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.

Survivor Series 1998

Monday, February 27, 2006

Summer Slam was here.

Survivor Series – 1998 St. Louis
JRs Bells Palsy flares up again and that's a good opportunity to shake things up - so this will be Cornette's last event, our last JR/Cornette show.

(Dark – Taka/Togo/Teioh d. Del Santo/Aguila/Crazy)
-The KDX feud continued - when one RAW they were attacked by the new Mexican contingent as Super Astros had begun. So, we’re getting a Japan/Mexico thing on TV, unfortunately, not on PPV. Super Crazy is wearing a mask, and will continue to do so in his US appearances, both because it's gonna pay off in 7 1/2 years and because, well, Crazy's not the best looking dude.

1. Hardy Boys (w/E and C) d. Lawler/Taylor (w/Jerry)
Again, that's Too Cool, young Lawler and Scotty (w/o worm, for the love of god, w/o worm) Matt and Jeff take the mic after the match, thanking the fans for all their help in getting them on their first ever PPV. They’re a little misty, the fans appreciate it – do a “Let them Play” chant – Edge and Christian take the mic from them, do some jokes – say, maybe next time, since they’re the ones who, I don’t know, retired Vader, maybe they can get back on PPV too. It’s not exactly appropriate as it cuts into the nice moment between the Hardys and the fans. There’s just something about that Edge and Christian….The next night, the Hardys are still setting up the ring, cleaning the ropes, E and C tell the Hardys that this is goofy, they won a pay per view match, it’s not like retiring Vader – but it’s good, what the hell are they still doing setting up the ring?

Hardys are keeping it real. Staying true to their roots. They made an agreement and they’re gonna keep it. Good kids, those Hardys. Trish is seated up in the WWF employees box, we see her clapping for the Hardys everytime they appear. We see occasional shots of Trish and Jeff nervously talking backstage during weekly shows.

2. Southern Man Jeff Jarrett d. Bart Gunn
- Same bit. Figure four. Won’t break hold. Bart's helped to the back.. The Southern Man kills careers. Jarrett's taken out Savio, taken out Mero, taken out Bart, as this will wrap him up. He and Dustin wave the Rebel Flag. They taunt you! They taunt you and your bourgeois values. They are Southern Men! Watch your head!!

3. The Abolitionist Ulysess S. Morley d. Southern Man Dustin Rhodes (DQ)
Morley’s got Dustin beat after Liberation Falls when Jarrett dives in with the flag. Jarrett draws the DQ – beating up Morley with the flag – Morley recovers, taking the flag from Jarrett and beating up both men with it. Morley tosses the Confederate flag at them in scorn and grabs a microphone, "Hey, Southern Men - maybe you didn't notice - but this is the United States of America - and if you're going to bring a flag out to the ring - how about you make it red, white, and blue?"

Sure is a lot of flag business. Seems like we might be going somewhere with that.

4. Al Snow (w/Head) d. Undertaker
“I want to tell you a story St. Louis – it’s a story about a man who returned from Barbed Wire City, a man who came back to the old neighborhood and expected to be treated with the veteran respect he deserves – and that man WAS IGNORED IN THE LOCKER ROOM BY THE UNDERTAKER!! THE UNDERTAKER BLEW ME OFF AND NOW I’M GOING TO BLOW HIM……………….…AWAY…Blow Him Away. That’s what it will be. I will blow you away, Dead Man. Woooooosh!”

Undertaker dominates, beats the hell out of Al, Al gets in largely token offense, but his job is to take the beating – but he earns the Dead Man’s respect by not getting pinned – and by battling back he gets the crowd somewhat on his side. Al works most of the match looking for the hot tag to head, finally he makes the tag.....but in what is a suprise only to Al - Head remains on the apron.

Eventually, the Taker hits the chokeslam – but when he goes to pick Al up for the tombstone – Al rolls him up for the fluke win.

Both men are shocked. Al, bloody, staggers over to the top buckle to throw a victorious hand in the air – and then do his customary moonsault to the canvas.

Crazy ass Al.

Al hugs Head, muttering about "tough love" and gutty veteran leadership that Head showed out there. Al shakes Head. Ideally, fans would also.

5. Sean Waltman (w/HHH) d. 2 Cold Scorpio (w/ Big Markie)
Workrate. Waltman goes over clean, Hunter taking out Henry with the Pedigree. Waltman wins with the X Factor. Following the match, Waltman and Helmsley move to the announce, where they help call the tag title.

6. Tags: Nation d. New Age Outlaws
Rock and DLo keep, their second run goes on. Hunter gets hot during the match, “Jim Ross, I am sick to death of not getting what is rightfully mine around this place. I ran Razor and Diesel out of the WWF. I ended Shawn Michaels’s career. Let me ask you this, Jim Ross, how many singles title shots have I ever gotten? Not a goddamn one. How many titles have I held? Look in this ring, can you honestly say that Billy Gunn is a better wrestler than I am? How many titles has Billy Gunn had here? Look at the Rock, look at that crap – can you believe the people eat this crap up, Jim Ross? I just can’t take this anymore….”

Rock wanders to Hunter at one point, grabs a headset, tells Hunter that if he watches the People’s Champion carefully, maybe takes some notes, that maybe he might learn something. Hunter and Rock start to brawl – the Outlaws get the double team on DLo and have the fall – but with the referee distracted, Waltman spinkicks Billy and X Factors the Dogg. Rock re-enters, gets the Rock Bottom on the Dogg and the fall.

The Nation leaves with their belts and the former Clique halves go full on brawl in the middle of the ring and have to be separated. Much crotch chopping.

7. IC: Steve Austin d. Steve Regal
Austin/Regal is a great in ring matchup – this is Regal’s only PPV during this run – so we’ll get an inury angle. High pitched battle that ends with the Stunner. We’ll see Regal get up during the Austin beer soaked celebration – he hits Austin with a chair – which Austin largely no sells – and Austin lays Regal out with a couple more Stunners and then pours beer on him. I kinda like a spot where we see how vicious Austin can be and still get the babyface reaction for him. If he just destroys Regal, picking him up after each Stunner and then stunning him again – if he pours beer all over him – how long until they stop cheering? I figure, in 1998, a really long time. Just want to know how much they can get away with. Austin decimates Regal - laughing at him as he's aided from the ring. Middle fingers and beer all around.

Pre match - the TitanTron....OWEN HART!

Owen enters to sit in on the announce with JR and Cornette.

8. WWF Title: Hell in a Cell: Cactus Jack d. Ken Shamrock

Shamrock throws Foley off the top of the cell through the announce table. 20 feet. Boom. Maybe you know that spot.

The people, you know, go crazy, as they should, ‘cause it’s a guy just falling legit. through a table from 20 feet.

Same spot, the stretcher, Funk leading the guys from the back out to take Foley away, only addition is that now there's Owen, who is out because he's recuperating from being set on fire by Foley, Owen is there to sell the severity of the situation. As they’re leading Foley away, he climbs off the stretcher to go climb up the cage again to get to Shamrock. Foley obviously is getting cheered again now – as is Shamrock, both in a bloodthirsty, crazy ass sort of way – and Shamrock suplexes Foley through the top of the cage, all the way to the mat, again, knocking him out. Tooth in the nose, the whole thing.

A Sham-rock chant in the way the fans chanted for the Undertaker at the time (check the tape if it's been awhile) would be good.

Fans again go crazy, the back again comes out into the ring, again they are going to stop it – but again Cactus fights through it. Owen makes clear he's been wrestling a long time, he's held every title in this company, he's seen every great wrestler in the WWF the last 15 years - and he's never - he has never - seen anything like this.

We get the Foley pours the thumbtacks all over the ring spot – it’s the same match – except, Jack wins. He doublearm DDTs Shamrock on the thumbtacks and gets the fall. It’s as remarkable a thing as you’ll ever see.

My hope is it rehabilitates Shamrock a little bit – when the Taker threw Foley off the cage, the fans chanted “Un-der-tak-er”. ‘Cause it’s a badass move. I don’t exactly want him to turn face – but there's a little more story with Shamrock, so my hope is that even losing, he regains some credibility as a guy who will fuck you up.

Now, it’s not a face turn for Foley – even though, reading it, you think how could people boo him. But see, what actually happened is on RAW, Foley came out and criticized the fans for chanting for the Undertaker. He said he fell 20 feet through a table and the first thing he remembers when he came to is the fans chanting for the Undertaker. So, we’ll get the same thing here. Plus, Foley did set Owen on fire.

What it became was the underpinning of the eventual face turn, which was built on a respect for Foley’s taking so much punishment. So, eventually (not giving away too much) Cactus will be a face again - and eventually, this match will be mythologized as proof that that son of a bitch Jack just won't die. But that's not here yet. For now, it can be processed as crazy, out of control, a little bit scary Cactus Jack.

That feeling can be increased when, postmatch - Jack keeps trying to stand to challenge Owen - Cactus keeps yelling at Owen to get in the ring - to come get some - to show him what he's got - but Cactus can't stay upright - the blood loss - the concussion - it's all too great - and winds up laid out on the canvasm having to be helped from the ring. Owen stands at the table, takes off the headset as he watches the whole thing, shaking his head in amazement. One wonders, after vanquishing all comers - from Savage, to Bret, to Michaels, even to Steve Austin - how Owen Hart can stop the...thing...that is Cactus Jack.

This is really the beginning of the turn back for Foley We build upon all that we’ve done before with this crazy, crazy performance – and add to it by giving him the win over a guy he never beat before, and having him keep the belt. I want, recall, Foley and Austin to be seen as the same – Foley is your respected, completely brutal heel – and Austin is your respected, pretty brutal face. So, the images that should continue to be played on TV as 1999 begins - the lasting images of Survivor Series - are Austin's total destruction of Regal, the relentless way he refuses to let Regal leave the ring -- and Foley's refusal to die - his unwillingness to let crippling falls and the onslaught of Ken Shamrock, take his WWF Title away.

Would almost seem like they're building to something.

In the NWA…Goldberg and Nash become your unlikely new tag team champions. Flair gets a win. Fit gets a win. Juvie beats Kidman. Little Rey is your new US Champ, beating Saturn – and your new NWA Champ is Eddy, who goes over Jericho.

If you're just hopping in and wonder how it is that they're still NWA - that's because the degree to which WWF married itself to traditional wrestling convinced Turner to spare no expense to keep the NWA name and the lineage intact. That, in turn, is one of the reasons that Vince, years ago, pledged a cut of overall profit to the World Wildlife Fund in order for an, easement, if you will, in the intellectual property rights that the organization has over WWF.

Starrcade – 1998 DC
NWA Title: Eddy Guerrero d. Chris Jericho
US: Rey Mysterio d. Perry Saturn
Tags: Goldberg/Nash d. Smiley/Miller
Juventud Guerrera d. Billy Kidman

Fit Finlay d. Scott Norton
Ric Flair d. Konnan
Jerry Flynn d. Prince Iaukea
Goldberg/Nash d. Bischoff/Crush

In ECW, The Dudleys get a win. So do Guido and Tommy. Tajiri beats Super Crazy (in the mask) in a hot match. The Impact Players keep the tag belts. RVD keeps the US over Sabu, and Taz keeps the ECW Title over Shane Douglas.

Living Dangerously – 1999 Asbury Park
ECW Title: Taz d. Shane Douglas
TV Title: RVD d. Sabu
Tags: Justin/Lance d. Gangstas
Tajiri d. Super Crazy

Tommy Dreamer d. Steve Corino
Nova d. Spike
Guido d. Danny Doring
Dudleys d. Roadkill/Chetti

The Rumble is coming from Anaheim.

The organizing entity is the Ring Boys. E and C…

… Adam is adament about calling himself Edge – but everyone forgets and still calls him Adam and he gets pissed, “Come on guys, jeez, I beat Vader. Call me Edge.”

