Triple H, October 2011:
“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.
Survivor Series 2002
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Summer Slam is here.
Survivor Series 2002 MSG
(Dark – Flair/Leviathan d. Haas/Benjamin)
JR/Paul E/Taz is your announce team.
Angle and Brock enter at the top of the show to the big mixed reaction. Angle pauses, now recognizing the booing – which makes him hot.
“Thanks, you know what, thanks, There are days when my body is sore, when it’s hard to get out of bed, when just the thought of coming to the ring to defend these titles is a lot for me to cope with – but then I think that someplace, somewhere, there is a fan who has never seen Kurt Angle wrestle, and I wouldn’t want that fan to leave the arena, or turn off his television, having seen me give less than my best effort and thing, Well, that guy wasn’t so great – that’s the guy with the gold medals – that’s the guy who was undefeated?
So, every day I keep going. Why? Because I’m Kurt Angle.
And now, when I limp out of bed in the morning – I won’t be thinking about that fan – I’ll be thinking about you people – I’ll be thinking about the way you booed me tonight, and more importantly, the way you’ve treated my friend Brock Lesnar – and that will just fuel me even more. I can take it. I’m Kurt Angle. I’m the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, oh yeah. But for you to boo some kid, some kid just trying to make his way, some kid just learning the business, for you to boo Brock Lesnar just because he’s an amateur wrestler, just because he’s a physical specimen the likes of which this sport has never seen before, just because he won the Camp Angle Challenge, for you to turn on Brock Lesnar – it’s just wrong. It’s just wrong New York City – and I’m disappointed in you. I’m disappointed in you WWF fans. Kurt Angle is disappointed in you.
So, if you want to cheer for Chris Jericho tonight – if you want to chant Y2J…Y2J…you go right ahead – because tonight will end like every night has ended in the World Wrestling Federation since I stepped foot in the building – the guy getting his hand raised will be me. Why? Because I’m Kurt Angle. The greatest wrestler of all time.”
Angle, legitimately not understanding why the fans have turned on him, leaves, not noticing as Brock smirks at the crowd as they exit. Maybe Brock flips the crowd the finger.
1. Dudleys d. Hardys (DQ)
As has been set up, Jeff’s turned on the influence of the mystery manager – Matt’s reluctant but the Hardys lack of movement in the hierarchy of the company has caused him to go along with Matt and the svengali like manager, whose appearance is so shocking that we still don’t know his name.
Until we do. Lights out.
Lights on. In the ring…
Crowd is shocked – Heyman, on the announce, flips out completely. Bischoff comes to the ring with Singapore canes – he tosses them to Matt and Jeff – Jeff lays into both Dudleys, drawing the DQ – Jeff is reveling in being bad – he splatters the Dudleys – Bischoff yells at Matt to join in right now – and eventually Matt does. Matt takes no joy in laying in with the canes, but does anyway. Bischoff grabs Matt’s and Jeff’s arms and thrusts them victoriously in the air – Jeff is excited, Matt looks conflicted – Eric’s Eric – and Heyman is screaming from the announce.
Eric cuts promo – says he doesn’t blame the WWF for running his NWA out of business. Sure, the WWF is a goliath and used its size in an anticompetitive fashion to destroy its chief competition in the way that the robber barons used to back in the gilded age. Sure, if Congress had any balls they’d use antitrust legislation to bust this place up like they did Standard Oil. But he doesn’t blame the WWF.
Who he blames for ruining his life – are the fans.
They boo, of course. Which is the idea.
See – because the NWA had everything – we had stars and we had great wrestling and we had cruiserweight excitement and we had hot chicks and we broke stuff. We had ladder matches and tables matches – we had thumbtacks and set stuff on fire.
And no matter what we did – everytime the NWA tried to get a little foothold, tried to get some traction – everytime it looked like it was going to be Eric Bischoff who was king of wrestling --- some idiot fans would start this chant…
Bischoff looks at Heyman.
“I can’t remember what it was…”
ECW chant starts.
