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.

The Road to Survivor Series, Part 2 2005

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Part I is here.

Part II of our set up to the big Survivor Series in Detroit, coming at you in a month’s time.

What do we have so far…

Well, your main is Rey defending against Juvie, the LWO continues their assault on Rey – the set up was Flair as mouthpiece, as even though he’s a babyface, he and Steamboat have a disagreement about the value of Rey as Champ.

That’s a mistake though, too much heel for Flair – so, instead Paul E, who has always been a heel, can be their mouthpiece.

Flair and Steamboat are each part of the Angle/Benoit match for the vacant IC and for the Triple Crown. Given the history of their rivalry, we can draw parallels to the history of the Flair/Steamboat rivalry, and that’s a good program. Add in Angle’s continuing to squelch the career of S$, and you’ve got this.

Orton and Cena, now full heels as the crowd’s turned on them, meet GHB and Book – Bradshaw effectively downplaying the NeoCon gimmick, drawing in the babyface Booker, and they play the “vets who have never won” card.

We’ve got Flair’s retirement match against Leviathan. Flair and Steamboat, concerned that HHH-M is going to use his 2% voting power in a destructive way, concoct a plan to prohibit those inside the office from wrestling – this then is Flair’s last match, and he’s having it against his friend and protégée, Leviathan, who is managed by AA.

We’ve got the debut of Executioner Lashley, who is the hot commodity in the company, with everyone talking about his potential as the next dominant force in wrestling.

We’ve got Carlito against Nova. We’ve got the now babyface Dead Men Walking against MNM.

Match 8 is HHH v. HBK.

HHH-M, playing the role of heir to the McMahon fortune, throwing his 2% voting share around, leverages Flair and Steamboat into agreeing to a match between he and Michaels. Shawn’s fine with it – so that part isn’t complicated.

The rub is the stip – if Hunter wins – the Clique is dead.

Now, if you’re just hopping in, the Clique, from the days of Shawn/Razor/Diesel all the way through its pre Summer Slam incarnation of Shawn/Edge/Christian/London has been one of the poles upon which Counterfactual WWF sits atop.

HHH joined upon his arrival, working with Waltman as the JV and sent Razor/Diesel home in a loser leaves town. After Michaels’s loss to Owen in XIV, a HHH pedigree sent him into his retirement.
HHH/Waltman sent the Outlaws from the Clique – they worked the E/C/Trish swerve of the Hardys – and Hunter broke Spanky’s arm, sending him from the WWF and out of the Clique as well.

Now, Hunter says there is no Clique without him – and since he’s now a McMahon, he’s got a new family. When he beats Michaels at Survivor Series – that’s it for the Clique.

Flair convinces Michaels and Steamboat they need to go for it – first, because Shawn will clearly beat him; second, with the problems with the Clique (Edge’s turn at Summer Slam, which we’ll deal with momentarily) this is needed to gain control of the fracturing group.

So, they do it. Some type of garbage match, ‘cause that’s the only thing you want to see them do. We’ll call it a weapons match, let them hit each other with sticks.

Okay, we recap in a moment – let’s clean the rest of the fall up.

-JR, reminder, is gone. Josh Mathews is play by play until Joey takes over at Survivor Series.
-Taz, by fall’s end, is the only color man. Here’s what happens to Paul E.

At some point during the fall, the ECW music begins to periodically play with images of ECW coming over the TitanTron and the phrase, “Hey, Heyman…he’s coming back…”

Speculation is Van Dam – as, one recalls, RVD broke with Paul after the year long feud with Matt; RVD gaining the tag belts with Rey – but then Van Dam was taken out by Team Angle, who were paid by Heyman.

So, there’s a few weeks with Heyman freaked out at ringside whenever the clips play on the TitanTron – until one week when the message is: “He’s Back.”

And that’s when Stevie Richards superkicks Heyman as he sits at the announce table.

Stevie cuts promo – says that somehow, Paul thought he could get away with screwing him all those years ago – it was he, Stevie, who brought Stevie’s Hardcore Family, the Dudley Boys and Taz, to the WWF – and then Heyman, oily scumbag that he is, stole his life away, and he’s been toiling away in the backwoods of the company since.

But now, Stevie says, he’s back – oh, and if there are any fans disappointed that he’s not RVD, don’t worry – because Stevie’s not coming back to wrestle (unfortunately, Stevie’s excellent) he’s coming back to manage…and by the beginning of the year, the guy who he is managing…RVD…will return to the WWF.

So, by at Survivor Series, the announce becomes Joey and Taz, and going forward, that’s your permanent team.

Van Dam is going to come back for an angle before the Rumble, with Stevie as his manager – and that’s when we’ll start using the ECW guys who are now with the company, as they’ll be with Heyman, all aligned to stop Van Dam. Look for that program in 2006.

2 more.

We get a backstage promo, Fit, working in the office, is met by Dean.

