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 2002

Friday, March 31, 2006

XVIII is here.

Summer Slam 2002 Long Island
(Dark – Haas/Benjamin d. Chavo/Helms d. Noble/Kidman)

JR/Paul E/Taz on the announce.

1. E and C (w/Trish) d. Spike/Stevie
E and C leak awesomeemnity all over the ring in the opening tag. Opening tag!

There's a Hardys storyline that started on TV prior to the event; concerned about their lack of upward movement, Jeff tells Matt they need some guidance, and they begin cryptically discussing "a guy" who offered his services. They both start the arc as if it's ridiculous, but Jeff begins to come around. Matt resists hard, he thinks Jeff's lost his mind, that it's going to cost them their fans, that everyone in the company will hate them - that it would be cataclysmic if they brought in "that guy." Jeff says exactly - that's exactly the point - and here, during this match, we watch the Hardys watching on a monitor. They're not booked on the show, which has them both seething, and as they watch E and C get a win, the vignette ends with the apparent conclusion that, dispite Matt's discomfort, their situation is so dire that they have to make the desparate move of bringing in "that guy."

2. Booker d. Test
-Unnanounced, for the obvious Test related reason. I guess they turned Test from face jobber to heel jobber – and he puts over Booker – the face who only wrestles when he needs the money. In fact, they start to use Booker less in the ring – ‘cause the Summer Slam payday is so sweet. Book’s new catchphrase, “I GOT TO GET PAID!” runs wild with the disaffected youth. Don’t get between Book and his money, playa. When Book is winning, like now, he shows up in expensive suits, he throws money around backstage, maybe gives the fans some cash - when he hasn't worked in awhile, or when he loses, he wears stained sweats and pawns his stuff. Book's in ring ability really starts to slide here, and given the talent in the company, he just doesn't have a solid role. But he's funny and I think he adds to the show doing this gimmick.

3. Flair (w/Leviathan) d. Undertaker (w/PAUL and Kane)
A note, Batista isn't doing the Leviathan gimmick - he's doing the Batista gimmick, he's guy in suit learning the business from Flair, I just like the name Leviathan. Here, he gets over on the big men outside, Leviathan Demon Bombs Kane, Leviathan Demon Bombs PAUL, look at the raw animal power of the freaky monster Leviathan! And when Flair distracts the official, as Ric Flair will do, Batista hits the ring for the huge Demon Bomb on the Dead Man – Flair gets the pinfall. Flair and Leviathan roll over DMW -- Flair holds up one finger after the match…Leviathan holds up two. One finger….two fingers… One finger...two fingers...

4.HHH d. Dustin
And that does it for the Southern Man, Part II. I didn’t say it would be a glorious run. Pedigree. Hunter’s face push continues.

5.Brock (w/Angle) d. Rock
It's Brock time. They send the Rock on to Hollywood after this one, he’s gone until Mania. Okay, the kid is raw – and Rock’s a six year vet now, and that’s part of the story – Lesnar makes dumb mistakes, with Angle, as trainer, pointing them out at rignside – but overcomes them by the sheer force of his athleticism. Rock gets him in the sharpshooter – and Brock easily powers him away – and as the match goes on, Brock wears Rock down – and Brock grown in confidence, taunting the Rock – slapping him on the break, mocking him, “Come on Scorpion Queen – is that all you got?” Angle on the outside tries to keep Brock focused – but doesn’t notice as the crowd turns against Brock (hopefully) for his heelish tactics. Brock goes over hard – 3 consecutive F5s – and then he pins Rock by putting his boot on his chest.

The crowd boos, but Angle is very proud – hits the ring and hugs Lesnar – encouraging him, pumping him up – starting to replay the match in Lesnar’s ear as they walk back up the aisle. The people are unhappy, Lesnar has a cocky sneer, Angle doesn’t notice, reveling in the accomplishment of his protégée.

6. Unified Tags: Masked Men d. Jericho/Storm (w/Stacy)

Do you know who they are?

They get the fall on Lance, the fans are stunned - they've seen Hart Foundation 2K lose the belts to two guys in masks.

Do you know who they are?

Lance is bleeding after the match – and an eagle eyed viewer might note, although it’s not mentioned by the announce at the time, that Stacy is quite concerned with Lance’s well being. Quite concerned. I say…quite concerned.

After the match - as they stand alone in the ring, celebrating with the six belts - Flair and Leviathan make their way down the aisle.


What the hell is going on here, the announce is baffled - maybe it's gonna go down, maybe Flair and Leviathan are gonna challenge the new tag champs right now - what's gonna....

Flair holds up one finger.

Leviathan holds up 2.

One of the masked men holds up 3.

The second holds up 4.

All four men now hold up the sign for the four horsemen - and the new tag champs unmask...

Do you know who they are?


Benoit and Guerrero. GOOD GOD GOOD GOD GOOD GOD GOOD GOD!!!!

On RAW the following night, the TitanTrust will rule that since Benoit and Guerrero are tag champs, and since they cleanly won those belts, they are readmitted into the WWF. One notes that both Arn and Dean ruled in favor of Storm/Jericho wrestling the masked men for the title. One wonders if it was a plot, but Arn and Dean aren't turning heel, it just slips some intrigue into the TitanTrust gimmick. At some point, they're gonna do the good figurehead/evil figurehead thing - but that's not this.

7. Worldwide: ECW Rules: HBK d. RVD (w/Paul E.)
Michaels, the only man in history to win 3 IC titles – wins his 4th. Michaels sells the back the whole match, when he first came back, he really sold every bump as if it were about to kill him. It’s Michaels’s first singles back, so there’s the drama of that, there’s the story of the young Van Dam looking to stake his claim on the old HBK territory as top, young cocky heel – since all Van Dam’s matches are No DQ – they garbage it up -- Van Dam leg drops Michaels through the announce table – match ends after Van Dam hits the Van Daminator (Paul E holds the chair in front of Michaels head, Van Dam comes off the buckle with the sidekick)

But as opposed to covering – Van Dam takes a ladder from Paul E – you know, ‘cause it’s a ladder and it’s Shawn Michaels, they set it up and Van Dam misses the frog splash from the top as Michaels rolls away at the last second. Michaels, bloody, crawls to the top of the ladder – takes the deep breath and hits the elbow drop for the win and the switch. Big pop for the returning HBK. Your new holder of all 3 Worldwide Titles.

8. Undisputed Heavyweight Championship: Angle d. Mysterio
A great match, they use Rey’s speed against Angle’s mat based offense, Angle’s frustrated by his inability to keep Rey in one place – they get Rey over by showing how, despite his size, he can use his quickness to hurt Angle. Rey has most of the crowd by mid match, both because his style is crowd pleasing, and because of Lesnar earlier in the night – Angle doesn’t seem to notice the reaction at all. By the 12 minute mark, Angle would clearly be behind on points, which Taz notes, and says that given Angle’s amateur head, he probably notes too –

Angle turns it around by brawling, as Taz notes, Angle leaves the mat and brawls, going to the closed fists, the boots – Angle takes Rey outside – pulls the mat up outside the ring and piledrives Rey, drawing blood from underneath the mask. More boos for the longtime champion. Angle, completely focused, locked in, still doesn’t notice. Angle wins with the ankle lock submission and holds all three belts in the air Angle screaming in exhaltation as he has vanquished another champion– Kurt Angle is the Undisuputed Heavyweight Champion of the World after an all time great match - and Brock, Haas, and Benjamin hit the ring to lift him in the air - the sneer remaining on Lesnar's face, as the show ends.

Survivor Series is coming from….Madison Square Garden.

I love me some MSG.

They take the tag teams from the summer and put them in a number one contenders tournament – as everyone in the company wants a piece of Benoit and Guerrero, recall they were last seen as anti-WWF heels, they tried to destroy the company, and now here they are holding the tag belts. The Horsemen attack all the tag teams (except the SpreeKillers) throughout the fall, attack them before and after matches, attack them in the back - each tag team has to put the Horsemen over somehow, every single week.

Opening the tournament: Team Angle: Benjamin and Haas, against Raven and Dreamer. With Angle in their corner, the pure babyface technical duo goes over. Their opponents are to be the winners of the returning Dudleys against the Hardys, but the Hardys no-show the match. The TitanTrust is obviously furious, the Dudleys get the walkover into the semifinals, and Matt and Jeff are called out on the carpet the next week. They appear, Jeff heeling up as Matt is clearly agitated by the whole thing - Jeff tells the Trust that they are under new management, that they've signed a deal with the most important wrestling figure of the 90s, and he tells them they're too good for some rinky dink tag tournament.

Matt takes the mic - he's still a face - he tells Jeff not to speak for him, that yeah, they've hired this guy and while he thinks it might kill their career, it's something his brother really feels strongly about - but he's never missed a date in his lifer and he hates that things have gotten to this point.

Dudleys enter - they say that the Hardys are pussies, they've always been pussies - and now they have some mysterious "man" telling them what to do - well, the Dudley Boys say that they don't want a walkover into the second round - they want their match - and they want it right now -

The match begins, Matt's the face in peril when Lita (hi, Lita!) makes her return to the Counterfactual, running down the aisle with a cell phone. She gets Jeff's attention - the call is apparently from "the man" who is their new manager - and Jeff yells at Matt to get out of the ring - that they're walking out.

Matt refuses - Jeff is torn - but decides to leave his brother to fend for himself. Matt fights valiantly, but eats the 3D.

The Dudleys will go onto lose to Team Angle in their semi - and postmatch, the Hardys will run in with chairs, Jeff encouraging Matt to do heelish things to the prone Dudleys - "dammit, hit him - hit him" with the chair as they lie unconscious. Matt can't bring himself to do it - pulling the full heel Jeff away. We'll see Hardys v. Dudleys at Survivor Series, and the build up is that "the man" will finally appear.

In the other half of the draw – the SpreeKillers take on Spike and Stevie – and after a superkick by Richards on Chavo – it looks like we have an upset – but Flair enters to distract the official – and Leviathan Demon Bombs Stevie and rolls Chavo atop.

The announce speculates, what does this mean – do the Horsemen want the Spree Killers to win so that Chavo will meet his Uncle Eddy? This is also a question that Helms wants answered from Chavo – and they do a spot where there’s dissension between the two, Helms wants to go wilding, go carve up some hoboes or take X and buy some freaks – but Chavo says he’s gotta go meet with Flair. “Ric Flair?” Helms says, “He ain’t down, he’s 100 years old.” Chavo shrugs, gotta do what you gotta do.

The interference in that match isn't isolated, it's Spike and Stevie who become the tag team that tries to stand up to the Horsemen, and that starts a Flair/Leviathan v. Spike/Stevie program that runs until the Rumble.

The Spree Killers meet the winners of Noble/Kidman, doing their babyface oil and water gimmick (Kidman’s going to the club after RAW, he's got Torrie Wilson at his side, they're doing a young, good looking, fast paced lifestyle thing. Noble’s going to shoot rats in the alley. 'Cause he's doing a Larry the Cable Guy thing.) against the PAUL~ and Kane version of DMW. The kids go over, we don’t care about size in the Counterfactual WWF! We job the monsters out!

So, Team Angle is on one side. SpreeKillers and Kidman/Noble on the other. We'll get back to the tournament in a moment.

Speaking of not caring about size – how about a Rey/Regal singles match? Regal does his Regal thing – Rey is little and Mexican – how much more insignificant could he be? The sun never sets on the British Empire, but when it came time to colonize Mexico, Queen Victoria said, no, thank you, we’ll never be able to bring this country up to code. So, two great wrestlers, Regal plays both the size and ethnic cards against the tiny babyface Mysterio.

With Angle, Benjamin, and Haas looking on – Noble and Kidman go over the Spree Killers – Flair and Leviathan entered to interfere, but were stopped by Spike and Stevie. Benoit and Guerrero then attempted to interfere – but they were stopped by Angle, Haas, and Benjamin – so, we had multiple brawls on the outside when Noble got the fall on Helms.

It’s the first time we see Angle/Benoit stuff in a year – so that’s sort of a hot thing. Security comes out of every crevice in the building when they start throwing hands at each other.

Also hot – the Hart Foundation – they’re going singles at MSG, which is why they didn’t enter the tournament. On the RAW after Summer Slam they did tag though – and lost, to E and C, in the continuation of our Clique/Hart thing. When Trish gives the Clique Kick (don't know why I didn't think of that name before) to Lance from the apron – that draws a very angry Stacy – and Trish kicking Stacy’s ass led Jericho to leave the apron, leaving Lance alone for the E and C doubleteam.

We’re gonna get Lance and Edge at Survivor Series. Jericho, who has a match of his own we’ll talk about later, insists, against their legit. protests, that Stacy second Lance and not he at Survivor Series. Jericho is obviously too worred about Stacy when she’s on the outside – and given the importance of his match, a big match, which we’ll talk about later, he would rather she was with Lance. And since E will have both C and Trish with him – Lance needs someone in his corner, as Jericho won’t be able to be there. You guys stay together, Jericho says, I know Storm ain’t much to look at Stace – but it’s just a couple of months of training, you’ll make it. I’ll miss you, Stacy says. I’ll miss you too, says Chris.


