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 1997

Saturday, February 18, 2006

XIII is here.

Summer Slam 1997 East Rutherford

It's the 10th Summer Slam...time for the clip package....

Andre and Hogan team up...Rude Awakening on Jake...Hogan and Dusty team up...Snuka hits the splash on the Warrior...young Dustin Rhodes joins his dad in putting the boots to Hogan...Michaels superkicks Tito...Undertaker tombstones Von Erich...Michaels elbowdrops Owen through the announce table in Wembley...Waltman hits the X Factor on Owen...Tatanka submits to Jarrett...Undertaker and Diesel go nose to nose...Sunny taunts Candido..Al moonsaults to the canvas...

(Dark – Taka Michinoku/2 Cold Scorpio d. Furnas/LaFon)

As with every show this year -- JR and Cornette.

Three letters on the video wall….H…..B……K……

Michaels music. Michaels returns. Michaels has been gone since the Rumble, saying he’s back to be the special guest referee in tonight’s title match. If Austin and Bret are going to hook it up – it’s only right that Shawn Michaels be right in the middle of it.

Austin music. Austin hits the ring, says Shawn's a yellow bastard, that the last he saw of him, he was turning tail and running away to avoid getting another Stone Cold ass whipping, and it didn't matter to him if Shawn was wearing the striped shirt tonight, the only stripe he has is that yellow one running up and down his back.

Bret music.

Bret goes nose to nose with Austin, says tonight, the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be will become the only man ever to hold the WWF Championship 4 times, and that's the bottom line, because Bret Hart said so.

And if you want to get in the way, Shawn Michaels...Bret will kick your ass again for old times sake.

1. Godwinns d. Jose/Jesus Castillo
Nation (Rock/DLo/Henry) enter after the match, refusing the let the Godwinns do the man love with the Castillos. I think this is the final face turn for the Nation. Rock and DLo are a pretty good act, hitting the catchphrases – Mark Henry stands in the back like every hip hop bodyguard. They’ll call him Big Markie. Rock says the Nation enjoys the freaky deaky, anyone who’s every seen Big Markie enjoy the company of Twila the he/she knows they don’t discriminate. The Rock doesn’t want to judge the Godwinns, wants to accept them just the way they are – but they just can’t let them abuse the poor little brown men. The Castillos drove with their 17 brothers and sisters across the border in the back of a 71 AMC Pacer – and the Rock says that the Godwinns should leave their brown asses alone! The Godwinns take issue with this – and they brawl.

2. Undertaker d. Brian Lee
-Cause, obviously he does. After the match, the arena goes dark – the screen turns red – and we see the words….DEATH RETURNS TO THE SURVIVOR SERIES…

‘Cause it’s Kane, of course. And he’ll come back with the Kane gimmick, without the mask, and they'll push him again and then he’ll feud with his brother again. ‘Cause what else would we do with them?

3. Savio Vega d. Miguel Perez
We just let Savio have this one. I thought about their squashing both of them with the Clique, ‘cause the Clique gotsta eat – but nah. We’ll just let him get his win. Savio~!

4. Last Man Standing: HHH (w/JV) d. Goldust (w/Girls)
 This will be tonight’s crazy garbage match. Blood and broken things. They’ll add to the confusion, chaos, and carnage with The Nation and the Godwinns – that means 10 guys on the outside breaking things over each other’s heads while Dustin gets the curtain call (Heat From the Bottom!) but HHH kicks out and gets the Pedigree. And that’ll end this feud.

