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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.

Road to Rumble Conclusion 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Part one of the build is here.

We’re stalking Royal Rumble 2K6.

The big TV on the way to the Rumble is our special 15 team gauntlet match – with 29 of the 30 individuals who are entered being former tag team champions. Winners will go to the Rumble to take on Booker/Bradshaw – Bradshaw is once again full on GHB, he lariats Book on RAW – and now they’re doing a face/heel feuding thing as they near their defense.

They both come out for the announce for the match, sitting on opposite ends of the table, with Taz and Joey (recall, your full time announce team now) in between.

They bicker during the match, largely they are doing comedy schtick – but they can start slapping at each other at one point, only to calm down and go back to calling the match. They’re both doing campy gimmicks, it should be good comedy, as Bradshaw talks about the glorious Bush Administration, and Book plays homeboy looking for a payday. A good oil and water tag mix.

Here we go.

Team One: Rockers
Almost 16 years since Shawn walked out on Marty at Royal Rumble ’90 – they reunite for the big pop. They use the old music, wear the old gear, accept the pop. Both guys are 3 time WWF tag champs, and a clip is shown of their Rumble ’89 win over the Brainbusters.

Team Two: Piper/Jake
And who did the Rockers lose to in that last ever match in 1990? Roddy Piper and Jake Roberts - and that clips is shown - they get the big legends pop as they come to the ring.

They get in their stuff, Shawn and Marty do some doubleteams, there’s a DDT tease – but it’s stereosuperkicks and a simultaneous pinfall for the Rockers.

Team Three: Angle/Benjamin
Kurt’s music plays as Shawn and Marty celebrate on the buckles, simultaneously, HHH-M comes from behind underneath the ring, grabbing Marty from the buckle, and pedigreeing him. HHH-M motions to Shawn “you and me – you and me” Michaels – and the announce exclaims that Hunter and Shawn were, in fact, tag champs themselves, and the 51% Solution has struck again.

Benjamin’s a 3 time tag champ, twice with Charlie Haas and once with Kurt, and their Survivor Series ’04 win over Rey and RVD, Van Dam’s last appearance in the WWF, incidentally, as Paul E paid off Team Angle to take him out

Angle doesn’t get onto the apron, grabbing a mic to say that Benjamin isn’t nearly good enough to be in the ring with 3 guys of the caliber of he, Michaels, and Hunter – and that he doesn’t feel it’s a safe working environment – he drops the mic and backs away.

HHH-M attacks Benjamin, Michaels, still stunned that Marty has been taken out, all of it happening very quickly – has to choose between attacking Hunter – fighting Benjamin – or doing what he does, which it to pescado from the ring and land squarely on Angle.

They brawl on the apron, Benjamin gets the advantage on HHH-M.

At one point, with Benjamin having a nearfall – Michaels enters to break it up. And when he decides to work with HHH-M – they are able to dispose of Benjamin, who fights gamely. HHH-M gets the fall.

Team Four: Orton/Cena
The just deposed tag champs, having held the belts since taking them from SpreeKillers Helms/Rhyno at XXI, are next. The new pattern should be emerging – the old dynamic was both guys sucked – but with Cena getting pinned at Survivor Series – and after eating a superkick – Cena getting pinned here by Michaels – the new pattern is it’s Cena who sucks and Orton’s getting irritated by it.

Team Five: Edge…

Clip from Summer Slam 2000, when E and C took the tag straps in TLC2 against the Hardys and Dudleys.

And…

Matt.

Big pop as Matt’s music plays – playing for the first time in a year and a half – since he didn’t use music during the unsanctioned match at Summer Slam.

Matt sprints to the ring and attacks Edge. Hunter starts yelling for security, as Matt doesn’t have a contract – the announce speculating that somehow, Steamboat, from his hospital bed, was able to engineer this and how someone will be fired – Matt and Edge spill from the ring into the crowd – and in a spot which will become familiar – begin to attack each other violently – throwing chairs for example – in the crowd.

We’ll see that spot 2-3 times before the Rumble, with Matt running into attack Edge and that fight going into the crowd. The final time we do it – a plant will take a chairshot and juice – showing us that the fans aren’t safe – that no one is safe when Matt and Edge are in the same building.

That last attack will take place interrupting an Edge/Michaels singles. Two things come out of that – one, Shawn will cut another anti-Matt promo – “Matt Hardy’s a menace – and I understand he’s cool now to you fans – but he’s dangerous – I understand why you like him…and I forgive you.”

As Shawn ticks up again the messianic aspects of his character. “I forgive you” will slowly work its way into his lexicon as he becomes a little more overbearing.

At some point, I’d like to sell WWTHBKD merchandise. But slow. It’s slow.

The other thing that comes out of this is the Edge/Matt match for the Rumble. During a 51% Solution promo, Edge interrupts, says that they owe him for spearing Michaels – and he wants Hardy.

Flair says hell no – Hardy doesn’t work here – we don’t want him – he’s out of control

Edge says after the Rumble – they’ll never see Matt again, Edge will make sure of it.

The decision is that it’s far too dangerous to do with fans there – that fan that was hurt will sue – they could shut the company down – and HHH-M has to protect his wife’s money.

So – they make a Lights Out Match – before the fans get to the Miami Arena – in an empty building – with only the production crew – Edge and Matt will rematch. It’s a WWF first. They’ll show the match at the very beginning of the PPV – which is why 9 matches for the price of 8 – Edge v. Matt is a bonus opening match for Royal Rumble 2K6! You’ve gotta call your local cable company!

But not right now – ‘cause none of that has happened yet. Right now what’s happened is Edge and Matt have been counted out – and as Michaels watches them fight – Helmsley lays into him from behind – then pedigrees him – leaving Shawn laid out as pickings for the next team.

Team 6: Juvie/Big Markie
Juvie, the leader of the LWO, coming off losing his title shot to Rey at Survivor Series, was tag champ of the NWA with Silver King – and a shot of their win over Hall and Nash at Slamboree ’98 is shown. Mark Henry is fudging this a little, as he was never a tag champ – but he was the bodyguard for the Rock/DLo Nation of Domination during their tag runs.

Henry splashes the prone Michaels – Shawn does the furious comeback though – battling by himself – warding off both men – it looks as if Michaels is going to finish off Henry, as he’s ready to drop the big elbow – but Angle runs back in – pushes Michaels from the buckle – and Juvie pins him with the 450 splash.

Team 7: Rey…

Clip from Summer Slam ’04, when Rey and RVD took the straps from Flair and Leviathan…

Rey then points his thumbs to his head – as Stevie Richards emerges, and the ECW music plays…

RVD

Van Dam returns, after a year and a half. Recall that the videos began before Survivor Series – Richards took on the role as Van Dam’s manager – this drove Heyman, responsible for Van Dam’s injuries, from the announce. And we’re set now for the RVD v. ECW portion of the program.

But first – we get some RVD/Rey doubleteams – maybe even a stereosplash – RVD with the frog and Rey with a legdrop – for the fall.

The rest of the LWO, Crazy and Psychosys, then enters – and along with Juvie, they put the wood to Rey, dragging him away from the ring and pummeling him in the aisle.

This is going to get us to the Title Match for the Rumble.

Carlito will emerge as the mouthpiece of the LWO, taking over as group spokesman from Juvie – forcing Juvie out of the LWO, turning Juvie face – Juvie joins with Rey for a couple of tags against the LWO before Juvie’s deal expires.

Even before Flair’s turn, recall, he was opposed to Rey – it was the chief point of contention between he and Steamboat.

So, when Carlito proposes that the title match at the Rumble be a Triple Threat match – Rey v. Crazy v. Psychosys – the 51% Solution is all in favor.

So, assuming the LWO sticks together – Rey won’t just have to beat one man to maintain his title at the Rumble, he’ll have to beat two.

But none of that has happened yet. What’s happened now is Van Dam is prevented from helping the Champ because Paul E enters the aisle with the next team:

Team 8: Guido/Nova
Guido and Nova were ECW tag champs, taking from the Dudleys at Heatwave ’99, we see a clip. They attack RVD with the doubleteam – with Heyman shouting directions – but with a timely StevieKick – RVD hits the frogsplash on Nova and, although Rey has been completely wiped out and needs help to the back, RVD advances.

Heyman smirks, waving along the next team.

Team 9: Sandman/Kid Kash
It’s now 4 on 1, with both these guys making their WWF debuts here – Sandman was ECW tag champ with CW Anderson, winning the belts at Heat Wave ’00 – and Kash held the straps with Chris Chetti, they took at Living Dangerously in that same year – they join Guido and Nova – all four men putting the boots to RVD and Stevie. Sandman canes both men – Van Dam is overcome – and Kash hits a 450 splash for the pinfall.

Team 10: Mikey Whipwreck…

The ECW guys continue to unload on RVD and Stevie as Whipwreck, who not only held the tag straps with Guido – but also with Bubba Ray Dudley from November 2 Remember 1995 – goes right in on their side – Van Dam taking a pummeling in his first match back

..Cactus Jack…

Big pop for the surprise return of Mick Foley, the 3rd Triple Crown winner (Michaels, Rey) to appear in the match – clips of Foley’s tag win with Terry Funk at the ’98 Royal Rumble – and also his win with Sting in their oil and water tag team at Fall Brawl ’93.

Jack’s all legend babyface – getting the legend’s housecleaning spot as he lays out successively each of the ECW guys – including his own partner Whipwreck, and then he double arm DDTs Sandman – getting the pinfall.

The ECW guys regroup – and re-establish their numerical advantage, beating down Cactus Jack as well..

Team 11: Benoit…
And now our 4th Triple Crown winner – and the current holder thereof, the Crippler, Chris Benoit, the Worldwide Champion. Benoit and Eddy won the straps at Summer Slam 2002 from Jericho and Storm – and now Benoit suplexes everyone in the ring – tossing the ECW guys all over the place – Benoit to the top and landing the diving headbutt on Sandman…

Taz…

Another surprise entrant – Taz and Raven won the tag straps at Rumble ’01 – Taz’s music hits – he takes off his headset at the announce – Joey, going bonkers, wonders on whose side Taz will come in – he and Benoit are partners here – but he is ECW to the core, and maybe he has secretly aligned himself with Paul Heyman…

Taz enters the ring – the action stops – he walks over to Whipwreck, who extends his hand – Taz takes it – whips Mikey around into the Tazmission – and chokes him out for the fall.

The brawl quickly resumes and then ends – Taz, Benoit, Jack, RVD, Stevie running the ECW guys from the ring – and accepting the pop – Van Dam and Stevie will exit…

And this sets up our 8th match for the Rumble – Van Dam taking on Kid Kash. The ECW guys will continue to attack RVD – in a tag match, say with Van Dam/Stevie against Kash and Sandman – Tommy Dreamer will enter and cane Stevie into submission, allowing Kash another pinfall over RVD.

That’s gonna knock Stevie out for the Rumble – leading Foley to return to TV the following week to save RVD from another beating – Foley cuts a promo saying that he can’t stand to miss a good party – and that at the Royal Rumble – he will be in Van Dam’s corner when he takes on Kid Kash, Paul Heyman, and the forces of ECW.

And, you know, nothing wrong with that.

But that hasn’t happened yet.