We’ll note, as we see Jericho spending more time by himself, training for his big match – that Stacy and Lance, spending more time together before Survivor Series, seem to be growing closer. Friendly. Playful. Concerned for each other.


Noble and Kidman go over Haas and Benjamin in the finals, to earn the right to go on and meet Benoit/Guerrero at Survivor Series. Both teams are wiped out postmatch by the Horsemen. Angle was not there to make the save for Haas and Benjamin, because, of course, he was cleaning up after another mess made by Brock.

I know it's getting complicated. Hang in there.

See, Brock’s in the back when he’s met by HHH. Helmsley, in his role as veteran, locker room leader, tells Brock that he "understands what it’s like to be a young guy, full of yourself, big and strong, wrestling on your first PPV – and it’s not like he has any love for the Rock himself – but what he did to the Rock, a guy respected by the boys, that went a little far – you didn’t need all 3 F5s, didn’t need to pin him with your boot on his chest – and I don’t know why Angle won’t tell you this – but I will…"

Brock says "thanks Hunter, I really appreciate that. Because instead of listening to my trainer, the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World – I can listen to you – a guy who’s never won anything. Ever. You aren’t even good enough to be a has been, Hunter. You’re a never was and you’re just jealous, because in one night, I did what you couldn’t do in 7 years – I made a name for myself in the WWF."

HHH gets in Brock’s face – Brock laughs at him – tells him what could he possibly do? Brock’s bigger, younger, and more important. Take a shot, Hunter. Come on, take a shot, you juiced up bitch...

Hearing the end of this conversation….Michaels.

When Hunter hesitates, perhaps out of that babyface generosity, or maybe out of fear, or out of a thought that Brock might be right – Michaels doesn’t – and Michaels spins Brock around and fires a right hand – Michaels and Hunter doubleteam Brock in the back – and that’s when Angle enters. Angle sees Michaels and Hunter doubleteaming Brock – so Angle is there – and it’s a full on brawl.

We do some tag stuff between these guys before Survivor Series – allowing for a tease of Angle/Michaels. The match we’re getting at MSG is Brock/HHH.

Michaels will be busy, as he rematches against RVD. And since it’s at MSG, 8 ½ years after WM X – we’re gonna get a ladder match. RVD says he’s the showstopper, the icon, the main event – and at MSG, at Survivor Series, he will regain the Worldwide Titles and show that Michaels’s day has ended. Paul E says one night almost ten years ago Shawn Michaels became a wrestling immortal at MSG in a ladder match – and RVD will do the same at Survivor Series. Michaels plays the sore, exhausted veteran, he gave all he had at Summer Slam, and when he climbed that ladder, he thought "it was the dumbest thing I've ever done – and believe me, no one has done more dumb things than the Heart Break Kid – but I didn’t come back to the WWF to be some fossil, some shell of my old self – and if I'm the Intercontinental Champion of the World – if I'm the Worldwide champion – then I'll be a fighting champion – and I'll go back to MSG at Survivor Series and show, one more time, why I am still the Showstopper."

Angle’s busy too – and that’s where Jericho comes in. Jericho promos on Angle’s change in attitude – they’ve been friends, not close friends, because Angle doesn’t have any close friends in the WWF – but they’ve had each other’s backs since Angle entered the WWF. But since Brock has started with the company – Angle’s got this blind spot – everyone can see it – the fans can see it – and maybe a year and a half as WWF Champion, maybe becoming Undisputed Champion, maybe being undefeated has gone to Angle’s head a little bit. Kurt Angle’s protecting that overgrown bully Lesnar, and Jericho wants to know why that is.

Angle gets hot – "if you want to take me on, Jericho, that’s fine. I’ve got 3 World Title Belts, I’ve beaten Davey Boy, Benoit, Van Dam, Hennig, Flair, Mysterio – I understand if you want to take your shot – but Brock’s just a kid trying to make his way around here – I know he’s an amateur wrestler, and I know there’s a lot of jealousy around here about amateur wrestlers, we didn’t start like you did, we weren’t trained in some basement in Calgary, we didn’t work for ten bucks in front of a bunch of drunks, and I know you’ve all got a complex about that – I know that when you see Kurt Angle – undefeated, Undisputed Champion of the World that drives you crazy. But Jericho, don’t load up all your crap on a good kid like Brock. Be a man. Come at me head up."

"Be a man? Be a man? I’m The Lionheart Chris Jericho. I was NWA Champion. I was trained by Stu Hart in the Dungeon. You might have won a gold medal with a broken neck, but every day of my life, I thought that old son of a bitch was gonna yank my head clean off my neck. And you’re right – I do want to be WWF Champion, I do want to be Undispupted Champion – and I want something else, Angle – I want the Triple Crown. No one has won the Triple Crown since Cactus Jack, no one has won the Triple Crown since it was renamed after my hero, my friend, Owen Hart – and there is nothing in my entire life that could be bigger than going to Madison Square Garden, going to where my dad played hockey for the New York Rangers – and taking that Triple Crown after I get undefeated Kurt Angle to tap out to the Liontamer. You know what – I am sick of seeing you with that belt – you know what – I am sick of hearing about how great amateur wrestling is. And you know what Kurt – even though this started because I wanted you to know that your boy Brock Lesnar is an asshole – this is going to end with me calling you an asshole, Champ."

Angle and Jericho go nose to nose.

So, that’s your title match.

One more match. Seriously? Another match? Isn’t this enough to buy the show? Haven't I given you enough?

We get lots of Horsemen promos on the run to Survivor Series, and a side angle after the Spree Killers lose is that Chavo, was in fact, going to throw the title match if they had won the tournament. Chavo confesses one week to a furious Helms. Another week, Chavo, in the ring, wearing a suit, says it was fun being a kid, screwing around, but now it’s time to put away childish things. It’s time for Chavo to be a Horseman.

Helms enters, the graffiti scrawled all over his body, SpreeKiller style, says Chavo’s sold out to the man – says he thought Chavo was down – but Chavo’s just a sell out bitch.

Horsemen enter, leave Helms for dead. But Eddy stops Chavo from putting up the four fingers. Eddy says if you want to be a Horsemen, you’ve got to prove yourself first sort of like a gang initiation, and at Survivor Series, Chavo will have to beat his old partner. The SpreeKillers explode!

So, at the big, big Survivor Series from the Mecca of Professional Wrestling, we’ve got Angle defending against Jericho, HBK and RVD in the ladder match for the Worldwide belts, Benoit/Guerrero defending against Noble and Kidman, Brock v. HHH, Rey v. Regal, Storm v. Edge, Chavo v. Helms, and a Dudleys/Hardy match where we will finally meet the Hardys mysterious manager who has gotten Jeff to turn heel. Top to bottom, bottom to top – the greatest Survivor Series in WWF history. And it’s at MSG. Call…!!! Survivor Series 2002

Wrestlemania XVIII 2002

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Rumble is here.

Wrestlemania XVIII 2002 Toronto
(Dark: Brock Lesnar d. Haas/Benjamin)

Vince appears on the Titan Tron. Hi, Vince!

Vince appears to be in some type of convalescent home, presumably there since his attack by PAUL and Kane one year previous. Vince is no longer in the rags, now is in institutional garb, and in a very soft spoken fashion welcomes the great fans of Canada, where the WWF has always been so warmly received, to the Legends Come Home Wrestlemania.

He has an announcement: beginning tomorrow night, with the Number One Contender's Battle Royal, the WWF will no longer be run by the McMahon Family.

Vince realizes that he's no longer in any position to make business decisions, and he's been a mere figurehead for several years. He always hoped that one day, his children might take over, but after the episode with Skip, he realizes what he should have known all along...

The people best positioned to make the decisions that impact the WWF are the wrestlers.

So, tomorrow night on RAW from Montreal, the WWF will be placed in the hands of a trust, a 3 man TitanTrust, made up of 3 retired wrestling legends - and they will now be in charge. So, great fans, I say goodbye.

And the TitanTron goes dark - a bombshell dropped by Vince McMahon, a 3 man TitanTrust to be introduced at RAW tomorrow.

But it's tonight - and tonight - JR and Paul E are on the announce (it's JR's 29th PPV which ties him with Gorilla for most all time, that's referenced at some point) and the Legends Come Home Mania is coming at you from Toronto!

1. Edge/Christian (w/Trish) d. Razor/HHH (w/Diesel)
- This is interesting – the vets are the absolute face team – but the crowd’s gonna cheer E and C – they’re local, and with all the Hart/Clique stuff we’ve done over the years – a Toronto crowd is primed to attack these vets. The way to do this is have E and C cut an anti Toronto promo – but I’m not gonna do that – let the people cheer for whom they want to cheer.

-Razor can’t do anything in 2002 and HHH can’t do a lot – but the combustible nature of the match with the return of Razor/Diesel, and hopefully, the willingness of E and C to take all the bumps and just sell like crazy – will make a good match.

Razor's gotta be the one who eats this, he takes a Chick Kick, a spear, and then a Crusader for the fall. E and C go over the veterans, and now ready for the postmatch beatdown.

So, with Diesel and Razor both down – E and C set up the Con Chair To on HHH --- they're gonna wipe Hunter out one_last_time.

Lights out.


Lights on…..


Crowd, you know – acts as they will – Shawn Michaels has returned to the WWF after 4 years.

Michaels superkicks E, C, and Trish for good measure - Razor, Diesel, and Hunter revive and all hit their finishers, leaving the Canadians laid out in the ring.

Michaels, Razor, Diesel, Hunter each go to the buckles – make the sign of the Clique – the four men then pose in the ring, I don't know if they're cheered or booed out of the building, but it's fucking loud, it's the reunited Clique on the buckles in Toronto at XVIII with the Canadians laid out in the ring – and Wrestlemania is underway.

2. Legend's Match: Ric Flair (w/Leviathan) d. Hulk Hogan d. Undertaker (w/DMW)
Your legend’s match. One fall to the finish. This is what they’re for – we pop like crazy for the entrances, keep it short, Flair goes over Hogan with the figure four. Wooooooooo.

Neither Hogan or Undertaker get that fifth legend's win.

After the match, Flair and Leviathan victoriously, hold up four fingers, the symbol, of course, for the Four Horsemen, in the middle of the ring. Odd.

DMW enter as Hogan lies alone - Undertaker, PAUL, Kane hitting Hogan with the Triple Chokeslam, leaving him sprawled in the ring. Undertaker is frustrated again in his attempt to win that 5th legends match.

3. Sugar Shane Helms (w/Chavo) d. Al Snow (w/Morley)
Helms and Chavo, shirtless, maybe some random scrawlings on their bodies (like dude from Memento on crystal meth) go over big, they’re The Spreekillers, remorseless, wild, out of control – they take pleasure, giggling as they leave Morley and Al laying in the middle of the ring – they taunt the fans, begging for the fans in the front row to take a shot at them – they want debris thrown at them – they revel in being bad, bad men. They scream, they run, they have no respect for anyone or anything. They’re out of control. SPREEKILLERS~ SPREEKILLERS~ SPREEKILLERS~

4. Booker T. d. DDP
This will wrap up Page. Booker, the newly turned face who fights for the money, goes over DDP clean with the Harlem Hangover. Can you dig it – sucka!

5. Submission Match: Rock d. Steve Regal (special guest referee - Brock Lesnar)
Rock finds the submission that works – the sharpshooter – and the Canadian fans pop as Regal taps. The Rock!

6. Unified Tags: TLC3: Jericho/Storm (w/Stacy) d. Hardys d. Spike/Bubba
Canadians come in the pink and black, waving the Canadian flag – Jericho’s from Toronto, the fans are aching for the hometown win – and they give it to them. They suspend all 3 companies' title belts above the ring and do the collision match. Jericho and Storm each grabbing belts – holding them high in the air while the people cheer. They injure Bubba here, take him out of the game for the summer. Jeff and Matt again have words after the match, arguing up the aisle, their frustration evident. Hugs all around for Stacy and Jericho and Storm, they wave the Canadian flags. Big Canadian pop.

Paul E leaves the announce for the Worldwide Titles match - and is replaced by Taz. JR is scared and a little freaked out - Taz tells him to relax - that he'll be surprisingly helpful.

Taz now joins the announce crew permanently. It's a 3 man booth, JR/Paul E/Taz. With Paul often times gone as he remains Van Dam's manager.

7. Worldwide Titles: ECW Rules: RVD (w/Paul E) d. Austin
Van Dam earns his WWF bona fides with the garbage match win. They let Austin get a shot in on Paul E, which gets the big fan pop – this match is similar to Austin’s win over Regal the year before, all the RVD matches are No DQ – so they fight all over the place – but Van Dam is too young, too athletic – and he takes out Austin with the frog splash. R…V…D… R....V....D......R....V.....D....

And now your main event - both men come to the ring, walking down the long white ramp, then are introduced once they get there as the fans toss the ribbons into the ring.

