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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.

Wrestlemania XXI 2005

Sunday, May 28, 2006



Rumble is here.

Wrestlemania XXI – Los Angeles

Okay, group. Here’s how it’s gonna go now; I’m going to try to stay a full year behind the actual WWF. A couple of reasons for that: one, since I have the requirement that a titleholder in PPV X needs to defend at the following show, I need to stay at least one behind; and two, because it’s easier for everyone to keep straight where we are if I’m following the calendar.

So, that means Summer Slam ’05 will be posted this August.

As a consequence of this, this post will end at the close of Mania, without building to the next show – the build for the next show will now occur in the interim. So, between now and August, as opposed to one large post, that sets everything up, there will be smaller posts, maybe weekly, maybe every other week. I’m not stopping, honest, I enjoy this kinda thing. Just pop in periodically to see the build for the next show.

And of course, come to Lima, Ohio in August for the world premiere of Spoon Millionaires.

Onto the show…

(Dark – Nova/Guido v. Spike/Stevie)

JR/Taz/Paul E on the announce.

1. The NeoCons: GHB/Morley d. Tajiri/Yang
Bradshaw comes to the ring with a Sean Hannity flag (and maybe Hannity on his trunks, what the hell) and Morley’s got a flag with a bar graph (they’ll cut a pre match promo explaining it) that charts the profits of Haliburton and Mobil over the course of the war.

GHB hits the lariat (let’s call it the “Come to Jesus” lariat) Morley hits Liberation Falls, and gets the fall on Yang.

That’s gonna finish up both Tajiri and Yang – Yang’s gone quick, and Tajiri can feud with the entering Super Crazy until his deal expires.

2. Legend’s Match: Rey d. Taker d. PAUL~
Taker’s going for his sixth win – but PAUL just beat his former stablemate at the Rumble, chokeslamming him off the apron in a way emblematic of his new hero, Akira Taue from the NOAH promotion in Japan (for those of you less literate in puroresu than others).

Steamboat, now as the GM figurehead, tossed Rey in the match (and in another coming up later) ostensibly to challenge Rey, but really for the workrate (and really as part of the coming push)

They do big man/little man stuff with Rey and both guys – Taker and PAUL even wind up teaming at one point, looking to take out Mysterio – but Rey’s too good, he gets pinfalls on both guys – nabbing his first legend’s win and hopefully winning over whatever cadre of people exist who hold his size against him.

Postmatch – the five time legend’s champ, Undertaker, is left in the ring, the announce puts him over and speculates that his Wrestlemania run may be at an end – when here comes…Hulk Hogan.

Hogan, here as a judge, recall for the title match, comes out, perhaps as a four time legend to shake the hand of the five time legend, but he doesn’t. For the first time in his WWF tenure, Hogan turns heel – blasting the ‘Taker, beating him down, spitting on him, telling him he’s the true WWF legend.

Hogan’s led from the building – and now the speculation becomes what will happen to the main event? Steamboat said 3 WWF Heavyweight Champs would be the judges, and now, they’re down to two, he and Austin. What will happen? What will happen? What will happen?

3. Michaels d. Jericho (w/Trish)
Loaded show. The burned out Lizard King and HBK do the Harts/Clique thing at XXI. Jericho spits the whiskey in Michaels’s face, Trish rubs him in as X rated a way as they’ll do. But the new, mature, puritanical Shawn is resolute, morally offended at the degraded Jericho (that sounds like the face/heel thing is reversed, it’s not, but if Shawn began to rub some people as overly moralistic at this point that would be okay – and Jericho’s fun, but such a burn out, that he’s hard to root for).

Michaels inadvertently superkicks Trish at one point – which writes her out of the Counterfactual, perhaps for good (I’ll miss you Trish. One tear.) And gets the fall after the superkick to Jericho. Lizard King ignores the fallen Trish – maybe he goes to her, licks her face one more time, then crawls back up the ramp.

4. Rey d. London
Little Rey gets revenge for his Rumble loss – and gets his third pinfall of the night, going over London in the high flying match. Rey and London shake hands postmatch. The following night on RAW – Steamboat will bring out Mysterio (announce really puts Rey over) and says that in the main event last night (which we’re gonna sell as the greatest match in wrestling history, by the way) we saw two titans, two legends, two wrestlers as good as anyone who ever lived..

…But earlier in the evening, the man who stole the show was Rey Mysterio, Jr.

And, Steamboat says, shaking Rey’s hand – that in 2005 – no matter who has the belts, what he wants the fans to know is that Rey Mysterio is the Ace of the WWF.

Rey’s touched, ‘cause it’s Ricky Steamboat saying that he is now the workrate backbone of the company.

5. Angle d. Christian
Really the high water mark of the long Clique v. Team Angle feud. Christian’s the guy on the come, the fans are superhot for him, they’re the Christian Coalition, they hit the catchphrase, they’re rolling with the new.

But it’s Kurt Angle, the devious Kurt Angle – he pulls out all the stops, cheating to win, and gets the submission. Angle does the hyperintense, roid rage 2005 Angle thing, screaming at the fans, screaming at Christian – and then he begins slapping him postmatch. Slapping Christian over and over until Michaels makes the save.

Michaels pulls Christian out of the ring – and finally it’s just the two men, Angle and Michaels, leaders of their respective factions, going nose to nose in the middle of the ring.

6. Tags: Orton/Cena d. SpreeKillers d. Team Angle
I almost feel the need to apologize for this one, as, I think, Cena might be the worst beltholder in WWF Counterfactual history.

The comedy tag of Orton and Cena shock the world. Largely, the match is SpreeKillers (Helms and Rhyno) against Team Angle (Haas and Benjamin) as they toss the young Orton and Cena aside. Haas and Benjamin with the doubleteam finish, pinning Rhyno to eliminate the champs.

They dominate Orton and Cena next, clearly dominant, but out of nowhere, Cowboy Bob leaps over the barrier to level S Money with the cast (yeah, Bob’s still wearing the cast) that distracts Haas who is in the ring – and Randy hits the diamond cutter for the fall.

Orton and Cena, comedy tag team, your new Unified Tag Champs.

Charlie, recall, had been in trouble with Team Angle – and now takes the pinfall. Kurt enters, gets in Charlie’s face – screaming at him – as S Money watches from the corner. Haas is chastened, apologetic – Kurt yells, yells, yells, - then starts slapping him in the face. Kurt slaps Charlie and then yells at him. Slaps him some more. Slaps him some more.

S Money, the crowd urging him on, S Money comes to mid-ring – and pulls Kurt away…..

…only so he can blast Charlie. Benjamin takes Charlie apart, piece by piece, decimating his long time friend and partner and sending Haas out of the WWF. Crowd boos as Kurt and S Money leave the ring.

7. Worldwide Titles: Edge d. Regal
Edge gets the Clique revenge against Team Angle, keeping against Regal. Ideally, Regal’s stiffness helps further get Edge over as a guy at this level. Edge gets the fall, people cheer.

8. Undisputed Championship: 60 Minute Iron Man Match: Eddy d. Benoit (Dean, guest ref)
Okay, dig if you will the picture. The long white ramp – the fans throwing the ribbons to the ring – Dean as the guest referee, the only man who can handle this matchup – and at ringside, in tuxedos, Ricky Steamboat, and then Steve Austin, and we wait for the third judge….

….Ric Flair….

Flair, gone since the RAW following the Rumble when Arn told him it was time to hang it up, returns in Hogan’s spot – Flair shaking hands with Steamboat and Austin, the announce discussing the firepower here – all six men former world champions.

There’s no reason why it’s not all the match you’d want it to be – Benoit/Eddy at the main event of Mania for all the straps. Give them an hour and let them do whatever they wanted. Lot of finishes, fine. No finishes, fine. They do each other’s stuff, they each get a submission (Eddy with the clover leaf) they do stuff that establishes Dean won’t take any guff. They do aerial stuff, full on brawling, mat stuff, they strike, they do a suplex battle, they nearfall to death, they bleed – the whole panoply.

And after 60 minutes – it’s tied – which is why, of course, we have the judges contingency.

Steamboat goes Eddy. Benoit goes Austin.

Ric Flair decides who will be the next Undisputed Champ.

And here’s where he turns face.

Flair says, “nope.” “This is the greatest match I’ve ever seen, for the Undisputed Championship of the World – and I’m not, Wooo, I’m not going to be the one who decides a winner – instead – what I’ll decide is that Benoit – Guerrero – 5 more minutes – ring the bell.”

They do – they restart – Eddy gets the frogsplash pinfall.

Eddy and Benoit make up, the handshake, the hug – Dean holds up Eddy’s hand in victory, then holds up Benoit’s hand as well – the three men in mid-ring – the three judges at ringside applauding – the confetti rains down as Wrestlemania ends.

Summer Slam ’05 is coming in August. We’ll set up the card in the upcoming weeks. Thanks for reading. The Road

Royal Rumble 2005

Sunday, May 21, 2006



Survivor Series is here.

Royal Rumble – 2005 (Fresno)
(Dark – Regal/Haas d. Tajiri/Yang)

JR/Taz/Paul E on the announce.

Show opens with the Clique hitting the ring; Michaels, London, E and C. Michaels takes the stick says that “tonight is one of the biggest nights in the history of this family. The Clique was born in 1989 at the Royal Rumble, when me and Marty..does anyone remember the Rockers (people cheer, presumably) when me and Marty won the WWF tag team championship (clip of Shawn pinning Tully). And it was at Royal Rumble ’93, in the Match of the Year, when I pinned Owen Hart to win the Intercontinental Title (clip).”

“Beginning at that Royal Rumble, right here in California, for more than 4 straight years – for 17 consecutive Pay-Per-Views – someone from this family – either me, or Razor, or Diesel, or the Kid, were wrestling for a singles championship. And sometimes more than one. (clips throughout)

Since 1989, through thick and thin, it has been this family that has been THE dominant force in all of professional wrestling. And tonight – this group that you see in this ring – this family – takes its rightful place where we belong – where we’ve always been – on top.

This man – the future of this sport – Paul London (fans hopefully chant Please Don’t Die) tonight takes his place as a super elite wrestler, when he beats Rey Mysterio, Jr.

This man – a future World Champion – Christian – tonight this man is going to beat maybe the greatest wrestler in the history of this sport – the Nature Boy Ric Flair. And why?”

Christian takes the mic for the catchphrase.

“Because that’s how I roll.”

Michaels again.

“Tonight you are going to see this man – Edge – win his first ever singles title when he beats that dried up reprobate, the Lizard King Chris Jericho, and takes his Worldwide Titles (Edge hits a buckle, hopefully leading to his pop)

And tonight…tonight…I am going to regain what I lost almost ten years ago – at Survivor Series ’96 (clip of Bret beating Shawn) tonight, I am going to stand across the ring from the leader of the Hart Foundation, Chris Benoit, and I am going to beat him – I am going to win back my WWF Championship – and I am going to be the first man in history to win the Triple Crown for the second time! Tonight, the Clique returns to the top of the World Wrestling Federation!”

Michaels makes the sign of the Clique – and here comes Team Angle.

Kurt’s still in his streetclothes, the jeans, t-shirt, leather jacket, and mirrored sunglasses. Kurt says for a group that’s supposed to be at the top of the WWF – they’re sure missing some gold.

“You know who has gold, Michaels? Team Angle.”

Angle points out that not only are he and S Money the tag team champs – but unlike the Clique – all four of us have been champions. And all four of us will be again.

Regal stalks Edge, Haas shadows London, S Money stands in the corner looking bored, Angle goes face to face with Michaels – but it’s Christian who takes the mic.”

“Kurt, Lex Luthor, Daddy Warbucks, Mr Clean, whatever it is you are this week, you can talk all you want about gold – but the fact of the matter is, tonight it’s the Clique on the top of the card – and Kurt Angle wrestling the Spree Killers. But you enjoy those tag team belts, Kurt – and understand that the only reason Edge and Captain Charisma, the greatest tag team of all time, isn’t wearing them right now….is because we don’t want them.”

Benoit music. Benoit to the top of the ramp.

Benoit says all he sees in the ring is a lot of hot air – he’s heard a lot of words among all 8 of you guys – but the words he hasn’t heard are “I’m the Undisputed Champion of the World. And that’s because, the Undisputed Champion of the World..is from the Hart Foundation.”

Benoit takes his 3 belts and raises them in the air.

Jericho music. Jericho stands next to Benoit at the top of the ramp. Whiskey bottle in one hand, IC title belt in the other. Trish staggers behind.