“Yeah, that’s it. E-C-W…the three worst letters in the English language. E-C-W. When fans who had paid money to come to an NWA show – and I want you people to understand my irritation here – when fans who had paid money to come to an NWA show, wanted to express how much they were enjoying that show – what did they chant?
How the hell am I supposed to compete with the monster that is the World Wrestling Federation, when you people won’t stop your idiot, sheep like chanting. Morons. All of you people are morons.
And there’s the lead moron (pointing dead at Heyman) right there. Paul Heyman.”
Okay – you get the point. We’re gonna get Heyman/Bischoff stuff. For awhile.
2. Lance (w/Stacy) d. Edge (w/Trish and Christian)
Christian and Trish don’t make it to the end of the match, as Eric and the Hardys re-enter with the canes – the Hardys laying Christian out – and then Eric takes out Trish,. Edge’s distraction lets Lance get control. Earlier in the match, when Edge is holding the ropes on an attempted pinfall, Stacy pulls the ropes away – and at the finish, when Edge is reaching for the ropes when trying to break out of the half crab – Stacy pulls the ropes away again. Edge is forced to submit, Stacy and Lance hug and hug and hug and hug.
Lot of affection between those two.
3. Rey d. Regal
The matches get better and better, you gotta deliver for your base. Regal taunts Rey early, using his size and his genetically superior breeding, but Rey’s speed takes over, similar to Rey/Angle, ‘cept that Rey goes over at the end with the hurricanarana roll up. Little Rey!
4. No DQ: Chavo (w/Flair and Leviathan) d. Helms
This has to be crazy, as the Spree Killers explode. Their high flying in ring stuff is terrific, but this is a blood feud, and neither guy is really turning face, so they have to pummel each other in a bad, bad way. Spot-tastic. Finish comes when Leviathan runs in and Demon Bombs Helms through the Spanish announce. Evil Chavo cackles at the sight of his evil partner’s bloody and broken body. Leviathan drags Helms back into the ring for the fall. Flair puts Helms in the figure four postmatch as Chavo and Leviathan stomp away. There’s no mercy at all for Helms. Postmatch, Flair and Leviathan put up the four fingers, but when Chavo attempts to – he’s stopped by Leviathan. They go nose to nose…Flair steps in and tells Chavo that he’s almost a Horseman, he’s almost proved himself – but not quite yet.
5.Brock (w/Angle) d. HHH (countout)
Finish comes when Brock F5s HHH on the ramp. Which they’ll sell like a homicide. The back will flood out to help HHH – Brock will laugh his ass off as he climbs back in the ring and makes the referee count Hunter out, Brock counting to ten right along with him. I like Brock laughing as they load HHH on a stretcher, Brock counting to ten with the ref.
Angle, who had been with Brock the whole way, cheering for Brock, acting as Brock’s manager – is shocked at the maneuver – and we see Angle stand open mouthed as he sees the F5 to the ramp. Angle stares at the body of HHH – turns his head to stare at Brock, who again is counting aloud in the ring as the fans are shocked at the carnage. Angle is frozen in place, slack jawed, as he watches HHH writhe on the ramp, watches the back (Arn! Fit! Dean!) come down to aid Hunter. Angle snaps out of it – goes to help Hunter himself, he gets there just as Michaels, in his gear as he waits for the Ladder match, gets there. Michaels shoves Angle away hard as he gets to the ramp – Angle attempts to apologize to Michaels, attempts to say he’s not sure what happened – Michaels starts firing at Angle with right hands --- Angle returns the blows - Brock leaves the ring – charges and takes Michaels down, pummeling him with lefts and rights – Michaels and Brock fight feverishly, Angle in the middle – Angle firing at Michaels. The officials who aren’t tending to HHH split them up – Michaels is furious as he goes to tend to HHH who is stretchered away now. Angle stares hard at Brock, Brock’s demeanor changing, Brock whining “what did I do? What did I do?”
