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.

Summer Slam 1996

Saturday, February 11, 2006

XII is here.

Summer Slam – 1996 Cleveland
JR returns - he and Cornette on the announce.

(Dark: NOD d. Hardys)

Open with Foley. “Hello, Cleveland. We haven’t been formally introduced, my name is Cactus Jack. If it’s okay, I’d like to tell you a story that might help us to get to know each other a little better. Who knows, maybe one day, we might become pals. So, there’s a little boy who I know, now, this little boy means the world to me, and because this little boy means the world to me, I try really hard not to let that little boy down. Maybe you have someone like that in your life, my new Cleveland pals, maybe you do.

Now, you might not know it to look at me, but there are some things that I don’t know that much about. Sometimes, that little boy will ask me, “Cactus Jack, why is the sky blue?” Now I know it’s got something to do with the refraction of light and the color spectrum, but really all I remember about the color spectrum from Mr. Bayliss’s 7 th grade science class is ROY G BIV, and well, ROY G BIV isn’t really much of an answer to “Cactus Jack, why is the sky blue?”

And sometimes, sometimes that little boy, the most beautiful little boy in the world, I’m not embarrassed to tell you, Cleveland, that little boy says, “Cactus Jack, what happens after we die?” This is a difficult question for master theologians, so how do hard do you think it is to answer for a man who…

(Foley pulls the next object mentioned out of a bag he brought to the ring, drawing the huge pop and changing the tone of the promo, from the squeaky Jack to the louder, screaming Jack)

…has spent his entire adult life, carving people up with barbed wire baseball bats!

So there are enough questions in the world that Cactus Jack does not know the answer to – enough times that Cactus Jack has to disappoint his favorite little boy – that he doesn’t really need any more!

So, in 1994, when I got home from wrestling in Germany against the man who right now is the WWF Intercontinental Champion – The Man They Call Vader – when I got home and saw that little boy – and that little boy hid behind his mother when I went to hug him – that boy hid behind his mother when he saw…

(Foley pulls back his hair to show his missing ear)

…when he saw what happened to me in that ring in Germany…when that little boy asked me the question that I never wanted to answer, “Cactus Jack, Cactus Jack – what happened to your ear, Cactus Jack?” What am I supposed to say to that little boy? How do I say that “Your Daddy had his ear torn off his head by a 400 pound man in Germany”? How do I say that, Cleveland? How do I tell that little boy that his father is some kind of sick, deformed, freak, who went to work one day AND CAME BACK WITHOUT HIS EAR???

So, tonight, my new best pals, tonight – you are going to see why the next time that little boy asks me where we go when we die, I’m going to pull out the Old Testament for my Answer – because tonight, in the Intercontinental Title Match, Cactus Jack is going to extract Biblical Revenge from the Man they Call Vader…An Eye for an Eye…A tooth for A tooth…And an Ear for an Ear…”

1. Godwinns d. Yoko/Savio
-Squeal like a pig! Squeal like a pig for Phinneas! Back that thing up Yokozuna! You took our parking spot and now we’re gonna make you squeal like a pig! They drag Yoko away…okay, I’m thinking Phinneas wears a leather mask when he wrestles, like the gimp in Pulp Ficton. We’re gonna call him Phinneas the Gimp – Henry’s gonna lead him to the ring with a chain.

2. Undertaker d. Jake
-Squash. Don’t even know if Jake gets the verse out. Undertaker buries him, but then then he is attacked by the evergrowing Nation of Domination, which now is Ahmed/Simmons/ D-Lo., and tonight, making his debut - The World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry. All in the bow ties. They surround the ring, beat down the Taker. Simmons taking the mic, “There’s your so called legend! There’s the White Devil that you all pray to! The Reign of the White Devil Undertaker is Over! The Nation of Domination is going to take over the So-Called WWF By Any Means Necessary! Then they lynch him.

String him up in the middle of the ring – put a white hood on him – string him up. The undercard has taken an odd turn. Lynch the motherfucker. The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.

3. Davey Boy Smith d. Jerry Lawler
-Squash. Pillman, walking with his cane, enters. It’s the Pillman we saw in the WWF, except much more famous in wrestling, since he’s a much bigger deal in this NWA universe. But he is hurt and can’t actually work, so I’m stuck there – I loved the Loose Cannon gimmick, so we’ll keep it. Davey Boy is completely unsure what to make of Pillman – wary as Pillman unloads on Lawler with the cane. Cane, cane, cane, cane. Lawler completely busted open. Pillman puts Lawler in the Sharpshooter until he screams in pain. Broken ankle. That’s it for Jerry. Pillman, the crazed look in his eye, puts on Lawler’s crown, “I’m the King! I’m the King! I’m the King of Memphis, Tennessee! I’m the King, I’m the King, I’m the King of Memphis Tennessee! I knocked that Lawler out tonight, I’m gonna knock him out again!”