“And when the Lizard King hits the town tonight – he’ll be doing so with his bottle in one hand – his Worldwide Titles in the other – and his bitch between his legs, baby.”

Trish begins to rub her hands over Jericho as he takes a swig and holds his belt in the air – Benoit shakes his head as they cut to the announce.

Time for the show.

1. Winners Go to Mania: Orton/Cena d. Bradshaw/Bob (w/Conway) d. Booker/Jordan
-The comedy tag team, inexplicably getting wins, are going to wrestle for the tag straps at Mania. The NeoCon, who came out to the match waving a giant Karl Rove flag, takes out Booker and Jordan, clotheslining Jordan for the fall. Bradshaw dominates the match, recall he’s in a personal feud with Orton and Cena, who he thinks of as disrespectful toward the country, as they have no interest in fighting in Iraq.

Oh, Conway, recall, was Bradshaw’s partner at Survivor Series, he clotheslined him after they lost – as we go to Mania, a minor angle is that Conway’s unit gets called up – but Bradshaw convinces him to avoid service the way another great NeoCon, Rush Limbaugh, did in Vietnam – to get a medical deferment because of his anal cysts (true story, kids.)

So, since Conway’s disappearing into the miasma after this, assume he’s somewhere wearing a pad on his ass as the fans chant “anal cysts” at him.

But Bradshaw can’t get over here, Orton hits the diamond cutter on Bob for the fall – and the clueless team is going to Mania. Bradshaw frustratedly clotheslines Bob after the match.

2. PAUL~ d. Undertaker
-PAUL, who spends the entire match setting up the chokeslam (like Taue, who PAUL now worships, whenever we see PAUL, he’s wearing a Taue t-shirt, he’s watching NOAH tapes. PAUL loves him some chokeslam) hits another chokeslam off the apron, then drags the ‘Taker back in the ring for the fall. PAUL yells out that he’s the legend – he’s the mighty PAUL. And the announce speculates that we might be seeing this again in the legends’s match in Los Angeles.

3. London d. Rey
-London gets the biggest win of his life, getting the clean fall on Mysterio in the high flying spotfest, maybe the best match of the night. The Clique watches from their locker room, we cut to them throughout the match. Following the win, they spill out to the ring – celebrating with London, who the announce puts over as a future champion.

4. Christian d. Flair
-Christian didn’t come out for the London celebration, we see him just behind the curtain as the Clique returns, give the handsign with his stablemates, congratulating London as they all wish him luck.

Christian wins with the figure four, getting Flair to submit to his own maneuver and celebrating with the Coalition postmatch – Christian wading out in the crowd, slapping hands as they chant his name. A dejected Flair exits the ring – later, we cut to the back as he leaves the building, being met by Arn, who we haven’t seen since the breakup of the TitanTrust.

On a subsequent RAW, they’ll do an in ring promo, Flair will put somebody over, submitting again, and Arn and Leviathan will come out. Arn will remind Flair of a talk they had when Flair decided to come to the WWF this time – that Flair made AA promise, as his best friend, as a guy who would always shoot straight with him, that he’d tell him when it was time to hang up the boots.

“Champ,” Arn says. “It’s time.”

“When my time came, you looked me in the eye and said I had nothing left to prove. Well, Naitch, you’ve kissed all the girls and you’ve won the all gold. But it’s 2005 – it’s time to leave the game to big monsters like this kid. It’s time to leave the Horsemen behind and go onto the next part of our lives. You’re not the dirtiest player in the game anymore, Ric. It’s time to retire.”

Flair gets hot, but then looks at Arn and Batista, hugs both men – and with tears in his eyes watches the highlight package of his career. Flair’s never been a babyface in the WWF – and with the fans chanting his name – he, too choked up to speak, waves goodbye and the 3 men leave.”

5. Eddy d. Leviathan
-But before any of that happens on an upcoming RAW – the monster Leviathan, who destroyed Chavo, recall, gets beat clean here by Eddy. This is, maybe, the first match that Leviathan wrestles without any second, since Flair is gone – and Eddy takes it right at the big man, getting the frogsplash pinfall.

After the match – Eddy goes to a top buckle – and looking right in the camera – makes the sign for the belt around his waist. The announce enjoys that – speculating that the current triple crown champion, who wrestled Benoit to a 30 minute draw at Survivor Series – certainly should be in line to face whomever wins later tonight.

6. Tags: Spree Killers d. Team Angle (w/Regal/Haas)
Helms and Rhyno are your new tag champs. Three stories here, attempted interference by Haas backfired – Helms and Rhyno both do color, and there’s a spot where Regal slips knucks to Haas, who is supposed to administer them on the outside to Helms, who is already busted up. Haas, who recall is maybe a little too sensitive for this boy’s club, hesitates for just a moment, allowing Rhyno to gore Charlie through the retaining barrier. Second, London and C interfere – London takes out Regal and Christian hits the Crusader on Angle on the apron, taking him out of the game and leaving Benjamin in the ring to take the vertabreaker from Helms. London and C taunt Team Angle as they exit. Third is a very nice celebration from the SpreeKillers – particularly there’s a warm response for Helms, who wins his first ever WWF title, cradling his belts to his chest as the fans chant for him.

7. Worldwide: Edge d. Jericho (w/Trish)
-Edge takes the IC. Things to do – Christian gets his revenge on Trish for the turn, he runs in after she gives Edge the CliqueKick, and lays Trish out with the Crusader. Recall Christian laid Angle out with the Crusader earlier in the night, and that brings him back out and they wildly brawl back up the ramp. Edge with the spear and the Edge-ecution. London hits the ring afterward – and they do the full on celebration – the camera watches Michaels prepare in the back – he’s focusing on his match, but clearly excited at the evening’s outcomes – and the announce puts over that the Clique is 3-3, London beat Rey, Christian beat Flair, and now Edge has won the Worldwide belts.

Prior to the title match – we go to the TitanTron.

Coming….tomorrow night on RAW….

….the new leader of the WWF….

….it all begins again….

And then quick flashing images of Ricky The Dragon Steamboat. The WWF Champion from Wrestlemania, the main event of the first 4 Wrestlemanias…the legendary Ricky Steamboat…

The Dragon Returns Home….

Announce puts it over accordingly – Ricky Steamboat is going to be made the President of the World Wrestling Federation tomorrow night on RAW!

8. Undisputed Title: Benoit d. Michaels
-Sharpshooter submission. Benoit keeps. Clique and Team Angle barred from ringside, so it’s clean. Jericho enters postmatch to taunt Michaels, taking shots at the fallen HBK – Benoit considers stopping him – but doesn’t, instead slowly exiting the ring as the Clique rushes down to defend Michaels – which brings out Team Angle to attack the Clique, pandemonium as the show ends in a full scale brawl in the ring – and when Benoit reaches the top of the ramp – he’s met – by Eddy Guerrero.

They go nose to nose while behind them is a 9 man brawl as the show ends.

Steamboat opens RAW the next night. If you haven’t been with me since the beginning, Ricky Steamboat took the WWF title from Hogan on MTV at the War to Settle the Score (hence, you know, the title for the blog) kept over Barry Windham at Mania, and then his feud with the Dynamite Kid was at the top of the card for every PPV until he left the company.

And now – Ricky Steamboat, older, grayer, but still Ricky Steamboat, returns.

Steamboat accepts the crowd cheer – said that it’s his job to make each WWF event the best event he can – that he knows WWF fans want to see the best wrestling matches in the world – he knows WWF fans deserve to see the greatest wrestlers in the world face off – and since we’re on our way to Wrestlemania XXI – in Los Angeles – we’re going to see those face offs – beginning tonight!

Steamboat calls out the Clique and Team Angle.

He makes the main event for RAW, the second ever WWF War Games Match – Clique v. Team Angle – the winning team will get to name their opponents for Wrestlemania (pop) they can wrestle in any match, except the Undisputed Title Match, throughout the night.

At that main event, it’s Regal who gets the submission from London.

Stories to tell – backstage Team Angle promo where Kurt, in as scary a way as he can, tells the group that if any of them submit, he’ll hurt them far worse than they could imagine. In the match, Charlie is again the weak link, and attempts to submit – but is saved by Benjamin. We get more Christian/Angle stuff, playing off all the Rumble happenings – we get Michaels/Angle stuff, as they’re the big stars – London takes whatever crazy, ridiculous bump there is to take – enough that it cuts against whatever he loses having to submit to the Stretch.

But it’s Team Angle that wins – and over the next few weeks, they pick their opponents.

Regal gets the Worldwide shot against Edge. Regal’s a former IC champ beating Austin at Rumble ’01, and now gets another shot at the gold. He’ll do his tough, British guy thing – Edge is cocky babyface. It’s not a complicated program. Regal’s tough and portrayed as tough in this Enforcer role – so, he’ll look to get Edge some tough guy credibility in this program.

Charlie begs Benjamin to help him out – says he blew it at the Rumble, he almost quit in the War Games match – he sees the way Kurt’s looking at him – he needs some help – come on Money – we’ve been together since Camp Angle – you and me – Money – our third tag title – your fourth tag title – no one’s ever got 4 – 4 tag titles, Money, please, please.

S Money is all gangsta – but with the soft spot for Charlie – so he agrees. And that turns the tag title match that was set up at the Rumble: Spree Killers v. Orton/Cena into a 3 way. A workrate helping 3 way. Rhyno and Helms are now pure babyface, they’re the guys who finally won the straps. Orton and Cena are the little team that could, largely a comedy act – but now they’ve gotten hot – winning some matches, almost despite themselves, and they somehow are going to the biggest show of the year wrestling for the titles. And Team Angle: Haas and Benjamin – total heels, Benjamin is the cocky contemporary athlete, Haas a little too soft for Team Angle. Kurt rides them hard throughout the program – needling Charlie, tells him he has to win, has to come through, tells Money that if he can’t carry his partner, that his ass is on the line too. Regal goes after Edge – and Haas and Benjamin go after the tag straps.

People assume Angle will challenge Michaels for the dream Mania match – but nah, he wants Christian. All this Christian Coalition stuff – all this “That’s How I Roll” crap – “I’m Kurt Angle” two time Undisputed Champion – 4 years undefeated – and it’s time you learn your place.

So, Kurt’s the veteran, established guy, in the WWF pantheon – and Christian is up and coming, a 2 time tag champ, trying to establish himself as a World Title contender – forget that they trained together with Dory Funk, that’s unimportant, this is rasslin’ boy – Angle’s the vet, Christian’s the kid. And they meet at Wrestlemania XXI.

4 more matches.

The opening tag is Bradshaw again, trying to work his way back into title contention – he is the NeoCon GHB and this time his partner comes to him – Ulysses Morley. Morley says GHB has been making a mistake, going to guys who don’t share his view of the world, don’t understand the importance of American hegemony and the White Man’s burden. Morley understands. Morley came into the WWF years ago and pledged to stop aggression – and American does the same thing, we’re the good guys, Morley says, the policemen of the world – we stop dictators and convert their people to Christianity – and just like even a good cop takes a little off the side – if we have to liberate some Middle Eastern oil in the process, well, all the better. They continue the carrying of the novelty flags. A Haliburton flag. A Dick Cheney flag. A Valerie Plame flag with an X over her face and what purports to be her phone number.

They’ll meet Tajiri and Yang in the opening tag.

3 more.

Steamboat brings out Rey Mysterio. Says that at the Royal Rumble, he was in a show stealing match with Paul London – that match didn’t come out his way – but Steamboat is all about the wrestling – and that’s a match he wants to see again at Mania.

So, we’ve got that.

But then Steamboat won’t let Rey leave – he says Rey’s a special talent, an NWA champion, an IC Champion, a WWF tag champion, and at Mania he’s going to ask him to become….

…a legend.

That brings out the Undertaker.

Dead Man says he’s the 5 time legend’s champion, the only 5 time legend’s champion in WWF history. And he’d be honored to face Rey at Mania.

That brings out PAUL, in his Taue t-shirt. PAUL says he beat the Undertaker at the Rumble – and he deserves the title of WWF legend.

Steamboat says that’s fine – and makes it a 3 way. So, not only will Mysterio be wrestling twice at Wrestlemania XXI, but he’ll be facing the man who beat him at the Rumble, Paul London, and be facing two giants in the legend’s match. Steamboat says he wants the fans to see Rey Mysterio – he wants to push Rey Mysterio – he wants Wrestlemania XXI to get every drop of wrestling in Rey Mysterio’s body.