What’s happening now is Benoit and Taz are your current team – Foley goes ahead and grabs Taz’s headset, doing some back and forth with Joey, and some political banter with Bradshaw…

Team 12 Steve Austin/Dustin Rhodes

The fifth Triple Crown winner (and since the others were Bret, Owen, Eddy, and Pedro Morales, that means all that could have entered did – it’s kind of a big show – ideally, this would be the spot for the Saturday Night’s Main Event shot) is Austin – he was the NWA champ with Pillman, also the WWF with Dustin – and Dustin himself held the NWA belt with both Eaton and Windham.

Dustin carries the load – Austin enters for the big pop and the quick stunner on Taz for the fall. Austin then stuns Dustin (longtime readers will recall that’s how he turned Stone Cold on Rhodes, ending their partnership) and exits, drinking his beer.

So, Dustin is once again laid out, and easy pickings for Team 13…

Team 13 Flair/Arn
And here comes the 51% Solution. Flair, tag champs with Leviathan, who he just swerved at Survivor Series – Arn, of course, 2 time champs with Tully as the Brainbusters – Flair works Dustin over – Arn, if capable, hits the spinebuster – Flair gets the figure four – and the submission.

Team 14: DiBiase/Animal
Ted was two time tag champ with Mike Rotundo – and you know about Animal - but DiBiase never gets in the ring – he pulls a fat envelope out of his jacket as Animal gets in the ring – opens it up to show a stack of bills – thanks Flair – and exits.

Animal is overmatched – again, Flair gets the figure four submission – and only one team is left.

Team 15: Helms/Chavo
Helms was tag champ, both with Shannon Moore in the NWA – and with Rhyno just this year – he and Chavo were longtime partners as they broke into the WWF together as the SpreeKillers – Chavo turned on Helms to join the Horsemen – both men have been off TV for months – and both, coincidentally, were taken out by Leviathan.

This is Chavo’s first TV match since Eddy’s death – he should get a good pop – Joey speculates that the 51% Solution has promised, remember, that there would be a 4th man – what if Shane Helms or Chavo Guerrero has cut a deal with HHH-M?

But they haven’t – Helms and Chavo do their doubleteam stuff on Flair – Arn has to take the quick fall from Chavo – and it’s Guerrero and Helms who will go to the Rumble to face Booker and Bradshaw – completing our card.

Book and Bradshaw, still bickering, hit the ring for the face to face – there’s some jawing – and then our show ends with the appearance of…

Executioner Lashley.

Recall from Survivor Series, Lashley (with the X on his chest and back – he has black gloves – he wears the hood that he rips off when he enters the ring – he’s Black Goldberg) has so far not shown any allegiance to anything – he tore Masters apart at Survivor Series, then Nova and Guido as well.

Lashley spears and hits Dominators on everyone. Book, Bradshaw, Chavo, Helms – everyone is left laid out as Lashley stands with the tag belts – screaming at the camera – Joey wonders what role Bobby Lashley – the Executioner – will play at the Rumble.

And that’s your card.

Undisputed Title: Rey v. Psychosys v. Crazy (w/Carlito)
-It’s a Triple Threat – the deck is stacked against Rey as he has to beat both members of the LWO – and he has Carlito Colon on the outside.

Worldwide Titles: Benoit v. Fit (w/Dean and Regal)
-The Sunshine Boys go square after Benoit’s titles – can the veteran Fit stand up to the Benoit fury?

Unified Tags: Booker/Bradshaw v. Helms/Chavo
-They won the big gauntlet – can the reunited Helms/Guerrero take the belts from the feuding tag champs?

Angle (w/Benjamin) v. HBK
-The Team Angle/Clique feud is now over, both groups having devolved – but the Angle/Michaels war continues – can Shawn Michaels finally beat your Olympic Hero?

London v. Kendrick v. Noble
-Your Ring of Honor match – Kendrick returned, blaming his former partner London for blackballing him – and then Noble returned, blaming his former partner Kendrick for leaving him behind. This mysterious wrestler from Ring of Honor, heretofore unnamed, appears to be behind this, pulling the strings – will he appear at the Rumble?

RVD (w/Jack) v. Kid Kash (w/Heyman and Team ECW)
-Van Dam split with Heyman two years ago – then Paul E paid to have him taken out. Now, RVD returns – and Heyman brings in old ECW wrestlers to take care of him – with the legendary Cactus Jack in his corner – can RVD stand up to the onslaught?

Benjamin (w/Angle) v. HHH-M (w/ Flair and Arn)
-Shelton Benjamin (S Money, or S$) makes his return to PPV, having been put on the shelf involuntarily by his stable leader and mentor, Angle – but HHH-M, as part of the 51% Solution, demanded a “guarantee” for the Rumble – Angle gave it to him and Benjamin appears set up to lose.

MNM (w/Melina) v. Dead Men Walking (w/ Undertaker)
-Show and Kane took the match at Survivor Series – the feud continues here.

And, of course…

Lights Out: Matt v. Edge
-They grew up together as the Ring Boys – Edge and his brother Christian, turned, with Trish, on Matt and his brother, Jeff – starting the legendary tag feud that would also include the Dudleys.

Edge then, with Matt having quit the previous year, slept with Lita, Matt’s “real life” girlfriend – leading to the “You screwed Matt” chants – and a non-contracted Matt’s return to the WWF ring at Summer Slam in the unsanctioned match that saw Edge, who had been a babyface member of the Clique, reveal his true colors.

Edge won that match, with Lita’s aid – Matt, completely unhinged, doing a Pillman thing, took a nail gun to Edge on RAW – both men returned at Survivor Series, Matt laying Edge out with a twist of fate (and Hunter and Michaels too)

Leading to TV – when Matt, still without a contract, as Flair has sworn he’ll never be a WWF wrestler again – attacked Edge multiple times, brawling into the crowd – injuring “fans”.

Edge gets the 51% Solution to grant him an empty arena match at the Rumble – promising to end Matt Hardy once and for all.

It’s a great match – it’s a great card.

Royal Rumble 2006– Coming In January!

The Road to the Rumble 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Survivor Series is here.

And we’re back.

Counterfactual WWF takes the turn and heads for 2006 with the RAW after Survivor Series – which begins with our new heel stable – The 51% Solution.

That’s HHH-M, who just beat Shawn, ending the Clique, the night before. That’s Flair and Arn, who turned heel on Leviathan and beat down Steamboat in the back.

They explain how it was a plan all along – Flair’s not retiring, he’ll wrestle forever, no man’s enough to stop him. They have taken their 51% of creative power to end the Clique and to keep Matt Hardy out of the WWF. Steamboat’s in the hospital – and the 51% Solution is completely in control.

Not only that – but if you count the number of men in the ring (1, 2, 3) is seems short somehow – for some reason, HHH-M says, he always thinks that a wrestling group – a stable, if you will, should have four members.

HHH-M: And we do.

Hit Angle’s music.

Angle’s coming off the loss to Benoit for the vacant Worldwide Titles, losing a chance at the Triple Crown. Angle’s pissed, Benjamin, as S$, is carrying his bags, walking 3 steps behind. Benjamin’s even more pissed.

The crowd, obviously, is supposed to presume that Angle is the fourth man. He’s not, as they explain.

Angle: Stop your booing – I’m not the damn 4th guy. I couldn’t care less about your 4th guy, Helmsley.

Angle, recall, is doing a crazed, steroid fueled, Vic Mackey gimmick. He’s not in his gear, he’s got the mirrored sunglasses, a t-shirt, a jacket – Angle’s always raging – and since he won’t let Benjamin wrestle on PPVs, he’s always fuming behind him.

Angle says he lost to Benoit last night (pop) lost his chance to be Worldwide Champion (pop) lost his chance at the Triple Crown (pop)

Flair: What the hell do you want us to do about it, Angle?

Angle says that since the 51% Solution is running this place now – he asks for – he demands – that at the Royal Rumble – he gets the only thing that will make him feel better – one more time to kick Shawn Michaels’s ass.

Pop. Angle is unbeaten in his career against Michaels, one notes.

Flair and Hunter are fine with that – they’ve ended the Clique – if Angle wants to take care of the rest, that’s fine.

But Hunter wants something in return.

See, Hunter swore, at Summer Slam, when he returned as HHH-M, as the Princess’s husband, that he’d be walking out of XXII with gold.

So, at the Rumble, he needs an easy win, a “guaranteed” win. If Angle knows what he means. But he needs to beat someone athletic, someone talented, someone who has held WWF gold himself.

Hunter gets in Benjamin’s face.

HHH-M: I’m gonna beat you, Money.

Angle says Benjamin’s not ready yet – he still can’t work PPV – he’s not good enough.

Benjamin looks like he wants to kill everyone.

Angle says and because he’s not ready – that Hunter’s got a deal.

The 51% Solution laughs. Angle smirks. Benjamin fumes. Angle tells S$ to shake Hunter’s hand – Benjamin, despite the reaction of the crowd, does.

So, that sets up 2 matches (there’s gonna be nine).

Coming off Survivor Series, we’re gonna rematch MNM with Dead Men Walking. That’s 3 matches.

As mentioned in the Summer Slam build – we’re gonna do the Sunshine Boys gimmick with Fit, Dean, and now Regal.

Fit returns to the ring, with Dean as his manager. On this RAW the night after Survivor Series, he loses to Benoit – and we’re supposed to recognize how rusty Fit is.

But every week, with Dean in his corner – Fit gets a little better – starts to win, starts to win convincingly – he adds Regal as his training partner after beating him in a singles. It’s a chance to tell Fit’s story as the Euro vet trying for WWF gold – his longtime friend and rival Regal – and Dean, the NWA Champ who came over as part of the Alliance with Benoit, Saturn, and the late Eddy – Dean retired due to injury – but here he is, with Fit and Regal – gunning hard for Benoit.

It’s just veterans working hard. We can get some Dean/Benoit stuff – a promo that gets kind of heated where they walk down memory lane. If they want to talk Eddy they can, however it works is fine.

But it’s just a veteran tough guys angle.

The week before the Rumble, Benoit gets another pinfall over Fit – this time in a tag match where it’s Benoit/Rey against Fit/Regal. Rey winds up attacked by his opponents (yeah there will be two) for the title match at the Rumble – but Benoit holds on, Fit taps to the crossface – Benoit doesn’t break the hold as quickly as Dean would like – Dean’s in the ring to stomp on Benoit – and they throw down – with Regal and Fit having to act as peacemakers, Benoit and Malenko exchanging blows the week before the Rumble.

So, that’s 4 matches.

5 more.

Kendrick returned in the hot angle at Survivor Series, superkicking London cold as Paul tried to save Shawn.

Kendrick cuts promos that when he broke his arm 2 years ago (one may recall that they were the Michaels protégées, a jealous HHH turned heel by breaking Spanky’s arm with the sledgehammer) he went up to the Ring of Honor promotion – and he
waited for the call to come that he had his job back.

And it never came. And he wondered why – but he met a wrestler up in Ring of Honor who told him the truth – that the reason that WWF didn’t bring him back was because his old partner, Paul London, put the bad mouth on him.

London says that’s nuts.

Kendrick doesn’t believe him – he knows, he heard – he was told.

And we tell that story, two young guys, trained by Michaels in Texas, a young WWF tag – London got ahead, beating Jericho, beating HHH, getting an IC shot on PPV (the Rumble, I think) and Spanky, now known as Brian Kendrick, got brushed aside.

