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.

Royal Rumble 2001

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Survivor Series is here.

Royal Rumble 2001 New Orleans(Dark – Taka d. Aguila)

JR introduces his special guest partner - HHH, who, after being bounced from the Clique, is working on that face turn. Enjoy!

We quickly cut to Skip, PAUL~, and Skip’s 4 person staff walking to the ring in which Taka remains after the dark match. JR excitedly explains that Taka has just beaten Aguila in a match before we went on the air, and we don’t know why Skip McMahon is headed to the ring, but we may be in for some format changes tonight, so hold on tight folks.

Skip makes his offer to Taka. Taka’s little and he’s foreign and why is he on the payroll?
(no one, by the way, gets screwed in the Counterfactual like Taka)

But Skip wants to avoid any affirmative action issues with his staff – so if Taka wants to join, maybe as his personal photographer – he can – otherwise, it’s a firing and a chokeslam.

Taka considers it --- then flips Skip off – leading us right into ---

1. Taka d. PAUL~
-Taka uses his quickness to escape PAUL’s power, and is able to chop him down and get the flash fall. Big pop, obviously, from the people. PAUL then loses it and breaks everyone in half. The whole staff, Lawler, Taylor, Dogg, Billy, Taka, and then an entering Sho Funaki, trying to help Taka – all of them chokeslammed to death, Skip loves it, jumping around as PAUL~ destroys a half dozen wrestlers, with all of them taking as much as they’re willing to take (or even unwilling to take – fuck ‘em, it’s the end of the run for all six) Skip says “6 down, 50 to go – I’ll own this company piece by piece if I have to – you’re all fired!”

2. Winners go to Mania: Hardys d. Dudleys (DQ)
Winner goes to Mania is the stip – so the Dudleys have mixed feelings with the finish. Hardys had a fall, maybe, although maybe DVon could have kicked out, but we won’t know as Justin Credible (wearing a Fueled by Hatred…The Revolution Lives On t-shirt) enters with a chair – chairshots to both Hardys. The Hardys are just gonna get the hell beaten out of them here.

The Duds are a mixture of surprised and excited to see their friend, coming off having Raven appear. And they join Justin in the beating of the Hardys (after all, they did kill Stevie, so fuck them) but now they’ve lost their Mania title shot – and what the hell kind of shirt is Justin wearing?

Raven and Taz, both wearing the same t-shirt as Justin, enter for the beating, the Hardys are stretchered out – Raven, Taz, Justin posing afterward, yelling out ‘EC Fucking W” as the Dudleys look on concerned. They left ECW, they've established their own thing - they won the tag straps - and what the hell is going on around here?

3. Undertaker d. Al
Al is now strictly talent enhancement; he won’t get on another PPV for over a year. So, they use him to keep the dead guy gliding to Mania. ‘Taker holds up 5 figures, symbolizing that he is going for his tiebreaking 5th legends win once again as XVII approaches

4. Winner Goes to Mania: Morley d. Perry
A good, good win for the Abolitionist. He goes over clean, in what will be Perry’s last PPV appearance. Morley goes to Mania! Rise up and cheer!

5. Number One Contender's Match: Angle d. Rock
Also going to Mania – Kurt Angle. A year and a half into his unbeaten streak, Angle will finally get his shot at the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania XVII. Angle wins clean here with the Angle Slam, he and Rock shake hands afterward – Angle makes the motion for the belt as the people chant his name. The hope is that the people are dying for this match at this point – as we’ve been building for it since the day after Benoit won the title at the last Mania. They've kept them apart, letting both guys build up their records…and now, we’re ready to pop at the big show.

6. WWF Tags: No DQ: Raven/Taz (w/ Justin and Dudleys) d. E and C (w/Trish)
Challengers introduced first, so they’re in the ring, Justin leading the fans who are so disposed in the E-C-W chant. Clique next, and Waltman’s with them – and that means Hunter goes nuts - Helmsley attacks Waltman, sprinting from the announce - taking shots at E and C - and – pedigrees Waltman on the ramp.

Face pop for Helmsley, Trish will help Waltman to the back – E and C look to attack Hunter, but they are then attacked by Raven and Taz – and that starts the match.

It’s a No DQ, as you’ll see for the ECW matches, so they can do them garbage style. They continue to push this storyline – which is the Dudleys unease with what is occurring. But they participate in the interference, ‘cause they’re the Dudleys, after all. The numbers are way too much for E and C, who wind up taking a pretty good beating – which also occurs postmatch – and E and C wind up needing to be helped from the ring after dropping their belts. Again, the posing, the ECW chants, the disconcerted Duds. Raven and Taz are your new tag team champions.

7. IC: Regal d. Austin
Hot match, pitched battle. Rivals coming up, rivals in the NWA, rivals in WWF (and boys, Regal’s probably the guy in the company Austin was closest with, if Austin was close to anyone) and it’s Regal who keeps the belt, holding the ropes for leverage during the fall. Regal sneers over Austin and has his manservant place the title belt around his waist.