4. Billy Gunn (w/Road Dogg) d. Chris Candido
I’m gonna say Candido was good enough to make this a good match. Billy’s awful now, but was only average then, so this can work. It’s the end of the line for Candido, so he feeds the New Age Outlaws, who we aren’t calling the New Age Outlaws yet – but that’s what they are. HHH, alone, all of the sudden with the rest of the Clique going to the NWA, recruits these two to be his flunkies. HHH is now at the top of the Clique (although he’s staying in the middle of the card) and these guys are gonna carry his bags. Road Dogg has say, Sunny’s old costume that he waves at Candido – maybe Sunny’s hair – maybe they play a videotape of Sunny, drunk, stripping for the Clique. Fun. HHH enters after the match, Pedigrees Candido into next week. Candido’s old partner Savio runs in for the save. Pedigree. It’s tough to be a lower card face.

5. Al Snow d. Marty Jannetty
Al comes out in the Rocker gear. He wants to do the old Rocker stuff with Marty, he leaves the ring and stands on the apron and starts clapping – he asks Marty for a tag. He tries to get Marty to do the double team stuff. When Marty hits one of his moves, Al congratulates him. Al hits the superkick, the elbowdrop, does the Michaels pose – then Al hits the Snowplow for the fall. Al beats his own head into the turnbuckles again. Does a moonsault to the canvas. That’s Al’s move!

6. Tags: Marc Mero/Bart Gunn d. Steve Austin/Dustin Rhodes
Yeah, seriously. Bart’s second strap – Mero’s NWA tag strap was with Paul Orndorff, so the mismatched thing is his gimmick, apparently. Austin doesn’t wrestle here, Dustin tries to give him a high five after they are introduced – Austin gives him the “I’m Steve Austin” look. Austin stuns Dustin, shoots him the middle finger – and starts to exit when Bart covers Dustin…Austin re-enters, saves Dustin, stuns Bart…then stuns Mero – Austin leaves all 3 men out in the ring, shooting the middle fingers at all of them and then exiting. Eventually they rise, Dustin, near tears, obviously very, very emotional – fights hard in a handicap situation, turning him face – but he can’t beat the two guys. Mero and Bart…your new tag champs.

7. IC: Vader (w/Perfect) d. Cactus Jack
They had a great feud on WCW Saturday Night, and this world, wrestled on one PPV, in 1991. And Vader ripped off Foley’s ear in Germany. This is a first class brawl, no one takes a shot like Foley, so we can get Vader’s legit brutality over. Vader busts Jack’s nose with a potato shot. Vader splitting Jack open and yelling at him “Who’s the Man, Cactus?” “Who’s the Man?” This also gives us the opportunity to sell Foley’s ability to take shots. Foley gets his nose busted, and like Rocky, keeps waving for Vader to come on, to hit him again, to hit him harder. Foley kicks out of the Vaderbomb. Foley takes it outside with the cactus clothesline, Foley hits the running elbowdrop off the apron. Foley pulls up the outside mat and gets backdropped to the concrete. Vader goes to the apron…Vader’s going to Vader bomb from the apron to the outside atop Foley…Foley pulls the steel steps over his own body to brace from the shock – Vader splats on steel steps, which then splats on Foley.

Vader goes over eventually.

Vader staggers away with his belt, leaving a bloody Foley – who won’t be kept down – Foley attacks Vader in the aisle – taking the title belt and bashing him with it – Foley and Vader fighting --- Vader lifting Foley high - Hennig yelling at him to do it - do it DO IT!!!!

--and Vader powerbombs Foley off the ramp. Yikes.

8. WWF Title: Shawn Michaels d. Owen Hart
HBK keeps the strap, beating his longtime rival one more time. On the outside before the match, Pillman enters, swinging his cane, trying to go after Michaels – Austin attacks Pillman, putting the boots to him on the outside – Owen saves – Owen and Austin brawl, as they did at the battle royal, Michaels gets involved, dragging Owen into the ring to start their match as Pillman and Austin continue their fight to the back.