He keeps referring to this mystery wrestler from ROH who told him about how London screwed him, London buried him, London’s trying to ruin his career.

Kendrick can’t take it anymore.

And we build that – until one Raw they’re both attacked by the returning Jamie Noble.

Noble cuts the same promo on Kendrick that he’s been cutting on London.

Noble had it all coming together in WWF – he beat Chris Freaking Benoit on PPV – and he broke his ankle (Benoit broke it) went up to Ring of Honor – and he and Kendrick became a tag team.

Noble: We was friends, Brian. We was brothers – and when you got the call to come back here – did you take me? Hell, no. You left me up there, Brian. You left me.

Kendrick says he didn’t have a choice – but Noble says he got a phone call from a certain wrestler – and that wrestler said that Kendrick did have a choice, that he got offered a deal as a single or as a tag team – and he decided to leave his partner behind.

Kendrick says that’s not true. Noble says he heard it was.

And that’s your 5th match, a 3 way at the Rumble.

4 more.

Booker and Bradshaw won the straps over Orton and Cena at Survivor Series, as mentioned, on a RAW thereafter, Bradshaw re-turns, becoming GHB once again, with the flags and bringing out his toadie Conway as Anal Cysts, and the rabid jingoistic pro war rants.

But Book’s stuck with him, and we have heel/face tag champions.

They’re gonna meet the winners of, what will be a big RAW – we’re gonna do a gauntlet tag match, with 15 teams made entirely of men who have held tag belts before, either in WWF, NWA, or ECW.

Sometimes we’ll reunite actual tag teams – sometimes we’ll mix and match – but it will be a happening – as 29 (in a minute) former tag team champions will appear on RAW in a 15 team gauntlet – the team that survives goes to the Rumble to meet the champs.

The only man who will appear in the match never to have held a tag title is a former Worldwide Champ – and a longtime tag wrestler – making his return to WWF TV – Chavo Guerrero.

And the fans can do with that as they will. It should be a pretty big babyface return.

Not only will the tag title match be set up in that match, but also a big angle will move forward to set up an undercard match. We’ll also use that match to jumpstart Rey’s title defense at the Rumble. And, of course, once again, we have Matt and Edge.

Edge won at Summer Slam. Matt crucified him with a nail gun on RAW. Edge returned at Survivor Series to spear Shawn, allowing HHH-M the win. Matt ran in with twists of fate on both of them.

And they’ll meet again at the Rumble.

Matt v. Edge – in an Empty Arena Match.

How we get there, we’ll start talking about in the next installment.

So, next time will be the 15 team gauntlet, and we’ll set up the final 4 matches for Rumble ’06.

So far, here’s where we are:

Undisputed Titles: Rey v. ?
Worldwide Titles: Benoit v. Fit
Tags: Booker/Bradshaw v. ?

Angle v. HBK
London v. Noble v. Kendrick
Benjamin v. HHH-M
Dead Men Walking v. MNM
? v. ?

Empty Arena Match: Matt v. Edge

It’ll be a happening the build continues

Survivor Series 2005

Tuesday, November 07, 2006



The build is here.


Survivor Series 2005 – Detroit
(dark – Chavo d. Helms)
(Benjamin d. Regal)

Joey and Taz on the announce.

Vince is in the ring at the top of the broadcast, explaining the set up for the evening, with the preliminary matches being what you would expect from a WWF PPV – and the final two title matches being a tribute to Eddy Guerrero. Vince says thanks for coming.

1. MNM d. Dead Men Walking
-MNM get the clean fall over the newly babyfaced Show and Kane – they work some postmatch chairshots that lead to the Dead Man’s entrance – he officially rejoins Show and Kane as the 3 of them chokeslam Nitro and Mercury, with Melina escaping. (Note - this is error, MNM didn't work this show, they were in Melina's corner for her match).

2. Executioner Lashley d. Masters
Much anticipated debut of Lashley, he’s got the black X on both chest and back – black gloves – he rips off the cowl while on the top buckle and lets out a primal scream. Heyman, in the role of manager scouting Lashley, as are all the managers everywhere, is in the aisle. Lashley’s not gonna sell at all right now – they use him just to tear guys up. He blows Masters apart here. Dominator finish. Taz and Joey sell him as a monster, wonder again who will wind up with him. Heyman extends a hand to Lashley as he goes back up the aisle, Lashley blows him off – Heyman is then attacked by Stevie. Stevie pounces on Paul E – save by Nova and Guido.

Nova and Guido, who have been a low level tag for years, beat Stevie back – and then Carlito runs in to fight Nova to the ring, which gets us to the next match.

3. Carlito Colon d. Nova
Carlito’s a heel, doing his Razor Ramon-lite shtick, he gets the tights pulling fall on Nova – and then Lashley makes the slow, deliberate, Goldberg-walk back to the ring. Lashley press slams Nova to the outside – perhaps into the crowd. Screams. Carlito is saved by the LWO. That’s gonna lead to his taking over as the LWO mouthpiece and de facto leader at Juvie gets pushed out before the Rumble.

Lashley screams again, face pop. Look at the Executioner! He’s a monster!

4. Flair d. Leviathan (w/AA)
And here we go.

It’s ostensibly Flair’s last match, he’s been a babyface since serving as a judge at XXI and then joining Steamboat (note, Meltzer says Steamboat’s ex has the intellectual property rights to his name – fuck that – throw her 40 grand and she bites) as the figureheads in charge of WWF.

With Hunter asserting his 2% power, Steamboat and Flair decide that the only way to keep him from power is to say that active wrestlers get no votes – and the only way to do that is for Ric to retire.

So, lots of “goodbye, Ric” stuff – including a tribute video that debuts as Flair gets to the ring. Tears – should be tears, Flair, his protégée, handpicked for his farewell match, Leviathan – the two of them former tag champs – and then Arn, Leviathan’s manager.

So, Flair hits all the trademark spots – Arn has him well scouted – it’s as emotional as a wrestling match under these circumstances can be given that Eddy’s death overwhelms the entire night – and then Flair turns.

He goes low when Arn’s distracted the official – Arn, while seemingly trying to get the referee to look at Flair actually ties him up as Flair chairshots Leviathan – and then with the referee now occupied with Flair – Arn enters and spinebusters Leviathan onto the chair.

Flair then gets the fall.

Flair and Arn stomp Leviathan out, showing no mercy – Steamboat, obviously recognizing Flair’s turned, walks down the aisle, pulling off his jacket as he walks, pulling off his tie – the announce yells that Steamboat has a bad back – that Steamboat can’t get physical – that Steamboat risks permanent paralysis, etc…

Security stops Steamboat before he gets to the ring, holding him back as he yells at the laughing, taunting Flair and Anderson. They exit, Steamboat still held back.

5. Weapons Match: HHH-M d. HBK
And that ends the Clique.

Lot of angle here.

You know the backstory, HHH joined the Clique – he wound up running, over the years, everyone out – Razor, Diesel, Michaels, Waltman – when Michaels came back, Hunter was a face – they became tag champs – but Hunter couldn’t accept the kids, London and Spanky, breaking Spanky’s arm with the sledgehammer.

Hunter jobbed out then, to Shawn and to Edge, in 2004 – leaving TV as the Clique became ascendant. Hunter returned at Summer Slam, saying he married the Princess and now had 2% of the power in the company, with Flair and Steamboat each holding 49%.

Hunter demands this match, where if he wins, the Clique is dead. And with Christian gone, Edge turned, Michaels is alone here in the garbage match.

Which he loses, when Edge, gone since being crucified on RAW with a nailgun by Matt Hardy, but promised to make his return here – does, spearing his former stablemate and allowing Hunter to get the fall and end the Clique.

Edge and Hunter aren’t friendly. One, because they are all backstory, with the split between the E/C and the HHH/Waltman factions of the Clique. Two, because Edge’s affair with Lita is portrayed as outside the bounds of heelishness – so he is totally ostracized in the back.

Edge and Hunter have words – but then decide to put them aside to tear Michaels apart.

London begins to sprint down the aisle – but is waylaid midway by a superkick from a returning Spanky.

Spanky stands over London, cursing him out. Hey, fun surprise.

The beating in the ring continues.

Once again, we see Steamboat, now in the back – push his way past security to run to the ring – but he’s stopped by Flair and Arn – they beat him down – Arn holding Steamboat while Flair punches, drawing color.

The beating in the ring continues.

And from the crowd comes Matt Hardy.

Matt lost the unsanctioned match to Edge at Summer Slam, appearing once since to crucify Edge (who wears white tape on his wrists now)

Matt hits the twist of fate on Hunter – laying him out – then hits the twist of fate on Edge – laying him out.

Big face pop.

Michaels rises – note, again, Matt broke in as a Clique ring boy. But Michaels just cut an anti-Matt promo on TV, recall, as Matt’s not a regular babyface – Matt crucified Edge – Matt’s Pillman.

Michaels extends his hand to Matt – and Matt hits him with the twist of fate.

Matt smiles – does his V1 hand signal – and exits through the crowd.

6. Unified Tags: Booker/Bradshaw d. Orton/Cena
The tyranny of Orton/Cena ends, Bradshaw gets the lariat, Booker hits the Harlem hangover – and they get the fall on Cena.

Bradshaw and Book have dropped their gimmicks for the sake of winning the title – and if it were any other night – after the hug and the crowd pop as two longtime vets win their first WWF straps – Bradshaw would lariat Book and pull out the Karl Rove flag.

He’ll do that on RAW the following night after a title defense, setting up Bradshaw and Book as tag champs who hate each other. Book a face, Bradshaw the heel.

But not tonight – tonight we let the people cheer.

7. Worldwide Titles: Benoit d. Angle
So, prior to this match, the lighting cues change, all the Survivor Series stage dress is replaced with Eddy stuff – the graphics are Eddy Guerrero Tribute graphics. Dean joins Taz and Joey on the announce.

Both matches have handshakes before and after; no angle in either matchup, just portrayed as athletic contests.

Benoit goes over here – winning the vacant IC and taking the Triple Crown, the ceremony will be after the main.

8. Unified Titles: Rey d. Juvie
Same drill as before – no heel Juvie, like no heel Angle – they do a lucha match, Rey getting the fall.

Postmatch, the back empties, the required people get into the ring – other than Matt, who just can’t be there for storyline purposes – everyone’s around the ring or in the ring. The Triple Crown engraving is done by then – and as Rey gives it to Benoit, we see and hear from whomever wants to tell us that the trophy, once renamed for Owen – has been renamed again: The Hart-Guerrero Memorial Triple Crown.

And now the names are thus:

PEDRO MORALES
BRET HART
SHAWN MICHAELS
OWEN HART
STEVE AUSTIN
CACTUS JACK
EDDY GUERRERO
REY MYSTERIO
CHRIS BENOIT

Benoit accepts the trophy from Rey – Benoit, Eddy, Booker, and Bradshaw all give away their WWF title belts (keeping the NWA, ECW belts – we’ll make new WWF belts) to Eddy’s family.

Show ends with the ten bell salute and a freeze on Eddy on the TitanTron.

See you in a couple weeks as we start the run to Rumble ’06. The build.

