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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.

Road to SummerSlam 2009 -Part Two

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Part I is here.

SummerSlam 2009 comes from LA in August; in Part I, the two singles title matches were set up:

WWF Title: Jericho v. Porter
IC Title: Mysterio v. Michaels

Jericho is clearly positioned as the top guy in the company now as the solid, no nonsense Hart babyface; he took from Punk, who for a couple of years had been the top heel in the company - then solidified his hold on the belt with wins over Hunter and Shawn.  The MVP build has been a classic one; he had a long run as heel IC champ, over a year and a half, the longest IC run in two decades, such that he's now called the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time - and now after dropping that belt, he's ready for the Title shot.  Solid veteran Jericho who has been through the wars against cocky upstart Porter. 

Rey is Rey, Triple Crown winning babyface legend - and after a long feud he was finally able to overcome MVP to capture the IC belt; the broader story here is Shawn's - he cut his hair and burned his gear before Mania, becoming the Messiah Shawn Michaels - recruiting the Hart kids from developmental (The Underground), Harry, Tyson, and Natty to become his flock.  All four wear all white.  Shawn's out to spread the word, starting with spreading the word of the evils of the Hart Family (he had the Flock burn their memorabilia of the Harts, he stops them from doing Hart related moves in matches) he claims that Canada is beginning to see the light - and his defeat of Mysterio will reclaim Mexico, Latin America, and maybe even all of South America for his righteous cause.  It's nothing short of the souls of all the western hemisphere for which The Messiah fights at Summer Slam 2009.

The bulk of the remainder of the card comes out of the tag team contenders tournament that is the focus of the summer.  Arn Anderson took over the general manager position - and he announced, as mentioned multiple times now, that for the first time in Wrestlemania history - the first time in PPV history - the main event at WM 26 will be a tag team match - as he intends to return tag team wrestling to not only its past glory, but bring it to never before seen heights.

As such, there's much talk on all of the broadcasts about finding tag partners, about singles wrestlers becoming tag wrestlers, and about the tag division. 

An 8 team tournament is the focus of much of the summer, probably not single elimination - on its feet a round robin makes more sense - but I'm doing it as single elimination for these purposes.  The finals of the tournament will be the opening tag match at Summer Slam - and then later on that evening, the winners will take on Dead Men Walking for the straps.

On the announce, at the analyst position for all of the matches of the tournament (until he's not) is John Cena - Cena is a former tag champ, most recently as half of Weapons of Mass Destruction with Leviathan (Batista) - Leviathan is out with injury so they use Cena in his best capacity, talking. 

The tournament:

D1 v. LWO
-D1 is Division One, Jack Swagger and Nick Nemeth (because they were Division 1 amateur wrestlers) - Swagger and Nemeth came from the Underground (the reality show on wwfu.com about developmental) Swagger beat DiBiase in the contract match at the Rumble - DiBiase then joined Defiance, he, Orton, and Malenko taking out Swagger, Taz, and RVD.  Nemeth, Swagger's friend from the Underground took up the feud in the run to Silver.  Orton beat Finlay at Silver (Fit had served as defact mentor to Nemeth in the weeks before Silver) and a postmatch angle saw Swagger return to hit doctor bombs on the heels - and Division One stood tall with Finlay and Regal. 

The LWO is currently the Colon Brothers, they turned heel at the Rumble, wiping out Young Money and knocking Killings out of Silver - the YM v. LWO program will be a constant not just all summer but throughout the rest of the year.  Additionally, as mentioned in Part One - the LWO is part of the IC angle, getting Rey's back and feuding with the Flock.  They're still heels - full heels here - even while defending babyface Rey - it's a deliberate contrast to a couple of years previous when the LWO turned face defending Rey in a similar spot when he was being attacked by a heel tag team as part of a singles title program. 

D1 goes over here - advancing to the semifinals.

HHH-M/Miz v. The Flock

Hunter and the Miz are largely a heel comedy act; they aren't a joke team the way Miz and Santino were a joke team - as they look to elevate Miz through this partnership - but both guys can play it light, and this is a veteran/kid somewhat mismatched lower card act.  Beyond the jokes - we should see the Miz gain credibility as he learns the tricks of the trade from the veteran Helmsley. 

We've discussed the Harts already - they felt they weren't getting their due in developmental, not getting called up for a shot at the main roster, and then when Rotundo became new head trainer - they lost to the Hooligans (Sheamus and McIntyre) which put them even further down the list - and left them ripe to be plucked by the manipulative Michaels. 

Cena fumes from the announce - having words with both Hunter and Miz - it was Hunter's sledgehammer which was reponsible for Leviathan being taken out with the injury before Silver.