Taz, throughout the program, will talk about the difficulty in training – Mysterio’s got one type of match against London – and an entirely different type against the Undertaker and PAUL in the three way legend’s match.

Let’s see…how about another Clique/Harts match? How about Michaels/Jericho?

Still playing off the emotions from the Rumble, the Lizard King Jericho goes full out on Michaels – Shawn can even turn Trish down at some point in the program, getting over that family guy thing. Jericho is as self destructive as he can be, drunk, stoned – we find him passed out periodically – Michaels is disgusted by him – it’s Shawn the Reformed against Jericho the Fallen. Jericho says he used to kind of dig Shawn, even though he was up in Calgary, he kind of liked Shawn’s rap – but now Shawn’s a pussy – and Jericho’s gonna eat him up at Mania.

It’s Clique/Harts, it’s generations colliding – it’s the criss/cross of the new puritanical Michaels against Lizard King Jericho. Good times.

One match left. Wonder who’s in it.

On RAW, Steamboat says that a couple of years ago he watched Wrestlemania XX where it all began again – and for him, that means WWF is going back to the early days of PPV – when they took their two best wrestlers – himself and the Dynamite Kid, and put them in the ring over and over again. Because that’s what the fans want – the fans want to see the best wrestlers go at it – because they want to know who the best man is.

And he makes the main for that night on RAW – Benoit/Eddy straps.

They’re gonna do that match 3 times in this program – all without a winner.

They do two time limit draws, designed to increase the personal animosity between the two – recall, that although they had finally rebuilt their friendship by the close of XX – that once Eddy won the battle royal in ’05, the Harts v. Guerreros feud boiled over, straining the two men as they got to Survivor Series, which culminated in a draw.

Two time limit draws – and then the third match totally breaks down into a non-finish, as their brawl gets out of control – chairs, pulled up mats outside the ring – a full on brawl.

Steamboat says they’ll meet in the main event at Mania – in a 60 minute iron man match. And there must be a winner.

To ensure that – if the match finishes at a tie after 60 minutes – it will go to a panel of 3 judges.

And not just any judges – but 3 WWF Champions.

One, will be Steamboat himself. Another (they cut to the video wall) will be Hulk Hogan, WWF Champion, four time legend’s winner. And the third – a Triple Crown Champion (glass breaks) Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Steamboat. Hogan. Austin. Guest judges for the main event at Mania.

Also, Steamboat announces – since the normal WWF officials have had no luck in keeping order in this feud – he’s going to appoint a special guest referee – a man he knows both Benoit and Guerrero respect – a former NWA Champion, a former member of the Titan Trust – The Shooter Dean Malenko.

So, they do Malenko stuff with both Benoit and Guerrero before Mania – he puts them both in clover leafs at some point, they both tap – demonstrating that he can keep order in the big show. As much Eddy/Chris/Dean stuff that needs to be done (a one hour special would be nice, on the history of their friendship) to get the thing over, that’s what they do.

So, with Steamboat firmly in charge, we’ve got a show.

It’s Benoit/Guerrero in the main event at Wrestlemania in a 60 Minute Iron Man for the Undisputed Title, with Dean as the referee and the 3 WWF Champs as the guest judges. It’s Edge/Regal for the Worldwide belts. It’s SpreeKillers v. Haas/S Money v. Orton/Cena for the tags. It’s Angle and Christian. It’s Michaels and Jericho. It’s the two Mysterio matches – Rey meeting London, and Rey in the 3 way legend’s with the Taker and PAUL. It’s the NeoCons: GHB and Morley against Tajiri/Yang.

Wrestlemania 21. Call your cable company.

Unrelated Post - Spoon Millionaires

Saturday, May 20, 2006

In what those of you who are longtime readers of mine, either of this blog, or Inside the IIWF, or of the notes I wrote on the board detailing the law of vicarious liability, will certainly see as a clerical error - a play which I have co-authored with Kirk Hiner, Spoon Millionaires, is being produced.

The production is being run August 10-12 at the Civic Center in Lima, Ohio (yes, the hometown of one Al Snow, who you Counterfactual fans will remember as beating Steve Austin for the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania XV). Kirk and I are a longtime on again/off again writing team, collaborating in both a long defunct comedy troupe (...just because) and a sitcom that didn't get picked up ("I'm a Man") so if past evidence is an indication of future success, I'm sure you'll be hearing many good things about Spoon Millionaires.

The play is about a young woman's journey to self acceptance; we meet our heroine, Penelope Ann, as a young girl living in Appalachia, and marvel in her growth as she learns the lessons of what define us all - lessons in love and loss - and in finding her own feminine path, Penelope Ann makes us all a little more human.

And she and her friends all wear the same pair of magic pants or some shit like that.

Nah, none of that happens in Spoon Millionaires but there are a lot of good jokes, a couple of homicides, the occasional Wall of Voodoo reference, and some hot-ass actresses who hopefully will be interested in meeting the enigmatic co-author who comes to town to gets his freak on. Daddy gots needs. Neeeeeds.

Anyway, for those of you passing by Lima, Ohio in early August, feel free to pick up many, many tickets to see our play; better yet, for those of you with a forum, give it many plugs, write many glowing reviews about the production, and demand - demand, I say, that the local theater company in your town produce the next great American play - Spoon Millionaires. If you stop by the show, it's almost a certainty that one of the authors will buy you a drink at the post-show party. That author would be Kirk, of course, 'cause I live like a thousand miles from Lima, Ohio, and even if I am able to gather myself together sufficiently to fly north, I'll probably hide in the hotel watching my Ned and Stacey DVDs and popping Oxycontin. Yeah, that's what poppa likes. A little Thomas Haden Church. A little Hillbilly Heroin. Mmmmm, gotta feed the monkey.

We'll resume with our regularly scheduled programming as soon as I can crank out Royal Rumble 2005. Unless I'm dead in a seedy motel room in Lima, Ohio. As prophecy hath foretold.

Check out www.spoonmillionaires.com for updates.

Survivor Series - 2004

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Summer Slam is here.

Survivor Series 2004 Cleveland

Show opens with a shot of the late Stu Hart, followed by one of the Mexican legend Gory Guerrero. Shots of the Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, Bret Hart and Owen Hart – all former WWF Champions – followed by Hector, Mondo, and Chavo Guerrero Sr.

Now highlights briefly capturing the six matches on the undercard. We see the comedy babyface team of Randy Orton and John Cena, shocking even themselves by defeating the 2 time WWF champs the Dudley Boys at Summer Slam (with the aid of RVD, exacting revenge on both them and his former manager Paul E.) and we see them repeatedly turn down the offers of The NeoCon GHB to enlist in the Army:

Orton: Cowboy Bob did not expend his mighty seed so that this face would go kill Iraqis.
Cena: Yo, that’s straight up bananas, G. Fo shizzle. Bradshaw, in business suit and cowboy hat, does find a recruit, Shoeless Rob Conway, as dumb as he is young, and he follows the NeoCon around absorbing each diatribe about the white man’s burden.

We see the Dead Man, who has returned to his Dead Man ways, standing tall with Kane and PAUL as part of Dead Men Walking – but a losing streak turned the younger giants on the Legend – the ‘Taker disposed of Kane at Summer Slam – can he defeat PAUL here at Survivor Series?

More tag team highlights – the current incarnation of the SpreeKillers, Helms and Rhyno, both shirtless and scrawled with messages all over their bodies – like Memento without the memory loss – brawling with Booker, who “Gots to Get Paid!” and his new young protégée, Orlando Jordan – the two teams also feuding with the Asians, Tajiri and Yang all summer long.

We see Kidman, throwing down the gauntlet that the Old Guard in the WWF has kept the kids down long enough. Nick Dinsmore, the crotchety minor leaguer, takes issue, as he talks about living in Louisville on ramen noodles and free hand jobs from the fat girls. The bottom card workers all take sides, Alabama Bob and Ulysses Morley notably coming in on the side of the Old Guard. Spike Dudley and Kidman brawling at the Battle Royale – and then, on the RAW before Survivor Series – both sides being wiped out by Edge, who returned after a year+ absence at XX as part of the reunited babyface Clique, and then defeated HHH at Summer Slam, he spears a half dozen guys clean out of their boots, “There is no Old Guard…there is no New Guard…there is only the Clique…”

We turn to the uppercard – and see Christian, being thrown off the Cell at XX by Jericho and Trish – then dragging himself back to the ring in the Clique reunification – Christian, returning then at the Battle Royale, eliminating the Freaky Monster Leviathan and finishing second, almost getting the shot at the Undisputed World Title. We see Christian attacked by Leviathan – and then the summer of he, Edge, and London feuding with Flair and Leviathan.

Shots of the 3 sets of Unified Tag team straps – Haas and Benjamin taking them at the Rumble from Michaels and Helmsley…Flair and Leviathan taking them at XX from Team Angle…then the mismatched team of Rey and RVD winning at Summer Slam. We see Rey and Van Dam brawling on the outside of the Battle Royale with all four members of Team Angle (Kurt, Regal, Haas, Benjamin) and Angle on RAW, Angle slamming Van Dam on top of his partner – taking their straps and holding them high in the air…

And now the words Double Main Event on the screen – we see a shot from the NWA in 1997 of a tag match: Benoit and Jericho v. Eddy and Chavo. We see Benoit, Jericho, and Eddy each hold up NWA Championship belts – Jericho pins Sean Waltman to win the IC Title in his first ever WWF match. Guerrero pins Jericho to win the IC title in his first WWF match. Benoit pins Cactus Jack to win the WWF Title in his first ever WWF match. We see Jericho defeat Guerrero to regain the title – Benoit and Guerrero unmasking at Summer Slam 2002 after taking the tag titles from Jericho and Storm – we see Chavo debut with Helms as the original SpreeKillers, Chavo turns on Helms to join Eddy and Benoit with the Four Horsemen, we then see Benoit turn face on Eddy, leaving the Horsemen…we see Jericho, brutally attacking Lance and entering his DarkJericho period…we see Chavo, turning on Eddy after he had followed Benoit’s lead in leaving the Horsemen.

Eddy defeats Benoit at XIX, defeats Benoit in the big 64 man tournament, then wins the Undisputed Title at last year’s Summer Slam by beating Brock for the vacant belt. Eddy keeps his belt at last year’s Survivor Series, pinning Brock again in the 4 way – and he’s confronted postmatch by the Worldwide Champ Chavo, who took those titles earlier that evening by beating Tajiri.

We see Benoit beat Angle at XX to regain the Undisputed championship. We see Eddy beat his nephew Chavo at XX to regain the Worldwide championship – Eddy and Benoit putting all their past bad blood beside them and embracing, both men weeping openly in Madison Square Garden as they hold their 6 title belts aloft.

We see the transformed Jericho – now the Lizard King Chris Jericho - with leather pants, whiskey bottle, and dyed black hair – a painfully thin, strung out Trish hanging all over him – we see Jericho defeat Eddy at Summer Slam, taking the Worldwide Titles and staggering up the aisle.

Cut to the Battle Royale – Eddy is near elimination from the Horsemen, when Chavo attacks Leviathan, sacrificing himself so Eddy could survive – and eventually win.

Clips of Benoit and Guerrero, in the ring again, reluctantly going nose to nose, shaking hands and promising a clean match – we see Jericho and Chavo, each egging on his respective side – we see a tag match that starts off as Eddy/Benoit v. Jericho/Chavo break down as they seem to switch partners in mid-match – finally – a celebration of the Hart Family – with as many Harts as we can get – is crashed just as they are called the “First Family of Professional Wrestling” crashed by as many members of the Guerrero Family as we can get – the full families, old men, little girls, whomever we have – in a full scale brawl as RAW ends.

(Dark: London d. Regal d. Tajiri)

Your announce team - JR/Taz/Paul E.

1. Orton/Cena d. Bradshaw/Conway
-Orton and Cena’s run as opening show babyfaces continues, this time they go through the Neo Cons. You can see the talent pendulum has swung back to a time when we had to put the Ultimate Warrior on PPV – the sad part is the WWF has access to virtually every piece of talent in the world in 2004. And I have to push John Cena. With his giant clock around his neck. The push isn’t ending in the foreseeable future. I’m gonna have Bradshaw start bringing what look like American flags to the ring – but with big Republican Heads on them. First – Karl Rove. Bradshaw helps keep Orton/Cena as babyfaces - as he constantly looks to get them to enlist, to go to Iraq, Iran - any of those A-rab countries. They refuse, they want to hang out, smoke, play XBox. We see GHBs frustration as he clotheslines Conway after the match. He hates losing to those punk kids. Hates it.