..anyway, Owen tells E and C to go back to their jobs as Ring Boys. They have to take off the crazy coats and put the black tshirts back on. They grumble a lot, maybe even saying that they deserve a title shot against the Nation –

that grumbling leads to an attack by…Billy and the Dogg. Billy and the Dogg attack, they’re pissed that E and C, punk kids would think they deserve a title shot. Some ring boys, some little Canadian ring boys think they can start talking about getting a title shot? They're offended, and with Owen otherwise occupied, they just kick the crap out of E and C one night.

Face save by HHH and Waltman.


They get the face pop – they just wanted to beat up Billy and the Dogg – so, after they do that – as the fans cheer them – Hunter takes the mic and says that, upon further reflection, Billy and the Dogg, ungrateful pricks that they are, were right - and a couple of little bitches who carry Owen Hart's bags shouldn't be talking, even joking, about getting a title shot..

So they then turn on E and C.

Save by Matt and Jeff. And the four young men are able to drive Hunter and Waltman from the ring. Hunter yells at the Hardys - tells them to watch their ass - but all four members of the Ring Boys ascend to the buckles and take the cheers.

We see Trish in the employees box, nervous and excited for Jeff – as the two of them are now dating.

We’re gonna get E and C v. the Outlaws at the Rumble.

We get an 8 man on Raw between the Ring Boys and the Nation – and the Crew goes over (Jeff pinning Scorpio) when HHH and Waltman interfere, swinging chairs and taking out guys from both sides. Hunter Pedigrees Rock on a chair, and Jeff is able to scramble to the top for the Swanton to get the fall on Scorp. Pretty big crowd pop as Jeff Hardy pins 2 Cold Scorpio.

So, we’ll get Jeff/Scorpio as a single at the Rumble (Matt and Big Markie in their corners) and a furious Rock/DLo will defend against HHH/Waltman.

Rock/HHH continues.

It’s Val and Dustin, one more time. Flag match. In one corner, the Confederate flag – in the other, the American flag – if you get to a flag, you can use it as a weapon. Flag stuff. There's flag stuff to do.

We’re going back to the Octagon. Shamrock’s called out by Dan The Beast Severn. Severn goes full heel, which moves Shamrock the other way. Severn gets an intro as a UFC Legend; he says he’s ashamed of Shamrock, he got choked out by Austin and now he turns on his television to watch a PPV and sees Shamrock throwing someone off a cage. Embarrassing. Severn says the UFC was built on one rivalry, Severn/Shamrock – that it’s like Ali/Frazer or Ray Robinson/Jake LaMotta. And before Shamrock disgraces himself again – Severn wants him one more time in the Octagon.

Shamrock says he has conquered UFC – and anyone who has seen him become IC Champ – anyone who saw him throw Cactus Jack off a steel cage – knows he has conquered the WWF – and he’ll be glad to end his feud with Dan Severn once and for all – in the Octagon at the Royal Rumble.

Al comes out one night, says he has been in some high level meetings with Head, that after Head displayed such guidance against the Undertaker it's time to move Head from valet status to becoming his full fledged manager. Al shows a WWF managerial contract with Head's name on it.

Al says he's not sure this is the right career move - but after beating the Undertaker, Head says it's time Al move up the card - and so (deep breath, Al seeming nervous) at the Royal Rumble, Al challenges Stone Cold Steve Austin for the IC Title.


Crazy ass Al. If you recall from his first run, Al's one goal since he was a little boy was to be IC champ. He dreamed about going to Rio and winning a fictional tournament as long as he can remember. And now, since he beat the Undertaker IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING (Al starts to get worked up, enough so that he does his moonsault – splat) he’s ready to take the belt that’s rightfully his – STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN, GET OUT TO MY RING AND BRING MY BELT YOU YELLOW BASTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that’s the angle – cause Austin’s amused by the whole thing – but more than willing to beat Al up. Austin beat Razor and Diesel. Beat Bret. Choked Shamrock out – won the Triple Crown and destroyed Steve Regal – and now here’s Al Snow?

Al Snow? Austin says it’s hardly worth his time, but he gets paid just the same, and if he finishes Snow off early that’s more time to drink beer – so if you want to see Stone Cold Steve Austin whip Al Snow’s ass in Anaheim, California – give him a hell yeah.

Main Event. Foley. Owen. Barbed Wire.

Foley cuts a promo on the fans. Says they’re scared of him. Says it took him awhile to understand, says he used to think they didn’t like him – and that’s why they booed – that’s why they booed when he made the Rock bleed – that’s why they booed when he won the Triple Crown – that’s why they booed when he set Owen Hart on fire –

But it’s not that they don’t like him. And no - it's not that they don’t like themselves. All that talk about self hating wrestling fans that he's done - that was pop psychology and he apologizes for it. He’s Cactus Jack, not Dr. Laura (late 90s reference). All that talk about how he was really them – and by booing him, they were really booing themselves…yeah, that was a bunch of crap, he sees that now, he apologizes for wasting their time. Because he knows there's nothing more precious to a wrestling fan - than his time.

Because the truth is – he’s not like them at all.

Because he’s a real man. Because he does things to himself that they aren’t man enough to do – and every single damn one of them knows it.

They don’t have the balls to take the punishment that he’s taken. To stand in front of Vader and get punched full in the face. To lose an ear in a ring in Germany – and still finish the match. To want the WWF Title so much, to want the Triple Crown so much, that you’re willing to set another man – a man you actually happen to like, because truthfully, Owen's kind of a cool guy – on fire. They don’t have any idea, with their fat wives and their dumb kids and their shitty cars and their dead end jobs – they don’t have any idea what it takes to fall 20 feet off a steel cage through a table –

...and get up

only to get suplexed 20 feet through that same cage to the canvas –

... and get up

and, with your damn teeth coming out of your nose – to take shot after shot from a guy as tough as Ken Shamrock – because you know the only thing – the only thing – worse than the pain you feel right now is the pain you’d feel walking out of that arena without the WWF Title belt over your shoulder.

You people don’t have any idea what it takes to do that, what it takes to be man enough to do any of that…

All you know is you don’t have it.

You don’t have it – and you know that Cactus Jack does – and that is why you boo me. You jealous, little, sons of bitches. You are all pathetic.

Later, we’d get another promo, in the same vein, where Foley would parade the Triple Crown in the ring, saying most of the fans would sell their souls for a bowling trophy – and here’s Cactus Jack – owner of the most prized award in all of sports.

That’ll be Austin’s cue – since the Triple Crown is half his. And we can do some Austin/Foley stuff. Wherever you see one...

Finally, Foley cuts a promo on Owen. I want them nose to nose for this, Foley says not only are the fans scared of him – but so is Owen. When he set Owen on fire – when Owen Hart quit in the ring, willingly gave up his WWF Title – at that moment, he knew he wasn’t the man his brother is – and certainly knew he wasn’t the man Cactus Jack is. When Owen Hart stood frozen in St. Louis, unwilling - unable to come to the middle of the ring and fight him - Cactus Jack knew...he_knew_that Owen Hart wasn't the man that Cactus Jack is.

And Owen - you knew it too.

And Owen responds.

Owen responds to Foley by saying he doesn’t have any idea what kind of man Owen Hart is – Owen Hart is a man whose first memories are of being in the dungeon as a little boy, being stretched by his father. Owen Hart is a man who had to fight his older brothers every day because they were trying to toughen him up. Owen Hart is a man who wrestled the Dynamite Kid when he was a teenager – a teenager – Cactus Jack thinks he’s a crazy man? Cactus Jack couldn’t carry Tommy Billington’s jock.

You think you know who Owen Hart is? Owen Hart is a man who made his brother quit, who made Shawn Michaels quit, who beat Steve Austin when he passed out from the pain. That’s who Owen Hart is, that’s the kind of man Owen Hart is.

You want to know who Owen Hart is – Owen Hart is a man who took a fork to Randy Savage’s forehead. You want to know who Owen Hart is –

And then Owen takes out a fork and drives it into Foley’s head – hitting a gusher – blood spurting onto Owen – Owen driving the fork into Foley as he yells, “This is the kind of man I am, Cactus Jack! This is who I am!”

The violence between the two men increases over the next couple of weeks until Jack comes out with his arm wrapped in barbed wire - saying there's only way Owen Hart will ever be able to prove to him, to Bret, to Randy Savage, to his daddy in Calgary that he's man enough to hold the WWF Championship - and that's to beat Jack at his own game.

To beat him inside the barbed wire.

You’re buying this show. Come on. E and C against the New Age Outlaws. Morley/Dustin in the flag match. Jeff and 2 Cold doing the High flyer thing. Shamrock/Severn in the Octagon. The Nation and the Clique for the straps. Al challenging Austin – and Cactus Jack v. Owen Hart in the barbed wire for the WWF Championship.

Royal Rumble '99. Call your cable company.

Summer Slam 1998

Sunday, February 26, 2006

XIV is here.

Summer Slam 1998 Madison Square Garden


(Dark – 2 Cold Scorpio d. Terry Funk)

1. Teioh/Funkai d. Lawler/Taylor
-cause they would. Too Cool may lose every single match.

2. Adam (w/Ring Boys) d. Vader
This will wrap Vader up. They do the big underdog thing. Young Adam coming out of nowhere to beat the monster Vader. Edge is largely dominated, but wins on the fluke roll up – the Ring Crew lifts Edge up afterward – as if he had won a title, Vader, embarrassed, leaves the company. That kinda thing. Now, they can further split between the two halves of the ring boys – no one’s turning, still a way to go – but we start to give E and C the personality that they’d have after their heel turn. A funny coat here – a pair of wild sunglasses there. They can grow their hair, they start to call Adam, Edge. If sometimes the Hardys though they were dicks, that would be okay, but the Hardys are good boys, they don't want to come off as jealous. Owen's pretty busy in this stretch, but when he notices the increasing attitude on his ring boys, he slaps a hold on them and makes them cry. Owen calls Adam, "Adam" and Edge and Christian mutter about that.

3. The Abolitionist Ulysses Morley d. The Southern Man Dustin Rhodes
Morley goes over in a solid match. Wins with the Liberation Falls splash. Jarrett enters after – he and Dustin attack with the Confederate flag. Dustin chokes Val out with the flag while Jarrett attacks. Face save by Mero. Leading us right into...

4. Southern Man Jeff Jarrett (w/Dustin) d. Marc Mero (w/Morley)
This is it for Mero, like with Savio, Jarrett gets Mero in the figure four – won’t break the hold, gets the submission – Mero has to be helped from the ring – Dustin and Jarrett wave the huge confederate flag after the match. Southern Men! “The Southern Man ended that Puerto Rican’s career…The Southern Man just ended Mero’s career. Watch your heads, you goddamn northerners. Read your good book – Read about the Chosen Man – Read about the Southern Man” They wave the Confederate Flag. It’s a good time.

5. Taka d. Togo (w/K-DX)
Workrate! Taka gets the big win, battling all 3 guys to get the fall. If I could use him more he'd get strapped up. If you haven't seen Taka work recently, in 2006 he may be at the top of his game.

6. Tags: Nation (w/Markie/2Cold) d. Outlaws d. HHH/Waltman
Rock and DLo recapture the tag titles. Big hip hop contingent at MSG; I'm looking for more black faces in the crowd, now is where they reach out to the African-American sports fan, keeping Rock and DLo hip hop, having them do whatever's current hopefully widens the base, and the confederate flag stuff then gets more heat and doesn't come off anachronistic.

Things to get over – the Rock/HHH personal feud intensifies. Let’s see Rock get the fall on Hunter. There’s an outside interference spot with 2 Cold – Waltman has the fall on DLo – but 2 Cold interference breaks it up, leading to a 2 Cold/Waltman outside spot. And – we get the break up the Clique. Dogg/Gunn and HHH/Waltman completely break down, they start the match together – with Rock and DLo having to battle four guys – but then, the Outlaws have a chance at the fall – the Clique breaks it up – the Clique has a chance at the fall – the Outlaws break it up. So, they break down into a full on war – and the Nation takes advantage. Rock Bottom on HHH and they regain the straps.

After the match, Billy and the Dogg go off, beating HHH and Waltman down with chairs – injuring HHH. It’s a break up.

