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.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The build is here.
Summer Slam 2005
(Dark – London d. Benjamin)
(Dark – LWO d. Guido/Nova/Stevie)
From Washington DC. JR/Taz/Paul E is your announce team.
The show begins with “My Time”, my favorite of his themes, and the unusual appearance of HHH on PPV. The announce wonders what he’s doing in such a prominent position.
Hunter says the fans are all here in DC, at Summer Slam, to see a man who hasn’t appeared on PPV in a full year – we assume, of course, he’s talking about Matt – but he’s not, he’s talking about HHH – the greatest wrestler who ever lived.
Announce laughs – perplexed at what the hell he’s talking about.
Then gets more perplexed when HHH demands, not requests but demands, that Steamboat and Flair come to the ring.
They do – good crowd reaction, both men have quizzical looks on their faces as HHH dresses them down – how is it that the greatest wrestler who ever lived can’t make a PPV in a year? Steamboat tries not to laugh, but says that while, sure HHH is talented, he’s a former tag champ, after all, but he can’t really think that anyone – that anyone believes that he’s the kind of wrestler that Benoit or Eddy or Rey or Angle is.
And Flair jumps in – and when you’re talking about all time, pal, there are two guys you’re in the ring with right now who you couldn’t have lasted five minutes with.
HHH says none of those guys Steamboat named knows how to work. They’re small, they don’t connect with the fans, they don’t have his star power – that even the fans who don’t like him respect him because they know he’s the king of kings.
Steamboat says thanks for your opinion – you’re deluded, but thanks for your opinion.
HHH gets hot – says it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact, and here are a couple more facts – he’ll be wrestling at Survivor Series in Detroit – and he’ll be wrestling at the Rumble in Miami – and he’ll not only be wrestling at Wrestlemania XXII in Chicago – but he’s gonna be walking out of there with some gold – and that’s not just a fact – that’s a promise.
Flair gets hot now – who are you to tell us, don’t you know who we are, not only are we legends, but we run this place…that kinda thing.
HHH, smug as he could be, says, not exactly – and then shows the clip of the Raw after Mania where the new power sharing relationship between Steamboat and Flair was announced – each of them getting (recall?) 49% of control of WWF management, with the other 2% staying with the McMahon family.
At this point, JR says, “oh no” as, while it’s never even been hinted as to Hunter’s relationship with the Princess, since she’s never been a character in the Counterfactual – obviously it’s known to the people in the company – known to those who read the sheets – so, the play here is that Hunter’s about to reveal something he shouldn’t reveal – and use it in the obvious way.
Hunter says, with the old man and Skip nowhere to be found – that just leaves (and then a picture of the Princess in a wedding dress comes on the Titan Tron) Stephanie McMahon.
But she doesn’t want anything to do with the business – she wouldn’t know a wristlock from a wristwatch.
But her husband would (and then the screen fills to see that Hunter is in the picture too, in a tux, marrying the Princess).
Hunter says – that’s right – I’m no longer Triple H – I am Hunter Hearst Helmsley McMahon, and demand to be called as such – and what I have is the ultimate tiebreaker – I have 2% of the power in this company – that means that any time the two of you can’t decide on anything at all – you’re gonna need me – you’re gonna need a tiebreaker, you’re gonna need Hunter Hearst Helmsley McMahon – you’re gonna need the 2% Solution – and then you two won’t have any power at all.
So, there’s that.
1. Parejas Increibles: Angle/Michaels (w/Benjamin and London) d. Benoit/Jericho
-Flair’s tag match to set up the tournament later on in the evening that will eventually fill the vacant Worldwide belts. Storylines abound – Angle and Michaels have led their factions in a year long feud, Benoit and Jericho have had a hate/hate relationship as the last remaining Harts in the WWF. Benoit/Angle has been the signature WWF feud over the past 5 years, main eventing at two WM. Benoit and Jericho both have Hart/Clique stuff with Michaels, Hart/Clique being the signature feud in the Counterfactual – and Jericho feuded with Angle back when both were babyfaces during the Brock program.
And on the side are the young guys in the TV program, guys who would have met at this PPV – but Angle has put Benjamin on the bench, saying he’s no longer PPV ready – and needs to watch and learn – so, even though Shelton’s a 3 time tag champ – he’s carrying Angle’s gear tonight – Kurt being as condescending as possible, pointing out to Shelton what is going on in the match – demanding that he take notes.
Finish comes when Jericho spits bourbon in Benoit’s face when Benoit was looking for a hot tag – Benoit, blinded, then eats the superkick – and Michaels gets his first ever fall on Benoit.
