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.

Survivor Series 2018

Friday, November 01, 2019

Survivor Series 2018, the 32nd Survivor Series, the 127th PPV in WWF history, is held in Los Angeles. 

(Dark: Gargano d. Ciampa, Ricochet/Tozawa d. Riddle/Lee)

The show opens cold, as they all do now, on Rousey’s entrance to the ring.  No video package, no announcers, it’s the ramp – it’s the video wall – it’s Ronda Rousey’s music and here she comes.
1.       Ronda Rousey d. Charlotte Flair
-at ringside, for the first time on WWF TV, we see the Horsewomen, Baszler/Duke/Shafir, they’re in the crowd, they’re wearing MMA branded shirts. This is a wrestling match as opposed to being sold as a shoot fight; Rousey’s a wrestler now, she beat Charlotte at Summer Slam in her last shoot fight, but Charlotte got enough of the match that it makes sense that now there’s a wrestling rematch.  This is designed to be the best Ronda wrestling match she can have; the template is Lesnar when he first returned from UFC, Ronda will sell, but not so much that she’s overly vulnerable, the bulk of the match is her just kicking Charlotte’s ass.  She goes over – yells at the crowd a little bit – then walks over to the Horsewomen (there was an outside spot during the match where they all stare at each other) she expresses surprise as to why her former stablemates are here – they shake their heads, seemingly disapproving of her – and they turn and they leave. 

Tomorrow night on RAW Ronda will sign her WWF wrestling contract; there’s a heat angle coming, and you’ll see that in the build for the Rumble.

And now the taped open – it’s LA themed with clips of the previous WWF LA(ish) PPVs:

-WM7 – Savage loses his “retirement” match to Hennig, he and Liz reunite
-WM12 – Shawn takes the title from Bret in the Iron Man match
-Rumble ’99 – Owen taking the title from Cactus in a barbed wire match
-WM16- Jeff taking the big TLC ladder bump, Eddy getting the fall on Jericho to take the IC, Benoit getting Cactus to submit in the crossface to take the WWF Title
-WM21-Michaels superkicking Jericho, Eddy getting the fall on Benoit in the Iron Man
-Summer Slam ’09 – Shawn superkicks Rey to win his 5th IC
-Summer Slam ’10 – Danielson getting the submission from Punk, Edge winning the Triple Crown by beating Jericho for the title
-Summer Slam ’11-Nemeth keeps the WWF Title over Rey
-Summer Slam ’12 – Steamboat throwing in the towel to end the Brock/Punk match
-Summer Slam ’13- Danielson taking the title from Brock
-Summer Slam ’14-Lesnar destroying RVD

Cut to the announce to set the stage for the rest of the night – Ranallo (his 13th PPV), Regal (his 23rd) Nigel (his 10th)

2.       Ali d. Jeff Hardy
-Veteran babyface Jeff has beaten young babyface Ali a couple of times in the build, but Ali got close enough both times that having this match at the PPV makes sense – and Ali goes over; Jeff shakes his hand and claps for him postmatch.

3.       Langston d. Strowman (DQ)
-Year long program between New Day and Gods of Carnage continues, the stip here is that everyone but the two men in the match are barred from ringside and if that is violated it will be an automatic 3 month suspension.  So – of course, Rusev (w/Lana pointing the way) runs in, drawing the DQ – but this program has been about injuring the other guy as opposed to winning matches, GoC beats Langston down, he shows good babyface fire in managing to hold them off 2:1 (we’re told Kingston/Woods are not here) but eventually he succumbs.  GoC in fact does get suspended and we won’t see them at all in the build to the Rumble. 

4.       Shoot Nation (Gable/Nemeth/Lashley) d. Underground (Authors of Pain/Murphy)
-Angle joins the announce desk for this one; Angle and Regal were former stablemates and in this build we’ve essentially seen Shoot Nation scrimmaging with the new crop of Underground wrestlers about to leave Dark Ride to work the main shows (Aleister Black/Gulak/Lorcan are the rest of this group) it’s friendly competition, Angle is trying to mold Shoot Nation into a cohesive unit, Regal is trying to get his guys ready for the next level.  At the announce desk, Angle needles Regal a little bit in a way that..maybe…starts to get under Regal’s skin a tick.  Gable has been positioned as the star of the squad, as “the next Angle” and he gets the fall here. 

Now – a video retrospective of the career of the Legendary Rey Mysterio, whose full time return to the WWF ring starts next. 