2. Undertaker d. PAUL
-This feud will not end! ‘Taker goes over, chokeslam, and if physically possible, tombstone – and he gets the fall, but, if possible, PAUL does the zombie sit up during the dead man’s postmatch celebration – clubs the ‘Taker down, drags him to the apron, and chokeslams him from the apron to the floor! PAUL is Taue!! Paul is Taue!! Monster chokeslam! Has PAUL killed the Dead Man! “This is far from over” JR says. Fans of the workrate take that as a threat.

3. Helms (w/Rhyno) d. Booker (w/Jordan)
Hey – a good match! We’re gonna screwjob it, ref’s distracted, Rhyno runs in for the Gore, Helms gets the fall – the Spree Killers go to work on Book – young Jordan saves Book, Tajiri and Yang hit the ring – the three teams continue to brawl up the aisle.

4. Edge d. Kidman d. Spike
This wraps up both Billy and Spike, I wanted to get them a PPV payday before they get fired. I'm good like that. Edge spears them both, pinning each simultaneously – one hand on each guy, tongue sticking out, in as cocky a way as he can do – he goes over strong, makes the sign of the Clique. Edge then doesn’t go to the back – but instead stays out, ideally leading the crowd in chanting for the introduction of Christian – as one match will lead right into the next.

5. Christian (w/Edge and London) No Contest Leviathan (w/Flair)
Christian’s still getting the Clique push – Leviathan just lost the tag straps, but obviously has been protected as a monster. We have to screwjob this, outside interference from everyone causes the official to toss the match out – Leviathan boils over postmatch – he press slams both Edge and London – and he and Flair go to work on Christian – Flair’s got him in the figure four while Leviathan puts the boots to him…

…save by Michaels.

Michaels returns for the first time since Mania, arm now healed from the sledgehammer attack by HHH – Michaels with the face save, London and Edge recover to run the Horsemen from the ring – the Clique is together again, each man hitting a buckle and making the dreaded handsign. Too Sweeeeet!

Okay, I haven’t ever had anyone say Too Sweet. I’m not starting in 2004.

6. Unified Tags: Angle/Benjamin (w/Regal and Haas) d. RVD/Rey
S Money joins Bret, Davey Boy, Shawn as 3 time tag champs, all with two different partners. Angle gets the fall on Van Dam – Team Angle then stomps out the faces, with Regal putting the Regal stretch on Van Dam to the point where he passes out and has to be carried from the ring. Taz and Paul E yell at each other on the announce - Taz wanting to know if Heyman is involved in this at all - Heyman denying it the entire way - until Angle comes over and he and Paul shake hands. Van Dam’s knee is blown out – he’s out for a year. Team Angle now hits all four buckles – and mocks the Clique handsign in some type of appropriate way. I’m thinking we’re gonna be doing 8 man tags all the way to XXI. I’m thinking each side will mock the other – Angle will do the Michaels imitation he actually did before their actual match – and it’s gonna be a full on 8 man war for the next 6 months. Clique v. Team Angle is an underlying thing all the way to Mania.

7. Worldwide: Jericho (w/Trish) d. Chavo
The Harts win the first half of the big Survivor Series program – Jericho and Chavo have a heel/heel match – nothing but cheating – they each take a buckle pad off, they each do a spot where they use Trish as a shield – neither one of them caring that she’s in the way. They each go low, they each use chairs – you get the psychology.

It’s Jericho though – Chavo taps to the Liontamer. Trish and Jericho slap each other, tongue kiss – drink from the whiskey bottle – dry hump in the middle of the ring – then Trish passes out drunk, Jericho starts to carry her – drops her - then leaves her and exits. “I am the Lizard King! Worship Me, Baby!”

8. Undisputed Titles: Benoit time limit draw Guerrero
For the first time, it’s Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero, the two best North American wrestlers of all time (I said it, I feel better for having said it. I know you're saying Flair, you're wrong.) for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Just a clean, hard wrestling match - I don't know if the time limit is 30 minutes or 60 minutes, I tend to prefer 30 minute to 60 minute matches. But we're going draw, I kinda like draws, to tell you the truth.

The two do a nose to nose after – we wait for the mutual respect handshake – Benoit offers his hand….Guerrero pauses…..Benoit puts his hand down and starts jawing at Guerrero…Guerrero takjes a step back, considers, then offers his hand – Benoit waves him away – and the two men go nose to nose again as the show ends. Hopefully, the volume of Hart/Guerrero stuff that's filled the fall gets us to this spot.

Royal Rumble 2005 is coming from Fresno.

At the bottom, we have the tags, we add Orton and Cena into the mix with the SpreeKillers, Booker/Jordan and Tajiri/Yang. Everyone but the latter team is going to the Rumble (which is too bad, I’m ready with a good Tajiri gimmick upgrade) Orton/Cena and Booker/Jordan are going to wrestle the opening tag – in fact, we’ll make it sloppier by adding Bradshaw and Conway – but Conway’s unit gets called up, so Bradshaw teaches him how to fake an injury the NeoCon way to get out of serving – but that means he can’t work the Rumble – no one much wants to be Bradshaw’s partner – but it’s then announced that the winning team gets to go to XXI and get a tag title shot.

Whoa.

So, there’s a big low card battle royal – the last two men being Bob and Morley – bottom card tag partners – Bob tosses Morley and will join the NeoCon in the opener.

PAUL v. Undertaker continues – this time it’s a casket match.

During an early Team Angle v. Clique 8 man – Little Rey hits the ring, returning for the first time since Survivor Series – and looking to avenge the beating put on he and especially Van Dam by Team Angle – he attacked – in his whirlybird frenzy – he inadvertently caught London with a chairshot. And so we go for the workrate, with “Please Don’t Die” Paul London the young Daredevil, against Mysterio. London gets the winter to wrestle any junior he can get his hands on - really upping the level of daredevil spots - they do some music videos that spotlight London's crazy, reckless style. It's Rey - an all time great junior, arguably the greatest junior who ever lived (I know you're saying Liger...I prefer Rey) against the new blood, Paul London. It's all workrate - is London ready for this kinda challenge?

2 Horsemen Singles.

Christian cuts a “Chris Jericho threw me off a Cell at XX and the Christian Coalition wants me to get revenge – and I will – but first, there’s a guy I’ve wanted to wrestle since I was just a baby Christian, and that’s the by-God, kiss stealing, wheeling dealing, jet flying limousine riding son of a gun – the Nature Boy, Wooooo@!”

Recall, Flair had Christian in the figure four at the Survivor Series, so we continue the Christian/Horsemen program. They had great chemistry in their tiny TV program before they buried Christian (and since I’m writing this in 2005 to be read in future years) leading to Christian’s quitting and becoming the most popular wrestler in TNA, helping to put that company on the map. Good work, Vince. Solid.

And the other Horsemen, big Leviathan, will also work – he absolutely destroys Chavo on RAW. Just tears him apart. I'm thinking it's in the parking lot and he throws him, through a windshield. He breaks Chavo in pieces. “Nobody turns on the Horsemen, Chavo. Nobody.” And Eddy, who had previously turned on the Horsemen, swears revenge. I had this planned before their actual program, which didn’t admittedly produce a particularly good match – nonetheless – it’s Batista, big Leviathan – against Eddy at the Rumble. Eddy, with a little edge, not a heelish edge, just a little old school Eddy edge as a result of the Benoit program and the result of Survivor Series, now is in a blood feud with Leviathan.

Title Matches:

Team Angle defends against the SpreeKillers – Kurt cockily says he loves being tag champs – all of the gold and none of the pressure. What a great life for Team Angle – he says they’d put up the belts anywhere at any time – which leads to Michaels and Edge coming down the aisle – Angle says, “you gotta let me finish – anywhere, anytime, against the SpreeKillers, who are a heck of a good young team and fine body artists to boot. Regal went to get some ink done the other day – got a tattoo of Princess Diana right over the crack of his ass.” Angle likes to have his fun. Announce talks about Angle the way they talk about Hunter in the real world, putting over his intelligence - because when Angle's calm Vic Mackey, he's funny, crafty, always working the angles to keep Team Angle in line and on top. When he's manic Vic Mackey - he's a roided up monster. Kurt can play them both. He's good like that. We get SpreeKillers against everyone but Angle during the winter, they can wrestle Regal/S Money/Haas in combinations - but Angle stays in the streetclothes, keeping out of harm's way, popping up to screw the SpreeKillers - either to cost them wins or to beat them up after matches. Helms and Rhyno boil with fury at the diabolical Angle.


So, Edge and Michaels aren’t working the tag match, wonder what they’ll be doing?

Michaels cuts a promo, “funny how everyone got worked up over whether the Harts or the Guerreros were the first family of North American wrestling – if you’ve been watching the WWF the last 15 years, you know the blood that runs through the veins of this company is pumped by the Clique. Whether you’re talking Razor and Diesel, Billy and the Road Dogg, Tammy or…even Triple H….they are all my family…

Trish enters, drunk – probably worse – I don’t know if I can literally give her track marks, but I’d push that envelope as far as I could. Trish loves her some smack!

Michaels didn’t mention her – she’s hurt. She put the Clique back together after Michaels quit with his broken, crippled back. Is she out of the family just because she found a real man?

Jericho enters, leather pants, open shirt – I wouldn’t mind if he put on a little gut, let the beard grow free. Yeah, baby. A real man dripping with gold. Bloated, drunk, he's got the whiskey bottle, he and Trish groping each other, then groping other people - we see them both in alleys with other wrestlers, announcers, fans - then they fight about it, wild, screaming, bloody fights where they claw each other's eyes out - then they make up, crazy sex sessions. They're totally unhinged. Lizard King Chris Jericho.

Jericho’s attacked here by Edge – Edge enters, yelling at him to get his Hart ass up and fight – he threw his brother off a cage and now he’s gonna fight – Michaels and Edge lay Jericho out. Next week – tag match, Edge and Michaels against Jericho and anyone he can get to watch his back. Limited number, ‘cause he’s debauched Lizard King Jericho.

It’s Benoit of course – ‘cause it’s a Clique/Harts thing – the engine that drives the WWF. And even though Benoit’s disgusted by what’s become of the Lionheart – he feels sorry for him, maybe a little remorseful that he wasn’t there when Jericho needed him (cause this isn’t just some heel turn, this is real manifested pain, this is a long, slow transformation by Jericho. Stacy and Lance betrayed the babyface Jericho, he let the pain overtake him, found the longtime heel Trish and has morphed into the Lizard King – it’s a good character arc, it took years to get here, and he's clearly running out of time) since Benoit has become the patriarch now (and Jericho always wanted heel Benoit to join him in a babyface Hart Foundation – recall it was face Jericho who began Benoit’s face turn – look to your heritage, this is your home now, all that stuff) Benoit, not only Champion, not only clearly recognizing his historic place, but now he's positioned given the Hart/Guerrero stuff as the member of the Harts - he's Bret now - it’s his job to take care of Jericho as it was Bret’s to take care of Owen.

Jericho knows this, plays off this, which is how he pushed Benoit and Eddy apart – and how he gets Benoit here – that and it’s Clique/Harts.

So, we’re gonna do Jericho/Edge underneath for the Worldwide Titles– and Benoit/Michaels, in their first ever PPV meeting, for the strap – it’s the first Harts/Clique WWF title match since Owen beat Michaels back almost 7 years ago at WM XIV – Michaels last match before retiring. 7 years ago? Crazy. One can imagine all the taped mileage they get out of the great Harts/Clique feuds (sounds like an easy tie in for a triple DVD...I'm also seeing a new t-shirt roll out...merchandise, daddy)

We’ve got the 2 Harts/Clique matches up top, Benoit v. Michaels and Jericho v. Edge – Team Angle defends against the SpreeKillers for the tags– the 2 Horsemen singles, Eddy/Leviathan and Christian/Flair – plus the matches at the bottom, the hot workrate juniors match – Rey v. London – the Casket Match, Paul v. Taker – and the 3 way tag for the shot at XXI, Orton/Cena meet Bradshaw/Holly meet Booker/Jordan!

It’s Royal Rumble 2005! Call your yadda, yadda!

Summer Slam 2004

Saturday, May 13, 2006



XX is here.


