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.

Summer Slam 2009

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Summer Slam 2009 - Los Angeles

Your announce is Joey/Striker/Josh

Dark - (Tatsu d. Noble, Sydal d. Benjamin)

The ring is green in tribute to Misawa, who died in this stretch; there's a clip package at some point during the evening.

The show opens with the go home Fight Night clip of Matt Hardy ramming Shane Helms's surgically repaired neck into the retaining barrier as explanation for why their scheduled match will not take place tonight - babyface announce expresses disgust at what's happened to Hardy - here he is, ending his brother's career at Silver - and now almost certainly ending his boyhood friend's career just Friday night.  Heel announce says it's focus - Matt has never been WWF Champion despite multiple attempts, and he owns the greatest number one contender power ever given - anytime he wants he can cash in the power to wrestle for the strap - could be tonight - Matt Hardy could come to the ring literally right now and demand to wrestle Chris Jericho for the WWF Title - he doesn't need to worry about Shane Helms.  Further - he is sending a message to the rest of the WWF; Shane Helms spent the summer talking about Matt Hardy, running him down, criticizing him - Matt Hardy showed Friday night that talking about him has consequences.  Striker tells Joey that maybe he should watch his own mouth. 

(someone else cut promos on Hardy this summer - so this is setting something up.  Hey, how about some matches?)

1. Winner Gets the Shot:  Division One (Swagger and Nemeth, with Kelly) d. Defiance (Orton and DiBiase, with Malenko)
-Arn Anderson is the new figurehead GM; he's set a full refurbishing of the tag ranks as his number one goal; so his first PPV opens with a long, hopefully good, tag match.  DiBiase joined Defiance at the Rumble after losing his Contract Match to Swagger, the two having had a year long feud in developmental (which you could watch at - otherwise known as the Underground - or see recaps of that run during WWF programming, called Notes From the Underground).  Nemeth was Swagger's only friend in developmental, as he had sort of a superclean, superachieving reputation that alienated him from the boys (DiBiase was far more popular, even though he was more of a pain in the ass to head trainer Taz). Nemeth's got a mini-me thing maybe with Swagger...he clearly looks up to him; he's now dating Kelly, Swagger's sister - who was with DiBiase before the Rumble swerve.  Nemeth feuded with Defiance in the build to Silver; then gave way to the Fit Finlay return (Fit had been gone a year, taken out by Defiance at 24).  Orton beat Fit at Silver - but the babyfaces, led by a returning Regal (taken out by Defiance in '08) and Swagger came in to clean house postmatch.

But here it's the babyfaces - Swagger hits the gutwrench powerbomb on DiBiase - and D1 goes over - they get the shot against DMW later in the evening - and that means both DiBiase and Orton will have singles matches later in the evening. 
Could be there are some receipts coming due for Defiance tonight, Joey notes.
2. John Cena d. HHH-M (w/Miz)
Cena and Leviathan (Batista) took from Hunter and Shawn at WM24; at the top of '09, Hunter took out Leviathan with the sledgehammer, he's been out since.  Hunter joined Miz in the build to Silver - and they remain together, doing a largely comedy veteran/kid act that's also designed to give Miz a little credibility.

Here - Cena goes over, Miz enters postmatch for a heel beatdown - that's interrupted by a Leviathan superman return - he gets the music and the fireworks and he hits his moves and shakes the ropes and he and Cena hit their muscle poses.  They clean house. Weapons of Mass Destruction is back!

3. Cody Rhodes (w/Dustin) d. Ted DiBiase
Cody spent '08 doing a Mikey Whipwreck/Colin Delaney gimmick, getting his ass kicked by Bradshaw's stable.  But the Undertaker took him under his wing and by the end of Silver, he had earned some level of respect.  Taker's been gone all summer; Cody's been working with Dustin, the idea being that his veteran older brother will continue to provide Cody with seasoning.  DiBiase worked earlier in the evening, so that's also in play.

Finish comes when Defiance attempts a trademark spot - Malenko starts to come to the ring - normally, that means a referee distraction and then Orton appearing from somewhere near the ring to RKO the opponent and get Ted the win.  Here - Malenko hits the ramp - but is interrupted by the Bong.


Malenko does the big bug eyed manager facial - and turns around right into an Undertaker chokeslam - when the focus turns back to the ring, Cody rolls up DiBiase for the win.

Cody briefly celebrates with his brother - but saves the big hug for the Undertaker (ever seen someone hug the Undertaker?)  He is momentarily startled - but then returns the hug.  It's nice.  Except for Dustin perhaps, who is left out of the moment. 

