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.

Royal Rumble 2011

Monday, January 02, 2012

The build is here.

Royal Rumble 2011 is from Boston.

(Dark: Black d. Sydal
            Smith d. Barrett)

                Last show with the crazy announce – Joey and Striker are the lead team, Striker leaves for the semi-main, replaced by Josh, and JR and Lawler do the main event.

Throughout the show are backstage shots of Danielson and Mysterio each warming up for the match; like Low Ki at Survivor Series, Danielson/Rey is presented as a special attraction, a never before seen/perhaps never again to be seen match, and the talk of the wrestling world; so we repeatedly see each guy, see clips of the video packages put together in the build.   

1. Zach Ryder (w/Douchebags) d. Yoshi Tatsu (w/Cole)

Unannounced match to open up the Rumble; the explanation given is that Alex Riley, scheduled to open against John Cena is unaccounted for. Riley doesn’t come to the ring, the announce speculates on what might have happened to him – here is his big opportunity, to defend the honor of GDI on PPV, and he isn’t here, something must be up.  So – a match scheduled to be on the pre-show opens the card.  This has been a TV program, a way to push Underground, specifically the Douchebags, as they’ve been programmed against Tatsu.   The story is they keep beating him in singles, as they use their numbers to cheat while Michael Cole, Tatsu’s manager, is ineffective in stopping them – Tatsu grows a little angrier at Cole with each offense.

Here, same – Ryder goes over with outside aid – Cole can’t stop it – Tatsu fumes .

2. Mark Henry d. John Cena
Announce says Riley still hasn’t been found but he’s been replaced by Henry.  There’s speculation if maybe he had something to do with Riley’s mysterious absence.     Henry cuts promo after he comes to the ring.
Henry says he doesn’t know or care where Alex Riley is, but he’s been waiting more than a decade to kick somebody’s ass at the Royal Rumble – and John Cena’s the unlucky victim. 

Cena tells the timekeeper to ring the bell; Henry tells Cena to hit him with the light tube.  Cena complies.

It’s essentially a squash, Henry no sells the light tube, screams at Cena, gets a quick pinfall and stands over the body.  Announce puts over Henry’s resurgence, he is a WWF veteran kept down for years – and now he’s on quite the hot streak.

3. Number One Contender Elimination Tag: Empire d. D1/Rotunda & Hennig/Hooligans
-Hooligans are out quickly, eliminated by D1.  McIntyre gets pinned by Nemeth; this sequence establishes that D1 still has it, despite wrestling as singles most of the year, and that Hooligans are off their game, they lost Fit in this build and lack focus.  Rotunda/Hennig go next, eliminated by Empire, Barrett pinning Hennig; there’s a long sequence with Swagger (with knee brace) in the ring against Empire – when he’s finally able to make the hot tag to Nemeth – Nick’s pulled off the apron by someone from underneath the ring. 

It’s Alex Riley.

Swagger’s caught by a double team that targets his injured knee – he’s pinned by Barrett and surprisingly – Empire is headed to Wrestlemania.  Nemeth doesn’t have time to deal with Riley as he and Kelly both move to aid Swagger from the ring and back up the ramp – Riley hits the ring and unzips his varsity letterman jacket to reveal an Empire t-shirt.

Alex Riley has left GDI and moved Underground.

As Regal will make clear and Bret will accept, Riley is part of Empire and all three men can be used interchangeably.  Empire will go to Wrestlemania 27.

4.The Miz (w/Natty) d. Diesel Kevin Nash
-Nash is the Mystery Clique Opponent in this match.  Miz is a chickenshit heel (as opposed to a guy who punishes people); he cheats, he preens, he begs off and goes low – Nitro is the superathletic cocky guy, Natty is the enforcer, the Chyna in the act (Natty wouldn’t be cutting weight in this world, wouldn’t be attempting to get prettier, here, she looks to bulk up; there have been no women’s PPV matches in the Counterfactual; in my head, Natty and Kong are going to work at Wrestlemania 30.  Maybe Kong isn’t around then; maybe she can’t work anymore if/when she returns; I don’t want two divas just for the sake of being divas – but if I can keep Natty in some type of enforcer role for the next 3 years, I’d like to put her in a match at 30) and Miz is the chickenshit heel.  It’s the Clique; it’s a good act.  I’m pleased they’re together.

Why are you looking at me like that?  Do you know something?

Anyway, I assume this is Nash’s last match, he gets in some big guy spot and then Miz is able to weasel his way to the pinfall win. 

5.  Dos Caras, Jr. (w/Ricardo and Vicki) d. Chavo Guerrero
This wraps up Chavo, who had a helluva Counterfactual WWF run.  IC Champ, Tag Champ, he was a Horseman, he main evented a PPV, he had high profile Mania matches.
Nonetheless, the story here is that he’s broke, or if not broke, doesn’t have enough money to take care of Vicki.  It serves to portray the Guerreros as a typical wrestling family, dysfunctional, unable to maintain their money – the opposite of the Dos Caras family lineage.

The thing you expect to happen is what happens, Dos Caras is a fairly broad wrestling character, this is a wrestling angle.  Sheepish Vicki, the downtrodden widow of Eddy Guerrero, turns heel; Chavo loses clean to Caras, and in his attempt to apologize to Vicki she slaps him.  Vicki then makes out with Dos Caras as they are now a couple.  She joins the act – Dos Caras, nephew of Mil Mascaras, arguing his is the greatest wrestling family of all time, and his wealth and success in comparison to other second/third generation wrestlers is the evidence of that – adds Eddy Guerrero’s widow as his new girlfriend.  The shame forces Chavo from the company.

