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 Survivor Series 2009 - Conclusion

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Part 2 of the build is here.

6 matches set up. 

WWF Title: Jericho v. Chavo
Tag Titles: D1 v. Finlay/Regal
Rey v. Sydal
Porter v. Nitro
Number One Contenders: DMW v. Taker/Cody v. Defiance v. Young Money
WMD v. HHH-M/Miz

2 to go.

The Messiah Shawn Michaels won his 5th IC Title (no one else has won more than 3) and his 11th overall WWF championship belt (I don't literally know who is second - I think it's Bret with 7) when he defeated Rey at Summer Slam. Michaels takes an out of nowhere dig at MVP at one point - saying that other guys get handed nicknames like "Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time" - but 5 sure seems like a greater number than one. 

Real world Michaels would do stuff like that in recent years - in the middle of a totally unrelated program, he'd make a reference to some perceived slight, usually about workrate, something to the effect of "other guys win the awards for best technical wrestler - but somehow, little old me is the one still here."  It's like that - just a shot he needed to take, 'cause that's who he is. 

 He has a light, confident stretch here - the Flock (Harry, Tyson, Natty) do some comedy pieces - ideally, they'd go to Mexico (and other Latin American countries, if there's a tour) and ask fans who the greatest Lucha Libre wrestler who ever lived was.  The answer they'd get is Mysterio - they'd then show the fan, say on a phone (I'm doing a lot of phone stuff, hopefully there's a corporate tie in) the clip of Michaels beating Rey - and then get the fan to say that Michaels beat Rey - so that must mean Michaels is the greatest wrestler in Latin America.  And then they'd tear up whatever lucha paraphenalia they had, in the way, recall, Michaels burned his old gear and the Flock set fire to all manner of old Hart memorabilia. 

Michaels, within just a few weeks, targets and dispatches both Khali and Funaki - the Flock, say goes to Indian and Japanese restaurants, revisiting the bit they did in Latin America, allowing Michaels to claim he has virtually conquered the world - bringing the world underneath its one true Lord and Savior - the Messiah Shawn Michaels. 

As we hit October (do you know who Michaels is facing?  Can you figure it out?) Michaels and the Flock hit the ring after a Shelton Benjamin (ding, ding, ding) loss.

That's what Benjamin's been doing, if you were wondering, since losing the blow off to a year+ long feud with Nitro - he's been losing.

The Flock hits the ring after one of those losses - surrounding Benjamin - and clearing the path for the glorious entrance of Michaels - arriving in a bath of white light.

Michaels asks Benjamin if he knows why he is there.  Benjamin tells a joke that maybe Michaels thinks he's from Uganda, but he's not, he's from South Carolina, so he'll have to look somewhere else to finish his game of WWF Risk.

Michaels gets serious - tells Benjamin that he understands his pain.  His mentor Angle went off the rails crazy and abandoned him.  Michaels references the long Clique v. Team Angle feud in which they were both featured.  Michaels says that the new father in your life was Arn Anderson, who created Strong Style - and then he broke up their team, sent Benjamin away - and now no longer has time for him.  Michaels says Benjamin's best friend Charlie is long gone.  And after losing the biggest match of his life, at Wrestlemania Silver - Benjamin loses, and loses and loses again.  Because the truth is Benjamin is lost - he is losing not because he is a loser but because he is lost - but the Messiah knows how he can be found.

Michaels says Benjamin should join his Flock.  The Flock was lost - dying in developmental on the internet - without anyone looking out for their interests.  He's taking a shot at Jericho here - something like "if only they had a powerful person who, for one reason or another might be looking out for them - but they did not" - Michaels says he saved them - and he can save Benjamin too.

Shelton says why would you care - I've lost 15 matches in a row - what could I do for you?

