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.

Summer Slam 2016

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The build.

Summer Slam 29 comes to you from Brooklyn.  It is the 118th PPV in WWF history. 

(Dark: Nakamura d. Joe, Revival d. Gargano/Ciampa)

Your announcers are Mauro (4th) Regal (14th) and Nigel (1st)

-It’s the first PPV for this full team, the announcer story last year was Regal’s overly exuberant rooting for Underground, Nigel was hired to check that.  That needs to pay off here, there will be a moment where it looks like Regal will leave the announce desk as he did with Mania to go to ringside during an Underground match, but Nigel stands up and that causes him to back down and remain in his seat. That’s as hard as that note gets punched; going forward, Regal obviously still prefers Underground, but is largely a heel analyst; Nigel prefers GDI but is largely a babyface analyst.
1.       American Alpha (w/Swagger) d. Fandango Curtis/Zach Ryder
-This is designed to showcase Alpha; they’re positioned as next in the Steiners-Haas/Benjamin-D1 line of amateurs turned WWF tag champions. There’s a lot of hype and that’s not tampered at all here.  Regal puts them over, Nigel puts them over – they are the next big tag thing.

2.       Women’s Championship: Falls Count Anywhere: Charlotte Flair d. Sasha Banks
-Sasha took from Charlotte at Mania,  they had been members of 4-Ground with Becky and Paige, Charlotte blew that up, turning on the group at Survivor Series.  She wins clean here, getting a submission out in the crowd (figure four over a guardrail).  It’s probably the best women’s match (certainly the best brawl) in promotion history.  Charlotte stands on one of the seats, holding the title belt over her head.  Becky aids Sasha to the back. 

3.       Extreme Rules: Bullet Club (Anderson/Gallows) d. Dudleys
-This, perhaps, ends the careers of the Dudley Boys as a tag act; it’s a garbage match, light tubes, barbed wire, thumbtacks – the finish comes when both Dudleys go through thumbtack covered tables.  It’s destructive and determinative.  The Duds get buried in the Bullet Club flag. Anderson/Gallows are shown to be bad asses, not just the guys snickering behind Styles/Devitt; they’ve ended the careers of the Dudley Boys

4.       Chris Jericho d. Apollo Crews
-Jericho’s age is the story here, specifically the difference in ages and experience between the two men; Jericho is getting the Terry Funk in ECW treatment, he’s been wrestling a quarter century,  he’s got a knee brace, he’s got the dad bod – he’s up against someone in Crews who has every advantage except for experience – and the experience is what gets him in the end.  Jericho might be on his last ride, but it continues. 

5.       Dean Ambrose d. Nick Nemeth
6.       Tyler Black d. Kingston (w/Woods)
-The Shield matches are next.  To recap – they held the tag titles longer than anyone has held any belt in the Mania era, lost them when Langston turned over a year ago.  Ambrose didn’t pursue vengeance, he went after the IC instead and wound up in the Mania main event.  Black lost over a year of his career to injury at the hands of Langston, this is his return, Black is Back and all of that – he’s gotten the full “Triple H is returning from those quad tears” video package push and this will be the first time he’s stepped in a WWF ring in over a year.  Black had a chance at the IC match, but turned it down because he wants vengeance.  That’s caused a rift between Ambrose and Black, they haven’t spoken in months – the idea is you can see if from both perspectives.  Ambrose could have devoted himself to attacking the New Day, but he would have sacrificed personal gain.  Black would have expected otherwise, understandably so, given the brotherhood emphasis of the Shield. 
-Ambrose gets his win first, then stays at ringside, grabs a headset to join the announce team.  Maybe grabs a headset to join the Spanish announce team.  That’s a better spot, easily repeatable, teach Ambrose enough Spanish that he can say some catchphrases.  He’s here to watch the Black match.
-Black wanted Langston, but Langston’s injured, so he settled on Kingston, that’s his level of desire for revenge, his entrance is the first time he’s come out from the back since the formation of the Shield, and he’s got new gear – it’s a full giant babyface moment for Black, he gets in a dive to take out Woods and goes over Kingston strong.  Postmatch, Ambrose hits the ring, he’s clapping – it’s not so much that it’s obvious he’s just being a jackass, it should be calibrated so you could take it both ways, Ambrose is being supportive…Ambrose is pulling focus.  Regardless, Black isn’t happy to see him – once he realizes Ambrose is in the ring with him postmatch, Black stops his celebration and shakes his head in dismay.  They haven’t spoken in months and this is how Ambrose wants to reach out?  Ambrose extends his fist, in the manner of the Shield, but Black walks out of the ring. 