6. CM Punk d. Steve Regal (DQ)
-I’d assume I get to use Regal again, but as I’m not using him at Mania, I don’t know that I will.  So, I’m taking this opportunity for a sprint – they go as hard as they can until they blow up, and when that happens, with Punk establishing that he is about to win, Regal blatantly cheats.  It’s a Cobra Kai situation – Regal fishhooks Punk, gouges an eye, rabbit punches him – and then finally draws the DQ with a low blow that Punk sells like he’s been shot in the face.
And then Punk is swarmed – Douchebags hit the ring (there are like five guys in the Douchebags) and they stomp out Punk – they’re then fought off by Tyler Black, who pauses for a moment at the top of the ramp – it’s a thing that someone from GDI is saving Punk, there’s a page turning here.  Black hits the ring and then Sydal joins him, the three men get the advantage briefly – but Empire then hits the ring – and now it’s 10 vs. 3. 

As Underground gets the advantage there’s a backstage shot of Danielson; he shakes his head, then turns away from the monitor and resumes readying himself for the match.

Punk/Black/Sydal are left laying; Black’s going to be injured enough here that he won’t be able to work Mania.  Sydal has been out with injury; he was injured in his IC loss to Nitro, but that injury was furthered during the first GDI/Underground scuffle, in the stands during the Low Ki/Rey Fight Night match.  It’s Douchebags who account for that injury – and they target him again here. 

As the three men are laid out, Regal leads a chant of all the men in the ring that has only been Underground to this point, that means only on the website, not ever used in any of the tv clips that WWF shows of developmental.  Regal ends a training session by yelling “Whose House?”  And the response by the trainees is “Our House.”  It was a chant first started by the original WWFU trainer Taz, then continued by Mike Rotunda, and finally Regal, the current trainer – but never before shown on WWF television, so it’s just been for the Underground hardcores, the ones who watch online.

“Whose house?”


As Douchebags and Empire stand over Punk/Black/Sydal – Regal leads the chant.

“Whose house?”


"Whose house?"


Let's see if we can get that over.  

7. WWF Tag Titles: Defiance d. Young Money
-Orton wins his second tag title and Defiance finally gets gold, Orton hitting the RKO on Kingston for the fall. 

Killings blows off Kingston postmatch, not waiting for him to recover, instead heading back up the ring.  Announce speculates that the distance we’ve seen between the now former tag champs build during their reign may have led to their loss here against the clearly cohesive Defiance. 

8. IC: Johnny Nitro (w/Natty) d. Tyson Kidd (w/Harry)
-This is the sleeper match; you know Danielson/Rey will be really good, and Punk/Regal will be good as long as it goes and the angle postmatch is hot, but what this show needs to really be good is this match to hit that next level.  My expectation is high. 

Kidd can’t earn redemption here; Harry’s able to carry Natty from ringside, making it one on one and looking for a moment like Tyson might take the strap; but Miz runs in for some quick interference that turns the tide.  Nitro gets the fall and keeps his title. 

9. Rey Mysterio d. Bryan Danielson
-Rey’s a 2 time WWF Champion, a Triple Crown winner, he beat Chris Benoit in the main event of Wrestlemania – a show on which he is undefeated – and now, he beats Bryan Danielson clean as a sheet. 

It’s the very best match they can have and that’s all that it is at least for tonight. 

10.WWF Title: Edge d. Booker T
-Edge goes over clean.  Postmatch, he stands alone holding the belt aloft – at the end of Survivor Series, Punk returned from several months away and came to the ring for a nose to nose – here Edge taunts the crowd who chants for Punk – Punk was of course beaten down by Underground earlier in the evening – so he won’t be coming out to challenge Edge, and Edge smirks in that way that he has…

Except here comes Punk.

Slowly, holding his ribs, resolutely, indomitably, CM Punk walks to the ring.

Edge flips out – starts pulling at his hair, Edge points at his belt as security prevents Punk from getting to the ring, “You’ll never get this – You don’t get a shot – You’ll never get me – You’ll never get me.”

And that’s how the show ends.

Build to Mania is in February.  Mania will be posted Mania weekend. 


Anonymous said...

You're...NOT...using Regal for Wrestlemania? Not even against Danielson?

Jim said...

That would be a good match. But no, not even then.

Mike Heine said...

Great stuff Jim - the Underground stuff has me most intrigued. As is the Hart/Punk stuff that wasn't touched on here, but I suspect might be an issue soon enough.

So who are all the members of the Douchebags? I know there's Ryder... and four others. So I'm 20% there!

Jim said...

Thanks, Mike.

Ryder/Slater worked both Summer Slam and Survivor Series as a tag, Hawkins/Reks/Barreta fill out the rest of the group.

lambor said...

As always, a helluva job Jim. And I'm curious just how fine a line you're going to be able to keep using Black, given that he hasn't even sniffed television, let alone PPV yet. Then again you were able to use Cabana memorably without ever having a PPV match to utilize.

Jim said...

Yeah, I'm curious too. I assume I'll at least get Sydal for Rumble '12; I think I'm good through Mania 28, but beyond that I need to start getting some of these guys on shows.

Blog said...

Why is this Universe's PPV still called Royal Rumble if there is no actual Royal Rumble match being held?

Jim said...

I talk about the name every now and again; its a concession to readers that I keep the name the same given the format tracks those 4 PPVs; but in my head this event is called Justice Sunday and the rumble match I do every other year on TV is the Royal Rumble.

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