Michaels puts over the tag gimmick for WM 26 - says he wants the platform of the main event of WM 26 to spread his gospel - and that means he needs a tag partner.  Michaels says he's got 4 tag titles - and Benjamin's got 3.  That they'd be the greatest tag team force of all time - Michaels and Benjamin, tagging together in the main event of WM 26.

Benjamin says "what's in it for me?"

Michaels says - Survivor Series.  An IC Title shot.  The Triple Crown.  Immortality.

Because Benjamin's won the WWF Title and the Tag Titles - but never the IC.

The Triple Crown, note, has been positioned as inarguable - a prize to rich to refuse - and Benjamin is overhwhelmed to consider it.

Benjamin accepts.  Says he will join the Flock - but not until after Survivor Series - he doesn't want anything to do with Michaels and the Hart kids before then - because he is bringing full force at Survivor Series - to take Shawn's IC Title - and to win the Triple Crown.

Shawn says he wouldn't have it any other way.

And that's that match - and since Chavo is also wrestling for the Triple Crown - this gives us two Triple Crown matches at the top of the card for Survivor Series - and that's how you add some value to a PPV.

One more match.

After his win over Steamboat at Silver, Punk and Maria shot a series of handheld vignettes to re-establish their relationship outside of the ring, they hopefully worked to humanize Punk, and to kick off the angle we saw at Summer Slam, Christian inadvertantly shoot punching Maria in the mouth when Punk pulled her in front of him in a Savage/Liz type of ringside maneuver. 

We do one more of those vignettes post Summer Slam, Maria packing up and leaving - she's silent, Punk's frothing, saying she should stay, he's sorry he couldn't protect her from that piece of shit Christian, he'll tear him apart, he will hunt him down, he'll eat his children. 

Maria, very calmly, tells Punk it's not Christian she's afraid of - it's him.  That it's Punk's fault.  That he doesn't know that is why she's leaving. 

Punk's devastated after she goes.  Alone - he quietly looks at the camera and says "it's done, just...just stop." and the shot goes dead.

The following RAW is Christian's first appearance since Summer Slam; he cuts brief promo - says he's just going to say it once - he's sorry to Maria.

He's then cut off by Matt Hardy.

Matt's smiling - joyous - he says he's never had a better time in his whole life than Summer Slam.  He says not only did he wipe out Punk and Christian with Twists of Fate - but he hijacked the entire show by keeping everyone guessing if he would cash in his marker for a title shot at any time - and he might just hijack every single show just like that.  Maybe he cashes it in tonight - maybe he calls Jericho to the ring right now and takes his title -- or maybe he waits all the way until Wrestlemania 26 and wins the WWF Title then.  It's all up to Matt Hardy.  Matt says the only thing that could have made Summer Slam better would have been if Christian hit that red-headed whore (Matt's maybe subconsciously thinking of someone else here) harder.

And that's when Punk sprints to the ring - he doesn't make it - he's tackled by security on the ramp - and it needs to be a swarm of them - he needs to be screaming at Christian that he'll kill him - just howling in rage, security needs to physically have Punk entirely lifted in the air, he fights the entire way that he's going to kill Christian - Punk needs to be maniacal, scary - enough so that we'll get the dictate that comes from Arn going forward, that Punk cannot step foot inside any WWF arena before Survivor Series - or he will be arrested on the spot.

At Survivor Series, of course, he gets a rematch with Christian.  'Cause Punk's unhinged, but there's money to be made.

That scene with Punk getting carried out ends with Matt, taking advantage of Christian's distraction - laying him out again with the Twist of Fate.

Fast forward a month.  RAW needs to be in Chicago.

RAW opens on the announce - Joey says there was an incident earlier today, and the RAW production crew has painstakingly been reconstructing footage in order to best bring to you this developing situation.

They show security cam style footage from the cafeteria at the arena; there's an early evening time stamp.  Joey, in a "breaking news" style, explains that wrestlers are eating dinner before RAW - we can see, some in costume, some not, various faces/heels eating together - nothing that would be too shocking, but Yakuza can eat with Killings and it's not the end of the world. 

