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 Survivor Series 2012

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Summer Slam is here.

Survivor Series is in November from Indianapolis.

Let’s go from the bottom of the card up.

8. Number One Contender Match: Empire (Barrett/Gabriel) v. Douchebags (Sandow/Ryder)
The crumbling of Underground continues. This program is incited by the return of Barrett, out almost the entirety of 2012. He gets a couple of vignettes to build his return (he’s tougher, meaner, you know how that goes.  Plus, he promises that upon his return, he’s going to make a big impact).  He’s going to wrestle in a trios with Gabriel and Kidd in his first match, but previously that evening a member of Douchebags (Hawkins, writing him out) is found half dead in a dark room in the back.

Sandow immediately blames Barrett, this is his big impact – and after Empire gets a win over whomever (Colons and someone, probably) Douchebags hit the ring (Ryder/Slater are who is left with the group) Sandow and Barrett going nose to nose.  Michael Cole, affiliated with both groups, unable to break up the brawl.

The stakes for the match – winner goes to the Rumble to take on the champs.    Barrett neither confirms nor denies the attack on Hawkins, leading, obviously, everyone to assume (as is his intent) his guilt. 

7. Mistico v. Tyson Kidd
While we’re discussing Kidd – he has a match also, building from the Summer Slam run in.  Kidd wasn’t Empire, recall, but he’s proved himself over recent months and Barrett fully accepts him upon his return.  This is mainly for the workrate and will be referenced further up the card.

6. Sheamus v. PAUL
Sheamus beats someone and then cuts a “I’m the toughest man in the WWF” promo which draws PAUL from the back.  He says he can’t come off the top rope anymore, but like Kane found out at Summer Slam, if he lands one punch on the chin he can beat anyone in the sport.  Sheamus laughs, PAULs fat and washed up – Paul palms his face and sends Sheamus across the ring.

5. Claudio Castagnoli v. John Cena
4. Nick Nemeth v. The Miz
We reach the IC tournament. This will be treated as if all four men are building matches against each other; there’s a little bit of emphasis to the specific opponent, but since it’s a tournament; we can have tag matches in all the various configurations to help build animosity among all four guys, as none have any affiliation with any other

The stories for all four – Nemeth is easiest to see, he’s looking for the Triple Crown and immortality.  Cena’s looking for his first singles title (and he doesn’t like factions, particularly GDI – everyone else is in a group, albeit Miz’s group is currently small).  Cena can cut promos about his faction being the WWF, his stable is the fans, he won’t come to the ring with a manager but he might bring his light tubes. 

Miz, still turning heel if not now a full heel and Claudio, happy go lucky to the end, are looking for their first ever WWF belts (Miz, obviously, his first belt of any type, anywhere). 

All 4 men appear, with Foley, on the only episode of Heyman Hustle in this build – Heyman establishes that Foley is really resting the success of his Commissionership on the outcome of this tournament, and then looks to get in digs at each of the four guys (his seeming lack of interest in Underground always gets under Regal’s skin; he  asks Claudio what it’s like to get Danielson’s dry cleaning, he talks about all the tag titles Orton has won since teaming with Cena and contrasts that with Cena having won none, and he ignores Miz entirely). 

There’s also a 3 way on the go home show that will be referenced later that Claudio is a part of, he’ll be taken out of that match by Nemeth – who will then be laid out by Cena – who then gets laid out by Miz – Miz stands tall, making the sign for the belt, as we go to the event.

3. Tags: Young Money (Kingston/Killings) v. Defiance (Orton/Bernard)
Yes, that’s Giant Bernard.

Defiance adds a third member in this stretch; there’s a few weeks building to a number one contenders match between Defiance and a returning DiBiase/McIntyre – Hooligans and Defiance coming together, Ted taking on his former partner.

Defiance wins, Orton pinning Ted with the RKO – and postmatch Bernard makes his WWF return, cleans house, and joins Defiance (recall at WWF 100, Bernard was part of the wrestlers in attendance and did not get the treatment his New Japan success would seemingly have earned him).  Bernard says he hasn’t been Albert in years – he’s Giant Bernard, he’s been half of one of the greatest tag teams in Japan, and now he’s one third of the greatest tag team in WWF.  

And your matches at the top of the card.

2. CM Punk v. Dos Caras, Jr.
1. WWF Title: Bryan Danielson v. Rey Mysterio
These matches work together.  Danielson’s announcement of his SSeries opponent is the conclusion of RAW the night after SSlam – he says he’s the best wrestler in the world and he wants to defend the WWF Title against one of the best wrestlers of all time – and he calls for Rey.
Danielson tells Rey it will be an honor to test himself against a man of his historic significance with the WWF title on the line. 

The next week, the match gets raised by an unlikely source, Caras.  He’s asked by Josh in the back about something pertaining to whomever he’s wrestling that night, and he doesn’t want to talk about that – instead, he says he was disgusted by the way Danielson treated Mysterio – Rey Mysterio is a hero to the Hispanic people and Danielson treated him like a fossil – Dos Caras says Mysterio isn’t a charity case, he can’t believe that Danielson expressed such contempt for a hero. 

The announce is a little baffled. 

A week later, the whole Dos Caras crew comes to the ring to introduce the Mysterio tribute video that will serve as backdrop for the build – it’s all the title wins, ending with Mysterio’s victory over Danielson at the Rumble. 

Two and a half weeks later, the main for Fight Night is Rey v. Pac, which is sort of a thing – Steamboat is particularly animated during the match – and eventually Caras comes to ringside.

Rey has been working on submission holds in preparation to face Danielson, and the match ends with his putting Pac in a hold – Steamboat is close to the ropes and reaches out his hand to point to it – as if to say “grab the rope” – but it’s close enough that when Dos Caras knocks his arm down and then claims that what Steamboat was trying to do was push the rope to Pac – it doesn’t seem ridiculous.

