Triple H, October 2011:

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

Summer Slam 1997

Saturday, February 18, 2006

XIII is here.

Summer Slam 1997 East Rutherford

It's the 10th Summer Slam...time for the clip package....

Andre and Hogan team up...Rude Awakening on Jake...Hogan and Dusty team up...Snuka hits the splash on the Warrior...young Dustin Rhodes joins his dad in putting the boots to Hogan...Michaels superkicks Tito...Undertaker tombstones Von Erich...Michaels elbowdrops Owen through the announce table in Wembley...Waltman hits the X Factor on Owen...Tatanka submits to Jarrett...Undertaker and Diesel go nose to nose...Sunny taunts Candido..Al moonsaults to the canvas...

(Dark – Taka Michinoku/2 Cold Scorpio d. Furnas/LaFon)

As with every show this year -- JR and Cornette.

Three letters on the video wall….H…..B……K……

Michaels music. Michaels returns. Michaels has been gone since the Rumble, saying he’s back to be the special guest referee in tonight’s title match. If Austin and Bret are going to hook it up – it’s only right that Shawn Michaels be right in the middle of it.

Austin music. Austin hits the ring, says Shawn's a yellow bastard, that the last he saw of him, he was turning tail and running away to avoid getting another Stone Cold ass whipping, and it didn't matter to him if Shawn was wearing the striped shirt tonight, the only stripe he has is that yellow one running up and down his back.

Bret music.

Bret goes nose to nose with Austin, says tonight, the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be will become the only man ever to hold the WWF Championship 4 times, and that's the bottom line, because Bret Hart said so.

And if you want to get in the way, Shawn Michaels...Bret will kick your ass again for old times sake.

1. Godwinns d. Jose/Jesus Castillo
Nation (Rock/DLo/Henry) enter after the match, refusing the let the Godwinns do the man love with the Castillos. I think this is the final face turn for the Nation. Rock and DLo are a pretty good act, hitting the catchphrases – Mark Henry stands in the back like every hip hop bodyguard. They’ll call him Big Markie. Rock says the Nation enjoys the freaky deaky, anyone who’s every seen Big Markie enjoy the company of Twila the he/she knows they don’t discriminate. The Rock doesn’t want to judge the Godwinns, wants to accept them just the way they are – but they just can’t let them abuse the poor little brown men. The Castillos drove with their 17 brothers and sisters across the border in the back of a 71 AMC Pacer – and the Rock says that the Godwinns should leave their brown asses alone! The Godwinns take issue with this – and they brawl.

2. Undertaker d. Brian Lee
-Cause, obviously he does. After the match, the arena goes dark – the screen turns red – and we see the words….DEATH RETURNS TO THE SURVIVOR SERIES…

‘Cause it’s Kane, of course. And he’ll come back with the Kane gimmick, without the mask, and they'll push him again and then he’ll feud with his brother again. ‘Cause what else would we do with them?

3. Savio Vega d. Miguel Perez
We just let Savio have this one. I thought about their squashing both of them with the Clique, ‘cause the Clique gotsta eat – but nah. We’ll just let him get his win. Savio~!

4. Last Man Standing: HHH (w/JV) d. Goldust (w/Girls)
 This will be tonight’s crazy garbage match. Blood and broken things. They’ll add to the confusion, chaos, and carnage with The Nation and the Godwinns – that means 10 guys on the outside breaking things over each other’s heads while Dustin gets the curtain call (Heat From the Bottom!) but HHH kicks out and gets the Pedigree. And that’ll end this feud.

Taped shoot style promos with the Road Warriors and Owen and Davey Boy, talking about their tag careers, and their memories of the Summer Slam tag title matches, as it's the historical aspect of this match that sells....Davey talks about how talented he thought the Rougeaus were, and we see them go over Demolition...Owen talks about the Rockers, and how impressed he was with Michaels, and we see him getting the fall on AA. The Warriors talk about seeing the Orient Express win the straps and knowing they could punk them out - and then we see both Kato and Tanaka take the Device. They talk about the excitement of defending against Power and Glory at MSG in '91 - and then we see both Herc and Roma taking the Device...and both Hawk and Animal express disgust, uncomfortable disgust at having lost to Money Inc in London...Owen and Davey put the Steiners over as one of the great teams of all time, and we see them suplex the Headshrinkers...then Luger and Bigelow celebrate their win...Hawk says, "what do I think about the Smoking Gunns? I think they sucked - and you can quote me" as the Gunns keep over Ron and Don...then Austin turns on Dustin, allowing Mero and Bart to take the straps...

5. Tags: Road Warriors d. Hart Foundation
Notice that this breaks format. It’s all history, ‘cause at this point, Owen’s the only good wrestler of the bunch, the rest are deteriorating. But it’s a heavy historical match and works from a storytelling standpoint. Pillman enters, of course, taking Owen out and keeping him from tagging in, leaving Davey Boy alone to take the Doomsday Device. 5 1/2 years after their year and a half at the top ended, the Warriors win the belts again. Big nostalgic pop.

6. Owen d. Pillman
The Owen/Pillman brawl transitions right into their match – Pillman’s all heart at this point, his body is completely broken down – but he and Owen could make this extra compelling. It’s gonna turn out to be Pillman’s only WWF singles, so even though it’s not officially loser leaves town, they sell the drama of Pillman’s entire career – which is raised significantly on the NWA side. Owen wins with the Sharpshooter. They tease that he’ll break Pillman’s ankle, bringing back that spot, which would be a thing since it’s Pillman’s ankle that kept him from working. But Owen’s a good guy and gives up the hold. Austin enters – Austin enters – and Austin puts the sharpshooter on Pilllman! Austin puts the sharpshooter on Pillman until Owen breaks the hold – Austin brawls with Owen – save by Bret. Austin and Bret brawl on the outside! They brawl on the outside...Michaels enters...Michaels enters, trying to break it up - it's now a three way brawl all the way up the aisle.