8. WWF/ECW Titles: Kurt Angle d. Curt Hennig
I bet they could sign Bobby to second Hennig here, I’d bet a lot on that, actually, but I won’t assume – so I won’t book it. But what you want to see is Hennig tossing the white towel over his shoulder to Heenan, who makes a surprise appearance - that would pop the Counterfactual crowd huge. Goosebumps everywhere. I also bet that if Hennig got this spot, he would have given everything he had left to make it a great match, don't you? Don't you think if Counterfactual Hennig, the longtime WWF Champ, returning for his last shot at the main event of Wrestlemania in Toronto - where 12 years before (as the clips have consistently reminded us) he beat Randy Savage in a title defense - don't you think he would step up and give you every last bit of wrestling goodness he had stored up?

I feel real comfortable about this match. Angle/Hennig.

Angle keeps, clean, he escapes the PerfectPlex, hits the Angle Slam, and gets the ankle lock submission. Angle stands unquestionably at the top of the WWF mountain, he holds the WWF and ECW title belts aloft in the ring as the show ends.

Kurt Angle debuted in the Jarrett flag angle at XV - and has still never lost a professional wrestling match. He's an unstoppable force. He's taken out how many champions? He beat Taz, Davey Boy, Benoit, Van Dam, Flair, and Hennig. Kurt Angle.

At the beginning of the Montreal RAW the next night - we meet the TitanTrust.

Arn Anderson, WWF Tag Champ, NWA US and Tag Champ
Fit Finlay, international superstar a surprise...

Dean Malenko. Former member of the Alliance. Former NWA Champion.

The three men stand in the ring, say that they hope to take the WWF to bold, fresh new places. That majority will rule, so if they disagree, that's why there are 3 of them.

Tonight, they say, is the Number One Contender's Battle Royale, the winner to go onto Summer Slam, in Long Island, to wrestle for the WWF and ECW World Heavyweight Titles.

But this is not an ordinary battle royale...

This is the Most Star Studded Battle Royal Ever. 26 of the 30 entrants have held title belts in WWF, NWA, or ECW – and 9 have been World Heavyweight Champions!

Big pop. 9 Champs in one battle royale? 26 of the 30 have held title belts? The TitanTrust rules!

9 World Heavyweight Champions, almost a third of the field, everyone wants a shot at Angle. And there will be some very familiar faces –-- plus, the TitanTrust says, they have secured the services of a mystery entrant who will come in at number 30! This is a big time free agent - one who will excite these people to their core! TitanTrust! Arn and Dean and Fit! Arn and Dean and Fit!

Angle goes to the announce. Who will face him at Summer Slam? Who? Who? Place…your… bets…

1. Y2J (w/Stacy)
World Champ number 1. Jericho was NWA Champ.
2. Edge (w/Trish)

-And we get our Hart/Clique fix in early for the Montreal fans who are digging some Canadian on Canadian Violence. Will one of these men go on to meet Angle at Summer Slam?

3. Spike
-Spike, now without Bubba, injured at Mania, remains a face and goes after both men.

4. Chavo
-Evil Chavo, the Spreekiller, goes after everyone in the ring, it’s a 4 way battle.

5. Regal
-We now face/heel this; Regal and Chavo attempt to eliminate Jericho, while Spike battles Edge. Who will win? Who will go to Summer Slam? Do you have a guess? Make a guess! I dare you. I double dare you!

6. Booker
-Further selling Booker’s face turn as the guy who fights to put food on the table, Book aids Jericho against Regal and Chavo. Spike v. Edge. 6 in the ring - 24 to go.

7. Christian
-Well, you know where he’s going.

8. Stevie
-Stevie joins his sometimes tag partner Spike – they battle E and C. Time for some eliminations. Jericho and Book get Regal (30). E and C get Spike (29)

9. HBK
-World Champ number 2. The Triple Crown winning Michaels returns to the WWF, he left four years ago, came back last night – and here he is competing for the first time – the Triple Crown Winner – Shawn Michaels! Superkick to Edge (28). Michaels and Stevie double superkick Christian (27) Hey, look at that! Michaels superkicks Stevie (26).

Big return for Michaels – as he eliminates three guys.

10. Dustin Rhodes.
-Hey, it’s the Southern Man! There are surprises! Rhodes comes in, waving the Confederate flag. Michaels goes right after him. Chavo, Jericho, Booker is now every man for himself. 5 in the ring, 20 left. Who? Who? Who?

11. Tajiri
-World Champ 3. An ECW World Champ and former holder of the Worldwide Belts. The Japanese buzzsaw goes into the Rhodes/Michaels thing – so we have two separate 3 ways. Just like college. Yeah, daddy. I gots my freak on back in college. Mmmmmm.

12. Helms
-Joins his Spreekilling partner, Chavo, again battling the faces Book and Jericho. They toss Book (25). Spreekillers!

13. Raven
-Raven comes in on Tajiri's side and joined by the heel Dustin – they all try to toss Michaels. Helms and Chavo have the numbers against Jericho. The heels are dominant in the Rumble!

14. Dreamer
-Dreamer comes in on the side of the other ECW guys – all 3 and Dustin ganging up on the legendary HBK. 4 on 1 - all 4 men close to eliminating Michaels!

15. Lance…
...but not.

-Lance doesn’t make it to the ring – he is wiped out by two mid sized guys wearing masks in the aisle – they put the wood to him, Bam, Bam, Bam – drawing Jericho’s attention – and allowing Helms and Chavo to dump him (24)! Spreekillers! Jericho gets to Storm and the masked men take off. Who were those masked me? Who? Who?

We scramble to the back – we see Arn, from the Gorilla position, yelling – we need a new 15 –

15. Jamie Noble
-We haven’t met Noble before – right now, he's as young southern babyface – he’s a terrific wrestler, sort of a pocket Benoit – they're gonna tag him with Kidman, give them matching trunks – make them a high flying babyface tag. Kidman’s a little cocky – Noble’s trailer trash – so they’re a good, weird mix. Consider the matches between them and Chavo/Helms – the SpreeKillers as driving the summer. Eventually, Noble will adopt the nicknames Mother Trucker, as in Jamie MotherTrucker Noble, and the Redneck Messiah. But right now, Noble’s attacked by Chavo and Helms as he enters.

16. HHH
-Babyface HHH comes in to save Michaels – sure, HHH pedigreed Michaels out of the company the last time we saw them – but it’s been 4 years, all is forgiven, and after their triumph last night, the Clique is reunited. HHH dumps Dustin (23).

17. Kidman
-And we have that 2 on 2. HHH and Michaels are down 2-3 to the ECW contingent of Raven, Dreamer, and Tajiri.

18. Diesel.
-Nash’s first appearance in the WWF ring in 6 years – and he gets, oddly enough, the Nash spot. Jacknife to Noble (22) Jacknife to Kidman (21). Big Boot to Helms (20). Big Boot to Chavo (19). Big Daddy Cool!

19. Razor
-Take…a look…at the Bad Guy….

I want ECW guys on one side of the ring…Clique on the other side…let the moment build…let them jaw back and forth –-- Razor tosses a toothpick at Raven – and it’s on.

Razor’s Edge to Raven (18). Pedigree to Dreamer (17). Superkick and a Jacknife to Tajiri (16). Big pop as the Clique clears the ring and each man stands on a turnbuckle!

Good God! The four man Clique is all alone in the ring! But there are still, Taz notes, 6 World Heavyweight Champions left!

20. Matt
-Matt takes a deep breath outside the ring – he’s got incredible odds against him – then he runs in the ring…and is immediately thrown out (15). The Clique again goes to all four buckles – making the handsign in the air. The Clique is Back! Matt's frustration is evident.

21. Jeff
-Same spot. (14) Wow. Matt and Jeff again have words.

This time, the Clique teases that it’s gonna go down afterward – they do a four man nose to nose to pop the crowd – then they say nah – and each goes to rest in a corner – leaning back against the buckles. Nash mimes having a smoke. The Clique! The Clique! The Clique!

22. Hogan
World Champ 4.
-See how this works? Hulk Hogan gets the old guy pop – he warily circles on the outside, taking his time, uncertain – but he then charges in…and is tossed right out…(13). The Clique! They are using their numbers! Their plan is to be Final Four! Who will possibly stop the Clique! Every man who comes in gets tossed out - he can't compete against the numbers! The crafty Clique, as have they so many times before, have taken over the WWF!

23. Austin.
World Champ 5
-Good God! Triple Crown Winner Steve Austin – and he doesn’t hesitate – the crowd pops as the Rattlesnake goes right after the Clique – he gets shots in on all four guys – Austin brawling with all four guys, Austin gets a heat segment on all four guys, blasting them all down - Steve Austin with rights and lefts, Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!

And Austin's hit by a spinkick from a running in Waltman.

Oh my god - Sean Waltman, in streetclothes, he doesn't work here - he's not in this Battle Royale - he runs in, kicks Austin..

and Austin is leveled over the top with a Michaels superkick and a Helmsley clothesline (12). The Clique eliminates Austin! All five members of the Clique - Michaels, Razor, Diesel, Hunter, and the Kid - standing in the ring - celebrating - Waltman chopping his crotch in Angle's direction - the Clique!

That wraps Austin for the year – he quits the company.

24. Brock Lesnar
-Yeah, daddy – I am going somewhere with this Clique stuff.

I’ll do the Brock character sketch later – right now, you know he’s an athletic freak, he’s a hothead – he’s Angle’s protégée – and he’s making his debut right here, right now – against the entire Clique. This is Brock Lesnar's first match after Camp Angle.

The Clique attacks – Brock beats them all back – they attack again – he beats them all back – now they come one at a time – Waltman throws a kick, which Brock catches and press slams him over the top. Razor misses a clothesline – Brock knocks him to the outside with a running elbow shot (11). That wraps Razor up. Nash tries the big boot – Brock grabs him for the exploder suplex and hurls him over the top rope. Diesel blows out his quad (which is what happened to Nash in his first match back on Raw after Mania) and is gone for the year (10). With the crowd shocked – and Angle standing up and cheering for him like a 12 year old boy, Angle just freaking out, hopefully, the crowd freaking out – Brock hits the F5 on HHH and dumps him over the top (9). Brock Lesnar has just taken the Clique apart – and he now stands nose to nose with Shawn Michaels! Only two men left in the ring - Brock Freaking Lesnar and Shawn Michaels!

That's how you debut a guy.

25. RVD (w/ Paul E.)
-World Champ 6. The Worldwide Champ is in, posing, pointing his thumbs at himself – taking the mixed pop – and it’s a 3 way.

26. Hennig
World Champ 7
-Former WWF Champion Perfect hits the ring – and Brock goes right after him, recall their thing on Angle’s show. RVD/HBK is the other battle – and it’s a spirited one. Angle is trying to get Brock to keep moving – he’s left the announce and he’s playing trainer now by the ring – trying to get Brock not to let the veteran Hennig tie him up near the ropes. Angle yelling at Brock to get away from the ropes. 4 men in the ring - 4 men left - 2 World Heavyweight Champs left - who will go to Summer Slam???

27. Undertaker
-Dead Man comes in clubbing everyone. Club. Club. Club. Club.

28. The Rock
-Rock gets shots in at Van Dam and Michaels. Rock and Undertaker reprise their legend’s feud from XVII with a brawl. Angle is screaming now at Brock to stay away from the ropes.

29. Flair (w/Leviathan)
World Champ 8
-Woooooo. The Nature Boy comes into get some shots at Michaels and Van Dam – then shots at Rock and the Undertaker for a Legends 3 way. Flair occupies the Undertaker enough that Rock can slip away – and seeing the position of Brock and Hennig – he takes advantage and helps Curt dump Brock (8)!! Lesnar is furious and hops back on the apron (which he can do – 295 pound man can leap from a standing position to the apron) and grabs Rock by the neck and pulls him over (7) Angle comes in to separate the two – as Rock is now furious that Brock would have eliminated him – and the three men work to the back.

We still have Van Dam/Michaels. We still have Undertaker/Flair – we now have Hennig waiting for the mystery entrant at number 30…

30. Rey Mysterio
World Champ 9. Your big surprise.
-It’s the last ever NWA champ – and he’s wearing the belt. Rey comes in with the flying head scissors to eliminate Mr. Perfect (6) and that’s the last we’ll see of Curt. Undertaker grabs Rey for the chokeslam – but Flair catches him with the low blow – and Flair and Rey dump the Dead Man over the top (5), a split second later – Michaels catches Van Dam with the superkick, knocking him over the top rope (4) – and there are 3 remaining. Rey. Flair. Michaels. Who? Who? Who?

Michaels and Flair go nose to nose – chopping at each other – Rey comes flying off the top rope – Michaels and Flair catch him together – and try to dump him over – but Rey headscissors Flair up and over the top…(3)

Michaels and Rey take a breather – and stalk each other warily. It’s the legendary Shawn Michaels – the Triple Crown winner, making his return to the WWF – it’s Rey Mysterio, Jr., the NWA Champion, arguably the greatest luchadore who ever lived, who is going to Summer Slam!!! Who? Who? Who?

It’s Mysterio – he head scissors Michaels over – Michaels skins the cat – not eliminated – and then Rey dropkicks him right back over. Rey Mysterio Jr is going to Summer Slam!

As I said, that's how you debut a guy.

3 things happen between here and Summer Slam. Lou Thesz dies, and given the importance of the NWA title to Summer Slam, there is a significant tribute package to him, clips and interviews.

