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.

Royal Rumble -1995

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Survivor Series is here.

Royal Rumble 1995 Tampa

We squeeze out one more Gorilla/Cornette. JR's coming back, although still sitting on the sidelines in the actual universe, he'll be front and center here.

(Dark – Hakushi d. Matt Hardy)

Show opens with a shot of the Triple Crown in the ring. We see the list of engraved names:


Bret’s music. Bret enters. Boos. Says tonight, the Real Hart Foundation will beat the hell out of the British Bulldog and Bob Backlund – but before that, he has a job to do – he does’t want to do it – it disgusts him that the Triple Crown – the most prestigious honor in all of sports – is now being passed from him to Shawn Michaels…

Face pop.

Bret shakes his head.

Particularly when Shawn Michaels is a guy who can’t beat me.

Clips of Bret/Shawn from WM VI and from Survivor Series 1990 – the last singles meeting for Bret and Shawn – 4 1/2 years ago – incidentally, in Hartford, CT – home of WM XI…

So, if I have to give away this trophy – give away the Triple Crown to Shawn Michaels – let’s get it out of the way now…

HBK music.

Michaels enters. Face pop.

Shawn to the ring. Asks Bret how’s the family? How’s the tag division? Enjoying working third from the top? Who’s working the Main Event here at the Rumble tonight…oh yeah, that would be _me. The Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels.

Bret says he likes having the tag team belts – in fact, looking at the triple crown – he wouldn’t mind being the only man in the history of wrestling to hold all the belts at the same time. The Tag belts – the IC belt – and as soon as Shawn has the guts to face him – the WWF Championship belt.

Shawn says Hit Man, I don’t know when it’s gonna happen – it might be tonight, it might be tomorrow – and it’s gonna come sooner than later – but you and me, Hit Man…you and me are gonna go….

They do a nose to nose. Crowd enjoys that type of thing.

The tag teams for match one now enter – but before the match…

Ted enters, says that the winners of this match will be named the Number One contenders – and go onto face the Tag Champs at Wrestlemania XI!!! There's now a special graphic, music, before the tag matches

The Million Dollar Man Presents....WWF Tag Team Action!

1. Smoking Gunns d. Jarrett/Road Dogg
Ted joins Cornette and Gorilla on the announce. Billy! Bart! Going to Wrestlemania!! Road Dogg gets pinned, obviously, Jarrett is crazy pissed and starts slapping the Dogg around – Road Dogg fights back, their tension from the winter mixed partner tag tournament boiling over, – ta, da – and we have another match for XI. Ted is clearly upset at the announce – this was not the way he wanted it to turn out – and as the Gunns make the sign for the belts – Ted fumes. Ted doesn't like the Gunns. Not a complicated program.

2. Undertaker d. Dick Murdoch
-Another legends win for the Dead Man. A few weeks from now, at a RAW on the road to XI, the WWF will present an honorary championship belt to…Lawrence Taylor.

Come on, it’s WM XI. You know the rules.

LT, obviously all coked up – says he’s honored…but you know, not really. He’s Lawrence Taylor, he’s got 2 Super Bowl rings – he’s going to the Hall of Fame – and he’s supposed to care about some fake piece of shit wrestling belt?

LT tosses the belt down.

Fuck that. LT is shooting, daddy.

It is fucking stupid that I should have to stand here and pretend that I care about this. They even made me watch that last Pay Per View…what do you call that..the Royal Rumble? I saw some guy there named the Undertaker..

Big pop.

Yeah, some big ass guy, and they called him a legend.

A legend? There ain’t no legends in wrestling. You want to see a legend? Hey WWF – you want to see a legend – the only legend that has ever been in any wrestling ring is standing in one right now – so enjoy it – ‘cause this is the last you’ll ever see of Lawrence Taylor.

Undertaker. Duh. And we have another Wrestlemania match.

Yup, they're turning LT heel for a show in Hartford. Fuckin’ A.

3. Lex Luger d. Bam Bam Bigelow
They fight before the match, during, and then after – fighting all the way back to the back. They’re gonna fight on RAW all the way to XI to the point where they’ll meet at XI in a Loser Leaves Town.

4. Alabama Bob Holly d. PJ Walker
New guys! Alabama Bob is a legit pain in the ass – and that's his gimmick, he's just sort of pissed off and mean --- But he’s a face nonetheless – he and PJ both young faces, really here just for some semblance of workrate.

5. Lightning Kid Sean Waltman d. Rick Martel
The Kid embarrasses the vet. It’s a good match but Waltman shows no respect at all – he debuts the Clique crotch chop – and spends much of his match shoving his groin at Martel – which much of the crowd enjoys. Waltman wins with the X Factor – stands above Martel and tells him to suck right on it, Strike Force. Oooh, that Kid. He burns me up. Waltman makes the Clique hand sign as he exits.

6. Tags: British Empire d. Hart Foundation
Anvil submits to the cross face chicken wing. Davey Boy gets his second tag title, with two different partners – as does Backlund, who picks up his first strap since 1983. Big face pop for the mismatched tag champs. “The great Benjamin Disraeli appointed the viceroys in India! Tonight, I am MR. VICEROY BOB BACKLUND! Archduke Bulldog – Archduke Bulldog – the sun will never set on the British Empire!!! I am a Real American! Fight for the Rights of Every Man! I am a Real American! Fight for what’s Right – Fight for your life, Tojos! I will fight for your life! Semper FIIIIIIIIII”

I enjoy me some Backlund.

7. IC: Owen Hart d. Razor Ramon
Owen’s second IC title. Terrific match. It’s face v. face, both guys getting the pops – but it’s Hart v. Clique so they don’t like each other. And Razor once sidekicked Owen into the lockers. Razor gets frustrated during the match, Owen’s very talented – and Razor pulls out the heel stuff, the punching – taking it outside – the steel steps – Razor pulls up the mat outside and tries to hit his chokeslam – Owen counters with a DDT to the concrete that leaves Razor bloody. Owen wins with the pinfall after an enziguiri that shocks the crowd and switches the belt.

After the match – Razor snaps – heel turn - the weight of playing face for over a year now gets to him…Edge to Owen…Edge to Owen…Razor goes for the third….

Davey Boy enters. Davey Boy fights Razor off – getting the face pop…

Waltman runs in. Waltman fights Davey Boy off. Heel pop.

Backlund. Backlund joins his partner, fighting off Waltman. Face pop.

Michaels and Diesel. Who, of course, are meeting next for the title. Which is sort of an odd dynamic. Michaels and Diesel enter – they stand with Razor and Waltman, fighting off the Harts, 'cause Clique v. Harts transcends Face v. Heel - transcends everything. It’s faces and heels mixed together…Diesel and Michaels, who are scheduled next, scheduled next for the WWF Champiosnhip, now on the same side as they brawl against the Harts and Backlund...

And here comes Bret. Bret slowly makes his way to the ring. Bret pausing as he sees the entire scene ------

…..And Bret starts fighting on the side of the Harts! Bret gets shots in at everyone, then goes after Michaels – the two of them brawling heavily -- Davey Boy and Diesel brawl, Razor and Owen, Waltman and Backlund – finally, the officials break it up – everyone’s ejected except for Michaels and Diesel, who go right into their No DQ match when Diesel brings a chair into the ring and lays Shawn out and goes for a flash pin….

8. WWF Title: No DQ: Shawn Michaels d. Diesel
…but doesn’t get it. We’re gonna do the off the chart brawl they had at Good Friends, Better Enemies a year and a half after this. If they could get Mad Dog Vachon to come, we’ll have Diesel pull off his wooden leg and beat Michaels with it. Michaels goes through a table. Michaels comes off a ladder. Michaels hits Diesel with a TV monitor. Michaels with the superkick. Elbowdrop. Pinfall. Crazyhot match. Terrific brawl. Michaels will keep the belt and go to Mania as the champion.

NWA…Earthquake and Hacksaw work as a tag team. Boss Man works. Dustin does a farewell job. The big undercard event is Savage/Hogan – Randy as the face, with the fork, of course, Hogan as Hollywood. They had no feud at all in the WWF – so it’s a far different dynamic – Randy goes over. Harlem Heat keep. As does Arn. Sting retakes over Vader. And that’s the end of Vader’s NWA run.

Superbrawl – 1995 Baltimore
NWA Title: Sting d. Vader
US Title: Arn Anderson d. Marc Mero
Tags: Harlem Heat d. Nastys
Alex Wright d. Paul Orndorff

Mark Bagwell d. Dustin Rhodes
Randy Savage d. Hulk Hogan
The Patriot d. Bubba Rogers
Sullivans d. Earthquake/Hacksaw

On the way to XI….Ted says he hates the Gunns, they don’t make the tag division any money – so before they get their title shot at XI against British Empire, they’ll have to beat, earlier that night, Ron and Don Harris!

Yeah, I know.

We’ve got UT/LT in the legends match.

We’ve got the loser leaves town, Bigelow/Lex.

We’ve got Jarrett/Road Dogg. Jarrett still unbeaten as a single.

We’ve got the tag title, the British Empire v. either the Gunns or the Harris’s.

Now, additionally, they do some 6 man tags on RAW – Owen/Davey Boy/Backlund v. Diesel/Razor/Waltman. They use it to push the Razor/Owen rematch for the IC at XI. They use it to continue the Diesel/Davey Boy rivalry, which has been on hiatus since DBS went tag…since that match isn’t available to Diesel – he’s going to get…

King Kong Bundy.

Bundy returns for the first time since I – gets the nice reaction. Says he’s been gone from the WWF for 11 years – but there’s just something he has to get off his chest.

He shows the clip of Diesel’s first promo after his debut at IX – when Diesel talked about how he was better than the typical WWF fat guy.

Bundy challenges Diesel for XI.

Diesel enters, laughs. Says Bundy needs a remedial lesson in Booking 101 – the marks out there aren’t gonna turn over their grandma’s social security check to buy a PPV – unless they think there’s some possibility that Big Daddy Cool’s gonna get beaten up – and let’s be honest, Bundy – even if you were twice your size – Bundy v. Anyone isn’t on anyone’s t-shirt in 1995.

Bundy says, “twice my size?” You said even if I were twice my size?

“Hey Bundy, even if there were two of you the only thing you could beat me in would be a pie eating contest.”

Bundy says he’ll take Nash up on it. At Wrestlemania XI – Diesel will take on King Kong Bundy and….Yokozuna.

Yoko enters. Face pop. Handicap match at XI.

The RAW after the Rumble – opening promo by Razor and Diesel.

Mixed pop. Razor basically says he heard Diesel’s promo from after Survivor Series and was reminded that they were the Clique and they were bad guys. He also talked to his accountant and found out that merchandise sales were higher when Razor and Diesel were together. He and Nash then create the tweener – saying they’re inviting the fans – just some of the fans, the cool fans, the fans with disposable income or some smoke, or with sisters of questionable morals – to come along with them – ‘cause at Wrestlemania XI – they are gonna hurt some people.

There’s a feud between young Candido and Waltman, one that largely consists of Waltman salivating over fresh, young Tammy. Whenever he gets a chance – Waltman tries to put his hands on her (you're welcome, Sean, try not to get us sued) – which causes Candido to freak out.

The other element of Candido’s character is he’s the new babyface underdog – he doesn’t have the fancy pyro or much of a ring costume – and he works desperately hard – we constantly see him trying to do anything he can just to get on the WM card.

So, when the card is announced – and he isn’t on it – he’s depressed and he and Tammy might just give up the dream and go back home, gosh darn it.