Joey directs us to Christian - and narrates as Christian seems to receive a text message and quickly stands and runs from the cafeteria.  I told you we were doing some phone business in this build.

Back to the announce.  Joey asks "what was that text?" - "multiple sources have confirmed that Christian shouted "my wife - my wife's been in an accident" as he ran from the cafeteria."

Cut to a security cam in the outside parking area for the wrestlers - Joey says note the time stamp, which is just moments after the previous stamp - Joey says watch this side of the screen - we see a man walking briskly - Joey says enhance and slow it down - and clearly it is CM Punk.

And when we zoom even further, we see he's holding a phone. 


Joey says its crucial to pay attention here - as we see another figure, running - when we zoom we see it to be Christian. 

The two men see each other - there's wild gesturing - when we zoom we see both men are screaming - and then they full on brawl, right in outdoor parking.  Fans should see it, as it's outside - and then it's broken up - both men disheveled, blood - clothes torn - they both break away from whomever has ahold of them - other wrestlers can be there breaking them up - and eventually they're separated. 

We then cut to interviews with wrestlers who were there - explaining that while it was garbled - Christian accused Punk of having sent the text - Punk apparently - it looks like Punk apparently sent Christian the text about his wife - in order to lure Christian out of the building - in order to attack him. 

And - as it turns out - the text was a fake - Christian's wife was not in an accident.  It was a set up.  If in fact, there was a text at all.

But other wrestlers say Punk was yelling at Christian - that Punk was yelling about a text - a text from Maria - Punk got a text from Maria (Punk lives in Chicago, just a few minutes from the building - that's why Chicago's important here) that she was in town, that she went to the arena to see some of her friends, and she really, really needed to see him now. Punk was yelling that Christian set him up - set him up to come to the arena and get arrested.

And - as it turns out - that text was a fake - Joey says Maria was not in the building tonight.  It was a set up.  If in fact there was a text at all.

There's much speculation - did Punk send Christian a text that his wife was in an accident?  Did Christian send Punk a text to lure him to the arena?

A couple of weeks pass - Christian returns in the go-home RAW and cuts angry promo.  Says Punk put Maria in harm's way - he didn't mean to hit her - but if she gets hit - she gets hit.  But Christian's wife has never been part of this - he's been a wrestler for over a decade - and has deliberately kept his wife out of all of this.  Punk's crossed a line you don't cross - and at Survivor Series - he'll pay the price.  Punk then appears on the video wall, live from his home in Chicago - Punk is completely serious - says Christian's why Maria left him - says Christian wasn't content with just ruining his life, he tried to get him arrested with a fake text message.  Punk says he has nothing left to lose - and at Survivor Series - he pays the price.

So - that's the show.

Two Triple Crown Matches as Chavo and Benjamin each have the opportunity to join the most exclusive club in wrestling as they wrestle Jericho and Michaels for the singles belts.

Division One puts their tag straps on the line against the veterans, Finlay and Regal.

The 3 singles matches - Punk/Christian, Rey/Sydal, Nitro/Porter.

The two tags - the 4 way elimination match to be number one contender and the opener between WMD and Hunter/Miz.

Plus - the revelation of the new GDI. 

It's coming in November.  Survivor Series 2009. 


I'll be back in October with the next TNA show.   

Road to Survivor Series 2009 - Part Two

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Part 1 is here.

3 matches down; 5 to go.

The WWF Championship program begins in the same fashion as did the tag title program, a RAW, say a few weeks after Summer Slam, begins with Commissioner Arn Anderson in the ring with the WWF Champion Chris Jericho.

Arn puts Jericho over – says Survivor Series will mark his 1 year anniversary as WWF Champion – and now it’s time to name the man he’ll face. Arn says it’s been a challenging decision – and he has been unable to talk to the man he’s going to bring to the ring right now, as he arrived late to the building tonight – Johnny Nitro.

