people you'd want to be involved in video packages discussing the historical implications of a Flair meeting a Hart Foundation member in Canada for a title would be.  Charlotte's the champ, Natty's the former champ - Ric Flair's daughter vs. #11 in Canada for the strap at Survivor Series.  

Which leaves only the election.



Rusev, the IC Champ, is neither on the card nor was he in the tournament - but he, Lana, and Bradshaw are all over the build cutting promos for Trump - we are going to stop funding health care, slice all social programs and regulatory agencies deeply, cut taxes on millionaires and billionaires, and form an alliance with the authoritarian leader of Russia - the American people are finally going to get the Plutocracy they deserve.  

GHB is triumphant as we get closer to the election - his man is IC Champ, he doesn't have to travel to Canada, that socialist cesspool, for Survivor Series, and Trump, who once had 18 holes in one while playing golf, is about to be President of the United States.

Except, of course, he isn't.  Linda McMahon wins the election.  Linda McMahon is the 45th President of the United States, promising to usher in an unparalleled age of economic justice. Which makes sense, there was a populist anger as evident in the Sanders and Trump movements (and Brexit) Linda had laid groundwork for years as a champion of the working class, she lacked real world Clinton's baggage, and the baggage Linda has (wrestling association, lack of charisma) is mitigated by her never appearing in a demeaning or exploitative angle here, Trump's own less statesmanlike persona, and the secret weapon - Vince, who knows how to talk people into a building (or voting booth).  Add in the McMahon celebrity and proximity to celebrity, particularly among the type of men who might have otherwise supported Trump, and it makes sense that Linda takes the election.

You might recall that upon Trump's election a year ago I indicated that it would cause me to change the finish of this angle.  This ain't the finish.  

Linda and Vince, the first husband and wife to become President and VP, will be making their first appearance at a WWF event in San Antonio in January a week after the Presidential Inauguration.

Okay, that's it.  Here's the card.

Survivor Series Final
Kevin Steen/El Generico vs. Claudio Castagnoli/TJ Perkins (non title)
Survivor Series Semifinal 2
Survivor Series Semifinal 1
Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg
Women's Title: Charlotte Flair vs. Natty Neidhart
Quarterfinal: Sheamus vs. Luke Harper
Quarterfinal: Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns
Quarterfinal: Tyler Black vs. Dean Ambrose
Quarterfinal: WWF Champion AJ Styles vs. Kalisto (non title)

See you in a month. 


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