Owen carries Pillman from the ring.

That’s Pillman’s last show. He dies between now and Survivor Series.

JR and Cornette put over the legacy of the IC matches at Survivor Series - saying it all got started with the Hit Man...

Clip of Bret beating Davey Boy at MSG, then Davey turning heel and press slamming his old partner...Rude hitting the Awakening on his stablemate Hennig...Jake submitting to Bret's sharpshooter...the legendary Steamboat submitting to Bret's sharpshooter..Savage keeping over Jacques...Michaels hitting multiple elbowdrops on Hennig...Razor hitting the Edge on Diesel...Michaels climbing the ladder to beat Razor...Vader powerbombing Jack off the ramp...

7. IC: Octagon Match: Ken Shamrock d. Cactus Jack (DQ)
It’s crazy screwjob night at the old ballyard. I figure once they break format it may as well go all the way. Shamrock’s tricky, since he’s a shootfighter as opposed to an amateur wrestler. Nonetheless, in the submission segments, he’ll be stronger but Foley will want to try to prove himself on the mat. Likewise, Foley will be stronger at the brawling segment, although again, Shamrock’s a shootfighter as opposed to an amateur wrestler, so he can brawl too. It’s delicate – the Shamrock push only works if he’s not a professional wrestler – so, without saying it, obviously, they need to sell this as a shoot. So, the era of the worked shootfight comes to the US. Foley’s double smart, so it’s do able, in fact, strong style matches – with heavy legit contact in a worked environment, were just starting in Japan now – where they tried to capture the atmosphere of the shoot – ideally, if you just tuned in, you wouldn’t know it was worked. It allows a new audience, and lets us see a match that looks a little different.

Anyway, the way to do this is to play up Foley’s resentment of Shamrock being in his ring, the shootfighter showing up the wrestler, and Foley’s increasing frustration during the match as Shamrock beats him on the mat and can keep up with him during the brawling segment. Foley finally pulls out an object – say a corkscrew, and Foley gouges Shamrock – leading to the DQ.

Foley pulls out a pouch of thumbtacks from his tights, pouring them out over the ring, and he and Shamrock both take thumbtack bumps. Foley screaming at Shamrock as he bloodies him, “I AM THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS MAN!! I AM CACTUS JACK.” Shamrock fights back hard – his cornermen (‘member, Shamrock’s got a half dozen cornermen, like a fighter) enter to pull the two apart. Foley keeps the strap, but loses the match, and this serves as the effective heel turn.

Cut to tape of Gorilla Monsoon, in what will be his last WWF appearance. He thanks the fans for supporting Summer Slam and the WWF - says he was privileged to call many of the great moments you've seen tonight - and many of the great World Championship matches you're about to see. Thank you - and enjoy.

The legendary Dynamite Kid getting the fall on Savage...Savage hitting an elbowdrop and covering Bret...Hennig beating Savage....Davey Boy's celebration with Bret after the Bulldog won the strap at MSG...Bret beating Davey Boy in London...Bret getting the fall on Razor, and then going nose to nose with the 'Taker...Owen escaping the cage as Davey hangs onto Bret...Bret getting Hakushi to tap...and Michaels hitting Owen with the superkick...

8. WWF Title: Steve Austin DRAW Bret Hart (double countout) (Michaels, guest ref)
Screwjob Summer Slam continues. Hey, I've been doing this 13 years and this is the first time. Let 'em boo. Fucking fans. See, we have multiple issues to work with. The first is that this is the show where Austin was temporarily paralyzed after the piledriver from Owen. So, I think I’m stuck with that outcome, and I’m certainly stuck with Austin not wrestling until Survivor Series.

So, Bret hits the piledriver – and Austin doesn’t get up.

But, there's also big career issues with both Bret and Shawn, and the Counterfactual needs to navigate through all of them. So- screwjobs.

Bret hits the piledriver. Austin doesn’t move – and when Bret goes to cover, Shawn (your special guest referee, recall from the top) drops to count...1...2...but just can't bring himself to count 3 for Bret, can't give him the WWF Title, so instead -- he superkicks him cold. Yeah, that’s pretty much a heel turn for Michaels. Gotta keep Shawn and Bret on opposite sides, you’ll note.

Shawn then puts Austin’s arm over Bret, counts to 2…then stops…then puts Bret’s arm over Austin, counts to two – then stops --- then Shawn has them lying side by side – and starts the 10 count. When he gets to 7 – he covers both men himself – and finishes the count – shocking the people – ‘cause, you know, it’s a double count out, with Shawn pinning both guys.

Shawn poses in the ring over both men and the Clique hits the aisle – Shawn exits and does a nose to nose with HHH --- HHH making the sign of the Clique – which Shawn accepts – Shawn makes the sign of the Clique with Hunter, Billy, and the Dogg – the four men crotch chopping toward the fans as they exit. The show ends as both Bret and Austin remain laid out in the ring.

They're not gonna use the DX name, 'cause I'm married to the Clique gimmick - but now they'll start doing all that DX stuff. And Shawn will name Billy and the Dogg the New Age Outlaws.

There’s some angle left below to get us from here to the next thing on RAW the next night – live, from Nepal...Vince McMahon.

Vince has been gone a couple years now, vowing to find inner peace -- and we see him on the feed, he's in rags, thin to the point of gaunt, bald...put peaceful. He has kind eyes that Vince McMahon. Somewhere in South Florida, a 13 year old girl who one day plans on working at a tanning salon watches and thinks - there's a guy who I'll never have to worry about groping me at work.