Nitro comes to the ring with girls, he’s wearing a fur coat and sunglasses, the clip of RAW after Silver where Arn said that following his blow off win over Shelton that he should go home and train for a title shot down the line plays – Nitro clearly expects to be named number one contender – and he and Jericho go nose to nose.

Arn says he’s sorry he has to do this in front of everyone – but he has to go back on his word. Arn then calls to the ring Chavo Guerrero.

Chavo – gone since the beginning of ’09 comes down the ramp, he’s got new gear as he’s left the LWO – the clip plays of Jericho, back before the Rumble, telling Chavo to go home and train as he wanted to give him a shot at the WWF Title – which would mean a shot at the Triple Crown – Jericho’s biggest ever rival, certainly the biggest rival of his NWA and early WWF days was Eddy – Chavo has had a very good career here – IC and tag title champ – and now he, Nitro, and Jericho all stand in the ring.

Arn says it’s a timing issue – before he became Commissioner, Jericho promised a shot to Chavo – then Arn promised one to Nitro. The only fair thing, Arn says – is for Nitro and Chavo to fight for it – on the season premiere of Fight Night (which we’ll say is the last Friday in September).

Chavo nods his head – moving toward Nitro – but Nitro says nope – says it’s his shot and his shot alone, and he doesn’t want to bruise his hands on Chavo’s face.

Nitro exits – and he’s passed on the ramp by an entering MVP.

Porter, billed as the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of all Time for his year and a half long title run, lost his shot at Jericho’s belt in what (hopefully) was a good match – one that people wouldn’t mind seeing again. Because he gets to the ring and cuts what sort of sounds like his first ever babyface promo.

He says he’s a man, you cant survive in jail as long as he did and not be a man – and a man admits when he got beat. And he got beat at Summer Slam 1-2-3. But - Porter says – but - there’s no question in his mind that he can beat Jericho at Survivor Series – and if that chance to fight Chavo for the shot is available – Porter will gladly step up and take it.

Nitro then comes back to the ring and gets in MVP’s face, tells Porter he’s showing him up – trying to punk him out.

MVP laughs – tells Nitro that all he’s trying to do is become WWF Champ – when the day comes that he decides to punk Nitro out – he’ll know it.

Now Jericho interrupts as the ring gets heated – says the truth is that he’s been WWF Champ for a year – and he plans to be WWF Champ for many more – there will be time for him to beat both Nitro and Porter.

And now Chavo has to cut a fiery promo – he’s got to get right in Jericho’s face – if Jericho’s looking past him , he’s making a mistake. Jericho’s a golden boy, Jericho walked off the street into a TV title in the NWA, he walked off the street and into an IC title in the WWF – he left this place for years, to drink, to play in his band, to try to make it in Hollywood – to find himself – and he walked back in here and into a WWF Championship – into a Triple Crown.

Chavo says he’s been wrestling since he was in the womb – and has never even one time wrestled for the World Heavyweight Championship.

But whether he has to beat MVP (he stares at Porter) Nitro (he stares at Nitro) he will – and at Survivor Series he’ll take Jericho’s title – just like Eddy used to do – and he’ll become the second Guerrero to win the Triple Crown –

And now everyone in the ring is jawing at each other when Arn announces that tonight – in this very ring – we’re gonna start sorting this out – Jericho and Chavo will tag up against Porter and Nitro.

It breaks down – Nitro winds up walking out, Porter chases him into the ramp and they start fighting – Chavo and Jericho take a count out win and Chavo leaves Jericho laid out with the Three Amigos suplex sequence and the frog splash.

MVP is given the Fight Night shot since Nitro refused it – Chavo beats him – Nitro enters the ring postmatch to laugh at Porter – and gets slapped across the face for it. They brawl – and they’ll meet at Survivor Series.

