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 2001

Thursday, March 23, 2006

(2 notes, unrelated to the narrative - I watched a great Kawada/Taue from '95 tonight, you think you've seen all the great wrestling matches from the last quarter-century, that one couldn't have slipped past - and then you're seeing Taue go over Kawada and going, "hells, yeah, eat the chokeslam of the mighty Taue! Two, I've lived with the Counterfactual for awhile now, and on a quarterly level what that means is my rooting for the WWF to book their good workers onto the big shows. I was more excited about, say, Fit Finlay working Heat before the Rumble than was I about virtually anything else on the show - just 'cause it meant that I could use him, when the Counterfactual finally made its way to '06, yeah, if you're wondering, there's no plan for it to ever stop, the Guiding Light started as a radio play and has been telling the same story for 60 years, if they can keep going, so can I. Anyway, as of now, there isn't one of those crappy, all the juniors in the ring at the same time so they can all get their payoff, matches set for XXII, which just screws me, I have to make belt adjusmtents from Survivor Series '05 onward. It's not as easy as it looks, people.)

XVII is here.

Summer Slam - 2001 San Jose
(Dark - Chavo/Helms d. Lynn/Aguila)

Show opens with a tape – it’s every member of the ECW crew under contract (and any more they could get to do the piece) in the ECW Arena. Paul E saying that tonight – the ECW World Title, the product of the blood, sweat, and tears of every man in the ring – merges with the WWF Title. Enjoy the highlights.

Seems like a good time for one more “November Rain” package. Arabian Facebuster from Sabu onto Funk…then Sabu wraps barbed wire around Shane Douglas’s throat…then bashes a chair over Steve Austin’s head….

Douglas suplexes Sabu onto chairs, taking the belt…Funk in the crowd, the fans chanting E-C-W….Rick Rude coming out of the crowd in Ft. Lauderdale, Rude Awakening on Funk, he and Douglas holding the belt…head and arm Tazplex to Douglas…Taz and Tanaka exchanging elbows in midring…Tazmission on Douglas…Tajiri cradling the belt…Tarantula on Crazy…Tanaka with the tope, nailing Tajiri with the elbow…Tanaka and awesome bashing each other with chairs…Van Terminator on Tanaka…Jerry Lynn, weeping openly as blood runs down his face as the title belt is fastened around his waist…Van Dam flying over the guardrail…then bowing to the crowd…

JR says that Mick Foley, who has been his broadcast partner these past few months, is not here tonight after his attack by the hands of that terrible Booker T - but...unfortunately...he does have a partner tonight.

Enter Paul E.

Heyman does his Heyman thing - says tonight, Summer Slam goes to the Extreme - that Spike Dudley and the Man Beast Rhyno will walk away with the Unified Tag Team Titles - that the great Tajiri will become the first ever Worldwide Champion -- and that, best of all (and then Heyman pulls out a document) I have procured from the cold, almost dead hands of Vincent Kennedy McMahon, this contract -- this contract, Jim Ross, a singular document in the history of this sport - you see, one hour ago - and you know it's true, Jim Ross, don't try to cut my mic. - one hour ago, Rob Van Dam was ready to walk out of this company! Rob Van Dam, the finest athlete in the history of this sport, was going to take the ECW World Heavyweight Championship belt and go home - leaving Summer Slam without a main event - and costing this company millions of dollars.

...that is, he was going to go home - if he didn't get the signature of Vince McMahon on this piece of paper - Rob Van Dam has a contract with the WWF guaranteeing that as long as he is employed by this company - every match that he wrestles with this company - will forever be an ECW Rules match - and you know what that means, Jim Ross, that means tables - legal, chairs - legal, barbed wire baseball bats -- legal, legal, legal. Not just for tonight - not just for this year --- forever, Jim Ross. Forever. When RVD takes Kurt Angle's title tonight - when he beats him, when he hurts him, when he proves to the world - and get that frown off your face Jim Ross - because it's going to happen - when he proves to the world that ECW is the greatest wrestling organization there ever was - he's going to do so his way -- our way -- the Extreme Way.

Heyman laughs. Good times.

1. Dead Men Walking: Undertaker/Kane (w/PAUL) d. Bradshaw/Test
Mercifically short. There’s no real push coming for the giants, they're just segregating them all into one place to be used down at this part of the card when need be.

