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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 2013

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Summer Slam was here.

This is the first post since my brother Joe died; our relationship was largely based on wrestling, I was 11-12 when I started watching in ’82-83, he a half dozen years younger, so I was able to keep from him that it was worked for the first couple of years.  He eventually lapsed as a fan when I went away to school until I showed him the two important matches from Westlemania X. We went through the late 90s together, watching almost every “Attitude era” Raw-Nitro-Thunder-ECW weekly show together and, on a regular basis for over a decade, we’d meet up to watch whatever the current hot independent or puroresu matches were.  Tommy Dreamer bled on us at an ECW show; we got kicked out of a WWF show; we met Bam Bam Bigelow together and Joe’s who I called when I found out about Eddy and then Benoit. 

He got out (I assume I never will) right before the Punk promo a couple of years ago and I don’t even know if he knew about Danielson going over at 30.  I could have called him. I didn’t. 

I started this story ten years ago, life happens. Death too, miserably. 

Back to the show.  Survivor Series 2013 is coming in November from Boston

WWF Title: Bryan Danielson v. CM Punk
Jack Swagger (w/Heyman and Bellas) v. Claudio Castagnoli

The main event of RAW the night after Summer Slam is Punk’s appearing on the Heyman Hustle.  Paul (still wearing the neckbrace, still with Swagger as bodyguard, Swagger’s given Van Dam’s ponytail to the Bellas as a talisman, there's no Brock in this build at all, so both Bellas are now glued to Swagger) doesn’t stay in the ring, he introduces Punk, they stare at each other momentarily, Paul smiles, shakes his head, hands the mic over and exits. 

I stabbed Bryan Danielson with a fork last night.  I don’t like Bryan Danielson, but it’s not Bryan Danielson I’m at war with.

7 years ago I won the WWF Championship at Survivor Series and threw down the belt.  I did it for every independent wrestler who never fit the mold for this promotion, I did it to drive a stake through the heart of corporate wrestling.  There are people in very powerful positions in the World Wrestling Federation who never forgave me for that. 

And one of those people might become the next President of the United States.

There has been a covert war against CM Punk in this company for 7 years.  When I was WWF Champion for the third time, the entire developmental system was sent to take my belt – I became the only man ever to be forced to defend the WWF Title twice in the same night – and since then I have never had a title shot. 

The two most hated men by the management of this company, men who napalmed their bridges on the way out of here, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, not only came back – they came back together.  They came back because they agreed to go after CM Punk.

And when Brock Lesnar couldn’t beat me on his own, Mr. WWF Ricky Steamboat, who somehow had become the leader of the independent wrestling group that I started, threw in a towel that ended the match.

I’m not at war with Bryan Danielson.  I’m at war with the WWF.  But at Wrestlemania 30, it’s Bryan Danielson who I’ll beat, whose title I’ll take, who I’ll leave in a pool of his own blood.

(Punk pulls out the fork)

Even if I have to stab Linda McMahon in the head to do it.

Punk drops mic – show goes to black, that ends the episode.

A week and a half later, Punk pulls a Scott Hall during a match on Fight Night, hits the ring during a match, dismisses the participants – and cuts a promo on Danielson  - Danielson’s a corporate puppet, WWF had to pacify the independent fans who would have wanted Punk to get title shots, Danielson’s a dupe, a useful idiot, a fraud. And at Wrestlemania 30 – he’s going to get exposed by the real best wrestler in the world.

At that point, the Kings of Wrestling hit the ring.

Hero tells Punk that he’s the fraud, just like he’s been saying for years.  And finally everyone sees it.
And then Hero says if Punk really wants to wrestle the best in the world – it’s not Danielson he’d have to face.

Punk scoffs at the idea that Hero thinks he’s the best wrestler in the world.  Hero says it’s not me
…and then points to Claudio..

It’s him.

Claudio responds by pointing back at Hero and saying “Hey.”

And a catchphrase is born/revived.  Claudio will point at the points in matches where it makes sense to point, and yell “hey” – and eventually, so will the crowd.  Claudio points “hey”.

The “Hey Movement” of 2013-14 is born.  Something good happens, "hey" - something bad "hey" - as Claudio hits his uppercuts "hey, hey, hey, hey" does the giant swing "heyyyyyyyyy" "heyyyyyyy"

Hey Movement.  

We build to a Fight Night match between Punk and Hero; it’s Hero’s farewell in the territory, Punk submits him, refuses to give up the hold, and breaks the same arm that Lesnar broke.  Claudio at ringside leaps to the ring to check on Hero – eventually stopping to stare at Punk, who is celebrating in the middle of the ring – Claudio points at Punk “hey” – but as he takes one step toward him, 

Danielson, in street clothes, makes his first appearance since Summer Slam, hitting the ring to tackle Punk.