Benoit runs after Jericho, who is doing his drunken stumble up the aisle, trying to tap his temple, but missing. Michaels celebration is stopped when Angle hits the Olympic Slam on him – Angle and a still unhappy Benjamin exit.
2. Hulk Hogan’s Last Match: Undertaker d. Hogan
-Hogan, now a heel, loses the fall to the dead man on the tombstone – postmatch, PAUL and Kane, in a long feud now with their former partner the dead man – enter – they do a three way staredown – and then the three men reunite with a triple chokeslam of Hogan.
That’s a face turn, you may recall that PAUL has been moving face in a comedic way, as he watches tapes of NOAH wrestler Akira Taue and tries to get Kane (who is still masked and will remain so) to groove on his new Japanese idol. Going forth, think of PAUL and Kane doing comedy during this stretch.
At some point before the end of the evening, as Hogan exits the building in streetclothes, he and Steamboat will be seen shaking hands as Hogan walks away, never to be seen again. See how it all comes back around! I’m good like that.
3. Leviathan (w/ AA) d. Helms
-Big man should be getting cheers now. He’s been with Arn all summer, Arn’s been a babyface during this run – Flair is still tied to Leviathan, and he’s still a babyface – and now Leviathan is dominating, he crushed Rhyno – and the announce positioned him as just need Arn’s tutelage to reach that next level.
So, he goes over here – rolling over Helms – and gets more cheers.
4. Worldwide Semifinal: Angle (w/Benjamin) d. Michaels (w/London)
-Angle earns a spot in the Worldwide Titles match at Survivor Series going over HBK. When Angle is in trouble, he orders Benjamin to cheat for him – Benjamin fumes, but does it. Finally, London attacks and the second brawl to the back (which will cause Angle to get all over Benjamin on TV later)
-Angle cheats to win, ‘cause that’s how he does it – and he gets the spot at the vacant IC. That’ll be big for him, as, should he win, he will be the next recipient of the Triple Crown.
5. Worldwide Semifinal: Benoit d. Jericho
-And Angle will meet Benoit – who, coincidentally, will also be looking for the Triple Crown in that match, as the IC is the only belt neither man has ever held.
This wraps up Jericho.
The story is the Benoit conflict – he feels responsible for the horrible degradation of Jericho, that he was too late in assuming the role of Hart patriarch. Jericho manipulates that, as he’s always been the guy who could push Benoit’s buttons – so, as Jericho tries to embarrass Benoit – and as Benoit grows angrier, he’s held back a bit out of the desire to not really hurt the Lizard King.
Jericho does something sufficiently bad – hey, let’s put Nancy at ringside and Jericho kisses her.
Jericho laughs at the extent he’s pushed Benoit. Benoit gets a strong win, multiple suplexes – say the 10 consecutive german sequence – and then the crossface to get the submission.
Benoit looks at the bloody, drunken Jericho sadly postmatch – and as Jericho leaves, the highlights of his career play over the Titan Tron – there’s been no announcement this is his last match, although, obviously some people know – my hope is there would be a Y2J chant as the clips end – drawing a bittersweet wave from Jericho as he disappears. Hogan and Jericho leave the company on the same night.
6. Tags: Orton/Cena d. Bradshaw/Dinsmore (w/Conway)
-This just drives GHB crazy. And now, I’m guessing the majority of the fans, who have seen this joke play on too long.
Orton and Cena are a comedy act that continues to catch fluke wins based now on Orton’s diamond cutter – and he starts to separate from Cena in terms of skill level. Bradshaw is the NeoCon, referred to by his nickname GHB he’s run through multiple partners (Holly, Conway, whose nickname is Anal Cysts) and each time he loses to Orton and Cena he lariats his partner postmatch – he does that here too – and also lariats Conway. Bradshaw grabs his Sean Hannity flag in disgust, vowing vengeance next time.
7. Undisputed Title: 2 of 3 falls: Rey d. Eddy
-Rey wins the WWF title, and the Triple Crown. This is Eddy’s last match.
Doesn’t matter in what order the falls go – Rey gets the third, obviously – and a proud but tearful Eddy hands him his title belts.
The two men are then attacked by the LWO, Crazy, Juvie, Psycho, whose appearance after Mania prompted this match – Eddy and Rey fight them off together, squashing whatever tension has been created for this match.
In his last WWF act, JR then climbs into the ring for the Triple Crown ceremony – we see on the Titan Tron the engraver working on Rey’s name:
REY MYSTERIO, Jr.
Eddy speaks, congratulating Rey, says he’s deserving of being called the best wrestler alive and one of the greatest of all time – Eddy says he needs to go home for awhile – but he’s glad the WWF is in good hands.
