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 the Rumble 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Survivor Series is here.

And we’re back.

Counterfactual WWF takes the turn and heads for 2006 with the RAW after Survivor Series – which begins with our new heel stable – The 51% Solution.

That’s HHH-M, who just beat Shawn, ending the Clique, the night before. That’s Flair and Arn, who turned heel on Leviathan and beat down Steamboat in the back.

They explain how it was a plan all along – Flair’s not retiring, he’ll wrestle forever, no man’s enough to stop him. They have taken their 51% of creative power to end the Clique and to keep Matt Hardy out of the WWF. Steamboat’s in the hospital – and the 51% Solution is completely in control.

Not only that – but if you count the number of men in the ring (1, 2, 3) is seems short somehow – for some reason, HHH-M says, he always thinks that a wrestling group – a stable, if you will, should have four members.

HHH-M: And we do.

Hit Angle’s music.

Angle’s coming off the loss to Benoit for the vacant Worldwide Titles, losing a chance at the Triple Crown. Angle’s pissed, Benjamin, as S$, is carrying his bags, walking 3 steps behind. Benjamin’s even more pissed.

The crowd, obviously, is supposed to presume that Angle is the fourth man. He’s not, as they explain.

Angle: Stop your booing – I’m not the damn 4th guy. I couldn’t care less about your 4th guy, Helmsley.

Angle, recall, is doing a crazed, steroid fueled, Vic Mackey gimmick. He’s not in his gear, he’s got the mirrored sunglasses, a t-shirt, a jacket – Angle’s always raging – and since he won’t let Benjamin wrestle on PPVs, he’s always fuming behind him.

Angle says he lost to Benoit last night (pop) lost his chance to be Worldwide Champion (pop) lost his chance at the Triple Crown (pop)

Flair: What the hell do you want us to do about it, Angle?

Angle says that since the 51% Solution is running this place now – he asks for – he demands – that at the Royal Rumble – he gets the only thing that will make him feel better – one more time to kick Shawn Michaels’s ass.

Pop. Angle is unbeaten in his career against Michaels, one notes.

Flair and Hunter are fine with that – they’ve ended the Clique – if Angle wants to take care of the rest, that’s fine.

But Hunter wants something in return.

See, Hunter swore, at Summer Slam, when he returned as HHH-M, as the Princess’s husband, that he’d be walking out of XXII with gold.

So, at the Rumble, he needs an easy win, a “guaranteed” win. If Angle knows what he means. But he needs to beat someone athletic, someone talented, someone who has held WWF gold himself.

Hunter gets in Benjamin’s face.

HHH-M: I’m gonna beat you, Money.

Angle says Benjamin’s not ready yet – he still can’t work PPV – he’s not good enough.

Benjamin looks like he wants to kill everyone.

Angle says and because he’s not ready – that Hunter’s got a deal.

The 51% Solution laughs. Angle smirks. Benjamin fumes. Angle tells S$ to shake Hunter’s hand – Benjamin, despite the reaction of the crowd, does.

So, that sets up 2 matches (there’s gonna be nine).

Coming off Survivor Series, we’re gonna rematch MNM with Dead Men Walking. That’s 3 matches.

As mentioned in the Summer Slam build – we’re gonna do the Sunshine Boys gimmick with Fit, Dean, and now Regal.

Fit returns to the ring, with Dean as his manager. On this RAW the night after Survivor Series, he loses to Benoit – and we’re supposed to recognize how rusty Fit is.

But every week, with Dean in his corner – Fit gets a little better – starts to win, starts to win convincingly – he adds Regal as his training partner after beating him in a singles. It’s a chance to tell Fit’s story as the Euro vet trying for WWF gold – his longtime friend and rival Regal – and Dean, the NWA Champ who came over as part of the Alliance with Benoit, Saturn, and the late Eddy – Dean retired due to injury – but here he is, with Fit and Regal – gunning hard for Benoit.

It’s just veterans working hard. We can get some Dean/Benoit stuff – a promo that gets kind of heated where they walk down memory lane. If they want to talk Eddy they can, however it works is fine.

But it’s just a veteran tough guys angle.

