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.

The Road to Summer Slam, Part 1 2005

Sunday, June 18, 2006

XXI is here.

Hey, we’re back. Aw, hells yeah!

This will set up half of Summer Slam ’04, which you’ll get at the top of August. In the meantime, you can check out my new site (which also includes a blog) You’ll get all the Jividen you can roll with.

Okay, Summer Slam’s coming from DC. It’s time to do dueling general managers.

Steamboat, obviously, continues his spot as the babyface figurehead. But he enters on a RAW over the summer and announces that he’s been doing some thinking since Mania – and as the creative head of the WWF, it’s his job to see that the very top people remain for with the Federation. Top people in the ring – top people in the office.

And at XXI, someone proved to him that he deserves a place in the WWF front office, side by side with Ricky Steamboat, as equal partners, setting the creative direction of the WWF.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, your newest Co-Director of the World Wrestling Federation, a former WWF and NWA Champion…the Nature Boy Ric Flair!”

So, it’s Flair and Steamboat, running the WWF. Each man, so the story goes, has 49% of the decision making ability, with the McMahon Family Trust maintaining the other 2%.

During this stretch, the Flair/Steamboat partnership will be harmonious. Flair’s just turned face and the fans will be eager to cheer him. They’ll split the duties, each supporting the other even when they disagree. The chief, low simmering, piece of contention is Little Rey, after Steamboat declares Rey the “Ace” of the WWF (see XXI for that discussion) on RAW – we see Flair and Steamboat in their offices arguing over Rey’s merits. Flair’s not anti-Rey, no one’s going to say Rey sucks – but Rey’s tiny, and Flair will give voice to the WWF fan percentage who doesn’t buy into Rey’s climbing the card.

‘Cause he is, daddy. He is.

Okay, 8 matches to make. Here we go.

2 underneath singles matches. With Flair moving upstairs, he has to sever his relationship with Leviathan. Leviathan’s gonna put one of the top guys over (say, Rey) which will lead to a visit from Arn.

Arn’s gonna convince Leviathan that he needs a trainer – and with the Titan Trust out of business, Arn’s looking for a protégée. If there’s anyone who can take the big man from Flair’s tutelage – it’s AA.

So, Leviathan picks up a spinebuster, works on breaking down body parts, generally does his best Anderson impersonation. He destroys SpreeKiller Rhyno, sending him out of the company – and making a match against Helms. So there’s that.

How about Hulk Hogan’s last ever match? Interested? Please?

So, Hogan turned on the ‘Taker at XXI, blowing off his judging duties in the main event – he enters in streetclothes during a RAW to let off some steam.

He’s been screwed for 22 years.

22 years ago, he was WWF Champion, a movie star, on Carson, Letterman, MTV, SNL, he was the biggest wrestling star in the world.

And then he lost to Ricky Steamboat.

Steamboat enters. Hogan and Steamboat, together again in the ring.

Hogan shoots – Steamboat took his life. It should have been Hulk Hogan main eventing Wrestlemania. Should have been Hulk Hogan the company and the wrestling revolution was built around. He was big, with the rap and the arms and the tan. And who was Ricky Steamboat? Just some foreigner with a couple of armdrags and it makes him sick.

So, whatcha gonna do, Mr. Director. Whatcha gonna do Ricky Steamboat, when Hulkamania runs wild on you at Summer Slam?

But that can’t happen, obviously.

So, here comes the ‘Taker.

‘Taker says if Hogan wants to see someone who took his spot, he doesn’t have to look at Steamboat – he can look at the Undertaker. 5 Legends Wins, one more than Hogan and Andre. And Hogan should know he’s never gonna catch him.

So, they make that. Hogan/Undertaker at Summer Slam.

The tag champs are, unfortunately, Orton and Cena. They keep winning matches by flukes, getting dominated until Orton hits the diamond cutter. The crowd’s gonna start to turn on them at some point – ‘cause they think they deserve it. Their babyface quality was premised on being laughable clueless losers – I’m guessing their act of thinking they’re great wrestlers will wear thin once they have belts. It’s not a quick turn, we’ll let the fans dictate the pace. But it’s a long summer, and they think they’re the young gods of the wrestling business, eventually, the fans are gonna get pissed.