Taped shoot style promos with the Road Warriors and Owen and Davey Boy, talking about their tag careers, and their memories of the Summer Slam tag title matches, as it's the historical aspect of this match that sells....Davey talks about how talented he thought the Rougeaus were, and we see them go over Demolition...Owen talks about the Rockers, and how impressed he was with Michaels, and we see him getting the fall on AA. The Warriors talk about seeing the Orient Express win the straps and knowing they could punk them out - and then we see both Kato and Tanaka take the Device. They talk about the excitement of defending against Power and Glory at MSG in '91 - and then we see both Herc and Roma taking the Device...and both Hawk and Animal express disgust, uncomfortable disgust at having lost to Money Inc in London...Owen and Davey put the Steiners over as one of the great teams of all time, and we see them suplex the Headshrinkers...then Luger and Bigelow celebrate their win...Hawk says, "what do I think about the Smoking Gunns? I think they sucked - and you can quote me" as the Gunns keep over Ron and Don...then Austin turns on Dustin, allowing Mero and Bart to take the straps...

5. Tags: Road Warriors d. Hart Foundation
Notice that this breaks format. It’s all history, ‘cause at this point, Owen’s the only good wrestler of the bunch, the rest are deteriorating. But it’s a heavy historical match and works from a storytelling standpoint. Pillman enters, of course, taking Owen out and keeping him from tagging in, leaving Davey Boy alone to take the Doomsday Device. 5 1/2 years after their year and a half at the top ended, the Warriors win the belts again. Big nostalgic pop.

6. Owen d. Pillman
The Owen/Pillman brawl transitions right into their match – Pillman’s all heart at this point, his body is completely broken down – but he and Owen could make this extra compelling. It’s gonna turn out to be Pillman’s only WWF singles, so even though it’s not officially loser leaves town, they sell the drama of Pillman’s entire career – which is raised significantly on the NWA side. Owen wins with the Sharpshooter. They tease that he’ll break Pillman’s ankle, bringing back that spot, which would be a thing since it’s Pillman’s ankle that kept him from working. But Owen’s a good guy and gives up the hold. Austin enters – Austin enters – and Austin puts the sharpshooter on Pilllman! Austin puts the sharpshooter on Pillman until Owen breaks the hold – Austin brawls with Owen – save by Bret. Austin and Bret brawl on the outside! They brawl on the outside...Michaels enters...Michaels enters, trying to break it up - it's now a three way brawl all the way up the aisle.

Owen carries Pillman from the ring.

That’s Pillman’s last show. He dies between now and Survivor Series.

JR and Cornette put over the legacy of the IC matches at Survivor Series - saying it all got started with the Hit Man...

Clip of Bret beating Davey Boy at MSG, then Davey turning heel and press slamming his old partner...Rude hitting the Awakening on his stablemate Hennig...Jake submitting to Bret's sharpshooter...the legendary Steamboat submitting to Bret's sharpshooter..Savage keeping over Jacques...Michaels hitting multiple elbowdrops on Hennig...Razor hitting the Edge on Diesel...Michaels climbing the ladder to beat Razor...Vader powerbombing Jack off the ramp...

7. IC: Octagon Match: Ken Shamrock d. Cactus Jack (DQ)
It’s crazy screwjob night at the old ballyard. I figure once they break format it may as well go all the way. Shamrock’s tricky, since he’s a shootfighter as opposed to an amateur wrestler. Nonetheless, in the submission segments, he’ll be stronger but Foley will want to try to prove himself on the mat. Likewise, Foley will be stronger at the brawling segment, although again, Shamrock’s a shootfighter as opposed to an amateur wrestler, so he can brawl too. It’s delicate – the Shamrock push only works if he’s not a professional wrestler – so, without saying it, obviously, they need to sell this as a shoot. So, the era of the worked shootfight comes to the US. Foley’s double smart, so it’s do able, in fact, strong style matches – with heavy legit contact in a worked environment, were just starting in Japan now – where they tried to capture the atmosphere of the shoot – ideally, if you just tuned in, you wouldn’t know it was worked. It allows a new audience, and lets us see a match that looks a little different.

