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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 - 2008

Sunday, November 15, 2009



Survivor Series 2008 is from Boston.

Part 3 of the build is here; or you could click the Road to Survivor Series 2008 label to read the full three part build.  Or just go to the it begins post to read the whole story.  I've been doing this blog for four years now; I think it was 6 years ago that I started writing the story, but 4 since I decided to share it with you. 

(Dark – LWO (w/Primo) d. Tatsu/Noble
             Kingston d. Yakuza)

Your announce – Joey/JR/Striker – in the back, Josh. It's JR's 50th PPV, which gets some notice.

Big night tonight – we’ll get the return of the WWF GM, Ricky Steamboat as the special guest referee in Punk’s title defense against Jericho; MVP has held the IC for a full year and defends against the legendary Rey Mysterio – and in a shocking, shocking turn of events – Edge and the Blood Dragon are teaming up to challenge WMD for the tag straps. In the back, we see Matt enter – Josh asks for a word and Matt blows him off – we see Edge – by himself – Josh asks where the Blood Dragon is – where is Jeff Hardy? Edge says everything’s under control – and tonight he and the Blood Dragon will become tag team champions.

1. Fluorescent Box Match: Bradshaw/Henry d. Undertaker/Rhodes

-Two boxes in opposite corners (the corners where the tag partners aren’t) filled with fluorescent tubes – if a wrestler gets to the box, he can use the tubes. Bradshaw and Undertaker are in a program since summer: Taker got a DQ win at Summer Slam but then had to take a light tube beat down. Taker’s taken Cody under his wing in this program, Cody’s job is to take the beating. He takes it here – the other half of BIG (Khali and Yakuza) enters, trying to get to the light tube boxes – the Undertaker fights them off, but that leaves Cody alone to take a good beating from Bradshaw and Henry – the box gets opened – Cody is about to get smashed with light tubes – when he is saved by a fan who runs into the ring to pull him out.

Dustin Rhodes.

Dustin’s been gone awhile. He’s a former tag champ, he and Austin debuted together – taking the tag titles from Razor and Diesel at Rumble ’96. Dustin had been a two time NWA tag champ (w/Eaton and then with Windham). Austin would turn on him when he became Stone Cold, which would spin Rhodes curiously into the Goldust persona – he’d align with a group of large men also in the Goldust costume (Sid and the Harris brothers) as the Golden Girls. A disgusted Jeff Jarrett convinced him to embrace his southern heritage and he cast off the gimmick. Dustin feuded with Hunter for a year – and notably failed with Jarrett in an attempt to burn the American flag at XV (was it XV?)

Anyway, Dustin pulls his little brother out of the ring and carries him up the ramp – the full force of BIG then teams to take out the Taker – they take him out with light tubes – Bradshaw gets his pinfall - they set upon the prone Taker with light tubes – from the back comes PAUL, Taker’s longtime friend (he and Khali had a draw at Summer Slam) and also Kane (gone for awhile, he and PAUL, and occasionally the Undertaker – and once even Hulk Hogan) were Dead Men Walking, former tag champs – PAUL and Kane clean house – knocking all of BIG out of the ring – and they hit Yakuza with a double chokeslam onto some light tubes to get a pop.

2. Truth Killings (w/Kingston) d. Miz (w/Santino)

-Killings and Kingston are Young Money, protégées of Floyd Mayweather ; Miz and Santino are an enhancement comedy act; they’ve been feuding since summer; Kingston beat Santino at Summer Slam and now Killings beats Miz here. It’s not much more complicated than that. Hit the Auto Tune! Shaw-ty!