Davey Boy Smith dies, and that's even more important in this context, he's a former WWF Champ, a multitime tag champ, an orginal member of the Hart Foundation, they do a ten bell salute on RAW, and end the show by showing his title win over Perfect.

And, in the real world, the company changes its name. Fortunately, in the Counterfactual, Vince was smart enough to make a good deal with the World Wildlife Fund years ago, as mentioned.  In fact, Vince's good work will eventually lead to his being named chairman of that WWF.  But not yet. 

Okay, so Summer Slam is coming from Long Island.

They've set up some things in the battle royal. HHH/Dustin as an undercard singles. They feuded years before when Hunter was young heel Cliquester and Dustin was Goldust. Now, they've switched and Helmsley’s babyface push continues, Dustin will do the full Southern Man gimmick.

We’re gonna get some legends – Flair will meet the Undertaker, the Dead Man wanting revenge for Mania. Flair, with Leviathan at his side, constantly talk Horsemen – and since we have tape library access, the WWF fans will become acquainted with the Four Horsemen. Flair will tell the fans to forget the Harts…forget the Clique…forget the Alliance…the only wrestling stable that has ever mattered in this business is the By God, Kiss Stealing, Wheeling Dealing, Limousine Riding, Jet Plane Flying – Four Horsemen --- and whether you like it or whether you don’t like it – you’ve got to learn to love it – because with Flair (and he holds up 1 finger) and Leviathan (and he holds up 2 fingers) and two men coming soon….it’s about to be the best thing going today.

We'll get DMW v. Flair/Leviathan stuff to get us ready for the first ever meeting between Flair and the Dead Man. Least, I think it’s the first ever meeting – I may have done Flair/Undertaker on TV during his first run. I don’t remember.

Our big, big, big undercard singles match is Brock/Rock.

Okay, here’s who Brock Lesnar is – He’s a frat guy, a musclehead, he’s a locker room guy – he enjoys snapping towels, taping guys butt cheeks together. He’s 14 years old. We only know parts of that right now, we’ve seen him on the reality show, so we know he’s immature, hot tempered, but he’s still a babyface – largely because of Angle, who is our Bruno, completely above reproach. Angle is devoted to molding the young guys, and in Brock, he sees the opportunity to one day move from being a great wrestler to a great trainer (and perhaps, Angle knows, even though we don’t yet, that his body is giving out on him, and he won’t get a long career) so Angle is completely, completely blind to all of Brock’s shortcomings as a guy – and Brock’s not evil, yet, just juvenile and right now he’s still a face – so it’s not like we’re playing the Angle is an idiot card. Not yet.

But you can see how this will progress. And with Rock being the Rock, it's natural that fans will boo Lesnar - and Angle won't understand that or appreciate that even a tiny bit.

We’ve got lots of good tag teams, and over the summer, we’ll be using them, Hardys and E and C, The Spree Killers and Noble/Kidman, Spike/Stevie and Raven/Dreamer. Add in DMW and Michaels/HHH and Morley/Snow. Lots of tags. Tag matches just fill TV, just spill out everywhere. The TitanTrust loves the stags.

And all of them (except for the Spree Killers) will at one point, get attacked by the guys in the masks who took out Lance at the battle royal. Those guys in the masks will also punk out Jericho and Storm again, really lay them out – leading to a furious Jericho challenging them to meet the Hart Foundation 2K at Summer Slam, if they have the guts to actually wrestle a real match.

The TitanTrust debates - can you have two guys in masks (let's make them red, white, and blue masks) wrestle Jericho and Storm for the straps at Summer Slam? They debate...Arn saying yes....Fit saying no....Dean undecided, coming back the next week, he's about to give his decision in the ring, Jericho and Storm enter - Jericho says he and Dean have gone round and round, in the NWA, in the WWF - but dammit, the tag champs want this match -

---Dean says he was prepared to rule against it - there are so many good tag teams in the WWF that it would seem insulting - but he knows about wanting revenge - and the Hart Foundation deserves that revenge - so he is granting the request - and the match is made.

Dean~ TitanTrust!

And at the bottom, we’ll get E and C against Stevie and Spike.

The IC is Van Dam defending against HBK. Which, you know, you gotsta love.

Michaels is not the same guy, he’s a veteran now, miles on the tread – and this contrast with the younger Van Dam, who we’ll sell as the new cocky high flyer, perhaps the new HBK, works for us. And since Paul E talks for him – Van Dam doesn’t have to cut intense promos. Paul E can promo on Michaels, he’s a has been, he’s washed up, he used to be the icon, the showstopper, the main event – he used to be the Heart Break Kid – now he’s just an old man, coming back to try to steal the spotlight – but the ladder match was 8 and a half years ago – this is 2002 – and at Summer Slam in Long Island – the fans might start the match chanting H…B…K….but by the end – 18,000 people will be chanting R…V…D….

Michaels will accept the love of the fans – and we’ll show enough Michaels stuff that they will love him – but he says Paul E isn’t entirely wrong – he isn’t the same guy he was four years ago. When he was a kid winning the Triple Crown – he was the cockiest guy in the locker room – the Clique wasn’t a gimmick, the Clique was him 24/7. When he got hurt, when he blew out his back against the Undertaker, when he had to submit to Owen at Mania, when his best friend HHH kicked him out of the Clique during his retirement show – he couldn’t be HBK anymore.

So, he went home, went home to San Antonio – and he decided it was time to give back, he started a small wrestling school, the Texas Wrestling Academy, and he trained some of the greatest kids you’d ever want to meet – nice kids – hard working – talented and hungry. He hopes that the TitanTrust will sign a couple of them up at some point, as he thinks his trainees might be his real legacy to leave the WWF. And seeing how much they wanted it – seeing how badly they wanted to one day just get a match in the WWF – that rekindled his love of the business. So he trained, he got in shape – and when he goes to Summer Slam to face RVD for the Worldwide Titles – Paul E is right – he won’t be the same old HBK ---

He might just be better.

Van Dam/Michaels. Worldwide Straps.

And of course, we have Angle/Mysterio, not just for the WWF and ECW – but the NWA title as well. And for the first time in history, someone will be the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Angle’s Angle. Rey is little and masked – and we can use Rey to teach the WWF fans about lucha.

But the main interest is the unification aspect. I want a highlight package of WWF, NWA, and ECW Champions – still photos of the guys before TV – and then TV clips from the 50s on.

The point is – none of those men were Undisputed Champion.

But – at Summer Slam – someone is walking out of that ring with all 3 World Title Belts – and he will be acknowledged as the greatest wrestler alive. The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.

You know you love you some Counterfactual. Tell your friends. It's free. The Angle/Mysterio Unification, HBK returns to the WWF to take on RVD, the Mystery Team against Jericho and Storm, Brock’s debut against the Rock, Flair v. Undertaker, add in HHH/Dustin and E and C against Spike and Stevie – how can you possibly pass up Summer Slam 2002?? Call your cable company today!!

Royal Rumble 2002

Monday, March 27, 2006

Survivor Series is here.

Royal Rumble 2002 Atlanta

(Dark: Charlie Haas d. Shelton Benjamin)

10 bell salute for Russ Haas.

We’re opening with a clip package of the history of the NWA, as tonight could be the end. End with clips of Flair winning each of his titles – then Flair come to the ring, gives a promo with the tag: “That was then – but tonight, the new day dawns for the FUTURE of the NWA when the Nature Boy wins the WWF title – and the National Wrestling Alliance styles and profiles all over WM 18.”

Ideally it's a clip package/promo that will make the Atlanta fans cry/scream really work them up.

JR/Paul E on the announce. Get used to it.

1. Hardys d. DMW: PAUL~/Kane
DMW throws Matt and Jeff around the building, but the Hardys do the high flying thing and are able to get the fall. Hardys!

2. HHH d. Undertaker
Hunter returns to PPV, hopefully people will cheer. He gets the babyface win, stands on the buckle making the Clique handsign, and then is taken out by E and C, who were hiding under the ring, they emerge for the Con-Chair-To, wipe HHH out. Trish comes down the aisle, cuts a promo on HHH, saying that once again, the real Clique, Edge and Christian, have embarrassed HHH. Just like the rest of his has been friends, like Michaels, and Diesel, and Razor, and Waltman, it’s time Hunter left the WWF.


Same drill, changes in the colors, announce, cues, everything you got.

3. Helms (w/Chavo) d. Morley (w/Al)
They sell the NWA aspect hard in – an NWA ref does a fast count to beat Morley. Chavo and Helms beat Morley and Al down after the match, drawing the face reaction from the home crowd. Morley and Al both need to juice heavily, they really have to sacrifice hard for the new guys. SpreeKillers! The crazy crank junkies, Chavo and Helms, sprint back to the locker room after the match.


4. Regal d. Rock
NWA goes 2-0, again, a conniving NWA referee aids Regal (how will Angle possibly keep his title tonight?) being slow on a couple of apparent Rock falls. Story here is that Regal couldn’t get Rock to submit to the Regal stretch, having to settle for the screwjob pinfall. Helms and Chavo run in postmatch to beat Rock down. Regal finds Chavo and Helms distasteful, they’re both shirtless – thin – no gas for either of the Spree Killers – and he makes ugly faces at them while they take over the beatdown of the Rock. Rock’s gotta bleed now too. Spree Killers! NWA!

5. Austin d. Page
But Steve Austin upholds the name of the WWF. This wraps up this feud, so Austin goes over big – he overcomes the attempting screwjob by the NWA ref, he stuns an entering Regal who tries to interfere. Page eats a couple of stunners then has to take the beer bath. Austin flips off the Atlanta crowd, eating up any welcome heel heat.

6. Unified Tags: Hart Foundation 2K (w/Stacy) d. Clique (w/Trish) d. Dudleys
Storm and Jericho take the tag straps, and they sell that hard – it’s the 4th version of the Foundation to win the tag titles (Bret/DBS, Bret/Anvil, DBS/Owen). They get simultaneous submissions from each Dudley, Lance with the half crab on Bubba, Jericho with the Liontamer on DVon. E and C were outside the ring – having been attacked on the outside by HHH (he grabbed Trish, they bailed out to save) they again got the advantage on HHH, and left him laying – but couldn’t get in the ring to save either Dudley. DVon is injured from the Liontamer and has to be helped from the ring by and entering Spike and Stevie. Lance and Jericho will be going to Wrestlemania (which, oh, by the way, is in Toronto) as the defending champs. If the NWA crowd is down, we’ll have a loud Hart Foundation, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap chant – but we might need to get back to a real WWF city before they go nuts for the new Hart Foundation. Hopefully, even with the NWA-ness of the night, there's been enough pump priming given the absence of the Harts from the WWF, and the degree to which they've been established as the first family of the company. Much celebrating with the boys and Stacy, who looks, oddly enough, great in pink and black.  And everything else. 

All the background stuff changes now, into as close a replica to the ECW style, including the production values, as is possible. WWF even ran a contest to fly out X number of the "most hardcore" ECW fans to see the company's last match. Paul E leaves the announce position to Dreamer and goes to the ring. Doing this in Atlanta, as I'll mention again postmatch, is error - I'm hamstrung by the format, putting these matches on the big quarterly PPVs - there's no way we'd do this now, as it's overshadowed by the main event - but, be that as it may:

7. Worldwide Titles: RVD (w/ Paul E) d. Taz
This is the best match of the night. The full ECW roster out for this one, all surrounding the ring, leading the crowd in the ECW chant (sure, it’s Atlanta, but the ECW chants were everywhere) pounding on the apron, rooting for whichever of these two guys they hate the least. Van Dam goes over with the five star frog splash – Taz, after much consternation, claps for him after the match – the ring fills with ECW guys, including the Dudleys, Spike and Stevie (DVon on crutches) they all hug – they lift Van Dam in the air in the last act of ECW. Van Dam will go forth as the living embodiment of ECW now, he’ll come out to the ECW music, he’ll always wrestle in No DQ matches, Paul E is going to remain his manager, he’ll now be ECW, but as a company, we recognize now that ECW is gone.

Atlanta is a bad place to kill off ECW, and killing off ECW when doing the NWA angle is error. But I don’t get to use ECW guys forever, and I have other things I need to do.

8. WWF/ECW Titles: Angle d. Flair (w/Arn & Leviathan)
Lovin’ this, the Atlanta crowd just goes Flair crazy. They do all the Flair stuff, the flop, the flying apron bump, Angle reverses the figure four, they have Angle fight off the freaky monster Leviathan. The NWA guys come out, presumably to interfere – and are fought off by WWF guys. So, like last month, the ring winds up surrounded by guys from both sides fighting….until the finish.

Finish is the submission on the ankle lock, Flair taps out and the NWA ends. It’s surprising to the crowd, to the wrestlers, everyone stops around the ring as it becomes real that the NWA is finally gone. Angle grabs both WWF and ECW title belts, goes to a top buckle and thrusts them in the air.

Angle takes whatever heel heat is coming, ‘cause he won’t get cheered celebrating over the dead body of the NWA in Atlanta. But Angle isn’t reverent about those things, and Angle kind of enjoys the heel heat, we don’t get an NWA ring goodbye like we did with ECW that'll come on RAW tomorrow. Angle holds the belts aloft as the show ends.

