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 Survivor Series 2007 - 3

Friday, September 19, 2008

Part 2 is here.

Road to Survivor Series 2007 - 3

Set up in Parts 1 and 2:
NWA Championship: Fit Finlay v. Johnny Nitro
WWF Championship: Rey Mysterio v. Undertaker

And in that order; a point of contention on the road to survivor series was card placement as emblematic of title status - neither the WWF belt nor the NWA belt has had a main event slot in the year since the company got busted up at Survivor Series '06 - the main event of SNME (although not the end of the show, that comes in this section) was Fit and Nitro gaining the main event spot for their title match by going over Rey/Undertaker (after Juggernaut interference). Nitro pinned Rey, a startling result, Nitro's maintained the character of not wanting to be hit, not wanting contact, not wanting to have his features marked up in any way - the opposite of the ethos of Fight Night spread by Fit and Dean.

But Nitro slithered his way not only into keeping his job after walking out on the title match at SSlam, but now has a rematch, in the main event of Survivor Series '07.

Rey/Undertaker is all babyface - although after Rey gets pinned there's tension between he and the Dead Man, it has been assumed by all, including Steamboat, that Rey is clearly the man to return the WWF to glory, as its slide has occurred while Rey has been out, but fluky though it may be, Rey's losing to Nitro has opened the door for others - including the Taker, to openly speculate if they might be better choices.

Not engaging in that speculation is Steamboat (here's where, for those of you who read parts 1 and 2 already and know all of the aforementioned, there's new stuff) he has two things to add here; one - after Little's interference at SNME, costing WWF the match, Steamboat, as did he at Summer Slam - books him in 2 matches at Survivor Series. The Juggernaut slags off his Slam opponents, Kennedy and Cena, as vanilla midgets - Steamboat says he'll do Little a favor, he'll stick him in the ring, at Survivor Series, with two mystery opponents - both of whom - both of whom are bigger...a lot bigger...than the Juggernaut.

So, that's 4 matches named - two title matches - and Eddie Little, The Juggernaut - in two separate matches against mystery opponents.

The other thing Steamboat's involved in dovetails into the discussion of the third World Title match, the ECW title and GDI.

At Survivor Series, CM Punk will defend his title against The Blood Dragon


Part of the promo from part 1, when the WWF match was set up, included Steamboat resetting the idea that it's his mission to reunite the 3 title belts and return the WWF to glory. That theme continues - and continues even though there's an obstacle, as was set up by Rey in that promo - Punk isn't obligated to defend the title against WWF wrestlers anymore, which allowed him to keep over GDI's Paul London at Summer Slam.

How will WWF ever get the belts reunited when Punk will obviously never fight a WWF wrestler again?

This is a good question.

The other element of that Steamboat promo from RAW (it's in part 1) was a clip from the first ever Survivor Series - 20 years ago - when Steamboat kept the WWF title over Dynamite. Clips of Steamboat will appear more often in this stretch, his working style should be familiar to the newer viewers.

Keep both of those things in mind as we return to just after Summer Slam.

Punk and Maria only appear once in the first month.

They are in celebration after the win over London - Punk says they're going on vacation so he can put the wood to Maria. Mmmm. Maria. He says he wants to clear the way for the new blood to pump its way through GDI - new blood like like The Yakuza (who started before Summer Slam, it's Jimmy Yang with a black suit and spiked hair and mirrored sunglasses and a prosthetic missing pinky finger) like The Little Warrior (that's Shannon Moore, who we'll never acknowledge as Shannon Moore, dressed like Great Sasuke) like Matt Sydal (total white meat babyface, effectively taking London's place on the GDI roster) like Colt Cabana (Colt's Punk's walkaround guy; like a comedic Arn Anderson to Punk's Flair).

Punk says he'll return on the season premiere of GDI, on Sci Fi, in a month, to cleanse the old GDI blood - it'll be Punk/London, the final chapter - and not only will he run Paul London out of GDI - it'll be time for the rest of the old guard to declare their allegiance to the movement.

During the month that Punk's gone, another guy debuts - a guy dressed like Jushin Liger, so in a full costume - a guy using Ricky Steamboat's moveset. His name - The Blood Dragon.

The connection between he and Steamboat won't be pushed by the announce; Steamboat will be on RAW, making cryptic comments about needing to reunite the belts - needing to get the WWF on top - "taking matters into his own hands"

The clips of Steamboat will be shown to remind people of his signature spots.

And there will be The Blood Dragon, beating everyone on GDI.

I'd like the fans to put it together on their own, maybe start chanting.