Summer Slam 2004 – Toronto
(Dark: Regal/Benjamin d. Spike/Stevie)

(Show opens with an extended highlight package. We see shots of Benoit and Angle, Benoit winning the NWA belt three times, juxtaposed with Angle winning the Olympic gold medal…Angle’s debut at WM XV, 5 years ago, when he took the American flag from Jarrett and Angle Slammed he and Dustin…Benoit’s getting Cactus Jack to submit to the crossface a year later at XVI, as the Alliance swept Wrestlemania…numerous nose to nose confrontations between Angle/Benoit – then an extended clip, say 30 seconds, of WM XVII, and, in the 2001 Match of the Year, Angle getting the pinfall, beating Benoit, and the locker room hoisting Angle in the air….very quick images of Angle’s title defenses, Van Dam/Booker/Flair/Hennig/Rey/Jericho/Michaels/Brock --- and then Angle tearfully handing the belt to Vince and walking away on RAW in ’03 – we dissolve into the images of Benoit and Guerrero, taking off their masks after winning the tag titles from Jericho and Storm at Summer Slam 2002 – then we see Benoit’s turn at Royal Rumble ’93, he draws the enormous face pop suplexing the rest of the Horsemen – which morphs into Angle’s turn 8 months later, he rises from the wheelchair to Slam Eddy and Vince…now we see extended Angle/Benoit, from Summer Slam one year ago – Angle tapping his forehead as he leaves the ring following a 30 minute draw – then to Royal Rumble 2004, where Angle defeats Eddy to win the title for the second time, to this year’s Match of the Year at WM XX, when Benoit cradled Angle to win his second WWF Title…and finally to the recent months…Angle attacking the Brain Trust…Benoit pinning Regal, Angle’s new Enforcer…and finally Angle’s return after his summer on suspension…Angle attacking Benoit, putting him in the ankle lock as Benoit screams in pain.

Now we see shots of Eddy, Jericho, and Paul London….we see clips of Eddy and Jericho from the NWA in 1998, culminating with Eddy’s defeating Jericho for the NWA title at Starrcade. We then see Jericho’s Y2J Break the Walls Down babyface debut on RAW, and his IC win over Waltman at Survivor Series ’99…then an extended clip of Eddy beating him again, this time at Wrestlemania XVI…we see Jericho exhaulting after Survivor Series 2000, regaining the IC and beating Guerrero…we see Jericho and Storm, as the Hart Foundation 2K, win the tag titles over the Dudleys and Edge and Christian at Royal Rumble 2002…and then lose them to Guerrero and Benoit at Summer Slam…we then see the transformation of both men…Jericho seeing Stacy kiss Lance and become Dark Jericho…Eddy turn on the Horsemen and feud with his nephew Chavo…Jericho toss Christian off the Cell at XX – he and Trish making out on the top of the cage as the medical personnel rush to ringside…Eddy winning the IC at XX…he and Benoit hugging with their belts in the air at show’s end…then with a crash, it’s Paul London coming into the screen, the fans chanting, “Please Don’t Die” as he dives onto the ramp, onto the guardrail, onto a table…we see London beating HHH in the 64 man tournament…London standing on a buckle with the other 3 members of the Nu Clique…London pinning Jericho as he and Edge beat Jericho and Hunter in a RAW tag….we see the 3 men going nose to nose to nose on Raw…
….now quicker images…Flair and Leviathan beating Haas and Benjamin at XX…RVD getting turned on by Paul E and the Dudleys, then he and Mysterio taking them out and making the signs for the belts….

…a shot from WM XV…Edge and Christian turning heel on the Hardys, and making the sign of the Clique with HHH and Waltman…a year and half later, Edge and Christian turning on HHH, hitting him with the Con-Chair-To to bounce him from the Clique..Edge and Christian each taking Michaels superkicks at XVIII, as they go down to HHH and Razor…Edge being stretchered out with a broken neck after the last TLC match at Royal Rumble 2003…HHH attacking Spanky with the sledgehammer, breaking his arm…and then doing the same to Michaels at XX…Edge, gone a year and a half…sprinting to the ring to spear Jericho and drive he and HHH from the ring…Edge and HHH brawling all summer…

It’s Summer Slam from Toronto! JR and Taz on the announce.

1. Orton/Cena d. Dudleys (w/ Paul E)
-The two time tag champs, the Dudley Boys, are shocked by the upstart, largely comedic Orton/Cena tag team. When Paul E attempts to interfere in the match,
RVD runs to ringside to take him out, Van Dam hitting a frog splash on Paul E on the outside. Orton and Cena get the fall using whatever double team maneuver we can think up for them, and they celebrate like children, their biggest win to date. RVD stands on the ramp, pointing to himself with his thumbs. This wraps up the Dudleys.

2. Undertaker d. Kane (w/ PAUL)
-Recall that, after they did not get a match at XX, PAUL and Kane turned on the Dead Man, deciding he was what was holding Dead Men Walking back – they left him in a pool of blood on RAW, causing the Taker to vanish…he returns here in Toronto – and is, once again, Undead. Whole old gimmick, down to the purple hat. We sell that as a thing – he tombstones Kane – then is attacked by PAUL – the Giant chokeslams the Taker – a monumental feat..but, of course, the WWF Legend does the Zombie sit up – and a freaked out PAUL warily retreats as JR and Taz do what you’d expect them to do. Going forward, he'll do the undead entrance but keep the submission in ring style which is the best bet for work.

3. Kidman d. Dinsmore
Recall we’re doing a disgruntled generational thing here; Kidman, upset with the treatment given his former partner, Noble, let go by the company after Benoit broke his ankle at the Rumble, cut a “the younger guys don’t get any respect around here” promo…he was confronted by the veteran Dinsmore (Eugene) pissed that a guy who was US Champ in the NWA when he was 24 is bitching while he’s been sitting at Ohio Valley for 5 years waiting to get called up.

Kidman goes over clean in a solid match – then takes the mic. – “that’s for the young guys being kept down” – Alabama Bob and Ulysses Morley then hit the ring – Bob tells Kidman he doesn’t have any respect – guys like me and Morley have been here ten years, we don’t get to work the big shows, but we just do our jobs – you young guys are little bitches…

Enter Orton and Cena…..they stand with Kidman, Orton saying that as a 3rd generation superstar and the son of the legendary Cowboy Bob Orton, he was taught to respect his elders…but he was also taught to take what is rightfully his…

Cena says something in a rhyme and shows Morley the big clock around his neck, “yo time is up, son”

And they brawl. 3 on 3 – the advantage swings to the veterans when Spike and Stevie enter on their side, and they drive the kids from the ring.

4. Booker T d. Matt Hardy
Simple feud, recall that after over a year, Van Dam finally prevailed in his long feud with Matt at XX, a feud that saw them double turn. A pissed off Matt has now been called out by Book, who only wrestles to get paid, because Bischoff owes Book money from ’03, when he hired Book to take RVD out.

Booker goes over. GOT TO GET PAID, in a seemingly innocuous fashion – but as Matt exits…he reconsiders..and in a manner that seemingly surprises everyone (production had to cut back to the ring for this, as it had started the next highlight package) comes back to the ring and grabs the mic…Matt says he’s been in the WWF since 1994, he worked as a Clique Ring Boy, everyone knows him – he and his brother Jeff were two time tag team champions – and Matt just wanted to tell everyone in the WWF, from the announcers to the other wrestlers – to Vince McMahon himself – to fuck off.

The people are surprised, obviously.

Matt says, one more thing – I quit. And throws down the microphone, exiting the arena through the crowd.

The announce, unsurprisingly has no idea what to do with this – so they throw it to the highlight package for the next match.

5. NO DQ: Edge d. HHH
Edge goes over HHH in his return to the ring after a year and a half; it’s all garbage, as Edge is a garbage wrestler now. Blood and broken things. Edge takes the sledgehammer from Hunter, drives it into his head, and then spears HHH through the table for the win. Edge stands on the buckle, makes the sign of the Clique for the face pop. Which, hopefully, he gets.

6. Unified Tags: Rey/RVD d. Flair/Leviathan
The men who once feuded over the IC add tag belts, RVD pinning Flair with the frog splash. The announce notes the absence of Chavo, the third Horsemen, still gone since his loss to Eddy at XX, and speculate as to why he wouldn’t be there for his stablemates. As Flair exits, it’s also fair to speculate how many more matches he has left – and if, in fact, that wasn’t his last title match.

7. Worldwide Titles: Jericho (w/Trish) d. Eddy d. London
Jericho wins his 3 rd IC, placing him only behind Michaels all time. This is rock star Jericho – Jericho’s the burned out rocker – Trish his junkie model girlfriend. As close as we can get to implying they’re coked up all the time, that’s what I want to do. Jericho now wrestles shirtless in the leather pants. Eddy is pure, warm babyface Eddy – London is pure, high energy, Clique babyface.

Important Jericho spot is a Trish spot where after a London bump to the outside, Trish gives him as X rated a kiss as they can get away with – perhaps she licks his stomach - then kicks London in the head. This pisses Jericho off – and he slaps her hard across the face – she slaps him hard back.

That’s not related to the finish – it’s just establishing the gimmick – the two of them fight, physically fight all of the time. And then they make up. And trash a hotel room. They're always both bruised up, their promos become more and more incoherent, any drug rumors that can be placed in the sheets would be helpful. It's kinda Sid and Nancy, kinda Jericho as Jim Morrison. They're fried.

It’s one fall to a finish – they have Jericho pin London (who gets in as many spots as possible, he doesn't get many PPV shots in this stretch, it helps to make them count) to protect Eddy for the next thing. Jericho lays Eddy out with the belt postmatch – save by Chavo.

Chavo returns – and it’s to save his uncle Eddy, with whom he has been feuding for awhile. Jericho and Trish make out/pass out in the aisle.

8. Undisputed Championship: 2 of 3 falls: Benoit d. Angle (w/Regal/Benjamin/Haas)
Canadian crowd hot for Benoit – we give them what they need. They kick Team Angle from ringside early. Recall the stip is the 3 rd fall is submission only, as neither man has tapped to the other (or to anyone, ever) and so we have that to sell.

Doesn’t much matter who wins what fall – Benoit does his thing, Angle is a complete heel. We trade submissions all over the place for the third fall, we have Angle put Benoit in the sharpshooter to particularly piss everyone off – in the end, it’s Benoit, rolling from the anklelock into the crossface – beating Angle, winning the rubber match, and keeping his straps.

Angle throws a fit postmatch, smashing up some stuff at ringside, absolutely enraged as the move from "Angle who loves being a heel" to "Roided up heel Angle" is underway. The show ends with Benoit in the aisle, holding up his three belts – and Angle throwing chairs, busting up the monitors, hitting the Angle Slam on the Spanish Announce.

Survivor Series is coming from Cleveland.

And, for the first time since Angle took him out on RAW, Vince returns - he says that the TitanTrust, sadly, will not be returning, that at the Royal Rumble next year an announcement will be made as to who will lead the WWF creatively, but for tonight, he has an announcement, the Number One Contender’s Battle Royal which was not held after Mania – will be held – and it will be held on RAW – tonight!

Angle music. Angle hits the ring, says that he isn’t here to stop the battle royale this time – he’s here to enter as number one, throw everyone else out, go to Survivor Series and become a 3 time WWF Champion!

Vince says – nope. None of that’s going to happen. Since you decided to attack the TitanTrust back in April, when we tried to do this the last time – I've decided that it’s only fitting that you are excluded from this year’s battle royal – and since we only do this every other year – if you want to win it – you’ll have to wait until 2006!

Fans cheer, you know, like they do – Angle fumes – then goes to the announce, grabs a headset – and decides he’s going to do commentary if they won’t let him wrestle and become a gold medalist at that too.

It’s Battle Royale time – winner gets Benoit at Survivor Series – place your bets…

1. Tajiri
2. Yang
-It’s the tag partners leading off spot. Recall, they aligned Tajiri with Ultimo, both against Yang, they then brought Yang into the fold, but at Mania, Ultimo turned on Tajiri – Yang came to Tajiri’s aid – and that wrapped up Ultimo. All year long, from today forward until we pass the Rumble, Tajiri and Yang will be feuding with the Spreekillers, Helms and Rhyno. None of that ever makes PPV, but it’s good TV.

3. Benjamin
-Okay, Shelton’s going to turn black. He’s going to evolve over the course of the summer into S$ (S Money, see 'cause his name is Benjamin) Bling, entrance music, his promos, a posse – S Money (S$) as Angle is calling him right now on the announce will be “Keepin’ it Gangsta.” I think many people have always wondered why such an obvious heat gimmick, the modern day black athlete - a Terrell Owens/Allan Iverson gimmick really hasn't been tapped by WWF.