The Road to Survivor Series Concludes 2005

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Part 2 is here.

Coming up soon, as soon as next weekend, Survivor Series ’05 – and here’s your card.

Eddy Guerrero Tribute Matches:
1. Undispuuted Titles: Rey v. Juvie
2. Worldwide Titles, Winner Gets Triple Crown: Benoit v. Angle

Survivor Series Lineup
3. Unified Tags: Orton/Cena v. Bradshaw/Booker
4. Weapons Match: HBK v. HHH-M (Clique Disbands if Michaels loses)
5. Flair’s Farewell: Flair v. Leviathan (w/AA)
6. Carlito Colon v. Nova
7. Executioner Lashley (debut match) v. Chris Masters
8. Dead Men Walking (PAUL/Kane) v. MNM

As discussed, two weeks out from Survivor Series, former Triple Crown holder, 2 time WWF Champion Eddy Guerrero died at home, they pull the plug on the last two weeks of new shows, running Guerrero matches from the archives. As Vince, who will make a rare appearance at Survivor Series will explain at the top of the show, the first 6 matches will continue the great story of the World Wrestling Federation – and the final two will just be pure wrestling, in tribute to one of the great wrestlers who ever lived.

Additionally, Survivor Series will mean the debut of Joey Styles on the announce, he will join Taz to be the permanent announce team.

But not on this card anywhere are the two guys in the biggest program in the Counterfactual WWF. Matt Hardy and Edge.

We won’t review their full history, go back to the run up to Summer Slam 05 if you are new and want to hear about the Ring Boys, the breakup, and the long tag feud.

Where we are here is, at Summer Slam, Matt returned after quitting live on PPV a year before, working in an Unsanctioned Match without a contract. He and Edge, who had denied wholeheartedly the rumors of an affair with Lita, had a bloody, stiff battle, that ended with Lita appearing, chairshotting Matt, and Edge turning heel.

The following night on RAW opens with Edge and Lita.

Edge is now the Edge we see in the current WWF. He laughs at the fans, laughs at the boys, laughs at Matt, laughs at the Clique.

He says he lied. And he feels great about it.

He never wanted the fans to cheer his name. Never wanted to be brothers with a has been like Shawn Michaels.

He’s Edge, one half of the greatest tag team of all time, and when he came back after being gone a year and a half with spinal surgery, he didn’t come out for the fans or for Michaels – he came out for his brother.

Because the only guy in this company he cares about is Christian.

And he wants Christian to come to the ring.

So, he does. Recall that the big, emotional moment of the run up to Summer Slam was Edge’s promo “we don’t have the same last name, but in every way that counts, we’re brothers” where he promised to Christian that he didn’t sleep with Lita, and that he swore it on their friendship.

Christian, giving nothing away, enters.

Edge walks them through their history – talks about their plans to take over – says the reason he gave up the IC wasn’t just to kick Matt Hardy’s ass in the main event at Summer Slam, it was because the IC is Christian’s rightful belt. Christian’s gonna be the IC – Edge is gonna be the WWF Champ (see, it’s like that) E and C on top of the world.

Edge says he apologizes – but Christian understands, he couldn’t tell Shawn and Paul – couldn’t have the boys find out – so he had to keep him in the dark – but it’s better now, everything’s out in the open – these idiot fans don’t understand and those jackasses in the back don’t understand – but you and me understand – tell me I’m your brother, Christian – tell me I’m your brother and we’ll take over the world.

Christian, of course, doesn’t – he appears that he will accept, but he lays Edge out with the Crusader, hits his catchphrase – the people go nuts.

And that starts their program – up to whenever Christian’s last day in the company is, they build to a Loser Leaves Town. Which obviously turns out to be Christian.

Edge isn’t a normal heel, the idea is that his sleeping with Lita has broken some type of taboo – so he has no support from anyone in the back. He’s shunned by the boys, but he doesn’t care – he and Lita, doing their act, maintain an air of being above the rest of the company.

London gets taken out of this program entirely, but Michaels, even though he’s in the thing with Hunter, remains in the corners of the Edge/Christian stuff with an air of seething hatred toward Edge, as it taps into the puritanical Michaels thing which has been surfacing over the year.

The night Christian leaves – when Edge wins the blow off – gets the clean fall – a huge moment of triumph – that’s the moment Matt returns for the first time since Summer Slam.

He returns with a nail gun.

And, in as close to a crucifixion as we can get – Matt nails Edge to the canvas.

It needs to be freak out extreme – since Matt is playing Pillman – enough that people understand when Matt isn’t given a job by the company, isn’t booked at Survivor Series.

He nails Edge to the canvas – security comes out of every corner – paramedics – Edge needs to squeal. It’s gotta be graphic.

Enough so that Matt’s dragged away and not on the Survivor Series card. Edge needs to be hospitalized – the announce in future weeks (before Eddy, obviously) saying he was touch and go for awhile and that Matt might be charged with attempted murder.

It’s not enough to get Edge sympathy in the back, but everyone understands Matt can’t ever come back either. Michaels cuts anti both of them promo. He took Edge in like his brother, and Edge betrayed him. He took Christian in like a brother, and Christian is now in Orlando. He took in Paul London like a son, and now he has a hard time getting Paul on the phone. He’s betrayed, he is a man alone – and he faces HHH-M for the Clique name.

And as for Matt Hardy – Matt started out as a Clique ringboy – and here he is all these years later, so warped and bitter, than he mocks the crucifixion of his lord and savior with a nail gun.

Shawn’s praying for this soul.

It’s not a turn..not even close…but if Shawn started rubbing some fans the wrong way, that would be okay.

I like the shadings.

So, that’s the big angle – the promise is that Edge will make his return at Survivor Series, in Detroit, for the first time since being nailed to the canvas.

Add that to the above card – it’s coming as soon as next weekend – it’s Survivor Series. Call your yadda, yadda!

The Road to Survivor Series, Part 2 2005

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Part I is here.

Part II of our set up to the big Survivor Series in Detroit, coming at you in a month’s time.

What do we have so far…

Well, your main is Rey defending against Juvie, the LWO continues their assault on Rey – the set up was Flair as mouthpiece, as even though he’s a babyface, he and Steamboat have a disagreement about the value of Rey as Champ.

That’s a mistake though, too much heel for Flair – so, instead Paul E, who has always been a heel, can be their mouthpiece.

Flair and Steamboat are each part of the Angle/Benoit match for the vacant IC and for the Triple Crown. Given the history of their rivalry, we can draw parallels to the history of the Flair/Steamboat rivalry, and that’s a good program. Add in Angle’s continuing to squelch the career of S$, and you’ve got this.

Orton and Cena, now full heels as the crowd’s turned on them, meet GHB and Book – Bradshaw effectively downplaying the NeoCon gimmick, drawing in the babyface Booker, and they play the “vets who have never won” card.

We’ve got Flair’s retirement match against Leviathan. Flair and Steamboat, concerned that HHH-M is going to use his 2% voting power in a destructive way, concoct a plan to prohibit those inside the office from wrestling – this then is Flair’s last match, and he’s having it against his friend and protégée, Leviathan, who is managed by AA.

We’ve got the debut of Executioner Lashley, who is the hot commodity in the company, with everyone talking about his potential as the next dominant force in wrestling.

We’ve got Carlito against Nova. We’ve got the now babyface Dead Men Walking against MNM.

Match 8 is HHH v. HBK.

HHH-M, playing the role of heir to the McMahon fortune, throwing his 2% voting share around, leverages Flair and Steamboat into agreeing to a match between he and Michaels. Shawn’s fine with it – so that part isn’t complicated.

The rub is the stip – if Hunter wins – the Clique is dead.

Now, if you’re just hopping in, the Clique, from the days of Shawn/Razor/Diesel all the way through its pre Summer Slam incarnation of Shawn/Edge/Christian/London has been one of the poles upon which Counterfactual WWF sits atop.

HHH joined upon his arrival, working with Waltman as the JV and sent Razor/Diesel home in a loser leaves town. After Michaels’s loss to Owen in XIV, a HHH pedigree sent him into his retirement.
HHH/Waltman sent the Outlaws from the Clique – they worked the E/C/Trish swerve of the Hardys – and Hunter broke Spanky’s arm, sending him from the WWF and out of the Clique as well.

Now, Hunter says there is no Clique without him – and since he’s now a McMahon, he’s got a new family. When he beats Michaels at Survivor Series – that’s it for the Clique.

Flair convinces Michaels and Steamboat they need to go for it – first, because Shawn will clearly beat him; second, with the problems with the Clique (Edge’s turn at Summer Slam, which we’ll deal with momentarily) this is needed to gain control of the fracturing group.

So, they do it. Some type of garbage match, ‘cause that’s the only thing you want to see them do. We’ll call it a weapons match, let them hit each other with sticks.

Okay, we recap in a moment – let’s clean the rest of the fall up.

-JR, reminder, is gone. Josh Mathews is play by play until Joey takes over at Survivor Series.
-Taz, by fall’s end, is the only color man. Here’s what happens to Paul E.

At some point during the fall, the ECW music begins to periodically play with images of ECW coming over the TitanTron and the phrase, “Hey, Heyman…he’s coming back…”

Speculation is Van Dam – as, one recalls, RVD broke with Paul after the year long feud with Matt; RVD gaining the tag belts with Rey – but then Van Dam was taken out by Team Angle, who were paid by Heyman.

So, there’s a few weeks with Heyman freaked out at ringside whenever the clips play on the TitanTron – until one week when the message is: “He’s Back.”

And that’s when Stevie Richards superkicks Heyman as he sits at the announce table.

Stevie cuts promo – says that somehow, Paul thought he could get away with screwing him all those years ago – it was he, Stevie, who brought Stevie’s Hardcore Family, the Dudley Boys and Taz, to the WWF – and then Heyman, oily scumbag that he is, stole his life away, and he’s been toiling away in the backwoods of the company since.

But now, Stevie says, he’s back – oh, and if there are any fans disappointed that he’s not RVD, don’t worry – because Stevie’s not coming back to wrestle (unfortunately, Stevie’s excellent) he’s coming back to manage…and by the beginning of the year, the guy who he is managing…RVD…will return to the WWF.

So, by at Survivor Series, the announce becomes Joey and Taz, and going forward, that’s your permanent team.

Van Dam is going to come back for an angle before the Rumble, with Stevie as his manager – and that’s when we’ll start using the ECW guys who are now with the company, as they’ll be with Heyman, all aligned to stop Van Dam. Look for that program in 2006.

2 more.

We get a backstage promo, Fit, working in the office, is met by Dean.

Recall, Fit/Dean/Arn were the TitanTrust, who made the creative decisions prior to the move to the Steamboat/Flair angle. Arn is with Leviathan, Dean’s popped up in the Eddy/Benoit program, but neither man is a regular feature on TV.

Now, they are.

Dean proposes to Fit that they start a project. Fit is curious, like a business, a restaurant kind of thing?

Dean says nah – something involving wrestling.

Fit’s interested – like a school?

No, we’re going to stick to training just one guy, I think.

Fit’s confused – who?

And Dean pulls out a new Fit Finlay t-shirt – “you, Dave, you.”