-Time for an interlude, WWF Commissioner Bryan Danielson is introduced by Howard, comes to the ring, says tune in tomorrow night on RAW, he has an announcement of the biggest format shakeup in Survivor Series history – and that shakeup will actually begin before the end of RAW tomorrow.  The second announcement is that, arriving, as we speak, to the arena, right off the campaign trail – the next President and Vice President of the United States – Senator Linda McMahon and Vincent Kennedy McMahon!  The big screen shows Linda and Vince arrive in one of the luxury suites, HHH-M, Steph, Skip are all there as well – Linda and Vince wave at what assumes is a supportive Brooklyn crowd.  “Sing-le Pay-er” clap, clap, clapclapclap. 

7. IC: Rusev (w/GHB and Lana) d. El Generico
-Rusev becomes the 68th Intercontinental Champion.  Rusev’s introduction is accompanied by a band playing the Russian National Anthem.  Images of Trump and Putin are on the video wall, accompanied by the word FREEDOM over and over and over again.  Rusev has a new novelty robe with airbrushed displays of a shirtless (totally ripped) Trump and Putin stomping out Linda and Vince. 

Rusev goes over, it’s typical Rusev match, a little distraction by Lana for GHB to hit a clothesline – Generico fights from underneath in typical Generico fashion, but the power of Rusev proves too much to overcome and he goes down.  Rusev, Lana, GHB celebrate in the ring, staring at the luxury box with the McMahon family.  GHB takes the mic – “just like in November, a Russian and an American will stand together and win the prize” – Rusev holds his belt aloft as the McMahon family stares daggers at them.

8.Tags: Trash (Claudio/Neville) d. Usos (Jimmy/Jey w/Roman)
-Claudio and Neville become the 99th WWF tag team champs.  It’s Claudio’s first appearance since Survivor Series, he’s now Euro douchebag, he speaks several languages, he wears a scarf, he’s delighted to tell you how stupid you are.  It’s Neville’s first ever appearance as Neville (Pac lost a mask match at the Rumble, destroying his old identity) he is now real world heel Neville, just constant fury.  Together, they’re Trash, the slur used for each of them by Steen when they were stablemates.  They go over clean here. 

9. No DQ: Prince Devitt (w/Anderson and Gallows) d. Brock Lesnar (w/Heyman)
  -So, generally, I try to avoid too much Bullet Club interference during matches, I like a beatdown pre-match, I like some interference outside the ring during a match, that’s standard Jividen booking, and when there’s actual in ring interference (like in the IC match earlier) it’s fairly early in the match.  This, however, needs Bullet Club interference to tell the story.  Anderson and Gallows get involved, they both wind up bumping for Lesnar, and then Nakamura appears, he hits his knee strike on Lesnar, and eventually that all proves too much and Devitt, in his WWF PPV debut, gets the victory. 

The Bullet Club celebrates, Anderson and Gallows get the flag – but first, Devitt, as promised, stands atop Brock as he did at the Rumble.  Brock hulks up, stands, snatches Devitt and F5s him.  The rest of the Club scatters and Brock busts Devitt open similar to his real world busting up of Randy Orton, just leaving him broken in the middle of the ring – Lesnar wipes Devitt’s blood with the Bullet Club flag and drapes it over Devitt’s body.

10. WWF Title: AJ Styles d. Kevin Steen
-Best match they can have, just workrate, the Bullet Club isn’t physically able to return to aid AJ, so he’s on his own, but we need a good one on one workrate based, just go out and have the very best match you can possibly have, match.  This is that and AJ goes over.  AJ celebrates, leaves with the belt, Steen remains in the ring – Generico makes his way down, the two friends, longtime partners, both leaving Summer Slam without belts.

And now – here comes Trash.  Their longtime GDI stablemates, Neville and Claudio, come to the ring in their new personas, perhaps both men psychologically broken from Steen’s torment but now they’re the ones who have belts. 

Neville and Claudio come to the ring – Generico and Steen rise, Claudio doing most of the talking, Claudio smugly pointing at the tag belts, “You were right, Kevin – we are Trash, and we’re covered in gold.”  Generico gets in between Steen and Claudio, tries to keep them from fighting – when his old friend Neville bashes him over the head with his title belt.  That kicks off the brawl that leads to Trash leaving Steen/Generico laid out in the ring as the show ends. 

That’s Summer Slam.   Back next month with part 1 of the build to Survivor Series.  Here’s your tease – if you’ve been around awhile, you may know what happened in the summer after Wrestlemania 19.  Bryan Danielson also remembers.  See you in a month.

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