6. Unified Tags: Benoit/Guerrero (w/Flair/Leviathan/Chavo) d. Noble/Kidman
Another super match. Time to note now that Benoit and Eddy aren’t quite the same guys as they were when they left, they cut their hair, they’ve softened in the eyes a bit, owing to their age. We haven’t officially taken note of any of this yet, since they’ve really taken roles behind Flair as Horsemen. But as we see them here, we note that it’s largely a clean match – and they are impressed with the kids, particularly Benoit should be impressed with Noble, who really is doing a style like a mini-Benoit. I want as much Benoit/Noble as possible, where we see Benoit really appreciate Noble’s ringwork. Both Benoit and Eddy, in fact, seem a little irritated with the interference by the rest of the Horsemen. The Horsemen interfere – Benoit and Guerrero glare at them – there’s a spot where, say, with Noble knocked outside, Benoit makes sure to get to him before the Horsemen can, so he can throw him back into the ring.
They win clean, Benoit getting Kidman to submit. It’s a great match – afterward, the Horsemen and Chavo enter for the beatdown – Benoit intercepts. Benoit shakes his head – says no, come on – no – Leviathan gets in Benoit’s face – and it looks briefly like they’re gonna go – but Flair intercedes, Flair leads Benoit from the ring, talking to him – allowing Leviathan, Chavo, and eventually Eddy to do the postmatch beatdown of Noble and Kidman. Benoit turns around, conflicted, the fans wanting him to run back to the ring…but he doesn’t.
7. Worldwide Belts: Ladder Match: RVD (w/Paul E) d. HBK
A great night of wrestling. This will be a mixed crowd, it’s NY, so that’s ECW country – and MSG still does ECW chants – so, for a ladder match between Van Dam and Michaels in 2002 – with Paul E leading the chants – there will be a lot of Van Dam support. Add in that some folks dislike Michaels for his young Clique days – or maybe even for his opposition to Angle, who certainly has hardcore supporters – and I expect a lot of dueling HBK…RVD chants. Van Dam goes over clean here – grabbing the 3 belts --- hey, actually, that does make for a Souped Up ladder match –
I’m changing the stip….
It’s not enough to grab one belt, but you have to grab 2 of the 3…so, let’s say first Van Dam grabs the ECW TV, then Michaels grabs the NWA US, finally Van Dam climbs up to grab the IC and get the win. It’s a super duper ladder match. Probably kills Michaels in the process. Yeah, that’s good fun. A 2 of 3 Belt Ladder Match. I just invented a new match. Has anyone else done that match? Am I being silly?
Kinda rules the earth. I’m just sayin’.
Van Dam exhaustedly points to himself and Paul E has to help him to the back with his regained Worldwide belts. Michaels stays in the ring for the standing ovation from the crowd, Michaels, gone for four years with the back injury, regains and then loses the IC, and now has competed once again in a classic ladder match. Michaels, bleeding, waves to the crowd. JR puts him over – “who would have ever believed that the legendary triple crown winning HBK would have returned to the WWF and put it all on the line like this…he has won over this crowd…we have loved him..we have hated him…but for every single WWF fan, I say, thank you Shawn Michaels – God Bless you Shawn Michaels..”
And Shawn Michaels then is blasted from behind by an entering Lesnar.
Lesnar hits the ring, beating Michaels down – and F5s him on top of one of the fallen ladders. Lesnar’s ruined the moment and draws the huge heel pop. Lesnar laughs as the back now has to come to the ring to help Michaels.
8. Undisputed Heavyweight Championship: Angle d. Jericho
One of the great top to bottom nights in wrestling history ends with Angle’s winning clean over Jericho. Crowd is largely pro Jericho, he’s a Hart, his dad played for the Rangers, Angle has come very close to turning heel, Lesnar is clearly a heel, and Jericho is trying to win the Triple Crown now named after Owen Hart.