Wrestlemania is coming from Toronto. And the theme this year is “Legends Come Home.”

Man, where to start.

Okay, well, we have the culmination to a couple of programs. We’re gonna get Helms/Al, which is the blowoff to the tag program. Chavo and Morley in their corners. It’s the crazy young irreverent heel Spree Killers against the veterans Morley and Al – they have to turn Al sane now, he and Morley are upholding the tradition of Wrestlemania – the glory of Wrestlemania – against crazy ass Helms and Chavo.

We’re gonna get Regal/Rock – this one’s a submission match – which obviously favors Regal. They'll have Regal and Rock beat opponents on the road to Mania, Regal with the Regal stretch, Rock, though, can’t seem to perfect a submission maneuver. Rock does his Rock schtick, Regal does his Regal schtick. As Rock looks for a submission move, Regal mocks him – Rock’s not a real wrestler, he’s showfolk, he’s a painted woman, with his cosmetic boob surgery and his acting lessons – Rock’s better suited to doing a one man show in Branson than going to Wrestlemania and trying to get a former Intercontinental Champion to submit.

We’re gonna get Booker/Page. The night after the Rumble they do a ceremony where the NWA turns in its colors, one by one, each man turns in his NWA t-shirt and signs a WWF contract. But Page refused. He said he didn’t want to work for the piece of shit WWF, he’d be NWA until the day he died and he thought everyone who wouldn’t be was selling out. He was a guy who couldn't get a job in the WWF, the only place that took him in was the NWA, and he worked a thousand hours a day until he became the 2 time, 2 time, 2 time NWA Tag Team Champion. He's NWA until he dies, any man who doesn't like that can feel the bang.

Booker doesn't like that. Booker says he’s joining the WWF and he ain’t no sell out, he had to rise up from the gangs of Houston, did it on his own, and he’s got a family to feed – and if the WWF wants to feed his family – then he’s WWF. Page diamond cuts him. So, they turn Booker face, a practical face, a face that wants to get paid – and we do Booker/Page at Mania. From now on, Booker wrestles only when he needs the cash. He's a practical man. A mercenary, really. And there’s plenty of cash in beating DDP at WM 18, Sucka!

The Worldwide is RVD defending against Austin. RVD and Paul E do their “We’re taking the Revolution to Wrestlemania” rap – and Austin takes offense – you want a Revolution – Stone Cold Steve Austin is a one man revolution. He never needed a company behind him, or a manager (Paul E was Austin’s manager briefly in the real WCW, so, you know, a little joke). Just some black tights and black boots and beer – he’s Stone Cold, he’s a Triple Crown winner – he’s a two time IC Champ and only one guy in history ever won 3, so that seems like the kind ot thing Steve Austin wants to do. Austin says if you want to see Stone Cold stomp a mudhole in RVD and walk it dry, give him a hell yeah… Paul E will cut Wrestlemania promos. He’s been in the business his whole life, selling programs, selling concessions, working his way up the NWA, creating the Revolution of ECW – and now, now, he reaches the pinnacle, he is going to Wrestlemania XVIII with RVD for the IC Championship – and don’t get misled by how laid back RVD can be – Paul Heyman is intense enough for both of them. Van Dam and Paul E taking their show to XVIII against a Triple Crown winner for the Worldwide Belts. Good times.

The tag title – well, I have Canadians and we're going to Canada. So, you know, kinda makes sense to use them. Lance and Jericho are your tag champs, carrying the legendary Hart name. So, there's all sorts of nostalgia, ‘cause that’s what I like, they show lots of the old Hart Foundation tag clips. Hart Foundation WM matches, Harts in Canada. All that stuff. We’re gonna get TLC 3, ‘cause it’s bumptastic (I think we're gonna do 4 and then quit) so, the Hardys and Dudleys are your other two teams. We shake the Duds up, the DVon injury angle is so they can sub in Spike, who is a better worker and bump taker. HF2K and the Duds have heat with DVon being hurt at the hands of the Canadians. The Duds and the Hardys, of course, even though both are faces, have been feuding forever, so they have that heat, and they'll find some heat between the Hardys and the Canadians.

That leaves 3 matches, the title, the legend’s match, and the opening tag.

Somewhere after the night following the Rumble – Flair returns. The night after the Rumble, when everyone was turning in their shirts – Angle came to the ring to personally collect Flair’s. Flair returns later (w/Leviathan) promos that at a Wrestlemania about Legends Coming Home – who better to be declared the Legend of the WWF, than the Nature Boy.

Sounds like some Rick Derringer.

Hogan returns to the WWF, wearing the red and yellow, the whole thing. Hogan climbing into the ring to stand off with Flair is a big deal, albeit, not as big as in the real world, since this Hogan isn’t Hogan.

Hogan gets the good pop, gone for nearly a decade, he was WWF Champ and he won the Legends match 4 times, tied with the Undertaker and Andre - he says, well, you know something Ric Flair, you might be the greatest wrestler who ever lived…but a WWF legend, no way, brother, I’ve got 4 Legends wins, what will that Dead Man do when Hulk Hogan, at Wrestlemania XVIII, runs wild for his fifth Legends Win over Ric Flair?

Hit the Undertaker's music. Here comes Dead Men Walking - PAUL and Kane staying outside, two monsters circling the ring. Undertaker says he drove Hogan out of this company ten years ago - that he saw he couldn't be the big man on campus anymore - and Flair doesn't belong, he's an outsider, an old man, Kurt Angle proved that - at Wrestlemania XVIII, in Toronto, one man is going to win his fifth legend's match - and that's the Undertaker.

Flair says it's true, he doesn't have any legend's wins, certainly not four, but he's got more world titles than the Undertaker's had pieces of ass. He tells Hogan he’s not in his class, not in his league, and that if he wants to talk about arm size, the big man Leviathan (now on the outside as well, along with Kane and PAUL)might take exception to that old Hogan rap. In fact, if Hogan wants to get his big ass kicked, he doesn’t need to wait until Wrestlemania, that can happen right now.

The three men do the nose to nose to nose thing. Flair/Hogan/Undertaker in the legend's match. On the road to Mania, PAUL, Kane, Leviathan all get involved in ways that put the legends over. Hogan could use a partner given all the seconds, but none springs to mind.

Two more. First match and the last.

HHH promos in the ring on E and C. Says E and C aren’t Clique, not the real Clique, says the real Clique wasn’t led around by some centerfold, the real Clique wasn’t more about catchphrases than wrestling, the real Clique would kick your ass, screw your girl, then talk shit to you until they felt like doing it again. The Clique ran this company – you two are just pale Canadian imitations.

‘Cause, you know, Wrestlemania’s in Toronto. Where Edge and Christian and Trish are all from. It's the biggest opening tag ever.

E and C enter, with chairs. Say that Hunter is a glutton for punishment. How many times does he have to get punked out by the Dukes of Awesomeness? How many times does he have to taste the metal chairs?

HHH says – how about one more time? Then he drops the mic – stands in between E and C to apparently just accept the Con-Chair-To. Hunter's asking for it! That guy is just standing there and asking for it!

E and C shrug their shoulders – they swing – lights out.

Lights on.

Razor. Diesel.

Razor and Diesel are now holding the chairs – E and C run from the ring, stand in the aisle totally freaked out. Diesel takes the mic – asks if anything’s new.

Diesel says, damn, you go out for a pack of smokes, come back, and it’s six years later. Everything’s changed. When we left, the Clique ran things, had all the belts, had all the women, had all the drugs…

Razor: Well, that hasn’t changed, Chico.

Diesel: Scotty, you’re gonna get us in trouble. Anywho, most of you know the story, a few years back, the Bad Guy and Big Daddy Cool got offered a whole assload of money to go down to the NWA, where, basically, we’ve just been cashing checks and getting free lapdances since.

Razor: No matter what a stripper says, there’s no sex in the champagne room.

Diesel: That true?

Razor: Maybe a little sex, Chico.

Diesel: Not too little though. We’ve got reputations.

Razor: But now__the NWA__is dead. And the Boys_Are Back_In town.

Diesel talks to HHH – says the last time they were in a ring together, that wasn’t a very happy time – Diesel gets in Hunter’s face – and says, maybe, instead of kicking those fruity Canadians asses – maybe, me and the Bad Guy oughta be taking you out.

We sell a second of tension – but it’s a joke, they all laugh.

Instead of that, Diesel says, at Wrestlemania XVIII – the Legends are coming home – and there are no Legends in the WWF bigger than the Clique – so my boys Hunter and Razor, with Big Daddy Cool in their corner – are gonna go to your hometown – and beat the hell out of both you two goofs.

And so that’s what we’ll get for the opening tag. Razor and Diesel aren’t the same guys as in the real world, they were midcarders in Counterfactual NWA (and Diesel obviously wasn’t WWF champ in this world) they had a couple of tag runs, and Diesel had another tag run with Goldberg – so they were around, they weren’t buried – but they weren’t singles champs, they weren’t perennial upper carders, so they’re a big deal as WWF legends, as point men in that Hart-Clique thing, but they haven't been huge stars - which, actually allows them to keep the old gimmicks, at least in name - I don't know if you can get away with dressing them like Razor/Diesel, they might have to wear streetclothes, but in terms of how they're referred - they were bigger WWF stars than NWA stars - so they're Razor and Diesel in the Counterfactual.

The title match….

Angle says he’s going to Wrestlemania – where one year before he won the WWF Title – he’s been champion for one year – and he knows that in the last 20 years of the WWF, the only guy who was ever champion two straight years is a Canadian, Bret Hart – so where better than Toronto to celebrate being halfway to 2 years – where better than Wrestlemania to, again, offer an open challenge to anyone in the world, to anyone who has the heart to stand in the middle of the ring across from Kurt Angle and his perfect record in the biggest Wrestlemania of all time…..

Familiar music. Huh, perfect record is an odd phrase to use…

It’s Curt Hennig.

Hennig draws a bigger pop than any of the other returning guys, and, in 2002, he’s a better wrestler than they are – so he’s the guy who gets this spot.

Hennig says in the history of the WWF, there’s only one man who has ever been perfect…and you’re looking at him. Intercontinental Champion. And WWF Champion for a year and a half. Not one year, Angle, not one year, a year and a half. And you’re unbeaten, I’ll give you that – and you’ve met all comers. You beat the Macho Man Randy Savage, and you beat Bret and Owen Hart, and you beat Shawn Michaels….

No…I’m sorry, I’m confused…I’m thinking about somebody else…

I’m thinking about Mr. Perfect. I’m the one who beat those guys – I’m the one who was WWF Champion for 18 glorious months, I’m the Legend who is coming home at Wrestlemania XVIII to take back what belongs to me – and who in the hell are you….

"I’m Kurt Angle."

So, there’s that. Hennig’s a real live WWF legend in this world, much bigger than Hogan, it's Curt Hennig who was the longtime WWF Champ (gotsta reorient your thinking, I recognize) he isn’t the worker he used to be – but he was still able to do a little bit at the end, comparable to Flair, I think, from the month before. I made this matchup as opposed to my initial choice, Angle/Austin, thinking of it as a more attractive matchup workwise. And again, in my world, Mr. Perfect is a huge return, bigger than Hogan or the Clique.

Last thing – Hennig makes an appearance in Camp Angle – the first time we’ve used the show to push an angle for PPV Hennig runs in out of nowhere – chairshots Angle – dares the shocked kids to come get a piece of Mr. Perfect, people hesitate – except for Lesnar (Brock and Hennig were both from Minnesota, and had an on again, off again thing during this brief Hennig run) Lesnar takes Hennig down quickly, which should startle us – Lesnar putting pressure on Hennig’s arm – Hennig gets a reversal – they break – are up and throwing hard shots at each other – the full camp gets between them – but they can’t control Hennig and Lesnar and they keep brawling until Angle is up, grabbing Lesnar and pulling him from the ring. Hennig taunts Lesnar, saying that he needs Kurt to protect him – Angle whispers in Brock’s ear, calms the big man down – Hennig bails out of the ring and smirks at the trainees as that show ends.

So, the Legends Return at Wrestlemania XVIII – we have Angle defending against Mr. By God Perfect, RVD in the ECW Rules match against Austin, the bumptastic TLC 3 with the Canadian heroes, Jericho and Storm as Hart Foundation 2K v. Dudleys v. Hardys, the Rock v. Regal submission match, Page v. Book, Helms against Al Snow, Hogan/Flair/Undertaker in the legends match – and Razor/HHH, with Big Daddy Cool in their corner v. E and C in the opening tag. It’s not a card you could ever see except for one place and one time – Wrestlemania 18 Call your cable company! It's gonna be a happening!

Survivor Series 2001

Friday, March 24, 2006

Summer Slam is here.

Survivor Series 2001 Greensboro
(Dark – Spike/Stevie d. Al/Morley d. Taka/Aguila d. Kidman/Kanyon)

JR and Foley are your broadcast team.

