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 II

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Part One is here.

-Remember when I was pushing Paul London?  He beat Mysterio here.  Christian beat Flair in what appeared to be Flair's last match.  Edge took the IC from Jericho; after which it was announced that Steamboat would be returning to become the new WWF general manager.  Benoit beat Michaels with the sharpshooter in the main event.

73. Wrestlemania XXI - 2005
-Mysterio worked twice, beating the Taker in the legends match and getting revenge on London.  The Michaels heel turn began in his program with Jericho.  The Clique had been feuding with Team Angle, Kurt beat Christian here.  Edge kept the IC over Regal; Eddy took the title in a 60 Minute Iron Man Match with an overtime against Benoit, the best match of this half of the decade.

-Hunter announces his name change.  The Summer Slam tradition, kinda/sorta, parejas increibles begins, so the show opens with a Angle/Michaels v. Benoit/Jericho tag.  The IC is vacant, Edge gave it up in the "You screwed Matt" angle which was underway - Angle beat Michaels and Benoit beat Jericho to determine a title matchup.  Rey takes Eddys title in a 2 of 3 falls match.  The main is an unsanctioned fight between Edge and Matt, Edge goes over when Lita shows up and chooses him.  

-The 75th PPV in WWF history ended 2005.  Flair and Arn turned heel on Leviathan; Hunter beat Shawn with Edge interference in a match that saw Kendrick return and turn on London, Arn and Flair beat up Steamboat, and Matt Hardy lay everyone out with twists of fate, as his monster face push was on.  Benoit won the IC and the Triple Crown, beating Angle for the vacant belt, and Rey kept the title over Juvie, the final two matches done in tribute to Eddy.

-Matt beats Edge in an empty arena match after jabbing him in the eye with a fork.  The 51% Solution is now in control of the WWF; Hunter beats Benjamin.  There was an ECW angle, RVD as a babyface up against the ECW heel contingent beat Kid Kash, but was then turned on by Cactus Jack.  CM Punk debuted in the crowd to watch a Kendrick/Noble/London 3 way, with the program being that he had manipulated each to turn on the others.  Michaels went over Angle in the blowoff to the Clique/Team Angle program; Fit Finlay, managed by Dean Malenko, took Benoit's IC.  Rey went over Super Crazy and Psychosis in the main - and the 51% Solution cleaned house in the postmatch, joined by their enforcer, the newcomer Lashley.  

-Cactus beats Van Dam in the legends match, but a debuting Sabu helps the babyfaces postmatch.  Benjamin sends Kurt out of the WWF; Edge beats Shawn; Matt beats Flair - and Steamboat announces the main for WM23 will be Matt and Edge Hell in a Cell.  Fit kept the IC over Regal but then dropped to Hunter.  Rey kept the title over Benoit, who Lashley destroyed postmatch.  

-GDI was underway as a shadow promotion led by Punk that represented indie wrestling in general and ROH in particular.  Sabu/Cactus beat Edge/HBK in the incredible partner match.  Sabu then beat Cactus in a glass light tube match; Shawn beat Edge in a ladder match when Jeff Hardy returned.  MVP debuted as a protegee of Booker - Flair took Rey's WWF Title belt to give the Solution both singles titles.  

-CM Punk's the pivotal figure of the back five years of the first decade of the millennium, and that's because of Survivor Series 2006.  Edge beat Jeff Hardy; Matt beat HBK; RVD/Sabu took the tag straps; Shane Helms took the IC from Hunter as the Solution fell apart - and then CM Punk (who had won the number one contender's battle royal and emerged as a babyface) beat Flair to smash the Solution's grip on control of the company -- but Punk went into business for himself, throwing down both the NWA and WWF belts and proclaiming himself the GDI World Heavyweight Champion.  Chaos ensued.  

-Michaels and Jeff had a time limit draw; the NWA was relaunched and given the Friday Night TV spot; Fit and Flair won the semifinal matches to crown a champion; the WWF belt was vacated - Booker and Lashley winning the semifinal matches for the vacant belt.  Sandman and Dreamer took the tag titles; Punk kept the GDI Title by beating Matt when Edge interfered.  

-Undertaker won his 6th legends match, beating the heel turning Michaels.  Finlay ended Flair's career and became the NWA Champion.  Punk kept the ECW/GDI Title by beating both Van Dam and Sabu; Booker became the first ever African-American WWF Champion; Matt won the Hell in a Cell over Edge, after which Punk and the GDI crew beat the hell out of both of them and Jeff Hardy.  

-Orton beat Kendrick to keep the IC; Fit kept the NWA over Nitro who walked out of the match; Rey regained the WWF Title and MVP turned on Booker postmatch.  Punk kept the ECW/GDI title over London.

-MVP took the IC from Orton; Michaels and Hunter were on a heel jihad against the young Harts, they won the tag titles here and were then attacked by a returning Edge.  Rey went over the Undertaker to keep his belt; Punk kept his belt after a time limit draw with The Blood Dragon Jeff Hardy; and Johnny Nitro won the main event, taking the NWA belt from Fit.

-An ECW angle popped up that involved announcers brawling; the secondary titles split to match the heavyweight titles; Nitro kept the NWA belt; Punk kept the ECW/GDI belt; Edge swerved Jericho out of the Hart Foundation hockey jersey and renewed his allegiance to the Clique; and Shelton Benjamin became WWF Champion

-The ECW matches were underneath; note developmental had begun, Taz was head trainer Underground; Defiance got put together here - with Dean swerving Fit to join Orton and the Juggernaut.  Edge beat Jericho; and the belts all got unified and then once again the company, under the leadership of Steamboat, was whole -  MVP the IC Champ and Punk the WWF Champ.  

-The Hardys both lost singles title matches; Jeff, who seemed increasingly fragile in the Blood Dragon gimmick, lost to Porter and Matt couldn't get by Punk.  

-Nitro and Benjamin were in the middle of the best of 7 series; Kendrick beat Matt; Orton beat Regal in a parking lot brawl; Edge and the Blood Dragon became tag champs - we all (including Matt) thought it was Jeff under the mask (it wasn't).  MVP was in a program against Rey, and he kept the IC here.  And Jericho took the WWF title from Punk.

-Underground made its way to PPV; Swagger beating DiBiase.  Matt beat Kendrick in a cage.  The Best of 7 continued.  Orton beat Van Dam and DiBiase joined Defiance.  MVP beat Rey again; Christian revealed himself to be the Blood Dragon; Jericho kept the belt over Hunter as Shawn returned in the Messiah gimmick.

-Orton beat Finlay in a match where Swagger got the housecleaning babyface spot.  Nitro won the blowoff against Benjamin and then stomped out Ric Flair; Punk and Steamboat had been in a feud spanning 3 separate promotions and half a dozen years and they actually wrestled here.  Rey kept his mask and took MVPs IC belt. Matt won the Montreal Match and sent his brother out of the company with a heel turn.  And Jericho kept his title over Shawn in the main event.  

-Division One beat Defiance in the opener to get a title shot and won the straps at night's end, Regal beat Orton - Christian inadvertently punched Maria when Punk pulled her in front of him; Shawn took Rey's IC; Jericho kept the big belt over Porter.  

The decade ended here; Steamboat returned as the new owner of GDI with Danielson and Low Ki as his aces; MVP beat Nitro; Rey beat Sydal; Punk and Christian were both knocked out by Matt Hardy; D1 kept their belts over Finlay and Regal; Michaels, with his Flock - Nitro/Tyson/Harry/Natty, beat Shelton Benjamin.  and Jericho kept his belt over Chavo.  

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