Deck is pretty well stacked. And that increases when Lesnar runs in again, Brock Lesnar one more time. Angle and Jericho were fighting on the outside – Jericho had used the steel steps to knock Angle out, Jericho dumped him in the ring, and the fans think he’s seized the opportunity, but Lesnar again runs in and clotheslines Jericho hard to the floor. Lesnar dumps Jericho back in and leaves before Angle comes to. And once again, Jericho and Angle are at even strength when each man comes
Kurt Angle kicks out of the Lionsalt, he breaks the Liontamer – and he ankle locks Jericho for the submission. Another great match and great win for Angle – he holds the three belts aloft, exhaustedly accepting the boos – for the first time, Angle is not filled with glory and confidence and pride after a win – here we see exhaustion, confusion, and some anger as some of the fans hurl objects at him – the crowd is wildly mixed, Angle is our Bruno after all, straight and true, but he’s been tainted by Brock and is growing resentful of what he perceives as terrible treatment by the fans. Disrespect really. But after what he saw tonight, there is, for the first time ever, a bit of doubt in his eyes as the show… well… not quite… ends,
As Angle’s on the buckle, Michaels comes hobbling, bleeding, ragged, running as best he can, down to the ring – and when Angle, who had the belts thrust in the air, turns around – Michaels lays him out with a superkick. Lays him flat.
The bloody Michaels grabs the WWF Title belt – and holds it high in the air over the body of Angle.
And that’s your show.
The Rumble is coming from Boston.
HBK opens RAW after Survivor Series. Michaels says he started in the WWF almost 15 years ago, he and Marty were tag champs back in the 1980s, for goodness sakes. 4 Intercontinental Championships, WWF Champion twice, a Triple Crown winner. No one has ever held more belts in the WWF than me.
But the one thing I’ve never been is Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.
So, Kurt Angle – at the Royal Rumble – I am calling you out!
Lesnar says that Michaels is a little bitch who doesn’t deserve a shot at Kurt’s titles, he deserves to wind up in the hospital with his boyfriend Hunter.
Jericho says that Lesnar won’t be able to beat up Michaels at the Rumble – because Brock Lesnar cost him the Triple Crown last night at Survivor Series – so, at the Rumble, Brock Lesnar will learn what Y2J is all about.
Michaels gets in Jericho’s face..says, “beat up, you think Lesnar would beat me up, do you Jericho? Since I’ve come back, I’ve been a little busy, you know, winning titles and having the best match on the card to spend much time with you – but make no mistake about it, make no mistake about it—I know you’re the one around here carrying on the Hart name, I see you in the pink and black, I know you’re from Stampede – and it doesn’t matter to me what the fans think of it – I will always – and I mean always – be Clique – and one day, Jericho, you and me….we’re gonna go….
….but right now…right now, let’s kick this frat boy’s ass….”
Jericho and Michaels attack Lesnar….they get the advantage, run in by Angle – Angle and Lesnar get the advantage, and knock Jericho and Michaels from the ring. Lesnar looks for Angle to give him a high five – but Angle refuses – Angle shakes his head at him and leaves the ring.
We’ll get a tag match for the main that night, Angle/Lesnar v. HBK/Y2J – Angle pins Jericho again – and all four men leave separately.
We are going to do both those matches at the Rumble. Angle/Michaels is on top. It’s two months of Shawn clips, of Shawn and Angle promos. A Rumble win and Angle will go to Mania as WWF Champ for 2 years – tying Bret Hart’s modern record.
So, in effect, Michaels is wrestling to protect Bret’s legacy. He’ll cut a conflicted promo on that. The base will enjoy the irony. And Jericho will cut a promo with Shawn before the Rumble, telling him to kick Angle’s ass. Shawn tells Jericho to kick Brock’s ass.
We’ll get Lance/Jericho against Brock/Angle stuff on the way to the Rumble. We’ll get a spot where Lesnar grabs Stacy – and before Jericho can react, Lance goes nuts, just loses his composure completely. Jericho begins to notice increasingly that Lance and Stacy’s relationship is deepening, but he assumes he’s imagining things. We’re not turning Lance, nor Stacy – the angle is they’re falling in love, despite neither one of them wanting to do this to Chris.
Lance is going to meet Regal at the PPV. It’s a solid enough matchup and Regal, who doesn’t get another PPV shot for awhile, is stuck in this role in the company.
We’ve got 3 Horsemen matches. We’ll do Chavo/Tajiri – Tajiri’s still a heel – but Chavo doesn’t care about good guys and bad guys – Chavo’s dying to be named an official Horsemen. Tajiri catches him on the wrong day, maybe Chavo thinks he was laughing at him because the Horsemen don’t accept him yet– and Chavo attacks. Chavo looking to prove himself to the Horsemen.
