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 2003

Saturday, April 22, 2006

XIX is here.

SummerSlam 2003 (Phoenix)
(Dark: Haas/Benjamin d. London/Spanky)
(Dark: Ultimo Dragon d. Shane Helms)

JR/Taz on the announce.

(Open with a video package spotlighting the four guys around which the company is revolving: Eddy, one of the great wrestlers who ever lived, looking to win the Undisputed Title and the Triple Crown….Brock, the destructive, egotistical bully, a former NCAA Champion, looking like an unstoppable force…Benoit, fighting to be considered the greatest wrestler of all time, a multi-time champion finally away from the Alliance and the Horsemen, gets his long awaited rematch against Angle…and Angle, beloved champion shockingly turned antagonist, he’s making his first return to the ring since neck surgery, still without a professional wrestling defeat…)

1. SpreeKillers draw La Resistance (no contest)
Moore and Rhyno attack the French kids in the back, punking them out, SpreeKiller style, Helms then attacks Moore and Rhyno, furthering the feud over the Spree Killer gimmick – Helms, Moore, and Rhyno – all shirtless with the scrawlings all over them brawl in the back – whenever La Resistance shows signs of recovering, the Spree Killers unite to destroy them quickly, then they go back to the brawl.

We see the TitanTrust (Dean, Arn, Fit) in the back huddling as to what to do without the first match, and then we see Kurt Angle make his way to the ring.

Angle, bald, has the American flag singlet, but now it’s black. He’s Bizarro Angle. Here’s where his turn deviates from Bret’s, the wrestler to whom he is most similar. The weight of being on top, with Owen and Shawn always at his heels, grew too much, Bret grew bitter at his perceived lack of respect from the fans. We got an underlying tease of that with Angle, but we also laid the groundwork, when Angle was beating the NWA guys, that Angle kinda dug being a heel. And that’s what they sell, Angle liked getting booed, he saw that guys like Brock were having a helluva time. He’s always lived his life according to the rules, imagine the life of the amateur wrestler, toiling away in obscurity, sweating out twelve pounds in 7 hours to make weight, turning your body into a machine just for your own community while those football players make all the money – but still, you keep going, because “I’m Kurt Angle” and that’s what you do –you won a gold medal, but where was your parade, why didn’t you become Bruce Jenner or Mary Lou Retton - you won the WWF title, you’re still unbeaten, and you realize you weren’t having half the fun of Brock, taping guys buttcheeks together, snearing himself with Jericho’s blood, mocking the Rock, dropping Helmsley on his head on the white ramp – he just does whatever he feels like, whenever he feels like it.

“And what Kurt Angle felt like doing on Monday, was Angle slamming Vinnie Mac into next week. What Kurt Angle felt like doing on Monday was strapping on a halo, getting into a wheelchair and pretending to be some lame ass cripple, with the drool coming out of my mouth and the girls in the front row crying – it was hiliarous – you should have seen the look on your faces – priceless – and what Kurt Angle felt like doing on Monday was showing Eddy Guerrero that he could win a hundred tournaments and he’ll still never be a champion. And what Kurt Angle feels like doing tonight is beating Chris Benoit – again – to prove once again, that there is no one in this world, who will ever beat Kurt Angle. “

Brock enters. Note that Brock wasn’t in on the plan – he looks at Angle in a little bit of awe, like he’s risen from the dead. Brock says he doesn’t know what happened, but Kurt Angle is the craziest son of a bitch he’s ever met. And tonight, after Angle takes care of Benoit, Brock Lesnar will win the Undisputed Championship by destroying that illegal alien Eddy Guerrero – and the two of them will go out and tear up the town as the two greatest wrestlers of all time. And maybe on RAW, tomorrow night, Brock Lesnar will defend his Undisputed Championship…

“…or maybe instead, I won’t show up at all. Maybe instead, Brock Lesnar is going to win the Undisputed Championship and take the belts back home to Minnesota, maybe I’ll sell them on Ebay, maybe I’ll go play in the NFL, maybe I’ll go off to Hollywood and take jobs away from that punkass Rock, maybe I won’t do any of those things at all – but the only thing you can count on is Brock Lesnar will do what he wants to do, when he wants to do it.”