And that gimmick is just part of the new Team Angle gimmick - which I'm totally stealing from The Shield. The new Kurt Angle character is Vic Mackey, he's already bald, and when he's not wrestling, he's in jeans, a t-shirt, and mirrored sunglasses. Benjamin's his Shane Vendrell, the young protegee, and Angle will encourage every move Benjamin makes to get more gangsta. Charlie's gonna be Lem, friendly, genial, sensitive, a little too soft for the gig - but everyone likes him - the particular dynamic here is that Benjamin likes him, given what we've already established as the backstory between the two - Charlie's really Benjamin's only link to his earlier humanity. Regal doesn't have a Strike Team analogue - Regal's still Arn to Angle's Flair. Regal's the enforcer of the group. Not complicated.

It's Team Angle.

Anyway – Tajiri and Yang obviously attack Benjamin – leading Angle to leap from the announce – hit the ring – and he and S Money (get used to it) dump both (30) Jimmy and (29) Tajiri.

Angle sneers and leaves the ring to go back to the announce, putting on his headset to gloat.

4. Rey
-One half of the Unified tag champs – and if you think the pairing of he and Van Dam largely came out of nowhere, what’s your point, exactly?

5. London
-Fresh of the IC shot the night before comes the young Cliquester, super high energy Paul London – and now we have some threeway action going. Like yo' momma likes it. Aw, yeah.

6. Shoeless Rob Conway
-We introduced Conway briefly in the 64 man tournament, now we give him a gimmick – he’s the bumpkin. Young, a little wild easily led. We’re gonna stick him with…

7. The NeoCon George Herbert Bradshaw III
-This is Bradshaw’s new gimmick. We give him his current look and rap, I like the suits and the cowboy hat. Bradshaw’s all Texas. We’re gonna have him spout the same political schtick that he uses on the road or on Fox News – and he’s a heel. We put stuff in his mouth like it was sure good that we passed that tax cut for the rich – or we’re just about to find the weapons of mass destruction, if you people would just tell your sons and daughters over in Iraq to look a little harder or Bin Ladin’s not really that big a deal, so it’s okay we haven’t got him – whatever ridiculous White House spin is in the air – he’s gonna say it and we’ll frame him as an idiot.

The name's a double wordplay, Bush 41's first middle name (rich dudes have lots of middle names) was Herbert, and this makes his initials GHB, 'cause who doesn't love some rasslin' drug humor?

He’s gonna try to convince the young guys to enlist, that it’s their duty to join his army – first is Conway. Eventually, when they turn Morley, this is where he’ll go, since he’s of a similar political mindset. Right now, Bradshaw and Conway brawl while the other three continue.

8. Orton
9. Cena
-tag partners, obviously, they just sent the Dudleys out of the WWF at Summer Slam – they go in on Conway’s side as Bradshaw tries to call time out to counsel them on their futures as Young NeoCons. They don’t want to hear it and wear him out. The other 3 way continues as the ring fills up.

10. Bob
-Bob came in on Dinsmore’s side at Summer Slam, whereas Orton and Cena came in on Kidman’s – so they just brawled last night – meaning Bob goes in with Bradshaw to make it a 3 on 2, while the Benamin/Rey/London three way continues.

That’s too many guys in the ring – Angle exasperatedly says on the announce – how can S Money rock his new gimmick if that guy with no shoes on is pulling focus?

Angle enters, dumps Conway (28) and when Bradshaw extends a hand to thank him – he dumps Bradshaw too (27). Angle returns to the announce.

11. Stevie
-Stevie joins Bob, as did he last night, against Orton and Cena. 3 way continues.

12. Leviathan
-Uh oh. Stevie (26). Bob (25). Cena (24). Orton (23). Big man’s gotsta eat. Leviathan roars – shakes the ropes. The Ultimate Batista!

13. Morley
(22) Morley. Big man was still hungry.

14. Chavo
-Okay, Chavo, like Leviathan is a Horseman – which Chavo is quick to remind Leviathan of as soon as he got in the ring and saw the fire in his eyes. Chavo throws up the four fingers fast – Leviathan pauses for a moment – but responds – and the two men then attack the Benjamin/Rey/London 3 way.

Recall, there’s Horseman tension. Chavo didn’t appear at ringside to aid Flair and Leviathan in their tag team loss last night – but did appear to save Uncle Eddy from Jericho one match later. Now, here Chavo is, professing Horseman loyalty.

15. RVD
16. Edge
17. Regal

-All come in to aid their stablemates – Van Dam and Rey are tag champs – Regal and Benjamin are part of Team Angle – Edge and London are Clique. So, now we have an 8 man, effectively. Time to clear the ring a bit. London(21) is tossed by the Horsemen. Rey (20) by Team Angle. Benjamin (19) by RVD.

18. Kidman
-With Benjamin eliminated – Angle hops off the headset – and he and S Money seize the opportunity to attack the also eliminated Rey – they doubleteam him on the outside – leading RVD to eliminate himself (18) by diving to the outside to wipe them out. The four men then brawl to the back.

19. Spike. The old guy/new guy rivalry continues (although, I’m unsure how Spike is a grizzled vet and Kidman a young upstart – but there you go) as Spike and Kidman brawl, as did they the night before, while Chavo fights Edge and Leviathan tries to eliminate Regal.

20. Rhyno
-We’ll let him gore both Spike and Kidman to get his pop.

21. Helms
-SpreeKillers! And they’re gonna go right after the Horsemen – leading to some two on two there, allowing Edge and Regal to go at it – and Spike and Kidman to resume their fight.

22. PAUL~
-The Big Giant chokeslams everyone in the ring – except for Leviathan – who blocks the chokeslam and then bodyslams big PAUL.

23. Undertaker
-Cause that’s the program, Taker beat Kane the night before – and now makes the slow, Dead walk to the ring – slow enough that PAUL is able to rise from the bodyslam to wait the charge. The Taker hits the ring and the two brawl.

24. Haas
-Charlie comes in with Regal, they double team Edge. Horsemen v. Spree Killers. Spike v. Kidman. UT v. PAUL. 11 guys in the ring. Here comes 12…



25. Christian
-I want the big face pop for Christian. Gone since Mania when he took the big Hell in the Cell bump – then dragged himself out for the formation of the Nu Clique and the face turn in the Michaels save.

But he comes in now to join his brother – and they go to work, eliminating Regal (17) and Haas (16) --- while the Horsemen overcome Rhyno (15) and then Helms (14). Edge and Christian then double team Spike (13) and Kidman (12) – while Leviathan monstrously clotheslines PAUL (11) and then the Taker (10) out of the ring…

…big multiple elimination pop as suddenly the ring only contains Chavo, Leviathan, Edge, and Christian.

26. Jordan
-We met Orlando in the 64 man tourney, he’s a ping pong ball here, knocked around by both sides.

27. Book
-We’re putting the black guys together. Sad, really. Book decides to save Jordan – and the angle we’re gonna run is Jordan looks up to Book, “hey bookerman, teach me how to get paid” . That leads to Jordan getting tossed by Edge and Christian (9) and Book by Leviathan and Chavo (8).

3 men left – 4 in the ring – who will go to Survivor Series to meet Benoit? Who? Who? Who?

28. Flair.
Wooooooooo!!!! Flair is in and the Horsemen have the numbers – Edge gets dumped (7) and now it’s 3 on 1 against Christian – but he’s able to overcome the odds in a babyface way – and toss Flair out (6). Big face pop by the Christian Coalition!

29. Eddy
Guerrero just lost the IC last night – he enters and goes for the Big man, Leviathan, which keeps Leviathan from Christian.

Eddy/Leviathan. Christian/Chavo. 1 man left. Final Five

30. Jericho
Here comes the IC Champ, Trish in tow. He takes his time to get to the ring – Leviathan has Eddy almost eliminated, ready to go --- Christian disengages from Chavo to get his long awaited shot in at Jericho (a reminder in a minute) allowing Chavo to go to Leviathan/Eddy…and instead of helping Leviathan eliminate his uncle…he helps Eddy eliminate Leviathan! (5)

The Big Man has to be restrained by every security guard in the building, he screams at Chavo that he’s a dead man – Eddy eyes his nephew, who, after their long feud, saved him last night and now today, warily…

4 left….

Recall that Christian and Jericho feuded all through 2003, that was DarkJericho, taunted by Christian and Trish over the Stacy/Lance hookup. That feud turned both guys and culminated in Trish’s turn at XX in the Hell in the Cell when they tossed Christian off the top. This is his return –his first chance to get even.

Chavo and Jericho fought just last night when Jericho took Eddy’s belt.

And last night, Jericho did take Eddy’s belt – further, they’ve been feuding in the WWF literally for 4 years – and in the NWA before that – Jericho/Eddy is now an all time legendary war – so the other 3 guys in the ring are just itching – Jericho smiles tells them all to kiss his ass.

They toss him over (4).

Big face pop – which Eddy takes advantage of by tossing out Chavo (3).

Eddy shrugs his shoulders and smiles – and then it’s Eddy and Christian, Eddy and Christian – Eddy and Christian – who will go to Survivor Series to wrestle for the Undisputed Title….

Eddy.

Eddy throws Chrsitian over, and has a chance to recapture the World Title – against his longtime best friend – turned rival – turned best friend again – the Crippler Chris Benoit.

And that’s your main event at Survivor Series. Benoit/Eddy for the strap. Two best wrestlers in the company for the top prize in the world.

We’re gonna do Harts/Guerreros stuff in full force now. I want to bring as many Guerreros in as I can get, we’ve teased this storyline before – but I want to go all out to make clear that the Guerreros think of themselves as the first family of professional wrestling – and they think the Harts have stolen their thunder.

We also, and this is really my thinking with this program, explicitly refer to the Dynamite/Steamboat series. WM XX was where is it all began again – and how it began 20 years ago was with the two best wrestlers in the company going head up for the strap.

20 years later, here we are. And Benoit, obviously, is the Dynamite Kid, version 2.0.

We’ll also use Jericho and Chavo here, both to egg the animosity on between the two principals (Jericho is full heel and hates Eddy – Chavo we’re unsure about, but he doesn’t express any love for Benoit). We’re gonna do some tags, Guerreros against Jericho and a reluctant Benoit. Some reverse singles matches – and we’re gonna do the IC match out of this program too – Jericho v. the former champ Chavo. As we go all Harts/Guerreros for Survivor Series. It's the all encompassing program.

We set up the tag match in the battle royal. It’s RVD/Rey defending against Angle and Benjamin, S Money is a 2 time tag champ, Angle tries for his first tag belt.

Chrsitian’s gonna make his return to PPV – and he’ll do so against the Freaky Monster Leviathan. We’ll do Flair/Leviathan tags against some combinations of Edge/Christian/London – and finally conclude with Leviathan taking London out pretty good. How will Christian, just 5 months after falling off the Cell, be able to stack up against the Monster?

Edge is gonna wind up in a 3 way. The old guy/new guy program continues, it’s Spike and Kidman who wind up front and center and in a Survivor Series match. They’re doing an in-ring promo that Edge interrupts – spears both of them – then says he’s tired of the old guys, tired of the new guys – the only guys that matter in the WWF are the Clique – and he’s gonna make their Survivor Series match a 3 way.

Booker and Jordan began tagging after the battle royal – we put them in the mix with Yang/Tajiri and the SpreeKillers – out of that whole mess comes a Book/Helms singles match at Survivor Series.

We’ve got Undertaker/PAUL.

The opening tag is again Cena and Orton – they’re tagging against Bradshaw – and his partner, Conway. Shoeless Rob was persuaded to join the NeoCon cause “your name has the word Con in it – that’s gotta be a sign, right?” and so there’s that.

But the thump is at the top – it’s the Harts and the Guerreros – Survivor Series ’04 is coming from Cleveland! Benoit v. Eddy for the WWF Title for the first time ever at PPV, backuped up by Jericho v. Chavo for the Worldwide belts, Rey and Van Dam defend against Angle and S$, and Christian returns to PPV against Leviathan. Survivor Series 2004! Call your cable company!!

Wrestlemania XX 2004

Sunday, May 07, 2006



The Rumble is here.

Wrestlemania XX 2004 MSG

Prior to Mania,we have Flair host the same show he actually hosted – the Top Ten Matches in Wrestlemania history.

