Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

Survivor Series 1996. I was there. True story. I had tickets to WM VIII. I missed it. Also True.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Summer Slam is here.

Survivor Series – 1996 Madison Square Garden

Hey kids - It's Survivor Series 10.

(Dark - Smothers d. Windham)

JR and Cornette gettin' it done.

Show opens with a series of clips from Survivor Series history, Hogan legdropping Orndorff to end his career; Hennig pinning Owen in their mutual PPV debut; Jake Roberts - DDT'ing Rick Rude in a steel cage, finally getting the emotional pinfall - but then getting handcuffed by the Brainbusters as the Heenan Family forms.

Piper and Jake opening up on Snuka...Bret getting AA in a sharpshooter...Randy Savage taking the fork to Owen...Undertaker tombstoning Hogan...Michaels superkicking Marty...Hogan legdropping Dusty Rhodes...Owen knocking Ahmed out with the enziguiri

JR and Cornette sign on - say you'll be seeing clips of all the title matches in the 10 year history of Survivor Series later on in the evening.

Then...Cactus Jack...

“Hello, New York, it’s your old pal Cactus Jack. Tonight, I’m going to wrestle The Man they call Vader again in a Steel Cage Match for the Intercontinental Title_right here in New York City!

There are people who have been asking me, gently, lovingly asking me, “Cactus Jack, have you taken too many chair shots to the head? Cactus Jack, at Summer Slam, The Man they Call Vader busted your nose and powerbombed you off the ramp. Cactus Jack, the Man They Call Vader has never lost in the WWF, he beat Shawn Michaels. He beat the HeartBreak Kid right in the middle of the ring. Cactus Jack, the Man they Call Vader is an Unstoppable Beast, He’s a Mastadon, He’s a Rhinocerous, He is any one of a number of thick waisted mammals. He will hurt you, Cactus Jack. He will hurt you.

He already tore off your ear, Cactus Jack – what will he do to you in a Steel Cage?

I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a story about a man named Mike Christian.

Mike came from a small town outside of Selma, Alabama. He didn’t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. When he was 17 he enlisted in the US Navy to go defend his country during the Vietnam War. In 1967, Mike Christian was shot down and held in a Vietnamese 5x9 cell in a Prisoner of War camp for 5 1/2 years.

One day, Mike acquired a bamboo needle from one of the guards; every day, for two years, Mike worked on one project -- sewing an American flag on the inside of his shirt. Every day, Mike would work on that flag – and every day, he and the other prisoners would stand up in front of that shirt and say the Pledge of Allegiance. Mike Christian and his buddies, shot down in Vietnam, held in the worst kind of torture chamber, every day, they’d say the Pledge of Allegiance:

I Pledge Allegiance. To the flag. Of the United States of America. And to the republic. For which it stands. One nation. Under god. Indivisible. With liberty. And justice for all.

Every day. Until one day he got caught. And for 17 hours he was beaten and mauled and burned and decimated within an absolute inch of his life – and when he got back to his cell – when he got back to his cell – he took that t-shirt – and he held it up – and do you know what he said? Do you know what he said?

I Pledge Allegiance. To the flag. Of the United States of America. And to the republic. For which it stands. One nation. Under god. Indivisible. With liberty. And justice for all.

And when he said the Pledge of Allegiance. When Mike Christian, who didn’t own a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old, put his mangled hand on his tortured heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance – do you know what those North Vietnamese sons of bitches did to him? Do you know? Do you know?

They let him go.

The guards let him go because they knew that any man who would come back after a beating like that and stand right in their face and say, “Hit Me Again, You Bastards! I Will Not Back Down And You Will Hit Me Again!...” they knew that any man like that was more man than they could control – and they wanted to be as far away from that man as possible.

Well, I’m no Mike Christian, that’s for sure --- but I am Cactus Jack, and my pals here in Madison Square Garden know that Cactus Jack can take a pretty good beating. And every time I take that beating from you Vader – whether it’s in the NWA…or in Germany…or at Summer Slam…or right here tonight – every time I take that beating Vader – I am going to come right back at you and get in your face again…and again…and again…and again…and again…

And in a steel cage tonight, Vader, you won’t be able to get away from me, Vader, I Pledge Allegiance, Vader, I Pledge Allegiance to Kicking Your Ass! I Pledge Allegiance to Taking Your Title! I Pledge Allegiance to standing right in front of your face and saying Hit me Again, You Bastard! I Will Not Back Down and You will Hit me Again!”