7. IC Submission Match: Steve Austin d. Ken Shamrock
They keep Austin white hot here – he wins the IC, wins the Triple Crown (fireworks, fireworks, fireworks) and gets Shamrock to submit. I don’t know to what, Austin didn’t have a submission hold. Well, have his use the million dollar dream. Choke him out. We didn’t do Austin/Ted, of course, but that will be a fun nod to the actual reality. A tear in the space time continuum. That takes most of Shamrock’s heat away of course, first we leave the Octagon – then he gets choked out – now he’s basically just another wrestler. But Steve takes his heat. Austin beat Bret clean and chokes out Shamrock. Austin’s won the IC – Austin’s won the Triple Crown.

As we ready for the main event, the TitanTron lights up...H....B....K.....

Shawn Michaels, gone since the night after Mania, enters, comes to the announce, and joins JR and Cornette. It's babyface Shawn now, Shawn says he's not coming back, his back is shot and it's kind of a weight off his mind, but he couldn't miss the opportunity to watch Owen Hart, his oldest rival, meet Cactus Jack here at Madison Square Garden. Michaels gets a good reaction after being gone 5 months.

8. WWF Title: No DQ: Cactus Jack d. Owen Hart
And so has Foley. When you think one, you think the other. By and large, you may note, the angle we’re doing here is the angle they did with Foley and Michaels. So, the match here is the one they did with Foley and Michaels at Mind Games. Which was excellent. Owen takes a table bump, Foley takes bumps to the floor. Foley does his cactus clothesline and the apron elbowdrop. We’ll have Foley fight out of the sharpshooter. Owen fights out of the mandible claw. We do barbed wire stuff – and that’s our finish – the finish comes when Jack gets Foley wrapped in the barbed wire – tied up around the ropes – Foley beats Owen savagely with a chair – and then sets Owen on fire.

Which, is a good heel move, setting Owen Hart on fire.

That’s enough to get Owen to submit. Although not immediately, not until JR and Cornette and even HBK are freaking out.

Cactus smiles sickly as Owen’s extinguished, Foley takes the strap and even the MSG crowd should boo him. Hopefully. Foley’s pretty popular in New York. The show ends on the bloody Foley, his sick smile shining through as he raises the WWF belt high. Foley’s won the WWF Title. Cactus Jack has won the Triple Crown.

In the NWA…Davey Boy Smith beats the Anvil. Page wins, Curt Hennig beats Scott Hall, your new tag champs – Norman Smiley and Ernest Miller, who go over Juvie and Silver King. I'm sorry, not my first choice. Saturn regains the US, beating Dean. And Jericho keeps the world title, beating Raven.

Fall Brawl – 1998 Winston Salem
NWA Title: Chris Jericho d. Raven
US: Perry Saturn d. Dean Malenko
Tags: Norman Smiley/Ernest Miller d. Juvie/SKing
Curt Hennig d. Scott Hall

Alex Wright d. Disco Inferno
DDP d. Konnan
Davey Boy Smith d. Anvil
Norman Smiley/Ernest Miller d. Steiners

In ECW…Spike Dudley gets a win, as do Sabu and Shane Douglas. Dreamer beats Bigelow. Justin and Lance keep over the Dudleys again. RVD keeps the TV, beating Jerry Lynn. And Taz keeps the ECW title, beating Masato Tanaka.

November to Remember – 1998 New Orleans
ECW Title: Taz d. Tanaka
TV Title: RVD d. Jerry Lynn
Tags: Justin/Lance d. Dudleys
Tommy Dreamer d. Bam Bam Bigelow

Douglas d. Candido
Sabu d. Nova
Spike d. Danny Doring
Meanie/Roadkill d. Jake Roberts/Mabel

Survivor Series will come from St. Louis.

The night after Summer Slam, the show, of course, opens on the Triple Crown, which is in the ring, and we see the names…


Owen music. Owen – not coming to the ring – but instead, on the video screen. He’s in the hospital after the fire attack the night before. Says he apologizes for not being able to come to the arena, but it is a tradition for the previous holder of the triple crown to pass it onto the next winner – so, even though the doctors wouldn’t let him leave, he had to do this. So, he wants to introduce the man who won the IC Title at Summer Slam – Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Glass. Austin. Big pop. Austin says there aren’t too many things in this world that touch him, six pack, couple of shotguns, pretty much it. But to stand here with the Triple Crown, knowing as all wrestlers do that it’s the ultimate honor in this sport….

Car crash. Cactus. Foley to the ring, big heel pop.

And Owen says, and I also have to introduce, the new WWF Champion, and also now a Triple Crown winner – Cactus Jack….

….Foley says he wants to thank all his hardcore pals out there, and he wants to thank kerosene, and he wants to thank the flammability of Canadians. After a decade of blood and barbed wire – he’s got the Triple Crown!

Austin says not so fast. Each man holding part of the Triple Crown – and they brawl, reprising the finish of that battle royal.

Regal enters, yells at the ruffians to cease and desist. Says to see two grown men, well, perhaps not grown and perhaps not men – but nevertheless, to see them fighting over something as trivial as a trophy is embarrassing. Regal doesn’t care if Steve Austin walks out of that ring with that Triple Crown or not – but Regal will be making his WWF PPV debut at the Survivor Series, and all he cares about is that Steve Austin brings the Intercontinental belt to St Louis, because Steve Regal will be bringing it home to the Queen.

Austin goes after Regal – they brawl in the aisle – Cactus then holds the triple crown high – when he is attacked from behind by Owen…who, of course, is not in the hospital, no, he’s right there, even though he's heavily bandaged – and he goes off on Foley – big pop as Owen attacks Foley – but then Owen is overcome – Foley gets an advantage and Owen can’t make it up – Foley puts it to Owen savagely again – and Owen has to be stretchered out. ‘Cause he was just set on fire and all. And he ain’t working Survivor Series, so they take him out of the picture for a few months.

We’ll get Regal/Austin at Survivor Series. The title match is below. The actual physical possession of the Triple Crown will be held up by the WWF to a point determined later.

The Hardys finally will get their PPV shot (Let them play...Let them play) – and E and C don’t, which frustrates them coming off the Vader win. They'll feed Lawler/Taylor to the Hardys. Also being fed to the Hardys….we meet Trish Stratus, they put her hair in a ponytail, downplay the crazy bombshell make you cry a little bit body, and have her work in the WWF office.

Wrestlers will hit on her, of course, but she politely declines, as we see on RAW.

Except – she kinda has a crush on Jeff.

Jarrett/Bob. Bob now gets to be the good Southerner.

Another Morley/Dustin.

Waltman/2 Cold, coming off the tag title stuff.

We now find out what Al was talking about at the battle royal. He's keeping the crazy Al gimmick from the first run, just adding Head - he now can have these rants about the slights against him to Head - better than that - Head is who is telling him about the slights. Head's talking to him in a David Berkowitz Son of Sam type of way. Crazy ass Al. Anyway, he’s back from barbed wire city, where he saw horrible, horrible things. Man’s inhumanity to man, and Bubba Ray Dudley naked in the shower. When he came back, everyone in the locker room paid their respects, which is the right thing to do for a man let out of prison. The Hardy Boys – paid their respects. Cactus Jack – paid his respects. Well, he didn’t actually say anything, but that’s because he’s pre-verbal. He grunted and clicked his tongue – and that’s enough for me. But the Undertaker – the Legend of the WWF – HE IGNORED ME – HE IGNORED ME AND NOW I’M GOING TO KICK HIS ASS!!!

So, we get Undertaker/Al. This is still Al’s old gimmick, which I enjoyed, but it’s also a rib on the Undertaker and other locker room vets, who get upset when codes like this exact thing are broken. Undertaker tries to explain, “Al, just didn’t see you there man, lighten up.” Al attacks violently. YOU WILL NOT DISRESPECT THE SNOWMAN!! The Taker chokeslams, tombstones. When Al comes to – he does his moonsault to nothing. ‘Cause Al’s crazy for doing this. Crazy motherfucking Al. ECW may have sent him totally over the edge. He's talking to a mannequin's head, for the love of Pete.

Tags…Nation v. New Age Outlaws. Rock keeps doing his act. Rock/Dogg are a good verbal mix. Dogg says he's blacker than the Rock.

For the World Title – it’s Jack against a man he’s never beaten – Ken Shamrock. And that’s the interest, can Foley finally get over Shamrock.

Shamrock says he’s sick that Cactus Jack, who he tapped out by the way, is WWF Champion. It’s embarrassing to be part of a company that would put its championship belt on someone so depraved. Jack says speaking of embarrassing – if he had known that all it would take to get Shamrock to submit was a sleeper hold, he would have used it himself. But since it’s the crowd that generally goes to sleep when Shamrock talks, he thought that finish was sort of fitting.

They set up the title match. But now it’s on Jack’s terms. It’s gonna be in something like the Octagon – but instead of that – it’ll be in a 20 foot high completely enclosed cage.

They're gonna call this match…Hell in a Cell.

Yeah, that’s which match we're getting. Except no Undertaker/Foley. We’ll do Shamrock/Foley. And we’re gonna get that match. Foley’s got some bumps to take.

So, Cactus Jack/Shamrock in a Cell for the title, Austin/Regal for the IC, the Nation defending against the New Age Outlaws, Al Snow on a suicide mission against the Undertaker, Waltman and 2 Cold, the Southern Men again – Jarrett against Bob, Dustin against Morley – plus the Hardys finally debut on PPV. It’s Survivor Series '98 – call your local thing!

Wrestlemania XIV 1998

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Rumble is here.

Wrestlemania XIV – Boston 1998(Dark – Jeff d. Matt)

The WWF Young Boys, all four of them, come out to clean the ropes – Matt and Jeff take off their shirts and work dark. Good crowd pop as Adam and Christian lead a “Let Them Play” chant which now begins to move across various arenas. Everyone loves a Bad News Bears reference.

JR and Cornette begin in the ring – thanking the people for coming and saying that they’ve just found out that WM XV will take place in another city known for being a cornerstone of American Independence – the Hardcore Capital of the World – Philadelphia, PA.

And then they’re interrupted…

Trumpets blare – and a man in a red coat, blue breeches, and a powdered ring enters the top of the aisle to read a proclaimation in a British accent, “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Wayard Colony of Massachusetts, Her Majesty the Queen is Proud to present to you the finest professional wrestler in the world today, Please Rise and Pay Your Respect to Lord…Steven…Regal….

Regal, doing his NWA Regal thing, full on British dandy, hits the ring.

Regal: It is a pleasure to meet me, I’m certain. Where better than Boston, home of the leaders of the illegal rebellion of 1776 – which one day – one day will be quashed – to watch the type of filth and debauchery that the World Wrestling Federation calls…Wrestlemania.

You have a man who raises his middle fingers, you have men who point to their groin areas and yell for some type of suction to be placed upon their members, you have dirty, one eared men swinging what appear to be chainsaws, you have men waving the flag of the Confederate States of America – which is a nation which fought a war against your own people – and you have Negroes, who by all rights should be shining my boots – banding together in some type of minstrel act.


Well, I am here to stop all of that. I understand that you have a tradition that every other year, after this…event….there is a 30 man over the top rope battle royal to determine who will be the number one contender for your WWF title.

This year, I have graciously chosen to bestow upon you…people….the honor and privilege of my presence. And as the only royalty, clearly, to enter your battle royale, I will quite obviously be entering….in position number 30.

Thank you, and carry on.

“Please rise and pay your respects as His Lordship, Steven Regal, exits the arena."

And that’s Regal.

1. 2 Cold/DLo (w/Markie) d. Bart/Bob d. Rock and Roll Express d. Godwinns
Good opening tag. D Lo and Bart are former tag champs, and 2 Cold is an elite worker, having won singles belts in NWA and ECW. The Rock and Roll Express had been feuding with the Godwinns on TV, they were shown brawling in the back in a cutaway after Regal's promo - they fought out to the ring and then got placed in this match.

It's an elimination match; Phinneas the Gimp is pinned first by Ricky and Robert - but they then quickly go when Morton takes DLo's frog splash - and Scorpio finishes it up with a 450 on Bart. Good, quickly paced, fun opening tag.

