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.

Wrestlemania XIX 2003

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rumble is here.

Wrestlemania XIX 2003 Seattle
(Dark – Noble d. Spanky d. Helms)

JR/Taz on the announce.

We open with the TitanTrust, Arn welcomes the people, says next year, WM XX will return to the home of Wrestlemania, the home of the WWF – Madison Square Garden. Wrestlemania XX, Where It All Begins Again.

Brock enters, takes the mic. Brock says he “couldn’t care less about the history of the WWF, the tradition of the WWF, he couldn’t give two shits about Ricky Steamboat or the Dynamite Kid or Andre the Giant. They couldn’t carry my jock, and everyone in this stadium knows it. As far as I’m concerned, all that matters is the future of the WWF, and that’s Brock Lesnar, and the future of the WWF starts tonight when Brock Lesnar beats Kurt Angle in the middle of the ring.

Oh, and Kurt – watch your neck” – Lesnar smirks, “it would just be tragic if tonight wasn’t the end of your career – but the end of your life too.”

Which is awfully melodramatic, but not entirely untrue.

1.Legend's Match: Dead Men Walking d. Hogan (w/Piper)

Piper didn’t actually work this show, so I’m not really using him, it’s a bait and switch, I know it hurts to be deceived.

Hogan’s in the whole match, can’t make the hot tag, Piper pounds on the buckle, reaches out as Hogan struggles to make it…

But Piper doublecrosses him. Piper drops off the apron, removes his hand, Hogan’s left hanging. DMW does the tripleteam and Undertaker gets the fall.


Dead Men Walking and Piper stomp out Hogan – Undertaker holds up 5 fingers signifying his number of legend’s wins. A 5 Time legends Winner! Undertaker has passed both Hogan and Andre.

Hogan, lying in the ring, shakes his head in anger as Piper taunts him from the aisle.

2. Legend's Match: Rock d. Austin
With Angle’s looming retirement, they couldn’t also sell that Austin’s body had quit on him too, would draw focus away from the top – but Austin also went into this match knowing he was going to have to hang it up. Rock couldn’t work anymore as of this comeback, too much time away. Austin was physically shot. They did this match at Mania, put Rock over, and that’s what we’re doing here. Rock clean, his second legend’s win. Austin’s not gonna get the big retirement show, so like when Steamboat, Dynamite, and Hennig left, we do a video tribute immediately. Austin waves to the crowd and departs.

Heel Rock goes over. It’s our first Rock/Austin ever, I think, they did program as faces where they feuded with Regal/Page – but they didn’t do a single, I don’t believe. So, this makes sense here as both guys see their careers waning. Rock’s second legends win.

3. Matt (w/Bischoff) d. RVD (w/Paul E.)
And the workrate begins. Like all the Van Dam matches, it’s a No DQ, so they garbage it up for the big spots. Matt kicks out of the frog splash when Bischoff puts his foot on the ropes and then eventually gets the fall. Bischoff encourages Matt to take any shortcut he can – and so, eventually, he does, and winds up shaking Eric’s hand postmatch. Matt establishes himself as a legit. singles force as he beats the 2 time IC Champ. Paul E’s furious, yelling at Bischoff that this isn’t over – Eric smirks, Matt smirks right along with him.

4. Loser Leaves Town: Y2J d. Lance
Jericho is totally without humor. No big entrance for Jericho, in fact, he attacks Lance in the aisle during his entrance. Jericho is not wearing his gear, he’s wearing jeans and a Hart Foundation t-shirt. It’s a brawl early, they fight in the aisle, in the stands, around the ring, Jericho taking it all out on Lance.

Lance gains an advantage in the ring in the wrestling portion of the match. But Jericho obviously survives this one.

Jericho goes over, battering Storm until getting a submission. This is Lance’s last match, he offers Jericho the goodbye handshake. Lance and Jericho should both be bloody, best friends for years and years, through different companies, through the invasion, nothing could break them up – and now that they’ve fought, and Jericho has ended Lance’s wrestling career – the two longtime friends stand nose to nose, Lance offering the handshake.

…and Jericho just walks away.

And now Jericho enters the serious phase of his Hart career. Carefree Jericho is gone, like most of the Harts who have gone before him Chris now goes dark. They’re gonna change the music, the ring attire, the grin becomes a sneer. Eventually, they cut his hair. It’s a brand new Jericho. JerichoDark.

5. Eddy (w/Horsemen) d. Benoit
I didn’t establish this as well as I would have liked, but it’s obviously not the blow off to the feud. This Wrestlemania is Brother Against Brother, I think the Counterfactual established Lance/Jericho well, going back to the invasion. This was a little rushed, although we established when the Alliance entered that Benoit was in charge and Eddy was number two. We’d need to re-explain a lot of that, plus, as I did indicate, sell their long journey together – and through all that journey, Eddy Guerrero could legitimately call himself the best wrestler alive – except for the guy who was right next to him.

Then there’s the Hart/Guerrero thing, but they’ll hit that later.

We add the layers with Flair and Chavo. What we didn’t hit hard enough was Flair, probably because he’s not working now. But as the leader of the Horsemen, and as someone who can claim to be the greatest wrestler ever, Flair casts a big shadow. So, as Eddy is in Benoit’s shadow – Benoit is in Flair’s. This needs to hit that relationship much harder, demonstrating that Benoit, although he respects Flair, chafes at Flair’s taking the top spot in the Horsemen, and thinks that he has legit. claim as the greatest wrestler who ever lived. Flair’s legit heat with Bret, at some point, could be exploited…say, Benoit gives a backstage interview, a sit down thing, where JR asks him who the greatest wrestler is – and Benoit says Bret.