Anyway, the way to do this is to play up Foley’s resentment of Shamrock being in his ring, the shootfighter showing up the wrestler, and Foley’s increasing frustration during the match as Shamrock beats him on the mat and can keep up with him during the brawling segment. Foley finally pulls out an object – say a corkscrew, and Foley gouges Shamrock – leading to the DQ.

Foley pulls out a pouch of thumbtacks from his tights, pouring them out over the ring, and he and Shamrock both take thumbtack bumps. Foley screaming at Shamrock as he bloodies him, “I AM THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS MAN!! I AM CACTUS JACK.” Shamrock fights back hard – his cornermen (‘member, Shamrock’s got a half dozen cornermen, like a fighter) enter to pull the two apart. Foley keeps the strap, but loses the match, and this serves as the effective heel turn.

Cut to tape of Gorilla Monsoon, in what will be his last WWF appearance. He thanks the fans for supporting Summer Slam and the WWF - says he was privileged to call many of the great moments you've seen tonight - and many of the great World Championship matches you're about to see. Thank you - and enjoy.

The legendary Dynamite Kid getting the fall on Savage...Savage hitting an elbowdrop and covering Bret...Hennig beating Savage....Davey Boy's celebration with Bret after the Bulldog won the strap at MSG...Bret beating Davey Boy in London...Bret getting the fall on Razor, and then going nose to nose with the 'Taker...Owen escaping the cage as Davey hangs onto Bret...Bret getting Hakushi to tap...and Michaels hitting Owen with the superkick...

8. WWF Title: Steve Austin DRAW Bret Hart (double countout) (Michaels, guest ref)
Screwjob Summer Slam continues. Hey, I've been doing this 13 years and this is the first time. Let 'em boo. Fucking fans. See, we have multiple issues to work with. The first is that this is the show where Austin was temporarily paralyzed after the piledriver from Owen. So, I think I’m stuck with that outcome, and I’m certainly stuck with Austin not wrestling until Survivor Series.

So, Bret hits the piledriver – and Austin doesn’t get up.

But, there's also big career issues with both Bret and Shawn, and the Counterfactual needs to navigate through all of them. So- screwjobs.

Bret hits the piledriver. Austin doesn’t move – and when Bret goes to cover, Shawn (your special guest referee, recall from the top) drops to count...1...2...but just can't bring himself to count 3 for Bret, can't give him the WWF Title, so instead -- he superkicks him cold. Yeah, that’s pretty much a heel turn for Michaels. Gotta keep Shawn and Bret on opposite sides, you’ll note.

Shawn then puts Austin’s arm over Bret, counts to 2…then stops…then puts Bret’s arm over Austin, counts to two – then stops --- then Shawn has them lying side by side – and starts the 10 count. When he gets to 7 – he covers both men himself – and finishes the count – shocking the people – ‘cause, you know, it’s a double count out, with Shawn pinning both guys.

Shawn poses in the ring over both men and the Clique hits the aisle – Shawn exits and does a nose to nose with HHH --- HHH making the sign of the Clique – which Shawn accepts – Shawn makes the sign of the Clique with Hunter, Billy, and the Dogg – the four men crotch chopping toward the fans as they exit. The show ends as both Bret and Austin remain laid out in the ring.

They're not gonna use the DX name, 'cause I'm married to the Clique gimmick - but now they'll start doing all that DX stuff. And Shawn will name Billy and the Dogg the New Age Outlaws.

There’s some angle left below to get us from here to the next thing on RAW the next night – live, from Nepal...Vince McMahon.

Vince has been gone a couple years now, vowing to find inner peace -- and we see him on the feed, he's in rags, thin to the point of gaunt, bald...put peaceful. He has kind eyes that Vince McMahon. Somewhere in South Florida, a 13 year old girl who one day plans on working at a tanning salon watches and thinks - there's a guy who I'll never have to worry about groping me at work.

Anyway, Vince announces that since Austin can’t wrestle for the next 3 months – he can’t defend the belt- and he’s stripped.