Benoit enters. Says “the two of you idiots mock my passion, this is the WWF, it’s not about you Lesnar, it’s not about you, Angle, it’s about the sacrifice of every man who has ever stepped foot in that locker room to build this ring. It’s about the Dynamite Kid, who wrestled until he was in a wheelchair for real – and when you come out to this ring, Angle, when you come out in a wheelchair – you mock his legend, you mock his sacrifice, you mock the blood that has been spilled in this ring – and you mock me, Angle – when you mock my ring – you mock me – and I will show you what I think about people who mock me, Angle – I’ll show both of you, right now.”

Angle does a Benoit impression, fake seething “I’ll show both of you right now”, he says, “this is exactly what I was talking about, Benoit, your face is all tense, you’re probably close to stroking out here in Phoenix, where they probably don’t even have any doctors, and you just challenged two real athletes to a match.

You are exactly who I don’t want to wind up like, Benoit.

But, I’ll tell you what – we’re a match short, so Brock and I are gonna take you up on this, Chris – we’re gonna make Summer Slam history – because we’re gonna take you apart right now…

Heels beat on Benoit. Benoit comes back. Heels beat on Benoit. Benoit can’t come back, he struggles, he struggles – and then Eddy enters.

Fans should be chanting for Eddy to make the superman save. We’re in Phoenix (and Dallas for Survivor Series) which will mean a large Hispanic fan base. The tournament reads as just one big block of matches, but it’s actually months around which the company is built, and the guy getting the big push is Eddy. He beat Benoit at Mania – then beat Benoit in the tournament – and now has the title shot after the face turn and here we are.

So, Eddy gets the chants, he and Benoit get an advantage – but Angle cheats in some major way to further the heel turn, say he splits Eddy open with one of the title belts which are prominently displayed at ringside. Angle Slams and F5s on both faces.

2. Goldberg d. Diesel
They keep it short. It’s Nash’s first PPV match since he left for the NWA. So, they sell that as a big deal – and we show the Goldberg/Nash partnership from the NWA to familiarize WWF fans with their history.

Goldberg goes over powerfully, clean with the spear and the jackknife, as this finishes Nash up. No Clique presence, Goldberg stands on the buckle yelling out, ‘I’m the Next Big Thing!” Then goes back and F5s Nash. “That’s how you do it!”

3. Cage Match: RVD (w/Heyman) d. Matt (w/Bischoff)
Paul E yells at Van Dam, looking to fire him up, the whole way down the ramp, “this guy beat you twice, he thinks he’s extreme, you’re the legacy of ECW and this guy keeps beating you.” Van Dam keeps the intensity shown after the tournament, this is a classic midcard feud, Matt establishing himself as a singles daredevil against the ECW icon Van Dam. It’s a pinfall match – ending with a frogsplash from the top of the cage. The win’s not enough for Heyman though, ‘cause this is a blood feud between he and Eric – he rams Bischoff’s head into the cage – and then drags him in – Heyman’s got handcuffs – he cuffs Hardy and Bischoff to the cage – bringing in a chair – and he tells RVD to lay them both out with the chair – Van Dam mixed – that’s lots of heel, hitting defenseless men with a chair – but like Bischoff’s sway on Matt – the angle is Heyman’s sway on Van Dam – and he plants the chair into each man’s head. Blood everywhere in the cage, blood spattering onto both Heyman and Van Dam – RVD flips them both off before pointing his thumbs to his head.

4. Y2J d. Flair (w/Leviathan)
Jericho, with the beard growing, with the pyro gone, the costume changed, the music sparse, wins with the Liontamer. The story is Jericho’s aggressiveness toward Leviathan, he doesn’t wait to be attacked from the outside, he attacks Leviathan (still with Cowboy Bob cast) Jericho gets the worst of the exchange, ‘cause it’s Leviathan with a cast, but he keeps going back. The announce at some point, wonders if Jericho has a death wish…

…also, there’s no Chavo, and since he’s not on the card, we speculate about that.

Jericho goes over, won’t release the Liontamer, even when Leviathan hits the ring to beat him down, Jericho just waves Leviathan on over with a free hand.

Flair and Leviathan beat the hell out of Jericho postmatch, leaving him bloody once again and when they exit, he sits in the ring with a sick smile.

They repeat the spot tomorrow on RAW with Dead Men Walking, but I can’t really describe it without tipping the tag finish, so I’ll wait.

5. 30 Minute Iron Man: Kurt Angle draw Chris Benoit (time limit)
And now we get to it. Angle’s full heel, pulls up the mat on the outside, pulls up the turnbuckle pad, holds the tights, goes low, thumb to the eye – does every clich├ęd heel trick, as if saying to the fans, “I’ll give you something to boo about.”