JR briefly interviews Rey, much happiness abounds – Eddy exits – fans chant.
This is, one recalls, how Owen left – the Counterfactual can’t save lives, but it can let people go be with their families. Eddy, of course, dies two weeks before Survivor Series, so he won’t be a part of that buildup at all, since he’s home – and in those 2 weeks, WWF will go dark, canceling tapings and showing Eddy matches on all the TV (while still promoting the PPV, which will work out just fine, trust me).
After Eddy leaves – Rey calls all the boys into the ring, they enter (except for the two in the main) and thank JR for 13 years on the announce with the company. Highlight package is shown. JR tears up – thanks the fans, everyone, including all the announcers, who also came into the ring – including all the ringside personnel – everyone outside of camera operators – exit with JR – leaving a strange quiet and emptiness as we ready for the main event.
8. Unsanctioned: Edge d. Matt
-Okay, this shouldn’t remotely feel like a WWF match. The referee will be new, not part of the company, not wearing the colors. No ring announcer – no announcers of any type – just the crowd noise. All the ringside personnel gone – they even take down the Summer Slam dress, the set piece, the apron – this is not a WWF match, it’s unsanctioned.
-In the back, the boys gather around monitors – we see the Clique in Edge’s locker room, London and Michaels pacing in the background, Christian taping Edge’s fists. Serious looks on everyone’s faces.
-No backstage shot of Matt, as he hasn’t been seen in a year and we aren’t giving it up that easy.
-You know the storyline, Edge gave up his IC to win back the trust of the Clique, particularly Christian, and the locker room is divided who they believe. Edge says he doesn’t know the story – but he didn’t sleep with Lita and doesn’t know why Matt is saying he did. We’re not entirely sure what’s about to happen – but it’s at the end of the night, an almost violent breaking of tradition, given 21 years of WWF Counterfactual PPV have always had an IC match – and always had the WWF title be the main event.
-Matt has not appeared on WWF TV since Summer Slam ’04, when he told the company to fuck off on live PPV and walked out. Edge has been a babyface for over a year. These guys have almost a ten year history together, as Ring Boys, then in the hottest tag rivalry in WWF history – and now here we are in the Unsanctioned match.
-Edge enters first, no one comes with him to the ring – he’s a bundle of nerves.
-And then Matt. I’m expecting a thunderous ovation, I think we’ve primed the pump – both guys are in street clothes, Matt takes a moment at the top of the ramp to let the people chant – and then tears off down that ramp (recall, WWF has a long, white ramp now, like the Tokyo Dome,)
-It needs to be as stiff, as violent, as realistic looking as possible – it needs to feel like a fight – they bleed and swear and scratch and spit. It should feel like a wrestling match, it should feel like it’s in an alley. Handheld camera, extreme closeups – very much unlike WWF production (WWF production should look different anyway – of course – more sports, less stagnation – and we are totally using an overhead camera as a matter of course).
-But here – it’s just fucking stiff – as much full on contact as they’ll do with each other – the finish comes when Matt has the mount on Edge, out on the floor – maybe on the ramp, and is smacking the shit out of him – blood flying – and Lita runs down the ring.
-Lita’s been gone from the storyline for years, since getting taken out by the Dudleys in a cage match with the Hardys – so she’s been where people go who aren’t in the storylines. Smackdown, Heat. Shotgun Saturday Night. Whatever it is.
-She runs to the Matt and Edge, yelling at Matt to stop – that he’s gonna kill Edge, that he needs to stop – someone fortuitously, there is a chair in the immediate vicinity of this spot – and when Matt turns momentarily to look at Lita – she clocks him with the chair.
-Edge hits the Edge-ecution. Edge and Lita grab chairs and do the Con-chair-to. And Edge gets the fall.
-Cut to the back – the boys are shocked or pissed or screaming – and then cut to the back – where London and Michaels are shaking their heads – and Christian, with as pained a look as he can muster, is staring dead at the minor.
-Edge and Lita make out – and are now the Edge and Lita you see on actual WWF TV – Edge puts on his cockiest smile – poses over the fallen Matt – and that’s the end of your show.
-We’ll return, I’m guessing, first week of September to start the build to Survivor Series ’05. In the interim, I’ll be locked feverishly (as am I already, honestly) in rewrites for my play, Spoon Millionaires (http://www.spoonmillionaires.com/) and hoping that there’s at least one helpful dark match they give me for Summer Slam this Saturday, ‘cause otherwise, my planned IC and Tag champs coming out of XXII have to be changed.
Such is the life of the mighty Counterfactual. Let's Build.