4. Steve Regal d. Randy Orton
-The Orton/Regal history was mentioned previously - they feuded in '08, Regal taking up for his frenemy Finlay - no Dean, no DiBiase - Orton's by himself.  Finish comes with that Defiance spot - just used against Orton.  Finlay starts to come down the ramp - pointing at Orton - Finlay's coming to get him some, and that draws the attention of the referee -- from the crowd come the Hooligans (Sheamus and McIntyre, they're in developmental, they're doing a young Fit/Regal gimmick where they are partners who occasionally beat the hell out of each other - they worship Fit and Regal) who hit their finish on Orton, allowing Regal the pinfall.

Regal, Fit, and the Hooligans celebrate postmatch.  Tough night for Defiance.  Orton fumes. 

5. Christian d. CM Punk (w/Maria)
-Okay, something important happens here.  If you're into the Counterfactual but just skimming along, you want to catch this. 

Punk's been the top heel for a few years, after beating Steamboat at Silver to blow off that feud, he and Maria spent the summer doing vignettes that lead to a decision to discuss marriage after Summer Slam.  Christian returned in a mask to win the tag titles with Edge, but that turned out to be a swerve to get Edge to let him to return to the WWF (he lost a loser leaves town to Edge years ago).  In the Montreal Match at Silver when Matt got Jeff to submit, sending him from the company, Christian chose to release his hold on Edge when his brother snapped his achilles tendon, giving up the opportunity that Matt now has to be the number one contender.

Maria essentially picked Christian out of a hat for Punk to go after to hotshot this match.

So - here's the angle.

Punk and Christian are outside, Punk holds Maria in front of him as a shield in that Savage/Liz spot, Punk's obviously done that as part of his chickenshit repertoire for years.  This time - Christian punches Maria in the face.

It's unintentional - it should be quick - Christian swings, Punk pulls Maria in front - Christian hits Maria.  Christian sells it as a complete mistake - and, if they can do it - it should be a shoot punch, like Jericho/Whisper in the real world.  Maria doesn't oversell - she drops but isn't knocked out - she sits up on the floor, tears in her eyes, hopefully we can see the swelling and the mark - Christian's pissed - Maria's pissed - Punk is out of his mind - he wants to stay outside and tend to Maria - but Christian goes back in the ring, and Maria tells Punk to get back in and not get counted out.

Punk's in a wild frenzy - the match breaks down - it should feel out of control - Punk and Christian throwing blows - Maria exits, as angry as she is hurt - Punk distracted by Maria's leaving opens him up for a shot that knocks him to the mat - Christian puts on a submission hold and it's fast.

Punk runs out of the ring to the ramp where Maria now is - they stand below the Titan Tron (which, if I haven't mentioned in awhile, is as big as it can affordably be - I'd like it to wrap around the entire arena) which plays the clip of Punk pulling Maria right in front of Christian's shot - so it appears clear that it was, effectively, Punk's fault that Maria got hit.

She pulls away from Punk - walking out - leaving him alone in the ramp.

Pause a few beats, so we can turn our attention from Punk back to the ring - where Christian remains, having gotten the victory - and then Matt Hardy appears from under the ring - laying Christian out with the Twist of Fate.

(don't talk about Matt Hardy.  Remember?)

6. WWF Tag Titles: D1 d. DMW (PAUL/Kane)

-DMW had all the makings of transition champions – and the announce really wants to stress we’re seeing a new era in WWF tag team wrestling with the crowning of Division One – here are two guys from developmental – WWF University – The Underground –and they have captured WWF gold. Swagger and Nemeth, both with (especially Swagger) stalwart amateur backgrounds, have really grabbed the opportunity – and when you consider the other tag teams in the division – Young Money, the LWO, the Flock, Regal and Finlay, Hunter and the Miz – the returning WMD – the Hooligans in developmental – Arn Anderson’s goal of returning the tag ranks to prominence – having a tag team oriented WM 26 – certainly looks like it’s coming to fruition.

They get the fall with whatever double team maneuver they’re going to use, something related to Swaggers doctor bomb one assumes – and they take the straps – winning the tournament and taking two matches at Summer Slam to seal the deal. A big night for the Underground – a big night for Division One.

7. IC Title: The Messiah Shawn Michaels (w/Flock) d. Rey Mysterio

-It’s Michaels’ 5th IC and 11th overall WWF belt, both records.

First goal here is just to have a Michaels/Mysterio PPV match (we haven’t done one yet) while there’s still time. I never got Michaels/Eddy and while there was Benoit/Michaels I was just about to pull the trigger on a long set up year long Michaels/Benoit program when, well, you know what happened.

Second goal here is Shawn’s got a program – he dropped the nickname, and the gear – he cut his hair – he’s a full blown messianic heel – he’s preyed upon the young Hart kids (all 3) who he scooped up from the Underground when they were dissatisfied with their spots (and with Jericho’s inability, even as champ, to get them out of those spots) convincing them to abandon their family heritage (like Michaels, they burned their gear – took old memorabilia and burned it – Michaels won’t allow them to use any Hart related maneuvers).