1. Road Dogg/Billy Gunn d. Savio Vega/Bob Holly
-Opening fast paced tag. New Clique JV goes over. Much crotch chopping. They tell the people to suck it. The people enjoy that kinda thing,

2. Rocky Maivia (w/Nation) d. Undertaker
- And we welcome the Rock. All 4 Nation members (Simmons,Ahmed, Henry, DLo) on the outside interfere – Undertaker seems like he’s taking on five men until the save by…

Jacobs. Gone a year. He still isn’t Kane (now in real time, he’s the Fake Diesel) but now he's been unmasked, recall. If you've missed the backstory, Undertaker had a brother who was taken away when he was 5 - which is why he doesn't recognize him now - the only way to recognize him would be the Woody Woodpecker tattoo that both little boys got on their chests. Jacobs, obviously, wears a shirt. He battles with the Nation on the outside, eventually getting overcome by the numbers. He’s laid out on the Spanish Announce…DLo climbs to the top buckle – and frog splashes atop Jacobs, busting the table, drawing the ECW chant from the New York crowd.

Undertaker eventually also yields to the numbers. Rock Bottom for the win. The 5 strong Nation does the Black Power salute before and after the match. So called Madison Square Garden.

3. HHH (w/Road Dogg/Billy) d. Goldust
Hunter cheats to win. Goldust rubs himself. Goldust is a face, I guess, but does the full on Goldust bit, going as far as I can go. I want heat, daddy. Heat from the bottom.

Maybe that could be phrased differently. But the numbers are too much for Dustin, who gets Pedigreed. Clique triple teams after the bell…face save by….Sid.

Odd. I wonder what will come of that….

4. No DQ: 2 Cold Scorpio d. Al Snow
Al promos before the match. “I want to tell you a story, New York, it’s a story about A MAN WHO BORROWED MY PEN AND NEVER GAVE IT BACK!!”

Scorp Dog is a terrific high flyer, and we’re gonna totally rip off the ECW style here. They bring the tables into the ring, both guys crashing through tables, Scorpio’s gonna hit Al with chairs – Al will hit himself with chairs – Scorpio will dive into the crowd, they’ll hit each other with stopsigns and trashcans – Scorpio finishes Al off with the somersault legdrop through a table in the ring. Match gets both guys over huge at MSG. And it’s not even the top of the card yet. This is a good show.

5. Steve Austin d. Owen Hart
Austin and Owen rip down the building, a super intense, great, physical wrestling match. Austin eventually hits the Stunner and holds the tights for the win. Pillman, who hobbled down to the ring during the match, and Austin brawl in the aisle after the match. Pillman, see, is on both sides of the Hart family. He’s with both Bret and Owen – he hates the Clique, and above all – Austin. And he’s way over.

The tag title match is next - and clips from past tag title matches play...Neidhart turns on the Hart Foundation...Arn spinebusters Jacques...Marty hits the rocker dropper on Ray...the Road Warriors hit the device on both members of the Orients - then on Slaughter and the Warrior...Steiners suplex Ted and Rotundo all over the building...Undertaker chokeslamming both Steiners...Bret smiling as Anvil goes into hysterics as they win the straps...and Diesel and Razor, posing over the Gunns.

6. Tags: Mero/Bart d. Furnas/LaFon
Furnas and LaFon were excellent, and Bart and Mero were adequate enough to make this good. Ideally, they'd strap up Furnas and Lafon for a year like they were the Steiners, but I don’t have that option. Just their being so strong enhances Mero/Bart, though, so it’s fine.

Pat Patterson appears in a highlight package - he's the first ever IC Champ - and Survivor Series has seen great IC action - Savage elbowdropping Rude...Bret getting DBS to tap in the sharpshooter...Bobby hitting Rude with the briefcase and Ted slapping on the Million Dollar Dream...Bret getting the fall on Michaels...Piper using the ringbell on Bret...HBK winning his first strap with the elbowdrop on Savage - and then immediately losing it to Owen...Razor turns face on Michaels and Diesel..Razor's Edge on Waltman from the ladder through the table...Michaels pins Shane Douglas and then goes nose to nose with Hennig...Davey Boy submitting to Bret again - and then Owen knocking Bret out and disgustedly dropping the WWF Title on him.

7. IC: Cage Match: Cactus Jack d. Vader
Foley brings the barbed wire baseball bat to the ring, eventually setting it on fire. Vader takes shots about the head and neck, slicing him open and setting him on fire, Vader is able to quickly put it out by slapping at his own head. Vader brought handcuffs, cuffing Foley to the ropes and Vaderbombing him multiple times, –

--but it’s a cage match, so it can’t be stopped by the official – and it’s a real cage match, so no escape – you gotta pin the guy – and you can’t pin a guy if he’s in the ropes – so Vader has to let Foley loose to pin him – and Foley kicks out.

Vader, crazy strong, throws Foley hard into the cage, the cage giving slightly so that it slices hard into Foley – Foley wins after Vader missed the moonsault, Foley rolls up for the fall – and the huge pop as he wins the IC in MSG. Cactus Jack!