As this stretch rolls along, I see occasions where Steamboat would be selling an injury on Monday that the Blood Dragon suffered on the previous Tuesday. And as we get closer and closer to SNME, then it's in full scale "Good god - Ricky Steamboat is the Blood Dragon" mode.

But that's not here yet.

Before that happens, Punk returns to go over London again in that promised match - and then has the cleansing - which, if you read Summer Slam, I referenced was coming -- London is cut open, hung upside down, while his blood drips down atop Punk - Punk bathing in the blood of London. It should be extra-violent.

And that's an act that will be too much for Jamie Noble - recall, he and Brian Kendrick have tagged up for the past year, they were instrumental in the ECW duo of Sandman/Dreamer (Dreamer is the color announce, as a babyface, for GDI) but their partnership ended as they feuded over who would get the IC shot against Orton at SSlam.

A choice has to be made, Punk's made clear - the old blood will have to be cleaned out - that old blood is Noble and Kendrick - and they stand in the aisle, looking on in horror while Punk drowns in London's blood - both conflicted - conflicted - it clearly shocks the conscience -- will they take a stand - so much history between London and Kendrick - so much history (they also tagged in ROH) between Noble and Kendrick - it's Noble who blinks - he runs to the ring to free London.

Kendrick follows - but follows to attack Noble from behind.

And so the cleansing of GDI isn't just Paul London (who I'm gonna send home until further notice) but it's also Jamie Noble.

Noble is going to be traded.

Noble is traded to WWF for Ulysses Morley.

WWF then trades Noble, Ken Kennedy and John Cena (recall, prior to Summer Slam, Steamboat told them that their matches against Juggernaut were their last chance) to the NWA for Shelton Benjamin and "future considerations."

Now - what all of that will result in we'll talk about on the Road to Royal Rumble 2008.

But one assumes it results in something.

Back to this show - after Punk's passed London, he notices the Blood Dragon, notices the crowd reaction - puts 2 and 2 together - there are satellite promos between Steamboat and Punk - Steamboat always denies he's the Bood Dragon, we do the "those two guys, Blood Dragon and Steamboat are never in the same place at the same time" stuff. Steamboat has a twinkle in his eye as he gets under Punk's skin - Punk has manipulated everyone for two years now - and now, Steamboat, apparently is coming out of retirement himself, in a mask, to invade GDI.

You could see how this would go.

It builds to SNME which will be a contract signing.

Punk finally decides it's a good thing - it's a great thing - he gets to beat up Ricky Steamboat (they had a program in ROH too, it was good) at Survivor Series. 20 years after Steamboat beat Dynamite at the first ever Survivor Series - he gets his ass kicked by CM Punk.

Punk says he'll give the Blood Dragon a title shot at Survivor Series.

But the qualifier is - he can't wrestle with the mask.

At SNME there's gonna be a contract signing - and at the contract signing - Blood Dragon will unmask.

And that's how SNME, at MSG, will close - so, you've got the big tag match between WWF and NWA - and then the contract signing.

The GDI before that will feature Blood Dragon again - again going over - and for the first time, as the show ends and he celebrates - Steamboat's last WWF music (you know - that they played as intro music for the Chicago Bulls during the Jordan era) plays.

And that's the music that plays when the Blood Dragon enters for the contract signing.

Punk signs. Blood Dragon signs.

Punk then yells at him to unmask - unmask Steamboat - "I want to see your face Steamboat! I want to see your face old man!"

And that's when Ricky Steamboat appears at the top of the aisle.

"You want to see my face, Punk? Here it is. Take a look - because at Survivor Series - it won't be my old face you'll be looking at across the ring -

-It'll be his..."

And at Madison Square Garden, with a couple of months of buildup, on Saturday Night's Main Event before Survivor Series 2007 - the Blood Dragon will unmask...

Jeff Hardy.

Jeff's been gone since Mania, when he was wiped out by Punk and GDI in the Cell after trying to save his brother after GDI attacked Matt and Edge after the main event of XXIII.

Jeff attacks the shocked Punk - Duped! (punked, if you will) - and we've got our third title match for Survivor Series.

ECW Title: CM Punk v. Jeff Hardy

That's 3 title matches, plus the 2 Juggernaut matches. 5 matches set up for Survivor Series 2007 as the build continues.

Road to Survivor Series 2007 - 2

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Part 1 is here.

Road to Survivor Series 2007 – 2

In part one, the WWF Title: Rey v. Undertaker, was set up.

On the Friday after Summer Slam, Dusty Rhodes begins Fight Night from the ring. He’s hot at Nitro; recall, the NWA Title match at Summer Slam ended in a countout when Nitro quit rather than face the continued onslaught from Fit.