Michaels wins clean. Superkick. Pinfall. This incidentally, is the 5 th PPV headliner for both HBK and Owen. They are positioned as virtually equal, with HBK just a second better tonight. They do the face v. face, Harts v. Clique matchup. Neither turns, nor does the story move particularly, it’s just one more chapter in the feud, and the very best possible matchup we could have had at Summer Slam 96.

As Michaels holds the belt aloft, we see he is simultaneously at his most triumphant and absolutely exhausted. He’s outlasted Razor and Diesel. He’s once again beaten Owen. He finally beat Bret who then left the company. And instead of being able to rest at the mountaintop – he sees Austin, Vader, Foley….the next wave of challengers to peck at his heels. Michaels accepts the cheers as we focus on on his smile turned grimace.

I always play the ennui.

That would be a good name for a promotion ENNUI. Or at least a PPV. Somebody tell Misawa.

In the NWA…the Giant beats the Nasty Boys. Hogan beats Luger. Arn is forced to retire with the neck injury, loses to Sting on the way out. We meet Chavo Guerrero, Eddy’s nephew, who beats DDP.

For the tag titles, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash beat Harlem Heat and the Outsiders get strapped up. A newcomer wins the US title – Rey Mysterio beating Ric Flair. And Benoit keeps the NWA Title against a fellow Canadian, Chris Jericho.

Fall Brawl – 1996 Winston Salem
NWATitle: Chris Benoit d. Chris Jericho
US: Rey Mysterio d. Ric Flair
Tags: Hall/Nash d. Harlem Heat
Juventud Guerrera d. Konan d. Calo

Chavo Guerrero d. DDP
Sting d. Arn
Hogan d. Lex Luger
Giant d. Nasty Boys

In Philadelphia…Stevie and DVon lose a tag match. Terry Funk wins. Chris Candido and Louie Spicoli make their ECW debuts, Candido beating Spicoli. The Sandman beats Brian Lee. Raven beats Dreamer again. In the tags, the Eliminators go over Bubba Ray and Mikey Whipwreck. The new TV champ is RVD, who beats 2 Cold. And the new ECW Champ…Shane Douglas, fresh from his trip to New York, he returns and goes over Sabu.

November to Remember 1996 Philadelphia
ECW Title: Shane Douglas d. Sabu
TV: Rob Van Dam d. 2 Cold Scorpio
Tags: Eliminators d. Mikey/Bubba
Raven d. Dreamer

Terry Funk d. Sandman
Chris Candido d. Louie Spicoli
Devon Storm d. Brian Lee
Gangstas d. Stevie/DVon

The Survivor Series is coming from MSG. Not for nothing, but I have tickets.

Alabama Bob, since he’s getting over with the audience, comes back after the Clique, this time against the New JV. Billy was beating Savio in a singles, which was set up, you know, with the Candido thing, Road Dogg cheating to aid his boy --- Bob couldn’t take it anymore, he ran in – and now we have a tag match for Survivor Series.

Your Clique leader, HHH, is in a new feud. He was scheduled to face Dustin on RAW – Dustin didn’t enter – HHH went to the back to find him – Dustin wasn’t in the men’s locker room…he was in the women’s…

Yeah, we’re gonna get Goldust now. Austin’ betrayal caused something in him to snap – and now we’re gonna do Goldust/HHH.

We’ve got newcomers from Philadelphia. 2 Cold Scorpio, who arrives as a bigger star – not only an ECW TV champ – but the 2 time NWA US Champ. He’s funky, funky. They have him go over all the high flyers in the company on…Matt and Jeff, I suppose. But what we’re gonna get at the PPV is 2 Cold/Al. Al attacks 2 Cold during one of his matches, “I DO NOT LIKE YOU, SCORP DOG! YOU ARE NOT PERSONABLE AND I DO NOT LIKE YOU!” Al says Scorpio once…I don’t know, took the last Sprite from the ECW locker room once or takes too long in the showers after the shows, or borrowed a pen one time AND DID NOT GIVE IT BACK!!! This is with whom we’d do the parking space gag since the Godwinns are into the man rape. Al – he builds hyper intense feuds over trivial things. It’s his gimmick. Got it. That’s Al’s character.

Al/Scorpio. It’s a good match.

Also arriving, Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon. And they just outwrestle by a hundred miles anyone they put them in the ring with going to Suvivor Series, making them solid favorites to go over the competent, but less than inspiring tag champs. They sell Furnas/LaFon as technically superior, maybe the greatest technical tag team in the world. They play up their All Japan run – imagine, a WWF fan saying, “these guys wrestled Kobashi!” That’s what I want. This is a world renown tag team, it’s like when Tenryu came to wrestle Bret – that’s what I want with Furnas/LaFon.