After the Nation leaves postmatch, with Bob and Bart still in the ring, the Southern Men enter – Jarrett and Dustin wipe out Bart – but leave Bob alone. “Alabama Bob Holly – you have denied your heritage for too long, son. We are rebel born and rebel bred and by god we’ll be rebel dead – lift the flag high – take the flag, son. Take it. Take it!”

But he doesn’t – Bob tries to fight back – and Dustin and Jarrett lay him out. Southern Men! Wave the Flag! Wave the Flag! Southern Men!! The Confederate flag flies high at Wrestlemania!

Prior to the Legend’s Match, they show Andre and Hogan clip packages, as the Undertaker is attempting to even their records.

2. Legend’s Match: Undertaker d. Kane (w/Callis)
Chokeslam. Tombstone. And that’s the dead guys’s fourth, tying Andre and Hogan. They play it up allowing for a big moment feel when he wins. And this wraps up Callis - who the Taker gets ahold of and tombstones. A definitive, solid, win. It’s Wrestlemania after all. Gotta look for ways to add value to the show. All hail the Dead Man!!

3. Southern Man Dustin Rhodes (w/Jarrett) d. Marc Mero
Jarrett hits Mero with the flag – Dustin gets the fall on the Curtain Call (which now we'll call the Rebel Yell) – Jarrett puts Mero in the figure four – Jarrett’s gonna end Mero’s career like he ended Savio’s, Jarrett’s gonna…save by….Ulyssess S. Morley (whom you may know better as Val Venis, but that's not a gimmick you'll see in this universe) Morley runs in – suplexes both heels – lays them atop each other – hits his big top rope splash (“Liberation Falls”) and aids Mero from the ring. The Abolitionist! Good Mania debut.

4. Taka d. Aguila
Best match of the night. We love workrate! Taka’s gonna get a program for Summer Slam. JR and Cornette really put over his ability, they say he might be the best wrestler in the company, and if he's able to devote his full energies to the WWF instead of Michinoku Pro, he might hold gold soon. He won't, of course, they don't use him enough, so I'm stuck with that result, but what are you gonna do?

5. HHH d. The Rock
I want, as much as possible, both guys coming out strong – the Clique and the Nation were barred from ringside, so no one is on the outside as the Rock hits the Rock Bottom and goes for the cover – but there’s been a ref bump – so there’s no count…he’s got him for the fall, but no count….

Someone runs in from the crowd – a small, hairy man ---

It’s Waltman. Motherfucking Waltman.

Waltman with the legdrop on Rock – he puts HHH on top – he slaps the official to wake him up – the official counts the fall.

Waltman’s returned from the NWA. He and HHH embrace, crotch chop. Clique! Clique! Clique!

6. Tags: Falls Count Anywhere: New Age Outlaws d. Jack/Funk
Big night for the Clique. Billy wins his second title, with his second partner, as he and the Dogg go over Terry and Cactus. The hardcore legends get the best of the match, just beating the hell out of the JV, chairshots – garbage cans – barbed wire baseball bats….they bloody them all over the arena – but Funk and Foley can’t keep their partnership together before they start brawling. Say, Foley’s holding Billy so Funk can hit him with a board – but Billy ducks and Funk splits Cactus open.

Cactus responds by whipping Funk into the guardrail – and the JV decides to stay out of the way and let them go at it. Foley piledrives Funk into the exposed floor – Funk lays Foley out on a table outside – and moonsaults from the top buckle, through Foley and through the table.

Waltman and HHH enter – and the four men finally put both Funk and Foley away. We have new champions. The four Clique members crotch chop, celebrate, hit the turnbuckles and tell the fans, you know, they have two words for them. I can't recall what they are.

7. IC: Octagon: Ken Shamrock draw Steve Austin (time limit draw) (Tyson, referee)
Okay, here’s your story – Shamrock got Foley and Vader to submit – but
Austin wouldn’t submit to Owen, instead passing out in the sharpshooter. So, Shamrock tries to get Austin to submit – and can’t – hold after hold, Shamrock grows increasingly frustrated as Austin won’t tap – he breaks the hold or reverses it or gets to the ropes – Shamrock tries to maintain the hold – but Tyson, being a good referee – always requires the clean break.

Shamrock gets rougher, gets more desperate – brawls more – Austin growing increasingly popular as the match goes on – Shamrock in less control now – we can see the frustration on his face, he kicks Austin low – he rakes the eyes – he and Tyson growing more contentious – finally Shamrock locks in his cross arm breaker – he’s got Austin – he’s got Austin in the middle of the ring – and still Austin won’t submit – still Austin won’t submit – Shamrock begins to pummel him with blows, shot after shot, as Austin bleeds, Austin continues to take the punishment, Shamrock is furious, telling Tyson to stop the fight - Austin waves Shamrock on, "come on, you yellow son of a bitch, come on" - Shamrock throws caution to the wind and just opens up on Austin - and with JR and Cornette now openly yelling for Tyson to stop the fight - with the thought that maybe Tyson likes it - maybe Tyson wants to see the destruction of Stone Cold Steve Austin - who is a tougher son of a bitch than Stone Cold Steve Austin - Austin, out of nowhere -- hits a stunner on Shamrock! Austin hits the stunner on Shamrock right in the middle of the Octagon and slowly.....slowly...slowly moves to cover. 1....2....

....and the time limit expires. No switch. No triple crown for Austin.

Crowd displeased. Fuck ‘em. It’s a good show.

Shamrock recovers and goes after Tyson – I want as much physical stuff as they can get Tyson to do – ideally, ideally what I’d like is for Tyson to get in some shots on Shamrock – enough that Shamrock bails out and leaves Austin to lay Tyson out with the Stunner.

If they could get Tyson to take the Stunner, that would be worth a billion dollars.

If no – then after the Tyson/ Shamrock skirmish, Austin stuns Shamrock again.

My thought process is there's no way fans aren't cheering Austin over Shamrock, so, you've gotta recognize that and move Shamrock toward the middle during the match. A nastier Shamrock going forward can be his next thing.

8. WWF Title: Owen Hart d. Shawn Michaels (w/Clique)
Sharpshooter. And Owen completes the trilogy. Beats Bret, beats Austin, beats Shawn, all with the sharpshooter. Owen has to fight off the full Clique during the match - Owen takes the Pedigree, which has been built up now as impossible to overcome - but he kicks out of Michaels attempt at the fall following Hunter's move.

Shawn couldn’t do much in this match, the back just wouldn’t let him, so there's lots of outside Clique stuff, but he guts his way through it until he taps out. Owen holds the belt high as Shawn lies on the canvas, his back barking in pain. Owen extends Shawn a hand, Michaels accepts it gingerly. Michaels and Owen go nose to nose, Michaels and Owen --- and Owen claps for Michaels – Owen claps for the effort of Shawn Michaels…Michaels is clearly touched by the gesture and waves goodbye to the appreciative crowd.

It’s a tender moment. Bret got to say goodbye to Owen, Shawn now does the same.

Hunter, Waltman, and the new tag champs then climb into the ring – and they help Shawn to the back. Owen stands in the ring, holding the title belt aloft – having vanquished all comers – as the show ends.

Shawn’s done, of course. Or done for a few years, as it turned out, but he doesn’t know that when the next night on RAW, he and the Clique enter in tuxedoes. It’s a Night of Appreciation for Shawn Michaels – and now, like Savage and Bret before him – the whole night is clips, interviews, tributes to Michaels – who ends the night by announcing that he’s ridden up and down the road in the WWF, a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows, and after last night, after losing to Owen Hart, he thinks that now it’s time…

Lights out.

Lights on – and Shawn’s now lying in the middle of the ring.

HHH grabs a mic…”Shawn…are you okay? Shawn…are you okay…..

Because if you’re okay….I’m gonna have to Pedigree your broken ass again."

Hunter now gets on the mat, getting in Shawn's face, "I couldn’t let you retire, Shawn, I couldn’t let it be a Hart who retired the great HBK – it had to be me, Shawn, it had to be blood, it had to be Clique, Shawn--- you want to know who the Showstopper is, Shawn – it’s me. You want to know who the Icon is, Shawn? It’s me. You want to know who the main event is, Shawn? It’s me. I am Triple H. I am the Game. And…the Clique! One day you’ll understand, Shawn, one day, one day you’ll understand.”

HHH/Waltman/Dogg/Gunn make the sign of the Clique over the fallen Michaels as RAW ends.

In the NWA, the Giant beats Luger. Page beats Savage. Eddy beats the Ultimo Dragon. Raven debuts, beating Fit Finlay. Perry Saturn gets the huge win over Goldberg – ending Goldberg’s unbeaten streak. Your new tag team champions…Juventud and Silver King, who go over Hall and Nash.

Yeah, I said it. Juventud and Silver King, who go over Hall and Nash. The Latino World Order!

Dean Malenko keeps the US, beating….Bret the Hit Man Hart. Bret Hart, motherfucker, Deano Machino beats Bret Hart. And your new NWA champ….The Lionheart Chris Jericho, who goes over Benoit.

Slamboree – 1998 Worchester
NWA Title: Chris Jericho d. Chris Benoit
US: Dean Malenko d. Bret
Tags: Juvie/Silver King d. Hall/Nash
Perry d. Goldberg

Eddy d. Ultimo
Raven d. Fit
DDP d. Randy Savage
The Giant d. Luger/Crush

In ECW….Justin and Lance, the Impact Players, win the tag straps over the Dudleys. Tommy beats Bam Bam. Candido beats Spike. Jerry Lynn beats Hakushi – hey, Hakushi! Masato Tanaka beats Mike Awesome. RVD keeps again – as does Taz, who beats Sabu.

Heatwave – 1998 Dayton
ECW Title: Taz d. Sabu
TV Title: RVD d. Hayabusa
Tags: Justin/Lance d. Dudleys
Tanaka d. Awesome

Jerry Lynn d. Hakushi
Chris Candido d. Spike
Tommy Dreamer d. Bam Bam Bigelow
Justin/Lance d. Sandman/Big Dick

And as we go to Summer Slam…we’ve got the battle royal.

It’s back – winner goes to Madison Square Garden at Summer Slam to face the WWF Champion – Owen Hart. They show clips of the first four winners - Davey Boy, Razor, Hakushi, and Owen himself...Anyone on the roster is eligible – and they promo that we know Steve Regal will make his WWF debut at #30 – plus, Taka Michinoku’s tag team partner from Japan, Dick Togo is here and will debut – the in ring debut of Adam and Christian of the Ring Boys -- we'll have a return from an old friend -- plus, a surprise appearance from a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion…Place your bets…Place your bets...Who Is Going To Summer Slam??

1. The Rock comes out and promos “Everybody hates to be number one, everybody’s so scared, oh, you can’t win if you’re number one, you can’t beat 29 other men, well the Rock says this, the Rock is going to stand in the middle of this ring and throw 29 candy asses over the top rope – and the Rock is going to Madison Square Garden at Summer Slam to face Owen Hart for the WWF Title, if you smell….

2. HHH
Time to start getting that this is gonna be around awhile.

3. Aguila
-They let Aguila get in a high spot – but then he’s caught by Hunter and Pedigreed – Rock makes the “throw him out” motion – and Hunter does – and then they resume brawling. (30 – Aguila)

4. Mero
-Mero, the pretty boy boxer, gets in some rights and lefts that knock both guys down, and we get a 3 man thing.

5. Bob
-Alabama Bob, the double tough, stubborn pain in the ass – goes right after Hunter, reviving his old spot as Clique job boy. Mero and Rock then fight.

6. Bart
-The three face allies come out right in a row, Bart’s still doing the cowboy gimmick. He aids Bob against HHH – and when Bob gets an advantage – he goes to aid Mero against the Rock.

7. Billy
-Bart now tears after Billy – Bart and Billy, brothers, former tag champs, Billy of course, the current tag champ – going at it in the middle of the ring – Bob against HHH --- Rock tosses Mero out…(29 Mero)…and HHH tosses Bob out….(28 Bob)

8. Matt
Young Hardy enters – very excited, he dropkicks everyone in the ring, Rock, Bart, and then he even dropkicks the Clique - Billy and Hunter - in a surprise move that draws the pop – Hardy's all pumped up as he goes to the top buckle.