Instructive that after ECW and WCW collapsed, with access to all the talent in the continent, they booked Test on PPV.

2. Undertaker d. Ron Simmons
So, Simmons makes his return to the WWF, we hear the Nation of Domination theme, which we dig the most, but DMW never leaves the ring – the ‘Taker squashes Simmons, and I think that’s the last we have to deal with him. Not the most riveting start, admittedly. But when given a chance to feed guys without consequence, you gotsta take that.

Arn Anderson, the former WWF tag champ, makes his return to the company right now and comes to the ring – says that the great NWA tag belts and US belt, of which he has been a proud holder of both will tonight be merged with the WWF and ECW belt. I'm not here, he says, to say the NWA was the best wrestling there ever was - I'm not here to put anyone else down - I'm just here to say for a hundred damn years, in towns all over this country - hell, in towns all over the world, when the NWA titles were on the line, every fan who paid his hard earned money for a ticket knew he was getting his money's worth. And tonight, in San Jose, we are going to see the NWA tags and the US belt defended in this ring. Take a look at rhe big screen to see the history of these great titles...

Some southern rock, say Skynard, Allman Brothers (how about the acoustic version of Sweet Melissa? Look, it's the NWA, I'm not playing Thelonious Monk) plays as the NWA tag title highlight package plays: Dick Slater/Wahoo McDaniel taking from the Briscos, the Midnight Express winning the belts from Slater and Wahoo, classic battles between the Rock and Roll Express and the Midnights – Ricky and Robert holding the straps, and then taking the Doomsday Device from the Road Warriors. The Roadies rolling over the Fantastiks, Midnights, and Doom.

Steiners going nose to nose with Hawk and Animal, hitting the Frankensteiner on Animal for the win…the Steiners suplexing Ricky and Robert, the Freebirds, then Rick getting shockingly pinned by Dustin – he and Eaton becoming tag champs. The Steiners woofing as they retake the straps…Dustin and Barry Windham with the doubleteam on Rick for the fall and the switch. Austin and Pillman making the movie camera motion, each man wearing the strap, Rude Awakening on Austin while AA hits the big spinebuster on Pillman...

The all superstar tag title match from Houston, Fall Brawl ’93, gets extended treatment – Sting and Cactus Jack teaming up to win the straps from Arn and Rude -
Jack and Sting then beat – and then lose to the Nasty Boys. Mero and Orndorff both punching the Nastys…Nobbs and Saggs retaking….and the explosive Harlem Heat, winning the straps....then losing them to the veterans, Flair and Savage – Randy hitting the big elbow on Booker T…then on Masa Chono…

The Road Warriors return – Flair takes the Device…then Hawk gets scissor kicked by Booker…Hall and Nash, wearing the black and white as the NWO, spraypainting Book and Stevie Ray…then losing to Haku and the Barbarian…Waltman spinkicking Haku and he and Konan taking the straps…then Konan getting a fall on Rick…followed by Rick and Scott winning their third…and then going over Savage and Hogan.

Hall and Nash holding the straps again…Juvie and Silver King, celebrating in the crowd…Goldberg and Nash, standing on opposite buckles with the belts…Goldberg getting pinned by Saturn, he and Page going over…then beating Harlem Heat…Terry Funk and Hulk Hogan, surrounded by fans in the middle of the ring…Mike Awesome with the splash on Hogan…Shane Helms and Shannon Moore, laughing as they hold the belts…Dallas and Kanyon, the final champs, hitting diamond cutters for the gold.

Shots of Steamboat and Blanchard. Windham with the big clothesline. Sting pounding his chest. Arn with the spinebuster. Stan Hansen taking off Arn’s head with the lariat. Pillman holding the tights and getting the fall. Arn and Pillman brawling in the crowd. Steambat with the crossbody on Arn. Rude swiveling his hips over Steamboat. Jushin Thunder Liger hitting the brainbuster…Muta moonsaulting on Liger…2 Cold with the 450….Steamboat with the cradle to win his 3rd…Scorpio cradling Steambat…Austin holding the strap…Arn and Austin bleeding in midring…Page with the diamond cutter on Arn…then tapping out to Flair’s figure four…Little Rey with the hurricanarana roll up…Eddy hits the frog splash on Rey…Saturn with the guillotine leg drop…Dean clover leafs Saturn…then clover leafs Bret…Saturn reverse cradles Dean, both men shocked as Perry takes the strap…Rey flying across the ring…Dean and Rey exchanging nearfalls…Vampyro blowing mist and Dean…Kidman with the shooting star press to take the strap…Lance with the half crab…then holding the belt high…as the package ends.