10 (3 way tie). Bret Hart d. Randy Savage IC Title, IV
Steve Austin d. Bret Hart WWF Title, XIII
Curt Hennig d. Randy Savage WWF Title, VII

9. Randy Savage d. Bret Hart WWF Title, V
8. Iron Man Match: Shawn Michaels d. Bret Hart WWF Title, XII
7. Loser Leaves Town: Dynamite Kid d. Ricky Steamboat WWF Title, IV
6. Dynamite Kid d. Ricky Steamboat WWF Title, II
5. Kurt Angle d. Chris Benoit WWF Title, XVII
4. Bret Hart d. Shawn Michaels WWF Title, XI
3. Ladder Match: Razor Ramon d. Shawn Michaels IC Title, X
2. Owen Hart d. Bret Hart WWF Title, X
1. Ricky Steamboat d. Dynamite Kid WWF Title III

And then, the big show:

(Dark: Paul London d. Shane Helms)
(Dark: Steve Regal d. Ulysses Morley)

JR/Taz on the announce for the big show.

Show opens with the TitanTrust, Dean, Arn, Fit; AA thanks people for coming, says XXI will be in LA, thanks the fans for their support, and says he and the rest of the Titan Trust hope they enjoy what they hope will be the greatest night of professional wrestling of all time.

They are interrupted by…Sable.

Sable?

Yeah, Sable. I don’t know who Sable is in this world, obviously, she never wrestled, and never appeared at all at one of my PPVs, but she exists, and they used her at XX, so, let’s assume she was Mero’s valet, stuck around as someone’s valet, and somehow winds up here, still employed, and she just happens to be Brock’s girlfriend. And she’s been in the “we hate wrestling” program that Brock and Goldberg (who the fans recognize are legit done after Mania) are running.

She cuts a promo about how her boyfriend Brock is about to become a WWF legend, and then the two of them will go to the NFL where they know how to treat people of their talents. And, since they’ll be with the Minnesota Vikings, they’ll be going to the playoffs every year, unlike the Jets or Giants.

Enter…Fatu.

Fatu?

Yeah, Fatu. ‘Cause it’s Wrestlemania XX, and you know how I am about tradition.

Fatu enters for the misogynst fat guy spot (see I and X) squashes Sable, and we’re underway.


Clip Package: Open the clip package with Andre’s four legend’s wins, over young Sammartino, then Bruno, then Harley Race, and finally over Hogan. Hogan wins the next three, over the Warrior, then Dusty, then teaming with Snuka to beat the Warrior and Slaughter, also at WM 7, the Undertaker picks up the first of his 5 wins, over Jake. Hogan gets his final win over Jake at 8, then loses to Backlund at 9. We see Savage’s last WWF match, ten years ago, over Crush. Undertaker beating Lawrence Taylor. Jake Roberts pinning his former tag partner, Roddy Piper. Then the run of the Undertaker: he beats Simmons and Ahmed, then Kane. then Rock goes over the dead man at XVII. Flair beats the returning Hogan at XVIII. Piper turns on Hogan at XIX, allowing the win for Dead Men Walking and for Undertaker to get the tiebreaking 5th win– and Rock goes over Austin with the Rock Bottom as the package ends.)

1. Legends Weapons Match: Mick Foley/Rock d. Brock Lesnar/Bill Goldberg (Austin – referee)
Austin’s the referee, consider there are only 7 triple crown winners ever, Pedro/Bret/Owen obviously gone, so only four who could conceivably be in the ring together. Here are two, Foley and Austin. Add in that they had the longtime feud, that Foley beat Austin in the loser leaves town, that Foley went back to talk Austin into coming back to stop the Alliance, and that Austin/Rock met just last year at Mania, and we have extra juice to this match.

Crowd all knows that Goldberg and Lesnar are leaving, announce acknowledges that, and sells the idea that they might behave unpredictably – who knows what they might do?

Faces clean, obviously, Foley pins Goldberg while Rock Bottom on Lesnar It’s Rock’s 3rd legends win, which they can also sell, as that gets him closer to Andre and Hogan for second. There's tables and barbed wire and Foley and Rock have to hurt Lesnar and Goldberg as much as they'll let themselves be hurt - Austin's in the ring to act as an extra body for the babyfaces in case the heels go into business for themselves. Should be blood and fire and broken things.

2. Tables Match: RVD (w/ Paul E) d. Matt Hardy (w/Bischoff)
Crowd largely pro Van Dam, as it’s in ECW territory. We go spot-tastic, each guy puts the other through a table, but Van Dam is able to get Bischoff through the second table, frogsplashing through Eric and the table, for the feud ending win. Matt and Bischoff argue post-match - which ends with Matt putting Bischoff through a second table and leaving him laying. That wraps up Eric and earns Matt some babyface points.

People give the ECDub pop for Van Dam – Heyman moves to the announce for the rest of the show.


3. Hell in a Cell: Y2J d. Christian
Each man wearing some type of old Hart/Clique gear, they do the Shamrock/Foley top of the cage spot early, teasing the big bump, but no one takes it yet. They brawl heavy back in the cage – Christian exacting revenge for the Trish piledriver, Jericho exacting revenge, well, for Stacy, cause that's what motivates him. Plus we have all the Hart/Clique baggage, and we get a couple of spots – Jericho does one of Owen’s stiff legged dropkicks, Christian hits Jericho with a Razor fallaway slam. Trish, with the cervical collar, enters, opening the cage at a juncture when Christian needs help.

Jericho chases her, she climbs up the cage and Jericho chases her, while Christian chases him. All three going to the top of the cage as the fans grow anticipatory. We tease Trish getting tossed over by Jericho, but Christian is there to grab her….

…and then Trish kicks Christian in the head (Clique Kick) allowing Jericho to throw him from the top of the cage, through the announce table. You understand the spot. Christian's gotta take the full on Foley bump - he would, I'm guessing, given the circumstances.

Crowd pops accordingly. Jericho grabs Trish by the hair roughly and kisses her hard. Trish then grabs Jericho by the hair roughly and kisses him hard.

They stand on top of the cage, making out and laughing as Christian gets attended to on the outside.

Trish has become the first ever person to defect from Clique to Harts. This is the new package, Jericho and Trish, with the idea being they are tempestuous, they slap each other around and then make out, I assume they’ll cheat on each other for sport. They’re deliberately cruel to each other. It’s an unhealthy heel union.

Anyway, Jericho and Trish descend, Jericho pushing away the officials who are tending to Christian so he can drag him to the ring for his pinfall. Jericho pins him with one finger.

Jericho takes off his Hart Foundation #7 hockey jersey and places it over Christian’s face as he exits.

4. Rey d. Ultimo d. Tajiri
They push Rey hard, he first eliminates Tajiri with the hurricanrana roll up, then does the same thing to Ultimo. It’s all about the workrate. Ultimo attacks Tajiri outside the ring postmatch, putting the boots to him, save by Jimmy Yang. Yang combination kicks Ultimo down, then does Yang Time to the floor to wipe Ultimo out, and wrap him up. Rey takes the pop as Yang aids Tajiri from the ring. Big workrate match.

5. Falls Count Anywhere: HBK d. HHH
They pull all they have for the Mania spot and it winds up being a great match, one assumes. Everyone bleeds, they fight all over the building, in the back, in the crowd, on the announce tables. Michaels goes over with the elbowdrop.

HHH attacks Michaels with the sledgehammer postmatch, breaking his arm as he broke Spanky’s. That leads to the London run in, London gets in a spot – but HHH attacks him with the sledgehammer as well.

HHH is about to break his arm…when Edge, GOOD GOD, GOOD GOD (you know, like that, 'cause Edge has been gone a year and a half) Edge races down the aisle and puts it to HHH. Edge is all over Helmsley, when Jericho runs in to attack. Jericho puts the boots to Edge, as HHH beats down London. Jericho takes advantage, putting Edge in the Liontamer. Jericho refuses to give up the hold as Edge taps the mat…

….and here comes Christian. GOOD GOD! GOOD GOD! HE'S ALIVE!!!

Christian's bloody and battered and broken - but he shows the fighting spirit and levels all the heels, saving his brother, and the two of them, with the rising London, clear the ring. Edge/Christian/London are able to run HHH and Jericho from the ring, they aid Michaels back to his feet, his arm broken, Michaels wincing in pain, climbs back to his feet. Michaels pauses to accept the face pop, looks at the three men, the returning Edge, the young London, the newly minted hero Christian – and Michaels extends his good hand in the sign of the Clique. The three other men meet him in mid ring, the crowd popping as we see a new Clique here at WM XX. ‘Cause, you know, it’s all beginning again.

(Tag highlight package: Tito and Beefcake taking from the Sheik and Nikolai, then the Hart Foundation, taking the straps and then keeping against the Rougeaus at III. The Rougeaus are champs at IV, and keep over Strike Force. The Brainbusters go over the Rockers in a sweetass match at V, the unlikely combo of Marty and Rude go over Piper and Jake at VI, the Road Warriors go over Demolition, Money Inc keeps the belts over the reunited Strike Force at VIII. Money Inc’s on the other side at IX, losing to the debuting Steiners. Luger and Bigelow, doing the double monster thing, take at X from the Quebecers. XI is Billy and Bart, taking from Davey Boy and Backlund. Austin and Dustin keep at XII over Candido and Vega. Davey Boy is back, keeping the belts with Owen at XIII, three separate partners, three separate tag title wins at Mania. Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg, as the JV, take from the hardcore legends, Cactus Jack and Terry Funk at XIV. The Hardy Boys win at XV over Rock and DLo, then win again in TLC 1 the following year. At XVII, it’s the Dudleys winning a four way, finishing off Raven and Tommy. Jericho and Storm, in Toronto, keep in a three way at XVIII, and last year, it was Michaels and HHH, Diesel in their corner, going over Haas and Benjamin.)

6. Tags: Flair/Leviathan d. Haas and Benjamin
And now, Haas and Benjamin are losing the straps again. Flair gives all he has, H and B are good workers, and they use Leviathan judiciously. Flair gets the figure four submission win on Haas, it’s Flair’s first WWF tag title, his first WWF belt in over a decade, and he and Leviathan, Woooooo!, celebrate up the aisle.

(The IC is coming up next…Piper wins at I, in the dog collar match over the Hammer, he drops a year later, to heel Randy with Elizabeth. Savage keeps the strap at III over Jake, and his 2 year run finally ends a year later, as he loses to Bret. Rude and Hennig go heel/heel at V, and VI is the first Mania title match pitting Bret and Shawn. Bret’s still running at VII, when he keeps over Tenryu. VIII is Randy regaining over Piper. IX is Michaels, keeping over the soon to depart Hennig. X of course, is the ladder match, and Razor also wins at XI over Owen. Vader keeps over the Dead Man at XII, but can’t recapture the belt a year later against Cactus Jack. When Shamrock won’t release his arm breaker on Austin, he loses the match but keeps the strap by DQ, and at XV, it is the improbable Al Snow, taking the title from Austin in Philly. Eddy takes from Jericho at XVI, and Austin from Regal at XVII. Austin tries, but fails, to regain the title from RVD the next year, and last year it was Little Rey, keeping over Chavo.)

7. Worldwide: Ladder Match: Eddy Guerrero d. Chavo Guerrero
A year later, Chavo enters as the Champion, but leaves emptyhanded. Flair and Leviathan, with their new tag straps, enter at one point – but Eddy fends them off. They do both ladder spots that reference Shawn/Razor and Bret/Owen spots, since this program is referencing that one.

It’s a 2 out of 3 belt ladder match, just like the last one we got. Chavo gets the first belt – Eddy the next two for the win and the switch.

And now your main event. Heyman says he’s going to the back to celebrate with RVD - Malenko comes to the announce to replace him.

(Steamboat kept at I over Windham, and then came his legendary trilogy with Dynamite, just recalled on the TV special – Dynamite wins at II, Steamboat at III in the greatest match in the history of North America, and then Dynamite wins the loser leaves town at IV. Savage keeps the strap at V over Bret, but loses to Perfect, both at VI and at VII. Bret goes on the monster main event run starting at VIII, he takes from Flair, keeps against Razor, obviously drops to Owen at X, beats Shawn at XI, and loses to Shawn in the Iron Man at XII. XIII is Bret’s last Mania, where he drops to Austin. XIV was the end of Shawn’s first career, he failed to take from Owen. Cactus Jack took from Owen, however, at XV, but then lost the following year to Benoit. XVII was the first Angle/Benoit, and Angle has won ever since, keeping from the returning Hennig, and then hanging on to beat Brock at XIX.)