Clips of Rey in Mexico, in ECW, then NWA Fall Brawl ’96 when he took the US Title from Flair; beating Ultimo at Starrcade ’96, beating Juvie at Superbrawl ’97, regaining the US Title from Saturn at Starrcade ’98, beating Jericho at Superbrawl ’99, beating Kidman at Slamboree ’99, winning the NWA Title by beating Shane Douglas at Fall Brawl 2000, beating Kaz Hayashi at Starrcade 2000, beating Chavo at Superbrawl 2001, the final NWA show, beating Regal at Survivor Series ’02, taking the IC from RVD at Rumble ’03, beating Chavo at WM19, winning a three way over Ultimo and Tajiri at WM20, winning the tag belts with RVD over Flair/Leviathan at Summer Slam ’04, beating Paul London at WM21, winning the Triple Crown by taking the WWF Title from Eddy at Summer Slam ’05, keeping that belt over Juvie at Survivor Series ’05, keeping it over Psycosis and Super Crazy at Rumble ’06, keeping the belt over Benoit at WM22, regaining it against Booker at Summer Slam ’07, keeping it against the Undertaker at Survivor Series ’07, taking the IC from MVP at WM25, beating Matt Sydal at Survivor Series ’09, beating Carlito Colon at Rumble ’10, joining with Chavo to beat the Colons at WM26, beating Nick Nemeth at both Summer Slam ’10 and Survivor Series ’10, beating Danielson at Rumble ’11, beating Mistico at Rumble ’13, beating Dos Caras and embracing Eddy Guerrero’s widow Vickie at Rumble ’14.

And now 4 years later, the Legendary Rey Mysterio returns to the WWF as a full time wrestler. 

5.       The Legendary Rey Mysterio (w/Sombra) d. Kalisto (w/Crews)
-Mysterio has taken a very similar role to IRL Undertaker as the locker room leader (you need to shake his hand when you meet him, for ex.) that really manifests in his relationship with the other masked wrestlers, that we’ve seen play out in the “drive Kevin Steen out of the sport” angle.  This grates on Crews a little bit, he and Kalisto are tag partners from their days in Undergound but have never won the belts, he’s a little irritated that Kalisto is spending so much time with Mysterio – and his irritation (if you are looking, there’s not a close up camera shot) is evident postmatch here as Kalisto claps for Rey.

6.       Usos (Jimmy/Jey) d. Revival (Dash/Dawson)
-this is just a workrate match; neither team is currently in the title picture, they tore it down at Mania earlier in the year and currently both squads have suffered losses (Arn was buried under the Bullet Club flag and Roman has the medical issue that isn’t part of the broadcast but fans are probably aware of what’s going on) and that gives them the ability to just have this match to see if they can steal the show.  Usos go over – there’s lots of “it’s 1-1 now” from the guys postmatch.

7.       Women’s Title: Asuka d. Sasha Banks
-Asuka’s unbeaten and her matches are all about her being unbeaten and having the best match she can possibly have.  Asuka’s workrate Goldberg, she gets the chants, the signs, the fireworks, the backstage walk to the ring, the whole thing – and then she goes out and has great matches and wins.  That’s the formula.  She beats Banks here to keep her belt. 

8.       Brock Lesnar (w/Heyman) d. Bobby Roode (w/Strong)
-Lesnar settled his contractual differences, deciding to stay with WWF and not return to UFC, part of his deal is a Number One Contenders match at the Rumble against the new holder of the Triple Crown, AJ.  This is positioned as a tune up and that’s what it is, Brock going over strong – adding an F5 to Roddy for good measure. 

Postmatch, the return of Styles – new gear, new music, new hair, he’s been doing babyface vignettes as he’s been away in the build – and now he and Lesnar go nose to nose; they will meet 1:1 for the first time ever at the Rumble.  Winner goes to Mania to fight for the WWF Title. 

The tag title match is next – there’s a video package with every tag title match in Survivor Series history:

1987 – The Anvil turns on the Hart Foundation and the Rougeaus take the belts
1988 – The Brainbusters take the belts from the Rougeaus
1989- The Rockers keep the belts over the Rougeaus
1990-The Road Warriors take the belts from the Orient Express
1991-The Road Warriors keep the belts over Slaughter/Boss Man
1992-The Steiners take the belts from Money Inc (note, the issue related to this has been acknowledged)
1993-The Steiners keep the belts over the Rock&Roll Express
1994-Bret and the Anvil, together again, take the belts from Luger/Bigelow
1995-Diesel and Razor take the belts from the Smoking Gunns
1996 – Bart Gunn and Marc Mero keep the belts over Furnas and LaFon
1997 – The Road Warriors came in as the tag champs – but they lose to Rock and DLo in a three way that also included the New Age Outlaws
1998 – Rock and DLo kept the belts over the New Age Outlaws
1999-In a tables match, the Dudleys took the belts from the Hardys
2000-Edge and Christian kept their belts over Hunter and Waltman
2001 – in a No DQ match, the Dudleys kept their belts over Raven and Dreamer
2002 – Benoit and Guerrero kept their belts over Noble and Kidman
2003 – Shawn and Hunter kept their belts over the Dudleys
2004 – Angle and Benjamin take the belts from RVD and Rey
2005 – Booker and Bradshaw take the belts from Orton and Cena
2006 – in a light tube tables match, RVD/Sabu take the belts from Dead Men Walking
2007 – Hunter and Shawn take the belts from Cade/Murdoch
2008 – Edge and the Blood Dragon (later revealed to be Christian) take the belts from Cena and Leviathan
2009 – Division One (Nemeth/Swagger) keep the belts from Regal and Finlay
2010 – Young Money (Killings/Kingston) kept over Hooligans (8 years later, Sheamus and McIntyre are wrestling for the straps tonight)
2011 – Empire (Wade Barrett/Justin Gabriel) kept over Mark Henry/Santino Marella
2012 – Defiance (Orton and Giant Bernard) kept the belts over Young Money
2013 – The Shield kept the belts over Mark Henry and PAUL~
2014 – In a 2 out of 3 Belts TLC Match The Shield kept over the Usos
2015 – The New Day took the belts from Sheamus and Barrett
2017 – In a tornado match the Usos kept the belts over the New Day

9.       WWF Tag Titles: Hooligans (McIntyre/Sheamus/Miz) d. Bullet Club (Black/Anderson/Gallows)
-Hooligans becomes the 106th WWF Tag Team Champions.  It is the first WWF belt for both McIntyre and Miz – Miz is going to get the fall and it is a real culmination of a long, long climb for him and he sells all the emotion he possibly can. Miz was rejected by the veterans and much of the fan base as being just a reality show gimmick, he had his bags thrown in the hallway, he has to carry around Hunter’s gear – and then even year’s later he was the Cuck, hitting the very bottom of his tenure as a professional wrestler (and, one could argue, as a man).  But that led to the climb, he earned the respect of Sheamus, forging a tag team between the two, and when Sheamus’s former partner McIntyre returned, they continued their ascent – culminating here in the Miz getting the pinfall (on Gallows) and bringing home the belts.  For Miz fans, a real special moment here. 

Then a highlight package of every IC match in Survivor Series history:

1987 – Savage keeps the belt over Rude
1988 – Bret keeps the belt over Davey Boy
1989 – DiBiase takes Rude’s belt when Heenan turns on Rick
1990 – Bret keeps the belt over HBK
1991 – Piper takes the belt from Bret
1992 – HBK takes the belt from Savage and then Owen takes the belt from HBK
1993 – HBK kept the belt over Waltman, Razor turns face postmatch to help Waltman
1994 – In a ladder match, Razor kept the belt over Waltman
1995 – HBK keeps the belt over Shane Douglas
1996 – In a cage, Cactus takes the belt from Vader
1997 – In an Octagon style cage, Shamrock takes the belt from Cactus
1998 – Austin keeps the belt over Regal
1999 – Jericho takes the belt from Waltman
2000 – Regal takes the belt from Jericho
2001 – Taz takes the belt from Tajiri
2002 – In a 2 out of 3 belt ladder match, RVD takes the title from HBK
2003 – Chavo takes the belt from Tajiri
2004 – Jericho keeps the belt over Chavo
2005 – Benoit wins the Triple Crown by taking the belt from Angle
2006 – Shane Helms takes the belt from Hunter and The Executioner Bobby Lashley turned face.
2007 -  MVP takes the belt from Orton
2008 – MVP keeps the belt over Rey
2009 – Shawn kept the belt over Benjamin
2010 – Nitro kept the belt over MVP
2011 – Sheamus kept the belt from Nitro, slamming Nitro’s shoulder in the ringpost as part of his run as the “Clique Killer”
2013 – Ambrose kept the belt over Kingston
2014 – Luke Harper takes the belt from Nemeth
2015 – Ambrose takes the belt from Bray Wyatt
2017 – Brock kept the belt over Angle

10.   IC: Prince Devitt d. Mascara Dorada
-Devitt has been in a feud with the entire Dark Ride Wrestling roster since right after the Rumble, he’s made it clear that he will own that whole place, lock stock and barrel before he quits.  He beat Cedric Alexander at Summer Slam to claim the vacant belt and now keeps here over Dorada in the best match they can have. 