But Hunter and the Miz go over - when, with Miz locked into Tyson Kidd's sharpshooter - Michaels throws in the towel.  Why - because no Hart maneuvers - the world must be cleansed of the Harts and their progeny - and Shawn will rebuke any attempt to bring them back. 

Hunter and Shawn have been apart completely since this new character - and they have a moment prematch where they give each other the once over in their respective new gear.

In the other half of the bracket:

Regal/Fit v. Young Money
-Regal and Fit are healthy at the same time for the first time in over a year - Fit got taken apart when his manager Malenko swerved him to form Defiance at WM 24 - Regal picked up the cause of his longtime frenemy Finlay - getting some measure of revenge in running the Juggernaut (Umaga) out of the WWF - but eventually he got taken apart too - which led to Fit's return at Silver - and finally the two men standing together postmatch.

Now they are a rugged veteran tag team - they serve a somewhat mentor role to D1 - and, if you watch the Underground, are the clear role models for the frenemy team the Hooligans. 

Young Money is Kingston and Killings, I don't know how much longer the Lil Wayne shtick can go, it's really a 2008 act as opposed to a 2009 act - but I'm willing to stay a little behind the cultural wheel here, but probably the autotune gets retired a year from now. 

Young Money goes over - Dean enters, distracting the official - and allowing Orton to slide into the ring - hit the RKO on Finlay - and Kingston gets the fall and they advance.

Defiance v. Rhodes
-Defiance is Orton and DiBiase - Orton and Cena also have words, as they were once young boy tag champs together, Orton turned on Cena in a Shawn/Marty type of way, and Orton's been a heel, Cena a face, subsequent.  Cody Rhodes is in the Mikey Whipwreck role, he got slapped around all year by Bradshaw's heel stable, but kept coming back - earning the respect of the Undertaker - and at Silver, the Taker sent Bradshaw from the company in a decisive win that was aided by both Rhodes brothers, as Dustin returned to the company last year.  The Undertaker is taking the summer off - so Cody and Dustin tag together all summer, but they lose here to Defiance.

D1 v. HHH-M/Miz
Young Money v. Defiance

D1 goes over in their half - so they'll be going to Summer Slam; postmatch, Cena leaves the announce to attack Hunter - but aid from the Miz allows that tide to turn, and they leave the babyface laying - and that's enough to add the following match to the Summer Slam card:

HHH-M v. Cena

Defiance goes over in the second half - so Summer Slam '09 will open with the match we want:

D1 v. Defiance

That means a continuation of the Swagger/DiBiase feud from the Underground, that means Kelly (Kelly Kelly) Swagger's sister and DiBiase's former girlfriend, in the corner of D1, that means a continuation of postmatch stuff at Silver. 

After Defiance goes over, D1 comes to the ring for the nose to nose - and that turns into a brawl - one that is ended when DMW (Kane and PAUL~) hits the ring to lay all four men out with chokeslams. 

So, we now have this:

Jericho v. Porter
Rey v. Shawn
DMW v. Opening Match Winners
HHHM v. Cena
D1 v. Defiance

And then we get two more.  Arn says that both D1 and Defiance will be wrestling twice at Summer Slam; the winners obviously will be wrestling for the tag titles later that night - but also, the losers will be wrestling singles matches.

Regal v. Opening Tag Loser
Cody v. Opening Tag Loser

The quality of the tag wrestling all summer has been great - and we need to see these feuds continue at Summer Slam.  Regal will either face Swagger or Orton.  Cody will either face Nemeth or DiBiase.

So they can build those alternative matches.  Regal feuded with Orton for most of 2008 - and they can revisit that hatred - and Regal has taken on the somewhat mentor role to Swagger - and they can play off the possibility that they will meet at Summer Slam. 

Less heat for Cody and his possible opponents - he and DiBiase can cut some promos about their family legacies - there can be a pull apart between Dusty and Ted Sr. doing a one off on a RAW - and Nemeth and he can do really straightforward young babyface "which one of us is better" sort of a thing.

That's 7 of 8 matches.

Jericho v. Porter
Rey v. Shawn
DMW v. Opening Tag Winners

Regal v. Swagger or Orton
Cody v. DiBiase or Nemeth
HHHM v. Cena
D1 v. Defiance

That leaves us one more match to put together - it's going to be CM Punk v. Christian - and we'll see how that comes about in Part 3 of the Road to Summer Slam 2009.

Oh yeah, there's actually 9 matches to be advertised for Summer Slam, the 9th - Matt Hardy v. Shane Helms, won't actually wind up happening.  But we'll set it up as well.  Part 3


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