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 SummerSlam 2011 - Part 2

Friday, July 20, 2012

Part one is here.

Here are the 3 matches set up so far.
CM Punk v. Wade Barrett
CM Punk v. Alex Riley
No DQ: Bryan Danielson v. John Cena

In part 2, we get the 3 title matches:
WWF Title: Nick Nemeth v. Rey Mysterio
IC:  Sheamus v. Christian
Tags: Empire (Barrett/Riley) v. Clique (Nitro/Miz)

So, of course Nemeth’s wrestling Mysterio – Rey is this world’s HBK, he’s got enough credibility in the bank to get guys over as he’s beating them.  Mysterio was Nemeth’s transition feud last year; Rey beat him in consecutive PPVs, Nemeth growing more frustrated, more heelish, but at the same time more certain of his own abilities as a singles wrestler in constantly losing to Mysterio (Low Ki also lost to Mysterio, Danielson also lost to Mysterio).  Rey’s deification reached its height going into Mania, where he was unbeaten in his career, the only man ever with at least 5 Mania decisions never to lose. 

But he lost to Danielson, and that serves as part of the fuel for the summer, as long as Danielson’s out there saying he’s the best wrestler in the world, Mysterio is clearly who Nemeth needs to beat to establish himself as a legitimate champion.

To add to the flavor of this match – Bret names the number one contender, the man who will wrestle the winner for the title in the main event of Survivor Series in MSG.


Mistico doesn’t appear at all in a WWF ring in the summer – we get taped pieces from Mexico and that’s it.  The emphasis is that Mistico is the heir to Mysterio in lucha libre, his idol is Rey, he’s Mexico’s biggest star in a decade, and to see Mistico v. Rey for the WWF title is an all time dream for millions – parenthetically its always added that Mistico would also love to wrestle Nemeth, he thinks of Nemeth as where he was a couple of years ago, and has been impressed by him – but he can’t help but cheer for Rey.

Obviously, this gives Nemeth the ability to bristle – people say he didn’t really beat Punk at full strength, Danielson’s poking at him from afar all summer,  he hasn’t beaten Mysterio – Nemeth’s got a giant, giant chip on his shoulder coming into Summer Slam.  Late in the summer we find out that Mistico and his crew will be sitting in a box watching the big event. 

The other guy, of course, missing in the equation is Swagger.  Every significant graduate from developmental is part of the Underground stable – but Nemeth’s tag partner, best friend, his girlfriend’s brother, and the unquestioned star of developmental – Jack Swagger, is nowhere to be found.

About a month, maybe 6 weeks after Mania he shows up.  It’s billed for maybe 3 weeks, Jack Swagger’s return, with Nemeth saying his tag partner will join the group and put on one of the t-shirts and stand behind him to support his championship era.

We do 3 weeks of that type of build.

Swagger, who had really lost most of the year with a knee injury, returns on RAW, beating someone not affiliated with any group (probably PAUL or Kane, given they took out his knee).  And then Underground hits the ring.

It’s the “take the t-shirt, join the NWO” spot, Nemeth and Swagger were once pretty similar in demeanor, much m ore amateur wrestler than professional – Swagger’s still that guy, he’s solid, firm, not a lot of color, he’s all substance, no ga-ga.  He’s the opposite of his name.  And Nemeth now is full on Ziggler. Seeing them together shows how far Nemeth’s come.

Nemeth puts Swagger over while also telling him what his spot is now – says Swagger was the greatest product of the Underground, his poster still hangs at WWFU, every single man in this ring (and it’s a bunch of them, like 18, this is a big group) knows by heart the words, “everybody watch Jack to see how to do the damn drill.”  And now here we are, and Nemeth wants Swagger with the guys watching his back, cheering him on, wearing the Underground colors.

Swagger pauses – quietly says, Nick, you’re the champ, you earned it, but this whole gang thing, that’s just not really for me. 

He hands back the shirt and turns to walk away – Nemeth grabs his arm.  Nemeth says maybe he’s not being clear – this is a war, it’s us against them and us is winning – you need to understand that you have to pick a side.

Swagger tells him to let go of his arm.

Now Nemeth’s hot, says look – these guys all hate you, everyone’s always hated you but me, I stood in your shadow when everyone else wanted to hit you with a pillowcase full of soap – and now it’s time you stood in mine. 

Swagger and Nemeth go toe to toe – Swagger again refuses, tells Nemeth he’s changed.