There’s then a highlight package showing clips of the careers of Danielson and Joe, from when they were together at ROH, to side by side comparisons of where each was in each stage getting to this point – their first ever WWF match.

11.   The American Dragon Bryan Danielson d. Samoa Joe
-Danielson offers a handshake to Joe prior to the match, Joe stares hard at Danielson, but accepts.  Danielson and Joe both lost at Summer Slam, Danielson to Brock and Joe his title shot against Nakamura – so there’s definitely a “these guys are at the crossroads” feel here, Danielson also had the two losses to Styles immediately preceding, and while Joe is characteristically angry Joe – Danielson has been reflective “who am I now if I am no longer the best wrestler in the world”.

Danielson, like he was against Brock, is largely on the defensive here, you can see his gears spinning, what can I still do – what is my approach…

He repeats a spot from the Lesnar match – where he bails out, designed to frustrate his aggressive opponent, and then returns the ring when he thinks there’s an advantage. 

And then the finish – he rolls Joe into a small package and holds the tights. 

Danielson pumps his fist postmatch, very much a sports celebration, Joe stands in the ring incredulous – goddamn Bryan Danielson, the epitome of all that is good and pure and all that bullshit, has just beaten me by holding my goddamn trunks.  The steam just rising from Joe almost as if he’s a cartoon character postmatch as Danielson slaps the fans hands as he exits. 

The main event is next – here’s the clip package of every WWF Title match at Survivor Series.

1987 – Steamboat keeps the belt against Dynamite
1988 – Savage takes from Dynamite
1989 – Hennig, who had been faking a breakup with Heenan, takes Randy’s title
1990 – Hennig keeps over Kerry Von Erich
1991 – Flair takes the title from Davey Boy
1992 – Bret keeps the belt over Flair
1993 – Bret keeps the belt over Lex, he and the undefeated Undertaker then go nose to nose
1994 – HBK takes the belt from Owen and wins the Triple Crown, Diesel turns on him postmatch
1995 – Bret keeps the belt against Davey Boy
1996 – Bret takes the title from Shawn
1997 – Bret is forced to leave the promotion when he submits to Owen in the Montreal Match (Austin and Shawn are the other two competitors)
1998 – It’s the first Cell match, Cactus takes his two huge bumps, but he wins the match and keeps the belt, his opponent is Shamrock
1999 – Cactus keeps the belt in a 3 way against Rock and Hunter
2000 – Benoit keeps the belt against Austin
2001 – Angle beats Booker in a lumberjack match
2002 – Angle keeps the belt over Jericho
2003 – Eddy keeps the belt in a 4 way over Benoit/Brock/Angle
2004 – Benoit comes in as champion and he and Eddy fight to a time limit draw
2005 – Rey keeps the belt over Juvie in a tribute match to Eddy Guerrero
2006 – Punk beats Flair and then throws down the WWF Title belt
2007 – Rey keeps the belt over the Undertaker
2008 – Jericho takes the belt from Punk and wins the Triple Crown
2009 – Jericho keeps over Chavo; Matt Hardy cashes in a briefcase and he and Jericho fight to a no content
2010 – Edge keeps the belt over Jack Swagger
2011 – Nemeth keeps the belt over Mistico
2012 – Danielson keeps the belt over Rey
2013 – Danielson comes in as champion, he and Punk fight to a draw
2014 – Claudio keeps the title over Bray
2015 – Steen keeps the title over Nemeth
2017 – Joe comes in as champion, he is pinned by both AJ and Devitt simultaneously and the belt gets held up

12.   WWF Title: Shinsuke Nakamura d. Claudio Castagnoli
-Main event style match, needs to be on the long end so Nakamura can obviously be completely spent post match.  All the nearfalls, all the finishers – this really needs to be match of the night. 

Postmatch, Claudio disappears – and with Nakamura clearly exhausted – Tyler Black, briefcase in hand, emerges on the ramp. 

He is sprinting down the ramp when out of nowhere, like a defensive back, flies in Dean Ambrose, he tackles Black, takes the briefcase, waffles him with it.  Black is dead laid out – the returning Ambrose stands above him as the show ends. 

Back next month for the 14th anniversary of the Counterfactual; it’s the build to Rumble 2019, we don’t know it yet, but your main event (spoiler) is Shinsuke Nakamura defending his WWF Title against Kenta.  See you in December for the build.

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