The NWA champs (Orton, Cade and Murdoch) were at ringside for that match, along with Dusty – as they were in full NWA celebration after the previous two matches, so that Nitro quit during a title match was incredibly humiliating for Dusty, his demeanor here clearly evidences that he took it personally.

The tone set in the NWA is one where they are tougher than is the WWF, with Fit and Malenko as emblematic of that. The Fit/Nitro program is based on that difference, Nitro always talking about his hair and his abs while Fit is committed to passing down the gospel of the NWA to the younger wrestlers. Everyone, including Bradshaw, is in full anti-Nitro mode as Dusty cuts a promo on him that effectively ends with “you’re fired.”

That causes Fit and Dean to enter.

Fit says it’s actually his fault and he wants Dusty to reconsider.

Dean looks at Fit quizzically, one notes.

Fit says he has tried to teach the young wrestlers the NWA way – and at Summer Slam, he tried to beat some of that teaching into Nitro. Clips are shown of Fit pulling Nitro up from pinfalls, like, one recalls, Dean used to do. Fit says it’s his fault – and he’ll never do that again. Sharp eyed viewers note a pursing of Malenko’s lips, as if to indicate some degree of disapproval.

Fit proposes to Dusty the following – if Nitro can last ten minutes in a match with him – he keeps his job.
Nitro comes on the screen – he’s at home, bandaged up, blackened eye, surrounded by medical equipment as if he were on his deathbed. Melina is in a nurse’s outfit. Nitro says clearly he is not at the arena and does not know when he’ll be medically cleared to wrestle – but, after his facial injuries heal and his plastic surgeons have restored him to his genetically superior good looks, he’ll be able to come back to Fight Night, last his ten minutes, and keep his job.

Dusty is hot as the feed drops – he wants to fire Nitro right now – but Fit, all the while with Dean remaining silent, Fit says he’s the NWA Champ – and the right thing for the title belt is to beat Nitro clean and in the middle.

Dusty agrees – then, he says there’s one more piece of business – Monday on RAW, Rey Mysterio said this – then he plays Rey saying he was the last real NWA Champ.

Dusty gets hot now at Rey – he says that while Rey was gone for a year rehabbing an injury, the NWA was reborn, reborn under Fit Finlay who isn’t just the real NWA Champion – he’s the real World Champion – and as for the idea that the WWF Championship should be the main event at Survivor Series – a match for the new NWA Title has never been the main event at a PPV – and it’s about damn time that changed.
Each Friday, we get some video from Nitro that shows him still not medically ready to wrestle. The anti-Nitro rhetoric grows stronger

Finally, sometime in September, say with the season premiere of Fight Night, Nitro returns for the ten minute match. It’s not much for workrate – as Nitro runs – runs around the ring – escapes the ring until Malenko finally catches him and throws him back in – but the story of the match is Nitro running away.

Fit catches him, pounds on him – gets nearfalls – but Nitro just survives the ten minutes and keeps his job.

During that month between Summer Slam and that match, the war of words between WWF and NWA continues – who is the real world champion – and what will be the main event at Survivor Series? There’s a Saturday Night Main Event in this stretch, it’s at MSG, so we’ll build to that – Steamboat winds up issuing a challenge, accepted by Dusty – at that SNME, there will be a tag match to determine the main event at Survivor Series.

Rey/Undertaker will team up – and they’ll take on Fit and a partner.

That partner’s unannounced during the build – different wrestlers want the slot, most specifically, the Worldwide Champ Randy Orton, Leviathan, and Strong Style Shelton Benjamin. None of the men is happy when they are turned down – Orton takes it badly.

After Nitro lasts the 10 minutes - barely– Fit takes the mic and says he’s found a partner – he wants Nitro to be his partner on SNME – and if they win – if they beat Rey and the Undertaker – then Nitro will get a second shot for the NWA Title…at the main event of Survivor Series.

They do the match, it’s the main of SNME at MSG, it’s a screwy finish – The Juggernaut (recall the set up for the WWF Title in the previous post) runs in after a ref bump and wipes out Rey – Nitro, who has largely avoided contact the entire match, protecting his face and his hair, tagging Fit whenever possible, takes advantage with an aerial spot and a pinfall.

The Juggernaut hits his catchphrase – Nitro and Melina celebrate – we have our NWA Title match – Fit Finlay defending against Johnny Nitro again – in the main event of Survivor Series 2007.

Two matches set up – next, the GDI Title match – who will CM Punk defend against? It continues.

Road to Survivor Series 2007 - 1

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer Slam is here.

