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.

Survivor Series 2006

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The build is here.

Survivor Series – 2006 (Philadelphia)

(Dark – 3 Way Dance: Sandman d. Dreamer d. Scorpio
London d. Kendrick
Benjamin d. Regal)

Joey and Taz are once again your announce

And they’re joined at the very top of the show by HHH-M, representing the Solution, he comes to the announce to do color for the opening match, the winner of which will meet him later on this evening for the Worldwide belts.

1. Sugar Shane Helms d. Charlie Haas (w/Arn and Benjamin)
-Both men former tag champs looking for their first real singles chance in the WWF. Haas and Benjamin are now called Strong Style, the no nonsense tag team under the tutelage of Arn Anderson. They’ve torn through all opposition since Haas returned at XXII to help Benjamin run Kurt Angle out of the WWF. Arn leaned on his longtime friend Flair, Undisputed Champion and the leader of the 51% Solution, to get Helms a shot against fellow Solution member, Worldwide Champ Hunter Hearst Helmsley-McMahon. But HHH-M wasn’t going to make it that easy, and he threw Helms, who eliminated both Benjamin and Haas in the number one contender battle royal, into this mix.

Helms gets the fall though – he and Haas have a 50/50 babyface match, but Helms goes over – as Strong Style exits – Hunter slips into the ring to drop Helms with a Pedigree. Helms will meet HHH-M later tonight – but he’s laid out right now.

2. LWO: Chavo/Carlito (w/Crazy) d. Cena/Kennedy
- Chavo was forced to join the Latino World Order when he lost to Carlito Colon at Summer Slam; he’s done so begrudgingly, but despite the LWO being anti-American heels, they’ve been very welcoming to Chavo; supportive at every turn despite Chavo’s clear disdain for their heelish tactics. The critical moment comes when Crazy distracts the referee and Carlito tosses the knux to Chavo for use on Cena –

--and he uses them. Chavo gives in and becomes a full fledged member of the LWO – embracing Carlito and Crazy as his new family. They wave Puerto Rican and Mexican flags and rile up the Philadelphia crowd.

3. Executioner Lashley d. Booker T
- Lashley is the monster bodyguard for the Solution; and he’s fighting battles on multiple fronts; he’s less a wrestler than a wrecking ball and clips are shown of his ending the WWF careers of Chris Benoit, Kane, and Hulk Hogan and putting Rey Mysterio and even Ricky Steamboat in the hospital. Never backing down from Lashley over the course of the past year has been the Undertaker – and clips of their brawls are part of the package as well. Just this past Monday, Lashley/HHHM/Flair were driven out of the ring in the go home Raw by Taker/Michaels and CM Punk. Lashley has also seemed to bristle under the tight controls of Flair and especially Hunter – Lashley “accidentally” eliminated Hunter from the number one contender’s battle royal – and the announce says speculation as to the stability of the Solution is at its height.

Lashley had altercations with Booker, along with his new protégées, Montel Porter and Elijah Burke, at Summer Slam, then at the number one contender battle royal – and then responded by taking Porter and Burke out a few weeks ago. Porter, as we’ve found, is an ex-convict, like Booker himself, and wrote to Book from, prison telling he was an inspiration and asked for advice. Book sent wrestling tapes from Japan and told him to look him up when he paid his debt.

Porter got out, and along with Burke, a childhood friend (the age difference goes unnoticed) went to Houston to be trained by Book – and now they’re in the WWF – Book is just coming off a tag title run with Bradshaw – and the presence of these two young lions (who will be christened Heat by Book – Book passing along the Harlem Heat colors in a moment we should take as important) has revitalized him.

But Lashley is a monster; Book gets in some shots – but Lashley doesn’t have actual wrestling matches; he just blows through people, and ends the quick bout with a Dominator. Lashley grabs a table post match for his big Dominator Through a Table spot that caused so much damage as earlier discussed – but this brings out Porter and Burke – and among Porter, Burke, and Book – they drive Lashley from the ring.

4. Randy Orton d. Fit Finlay (w/Dean)
This is a big upset. Orton’s a former tag champ, and went over Cena at Summer Slam in the blow off to their feud. But he hasn’t been positioned as a top guy; Fit, on the other hand, is a former Worldwide Champ, having taken those belts from Benoit. He and Dean Malenko, his manager, are the essence of the no-nonsense, hard hitting stiffness that runs throughout counterfactual WWF.