The week before the Rumble, Benoit gets another pinfall over Fit – this time in a tag match where it’s Benoit/Rey against Fit/Regal. Rey winds up attacked by his opponents (yeah there will be two) for the title match at the Rumble – but Benoit holds on, Fit taps to the crossface – Benoit doesn’t break the hold as quickly as Dean would like – Dean’s in the ring to stomp on Benoit – and they throw down – with Regal and Fit having to act as peacemakers, Benoit and Malenko exchanging blows the week before the Rumble.

So, that’s 4 matches.

5 more.

Kendrick returned in the hot angle at Survivor Series, superkicking London cold as Paul tried to save Shawn.

Kendrick cuts promos that when he broke his arm 2 years ago (one may recall that they were the Michaels protégées, a jealous HHH turned heel by breaking Spanky’s arm with the sledgehammer) he went up to the Ring of Honor promotion – and he
waited for the call to come that he had his job back.

And it never came. And he wondered why – but he met a wrestler up in Ring of Honor who told him the truth – that the reason that WWF didn’t bring him back was because his old partner, Paul London, put the bad mouth on him.

London says that’s nuts.

Kendrick doesn’t believe him – he knows, he heard – he was told.

And we tell that story, two young guys, trained by Michaels in Texas, a young WWF tag – London got ahead, beating Jericho, beating HHH, getting an IC shot on PPV (the Rumble, I think) and Spanky, now known as Brian Kendrick, got brushed aside.

He keeps referring to this mystery wrestler from ROH who told him about how London screwed him, London buried him, London’s trying to ruin his career.

Kendrick can’t take it anymore.

And we build that – until one Raw they’re both attacked by the returning Jamie Noble.

Noble cuts the same promo on Kendrick that he’s been cutting on London.

Noble had it all coming together in WWF – he beat Chris Freaking Benoit on PPV – and he broke his ankle (Benoit broke it) went up to Ring of Honor – and he and Kendrick became a tag team.

Noble: We was friends, Brian. We was brothers – and when you got the call to come back here – did you take me? Hell, no. You left me up there, Brian. You left me.

Kendrick says he didn’t have a choice – but Noble says he got a phone call from a certain wrestler – and that wrestler said that Kendrick did have a choice, that he got offered a deal as a single or as a tag team – and he decided to leave his partner behind.

Kendrick says that’s not true. Noble says he heard it was.

And that’s your 5th match, a 3 way at the Rumble.

4 more.

Booker and Bradshaw won the straps over Orton and Cena at Survivor Series, as mentioned, on a RAW thereafter, Bradshaw re-turns, becoming GHB once again, with the flags and bringing out his toadie Conway as Anal Cysts, and the rabid jingoistic pro war rants.

But Book’s stuck with him, and we have heel/face tag champions.

They’re gonna meet the winners of, what will be a big RAW – we’re gonna do a gauntlet tag match, with 15 teams made entirely of men who have held tag belts before, either in WWF, NWA, or ECW.

Sometimes we’ll reunite actual tag teams – sometimes we’ll mix and match – but it will be a happening – as 29 (in a minute) former tag team champions will appear on RAW in a 15 team gauntlet – the team that survives goes to the Rumble to meet the champs.

The only man who will appear in the match never to have held a tag title is a former Worldwide Champ – and a longtime tag wrestler – making his return to WWF TV – Chavo Guerrero.

And the fans can do with that as they will. It should be a pretty big babyface return.

Not only will the tag title match be set up in that match, but also a big angle will move forward to set up an undercard match. We’ll also use that match to jumpstart Rey’s title defense at the Rumble. And, of course, once again, we have Matt and Edge.

Edge won at Summer Slam. Matt crucified him with a nail gun on RAW. Edge returned at Survivor Series to spear Shawn, allowing HHH-M the win. Matt ran in with twists of fate on both of them.

And they’ll meet again at the Rumble.

Matt v. Edge – in an Empty Arena Match.

How we get there, we’ll start talking about in the next installment.

So, next time will be the 15 team gauntlet, and we’ll set up the final 4 matches for Rumble ’06.

So far, here’s where we are:

Undisputed Titles: Rey v. ?
Worldwide Titles: Benoit v. Fit
Tags: Booker/Bradshaw v. ?

Angle v. HBK
London v. Noble v. Kendrick
Benjamin v. HHH-M
Dead Men Walking v. MNM
? v. ?

Empty Arena Match: Matt v. Edge

It’ll be a happening the build continues

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