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.

A Counterfactual History - The 2000s, Part I

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The 90s are here.

-Angle beats both Davey Boy and Waltman, symbolizing a dominance over the remnants of both factions; there's a flaming table, a cage, and Cactus keeping the strap over Taz at MSG.

-WWF got invaded and that led to an all time great Mania; Saturn beat Snow, Rock beat DLo, Dean Malenko beat Taka, Angle beat Taz, the Hardys beat the Dudleys and Edge and Christian in the first ever TLC, Eddy Guerrero took Jericho's IC, and Benoit took Foley's WWF Title.  Maybe the best workrate event to that date.

-Waltman beats Stevie, Taz beats Hunter, Angle beats the Undertaker, Edge and Christian win TLC2, Jericho retakes the IC from Eddy and Benoit keeps over the Rock - the workrate train rolls on at Summer Slam 2000.  

-The Dudleys put Lita through a table even though they were babyfaces at the time, this is part of the angle that got Paul Heyman to the WWF.  Angle beats Saturn and Eddy Guerrero beats Dean Malenko.  Waltman turns on Hunter; Regal takes Jericho's IC, and Benoit keeps the belt over a returning Austin.  

-Raven/Taz/Justin Credible all beat down the Hardys and Raven/Taz become tag champs by beating Edge and Christian.  Angle beats the Rock, Regal keeps the IC over Austin, and Benoit keeps his belt over Jericho.

57. Wrestlemania XVII 2001
-Did Vince McMahon, current CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, really wrestle his son at Wrestlemania?  Find out here. The Rock beats the Undertaker and Hunter beats Waltman.  Jericho beats Eddy and, better still, he and Stacy become a couple.  The Dudleys get their tag belts back, Austin gets Regal's IC, and Kurt Angle beats Benoit in the main for the strap.  Such a good show.  

-Paul Heyman on the announce. We had interpromotional matches here as the NWA and ECW resurfaces here.  Jeff Hardy beats Edge in an all WWF Match; Booker T from the NWA beat the Rock; all 3 companies had their tag belts unified when the Dudleys beat DDP/Kanyon and Rhyno/Spike Dudley.  The IC belt was unified with the NWA US Title and the ECW TV Title when Tajiri from ECW beat Austin and Lance Storm.  And in the main RVD came in with the ECW World Title, but lost it to Angle, who now held both companies belts.

-Edge and Christian beat the Hardys, I acknowledge these four have to do some running in place given the talent influx from the other two companies.  Van Dam went over Chavo and Shane Helms (the Spreekillers).  DDP, from the NWA, beat Austin.  Bang!  Regal jumped from WWF to NWA but loses here to Rock.  Taz takes the IC from Tajiri.  Angle keeps over Booker in an NWA/WWF lumberjack match.

Both the NWA and ECW angles end here...for now...Some Survivor Series rematches, and they go the other way, Regal beats the Rock and Austin beats Page.  Jericho and Storm take the tag belts, its the end of ECW as RVD beats Taz for the IC.  And in Atlanta, Kurt Angle beats Ric Flair to keep the WWF and ECW World Titles.  

This is the "legends come home" Mania from Toronto.  Edge and Christian beat Razor and Hunter and then were taken out by a returning Michaels.  Flair won a 3 way against Hogan and Undertaker.  Booker ended Page's career; Rock submitted Regal with the sharpshooter, Jericho and Storm won TLC3; Van Dam kept the IC over Austin and Angle kept the big belt by beating Mr. Perfect. 

Flair beat the Undertaker; Brock made his PPV debut and beat the Rock; Benoit and Eddy returned under masks to win the tag titles and reform the Horsemen with Flair and Leviathan.  Michaels took Van Dam;'s IC title, and the final NWA Champ, Rey Mysterio, brought his belt to WWF - and lost it to Kurt Angle.

Angle, much like Bret during his long reign, began to get a heel reaction from some fans, and he addressed it here.  Eric Bischoff joins the WWF to manage the Hardys.  Lance Storm beat Edge and began to get closer to Stacy than would be ideal for Jericho.  Mysterio beat Regal, former partners Chavo and Helms fought, Brock F5d Hunter on the ramp, Van Dam retook the IC from Michaels in a 2 out of 3 belt ladder match and Angle kept over Jericho and wound up superkicked for his trouble.  The slow Angle turn, facilitated by his support for the heel Brock, was good storytelling albeit just a better version of the Bret storyline.  

The Hardys won TLC 4 in the stretcher match blowoff to the long program with Edge/Christian and the Dudleys that saw everyone but Matt carted away. Chavo was trying to get into the Horsemen and he beat Tajiri.  Lance beat Regal then made out with Stacy, the shock of which sent Jericho into a long, slow spiral.  Your new tag champs, Haas and Benjamin, who came in as young babyfaces and left as protegees of Lesnar; Benoit turned face for the first time in the WWF.  Mysterio took the IC from Van Dam and Angle kept the WWF Title over Michaels.  That's a good show.  I caught a good break to move from a company built around Bret/Owen/Shawn right into Angle/Benoit/Eddy.  

Rock beats Austin in the legends match, the long Matt v. RVD series begins, Jericho batters his former partner Storm, Eddy Guerrero beats Chris Benoit, Michaels and Hunter are your babyface tag champs, Rey keeps the IC over Chavo - and Kurt Angle beats Brock Lesnar, both men nearly dying in the process and Angle's near paralysis requires that the belt be held up and a 64 man TV tournament be held to fill it.  Rock/Austin, Eddy/Benoit, and Angle/Lesnar - that's Wrestlemania 19.

Angle had turned heel, Eddy babyface, in the build to Summer Slam.  Goldberg made his PPV debut here; Van Dam/Matt continued; Jericho beat Flair; Angle and Benoit went to a time limit draw, Tajiri beat Rey for the IC - and Eddy beat Lesnar to win the vacant WWF Title.  

Jamie Noble beat Chris Benoit; Van Dam beat Booker - Christian returned from injury to beat Jericho, a program that saw them eventually doubleturn.  Chavo took the IC from Tajiri, Eddy kept the belt in a 4 way against Angle/Brock/Benoit.

-Christian went over Matt to begin the process of revisiting that rivalry, Jericho beat Van Dam, Brock and Goldberg urinated on Mick Foley, Haas and Benjamin retook the tag straps as Hunter's jealousy over Michaels's relationship with London and Kendrick began to surface, Chavo kept the IC and Angle regained the WWF Title - he clearly being the dominant figure of the first half of the decade.  

Rock and Sock beat Lesnar and Goldberg with Austin as the guest referee in a star studded opening match.  The Van Dam/Matt program ended.  Jericho beat Christian in the second Hell in a Cell match, Rey beat Tajiri and Ultimo Dragon in a 3 way, Michaels beat Hunter and a new Clique: Michaels/Edge/Christian/London was formed.  Eddy took the IC from Chavo in a ladder match - and Benoit beat Angle for the belt in what was probably the best match from this half of the decade.  The Eddy/Benoit hug was replicated here.

Matt quit in the middle of the ring after losing to Booker T; Edge beat Hunter; Rey and Van Dam became the tag champs, Jericho took Eddys IC belt, and Benoit won a 2 of 3 falls match against Angle, now a Vic Mackey (the Shield) like character, heading up Team Angle (Regal/Haas/Benjamin).  

The first half of the decade ended here.  Angle and Benjamin took the tag belts, and Benoit and Eddy had a time limit draw in their first ever WWF PPV main event matchup.  

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