Pac submits. 

On RAW we get a Vicki/Rey backstage piece, Vicki tells Rey that she can trust Dos Caras, that he’s misunderstood, that she’s happy and that Eddy would have wanted them to be friends.

We are not supposed to believe any of this.

It’s not like it’s crazy – but neither should it appear to most fans like a face turn; the announcers don’t believe it but sometimes they doubt their disbelief. 

Dos Caras/Rey/Mistico win a three way over Empire (there’s enough Kidd/Mistico interaction to get you excited about their PPV match).

Rey pins Barrett.

And the go home is Dos Caras/Rey/Mistico against Danielson/Claudio/Pac.  That’s the match where Claudio gets taken out in the IC tournament angle – and down 3 to 2, Danielson gets pinned.

He’s pinned by Dos Caras, who steals it from Rey – not overtly, Rey hits the 619 but then can’t follow up because Pac makes the save, but Dos Caras is there to finish Danielson off. 


In the midst of all of this is the speculation about Punk’s return. It’s less speculation than it is relief that he doesn’t appear to have career threatening injuries.  He almost certainly will return for Wrestlemania. 

There’s a taped piece with Danielson/Steamboat, it’s quiet, Danielson asks “how’s he doing” – Steamboat says “he won’t take my calls” – there’s a beat, Steamboat says “you know this is gonna happen, right?” 

Danielson’s response, designed to seem as if he’s kidding, mostly, “just leave the towel at home, Rick.”

That gets us to a Raw where Punk is promoted to return – “to confront Ricky Steamboat”
Punk, in streetclothes, fuming, as if he’s just been stewing in his own juice since Summer Slam, comes to the ring and calls out Steamboat.  Steamboat and Danielson come to the ring together.  Punk is just hot – he gets right in Danielson’s face and the two are nose to nose for just as beat before Steamboat quietly says “Punk, go home.  Come back in January.”

Punk wheels on Steamboat says he has one question – one question that keeps him up at night – why?  Why did Steamboat give up on him – why did he throw in that towel?

Steamboat says Punk is the most stubborn man he’s ever met, and he’s met the Dynamite Kid – Steamboat says it was one fight, and Punk would rather Lesnar broke his arm off than just admit that he had lost.  “Why did I stop the fight?  Because it was over. You just didn’t know it yet.”

Punk says Steamboat’s full of shit; that he never believed in him the way he believed in Danielson.  Punk turns to Danielson, says he is sick to death of him walking around like he’s better than everyone.

Danielson says that, of all people, for Punk to say that someone else is too confident is the dumbest thing he’s ever heard.  Punk balls a fist – Danielson shakes his head “Jesus man – it’s just one fight.  You have 3 WWF Titles, let it go.  Look – you want to go, fine – we’ll go – but not now, man, just go home.”

Punk says he just has one more question – he turns back to Steamboat but points at Danielson.

“If it was him – if he was the one in that hold – would you have thrown in the towel?”

There’s a beat – but then no answer as Dos Caras’s music hits to interrupt. He stays on the ramp.

Dos Caras says Punk shouldn’t go home – Punk should get back to training, training to face him at Survivor Series.

Dos Caras says that anti Hispanic bigot Danielson will lose to a great hero, Rey Mysterio – and his sidekick Punk will lose to, maybe one day, a hero, Dos Caras. 

Steamboat is quick to step in – calls Dos Caras trash, says Punk is in no condition to fight.

And that, of course, causes Punk to accept.

For a couple of weeks there’s a little “they’re not going to let this happen, right” chatter – leading to a 

Foley/Punk confrontation.  Foley tells Punk he isn’t going to let him wrestle – Punk calls Foley a hypocrite, and details the litany of things Foley did to his body.  Punk says no one stopped Foley.  That allows for the full Foley promo, the full on classic, screaming Foley promo “maybe somebody should have” – Foley talks about how he can’t climb stairs and sometimes it takes him a second to remember his children’s names – “do you know what hurts – falling off a cage doesn’t hurt – having to say “little buddy” while you desperately try to remember your son’s name – that’s what pain is”

The result, however, winds up being that Foley relents – he isn’t Punk’s father, he isn’t responsible for Punk’s choices – if he wants to get in that ring at Survivor Series, he does so at his own risk.

There’s a makeup scene with all of GDI (not Punk at the outset) on the go home RAW prior to the event (the aforementioned 6 man is at the end of the week on Fight Night, so that's the real go home scene) with the whole crew in the ring, Hero is the guy in charge of fiery GDI speeches now, he’s exhorting everyone to stand behind Claudio as he advances in the IC Tournament – behind Danielson as he keeps his WWF Title – and behind their friend Punk as he beats Dos Caras – the full crew claps for the missing Punk – and then he enters – Punk shakes hands with Steamboat – shakes hands with Danielson – all of GDI is together as RAW ends. 

And that’s the build.

WWF Title Bryan Danielson (w/Steamboat) v. Rey Mysterio
CM Punk  v. Dos Caras, Jr. (w/Vicki and Ricardo)
Tags: Young Money v. Defiance
IC Tournament: Nick Nemeth (w/Regal) v. The Miz
                             Claudio Castagnoli (w/Steamboat) v. John Cena
Sheamus (w/Regal) v. PAUL
Mistico v. Tyson Kidd (w/Cole)
Number One Contender: Empire v. Douchebags

The next TNA show is in October.  Wish me luck.  And Survivor Series in November.


Anonymous said...

Danielson gets pinned a lot in tag matches. I know why you do it, but I'm just sayin'.

Mike Heine said...

It's not often I say I'm hanging out for TNA news, but can't wait for the counterfactual TNA update! :)

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