And the Nation debuts a new member, a fifth member. They’re doing a handicap match on RAW, Ahmed/Simmons against the Undertaker. Mark Henry, DLo at ringside, making this a 4 on 1 -- but the Undertaker is the Undertaker – so he can battle the entire Nation by himself – until the run in by another young man in a bowtie…

Rocky Maivia.

Hey, there’s Rocky Johnson’s kid!

Rock Bottom on the Dead Guy. The Rock cuts a promo…he can’t really hit the catchphrases for a little while yet – but he can do a “Why wasn’t my grandfather the WWF Champion? Because he was a Red Man. A true American. Why wasn’t my father ever WWF Champion? Because he was a black man. I played football at the University of Miami and won a national Championship – why didn’t I get drafted by the NFL? Ron Simmons was an All American at Florida St, why isn’t he in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Mark Henry is the World’s Strongest Man – why didn’t he win a gold medal? Because we are BLACK MEN. We are the scariest substance in all the universe! The white man – you Undertaker – you are all keeping us down! And in New York City, in the World’s Most Famous Arena – the Nation of Domination will destroy all you white devils – by any means necessary!

In the IC…a rematch, Foley/Vader….In a cage.

Foley cuts more promos. Vader is a rhinocerous. Foley attacks Vader with the barbed wire baseball bat the week before the show, Vader takes it away from him and carves Foley up. Heavy juice on RAW – will they cancel the show? Will we lose advertisers? Only time will tell. Perfect gets wiped out here, Foley leaves him for dead one night on RAW and that wraps up this run.

Two more matches.

Time for Owen/Austin. Austin’s gonna call Owen out like he spent this stretch calling out Bret. The whole 3:16 Stone Cold schtick will be focused on Owen, ‘cause Owen is now the white knight of the Hart family, see. “Pink and Black, what the hell is that about, Owen?” I see Austin doing a spot where he comes to the ring in a wheelchair, a full cast on his leg – oh, no, there’s not gonna be a Survivor Series, Austin’s broken his leg.

Austin says he’s sorry, but Mr. Perfect made fun of him in the back, and so now his leg is broken and he’ll lose to Rick Martel at Wrestlemania 5 but after that he’ll be gone for 3 years. He’s sorry though. And he’s Canadian. And his name is Owen and he’s a yellow bastard. Owen makes Austin sick. Everything handed to him Intercontinental Title, handed to him. WWF Title, handed to him. Stone Cold Steve Austin’s had to work for everything his entire life. Stone Cold Steve Austin had to scratch and claw in the NWA. Stone Cold Steve Austin had to go to a bingo hall in Philadelphia. Stone Cold Steve Austin had to tag up with a yellow freak to get into the WWF – and at Survivor Series, Owen Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin will have to beat your overrated Canadian ass all over the ring at Madison Square Garden, cause Austin 3:16…’cause Stone Cold sez…you know how these things end.

Somewhere on this road, Michaels defends the title against HHH.

Michaels goes over, of course, and on the outside we’ll get Billy/Dogg interference stopped by Bob/Savio. We’ll have Goldust enter after the match, roll his body all over HHH – maybe lick him a little bit.

Yeah, see, Goldust isn’t playing mindgames – Goldust is a freak, daddy. Licking HHH in the middle of the ring.

And, when Michaels celebrates – he’s attacked – by the guy in the Hart Foundation jacket and mask.

That Pillman! That Pillman is wearing the mask again! We all know that’s Brian Pillman!

He hits Michaels with the cane – he does Bret’s moves – it’s the same spot we got before at the battle royal.

The masked man tries to get the Sharpshooter – but Michaels is able to escape, Michaels gets a bit of a comeback – Michaels with the superkick --- Michaels now locks on the Sharpshooter! Michaels with the sharpshooter…

Michaels is hit over the back of the head with a cane.

By Brian Pillman.

Pillman puts the boots to Michaels, Michaels is busted open. The man in the mask gets to his feet, pulling off his mask…

Bret Hart.

Bret and Pillman destroy Michaels…busting him open, leaving him laying.

It’s Bret and Shawn….Bret and Shawn….Bret and Shawn…at Survivor Series.

We’ve got Bret/Shawn, Owen/Austin, the Vader/Jack rematch, the debuts of 2 Cold, Furnas/Lafon, and Maivia, we’ve got the Clique – it’s Survivor Series '96 – let’s go, baby! I got tickets! Woooooooo!!!!!

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