And Shawn doesn’t use his own trademark maneuvers – he’ll tease them – like where there’d be a kip up, he’ll roll off the ground – where he’d skin the cat, he’ll just slide out of the ring, he’ll go up to the top rope for an elbow drop and climb on down – and he’ll tune up the band for the superkick and the Hart kids will do some type of outside interference while everyone is distracted.  Just doesn't do them.  People boo.  He's a heel.

Hopefully, the outside intereference and the need for this story doesn't disrupt the match - 'cause I want to see the match - regardless, it's Michaels with the Flock aided pinfall.

Michaels leaves alone - allowing the Flock to attack Mysterio postmatch - save by the LWO - who, recall, are heels.  And they exit, as they have throughout the summer, protecting Mysterio.

8. WWF Title: Chris Jericho d. Montel Porter
-It's Jericho.  Clean.  In the best match they can have.  'Cause that's how it works.

#7 keeps the belt over the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time.  Matt appears at the top of the ramp postmatch - will he cash in his shot - will he cash in his shot -- Jericho waves him - come on - come on - but Matt makes the sign for the belt - and then disappears backstage. 

Jericho's going to Survivor Series as WWF Champ for a full year - now, Punk held the ECW belt for almost two years - and never lost the WWF Title in that time (instead, throwing it down before regaining it much later) so he felt like the world champion for almost two years - but technically, the last WWF Champ who held the belt for a year was Benoit, he won at XX, lost at XXI.

Jericho reigns supreme at Summer Slam - the fireworks go off and the show ends.

I'll be back..what - September for the beginning of the build for Survivor Series 2009.  Between now and then will be real world Summer Slam 2010, and for many years, that's been a huge PPV for me - as it dictates changes I'll have to make in my Mania book.  Right now, I think both my planned IC and tag champs will need changed.  All part of the fun.  Thanks for reading. 



Booyaka said...

Finally finished reading this. Big fan of your work (mostly). I only have two real complaints/suggestions.

1: Could we have fun Jericho back? Not all the time, I mean. Not saying he should be partying like it's 2000, but Christ, let him smile once in a while. Let him laugh and crack a joke, do SOMETHING. I know that he's supposed to be more serious now, like Bret and Benoit, but let him be his own guy. Let him be likable, let him be human.

2: Cut back on the Pepsi Plunges. Not because Punk didn't use it in the 'E, but because Real Punk said it was murder on his knees.

Jim said...

Thanks. Appreciate it.

1. Part of that's a choice, as you recognize - I did lighthearted Jericho, then disturbed Jericho, it's a hard thing for his character to be lighter (particularly since, as you note, I do have this Hart thing I'm doing with him).

Part of it is I'm not very good with lighter babyfaces; which might just be weakness or it could be structural, when I think about the Counterfactual its largely the dramatic elements that take up my time - real world Angle and Austin, for example, significantly funnier than they were here. My background is comedy, so theoretically that would be stronger, but I just spend no time at all thinking about jokes anymore in this space. That probably won't change.

2. I prefer the Go To Sleep; I think I probably hit the Pepsi Plunge button hard because he wasn't allowed to do it in real world - maybe when we come out of the next phase of Punk's story, as I'm pretty locked in on where we're going between now and Mania, I'll switch.

Booyaka said...

Gotcha, gotcha. And just one thing that makes me feel a little uneasy is the Messiah Shawn Michaels. I mean, it's a great heel, but don't you think Shawn would be a little uncomfortable?

Jim said...

Real world Shawn - yup, he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't, to my understanding, turn heel at all in this last run.

Counterfactual Shawn - eager to do it. Good story, good story for the character, good rub for the Hart kids, and good places its taking us down the road. Its very similar to Vince, workrate fan turned trappist monk turned head of the World Wildlife Fund. I look for opportunites like that, where the world as I'd have it be can be created - where I can, at least in my head if not on the page, understand the throughline from Steamboat beating Hogan rippling into this alternate reality.

Booyaka said...

Well, when you put it like that, it all makes sense. Speaking of Vinny Monk, I couldn't decide when reading that if I should laugh or facepalm. I chose both.

Booyaka said...

Oh, and I bet you're looking forward to 2010. No Batista, no Triple H, and Bryan Danielson on PPV!

Jim said...

Danielson? Huh. Something to consider...

I always get supergeeked about Summer Slam; I book in real time; so I had my 26 book as soon as the real world event ended, but it's not until Summer Slam that I know who I can use, and that really cements the directions that I'm going throughout the year. It would take something really unexpected to change anything now from here to 26.

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