1. Number One Contender's Match: E/C (w/Trish) d. Hardys
Okay, this program has gone stale. True. It's gonna stay that way. There are, as I see it, two other options. One, have them go singles. The problem there is WWFs got a talent glut for the next few years such that these guys are stuck, if they were to all get spun off into singles programs, they wouldn't work. Two, they could switch sides. This was my working premise, that right about now there'd be some type of mix and match - that still might be the best idea, but it would still be a bottom card turn. When we get to more modern day, there are singles stories to tell with 3 of these guys, and switching around now hurts those stories a little bit - and since those stories are more integral to tell than this bottom card story - the choice is to look at the big picture and let this stay stale.

The work is good though, you can just roll them out to the ring, give them the ten minute opening match, and it's gonna be better than virtually anything else we could put together.

So, Edge and Christian get the fall with Trish's aid - and maybe we see the Hardys start to fray at the edges a little bit. Matt and Jeff can have words, that's fine, we can do that.

2. Handicap Match: ECW Rules: RVD (w/Paul E) d. Chavo/Helms
Good, good, good, RVD has to lose to Angle in his opening PPV, but here they get him over by feeding a good tag, Chavo and Helms, to him. Another good spotfest, and we’re entertaining the people in North Carolina. This also moves Van Dam to the middle a bit, ‘cause he’s wrestling heels, and Van Dam is really less face/heel and more just an entertainer. He’s on the heel side, and will be there for the foreseeable future, ‘cause the cocky stoner Van Dam is better than the earnest stoner Van Dam. It's a short term hit for Chavo/Helms, they're gonna be fine, don't be concerned.

3. Jericho (w/Stacy) d. Justin (w/Paul E) (Lance, special guest referee)
The battle over Lance’s heart. Lance, as special guest referee, calls it right down the middle – and when Justin has a fall – he correctly breaks it up seeing Jericho’s foot on the ropes. Jericho gets the pinfall, Justin attacks Jericho after the match, Lance with the face save – slapping Justin around – then putting Justin in his half crab finish (see, and Jericho’s finish is the boston crab, it’s sweet) Justin is left to crawl away – Jericho and Storm embrace. The honesty’s too much. Stacy then stands in between them holding each man's arm in the air.

4. NWA -DDP d. WWF -Austin
Here, they sell the interpromotional aspect again, with the multiple announcers and the change in the look of the broadcast. We get back to back NWA v. WWF matches here, and with the lumberjack title match also being NWA/WWF – and, and, and, don’t forget – this is in the south – we’re in North Carolina, which is NWA country – meaning the NWA guys will get cheered – but, since the WWF guys in these matches, Austin and Rock, are so popular, they’ll get cheered too. Making for a divided crowd, which will be fun.

They put Page over clean, in a surprise. Diamond Cutter. Bang. Gives Page something, gives the fans something, Austin didn’t get pinned in his IC loss, so he can handle the beat, and propels the feud forward. Diamond Cutter. Bang.

5. WWF -Rock d. NWA -Regal
Rock goes over to start this feud, give the WWF one, Regal though, attacks Rock post-match, puts him in the Regal Stretch. Again, it's Foley who breaks it up - this time leaving the announce to eject Regal from the ring. This feud continues. They'll put these last two feuds together now (and should have done it all summer, really) meaning they can mix and match, and do Rock/Austin tags, which is a nifty tag team, you know, from multiple perspectives.

Rock doesn't go to the back - he and Foley both go to the announce, getting in one more Rock and Sock evening.

6. Unified Tags: Dudleys d. Raven/Tommy (w/ Paul E.)
Every match on the show solid, incidentally. Nothing to skip. They obviously go No DQ for this one, this is the garbage cans and the chairs and the tables and the blood and the stop signs. It’s Raven’s last PPV shot, so he takes the 3D fall. All these ECW matches work for me, and since there’s a limited run the WWF gives the Counterfatual with most of them, I think this is the best use of the talent.

7. Worldwide Titles: Taz d. Tajiri (w/ Paul E)
Taz didn't join the WWF or NWA, which he made clear on RAW to JR after the ECW fallout - he's Taz, he hates everyone. The most miserable son of a bitch on the planet. This is your best match of the night. They bury Tajiri after this, so we won’t get to see him for awhile, and Taz is nearing the end of his career, as a matter of fact. But they strap Taz up here, he adds the three secondary belts to his brief tag run. He gets the Tazmission on Tajiri and takes the belts. I like this.

8. WWF/ECW World Heavyweight Titles: WWF - Angle d. NWA - Booker
Another NWA/WWF match, crowd should be hot as the lumberjacks, wearing WWF and NWA t-shirts, surround the ring. 10 lumberjacks a side:

WWF: DVon, Rock, Jericho, Austin, Stevie, Edge, Christian, Al, Morley, Bubba
NWA: Page, Storm, Regal, Chavo, Helms, Kidman, Mortis, Awesome, Palumbo, Hugh Morrus

Crowd likes Angle, everyone likes Angle in the Counterfactual, he's unbeaten, he's Bruno freaking Sammartino – but it’s a pro Booker crowd, they are hot for the NWA guy with the lumberjack stip thrown in.

Lumberjack stuff to do: Austin/Page/Rock/Regal, obviously, as they're replaying both those matches at the Rumble (which, just as a tip, will be in Atlanta, home base of the NWA, which considering what the main event will be is excellent – just a little foreshadowing.) Foley leaves the company here - he takes a severe beating from Regal and does a stretcher job to end this run.

We’re also gonna get Morley/Helms at the Rumble, so they start that here too, over the winter, there will be Al/Morley v. Chavo/Helms stuff – and that’s a pretty good feud that we’re gonna see on TV all the way to Mania.

JR notes that the Hardys and not the Dudleys were supposed to be lumberjacks, since the Duds just had a title match not half an hour ago – where are the Hardys…well, footage from before the match shows, that as they were readying to leave their locker room – Dead Men Walking attacked them – giving them the Triple Chokeslam. Triple Chokeslam~

So, we’ll get that at the Rumble.

They also have E/C go after Storm (they’re on opposite sides, and hey, it’s Clique and Harts, imagine that…our neverending saga...) Lance gets the advantage on E and C…and since Lance is NWA and E and C are WWF..that draws the Dudleys on the side of E and C, of all things. And since now it’s 4 guys against one…that draws Jericho on behalf of his boy (‘cause they’re Harts, after all, with the love and the whatnot) and now, Jericho is standing with Storm, fighting the Dudleys and E and C…and, while, we’ll cover that a bit more later, that’s gonna be your tag title match at the Rumble.

Oh yeah, the match – Angle. Ankle lock submission. Match is good, but Booker isn’t at the top, top level, so the sell is the lumberjacks and all the outside stuff. Good. Angle’s unbeaten streak now is 2 years – and his title reign rolls on. Angle stands alone in the ring holding up his two belts while all the brawling goes on the outside as the show ends.

The Royal Rumble is coming from Atlanta. Which is super great, just perfect great.

And, oddly enough, for the new year, we're getting into the reality show business.

We’re gonna get Tough Enough, ‘cause Tough Enough was a good show. ‘Cept they're gonna work it. The premise is Angle wants to do something both for amateur wrestlers, and for the WWF, as its champion. Once amateurs stop wrestling, they have nowhere to go, and they’ve never turned to pro wrestling, because they think it’s just guys in tights.

Angle used to be like that – but now that he’s been here for 2 ½ years, 2 ½ unbeaten years, and almost a full year as WWF Champion – he knows there’s no sport in the world as demanding and professional wrestling.

And he also knows, there are no athletes in the world as committed, as dedicated, as amateur wrestlers.

So, he’s gotten a commitment to give contracts to 3 amateur wrestlers – and over the next 6 months, he will create Camp Angle, and he will invite a select group of the finest amateur wrestlers in the company to step into his dojo – and from that group – he’ll pick the top 3 to join him in the WWF – as Team Angle.

So, Kurt Angle gets his own show. And for half hour a week, we get Tough Enough, ‘cept, it’s not real. I mean, it’s kinda real, ‘cause it’s Kurt Angle stretching guys, but it’s set up. Why is this good? Well, it’s good ‘cause reality tv is way over at the top of 2002, and Tough Enough was popular, and this will make Angle more popular because it gives him a half hour of TV time every week – and it gets the guys who are coming in over even before they start.

It’s win/win/win/win/win.

We could pretty easily get, I’d figure, some amateur wrestlers who’d be willing to get some TV time to round out the field. I’d need like a dozen guys. But the top guys I already have, ‘cause they were already signed to go work at Ohio Valley. It all works out.

Your winners – Brock Lesnar, his Minnesota roommate, Shelton Benjamin; the two brothers from Seton Hall, Charlie and Russ Haas. The drama will be if it’ll be Charlie or Russ who gets picked for that final spot, as it’ll be impossible to believe Brock, especially, doesn’t get one, even though he’s basically an asshole.

Russ dies, as probably you know. And that will be the impetus for Benjamin, who will be Brock’s tag partner, ‘cause they’re boys – to shift to be Charlie’s tag partner. It won't be something that has to be said a lot, really, but it gives us a reason to believe that Haas and Benjamin are bound together, and in storyline form going forward, they're brothers as much as partners - at every opportunity, Haas and Benjamin are shown working well together, sacrificing for each other.

See how this works?

They start working dark at the Rumble, we never see any of them on live TV, only the taped stuff – ‘cause they ain’t ready yet.

The other guy we watch at the very, very, very beginning of the angle is Batista. They have Batista, on the first show, get hot for some reason, stretch a guy, get so out of control that Angle has to slap him around.

Later in the show, the big conclusion to the first episode, Angle finds out that Batista lied about his amateur credentials, that he didn’t wrestle in college at all. So, he’s booted. And he’s pissed.

Anyway, onto the Rumble, which again, is from Atlanta, home of the NWA, which rules for who? Rules for me. ‘Cause I want me some NWA guys talking about going home, about the reception they’ll get when they go home – about how you dumbass WWF fans who don’t appreciate us will look foolish at the Rumble when we go to Atlanta.

We have the interpromotional matches that were set up at Survivor Series. We’ve got Rock/Regal and Austin/Page. And we’ll, as mentioned, mix and match and do some tags on the road to the Rumble. We’ve got Morley/Helms, with Al and Chavo in that mix for TV. It’s the evil NWA juniors against the WWF veterans. Now, we can start talking about Chavo a little more, he’s Eddy’s nephew, and their dynamic going forward is the Bret/Owen dynamic. It’s very much big brother, little brother – in this case, while Eddy is the crafty heel who has his shit together – Chavo’s just fucking nuts. Eddy’s always gotta be dealing with Chavo’s messes, Chavo's the guy who challenges the whole bar to fight , for example – and Eddy's gotta be the one to back his play. Sometimes, people go to Eddy and say, dude, seriously, your boy’s killing us, but Eddy doesn’t listen. They’re blood after all.

And we’re making Helms the same guy, really just ‘cause that’s the guy I want Chavo to be and it makes sense to put them together. So, they are just these half crazy heels – and we’ll have them do as many half crazy things as we can think of. And right now, they’re doing them to Al and Morley. Al, by the way, is close to the end here. And, I think, that this is Morley’s last PPV. They're gonna call Chavo and Helms the SpreeKillers. Picture it like they’re on crystal meth. These are not your comfortable heels, I want them wild, out of control, a glint in their eyes, giggling as they slice up their opponents and then head quickly to the back – they sprint – they sprint – ‘cause they need their next fix. Speedfreaks. The SpreeKillers. Chavo and Helms. The kids will buy the gear. The heels who are on crystal meth. No bulk on these guys, they should be lean, wiry, absolutely flyin'.

Two WWF on WWF matches, both with DMW. They set up DMW/Hardys at the Rumble, recall. And at the Rumble it’ll be PAUL/Kane against the Hardys. One RAW, just before the Rumble, all three members of DMW are doing a beatdown on the Hardys – when running in for the face save, is….HHH.

Recall, the way they wrote Triple H out after Mania was an attack by the newly formed DMW.

So, Hunter, now a babyface (‘member he turned face when the Clique booted him, then he beat Waltman at Mania – but it’s reasonable if no one buys him as face yet) does the face save for the Hardys. The three of them clean house. Shake hands. And Hunter’s a face. He's made up with the old Clique Ring Boys. For longtime Counterfactual fans - it's a nice moment. We like that Hunter - he's not at all going to absolutely ruin the company with his ridiculously outsized ego. Not at all. Nope. King of Kings. Doesn't it make you sick, seriously?

We do a 6 man on RAW before the Rumble – Hunter with the pedigree on Kane. We’re gonna get Hunter/Undertaker at the Rumble.

The problem with this Hunter push is, when he came back, he couldn’t work anymore, he came back all juiced up and only with one leg, so the best version of HHH is gone forever. But I’m stuck with him forever, and there’s story coming up that works for him, and as a worker, I can still maximize his skills in that story – so, we need to do this push now.

That leaves the title matches.

We talked about the tags, Dudleys are the champs, E and C won the right to challenge. E and C cut some promo about how even though there’s the NWA and ECW…still, still, it’s the Clique who will be taking the gold at the Rumble.

Hit Jericho’s music. Jericho says he knows the fans love the interpromotional matches. They’re dream matches, NWA v. WWF. He mentions the title match (which I haven’t yet – but it’s going to sell some tickets, let me suggest) and says that match is one he’ll be watching just as a fan.