Recall, Fit/Dean/Arn were the TitanTrust, who made the creative decisions prior to the move to the Steamboat/Flair angle. Arn is with Leviathan, Dean’s popped up in the Eddy/Benoit program, but neither man is a regular feature on TV.

Now, they are.

Dean proposes to Fit that they start a project. Fit is curious, like a business, a restaurant kind of thing?

Dean says nah – something involving wrestling.

Fit’s interested – like a school?

No, we’re going to stick to training just one guy, I think.

Fit’s confused – who?

And Dean pulls out a new Fit Finlay t-shirt – “you, Dave, you.”

And that’s how that starts. Dean and Fit, doing a sunshine boys thing, go into training, as Fit prepares to make his return to the ring. You can see the arc of this – he’s not good at the beginning, maybe he’s lost it, he loses a tv match, he thinks he’s going to quit, Dean gives him brutal pep talk – Fit starts picking it up – and by the end of the fall has started to pick things up.

After Survivor Series, Fit and Dean will be joined by Regal. Recall, Regal left Team Angle after being unwilling to support Kurt’s treatment of Benjamin – and is really nowhere now – but after Survivor Series, when Fit and Dean decide that he’s going to try to stalk a title – they decide that, if he’s going to take that step, he needs then highest caliber training partner – and that’s when Regal joins.

So, Dean and Fit are doing that – and Regal soon to join.

Finally, the big angle.

And we’ll talk about that big angle in part 3

The Road to Survivor Series Part 1 2005

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Summer Slam is here.

Two months from now, it will be time for Survivor Series ’05; as I begin this, I’m uncertain what will appear in this space between now and then. I’m leaning away from the long History of the Fake History pieces I did before Summer Slam, maybe instead just a listing of title changes throughout the Counterfactual. I think, most likely, I’ll get through at least half, and maybe even all of the set up in this piece.

What to do in the meantime? Well, I’m blogging again, albeit just a tiny bit as I work on the play re-write. We’re over at You’ll note some of my “friends” are workers. Feel free to stop by; join up; spread the word about the play; about my myspace page; and as always, about the mighty counterfactual.

And so we begin the next build.

We have a number of changes to process before Survivor Series ’05.

Eddy, of course, is gone. Recall the conclusion of Summer Slam involved Eddy walking away after dropping to Rey. He never returns; that doesn’t impact most of this period; his death occurs two weeks out from Survivor Series.

So, the storylines will be storylines until that point – we’re then not going to run new programming on WWF TV those last two weeks before the PPV. Instead, they’ll run full Eddy matches from ECW, NWA, and WWF. If any of the workers want to sit in a roundtable format and discuss those matches, they can.

It costs money in that the tickets purchased for those two weeks of TV have to be refunded; so WWF is out that money. I don’t think it hurts the buys for Survivor Series at all; if anything, the curiosity factor of how we’ll handle the PPV might help.

How we’ll handle it, as will be explained at the top of the PPV is this: the top two matches which are the two singles titles, won’t be kayfabed. They’ll drop storyline entirely, they’ll shake hands, they’ll wrestle, they’ll hug, we’ll do a thing and go home.

The first six matches, however, will be completely within the storyline, entirely as they had been set up – it’s just a regular show, because that’s what they do.

And, after Survivor Series, that’s it. There will be a renaming of something to give tribute to Eddy, but he won’t be a part of any future storyline, exactly as was done with Counterfactual Owen.

So, that said – we’re gonna set up those two title matches first, as whatever storyline that exists during the fall won’t carry over into the actual show.

Rey’s defending the Undisputed Titles against Juvie.

Just as the LWO went after Eddy – they now go after Rey. If they need a mouthpiece – and they probably do to set things up – it’s gonna be Flair, who, recall, has never liked Steamboat’s favoring of Rey – and during the fall, he expresses strongly to Steamboat that Mysterio should not be the standardbearer for the company.

Rey used to be in the same place as Juvie and Psychosys – they were together in Mexico, in ECW, in Japan, in NWA. 10 years ago, in Philadelphia, Rey met Psycho at N2R and tore the building down. And no one said, “oh, Rey’s the greatest wrestler in the world and Psychosys is just a dude. And when Rey met Juvie for the US Title at Superbrawl ’97 it wasn’t “Rey” “Rey” “Rey” they were chanting in San Francisco – it was “lu-cha, li-bre”. But here we are now in 2005 – and Rey Mysterio is World Champ – and Rey Mysterio has the Triple Crown – and does he thank the LWO? Does he accept the t-shirt? Does he remember his rasa?

Hell no.

And so they do that, Rey against the 3 man LWO all fall. Rey/Juvie is the main at Survivor Series.