So will Chavo and Jericho, for the strap and the possibility of a Triple Crown for Chavo. There’s one more element to this match, in the go home Fight Night – Chavo beats Mysterio, and how we get there allows us to talk about another match for Survivor Series – Rey v. Sydal.

Rey lost his IC to Michaels at Summer Slam, and immediately after he’s in the type of program you’d see in the real world – he’s attacked by untalented monsters – say Kozlov and Jackson (they would have been the tenth team in that tag battle royal I mentioned in part 1, I think if you add Flock and LWO to the ones I gave you, we’re at ten).

They were eliminated by the LWO in that battle royal – and they set upon Rey. Kinda for revenge, but really that part is just to start putting them together – as really they go after Rey to make their bones. He’s a legend, they’re new. Boom.

They attack him in a big man/little man type of way, lay him out good – look fearsome.

This will need Rey to accept the aid of the LWO.

A little history – Carlito and Crazy were once the LWO, and Carlito won Chavo’s membership, but then coerced him to fully embrace his allegiance to the group. Carlito and Chavo turned face a couple of years ago backing Rey up when he was in a program with Booker and he was supported by Heat (the brief build for Chavo/Porter on Fight Night will reference that). Rey didn’t become a member – but that history of a good working relationship was in play in the build to Silver when the LWO, once again heels, now Carlito and Primo, used heel tactics against the Flock to protect Rey from them.

Rey again didn’t join – keeping his distance from ratifying their behavior.

But now he asks for help – there’s a backstage “I need you guys” moment from Rey – a knowing smile from Carlito – and the three men, together, wind up attacking and taking apart Jackson and Kozlov, using chairs and sticks and all manner of foreign objects smaller men might use to whip some monster ass. It’s a full on sneak attack – justice, perhaps, given what happened to Rey – but a sneak attack, and we make clear, in a separate match that same week, to continue to position the LWO as full heels, they wrestle and lose to say Young Money, and do all the heel things one could do (no Rey, he’s not there).

A few weeks later, Rey appears unannounced on GDI.

Now we rewind.

Not long after Summer Slam, Hunter appears on GDI.

This is unusual.

He announces that, after much negotiation, GDI has been purchased from the McMahon Family. Hunter says he personally has never seen the appeal of a bunch of independent wrestlers doing flips in small buildings – and will be glad to see it go. Hunter says the buyer was anonymous – but will apparently reveal himself at Survivor Series when he officially takes possession of GDI. Hunter says therefore GDI will become, as it once was, a totally separate company from the WWF – WWF talent will not appear on GDI and GDI wrestlers won’t appear on WWF shows.

So enjoy the next several weeks – because everything changes at Survivor Series.

Sydal, the top babyface, and Tatsu, the top heel – now program against each other in the last several episodes of GDI before the change. We’re told that both men will be, as part of the purchase, leaving GDI to go to the WWF main roster beginning at Survivor Series – we’re also told that 2 new wrestlers, who will be at Survivor Series with the new owner, will take their spots on GDI. Further, after Survivor Series, GDI will get a new announcer – its own announcer as it will no longer be using WWF talent – and that GDI will be leaving Tuesday nights on Scy Fy to move to Thursdays on WGN.

Tatsu, heel since his turn on Noble – will, for the first time, cut promos. The promos will be in Japanese.

He’ll need a translator – and he’ll get one in the form of a guy who has largely just been used to do voiceovers in this world (although he very briefly did some announcing years ago, even doing one Wrestlemania) Michael Cole.

Cole speaks Japanese. Crazy!

Tatsu will cut condescending promos “this building is a toilet – the fat lady in the third row smells like hamburger meat” which will, apologetically be translated by Cole. He doesn’t want to say “your women enjoy my taut buttocks” but he will. Part of the gig.

With not more than a few episodes remaining, say after a match between Sydal and some high Pac, that would be good, let’s pretend it was Pac (Jack Evans is more likely) Rey enters unexpectedly. If Rey Mysterio walks out unannounced in some small building in southern California, say there for a PWG/GDI taping, they will be pleased to see him.