3. Jeff (w/Matt) d. Edge (w/Christian and Trish)
Good junior match, Jeff bumping for the larger Edge. Christian and Matt brawl on the outside – Jeff wins clean – E and C hit the Con-Chair-To on the Hardys post match to leave them laying, keep their heat, and keep this going.

4. Y2J (w/Stacy) d. Waltman (w/Trish)
This closes the book on Waltman. Jericho goes over clean, Liontamer submission. E and C enter for the heel attack on Jericho – save by Storm.

Hey, but he's in the NWA! Crowd pops for the Hart/Clique thing. Run in by some NWA guys, say DDP, Kanyon, and Book – who grab Storm and start yelling at him for saving Jericho – the number of NWA guys causes WWF guys…say Rock and the Dudleys…to enter and start yelling at Jericho for teaming with Storm. E and C help Waltman from the ring, and the NWA guys and the WWF guys begin to brawl – a brawl which ends with Storm and Jericho facing off as if they are going to punch each other – but stopping – and the officials hit the ring to regain order for the next match.


They have multiple referees, so they can use them here. Ideally, we'd have announcers for each promotion, if Hudson is still on the payroll, he's coming out now to work with JR (Paul leaves now, he's got managerial duties) but absent that, one of the workers is sitting in. I guess it would be Arn for the NWA, Taz for ECW, and Regal for the WWF. They all sit at different tables, unwilling to be close to each other. This is a spirited rivalry.

They use different colors here for the ring and apron, different graphics, give the look of the arena and the broadcast as much of a different feel as possible. They bar everyone from the outside during the matches. The key is how much it can seem like it’s not regular WWF matches. It should feel different, as different as it could feel.

5. NWA - Booker T d. WWF - Rock
We start off with Booker going over the newly crowned WWF legend. Big win for the NWA and should be treated as such - any NWA fans in the crowd (San Jose's WWF territory) would be pleased. Arn would cheer from the announce. They do a spot where Steve Regal, working as the color announcer with the WWF crew (he’s a heel, sure, but he’s WWF and it’s interpromotional time) leaves his announce table, saying he has to stop some type of evil NWA chicanery – but Regal’s gonna jump to the other side – he’ll either hit the Rock w/o the official seeing, or he’ll put Booker’s foot on the ropes to prevent a fall – whatever it is. Book hits the Harlem Hangover legdrop – then the Bookend, and gets the fall. Booker and Regal celebrate – Chavo, Helms, and Kidman enter – they give Regal an NWA t-shirt – and the NWA goes up 1-0.
They put the boots to the Rock - JR swearing like a sailor at that no good sumbitch traitor Regal - save by Foley - Foley and Rock clean house - both jawing at Regal as he smirkingly exits with his new NWA comrades.

Later, on a RAW - he'll explain that he always felt at home in the NWA - it is only natural that he would be nestled within the bosom os his adopted homes in (Regal makes a face, as if it's difficult to say) Charlotte...or Roanoke. Yes, the deep south, with its sweetned teas and enlightened views of racial tolerance. My one true home.

Regal: Everyone in my dear old England knows my love for (grimacing) NASCAR...and sweetened tea...and soon I will be joining the Southern Baptist Church. Yes, the NWA and I are two peas in a pod, as it were.

Like that.

Taz now comes to the ring – puts over the history of the ECW tags and the TV title – and here come the clips…the Sandman caning Hawk…Public Enemy dancing…2 Cold hitting the big splash…Mikey and Bubba holding the tag belts…RVD with the Van Daminator…Total Elimination on Mikey…3D on Saturn while RVD pins Sasuke…the Impact Players posing over the Dudleys, Van Terminator on Jerry Lynn…RVD pins Taka, 3D on Justin…Van Dam and Tax exchange suplexes, Nova and Guido hold the belts high in the air…Storm gets Van Dam to tap out to the half crab...Tarantula on Storm…CW Anderson hitting the spinebuster, he and the Sandman holding the belts…Guido getting Sandman to submit…Rhyno with the gore on Mikey, Little Spike Dudley holding both tag belts….

