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.

Road to Summer Slam '06 - Part I

Saturday, June 23, 2007

XXII is here.

The Road to Summer Slam ’06, Part I….

RAW the night after WM XXII starts with the post-Mania clip of Benoit, with fractured sternum after taking the Dominator from Executioner Lashley being stretchered from the ring while a concerned Michaels looks on.

We’re informed that not only is Benoit indefinitely out of action, but after his loss at XXII to Benjamin (no longer called S Money) Kurt Angle has left the WWF and is not expected to return.

We’re also told that as was the case in 2004, the Number One Contender Battle Royal will not be held tonight – but instead will be held after Summer Slam.

And then – Ricky Steamboat hits the ring.

(Edit - No he doesn't. I would just go and change this, as it's so far escaped comment, but what fun is it if I don't show my work? Steamboat lost his managerial control in the War Games match running up to Mania. So - Steamboat's not here. Flair will do this entire angle. That is all.)

Steamboat says that he will be returning, full time, to his position holding 49% of managerial power in the WWF. And that tonight, in this very ring, the process of choosing the number one contender to meet Rey Mysterio for the WWF Championship at Summer Slam in Boston will commence.

And now here comes the 51% Solution.

Flair. The new IC Champ, HHH-M. And the monster – the unstoppable Executioner Lashley.

Flair and Hunter smirk, laugh at Steamboat, laugh at the fans – gloat about the IC win – gloat about Benoit – gloat. They say that they’re missing someone. Double A. Get your ass out here Double A.

Arn enters – Flair gives him the “where were you last night, we were partying in LA all night long – where were you?”

Anderson says no offense – no problem – congratulations – but after some soul searching – he thinks it’s time he leaves the 51% Solution to take another opportunity.

There’s a dissension tease – but Flair and Arn shake hands – handshake with Hunter – Arn takes the mic and says that he is a two time WWF tag champ – and he’s going into full time managing over a reunited team that has also held the WWF tag titles twice – they are now going by the name Strong Style – Haas and Benjamin!

Haas and Benjamin enter – they’re gonna do a no nonsense shooter gimmick – they’re wearing hooded sweatshirts like the Briscoe Brothers, they stay in the aisle – Arn says Strong Style will worry about belts later – that they are going to go on a summer destruction tour to rip a hole through the WWF tag ranks – and they’re going to start in the main event tonight by taking apart the former tag champs – Booker and Bradshaw.

During the summer, Strong Style does, in fact, end the partnerships of other teams.

They beat Booker and Bradshaw – causing Book to finally turn on Bradshaw, with Book and Conway finally teaming up to take Bradshaw out.

Book tells Conway that he has a rematch clause in his contract for Summer Slam – and he’d like Conway to be his partner.

That sets up our first Summer Slam match – Dead Men Walking: PAUL/Kane to take on Booker T and the man formerly known as Anal Cysts, Rob Conway.

But on the go home RAW before Summer Slam – as part of the long simmering rivalry between Lashley and the Undertaker – Lashley will lay Kane out in a singles, just beat him half to death in what hopefully is Kane’s last appearance with the company – ending up with a Dominator through the table. The announce will speculate what will happen with the tag title match coming up at Summer Slam – what will PAUL do for a partner?

So, that’s your first match: PAUL/? v. Booker/Conway

Anyway, after Strong Style takes out Bradshaw, the next team they break up is the LWO – forcing Psychosys from the company.

This leaves Carlito and Crazy.

But that’s not enough – and Carlito approaches Chavo with an in ring promo.

Carlito realizes there’s been a problem with the LWO, there’s a reason why they haven’t won any WWF gold – and that’s because the LWO just isn’t the LWO without a Guerrero.

Note, the LWO is now just ripping off LAX from TNA. Flags. Bandanas. Gang signs. It’s not a comedy act – it’s the Latino World Order. Carlito and Crazy attack Chavo viciously, say he’s either with them or against them. He needs to come home – needs to come home to his people – needs to come home to the LWO.

They wind up making a match for Summer Slam – a singles, Carlito v. Chavo.

If Chavo wins – the LWO disbands.

If Carlito wins – Chavo joins the LWO.