Rey puts over the show – and puts over Sydal – says maybe people remember when Rey was the best high flyer in the world. Rey says he’d very much like to see how much air he can still put under his wings – he’d like to challenge Sydal – next week – right here on GDI.

So – it’s Matt Sydal, young, adrenaline fueled babyface in the biggest night of his life wrestling the legendary Rey Mysterio –

And after as many spots as we can cram in, the LWO enters and stomps Sydal out.

Rey pushes them off – and there’s a shouting match as the show ends.

The following RAW, Rey calls them out to the ring to give them the whatfor. Carlito says Rey can understand their confusion – one night he wants them to stomp out Jackson and Kozlov, even picks up a chair to help them do that – it looked to the LWO like Rey was going to lose to Sydal – and now that Rey is LWO, he doesn’t ever need to lose again.

Rey says, first of all – I wasn’t going to lose. And second – he’s not LWO.

Primo says maybe five years ago – but now, the young guys, like himself, have passed Rey by – he was going to lose to Sydal – and without the LWO – he’ll be losing a lot more.

Rey gets hot – Carlito calms everything down. Tells Rey he should reconsider. He’s respected Rey’s desire to stay solo – Rey’s always been a lone wolf and Carlito respects that – but times have changed, and it’s dangerous to be all alone in today’s WWF.

Rey says thanks, but he’s good – Carlito shakes his hand and the LWO leaves.

Rey apologizes to Sydal (who isn’t there) says he feels bad they didn’t get to finish their match – and challenges him to do it again – at Survivor Series.

So – we have that. Match number 6. Rey v. Sydal.

Rey then asks Chavo to come out.

Rey tells Chavo although he’s wrestling at Survivor Series, the most important match is Chavo’s – that finally, after his long career – he gets a chance to join he and Eddy as WWF Champions – and as Triple Crown winners. Rey says he’s proud of Chavo and Eddy would be too. Rey says he’d like to help get Chavo ready – so he wants to face him, one on one, on the go home Fight Night.

Chavo accepts – so the very last piece of TV before Survivor Series is Chavo beating Rey on Fight Night – the LWO entering – and stomping both men out – Sydal and then Jericho come to the ring – they beat back the LWO – Sydal and Rey do some double wipeout highspot – leaving Jericho and Chavo alone in the ring – Jericho extends his hand – Chavo knocks it away – the two men going nose to nose as the show ends.

6 matches booked.

WWF Title: Jericho v. Chavo

WWF Tag Titles: D1 v. Regal/Fit

Porter v. Nitro

Rey v. Sydal

WMD v. HHH-M/Miz

DMW v. Taker/Cody v. Defiance v. Young Money

2 matches left. I’ll be back no later than top of October to finish the build.


Road to Survivor Series 2009 - Part One

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The night after Summer Slam, Arn Anderson (with his new title of WWF Commissioner) opens RAW in the ring and brings out the new tag team champs – Division One (Swagger, Nemeth, Kelly). Restocking the tags has been Arn’s top priority, we are reminded, since his announcement at Silver that WM 26 would be a Tag Team Wrestlemania – with a tag match, for the first time ever, as the main event.

He puts over D1 as young and hungry and athletic – puts them over as graduates from The Underground – says they are exactly who WWF fans want to see as the new tag team champs. He then readies to announce their challengers, at Survivor Series, in Washington DC….

He’s cut off by WMD’s music. Coming down the aisle is Leviathan. He’s wearing a pink polo shirt with an upturned collar.

This is odd – as he’s been a superman babyface in his most recent incarnation, and he just returned from a long injury layoff last night to clean house after Cena’s victory over HHH-M.

