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 - 3

Monday, June 01, 2009

We continue our Road to SummerSlam 2008. In Parts 1 and 2 we set up the top of the card:

WWF Title: Punk v. Matt
IC Title: MVP v. Jeff
Tag Title: Leviathan/Cena v. Edge/Hunter
Opening Tag: Matt/Punk v. Jeff/MVP

The other half of the show comes from only two programs.

The first part of 2008 saw us rev up the ECW machine again. Tommy Dreamer and Taz were the color analysts for GDI and WWF respectively (Taz had been the analyst forever), while Bradshaw was the NWA analyst. Bradshaw, as heavyduty NWA mouthpiece had strongly cut anti WWF promos – and eventually as all of the broadcast teams started to do PPVs together, the crosstalk and insults built into threats.
That heat escalated into an ECW v. Bradshaw heat on the back of Stevie Richards’ retirement angle; at the Rumble all the analysts brawled, which cost them all their broadcast jobs under Steamboat’s “no physical acts” policy. That built to two Mania matches, a Bradshaw/Dreamer garbage match (Bradshaw won) and a Stevie/Yakuza match (Stevie won and retired).

The first half of the summer sees Bradshaw (actually, BIG, an acronym for Bradshaw International Group) take out the ECW guys. Dreamer, Guido, Super Crazy all job their way out of the company. Taz isn’t part of the angle after Mania, he spends the rest of 2008 in Tampa running developmental (WWFU – World Wrestling Federation University, which you can see as a reality show on the
As does Cactus Jack, whose leaving is a bigger deal, since he’s a Triple Crown winner – he does a job to Bradshaw aided by the debut of the Great Khali – who does nothing except enter, look big, and hit a chokeslam.

Just a chokeslam. Please. He can scream too. That would be fine.

The ECW program transitions into the new program – BIG (get it, they’re an international group) consists of Bradshaw, Yakuza (the gentleman from the Pacific Rim), Mark Henry (whose ancestors proudly hailed from sub-Saharan Africa), and Khali (the Indian bigger than the Sun) is heavily tied into the economic collapse.
Bradshaw’s catchphrase is that this is the wrestling stable too big to fail.

He does a turn on the DiBiase bit, he’ll bring a fan into the ring, have him do something demeaning, and then demand that the fan pay him a hundred dollars. That would be a fun bit.

Because the Bradshaw International Group needs a bailout, see. They’re down to 3 Gulfstreams. They only have 7 homes among the 4 of them. They only made an average of 360x what an American worker makes, down from 430x, and that’s unacceptable. And when he says 360x, that’s an average American worker, not a wrestling fan, everyone knows wrestling fans don’t have jobs.

They’ll take financial terms for the names of the maneuvers. The Bailout is the new name for the Clothesline from Hell, the Credit Default Swap will be the name for a tag team move.

This will all play out on Fight Night, which is still being run by Dusty even though it’s no longer affiliated with the NWA. Eventually, all of the ripping of the average worker will bring a response from Dusty, who will hit his everyman populist appeal button as hard as he can.

And eventually, that’s gonna lead to the end of Dusty – he gets buried by BIG.

That leads to a response by Cody Rhodes, which really kicks us into the build to SummerSlam. Rhodes is extragreen, we’ve seen him before, Dusty used him as the 5th member of the losing Team NWA in the last War Games match – which drew much criticism from Bradshaw in his analyst’s role.
Cody does the green babyface thing – he’s extra scrappy – he loses singles, and loses in an ugly way, to the members of BIG – but week after week keeps coming back until finally the next week he’s challenged to a 4 on 2, all 4 members of BIG against Cody and anyone he can get to stand with him in a handicap match against the stable to BIG to fail.

Who will he get? Who? Who?

He gets the Undertaker, the 7 time Legends Champion.
Taker gets all the superman stuff, but eventually Khali tags in, hits the chokeslam and they get the fall.

We’ve got 3 BIG matches at SummerSlam.

-Undertaker (w/Cody) v. Bradshaw (w/Yakuza) – this is specifically a non garbage match. Oh yeah, BIG is a garbage stable; they got a taste for the plunder in the ECW angle, Bradshaw used to decry the use of glass light tubes, but now everyone seems to constantly swing one. There’s barbed wire and broken glass all over the place.

But for this match Bradshaw says he doesn’t want any part of the glass, he wants to destroy the Undertaker man on man – he has been in the WWF almost as long as the dead man – and he always knew if he got the opportunity, he’d show he was a better man.

-Khali v. PAUL – Khali does nothing but be big and hit chokeslams – after he destroys Cactus and then chokeslams the Undertaker – Bradshaw does the full run about Khali being the largest man in the history of wrestling, the only true giant in the history of wrestling. The ‘Taker says he has a friend who would disagree.

PAUL’s been gone, what, two years now, he was taken apart by Lashley during his run of dominance. He’s not going to come back until the PPV, so there’s that.
The stip is this is a 5 minute time limit match – these two monsters are going to go as hard as possible for 5 minutes – each trying to hit that chokeslam! Who will win?? Who?? Who?

-Mark Henry v. Frank Neely, yes, that’s Bam, no, there’s no reason to call him Frank except that that’s what we’re gonna do. Neely’s gonna be one of the “fans” who gets called to the ring to give BIG money – he’ll refuse – he’ll stand up to Bradshaw – he’ll slap Mark Henry – it’s the regular guy standing up to BIG!

So he’ll take him on at SummerSlam.

Boom, boom, boom. 3 matches.

One more match, it’s Kingston v. Santino – but we’ll hold that off.

In Part 4, which probably won’t come until July (there will be a TNA post after real world Slammiversary) we’ll set up that last match, plus, talk about all of the programs going on which aren’t represented at SummerSlam.

7 matches down – the 3 title matches, perejas increibles, and now the 3 BIG matches. One more match left, then the programs that aren’t making SummerSlam but are nonetheless significant to our new season and our long run to WM Silver.  We continue.

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