The Clique has a proposition. An indecent proposal, if you will. On the RAW before XI – Candido will face…Razor Ramon.

Razor has the IC rematch with Owen. If Candido wins – he will get Razor’s shot. He will go to WM XI and wrestle Owen Hart for the IC title. Wow.

If he loses – then at WM – Tammy will become property of the Clique for one night – at Wrestlemania.

Young fresh Tammy. 

Candido of course accepts – he doesn’t want to – but the girl encourages him – you know the drill here – Candido loses a spirited match to Razor – and the Clique openly salivates as they tell Tammy they’ll send a car to pick her up early on Sunday. Underwear optional.

This is no ordinary love.  No ordinary love.

Candido tries to fight back – and they bury him. Jacknife…Edge. Pose.

The main event is Shawn defending against Bret. Shawn/Bret, strap WM XI. It’s the pinnacle of all Hart/Clique hatred – we see “shootlike” backstage interviews with all the Harts and all the Clique where they say they want their guy to win…so, even though Shawn’s the face and Bret’s the heel – Owen and Davey Boy say they’ll be rooting for Bret – and Razor/Diesel/Waltman say they’ll be rooting for Shawn.

We’d get clip packages going into XI recapping the entire Hart/Clique feud – it’s not ending at XI – it may never end – but this is seen as the high water mark – everything from the time that we first saw that Bret and Shawn didn’t like each other back six years ago, has been building to this moment…the ultimate Hart v. the leader of the Clique on wrestling’s biggest stage (and having Razor v. Owen as the IC just feeds right into that, having Diesel and Davey Boy continue their feud, albeit not at Mania feeds into that).

Wrestlemania XI, Chico. Shawn defends against Bret. Owen defends against Razor. Davey Boy and Backlund against the Harris/Gunns winner. Loser Leaves Town: Bigelow v. Lex. Diesel in the Handicap against Bundy/Yoko. Jarrett meets the Dogg. Legends Match: Taker against the heel turned Lawrence Taylor.

It ain't a bad show. I'm guessing you're gonna buy.

Survivor Series - 1994

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Summer Slam is here.

Survivor Series – 1994 San Antonio

One more Gorilla/Cornette.

(Dark – Bob Holly d. PJ Walker)

1. Smoking Gunns d. Heavenly Bodies
Hey, the Bodies got back together. Billy! Bart!! The Smoking Gunns! They make the sign for the belts! When will the Smoking Gunns finally get a title shot? When? When? When?

2. Undertaker d. Adam Bomb
-And that will do it for the Bomb. Thanks Undertaker!

3. Backlund d. Jerry Lawler
“You are not the King! The United States of America threw off its monarchical yoke in 1776 – Read Your History, Jerry Lawler! Sam Adams wore a headdress and painted his genitalia red! He dumped your tea into the Harbor, Jerry Lawler! No Taxation Without Representation! I Before E Except After C! You Must Learn About the Fox and the Grapes, Jerry Lawler! You are not the King – You are at best a Maid in Waiting Thrice Removed! And You Must Learn About the Fox and the Grapes!”

4. Jeff Jarrett (w/Road Dogg) d. Savio Vega
Jarrett remains undefeated.

5. Diesel d. Davey Boy Smith
Diesel gets a lot of cheers here, and plays up to them – it’s San Antonio and it’s a highly partisan Clique crowd. They play up heavily the Clique v. Harts nature of the matchup, and they show Michaels in his locker room watching the match – and Owen in his watching the match. It’s a big man brawl, they take it outside – topple over the retaining barrier and fight into the crowd – it’s Davey Boy’s first WWF singles match in over 2 years – since he lost his title shot to Bret in London, so this is a big match for him – and a big win for Diesel.

6. Tags: Hart Foundation d. Luger/Bigelow
This is a nice little show. Bret and Anvil get good heel heat with the Canadian flag – all of the pro Clique feeling in the crowd can coalesce against the Hart Foundation. And we are in Texas after all – any non US flag is gonna draw some heat. Bret wins his second tag strap to go with his two IC titles and his world title – Anvil is very excited with his first ever strap – Bret treats it more matter of factly, shrugging his shoulders like, “of course I won, I’m the Hit Man, haven’t you ever seen me wrestle?” Luger and Bigelow have words after the match.

7. IC: Ladder: Razor Ramon d. Sean Waltman
Razor runs through the entire Clique as 1994 belongs to the Bad Guy. Waltman’s bumping all over the place as we add a ladder match to the official WWF history. Waltman’s job was to take the punishment, and he has to take a lot of it here – we’ll have Razor set up a table in the ring – he and Waltman are battling at the top of the ladder – Edge through the table for the finish.

(Highlight package of Owen v. Shawn. The dark match from Summer Slam ’88 – Owen’s return after 3 years gone, losing to Michaels at Rumble ’92 – the epic Owen/Bret v. Shawn/Flair tag match from the last Saturday Night’s Main Event on FOX – Owen beating Shawn at VIII – Shawn putting Owen through the announce table at Summer Slam ’92 – Owen making a shocking return during Survivor Series ’92, taking away Shawn’s IC title minutes after he had just won it from Savage – Michaels regaining the title at Rumble ’93 in the 5 star Iron Man match -- )

8. WWF Title: Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel) d. Owen Hart (w/ Bulldog)
Diesel and the Bulldog brawl early in the match and fight their way away from ringside and to the back. Michaels is cheered throughout – the crowd doesn’t boo Owen, Owen never gets booed – but the combination of Michaels’s years of excellence, his heel charisma, the numerous humanizing taped pieces, his being gone for months, and it being his hometown, make the crowd highly partisan – and Shawn plays up to it. It’s a clean match and an all time great match – this is a feud building for years and years – a feud over who is the real future of the WWF – Shawn jealous of Owen’s hype – Shawn getting the early glory – Owen coming back and being the first to win the WWF Title – Owen beating Bret – which Shawn has yet to do –

This one belongs to Shawn. Fights out of the sharpshooter – a superkick out of nowhere – a pinfall. Crowd goes nuts – Shawn does the real world WM XIII celebration
dropping to his knees and weeping, clutching the title – Diesel runs in - grabbing
Shawn and lifting him high into the air – Michaels holding the belt high as the Clique stands atop the wrestling world –

--and then Diesel lifts up Michaels’s legs – and jackknifes him to the mat.

The shocked crowd boos lustily – Diesel picking up Michaels again – and again jackknifing him to the canvas.

Nash flips his hair, smirks to the booing crowd – takes Shawn’s newly won world title belt and throws it over his shoulder, “Thanks for the strap, Heart Break. See ya at the party.”

Diesel laughs his way up the aisle as the show ends.

The NWA run of great shows ends as Hogan and his boys hit town. Duggan, Beefcake, Earthquake – all on the show. Hogan beats a heel Mr T. – then turns heel, no face run in the NWA – they’re gonna boo him anyway – Hogan gives the “you fans can kiss my butt” turn speech and will now be Hollywood Hogan. A young heel named Jean Paul Leveques picks up a PPV loss – we’ll see him soon in New York. Harlem Heat wins the tag straps. Arn keeps the US, beating Mero, and Vader keeps the big strap, going over Sting.

Starrcade – 1994 Nashville
NWA Title: Vader d. Sting
US Title: Arn Anderson d. Marc Mero
Tags: Harlem Heat d. Nastys
Alex Wright d. HHH

Hulk Hogan d. Mr. T
Earthquake d. Brutus Beefcake
Kevin Sullivan d. Jim Duggan
Harlem Heat d. Armstrongs

The organizing force as we drive to the Rumble in Tampa is a tag team tournament, the winners to face the Hart Foundation at the Rumble. Bret/Anvil will promo at the top of RAW after Survivor Series, basically calling out the entire company, Bret says the WWF has got an IC champ who has never beaten him – and now a World Champ who has never beaten him – and doesn’t his family feel dumb now for siding with Owen -- and he challenges anyone in the back to take his tag straps.

The entire locker room (outside of the top guys) spills out, surrounding the ring – after ten years – is the entire locker room going to challenge the Hit Man???

Money, Money, Money, Money, Money.

DiBiase’s music plays, Ted makes his way to the ring. Hey, Ted's back! Ted says as he’s proven time and time again, everybody’s got a price for the Million Dollar Man – and he’s made a new financial acquisition – the WWF tag team division.

So, there’s gonna be a tournament – and he’s gonna pick the teams, the only rule is, no one who has ever teamed together before is eligible.

Ted names the first round matchups, whomever he calls comes to the ring, if he doesn’t call you – you ain’t in the tournament. The tourney plays out over multiple weeks, here be the results:

Bigelow/Chris Candido d. Luger/Rotundo
-Candido is doing the straight kid babyface. Luger and Bigelow have words again as they meet in the ring. In the match, Candido will get the fall on Rotundo – pissing Luger off, he starts to put the boots to Candido – Bigelow tries to calm his former partner down – Luger re-turns heel by blasting Bigelow – and the two men brawl to the back. Years later, Bigelow and Candido team up in ECW. Candido has a girlfriend, of course. We don’t even call her a manager or a valet – she’s a girlfriend. Tammy does the whole co-ed thing, she’s sweet and peppy and shows a little stomach, but she’s a nice girl and we emphasize the nice girl aspect of her – she gives Candido a little peck on the cheek before he wrestles. It’s sweet. She’s very, very, sweet. Fresh – that’s the word. Tammy is fresh.

Hakushi/Savio Vega d. Alabama Bob Holly/PJ Walker
-Yeah, Bob and PJ just worked dark, so they’ve already tagged together – but that’s why they call it dark. Hakushi brings a new level of aerial spots to the WWF (flying space tiger drop!) and is clearly a cut above here. We sell him as special. Crowd enjoys seeing the fast paced action. Announce speculates if any of these young stars will one day hold WWF gold. Bob and PJ brawl after their loss – they’ll work a singles at the Rumble.

Jarrett/Bart d. Road Dogg/Billy
-All four guys upset as they’re obviously getting broken up. We tease tension between both existing teams – Jarrett keeps his run going with the fall over Billy – but in the end, the sides switch – and postmatch, Jarrett and the Dogg brawl with the Gunns. Announce notes a good chemistry between the Road Dogg and Billy, and somehow I think we’ll see them again down the road.

Davey Boy/Backlund d. Fatu/Crush
-“I Respect the British Bulldog! Like Queen Victoria colonized India – the British Bulldog and Mr. Backlund will plant their flag at the Royal Rumble! The sun never sets on the British Empire – and that will be our name! Davey Boy Smith – we will call ourselves the British Empire – and you will plant your flag into Mr. Backlund! Plant your flag, Davey Boy Smith! Plant your flag deep inside of me! Claim your territory for the Crown and split me open in the name of the Empire!”

Backlund's way into the made up team. Bulldog's a little creeped out.

Davey Boy and Backlund then go over Jarrett and Bart. Bart gets pinned, he and Jarrett brawl – Road Dogg and Billy run in – and we’re set up for the Rumble. Hey, the Gunns have a program!

Hakushi and Savio go over Candido and Bigelow. Luger attacks Bigelow in the aisle – they brawl again – and there’s that match.

Davey Boy and Backlund go over Savio and Hakushi – and they will go to the Rumble to face Bret and the Anvil. The greatest tag team in WWF history, the Original Hart Foundation – now on opposite sides, will meet at the Rumble. And Bob Backlund, 11 years after losing the WWF title, and 13 years since he held the WWF tag titles with Pedro Morales, will be wrestling for the straps. Not a bad deal.