9. Kane
He’s big and red and his name is Kane. Kane chokeslams Billy and Bart. HHH and Rock are brawling again – Matt leaps atop Kane’s back.

10. Waltman
- Waltman joins Billy – and they eliminate Bart (27) – the two of them then help HHH for a 3 on 1 against Rock. Kane is pounding Matt’s head into the canvas.

11. Christian
-Christian is here to help Matt – they do some Ring Boys double team stuff on Kane but he eventually regains the advantage and chokeslams both guys.

12. D Lo
-Comes to the Rock’s aid, obviously, making it a 3 on 2 while Kane pounds both Matt and Christian.

13. Road Dogg
-And now it’s the whole Clique – 4 on 2 against the Nation --- and they eliminate DLo (26) --- Billy and the Road Dogg seeing an opportunity – eliminate Waltman (25) HHH is furious – and he starts brawling with the Road Dogg and Billy! HHH is brawling with the Road Dogg and Billy! Every man for himself, after all. Kane keeps kicking the crap out of Matt and Christian.

14. Dustin
-Dustin comes in, waving the Confederate flag – which irritates the Rock – oddly enough, who goes right at him. It’s Rock/Dustin…it’s Matt/Christian v. Kane…and it’s HHH v. the tag champs.

15. Dr. Death Steve Williams
-here’s your mystery entrant. Big Doc gets in huge shots on everyone – and settles in to brawl with Kane. Rock tosses Dustin (24) and HHH tosses the Dogg (23). Matt and Christian are laid out on the canvas.

16. Vader.
The big man goes right after Doc – the two mastadons throw huge hands at each other…once more, it’s Rock and HHH and Billy in a 3 way, Kane is close to tossing Matt and Christian.

17. Austin
-Glass breaks. It’s Steve Austin. Billy Gunn attacks. Stunner. Toss(22). Doc attacks. Stunner. Gone(21). Kane attacks. Stunner. Yup. (20). Matt and Christian each go to opposite turnbuckles, looking to missle dropkick Austin who stands in the middle of the ring. Austin moves, the two members of the Ring Boys crash into each other. Austin dumps both (19,18) out of the ring. Five fast eliminations for Stone Cold Steve Austin!

Vader attacks Austin, HHH and Rock continue their fight as Austin’s cleared the ring.

18. Al (w/Head)
-here’s our old friend, now with a prop. Al enters, goes to the top buckle and moonsaults into the ring – splatting on the canvas.

19. 2 Cold Scorpio.
-Funky, Funky! 2 Cold and Al resume their old fight. HHH/Rock --- Vader/Austin.

20. Jeff
-Jeff, crazy brave, goes in right after Austin and Vader.

21. Adam
-Edge in for the save of his buddy – and now it’s Edge and Jeff drawing a face pop as they take on Austin and Vader!!. Rock and HHH are still brawling, announce puts over that they've been in the ring 42 minutes.

22. Ulysess Morley
-The Abolitionist hits the ring – and he hops into a 3 way thing with Al and Scorp.

23. Jarrett
-Goes right after Morley.

24. Cactus
-Cactus goes right after Hunter and Rock, he took the tag from Rock – and then HHH interference cost him the tag – so he goes right after both of them. Al eliminates Scorpio (17). Austin eliminates Jeff (16) ………….and Edge…Edge eliminates Vader! (15) Edge is very excited, jumping up and down – and he’s eliminated by Austin (14).

25. Undertaker
-Al goes nuts, yelling at Undertaker – YOU DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ME, YOU DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ME. Al flails at the Dead Man – Chokeslam. Tombstone. Gone. (13). Cactus and Rock eliminate HHH (12). Cactus eliminates Rock (11)

26. Funk
-Terry and Cactus, broken up again, brawl. Undertaker v. Austin. Jarrett v. Morley. 6 men in the ring. 4 men left. Who will face Owen Hart at Summer Slam!! Who? Who?

27. Taka
28. Togo
K-DX, Taka and Togo – double team the ring, knocking Jarrett down and knocking Morley over the top (10)…knocking the Taker and Austin down…knocking Cactus down…and eliminating Terry Funk! (9). KDX has taken out two men - and they pose in the middle of the ring!

29. Shamrock
-Your IC Champ goes right after Undertaker and Austin – a three way brawl among the men – it’s Jarrett and Cactus teaming up against Taka and Togo – and eliminating them both (8,7)

30. Regal

Six guys left, one of them’s going to Summer Slam. One of them will meet Owen Hart for the WWF Championship. Regal is both, well, regal, and ferocious, he lights Jarrett up, and a European uppercut sends him over the top rope (6)….Shamrock grabs the Undertaker in a belly to belly – and suplexes him clean over the top rope (5).

4 men left. Regal. Cactus. Austin. Shamrock.

Regal tries to get the attention of Cactus and Austin – tries to get the two men to work with him – let’s make it an NWA man for Summer Slam….Austin and Cactus agree --- and then Austin and Cactus toss Regal over the top….

...and then Austin and Cactus double clothesline Shamrock over the top rope….Austin and Cactus…Austin and Cactus….

This oughta be a full on brawl – and right now is the beginning of the new center of the company, even though it doesn’t pay off on PPV for years – the new center of the company is this feud – these two guys should be seen as equals – like Owen and Shawn. It’s Cactus and Austin. Whenever you think about one you think about the other – this is the new heartbeat of the WWF, this feud, this feud, Steve Austin and Cactus Jack, it's a full on brawl right now, Cactus and Austin, Cactus and Austin, Cactus and Austin…

who is going to Summer Slam…will it be Austin – Stunner, No! Mandible Claw! Cactus Jack with the mandible claw – Austin can’t break the hold – mandible claw – Cactus clothesline – both men go over --- but Cactus holds on! Cactus holds on! Cactus Jack is going to Summer Slam! Cactus Jack is going to Summer Slam!! Bang Bang!

The structure of the summer is based on 8 man matches. We’re loaded with 4 person stables, when the rest of K-DX, Teioh and Funaki, come over from Japan. And they sell the 8 man tag as their specialty. So, we have them, the Nation (Rock, DLo, 2 Cold, Big Markie) the Clique (HHH, Waltman, Gunn, Dogg) the Ring Boys (Matt, Jeff, Edge, Christian) the Babyfaces (Val, Bob, Bart, Mero) and we just spin them all against each other.

So, what do we have for Summer Slam at the Garden?

The other three Kaentai turn on Taka. So, they turn Teioh/Funkai heel and do them against Taylor and young Lawler. And we'll get Taka/Togo as a singles, which is a good thing. We have the Southern Men – we’ll get Morley/Dustin and Jarrett/Mero.

We begin to see a little change in Adam and Christian, they constantly remind Matt and Jeff about how Adam eliminated Vader. Not in a heelish way, in an excited way, but now, as opposed to their standing and cheering Matt and Jeff – they want to work PPV too – and when, after, say, the Ring Boys beat the Clique in an 8 man (more about that later) including pinning one of the tag champs (say, the Dogg) the WWF says that they have an open slot at Summer Slam (the Ring Boys, going to MSG!)

Matt and Jeff celebrate- thinking they’ll get a tag.

But it won’t be a tag – it’ll be a singles.

Matt and Jeff still celebrate – well, maybe they’ll wrestle for it – they’re brothers after all.

But it won’t go to either….it’ll go to Adam, cause he eliminated Vader.

E and C celebrate – Matt and Jeff are pissed and leave the ring.

Who will the match be against? Vader.


Vader attacks, destroys E and C – Matt and Jeff return to the ring for the face save – and the Ring Boys reuinited, albeit now with that telling wrestling tension.

The JV will defend their tags against the former champs, the Nation. But the Clique tension that we saw during the battle royale continues during the summer – and it erupts in a full scale brawl when they lose that 8 man to the Ring Boys - Waltman's return was the catalyst for Hunter to believe that he was getting overshadowed a little bit by the Outlaws - think about it, Waltman says - Michaels was always the top guy, he had gold...Razor and Diesel were the top guys..they had got rid of all of them, Hunter - all of them - but now here we are and who has gold? Billy and the Dogg? And who never has had any gold? Us? Hell, Hunter - you've never had a shot. You've never had a shot while these jagoffs got the gold? Screw that.

So – they make the tag title match a 3 way…Outlaws…Nation…HHH/Waltman.

The IC is the Mania rematch. Shamrock/Austin. Shamrock continues the heel move, saying he’s not going to wrestle in the Octagon against Austin. Austin isn't athlete enough to step into his world.

He slurs Austin, he’s just a guy who drinks beer – not a legitimate athlete like himself. Shamrock says he’s not going to degrade the greatness of the Octagon against someone of the character of Austin.

Austin says Stone Cold 3:16 says he just whipped Shamrock’s ass at Mania, whipped Shamrock’s ass at the battle royal – and at Madison Square Garden, he’ll whip Shamrock’s ass – take his IC title – and become a Triple Crown Winner.

Austin says he won’t pin Shamrock though – he’s gonna tap him out.

We’re gonna get Austin/Shamrock as a submission match.

Curiously enough, also going for the Triple Crown at Summer Slam (hey, a reason to buy the show, fascinating) is Cactus Jack. Foley brings the hate to Owen. ‘Cause how can you hate Owen? Owen’s blond and good looking and came from a wrestling family and had everything handed to him and everyone loves him and they cheer his name– you know, that kinda thing.

Whereas, Foley had to sleep in his car and couldn’t get a job in the WWF so had to go to Japan and get carved up in front of 50 people. While Owen was staying in the four star hotels getting round the clock massages – Foley has razor blades shoved into his mouth by Mr. Pogo in Osaka. While Owen got to go home for Christmas to be with his lovely wife and 2 beautiful children – Cactus Jack spent Christmas scrubbing the Giant Baba’s back in the All Japan dojo.

Owen says if he has to hear one more lie from Cactus Jack he’s going to be sick. Owen said he worked for everything he had. That it was always about Bret – always about Shawn – but Owen just kept working, working for the fans, for his family – just kept plugging away – and now, look what’s happened – at Survivor Series, he got Bret in the Sharpshooter – and Bret’s gone. At the Rumble, he got Austin in the Sharpshooter – and he beat Austin. At Mania, he got Shawn in the Sharpshooter – and Shawn’s gone. He’s on the greatest streak in the history of professional wrestling – and he’s the current holder of the Triple Crown – and there’s no way he’s about to give it – or give the WWF Title – up to Cactus Jack.

We’ll do it as a No DQ.

Yeah, daddy. Summer Slam at MSG. Owen/Cactus for the big strap. Shamrock/Austin in the submission match for the IC. Both Cactus and Austin going for the coveted Triple Crown. The three way for the tags, with the Nation and both halves of the Clique, the two Southern Men/Baby Face matches, the Ring Crew gets on PPV as Adam takes on Vader, and Kaentai explodes, Taka and Togo in a hot singles match.

It’s Summer Slam '98 from New York City! Call your local cable company!

Royal Rumble 1998

Friday, February 24, 2006

Montreal Survivor Series was here.

Royal Rumble 1998 San Jose

JR and Cornette on the announce.

It's Royal Rumble (which really oughta be called Justice Sunday, I should have made that switch and y'all just would have had to deal with it) Number 10 - which means it opens with the clip package:

Hogan bodyslamming Andre...Martel debuting his Male Model gimmick...Savage dropping the big elbow on Martel...Michaels superkicking Marty...Bret getting in between Tito and Martel, getting the two to shake hands and end their feud...Razor tossing a toothpick atop the fallen Savage...Hennig getting the fall on Flair in the Loser Leaves Town...a bloody Owen going toe to toe with an even bloodier Savage...Waltman doing the crotch chop in Martel's face...Hakushi hitting the flying space tiger drop on Waltman...Goldust hitting the Curtain Call on HHH...2 Cold's 450 splash on Garza...Al backing away from the Mexicans and the Nation...and a Stone Cold Stunner to Vader...