Anyway, Vince announces that since Austin can’t wrestle for the next 3 months – he can’t defend the belt- and he’s stripped.

The belt will be held up To be wrestled for at Survivor Series. In Montreal.

In the NWA…Hall and Nash go over Harlem Heat. Flair beats Jarrett. The Giant beats Luger. Mortis beats Page. Jericho beats…Curt Hennig. The Steiners win the tag straps, going over Konan and Waltman. Eddy keeps the US in a war over Benoit. And Dean keeps the big belt, beating Ultimo Dragon.

Fall Brawl – 1997 Winston Salem
NWA Title: Dean Malenko d. Ultimo Dragon
US Title: Eddy Guerrero d. Chris Benoit
Tags: Steiners d. Konan/Waltman
Chris Jericho d. Curt Hennig

Kanyon d. DDP
Giant d. Luger
Ric Flair d. Jeff Jarrett
Hall/Nash d. Harlem Heat

In ECW…Guido and Justin team up for a win. Candido beats Mikey. Lance Storm wins. Bigelow beats Dreamer. Sabu beats the Sandman. The Dudleys keep the tags. RVD keeps the TV. And Taz is your new ECW Champion, taking the belt from Douglas.

November to Remember – 1997 Monaca, PA
ECW Title: Taz d. Shane Douglas
TV Title: RVD d. Jerry Lynn
Tags: Dudleys d. New Jack/Kronus
Sabu d. Sandman

Bam Bam Bigelow d. Dreamer
Lance Storm d. Tracey Smothers
Chris Candido d. Mikey
Guido/Justin d. Axl/Balls

On the road to Montreal…

We've got a new character; Don Callis, whom you may know from ECW. He was the Jackyl in real world WWF -- but in the Counterfactual, he's gonna do a year as Kane's manager. Callis says Kane is the Big Red Machine, he's the Undertaker’s better brother, and maybe the Undertaker thinks he's seen the last of him - but he’s returning, he’ll bring death and destruction. And to show his power - he wants the Blackjacks, Bradshaw and Windham, at the PPV.

They move the Nation/Godwinns feud forward. That’ll further serve to turn Rock and DLo face as they make fun of the hillbillies. Always a good target. Hillbillies will refer to Rock and having a purty mouth, and Rock does his schtick.

With Goldust/HHH over – they move the Golden Girls onto Marc Mero. Again, it’s his prettiness that attracts them – they’re fascinated by him because he looks like Little Richard. “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like a more effeminate Little Richard?” Yeah, heavy gay in the undercard. Tag matches between Bart and Mero against various members of the Golden Girls. They stick Alabama Bob and Savio, as your bottom card faces, right along with Marc/Bart for the 8 men matches – and they’ll mix and match in various combination, serving to turn Dustin heel. All these faces are solid enough – and making fun of them sexually with the big, goofy, Golden Girls is good enough for what we have to do. We’ll get a singles at the PPV. And it’s a new midcard feud.

Furnas and LaFon – recall their dissension – finally explode.

They have a match with the Outlaws against F/L for the right to meet the Warriors. The Outlaws goes over with HHH and Michaels aid and Furnas and LaFon go at it. We’ll get them as a single at the PPV – which is not only a good match, but since we’re in Montreal, there's LaFon as a hometown boy – so they turn Furnas heel. They’re done with the company after the PPV – so it’s not going anywhere, it’s just for the workrate.

Vader/Davey Boy again. They’ve had an undercurrent since Vader arrived, as they feuded in my NWA (and in the actual WCW) so they continue here.

Rematch for the IC. Again in the Octagon, this time, if Foley gets DQ’d, he loses the belt. It’s the same buildup, ‘cept they push Foley’s heel turn. So, it’s evil Cactus Jack. He carves up some faces, your Bobs, your Barts… Cactus jumps Owen once, just to get the point across.

And to sell the turn…

Evil Cactus Jack will blame the fans. Cactus asks why they cheer Ken Shamrock? Why do they cheer a man who hates professional wrestling? Aren’t they wrestling fans? Jack does a whole “self loathing fans” program here. How many of them are embarrassed to tell their friends they watch wrestling? How many of them spend hundreds of dollars on Austin 3:16 t-shirts, on big foam middle fingers, on Phinneas the Gimp love masks – and never wear them except when they come to the arena? Is that why you boo Cactus Jack? Cactus Jack is fat, Cactus Jack is dirty, Cactus Jack isn’t that bright but is awfully well meaning – Cactus Jack is each and every one of you people! When you boo Cactus Jack, you’re really booing yourselves.

That kinda thing. So, Cactus will do horrible things – he’ll cheat, he’ll bite, he’ll use foreign objects – and then when the fans boo him – he’ll scold them, act disappointed in them – give a knowing, “you’re just booing yourself” rap.

That’s not bad. It could use fleshing out, but that’s not bad. Cactus Jack is very, very disappointed in you. Very disappointed in his new pals. Good turn!

Big angle. It’s big. Vince will again appear on a feed from Nepal. Laid out in the ring is the WWF Championship belt.

Vince says…

Austin’s stripped, as mentioned. But he has medical clearance to return for Survivor Series.

So at Survivor Series, there's gonna be a match for the vacant title. And Vince is going to make it right now.

One fall to a finish, winner gets the strap. Who wants in?

Cut back to the locker room – everyone wants in. Every wrestler in the back wants in.

But there’s a catch. The guy who loses the fall – he’s gone from the WWF forever. Forever.

Now who wants in?

Hit Austin’s music.

