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 Summer Slam 2012 Part 3

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Battle Royal is here.

3 weeks pass from the dramatic return to a WWF ring of Brock Lesnar after almost a decade away, Summer Slam remains in chaos.  CM Punk is said to have a hip injury; he hasn’t been seen since the battle royal and no one has any idea if he’ll be in the condition to take on Bryan Danielson for the WWF Title.
Paul Heyman has remained a color analyst since the Battle Royal, completely no selling the constant questions from Joey on RAW and JR on Fight Night about Lesnar – they ask if he ordered the hit on Punk, is Lesnar coming back to professional wrestling, and Paul acts as if he didn’t hear the question.  They talk Lesnar – Paul wants to talk about Young Money defending the tag titles against Dead Men Walking.
But Paul will have more to say as they build to the next Heyman Hustle, with the special guest – Bryan Danielson.

It’s the RAW main event, 3 ½ weeks after the Battle Royal.  Steamboat comes to the ring with Danielson; he’s wearing the white towel over his shoulder.  Heyman introduces himself to the Champ; tells him they know some of the same people.  Tells him that he would get phone calls and texts for years – Paul, Bryan Danielson just had a 5 star match with Kenta, Paul, Bryan Danielson just had a 5 star match with Nigel; Paul, Bryan Danielson just had a 5 star match with Morishima. 

Paul – Bryan Danielson is the best wrestler in the world.

And I’d only have one response.

Brock Lesnar.

Heyman moves closer. 

But that’s fantasy booking, which is only for the lonely and depraved – Who would win – Bret Hart or Kurt Angle, Who would win – Ricky Steamboat or Rey Mysterio – Who would win – Bryan Danielson or Brock Lesnar?

Now Paul moves as close as he can get.  He’s almost whispering.

But, Bryan. 

Brock Lesnar isn’t a fantasy. 

He’s real.

And he’s here.

For you.

Hit Brock’s music – Brock comes to the ring, he makes sure to stand next to Steamboat for a moment to demonstrate the old man’s comparative fragility.

Then he goes nose to nose (nose to chest) with Danielson – we get a beat just for the start of the reaction – and then Punk’s music hits.

Punk’s hobbling on a crutch, he’s whitehot anger, he enters and stands behind Danielson (he and Lesnar haven’t moved).  For the lip readers, Punk tells Danielson to get the fuck out of his way.

Danielson looks at Punk hard for just a second and then takes a step away.

Punk says he’s spoken with Foley, he’s officially given up his title shot, at Summer Slam, in a No Disqualification match – he wants Brock Lesnar

Lesnar’s smirk turns to a laugh – Heyman tells Punk their business is concluded, Punk doesn’t have, and more importantly, doesn’t want, an issue with Brock Lesnar.  Brock Lesnar is here for only one man, the WWF Champion.  Brock Lesnar doesn’t know your name.


Punk hits Lesnar over the head with his crutch.

You know my name now?

Lesnar double legs him, they roll on the mat until separated.  Notably, Steamboat won’t allow Danielson to get involved, guiding him away from the ring.

Punk v. Lesnar – Summer Slam 2012.

A few beats to hit – the talk is largely ominous regarding what will happen to Punk; Joey thinks Punk can win, JR does not – Paul thinks it’s a dumb debate; people aren’t going to buy Summer Slam to see who wins, they’ll buy Summer Slam to see Punk die in the ring.   Brock does that same taped promo he did before the Cena fight (that’s language I’d like to use – Paul doesn’t talk about Brock as having matches, they’re fights) Brock essentially saying (without saying) that he’s not some bullshit pro wrestler, that he’s a fighter, and there’s no one in the promotion that compares.

Punk and Steamboat have a taped piece – it’s the “he’ll knock you til tomorrow Rock” scene from Rocky III, with Steamboat, pushed into it by Punk, telling him that he can’t win.  Punk asks if he’d say the same thing to Danielson and Steamboat refuses to answer.

One more – Brock makes one appearance in a WWF ring; there’s a Black/Hero singles match on Fight Night – it’s a non finish because Brock enters and breaks Hero’s arm.

