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 - 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.


1 comment

Booyaka said...

I've been doing a bit of reading, and Cody Rhodes is actually a two-time champion in the 189 lbs weight class (2003, 2004). Might he stab Taker in the back to join D1?

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It