(Dark – Taka Michinoku d. 2 Cold Scorpio)

1. New Age Outlaws (w/HHH) d. Road Warriors
-This is gonna be the wrap up for the Warriors. Hawk gets taken out with the Pedigree and the Outlaws get the fall. The Clique’s got two words for you…crotch chopping everywhere – it’s a complete beating. The boys pose over Hawk and Animal following the match.

2. Max Mini no contest Tarantula
-Midgets! Fun! It’s an unannounced midget match – broken up by Don Callis. Callis makes derogatory remarks about them - and when they turn to attack him....Kane.

Kane, with fire and smoke and the whole deal, chokeslams the midgets, throws each midget like a souvenir into the crowd. He’s big and red and his name is Kane.

3. Southern Man Jeff Jarrett d. Savio Vega
The midcard matches begin. We’ve got Jarrett and Dustin on the heel side, Savio, Mero on the face side – with Bob and Bart also on the face side, although not working tonight. It’s a solid bottom of the card, guys who can work solid matches. Jarrett goes over clean in his return, figure four submission – Jarrett doesn’t break the hold (recall, it was Bret putting him in the sharpshooter, breaking his ankle, in the title match on RAW, that was Jarrett’s exit from his first run) – Jarrett stretching Savio with the figure four – wrenching the knee – until Jarrett is pulled away. Savio has to be helped from the ring – and that will be it for Savio. Jarrett waves his Confederate Battle Flag after the match, “Don’t forget what the good book said – I am the Southern Man – and y’all better watch your head!”

4. Marc Mero d. Goldust
Mero evens up the program, getting revenge for Survivor Series. Jarrett enters postmatch– berating Dustin, “This is a bunch of B.S., Dustin. You are not from Hollyweird, you are Dustin Rhodes, by God. You are a tag team champion – you are the son of the American Dream – you are…a Southern Man! You grab this flag right now Dustin Rhodes – you grab this Rebel Flag right now and you wave it in front of these California fruitcakes – grab your heritage Dustin Rhodes! Grab that flag!

And he does. Goldust turns Southern – the two men do a rebel yell and wave the Condfederate flag. That's the last time you'll see Goldust in the Counterfactual.

5. Number One Contender’s Casket Match: Shawn Michaels d. Undertaker
Now that Bret’s gone – these are the two longest tenured WWF wrestlers – and they’ve never met before. This match is necessary ‘cause we have another physical condition to deal with – they did this actual match at the Rumble, and when Shawn took a casket bump, he injured his back – or, rather, it was the last straw for his back injury, and that injury would be kinda significant.

So, we get the same spot – Shawn gets hurt during the match – Hunter hits the Pedigree on the Undertaker – he’s then attacked by the Rock – Rock and HHH on the outside – the Outlaws battling DLo and Mark Henry. Nation v. Clique, Clique v. Nation – Michaels gets the Taker in the casket – but can’t close the lid….

..without the help of Kane. Kane enters. led by Callis, – Kane slams the lid on the Taker – then carries the casket away. Shawn Michaels will go to Wrestlemania XIV to face the WWF Champion. If one pays attention, you'll note that he can barely make the walk up the aisle.

The clip package is Foley and Funk, sitting in the empty arena, talking about the tag matches, just being Funk and Foley. Funk puts over Arn and Tully, as the clip of the Busters and Rockers plays...we see Shawn walk away from Marty, allowing Jake and Piper to feed on him...Foley and Funk joke about how wrong that was, about how Marty's bleeding doesn't compare to the blood that will flow from the Rock at the Rumble...they show the Road Warriors hitting the Device on Nobbs and Saggs...then losing to Money Inc...the Steiner Brothers suplex the Beverly Brothers...and Foley talks about how he's looking forward to finally giving some prestige to the WWF tag belts...Scott Levy and DiBiase dance around after Scott turns on Rick...Backlund puts the cross-face chicken wing on the Anvil as the British Empire takes the straps...Austin and Dustin with stereo stunners on Hall and Nash, shocking the Fresno crowd and leading toward the nose to nose between Hunter and Nash...and Owen winning the triple crown last year, the fireworks going off and the streamers coming down, the chants of Ow-en, Ow-en, filling the screen.

6. Tags: No DQ: Cactus Jack/Terry Funk d. Nation (w/Markie)
Lots of good matches. Good garbage match – canes, tables, barbed wire – Foley gives the Rock credibility, which is why they put them together – so when the hip hop Nation can take the hardcore bumps and keep going – that helps get them over. Everyone bleeds – finish comes when the Clique runs in – the Outlaws attacks Henry and DLo – allowing Hunter to get the Pedigree (which, one notes they're trying to get over tonight, Pedigrees on The Undertaker, the Rock, and Hawk) Funk, wrapped in barbed wire, gets the moonsault fall on the Rock. Jack and Funk are your WWF tag team champions. Bang, Bang! It has to be violent enough that Rock still gets over – that he earns some respect from fans who think he’s just a pretty boy.

Foley and Funk, bloody, again stand over the bodies of the Nation – I want them both full of blood – both holding a weapon of some type – Foley again saying to the fans, who are popping pretty good just for the violence...“I forgive you…I forgive you…I forgive you…I forgive you…”

There’s a stir in the arena as coming down the aisle to watch the IC Title – is former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Iron Mike Tyson.

Tyson gets on the announce, says he’s the greatest boxer alive, he’s here to watch Ken Shamrock, the greatest mixed martial arts fighter alive. Tyson’s a pretty astute judge of fighting, his thoughts about Shamrock – both good and bad – whatever he wants to say – are useful. Don’t care if Tyson’s a face or a heel – don’t care if people cheer or boo. He’s Mike Tyson, and it's 1998, he put people in the seats – which, in fact, he did – they're gonna use him to give more rub to Shamrock. Give him even more credibility, get some mainstream coverage.

If Tyson would somehow throw to the clip package on the TitanTron, somehow saying the "greatest fights in WWF history have been in Intercontinental Matches, right here at the Royal Rumble" that would be great.

PerfectPlex on Bret...Bret regaining from DiBiase the following year with the sharpshooter...Martel then submitting to the same sharpshooter...Savage dropping the elbow on Piper...Michaels surviving Owen's sharpshooter to win the Iron Man...Michaels superkicking Razor...and then Owen hitting the enziguiri on Razor...VaderBomb on Michaels...and Jack and Funk, who moments ago won the tag titles, crashing through a barbed wire table...

7. IC: Octagon: Ken Shamrock d. Vader
This is probably even a better matchup than Shamrock/Foley, ‘cause Vader’s mean and would have no problem striking Shamrock full on to see if he could take it. He could – and Shamrock would strike back and you’d have a match that at spots, not only looked real, but might have been real. Vader, god love him, wouldn't have wanted any part of a shoot with Ken Shamrock. Shamrock gets Vader to tap to the cross arm breaker. And he’s gotten submissions from Foley and Vader in back to back PPVs.

And that’s what we want – stiffness, the appearance of reality – make it seem like a sport, we’re catching the cultural wave here with Shamrock – he’s as big a star as they have in the company right now.

Hence the Tyson stuff – right now, I want a Tyson/Shamrock nose to nose in the ring (boxing, MMA in a wrestling ring..smell the buyrate!!) after the match – Tyson and Shamrock pointing fingers, nose to nose – Tyson’s people and Shamrock’s people – and that’s lots of people – hit the ring – there’s a lot of jawing, some pushing, some shoving – people dig it – and we go to the clip package...

Savage with a double sledge off the apron, taking out Ted...PerfectPlex on Rude...Bobby refusing to turn on Hennig, a shocked DiBiase getting pummeled by the champion...Davey Boy submitting to Flair's figure four...the streamers filling the ring prior to Bret/Tenryu...the Undertaker shocking the crowd by feverishly tapping out to Bret...Diesel chokeslamming Michaels through the Spanish announce...Bret and Owen exhanging nearfalls, the final one going to Bret as he holds the tights for the cradle cover...Bret smirking over the fallen Michaels...

It’s time for the Title match – Austin enters first, takes the mic – says that he just saw the “Baddest Man on the Planet” and the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” – and they’re both a couple of yellow bastards as far as he’s concerned – ‘cause he’s Stone Cold Steve Austin, son, and if either one of them wants to come out here right now – Stone Cold Steve Austin will snap their lights right out and that’s the bottom line….

Tyson enters – Tyson walking quickly up the aisle – Mike Tyson’s going to the ring – Mike Tyson’s going after Steve Austin --- Tyson’s people quickly run in – hold Tyson back in mid aisle – Tyson and Austin jawing – then Shamrock hits the top of the aisle. Shamrock being held back by his people – It’s Austin – It’s Tyson – It’s Shamrock!!!

While Austin’s distracted – from behind – Owen Hart. And we’re underway.

8. WWF Title Owen Hart d. Steve Austin (referee stoppage)
Here’s where we get the Austin bleeds but won't submit to the sharpshooter spot.

No turn for anyone – Owen gives up the hold after Austin passes out and the referee stops it – but Austin does get super over with the spot. First – he wiped out Razor and Diesel – then, he wiped out Dustin – then, he and Pillman masterminded a sabatoge of the Clique and the Harts – then he won the WWF Title at WM, beating Bret Hart clean. Then – he turned on Pillman, and took him out – Then, he walked out of a wheelchair and into the biggest match of all time at Survivor Series – and now we get the spot with the blood and the sharpshooter and passing out but not quitting. Right after Bret himself tapped from Owen’s sharpshooter – Austin doesn’t.

I still don’t want him to be a face – but he should be crazy, crazy Steve Austin like over. I’ll settle for very, very popular heel right now. If we were to call him a tweener, that wouldn’t bother me. Yeah, he’s a face. I've held off as long as possible.

And Owen beats him – Owen beat Bret, Owen beat Austin – and since Michaels won tonight – it’ll be Owen and Shawn – the only one left to beat – for the WWF Title at WM XIV.

Owen leaves the ring with the belt high – allowing the fans to applaud for both he and Austin, who remains in the ring, covered in his own blood. Austin gets to his feet, realizes what has happened – gives the official the stunner – and gives Owen the middle fingers from the ring.

In the NWA…we open with an interesting tag match, Davey Boy and Rick Martel lose to Savage and Hogan. Goldberg goes over again, beating Page. Booker starts his singles career with a win. We have a hot 3 way with Juventud Guerrera going over Ultimo Dragon and Kaz Hayashi. Jericho beats Eddy. Hall and Nash regain the tag belts over the Steiners. Dean takes the US, beating Saturn. And Benoit keeps – beating Sting.

Superbrawl – 1998 San Francisco
NWA Title: Chris Benoit d. Sting
US Title: Dean Malenko d. Perry Saturn
Tags: Hall/Nash d. Steiners
Chris Jericho d. Eddy Guerrero

Juventud Guerrera d. Kaz d. Ultimo
Booker T d. La Parka
Goldberg d. DDP
Savage/Hogan d. Davey Boy/Martel

On the road to WM….

The Hardys now have signs.

And they’ve added more Ring Boys - these go to the Harts (well, to Owen, he's the only one left) Adam and Christian. Adam will change his name sooner than later. Again, the Hardys for a few years now have been Ring Boys for the Clique, both the face and the heel side. Occasionally they work dark or squash matches. We see them sometimes in training sessions. Same deal with Adam and Christian - short hair for both, emphasizing their youth, t-shirts with their names on the back. JR puts the four young men over for their willingness to learn. Even though they're with the opposite squads (and as we're building to Michaels/Owen, Clique/Harts at Mania, there's a lot of historical heat) the four guys have a very friendly rivalry, and clearly, as we see them in the crevices of shows - have a lot of comraderie with each other, in arenas, they'll fool around in the ring to entertain the fans, do some highspots - in the taped training sessions, they'll meet in the locker room, exhausted. The air time for the Ring Boys increases after Mania.

And yeah, they're selling Adam and Christian as brothers too. Young Canadian kids, working as Owen Hart's ringboys.

Also, we meet a guy whose vignettes start – “The Abolitionist” Ulysses S. Morley. We see him, say, at a protest march where the protesters are being abused – we’ll have the leader of the march say, “Don’t fight back – turn the other cheek – let your body go limp…” Morley looks at him like he’s crazy – attacks the entire mob himself.