But, Jericho says, growing up, he was a WWF fan – and for a WWF fan – when you talk feud, you talk one thing – Harts….and the Clique.

And since he’s been in the WWF – he's never lost to the Clique with gold on the line, having taken Waltman's intercontinental title, but to be fair, his record could be just because neither Edge or Christian was good enough to get a shot at either of Jericho’s two, count ‘em two Intercontinental Titles…

But now, with E and C wrestling the Dudleys for the straps at the Rumble…Jericho thinks it’s time we change all that.

So, at the Royal Rumble, the Unified tag team titles will be the Dudleys v. The Clique v. ….The Hart Foundation!

Hit the Hart Foundation music – enter Lance – he’s wearing pink and black – Lance and Jericho high five – then start walking to the ring – fans should enjoy that moment, and they brawl with E and C. So, there’s that match.

The Worldwide Titles: Taz spends the run up to the Rumble running through ECW, just like when he was there. Every week on RAW, he dispatches someone, Tommy, Raven, Justin, Spike, Rhyno, Tajiri in the rematch – maybe even Stevie and Bubba too – ECW is basically shot, I don’t get to use guys, so it’s Taz who ends the Revolution. Taz says ECW is his bitch, just like back in Philly – and there’s no one who can take him out…

That’ll bring out Paul E – and RVD.

ECW is dead, says Paul E., requiescat in pace.

ECW is dead, but the Revolution lives on. The Revolution, the spirit of Hardcore – the spirit of Independent wrestling – the spirit of men like Sabu and Terry Funk and the Franchise and Cactus Jack – the spirit of men who were too fat or too small or too slow or too foreign or too downright ugly to make it in the WWF – there spirit will always live on. And at the Royal Rumble – in the match for the Worldwide Titles,
we’re putting all our chips in the middle of the table – the loser retires from wrestling – and the winner will forever carry the banner of the Hardcore Revolution….the People’s Revolution….the Revolution of the E….C…W…. Taz v. RVD - one man will carry the legacy - and one man will leave the ring forever!

So, there’s that.

And Angle?

Well, it’s a WWF/NWA show. It’s in Atlanta. Who do you suppose would pop a buyrate?

Anyone? Anyone?

Angle again, calls out anyone in the world who wants his titles….


Hit the Strauss.

Ric Flair returns to the WWF. Flair says, so here’s the kid who never loses. I’ve lost a thousand times and a thousand times more, Flair says. Flair calls Angle gold medal boy. Says he’s been NWA Champion five times, says he was WWF Champion ten years ago – says the only way to be a champion in this business is to sweat, to bleed, to kiss the girls and make them cry, and sometimes, to lose. Even the best, the Lou Thesz’s, the Harley Race’s, the Jack Brisco’s, the Ric Flair’s – we all lost, over and over again – we all lost – who the hell do you think you are gold medal boy, to think you don’t have to lose a wrestling match…

"I’m Kurt Angle...Who the hell are you?"

That sets Flair off. I don’t care you you are, gold medal boy, I don’t care who you are, you don’t respect this business, which means you don’t respect me, and if you don’t respect the Nature Boy, the Nature Boy will beat some respect out of you gold medal boy. Wooooooo. The Nature Boy is going to the Royal Rumble in Atlanta, Georgia – the Nature Boy is going to walk that aisle in the home of the NWA, in the place where great men – great men, gold medal boy, gave their bodies – gave their lives – for this business. Atlanta, Georgia, where you gotta earn respect, where your spot isn’t handed to you just because you won a couple of medals.

Angle says it’ll be nice to go back to Atlanta. He hasn’t been there since 1996...

When he won two gold medals with a broken neck. How’s your neck, Nature Boy? It’s been what, 25 years since you broke your back in a plane crash – how would it feel, if say, you found yourself locked up on the mat…unable to move…unable to breathe…unable even to tap out. How would the people in Atlanta feel about you then, Ric?

Flair and Angle, nose to nose.

We got one more wrinkle.

Flair’s gonna make an offer. If he beats Kurt Angle in Atlanta for the WWF Title, then the NWA will get to take control of Mania. After 18 years, the crown jewel of wrestling will finally be run by the greatest wrestling organization ever.

Wrestlemania XVIII will be...NWA Wrestlemania.

Are you feelin’ me? NWA Wrestlemania.

And if Angle wins – then the following night on RAW – every member of the NWA will turn in his colors – hand over his NWA shirt, sign a WWF contract, and after a hundred years, the NWA will belong to the WWF.

Those are the stakes (this also ties Flair with Bret for most PPV main events, which they work into the build somehow) and Atlanta will provide a helluva backdrop for them.

Okay, one more wrinkle. The very last thing before the Rumble, they put Angle over someone NWA, like Page (or preferably, like Arn, if he was up to it) Flair enters afterward, Flair and Angle brawl – Angle gets the advantage, when he is attacked by an entering….Dave Batista.

Batista, who they'll now call Leviathan (his Ohio Valley nickname, and any time we can get a Thomas Hobbes reference in professional graps, I’m keeping it) Demon Bombs Angle twice – Flair gives a Wooooooo as he takes Angle’s belt and holds it over him as the show ends. They're gonna make Batista Flair’s bodyguard now.

How about some Royal Rumble 2002 from the Dirty, Dirty? Angle v. Flair, for the straps and the huge stips. Taz defends against RVD, winner gets to carry on the ECW name. The Dudleys defend against the Clique and..and...and.. Hart Foundation 2K.

The interpromotional matches: Rock v.Regal, Austin v. Page, Morley v. Helms. Add in the return of HHH and the DMW matches…and it’s a helluva night to be a wrestling fan. Call your cable company - Royal Rumble 2002!!!

Summer Slam 2001

Thursday, March 23, 2006

(2 notes, unrelated to the narrative - I watched a great Kawada/Taue from '95 tonight, you think you've seen all the great wrestling matches from the last quarter-century, that one couldn't have slipped past - and then you're seeing Taue go over Kawada and going, "hells, yeah, eat the chokeslam of the mighty Taue! Two, I've lived with the Counterfactual for awhile now, and on a quarterly level what that means is my rooting for the WWF to book their good workers onto the big shows. I was more excited about, say, Fit Finlay working Heat before the Rumble than was I about virtually anything else on the show - just 'cause it meant that I could use him, when the Counterfactual finally made its way to '06, yeah, if you're wondering, there's no plan for it to ever stop, the Guiding Light started as a radio play and has been telling the same story for 60 years, if they can keep going, so can I. Anyway, as of now, there isn't one of those crappy, all the juniors in the ring at the same time so they can all get their payoff, matches set for XXII, which just screws me, I have to make belt adjusmtents from Survivor Series '05 onward. It's not as easy as it looks, people.)

XVII is here.

Summer Slam - 2001 San Jose
(Dark - Chavo/Helms d. Lynn/Aguila)

Show opens with a tape – it’s every member of the ECW crew under contract (and any more they could get to do the piece) in the ECW Arena. Paul E saying that tonight – the ECW World Title, the product of the blood, sweat, and tears of every man in the ring – merges with the WWF Title. Enjoy the highlights.

Seems like a good time for one more “November Rain” package. Arabian Facebuster from Sabu onto Funk…then Sabu wraps barbed wire around Shane Douglas’s throat…then bashes a chair over Steve Austin’s head….

Douglas suplexes Sabu onto chairs, taking the belt…Funk in the crowd, the fans chanting E-C-W….Rick Rude coming out of the crowd in Ft. Lauderdale, Rude Awakening on Funk, he and Douglas holding the belt…head and arm Tazplex to Douglas…Taz and Tanaka exchanging elbows in midring…Tazmission on Douglas…Tajiri cradling the belt…Tarantula on Crazy…Tanaka with the tope, nailing Tajiri with the elbow…Tanaka and awesome bashing each other with chairs…Van Terminator on Tanaka…Jerry Lynn, weeping openly as blood runs down his face as the title belt is fastened around his waist…Van Dam flying over the guardrail…then bowing to the crowd…

JR says that Mick Foley, who has been his broadcast partner these past few months, is not here tonight after his attack by the hands of that terrible Booker T - but...unfortunately...he does have a partner tonight.

Enter Paul E.

Heyman does his Heyman thing - says tonight, Summer Slam goes to the Extreme - that Spike Dudley and the Man Beast Rhyno will walk away with the Unified Tag Team Titles - that the great Tajiri will become the first ever Worldwide Champion -- and that, best of all (and then Heyman pulls out a document) I have procured from the cold, almost dead hands of Vincent Kennedy McMahon, this contract -- this contract, Jim Ross, a singular document in the history of this sport - you see, one hour ago - and you know it's true, Jim Ross, don't try to cut my mic. - one hour ago, Rob Van Dam was ready to walk out of this company! Rob Van Dam, the finest athlete in the history of this sport, was going to take the ECW World Heavyweight Championship belt and go home - leaving Summer Slam without a main event - and costing this company millions of dollars.

...that is, he was going to go home - if he didn't get the signature of Vince McMahon on this piece of paper - Rob Van Dam has a contract with the WWF guaranteeing that as long as he is employed by this company - every match that he wrestles with this company - will forever be an ECW Rules match - and you know what that means, Jim Ross, that means tables - legal, chairs - legal, barbed wire baseball bats -- legal, legal, legal. Not just for tonight - not just for this year --- forever, Jim Ross. Forever. When RVD takes Kurt Angle's title tonight - when he beats him, when he hurts him, when he proves to the world - and get that frown off your face Jim Ross - because it's going to happen - when he proves to the world that ECW is the greatest wrestling organization there ever was - he's going to do so his way -- our way -- the Extreme Way.

Heyman laughs. Good times.

1. Dead Men Walking: Undertaker/Kane (w/PAUL) d. Bradshaw/Test
Mercifically short. There’s no real push coming for the giants, they're just segregating them all into one place to be used down at this part of the card when need be.

Instructive that after ECW and WCW collapsed, with access to all the talent in the continent, they booked Test on PPV.

2. Undertaker d. Ron Simmons
So, Simmons makes his return to the WWF, we hear the Nation of Domination theme, which we dig the most, but DMW never leaves the ring – the ‘Taker squashes Simmons, and I think that’s the last we have to deal with him. Not the most riveting start, admittedly. But when given a chance to feed guys without consequence, you gotsta take that.

Arn Anderson, the former WWF tag champ, makes his return to the company right now and comes to the ring – says that the great NWA tag belts and US belt, of which he has been a proud holder of both will tonight be merged with the WWF and ECW belt. I'm not here, he says, to say the NWA was the best wrestling there ever was - I'm not here to put anyone else down - I'm just here to say for a hundred damn years, in towns all over this country - hell, in towns all over the world, when the NWA titles were on the line, every fan who paid his hard earned money for a ticket knew he was getting his money's worth. And tonight, in San Jose, we are going to see the NWA tags and the US belt defended in this ring. Take a look at rhe big screen to see the history of these great titles...

Some southern rock, say Skynard, Allman Brothers (how about the acoustic version of Sweet Melissa? Look, it's the NWA, I'm not playing Thelonious Monk) plays as the NWA tag title highlight package plays: Dick Slater/Wahoo McDaniel taking from the Briscos, the Midnight Express winning the belts from Slater and Wahoo, classic battles between the Rock and Roll Express and the Midnights – Ricky and Robert holding the straps, and then taking the Doomsday Device from the Road Warriors. The Roadies rolling over the Fantastiks, Midnights, and Doom.

Steiners going nose to nose with Hawk and Animal, hitting the Frankensteiner on Animal for the win…the Steiners suplexing Ricky and Robert, the Freebirds, then Rick getting shockingly pinned by Dustin – he and Eaton becoming tag champs. The Steiners woofing as they retake the straps…Dustin and Barry Windham with the doubleteam on Rick for the fall and the switch. Austin and Pillman making the movie camera motion, each man wearing the strap, Rude Awakening on Austin while AA hits the big spinebuster on Pillman...

The all superstar tag title match from Houston, Fall Brawl ’93, gets extended treatment – Sting and Cactus Jack teaming up to win the straps from Arn and Rude -
Jack and Sting then beat – and then lose to the Nasty Boys. Mero and Orndorff both punching the Nastys…Nobbs and Saggs retaking….and the explosive Harlem Heat, winning the straps....then losing them to the veterans, Flair and Savage – Randy hitting the big elbow on Booker T…then on Masa Chono…

The Road Warriors return – Flair takes the Device…then Hawk gets scissor kicked by Booker…Hall and Nash, wearing the black and white as the NWO, spraypainting Book and Stevie Ray…then losing to Haku and the Barbarian…Waltman spinkicking Haku and he and Konan taking the straps…then Konan getting a fall on Rick…followed by Rick and Scott winning their third…and then going over Savage and Hogan.

Hall and Nash holding the straps again…Juvie and Silver King, celebrating in the crowd…Goldberg and Nash, standing on opposite buckles with the belts…Goldberg getting pinned by Saturn, he and Page going over…then beating Harlem Heat…Terry Funk and Hulk Hogan, surrounded by fans in the middle of the ring…Mike Awesome with the splash on Hogan…Shane Helms and Shannon Moore, laughing as they hold the belts…Dallas and Kanyon, the final champs, hitting diamond cutters for the gold.

