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.

Counterfactual History of Survivor Series (abridged)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A severely abridged version, just 'cause I feel like doing one. 

-Survivor Series began 20 years ago in Cleveland; a desperate Dynamite Kid spent the summer of '87 manhandling his Hart brothers, a fury of sweat and pharmacuticals, DYK lost his bid to recapture the WWF Title from Ricky Steamboat in the main event.  Rick Rude debuted at the first Survivor Series after months of vignettes - losing his IC shot at champ Randy Savage, who hit 18 months with that belt here.  The Hart Foundation (Bret/Bulldog) had their long run with the tag belts end at the first Survivor Series, when their manager/enforcer, The Anvil, turned on them to join the Rougeaus, who took the straps.  Underneath, Survivor Series '87 saw the blowoff to Hogan/Orndorff, with Mr. Wonderful's WWF run coming to an end. 

-A classic PPV a year later from Cleveland - Randy Savage wins the WWF title, beating Dynamite in Billington's last ever PPV.  The Harts blew up after losing those tag straps - and their feud culminated here, Bret keeping his IC over Davey Boy which ended this run for the Bulldog.  The long feud between Rude and Jake Roberts ended here in a steel cage - with Jake getting his babyface win - but that glory was fleeting, as the postmatch saw the birth of the Heenan Family, Rude-Hennig and the new tag champs, Arn and Tully.  Survivor Series became known as the show where careers are born - last year it was Rick Rude - this year saw the PPV debuts of both Curt Hennig and Owen Hart - with Perfect going over.

-A year later, Survivor Series was in Chicago; the main event saw a giant swerve and a world title switch.  The Heenan Family has imploded, with Bobby siding with Rude and Hennig turning face - Perfect and Savage formed an alliance that would lead to Randy giving his new friend Curt his first ever WWF title shot here.  This was a mistake; Perfect and Bobby pulled off the swerve, cheated to win - and Hennig took the title.  That came immediately after Bobby dumped Rude in his IC loss to DiBiase, taking the Million Dollar Man's cash and seemingly leaving the WWF.  Bobby solidified his nickname by swapping out his IC Champ for a WWF champ and pocketing big, big coin in the process.  The Rockers came into - and left Survivor Series the tag champs, they beat the Rougeaus here.  Shawn Michaels, in 2007, will be challenging for the tag titles yet again - he and HHH-M will take on Murdoch and Cade for the straps. Bret ended Arn's WWF run; Roddy Piper returned to action - as a heel aligned with Jake Roberts - and they beat Snuka and Terry Taylor, respectively, in singles matches.  And the tag team of Hulk Hogan and Dusty Rhodes continued their run underneath. 

-The title run for Mr Perfect continued a year later; Hennig beating Kerry Von Erich here - Survivor Series saw us in the early stages of a feud that continues in 2007 - The Harts v. The Clique - Bret kept his IC against Shawn back in 1990 -- in 2007, Shawn and Hunter have promised they'll be taking out the last Hart in the company, Natty Neidhart, once they recapture the tag titles. Meanwhile...the countdown clock keeps ticking.   The Road Warriors won the tags, squashing the Orient Express.  The Hogan/Dusty tag team had ended with Dusty turning heel - and that feud ended here with Hogan winning a baseball bat on a pole match.  The Survivor Series again is the show for debuts - 1990 was the Undertaker's.  In 2007, the Dead Man takes on Rey Mysterio for the WWF Championship. 

-Woooooooo!  Ric Flair took the WWF Title from the British Bulldog at Survivor Series '91, becoming the first man since Buddy Rogers to hold both the NWA and WWF Titles.  Bret lost the IC to Roddy Piper; Bret had 2 nearly 2 year IC runs, as that became known as the Hit Man's personal property - Piper used the ringbell to knock Bret out for the win.  The blowoff to the Rockers feud was here - Shawn going over Marty.  And Hulkamania died at the hands of the Undertaker. 

-Survivor Series returned to Cleveland to see Bret Hart keep his WWF Title, defeating the former champ Flair in a submission match -- and it also saw Owen Hart win his first ever championship in the WWF, beating his heated rival Shawn Michaels for the IC (a title that Michaels had won earlier in the evening against Savage) Another debut in '92 - The Steiner Brothers came to the WWF and took the tag straps from Money Inc - Survivor Series - where WWF careers begin. 

-Bret's year long title run rolled on here as he beat Lex Luger in the main event.  The Clique had now taken shape - Shawn was IC Champ and kept his strap over Sean Waltman - postmatch, Razor Ramon turned face, aiding Waltman as he was getting beaten down by Michaels and Diesel.  The Steiners kept the straps, beating the Rock and Roll Express of all teams, in 1993.  The hot feud at the time was Owen and Randy - Savage had turned maniacal on Owen, and got DQ'd here for using what would become known as the WWF fork to bust the Rocket up. 