He doesn’t do a superintense, screaming promo – he does real world late period heel Batista. The fans are going to cheer him, those who are inclined to cheer him, so it’s going to happen in stages. He’d been gone long enough, since the beginning of the year, that his change in attitude will be understood as based on the time off. He big times the young champs a little bit – is a little patronizing in demeanor. And he backslaps his former manager, and early career mentor Arn. Leviathan assumes WMD will be the number one contender – since he’s now back from injury and Survivor Series is in his hometown. Arn tells Leviathan that’s not exactly what he has planned – Leviathan flashes some surprise and anger – and then the Miz’s music hits.

The Miz was the primary victim of the housecleaning last night, as he and Hunter are partners. He’s full of braggart heel vinegar, the announce putting over whenever possible his growth under the veteran tutelage of Helmsley. He gets in Leviathan’s face – says WMD shouldn’t worry about the titles – they should worry about Hunter and the Miz kicking their ass.

Leviathan smirks. He’s gonna do a lot of smirking.

Before he can respond – Defiance, the full crew, comes down the ramp. Orton. Ted, Jr. Dean.

Defiance had it their way for a full year – from Mania to Mania, right up until the postmatch returns of Swagger and Regal – and there are some receipts being collected now. They lost to D1 at Summer Slam, then both Orton and DiBiase lost singles matches. Important for Defiance to have something to complain about, to rub against – here, Orton can snap at Arn how unfair it was that he and Ted had to wrestle twice last night – while their singles opponents, Regal and Cody, were fresh. Orton says he might start RKO’ing everyone in the ring if he doesn’t start getting some consideration.

And that leads to Undertaker/Cody coming to the ring. ‘Taker appeared for the first time since Silver last night – so those who are inclined appreciate seeing him as he immediately goes nose to nose with Orton, looking to intimidate him – Orton fumes in that way that he does – and the Taker then turns to Swagger/Nemeth and makes the sign for the belt around his waist.

Arn retakes control. Says in the main event tonight there will be a ten tag team battle royal – last surviving team – they go to the Survivor Series to meet D1 for the straps. They can do a full brawl in the ring as they hit the commercial.

That battle royal gets us 3 of the 8 Survivor Series matches.

The winners of the battle royal are Regal/Finlay – and they will meet D1 at Survivor Series.

Regal/Finlay spend most of the build down in developmental on the Underground, training with the Hooligans (Sheamus and McIntyre) to prepare for the match. The primary story to be told is that they are old warhorses – there’s a lot of time for them to tell stories, for them to casually hang out. I’ve mentioned this before in relation to the Finlay/Regal dynamic. There was a moment on real world RAW during the Funk/Foley tag team, where they showed them sitting in the seats before the show, no crowd, some noise in the background, but just very casually hanging out and being old war buddies together. And that’s the Regal/Finlay dynamic I’ve been working to express – they’re Funk/Foley – they’ve beaten each other to death and then gone out drinking. They’re frenemies. I’m looking to replicate that with the young Hooligans. Here, there should be a sense that Finlay/Regal are near the end. They spend time with the kids in developmental, see how much younger, more athletic they all are – Fit and Regal are highly self aware, they see their place in the universe – and spending this time with the Hooligans really drives home the importance of the moment – the number of title shots in the future are significantly fewer than the number of title shots in the past. They should be a cryptic “there is no tomorrow” thread that runs through their discussions. There’s a moment where Arn appears in the Underground late in the build and he sits in on one of these conversations – the 3 guys sharing stories (Fit, Arn, and Dean ran the company for awhile before Fit returned to the ring) and then Arn saying that he’s out to make the tag ranks more competitive – more athletic – younger. Arn says he’s been retired over a decade now, that guys like Regal and Fit – there’s only room for so many of them in the WWF.