The chief challengers remain the NeoCons: GHB, Morley, Anal Cysts continuing to make the case for the Iraq War, the unimportance of Bin Ladin, tax cuts for the wealthy, the slicing of social programs for the poor, the outing of Valerie Plame, rising gas prices (and eventually Hurricane Katrina, the raping of the 4th Amendment through the NSA wiretaps, etc….) they’ve got the big conservative hitters on the flags. Bradshaw has been trying to push his way past Orton and Cena for quite awhile now. Conway doesn’t wrestle anymore, avoiding the military because of his anal cysts. Morley gets hurt in this stretch and can’t serve as Bradshaw’s partner at Summer Slam (say, Bradshaw gets singles wins over both Orton and Cena to get the shot) and settles on Cranky Nick Dinsmore as his partner.

Dinsmore doesn’t care about the conservative cause, but he’ll wave a flag, what does he care, as long as he teaches these young punks a thing or two about a thing or two.

So, we’ve got that.

2 big midcard singles and the opening tag all come together. But the singles are going to be a mini-tournament to fill a very rare vacated WWF belt.

Whose belt?

Not yet.

Let’s talk World Title.

Sometime when they’re in the Southwest, Eddy gets an award from a Hispanic organization. It’s a Latino service award, or something like that. The announce puts Eddy over as upholding the tradition of lucha libre in North America – and to have a World Champion and Triple crown Winner who got his start as a luchador is a tremendous accomplishment for all of the Latin American people and who better to represent all Latinos than the great Eddy Guerrero.

And here comes Juvie, Crazy, and Psychosys, all still in the masks (which you may recall was set up years ago in the NWA and ECW portions of the Counterfactual) and wearing the LWO t-shirts.

I loved me some LWO. My favorite of the WO stables.

Juvie takes the stick. Hey, Eddy, remember us. Your friends. The LWO? While you’ve been getting famous with Benoit up here in gringo land – we’ve stayed down in Mexico, wrestling the real lucha style.

They show some Los Gringos Locos footage.

Eddy’s a sell out for the white man. He’s always been a sell out. Now he’s WWF Champ – now he’s Triple Crown Champ – and what’s he doing for the raza? Not a damn thing.

Eddy says he’ll take any of them on. They’re jealous. He’ll take them on one by one.

Here comes Steamboat.

No – that’s not gonna happen, Eddy. We’ll offer the LWO contracts – but they have to prove themselves before they earn a shot at the WWF Title.

Eddy says he can’t let this stand – they’ve said he’s not raza, they’ve said he’s a sell out – they’ve said because they wear the masks and he doesn’t – that they’re real luchadores and he’s not. He owes it to all the Latin American people to defend his WWF Title against a fellow Latino – he wants the main event at Summer Slam to be a real 2 out of 3 falls Lucha Libre Rules match – and he is telling Ricky Steamboat that he has to make that match.

Steamboat says he will. Against Rey Mysterio, Jr.

So, the summer is Eddy and Rey tagging together against the LWO – Crazy spins off to do singles against Tajiri before he goes away. The LWO also works against Guido and Nova in order to get some wins in.

But the cracks between Rey and Eddy develop. Maybe Eddy hasn’t given Rey his respect – maybe Rey is the Ace of the WWF. Who knows – maybe Eddy did turn his back on the Latino people?

Who’s to say. No turns, of course, but by August, we’re ready for it. Eddy and Rey, 2 of 3 falls for the strap. Plus – Rey’s a 2 time IC Champ and a tag champ – meaning he is going for the coveted Owen Hart Memorial Triple Crown.

Eddy/Rey for the World title. Orton/Cena against the NeoCons for the tag straps, Leviathan w/AA against Helms, Hogan meets the Undertaker.

That’s half the card. What about the other half? What about the vacant title belt? What’s the big match on the card for Summer Slam ’05?

3 words: “You Screwed Matt.”

See you next week  The Road Continues

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