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.

The Road to Survivor Series 2014

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Summer Slam is here.

The 28th Survivor Series is coming in November from St Louis.

The night following Summer Slam includes a Wyatt promo.  Bray, backed by Luke Harper (we start getting his first name now as a method of individuation) Virgil and Cena, says what you’d expect, he’s the real winner at Summer Slam because of the postmatch beatdown, and since GDI is clearly dead, the beatings will continue all the way until Survivor Series in which he will batter Claudio in the no DQ match.  And while Bray has all the Wyatts – Claudio is by himself.

Claudio enters – and will be followed by Cody and then Swagger and then Nemeth.  That’s half the Survivor Series card, and we’ll mix and match them during the build. 

Deeper dive.

WWF Title (No DQ) Claudio Castagnoli v. Bray Wyatt
-Bray’s argument through the build is Claudio should just hand over the belt and join the Wyatts to save the humiliation and the beatings.  Claudio no sells all of it, says he appreciates the offer to join  the Wyatts and really respects all of them – but he’s good with GDI and maybe they’ll talk again about it sometime.  As for the title, he thinks maybe Bray’s analysis isn’t perfect, as he believes he actually defeated Bray at Summer Slam and therefore, based on past performance, is likely to do so again at Survivor Series.  May the best man win!  Hey!

(the key is there’s no wink to the camera, Claudio’s totally earnest, he’s just happy and it gets under everyone else’s skin.)

The other babyfaces stay with Claudio throughout the build, no other GDI members anywhere, but in an 8 man at the go home show, the other 3 babyfaces wind up, for various reasons, leaving ringside, and Claudio’s doubleteamed by Harper and Bray, Harper getting the fall (only time Claudio is pinned in the build) and so going into Survivor Series the story is that Claudio is, in fact, on his own up against all 4 Wyatts potentially in a No DQ match.

IC Title: Nick Nemeth v. Luke Harper
-Harper, recall, gave up the IC shot he earned in the last build at the demand of Bray, but Nemeth revives it here and says he wants to fight Harper because he earned it (it’s a babyface move and it possibly serves to put a schism in the Wyatts).  Bray accepts for Harper, and in the build, when Bray talks about Harper winning the IC title and bringing it home to the Wyatts, where it will sit right below Bray’s WWF title, Harper is noticeably silent.  Harper has been kept distinct and strong  since the creation of the Wyatt Family, and each time he didn’t work a show it was because Bray demanded it, because his bodyguard skills were more valuable to the Family.  As an example of a stock wrestling storyline, I think it’s really hit all of the needed notes. Nemeth and Claudio, put together for the opener at Summer Slam, do some two man comedy stuff, consider that as adding to your understanding of Nemeth as a guy who likes a buddy.  Swagger.  Then he really looked to embrace Sheamus and Barrett as his equals, even when they clearly weren’t.  Then Sandow, plucked from the bottom of the card to be his pal.  And now the champ, Claudio. Nemeth likes that running buddy, even though he’s a prima donna showboat. 

Virgil v. Cody Rhodes
-In the build, Cody never beats his brother.

Okay, in the build we get what turns out to be the last ever episode of Piper’s Pit.  The guest is Dusty Rhodes. 

Piper looks to hit the “we were on the road 400 days a year so family got screwed” notes before turning it up a couple notches on Dusty – he was NWA champion in the early 80s and then spend the rest of his career trying to get back what he never could get back.  Dusty hits back that Piper wouldn’t know what it was like to be world champion.  Piper hits back that he wouldn’t know what it was like to leave his family.  Dusty says he brought Dustin with him – we see the clip from way back in 1990 when Dustin debuted in WWF as part of Dusty turning on Hogan (if you’re new, that’s counterfactual history).  Dusty says he tried, tried and failed, but tried.  And maybe he’s lost his kids, maybe he’s lost Dustin – but he doesn’t think so, that’s why Dustin took the name Virgil, it’s his roots, it’s his family, it’s his dad, he wants to come home.