And then the montage of World Title Matches: Steamboat retaking his belt from Dynamite...Savage hitting the elbowdrop and winning the title from that same Dynamite Kid...Hennig perfectplexing Savage...Hennig standing on the buckle, holding the strap in the air with Kerry Von Erich laid out in the ring...Flair getting Davey Boy to submit to the figure four...then submitting himself to Bret's sharpshooter...Luger submitting to Bret and then the Undertaker making the motion for the belt...Michaels superkicking Owen, winning his first world title - tears in his eyes as he hugs Diesel..and then Diesel jacknifes him...DBS submitting to Bret again, and then getting knocked out by Owen - Owen dropping the belt disgustedly on Bret..

8. WWF Title: Bret Hart (w/Anvil and Pillman) d. Shawn Michaels
Another unbelievable match between Bret and Shawn – Bret cheats constantly – Shawn hits the superkick and has the fall – but the official is distracted by Neidhart and Pillman hits Michaels over the head with the cane. Bret wins soon later, using the ropes as leverage as he pins Shawn to regain the title for the third time, a WWF record.

We then get the “everybody in the pool” finish. Pillman, Bret, and the Anvil attack Michaels – save by the Clique, HHH/Road Dogg/Billy. Owen and a returning Davey Boy (hi Davey Boy!)enter on the side of the Harts – and it’s now 5 on 4. Austin enters, going after everybody in the ring. It’s a full scale brawl, as the face Harts and the heel Harts then go at it – Pillman not taking sides, trying to play peacemaker –and Michaels goes after the heel Clique – Austin still attacking everyone in the ring before settling on Pillman - as the show ends.

The year ends with the NWA. The Giant goes over Piper. Jeff Jarrett makes his NWA debut, beating Luger, just as he did in the WWF. DDP beats Hogan. Eddy beats Dean. Oh, so sweet. A Waltman run-in to attack Hall and Nash costs them their tag titles – they lose to Haku and the Barbarian.

Which, granted, seems unlikely.

Rey keeps the US in a terrific match over Ultimo Dragon. And Benoit keeps the NWA by beating his longtime rival from New Japan, former NWA Champ Jushin Thunder Liger. Some crazy good stuff.

Starrcade – 1996 Nashville
NWA Title: Chris Benoit d. Jushin Liger
US: Rey Mysterio d. Ultimo Dragon
Tags: Barbarian/Haku d. Hall/Nash (w/Waltman)
Eddy Guerrero d. Dean Malenko

DDP d. Hogan
Jeff Jarrett d. Lex Luger
The Giant d. Roddy Piper
Hall/Nash d. Barbarian/Haku

The Royal Rumble will be in San Antonio, hometown, obviously, of Shawn Michaels.

The war between the Undertaker and the Nation continues, this time it will be the Rock (w/ the appropriate four guys) against the mystery man (Jacobs) with the Undertaker in his corner. We’ll get HHH/Goldust again, with the New Clique JV and Sid in their respective corners.

Sid transforms during this run – we get a tag match against the New Clique, and when Sid enters – he’s dressed exactly like Goldust. He’s SidDust. Or GoldSid. Either way. He’s still Sid, goofy ass Sid – He’s the Master…and the Ruler…Of the World…but then he adds in the Goldust rubbing and touching. It would be extra creepy. “You will never forget the name of….Goldust” “And Goldsid! I am GoldSid!”

We’ve got Mexicans coming in for the Rumble, they're gonna stick most of them in the opening tag, an 8 man that will just be for the workrate – but we also have Hector Garza, a really good matchup for 2 Cold. Crazy Al's in the angle, since he’s still around and has that program with Scorpio. Al gone for a month, then comes out in a full body cast, cutting a promo on Scorpio, “2 Cold Scorpio, after our match at Survivor Series, after you legdropped me through a table at Madison Square Garden, after I spent the last month in a New York hospital undergoing 27 surgeries on virtually every bone, organ, and connective tissue in my entire body, afrer hearing that my entire career may now be in jeopardy, and that I will never reach my dream of winning the WWF Intercontinental Title, I have one thing to say to you, 2 Cold Scorpio….


Somehow, they hook up Al with the Mexicans. Maybe he shows them how to slam their heads into the turnbuckles. Maybe Al calls them his family. “I will bring my Family, My Brothers and Cousins – the Fightin’ Snow Brothers and Cousins—to the Royal Rumble, 2 Cold – and They Will Get My Pen Back!!

For the IC…Foley promos after Survivor Series, he is clearly touched by the warm reception, the appreciation of the WWF fans – Foley is IC Champ and is declared by whomever is interviewing him in the middle of the ring (well, it’ll be Pillman, see below) to be the unquestioned King of Hardcore Wrestling….

…enter Terry Funk. Funk will pummel Foley into unconsciousness, wrap him up in barbed wire and set him on fire – right in the middle of the RAW ring.