Benoit, after 15 or so minutes of this, finally does something himself, say, piledriving Angle onto the steel steps after pausing a moment to allow the fans to tell him it was okay.

It’s a 30 minute time limit draw. Benoit asks for five more minutes, fans chant for five more minutes, Angle says nope. He signed for 30, now he’s going home.

Crowd boos. Announce is revolted, Kurt Angle, the Kurt Angle, just walking away from competition? Yup. Angle waves to Benoit who stands in the ring shocked as Angle walks back up the ramp and leaves. Boo. Boo. Boo.

So, Angle doesn’t win, but as he reminds us the following night – he’s still unbeaten.

See what he did there?

6. Tags: No DQ: HBK/HHH d. DMW
Undertaker, of course, has never won a title, so they sell that (I think this is probably his last shot) and it’s a real veteran matchup, with Michaels/Undertaker being a battle of WWF legends.

They book it heavy, PAUL~, the member of DMW not in the match enters at one point, causing London and Spanky to run in and doubleteam him. Say, Michaels was down from a double chokeslam, and then HHH used the sledgehammer to take out Taker and Kane. PAUL entered to chokeslam HHH, and then London and Spanky entered to doubleteam PAUL and send him out of the ring HHH comes to, he’s groggy and grabs the sledgehammer and levels… Spanky.

It’s an accident, of course, ‘cause why would HHH do that? I mean, it couldn’t be that he was pissed that these kids would help him out. Right? He’s not that kinda guy. Right? He couldn’t have been jealous that the young guys were better than he was. Hey – know what’s a good spot – at some point, Hunter’s watching a London/Spanky tag on RAW and says those kids don’t know how to work.

Michaels gets the fall on Kane, Michaels goes over for the keep. He and HHH tend to Spanky, London noticeably is wary of HHH.

7. Worldwide Titles: Tajiri d. Rey
Tajiri wins his second IC, which ties him for second all time with lots of folks. Great match, Ultimo comes down the ringside at one point for some interference, he does his rapid fire kicks at little Rey, helping Tajiri gain control.

Tajiri goes over, beating Rey again, Hispanic crowd unhappy with that. Chavo enters postmatch and beats them both down. Chavo stands alone, holding the three belts in the air triumphantly as he holds up the four fingers for the Horsemen. Announce puts him over hard. Chavo takes out both Rey and Tajiri and holds up the 3 belts.

8. Undisputed Championship: Eddy Guerrero d. Brock Lesnar
Eddy wins the WWF Title and for the first time in like five years, we have a Triple Crown winner.

Same match as they actually had when Eddy won the strap. Brock uses his size advantage to dominate. We’ll get a spot where Angle, who didn’t go home at all, attempts to run in, Benoit stops him from getting to the ring, they fight back up the ramp.

Brock hits the F5, Eddy kicks out. Brock goes for it again, Eddy counters with a DDT and then hits the frog splash for the win.

Emotional moment. Eddy’s family, who we know now from the Guerrero/Hart pieces before the Eddy/Benoit tournament match, is at ringside and they enter, including Mondo, Hector, and Chavo, Sr. Little Rey enters, Paul London enters, he’s Hispanic after all – and the announce notes what an enormous deal it is that here, in Phoenix, a Hispanic man has become the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. Benoit enters, there’s a bit of a pause, but Benoit raises Eddy’s hand in triumph for the big pop.

And then we Bret/Owen the finish. Chavo hits the ramp. Chavo had the big night, wiping out the two IC competitors, but he’s once again been trumped by Uncle Eddy. He’s always behind Uncle Eddy. Chavo hatefully stares into the ring as his family, even his father, celebrates as Eddy becomes the toast of the wrestling world.

Survivor Series is coming from Dallas, home state of Eddy and Chavo Guerrero.

RAW the night after the PPV opens, for the first time in years, with a shot of the Owen Hart Memorial Triple Crown Trophy in the ring.


Hit Foley’s music. Hey, it’s Mick Foley!

Foley returns for the ceremonial passing of the trophy. Foley thanks the fans for remembering, says the Trophy’s been on his shelf for five years and he’s just glad to get rid of the damn thing, he has to clear off some room for the Pulitzer Prizes he’s sure to win for his many books – all available in local bookstores, ask for them by name.