That means we need two changes in the IC tournament – because Hero has to drop out, and so does Sheamus, because he’ll be wrestling Danielson for the title.

That’s an uncomplicated build; Sheamus was a long running IC champ and now challenges for the title; it’s something that we do (MVP, for example).  Sheamus and Regal appear on the Heyman Hustle late in the build, just to make sure it’s understood that, despite their history (Regal, for those of you who are new, was Angle’s enforcer in Team Angle – Brock was Angle’s first protégée) Brock isn’t aligning with the other heels.  Sheamus suggests that after he wins the WWF title he’d love to defend against Lesnar, Paul shuts him down completely – Brock Lesnar isn’t here to chase the belt; that’s for normal men – Paul doesn’t want to disparage anyone, he says he spent most of his life in this sport chasing belts, he managed Steve Austin, he managed Mick Foley – those were men who chased belts – Brock Lesnar has nothing to do with any of those men; he isn’t a professional wrestler here to win and lose matches.  Brock Lesnar is here for one man – Bryan Danielson – and in the interim, he’s going to cripple CM Punk.

That allows for some Regal/Heyman back and forth – Regal’s built the greatest wrestling developmental system ever created – a neverending pipeline of champions that ensure him something Paul never had – a future, sustainable control, longterm guarantee of control over the sport.  Regal’s a boss – and Paul is just another failed wrestling promoter. The end of that segment allows the only show of Underground solidarity all summer; recall the dissension demonstrated at the Battle Royal - multiple factions have developed, The Shield, Douchebags, and Empire (really, that's Gabriel and Hart, managed by Cole who is also still with Douchebags, and Hart isn't in Empire).  The full crew appears together, surrounding Heyman, to do the "Whose House" bit - Regal demonstrating to the interloper whose yard this is.  

Sheamus gets a tag pinfall over Danielson at the go home Fight Night to build the match.

The tag match was set at the Battle Royal – it’s DMW challenging Young Money; PAUL, recall, didn’t get a slot at the Battle Royal, and coming off DMW not being booked at Mania he’s vocally disgruntled – Young Money, recall, gets to wrestle with Extreme Rules in all of their matches, Foley’s promise to Kingston to get him to reteam with amnesia victim Killings. 

Dos Caras/HHH was set up at Mania – it’s the end of Dos Caras’s run through wrestling families; there’s a Vicki/Stephanie dynamic – it will open the show.

Leaving us just the 8 man IC tournament

Rey Mysterio d. Nick Nemeth
Chris Jericho v. Claudio Castagnoli
John Cena v. Titus O’Neill
The Miz v. Santino

Nemeth/Rey was a terrific program in the year prior to Nemeth winning the belt; here – Nemeth says he’s driving for the Triple Crown; and while beating Mysterio once was the biggest moment of his life, bigger even than winning the WWF Title – now, Rey’s just a stepping stone.

Jericho was nearly catatonic in the Battle Royal and that continues the rest of the summer – he continues to appear as if he hasn’t taken off the suit since Mania, he randomly mumbles Come On Baby.

O’Neill does the comedy gimmick TPPTPTP. 

Miz continues to act heelish.

That's what we've got.

WWF Title: Bryan Danielson (w/Ricky Steamboat) v. Sheamus (w/Steve Regal)
No Disqualification: CM Punk (w/Ricky Steamboat) v. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
Tags: Extreme Rules: Young Money (@TruthKills/Ka$h Kingston) v. DMW (PAUL/Kane)
IC Tournament: Rey Mysterio v. Dolph Ziggler (w/Steve Regal)
IC Tournament: Chris Jericho v. Claudio Castagnoli (w/Ricky Steamboat)
IC Tournament: John Cena v. Titus O'Neill
IC Tournament: The Miz v. Santino
HHH-M (w/Stepahnie) v. Dos Caras, Jr. (w/Vicki and Ricardo)

It's coming at the top of August - Summer Slam 2012..  It's going to be a happening!

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