On the road to the Rumble, we’ll meet Funk, he gets the Up Close and Personal Treatment. Hasn’t been in a WWF ring since WM II – we’ll talk about him as an NWA Champion, as a legend in Japan since the 1970s. And as Cactus Jack’s mentor, role model, personal hero. We’ll get clips of Funk/Foley from Japan, see the thumbtacks and the explosions and the crazed action. Funk and Foley will each cut promos about how they’ve wrestled all over the world – Funk will say how in ECW Foley set him on fire and almost killed him. How the WWF fans don’t know who Cactus Jack really is – they see this guy, this underdog, fighting Vader and they cheer him. They don’t know that Cactus Jack is the second most sadistic, evil, genetically deranged, chemically imbalanced man on the planet – with the most sadistic, evil, genetically deranged, chemically imbalanced man on the planet being himself.

Foley will promo that he owes his whole career to Funk. That before he met Terry he was just plain Michael from Long Island, destined to wrestle unsuccessfully for a couple of years and then go back home and become a schoolteacher. But then he got to know Terry…and now he’s rich, famous, the Intercontinental Champion, and known around the world as a man who can take more punishment than any man alive…

And for that – he’s going to pay.

Funk. Foley. Death Match. For the IC.

Then there’s the big angle.

Pillman gets a talk show, like Piper’s Pit. The Pillman Show. And it’s basically like Piper’s Pit, he brings guys on, then stomps them out. He’ll use racial slurs when the Nation is on, gay slurs when Goldust and GoldSid are on, he’ll talk about Razor and Diesel with the Clique, tell Foley and particularly Austin that the one thing he has has that they’ll never have is a world title.

We’re gonna get Bret/ last time at the Rumble. It was in San Antonio, at Survivor Series 94 where Shawn beat Owen to win his first WWF Title and to win the Triple Crown. Pillman will needle Shawn about losing the title at Survivor Series, taunt him about what it would be like to lose his shot in his hometown, and goad him into signing the stip that this will be the very last time that Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart will ever wrestle in a singles match.

Last Ever Match and it’s for the WWF Title: Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels.

The Clique will enter. HHH will tell Shawn that they don’t like him, they’ve never liked him…but he’s Clique 4 Life – and HHH knows that deep inside, in their core, they are united by their hatred of the Harts and at the Royal Rumble – in the biggest match of Shawn’s life against Bret Hart – in the Ultimate Clique v. Hart matchup – in what might be the end of the greatest feud in the history of wrestling – HHH says he, Billy and the Dogg will be in Shawn’s corner.

And Shawn accepts.

They’ve got a year and a half to use the Pillman show to get over any angle. Pillman's fun.

He announces one RAW that his special guests for next week will be two members of the greatest Wrestling Dynasty of All Time…the Hart Family.

And so, they come out…Owen and Davey Boy.

But then he says, wait, wait, wait….I mean Bret and the Anvil….

So, all four men are in the ring with Pillman – and Brian’s looking to broker a deal. ‘Cause he just wants the family renunited, after all. All those years in the NWA – all he ever wanted was to be with his adopted family. He knows he’s gone a little crazy over the years, and he thinks if he could just bring everyone together again, he might quiet the voices in his head.

Everyone says no way, too late, it’s gone too far….

Pillman says, okay, well, can we take a step….

He says now that The Pillman Show is the highest rated segment of every RAW, and that’s earned him some stroke in the office. He’s been able to secure a match for next week….Owen and Davey Boy will team up to wrestle another tag team –

Steve Austin and Vader....

...and the winners of that match will go on to the Royal Rumble to face Mero and Bart for the straps.

See, Owen is feuding with Austin – and Davey Boy lost his only NWA World shot to Vader, so that’s good matchmaking.

This is of interest to Davey Boy, a chance to become a three time tag champ with three different partners – unprecendented in WWF history. And this is of particular interest to Owen…because Owen’s been IC Champ…and WWF Champ…meaning he’s only a tag title away from the Triple Crown.

The Mythical Triple Crown. The Greatest Accomplishment in All of Sport.

But there’s a catch, the WWF wants Owen and Davey Boy to use the name Hart Foundation, you know, for the marketing. And since Bret won the name in their best 3 of 5 series in ’94 – they need Bret’s permission.

So, Bret stands between Owen and a shot at the Triple Crown.

Why would Bret help?

Well, Bret would help because he’s about to go into the Royal Rumble, in the last ever Bret v. Shawn match ever – and have to deal with the entire Clique on the outside. And maybe the whole city of San Antonio. And Bret could use some backup.

So – Owen and Davey Boy will promise to be in Bret’s corner.

They agree. We have a deal. A deal. A handshake deal. Wow.

Pillman says there’s one other thing. On the RAW before the PPV, as a warm up, we’ll get an 8 man – Bret/Anvil/Owen/Davey Boy v. Shawn/HHH/Dogg/Billy – and if either side turns on each other – everything’s off – the title match, the last match stip, the tag title match – everything.

They agree.

