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 SummerSlam 2008 - 2

Friday, May 29, 2009

In Part 1 (click the label at the bottom) we set up the two singles title matches at the top of the card (the advertising push twins them – it’s Hardys Go For Titles at SummerSlam ’08) and the opening tag.

The other tag match – the tag title match – is also pretty high profile.

Shawn and Hunter – heels – largely doing the same act that makes them babyfaces in real world WWF (like they’ve lived on scholarship their whole lives, Shawn’s “jesus loves me and so it’s okay that I was a dick” act is the same, Hunter’s “I’m married to the Princess so I own this whole place” act is the same) but in Counterfactual WWF, they’re booed.

I mean, you don’t have to boo. I’m booing.

Anyway – they took the straps at Survivor Series (their second time as a team) from Cade/Murdoch (the Superstar and the Sidekick, such a good gimmick “That_Just Happened” was the name for the flip piledriver – TNA can have that one if they like) kept that the Rumble but lost at XXIV to WMD: John Cena and Leviathan (Batista).

Each of them have had a previous run (Cena with Orton, Leviathan with Flair) WMD is doing an 80s musclehead thing – all oil and steroids (allegedly) and no selling. They’re managed by Arn, Flair was the guest referee at Mania and wound up turning on the Clique to aid WMD in taking the straps.

Hunter gets the rematch at Summer Slam, but he’ll be doing it with Edge.

Edge got maybe his biggest ever (maybe second biggest) singles win at 24, beating Jericho.

Edge is essentially real world Edge at this point. He’s amoral. He and Christian joined the Clique back at WM15, turning on their friends, the Hardys, now almost 10 years ago. Following that long collision feud, Edge went down for a year and a half with the neck surgery, returning as a babyface at XX in the big Clique babyface reformation (Michaels, Christian, London) that came on the heels of Michaels beating Hunter and Christian losing to heel Jericho in the second ever Cell match.

That version of the Clique had a long feud with Team Angle; Edge took the IC from Jericho – Edge then turned heel, lying to everyone, including his brother, in the Lita program – beating Christian in a Loser Leaves Town, Edge beat Michaels at XXII – then built for a year to the Cell Main Event at XXIII – he lost to Matt, then appeared to turn face in the postmatch beatdown from GDI.

Edge returned to save the Anvil’s daughter Natty at Survivor Series, he and a returning Jericho aligned to face the Clique at the Rumble – in a touching, historically important scene Jericho presented Edge with his own pink and black Hart Foundation hockey jersey (#10).

Edge then turned on Jericho in the match, having set him (and the fans) up all along. Edge then beat Jericho clean and in the middle at Mania.

So – here Hunter and Edge are.

This storyline isn’t much about WMD, largely they just do their act. The summer here is about the Clique.
Hunter and Edge continue to establish they don’t like each other. That’s always been clear, clear for years. Edge thinks Hunter’s bloated and self important and only has his spot because he bangs the Princess. Hell, maybe one day, when Hunter’s out of town, Edge might pay the Princess a visit.

Hunter thinks Edge is a bitch who only got out of the midcard by doing Matt Hardys tranny girlfriend.
They don’t like each other.

But the Clique is bigger than that. You think anyone likes Scott Hall? Hell no. But they’d lay down their life for him, ‘cause 4-Life isn’t just a catchphrase (buy the shirt) it is a blood oath.

And of course the fans don’t understand. And Joey Styles doesn’t understand. They’re losers. Like Chris Jericho.

They do lots of Jericho talk over the summer – ‘cause Jericho is gone without a trace. And there’s lots of talk about how wrecked he must be (Jericho has a fragile psychological history) that he’s crawled into a bottle someplace, that he’s been found in a back alley with a needle in his arm. They’ll talk about people spotting Jericho in the Arizona desert weighing 400 pounds and covered in melted cheese, or say that he and Perry Saturn have moved to Vermont to make it official.

So, Hunter’s HHH-M. And Edge has just ended Chris Jericho.

What about Shawn?

Shawn appears once on TV, soon after Mania, to cut a new variation on his “Don’t you people know who I am” promo.

Shawn says although you wouldn’t know it by watching WWF television, when he and Hunter won the tag titles last year – he became the first 10 time champion in WWF history.

2 time Heavyweight Champ.

A record 4 time Intercontinental Champ

4 time tag champ.

10 times.

Not Sammartino. Not Hogan. Not Steamboat or Savage or Hennig or Flair or Austin or Cactus or Mysterio or any one of the Harts – any damn one of them.

Me. Shawn Michaels. And none of you are smart enough to appreciate that what you are seeing in front of you is the greatest professional wrestler who ever lived.

A 10 time champion. Shawn Michaels.

So it’s time to educate you people on just who it is I am.

Shawn says one day Jesus will return to earth. But not everyone will be saved. Only the people who recognize him as their lord will be saved. That’s why they need to educate themselves.

You have to know Jesus when you see him.

Shawn says “I am not Jesus, that would be blasphemy – but I am as close as most of you are ever going to get – and you will recognize that in this ring – I am your Lord!”

So, what we get, not just over the summer, but all the way until 2009 – are clip packages of Shawn’s ten title wins. They are positioned in a way to put Shawn over as hard as possible – slow motion, music – narration, it is designed to in a full on way portray Shawn as more than a man.

The Clique’s in charge, after all. Hunter’s a McMahon. Shawn Michaels is Shawn Michaels. Edge is Edge.

They are entitled.

The ten Michaels title wins are shown in clip vignettes, interspersed with biblical verses all summer long, hell, make it all year long, all the way to 2009. They end with flashes of white light and the phrase.

He Will Rise Again.

That’s the tag title match. WMD defending against Edge and Hunter.

4 down. 4 to go. Plus all of the other stuff that while not being part of Summer Slam is nonetheless going on in the summer of ’08. We continue.

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