Orton, using the RKO, eliminated Fit at the number one contender battle royal and was talked up by the announce as moving to the next level – Orton has been cutting “it’s my time” promos on the road to Survivor Series – but the match here has him pretty solidly outclassed; Fit is positioned as smarter, more sound, and of a skill level that surpasses the younger Orton.

But, out of nowhere….RKO.

And clean, and in the middle Randy Orton gets the fall on Fit Finlay. The announce is shocked – Orton seems shocked before moving into cocky heel celebration mode.

5. Edge d. Jeff Hardy
Edge is on the road to the main event at XXIII in Detroit; a Hell in a Cell match against Matt Hardy that will blow off their year and a half long feud (really, almost a decade long feud) – the match was made at XXII – and is promoted so heavily that Matt and Edge have their own show, Matt. Edge. 24/7/365 that runs as a segment on every WWF program and as a standalone on the internet.

Whereas Edge has become a maniacal cocky heel and Matt a maniacal babyface – Jeff’s years away from the company have mellowed him, centered him – he is clean (kayfabe) calm, and normal – like a regular guy – except in the ring, where he continues to take ridiculously wild bumps – because that’s what he does for a living. He knows what the fans expect – and he’s happy to give it to them.

Jeff returned at Summer Slam, in the middle of this top card rivalry, to cost Edge his ladder match with Michaels, which cost Edge his possession of Matt’s contract.

Jeff takes whatever level of unconscionable fall he’s willing to take here, it goes wrong and costs him this match, Edge going over cleanly, the announce always, as they always do, talking about XXIII and the Cell match (only the 3rd ever Cell match) that will be on the top of the card.

6. Matt Hardy d. Shawn Michaels
-Edge remains at ringside, hopping on the announce to do color for this match; Edge has no friends in the ring, he and Matt, as mentioned, are in a white hot year and a half long program that is culminating a nearly decade long feud – a feud that kicked off when Edge and Christian turned on Matt and Jeff to join Hunter and Waltman in the Clique. That version of the Clique eventually died – but was reborn in the famous scene at MSG at XX when Edge returned from a year and a half absence when he broke his neck in the same TLC match that was Jeff Hardy’s last in the WWF until this current return. Edge and Christian joined Michaels and London to reform the Clique, a formation that existed – until this program with Matt. All of this is woven together.

As is the Matt/Michaels relationship – because, whereas Edge and Christian began their WWF careers carrying Owen Hart’s bags – Matt and Jeff were the personal ring boys for the Clique: Razor/Diesel/Shawn.

Since Matt’s return, his darkness hasn’t sat well with the heavy evangelical Michaels – Michaels seems, one could say, genuinely concerned about the state of Matt’s inner life; or one could say Michaels is an overbearing hypocrite. The booking accommodates both thoughts.

Shawn has Matt’s contract – and puts Matt over clean here – not a whisper of outside interference, much like the job Michaels did for Edge at XXII.

And postmatch, Edge comes to the ring and he and Matt do a nose to nose, with the giant XXIII poster looming in the background.

7. Unified Tag Titles: Glass Light Tube Tables Match: RVD/Sabu (w/Stevie) d. DMW: Undertaker/PAUL
- And we see the end of Dead Men Walking. DMW: PAUL, Kane, the Taker have been heels and then feuded with each other after various turns – but they all turned babyface for this last run, and Kane and PAUL won the straps at XXII. Kane didn’t make it to Summer Slam, taken out by Lashley as a warning shot to the Taker – and the Taker couldn’t fill in – as he too was taken out by the Executioner. It would be Hogan who filled in the slot – and then he would be sent through a table by Lashley.

Sabu arrived at XXII to aid RVD in his fight against Heyman, Cactus Jack, and the rest of the ECW group that Paul E brought with him, looking for revenge against RVD for turning on him a couple of years before (during a year+ long feud with Matt Hardy…see how it all weaves together?).

Sabu beat Cactus at Summer Slam (Cactus presumably turning face postmatch by ending Heyman’s WWF run) and, with Van Dam’s manager Stevie Richards (who started the ECW exodus back in 2000 by forming Stevie’s Hardcore Family) they take a run here at the tag straps.