So, that’s your second match for Summer Slam ’06 – Chavo v. Carlito – with the future of the LWO at stake.

The third team that Strong Style takes apart is MNM. The guy who gets over here is Nitro – as Mathews is shown to suck – but cocky, pretty boy Nitro just keeps fighting Strong Style, earning the respect of Haas and Benjamin as the Summer of Strong Style comes to a close.
Also going on this summer is the ECW battle.

Recall, Cactus Jack turned heel at Rumble ’06, then went over RVD at XXII, leading to Sabu’s return for a face save.

Jack/Dreamer/Sandman, with Paul E as their manager do battle all summer with RVD/Sabu/Stevie in multiple configurations.

It’s an all garbage program, Jack is the WWF legend, a Triple Crown winner. And he constantly lets people know. This is his house. He’s main evented Wrestlemania. He’s one of the biggest stars who ever lived. Fuck all you guys. I’m Cactus Jack. Don’t you read? I’m the hardest hardcore icon who ever lived. Who’s Sabu? Bang, Bang.

Dreamer and Sandman establish the Dreamer and Sandman characters.

Tommy never dies. He takes a beating and keeps going. He’s a heel because he’s grown bitter. Bitter at never getting a chance. Bitter at being left behind. Van Dam got rich, won 2 IC titles. Won the tag titles. Tommy’s been kept off the big shows. No Wrestlemania for Tommy Dreamer. No Madison Square Garden against Shawn Michaels for Tommy Dreamer. Van Dam’s living my life. I used to be a pretty boy. I gave my body to the church of extreme. Tommy has never won a title. Zero ECW titles for Tommy in Counterfactual ECW. He and Raven teamed up in Counterfactual WWF for a title shot, but did not win. Tommy is yearning for recognition, for respect. Paul E, the evil genius, preys upon his weakness. His need.

Sandman’s a drunk. And the first ever ECW TV Champ.

Van Dam’s Van Dam. Stevie’s Stevie.

Sabu’s the focus of the program – he doesn’t ever speak and is spoken about in reverential tones; guys talk about Sabu in shoot style promos the way they’d talk about Flair. Like he’s not even human.

It’s a Jack/Sabu counterpoint. Sabu/Jack was the first ever ECW title match 13 years ago.

Sabu won.

And Paul E uses that to rile up Cactus Jack – for all he’s accomplished – the whole world believes that Cactus Jack is the Hardcore Icon – he beat Van Dam at XXII – he’s rich, he’s famous – but inside the business, when you talk to the boys – they talk about Sabu.

And Cactus can’t put up with that –

So, it’s the mythical Sabu, making his WWF debut, the man who defeated Cactus Jack in 1993 – the enigmatic, mystery man – a man who does not speak – a man who is off the grid – outside of society, outside of normal, human boundaries. Spoken about by every worker we can find in hushed, reverential tones. He’s not even human. Kinda like the way they push the Undertaker…except it’s real – Sabu really did glue his bicep back together during a match. He really is a scarred up freak. It’s not a gimmick, not a trick, it’s real. It’s Sabu and it’s real.

With Joey and Taz as the voices of the WWF – they add context and credibility to the angle. Taz, note is not jokey Taz we see in the WWF, he’s a little harder – more badass, still angry Taz.

We feed Al Snow and Terry Funk to Jack and Sabu respectively.

Leading up to the Summer Slam match – Cactus Jack v. Sabu.

The garbage stip – Glass Light Tubes.

Glass Light Tube Match: Cactus Jack v. Sabu

The fourth match we can set up right now is Orton v. Cena.

The end of their tag team came at XXII – Orton turning full heel. Now he’s wearing the suits – hitting the RKO – he’s full on Randy Orton.

And John Cena’s full babyface. The full on John Cena gimmick.

Orton and Cena Explode – Summer Slam ‘06

That’s half our card:

Unified Tag Titles: PAUL/? v. Booker/Conway
Glass Light Tube Match: Cactus Jack v. Sabu
LWO in the Balance: Chavo v. Carlito
Former Tag Champs Explode: Orton v. Cena

Summer Slam ’06 is coming from Boston in August – half the card down – the road continues

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