Time to do Flair/Leviathan against Spike and Stevie, which has been a TV feud. Except don’t look for Flair to step in the ring.
And the tag title, Benoit/Guerrero will defend against Benjamin and Haas. That will allow us to do a four man with Angle/Brock/Haas/Benjamin against the Horsemen on RAW, which would be doublefun. Ex cept – Angle and Benoit never hook up – and when they attempt to brawl postmatch – again the security swarms over both of them. They continue the storyline that Benoit and Guerrero are uneasy with the Horsemen’s heelish tactics. They also now move Haas and Benjamin into the storyline – selling their technical expertise as the main attraction to the team, they’re pure babyface – and recall from the Camp Angle reality show that they are particularly close given Charlie’s personal circumstance. We get dissent with Brock; Benjamin and Brock, recall, were teammates in college, and they tagged them together on Angle’s reality show before Russ died and Benjamin went with Charlie. Benjamin tries to talk to Brock, tell him he’s out of control – and Brock slaps him around. That leads Benjamin and Charlie to talk to Kurt – telling him he’s lost control of Brock, Kurt says he’s doing all he can – but he’s got Michaels to prep for – he’s helping them prep for Benoit/Guerrero – how many hours does he have to babysit you guys?
This pisses off Haas and Benjamin. They want some attention from Kurt. Kurt’s played favorites with Brock, he got to debut first, Kurt goes to the ring for all their matches – Brock’s an asshole and it makes them all look bad. So, we have training sessions for the title match, and Kurt keeps getting distracted while he’s trying to train them, you know, ‘cause Brock’s stuffed another junior into a locker.
Kurt promises he’ll be there for Team Angle when they meet the Horsemen at the
Rumble. Promises. Swears on his gold medals. Nothing to keep him away.
Two more. The IC is RVD/Rey. ‘Cause it’s all about the workrate, daddy. Workrate~ Heyman says Van Dam is the premiere high flyer in the world, Rey obviously disagrees. It’s a match based on spots. I enjoy spots. Spots~
And the opening tag, the match that Eric Bischoff fights for, TLC 4….the last dance. Hardys/Dudleys/E and C for the very last time. They show lots of clips, they all promo – it’s the end of the greatest long running tag feud in WWF history. They promise to give the WWF fans one to remember and say they will leave their bodies in the ring. We sell the match hard, all three teams promoing that this really is the end of the feud. And the winners will go to Mania. Each team says they want to be the team that wins the feud, each team promises to send the others out on stretchers. Each team says they will not leave the greatest tag team feud of all time without their hands being raised. The angle is that they’re gonna have six stretchers at ringside – ambulances, paramedics – Trish pumps up E and C – this is about the Clique – about their legacy as the dominant faction in wrestling history. Bischoff pumps up the Hardys, says this is their destiny – that he has gotten every team to sign a pledge that this is the last meeting among these teams – that the winners of the match will go to Mania (I don’t know what they’re putting above the ring to grab…a WWF symbol, or I’ll steal the briefcase idea, I don’t know, whatever’s good) Bischoff is constantlty working to tell the Hardys they’ve been screwed over, stuck in this feud, and they are one match away from vanquishing both teams. And the Dudleys turn to Heyman – actually, he comes to them – recall the Stevie thing, so they’ve been on opposite sides since entering the WWF – but Heyman says they need his services for this match, it’s too important – this is about the legacy of ECW, it’s about Eric Bischoff coming into the WWF and infecting it like a virus. Heyman hates Bischoff, hates everything he stands for – and the two of them can promo back and forth (and not for the last time, settle in on the Bischoff/Heyman thing)
It’s TLC 4 – once and for all.
It’s a big time Rumble from Boston. Angle defends against Shawn Michaels, RVD v. Rey, Eddy/Benoit defending against Team Angle, Jericho v. Brock, Lance v. Regal, Chavo v. Tajiri, Flair and Leviathan against Spike/Stevie. And the opening tag is TLC4 – Once and For all. The Royal Rumble 2003. Buy it.