It’s a crazy garbage match, ‘cause that’s how we use the ECW guys. Florescent glass light tubes are strapped to tables – and to win, both members of the team have to be put through tables. The Show was 5 bills+ at the end of his WWF run, so putting him through a table, I recognize, is a feat. Put he can be buried in glass tubes, picked up by all 3 guys, put on a table and then Sabu can go through him, leaving the ‘Taker to take a Van Terminator with a table propped behind him for the win. Lot of color everywhere. It’s Philadelphia, after all, and we’re looking for ECW chants.

It’s Sabu’s first WWF belt, obviously – and that’s a big deal – we’d like the fans to feel good for Sabu – Joey and Taz, of course, are on the announce – Taz shakes Sabu’s hand as they leave the ring – it’s a whole ECW thing – Sabu/RVD/Stevie exiting through the crowd – celebrating with the fans in the crowd – passing the title belts around – until they are attacked in the stands by Sandman and Dreamer.

During the Sandman/Dreamer attack – Lashley emerges and destroys PAUL with as much ferocity as we’re permitted.

He then prepares to finish off the Taker – at this point, as he attempts to hit a Dominator on the totally prone Undertaker – Michaels races in from the back.

Michaels and the Undertaker were put together over the past few months to build the Flair/Punk match. Michaels and Undertaker serving as the locker room leaders, the conscious of the WWF, who have impressed upon Punk the importance of the WWF Title and the need to get it away from Flair and the Solution, who they feel have devalued it – disrespected the belt – done the wrong thing for business with their bodyguard and their run ins and Hunter’s use of nepotism. It’s not the WWF they built – again, if one found Michaels overbearing, that’s okay, but he’s still a babyface as positioned.

So, the ECW stands brawl stops, the guys vanishing from view so as not to pull focus from Michaels, who slides the Taker out from the ring and helps him to the back, keeping him from being sent through a table from a career ending Dominator.

That infuriates Lashley – who eventually decides to go after them.
Meaning he doesn’t stay for the next match.

Lot going on, I know. This is how we do it.

8. Worldwide Titles: Helms d. HHH-M
Hunter doesn’t have his bodyguard – so he’s got no one to interfere for him, as the announce notes and the crowd picks up on – he’s still much bigger than Helms, and Helms already wrestled, and he took a pedigree – so Helms is fighting from underneath the whole way – but he’s got that white meat babyface fighting spirit thing going – and he hits Hunter with the vertebreaker and shockingly – Shane Helms captures the IC belt at Survivor Series 2006.

As Helms cradles the belts to his chest – celebrating – disappearing back up the aisle – Lashley slowly makes a walk back to the ring.

Recall, there had been tension in the Solution – and now Lashley wasn’t at ringside and Hunter lost his belts.

You wouldn’t call a man in an Executioner’s hood sheepish – but Lashley approaches Hunter in what the announce considers to be an apologetic way – we’ve never seen Lashley as anything other than alpha male – but he sees that he’s let Hunter down – and he aids Hunter to his feet.

Helmsley goes off on him – screaming at Lashley – until finally he slaps the hood right off his head.

And Lashley snaps on Hunter – beating him down – and then sending HHH-M through a table with a Dominator – breaking Hunter in half.

Flair now runs down the aisle – his title match is up next – and he’s got his head in his hands – Helmsley is gone, laid out – he’ll have to be helped from the ring – who knows when he’ll return?

Flair looks at Lashley – not speaking – too many thoughts, too many calculations filling his head – Flair finally shaking his head and telling Lashley to go – just go.

Hunter’s helped out. Lashley exits. Ric Flair – the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World – the leader of the 51% Solution is all alone in the ring –

And his match is next

9.Undisputed Heavyweight Championship: CM Punk (w/Maria) d. Ric Flair

You get how this goes - Flair's Flair - but it's 2006, and Punk is young and hungry and Flair has no backup and he's trying to cheat and trying to use his veteran wiles and trying all he can do to keep Punk from taking his straps.

But Punk's too much. Nearfalls. Many nearfalls.

Lashley, with Flair in trouble, finally emerges at the top of the ramp – we think he’s gonna run in and save the day for the Solution once again – but he’s stopped cold by a Michaels superkick and an Undertaker tombstone, the Dead Man still bloody from the tag match. – Lashley laid out for the first time in his career.

Punk hits the Pepsi Plunge – and then the Go To Sleep – and gets the fall.

Punks cradles the title belts in the middle of the ring. The Undisputed Champion of the World!!