Well, that pissed Flair off, and further increases the tension. Maybe Benoit tries to get Eddy admit they made a mistake casting their lot with Flair, that they went from being champs to being the back half of Flair’s group – Benoit tells Eddy it’s only a matter of time, only a matter of time before the old man pushes me too far.

And so, when Benoit turns, the turn we already did, it’s a little more motivated, a little better set up.

We discussed the Chavo thing, how Chavo now is in Eddy’s ear about Benoit, Chavo sells Eddy on needing to get out of Benoit’s shadow – and with every word we recognize, although Eddy doesn’t, that Chavo is really talking about his need to get out of Eddy’s shadow.

That’s the layering to this I want. There’s lots of time spent on Angle/Brock and lots on Jericho/Lance, this got lost a little bit, but I really want all three of them to be similarly considered. Intricate.

We see Eddy in the back with the Horsemen pre match telling them not to interfere – not to interfere under any circumstances. Eddy has to beat Benoit by himself. So, we have spots where Flair and Leviathan have opportunities – but Eddy sees them and makes them back away – Benoit takes advantage of one of those opportunities, heel commentator Taz will criticize Eddy, say that Eddy’s letting his pride get in the way of the win, that you need the win at all costs.

Turning point comes when they ref bump and with Eddy knocked out, Chavo hits Benoit with the swinging DDT. Eddy recovers, frog splash, win. Eddy’s thrilled and joins in the postmatch beating of Benoit. Chavo brings in a chair – Flair and Leviathan hold Benoit up, Eddy chairshots Benoit. Eddy’s giddy, after all, he’s finally beaten Benoit without any help. But then on the big screen they show the Chavo DDT spot – and Eddy’s joy is completely taken away – Eddy grabs Chavo – Flair and Leviathan try to intercede – but Eddy turns on them angrily with a “don’t mess with family business” type of thing.

Eddy walks out now, shaking his head and cursing, as Flair tells Chavo that he did the right thing. Chavo wants to hold up the four fingers – Flair says not yet.

6. Unified Tags: HBK/HHH (w/Diesel) d. Team Lesnar
Newly minted heels Haas and Benjamin come to the ring alone, they’re still the workrate team. Once we get through this stretch, Shelton’s gonna get a new gimmick, I’ve got it picked out. But this is Mania, and the Clique is united again. Nash, Michaels, HHH all pose on three buckles, the fourth buckle, of course, is Scott’s, but he’s gone for good one assumes.

It’s the high point of Hunter’s arc, he finally wins a belt, give him the fall on Haas after the pedigree. It’s Michaels’s third tag title, he’s happy – but more for Hunter than himself, as Hunter cradles the tag belts in the ring. Michaels and Nash both put Hunter over – clapping for him, letting him get the veteran pop. Since there are six separate straps here, three different titles, Michaels tosses a couple over to Nash, and the three longtime friends are draped with gold as they pose following the match.

7. Worldwide Titles: Rey d. Chavo (w/Horsemen)
Notably, Eddy doesn’t enter with the Horsemen, but comes in by himself as the Horsemen are in the ring. Eddy hugs his nephew, blood, after all, thicker than pride. They’re the Guerreros.

Chavo doesn’t share Eddy’s disdain for interference. Little Rey fights off both Flair and Leviathan, Leviathan taking a bad bump that will lead him to be wearing a cast the next time we see him. Eddy stays out of the match at the first couple of opportunities, refusing to cheat for Chavo, but eventually puts Chavo’s foot on the ropes during a nearfall.

But they get Little Rey over here, he’s tiny and fights off 3 guys to get the fall on Chavo – Rey keeps his IC. So, Eddy beats Benoit, although he takes no pleasure in it – and Chavo loses his shot at singles gold. Chavo is distraught after the match, Eddy consoles him as they walk up the aisle.

8. Undisputed Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle d. Brock Lesnar (apecial guest referee-Bill Goldberg)

It’s the same match they did at Mania, ‘cept the face/heel thing is reversed. It was great, but not the all time classic you’d want, as Angle had the neck. It’s still real good though – Angle goes pure babyface, as even though they’ve been turning him heel, once they reveal that Angle’s broken his neck, he becomes a pure babyface.

Now, this happens a lot in Japan, they’ll take a legit injury and then the angle becomes that injury – so, what they’re building to are spots with Angle’s back – so, if Lesnar does a bearhug, it’s a big spot – a backbreaker is a big spot – and when Lesnar F5s Angle, as he did, it’s a crushing spot, ‘cause that’s just wrenching the neck – and that’s it for Angle.

They do the finish they actually did – Lesnar goes up for his shooting star press – a crazy, crazy move for someone that big --- and just like at Mania – he misses it and goes headfirst into the mat. Which almost kills him.

They put Brock over, ‘cause Angle had to drop with the injury, so Lesnar had to regroup and do another F5 – the Counterfactual won’t do that – instead – say we get to 9 of a referee 10 count as both guys are dead in the ring – and Angle somehow then rolls over atop Brock for the fall. Angle keeps the straps. He’s the all time WWF titleholder – he’s passed Bret for longest run in the PPV era and both he and Brock are stretchered out of the ring.