6. UNIFIED TAGS: WWF-Dudleys (w/Stevie) d. NWA-Page/Kanyon d. ECW-Spike/Rhyno (w/Paul E)

This is an elimination tag – DDP gets the first fall on Rhyno, eliminating the ECW guys, and then the Duds hit 3D on Kanyon. The Dudleys keep the belts for WWF – they yell at Paul E – they lead a WWF chant from the crowd as Jericho, Morley, Snow, and the Hardys enter to celebrate with them. They do a Hardy/Dudley handshake that pops the crowd. The Dudleys take all six belts – and from now on, in every tag title match, all six belts will be on the line. A company goes away, you take their belts.

7. Worldwide Titles: ECW-Tajiri (w/Paul E) d. WWF-Austin d. NWA-Storm
They spread the love around. ECW wins all 3 secondary belts This is one fall to a finish, things break down on the outside in this one. Austin gets Diamond Cuttered by an entering Page, leaving him laid out on the outside. That leads to a response from a running in Jericho, who attacks Page. The NWA crew then comes out, stomping out Jericho, putting the boots to Jericho...

...this distracts Storm, for the reasons already established – and distracts him enough that Tajiri is able to hit him with the mist when he turns to face him, a few well timed kicks later and it’s over. Jericho is apologetic on the outside, Lance distraught on the inside. Now it’s the ECW guys who hit the ring, Taz, Tommy, Justin, Raven – and they hold up the three belts in triumph. Again, all 3 belts, IC, US, TV, will be defended together for the foreseeable future.

They're doing something here – Justin and Lance, see, were tag champs in ECW – so, we have Jericho, Lance’s first tag partner – and Justin, Lance’s second. Justin consoles Lance in the ring “it’s okay baby, I’m here for you baby” that kinda thing – while Lance’s true love Jericho looks on. It’s interpromotional homoerotica.

Justin’s gonna help Lance from the ring, gives Jericho a smirk as he walks by. Ooooh, that Justin, he burns me up.

8. Double World Title Match: ECW Rules: WWF-Angle d. ECW-RVD (w/Paul E)
RVD gets in his stuff, there’s leaping and flipping and chairs and juice. And he’ll take all of Angle’s suplexes, 'cause Van Dam's good like that, and that works too. I really think this match completely comes together and just brings the building down. Angle with the ankle lock submission.

Angle keeps the strap, takes the ECW title, holds both aloft in midring as the show ends.

Survivor Series is coming from by god North Carolina.

The only match without an interpromotional element is the opening tag. E/C v. the hometown Hardys, of course, winners get a title shot at the Rumble.

We’ve got matches set up from Summer Slam. Regal turned NWA and attacked the Rock – so, they meet at Survivor Series. I like them on the mic all fall, and Foley stays in the angle also.

Page attacked Austin at Summer Slam, helping to cost him the IC - We’ll hook them up at the PPV. These aren’t one off matches, they're gonna run both of these as programs. Regal’s a traitor according to the Rock, Rock’s more underling than legend, according to Regal. Page says he’s always been just as good as Austin – but Austin abandoned NWA, cut his hair – and became a Triple Crown winner – while DDP was always loyal to the company, and now he wants a piece of Stone Cold. Austin’s just Austin, busting open a can of whip ass.

We get another singles from Summer Slam, Jericho v. Justin. It’s our love triangle, Lance is torn between his two old tag partners, not to mention his loyalty to the NWA which cuts the third way. Everyone cuts promos – it leads to Jericho and Justin going to war at Survivor Series– and they make Lance the guest referee. Stacy's at Jericho's elbow every second, which cuts against the gay overtones enough that the people don't turn on him. Very delicate undertaking.