8. WWF Title: Benoit d. Jericho
And now, once again, we have another great main event and another top show. We get lots of Hart spots, stuff from Bret/Davey Boy matches, stuff from Bret/Owen matches – there’s sharpshooter spots, Benoit hits Dynamite’s snap suplexes and diving headbutt, Jericho hits Owen’s enziguiri and Owen’s stiff legged missle dropkick. Benoit hits Bret’s Russian legsweep and drops Bret’s midrope elbow. It’s all Stampede, all the time.

Benoit gets the fall after a classic match, Benoit’s best WWF match so far, and the best match of Jericho’s life. Benoit starts to stomp Jericho out postmatch…save by Angle….Angle and Benoit go nose to nose as the show ends.

The NWA dies in Nashville in February. Dustin gets a tag win. Mike Awesome beats Jarrett. Nash beats Luger. Scott beats Rick as the Steiners explode. Jimmy Yang beats Kaz. Your final NWA tag champs…Page and Kanyon, who beat Helms and Moore. Your final TV champ…Lance, who keeps over Noble. And the final champ is Rey Mysterio, who keeps over Chavo. There’s much weeping in the ring, as Flair takes the mic., Flair says this is the finest wrestling organization of all time – and the spirit of the NWA will live on forever – and maybe resurface sooner than you think.

Superbrawl 2001 Nashville
NWA Title: Rey Mysterio d. Chavo Guerrero
US Title: Lance Storm d. Jamie Noble
Tags: DDP/Kanyon d. Helms/Shannon Moore
Yang d. Kaz

Scott d. Rick
Kevin Nash d. Lex Luger
Mike Awesome d. Jeff Jarrett
Palumbo/Dustin d. Bagwell/Crush

Wrestlemania XVII is coming from Houston.

Okay, your opening tag…Vince and Skip for control of the WWF. Skip and PAUL are out tormenting someone during RAW - Vince, for the first time in nearly two years, returns to WWF TV. Vince, thinner, if that's possible, after a couple of years in Nepal has spent the last couple recuperating from the chokeslam from PAUL, appears on the video wall - say from a hospital bed. Vince says he can't allow his family name to be torn down by his disgraceful son. Vince revered his father, he says, has always believed in wrestling, loved his wrestlers and the fans - and to see Skip treat them all this badly disgusts him.

So, for all the marbles, in a tag match to open XVII they meet.

Skip, of course, will tag with PAUL, if they win, Skip’s the new boss. Vince looks for a tag partner and settles on Kane. If they win, Skip goes away. Vince stays away from the arenas, and Kane becomes the point man for the face side of that program. It’s not as bad as it seems. Really.

Your legend’s match is obviously Undertaker/Rock. Rock’s the Scorpion King and JR keeps calling him a legend in the making. Undertaker is now rolling with a couple of wins, he attacks the Rock at some point – and there’s the match. Taker remains tied with Andre and Hogan at 4 legend's wins.

Just like Morley went after the Southern Men and the Clique and the Alliance – he goes after the ECW contingent. He won a match for XVII - and they'll do Morley/Justin, who is sufficiently obnoxious to draw out the righteous fury of the Abolitionist. More on ECW when we hit the tag title match.

It’s time for the HHH/Waltman blowoff. To keep from Clique interference, they'll do it in a steel cage. We get clips of all the Clique on Clique stuff from years past, Razor, Diesel, Michaels – all the times they went after each other. This is one years in the making, HHH and Waltman have never wrestled before, best friends for years, and it’s also HHH first match as a babyface. The Clique will cut promos on Hunter saying he’s the only guy in Clique history without a title belt (true). Hunter will take on the role as the veteran, a locker room guy, a guy who has been in the WWF through change after change – and Hunter says he’ll always be Clique – I see him alone in the ring doing the handsign.

Workrate? Would you like some workrate? I figured.

They keep Jericho in the Angle/Benoit program – we could do Jericho in singles against both guys, build to a Jericho/Angle tag against Benoit/Perry – but Perry winds up getting taken out, and that means Benoit has to find a new partner.

He does. Eddy.

Eddy returns to the WWF – and we’ll get Eddy/Jericho III. They traded off the IC – now they go once more – Eddy is especially nasty in his return, Jericho is your cocky Hart. They sell the in ring wrestling aspect, talk about the great technical action in the past, compare Jericho to Bret and Owen. That tag ends with Angle pinning Eddy – but then a returning Dean (and Perry, who wasn’t really hurt at all) lay the faces out. The Alliance stands together again.

The IC is a rematch, Regal/Austin III. They'll do this as a falls count anywhere. So, like Eddy/Jericho, they have a compelling, face v. heel matchup – a rematch that contrasts styles, allows for great promos, great personality differences, and a really, really terrific in ring matchup. Regal promos on Austin’s losing at both PPVs since his year off, talks about Austin being done, said he belongs with Foley and Michaels and Bret. Austin does various versions of how Austin 3:16 says certain things.

Tag titles…

Raven, Taz, and Justin work to convince the Dudleys that this is the best thing that ever happened.