The final shot is of Angle, weakened, grabbing his 3 belts – cradling them against his chest as he’s being carried from the ring as the show ends.

Open post Mania with The TitanTrust – Dean, Arn, Fit. Virtually the entire WWF roster stands around the ring.

Hit Angle’s music. Very gingerly, wearing a suit, carrying his 3 belts, comes Angle to the appreciative pop. Arn thanks Angle for last night, says that in 19 years of PPV, no man has ever held the WWF title for more than 2 years, until tonight. Dean says Kurt Angle remains, as he once promised, undefeated. But the doctors, Fit says, the doctors after last night have made it clear that you cannot wrestle again. So, Kurt Angle, as difficult as it it, please relinquish your championship belts.

Angle pauses, tear in his eye. Never saying a word.

And then he hands the belts over the Vince and walks away. Angle shakes hands with the wrestlers around the ring. Angle walks slowly up the ramp, where he’s met by an entering, gingerly moving Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar and Angle go nose to nose on the ramp, both men nearly dying the night before, Angle looking destroyed as he has just given up his belts.

Lesnar offers his hand.

Angle reaches to accept – and Lesnar pulls it away, running it through his hair, yelling, “psyche!” in that incredibly juvenile, moment ruining way. Lesnar points at Angle and laughs, singing “Hey, Hey Goodbye” at Kurt as they go to commercial.

When we come back from commercial – the entire WWF roster remains around the ring. Arn, speaking for the TitanTrust, announces that something unprecedented in wrestling history is about to happen. Wrestling has been filled with tournaments, some big, some small – the WWF has had many great tournaments over the years.

Without question – nothing in wrestling history even approaches what he is about to announce.

On the big screen, the TitanTrust then unveils a 64 wrestler bracket. Just like the basketball. And of course, it’s the day after Mania, so the basketball tournament will be ongoing, and people will have brackets on the brain. It’s just good marketing is all. They’re gonna pass ‘em out at the shows, they’re take out ads in sports magazines, two page ads, they’re gonna spend money, and the ads will be detachable bracket sheets. I want the brackets everywhere. Everyfuckingwhere.

Arn says all summer long, the WWF will have a 64 man single elimination tournament. The finals will be held at Summer Slam in Phoenix. One of the men listed in the brackets – one of the men standing right now around this ring is going to be the next Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.

And so, we tournament. Before each match, we get little promos with the workers, say sitting beside all 3 belts in the way that Super Bowl coaches now pose with the Lombardi trophy before the game. They’re seated, taped promos, with everyone talking about how it’s a chance of a lifetime – or their last shot at glory – or something like that. Allows us to humanize everyone, meet everyone on the roster for 30 seconds or so. Good times.

And here’s your tournament: It’s long.

The Dynamite Kid Region: Round One:
1. Chris Benoit d. 16. Chuck Palumbo
-Palumbo’s a big, young heel. Not a bad worker. Face Benoit goes over with the crossface.

8. Rhyno d. 9. Orlando Jordan
-Rhyno comes to the ring with tag partner Shannon Moore, as they’ve stolen the SpreeKillers gimmick. They’re scrawled with graffiti, they taunt the fans. Jordan is a young babyface. Rhyno with the spear, he and Moore work Jordan over – save by Helms, from whom they stole the gimmick. Helms, also shirtless with the scrawlings, fights off Rhyno and Moore. Jordan rises to thank him – and then Helms brutally attacks Jordan himself. SpreeKilers~

5. Jamie Noble d. 12. Little Guido
-A good mat based match. Noble’s moving heel, still with the trailer park gimmick, and is now calling himself “The Redneck Messiah.” He has a tin of Skoal in the back of his jean shorts, he takes a dip before the match starts, spits it at his opponent before the match. Guido’s just arrived from the ashes of ECW and puts Noble over clean.

4. Billy Kidman (w/Torrie) d. 13. Nick Dinsmore
-Noble’s partner wins with the shooting star press. Dinsmore is Eugene, so we’ll see him again – here, he’s just the veteran who never got a shot, he sat in Ohio Valley and watched guy after guy get pushed ahead. He’s bitter, bitter than lesser talented pretty boys like Kidman, who is more concerned about his hair than his wristlocks, have gotten pushed.

2. Eddy Guerrero d. Danny Basham
-Eddy, still hot about Mania, wears his IV Horsemen shirt – but comes to the ring alone. He makes quick work of one half of our newest tag team – they’re gonna make the Bashams the Killer Bees, they wear leather hoods to make the switches. They’re on the face side now, but only marginally so. Frog splash. The Horsemen enter after the match, they all put up the four fingers, it takes Eddy a moment, but he does as well.

6. Shelton Benjamin d. 11. Crash Holly
“It’s nice to see an Afro-American in the WWF, I remember when Bobo Brazil was breaking in – oh, the fans were brutal, one day, back when Sam Muschnick was still running out of St. Louis…” This wraps up Crash. Benjamin, with Charlie in his corner, both wearing the Team Lesnar gear, with the exploder.

3. Chavo Guerrero d. 14. Doug Basham
-One of the Bashams is better than the other, you can guess which one. Chavo is with Flair and Leviathan, who isn’t in the tournament as his arm is in a cast. Chavo clean, they whip on Doug and Danny after. Eddy arrives after. Same delayed four finger spot. Chavo still can’t put up the four fingers.