In fact, that’s what made him crazy. This works – see, Backlund not only never got a rematch for the WWF title – but he didn’t really lose it, as Skaaland threw in the towel when he was in the camel clutch – more than that – he didn’t really lose the tag straps either – he and Pedro abdicated the straps because they were the two singles champions at the time – Bob never lost – and the trauma of it all pushed him over the edge. Gives us a chance to talk history, and we love talking history.

What else…two veterans make appearances on the road to the Rumble. One is Rick Martel, doing a babyface veteran thing. Martel says he is ready to come back to the WWF and he’s ready to do it at the Rumble. He’s interrupted by Waltman, doing a “you’re a thousand years old, I am the Kid, if you don’t like it you can suck this thing…”

You know, Waltman. They’ll meet at the Rumble.

And it’s time for another veteran to come in and challenge the Undertaker as the legend of professional wrestling. This time it’s Dirty Dick Murdoch, doing a “I’m the best brawler who ever lived, y’all are a bunch of pussies.”

Razor’s defending the IC against Owen. They’re doing a face v. face thing, doing a Harts v. Clique thing – Owen wanted a rematch for the World Title – but that spot is taken, as we’ll see – Owen cut a promo saying he and his brother Bret don’t agree on much, but the one thing they agree on is that the Harts will always be better than the Clique – and there is no way that the Clique should have both singles titles in the WWF.

Razor’s Clique all the way so he takes that challenge. Says not only is he from the Clique – but he has spent the last year proving that he is the top member of the Clique. Hey beat Michaels, he beat Diesel, he beat Waltman – he has run through the entire Clique – and now he is ready to run through the entire Hart Family.

In the main, of course, it’s Shawn/Diesel.

Diesel promos at the end of the RAW after the Survivor Series – still holding Shawn’s belt. He says, “All day long, people have been coming up to me, saying, ‘why, Big Daddy Cool, why?’ and I’ve been saying, well, first of all, thanks for selling the gimmick, there are t-shirts available in the lobby, Christmas is around the corner, they make excellent stocking stuffers --- and second, the reason I jackknifed Shawn Michaels’s ass through the ring is pretty damn simple ---

I’m a bad guy.

See, sports fans, let me smarten you up a little bit – in the business that I’m in, there are two kinds of guys, there are the babyfaces – you know, the Ricky Steamboats, the Owen Harts, the Stings…yeah, I watch the NWA, you never know when they’ll come calling with a better offer – and Big Daddy Cool needs to watch his stories, oh yes he does, oh yes he does….

……and those are the guys who like the fans and care what you people think and sit up all night trying to figure out how they can work the words prayer, training, and vitamins into their promos…

…and then there are the heels. You know who the heels are? The Dynamite Kid was a heel. Randy Savage was a heel – until he lost his balls. Ric Flair, Whoooooo, is a heel. And whether you like it, or whether you don’t like it, you got to learn to love it – because it’s the best thing going today – Big Daddy Cool Diesel is a heel.

The Harts – they’re faces. I know you’re all booing Bret Hart right now – but that’s because you’re marks – the Harts – they’re faces.

And the Clique – we’re the heels. We make all the mo-ney. We have all the po-wer. We take all the wo-men . And we win all the gold, Chico.

I love Shawn Michaels. I have three friends in the world and Shawn Michaels is one of them. But Shawn Michaels forgot who he was. Shawn Michaels heard all of those people in San Antonio cheering for him – and he forgot that he was, is, and always will be – a bad guy.

So, Shawn, if you want your belt back – get your ass down here – hold up the fingers with me – tell these people to kiss your ass and lets go out and bang some fat chicks!”

Michaels enters. Says Diesel’s right about one thing – he is a member of the Clique – 4 Life – and he’ll hold up the fingers any time – but he’s wrong about something else – see, Shawn Michaels isn’t a bad guy…and Shawn Michaels isn’t a good guy…Shawn Michaels is the Heart Break Kid – Shawn Michaels is the Showstopper – Shawn Michaels is the Main Event – Shawn Michaels is the best wrestler alive – and Shawn Michaels is taking his property back – right now – crowd screams, Michaels and Diesel brawl – and we set up a No DQ match for the WWF Title at the Rumble.

It's Rumble '95. Michaels/Diesel for the big belt. Razor and Owen for the IC. How about Bret and the Anvil against DBS and Backlund. Waltman/Martel, Luger/Bigelow, Alabama Bob meets the not yet Justin Credible, Undertaker/Murdoch, and the Gunns meet Jarrett and the Dogg - winners go to XI to wrestle for the straps! Rumble! Call your thing!

Summer Slam 1994

X is here.

Summer Slam -1994 ChicagoGorilla and Cornette continue on the announce.

(Dark – Sean Waltman d. Bob Holly)

1. Headshrinkers d. Rougeaus (countout)
-Winners of the match to get a title shot against Lex/Bam Bam later tonight, but the Rougeaus don’t show and get counted out. We go to the back and see they’ve been laid out in the locker room, including Levy, and the only evidence as to the perpetrator is a pink and black Hart Foundation jacket. Huh.

2. Savio Vega d. Mike Rotundo
-The new Tito! Arriba! In fact, if Tito’s on the payroll at this point, they make him Savio’s manager. If not Tito, they dig up Pedro Morales.

3. Adam Bomb d. Prime Time Brian Lee
-The Bomb continues. He’s a beast, he can’t be stopped – he’s ADAM BOMB! He calls out the Taker (who hasn't been in a WWF ring in 10 months, but his match is next) saying he hasn't come back 'cause he's ascared.

4. Undertaker d. Mabel
-Undertaker’s first appearance since his Rumble title loss to Bret. Since he tapped out, he’s no longer undead. He makes the turn to the current version of the Taker – ‘cept he’s younger. So, he’s basically badass biker Undertaker, who actually is a better worker than the undead caveman undertaker. So, now he brawls, no longer impervious to pain. He’s a real boy. He wipes out Mabel – the Bomb comes down to the ring – and they brawl after the match.

5. Jeff Jarrett (w/Road Dogg) d. Tatanka
This is not a good show. Think of Jarrett and Savio as getting similar undercard pushes.

6. Tags: Luger/Bigelow d. Headshrinkers
Why did you buy this show, seriously?

7. IC: No DQ: Razor Ramon d. Diesel (w/Waltman)
Okay, this is better. We’ll cover up their weaknesses with lots of garbage, chairshots – Waltman’s bringing out the ladder and bumping – everyone bleeds – we’ll have a shot of all three men brawling heavy in the middle of the ring, the Clique Explodes! Razor keeps and has now beaten Michaels and Diesel back to back. Razor points to a fallen Waltman afterward – “Hey, Chico, Hey porn star – you next – you next for the Bad Guy.”

(As we near the beginning of the title match, the video wall flashes the letters…H….B…..K……and we see a shot of San Antonio, Texas – – home of Shawn Michaels. Cactus. Dust. Michaels in a cowboy hat. He says hello, WWF, hello Chi-town, did ya miss me?

Huge mixed pop for Michaels.

Michaels says he’s enjoyed his time off since X, he’s been on the road winning titles in the WWF for 6 years without a break – and it’s been good to go home. And he’s not quite ready to come back to the grind. I mean, how many times can a man beat Marty Jannetty before he starts to get a little bored?

So, he’s decided, with great regret --- that he is not coming back to the WWF.

Boos, many, many boos.

But Shawn says – no, no, I’m not leaving the World Wrestling Federation – I just said I’m not coming back – I am the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, the best wrestler on the planet – and I don’t come back to the WWF…

…the WWF is going to come to me. At Survivor Series – right here in my hometown of San Antonio Texas – I will be wrestling….

..for the WWF Championship.

That’s right. And I don’t care who climbs out of that cage first tonight – Owen Hart, Bret Hart – Corey Hart – it doesn’t matter to me, boys. Just come on down to San Antonio in November for Survivor Series – and shine up my belt real nice before you get here.

He's Shawn Michaels, after all.

8. WWF Title: Cage Match: Owen Hart d. Bret Hart
They did this match, best cage match I ever saw, so we’ll do it the same way. Just flip some stuff. With Owen about to win by escaping the cage (it's pinfall or escape) Neidhart runs in to slam the door on him.

Neidhart laughs. Strokes the beard. Yells to the camera “Hey Rougeaus – make sure you clean the blood of my jacket before you send it back.” Recall, Neidhart turned on the Harts to join the Rougeaus many, many years before. It all comes full circle.

So, that mystery is solved.

Neidhart goes inside the cage – he and Bret double team Owen – Neidhart eventually attacking Owen while Bret climbs, climbs, trying to get out of the cage – and he’s stopped by Davey Boy. All the Harts ARE BACK!

Davey Boy climbs from the outside – knocking Bret back into the cage – Davey Boy climbs in – and it’s the four Harts brawling in the ring – Owen and Davey Boy the faces – Bret and the Anvil the heels –

Eventually, Owen and Bret each climb, climb, climb – Anvil and Davey Boy each trying to stop them --- Owen kicks Anvil away just a second before Bret can shed Davey Boy – and Owen falls to the floor and keeps the belt.

The NWA show….Dusty and Dustin team up for the first time in the NWA for a win. Regal loses to Bobby Eaton. We say goodbye to Mick Foley as Cactus Jack loses to Sting in a Loser Leaves Town…I wonder what will become of him…the Nasty Boys regain the tag straps…Austin loses his US to Arn – and Vader regains the World strap, going over Terry.

Fall Brawl – 1994 Roanoke
NWA Title: Vader d. Terry Funk
US Title: Arn Anderson d. Steve Austin
Tags: Nasty Boys d. Mero/Orndorff
Sting d. Cactus Jack

Bobby Eaton d. Steve Regal
Kevin Sullivan d. Paul Roma
The Patriot d. Mark Bagwell
Dusty/Dustin Rhodes d. Armstrongs

ECW returns in November – it is now Extreme Championship Wrestling – I’m uncertain, if I don’t shed the NWA from WCW – how we get to the ECW creation story, since the birth of ECW is one of wrestling’s more infamous moments. Dunno. Regardless, Dreamer gets a win, as does Stevie Richards. Taz beats Cactus Jack in a tremendous, outstanding brawl that involves Taz suplexing Foley through a flaming table..

…it’s ECW after all. Flaming table, daddy.

Dean Malenko, over from Japan with a couple of his friends, Eddy and Benoit, beats Brian Pillman, on sabbatical from the NWA. Public Enemy keeps the tags, 2 Cold Scorpio has left the NWA and wins the TV title, and Sabu keeps the World title, beating Shane Douglas.

November to Remember – 1994 Philadelphia
ECW Title: Sabu d. Shane Douglas
TV Title: 2 Cold Scorpio d. Sandman
Tags: Public Enemy d. Pitbulls
Dean Malenko d. Brian Pillman

Taz d. Cactus Jack
Stevie d. Ron Simmons
Tommy Dreamer d. Kevin Sullivan
Rottens d. Joe Malenko/Hack Meyers

The Survivor Series is coming – and it’s coming from San Antonio, hometown of the HeartBreak Kid, Shawn Michaels.