Austin, in wheelchair, comes to the ring. He says the doctors say he’s as likely to be paralyzed as wrestling by Survivor Series, so if he doesn't walk out of Montreal with the belt, he's probably leaving in a stretcher anyway – so if he's the one who gets pinned, and he has to leave the WWF, then so be it - he's Stone Cold Steve Austin, and that's the bottom line...

Hit Michaels's music.

HBK comes to the ring. People boo. HBK loves it. It’s music to his ears. When he left the WWF after losing to Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble, he was tired, he was worn out – he had lost his interest in the sport – but hearing 15,000 fans boo him – it reminds him of who HBK really is. Michaels turns to Austin, says just because they boo me, and they boo you – that doesn’t mean I don’t remember what you did to me in my hometown 7 months ago. And if you weren’t in that wheelchair – I would take your lights out. Austin tells Michaels he doesn’t have the guts, sticks out his jaw, come on Sexy Boy, take me out, you yellow bastard. Take me out!

Bret's music.

Bret’s the only 3 time champ in WWF history, Bret’s been in 21 main events. Bret Hart had Steve Austin beat cold in the middle of the ring at Summer Slam – and Bret Hart has beaten Shawn Michaels in the middle of the ring more times than he can count. And if the WWF title is going to be on the line – in Canada – Bret Hart is going to be in tbe match – so it won’t be a one on one – it’ll be a 3 way.

Owen’s music.

It’ll be a four way.

Owen to the ring. Bret Hart won the triple crown. Shawn Michaels won the triple crown. But one other man has won the triple crown – and the guy with the trophy at his house is Owen Hart. Owen’s beaten Bret. Owen’s beaten Shawn. And there’s no one Owen would rather beat than Steve Austin. If the WWF title will be on the line – in Canada – then it won’t be a 3 way – it’ll be a 4 way.

So, at Survivor Series, in Montreal, we’ve got a lot of other stuff, Jack defending against Shamrock in the Octagon, the Road Warriors defending against the Outlaws, Vader/Davey Boy, Furnas and LaFon explode, Goldust/Mero, Kane in the handicap against the Blackjacks, the NOD against the Godwinns...

But what matters is Austin/Shawn/Bret/Owen – one fall to the finish – winner of the fall gets the strap – loser of the fall leaves the WWF forever.

Yeah. I dare you not to call. Survivor Series '97.

Wrestlemania XIII 1997

The Rumble is here.

Wrestlemania XIII – 1997 Chicago

(Dark Al Snow d. Bob Holly)


1. Road Warriors d. Godwinns
-I’m ambivalent here, because I enjoy the Godwinns gimmick and at this point, they really aren’t worse wrestlers than the Road Warriors. But they can sell Warriors in the title match at Summer Slam, so, by the slimmest of margins, they get the hometown win. We do get the tease of Phinneas performing the man act on Hawk though. He said man act.

2. Legends Match: Chicago Street Fight: Undertaker d. Ahmed d. Simmons
-Dead man goes over, obviously. It’s his third legend’s win. Ahmed and Simmons don’t work together, ‘Taker goes over strong, pinning both of them simultaneously after chokeslams and tombstones. Rock. Henry, DLo, stay out of the match letting Simmons and Ahmed go at it – after its over – they enter – and punk both of them out. Simmons and Ahmed are excommunicated from the Nation – given whatever the appropriate sendoff is – painting them in whiteface, I suppose. “We got no room for losers in this nation! We have to weed the weak out of our gene pool so only the finest of Black Man compose this Nation of Domination – and we will exterminate those weak by Any Means Necessary.” Rock. DLo. Henry are your new NOD. Black power salute.

3. Billy Gunn (w/Dogg) d. Savio
-Just nothing to say here, the Outlaws just did so many PPVs that they need to push them somehow, allowing them to do their Clique thing gave them the rub they needed to get over. So, it’s just them doing their schtick. Savio is plucky, resilient, but with no chance to win. But it’s at the bottom of the card.

4. Cage match: HHH (w/Billy/Dogg) d. Goldust (w/SidDust)
Good midcard program. Will it ever end? Nope. It’s Jake v. Rude, but not quite as homoerotic. Hunter goes over, getting the fall in the cage (it's a pinfall cage match), Sid was wiped out by Billy and the Dogg earlier and is laid out outside, but when the Clique JV then enters to celebrate, their attack on Dustin is stopped when three more large men in Goldust outfits, the Harris Brothers and Crush, hit the ring – they annihilate the Clique – and then do the same to Sid when he staggers in the cage. Goldust/Crush and the Harris Brothers all do the Goldust mannerisms as they leave the ring. That’s the last we see of Sid. Goldust, GoldCrush, GoldRon and GoldDon – our newest GoldStable.

If their were three - Gold Dust Trio would make the most historical sense. Instead, they'll call them the Golden Girls.

5. Rocky Maivia (w/ Nation) d. 2 Cold
Rock continues his unbeaten run and gets his biggest win to date. 2 Cold’s gotta work hard, but Rock’s enough to make this a good match. Rock goes over clean, since they stop using Scorpio now, he has to feed the Nation. Getting rid of Simmons and Ahmed allow Rock to go front and center, with DLo starting to wrestle now, he goes to number two – and Mark Henry plays the enforcer roll. Time to move from the Nation to basically being a black stable, like the Clique or the Harts or the Horsemen, so we end the black power and let Rock be Rock. Rock and HHH are weird for me, they aren’t bad and they work a lot, so they need to use them, but neither would be as pushed as hard in this universe as they actually were. So, stick them in stables – think of the Clique and the Nation as pretty similar.