7. Charlie Haas d. 10. Bob Holly
-Alabama Bob, cranky face veteran, has to put over the kid in Rnd one. Charlie and Benjamin then put the beating to Bob – save by Crash – Lesnar enters and F5s Crash into next week. Crash is stretchered out – as he’s being stretchered, Lesnar takes the stretcher, with Crash still strapped on – and F5s the whole apparatus to the ramp.

Lesnar’s bad, you see. He smokes and he taught a dog to smoke.

Ricky Steamboat Region: Rnd One

2. Ultimo Dragon d. 15. Billy Gunn
-Billy’s making his return and quickly leaving again. We use his name to get Ultimo over. It’s Ultimo’s debut, he has to get pushed through promos, interviews, clip packages; they sell him as a Japanese legend, one of the great juniors of all time. We push the tournament here, it’s the only thing that would cause Ultimo to return to the United States.

He’s in the mask, he kicks the people. They have all the other juniors talk about him when they are able. Truthfully, he was diminished due to injury during his WWF run – think post injury Michaels as opposed to pre injury Michaels for an analogue.

7. The Rock d. 10. Mark Jindrak
-The Rock’s from Hollywood. He’s the Beautiful People’s Champion. Jindrak, young, not particularly talented babyface. Rock squashes him without even taking off his suit.

3. Shane Helms d. 14. Fatu
-Headshrinker Fatu returns! Helms dispatches him – he’s attacked by Moore and Rhyno and they all brawl again, SpreeKillers~

6. Jimmy Yang d. 11. Sean O’Haire
-Yang, a whippersnapper of a junior, debuts. Yang’s gimmick is he’s the Japanese guy not really from Japan. He’ll talk in a lot of American idiom – irritate guys like Tajiri and Ultimo with his lack of interest in things Japanese, “yeah, sushi’s rad, dude, but the only fish I like is Mrs. Paul’s, I don’t know what she batters that stuff with, but it takes the fishy taste right out.” He’ll be a face to Tajiri’s heel.

4. Tajiri d. 13. Kanyon
-Still a heel, Tajiri does with the kicking. Good match, end of the run for Mortis.

12. Ulysses S. Morley d. 5. Dustin Rhodes
-Once more, with feeling – this kills off this feud, a Tito/Martel for the 21st century, some have called it. Morley goes to the second round, Dustin leaves the company again.

1. Rey Mysterio d. 16. Rico Constantino
-Rico and Dinsmore have the same gimmick – they’re 40 year old guys who never got a shot ‘cause they didn’t have the right look – they both job out – but they make them our bitter rookie/veteran heel tag team. Guys treat them like newcomers, it pisses them off – no one’s paid their dues, all these Mexicans and amateurs and screw them.

8. Booker T d. 9. Shannon Moore
- Booker pays a kid from the crowd to fill out his brackets for him. “Who you like in that Hogan match, kid? How far you got the Rock going? Hey, I get paid more for more wins, you stick Booker in the Sweet Sixteen. I GOTS TO GET PAID” Book’s funny.

Postmatch, it’s Helms and Moore and Rhyno again. SpreeKillers~ Booker pays one of the security guards to get him out of the building.

And that completes the first half of the draw. Here are your Rnd 2 matchups.

Dynamite Region:
Benoit v. Rhyno
Noble v. Kidman
Eddy v. Benjamin
Chavo v. Haas

Tiger Mask Region:
Ultimo v. Rock
Helms v. Yang
Tajiri v. Morley
Rey v. Booker

Lou Thesz Region: Rnd 1:

1. Shawn Michaels d. 16. Kane
-Superkick. Undertaker and PAUL come in to attack Shawn postmatch, save by HHH and Diesel. We get a six man brawl.

9. Diesel d. 8. Test
-“It’s like looking into a mirror, kid. A mirror that subtracts age, talent, charisma, and bank account – but a mirror, oh yeah.” Jacknife. Michaels comes to the ring following the match – he and Diesel know what the next round will bring, and as the TitanTron flashes Rnd 2: HBK v. Diesel – the two men make the sign of the Clique and start jawing at each other – but it’s all in good fun.

4. Chris Jericho d. 13. Rene Dupree
-They can do the La Resistance gimmick. They just aren’t very good wrestlers – but it’s a solid professional wrestling gimmick. We’re French – boo us. Fine. Jericho is growing a beard. He’s brutal and short with the match, pummeling Dupree with closed fists time after time until the official threatens to DQ him – Jericho sneers as he puts Dupree in the Liontamer. Totally unsmiling, he spits on the canvas as he exits.

5. Ric Flair d. 12. Sylvan Grenier
-Wooooooooooo. Leviathan, Chavo, Eddy all hit the ring postmatch for the four finger spot that we keep seeing.

2. HHH d. 15. Rob Conway
-Conway’s not a bad worker, I won’t put him in the French gimmick, right now he’s a generic young southern heel, if he starts to work regularly, I’ll give him a real gimmick – he’s a better wrestler than Orton or Cena, so I’ll use him if I can.

7. Undertaker d. 10. Garrison Cade
-Cade’s a generic young southern heel. I like the name Garrison better than Lance for him. He and Conway are tagging, say, in matches you’ll never see in a universe that doesn’t exist. Dead Guy rolls. I’m gonna have to start using Orton and Cena, so they will be my young babyface team and Cade/Conway my young heel team. Add in La Resitance as a young team, and we’re chalk full of young, mediocre wrestlers who really don’t make PPVs yet. But if you go to a house show, you might see them.