And that’s how that starts. Dean and Fit, doing a sunshine boys thing, go into training, as Fit prepares to make his return to the ring. You can see the arc of this – he’s not good at the beginning, maybe he’s lost it, he loses a tv match, he thinks he’s going to quit, Dean gives him brutal pep talk – Fit starts picking it up – and by the end of the fall has started to pick things up.

After Survivor Series, Fit and Dean will be joined by Regal. Recall, Regal left Team Angle after being unwilling to support Kurt’s treatment of Benjamin – and is really nowhere now – but after Survivor Series, when Fit and Dean decide that he’s going to try to stalk a title – they decide that, if he’s going to take that step, he needs then highest caliber training partner – and that’s when Regal joins.

So, Dean and Fit are doing that – and Regal soon to join.

Finally, the big angle.

And we’ll talk about that big angle in part 3

The Road to Survivor Series Part 1 2005

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Summer Slam is here.

Two months from now, it will be time for Survivor Series ’05; as I begin this, I’m uncertain what will appear in this space between now and then. I’m leaning away from the long History of the Fake History pieces I did before Summer Slam, maybe instead just a listing of title changes throughout the Counterfactual. I think, most likely, I’ll get through at least half, and maybe even all of the set up in this piece.

What to do in the meantime? Well, I’m blogging again, albeit just a tiny bit as I work on the play re-write. We’re over at www.myspace.com/spoonmillionaires. You’ll note some of my “friends” are workers. Feel free to stop by; join up; spread the word about the play; about my myspace page; and as always, about the mighty counterfactual.

And so we begin the next build.

We have a number of changes to process before Survivor Series ’05.

Eddy, of course, is gone. Recall the conclusion of Summer Slam involved Eddy walking away after dropping to Rey. He never returns; that doesn’t impact most of this period; his death occurs two weeks out from Survivor Series.

So, the storylines will be storylines until that point – we’re then not going to run new programming on WWF TV those last two weeks before the PPV. Instead, they’ll run full Eddy matches from ECW, NWA, and WWF. If any of the workers want to sit in a roundtable format and discuss those matches, they can.

It costs money in that the tickets purchased for those two weeks of TV have to be refunded; so WWF is out that money. I don’t think it hurts the buys for Survivor Series at all; if anything, the curiosity factor of how we’ll handle the PPV might help.

How we’ll handle it, as will be explained at the top of the PPV is this: the top two matches which are the two singles titles, won’t be kayfabed. They’ll drop storyline entirely, they’ll shake hands, they’ll wrestle, they’ll hug, we’ll do a thing and go home.

The first six matches, however, will be completely within the storyline, entirely as they had been set up – it’s just a regular show, because that’s what they do.

And, after Survivor Series, that’s it. There will be a renaming of something to give tribute to Eddy, but he won’t be a part of any future storyline, exactly as was done with Counterfactual Owen.

So, that said – we’re gonna set up those two title matches first, as whatever storyline that exists during the fall won’t carry over into the actual show.

Rey’s defending the Undisputed Titles against Juvie.

Just as the LWO went after Eddy – they now go after Rey. If they need a mouthpiece – and they probably do to set things up – it’s gonna be Flair, who, recall, has never liked Steamboat’s favoring of Rey – and during the fall, he expresses strongly to Steamboat that Mysterio should not be the standardbearer for the company.

Rey used to be in the same place as Juvie and Psychosys – they were together in Mexico, in ECW, in Japan, in NWA. 10 years ago, in Philadelphia, Rey met Psycho at N2R and tore the building down. And no one said, “oh, Rey’s the greatest wrestler in the world and Psychosys is just a dude. And when Rey met Juvie for the US Title at Superbrawl ’97 it wasn’t “Rey” “Rey” “Rey” they were chanting in San Francisco – it was “lu-cha, li-bre”. But here we are now in 2005 – and Rey Mysterio is World Champ – and Rey Mysterio has the Triple Crown – and does he thank the LWO? Does he accept the t-shirt? Does he remember his rasa?

Hell no.

And so they do that, Rey against the 3 man LWO all fall. Rey/Juvie is the main at Survivor Series.

The Worldwide belts were set up at Summer Slam when Benoit and Angle won Flair’s mini-tournament. So, Flair’s in this thing too – giving as much credibility as possible to calling this match not only the definitive Angle v. Benoit, given their long, long history with each other than included main eventing two Wrestlemanias – and not only is this for the vacant Worldwide belts – and not only is this match for the Triple Crown – as the IC is the one WWF belt never held by Angle or Benoit – but when you put all of those things together – this is the match to determine which one of these two – Kurt Angle or Chris Benoit – is the real best wrestler of his generation.

Benoit is Benoit. Angle is roid rage Angle, with S$ in tow, growing increasingly angry and frustrated with carrying his boss’s bags. And at some point over the fall – Angle reveals that, again, Benjamin will not be allowed to wrestle on PPV, because he’s just not ready. And so we run that all fall.

Rey v. Juvie
Benoit v. Angle

We run those angles until Eddy dies – and at Survivor Series, they’ll just work straight, no storyline matches that will be called Tribute Matches.

6 more matches and multiple storylines.

Orton and Cena are now full blown heels. Any remaining goodwill toward them as lovable comedy wrestlers who fluked into the titles should be gone, as they got full of themselves, and talk as if they are the greatest wrestlers alive, big timing everyone.

GHB, who continually moves from partner to partner in an effort to find someone with whom he can win the tag belts, now moves…..to Booker.

And that’s a tough sell, with Bradshaw’s archconservative politics – Booker, at some point, hits the line “GHB doesn’t care about black people.” And that should explain where this angle is.

Eventually, Bradshaw wears him down. Book doesn’t turn – effectively, Bradshaw drops the gimmick for a moment – talks to him in a shootlike manner – says he’s been in the WWF forever – Book’s been since the NWA died. And in that time, neither of them has ever held a belt.

And here comes these two punks and they’ve been tag champs since Mania.

Bradshaw says “look – for one night, we’ll forget the NeoCon stuff – we’ll forget the “I gots to get paid” stuff – and we’ll just be two guys from the same locker room who go out to the ring and get the belts they deserve.”

And that’s the rap that does it. So, the third title match at Survivor Series is Orton/Cena against Booker/Bradshaw.

The opening tag is MNM, who we’ve briefly met before, they’re doing their act – against the now babyface PAUL and Kane, who both wear the Taue t-shirts and do a veteran likable tag team thing.

We’re using Carlito and Masters. Masters is the crappy bodybuilder. Carlito is Razor Ramon. Carlito will be scheduled to work against Nova. Masters will be fodder for the debut of Executioner Lashley.

Here’s how he’s debuting. We’re gonna do the Bigelow entrance – with every manager in the company, every retired manager we can find vying for his services, as he debuts at the PPV. He’s all monster – and called the Executioner because he wears a cowl with giant X’s on his chest and back.

The announce (Taz, Paul E for part of the fall – we’ll get to that, and, for the fall, Josh Matthews as PBP) puts the clips of Lashley hard. Taz says he’s seen the guy fight in bars or cages or Thailand – that he’s a beast – and unstoppable force – we’ve never seen anything like this guy before – whomever the manager is who signs this guy is looking at controlling the biggest thing….

…you get it.

Lashley’s gonna debut against Masters.

So, that’s 6 matches.

The other two deal with Flair.

Like Hogan’s retirement match was at S Slam (and it was, he’s gone, I don’t need to use him next year) Flair’s retirement match is set for Survivor Series.

Flair goes to Steamboat and sells that, with HHH-M and his 2% control (see Summer Slam) lurking in the background – they need to stick together. Steamboat agrees. Flair says what he’s willing to do, to show his solidarity with Ricky is permanently retire – having his last match at the PPV (because HHH-M promised that he would walk out of XXII with a belt and to start that quest wants a particular match at Survivor Series) so, the plot hatched by Flair and Steamboat is that they’ll pass a rule that anyone who holds creative control can’t wrestle anymore.

So, that will keep HHH-M out of the ring.

But, to do that, that means Flair can’t wrestle – and Flair wants a going away match.

So, HHH-M will get his match at SSeries. Flair will get his. And then after, using their 98% control – Flair and Steamboat will say that no one with control can ever wrestle – meaning HHH-M either has to retire or give up his 2%.

See?

So, Flair gets a retirement match – and the opponent he picks to leave against is Leviathan, his old Horsemen mate, his protégée, his former tag partner.

Leviathan is now with Arn – Arn says he should do it, it’s an honor – they have promos with the three men – Leviathan is touched – Flair does lots of “passing the torch” promos.

So, that’s the 7th match – and that’s where we’ll stop for this piece.

We have the two singles titles. The tag title. The opening tag, the debut of Lashley, Carlito, and Flair’s retirement match, which is all part of the Flair/Stemaboat plan to save the company from the nefarious HHH-M.

In part two – we’ll set up Hunter’s match, what’s gonna happen to take Paul E out of the announce, the training team of Fit Finlay and…Dean Malenko….

And of course – what’s going on with big angle. Edge. Matt. And the end of Christian’s WWF career.

The build continues

Summer Slam 2005

Thursday, August 17, 2006



The build is here.


Summer Slam 2005
(Dark – London d. Benjamin)
(Dark – LWO d. Guido/Nova/Stevie)

From Washington DC. JR/Taz/Paul E is your announce team.

The show begins with “My Time”, my favorite of his themes, and the unusual appearance of HHH on PPV. The announce wonders what he’s doing in such a prominent position.

Hunter says the fans are all here in DC, at Summer Slam, to see a man who hasn’t appeared on PPV in a full year – we assume, of course, he’s talking about Matt – but he’s not, he’s talking about HHH – the greatest wrestler who ever lived.

Announce laughs – perplexed at what the hell he’s talking about.

Then gets more perplexed when HHH demands, not requests but demands, that Steamboat and Flair come to the ring.

They do – good crowd reaction, both men have quizzical looks on their faces as HHH dresses them down – how is it that the greatest wrestler who ever lived can’t make a PPV in a year? Steamboat tries not to laugh, but says that while, sure HHH is talented, he’s a former tag champ, after all, but he can’t really think that anyone – that anyone believes that he’s the kind of wrestler that Benoit or Eddy or Rey or Angle is.

And Flair jumps in – and when you’re talking about all time, pal, there are two guys you’re in the ring with right now who you couldn’t have lasted five minutes with.

HHH says none of those guys Steamboat named knows how to work. They’re small, they don’t connect with the fans, they don’t have his star power – that even the fans who don’t like him respect him because they know he’s the king of kings.

Steamboat says thanks for your opinion – you’re deluded, but thanks for your opinion.

HHH gets hot – says it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact, and here are a couple more facts – he’ll be wrestling at Survivor Series in Detroit – and he’ll be wrestling at the Rumble in Miami – and he’ll not only be wrestling at Wrestlemania XXII in Chicago – but he’s gonna be walking out of there with some gold – and that’s not just a fact – that’s a promise.

Flair gets hot now – who are you to tell us, don’t you know who we are, not only are we legends, but we run this place…that kinda thing.

HHH, smug as he could be, says, not exactly – and then shows the clip of the Raw after Mania where the new power sharing relationship between Steamboat and Flair was announced – each of them getting (recall?) 49% of control of WWF management, with the other 2% staying with the McMahon family.