6. Tags: Hart Foundation d. Furnas/LaFon
A great match, one of the best tag title matches ever. Just loving it all night long. Harts keep – the Road Warriors hit the ring after the match – and we get the nose to nose – that’s a lot of star power for the next title match at Summer Slam. Furnas and LaFon argue up the aisle. Uh-oh.

7. IC: Cactus Jack d. Vader (Shamrock, guest referee)
Foley wins the blow off to the feud. We get lots of Shamrock, ‘cause he’s getting pushed. They demonstrate how he takes no shit from anyone – neither Jack nor Vader – when either tries to use a foreign object, Shamrock takes it away. He shoves both of them – he doesn’t mess around, it’s heavy referee involvement.

Jack wins, the lack of garbage hurts this matchup, but not so much that it isn’t terrific, they worked really well together, and it’s a good, stiff brawl. Foley wins with the mandible claw – and refuses to give up the hold after the match, Shamrock breaks the hold by suplexing Foley – and ta, da, next program is created.

Coming up is Bret Hart’s 20 th PPV Main Event.

8. WWF Title: Steve Austin (w/Pillman) d. Bret Hart
Austin wins the title with the stunner as the page turns. Pillman interference is stopped by Owen – the two of them brawling on the outside and both get ejected from ringside. Austin wins clean. Holds the strap up and raises the middle finger as the show ends. Stone Cold Steve Austin. WWF Champion. Wrestlemania XIII.

In the NWA…Flair and Piper tag up to get an old guy win. Haku loses. Kanyon, in the Mortis gimmick, wins. Regal beats Hall in a singles – and Jarrett beats Nash. Konan and Waltman keep their belts, beating the Steiners. Eddy takes Rey’s US title, beating he and Ultimo Dragon in a 3 way. And Dean takes the NWA title, turning face to beat Benoit.

Slamboree – 1997 Charlotte
NWA Title: Dean Malenko d. Chris Benoit
US Title: Eddy Guerrero d. Rey Mysterio d. Ultimo Dragon
Tags: Konan/Waltman d. Steiners
Jarrett d. Nash

Steve Regal d. Hall
Kanyon d. Glacier
Hugh Morrus d. Haku
Flair/Piper d. Reggie White/Kevin Greene

Hey, I'm at the ECW PPV in Ft Lauderdale. The Dudleys keep their belts twice. Candido wins. Dreamer beats Lawler. Sabu beats Taz. Al is loaned out to lose to the TV Champ RVD. And Douglas regains the World Title, going over Funk.

Hardcore Heaven – 1997 Ft. Lauderdale
ECW Title: Shane Douglas d. Terry Funk
TV Title: RVD d. Al Snow
Tags: Dudleys d. PG 13
Sabu d. Taz

Tommy Dreamer d. Jerry Lawler
Bam Bam d. Candido
Candido d. Spike
Dudleys d. PG 13

On the way to Summer Slam…

We have some talent from Puerto Rico. The Castillos, Jesus and Jose, arrive – and they get thrown into the tag mix. Know who likes Latin Food? The Godwinns. Phinneas likes it spicy and the Godwinns get them at the PPV. The other Puerto Rican is Miguel Perez, he’s just going to be filler. And we’ll have him be embarrassed that Savio is always getting beat – so we’ll get that at the PPV.

We do a RAW tag – Undertaker and the returning Brian Lee against the Nation – Rock pins Taker again after Brian Lee turns heel – and we’ll get Lee/UT at the PPV. The Nation then peels off into this…

The Nation, the Clique, and the Golden Girls feud all summer. This’ll get us into seeing HHH and Rock as like Martel and Tito, sort of perpetual midcard enemies. Dustin’s there ‘cause he’s around – and ‘cause I like the idea of all of these big, awful wrestlers in the Goldust gimmick. The Clique – heels. The Golden Girls – faces? And they start to turn the Nation face too, as Rock becomes Rock here, and he starts getting oodles of promo time.

What will come out of this for the PPV is yet another HHH/Goldust match. 4 PPVs in a ROW! They'll do a last man standing for this, let everyone else get involved outside the ring. Big carnage brawl.

We’re got Owen and Davey Boy against the Road Warriors – and they sell the historical value of the match, since the Warriors can’t go anymore. Warriors were NWA and WWF tag champs for over a year – and Owen and Davey Boy are Owen and Davey Boy.

Owen’s going to wrestle twice.

Because not only does Owen have to, obviously, defend the tag title – but Brian Pillman won’t leave him alone. After Mania, Pillman continues to stalk Owen, Pillman in the parking lot, Pillman in the back – we do a handheld of Owen getting off the airplane on the road someplace, Owen chatting with a heel in a breaking kayfabe way…maybe DLo…and Pillman attacks him at baggage claim. Pillman and Owen fighting on the baggage carousel.

Pillman goes to Owen’s house to stalk his wife and kids. Martha will love that.

Owen promos that he and Brian have traveled together; he's Stampede, he's part of the family. That he couldn’t have been more proud if Brian were his own brother when Pillman won all 3 titles in the NWA. And Owen was excited when Brian came to WWF.

But now, Owen can see Pillman’s never coming back to any version of sanity – he doesn’t know if it’s Austin’s fault, and he doesn’t care – Brian Pillman is a virus who the WWF can’t afford to let infect it anymore – so Owen is going to wrestle twice at Summer Slam – not only will Owen and Davey Boy wrestle the legendary Road Warriors – Owen will wrestle Brian Pillman in Pillman’s first ever WWF singles match.