6. Spanky d. 11. Albert
-Michaels protégée #1 goes over the hairy guy. And that’s Albert’s gimmick, I’ve got nothing else for him and won’t use him again. Look at the hair on that guy! People say when they see him. Which won’t happen again.

3. Paul London d. 14. Sho Funaki
-We meet Michaels protégée number 2 – him you need to know a little bit. He’s a daredevil like Spanky – the fans chant “please don’t die” as he dives from the buckles into the crowd. They are funloving babyfaces – we’ll tag them up, they clearly idolize Shawn – and it kinda ticks Hunter off. London’s also Hispanic, so he’s got that going for him also.

Curt Hennig Region: Rnd One

5. Hulk Hogan d. 12. Roddy Piper
-Just to do. Big tournament. Legdrop pinfall. I’d assume this is Piper’s last match. But life is long.

4. PAUL~ d. 13. Rodney Mack
-In OVW, Mack did the JYD gimmick. We’ll have him do it here. He has Thump written on his ass. Squash.

1. Brock Lesnar d. 16. Zach Gowen
-Gowen was the one legged kid. I’m a little sadistic with Brock.

We’ll play up his human interest story, he’s pure, total, feel good babyface – all he ever wanted to do his whole life was to get one chance in the WWF. One chance. One chance. This is his first (and last) match.

Brock squashes him – then breaks the kid’s prosthetic leg over his head. Bits of leg, all over the ring. Brock is bad, get it – bad. Brock laughs at the one legged kid bleeding in the middle of the ring. BROCK~

8. Randy Orton d. 9. John Cena
-Another oil and water tag team. They’re both sort of clueless, which we’ll decide is charming since they’re bottom carders. Orton’s gimmick is he’s Cowboy Bob’s son and thinks that’s important. He walks around as if he’s the next Rock – people don’t take him seriously. He puffs his chest out as if being Cowboy Bob’s son matters in someway.

Cena’s the rapping white guy – clothes too big, he talks too black – he’s the little white suburban kid who thinks he’s gangsta. Wears big sweatsuits, if we can get away with it, he’ll call Orton his “nizza” Cena’s pretty fly for a white guy. They’re harmless, we laugh at them, like Too Cool. They’re a face tag – ‘cause they lose a lot and the fans find them funny.

7. Tommy Dreamer d. 10. John Bradshaw
-Tommy’s body is breaking down – I’ll change Bradshaw to the Honky Tonk Man meets JR Ewing gimmick when we hit 2004 – he still won’t get on TV unless I’m stuck, but it’s a good gimmick. I’ll call him the NeoCon, have him be George Bush, he’ll support the war, support taking social security, support the tax cut for the rich – we’ll turn the Republicans heel. It’ll be fun.

2. Matt Hardy (/Bischoff) d. 15. Scott Taylor
-Matt continues to show his singles push is warranted, he runs over Taylor. Is Matt the next big star???

3. Rob Van Dam (w/Heyman) d. 14. Al Snow
-The Snowman comes back for one more hardcore loss. RVD takes him out in one of the better round one matches. I think that is Al’s last WWF match for us. He does his moonsault one more time. RVD points to himself with his thumbs.

6. Stevie Richards d. 11. Spike Dudley
-They’re still tag partners – but they have to meet here and Stevie goes over. I see them feuding with Moore and Rhyno on TV.

That’s the second half of the bracket. Your Rnd Two matchups:

Thesz Region:
Michaels v. Diesel
Jericho v. Flair
HHH v. Undertaker
Spanky v. London

Hennig Region:
Hogan v. PAUL
Brock v. Orton
Dreamer v. Matt
RVD v. Stevie

Rnd Two: Dynamite Region
1. Benoit d. 8. Rhyno
-Face Benoit rolls into the sweet sixteen. We get one more SpreeKillers spot, one that ends with Benoit german suplexing all three guys (‘cause we got a face turn to sell) and then dropping head butts on all three as well. Benoit lays out both ends of the SpreeKillers feud. We’re gonna get Moore and Rhyno as the opening tag against La Resistance at Summer Slam.

5.Noble d. 4.Kidman (w/Torrie)
-They remain partners, but Kidman’s understandably pissed when Noble spits the tobacco in his face. Noble will face Benoit in a great Sweet Sixteen matchup.

2.Eddy (w/Chavo) d. 7.Benjamin (w/Charlie)
-Eddy makes the sweet sixteen and half of Team Lesnar is gone. No Flair and Leviathan, as they are prepping for Flair’s big Rnd 2 against Jericho. Chavo is in Eddy’s corner, and we do a Guerrero/Team Lesnar thing postmatch.

3.Chavo d. 6.Haas
-Eddy stays at ringside – rooting Chavo on – Chavo goes over – and he and Eddy clear the ring of Haas and Benjamin. But as the brackets on the TitanTron demonstrate, The Guerreros will meet in the sweet 16. Chavo hugs Eddy, and as they pull each other close, we can see the fire, the envy, the need in Chavo’s eyes.

Rnd Two: Steamboat Region
2.Ultimo Dragon d. 7.The Rock
-Ultimo gets over with the WWF crowd, pinning the heel legend Rock and sending him back to Hollywood. Ultimo goes over clean with the Dragon Sleeper, Rock tapping out. Ultimo draws the face pop, but heels Tajiri and Funaki hit the ring to pay homage to the legend.