Shots of Steamboat and Blanchard. Windham with the big clothesline. Sting pounding his chest. Arn with the spinebuster. Stan Hansen taking off Arn’s head with the lariat. Pillman holding the tights and getting the fall. Arn and Pillman brawling in the crowd. Steambat with the crossbody on Arn. Rude swiveling his hips over Steamboat. Jushin Thunder Liger hitting the brainbuster…Muta moonsaulting on Liger…2 Cold with the 450….Steamboat with the cradle to win his 3rd…Scorpio cradling Steambat…Austin holding the strap…Arn and Austin bleeding in midring…Page with the diamond cutter on Arn…then tapping out to Flair’s figure four…Little Rey with the hurricanarana roll up…Eddy hits the frog splash on Rey…Saturn with the guillotine leg drop…Dean clover leafs Saturn…then clover leafs Bret…Saturn reverse cradles Dean, both men shocked as Perry takes the strap…Rey flying across the ring…Dean and Rey exchanging nearfalls…Vampyro blowing mist and Dean…Kidman with the shooting star press to take the strap…Lance with the half crab…then holding the belt high…as the package ends.

3. Jeff (w/Matt) d. Edge (w/Christian and Trish)
Good junior match, Jeff bumping for the larger Edge. Christian and Matt brawl on the outside – Jeff wins clean – E and C hit the Con-Chair-To on the Hardys post match to leave them laying, keep their heat, and keep this going.

4. Y2J (w/Stacy) d. Waltman (w/Trish)
This closes the book on Waltman. Jericho goes over clean, Liontamer submission. E and C enter for the heel attack on Jericho – save by Storm.

Hey, but he's in the NWA! Crowd pops for the Hart/Clique thing. Run in by some NWA guys, say DDP, Kanyon, and Book – who grab Storm and start yelling at him for saving Jericho – the number of NWA guys causes WWF guys…say Rock and the Dudleys…to enter and start yelling at Jericho for teaming with Storm. E and C help Waltman from the ring, and the NWA guys and the WWF guys begin to brawl – a brawl which ends with Storm and Jericho facing off as if they are going to punch each other – but stopping – and the officials hit the ring to regain order for the next match.


They have multiple referees, so they can use them here. Ideally, we'd have announcers for each promotion, if Hudson is still on the payroll, he's coming out now to work with JR (Paul leaves now, he's got managerial duties) but absent that, one of the workers is sitting in. I guess it would be Arn for the NWA, Taz for ECW, and Regal for the WWF. They all sit at different tables, unwilling to be close to each other. This is a spirited rivalry.

They use different colors here for the ring and apron, different graphics, give the look of the arena and the broadcast as much of a different feel as possible. They bar everyone from the outside during the matches. The key is how much it can seem like it’s not regular WWF matches. It should feel different, as different as it could feel.

5. NWA - Booker T d. WWF - Rock
We start off with Booker going over the newly crowned WWF legend. Big win for the NWA and should be treated as such - any NWA fans in the crowd (San Jose's WWF territory) would be pleased. Arn would cheer from the announce. They do a spot where Steve Regal, working as the color announcer with the WWF crew (he’s a heel, sure, but he’s WWF and it’s interpromotional time) leaves his announce table, saying he has to stop some type of evil NWA chicanery – but Regal’s gonna jump to the other side – he’ll either hit the Rock w/o the official seeing, or he’ll put Booker’s foot on the ropes to prevent a fall – whatever it is. Book hits the Harlem Hangover legdrop – then the Bookend, and gets the fall. Booker and Regal celebrate – Chavo, Helms, and Kidman enter – they give Regal an NWA t-shirt – and the NWA goes up 1-0.
They put the boots to the Rock - JR swearing like a sailor at that no good sumbitch traitor Regal - save by Foley - Foley and Rock clean house - both jawing at Regal as he smirkingly exits with his new NWA comrades.

Later, on a RAW - he'll explain that he always felt at home in the NWA - it is only natural that he would be nestled within the bosom os his adopted homes in (Regal makes a face, as if it's difficult to say) Charlotte...or Roanoke. Yes, the deep south, with its sweetned teas and enlightened views of racial tolerance. My one true home.

Regal: Everyone in my dear old England knows my love for (grimacing) NASCAR...and sweetened tea...and soon I will be joining the Southern Baptist Church. Yes, the NWA and I are two peas in a pod, as it were.

Like that.

Taz now comes to the ring – puts over the history of the ECW tags and the TV title – and here come the clips…the Sandman caning Hawk…Public Enemy dancing…2 Cold hitting the big splash…Mikey and Bubba holding the tag belts…RVD with the Van Daminator…Total Elimination on Mikey…3D on Saturn while RVD pins Sasuke…the Impact Players posing over the Dudleys, Van Terminator on Jerry Lynn…RVD pins Taka, 3D on Justin…Van Dam and Tax exchange suplexes, Nova and Guido hold the belts high in the air…Storm gets Van Dam to tap out to the half crab...Tarantula on Storm…CW Anderson hitting the spinebuster, he and the Sandman holding the belts…Guido getting Sandman to submit…Rhyno with the gore on Mikey, Little Spike Dudley holding both tag belts….

6. UNIFIED TAGS: WWF-Dudleys (w/Stevie) d. NWA-Page/Kanyon d. ECW-Spike/Rhyno (w/Paul E)

This is an elimination tag – DDP gets the first fall on Rhyno, eliminating the ECW guys, and then the Duds hit 3D on Kanyon. The Dudleys keep the belts for WWF – they yell at Paul E – they lead a WWF chant from the crowd as Jericho, Morley, Snow, and the Hardys enter to celebrate with them. They do a Hardy/Dudley handshake that pops the crowd. The Dudleys take all six belts – and from now on, in every tag title match, all six belts will be on the line. A company goes away, you take their belts.

7. Worldwide Titles: ECW-Tajiri (w/Paul E) d. WWF-Austin d. NWA-Storm
They spread the love around. ECW wins all 3 secondary belts This is one fall to a finish, things break down on the outside in this one. Austin gets Diamond Cuttered by an entering Page, leaving him laid out on the outside. That leads to a response from a running in Jericho, who attacks Page. The NWA crew then comes out, stomping out Jericho, putting the boots to Jericho...

...this distracts Storm, for the reasons already established – and distracts him enough that Tajiri is able to hit him with the mist when he turns to face him, a few well timed kicks later and it’s over. Jericho is apologetic on the outside, Lance distraught on the inside. Now it’s the ECW guys who hit the ring, Taz, Tommy, Justin, Raven – and they hold up the three belts in triumph. Again, all 3 belts, IC, US, TV, will be defended together for the foreseeable future.

They're doing something here – Justin and Lance, see, were tag champs in ECW – so, we have Jericho, Lance’s first tag partner – and Justin, Lance’s second. Justin consoles Lance in the ring “it’s okay baby, I’m here for you baby” that kinda thing – while Lance’s true love Jericho looks on. It’s interpromotional homoerotica.

Justin’s gonna help Lance from the ring, gives Jericho a smirk as he walks by. Ooooh, that Justin, he burns me up.

8. Double World Title Match: ECW Rules: WWF-Angle d. ECW-RVD (w/Paul E)
RVD gets in his stuff, there’s leaping and flipping and chairs and juice. And he’ll take all of Angle’s suplexes, 'cause Van Dam's good like that, and that works too. I really think this match completely comes together and just brings the building down. Angle with the ankle lock submission.

Angle keeps the strap, takes the ECW title, holds both aloft in midring as the show ends.

Survivor Series is coming from by god North Carolina.

The only match without an interpromotional element is the opening tag. E/C v. the hometown Hardys, of course, winners get a title shot at the Rumble.

We’ve got matches set up from Summer Slam. Regal turned NWA and attacked the Rock – so, they meet at Survivor Series. I like them on the mic all fall, and Foley stays in the angle also.

Page attacked Austin at Summer Slam, helping to cost him the IC - We’ll hook them up at the PPV. These aren’t one off matches, they're gonna run both of these as programs. Regal’s a traitor according to the Rock, Rock’s more underling than legend, according to Regal. Page says he’s always been just as good as Austin – but Austin abandoned NWA, cut his hair – and became a Triple Crown winner – while DDP was always loyal to the company, and now he wants a piece of Stone Cold. Austin’s just Austin, busting open a can of whip ass.

We get another singles from Summer Slam, Jericho v. Justin. It’s our love triangle, Lance is torn between his two old tag partners, not to mention his loyalty to the NWA which cuts the third way. Everyone cuts promos – it leads to Jericho and Justin going to war at Survivor Series– and they make Lance the guest referee. Stacy's at Jericho's elbow every second, which cuts against the gay overtones enough that the people don't turn on him. Very delicate undertaking.

One more undercard match before the three title matches. The Chavo/Helms tag team, which worked dark at Summer Slam, starts to rip up the midcard – they go over Raven and Taz…they go over Rhyno and Spike…

..and they hurt Rhyno pretty significantly. Just remorselessly carve him up. They now make Chavo and Helms crazy ass heels. Chavo is totally unhinged – he’s not just violent, he’s clearly insane. He likes the beating up of the people more than a person should. Chavo’s unhinged, and not in a good way. So, they take Rhyno out – and are putting the beating to Spike – when Spike is saved by the Dudleys and Stevie. ‘Cause, you know, they’re brothers and all.

That’s gonna be the grease to have Spike form a tag with Stevie. Spike won’t turn WWF yet, it’ll be a mixed tag, ECW Spike and WWF Stevie. This will piss off, say Al and Morley, who are irritated that Stevie is associating with the enemy. This feud won’t make PPV, but it exists on tv nonetheless.

The win over Raven/Taz will be enough to bust that team up – they’ll blame each other for the loss. The next week, Taz calls all of ECW out – says there’s one thing wrong with his being on a team with everyone from ECW….he hates those guys. He’s always hated those guys. "When I was ECW Champ for 2 years and beating the hell out of all you guys, I hated you guys. Just because now we’re here, we’re supposed to be friends? Screw that. Screw you, Paul E. Screw you, RVD. Screw you, Raven and screw you, Dreamer. Screw every damn one of you. I'm Taz. Beat me if you can, survive if I let you."

Everyone attacks Taz – Taz wipes everyone out – finishing up by choking out Tajiri – which will give us the Worldwide Titles match - Tajiri defending against Taz.

And Chavo and Helms? Chavo and Helms finished up by cutting a promo on ECW, saying they beat their last tag champs, injured Rhyno, and beat their only WWF tag champs, Taz and Raven, and sent Taz running from the entire company. Is there anything left of ECW for them to destroy?

Enter Van Dam. RVD says he’ll take them on at Survivor Series.

They ask, you and what partner?

He says, hey, I’m Rob Van Dam, look how I point to my head with my thumbs, I’m all the partner I need.

And that makes that match. Handicap at the PPV.

Raven renews his pursuit to recapture the tag belts – this time with Tommy as his partner. Raven/Dreamer is a team that ECW fans will dig the most, as their feud was one of the defining elements of ECW. The story is they went to summer camp together; Dreamer’s the ex-jock, Raven’s the outsider. Dreamer’s basically a good natured, everyman, who can take a ton of punishment, Raven’s dark and disturbed. Raven/Dreamer against the Dudley Boys in the No DQ match at Survivor Series '01. Yeah, daddy. Blood and broken things.

In the main…once again, Angle calls out anyone in the world – anyone in the world who wants a shot at Kurt Angle and his 2 World Title Belts ---

Enter Booker T. Book beat the WWF Legend – and now he wants to beat the WWF Champion.

And that’s your match. It’s somewhat low wattage, even with Book beating Rock, since Book never had a singles title in NWA. But Book’s pretty good, or at the end of being pretty good, that’s a better way to put it, in 2001 – I guess we wind up playing the “no black world champions ever” angle – since there haven’t been in this universe. This is when you’d want a gimmick, to up the interest….okay, we haven’t done a Hell in a Cell since Foley/Shamrock – so just the gimmick alone will sell some tickets. The rationale would have to be that the NWA/WWF guys don’t stop interfering in the run up to the match….no, no…let’s do a lumberjack match instead. How about that? How you feelin’ about that? We take the NWA guys, put ‘em on one side – the WWF guys on the other side. Lumberjack match. Sweet. Good call.

They sell the show as a joint NWA/WWF show – which will be really over considering it’s in Greensboro, where the NWA guys will be cheered – and that will make for good TV – and means you really have to buy the show. Whew. Done and done.

So, we got the Lumberjack match for the WWF/ECW World Titles, Angle meeting Booker T, Tajiri defends the Worldwide Titles against Taz, the Unifed Tags have the Dudleys against Raven and Tommy in the crazy garbage match, we’ve got the interpromotional matches: Rock v. Regal, Austin v. Page, and Jericho v. Justin with Storm as the referee, we have the spot fest handicap match: RVD v. Chavo and Helms, and the E/C v. Hardys opening tag, winners become number one contenders which is always a winner. Again, top to bottom, not a single weakness on the card – call your local calling thing! It's Survivor Series 2001!!

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