He calls out Eddy. Eddy enters, big pop. Foley says only 6 men in wrestling history have ever won the sport’s highest honor – and he’s proud to award it to the 7 th. Eddy thanks Mick, thanks the fans, says he’s honored to have a trophy which was won by a Hispanic, Pedro Morales (hopefully we can get Pedro for the show) and honored to be the first winner since it was named after Owen Hart.

Eddy and Mick shake. Fans cheer. And here comes Angle.

Angle says he’s sorry to bust up the party, but he’s Kurt Angle, undefeated, and if there’s a man who should be celebrated, it’s Kurt Angle. Eddy Guerrero knows, Mick Foley knows, everyone knows that the real Undisputed Champion is the man who never lost the belt – the real Undisputed Champion is Kurt Angle, the man who always wins. Last night, Eddy might have beaten Brock – but Eddy Guerrero’s never beaten – no man has ever beaten – Kurt Angle.

Here comes Benoit.

Benoit shakes Eddy’s hand. Benoit shakes Foley’s hand. Benoit says that Kurt Angle’s forgetting something – that last night, at Summer Slam, Angle didn’t win. Angle didn’t beat Chris Benoit – and if Angle had any guts, he would have accepted Benoit’s offer to go five more minutes, and then no one would ever have to hear about undefeated Kurt Angle ever again.

Foley interjects. He says he doesn’t mean to be presumptuous, but as a former Triple Crown winner, and a bonafide WWF legend, he has a suggestion. For the Main Event at Survivor Series, how about Eddy Guerrero….vs….Kurt Angle…..vs. Chris Benoit…..

The fans pop.

Here comes Brock.

Lesnar says that idea sucks.

All Eddy and Benoit will do is double team Kurt. And last night, everyone knows that it was a fluke that Eddy Guerrero beat him. If there’s gonna be a title match at Survivor Series, it’s gonna be a four way.

Which, incidentally, is what we’re gonna do.

But Foley tweaks Brock, saying that he’s been watching at his palatial Long Island estate, and it looks to him like Brock’s had two chances to win the Undisputed Championship – and he’s lost both times – what makes him think he deserves a third chance? What’s Brock Lesnar ever done?

Brock says, old man, I’ll show you what I’ve done.

And Brock attacks Foley.

Benoit and Guerrero try to react – but now they’re fighting Angle.

Brock F5s Foley, leaving him laid out in the ring.

So, that’s our four way for the title.

Benoit, as it turns out, will wind up wrestling twice. As we get closer to the PPV, Angle will pay off Noble to attack him. He’ll give him, I don’t know, like a gift certificate to WalMart or a Brooks and Dunn autographed CD. All the while telling Noble that if he wants something in this business, he has to take it.

That leads to the completion of Noble’s heel turn as he wipes out Kidman, and then leads to Noble’s jumping Benoit during a Benoit/Eddy v. Angle/Brock tag on RAW. So, we also have Benoit/Noble at the PPV. Benoit’s working twice, including for the big strap, so, that’s rare, you know.

Undertaker and PAUL~ will be wrestling the young Bashams. We get the DMW spot alluded to earlier, Jericho goes to the locker room where the three of them are sitting – and just rips on them for failing to win the tag straps. Again, the announce notes that Jericho seems to have a death wish. And the three monsters destroy him. Jericho, once again, winds up bloody but still smiles sickly.

The next week, Trish, not seen for awhile, cuts a promo on Jericho. She says he’s giving people from Toronto a bad name, that first, he couldn’t hold onto his woman, and now he keeps getting his ass kicked, she says if Jericho wants to get beaten up this week, why doesn’t he come out to the ring and let her do it.

Dark Jericho enters, says he doesn’t have time for a turncoat like Trish. For a Canadian slut to join the Clique makes him sick, and he doesn’t have any interest in being in the same ring with her.

Trish does a psychosexual thing now, bringing up Stacy, coming onto Jericho, saying that maybe if her legs were longer or her hair were straighter, that Chris wouldn’t be so quick to kick her out of the ring. Trish coos, tells Jericho to just close his eyes and pretend she’s Stacy, pretend she’s come back to him, pretend she still loves him…Jericho resists, but the sadness overcomes him and he closes his eyes – and as Trish moves in for a kiss – Christian enters and lays Jericho out.