The Undertaker will wrestle at Survivor Series – and he and Adam Bomb feud on TV, once again, the Undertaker has to clear away the crap. Backlund's back, he still does the whole Mr. Backlund gimmick – but now he's feuding with a returning Lawler, so we sort of dig it. He’s our crazy old uncle – hasn’t had a new opinion since 1955, “This is not grappling! This is not grappling! Ladders and forks and long hair! Turn off your television sets, Mr. and Mrs. America! Pick up a copy of national geographic or an Atlas! Read an Atlas to your children! An Atlas! With topogo- logical maps! Learn some indeliginous rock formations! Learn Your Heritage! Learn Your Heritage! Young America has no appreciation of geology! I met her on a Monday and my heart stood still! Da-doo-ron-ron-ron-da-doo-ron-ron! Semper Fi, Tojos! Semper Fi!”

I love me some Counterfactual Backlund.

It’s time to do Jarrett/Savio. Whew. A nervous nation can only await the outcome.

Now for the top. Bret and the Anvil hit the ring the night after Summer Slam, wearing their Hart Foundation gear. Bret says he’s getting screwed. Owen’s gonna be wrestling Shawn Michaels, who Bret’s never lost to, at Survivor Series – and Razor, who Bret’s never lost to, will be wrestling Waltman for the IC That means the only belts that are still contestable at Survivor Series are the tag belts – and come on, Luger and Bigelow aren’t really much of a challenge.

But – Bret’s brother in law, the one Hart he can count on, his old manager the Anvil, came back last night – and Bret is challenging for the Tag titles on behalf of the Hart Foundation!

Hit Davey Boy’s music.

Face pop for the Bulldog, making another return to the WWF. Bulldog comes to the ring – says he’s disgusted with Bret, can’t believe he’s become this bitter person, how the whole family is just sad by how he’s treated his brother. And by the way – maybe he’s forgotten, but the Hart Foundation wasn’t just him – if the Hart Foundation’s gonna wrestle for the tag titles at Survivor Series – it’s gonna be the British Bulldog – and his partner…

Owen Hart.

Owen to the ring – the four guys in the ring – big brawl. Hart on Hart crime.

We do Harts v. Harts all the way to Survivor Series, we’re gonna do a best 3 of 5 series – winners get the Hart Foundation name – winners get to challenge for the tag straps.

Bret and the Anvil obviously are gonna go over. ‘Cause Owen’s busy that night. The only important finish to avoid (besides never having Neidhart pin Owen) is neither Bret or Owen ever submits.

It’s Razor/Waltman for the IC – in a ladder match, 'cause we're just gonna flog that shit – and we’ll do more Clique stuff – peeling off Diesel near the end, because we’re gonna do Diesel/Davey Boy to give us some Hart/Clique infusion.

See, ‘cause it’s Owen/HBK for the strap – more on Michaels in a second – so as part of the build for that we’ll have Diesel jump Owen, have Davey Boy save – and then there’s that – so we use a full build up of intrafamily fighting to set up two Clique v. Hart matches – and we still have Clique on Clique for the IC.

Shawn stays in San Antonio, doesn't come back, and they show taped pieces. We’re gonna learn about his life. Like we've done with the Harts, and then the Undertaker, and we also did it, recall, with Hennig and Rude, when we went back to Minnesota to talk about their growing up together. Now it’s time to learn about Shawn as a guy. So, we go to San Antonio and meet everyone.

Again, still no JR, so we're stuck. I'm up for suggestions as to whom would be good in that role. We get across how important the WWF Title is to him, how much he hates the Harts, how he hasn’t talked to any members of the Clique since he left, how proud he was of the IC run and of the ladder match – and the important other thing – the stakes are higher with the title match –

If Shawn wins, he’s a triple crown winner. ‘Member, that's the biggest deal there is. When Bret won, we brought back Pedro to give him the trophy – theirs are the only two names inscribed on it – if Shawn beats Owen – in his hometown – he not only becomes WWF Champion – he will take possession of the Triple Crown and step into immortality.

Hard to imagine it being a bigger match for Michaels.

It's Survivor Series '94. Owen and Michaels have come full circle and hook it up for the strap - Razor meets the Lightning Kid in an IC Ladder Match. Bret and the Anvil, wrestling as the Hart Foundation, take on Luger and Bigelow. How about Diesel/Davey Boy? Jarrett/Savio? Backlund/Lawler? Undertaker and the Bomb? It's a real show - it's Survivor Series '94!

X - 1994

The Rumble is here.

Wrestlemania X – 1994 MSG
(Dark – Diesel/Waltman d. Smoking Gunns)

Gorilla is back on the announce, JR gets fired after the Rumble, so Gorilla/Cornette become a peculiar and not necessarily appealing, team.

As with the actual X, most of the show is unwatchable. We keep the matches short, do clip packages of the first 9 WM.

Package: (we’ll play year appropriate music – say, Money for Nothing, for WM I – and we see clips of Bundy squashing Richter, Andre, the JYD, Orndorff pinning Hogan, Tito and Beefcake celebrating, Piper and Valentine, bloody, connected with the dog collar, Steamboat holding the title belt high in the air…and a hand held shot of the Bret/Dynamite dark match, focusing on the young, pre-pink and black, Bret Hart)

Intro Vince. Hey - it's Vince again! Vince welcomes the people, announces that X has been such a success that WM XI will return to the NY Metropolitan area next year – when it takes place in Atlantic City!

Vince also says he has a special surprise announcement, due to the importance of tonight’s world title match, the biggest match of all time, the WWF felt that it required a very special referee….so, ladies and gentlemen, making his first appearance in the World Wrestling Federation since WM IX – one of the greatest world champions of all time – Mr. Perfect!

Hennig enters, referee’s shirt on – says he’s had a long history with both Bret and Owen, and he’s here tonight to call it – right…down…the middle…

Package: (“Sledgehammer”. It’s II. Clips of the Bees, Andre pinning Bruno, Hogan beating up Mr. T, Jake covering Valentine with the Snake, Terry and Dory beating the hell out of each other, Savage throwing Elizabeth at Piper and then charging both of them with the title belt, the Dynamite Kid holding the world title belt aloft – and Bret and Davey Boy with the Hart Attack on Beefcake, getting the fall and winning the strap.

1. Yokozuna/Mabel d. Alundra Blayze/Lelani Kai
- Ten years later, they do the exact same match (see you at XX!) the fat guys squash the women. Mabel then turns heel on Yoko. Fat guy fight! Who doesn't love a fat guy fight? And bonus points for some cringy misogyny.

Package: (“The One I Love” It’s III. Andre. Martel and Tito each getting pinfalls. Hogan and Piper brawling outside the ring, Savage pinning Jake, Steamboat holding the world title aloft, and Bret and Davey Boy with the Hart Attack on Jacques, scoring another fall and retaining their titles)

2. Legend's Match: Texas Death Match: Randy Savage d. Demolition Crush
Same match they did at X, with the extra hardcore element, since Counterfactual Savage is Abdullah the Butcher by 1994. Fork. Fork. Fork. Savage and Adams are boys, so this is what Randy wanted to do to finish his run, it’s fine with me. RAW after X, we’ll do a Savage tribute show for the first hour – then have him lose a world title match to tonight's winner in the second – and that’s the last we’ll see Randy in the WWF.

Package: (“Hazy Shade of Winter” It’s IV. Demolition walking down the aisle. Andre bodyslamming Hogan, DiBiase with the million dollar dream, Davey Boy pinning Bigelow, Jacques and Ray hugging, Dynamite holding the world title belt aloft, Bret getting Savage to submit to the sharpshooter to win the IC title, and a hand held of Owen, winning his dark match. )

3. Earthquake no contest Doink
I have nothing to say about this match. Let’s not do it – let’s have Nash and Waltman beat them both down before it starts and cut a pro-Michaels promo instead. Let the Clique fans get their pop in.

Package: (“Cult of Personality” It’s V. Hogan kicks out of the Warrior's press slam pin attempt and then drops the leg. Terry Taylor brawling with Tito, DiBiase knocking out Jake, Rude with the Rude Awakening to beat Hennig, Rocker Shawn with a highspot to wipe out the Brainbusters, Savage holding the world title belt aloft, Bret – and then Owen, each dejected after a loss.)

4. Dr. Tom Pritchard d. Jimmy Del Ray
The Heavenly Bodies explode!

Package: (“Thunderstruck” It’s VI. Crush punking out Ax. Hogan dropping the leg on Dusty. Snuka splash. Tito getting the emotional win over Martel. Von Erich tornado punch. Rude Awakening on Jake to give Rude and Marty the straps, Hennig holding the world title belt aloft, multiple clips of Bret and Shawn, Bret hitting the legsweep, the mid rope elbow, and Shawn having to submit to the sharpshooter.)

5. Adam Bomb d. Bushwackers
The PPV debut (and only match) for Luke and Butch! The Bushwackers! All of these matches are like 2 minutes long. We sell the Bomb as a monster heel, winning a quick handicap match.

Package: (“Smells Like Teen Spirit” It’s VII. Hogan and Snuka embrace after their tag win, the Undertaker with the tombstone, Davey Boy with the press slam of Martel, Jacques pining Tito, the Road Warriors going nose to nose with Demolition, Hennig holding the world title aloft, Shawn dropping the elbow on Marty, and Bret getting Tenryu to submit in the sharpshooter, then holding the belt aloft)

6. Tags: Luger/Bigelow d. Rougeaus (w/Levy)
Pierre submits in Lex’s torture rack, Bigelow splashes Levy in the corner, they do whatever monster power double team move they use on Jacques – Lex and Bam Bam each win their first ever title belts – they are extra excited.

Package: (“Would” It’s VIII. Undertaker tombstoning Sid. Hogan dropping the leg on Jake. Jacques pinning Tatanka. Ted pinning Tito to keep the tag belts. Savage with the elbowdrop on Piper, Shawn and Owen trading fast multiple nearfalls, Bret getting Flair to submit to the sharpshooter, all of the Harts lifting Bret in the middle of the ring, Owen holding onto Bret as the Hit Man holds the world title aloft.)

7. IC: Ladder Match: Razor Ramon d. Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel/Waltman)
 First good match of the night. But you know, it’s worth it. Don’t need the description, they did the match. Only two alterations. One, blood. They bleed in this WWF. It’s a gimmick match – people bleed. Two, bumps for the Clique – a simple, Raazor swings the ladder and hammers Nash in the legs will be enough for him – I like a bigger bump for Waltman, say, when both Michaels and Razor are down outside the ring, with the ladder on its side in the ring, Waltman pulls the ladder out to the floor, goes to the top for a legdrop on Razor who lies outside – and Razor moves, Waltman hits nothing but floor.

Other than that – it’s the ladder match. Crowd cheers both guys, just enjoying the crazy spots – sometimes chanting Ra-zor, sometimes chanting H-B-K…Razor ends Shawn’s run at a year and a half. No post match fight, everyone’s injured – Diesel lifts both Waltman and Michaels and carries them from ringside, taking a moment to look at Razor holding the belt in the middle of the ring, Diesel shaking his head with a small smile as the Bad Guy wins his first strap.