8. Undisputed Championship: Chris Benoit d. Kurt Angle
I don’t know if Angle has it in him for a five star match, but whatever he has, he’s gonna give the company here. It’s vicious Benoit against the playful heel Angle – but eventually, Benoit pummels the mirth clean out of Angle, and by midmatch they are just throwing it down after each other as if every second was the last in their lives. ‘Cause it’s XX – and even the new Kurt Angle, when he finds himself in the middle of a fight to the death with the greatest wrestler who ever lived – in the biggest show of all time – even the new Kurt Angle is right there in the moment with the Crippler – Benoit with multiple suplexes – Angle with multiple suplexes – Benoit with an Angle Slam – Angle with the top rope headbutt – Angle with the crossface – Benoit with the ankle lock.

Benoit with the sharpshooter. Sharpshooter. Sharpshooter.

Angle makes the ropes.

Angle hits the Angle Slam, gets on the ankle lock. Ankle lock. Ankle lock.

Benoit maneuvers from the hold into a cradle, 1-2-3.

Benoit takes the Undisputed Championship, his second WWF Title. Crowd pops as needed. Angle just goes limp in the ring as if he’s been shot. Kurt Angle has been pinned for the first time in his life. Kurt Angle entered the WWF 5 years ago – and his undefeated streak has ended.

Angle, dazed, rolls from the ring and exits. Eddy enters, with his IC belt, and we replay the greatest real world moment in wrestling history, Eddy and Benoit, each with their championship belts, hugging and crying at the end of Wrestlemania XX, this time with Dean Malenko on the announce, as the show, and the first 20 years, ends.

Summer Slam is, eventually, coming from Toronto. You know, Canada.

It’s an even year, which means the battle royal….except it doesn’t.
Angle opens the RAW after XX, comes to the ring, says there’s not going to be a number one contenders batte royale, not a chance, because the number one contender is Kurt Angle, Kurt Angle will always be the number one contender, even when Kurt Angle regains his Undisputed Championship at Summer Slam, Kurt Angle will still be the number one contender. Then he just says his name over and over and over again.

Enter Arn Anderson and Dean Malenko, representing the TitanTrust. They tell Angle that the Number One Contender’s Battle Royal is a WWF Tradition. The night after Wrestlemania, the top 30 men in the WWF wrestle for the headlining spot at Summer Slam. It happens every other year because that’s how special it is – and as far as they’re concerned, the only number one that should be attached to Kurt Angle’s name – is the one loss he suffered last night at XX.

Angle doesn’t let that sit real well. He Angle Slams Arn. The first time the TitanTrust has been involved physically.

This buys Angle some immediate heat. Arn, of course, is a Horseman and Ric Flair’s best friend. So Flair, Leviathan, and Chavo run to ringside and get in Angle’s face while Dean tends to Double A. Flair shoves at Angle, Angle shoves back at Flair – Leviathan and Chavo take shots at Angle – and now it’s a 3 on 1…

…Run in by Haas and Benjamin. Haas and Benjamin, the former tag champs, return to the side of their mentor by attacking the men who beat them last night (and Chavo). As the reunited Team Angle fights with the Horsemen – Angle is attacked…by Dean Malenko.

The former NWA Champion peppers Angle with right hands – drawing the huge pop from all good people everywhere – but Angle is quickly able to turn the tide, and he Angle Slams Malenko.

Dean, of course, is the best friend of Eddy and Benoit – and the two champs then run to the ring to go after Kurt. Angle bails out, scurries up the aisle and is walking backward up the ramp, pleased as can be at the turmoil he’s caused – when he is stopped by Fit Finlay.

Finlay, the third member of the Brain Trust, fires right hands at Angle, back him down the ramp – but Angle, again, is able to take command, and he Angle Slams Fit on the ramp, drawing the heel reaction.

Angle’s celebration is stopped by…Steve Regal. Regal was Fit’s biggest rival in NWA (Regal from England, Fit from Northern Ireland) but, of course, longtime rivalry leads to great respect, as JR is telling us while Regal gets in Angle’s face…but Regal then turns and puts the boots to Fit. Regal and Angle put the boots to Fit before the officials can come from the back and pull everyone apart.

The following week, Vince will announce with the injuries to the Brain Trust, that the battle royal will be postponed, regretfully, until after Summer Slam, and that Kurt Angle will be suspended for 60 days. Which physically he needs.

To the bottom of the card. Paul E enters, with the Dudleys and RVD, Paul says that before the Titan Trust was incapacitated, he secured from them a promise that he could get a title shot at Summer Slam. And in looking at the belt holders, and looking at all the angles (fans should, ideally, be chanting for Van Dam) the Dudley Boys will get the tag team shot against Flair and Leviathan.

Dudleys nod – Van Dam does too, stoner that he is – until he realizes he just got screwed.

Van Dam says, Whoa, Paul, nothing against the boys, but we all know who won at Wrestlemania XX, we all know who ran Eric Bischoff out of the WWF...that was R….V….D.

Dudleys get aggressive, what’s your point, you don’t think we would have won at Wrestlemania if we had gotten a chance?

RVD says all I’m saying is I’m the two time IC Champ – I won at XX – the people dig me and dig my moves – and if someone’s gonna go to Summer Slam, no offense, but it’s going to be the Whole F’n Show.

Dudleys hit him with 3D. They exit with Paul E – and that breaks Van Dam away from the ECW group. Van Dam will later attack the Dudleys, getting a shot in at Paul E, but again they’ll leave him laying. RVD will challenge the Dudleys to a match on RAW – he says he’ll find a partner, and if the Dudleys had any guts, they’d put up their title shot. Against Paul E’s advice, the Dudleys accept.

RVD finds a partner….Rey Mysterio, Jr., his former rival for the IC belt. And the two high flyers go over the Dudleys to earn the shot against Flair and Leviathan (who feud with Haas and Benjamin on TV, always keeping the belts) at Summer Slam. It will be the Dudleys in the opening tag however, against the oil and water team of Orton (harmless babyface, always talking about being Bob Orton’s kid like anyone cares) and Cena (harmless babyface, dresses like Eminem, talks in full on Ebonics. He's pretty fly for a white guy.)

Not only were the Dudleys not on the card at Mania, neither were Dead Men Walking. And the Undertaker walks in on PAUL and Kane in the back complaining about how this team is getting anywhere – they’re supposed to be the most dominant force in all of wrestling, and they can’t even get on the card for XX.

Undertaker tells them anytime they want to get off the train, they’re welcome.

PAUL tells the Undertaker that maybe it’s not them who should get off the train, the way he sees it, there are two young, hungry Dead Men Walking – and one old man, living off his five legends wins.

Eventually, Kane has to choose – and turns on his brother. So, we’ve turned the Dead Guy face, in what I assume is his last turn, allowing the fans to cheer for a veteran. And at Summer Slam we’re gonna do the Undertaker against Kane.

Two undercard singles. Kidman is no longer a club kid, now he’s a heel (well, it depends on your inclination) and he wears a Jamie Noble t-shirt to the ring and says that his tag team partner, his best friend got fired by the WWF. Chris Benoit broke his ankle – and this company fired him. The way they treated Jamie Noble – the way the WWF treats all us young guys – well, it’s just wrong, and I’m not going to stand for the disrespect.

Enter Nick Dinsmore (Eugene, but without the retarded gimmick, instead, he’s the crotchety veteran who never got his chance) Dinsmore says he feels terrible for the young guys like Kidman, getting to travel first class, fly from show to show, stay in five star hotels, get their pick of the finest women on the road. He’s spent the last five years in Louisville, Kentucky. The only hotel he can afford to stay at has the number 8 in its name, and anytime he could get a woman with her own teeth, it was a big night for Nick Dinsmore. On TV, we’ll toss in young, good natured, kinda dumb Oklahoman Rob Conway on Kidman’s side and Alabama Bob on Dinsmore’s side. I guess we’re not really doing a face/heel thing here – if you identify with the old guys, you root for the vets, with the kids, you root for the kids. We do Dinsmore/Kidman at the PPV.

We also have a Booker T sighting. Booker, last seen wrestling Van Dam at Survivor Series the year before, on behalf of Matt. Booker calls Matt to the ring, says, “Dog, I’ve been calling you like six months, I didn’t want to go public, but uh, ATM Eric's check bounced, Dog. And there one thing you know ‘bout Booker T…I GOTS TO GET PAID…."

Matt says he doesn't know anything about that, Book - he got turned around by Bischoff for awhile, but he doesn't want any heat, he'll figure something out.

Book's not hearing that, Matt thinks he's a sucka - Book ain't no sucka - Book's gonna take his payment out of Matt's ass at Summer Slam.

One more singles, and the two title matches.

We’ve got half the Clique, Edge and London. Shoutouts to Michaels and Christian, both injured at Mania. At every opportunity, we put over Christian’s cage bump, just in the way they sold Foley’s. Edge says after 18 months on the shelf with a broken neck – he is back, and he is going home to Toronto for Summer Slam.

And after what he did to his brother at Wrestlemania – after he threw his brother off a 20 foot high Cell, Chris Jericho – you have to get ready to face the Edge…

Jericho, hair slicked back in his new heel look, with similarly greasy Trish, both doing a “too cool for school” pose – enter. Jericho snaps his fingers and says, sorry, Adam, sorry, but hasn’t there been enough Canadian on Canadian violence already? What, with the way I tossed your little brother off a steel cage at Wrestlemania?

Trish says Edge’s wish won’t get granted, kinda like when Edge would wish to get in her pants when he was his manager. Because she’s got a contract for Chris Jericho to wrestle at Summer Slam….against Eddy Guerrero for the Worldwide Titles.

Edge starts to protest, but he and London are laid out by the sledgehammer wielding HHH – and then HHH and Jericho, unlikely allies, put the boots to them. HHH tells Edge he doesn’t have to look for an opponent for Summer Slam – ‘cause he just got one.

We’ll do that as a falls count anywhere – Edge came back not as a very good wrestler, he’d get better over the course of the year, but he’s better served in a garbage match, and HHH certainly is.

The best worker in the Clique is London, good on the ground, great in the air, and we’ll mix and match with he and Edge against Jericho and HHH over the summer.

We’re gonna give London two pinfalls on Jericho over the summer – one in a tag, and one in a singles – and that’s enough to make the IC a 3 way at Summer Slam – Eddy v. Jericho v. London. We can now toss in Benoit/Eddy into this mix – and they can wrestle both HHH/Jericho and Edge/London in various combinations. Eddy/Jericho, recall, was a great year long feud four years ago over the IC belt – a feud that Jericho eventually prevailed in – now they’ve switched spots, Eddy is the pure babyface, very much the Eddy of 2004, and Jericho has gone full heel. We toss in a couple of peppers into the mix – London is Hispanic, as mentioned previously, and Jericho indicates they’ll “gang” up on him at Summer Slam.

And London is Clique – while Benoit, obviously, is a Hart as is Jericho. So, as they’re going to Toronto for Summer Slam, Jericho looks to get in Benoit’s head a little bit, saying that if London walks out of Toronto with the IC title, then it’s on Benoit’s head.

Then there’s the main. Benoit feuds with Regal all summer, along with the previously stated commitments. Angle’s gone, with the suspension, the reason being his health, Angle goes downhill quickly at this point, and I’d rather he got some rest. So, we threw Regal into the mix with the Fit spot – and that allows to continue Benoit/Angle with Regal as the surrogate all summer.

Angle returns of course, and attacks Benoit – puts him in the ankle lock, and we’re going to rematch around a 2 out of 3 falls stip, with the 3 rd fall, if there is a 3 rd fall, being submission only, so we’re selling that this is the rubber match between them, Angle won at WM 17, Benoit at 20, now we go 2 of 3 falls for the straps.

So, we’ve got Summer Slam from Toronto. Benoit/Angle 2 of 3 falls for the straps, the 3 way, Eddy/Jericho/London for the IC, Flair and Leviathan defend the tags against Rey/RVD, Edge and HHH in a falls count anywhere. Matt v. Booker in the I gots to get Paid match, Old School v. New School: Dinsmore v. Kidman, Dead Men Walking explodes when the Undertaker meets Kane, and the Dudleys face Orton and Cena in the opening tag. And it’s from Toronto – where the hot crowd will bring the love for the Canadians. Summer Slam 2004!

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