Foley defends against Shamrock. In the Octagon. Idedally, WWF cuts a deal with UFC so they could have the Octagon, if needed, I’ll use the replacement, wink/wink version WWF used at the time. But I do want Sham in the cage. Shamrock isn’t really part of the WWF, he’s a UFC Legend – he was never going to wrestle, sometime after XIII they do a little ceremony thanking him for his service at the PPV – and Foley attacks. Any time Shamrock wrestles on the way to the PPV – and it’s almost never, he only does it once or twice – he wrestles in the Octagon – he comes to the ring with his whole crew, like a fighter – with trainers and cornermen – he’s in a boxing robe, his hands are taped – he gets different lighting cues – ideally they use the UFC announcers if they can get them – they use shootfighters to job out to Shamrock – the whole value of this guy is he’s not a wrestler – so they don’t turn him into one until his push stops.

Shamrock’s a face. But Foley hates him. ‘Cause Shamrock’s not a wrestler – so I want to hear promos about how Foley slept in his car when he went to Dominic Denucci’s wrestling school – how he had to travel all over the world to bleed in front of a dozen people for 17 dollars. How his whole life is about professional wrestling – and here’s some guy who doesn’t respect the business, who says with pride he isn’t a professional wrestler, come into his ring to challenge for the IC title? It’s not right. Who the hell does this guy think he is? If he wants to put on some tights and a cape and wrestle in a high school gym for 5 years – then get back to him – but right now, he’s a one shot gimmick, no better than Lawrence Taylor. Foley's turning heel, but doing it in a way that makes sense to him.

So, it’ll be Shamrock and Foley, getting into the Octagon – for the IC title.

And up top – Bret gets a rematch with Austin. Bret promos. Says it’s been a long time since he’s heard the people cheer. And he’s missed it. Says when he came out tonight, when he came out for his match at XIII, when, for the first time in years he heard the fans cheer – he remembered some things.

He remembered the first time he got hired for the WWF, almost 15 years ago, and how overwhelmed he was to meet guys like Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan. He remembered wrestling Dynamite in the dark match at the first Wrestlemania. He remembered how he went to his brother in law, Davey Boy Smith, with an idea that saved their careers, to tag up as the Hart Foundation. He remembered all the nights he got his ass kicked by Randy Savage and Curt Hennig, men who taught him how to be a champion. He remembered the first time he won the WWF Title, beating Ric Flair at WM VIII. He remembered outlasting the Clique, beating Razor, beating Diesel – he remembered beating Tenryu and Ricky Steamboat – and making the Undertaker submit in the middle of the ring.

And he remembered kicking Shawn Michaels’s ass.

And he remembered being at constant war with his brother Owen.

And he remembered all of this – remembered the legacy that he has built in the WWF – the legacy that is Bret the Hit Man Hart – remembered that his blood, his sweat, his tears are in every ring rope, in every inch of the canvas, in every corner of the arena- and that a viper like Steve Austin can’t change the fact that he’s the best there is, the best there was, the best….

Austin music.

Austin says that’s the saddest speech he ever heard, and he’s sure tears would be streaming down his face, if he gave a damn. Bret’s 10 pounds of crap in a five pound bag, and he can talk all he wants about winning some titles 40 years ago, but the man with the WWF Championship around his waist is Stone Cold Steve Austin, son, and Bret can be the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be, but that won’t save him from getting his ass kicked again at Summer Slam.

Austin/Bret II, Shamrock/Foley in the Octagon, Owen and Davey Boy defending against the Road Warriors, and Owen against Pillman. Add in one more HHH/Goldust in the last man standing and it’s Summer Slam ’97 – the 10th Anniversary of Summer Slam! Live from East Rutherford! Call your local something! Summer Slam '97.

Royal Rumble 1997

Survivor Series '96 is here.

Royal Rumble 1997 San Antonio
(Dark – Furnas/LaFon d. Billy/Dogg) JR/Cornette

1. Johnny Estrada/Fuerza Guerrera/Heavy Metal/Cibernetico
Pedro Aguayo/Latin Lover/Mil Mascaras/Pierroth

Al is at ringside. Following the match, he gets all the luchas to moonsault onto the canvas. Everyone gets hurt. Al enjoys it. “Scorpio! My cousin Hector is gonna kick your ass tonight! I HAVE THINGS TO WRITE DOWN AND MY PEN WILL BE AVENGED!!”

2. Rocky Maivia (w/Nation) d. Glen Jacobs, not yet Kane

The Rock beats the two undead guys in back to back PPVs. Same stuff, Nation interference, they continue their tyrannical reign of the bottom of the card. Undertaker runs in – he and Jacobs can’t fight them off though, they get beaten good and hard by the NOD, Jacobs, who has been mysteriously following the Undertaker for over a year, now lies atop the dead man, taking the whipping for the Undertaker until the NOD punches themselves out and exit...maybe burning a black cross on the ramp (too much?) Undertaker and Not Yet Kane rise, bloody, their clothes ripped and torn, we notice the Woody Woodpecker tattoo on the Dead Man's chest...

...and we notice that Jacobs has the same tattoo.

"Kane" is the plaintive comment from the Undertaker...

He reaches out. Lights out. Lights on. Jacobs is gone.

He'll be back.

3. Goldust (w/GoldSid) d. HHH (w/Clique JV)
They use this to get the lumberjack angle across. Harts come to ringside to brawl with the JV, allowing for GoldSid to chokeslam HHH – Goldust gets the Curtain Call, he and GoldSid rub themselves all over HHH. So, so wrong.

4. 2 Cold Scorpio d. Hector Garza (w/Al)
Good high flying match, Scorpio goes over. Al waves in the winning lucha team from the opener, they hit the ring and surround Scorpio – all chanting whatever the Spanish for “my pen” is.

The Nation hits the ring. They stand in between Scorpio and the luchas.

Rock: The Nation don’t want no trouble with the Brown Man. We are all oppressed by these White Devils.