We get the Austin/Vader v. Owen/Davey Boy tag. Austin, of course, turns on Vader during the match, allowing Owen to get the fall – so Owen and Davey Boy – as the Hart Foundation – will go to the Rumble to face Mero and Bart – Owen having a chance to become only the 4 th man in WWF History to win the Triple Crown.

And we also will get Austin v. Vader, you know, cause of what just happened.

We see the 8 man, crazy hot match. Pillman is named special guest referee – as he’s considered the only guy crazy enough to handle Harts v. Clique. The Clique is upset – ‘cause Pillman’s a Hart and all – but, in fact, he does call it right down the middle – and when Shawn gets the fall on Bret – Pillman gives a fair three count. The match is filled with garbage, chairs, steel steps, title belts, tables, trash cans. But Pillman’s able to maintain enough control to keep it a match. The announced stip is now altered a little bit; at Pillman's suggestion, the Bret/Shawn Title match will officially be a Lumberjack match, with the Harts and the Clique as lumberjacks, who will be allowed to bring weapons.

The Clique wins. Shawn pins Bret going into the Rumble in San Antonio – and because of Pillman’s fairness – he’s named guest referee for the Title Match.

Bret/Shawn, once Final time. Foley/Funk. Owen’s chance at the Triple Crown. Austin/Vader. The lucha match. Garza/Scorpio. Goldust/HHH. And the Rock, with the Nation against the Undertaker’s not yet brother.

Call your local cable company. Royal Rumble '97!

Summer Slam 1996

XII is here.

Summer Slam – 1996 Cleveland
JR returns - he and Cornette on the announce.

(Dark: NOD d. Hardys)

Open with Foley. “Hello, Cleveland. We haven’t been formally introduced, my name is Cactus Jack. If it’s okay, I’d like to tell you a story that might help us to get to know each other a little better. Who knows, maybe one day, we might become pals. So, there’s a little boy who I know, now, this little boy means the world to me, and because this little boy means the world to me, I try really hard not to let that little boy down. Maybe you have someone like that in your life, my new Cleveland pals, maybe you do.

Now, you might not know it to look at me, but there are some things that I don’t know that much about. Sometimes, that little boy will ask me, “Cactus Jack, why is the sky blue?” Now I know it’s got something to do with the refraction of light and the color spectrum, but really all I remember about the color spectrum from Mr. Bayliss’s 7 th grade science class is ROY G BIV, and well, ROY G BIV isn’t really much of an answer to “Cactus Jack, why is the sky blue?”

And sometimes, sometimes that little boy, the most beautiful little boy in the world, I’m not embarrassed to tell you, Cleveland, that little boy says, “Cactus Jack, what happens after we die?” This is a difficult question for master theologians, so how do hard do you think it is to answer for a man who…

(Foley pulls the next object mentioned out of a bag he brought to the ring, drawing the huge pop and changing the tone of the promo, from the squeaky Jack to the louder, screaming Jack)

…has spent his entire adult life, carving people up with barbed wire baseball bats!

So there are enough questions in the world that Cactus Jack does not know the answer to – enough times that Cactus Jack has to disappoint his favorite little boy – that he doesn’t really need any more!

So, in 1994, when I got home from wrestling in Germany against the man who right now is the WWF Intercontinental Champion – The Man They Call Vader – when I got home and saw that little boy – and that little boy hid behind his mother when I went to hug him – that boy hid behind his mother when he saw…

(Foley pulls back his hair to show his missing ear)

…when he saw what happened to me in that ring in Germany…when that little boy asked me the question that I never wanted to answer, “Cactus Jack, Cactus Jack – what happened to your ear, Cactus Jack?” What am I supposed to say to that little boy? How do I say that “Your Daddy had his ear torn off his head by a 400 pound man in Germany”? How do I say that, Cleveland? How do I tell that little boy that his father is some kind of sick, deformed, freak, who went to work one day AND CAME BACK WITHOUT HIS EAR???

So, tonight, my new best pals, tonight – you are going to see why the next time that little boy asks me where we go when we die, I’m going to pull out the Old Testament for my Answer – because tonight, in the Intercontinental Title Match, Cactus Jack is going to extract Biblical Revenge from the Man they Call Vader…An Eye for an Eye…A tooth for A tooth…And an Ear for an Ear…”

1. Godwinns d. Yoko/Savio
-Squeal like a pig! Squeal like a pig for Phinneas! Back that thing up Yokozuna! You took our parking spot and now we’re gonna make you squeal like a pig! They drag Yoko away…okay, I’m thinking Phinneas wears a leather mask when he wrestles, like the gimp in Pulp Ficton. We’re gonna call him Phinneas the Gimp – Henry’s gonna lead him to the ring with a chain.