-Survivor Series '94 went into the belly of the beast - San Antonio, home of the Heartbreak Kid and therefore, Ground Zero for the Clique.  Shawn got his big babyface moment - beating Owen Hart, his longtime Hart Foundation nemesis, and taking his first WWF Title.  That glory was momentary - Diesel turned heel postmatch and attacked Shawn in front of the hometown crowd.   The Clique also got the IC match - the champ, Razor, beating Waltman in a ladder match.  Bret and the Anvil, getting huge heel heat with their Hart Foundation hockey jerseys and Canadian flags, won the tag straps, beating Luger and Bam Bam Bigelow.  And that Clique/Hart violence got started early, with Diesel going over Davey Boy. 

-An all time great show from Washington DC; the Hit Man, as a heel - kept the WWF Title over the babyface Bulldog in the main event that saw Owen (who beat Ahmed Johnson earlier) attack his brother postmatch.  And in the IC - the champ was Shawn Michaels, who kept over Shane Douglas, who was doing an anti-WWF gimmick.  The Clique won the tag straps - Raxor and Diesel, working as cool heels, took the straps from Billy and Bart Gunn - Hunter, Waltman, and Sunny were all part of the gang at that point.  Clique and Harts.  Harts and Clique at the top of the card.  Hunter, incidentally, worked his first Survivor Series earlier in the night, beating Bob Holly - and both men will be wrestling in tag matches a dozen years later at Survivor Series 2007. 

-Madison Square Garden.  The Harts and the Clique met head on in the main event - the Hit Man took Shawn's WWF title, his 3rd WWF title.  Cactus Jack won the IC, beating Vader in a cage.  Your tag champs - Bart Gunn and Marc Mero, who kept over Furnas and LaFon.  Steve Austin beat Owen in a hot match; Austin had positioned himself right in between the Harts and Clique, going after both dominant factions.  2 Cold Scorpio made his WWF debut - beating Al Snow in a No DQ match.  Also debuting - the Rock - it's Survivor Series after all, where WWF careers begin - the Rock was a heel - the newest blue chip recruit of the Nation of Domination - and he went over the Undertaker in 1996.

-Montreal.  Bret's WWF career ended here in a 4 way match where the winner (Owen) got the vacant WWF Title and the loser (Bret, who submitted to his baby brother) had to leave the company.  Austin and Shawn were the other two participants).  All 4 men were deeply antagonistic toward each other, it was, probably, the most significant WWF match ever.  Ken Shamrock took the IC in the Octagon from now heel Cactus Jack.  Rock and DLo, as the now babyface Nation - took the tag straps in a 3 way against the Road Warriors and the Outlaws.  Vader beat Davey Boy.  Phil LaFon beat Doug Furnas.

-A year later Cactus Jack and Ken Shamrock met again - this time in the very first ever Hell in a Cell Match for Foley's WWF title.  Cactus took the monster bump from the top of the cage - but was still able to hold onto his belt.  The IC Champ - Steve Austin, and he retained over Steve Regal.  The tag champs coming in were Rock and DLo, this was their second run now - and it continued as they once again beat the Outlaws.  Al Snow beat the Undertaker, Waltman beat 2 Cold, and in the opening tag - the Hardys, after 4 years working as the Ring Boys for the Harts, made their PPV debuts - beating Too Cool. 

-Cactus Jack, a year later, is still your WWF Champion - and in '99 he kept in a 3 way match against Rock and Hunter - the Rock/DLo feud with the Outlaws (who were in the Clique) moved to a Rock/HHH feud - and that came to a head here in this title match.  The IC match saw the PPV debut (see how this goes?) of the newest Hart - the Lionheart Chris Jericho - who took Waltman's title from the Clique.  8 years later, that countdown clock is again ticking - the number 7, Jericho's Hart Foundation jersey number - is flashing - and Survivor Series is coming soon.  The Dudley Boys, with Stevie Richards as their manager, took the tag straps here in a tables match, beating the Hardys.  Another huge, historic PPV debut - Kurt Angle, whose first ever PPV match had been building and building and building - beat PAUL~  DLo beat Al snow; Davey Boy, in his last ever run, beat Christian while Edge beat Ulysses Morley. 

-In 2000 the WWF had been taken over by the Alliance, with Chris Benoit the WWF Champion - Benoit kept here, beating Steve Austin.  The IC Champ was once again Chris Jericho, on his second run now - but that run ended here at the hands of Steve Regal.  The Clique exploded in the tag title match - Edge and Christian came in as the champs - Hunter and Waltman the challengers - the two halves of the Clique tense with their leader, Trish, trying to keep things together -- until Waltman turned on Hunter and E/C kept their belts.  Eddy Guerrero beat Dean Malenko in an Alliance matchup; Angle beat Perry Saturn, continuing his unbeaten streak since his career began a year before.  The Dudleys destroyed Lita in their  opening tag loss to the Hardys.  7 years later - Jeff remains - and he'll be taking on CM Punk for the ECW Title at Survivor Series '07. 

