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 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!


Anonymous said...

This is some great stuff... can't wait to see what happens next.

My only dispute (going back a few years)- the Road Warriors as tag champs for a year? I never saw them as any better than Hogan in terms of actually having a good match. Just my $0.11, though

Jim said...

Hey, glad you're enjoying it. I'll get to '98 this weekend.

I don't disagree with your evaluation of the Road Warriors; there just wasn't a tag team (or a collection of otherwised unaccounted for workers) at the time who I liked enough to sacrifce Road Warriors story (since they could both be sold as a powerhouse team in their first run, and then give whatever heat they still had to the Outlaws and the Nation now). Since their defenses were over the Orients, P&G, and the Dems, I guess I didn't see a sufficient alternative.

But - fair point, no question.

Booyaka said...

I also agree about this being a good story, but what you've done to the Rock...wrong, so WRONG. Never getting the title? Sticking him with a hip-hop gimmick??

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