Package: (“Hey Jealousy” It’s IX. The Headshrinkers shrug off the noggin knocker, Undertaker tombstones Yoko, Hogan submits to Backlund’s cross face chicken wing, Luger poses in mid ring, the Steiners toss Money Inc around, Shawn rolls up Hennig for the fall to retain the IC strap, Bret rolls up Razor to get the fall, then holds the world title aloft)

8. WWF Title: Owen Hart d. Bret Hart (Perfect, guest referee)
 2 years later – we have a new world champion. And this is what it’s been building to. The face/heel thing flips, allowing Owen to do some crowd pleasing highspots, Bret goes closed fist first, Bret complains about the hair pulling, Bret looks to use the ropes for leverage. Perfect teases a heel turn, but calls it down the middle. Basically, it’s their match from X, just flip the roles – ‘cept, it’s the same winner, the same way – Bret goes victory roll and Owen sits down for the flash pin. Owen still shocked like he was – crowd crazy explodes – after all, Owen’s the favorite son of the WWF, we’ve positioned him as just the best guy who ever lived for years and years – we’ve had him survive surgery and Michaels and Savage – and we’ve had the subtle, slow heel turn for Bret to set up the contrast here – and it pays off with Owen winning the strap.

Locker room empties – as now we take the actual finish to X, with Bret going over Yoko – and use it here – the Hart Family hits the ring – the faces, including a jubilant Savage, hit the ring – Hennig, who did, actually, call it right down the middle, hands the belt to Owen…big crazy pop. Hennig and Savage, longtime, bitter rivals, finally shake hands as they each stand and applaud Owen Hart. If you're a longtime Counterfactual WWF fan - and you're seeing Perfect, now gone from the WWF - and Savage, whose WWF career is just ending, putting their years and years of feuding behind them - and all because of the pride in Owen Hart's winning the WWF Championship at Madison Square Garden - I'd suggest the tears would be rolling down your cheeks.

Bret walks to Owen, the tears welling up in Owen's eyes as the two brothers stand face to face.....

Bret looks at the ring, the wrestlers, the whole Hart family celebrating -- and Bret turns and walks away. No hug. No handshake. Bret leaves.

Hennig and Savage lift Owen high in the air, Bret walking up the aisle and not turning back to look, as the show ends.

NWA from Philly. Wins for Vader, Windham, Dustin, Sting beats his former partner Cactus in a terrific brawl, the mismatched face team of Mero and Orndorff win the tags (yeah, it’s the same angle as Lex/Bigelow, get over it) Austin keeps the US over Regal, and Terry Funk gives the Philly fans a thrill by going over Flair to win the NWA World Title.

Slamboree – 1994 Philadelphia
NWA Title: Terry Funk d. Ric Flair
US Title: Steve Austin d. Steve Regal
Tags: Mero/Orndorff d. Nastys
Sting d. Cactus Jack

Kevin Sullivan d. Paul Roma
Dustin Rhodes d. Tully Blanchard
Barry Windham d. Larry Zybysko
Vader d. Armstrongs

On the road to Summer Slam in Chicago…

Matt and Jeff begin doing their shots with the company during the North Carolina shows. Okay, here's what we're doing with them. They're going to be ring boys for the Clique. Sometimes with the faces, sometimes with the heels. So, they'll come to the ring, carry their towels and their gear. They won't really be referred to in these early days, each of them with short, short hair accentuating their youth (Jeff's 16), they wear WWF t-shirts that say Ring Boys, with their names on them. After X number of shots, they'll be incorporated into tv a little bit, the heel Clique will abuse them a little bit - "shoot" style programming will show them as trainees in the "WWF Dojo" where they work with faces and heels alike, you know, learning the wrestling. Eventually, they start to work as job guys, getting in some spots, largely just putting guys over - and at house shows, or dark on TV, they'll do some crazy high spots against each other - hopefully building a following as the young guys who will throw their bodies all over the building to entertain the people.

As soon as possible, Edge (who we'll call Adam) and Christian will join them. And Matt, Jeff, Edge, Christian will grow up in front of the WWF fans as the Ring Boys.

Joey Marella dies in July.

There's no steroid trial; Vince, years ago (check previous posts) realized the danger of drug abuse, both prescription and steroids, and George Zahorian was never let anywhere near the buildings.

So...Michaels is gone this summer, he disappears after X. We meet Savio Vega, doing a low wattage babyface gimmick. No Razor/Vega “Hey, they’re Hispanic” tie in. Jarrett gets a valet – the Road Dogg. The Dogg is really a hype man, to use the rap lingo – he’s like Flava Flav or Ali’s old cornerman, Bundini Brown. White guy, dreadlocks, talking all the time – Road Dogg. The two monster heels – Adam Bomb and Mabel – continue their run – they are confronted by a new face, Prime Time Brian Lee. Lee says that he has a friend – a man by the name of the Undertaker, gone since the Royal Rumble, --- and at Summer Slam, the Dead Man will make his return to the WWF and help him bury the Bomb and Mabel once and for all.

It's now time to turn the Taker human. After you tap out, time to make the move. He does the shoot style taped interviews, unfortunately JR is gone, so he can't do them (Pettingill? Really?) he doesn't become Mark Calloway, that would be error - but he loses the trappings of the gimmick, talks about his interest in UFC ('cause shootfighter wanna be Undertaker is a better worker than zombie Undertaker) and talks about his long lost brother who he hasn't seen since he was 8 and his brother was 5 - he wouldn't even know where to start looking for him - except that they both share, right over their sternums, Woody Woodpecker tattoos that their mom got them when they were kids.

And Lex and Bigelow, babyface tag champs, dominate the division - Rougeaus and Headshrinkers feud over which team will get the title shot at Summer Slam, and that remains undecided all summer.

All that really matters is the top of the card. 2 weeks after X (‘member we did the special Savage RAW with Owen going over Savage one more time to send Savage on his way) the RAW main is Owen/Bret against Diesel and Waltman.

Owen and Bret are obviously strained – we see them in the back not talking before the match – Bret’s clearly pissed that he’s introduced first and the new champ, Owen, goes second. In the match, Bret wants to take the lead – wants to instruct Owen – tags himself in when he thinks Owen’s doing it wrong – generally plays big brother even though Owen is world champ –

Owen though is world champ, does it his way, is successful, get the fan pops, they treat Bret like a heel – to the point where when Owen gets in trouble in the face in peril segment in the tag match – Bret walks away and leaves his brother.

Owen still wins, giving him strength – he beats both Diesel and Waltman, pinning Waltman to get some revenge from their singles match earlier. Diesel and Waltman do the post match beat down of Owen…Bret doesn't return...

…save by Razor. Razor and Owen clean house – and we’re gonna do the back to back spot where the new faces who don’t like each other look like they’re gonna throw down…

They don’t – but they don’t make friends either. Hart/Clique, you know.

We’re gonna do Diesel/Razor at Summer Slam for the IC. So the run up to that will be Clique stuff. See, ‘cause they’re brothers but they’re fighting – and that’s what we sell. We’ll talk about them working together in NWA just starting out in the business, coming to the WWF together even, meeting Michaels, the three of them forming the Clique – all that kinda stuff.

Bret’s doing his bitter thing. All he’s done is given everything he has – and this is the thanks he gets. He hasn’t changed – everyone else has changed. He’s come out here every day for ten years and given everything he has – and they boo him? They cheer the Undertaker? They cheer Razor Ramon? He even heard them cheer that little bitch Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania…

What’s happened to the fans? And his family – his parents and his brothers and sisters – he’s been carrying the Stampede name all these years – he’s been carrying the Hart name all these years – and they celebrate when he loses his title? He’s the greatest WWF champion of all time – and his own family celebrates when he loses his title?

And what about his baby brother Owen. He’s spent his whole life looking out for Owen – he got Owen his job in the WWF – he looked out for him in the locker room and told everyone what a great wrestler he was – and when Owen was out three years with his ankle injury – Bret made sure that the WWF took care of him – and when Bret was here, fighting every day, beating Hennig, Savage, Michaels, Razor, Tenryu, Ricky Steamboat, Undertaker – he did it not just for himself – but for the fans, for his family, for his brother – and this is how they treat him??

That kinda thing.

Bret and Owen will do it again at Summer Slam, like they actually did – and like they actually did – they’ll do it in a steel cage – ‘cause we’ll have Bret and Owen constantly fight whenever they see each other now.

It’s brother against brother at SummerSlam '94. Call your thing!

Royal Rumble 1994

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Survivor Series is here.

Royal Rumble – 1994 Providence
(Dark – Sean Waltman d. Bob Holly)

JR gets fired at the top of February, so this is the last JR/Cornette. Thanks, Vince.

1. Smoking Gunns d. Headshrinkers
Billy! Bart! The Smoking Gunns!

2. Jeff Jarrett d. Lex Luger
Jarrett’s PPV debut is a surprise upset win over Lex, Jarrett’s cheating, and general Jarrett-ness starts to spin Lex in a face direction. Lex is clearly frustrated after the match, the announce speculates that perhaps he will need to make some type of change. Jarrett does the fargo strut. Fun!

3. Diesel d. Bam Bam Bigelow
Nash powers through the Beast from the East, remaining unbeaten. Bigelow is clearly frustrated after the match, the announce speculates that he will need to make some change.

4. Tenryu d. Mr. Backlund
A solid wrestling match, Backlund could do enough to make it worth our while to watch this one. Our Japanese xenophobia ends as Tenryu makes the face turn on the bizarre Mr. Backlund, “Young Homoguchi…Young Kanemoto…stop your flagellating and get back to learning how to crash some planes! Tojo Forever! We will love you long time! Semper Fi!”

5. No DQ: Owen Hart d. Randy Savage
 Full on brawl. Owen doesn’t hold back from the bell, it’s fists from the jump. Owen drags Savage to the outside, lays into him with chairshots – Owen hurls Savage hard into the retaining barrier – Owen pulls up the mat outside the ring – but Savage takes control and piledrives Owen on the exposed floor. That kinda thing. Randy constantly encourages Owen to hit him harder, to make him bleed, Randy still teaching at every moment. Crazy ass Randy.

At one point, Savage pulls out the fork – but Owen takes it away..and after a moment to think about it – Owen plows the fork into Savage’s head. Fork! Fork! Fork! Both guys covered in blood. Savage submits to the sharpshooter. Afterward, Owen offers Savage his hand, Randy responds by attempting a clothesline – which Owen expected, so Owen slips, and levels Savage with the enziguiri. Owen leaves in triumph, shaking his head incredulously at Savage, who, covered in blood, continues to yell encouragement to Owen, “Dig it, yeah, ridin’ the Rocketship to the title! To infinity and beyond, yeah~”

Crazy ass Randy.

6. Tags: Rougeaus (w/ Scott Levy and Ted) d. Steiners
14 months later, the run ends. Ted shows that everybody’s got a price, when Scott turns on Rick, allowing Jacques to get the fall. The "brothers" hug. Everybody hugs. Everyone gets a briefcase full of cash, and Jacques has his second tag title, with two different partners. The Steiners leave soon after, they do Scott v. Rick on RAW until their deal expires.

7. IC: Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel) d. Razor Ramon (w/Waltman)
Shawn and Razor are a good mix; HBK rolls on in his great IC run, he and Diesel cheat constantly, doubleteams, low blows, pulling the tights, feet on the ropes. Razor continually fights back – the crowd solidly with him – finish comes when Razor hits the Edge and has the fall – but Diesel distracts the official – Waltman runs in…here comes the Kid – and climbs to the top and hits the legdrop on Razor. Goddamn Kid. Heel turn. Michaels rolls atop Razor for the win.

Diesel goes underneath the ring and emerges with a ladder. They set it up in the middle of the ring – the crowd startled – they’ve never seen a ladder in a wrestling ring before – Michaels climbs to the top – and to the astonishment of the people (recall, it was Shawn at Summer Slam a year and a half before who debuted the table bump) comes down on Razor with the elbowdrop. The place goes ballistic – they saw the crazy Owen/Savage – they saw Scott turn on Rick – they just saw Waltman join the Clique – and now Michaels has jumped off a freaking ladder in the middle of the ring. The Clique celebrates – Waltman now is the guy he is, a complete punk, kissing up to the cool guys and mocking Razor. All three guys pull out toothpicks and shower them atop Ramon. Pose. Handsigns.