The belt will be held up To be wrestled for at Survivor Series. In Montreal.

In the NWA…Hall and Nash go over Harlem Heat. Flair beats Jarrett. The Giant beats Luger. Mortis beats Page. Jericho beats…Curt Hennig. The Steiners win the tag straps, going over Konan and Waltman. Eddy keeps the US in a war over Benoit. And Dean keeps the big belt, beating Ultimo Dragon.

Fall Brawl – 1997 Winston Salem
NWA Title: Dean Malenko d. Ultimo Dragon
US Title: Eddy Guerrero d. Chris Benoit
Tags: Steiners d. Konan/Waltman
Chris Jericho d. Curt Hennig

Kanyon d. DDP
Giant d. Luger
Ric Flair d. Jeff Jarrett
Hall/Nash d. Harlem Heat

In ECW…Guido and Justin team up for a win. Candido beats Mikey. Lance Storm wins. Bigelow beats Dreamer. Sabu beats the Sandman. The Dudleys keep the tags. RVD keeps the TV. And Taz is your new ECW Champion, taking the belt from Douglas.

November to Remember – 1997 Monaca, PA
ECW Title: Taz d. Shane Douglas
TV Title: RVD d. Jerry Lynn
Tags: Dudleys d. New Jack/Kronus
Sabu d. Sandman

Bam Bam Bigelow d. Dreamer
Lance Storm d. Tracey Smothers
Chris Candido d. Mikey
Guido/Justin d. Axl/Balls

On the road to Montreal…

We've got a new character; Don Callis, whom you may know from ECW. He was the Jackyl in real world WWF -- but in the Counterfactual, he's gonna do a year as Kane's manager. Callis says Kane is the Big Red Machine, he's the Undertaker’s better brother, and maybe the Undertaker thinks he's seen the last of him - but he’s returning, he’ll bring death and destruction. And to show his power - he wants the Blackjacks, Bradshaw and Windham, at the PPV.

They move the Nation/Godwinns feud forward. That’ll further serve to turn Rock and DLo face as they make fun of the hillbillies. Always a good target. Hillbillies will refer to Rock and having a purty mouth, and Rock does his schtick.

With Goldust/HHH over – they move the Golden Girls onto Marc Mero. Again, it’s his prettiness that attracts them – they’re fascinated by him because he looks like Little Richard. “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like a more effeminate Little Richard?” Yeah, heavy gay in the undercard. Tag matches between Bart and Mero against various members of the Golden Girls. They stick Alabama Bob and Savio, as your bottom card faces, right along with Marc/Bart for the 8 men matches – and they’ll mix and match in various combination, serving to turn Dustin heel. All these faces are solid enough – and making fun of them sexually with the big, goofy, Golden Girls is good enough for what we have to do. We’ll get a singles at the PPV. And it’s a new midcard feud.

Furnas and LaFon – recall their dissension – finally explode.

They have a match with the Outlaws against F/L for the right to meet the Warriors. The Outlaws goes over with HHH and Michaels aid and Furnas and LaFon go at it. We’ll get them as a single at the PPV – which is not only a good match, but since we’re in Montreal, there's LaFon as a hometown boy – so they turn Furnas heel. They’re done with the company after the PPV – so it’s not going anywhere, it’s just for the workrate.

Vader/Davey Boy again. They’ve had an undercurrent since Vader arrived, as they feuded in my NWA (and in the actual WCW) so they continue here.

Rematch for the IC. Again in the Octagon, this time, if Foley gets DQ’d, he loses the belt. It’s the same buildup, ‘cept they push Foley’s heel turn. So, it’s evil Cactus Jack. He carves up some faces, your Bobs, your Barts… Cactus jumps Owen once, just to get the point across.