6.Yang d. 3.Helms
-Jimmy Yang, the newcomer, shockingly makes the Sweet Sixteen in the biggest wrestling tournament ever. He’s aided here as Rhyno and Moore lay Helms out, Jimmy hits YangTime for the fall. He’s excited until they show his Sweet Sixteen matchup – against the Dragon – on the video wall – and when Ultimo appears at the top of the ramp bowing in Yang’s direction, young Jimmy noticeably gulps in trepidation.

4.Tajiri d. 12.Morley
-The former IC Champ spews the mist and goes over The Abolitionist.

1. Rey d. 8.Booker T.
-And Rey goes to the sweet 16. Booker, disappointed, shakes Rey’s hand after the match, gets on the mic, says it looks like he’s gonna have some time off, he says he’s going on a road trip – he’s gonna hit every club in North America – who wants to be my driver?? A fan comes down, Book pays him, gives him a little cap, and they’re off.

Thesz Region:
1. HBK d. 8. Diesel
-Okay, a little angle. Michaels and Diesel started off approaching this good naturedly until the emergence of Diesel’s former NWA tag team champion partner (no, not Scott, the other one in this universe…)


Goldberg appears to be a face, but he works Diesel against Michaels – saying Shawn just expects to beat you – expects you’re gonna be his bitch – he’s Mr. Triple Crown – how many titles did you win here? How many shots did you get? You’re a step away from the sweet sixteen – you go rip his head off, Kev.

So, while we don’t totally split Diesel from Michaels, they are hot with each other in the run up to this. Michaels wins clean. Goldberg is at ringside, he rushes to console Diesel, who ignores Michaels’s attempt at a handshake – ‘cause he has his friend Bill – and then Goldberg goes all heel – laying Diesel out with a spear and Jacknife. Michaels and HHH run back to the ring – but Goldberg escapes. We’ll get Goldberg/Nash at Summer Slam. He cuts anti-WWF heel promos thanking his friend Eric Bischoff for helping him get into the company.

4.Y2J d.5. Flair (w/Leviathan)
-Despite the Leviathan interference, Jericho, with beard goes over the Nature Boy. He is changed, not happy go lucky Jericho, but more driven, more, dare I say, Hart-like. He’s wounded, see, wounded by the betrayal of a devilish woman. It’ll be classic Clique/Harts as he meets Michaels in the Sweet Sixteen. They’ll have Jericho cheapshot Michaels once on the way to the Sweet Sixteen, Michaels will be promoing, Jericho will take him out, draw some boos. Jericho cheapshots Flair here postmatch, daring the Horsemen to enter – they do – Leviathan, then Eddy and Chavo – all beating Jericho bloody. And when they exit – he smiles, as if pleased by the beating. Jericho is beaten down by the Horsemen, beaten bloody – and he seems to like it.

2. HHH d. 7.Undertaker
-Everyone’s in the pool on this one – PAUL and Kane enter postmatch, Michaels attempts the save but it’s not enough – and with Diesel occupied, Spanky and London, with their Texas Wrestling Academy t-shirts, save. Spanky and London, the Michaels trainees, aid their elders and celebrate, Shawn very proud – Hunter a little pissed that the kids have shown him up.

3. London d. 6. Spanky
-We see them with Michaels in the back before the match telling them just to compete as hard as they can – he’s wrestled everyone in the Clique a thousand times – it’s just like back in San Antonio, just compete hard, we’ll all go have a beer afterward. Proud of you guys, just do your thing.

When Michaels leaves, Hunter, holding the sledgehammer adds – you know, the one who wins goes to the sweet sixteen…and faces me. Something to think about when you boys are out there tonight. He taps, taps, taps the sledgehammer.

They tear the building down – London goes over – Michaels and Hunter hit the ring after – Michaels very proud of both guys – Paul London has debuted in the WWF and reached the sweet sixteen of the tournament to crown an Undisputed Champion. He’s thrilled, but looks warily as Hunter taps the sledgehammer.

Hennig Region:
4.PAUL d. 5.Hogan.
- PAUL~ goes to the sweet sixteen.

1. Brock d. 8. Orton
-Another squash. Cena runs in to save postmatch – Brock F5s Cena on top of Orton. BROCK~ and PAUL~ go nose to nose postmatch.

2. Matt (w/Bischoff) d. 7. Dreamer
-Dreamer’s last match, Taz is on the announce now, Raven’s gone, and Tommy goes after this match as ECW fades away.

3. RVD (w/Heyman) d. 6. Stevie
-Except for Van Dam. RVD and Paul E move right into the Sweet Sixteen and will get a rematch for the upset Mania loss to Hardy, Matt and Bischoff come to the ring postmatch for the nose to nose. Bischoff and Heyman jawing heavily.

So, your Sweet Sixteen Brackets:

Benoit v. Noble
Eddy v. Chavo

Steamboat Region:
Ultimo v. Yang
Rey v. Tajiri

Thesz Region:
Michaels v. Jericho
HHH v. London

Hennig Region:
Brock v. PAUL~
Matt v. RVD

As the summer rolls on – we’ve reached the Sweet Sixteen in the greatest wrestling tournament of all time. Who will go to the elite 8? Who? Who? Who? Who?