That kinda thing. He’s the opposite of the pacifist – this is a world of corporate greed, of discrimination – of racism – and some people say you should work within the system to change that…

…he says that’s fine for some people – but he likes to kick some ass.

We’re gonna abolish corporate greed in the WWF, abolish gang beatings, abolish crotch chops – abolish the confederate flag – Freedom! Freedom! Say it loud and Say it proud!! If Not Me – Then Who? And if Not Now – Then When???

He’s not working WM. We’re building.

Callis leads Kane to torment the Undertaker whenever possible, causing the Taker to call him out.

“I’ve been working my whole life to be in the main event at Wrestlemania – and when you helped Shawn Michaels stuff me in a casket at the Royal Rumble, you took that away from me Kane. I’m going to tell you once and for all – we ain’t partners, we ain’t brothers, and we ain’t friends – and so, at WM XIV, in Boston – I won’t be in the Main Event – but I will be in the Legend’s Match – and I will win my 4 th Legend’s Match to tie Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan – and when they raise my hand – I want to be standing over your corpse – Kane – I want to be standing over your corpse!”

So, we’ll do that.

Taka Michinoku has been with the company, winning on RAW, working dark – and now gets a PPV match against Mr. Aguila from Mexico. It’s a workrate match really, as opposed to a program. We’ll call it a Mexico v. Japan program – but really it’s just a double good match

At WM – we bring the workrate.

We’ve got the Nation…we’ve got the Clique…we’ve got the Southern Men…we’ve got the Undercard Faces…we’ve got the new tag team champions….

All feuding with each other.

We get a 9 man match on RAW – winners get the tag title shot against Funk and Foley.

HHH/Dogg/Gunn v. Bart/Bob/Mero v. Rock/DLo/Mark Henry…

…but the Southern Men, Jarrett and Dustin, take Henry out in the back…they drape his body in a Confederate flag….”Just like the good book says..”

So, Henry is 2 Cold Scorpio. Funky, Funky! 2 Cold joins the Nation!

The Clique goes over – the things they want to do here are – set up a bottom card DLo/2Cold v. Bart/Bob match – they’re all faces – but this match ignites a little feud. Also, they're setting up Rock/HHH…which is a serious feud, and one that’s gone on a little bit, recall the Rumble stuff So, it’s the leader of the Nation (smart asses we like) against the leader of the Clique (smart asses we don’t).

Two more matches.

That leaves the Outlaws to wrestle in a heel/heel match against Funk and Foley. And we’ll do the young guys against grizzled vets angle – ‘cept the vets are bad, bad men. It’s a falls count anywhere – just like the one they did. Jack and Funk say they’re gonna take the Clique JV to school. And there’s your tag title match.

Also in that 9 man, Mero is taken out on the outside by the Southern Men “What are you, boy? You think you beat Dustin Rhodes at the Rumble? Hell, no, boy, you beat some New Yorker's idea of a rasslin’ gimmick. At Wrestlemania – you’re gonna be in a fight with a Southern Man!”

Dustin/Mero, again, at Mania. This time, in a cage.

Two matches left.

Shamrock puts the IC on the line against Austin. Your special Octagon referee – Mike Tyson. And – as an extra bonus – Austin’s been WWF Champ – he’s been tag champ – which means, this is his chance to win the Triple Crown.

It was Tyson who turned the wrestling wars around, he drew lots of outside viewers who then stayed to watch Austin. So, this is a combustible program. Shamrock’s extra intense, “CACTUS JACK THOUGHT HE WAS THE TOUGHEST MAN ALIVE – AND CACTUS JACK TAPPED OUT. BIG VAN VADER THOUGHT HE WAS THE TOUGHEST MAN ALIVE – AND BIG VAN VADER TAPPED OUT – STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN – YOU WILL TAP OUT AT WRESTLEMANIA!!”

And Austin is Austin. All the way Stone Cold. “Ken Shamrock, you treat me like a dog and you expect me to smile? Look at you, The World’s Most Dangerous Man. With your little red trunks and your gloves on your hands. Do you think you impress me? Do you think you impress Stone Cold Steve Austin? If you want to impress Stone Cold, when I kick your ass all over Boston, Massachusetts at Wrestlemania XIV, it would impress me if you got down on your knees and handed me my Intercontinental Belt – and said, ‘thank you Stone Cold, thank you for teaching me what it means to be a man.’”

And Tyson is Tyson. Doesn’t like either guy – we have three way action all the way to Mania. They get national exposure – not only is Tyson going to Mania, but he’s climbing into the Octagon – Shamrock is a sports figure as opposed to a wrestler, which means he can get sports coverage – and when the national public meets Austin, they’ll eat him up. It’s kinda perfect, really.

Oh yeah – your main event…

Owen. Michaels. Strap.

At this point, we don’t need to retell the story. Suffice it to say that the Clique/Hart feud started 10 years ago – when Owen and Shawn worked dark at Summer Slam 1988. They were called the future of the company.

And now, ten years later – everyone else is gone. Bret, Diesel, Razor, Davey Boy, Waltman – gone.

Two triple crown winners – it is the match ten years in the making.

For the very first time ever, the Owen/Shawn feud headlines Wrestlemania. It’s 2 months of highlight packages, we see ten years of Hart/Clique memories (buy the DVD!) and we should have the sense – watching the clips of men no longer here – seeing Shawn and Owen change over the years – and now recognizing that Shawn is not 100%, that he is starting to break down – that we may now be at the very end of the feud. That this might be the culimination.

WM XIV... It’s Shawn and Owen for the strap – Shamrock/Austin/Tyson with the Triple Crown at stake – Funk and Jack defend in the garbage match against the Clique JV – how 'bout Rock v. HHH – how 'bout electrifying junior action with Taka/Aguila – Undertaker looking for his record tying legends win against his brother Kane – Dustin Rhodes/Marc Mero in a steel cage; 2 Cold and DLo against Bob and Bart in the opening tag It’s Wrestlemania 14– Call your local cable company!!

Survivor Series 1997

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Summer Slam is here.

Survivor Series – 1997 Montreal
Dark – Taka Michinoku d. 2 Cold Scorpio)

We open with the 10 bell salute. All the wrestlers wearing black armbands with the initials BP on them.

The crowd, by the way, is rabid. JR/Cornette on the announce. Lot of tension.

They sell the main event all night long. We get individual looks at the lives of all four guys, since one is moving on. We also have already done the up close and personal segments with Bret, Owen, and Shawn, so we’re loaded with tape. I want highlight packages, and brief interview clips from the run up to the show. Push it hard, hard, hard.

We meet Steve Austin. Driven by a feeling of disrespect. He got one shot at the NWA Title – lost to Pillman. One shot at the ECW title – lost. He got a shot at the WWF title – and won – but then had it stripped away. He has no friends, no allies, no one in the world except for his desire to regain what he believes is his – the recognition that he is the best wrestler in the world. He’s literally walking out of a wheelchair and into the ring this evening. If he wins tonight, he re-establishes that – and if he loses – where in the world could he possibly go?

1. The Nation (w/Markie) d. Godwinns
-Rock and DLo need to go over big time here, I want them rolling as faces. Rock can do all his stuff now, ‘cept the People’s Elbow, hate that crap. But when DLo’s in the ring, Rock can grab a headset, do a little commentary, say that the Godwinns are halfway between know your role boulevard and jabroni drive. Rock and DLo were a fun act when they were together – and a tag really hides Rock’s weaknesses. Big Markie on the floor. We’ll go all hip hop with the Nation. They’s real brothers, yo. Fo shizzle. Ain’t no party like Rock and DLo party, ‘cause a Rock and DLo party never stop. They don't keep one theme - they're the first WWF act to use current songs from the charts - whatever hip hop act is big that month, they use it. Their idiom, their clothes - constantly change depending on what's hot. Lots of bling Rock and DLo are always blinged out.

Hip hop comes to the WWF.

2. Kane (w/Callis) d. Blackjacks
Callis does the introduction - says here comes the most destructive force in wrestling history - Kane!....Kane is Kane - and now debuts with the mask - Callis says he doesn't want the world to see any part of the Undertaker's genetic code on his face. And, of course, the red, the fire, the chokeslams. He does the full on Undertaker bit, ‘cept he’s Kane, the Undertaker’s undead brother. Callis yells for him to keep attacking after the bell, Callis grabbing tables - grabbing tables and bringing them into the ring...Kane stacks them on top of each other, placing Windham on one, then taking Bradshaw up to the top rope -- and chokeslamming Bradshaw, through the tables and Windham.

Callis cackles an evil cackle. Good god - Kane.

We meet Owen Hart. The Great White Hope of the Hart Family, lot of pressure to carry when everyone says you’re the most talented member of the greatest wrestling dynasty ever. Then he’s out 3 years with the ankle injury. Owen’s had success, Triple Crown winner, beat his brother at X, but his title reign was short lived, he hasn’t quite had the career that Shawn has had – and nowhere near the success Bret’s had. If Owen wins tonight, he has a chance to take his spot at the top of the WWF, really for the first time. If he loses – his career will always be about promise somewhat unfulfilled.

3. Goldust (w/Golden Girls) d. Mero (w/other faces)
Goldust isn’t going anywhere, he’s not getting pushed, but he’s a solid enough wrestler with an interesting enough gimmick. They've heeled him up – Bart, Bob, and Savio band together, sort of a “we’re mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore” gimmick. Dustin and his big gold giants brawl with them all over the building – Dustin gets the fall.

4. Phil LaFon d. Doug Furnas
Good, good match. Phil brings out the Quebec flag, Furnas the American flag – and that’s all the crowd needs to go bitch ass crazy on this match. Plus, it’s a damn good match. LaFon wins clean, give the people what they want.

We meet Shawn Michaels. Think about being Shawn Michaels, constantly on the other side of wrestling royalty. It’s Shakespearean, really, Shawn as eternal foil of a Dynasty. The HBK attitude created his own rebellious faction, the Clique, which now spans two different companies and remains carved in his image. But Shawn, despite his greatness, has always been number two, even with a Triple Crown win to his name. And following Bret comes Owen – and after Owen, who knows? The Harts seem to have a birthright at the top of the WWF. If Shawn wins tonight – perhaps that lineage stops. If Shawn Michaels could walk into Montreal – and walk out with the WWF title, perhaps he could change the tide of history. And if he loses – if he perhaps, goes somewhere else, how will that change the wrestling landscape?

5. Vader d. Davey Boy
And this isn’t what the people want. Davey Boy, noticeably, comes out to the Hart Foundation music. It’s a solid brawl – but Vader overwhelms him – and they we look to get Vader’s heat back with multiple Vader bombs, leading to DBS having to get stretchered out. Vader didn’t work Summer Slam, hasn’t worked since Mania, he’s quicker, leaner, hungrier, they let Vader really destroy the Bulldog at the end. It’s Davey Boy’s last decent match of his life, and the end of this current WWF run. Who’s the Man? Who’s the Man? What time is it? Vader time! What time is it? Vader time.

6. Tags: Nation (w/Markie) d. NAO (w/HHH) d. Warriors
Okay – the match as set up is Road Warriors v. the Outlaws (w/HHH) but when they’re all in the ring – the Nation hits the aisle. Rock says he loves the Road Warriors, when he was a little Rock, he had the videos and the face paint and he’d grab a hairbrush and say, “What a rush” in the mirror. But Rock’s all grown up now, and it’s time even the Road Warriors learned they role and shut they mouths and give up they tag belts to the Nation of Domination. And as for the Clique – well, Billy used to be a Smoking Gunn, and with the number of times he and the Dogg point to their joints, it kinda seems to the Rock like they’re smoking something else. So, since the WWF can’t have the O-L-D or the Smokin’ Poles walk out of Survivor Series as the tag team champions – they decided to make this a 3 way – if you smell….you know.

And the Nation goes over. Henry and HHH fight on the outside, with the JV out of commission, Rock hits the Rock Bottom on either Warrior – DLo gets the frog splash and the fall.