And to sell the turn…

Evil Cactus Jack will blame the fans. Cactus asks why they cheer Ken Shamrock? Why do they cheer a man who hates professional wrestling? Aren’t they wrestling fans? Jack does a whole “self loathing fans” program here. How many of them are embarrassed to tell their friends they watch wrestling? How many of them spend hundreds of dollars on Austin 3:16 t-shirts, on big foam middle fingers, on Phinneas the Gimp love masks – and never wear them except when they come to the arena? Is that why you boo Cactus Jack? Cactus Jack is fat, Cactus Jack is dirty, Cactus Jack isn’t that bright but is awfully well meaning – Cactus Jack is each and every one of you people! When you boo Cactus Jack, you’re really booing yourselves.

That kinda thing. So, Cactus will do horrible things – he’ll cheat, he’ll bite, he’ll use foreign objects – and then when the fans boo him – he’ll scold them, act disappointed in them – give a knowing, “you’re just booing yourself” rap.

That’s not bad. It could use fleshing out, but that’s not bad. Cactus Jack is very, very disappointed in you. Very disappointed in his new pals. Good turn!

Big angle. It’s big. Vince will again appear on a feed from Nepal. Laid out in the ring is the WWF Championship belt.

Vince says…

Austin’s stripped, as mentioned. But he has medical clearance to return for Survivor Series.

So at Survivor Series, there's gonna be a match for the vacant title. And Vince is going to make it right now.

One fall to a finish, winner gets the strap. Who wants in?

Cut back to the locker room – everyone wants in. Every wrestler in the back wants in.

But there’s a catch. The guy who loses the fall – he’s gone from the WWF forever. Forever.

Now who wants in?

Hit Austin’s music.

Austin, in wheelchair, comes to the ring. He says the doctors say he’s as likely to be paralyzed as wrestling by Survivor Series, so if he doesn't walk out of Montreal with the belt, he's probably leaving in a stretcher anyway – so if he's the one who gets pinned, and he has to leave the WWF, then so be it - he's Stone Cold Steve Austin, and that's the bottom line...

Hit Michaels's music.

HBK comes to the ring. People boo. HBK loves it. It’s music to his ears. When he left the WWF after losing to Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble, he was tired, he was worn out – he had lost his interest in the sport – but hearing 15,000 fans boo him – it reminds him of who HBK really is. Michaels turns to Austin, says just because they boo me, and they boo you – that doesn’t mean I don’t remember what you did to me in my hometown 7 months ago. And if you weren’t in that wheelchair – I would take your lights out. Austin tells Michaels he doesn’t have the guts, sticks out his jaw, come on Sexy Boy, take me out, you yellow bastard. Take me out!

Bret's music.

Bret’s the only 3 time champ in WWF history, Bret’s been in 21 main events. Bret Hart had Steve Austin beat cold in the middle of the ring at Summer Slam – and Bret Hart has beaten Shawn Michaels in the middle of the ring more times than he can count. And if the WWF title is going to be on the line – in Canada – Bret Hart is going to be in tbe match – so it won’t be a one on one – it’ll be a 3 way.

Owen’s music.

It’ll be a four way.

Owen to the ring. Bret Hart won the triple crown. Shawn Michaels won the triple crown. But one other man has won the triple crown – and the guy with the trophy at his house is Owen Hart. Owen’s beaten Bret. Owen’s beaten Shawn. And there’s no one Owen would rather beat than Steve Austin. If the WWF title will be on the line – in Canada – then it won’t be a 3 way – it’ll be a 4 way.

So, at Survivor Series, in Montreal, we’ve got a lot of other stuff, Jack defending against Shamrock in the Octagon, the Road Warriors defending against the Outlaws, Vader/Davey Boy, Furnas and LaFon explode, Goldust/Mero, Kane in the handicap against the Blackjacks, the NOD against the Godwinns...

But what matters is Austin/Shawn/Bret/Owen – one fall to the finish – winner of the fall gets the strap – loser of the fall leaves the WWF forever.

Yeah. I dare you not to call. Survivor Series '97.

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