Al nods. “White Bastards.” Everyone in the ring looks at Al. Al’s crazy, but he ain’t crazy. “You know, Scorp. Keep the pen. Always smudged anyway.” Al quickly exits.

Rock: But if you want to mess with Brother Scorpio. You’ve gotta mess with the whole Nation.

The Nation attacks, leaving the luchas laying – and then taking a confused Scorpio to the back with them. Will Scorpio join the Nation?? Will he? Will he?

5. Steve Austin d. Vader
You know, terrific brawl, Austin goes over clean. He’s stone cold. Pillman attacks him after the match and the two brawl up the aisle.

6. Tags: Hart Foundation d. Mero/Bart
Tag title switch to Owen and Davey Boy. Mero and Bart, obviously, just transition champs. Much celebrating – Davey Boy wins his 3 rd – and Owen wins the Triple Crown. The passing of the trophy from Shawn will be tomorrow night on RAW.

Much rejoicing – there are fireworks and streamers – Pillman and even Neidhart hit the ring --- Bret comes to the aisle, the WWF title over his shoulder – Bret looks at the celebration – and raises his title belt above his head with one hand– in a nod to his brother’s accomplishment. Owen and Davey Boy respond by raising their title belts above their heads – Bret giving his brother a show of respect as we draw closer to the Lumberjack Match – the last Bret/Shawn singles match…ever….

Bret’s then knocked down in the aisle by the Clique Lumberjacks, who start putting the boots to him – the Harts all leave the ring – a full on brawl in the aisle – Pillman now taking on his referee’s role and grabbing guys from both sides and separating them – Pillman standing in the middle of both groups in the aisle, barking out orders.... Owen’s got the triple crown – what’s gonna happen in the main event!!

7. IC: Death Match: Cactus Jack d. Terry Funk
We get the blood hard here. Barbed wire on the ropes. barbed wire on the tables – explosives going off periodically – Funk doing his moonsault from the second deck of the arena. Foley keeps – he and Funk getting a standing ovation from the crowd as they hug following the match. Vader enters – Vader absolutely destroying Funk – powerbomb through a barbed wire table. Foley and Vader each grab barbed wire chairs and lay into each other until separated by officials.

And the garbage from the last match is moved to the outside for the main event, as the lumberjacks, who have already brawled twice tonight, can use weapons as the main event nears.

8. WWF Title: Lumberjack Match: Bret Hart d. Shawn Michaels (Pillman, guest referee)
Bret keeps. Beating Shawn again, beating Shawn in San Antonio.

Crazy anti-Hart crowd by this point. Pillman enters first as the referee. Harts next, led by Anvil with the Canadian flag, Davey Boy and Owen with their tag straps, and Bret, the WWF Champion.

HHH leads the Clique, maybe with a flag that says Suck It. Billy, Dogg in tow – Michaels following.

Now, what’s important to remember is the Lumberjacks fight a lot on the outside – and fight violently. They can use the debris remaining from the IC. Lots and lots of blood. Everyone bleeds heavily – and they sell how worn out everyone is. All the lumberjacks, exhausted, from this match and from all the work all the men have done all night long. That's what they sell. This match has to go half an hour – it’s their last ever match, so it’s dramatic – it’s a war – Pillman is able to keep order inside the ring, keep the outside interference down, JR and Cornette get over he’s doing a good job – and it makes sense to allow the lumberjacks to all kill each other because it keeps any of them from hitting the ring.

Bret. Sharpshooter. Submission. Shawn is inconsolable as the bloody, exhausted lumberjacks drag themselves into the ring.

Pillman raises Bret’s hand – turns to hand him the WWF belt –

--and bashes him over the head with it. Whoa.

The Harts are shocked and Pillman cackles – and turns to hug Michaels!!!!

---and bashes him over the head with the belt!! Whoa.

What the hell is crazy ass Brian Pillman doing? He’s taken out both Michaels and Bret --- the Clique and the Harts, all exhausted and bleeding, barely standing under their own power – are momentarily stunned as Pillman takes off his black and white striped referee’s shirt to reveal….

…Austin 3:16.

Austin, two chairs in his hand, rushes the ring – he throws a chair to Pillman, and the two of them take apart the Harts and the Clique. Just take them apart. Anyone moves – chairshot. They don’t stop until the ring is motionless. Like killing a bunch of ants.

Pillman makes the “I’m operating a video camera” motion that was the signature for the Hollywood Blonds, Austin sneeringly flips the camera the double middle finger. And the show ends.

Austin and Pillman have set up both the Harts and the Clique - and in one motion have wiped out the two leading factions in the WWF.

That's a push.

At the NWA show, Harlem Heat beats Public Enemy. Page beats Bagwell. Jarrett’s NWA run continues, he beats Piper. Dean goes over Eddy as that feud continues. Sweet. Waltman teams up with Konan to win the straps over the Barbarian and Haku. Rey keeps the US, beating Juvie – and Benoit keeps the NWA title, going over Jericho again. He’ll go to Slamboree as champ for a full year.


Superbrawl – 1997 San Francisco
NWA Title: Chris Benoit d. Chris Jericho
US: Rey Mysterio d. Juventud Guerrera
Tags: Waltman/Konan d. Barbarian/Haku
Dean Malenko d. Eddy Guerrero

Jarrett d. Piper
La Parka d. Villano IV d. Calo
DDP d. Buff Bagwell
Harlem Heat d. Public Enemy

ECW adds a show, running their first ever PPV, Barely Legal. Lance Storm beats Guido, Raven over the Sandman, Taka Michinoku goes over Dick Togo, Taz beats Sabu, the Dudleys win the tag straps over the Eliminators, RVD keeps the US over Great Sasuke, and Terry Funk walks out of the Rumble and right into the ECW World title, beating Shane Douglas. Pretty good stretch for Funk.