Dustin enters with Bray and Cena – Dustin says the Wyatts are the only real family he ever had – Dusty cuts his “the view never changes” promo, talking about Dustin walking behind Bray – and that’s it, the Wyatts leave Dusty and Piper laying.  Cody runs in just going berserk, the Wyatts bail. 

And that’s it for Dusty and Piper – they leave the territory on their backs. 

John Cena v. Jack Swagger
-The numbers got Swagger at Summer Slam, he’s looking for some payback here.

The focus of the build, if there’s one match that is the real draw for Survivor Series, is the tag title match.

WWF Tag Titles: 2 of 3 Belt TLC: The Shield vs. The Usos
-If the Shield wins again, they will pass the Hart Foundation to become, by the time they defend at 
the Rumble, the longest running tag champs in WWF history.  That’s the focus of the build.  The Shield cuts some promos on every other tag champ in promotion history, the network has some fantasy programming pitting the Hart Foundation from almost 30 years ago against the Shield, there’s analysis, predictions, and then a simulation (the Shield goes over). 

The Shield’s beaten everyone.  Done everything.  What could be left?

Christian comes out of the RAW announce to provide an answer.

Christian says the main reason why he and Edge, or the Hardys, or the Dudleys, didn’t have a 21 month title run is that they were killing each other in TLC matches.  Christian says the reason they stopped doing these matches, over a decade ago, is the body count got too high. 

But if The Shield wants to show they’re the greatest tag team of all time, they’ll do it in not just a TLC match, but a 6 man TLC match where the winning team has to grab 2 of the 3 tag team title belts hanging above the rim. 

It’s all 3 members of the Shield against all 3 Usos. The build is clear – dudes are going to fall off ladders through tables.  It is a TLC match where the Shield is trying to prove it’s the best tag team who ever lived.

There’s another match where the Harts come into play.

Women’s Title: AJ v. Natty v. Paige
-After 3 decades we’re recommissioning the WWF Women’s Title.

AJ’s beaten both Natty and Paige as women’s wrestling made its WWF PPV debut.  And now the decision has been made to reintroduce the women’s title belt.  Through the sheets, we find out that AJs deal is up and she’s not returning – she cuts a pipe bomb promo saying the Women’s title will last one day, because she’s going to win it and take it with her back to Chicago.  AJ tweets out a spot at her house where the belt will go – and in the shot is Punk’s NWA Title belt (Punk’s the last ever NWA Champion).

That draws the attention of Charlotte Flair.

Charlotte, from Underground, along with fellow trainees Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch make their RAW debuts  to cut off an AJ promo.  Charlotte says it is disgusting that the NWA belt, the belt that belonged to her dad, is now at AJ Lees house.  Sasha says that even if she does win at Survivor Series, she’s not leaving St Louis with that title belt – because Underground will be in the house.

That draws Paige, Paige is pissed at the trainees for being here and intimating that she might not win – she tells them to go back and keep training, and that if she needs help they’ll be the first to know.  

Becky says they’ll be at Survivor Series whether Paige wants them or not – and if she wins, maybe they’ll take the belt from her too. 

Natty’s babyface turns is complete in this build – because she isn’t just fighting for the title, she’s a Hart – so the title means, as with all other Hart titleholders, that she’d earn a Hart Foundation hockey jersey, which we’re reminded of when Bret appears unannounced on RAW to pump her up and remind everyone of the hockey jersey tradition.  Bret doesn’t come alone – he then brings out the Anvil, and he and Natty hug (again, she’s a babyface now).  Bret says he and the Anvil will be in attendance at Survivor Series and they might bring some friends.  The Shield then hits the ring and we get the “if we were 30 years younger..hell, we could take them if we were ten years younger”…stuff from the Harts.  The Shield says they can paint all of St Louis in pink and black; the Shield is walking out of Survivor Series with all 3 tag title belts and with the title Undisputed Greatest Tag Team of All Time.

Two more.