At this point, JR says, “oh no” as, while it’s never even been hinted as to Hunter’s relationship with the Princess, since she’s never been a character in the Counterfactual – obviously it’s known to the people in the company – known to those who read the sheets – so, the play here is that Hunter’s about to reveal something he shouldn’t reveal – and use it in the obvious way.

Hunter says, with the old man and Skip nowhere to be found – that just leaves (and then a picture of the Princess in a wedding dress comes on the Titan Tron) Stephanie McMahon.

But she doesn’t want anything to do with the business – she wouldn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch.

But her husband would (and then the screen fills to see that Hunter is in the picture too, in a tux, marrying the Princess).

Hunter says – that’s right – I’m no longer Triple H – I am Hunter Hearst Helmsley McMahon, and demand to be called as such – and what I have is the ultimate tiebreaker – I have 2% of the power in this company – that means that any time the two of you can’t decide on anything at all – you’re gonna need me – you’re gonna need a tiebreaker, you’re gonna need Hunter Hearst Helmsley McMahon – you’re gonna need the 2% Solution – and then you two won’t have any power at all.

I will.

So, there’s that.

1. Parejas Increibles: Angle/Michaels (w/Benjamin and London) d. Benoit/Jericho
-Flair’s tag match to set up the tournament later on in the evening that will eventually fill the vacant Worldwide belts. Storylines abound – Angle and Michaels have led their factions in a year long feud, Benoit and Jericho have had a hate/hate relationship as the last remaining Harts in the WWF. Benoit/Angle has been the signature WWF feud over the past 5 years, main eventing at two WM. Benoit and Jericho both have Hart/Clique stuff with Michaels, Hart/Clique being the signature feud in the Counterfactual – and Jericho feuded with Angle back when both were babyfaces during the Brock program.

And on the side are the young guys in the TV program, guys who would have met at this PPV – but Angle has put Benjamin on the bench, saying he’s no longer PPV ready – and needs to watch and learn – so, even though Shelton’s a 3 time tag champ – he’s carrying Angle’s gear tonight – Kurt being as condescending as possible, pointing out to Shelton what is going on in the match – demanding that he take notes.

Finish comes when Jericho spits bourbon in Benoit’s face when Benoit was looking for a hot tag – Benoit, blinded, then eats the superkick – and Michaels gets his first ever fall on Benoit.

Benoit runs after Jericho, who is doing his drunken stumble up the aisle, trying to tap his temple, but missing. Michaels celebration is stopped when Angle hits the Olympic Slam on him – Angle and a still unhappy Benjamin exit.

2. Hulk Hogan’s Last Match: Undertaker d. Hogan
-Hogan, now a heel, loses the fall to the dead man on the tombstone – postmatch, PAUL and Kane, in a long feud now with their former partner the dead man – enter – they do a three way staredown – and then the three men reunite with a triple chokeslam of Hogan.

That’s a face turn, you may recall that PAUL has been moving face in a comedic way, as he watches tapes of NOAH wrestler Akira Taue and tries to get Kane (who is still masked and will remain so) to groove on his new Japanese idol. Going forth, think of PAUL and Kane doing comedy during this stretch.

At some point before the end of the evening, as Hogan exits the building in streetclothes, he and Steamboat will be seen shaking hands as Hogan walks away, never to be seen again. See how it all comes back around! I’m good like that.

3. Leviathan (w/ AA) d. Helms
-Big man should be getting cheers now. He’s been with Arn all summer, Arn’s been a babyface during this run – Flair is still tied to Leviathan, and he’s still a babyface – and now Leviathan is dominating, he crushed Rhyno – and the announce positioned him as just need Arn’s tutelage to reach that next level.

So, he goes over here – rolling over Helms – and gets more cheers.

4. Worldwide Semifinal: Angle (w/Benjamin) d. Michaels (w/London)
-Angle earns a spot in the Worldwide Titles match at Survivor Series going over HBK. When Angle is in trouble, he orders Benjamin to cheat for him – Benjamin fumes, but does it. Finally, London attacks and the second brawl to the back (which will cause Angle to get all over Benjamin on TV later)

-Angle cheats to win, ‘cause that’s how he does it – and he gets the spot at the vacant IC. That’ll be big for him, as, should he win, he will be the next recipient of the Triple Crown.

5. Worldwide Semifinal: Benoit d. Jericho
-And Angle will meet Benoit – who, coincidentally, will also be looking for the Triple Crown in that match, as the IC is the only belt neither man has ever held.

This wraps up Jericho.

The story is the Benoit conflict – he feels responsible for the horrible degradation of Jericho, that he was too late in assuming the role of Hart patriarch. Jericho manipulates that, as he’s always been the guy who could push Benoit’s buttons – so, as Jericho tries to embarrass Benoit – and as Benoit grows angrier, he’s held back a bit out of the desire to not really hurt the Lizard King.

Jericho does something sufficiently bad – hey, let’s put Nancy at ringside and Jericho kisses her.

Jericho laughs at the extent he’s pushed Benoit. Benoit gets a strong win, multiple suplexes – say the 10 consecutive german sequence – and then the crossface to get the submission.

Benoit looks at the bloody, drunken Jericho sadly postmatch – and as Jericho leaves, the highlights of his career play over the Titan Tron – there’s been no announcement this is his last match, although, obviously some people know – my hope is there would be a Y2J chant as the clips end – drawing a bittersweet wave from Jericho as he disappears. Hogan and Jericho leave the company on the same night.

6. Tags: Orton/Cena d. Bradshaw/Dinsmore (w/Conway)
-This just drives GHB crazy. And now, I’m guessing the majority of the fans, who have seen this joke play on too long.

Orton and Cena are a comedy act that continues to catch fluke wins based now on Orton’s diamond cutter – and he starts to separate from Cena in terms of skill level. Bradshaw is the NeoCon, referred to by his nickname GHB he’s run through multiple partners (Holly, Conway, whose nickname is Anal Cysts) and each time he loses to Orton and Cena he lariats his partner postmatch – he does that here too – and also lariats Conway. Bradshaw grabs his Sean Hannity flag in disgust, vowing vengeance next time.

7. Undisputed Title: 2 of 3 falls: Rey d. Eddy
-Rey wins the WWF title, and the Triple Crown. This is Eddy’s last match.

Doesn’t matter in what order the falls go – Rey gets the third, obviously – and a proud but tearful Eddy hands him his title belts.

The two men are then attacked by the LWO, Crazy, Juvie, Psycho, whose appearance after Mania prompted this match – Eddy and Rey fight them off together, squashing whatever tension has been created for this match.

In his last WWF act, JR then climbs into the ring for the Triple Crown ceremony – we see on the Titan Tron the engraver working on Rey’s name:

PEDRO MORALES
BRET HART
SHAWN MICHAELS
OWEN HART
STEVE AUSTIN
CACTUS JACK
EDDY GUERRERO
REY MYSTERIO, Jr.

Eddy speaks, congratulating Rey, says he’s deserving of being called the best wrestler alive and one of the greatest of all time – Eddy says he needs to go home for awhile – but he’s glad the WWF is in good hands.

JR briefly interviews Rey, much happiness abounds – Eddy exits – fans chant.

This is, one recalls, how Owen left – the Counterfactual can’t save lives, but it can let people go be with their families. Eddy, of course, dies two weeks before Survivor Series, so he won’t be a part of that buildup at all, since he’s home – and in those 2 weeks, WWF will go dark, canceling tapings and showing Eddy matches on all the TV (while still promoting the PPV, which will work out just fine, trust me).

After Eddy leaves – Rey calls all the boys into the ring, they enter (except for the two in the main) and thank JR for 13 years on the announce with the company. Highlight package is shown. JR tears up – thanks the fans, everyone, including all the announcers, who also came into the ring – including all the ringside personnel – everyone outside of camera operators – exit with JR – leaving a strange quiet and emptiness as we ready for the main event.

8. Unsanctioned: Edge d. Matt
-Okay, this shouldn’t remotely feel like a WWF match. The referee will be new, not part of the company, not wearing the colors. No ring announcer – no announcers of any type – just the crowd noise. All the ringside personnel gone – they even take down the Summer Slam dress, the set piece, the apron – this is not a WWF match, it’s unsanctioned.

-In the back, the boys gather around monitors – we see the Clique in Edge’s locker room, London and Michaels pacing in the background, Christian taping Edge’s fists. Serious looks on everyone’s faces.

-No backstage shot of Matt, as he hasn’t been seen in a year and we aren’t giving it up that easy.

-You know the storyline, Edge gave up his IC to win back the trust of the Clique, particularly Christian, and the locker room is divided who they believe. Edge says he doesn’t know the story – but he didn’t sleep with Lita and doesn’t know why Matt is saying he did. We’re not entirely sure what’s about to happen – but it’s at the end of the night, an almost violent breaking of tradition, given 21 years of WWF Counterfactual PPV have always had an IC match – and always had the WWF title be the main event.

-Matt has not appeared on WWF TV since Summer Slam ’04, when he told the company to fuck off on live PPV and walked out. Edge has been a babyface for over a year. These guys have almost a ten year history together, as Ring Boys, then in the hottest tag rivalry in WWF history – and now here we are in the Unsanctioned match.

-Edge enters first, no one comes with him to the ring – he’s a bundle of nerves.

-And then Matt. I’m expecting a thunderous ovation, I think we’ve primed the pump – both guys are in street clothes, Matt takes a moment at the top of the ramp to let the people chant – and then tears off down that ramp (recall, WWF has a long, white ramp now, like the Tokyo Dome,)

-It needs to be as stiff, as violent, as realistic looking as possible – it needs to feel like a fight – they bleed and swear and scratch and spit. It should feel like a wrestling match, it should feel like it’s in an alley. Handheld camera, extreme closeups – very much unlike WWF production (WWF production should look different anyway – of course – more sports, less stagnation – and we are totally using an overhead camera as a matter of course).

-But here – it’s just fucking stiff – as much full on contact as they’ll do with each other – the finish comes when Matt has the mount on Edge, out on the floor – maybe on the ramp, and is smacking the shit out of him – blood flying – and Lita runs down the ring.

-Lita’s been gone from the storyline for years, since getting taken out by the Dudleys in a cage match with the Hardys – so she’s been where people go who aren’t in the storylines. Smackdown, Heat. Shotgun Saturday Night. Whatever it is.

-She runs to the Matt and Edge, yelling at Matt to stop – that he’s gonna kill Edge, that he needs to stop – someone fortuitously, there is a chair in the immediate vicinity of this spot – and when Matt turns momentarily to look at Lita – she clocks him with the chair.

-Edge hits the Edge-ecution. Edge and Lita grab chairs and do the Con-chair-to. And Edge gets the fall.

-Cut to the back – the boys are shocked or pissed or screaming – and then cut to the back – where London and Michaels are shaking their heads – and Christian, with as pained a look as he can muster, is staring dead at the minor.

-Edge and Lita make out – and are now the Edge and Lita you see on actual WWF TV – Edge puts on his cockiest smile – poses over the fallen Matt – and that’s the end of your show.

-We’ll return, I’m guessing, first week of September to start the build to Survivor Series ’05. In the interim, I’ll be locked feverishly (as am I already, honestly) in rewrites for my play, Spoon Millionaires (http://www.spoonmillionaires.com/) and hoping that there’s at least one helpful dark match they give me for Summer Slam this Saturday, ‘cause otherwise, my planned IC and Tag champs coming out of XXII have to be changed.