Rock and DLo – your tag team champs. I’m cool with that. It's all about hip hop as we go into the Nine-Eight.

We meet Bret Hart. The story of the WWF is his story. Tonight is his 22 nd WWF PPV at which he wrestles in the main event. No other man has as many as ten. Add in all the IC matches, the long tag title runs – and you get 13 years as the backbone of a company. If they built a statue outside Titan Tower of any wrestler – it would be Bret Hart. But uneasy is the head that wears the crown – and if not Shawn and his Clique – it’s his own family – Owen/Davey Boy – and if not them there’s always a new face, a Steve Austin, right around the corner as Bret desperately tries to hold off the onslaught of time. If Bret wins tonight, he establishes once more than there is no claim to his throne. If Bret loses, the WWF will never be the same.

Coming up after the IC…it’s Bret, Shawn, Owen, Austin – winner is the WWF Champion – Loser Leaves Town.

7. IC: Octagon: Ken Shamrock d. Cactus Jack
And there’s your IC switch. Build to the spot where Foley goes to the foreign object, but Earl Hebner (your hero in counterfactual Survivor Series 97) sees it, throws it out – Shamrock applies a cross arm breaker – Foley eventually submits. Ken Shamrock, your IC champ. New guys!

All of the wrestlers from the back come out to the top of the aisle to watch the final matchup.

8. WWF Title: Loser of the Fall Leaves Town: Owen d. Bret d. Shawn d. Austin.
And here’s why you bought the show. This match is going 45 minutes.

I couldn’t love this any harder than I do.

One fall to the finish. Lots of stories to tell. There’s the obvious big stories. Bret and Shawn have been rivals for 7 years. Shawn and Owen have been rivals their entire WWF careers. Bret and Owen have been rivals for three years, although have recently found an uneasy peace. Austin’s mission has been to destroy all three of them. Not only are all 3 of the modern Triple Crown winners in this match, but the last time one of these four men wasn’t WWF Champion was WM VIII.

I want a face/heel spot – where Bret and Owen team up to take out Shawn and Austin. I’d like Bret and Owen to do a series of double teams on both guys, knock them out of the ring with clotheslines – then celebrate together briefly as the Montreal crowd roars. Then they have to turn on each other of course. We have to have a lengthy Bret/Owen spot.

I want Austin to take on all three guys. Owen gets knocked out of the ring – and Shawn and Bret have to work together against Austin. Austin gets a nearfall on Shawn…broken up by Bret. Austin gets a nearfall on Bret…broken up by Shawn. They doubleteam Austin, knock him from the ring. Shawn and Bret do a nose to nose – and we have the lengthy Shawn/Bret spot.

We have a Bret/Austin – that Austin gets the better of. We have a Shawn/Austin v. Owen, where Owen stands up strongly against both guys.

And here’s your finish…

Austin and Shawn are on the outside. We tease a Shawn piledrives Austin through the announce spot – which, since Austin’s just been paralyzed, is a thing. Austin reverses the piledriver though – and piledrives Shawn through the table.

Shawn’s out – and so is Austin, buried under Shawn and under the rubble of the table.

In the ring, it’s Bret and Owen – and as Austin tries to get out from under Shawn – Owen has Bret in the sharpshooter. It’s a long sharpshooter – Bret gets inches from the ropes…but Owen pulls him back in the middle of the ring – and for the first time in his career…

Bret submits.

Owen’s the new WWF Champion – and he’s ended Bret’s WWF career.

Owen’s stunned for a moment as the official hands him the belt – and simultaneously he realizes both sides of the equation. Owen’s eyes fill up, he shakes his head, “No, No” and hands the belt to Bret. Bret takes it, stares at the belt, the belt that he’s spent most of his adult life either in possession of or chasing -- and smiles at his brother – Bret shakes his head, then moves behind Owen – and fastens the belt around his little brother’s waist.

Owen and Bret hug, both men crying – as is everyone in the arena – Bret raises Owen’s hand in the air – saluting the new champion in what is Bret’s last ever WWF moment. The other wrestlers on the ramp applaud.

Bret's highlight reel plays over the TitanTron; the fans in Montreal tear down the building with their "please don't go" chants - Bret hugs his brother and shakes hands with every wrestler in the aisle, disappearing into the back as the show ends.

Thanks, Bret.

In the NWA, the Boss Man works, Page goes over Bagwell, we meet Bill Goldberg, who beats Luger. Sting beats Hennig. The Steiners keep over the unlikely tag team of Hogan and Savage. Your new US champion is Perry Saturn, beating Eddy. And your new NWA champion is Chris Benoit – who retakes from Dean.

Starrcade – 1997 DC
NWA Title: Chris Benoit d. Dean Malenko
US Title: Perry Saturn d. Eddy Guerrero
Tags: Steiners d. Hogan/Savage
Sting d. Curt Hennig

Bill Goldberg d. Lex Luger
DDP d. Bagwell
Scott Norton d. Bubba Rogers
Zybysko/Virgil d. McMichael/Bischoff

In ECW…Justin and Lance form the Impact Players and go over Candido and Guido. Bigelow beats Tommy. Jerry Lynn beats Doug Furnas, just arrived from WWF. Al now with the Head gimmick, beats Douglas. Sabu beats Sandman. The Dudleys keep. RVD keeps over 2 Cold, who will be back in New York for Mania. And Taz keeps over Masato Tanaka.

Living Dangerously – 1998 Asbury Park
ECW Title: Taz d. Masato Tanaka
TV Title: RVD d. 2 Cold Scorpio
Tags: Dudleys d. New Jack/Spike
Sabu d. Sandman

Al Snow d. Shane Douglas
Jerry Lynn d. Doug Furnas
Bam Bam Bigelow d. Tommy Dreamer
Justin/Lance d. Candido/Guido

On the road to the 10 th Rumble. They continue the NAO/Road Warriors thing. It’s an obvious program, Outlaws makes fun of the Warriors – Warriors do the veteran thing. Outlaws cut a "every tag team who ever came before us sucked" - which leads one RAW to their being jumped by...the Rock n Roll Express. And so they join this program.

We continue doing Mero/Goldust. We’re done with the Golden Girls, it was a joke with a limited run – the baby faces, Bart/Bob/Savio – take them all out in an 8 man. The faces celebrate a week later, doing an in ring promo crowing about taking out the Golden Girls, when they are interrupted by a guitar swinging Jeff Jarrett. “Do you think Jeff Jarrett is impressed because you can take out a bunch of makeup wearing goofs?”

Goof. Wrestling terminology. I’m talking inside.

“Try taking out the Southern Man. Try taking out Jeff Jarrett!” Jarrett's now gonna start waving the Confederate battle flag and talking about his wrestling heritage and how it's been prostituted by a New York idea of what wrestling is all about. Jarrett's here to be a proud Southern Man.

We’ll get Jarrett/Savio at the Rumble. We’ll get another Mero/Goldust.

Vader attacks Shamrock after a successful Shamrock defense (say, against 2 Cold) a couple of Vader bombs – and we’re good to go for the IC. Vader can work strong style, daddy. This is good. Announce notes the rumors that Ken Shamrock's begun to get lots of worldwide attention as the World's Most Dangerous Man -- and one Iron Mike Tyson is rumored to be headed to the Royal Rumble specifically to watch this match.

Tags….Maivia and DLo cut a triumphant promo – both wearing expensive suits, heavily pimped out with lots of jewelry – “The Rock says this – the Rock has been a lot of things in his year in the WWF – the Rock has been the first 3 generation superstar in WWF history...

DLo: 3 whole generations deep in gangsterdom

Rock: the Rock has been the spokesman for a black militant organization….

DLo: The so called white man. Y’all never took no bump.

Rock: The Rock has been the man who beat the Undertaker clean in the middle of the ring…

DLo: Rest in peace, dead man.

Rock: ..and now, the Rock and the Nation of Domination are the tag team Champions of the World. It is a new day, a new day in the WWF – and the Rock says this – the Rock and DLo and Big Markie on the side are going to San Jose to the Royal Rumble and will defend our belts against anyone of those candy asses in the back. If you smelllllllllll

Cactus music.

Foley: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry – Rock – I’m sorry that I had to interrupt your mastubatory exercise here – but I needed to talk to my pals for a moment here on Monday Night RAW.

Two weeks ago, at the Survivor Series, something very disappointing happened. I’m not talking about Bret Hit Man Hart leaving the WWF; sure, that drew all the headlines, but as Winston Churchill said, ‘The graveyards are filled with indespensible men,” and that little bit of education is free, courtesy of your old pal Cactus Jack.

No, I’m talking about the reaction of the fans in Montreal, when the men in the ring, the Nation of Domination, won the WWF tag team championships.

If I could direct your attention to the moving pictures on the Titan Tron, you’ll see Rock and DLo executing a vicious double team maneuver on the Road Warriors. Notice the fans cheering. This is what we in the business call a pop. Again, you’re welcome for the free education.

Now here, you’ll see the Rock – this man whom just a few moments ago you were…popping…for, hit Bad Ass Billy Gunn…I apologize for my language…hit Bad Bottom Billy Gunn with a closed fist.

I assume, pals, that you are all familiar with Rule 4.26 of the Code of Professional Wrestling which states that closed fists are a no-no! Bang-Bang.

But despite this, not only was The Nation of Domination not disqualified – but they went on to win the prestigious WWF Tag team championship – and more than that – they apparently are very popular tag team champions.

So you can understand my disappointment, pals, in that a tag team that so deliberately flaunts the rules is rewarded with your love and appreciation. You can understand my disappointment, pals, that as opposed to condemning the dastardly acts of those men in the ring, you choose to shower them with applause. AND YOU CAN UNDERSTAND MY DISAPPOINTMENT, PALS, WHEN YOU HAVE A CHOICE BETWEEN CHEERING THAT LITTLE ROLEX WEARING BITCH IN THE RING – OR A MAN WHO HAS BLED FOR YOU FOR TEN YEARS – AND YOU CHOOSE TO CHEER FOR THE ROCK.

So, again, I’m going to have to provide you with some education – and for the men in the ring, it’s going to be a very expensive education -- it’s an education about pain – an education about respect – an education in telling the difference between a shiny suit and a catchphrase – and men with actual respect for this business. Rock and DLo – I will accept your challenge for the Royal Rumble – and I will take your title belts at the Royal Rumble – with some help by my tag team partner…

Terry Funk enters the ring – chairshots to Rock, DLo, Mark Henry…..chairshots, chairshots, chairshots…taking all of them out….

Foley: Have a nice day.

And we get the young, fresh hip hop tag team against the grizzled, brutal, veteran tag team. And we have our Foley/Rock program.

In the big angle. The day after Survivor Series, we get a tribute to Bret, even though he's gone. Whole night, clips and interviews. It’s hosted by Owen, your WWF Champion. It’s warm, reflective – and ended when Michaels and Austin hit the ring to attack.

Michaels and Austin then brawl themselves. They each want the shot at Owen at the Rumble – Michaels says he’s beaten Owen many times – he deserves the shot – Austin says he still has never lost his title in the ring.

They do a 3 match series on RAW – winner gets the shot.

Michaels wins the first, with help from the Clique.

Austin wins the second and the third. Road Warriors and the Express attack the Clique at ringside, laying them out so Austin can get the Stunner and pin Michaels clean. Express and Warriors then brawl themselves.

It’s Owen/Austin for the strap at the Rumble.

But Michaels doesn’t go home empty handed, he will have a number one contender’s match at the Rumble – winner will go to XIV to wrestle for the strap.

That number one contenders match will be against the Undertaker. In a Casket Match.

So – at Royal Rumble ’98 – it’s the Owen/Austin for the World Title; Shamrock/Vader in the Octagon for the IC, Cactus Jack and Terry Funk teaming up to take on the tag team champions, The Nation – it’s Michaels/Undertaker for the number one contendership in a Casket match, it’s the return of Jarrett, it’s another round in Mero/Goldust, it’s the Outlaws v. the Warriors. It’s a loaded card, up and down, it’s Royal Rumble '98! Call your thing!

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