2. Undertaker d. Jake
-Squash. Don’t even know if Jake gets the verse out. Undertaker buries him, but then then he is attacked by the evergrowing Nation of Domination, which now is Ahmed/Simmons/ D-Lo., and tonight, making his debut - The World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry. All in the bow ties. They surround the ring, beat down the Taker. Simmons taking the mic, “There’s your so called legend! There’s the White Devil that you all pray to! The Reign of the White Devil Undertaker is Over! The Nation of Domination is going to take over the So-Called WWF By Any Means Necessary! Then they lynch him.

String him up in the middle of the ring – put a white hood on him – string him up. The undercard has taken an odd turn. Lynch the motherfucker. The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.

3. Davey Boy Smith d. Jerry Lawler
-Squash. Pillman, walking with his cane, enters. It’s the Pillman we saw in the WWF, except much more famous in wrestling, since he’s a much bigger deal in this NWA universe. But he is hurt and can’t actually work, so I’m stuck there – I loved the Loose Cannon gimmick, so we’ll keep it. Davey Boy is completely unsure what to make of Pillman – wary as Pillman unloads on Lawler with the cane. Cane, cane, cane, cane. Lawler completely busted open. Pillman puts Lawler in the Sharpshooter until he screams in pain. Broken ankle. That’s it for Jerry. Pillman, the crazed look in his eye, puts on Lawler’s crown, “I’m the King! I’m the King! I’m the King of Memphis, Tennessee! I’m the King, I’m the King, I’m the King of Memphis Tennessee! I knocked that Lawler out tonight, I’m gonna knock him out again!”

4. Billy Gunn (w/Road Dogg) d. Chris Candido
I’m gonna say Candido was good enough to make this a good match. Billy’s awful now, but was only average then, so this can work. It’s the end of the line for Candido, so he feeds the New Age Outlaws, who we aren’t calling the New Age Outlaws yet – but that’s what they are. HHH, alone, all of the sudden with the rest of the Clique going to the NWA, recruits these two to be his flunkies. HHH is now at the top of the Clique (although he’s staying in the middle of the card) and these guys are gonna carry his bags. Road Dogg has say, Sunny’s old costume that he waves at Candido – maybe Sunny’s hair – maybe they play a videotape of Sunny, drunk, stripping for the Clique. Fun. HHH enters after the match, Pedigrees Candido into next week. Candido’s old partner Savio runs in for the save. Pedigree. It’s tough to be a lower card face.

5. Al Snow d. Marty Jannetty
Al comes out in the Rocker gear. He wants to do the old Rocker stuff with Marty, he leaves the ring and stands on the apron and starts clapping – he asks Marty for a tag. He tries to get Marty to do the double team stuff. When Marty hits one of his moves, Al congratulates him. Al hits the superkick, the elbowdrop, does the Michaels pose – then Al hits the Snowplow for the fall. Al beats his own head into the turnbuckles again. Does a moonsault to the canvas. That’s Al’s move!

6. Tags: Marc Mero/Bart Gunn d. Steve Austin/Dustin Rhodes
Yeah, seriously. Bart’s second strap – Mero’s NWA tag strap was with Paul Orndorff, so the mismatched thing is his gimmick, apparently. Austin doesn’t wrestle here, Dustin tries to give him a high five after they are introduced – Austin gives him the “I’m Steve Austin” look. Austin stuns Dustin, shoots him the middle finger – and starts to exit when Bart covers Dustin…Austin re-enters, saves Dustin, stuns Bart…then stuns Mero – Austin leaves all 3 men out in the ring, shooting the middle fingers at all of them and then exiting. Eventually they rise, Dustin, near tears, obviously very, very emotional – fights hard in a handicap situation, turning him face – but he can’t beat the two guys. Mero and Bart…your new tag champs.

7. IC: Vader (w/Perfect) d. Cactus Jack
They had a great feud on WCW Saturday Night, and this my world, wrestled on one PPV, in 1991. And Vader ripped off Foley’s ear in Germany. This is a first class brawl, no one takes a shot like Foley, so we can get Vader’s legit brutality over. Vader busts Jack’s nose with a potato shot. Vader splitting Jack open and yelling at him “Who’s the Man, Cactus?” “Who’s the Man?” This also gives us the opportunity to sell Foley’s ability to take shots. Foley gets his nose busted, and like Rocky, keeps waving for Vader to come on, to hit him again, to hit him harder. Foley kicks out of the Vaderbomb. Foley takes it outside with the cactus clothesline, Foley hits the running elbowdrop off the apron. Foley pulls up the outside mat and gets backdropped to the concrete. Vader goes to the apron…Vader’s going to Vader bomb from the apron to the outside atop Foley…Foley pulls the steel steps over his own body to brace from the shock – Vader splats on steel steps, which then splats on Foley.

Vader goes over eventually.

Vader staggers away with his belt, leaving a bloody Foley – who won’t be kept down – Foley attacks Vader in the aisle – taking the title belt and bashing him with it – Foley and Vader fighting --- Vader lifting Foley high - Hennig yelling at him to do it - do it DO IT!!!!