Road to Survivor Series 2007 – I

The working plan is to do somewhat of a History of Counterfactual Survivor Series, in the way that I did a Summer Slam history a couple of years ago. That will serve to catch some people up on how we got here, and give everyone something to read (other than The Blog of Revelation, of course) between now and November.

Within those posts, I’ll be referring to the upcoming card – the balance of the building of which I’ll do later. Today, I want to start setting up the 3 World Title matches.

The night after Summer Slam, Ricky Steamboat comes to the ring on RAW.

Steamboat says that in November, it will be one year – one year since Survivor Series ’06 – one year since this happened.

And they’ll play the tape of Punk throwing down the WWF Championship belt.

It was the darkest day, Steamboat says, in the history of this ring. I was brought back to this company late that night, he reminds us, and brought back for one reason – to restore the prestige of the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight championship. I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight, I knew that the NWA was going to branch off and start it’s own show – I knew that GDI was going to move further away from us – but honestly – that we are approaching Survivor Series a full year after that…that…son of a bitch Punk tore this company apart, and that it’s still torn apart..well, maybe I haven’t done as good a job as you all deserve.

But if there’s a man who knows about how to win – how to win a huge battle at Survivor Series – it’s Ricky Steamboat.

Clip from the first Survivor Series in 1987 – Steamboat successfully defending his WWF Championship over Dynamite.

Hopefully, the people pop.

And if there’s another man – another man who knows how to win a huge battle at Survivor Series is the New WWF Heavyweight Champion of the World – Rey Mysterio Jr!

Clip from Survivor Series 2005, Rey Mysterio successfully defending the WWF Championship over Juventud Guerrera.

And then Rey enters – at Summer Slam, recall, Rey defeated Booker T for the WWF title, just before Booker was turned on by his protégée Montel Porter, sending him out of the WWF.

Steamboat, recall, was Rey’s first big supporter in the WWF – back when the top of the card had been dominated for years by Angle/Benoit/Eddy – when Ricky Steamboat made his return to the company, he said that he thought the real Ace of the promotion was Rey Mysterio, so there’s good history between the two men.

Steamboat shakes his hand – says Rey is the “real world champion” and asks if Rey Mysterio will join him in his mission to unite the 3 belts – unite the 3 companies – and once again return the WWF Championship belt to its rightful place at the top of the wrestling universe.

Rey says there’s no doubt in his mind that one day the titles will be united under the WWF once again. But there’s no way CM Punk will face him; Punk’s not contractually required to ever wrestle a WWF match ever again – he is keeping that title on Tuesdays.

And while he respects Fit Finlay – Rey says the truth is – the last real NWA Champion – well, that was Rey Mysterio Jr. (Rey was NWA Champ when it was bought by WWF).

Rey says there’s a more immediate problem.

He’s been out a year – watching all of this on TV, and what he noticed is that ever since CM Punk threw down the WWF title – there has been 3 PPVs. And at all of those PPVs – some match that wasn’t for the WWF title was the main event.

You want to return the prestige to the WWF belt – then at Survivor Series, the main event has got to be Rey Mysterio defending the WWF Championship!

Rey continues.

And it shouldn’t be against someone from GDI or NWA. It should be against someone who bleeds WWF. It should be against someone whose name is synonymous with the WWF – a man who debuted at Survivor Series 17 years ago – a man who at Wrestlemania this year defeated a Triple crown Winner for his 6th Legends Win – The Undertaker.

Undertaker comes to the ring, gets whatever pop he gets.

Undertaker says he’s been with the WWF since Survivor Series ’90 (clip of Taker beating Snuka) and during those 17 years – he’s had 1 shot at the WWF Title. One.

And he respects Rey – but at Survivor Series – in Miami – 17 years after my debut – he’s taking the WWF Title to the Dark Side.

At the top of the ramp – The Juggernaut Eddie Little (Umaga)

The Juggernaut says Rey’s a paper champion – and it’s like Steamboat to pick an old man who sat at home watching Summer Slam to be number one contender – when at Summer Slam The Juggernaut was going through not just one, but two men.

Steamboat tells him to get out of here – he hasn’t earned a spot out here with Rey Mysterio and the Undertaker – if he doesn’t watch it, he’ll wind up wrestling twice again at Survivor Series – and Steamboat will see to it that Little doesn’t get a cakewalk that night.

Little says maybe he’ll take on both Mysterio and the Undertaker at Survivor Series – or anyone else Steamboat wants to put in front of him – because “I’m the Juggernaut, Bitch!”

That’s the WWF Title match – Rey defending against Undertaker.

Coming next - the NWA Title match. The road continues.

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