3. Match 4 of 7: Johnny Nitro d. Strong Style Shelton Benjamin

-This feud started on the road to WM 24; cocky heel Nitro and white meat babyface Benjamin are oil and water, with only their athleticism and desire to demonstrate that athleticism uniting them. They both lost in the TLC title unification main event at 24 (to Punk), after they left their respective hospitals, they continued their feud over the summer, starting this best of 7 series – that was stalled at 1-0 Benjamin when Nitro attacked Shelton’s knee, and that knee has been the story subsequent. Nitro beat Benjamin twice in the build to Survivor Series – and beats him again here – Nitro goes up 3-1, a seemingly insurmountable advantage, and the announce suggests that Benjamin’s knee may just not be able to hold up to Nitro’s offensive onslaught.

4. Brian Kendrick (w/Colt) d. Matt Hardy

-Big picture – Matt’s been a top guy since Edge slept with Lita. Matt beat Flair at XXII and he and Edge spent a year building to their main event blow off, Hell in a Cell main event for XXIII. Matt won that match – but got the hell kicked out of him by GDI (Punk, Colt, Kendrick, et al.) postmatch. Matt was gone a year – he returned at the close of XXIV, hitting the Twist of Fate on Punk from the top of the ladder. Matt got his shot at Punk and the WWF title at Summer Slam, but fell short (as did Jeff in his IC shot earlier that night) in part because of a Sliced Bread #2 hit by Kendrick. That would be enough for this match – except for the crazy twist over this past week when Edge tabbed the Blood Dragon as his partner tonight (the Matt/Edge storyline has been good, I think – Hardys and E/C came up together as young boys ten years ago, E/C saw an opportunity to get ahead, on the night the Hardys won the tag straps – E/C joined the Clique – kicking off a multi-year long collision feud, where, with the Dudleys, the men nearly killed each other. Edge nailing Lita led to the collapse of the then babyface Clique, and led to Edge beating Christian {he told Christian that “as his brother” he would never lie to him – and he never slept with Lita} in a Loser Leaves Town. Jeff returned after years away to aid his brother in the program {but Jeff couldn’t beat Edge – or CM Punk, and during a several month program with Punk, Jeff adopted the alternate persona of the Blood Dragon, which looks sort of like Jushin Liger}. Punk preyed a little upon the unstable Jeff – and his analysis, oft repeated – was that Jeff’s need no longer to be a Hardy, no longer to be Matt’s brother, led to this schizophrenic breakdown. Jeff’s IC loss at Summer Slam was another crack to his ego – Jeff eliminated Matt from the number one contender’s battle royal – which was another crack in the Hardys relationship. They hadn’t spoken in a couple of months, as Matt had told us, Jeff disappearing after the battle royal – until this past week Edge’s search for a partner ended – when he unveiled the Blood Dragon)

It’s still unfolding here – Matt’s noticeably distracted – shaking his head throughout the match – Kendrick is in his “the Brian Kendrick” chickenshit heel persona (Colt has a cast, Matt broke his arm over the summer). Josh has continued throughout the show his search for the Blood Dragon – and during this match – on the video wall – Josh finds him (there was announce speculation that Jeff would reconsider, that despite whatever’s going on with he and Matt – he just wouldn’t be Edge’s partner) but there he is – in the back – Josh asks him “Why – Jeff – why are you doing this” – and the Blood Dragon (in the costume) just shakes his head and continues walking.

That distraction, distracting both the official and Matt – allows Colt to slip in the ring and club Matt with the cast – which allows Kendrick to take control – soon thereafter is Sliced Bread – and that’s the pinfall for the biggest win of Kendrick’s career.

Kendrick does the big celebration – Matt sits in the ring and stares at the video wall – his brother, his baby brother – is going to team with his mortal enemy – right here, in this very ring!

5. Parking Garage Brawl:  Randy Orton (w/Dean) d. Steve Regal
Surrounded by cars in the parking garage, Orton gets a win in as rough and tumble a brawl as decency will allow and Orton can maintain.  Orton's really looking for gravity here - that's why the alliance with Malenko, in whom we've invested a great deal of time establishing as legitimate.  Orton formed Defiance, a stable with Malenko and the Juggernaut (Umaga) at 24 by aiding the Juggernaut in defeating Fit (Orton debuted his punt to the head, called the Golden Goal - Fit's been out since).