--and Vader powerbombs Foley off the ramp. Yikes.

8. WWF Title: Shawn Michaels d. Owen Hart
HBK keeps the strap, beating his longtime rival one more time. On the outside before the match, Pillman enters, swinging his cane, trying to go after Michaels – Austin attacks Pillman, putting the boots to him on the outside – Owen saves – Owen and Austin brawl, as they did at the battle royal, Michaels gets involved, dragging Owen into the ring to start their match as Pillman and Austin continue their fight to the back.

Michaels wins clean. Superkick. Pinfall. This incidentally, is the 5 th PPV headliner for both HBK and Owen. They are positioned as virtually equal, with HBK just a second better tonight. They do the face v. face, Harts v. Clique matchup. Neither turns, nor does the story move particularly, it’s just one more chapter in the feud, and the very best possible matchup we could have had at Summer Slam 96.

As Michaels holds the belt aloft, we see he is simultaneously at his most triumphant and absolutely exhausted. He’s outlasted Razor and Diesel. He’s once again beaten Owen. He finally beat Bret who then left the company. And instead of being able to rest at the mountaintop – he sees Austin, Vader, Foley….the next wave of challengers to peck at his heels. Michaels accepts the cheers as we focus on on his smile turned grimace.

I always play the ennui.

That would be a good name for a promotion ENNUI. Or at least a PPV. Somebody tell Misawa.

In the NWA…the Giant beats the Nasty Boys. Hogan beats Luger. Arn is forced to retire with the neck injury, loses to Sting on the way out. We meet Chavo Guerrero, Eddy’s nephew, who beats DDP.

For the tag titles, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash beat Harlem Heat and the Outsiders get strapped up. A newcomer wins the US title – Rey Mysterio beating Ric Flair. And Benoit keeps the NWA Title against a fellow Canadian, Chris Jericho.

Fall Brawl – 1996 Winston Salem
NWATitle: Chris Benoit d. Chris Jericho
US: Rey Mysterio d. Ric Flair
Tags: Hall/Nash d. Harlem Heat
Juventud Guerrera d. Konan d. Calo

Chavo Guerrero d. DDP
Sting d. Arn
Hogan d. Lex Luger
Giant d. Nasty Boys

In Philadelphia…Stevie and DVon lose a tag match. Terry Funk wins. Chris Candido and Louie Spicoli make their ECW debuts, Candido beating Spicoli. The Sandman beats Brian Lee. Raven beats Dreamer again. In the tags, the Eliminators go over Bubba Ray and Mikey Whipwreck. The new TV champ is RVD, who beats 2 Cold. And the new ECW Champ…Shane Douglas, fresh from his trip to New York, he returns and goes over Sabu.

November to Remember 1996 Philadelphia
ECW Title: Shane Douglas d. Sabu
TV: Rob Van Dam d. 2 Cold Scorpio
Tags: Eliminators d. Mikey/Bubba
Raven d. Dreamer

Terry Funk d. Sandman
Chris Candido d. Louie Spicoli
Devon Storm d. Brian Lee
Gangstas d. Stevie/DVon

The Survivor Series is coming from MSG. Not for nothing, but I have tickets.

Alabama Bob, since he’s getting over with the audience, comes back after the Clique, this time against the New JV. Billy was beating Savio in a singles, which was set up, you know, with the Candido thing, Road Dogg cheating to aid his boy --- Bob couldn’t take it anymore, he ran in – and now we have a tag match for Survivor Series.

Your Clique leader, HHH, is in a new feud. He was scheduled to face Dustin on RAW – Dustin didn’t enter – HHH went to the back to find him – Dustin wasn’t in the men’s locker room…he was in the women’s…

Yeah, we’re gonna get Goldust now. Austin’ betrayal caused something in him to snap – and now we’re gonna do Goldust/HHH.

We’ve got newcomers from Philadelphia. 2 Cold Scorpio, who arrives as a bigger star – not only an ECW TV champ – but the 2 time NWA US Champ. He’s funky, funky. They have him go over all the high flyers in the company on…Matt and Jeff, I suppose. But what we’re gonna get at the PPV is 2 Cold/Al. Al attacks 2 Cold during one of his matches, “I DO NOT LIKE YOU, SCORP DOG! YOU ARE NOT PERSONABLE AND I DO NOT LIKE YOU!” Al says Scorpio once…I don’t know, took the last Sprite from the ECW locker room once or takes too long in the showers after the shows, or borrowed a pen one time AND DID NOT GIVE IT BACK!!! This is with whom we’d do the parking space gag since the Godwinns are into the man rape. Al – he builds hyper intense feuds over trivial things. It’s his gimmick. Got it. That’s Al’s character.

Al/Scorpio. It’s a good match.