Barely Legal – 1997 Philadelphia
ECW Title: Terry Funk d. Shane Douglas
TV Title: RVD d. Great Sasuke
Tags: Dudleys d. Eliminators
Taz d. Sabu

Taka Michinoku d. Dick Togo
Raven d. Sandman
Lance Storm d. Little Guido
Gran Hamada/Yakushiji d. Pit Bull II/Balls Mahoney

With the Blonds now in control of the company, Wrestlemania XIII is around the corner.

The Road Warriors return during a match between the Headbangers and the New Blackjacks, they squash everyone. At this point, they can’t do much of anything, but we’re stuck with what we’re stuck with. They do a little mini-tournament, winners get to be number one contenders.

Furnas and LaFon come away winners, beating the Warriors in the finals, after which, the Warriors are attacked by the Godwinns. Henry says the Warriors are the most revered tag team ever – and they sure have purty mouths. At XIII – Hawk and Animal will squeal like pigs. Henry takes the ball gag out of Phinneas the Gimp’s Mouth for his first words “Aw…what a rush….”

That means Furnas and Lafon go to XIII to face Owen and Davey Boy. And that’s all the tag match a person needs.

Two programs with the Nation. The Legends Match will be between the Undertaker v. Simmons v. Ahmed. It starts off as Undertaker v. Simmons, as Simmons says he’s the leader of the Nation – he’s the Black Man to end the Dead Man’s Legends streak. Lawrence Taylor couldn’t get it done at XI – but another All American, Ron Simmons, will get it done. As it evolves, we have tension between Ahmed and Simmons. Why isn’t Ahmed the leader? Why doesn’t Ahmed get to go to Wrestlemania? Who is Simmons to be the leader of the Nation?

So, they’ll go 3 way, Undertaker/Simmons/Ahmed. The other match is Maivia v. 2 Cold. The Nation tells 2 Cold that he needs to join them – he refuses, he ain’t down with the whole militant bow tie thing – he just likes to chill and smoke and get his swerve on - so, that means they gotta throw down.

The Rock looks to keep his unbeaten streak intact as he goes to XIII against a multi-time singles champ. Funky, funky.

Two Clique matches on the undercard. One more between Hunter and Goldust. They're gonna toss them in a cage, hoping to avoid the outside interference of thr first two matches. And a Billy/Savio singles, as Savio plays his role as hopeless undercard single going against the Clique.

The IC is the rubber match between Cactus and Vader. But after another crazy brawl on RAW, one where they destroy half of the referees - they are both told that the level of violence has just spiraled out of control – that the WWF is concerned at WM one of them might kill the other one. So, they’ve had to go get more than just a special guest referee – they had to go get an enforcer – one who neither one of them, as tough as they are, would ever decide to cross.

The Champion of the UFC. The World’s Most Dangerous Man. Ken Shamrock.

Shamrock’s like how they originally presented him, but more so. No “snapping” – the merit of Shamrock is he projects legitimacy, and that’s what I want. Legit toughness.

In the big angle…

RAW after the Rumble opens up on the Coveted Triple Crown in midring.


Shawn’s music. He slowly enters, bandaged and beaten. Owen’s music, he slowly enters, bandaged and beaten.

Michaels says he and Owen, he and Bret, the Harts and the Clique, have been feuding for seven years. Seven years of brutal, heartstopping matches. The Harts and the Clique have carried the ball for the WWF.

And tonight, when Shawn presents the Triple Crown to Owen – it’s over.

Shawn’s tired – and he’s ready to go home.

Hit Austin’s music. Austin and Pillman to the aisle. Austin says you’re right it’s over, for years, all they heard was Harts and Clique, Harts and Clique – you’re either a Hart – or you’re in the Clique…

Well, he’s Stone Cold Steve Austin – and he’s Brian F’n Pillman – and they don’t give a damn about the Harts and the Clique. And Shawn’s damn right that it’s over – because Stone Cold said so…but he’s wrong about going home – because tonight – Austin and Pillman are challenging Shawn...and a tag match. Harts and Clique. Together! They look at each other warily...then they cut to a shot of Davey Boy and Hunter - tied together in the back - both men unconscious.

Austin and Pillman cackle....then charge the ring, brawling with Shawn and Owen…

…and then Shawn walks out.

…and keeps on walking. And doesn't come back.

Austin and Pillman attacking Owen. Davey Boy knocked out. Now what will happen?

– save by Bret.

Bret and Owen brawl with Austin and Pillman – and they make that tag match for later that night. On the way to Mania – that’s the structure – it’s Austin/Pillman against Harts against Clique, against Clique/Hart combos – until the points where they have to go into their own feuds. Bret and Owen still aren’t buddies, it’s uneasy, in the same way Bret’s turn wasn’t sudden, it was organic – this turn is similar, it’s Bret maintaining a consistency of character, it made sense that he didn’t like he family anymore – it makes sense that they are together now.

Just as it was, the title match at XIII will be Bret and Austin. ‘Cept Austin’s now firmly a heel – after destroying everyone – and Bret has swung back to the face direction.

Wrestlemania XIII from Chicago. Bret defends against Austin. Jack defends against Vader with Shamrock as the referee. Owen and Davey Boy defend against Furnas and Lafon. Maivia/2Cold. Hunter/Goldust in a cage. Undertaker v. Simmons v. Ahmed, what the hell, make that a street fight. Billy/Savio. Road Warriors/Godwinns.

Call. Your. Thing. Wrestlemania 13

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