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.

X - 1994

Saturday, January 28, 2006

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!

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