The agents hit the ring, it’s a full pull apart. 

On the next RAW, Danielson cuts promo, with all of GDI (including Sydal, in his return) behind him saying they’re, to a man, done with Punk.  He lost his leadership of GDI because no one liked him, he isn’t the one wearing the WWF title because he’s not as good as the guy who is, and the only reason he still has a career at all, is Ricky Steamboat saved his life in that Brock Lesnar match. 

And one other thing – Danielson says he and Punk aren’t going to spend the next 6 months talking about each other and doing run ins on each others matches.  They aren’t waiting for Wrestlemania 30 – they’re gonna meet at Survivor Series.

Claudio is the guest on a Heyman Hustle late in the build, his match with Swagger has been announced – it’s largely for Paul to attempt to get under his skin – but Claudio is just fundamentally happy, always smiling, excited for the match – just wants to say hey and wrestle.  Paul tells him Hero's gone, Claudio says he got a great severance, Paul tells him the Kings of Wrestling are dead, Claudio says they live in the hearts of fans around the world. Heyman gets frustrated, tells Swagger to prove a point and take him out now– and Claudio pretty easily takes the amateur champion down – then points at him “hey.”

Hey Movement.

The go home main is Punk v. Claudio with Danielson on commentary.  At a key point, Swagger comes down the ramp, apparently to run in, Danielson gets into the ring looking to cut him off, one assumes, but never makes it, as he inadvertently runs into Claudio, its unseen by the official who is trying to keep Swagger from the ring, and Punk rolls up Castagnoli for the win.

Claudio looks quizzically at Danielson post match and points “hey” – and then they’re both attacked by Swagger and Punk, there’s a brawl among all four as the show ends.

IC: Dean Ambrose (w/Shield) v. Ka$h Kingston (w/KTFO)
Tags: The Shield (Black/Langston) v. PAUL/Mark Henry

Kingston, you may recall, was the guy who stepped up to face Lesnar in his TV match; he got squashed but showed tremendous fighting spirit.  Here, he faces KTFO in a handicap match, he loses – but really impresses Henry and PAUL with his heart.  That leads to a 3 on 1 where he goes against The Shield (in a previous show, Ambrose and Nemeth rematched, Ambrose won, cheating to win, and a triple powerbomb knocks Nemeth out of action). 

Kingston wins this match by DQ, The Shield toys with him, but his undeniable fighting spirit gets him a comeback leading to a couple of nearfalls on Langston until finally Black/Ambrose just crash the ring for the DQ loss.  KTFO runs (I mean, as well as they can) to save – the babyfaces clearing house and setting up both matches.  They can mix and match with all 6 guys the rest of the way.

Roman Reigns Uso v. Miz
Usos v. Rowan/Ryback

We’re supposed to recognize that at some point the 3 man Usos and the 3 man Shield are gonna go, it doesn’t happen yet; the leftover from the Clique/Underground program (Nemeth and Christian are both gone) continues feuding with the Usos joining to go after both groups.  That gets us two matches, Reigns v.Miz and the debut of the latest developmental prospect, Rowan, joining Ryback to meet Jimmy and Jey. 

Dos Caras, Jr. (w/Ricardo/Vicki) v. Joe Hennig
Hennig’s the son of the former WWF champion, so he goes right after the guy who has claimed supremacy over all wrestling families. 

Defiance (Randy Orton/Cody Rhodes w/Bernard) v. Wyatt Family (Harper/Virgil w/Bray)
The Wyatts next target is Defiance.  Bray cuts promos talking about the ghosts that haunt Defiance; Bernard is haunted by the ghosts of the Japanese career he left behind, Rhodes by the family he left behind, Orton by the men he’s dropped – DiBiase and Malenko, and by the one he buried, the Juggernaut.  The objects in Defiance’s rear view mirror may appear closer than they are – or maybe they’re closer than Defiance can see.  Maybe the ghosts are all around Defiance.  

That's the show, add in an appearance by member of the Championship Committee, Steve Austin, and that's your Survivor Series 2013.  

WWF Title: Bryan Danielson v. CM Punk
IC: Dean Ambrose (w/Shield) v. Ka$h Kingston (w/KTFO)
Tags: The Shield (Black/Langston) v. PAUL/Mark Henry
Jack Swagger (w/Heyman and Bellas) v. Claudio Castagnoli
Roman Reigns Uso v. Miz
Usos v. Rowan/Ryback
Dos Caras, Jr. (w/Ricardo/Vicki) v. Joe Hennig
Defiance (Randy Orton/Cody Rhodes w/Bernard) v. Wyatt Family (Harper/Virgil w/Bray)

I'll be back in October with the next TNA show and then November with what is sure to be a bit of a letdown, Survivor Series 2013.  

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