-Kurt Angle was your WWF champion coming into Survivor Series - and 6 years ago the WWF was going head up against the NWA, Angle putting up his belt and the ECW belt against Booker T in a lumberjack match with WWF/NWA guys surrounding the ring.  Taz took the Worldwide belts from Tajiri.  The Dudleys kept the Unified Tags against Raven and Tommy Dreamer.  The Rock, representing the WWF, beat Regal, representing the NWA -- Diamond Dallas Page, representing the NWA, beat Steve Austin, representing the WWF.  Chris Jericho beat Justin Credible.  Rob Van Dam beat the Spreekillers, Chavo Guerrero and Shane Helms, in a handicap match.  And Edge and Christian beat the Hardys in the opening tag.

- 6 years after '96, Survivor Series returned to Madison Square Garden in a spectacular night of professional wrestling (you're welcome).

Kurt Angle kept his Undisputed Championship, beating Jericho - and then was superkicked flat by Shawn Michaels.  Michaels had just lost his Worldwide Titles in a 2 of 3 belts ladder match to RVD.  Benoit and Guerrero, now part of the Horsemen (Flair/Leviathan/Chavo) kept their tag straps over Jamie Noble and Billy Kidman.  5 years later - Leviathan is wrestling the opening tag.  Brock Lesnar got DQ'd in his match against HHH, destroying Hunter with an F5 on the ramp - it was then that Angle, who was Brock's mentor, first saw what the fans and the locker room had been trying to tell him - that Brock was a bad, bad, dude.  Chavo beat Helms in a no DQ as the Spreekillers exploded.  Rey Mysterio beat Steve Regal.  Lance Storm beat Edge and the Hardys effectively turned heel, when their "mystery manager" was finally revealed to be Eric Bischoff. 

-Eddy Guerrero kept his WWF Title 4 years ago in Dallas in a 4 way that deliberately recalled Montreal - Eddy beating Brock/Austin/Angle to keep his belt.  The Horsemen took the IC - Chavo beating Tajiri while Flair and Ultimo Dragon brawled on the outside.  Michaels and Hunter came into Survivor Series with the tag belts - and they left with the tag belts beating the Dudleys - postmatch, HHH "acidentally" pedigreed Paul London.  Christian beat Chris Jericho.  RVD beat Booker T and was then attacked by Matt Hardy, with whom he was in a long, hot feud - Matt brandishing the WWF fork.  Jamie Noble earned what is still his biggest win, over Benoit.  And Bill Goldberg beat Scott Steiner.

-Survivor Series returned to Cleveland in 2004.  Benoit was the champ - and left the champ but not victorious, he went to a 30 minute time limit draw with his friend Eddy.  Jericho now full heel, beat another heel, Chavo, in the Worldwide Titles match.  Kurt Angle and Shelton Benjamin, part of the Team Angle heel stable (Haas, Regal) took the tag straps over RVD and Rey - Team Angle took out Van Dam postmatch in a deal they made with Heyman.  Christian and Leviathan had a no contest -- the Clique now was a babyface collection of Michaels, Edge, Christian and London.  Edge won his match, a 3 way over Kidman and Spike Dudley.  Shane Helms beat Booker T.  Randy Orton - 3 years later the Worldwide Champ, defending against Montel Porter - won the opening tag with his partner, John Cena.

-Eddy died before Survivor Series '05, the two main event matches were wrestled in tribute to him - Rey keeping the WWF title over Juventud Guerrera, and Chris Benoit winning the Triple Crown and the vacant Worldwide Titles over Kurt Angle.  Booker T and Bradshaw, in an unlikely alliance, took the tag titles over Orton and Cena.  The Clique ended in 2005 - and returns in 2007 - as Hunter remined all of us in his promo - Hunter beat Michaels in a match that saw London/Kendrick/Steamboat/Flair/Edge and Matt all play a role.  Flair turned heel the match before, reuniting with Arn as they both turned on Flair's protege Leviathan.  Carito Colon and Bobby Lashley both made their debuts here, getting wins.

-Then came last year from Philadelphia. 

CM Punk, as a momentary babyface, stopped the tyranny of the 51% Solution, beating Flair for the Undisputed Title - then throwing down 2 of the belts to cleave the company in thirds and set up the last year of our lives.  Flair is now gone - and Punk still has the ECW belt, a belt he's defending against Jeff Hardy at SSeries 2007.  The IC champ coming in was Hunter - who is right now just making his return, he and Shawn taking on S&S for the straps - but going out it was Shane Helms, who is out with injury.  RVD and Sabu took the tag titles last year in a glass tube tables match, beating Undertaker and PAUL.  Undertaker meets Rey for the WWF Title in this year's SSeries.  Matt Hardy beat Shawn Michaels a year ago - Matt has been gone since his post Mania main event beating by GDI - Michaels has just returned since his Mania loss to the Undertaker - and he and Hunter are wrestling for the tag titles. Edge beat a returning Jeff Hardy a year ago -- and Jeff is, once again, in the position of returning this year - Edge has also been out since Mania, also from the post main event beating by GDI.  Randy Orton had, what was to that point, the biggest win of his life, over Fit Finlay -- a year later, Orton is defending the Worldwide Title against MVP -- and Fit is defending his NWA Title against Johnny Nitro. 

That's your history of Survivor Series.  Survivor Series 2007 is coming very, very soon from Miami.

Call your cable company!

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