CM Punk arrived from Ring of Honor at the Rumble; he turned out to be the puppetmaster behind the 3 way feud among London/Kendrick/Noble.

Punk refused to wrestle on WWF TV – saying he wasn’t here to be a superstar or a sports entertainer, contrasting himself with specifically Hunter whose preening was starting to dominate the WWF – his line was “I’m CM Punk. And I’m a professional wrestler.”

He remained a heel, however, using his manipulation to keep the other wrestlers off TV as well, preying on their weaknesses, their insecurities as they remained pitted against each other.

That’s one way to see it. The other way to see it (Counterfactual WWF enjoys the nuance) is that he’s a man of principle, refusing to bow down to the man – Punk started wrestling indies, taking a handheld camera to ship footage back to RAW – but still he refused to wrestle on WWF TV – that’s what led to Sci Fi, on Tuesday nights, starting GDI Wrestling (God damn Independent, or Global Dominant Independent for those adverse to expletives).

But Punk won, from the #1 spot, the battle royal to get the title shot – and he came to Philly – and he won the Undisputed Championship of the World.

CM Punk has beaten Ric Flair to win the WWF Title.

The boys come from the back – standing at the top of the ramp – a bloody Undertaker and Michaels front and center – all the boys at the top of the ramp –

Flair shakes Punk’s hand and exits the ring. The Philly crowd, I’m guessing, enjoys this result – and listens as Punk takes the mic.

Punk holds the WWF belt and the NWA belt in his hands.

He says it’s the greatest night of his life. He wipes a tear from his eye.

And as he stands here in the ring in Philadelphia.

He thinks of the men who have held these title belts.

“The Jack Briscos. And the Terry Funks. And the fat man Dusty Rhodes. And the Ric Flairs. And the Dynamite Kids. And the Rick Steamboats. And the Curt Hennigs. And the Randy Savages. And the Bret Harts. And the Steve Austins. And the Shawn Michaels

And they can all….

kiss my ass.”

Punk throws the WWF and NWA belts down. Throws them down.

I said - he throws them down.

He says he is not the man to carry the banner of dead wrestling companies.

He says the NWA has been dead since 2001 – and the WWF died the second that a 55 year old man started carrying around the world title.

He is not a guy to carry on a legacy. He is not a guy to stand on the shoulders of the men who have gone before – he is not the next chapter in a book already written. He doesn't care about locker room traditions. He doesn't care about Lou Thesz and Whipper Watson and Bruno Sammartino and a bunch of hundred year old fossils with cauliflower ears talking about "in my day, we didn't have to do all this flying around, we could grab a 30 minute headlock and make the crowd love it."

Screw off. Punk says. Screw off with your "these young guys don't know how to wrestle" bullshit.

Screw off with your locker room politics and shaking the right guy's hand and not doing too much in the lower card matches so you don't show up the veterans at the top who draw the money.

Screw off.

The Hart Foundation? - screw off.

The Clique? - screw off.

World Wrestling Federation?

Screw off.

He is CM Punk – he is here to ignite the flame of the next fire spread wild in the sport of professional wrestling.

Maria gives Punk the ECW belt.

Punk says this belt – the ECW Heavyweight Championship belt – is the only belt that represents the Independent spirit the only belt held by iconoclasts, rebels, outlaws, not sports entertainers - not corporate robots – because he is not a corporate puppet – not a businessman, not a superstar, not a sports entertainer –

He is not WWF Champion. He is NOT WWF CHAMPION

He is CM Punk.

He’s a professional wrestler.

He is G…D….I….. G...D...I.....G...D...I.....G....D....I

Punk and Maria spit on the WWF and NWA belts - - and now, the stunned WWF wrestlers at the top of the ramp, who were applauding just minutes before – begin to pound the ring in a fury, Michaels and the Taker and Flair hitting first... Edge and Jeff and Matt Hardy just behind them – Punk and Maria scamper out – escaping with the ECW belt through the crowd – which, one hopes, has some people who definitely support what Punk just did.

The announce is too stunned to speak – the camera focuses on the shocked WWF wrestlers – babyfaces and heels, sworn enemies, standing in the ring together -- and then frames the WWF and NWA title belts, spittle on them both – lying on the blood soaked canvas as the 20th Survivor Series ends.

We'll see you soon on the Road to Royal Rumble 2007.

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