Benoit d. Noble
Benoit promos, wrestling is his life, when he was living in the Hart house when he was 16, watching the Dynamite Kid, he knew how he wanted to spend the rest of his life. Now, watching Jamie Noble, seeing a kid like that come up and emulate him, he sees how far he’s come. Noble says he likes Benoit okay, but who he really liked is Dale Jr. Little E! That sumbitch can drive. Fords Rule!

Noble spits the tobacco, Benoit chops the hell out of him. Terrific match, Benoit advances.

1. Eddy d. Chavo
Eddy and Chavo agree that this is a Guerrero matter – and they don’t want Leviathan and Flair interfering for any reason. Eddy gets in Flair’s face, tells Ric that if he knows what’s good for him, if he knows what’s good for the Horsemen, he won’t interfere in a family matter, esse. So, there are some chances to interfere for Eddy, they back away, Eddy nods his head. But..

In a quiet manner, say, Flair grabs Chavo’s hand for some leverage, and Chavo accepts the help willingly. Leviathan puts Chavo’s leg on the ropes to break a pin – Eddy thinks maybe he notices, but doesn’t really notice.

Match starts off as brotherly competition – but Chavo goes dirty, even pulling off a buckle pad. Eddy refuses to go dirty – but does get tough with Chavo – and we do the whole brothers getting violent thing. Frogsplash win for Eddy. Eddy offers the handshake, Chavo refuses, Eddy slaps Chavo – says “Shake my hand, Chavito, Shake my hand. You were raised better than that.” Chavo does. Flair and Leviathan now act excited after the win – as a Horseman is in the Elite Eight. There’s tension though among the four, and we wonder if Eddy trusts Flair or not, we wonder if Eddy trusts Chavo or not, as the four men slowly put up the four fingers after the match. Well, Chavo attempts to – but Flair still says no…not yet.

We’ve got Benoit/Eddy in the Elite Eight. They’ll start now comparing the Guerrero family, legendary in Mexico, to the Hart Family, legendary, obviously in the WWF.

Ultimo d. Yang (stoppage)
In the back, say Yang’s playing some first person shooter video game with the other young guys, he starts yelling, “Dude, you Pearl Harbored me, that’s so wrong.”

Ultimo hears this, and silently grabs Yang, speaking to him in Japanese – scaring Jimmy to death.

Ultimo works him over here, trying to inflict punishment, teaching Yang a lesson, refusing to pin him and drawing the boos from the crowd, Ultimo viciously takes Yang apart until the official stops the match.

Tajiri d. Rey
-The Worldwide Titles holder is surprisingly upset by the former IC Champ Tajiri. Nontitle, obviously. Clean finish – Ultimo comes down to ringside – and the two men bow in respect to each other in the postmatch nose to nose. Ultimo/Tajiri – a terrific matchup in the Elite 8.

HBK d. Y2J
Lots of Hart/Clique stuff to build the animosity between these two. And Jericho’s dark now. They screwjob the finish, Flair and Leviathan attack Jericho during a ref bump, recall how Jericho eliminated Flair in Rnd 2. This allows Michaels the pinfall win. We tease a Clique/Horsemen thing – but then Hunter stops the kids, and motions for Flair to do whatever he wants to Jericho. The Horsemen then savage him – allowing us some more Eddy/Jericho stuff, reprising the longtime feud – Jericho, again, bloody – seems to enjoy getting his ass beat.

We’re gonna get a Flair/Jericho rematch at Summer Slam.

1. London d. HHH
HHH is the favorite – and works tough on London, taking every veteran advantage – Michaels doesn’t mind – you do what you have to do – and he tries to get London to fight back – and he does – so it’s a full on brawl – and it’s London who comes out on top, holding the tights for the win. Spanky and Michaels are excited – Paul London’s going to the Elite Eight! An enormous celebration between Spanky and London in the ring.

Paul London/Shawn Michaels meet in the Elite Eight. HHH is crushed, he has to know it’s as close as he’ll ever get again to the WWF Title – and here’s his boy Shawn celebrating. Shawn consoles HHH and finally HHH shakes London’s hand, the four men hit the buckles, although it’s obvious that this result infuritates HHH.


1. Brock d. PAUL
-And when Brock F5s the 500 pound Giant – it’s an earthquake.

2. Matt d. RVD
-RVD and Paul E promise to get revenge for Mania – but they don’t, Matt Hardy pins RVD again – and it’s he who goes to the Elite Eight. Bischoff again aids Matt, maybe even a little more this time – and Matt appreciates it a little more. This time he and Eric high five after the match – Matt joining in on some taunting of Van Dam
and Heyman.

Eight Left. Eight Men left to go to Summer Slam for the Undisputed Heavweight Championship of the World. Eight Men left in the greatest wrestling tournament of all time.

Elite Eight:

Eddy Guerrero d. Chris Benoit
-Again, Eddy says don’t interfere. Flair attempts to, hopping on the apron – Eddy, not even pausing, knocks him down himself. Flair is shocked as Eddy has taken him out – and that gets the big man hot. Leviathan hops on the apron and levels Eddy with his cast. Benoit knocks Leviathan from the apron, then attempts a pinfall – but Eddy kicks out. Eddy gets the fall – and it’s by himself – so he’s joyous – and then Eddy is attacked by Flair, Leviathan, and, most exuberantly, by Chavo. Chavo just rips into Eddy, SpreeKiller style, shocking the announce with his ferocity, his lack of conflict.