GHB says we need to start deporting some of the foreigners in the locker room, and why not begin with the Colons.

The Colons say they’re Puerto Rican and Puerto Rico is part of the United States. 

That distinction isn’t of interest to GHB.  And we’ve got a handicap match.

Rusev v. Colons

Finally, someone from Underground is going to lose his job; Fit runs the day to day in Underground since Regal, who remains the big boss, has the Fight Night job.  The main roster guys come back to WWFU to get in some training work where Fit reveals that given the pressure from below with new guys ready to move up, someone has to lose his spot.  Leaving us this highly pressurized tag match.

Sandow/Gabriel v. Curtis/Slater.

Add in the promoted return of Kenta for a dark match and we have the card for Survivor Series 2014.

WWF Title (No DQ) Claudio Castagnoli v. Bray Wyatt
WWF Tag Titles: 2 of 3 Belt TLC: The Shield (Black/Ambrose/Langston) vs. The Usos (Reigns/Jimmy/Jey)
IC Title: Nick Nemeth v. Luke Harper
Virgil v. Cody Rhodes
John Cena v. Jack Swagger
Women’s Title: AJ Lee v. Natty Neidhart v. Paige
Rusev (w/Lana and GHB) v. Colons
Someone's Getting Fired: Damien Sandow/Justin Gabriel v. Fandango Curtis/Heath Slater

Every Wrestlemania Guest Referee

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Every Announcer Ever.

This is the last one of these this month.  Next month is the build for Survivor Series.

There has been a special guest referee at every Wrestlemania.

Yeah, that's an edit.  When I started I wasn't interested in anything but making the matches and that, for example, led to not including Muhammad Ali in WM1.

A decade later, that's pretty clear error.

As it happened, I used guest referees in about half of the Manias anyway.

So, I've added in the rest.  They don't impact anything, no storyline changes, there isnt any material difference (Dr. Death takes a minor bump, that's it). Just some digitizing George Lucas style, really just to get Ali on the first card.  So, if you don't remember Hector Guerrero the first time you read XVII, he's there now.  

Here's the list.

I. Muhammad Ali (Hogan v. Orndorff)
II. Pedro Morales (Andre v. Bruno)
III. Pat Patterson (Hogan v. Piper)
IV Billy Graham (Andre v. Hogan)
V. Dusty Rhodes (Hogan v. Warrior)
VI. Andre the Giant (Hogan v. Dusty)
VII Andre the Giant (Undertaker v. Jake)
VIII Lex Luger (Undertaker v. Sid)
IX. Jerry Lawler (Backlund v. Hogan)
X. Curt Hennig (Owen v. Bret)
XI. Roddy Piper (Razor v. Owen)
XII. Jim Neidhart (Owen v. Davey Boy)
XIII Ken Shamrock (Cactus v. Vader)
XIV Mike Tyson (Shamrock v. Austin)
XV Pete Rose (HHH/Waltman v. New Age Outlaws)
XVI. Bob Backlund (Hardys v. Dudleys v. Edge/Christian)
XVII. Hector Guerrero (Jericho v. Eddy)
XVIII Brock Lesnar (Rock v. Regal)
XIX. Bill Goldberg (Angle v. Lesnar)
XX. Steve Austin (Foley/Rock v. Goldberg/Lesnar)
XXI. Dean Malenko (Eddy v. Benoit)
XXII. Steve Williams (Fit v. Regal)
XXIII. Steve Austin (Undertaker v. HBK)
XXIV. Ric Flair (WMD v. HHH/HBK)
XXV. Jimmy Snuka (Undertaker v. GHB)
XXVI. Ted DiBiase (Kidd/Smith v. HHH-M/Miz)
XXVII. Road Warrior Animal (Barrett/Gabriel v. Orton/DiBiase)
XXVIII. Mick Foley (Rock v. Sheamus)
XXIX. Bruno Sammartino (Brock v. Danielson)
XXX. Jake Roberts (Bray v. Rey)

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