One more undercard match before the three title matches. The Chavo/Helms tag team, which worked dark at Summer Slam, starts to rip up the midcard – they go over Raven and Taz…they go over Rhyno and Spike…

..and they hurt Rhyno pretty significantly. Just remorselessly carve him up. They now make Chavo and Helms crazy ass heels. Chavo is totally unhinged – he’s not just violent, he’s clearly insane. He likes the beating up of the people more than a person should. Chavo’s unhinged, and not in a good way. So, they take Rhyno out – and are putting the beating to Spike – when Spike is saved by the Dudleys and Stevie. ‘Cause, you know, they’re brothers and all.

That’s gonna be the grease to have Spike form a tag with Stevie. Spike won’t turn WWF yet, it’ll be a mixed tag, ECW Spike and WWF Stevie. This will piss off, say Al and Morley, who are irritated that Stevie is associating with the enemy. This feud won’t make PPV, but it exists on tv nonetheless.

The win over Raven/Taz will be enough to bust that team up – they’ll blame each other for the loss. The next week, Taz calls all of ECW out – says there’s one thing wrong with his being on a team with everyone from ECW….he hates those guys. He’s always hated those guys. "When I was ECW Champ for 2 years and beating the hell out of all you guys, I hated you guys. Just because now we’re here, we’re supposed to be friends? Screw that. Screw you, Paul E. Screw you, RVD. Screw you, Raven and screw you, Dreamer. Screw every damn one of you. I'm Taz. Beat me if you can, survive if I let you."

Everyone attacks Taz – Taz wipes everyone out – finishing up by choking out Tajiri – which will give us the Worldwide Titles match - Tajiri defending against Taz.

And Chavo and Helms? Chavo and Helms finished up by cutting a promo on ECW, saying they beat their last tag champs, injured Rhyno, and beat their only WWF tag champs, Taz and Raven, and sent Taz running from the entire company. Is there anything left of ECW for them to destroy?

Enter Van Dam. RVD says he’ll take them on at Survivor Series.

They ask, you and what partner?

He says, hey, I’m Rob Van Dam, look how I point to my head with my thumbs, I’m all the partner I need.

And that makes that match. Handicap at the PPV.

Raven renews his pursuit to recapture the tag belts – this time with Tommy as his partner. Raven/Dreamer is a team that ECW fans will dig the most, as their feud was one of the defining elements of ECW. The story is they went to summer camp together; Dreamer’s the ex-jock, Raven’s the outsider. Dreamer’s basically a good natured, everyman, who can take a ton of punishment, Raven’s dark and disturbed. Raven/Dreamer against the Dudley Boys in the No DQ match at Survivor Series '01. Yeah, daddy. Blood and broken things.

In the main…once again, Angle calls out anyone in the world – anyone in the world who wants a shot at Kurt Angle and his 2 World Title Belts ---

Enter Booker T. Book beat the WWF Legend – and now he wants to beat the WWF Champion.

And that’s your match. It’s somewhat low wattage, even with Book beating Rock, since Book never had a singles title in NWA. But Book’s pretty good, or at the end of being pretty good, that’s a better way to put it, in 2001 – I guess we wind up playing the “no black world champions ever” angle – since there haven’t been in this universe. This is when you’d want a gimmick, to up the interest….okay, we haven’t done a Hell in a Cell since Foley/Shamrock – so just the gimmick alone will sell some tickets. The rationale would have to be that the NWA/WWF guys don’t stop interfering in the run up to the match….no, no…let’s do a lumberjack match instead. How about that? How you feelin’ about that? We take the NWA guys, put ‘em on one side – the WWF guys on the other side. Lumberjack match. Sweet. Good call.

They sell the show as a joint NWA/WWF show – which will be really over considering it’s in Greensboro, where the NWA guys will be cheered – and that will make for good TV – and means you really have to buy the show. Whew. Done and done.

So, we got the Lumberjack match for the WWF/ECW World Titles, Angle meeting Booker T, Tajiri defends the Worldwide Titles against Taz, the Unifed Tags have the Dudleys against Raven and Tommy in the crazy garbage match, we’ve got the interpromotional matches: Rock v. Regal, Austin v. Page, and Jericho v. Justin with Storm as the referee, we have the spot fest handicap match: RVD v. Chavo and Helms, and the E/C v. Hardys opening tag, winners become number one contenders which is always a winner. Again, top to bottom, not a single weakness on the card – call your local calling thing! It's Survivor Series 2001!!

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