Also arriving, Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon. And they just outwrestle by a hundred miles anyone they put them in the ring with going to Suvivor Series, making them solid favorites to go over the competent, but less than inspiring tag champs. They sell Furnas/LaFon as technically superior, maybe the greatest technical tag team in the world. They play up their All Japan run – imagine, a WWF fan saying, “these guys wrestled Kobashi!” That’s what I want. This is a world renown tag team, it’s like when Tenryu came to wrestle Bret – that’s what I want with Furnas/LaFon.

And the Nation debuts a new member, a fifth member. They’re doing a handicap match on RAW, Ahmed/Simmons against the Undertaker. Mark Henry, DLo at ringside, making this a 4 on 1 -- but the Undertaker is the Undertaker – so he can battle the entire Nation by himself – until the run in by another young man in a bowtie…

Rocky Maivia.

Hey, there’s Rocky Johnson’s kid!

Rock Bottom on the Dead Guy. The Rock cuts a promo…he can’t really hit the catchphrases for a little while yet – but he can do a “Why wasn’t my grandfather the WWF Champion? Because he was a Red Man. A true American. Why wasn’t my father ever WWF Champion? Because he was a black man. I played football at the University of Miami and won a national Championship – why didn’t I get drafted by the NFL? Ron Simmons was an All American at Florida St, why isn’t he in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Mark Henry is the World’s Strongest Man – why didn’t he win a gold medal? Because we are BLACK MEN. We are the scariest substance in all the universe! The white man – you Undertaker – you are all keeping us down! And in New York City, in the World’s Most Famous Arena – the Nation of Domination will destroy all you white devils – by any means necessary!

In the IC…a rematch, Foley/Vader….In a cage.

Foley cuts more promos. Vader is a rhinocerous. Foley attacks Vader with the barbed wire baseball bat the week before the show, Vader takes it away from him and carves Foley up. Heavy juice on RAW – will they cancel the show? Will we lose advertisers? Only time will tell. Perfect gets wiped out here, Foley leaves him for dead one night on RAW and that wraps up this run.

Two more matches.

Time for Owen/Austin. Austin’s gonna call Owen out like he spent this stretch calling out Bret. The whole 3:16 Stone Cold schtick will be focused on Owen, ‘cause Owen is now the white knight of the Hart family, see. “Pink and Black, what the hell is that about, Owen?” I see Austin doing a spot where he comes to the ring in a wheelchair, a full cast on his leg – oh, no, there’s not gonna be a Survivor Series, Austin’s broken his leg.

Austin says he’s sorry, but Mr. Perfect made fun of him in the back, and so now his leg is broken and he’ll lose to Rick Martel at Wrestlemania 5 but after that he’ll be gone for 3 years. He’s sorry though. And he’s Canadian. And his name is Owen and he’s a yellow bastard. Owen makes Austin sick. Everything handed to him Intercontinental Title, handed to him. WWF Title, handed to him. Stone Cold Steve Austin’s had to work for everything his entire life. Stone Cold Steve Austin had to scratch and claw in the NWA. Stone Cold Steve Austin had to go to a bingo hall in Philadelphia. Stone Cold Steve Austin had to tag up with a yellow freak to get into the WWF – and at Survivor Series, Owen Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin will have to beat your overrated Canadian ass all over the ring at Madison Square Garden, cause Austin 3:16…’cause Stone Cold sez…you know how these things end.

Somewhere on this road, Michaels defends the title against HHH.

Michaels goes over, of course, and on the outside we’ll get Billy/Dogg interference stopped by Bob/Savio. We’ll have Goldust enter after the match, roll his body all over HHH – maybe lick him a little bit.

Yeah, see, Goldust isn’t playing mindgames – Goldust is a freak, daddy. Licking HHH in the middle of the ring.

And, when Michaels celebrates – he’s attacked – by the guy in the Hart Foundation jacket and mask.

That Pillman! That Pillman is wearing the mask again! We all know that’s Brian Pillman!

He hits Michaels with the cane – he does Bret’s moves – it’s the same spot we got before at the battle royal.

The masked man tries to get the Sharpshooter – but Michaels is able to escape, Michaels gets a bit of a comeback – Michaels with the superkick --- Michaels now locks on the Sharpshooter! Michaels with the sharpshooter…

Michaels is hit over the back of the head with a cane.

By Brian Pillman.

Pillman puts the boots to Michaels, Michaels is busted open. The man in the mask gets to his feet, pulling off his mask…

Bret Hart.

Bret and Pillman destroy Michaels…busting him open, leaving him laying.

It’s Bret and Shawn….Bret and Shawn….Bret and Shawn…at Survivor Series.

We’ve got Bret/Shawn, Owen/Austin, the Vader/Jack rematch, the debuts of 2 Cold, Furnas/Lafon, and Maivia, we’ve got the Clique – it’s Survivor Series '96 – let’s go, baby! I got tickets! Woooooooo!!!!!

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