With both the Hardys and E and C injured by the ECW group at the Rumble, both teams hospitalized – no one is sure who Raven/Taz will defend against at Mania. It looks, perhaps, that they won’t defend it at all – and Raven and Justin cackle about how the plan is coming together.

JR will do an in-ring, say the WWF got an interesting phone call – and have decided that Raven and Taz will defend their titles at XVII against…the Dudley Boys…

Raven/Taz not thrilled – Dudleys pretty happy. But they’re all family, after all, so it’s cool.

At some point, E and C return. Trish says E and C have a rematch clause in their contracts – and even though they were injured – they will never be kept away from Wrestlemania – so they want in the match.

Now it’s a 3 way.

And then, the Hardys return. Matt and Jeff say they beat the Dudleys at the Rumble – and they’re back to claim their shot.

So, it’s a 4 way. Elimination match. First fall is a No DQ. Second fall, a submission only. Third fall winner is obviously the tag team champion. The dynamic as we move toward Mania is that the Ring Boys realize they have to come together to avoid getting overwhelmed by the Dudleys and Taz/Raven. So, even though they don’t like each other – they start to look out for each other, we get singles matches, tags, three and four ways as we move to Mania, any possible combination. It’s largely 4 on 4 – but obviously the Hardys and E and C don’t really trust each other or like each other (E and C aren’t turning, they stay full heel) and there’s the odd undercurrent in the ECW camp.

We’ll get an 8 man just before Mania, ECW wins when the Ring Boys alliance breaks down, and the two teams brawl, costing them the fall.

That leaves the celebrating ECW team in the ring…when down the ramp, in a wheelchair, comes Stevie Richards. He's been in a coma or had memory loss - whatever seems less ridiculous and could account for the fact that he's able to reveal this now.

Duds are excited to see him – Stevie hadn’t been taking any visitors in the hospital for weeks, Duds say, hey, look – now we’re a real Hardcore Family.

Raven, Taz, oddly enough, less excited to see Stevie.

Stevie says a lot’s happened while he was gone. His old home, ECW, got condemned.

Stevie says he has different memories of ECW than the other guys in the ring – he wasn’t a champion like Raven or Taz or the Dudleys – he was just a guy trying to earn a paycheck. So, when he came to the WWF to start the Hardcore Family – he was trying to spread his wings, to create his own spot – to put himself in a position where he was never held down by anyone.

But, Stevie says, for some people – that was unacceptable.

Stevie found this out on the night he got attacked in the parking lot.

By the Hardys – say the Dudleys. By the Hardys.

…by Raven. Says Stevie. BY THAT SON OF A BITCH RAVEN!

Everyone looks at Raven - Dudleys shocked, Justin smirks, Taz even looks surprised, Raven starts to giggle. Stevie says they don’t want to be in a Hardcore Family – they want a Revolution – and the Dudley Boys know who they want to lead that Revolution..and it sure ain’t any of them.

Raven says you can’t believe Stevie, he’s a degenerate, you know that – he’s malformed and freakish and a little creepy and he’s incapable of telling the truth. Taz yells out, “Screw this – you bitches wanna go – let’s go –

And so they brawl. And we have our tag match.

And then there’s the title match, one of the matches most anticipated in wrestling history. Chris Benoit, he’s held the belt now for a year, three time NWA Champ – arguably the greatest wrestler who ever lived. Kurt Angle, one of the greatest American amateur wrestlers of all time, unbeaten as a professional for almost 2 years – he gets his first title shot. No gimmicks. There’s your match. Benoit/Angle. WWF Title. After that tag between them right after the Rumble when Eddy and Dean returned - the Alliance attacked Angle a couple of times, leading to a ruling that any Alliance member who attacked Angle would not have a match at XVII.

So, they all stayed away - but the RAW before - Dean and Perry (say they had a tag match scheduled) attack Angle anyway - as savagely as they can do - bloodying him up, leaving him in a heap - hurting Angle, really for the first time in his career. They do some type of neck thing, which draws gasps from JR. Dean and Perry give up their spot at Mania just for the team - Benoit and Eddy stand by and watch - maybe keeping people away - knocking other wrestlers or security out - which doesn't jeopardize their spots. Say they do a hanging through the ropes spot, the ropes choking Angle out while Dean and Perry split him open with chairs.

And finally - JR announces if that's not enough, he has two special guest commentators for XVII - and they are two very sopecial guest commentators -

Cut to the video wall -

Cornette and Heenan. Bobby had the vocal issue, but he and Cornette do some back and forth on tape. Bobby and Cornette, along with Jesse the WWF analysts of the longest standing - both return to the company at Wrestlemania XVII!!

And so you buy it. Benoit/Angle, the match a year in the making The crazy 4 way tag title: Raven and Taz, the Dudleys, E and C, the Hardys - all four teams filled with hatred. Regal/Austin 3, falls count anywhere for the IC, and Jericho/Eddy 3, both terrific matches. We’ve got HHH/Waltman in a cage, the Rock/UT legends match, Morley faces Justin and the tag match for the company, Vince/Kane against Skip/PAUL.

Seriously, just call. Just call your thing. Wrestlemania 17! It's gonna be a happening!

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