Heel pop for the returning Christian. As we’ll see, this is the current Christian, short hair, a little more mature and a little less goofy than Christian of E and C fame. He calls his nonexistent fans the Christian Coalition. He calls his facebuster finisher the Crusader. We’re gonna get Jericho/Christian, some Harts/Clique comin’ at ya, at Survivor Series.

RVD and Paul E gloat about taking Matt out. Bitc-off pushed and pushed – he insulted who we were – he tried to pass himself off as the carrying the banner for the NWA – he tried to pass himself off as being the savior for Matt Hardy – and what happened was he got Matt Hardy killed.

Bischoff enters slowly. Says Matt’s home recuperating – but this war isn’t over – it’s just getting started – and it will continue at Survivor Series. Matt’s not here – but Eric’s hired a replacement – Eric’s laid out some cash to hire a man to take out RVD – a man who is more than willing to go to his home state of Texas to do it…

Hit the music…I GOT TO GET PAID!!

Booker enters. If ATM Eric’s got the cash – Book’s got the time. Book tells Van Dam it ain’t personal – but he’s got mouths to feed, suits to buy, and Escalade payments to make. Dolla bill y’all. Big pimpin, spendin’ cheese.

So we’ll get that at the PPV.

Paul E gets another one at the PPV. He’ll promo on HHH/HBK, saying it’s embarrassing that the combined age of the Unified tag champs is 467 years old, saying that’s the kind of thing that never would have happened at ECW.

Michaels and Hunter enter, they promo on Paul E, threaten him, run down ECW…when they are attacked by the Dudley Boys. 3D to Michaels. 3D to Hunter. The two time WWF tag champs have returned – and they’ve turned heel – after being apart during their full run - they finally hug Paul E and the three men pose.

So, we’ll get that at Survivor Series.

Goldberg promos. Says he’s the most dominant man alive. The most dominant man in all of wrestling – he’s the next big thing.

Brock enters, tells Goldberg that he’s going to be too busy at Survivor Series winning the Undisputed Championship to deal with him – but afterward – if Goldberg wants to go, then the two of them – the two most physically imposing men in all the world – will go.

Enter…Scott Steiner.

Steiner, 12 years removed from when he was WWF tag champion (and when he could actually wrestle) returns to the WWF. Steiner, crazy jacked up, says maybe he didn’t hear right, but if we’re going to talk physically imposing, let’s start with Big Poppa Pump. Steiner kisses a bicep.

The three men brawl in the ring. We’re gonna get Goldberg/Steiner at Survivor Series.

Finally, we’re gonna get Chavo and Tajiri for the IC. Tajiri won it at the PPV but was then attacked by Chavo. They’re both heels, they’ll keep Ultimo in the mix, cause he can’t get on the card, but he’s the Ultimo Dragon and he oughta be in the mix. They position him as Flair’s equivalent, as Flair’s gonna be in Chavo’s corner – Ultimo’s in Tajiri’s. We’ll get a tag match on RAW, we’ll get a singles between Ultimo/Flair, as part of the buildup to the PPV.

And of course – the four way in the main event. They tell more Eddy/Benoit story, developing the similarity between Harts and Guerreros – as now Eddy is finally at the top of the sport. They tell more Angle/Brock – as Kurt’s off the rails and Brock’s always Brock. It’s one fall to a finish – Eddy can lose the belt without getting pinned. Will he retain – will the newest Triple Crown Winner retain the belt? Will it be Benoit? Arguably the greatest wrestler who ever lived – will he regain the WWF Championship? And what about the unbeaten Angle? Will Kurt Angle, who had to give up the belt to have neck surgery after Mania, regain the title? Or will it be the kid, Lesnar, as obnoxious as he is talented.

So, it’s Survivor Series ’03 from Dallas. We’ve got the Fatal Four Way for thr big straps: Eddy v. Benoit v. Angle v. Brock, we’ve got Tajiri and Chavo for the Worldwide Titles, with Flair and Ultimo in their corners, we’ve got HBK/HHH defending against the returning Dudleys in a Falls Count Anywhere. We’ve got DarkJericho against the returning Christian. We’ve got RVD against Booker, as always in the ECW Rules match, We’ve got Benoit’s first match of the evening, don’t forget against the Redneck Messiah, Jamie Mothertruckin Noble, we’ve got Goldberg against Scott Steiner, and we’ve got DMW in the opening tag. It’s Survivor Series 2003. Call your thing! Call it today!

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