Regal came to the aid of his frenemy Finlay - he took the Juggernaut out, he hit Orton with his car (that's why we're in a parking garage) but tonight he takes a Golden Goal himself.

There's a plot development here that leads to the finish - with Regal in control one of the encircled cars suddenly rams into him - the chaos as the car (with an unseen driver) strikes Regal and then screeches away allows Malenko to put on the clover leaf - and Orton to nail the Golden Goal.

A bloody Orton stands astride the broken body of Regal - Orton/Malenko...and who....who was driving the car....Defiance has taken out another man.

6. Tag Team Titles:  Edge/Blood Dragon d. WMD (w/Arn)
Edge comes out alone to take on Cena/Leviathan, the announce speculating that maybe Jeff thought better of it - maybe whatever demons are currently possessing Jeff's mind that caused him to agree to partner with Edge have taken the evening off.  Edge has to take a bit of a beating early - he deserves it and the muscleheads are happy to oblige.

Then the Blood Dragon (in the full costume/mask) comes to the ring and awaits the the tag.

Now, the announce doesn't refer to this, but there's been enough video in the build so the fans are well aware - but please recall what happened at the Rumble.

At the Rumble - Edge/Jericho took on Michaels/Helmsley for the straps - Edge/Jericho was a surprise alliance, and it appeared that Edge had turned in the aftermath of 23.  He had not - he swerved Jericho in that match and the heels pounced.

So here we are, Edge about the tag in the Blood Dragon - important that the announce never says "wait - remember the Rumble?" as that would tip the hand - I'd like it if the fans thought that was the direction we were going here, that Jeff would turn his back on Edge for the comeuppance.

That doesn't happen - instead what happens is the Blood Dragon goes full house afire and eventually he hits the Swanton and gets the fall on Leviathan. 

Edge and Jeff Hardy, shockingly, are tag team champions. 

Edge is thrilled, raising the belt high - the Blood Dragon (still masked, which isn't weird, as we've been planting that as normal forever) seems conflicted - looking at the belt - staring at Edge -- and Matt Hardy, in absolute disbelief, comes to the top of the ramp.

I like a shot of Edge, sneering, smirking Edge - standing with the Blood Dragon in mid ring - Edge mocking Matt - Matt's mouth agape, Matt frozen - Matt underneath the TitanTron as it all goes down.  The Blood Dragon doesn't celebrate with Edge - Edge extends a hand - but the Blood Dragon blows him off - exiting the ring - the Blood Dragon goes up the ramp with the title belt - and he just walks right by Matt - brushing past him as Matt is frozen in what clearly has to be as traumatic a happening as could ever occur to him in a wrestling ring.  His brother - and his mortal enemy - tag team champions of the world.

7. IC Title: MVP d. Rey Mysterio
-This is just a wrestling match, they go hard, Porter gets him with a roll up.

The build was (1) Porter's hit a year as IC Champ (he's got some type of celebration here, a special fireworks thing or girls, some type of "champ for a year" thing- he's longest running IC champ in over a decade (Cactus Jack) - and that's designed to rebuild this belt since it has to be subordinated while we did that belt split.  Porter's the modern athlete (he's Ochocinco) he tweets during matches, he wears expensive suits, he hits his catchphrase (I Run This) and he wants to build his brand.  Rey's on the short list for greatest wrester ever, he's a triple crown legend, but injuries have taken him away for good parts of the past couple of years.  Is MVP going to ascend further up the ranks - can Rey return to form?

Not complicated - they have the best match they can have, it's 50/50 and Porter gets him with the roll up at the end.  Done.  MVPs run continues. 

8. WWF Title: Chris Jericho d. CM Punk (w/Maria and Colt): Guest referee, Ricky Steamboat.
-Well, look what happened here.

-In 1999, Chris Jericho arrived in the WWF to revive the Hart Foundation - he wore the #7 Foundation hockey jersey (only given to champions - and Jericho was an NWA Champ), he beat Waltman for the IC in his first match at Survivor Series.