Nemeth says “and you haven’t” – and then Underground attacks Swagger.

Everyone but Nemeth – he holds up his arms as if to show “look, I’m not doing anything” while Underground tears Swagger apart – Kelly probably doesn’t have the range to pull this off – but she should be torn between her boyfriend and brother – but she chooses the boyfriend, and they exit up the aisle as Underground buries Swagger.

The other two title matches are the Clique matches. 

Christian returned in the big angle at Mania, trying to aid his brother who was taken apart by Underground, specifically Sheamus.  Edge doesn’t make even a single appearance after Mania, his career has ended at the hands of the new IC Champ and Christians here to take his revenge and win the title.

Christian’s never won a singles title in WWF, so that’s part of the program here; Regal and Christian once feuded during the long Clique v. Team Angle program, so that’s here – and Christian takes a place he’s never had before, at the front of the Clique – given that it’s Bret who engineered this entire thing.

Whose title Sheamus took was Nitro’s – but as opposed to a rematch Nitro teams with Miz to go after Empire; these two programs can be mixed over the summer, there are 3 members of Empire and 3 members of the Clique – McIntyre can serve to feed Christian to get him ready for Sheamus – the Hart kids are now heels, so their feud with the Clique can be restoked over the summer – lots of matchups we can hit as we build for Summer Slam.

Two more matches.
Dos Caras, Jr. v. Randy Orton
Ka$h Kingston v. @TruthKills

A fair question to ask would be what is Orton’s summer like?

Orton got swerved by his own partner at Mania, DiBiase left him laying, joining longtime Orton rivals like Regal and Sheamus with Underground – and it was a real swerve, with Orton, a career (probably lifelong) dick, always first to blame everyone else around him, finally giving credit to DiBiase who lifted him out of his post Sheamus funk and helped Orton finally regain the tag straps, his stated goal in creating Defiance.

You’d expect a crazy, out of control Orton – but instead his summer is listless, disengaged, he ignores DiBiase, ignores Underground, its not even that he’s despondent, it’s like he just is no longer there.
Who that contrasts with is Cody – Cody also got screwed by the Underground formation at Mania; he looked to be about to win Money at the Bank (not just from how that match was playing out, but you could construct a narrative of Cody as babyface young boy who had crawled up the ranks, had won before at Mania, had put in his time, and if someone is about to ride that rocketship from way underneath to the top, Cody would have been a good bet) but he was taken out by Tyson Kidd (allowing Cody to be extra angry at Bret) and lost the match.

So – while Orton is listless, Cody is angry at authority.  But he’s not in the match – who is in the match is Dos Caras, coming off his win over the Undertaker in the Legends Match.  Orton, like Caras’s other opponents, is a legacy – so it gives Caras an easy talking point – and to see Caras pick on Orton the way he picked on Cody, for example, with Orton really not fighting back, spotlights where everyone is.

Caras also cuts the occasional promo on the Rock all summer.  

Rock, recall, used his first WWF appearance in years, at Mania, to cut a promo on Caras and rock bottom Ricardo; it was a one off (‘cause the Rock’s obviously too big a star to come back to WWF) Caras, obviously, takes exception, and periodically will use promo time to poke at Dwayne.  As we get closer to the event (in LA recall) Caras says he’s coming to Rock’s home and he’s got a surprise for him at Summer Slam.

Finally – partners explode, Kingston v. Killings; Killings is the heel, but really he’s a crazy person; he’s Ron Artest, he officially changes his name (shows us the papers) to @TruthKills, he gets a part time job at Ikea for the discount, and he starts putting up videos on his own channel, crazy man videos, sort of like real world Matt Hardy – but eventually it will be commentary on the news – conspiracy theories – we didn’t walk on the moon, 9-11 was an inside job, Obama is a scientologist, the Jews are trying to implant thoughts into his brain.  @TruthKills.  I don’t know how much of that is this summer, this is his new character, so it can be spaced out.

That’s the show.
WWF Title: Nick Nemeth v. Rey Mysterio
IC Title: Sheamus v. Christian
Tags: Empire v. Clique
No DQ: Bryan Danielson v. John Cena
Dos Caras, Jr. v. Randy Orton
 Ka$h Kingston v. @TruthKills
CM Punk v. Alex Riley
CM Punk v. Wade Barrett

See you again in August for the show.

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