Fit and Regal have been grizzled veteran babyfaces for awhile, and Fit’s always been a face in his WWF run; they served as mentors for D1 earlier in the year which both served to transition Fit/Regal into the mentor role for the Hooligans that has been firmed up and gives us something to play off of in this program. And with that backdrop – after a successful D1 tv match, they are jumped by the Hooligans, who hit their finish on Nemeth (this doesn’t come from nowhere – the Hooligans did this to Defiance at Summer Slam – and then did it again on Defiance at the aforementioned RAW battle royal; further, D1 are the heroes of The Underground – the first graduates to win belts – and Mike Rotunda, the head trainer, puts them over as the goal to shoot for – Sheamus and McIntyre believe they’re better than Swagger and Nemeth and it gnaws at them to have D1 shoved down their throats. So when they attack D1, it resonates in the Underground.

Regal and Finlay enter, one assumes to stop the Hooligans – but instead they viciously stomp D1 out – all four men really putting it to D1.

Regal and Finlay will cut promo on RAW, saying they like D1, they’re good kids and great wrestlers – but this is the WWF, there are no friends, they’ve been wrestling all their lives – and there is absolutely nothing they won’t do to keep their hearts beating another day, nothing they won’t do to cradle tag team gold.

Two other tag matches. WMD v. HHH-M/Miz will be the opening tag. Hunter and Shawn feuded with WMD back in 2008, Hunter took Leviathan out with the sledgehammer at the top of the year – Cena beat Hunter at Summer Slam in the match where Leviathan returned. The story told here is really the continuing character development – Leviathan grows increasingly full of himself, Cena tries to motivate him with full, rip-roaring Cena-like motivational speeches. Hunter and Miz are still mismatched, but Miz continues to endear himself to the veteran Helmsley, and Hunter enjoys Miz’s full on heel deviousness. It’s a program of Hunter/Miz acting like heels, Cena is full on white meat babyface, and Leviathan gets cockier and cockier.

The other tag match is a four way elimination match. “The surviving team” Arn says, playing off the name of the event “the surviving team will go to the Royal Rumble and face either D1 or Regal/Finlay for the tag team titles”

The four teams – Young Money (which was the last team eliminated in that RAW battle royal, and gets a push in this stretch, with Killings finally healthy) Defiance (eliminated at the battle royal after attacked that second time by Hooligans – Orton is told he cannot appear at the Underground for retribution – Hooligans don’t work on the main roster, Orton says that’s ridiculous and shows up anyway (cause they’re Defiance, so they have to defy authority sometimes)– they attack Hooligans and are backed down by the entire developmental crew (including Justin Gabriel, Wade Barrett, Zach Ryder, and Heath Slater). Arn punishes them in some way – okay, he bars Malenko from the ring at Survivor Series, that’s what he does. Undertaker/Cody and DMW are the other two teams. That feud, which existed earlier in the year when DMW told the Taker he had to choose between staying in their loose longterm alliance and keeping this budding mentorship with Cody – gets rejuiced at that battle royal when DMW goes right after Cody at the bell, dumping him over the top to eliminate he and the Taker. The DMW part of this is easy – they lost their belts at Summer Slam, they want them back – and if the Taker and his little buddy are in their way – then he can take a Double Chokeslam. The Undertaker/Cody story is the continued growth of young Rhodes – he was Mikey Whipwreck in 2008, but proved his mettle in continuing to come back after getting ass kicking upon ass kicking by BIG (Bradshaw’s stable). Undertaker took the summer off, and Cody’s mentorship was taken over by his big brother Dustin – Cody beat Ted, Jr at Summer Slam – but seemed to credit the Dead Man more than Dustin – and now Dustin’s been nudged aside with the Dead Man’s return. Dustin will be in their corner at Survivor Series, but the relationship between he and the Taker is a little edgy.

Those are the 3 tag matches at Survivor Series 2009.

WWF Tag Titles: Division One v. Regal/Finlay

Elimination Number One Contender’s Match: Young Money v. Defiance v. DMW v. Undertaker/Cody

WMD v. HHH-M/Miz

3 down. 5 to go. Part 2 of the Road to Survivor Series 2009 will come before the end of the month.


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