Such is the life of the mighty Counterfactual.  Let's Build.

A Counterfactual History of Summer Slam - 5

Thursday, August 10, 2006

'97-2000 is here.

Oh, look at what we have here – one final look at the Counterfactual History of Summer Slam to go – and then it is so on – Summer Slam 2005!

Summer Slam 2001 emanated from San Jose – and the main event unified the WWF and the ECW World Titles: Kurt Angle v. Rob Van Dam

Recall, as we left off, Benoit was WWF Champ, keeping over Rock at Summer Slam ’01 – Angle, at the time beat Undertaker to keep his undefeated run going. Meanwhile…in the dying days of ECW, Van Dam had just lost his World Title, to Jerry Lynn at Heatwave – a title Lynn would successfully defend over Steve Corino to end 2000 at November to Remember. Benoit also ended 2000 successfully, keeping over the returning Austin at Survivor Series – and the Angle run continued as now he went after the Alliance, defeating Saturn at Survivor Series and calling Benoit out.

To get that shot against Benoit, Angle had to beat Rock in the number one contender’s match at the Rumble – he did. And Benoit kept the belt that night, going over Jericho – two men who will meet one more time at Summer Slam ’05 in what sort of seems like a definitive matchup between the sole surviving remnants of the Hart legacy.

Lynn lost his title – to Van Dam, at Guilty as Charged in Queens – that was the PPV that wrapped ECW up – making Van Dam that company’s final champion.

And Angle, in the all time classic at XVII, took the strap from Benoit. The night after Mania, in the biggest RAW of all time – Team WWF beat the Alliance in a War Games Match, with Dean submitting to Angle, forcing the Alliance to leave town. Immediately thereafter, with the WWF united, finally running off the invading Alliance – both ECW and the NWA stormed the arena – leading to a full on 3 way brawl which culminated with the ECW Champ, RVD, hitting the Van Terminator on the WWF Champ Angle – setting up a Double Titles main event for Summer Slam ’01.

The other two title matches did a little better than that – unifying all three companies’ belts, the IC/NWA US/ECW TV contested by Austin/ Tajiri/ Lance Storm – and to be named the Worldwide Titles (currently vacant as a result of Edge’s relinquishment of them to meet Matt in the Unsanctioned Main Event at Summer Slam ’05)

When we left off – it was Jericho who held the IC – but that run ended at Survivor Series ’00 when he dropped to Regal. Regal kept over Austin at the Rumble, but then lost to Stone Cold at XVII.

Your US Champ as of Slamboree ’00 was Kidman, who defended successfully that night over Mortis (Kanyon should have kept the mask) but he would lose at Fall Brawl ’00 to Storm, who would end ’00 with the US, going over Jamie Noble at Starrcade – at the last NWA show, Superbrawl ’01, Storm once again kept over Noble.

Tajiri, meanwhile, had been ECW TV Champ since Hardcore Heaven ‘00, when he beat that same Storm for the strap – he kept at Heatwave over Psychosys, and then finished up with wins over his rival Super Crazy at November to Remember and Guilty as Charged. When ECW and NWA hit the ring on RAW after XVII – all the champs find each other in a face off – so, Storm and Tajiri square off with Austin. The 3 companies were all in opposition to each other – except for Storm and Jericho, and their backstory, not just as Thrillseekers, but as fellow Stampeders, was quickly integrated into the story – in fact, Storm had been referenced previously by Jericho, when trying to convince Benoit that the 3 of them should all band together as the Hart Foundation.

Your tag champs – the Dudley Boys. And they go into Summer Slam looking to unify the tag titles (literally, the Unified Titles, I’m crazy clever that way – the titles now held by Orton and Cena, with Bradshaw/Dinsmore as the NeoCons taking them on at Summer Slam ’05) against the NWA Champs – DDP and Mortis – and the ECW champs – Spike and Rhyno.

Edge and Christian, recall, walked out of TLC 2 at Summer Slam ’00 with the straps – straps they kept in the big Clique splitup match over HHH and Waltman at Survivor Series. They lost their straps, however, to Taz and Raven at Rumble ’01, and at XVII, in the elimination tag, the now babyface Dudleys retook over Raven/Taz, E and C, and the Hardys.

The Dudleys, in total opposition to Heyman and his ECW crew (they masterminded the wipeout of Stevie Richards, the Dudleys manager) are all WWF in this program – the ECW tag belts bounced around over the past year, CW Anderson and the Sandman were champs at Heatwave ’00 – but lost to Guido and Mikey at N2R – who in turn dropped to Rhyno and Spike at Guilty as Charged. So, they carry the colors of ECW into Summer Slam.

Back at Slamboree ’00 – it was Mike Awesome and Scott Steiner who were your NWA tag champs – they fell to the young babyface tag team of Shane Helms and Shannon Moore at Fall Brawl – Moore and Helms keeping as ’00 ended, over Yang and Kidman at Starrcade.

Doesn’t Jimmy Yang work for Titan? Where the fuck is he?

At Super Brawl, however, DDP (who had already been tag champ twice with Saturn) and Mortis took the straps – and carry them here into the big interpromotional Summer Slam ’01.

Anything else?

Well, Undertaker, Kane and PAUL formed the giant heel team Dead Men Walking – and they were set for the opening tag. Jeff and Edge, with their brothers in their corners, met in a singles as the Ring Boys feud continued. Jericho met Waltman, as the Harts and Clique continued their war into the new millennium. And Booker T, carrying the NWA banner, took on the Rock.

Results:

Angle taps Van Dam, the match is a No DQ, as has every RVD match been since he entered as Paul E negotiated a deal where RVD can always take it to the extreme, which is how WWF gets the ECW title belts in the Counterfactual. Currently, of course, RVD is out, having turned face during his year long feud with Matt Hardy, leaving Heyman, who then paid off Team Angle to take RVD out.

Tajiri got the Worldwide titles for ECW, getting the fall on Storm, who was distracted when the NWA attacked his buddy Jericho on the outside – that set up both the Austin/Page feud (Austin was taken out with a diamond cutter) and the Storm/Justin/Jericho thing, as Lance had to choose between his two former tag partners.

The Dudleys took the tags for WWF, with Mortis taking 3D and postmatch, as the WWF hit the ring, the Hardys and Dudleys shook hands, ending their long feud.

The NWA got a win too – Booker going over Rock when Regal turned on the WWF, aiding Book to join the NWA and start the Regal/Rock program.

Jericho beat Waltman in his last match with the company and Jeff beat Edge.

So, now, with only one company standing, Counterfactual WWF, Summer Slam ’02 rolled around from Long Island.

And just as Summer Slam ’01 had meant the uniting of the WWF and ECW World Titles – Summer Slam 2002 meant that the final major American belt would come into the WWF fold – as the last ever NWA Champ – Rey Mysterio, debuted over the summer, winning the number one contender’s battle royal, to earn the title shot against Angle.

Angle kept over Booker at Survivor Series – then began a gimmick where he challenged anyone in the world for his double titles. First up was Flair – in the blow off to Team NWA, angle tapped him out at rumble ’02 to end that program. Next was the dramatic return of longtime WWF Champ Mr. Perfect – he tapped to Kurt at XVIII.

Little Rey then is the mystery entrant for the battle royal – he wins – and all 3 belts will be unified at Summer Slam ’02 – creating the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World – which, coincidentally, will be challenged again by Mysterio at Summer Slam 05, against the champion Eddy Guerrero.

Your Worldwide Champ headed to SSlam 02 is RVD.

Tajiri dropped the Worldwide belts at Survivor Series to Taz – who decided that he didn’t like those ECW guys back when there was an ECW – so screw them. Taz then dropped to Van Dam at the Rumble in the final battle for the ECW name – winner carried the torch as Team ECW was dissolved – loser retired, and Taz joined the announce team thereafter.

At XVIII, Van Dam kept over Austin, leading he and Paul E to say that just as was the case back in Philly – even though RVD wasn’t heavyweight champion – his was the real world title. His claim as best wrestler in the world was disputed by the returning Shawn Michaels – gone 3 years – Michaels returned at that same number one contender’s battle royal, and was the last man eliminated by Mysterio. HBK and RVD did a veteran/upstart program rolling into Summer Slam.

The tag champs – the 4th version of the Hart Foundation to hold the straps – as Summer Slam, which was built on the Harts – returns to its roots.

The Dudleys kept the belts at Survivor Series ’01, over Raven and Tommy, in the ECW battle – but then lost at the Rumble in TLC 3, with the newly formed Hart Foundation of Jericho and Storm going over the Duds and E and C.

Jericho/Storm kept in TLC 4 at XVIII over the Hardys and the new Dudley configuration of Bubba and Spike – but at the same battle royal, they were attacked by two masked men – two masked men who then ran over the WWF tag ranks all summer long to earn a shot at Summer Slam.

What else…Edge and Christian in the opening tag against Spike and Stevie, the newly babface Booker T, a legend’s feud between Undertaker and Flair, with Flair seconded by his protégée, Leviathan (Batista) who had been kicked off the reality series Camp Angle (Tough Enough). A return to PPV for Dustin Rhodes, once again against his longtime rival HHH. Kurt’s brutal, monster protégée from Camp Angle, Brock Lesnar, was set to meet the Rock.

Results:

Kurt Angle stakes his claim as the greatest wrestler of all time, becoming Undisputed Champion of the world by getting Mysterio to tap – Angle having to resort to brawling when he couldn’t outwrestle little Rey.

Michaels won his 4th IC title, a record, taking the Worldwide straps from Van Dam – when the cocky RVD went for a five star splash from the top of a ladder and missed.

The masked men won the tag titles – unmasking to reveal themselves as Benoit and Guerrero, gone for over a year since losing the loser leaves town war games match. Since they now had the titles – they got contracts – but more than that – postmatch, they were joined in the ring by Flair and Leviathan (Flair beat the ‘Taker earlier in the evening) who had spent several weeks teasing a new formation of the 4 Horsemen – the Horsemen were then reformed – with Benoit and Guerrero holding up the four fingers postmatch.

Brock not only beat the Rock,, he destroyed him with multiple F5s and a one finger cover. Brock was clearly a heel, an obnoxious bully of a heel, but Angle, the monster babyface champion, apparently was oblivious to his protégées techniques and the negative fan reaction that was beginning to build – so obsessed was Kurt with his role as teacher, trainer, so proud was he of another amateur wrestler’s success.

Hunter, Book, E and C all won.

Summer Slam 2003, from Phoenix, was the culmination of not only the largest tournament in wrestling history, 64 men to crown a new Undisputed Champion of the World, but also concluded one of the Counterfactual’s best angles.

Angle’s unabated support of Lesnar continued to result in the crowd – and the locker room – turning on him. Angle believed they were all jealous of the success of amateur wrestlers in their business. This increasing animosity, encouraged by Lesnar, who reveled in the negative attention, resulted in Kurt’s going over Jericho at Survivor Series – and then Michaels at Rumble ’03.

But finally, at that Rumble – Angle realized his error as Brock destroyed Jericho – and tried to discipline his protégée – that attempt would lead, at night’s end, to a failed reconciliation, when Brock – along with Team Angle, the newly crowned tag champs, Haas and Benjamin, all turning on Kurt.