8. WWF Title: Bret Hart d. Undertaker
This is a good fucking show. Undertaker is favored, I’d say, 60/40 by the crowd, frustrating Bret – who also is frustrated by his inability to hurt the dead guy, who, as of yet, in 3 years, has known no fear and shown no pain. Bret does the rough stuff and gets booed – gets booed when he goes closed fist – gets booed when he does the suicide dive to the outside. But note, this is a great match, the Undertaker’s first good match ever – as this marks the transition from the early Undertaker zombie matches – to the middle Undertaker brawling matches. So the dead guy’s willing to mix it up with Bret outside – no more methodical Undertaker, he’s all over Bret, which whips the crowd into even more of a frenzy as they know this is the spot when Hennig lost and they can smell the title change. They do a table bump, Undertaker chokeslamming Bret through the Spanish announce, giving the crowd another reason to lose their minds.

Bret. Clean. Sharpshooter submission. That’s right. Not only does Bret end the unbeaten streak, which is thing enough – but Bret makes the impervious dead man submit clean right in the middle of the ring – and that’s the most shocking result of the entire evening.

Bret stands in ring and holds the belt up defiantly – that’s what it is – ‘cause in his mind, any cheer for anyone but him is a slight to his ability – part of the crowd is crazyrabid – ‘cause Counterfactual WWF's core audience loves Bret and would have hated the idea of switching to the Undertaker – but the masses were all about the dead guy – and so we have some folks booing, some folks in shock, some folks rabid, hopefully everyone respecting that we just took a guy unhurt for 3 straight years and had him tap out to the world champion. Defiance by the Hit Man as he holds the belt for 2 straight years. Defiance.

Think people are ready for Wrestlemania X?

They will be.

At the NWA PPV, Harlem Heat get a win, as does DDP. Dustin beats Orndorff. Vader beats Rude. Regal over Mero, the new tag champs – unfortunately – are the Nasty Boys, who go over Sting and Foley when Mick turns all Cactus Jack all over Sting. In the big angle, the Horsemen split in half – see, AA wanted a title shot (the show’s in Georgia) but Flair wouldn’t give him one – Pillman sided with Arn, the two of them turning face. But the heels go over – Austin keeping the US over Pillman – and Flair keeping the big belt over AA. Good fucking show.

Superbrawl – 1994 Albany, GA
NWA Title: Ric Flair d. Arn Anderson
US Title: Steve Austin d. Brian Pillman
Tags: Nasty Boys d. Sting/Jack
Steve Regal d. Marc Mero

Vader d. Rick Rude
Dustin Rhodes d. Paul Orndorff
DDP d. Maxx Payne
Harlem Heat d. Steele/Garvin

On the road to X….

X is a problem in that the bottom of the actual card was bad – and they had some guys work twice, meaning that I am stretched incredibly thin. But, necessity is the mother of something…

A few weeks before X, they bring out….Lelani Kai.

Seriously. On RAW. She reminds us that X years ago, at I, US women’s wrestling in the WWF died when she, Wendi Richter, and Cindi Lauper got buried by Bundy and Studd.

But it’s been X years – and women’s wrestling is back! So, every Raw, like 2 or 3 in a row, the women put on like a 5 minute match. The week before X, it’s interrupted by a fat black guy in the aisle. He says he’s on a mission. It’s Mabel. Hi, Mabel! He says he hates women’s wrestling, and at X he’s gonna show how much he hates women’s wrestling – when he and his buddy…

..enter Yokozuna….

Destroy Lelani Kai and Alundra Blayze…just like Bundy and Studd did X years ago.

What else, the Heavenly Bodies break up. Why? Why? Why? And we’re gonna do Del Ray/Pritchard at X. Adam Bomb is terrorizing the WWF. Luger and Bigelow join together, recall each had to assess his career after the Rumble – well, they are now a face tag team – and they’ll meet the Still Fabulous Rougeaus at X.

And now the things that matter.

The Clique opens the RAW after Survivor Series. Or maybe a couple of weeks later, without Razor appearing yet, to give him a chance to sell the ladder bump. HBK, Diesel, Waltman. They bring out a ladder which Michaels sits atop once they get into the ring. They make fun of Razor, talk about how they replaced him with Waltman, he’s a better wrestler, he’s better with the fat girls, and he can’t quite drink as much as Razor can – but they’ll learn him. Michaels says he’s king of the WWF – he’s on top of the mountain – he’s been IC champ for over a year – he’s the greatest IC champ of all time – he put Owen through a table – and he jumped 20 feet off a ladder (gimmicked number, but, you know, wrestling math) and buried his elbow into Ramon – says we may never see Razor Ramon again. Waltman sticks out his tongue – it’s too soon for crotch chops – but you can tell he’s thinking about it.

From the crowd – Razor – ribs heavily taped up suddenly enters and knocks over the ladder – Michaels takes the enormous spill all the way to the outside – which is the biggest bump in company history at this point – it all happened so fast the crowd is completely shocked – Diesel and Waltman sell the shock – as if Razor’s gone too far – they bail out of the ring – Michaels is bleeding heavily – Diesel and Waltman carry him from ringside…

Razor: Hey, yo. Hey Se-xy Boy. You like to play with ladders? No-body swings the wood…like the Bad Guy, Chico. At Wrestlmania X – you and me – In-ter-cont-in-ental Title….Ladder Match!

No one knows what he means, of course, but they explain it between now and Mania.

So, they keep selling Razor v. the Clique – neither Diesel or Waltman has a match at X, so they stay in the angle - they do an injury thing with Waltman, to move him aside a bit, have Razor beat him in a singles then toss him into a ladder with an Edge. They take half an hour out of every WWF show and do Clique talk – lots of smirking, laughing at the other side – lot of ladder stuff. I think it's probably time to start selling a special section of the arena for Clique fans. We sell the Clique as like brothers – broken up – and headed for the ultimate showdown at the crazy gimmick match at X.

At the top – Bret will promo at the end of that first RAW after the Rumble. Huge mixed reaction – Bret does his thing – says he’s beaten every man in the company – says he’s appeared at every WM – says he’s headlined 3 WM – says he’s going to X, the biggest show of all time, as the WWF Champion for a record 2 straight years – says there’s no man in the world who can beat him – he challenges anyone in the back, anyone in the back who has the heart….

...Anyone who has the heart to stand in front of him in the biggest match of all time to try to take his belt….

Pomp and Circumstance.

Bandaged up Savage enters – stops in the aisle.

Bret says okay – it’s a rematch from Wrestlemania V – and while Randy, lets be honest, says Bret, isn’t the wrestler he was a couple of years ago – Bret will accept the challenge and defend his title against the former WWF champion.

Randy says nope. His day is past – he’ll wrestle in the legends match at X (which will be against Crush, hopefully with Smash and Ax in his corner) yeah, since he is the true legend of the WWF – but there is someone in the back who Bret’s never beat….

…there is someone in the back who Randy thinks is ready to be champion…

…there is someone in the back who has the “heart”, ooh, yeah, to go toe to toe with Bret in the biggest match at the biggest show in the history of this sport…..

Owen Hart.

Hit Owen’s music – Owen to the ring – Owen and Bret go nose to nose.

Bret shakes his head – calls him little brother, tells him he knows how talented Owen is – he knows Owen is a great young wrestler, he knows Owen will one day will be WWF champion – but that day won’t be at WM X.

Owen says the best day of his life wasn’t 6 years ago when he debuted in the WWF, wasn’t a year and a half ago when he beat Shawn Michaels for the IC title, wasn’t last night when he earned the respect of the legend of the WWF Randy Savage – the best night of his life was 10 years ago, in 1985, when he sat in the crowd at Madison Square Garden and watched his brother, his hero, Bret Hart, wrestle a dark match before WM I against the Dynamite Kid. It was really the first match in the history of WM – and there was his brother Bret.

That was the best day of his life.

Until WM X. Because at WM X – at WM X in Madison Square Garden, in the biggest match on the biggest night in the history of wrestling – at WM X, for one perfect night, Owen Hart will be the best there was, the best there is, the best there ever will be….

This doesn’t sit well with Bret.

They jaw, the crowd screams, finally Bret accepts.

They build by having them wrestle the same guys or the same types of guys, say, in one week, Bret beats Jarrett – the next week, Owen beats him. In one week Bret beats a garbage wrestler, then a tag team, then a junior, then a monster. Owen does the same. They have taped interviews with everyone in the company picking the winner – they do all the Calgary stuff – I want tapes, home movies, I want interviews with every Hart – half an hour of every WWF show between the Rumble and X is geared toward this match with the constant question being – who is really the better man?

--- so at X, we’ll have HBK/Razor climbing the ladder and Owen/Bret for the strap. Brother against Brother. Wrestlemania X is a house divided.

It’s Wrestlemania X after all; it's a Counterfactual, but I’m not stupid.

Survivor Series 1993

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Summer Slam is here.

Survivor Series – 1993 Boston

JR and Cornette on the announce.

(Dark – Mr. Backlund d. Mike Rotundo)

Promo by the Undertaker.

Yeah, it’s his first promo. “Three years ago, the most dominant force in professional wrestling history began his destructive rampage across the WWF. Many have asked, ‘Undertaker, what do you want…Undertaker…why are you here’…

Tonight…all will be revealed.”

Lights off. He disappears.

1. Heavenly Bodies d. Headshrinkers
-The Gigolo! The Doctor of Style! After the match. Lights. Bong. Bong. Lights on…Undertaker in the ring. Chokeslams all around. Big pop.

2. Diesel (w/Razor) d. Keith Hart/Bruce Hart
-Destruction. Utter destruction. Owen attempts to save – but Savage attacks him in the aisle – yelling “stay focused!” as he pounds Owen in the aisle. The fans chant for Bret…he doesn’t appear. Keith and Bruce are stretchered out. Nash yells “that’s one”…Razor, “no, Chico – two.” Nash..”yeah, but between ‘em they only add up to one. Hey, Bret – thanks for the meat!”

3. Bam Bam Bigelow d. Jacques Rougeau
-Bigelow gets another face win. Lights. Bong. Bong. Lights on. Undertaker in the ring. Chokeslams all around. Big pop. What is this message the Undertaker is trying to send?

4. Razor Ramon (w/Diesel) d. Marty Jannetty
-More destruction. Another stretcher job. The Clique just be burying motherfuckers. Razor, “now, that’s two.” Nash, “one more to go – we got a stretcher all picked out for you Lightning.” Much smirking.

5. Owen Hart d. Randy Savage (DQ)
Savage with the closed fists, the low blows, pulling the tights – everything from the playbook – eventually Owen goes closed fists too, Owen takes the fight outside – hey, Owen’s learning…maybe Randy’s not crazy…

Then Randy pulls out the fork. Fork. Fork. Fork. Randy carves up Owen’s forehead – the crowd turns on him, the announce turns on him – Randy has that Randy look, he ignores the officials and Fork, Fork, Fork into Owen’s head. DQ. Blood spurting everywhere – Randy eventually backs away, crazed look in his eye – “You gotta learn, Rocket…You gotta learn! I love you, Owen! Yeah! I love you so hard, Dig it! You gotta learn! Oooooh, Yeah!”