The Worldwide belts were set up at Summer Slam when Benoit and Angle won Flair’s mini-tournament. So, Flair’s in this thing too – giving as much credibility as possible to calling this match not only the definitive Angle v. Benoit, given their long, long history with each other than included main eventing two Wrestlemanias – and not only is this for the vacant Worldwide belts – and not only is this match for the Triple Crown – as the IC is the one WWF belt never held by Angle or Benoit – but when you put all of those things together – this is the match to determine which one of these two – Kurt Angle or Chris Benoit – is the real best wrestler of his generation.

Benoit is Benoit. Angle is roid rage Angle, with S$ in tow, growing increasingly angry and frustrated with carrying his boss’s bags. And at some point over the fall – Angle reveals that, again, Benjamin will not be allowed to wrestle on PPV, because he’s just not ready. And so we run that all fall.

Rey v. Juvie
Benoit v. Angle

We run those angles until Eddy dies – and at Survivor Series, they’ll just work straight, no storyline matches that will be called Tribute Matches.

6 more matches and multiple storylines.

Orton and Cena are now full blown heels. Any remaining goodwill toward them as lovable comedy wrestlers who fluked into the titles should be gone, as they got full of themselves, and talk as if they are the greatest wrestlers alive, big timing everyone.

GHB, who continually moves from partner to partner in an effort to find someone with whom he can win the tag belts, now moves… Booker.

And that’s a tough sell, with Bradshaw’s archconservative politics – Booker, at some point, hits the line “GHB doesn’t care about black people.” And that should explain where this angle is.

Eventually, Bradshaw wears him down. Book doesn’t turn – effectively, Bradshaw drops the gimmick for a moment – talks to him in a shootlike manner – says he’s been in the WWF forever – Book’s been since the NWA died. And in that time, neither of them has ever held a belt.

And here comes these two punks and they’ve been tag champs since Mania.

Bradshaw says “look – for one night, we’ll forget the NeoCon stuff – we’ll forget the “I gots to get paid” stuff – and we’ll just be two guys from the same locker room who go out to the ring and get the belts they deserve.”

And that’s the rap that does it. So, the third title match at Survivor Series is Orton/Cena against Booker/Bradshaw.

The opening tag is MNM, who we’ve briefly met before, they’re doing their act – against the now babyface PAUL and Kane, who both wear the Taue t-shirts and do a veteran likable tag team thing.

We’re using Carlito and Masters. Masters is the crappy bodybuilder. Carlito is Razor Ramon. Carlito will be scheduled to work against Nova. Masters will be fodder for the debut of Executioner Lashley.

Here’s how he’s debuting. We’re gonna do the Bigelow entrance – with every manager in the company, every retired manager we can find vying for his services, as he debuts at the PPV. He’s all monster – and called the Executioner because he wears a cowl with giant X’s on his chest and back.

The announce (Taz, Paul E for part of the fall – we’ll get to that, and, for the fall, Josh Matthews as PBP) puts the clips of Lashley hard. Taz says he’s seen the guy fight in bars or cages or Thailand – that he’s a beast – and unstoppable force – we’ve never seen anything like this guy before – whomever the manager is who signs this guy is looking at controlling the biggest thing….

…you get it.

Lashley’s gonna debut against Masters.

So, that’s 6 matches.

The other two deal with Flair.

Like Hogan’s retirement match was at S Slam (and it was, he’s gone, I don’t need to use him next year) Flair’s retirement match is set for Survivor Series.

Flair goes to Steamboat and sells that, with HHH-M and his 2% control (see Summer Slam) lurking in the background – they need to stick together. Steamboat agrees. Flair says what he’s willing to do, to show his solidarity with Ricky is permanently retire – having his last match at the PPV (because HHH-M promised that he would walk out of XXII with a belt and to start that quest wants a particular match at Survivor Series) so, the plot hatched by Flair and Steamboat is that they’ll pass a rule that anyone who holds creative control can’t wrestle anymore.

So, that will keep HHH-M out of the ring.

But, to do that, that means Flair can’t wrestle – and Flair wants a going away match.

So, HHH-M will get his match at SSeries. Flair will get his. And then after, using their 98% control – Flair and Steamboat will say that no one with control can ever wrestle – meaning HHH-M either has to retire or give up his 2%.


So, Flair gets a retirement match – and the opponent he picks to leave against is Leviathan, his old Horsemen mate, his protégée, his former tag partner.

Leviathan is now with Arn – Arn says he should do it, it’s an honor – they have promos with the three men – Leviathan is touched – Flair does lots of “passing the torch” promos.

So, that’s the 7th match – and that’s where we’ll stop for this piece.

We have the two singles titles. The tag title. The opening tag, the debut of Lashley, Carlito, and Flair’s retirement match, which is all part of the Flair/Stemaboat plan to save the company from the nefarious HHH-M.

In part two – we’ll set up Hunter’s match, what’s gonna happen to take Paul E out of the announce, the training team of Fit Finlay and…Dean Malenko….

And of course – what’s going on with big angle. Edge. Matt. And the end of Christian’s WWF career.

The build continues

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