Getting us to XIX – when Kurt, with neck surgery looming, beat Brock after the botched shooting star press.

Kurt had to relinquish the belt the next night – and then the Titan Trust (Arn, Dean, Fit, serving as the figurehead commissioners) set up a 64 man tourney for the belt.

It’s all on the right side. Go find it. It’s fun to read.

Eddy and Brock came through the tourney – Eddy following Benoit in breaking free of the Horsemen and turning babyface over the course of the tournament – Brock still being Brock – as they went nose to nose – with a rare apperarance by Vince McMahon announcing that one of them would be crowned champ in the finals at Summer Slam – a wheelchair bound, drooling, halo wearing Kurt Angle was helped into the ring – appearing for the first time since giving up his belt – you could see the tears in the fans eyes as Vince lifted the mic to Angle’s lips –

And Angle turned heel. He leapt up – Olympic slammed Vince on the chair – he and Brock battled Eddy and Benoit, shock in the eyes of all 3 men – and maniacal, devious Kurt Angle, SuperHeel, was born.

At Summer Slam ’03, he took on Benoit in a singles. Eddy was not only looking for his first WWF Title – but to win the Triple Crown, held for five years by Cactus Jack.

Hard for the rest of the card to compete.

The Worldwide belt had become home for the juniors.

Van Dam regained the Worldwide at Survivor Series, taking out Michaels in a ladder match at MSG – but then lost to Mysterio at Rumble ’03; Little Rey kept over Chavo, who had gone from half of the SpreeKillers with Shane Helms to a member of the Horsemen after Benoit turned – to an enemy of his Uncle Eddy’s when Eddy turned. That led to XIX – where he lost his Worldwide bid to Mysterio – and at Summer Slam, Rey would be contested by the former Worldwide champ Tajiri – no longer with Heyman, now aligned with Ultimo Dragon, who debuted in the tournament.

Your tag champs – the Clique. Specifically Michaels and Hunter.

Benoit and Eddy, as heel champs, kept over the oil and water tag team of Noble and Kidman at Survivor Series – but then lost to the upstart Team Angle, Haas and Benjamin, at the Rumble. Michaels and HHH, who had never won WWF gold, formed a tag as part of their feud with Kurt and Brock, and took the straps at XIX – at Summer Slam, they were set to take on Dead Men Walking (‘Taker/Kane) – as Hunter had missed a year with a torn quad at the hands of a Triple Chokeslam by DMW (see, like that.)

Hunter was, at this point, already behaving in a shady fashion – Michaels had protégées of his own who had now arrived – London and Spanky – and in the tournament, Hunter’s jealousy of them became apparent after he was defeated by Paul.

What else…well, we had a new Jericho – JerichoDark, Chris was betrayed by his best friend, Lance, hooking up with his girl, Stacy Keibler – Jericho took a loser leaves town over Storm, but began to slip into a shell, growing a beard, becoming morose – seeming to enjoy being punished – he attacked the Horsemen in the tournament – and he would take on Flair at Summer Slam. The culmination of JerichoDark is in his ’05 persona as the Lizard King Chris Jericho, a boozy, strung out heel – who meets Benoit as part of the mini tournament to crown a new Worldwide Champ.

What else…what will be a year long Van Dam/Hardy feud is underway – with Matt managed by Bischoff and RVD by Heyman – the men make a long double turn, with the managers pushing each to more and more violent levels. Nash returned in the tournament, losing to Michaels – and then was turned on by his former NWA tag partner – Bill Goldberg – making his WWF debut. Goldberg/Nash is also set for Summer Slam ’03 – a big, big show.

Results:

Eddy won the straps, going over Brock, winning the triple crown. Postmatch, the babyfaces, Eddy’s family, the other Hispanics in the company, hit the ring to celebrate – while Chavo, who had a good night himself, stood stewing in the aisle as a callback to Counterfactual X with Bret/Owen (as we’ve been making Hart/Guerrero parallels strong at this point) which of course was a callback to actual X.

Tajiri took the Worldwide from Rey with Ultimo’s aid – and then all of them were battered down by Chavo – who held up the 3 belts, hence was I meant by his good night.

Lot of Hispanics in Phoenix – I’m just saying – and it’s 2003 – this is good heat.

Michaels and HHH keep – with Hunter apparently inadvertently leveling Spanky with the sledgehammer.

Angle and Benoit go time limit draw in their first singles match since XVII. Benoit wanted five more minutes – Angle wasn’t interested.

Jericho got the win over Flair – but was beaten down postmatch by Leviathan.

RVD got a cage match win over Matt, avenging his loss at XIX and in the 64 man tournament.

Goldberg went over Big Daddy Cool, then called out Lesnar postmatch.

Finally – just last year – Summer Slam 2004.

Although it was an even numbered year – there was no number one contender’s battle royal after Mania (it happened after Summer Slam) as Angle, after losing his belt at XX to Benoit – refused to allow it to happen, attacking (and ending the reign of) the Titan Trust – which led to the formation of a Strike Team (The Shield) like version of Team Angle – Kurt, Regal, Haas, and Benjamin.

Benoit/Kurt rematch is set for Summer Slam 04 in Toronto, with the final fall being submission only.

Eddy kept the belt in a four way at Survivor Series – but lost to Kurt at Rumble ’04 – leading to Kurt dropping to Benoit at XX.

Speaking of Eddy – he is your Worldwide champion coming into Summer Slam – Chavo took from Tajiri at Survivor Series – then kept in a 3 way over Rey and Tajiri at the Rumble – but lost a ladder match at XX to his Uncle Eddy – Guerrero and Benoit left standing in the MSG ring together at night’s end, holding up all 6 title belts as they embraced, replicating my all time favorite actual wrestling moment.

Good times.

Eddy faced his longtime rival, Jericho, now the Lizard King, with his junkie girlfriend Trish in tow at Summer Slam. Jericho completed a double turn with Christian after their year long feud at XX in the second Hell in the Cell Match, when Trish turned on Christian to join the Lizard King.

But also in that IC match at Summer Slam – young Paul London, a daredevil, earning the chant of “Please Don’t Die” from the fans. London was now full fledged Clique, along with Michaels, Edge, and Christian, as they reformed the group at XX.

Your tag champs coming into Summer Slam ’04 – Flair and Leviathan of the Horsemen.

Michaels and Hunter kept their straps over the now heel Dudleys, with Heyman, at Survivor Series – but then lost to Haas and Benjamin at the Rumble, which led to Hunter’s taking out Spanky, Hunter’s heel turn, and Michaels meeting Hunter at XX.

At XX – Haas and Benjamin lost their belts to Flair/Leviathan – and now, the Horsemen meet the brand new high flying team of Mysterio and the now babyface Van Dam at Summer Slam.

What else…Hunter takes on Edge, who returned from a long neck surgery absence XX to save the Clique…Matt Hardy, now without Bischoff who was taken out by RVD in the XX blowoff to that feud, meets Booker T, to whom Bischoff owed money. Billy Kidman meets Nick Dinsmore, again a babyface, the Undertaker meets Kane – and a babyface comedy tag team, Orton and Cena (who are now the tag champs facing Dinsmore a year later) meet the Dudleys.

Results:

Benoit takes Angle in the world title match, Angle submitting for the first time in his life in the third fall. Jericho wins his 3rd IC, and saving Eddy postmatch is Chavo, who then continues his face turn in the number one contender’s battle royal after the event when he eliminates his Horsemen mate Leviathan, aiding Eddy’s battle royal victory. Chavo would eventually be taken apart by Leviathan and leave in an injury angle.

RVD got the frog splash on Flair – giving the babyfaces the tag titles. Edge, in Toronto, goes over HHH in the No DQ to establish himself as a babyface. A year later, that status is in question. And it’s in question because Matt Hardy, who has not been seen in the year since this event, lost to Booker – told the WWF to fuck off and quit on live PPV.

A year later, in the “You screwed Matt” Lita angle – Edge and Matt meet in the unsanctioned main event at SSlam ’05.

Undertaker went over Kane, Kidman over Dinsmore, Orton/Cena ended the Dudleys WWF run.

Which brings up trippingly to this year’s Summer Slam.

Your main event for the first time ever won’t be for the WWF title – it’s Edge and the returning Matt in the Unsanctioned match. Did Edge sleep with Lita? Or – is he telling the truth? Edge gave us the Worldwide belts he won at Rumble ’05 in order to get this match and win back the trust of the Clique. Edge swore to Christian that he was telling the truth – the locker room is divided – this match is completely unsanctioned – Matt has not appeared on WWF TV since Summer Slam ’04 – it’s your main event.

Your Worldwide Title match is Eddy v. Rey. Benoit kept over Eddy, who won the battle royal, at Survivor Series ’04, then kept over Michaels in the revival of Clique/Harts at Rumble ’05 – but lost the rematch to Eddy, an iron man made by the new WWF figurehead, Ricky Steamboat, at XXI.

Rey won 2 matches, including a legend’s match, at XXI – was named the Ace of the promotion by Steamboat –and spurred on by a challenge from the LWO (Crazy, Psychosys, Juvie) Rey is named number one contender to Guerrero in a 2 of 3 Lucha rules match. Not only does Rey challenge to become undisputed champ – but also win the Triple Crown, currently held, of course, by Guerrero.

The tags – Orton and Cena continue their improbable run, defending against Bradshaw and Dinsmore. Angle and Benjamin won the straps over RVD/Rey at Survivor Series ’04 and then lost to the current version of the SpreeKillers, Helms and Rhyno. The SpreeKillers lost at XXI to Orton and Cena – and here we are, with Bradshaw, the NeoCon, who hates those punk kids Orton and Cena who should be serving their country in Iraq – tries with his 3rd partner to get over on them.

With Edge giving up the IC – 4 men meet in a tournament (made by the new babyface figurehead Flair – he and Steamboat each control 49% of WWF creative, with the McMahon family retaining 2% control) winners go to Survivor Series to face off for the vacant titles.

In that tournament – Benoit takes on Jericho – Trish is now gone, Jericho is drunk constantly, he’s fat, he’s bearded, he’s nothing like the Lionheart who revived the Hart Legacy in ’99 – and it’s another Hart, a man who has now embraced his Hart legacy, Benoit, who he meets.

In the other match – Angle meets Michaels. Team Angle has been locked in battle with the Clique all year – Angle beat Christian at XXI – and their leaders meet in a singles here at Summer Slam. Flair also uses this to make the opening tag match – Angle and Michaels teaming together against Benoit and Jericho.

Leviathan – beginning to get a babyface reaction, now managed by Arn – destroyed Rhyno over the summer, ending his run, and now meets the other half of the SpreeKillers, Helms, at Summer Slam. Hogan turned heel at XXI, attacking the Undertaker, and they meet in Hulk Hogan’s last match at Summer Slam.

Toss in that Jim Ross has announced that he is stepping down after Summer Slam – 13 years into his run as lead WWF announcer – and you have a big, big show – coming up next week – Summer Slam 2005!

In the meantime, feel free to go to www.spoonmillionaires.com to read my vituperative production blog – my play gets produced this weekend – show some love, good people – and I’ll see you next week!

Summer Slam 2005 is here.

Summer Slam 2006 is here.

Summer Slam 2007 is here.

Summer Slam 2008 is here.

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