Bret…nowhere to be seen.

6. Tags: Steiners d. Rock n Roll Express (w/Ted)
Ricky and Robert were shot by now, but they would take the suplexes long enough for it to be a good match. Same gimmick, Ted has the briefcase – Cornette salivates over it at the announce, talking finder's fee– Ted’s ready to pay off – but the Steiners keep again and have held the straps for a full year. Lights. Bong. Bong. Lights on. Chokeslams to the Express and DiBiase - The Steiners start woofing, the unbeaten tag team champions….Chokeslam! Chokeslam! The Undertaker has left ‘em laying here at Survivor Series ’93 – the three year anniversary of his entrance – what is it that is driving the Dead Man? Why is the Dead Man doing this? What does the Undertaker want??????

7. IC: Shawn Michaels (w/Razor and Diesel) d. The Lightning Kid Sean Waltman
Michaels keeps A terrific match, Waltman bringing the high flying, Michaels matching him the best he can. Diesel gets involved once or twice on the outside with a couple of shots in at Waltman – how can the kid compete…how can any of us compete against the mighty Clique?

Superkick, elbowdrop. Pinfall. Michaels’s dominance continues.

After the match – beatdown time – Diesel jackknife. Razor holds Waltman up for the Edge….

Then he puts him down.

Michaels and Diesel do the “do it, do it – what’s going on with you - do it..” Razor holds him up again….again, puts the beaten Waltman down. That’s it for the Clique – Diesel grabs Waltman, looking to powerbomb him out of the ring – Razor stops him – Razor fights off Diesel – Razor fights off Michaels – the Clique gains command with the double team – but then Waltman fights back with Razor – the two of them knock Diesel/Michaels over the top rope to the outside.

We have a face turn. Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.

8. WWF Title: Bret Hart d. Lex Luger
Not really in doubt, obviously. Sharpshooter. Submission. Bret’s tied Hennig’s mark, and raises the belt high in the air.

Lights. You gotsta be feeling this one. Bong. Bong.

Lights on. Undertaker in the ring.

Recall, the Undertaker aided Bret – Bret shook his hand – that’s how the Dead Guy turned face in the Yoko program.

Now, they stand face to face, Bret, obviously, doesn’t back down…

And the Undertaker makes the motion that he wants the belt.

Three unbeaten years later – and the Undertaker wants the belt…

The crowd’s been kept hot all night with all the angles, and it’s been an angle heavy night – and now they freak out as the lights go back off. Back on. Undertaker gone.

Bret holds the belt high in the air as the show ends.

The year ends with Starrcade. Terry Taylor returns to the NWA and gets a win over the Boss Man, who also returned. Rude, now a face, gets a win. Vader beats Orndorff. Regal beats Dustin again. Sting and Foley keep. Austin, recall, now a member of the Horsemen, takes the US from 2 Cold. And Flair keeps over Steamboat.

Starrcade – 1993 Charlotte
NWA Title: Ric Flair d. Ricky Steamboat
US Title: Steve Austin d. 2 Cold Scorpio
Tags: Sting/Jack d. Nasty Boys
Steve Regal d. Dustin Rhodes

Vader d. Paul Orndorff
Rick Rude d. Mark Bagwell
Terry Taylor d. Bubba Rogers
Paul Roma/Maxx Payne d. Godwinns

On the road to the Rumble, we meet Jeff Jarrett, who gets a couple of wins as a southern heel. No guitar. No singing. They do Jarrett/Luger at the PPV

Mr. Backlund does his Mr. Backlund thing, turning his crazy “I hate America today” rants into a “I hate Japan today too.” It’s a “Back in the Great War, under Tojo, under Emperor Hir-o-hi-to, the Japanese man was a courageous man! The Japanese man understood sacrifice and marksmanship and the proper place of a woman in society! I used to wish that Japan had won the war! I used to think that if Japan had won the war, then we wouldn’t be such a sissified, Oprah loving people today! But now I see that the Japanese man is no better than the White man. Today, in Japan, the average man spends 11 hours a day playing video games and watching cartoons, and looking at pornographic magazines, and flagellating his Japanese organ in a very degrading way! Would Tojo flagellate himself while watching cartoons! Is that what the great Japanese comical-kaze pilots died for?”

Backlund will go over Yoko, hitting him with the Japanese flag – serving to turn Yoko face. We’ll do Backlund and a returning, face turning Tenryu at the Rumble. We love the Japanese man!

Savage tells the people he carved Owen up for his own good. Randy gets a mostly heel reaction, but not entirely. Savage promos on Owen, showing clips of Owen’s debut when he was called the next great wrestler, the best Hart of all – then shows Owen getting taken out by Hennig – shows Owen losing at V to Martel. Savage shows the clips of Owen/Shawn, when they were seen as equals – then shows Shawn now becoming the top heel in the company – now holding the IC title for a year – and shows Owen getting wiped out by Razor, by Yoko, by Savage.

Savage’s point clear – Owen’s just too soft. And if Savage has to take a fork to him again and again and again to prove it – he’s gonna prove it.

Owen attacks – Owen and Savage brawl – they’ll meet at the Rumble in a No DQ match.

Ted, still eager to take out the Steiners, is hounded by a young man named Scott Levy, who some feel would look good in a flannel shirt, Scott says he’s the man with the plan – that he’s put together a tag team and a plan to win the titles at the Rumble. The team is Still Fabulous Rougeau Brothers – the former tag team champion, Jacques Rougeau with Pierre Rougeau, no one really thinks Pierre is a Rougeau, but Scotty says of course they are, if they weren't brothers, why would they do this, and then they hug and hug. Good stuff – they go over the Smoking Gunns and get their title shot.

And the two big angles. We open RAW after SSeries with promos from Shawn/Diesel and Razor/Waltman. Shawn/Diesel do a “you broke up the family, Razor, the three of us were brothers – all the hours we’d sit in the back, watching Ric Flair or Bret Hart – talking about when our time would come – when we’d be headlining wrestlemanias – when we’d be wearing world title gold around our waist – when we’d be picking up fat chicks at the hotel bar, two and three at a time –

“well, we’ve already done that”

“but you gave all that up, Razor, you gave all that up because of some punk kid – because of Sean Waltman – you gave all that up because you had a soft spot for some cruiserweight..”

“or maybe that’s a hard spot – huh, Razor? The fat chicks weren’t enough, you had to go out and get yourself a bitch?”

That kinda thing.

Waltman and Razor would enter – Razor doing a “Hey, yo. You think it about the Kid? It ain’t a-bout the Kid, Chico. It…about….me. Maybe you missed the memo, Se-xy Boy – but I am Ra-zor Ra-mon. I ain’t your flunky, H-B-K – and I sure…as hell….ain’t yours, Big Mang. I did not come to the W..W..F to be friends, I did not come to the W…W…F…to hang out at the bar af-ter the show (that’s more of a joke for the boys, even when they’re on opposite sides, you know, the jokes) I the W…W…F, for on-ly one rea-son….be-cause the Bad Guy, Ra-zor Ra-mon…he – like – gold, Chico.

And Se-xy Boy…at the Roy-al Rum-ble…the Bad Guy is gonna take…your gold.”

Like that.

Then Bret comes out to the top of the aisle and smirks at all of them – in the way that the Clique did to he and Hennig. Bret takes credit for the breakup – Bret shows clips of how happy the Clique used to be – lots of man on man hugging shots – some sad music as they show the breakup from Survivor Series. Bret laughs – saying it’s tough to see boyfriends fight, particularly when none of them will ever get what they all really want – the WWF Championship that for a year and a half has been around the waist of the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be – so they can bicker, they can squabble, they can kill each other or kiss each other, he doesn’t really care – all he knows is at the Royal Rumble, he’s going to defend the WWF Title and break Mr. Perfect’s record – and he’s going to WM X as WWF Champion for two full years. Lights. Bong. Bong.

That kinda thing.

They do a Razor/Diesel single at some point, non finish. They build to a tag before the Rumble – give Razor a pin over Michaels – but the Clique does the beatdown. Razor/Michaels for the IC at the Rumble. Diesel’s gonna work a single against Bigelow.

And the main…lot of Undertaker stuff – over 3 years unbeaten, lots of highlight packages of all the guys he’s destroyed – it’s a lot of guys – he’s never been pinned, never been hurt – he’s unbeatable…all that stuff. Undertaker will do another promo, he’s the reaper of wayward souls, he’s the avenger of those who have gone before, where was Andre the Giant’s title shot? Where was Hulk Hogan’s rematch? For every big man who has toiled in the darkness of the WWF for the past ten years, it’s time for vengeance – the belt belongs to all of them – and the Undertaker, the phenom, is going to make sure they inherit the gold at the Royal Rumble (see what I did there? It’s the big man as marginalized minority. It’s a counterfactual!) – the Undertaker will be the man to go to Madison Square Garden, at Wrestlemania X, as the WWF Heavyweight Champion of the World. It’s total face/face stuff with he and Bret – no turn, but probably, at this point – the fans lean Undertaker strong over Bret, for all the reasons earlier discussed – and that would piss Bret off to no end. We’ll do one physical confrontation on the RAW before the Rumble – Undertaker will go over, say Luger, Bret will come out – they’ll do the nose to nose – Bret will be the one who attacks – Bret punching – and the dead guy lays him out – chokeslam…tombstone…Bret left laying in the ring – Undertaker stands over, making the motion for the belt – what’s gonna happen at the Royal Rumble? What’s gonna happen at Wrestlemania X??

I’m feelin’ me all of these angles. With the Clique thing, the Bret/UT thing, and Owen/Savage – I’m saving the company during its worst period financially. They love me – I’m gonna get to marry the Princess. Hot little Stephanie, I wouldn’t make her get all that plastic surgery, hell no, just back that thang up and let me do my drrrty bidness.

Or not.

It's Royal Rumble '94. Bret/Undertaker for the strap. Michaels/Razor for the IC. Steiners/Rougeaus for the tags. Another Owen/Savage. Tenryu/Backlund. Diesel/Bigelow. Luger/Jarrett. Good god you gotsta call your cable company!

Summer Slam 1993

IX is here.

Summerslam -1993 Detroit
They yanked JR here for Vince, that won't happen obviously - and Bobby's left the Counterfactual - meaning that this is the debut of the new permanent WWF announce team, JR, who began at IX, and on color -- Jim Cornette. It's a significant upgrade.

(Dark – Diesel d. Backlund)

1. Smoking Gunns d. Money Inc.
Billy! Bart! The Smoking Gunns!

2. Undertaker d. Jerry Lawler.
Chokeslam. Tombstone. Multiple Tombstones. Undertaker is more dominant than ever! Nearly 3 full years after entering – the Undertaker not only is still unbeaten, he’s never been challenged. The “Un-Der-Take-Er” chants go up across the arena – and the announce calls him the most dominant wrestler…perhaps ever.