Benoit with the save. Benoit and Eddy fight off the Horsemen. And that draws the pop. Benoit and Guerrero stand in the ring together and the Horsemen slowly back up the ramp, smiling – at the top, Flair, Leviathan – and finally, Chavo, throw up the four fingers. Flair pats Chavo on the back as he snarls at his uncle Eddy.

But Guerrero has beaten Benoit again – and he’s in the final four.

Ultimo Dragon d. Tajiri
-There’s much, much kicking. Dragon wins, he and Tajiri bow after the match. Based on his upset of Rey, Tajiri will get a shot at the Worldwide Titles at Summer Slam.

Eddy/Ultimo is a dream semi, they met in Japan and in NWA – and in Mexico. Ultimo, as we learn, was rejected by the New Japan dojo as a rookie, went to Mexico and learned the lucha style – took that style to Japan where it influences a whole generation of Japanese juniors.

HBK d. Paul London
-Michaels goes over his protégée, with Spanky and HHH both at ringside. London’s young and hungry, and we see much of young HBK in him – but the veteran goes over. HHH and Spanky hit the ring for the celebration, consolation – when all four men are attacked on multiple sides by Dead Men Walking. Taker, PAUL, Kane assault the Clique – and lay them all out.

4. Brock Lesnar d. Matt Hardy
-Lesnar’s just too much for Matt, beats him and leaves him laying. RVD, more aggressive than normal, as he’s now lost two in a row to Matt, attacks postmatch, RVD violently beating Hardy down. We’re gonna get Matt/RVD again at SSlam, this time in a steel cage to prevent the managers from interfering.

So, continuing the feud that’s lasted all year, it’s Lesnar and Michaels in their half of the final four.

Both final four matches are on the final RAW before Summer Slam. And also, for the first time since the night after Mania, on RAW…Kurt Angle.

Angle is now in a wheelchair, with a halo supporting his now bald head. He’s wheeled out to ringside to watch the semifinal matches. We haven’t heard anything about Angle in months, rumors, speculation, but seeing him now is a shock, he is a shell of himself, clearly, his eyed glazed over. He’s infirmed, he draws a standing ovation from the fans, many weeping – as they see what has become of the longtime Undisputed Champion of the World.

Kurt Angle is now a man to be pitied. He sits silently by the timekeeper.

Final Four:
Eddy Guerrero d. Ultimo Dragon
-Eddy, clean. Eddy Guerrero will go to Summer Slam in Phoenix to wrestle for the WWF Championship – and for the Triple Crown.

Brock Lesnar d. Shawn Michaels
One more DMW v. HBK/HHH brawl backstage before the match. Lesnar takes advantage of the weakened Michaels and goes over.

Lesnar, who had been taunting Angle throughout his match, now calls out Eddy, “Come on Guerrero, you sawed off beaneater, we don’t need to wait to Summer Slam, you know, I know, everyone in this crowd knows, that I am the next Undisputed Champion of the World. There’s not gonna be a Summer Slam – it’s gonna happen right now!”

Vince, returning, after however many years its been, comes to the ring, says there most certainly will be a Summer Slam, and asks Eddy to come out. Eddy does. Eddy and Brock go nose to nose, Vince says that Kurt Angle has requested that he be allowed to come to the ring and wish both men luck.

So, Angle, with much assistance, is picked up, wheelchair and all, and placed in the ring, Vince himself wheels Angle over between the two men. Guerrero looks incredibly sad – Brock giggles. Vince puts his hand on Angle’s shoulder, says that Summer Slam will be the culmination of the greatest tournament in wrestling history, 64 men who have done their sport proud, every man in the WWF had a shot at this spot – and Brock and Eddy, you are the two survivors. Every man in the company could have been WWF Champion – and at Summer Slam, one man will.

Angle then slowly raises his arm, as if to request the mic from Vince. It’s a dramatic gesture.

Vince hands Kurt the mic, Kurt, barely audible in his chair, says, “Mr. McMahon…you forgot about someone…”

Vince confused, says, “who, who did we forget..”

Kurt slowly now changes, the dead eyes become bright, the mouth sharpens, a smirk comes over his face as he says…”Kurt Angle.”

Angle leaps up attacking Guerrero. The crowd goes bananas. Angle pummels Guerrero – and then for good measure Angle Slams Vince atop the wheelchair.

Lesnar stands open mouthed as Angle rips off his halo and then motions to Brock to join him in kicking Guerrero’s ass.

Brock and Angle then take Eddy apart.

Save by Benoit.

Big pop as Benoit and Eddy fight side by side against Brock and Angle – Benoit and Angle tumble together out of the ring, each throwing right hands until security, of course, comes to separate them – Brock finishing the show with an F5 of Guerrero.

You can almost hear JR yelling.

So, here’s your Summer Slam card. We’ve got Brock and Eddy in the tournament finals for the vacant Undisputed Championship. We’ve got Rey defending the Worldwide against Tajiri. After all the brawls, we’re gonna do the tag match, HHH/HBK v. Undertaker/Kane, Kurt Angle returns with the dastardly swerve – and he will return against Chris Benoit, a match made right now in this last RAW before the show, it’s their first match since Angle won the title from Benoit 2 1/2 years ago. We’ve got Jericho meeting Flair, Matt and RVD in the cage, and don’t forget Diesel, Big Daddy Cool returns to WWF PPV, and he meets the debuting Bill Goldberg. Add in the SpreeKiller opening tag, and it is a Summer Slam you cannot miss! Call your thing!

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