A decade later, here we are. 

-In 2006, CM Punk, who had built his WWF name as the man whose refusal to wrestle on TV led to the creation of GDI Wrestling - the Tuesday night Sci Fi program - won the number one contender's battle royal (only man ever to do it from position 1) and beat Ric Flair at Survivor Series to take the Undisputed World Title and end the reign of the 51% Solution.  In a shocking - shocking - turn of events, Punk threw down the WWF (and NWA) title belt, proclaiming himself the GDI World Champion (as represented by the ECW belt) and shattering the company in pieces.

Two years later, here we are.

Ricky Steamboat defended the WWF Title at the first Wrestlemania - and has been in general manager type positions throughout the decade in TNA (where his chief nemesis was Punk) ROH (where his chief nemesis was Punk) and in the WWF in a couple of stints - this most recent starting after Survivor Series 2006 which his task being to put right what CM Punk made wrong.

There have been twists and turns. 

But here we are.

Steamboat, gone on his Asian talent search, returns to accept Punk's demand that he be guest referee.

Jericho, gone over the summer after his loss at 24 to Edge (who swerved him at the Rumble) was a surprise entrant (at #30) at the battle royale - he eliminated Edge and with all the years of history behind him - as a Hart - as the man left to carry on the most important WWF legacy - and as a man who has failed carrying that legacy, who has let the emotional pressure of that legacy break him multiple times - Jericho is here.

And Punk, with his boy Colt and girl Maria - the hated, cocksure Punk - master of mind games, Punk who has withstood every challenge - who has always come out on top in his WWF career - Punk is here.

Steamboat, early in the match, sends Colt and Maria to the back after an attempted distraction.  There are, throughout the match, a few Punk/Steamboat confrontations, in the way you'd expect to see them. 

They go head up - Jericho locks on the Walls - Punk breaks the hold.  Punk hits the Pepsi Plunge, Jericho kicks out.  Eventually Punk's attempt to hit the GTS is turned into another Walls - and Punk submits. 

Jericho wins the WWF Championship.  Jericho wins the Triple Crown. 

He gets the celebration alone - after Steamboat puts the belt around his waist - Jericho gets the moment in the ring by himself - no longer "the cocky Hart" - no longer JerichoDark or the Lizard King - he's #7 - and just like Dynamite, Bret, Davey Boy, Owen, and Benoit - Jericho takes his place as WWF Champion.

It's a big emotional celebration - Punk looks on mournfully, alone in the aisle.

The following night at the close of RAW is another tradition - the passing of the Triple Crown trophy.

All the boys surround the ring, as we've done with every previous winner, and the previous holder of the cup, as we've done every time, hands the Triple Crown to the new holder.  There's a highlight package.  It's what we do.

The last triple crown winner was Benoit.  You may recall that he returned to WWF (his career ended at the hands of Lashley) the week after 23 for Flair's retirement ceremony.  And he gave the trophy to the man who held it before Benoit, Rey Mysterio.

So it's Rey who comes to the ring - he hands Jericho the Hart-Guerrero Memorial Triple Crown - the highlight reel from Jericho's career plays - after which, in the middle of all of the boys out around the ring and up the ramp - Punk/Colt/Kendrick attack Ricky Steamboat.

It's a complete sucker attack, they jump him and pound the WWF GM down until pulled off.  It's full on chaos - Punk/Colt/Kendrick have attacked Ricky Steamboat, leaving the GM bloody and laying in the middle of the triple crown ceremony.

One assumes there will be consequences.

That's Survivor Series 2008 (and the next night).  Steve Regal hit by a Golden Goal, Johnny Nitro up 3-1 on Shelton Benjamin, Edge and The Blood Dragon are, in an unbelievable twist, the new tag champs, and your new WWF Champion and Triple Crown winner -- Chris Jericho.

I'll be back in December for the The road. to the Rumble. 





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