3. Bam Bam Bigelow d. Ludwig Borga
Just, you know, ‘cause. That’s it for Borga. Back to Helsinki

4. The Total Package Lex Luger d. Marty Jannetty
-Lex Luger is the Total Package!

5. IC #1 Contender: The Lightning Kid Sean Waltman d. Owen Hart (w/Savage)
Whoa. In the back, we see the Clique watching the ring intro. of Waltman – Diesel asks Razor if they should go punk him out before or after the match – Razor convinces them to leave him alone. Waltman with the huge upset – he’s beaten Razor and Owen and will face the Michaels/Hennig winner tomorrow night on RAW for the IC. A terrific match, Owen breaking out some of the old high flying spots. Waltman beats him clean. Owen and Waltman shake hands after the match, Savage pulls Owen away, telling him he’s lost – he can’t just accept it like that. Savage knocks Waltman down with a right hand – drawing some heel heat – Savage tells Owen that’s how you have to do it – Owen asks Savage to leave the kid alone – Savage knocks Owen down with a right hand. Owen hops up – doesn’t retaliate – tells Savage to calm down and they should leave the ring – Savage knocks Owen down again – then knocks Waltman down again and starts putting the boots to Waltman.

(Recall, Owen and Savage have been training partners most of the year, also recall, Bret and Savage have had a longstanding relationship, read earlier years for the backstory)

Now’s where it gets confusing. Enter Ramon (Razor's been beating Waltman up since Waltman upset him on RAW - but now Razor's developing respect for him) Razor fights Savage off of Waltman – making a face save (even though Savage is a face and Razor is a heel, got it?) as he goes after Savage – Savage is protected – by Owen – who is also making a face save – he beats down Razor ('cause even though Savage just popped Owen, Owen knows it's just Randy being Randy) save by Michaels and Diesel (heels, coming in to save Razor) in comes Bret and Hennig – and a full on brawl breaks out (faces, obviously - except recall Hennig and Savage have a longstanding war that continued even at the Number One Contender's Battle Royal) with the fans somewhat unclear whom is the right side to root for.

In the midst – Michaels superkicks Waltman – who was fighting on the side of the Clique even though he’s a face. Razor gets in Shawn’s face – and Diesel works quickly to get between them and walk them both back to the locker room, calming them down. Hennig gets between Savage and Owen, calming them down, until Savage attacks Hennig, and it's Owen who has to play peacemaker.

Bret, standing outside all of this now, surveys the entire post brawl scene and shakes his head, as if in comment on the ridiculousness of the entire spectacle, working his way back to the locker room.

Later, we see Savage convince Owen that they have to leave the arena - Owen wants to stay for Bret's match, Owen wants to stay for Hennig's match -- but Savage says Owen has to look out for himself now, if he's ever gonna take the next step, he needs to think about himself.

Owen reluctantly leaves.

6. Tags: Steiners d. Headshrinkers (w/Yoko)
Ted’s got the briefcase, recall the angle is that he'll give a hundred grand to whomever can take the straps from the Steiners. But they don't, so DiBiase snaps the case shut and leave.

7. IC: Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel and Razor) d. Curt Hennig
Michaels cleanly and definitively. Kicks out of the perfectplex. Elbowdrop. Elbowdrop. Goes for the fall – and then pulls Hennig up he doesn’t want to pin him yet– Michaels refuses the pinfall until he can hit a third elbowdrop – 1,2,3. Diesel enters, jackknife. Razor enters. Edge. And that’s it for Curt.

He’s motionless for a minute or two as The Clique celebrates – and slowly, after they’re gone – leaves the ring while the video screen plays a highlight package of his career. We say goodbye to Mr. Perfect.

8. WWF Title: Bret Hart d. Razor Ramon (w/Diesel and Shawn)
Another terrific match, Bret keeps. Bret gets jackknifed, Bret gets superkicked – Razor hits the Edge – but Bret fights off the heels by himself, as Owen, Savage, and now Hennig are gone – and Bret gets the sharpshooter submission win.

An exhausted Bret, now a full year and a half as WWF Champion, raises the belt high as the show ends. Bret’s withstood the full onslaught of the Clique by himself and beaten Razor again.

The next month is the NWA PPV. The Nasty Boys debut, going over the young tag team Harlem Heat. Sid returns with a win. Davey Boy beats Orndorff again. Regal debuts going over Dustin. There’s a white hot tag title with Foley/Sting teaming up and taking from the Horsemen, Arn and Rude. 2 Cold regains the US Title (Funky! Funky!) over Steamboat. And in the big NWA Title match, Ric Flair once again wins the big strap, going over Vader – and the Horsemen stand on top of the mountain – the next night – Arn and Rude take on Austin and Pillman – and Arn turns on Rick – Arn, Austin, Pillman, and Flair take him out, Arn and Flair turning heel to join the dastardly Blonds, to form the new Four Horsemen.

Fall Brawl – 1993 Houston
NWA Title: Ric Flair d. Vader
US Title: 2 Cold Scorpio d. Ricky Steamboat
Tags: Sting/Jack d. AA/Rude
Steve Regal d. Dustin Rhodes

Davey Boy Smith d. Paul Orndorff
Mark Bagwell d. Paul Roma
Sid d. Ice Train
Nasty Boys d. Harlem Heat

Eastern Championship Wrestling out of Philadelphia debuts in ’93 and its biggest show to date comes next.  Mr. Hughes works. Taz beats the Anvil. Dreamer gets a win. The tag belts belong to Public Enemy. The Sandman wins the TV title – and Sabu keeps the ECW Title.  The parallel between the opening match and the opener of Mania I is intentional.

November To Remember – 1993 Philadelphia
ECW Title: Sabu d. Kevin Sullivan
TV Title: Sandman d. Tery Funk
Tags: Public Enemy d. Suicide Blondes
Tommy Dreamer d. Road Warrior Hawk

Taz d. Jim Neidhart
Mr. Hughes d. Johnny Gunn
Ian/Axl Rotten d. Orient Express
King Kong Bundy v. Sheri Martel

RAW after Summer Slam begins with Bret.

The storyline now is that Bret is besieged on all sides. Uneasy is the head who wears the crown. I’d like the fans to reflect that a little bit. Maybe some dislike Bret because of how he treated Davey Boy a couple of years ago when he came back and apologized and it took Bret so long to accept. Maybe some don’t like how his relationship with Owen is strained – remember his not coming to help him at the Summer Slam at Wembley, and Owen then leaving at Summer Slam – or how Bret's not really a part of the current Owen/Savage dynamic – or how Bret has left Hennig to be buried by the Clique twice.

Some people will like the Clique, of course. They’re cool. They mitigate against that by doing the Razor tension inside the group over Waltman, but some people will be wearing Clique t-shirts.

Some people will just be tired of Bret – he’s been on top along time.

And some people would like to see the Undertaker get a shot. Unbeaten for 3 years, squashing everyone in his path. I’m guessing.

And that fan dynamic should mirror the dynamic in the storyline, as Bret stands alone in the ring. Relevant clips play over this, intercutting with Bret. Proud, dominant, everpresent Bret Hart.

Bret: I’ve been coming out here, I’ve been coming out to this ring for ten years, and I’ve been telling you fans that I’m the Best there is, Best there was, Best there ever will be. And I’ve been telling you that because it’s the truth. I’ve been telling you that because I was one half of the Hart Foundation, I was tag team champion for a year and a half, longer than any other team in WWF history -- the British Bulldog and the Hit Man were the best tag team there ever was

I’ve been coming out here, I’ve been coming out to this ring for ten years, and I’ve been telling you fans that I’m the best there is, best there was, best there ever will be. And I’ve been telling you that because it’s the truth. I’ve been telling you that because I was the 2 time intercontinental champion, I was intercontinental champion for a year and a half straight, I was the longest running intercontinental champion of all time – I was the best intercontinental champion there ever will be.

(Bret gets angrier, he's a man constantly fighting, constantly fighting to keep his spot, and now we see the wear)

I’ve been coming out here, I’ve been coming out to this ring for ten years, and I’ve been telling you fans that I’m the best there is, best there was, best there ever will be. And I’ve been telling you that because it’s the truth, I’ve been telling you that because I am the WWF Heavyweight Champion of the World – I have been the WWf heavyweight champion of the world for a year and a half – when I go to Survivor Series in Boston and defend my championship – I will tie Mr. Perfect as the longest running WWF champion since we started Pay per View – and when I win at Survivor Series, I will break his record as the longest running WWF Champion – and then I am going to go to Madison Square Garden, to Wrestlemania X, the the greatest sporting event of all time – and I will go there the WWF Champion for 2 years, and prove to every one of you fans that I am exactly what I have always said I am: I am the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.

What else is going on….Shawn defends that night in the main against Waltman, who won the tournament. Waltman wins by DQ when he’s about the get the fall – but Diesel interferes. Diesel’s going to jackknife – but he’s stopped by Razor. Razor just likes the little guy is all – Razor and Diesel have words – and Michaels breaks it up.

Marty cuts his first promo in years. Does a "remember me?" take. 3 time tag champ? Anyone? While Shawn Michaels gets to dance and strut out here very week - I'm stuck at the bottom of the card. I beat Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania! Where's my title shot! What about me? What about Marty!

Razor enters, cuts a withering promo on Marty - says he can get a shot - if he can beat the Bad Guy at Survivor Series.

Because of the screwjob, they'll do a Waltman/Michaels for the IC at Survivor Series in Boston.

Randy/Owen do more taped pieces. The story is Randy is trying to toughen him up – Owen knows how to wrestle, but is he ruthless enough to be Champion? This largely involves Randy trying to get Owen to cheat, to fight, to do anything to win. No respect, no sportsmanship, just winning. We can be split here, some fans thinking this is good, we like Randy, Randy’s been world champion – Randy’s helping Owen the way Bret should be – but Bret only thinks about keeping his title – which, hey, wait a minute, is who Randy’s teaching Owen to be like. Crazy world. Randy shows a tape of Summer Slam 92 to Owen – he sees Bret with Davey Boy in the sharpshooter, he sees that Bret could release the hold to prevent Michaels from sending him through the Spanish announce table – he sees that Bret doesn’t do it.

Is Randy right – or is Randy you know, not hooked up right – Randy’s acting like a heel, saying it’s for Owen’s own good. Looking for a split crowd here. At some point – Owen will lose a match – say to Razor – when he’s distracted by a shot on the video wall of Michaels and Diesel punking Bret out. Randy enters and slaps Owen around and says the only way he can teach him a lesson – is to take him to Macho Man Survivor Series. Oooh, yeah…

Ted makes a deal with Jim Cornette to bring in teams from Smoky Mountain, the Heavenly Bodies and the veterans, the Rock and Roll Express, to try to take out the Steiners. The two teams meet – and it’s Morton and Gibson who go over – and Ted will manage them in their attempt to win the straps – and the hundred grand – at SSeries.

After being jumped by the Clique, and finding himself without aid, since Hennig is gone and Savage and Owen are locked in their thing – Bret gets reinforcements – he’s attacked during RAW by Diesel the week before Survivor Series – and he’s saved by..Bruce and Keith! The other Hart brothers show up in the WWF – the two of them are able to knock Diesel down and drive him back.

Your number one contender – the Total Package. Luger beats all the monsters – Bigelow, Crush, Yoko, Borga – and is named the opponent for Bret at Survivor Series. Besides Lex being Lex – who we’ll sell here is Sting. Lex and Sting are buddies, Sting invented the Scorpion Death Lock and Bret stole it and calls it the Sharpshooter. Bret says he’s the best – but the real best is Lex and his best friend Sting. Sting’s not coming, obviously, so there’s some risk here – but it’s more interesting than anything else they can do with Lex.

It's Survivor Series '93 - Bret defends against Lex, Shawn against Waltman, the Steiners meet the Rock and Roll Express, Owen Hart v. Randy Savage, Razor Ramon v. Marty Jannetty, Diesel takes on Keith and Bruce in a handicap - call your cable company!!

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