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.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Wrestlemania 29



The build is here

Wrestlemania 29 is from East Rutherford

Joey and, in his (presumably) final WWF event, JR is the announce

Dark:
(KOW d. Pac/Generico)

1.       KTFO (PAUL/Mark Henry) d. Sheamus/Langston
-Langston is announced as Langston, officially dropping the Big E.  Sheamus has been in a long feud with PAUL; they added partners here with Sheamus taking Langston from Underground.

Langston’s too green; he never gets in the ring, but his over eagerness on the outside is taken advantage of by the veterans (you know, he yells about a double team and comes into the ring, but the official cuts him off, allowing for another double team).  Sheamus takes a PAUL punch squarely on the trapezius, a weird enough shot and then reacted oddly enough that it might look like a botch (Fit’s the agent), he escapes the fall there but it leaves him prone for a knockout shot. 

Langston aids a clearly pained Sheamus from the ring. 

2.       Fluorescent Light Tube Match: John Cena d. Miz
-          It’s Cena’s specialty match and he goes over.  

You’ll need some time to clean the ring – that’s aided by the first vignette for the Wyatt Family.  One change in the way the Wyatts are packaged, there is no Rowan, he’s replaced by a man named Virgil, who always wears a mask.  Other than that – it’s the same act. 

3.       Roman Reigns Uso d. Dos Caras, Jr. (w/Vicki/Ricardo)
-A coming out party for RRU; Dos Caras beat CM Punk at the Rumble and here he is getting beat in Uso’s PPV debut.  Vicki and Ricardo are effective as always from the outside until the other two Usos come to the ring – Ricardo takes a big bump and Vicki gets carried out, allowing Uso to hit his stuff (the Marufuji apron leap and the Superman punch, which is his finisher) and get the fall.  The Usos return, all three celebrating in the ring postmatch.  JR puts them over hard as a continuation of a great lineage. 

4.       No DQ: Randy Orton (w/Defiance) d. Fandango Johnny Curtis (w/Douchebags)
-The stip allows everyone to get involved; this is less a singles match than a 7 man brawl all throughout the arena.  Sandow needs to take a pretty big bump so he can sell an injury more serious than Ryder/Slater, although everyone winds up getting laid out.  Curtis has to take the RKO/Golden Goal combo.  Defiance celebrates – Langston returns to aid Douchebags in making their way from the ring. 

How about a surprise cameo?

Ric Flair, making his return to WWF, comes to the ring to emcee a celebration for JR.  He speaks for a minute, he introduces a package where wrestlers past and present thank JR and talk about their favorite JR memories.

It’s designed to hit all the appropriate emotional notes – and once it concludes and Flair speaks again to lead the standing ovation for JR – the lights go out.

And when they are back on – Flair’s laid out below Chris Jericho.

5.       Legend’s Match: CM Punk d. JerichoDeath

-The work with Danielson as they mutually prepared for their matches for 29 paid off for Punk as he goes over Jericho.  Punk sprints down the ramp  after the lights go on; works as a fiery babyface, showing a fire he really hasn’t had since the Lesnar match and that’s specifically voiced by the announcers, who say this is a Punk they haven’t seen all year.  Punk goes over clean – celebrates – he has conquered Jericho and is a WWF Legend – after he leaves the ring Jericho stands – bows – the lights go off – and he ain’t there when they come back on.

6.       WWF Tag Titles: The Shield(Tyler Black/Dean Ambrose) d. Empire (Wade Barrett/Ryback)
-Douchebags, recall, promised to aid Empire in this match, getting revenge for the Shield having turned on Underground, but Sandow (and Sheamus, for that matter were you looking for additional Underground help) got taken out earlier.  Nonetheless, with Ambrose and Black in the ring first, the champs come next (w/Gabriel)  followed by Ryder, Slater, and Langston. 

Ryder and Slater don’t make it – Langston throws each off the ramp. 

They’re far enough behind Barrett/Ryback that when they turn around to see what the crowd is reacting to – they don’t have the time to go get Langston before they are attacked by Black and Ambrose and dragged into the ring.  Gabriel responds though – he charges Langston and pays the price.  Langston, the announce notes – certainly seems more confident than he did earlier tonight; it’s a dominant win by the Shield,  and when they put their fists in the middle of the ring postmatch, there’s a third, Langston’s, that joins them (if there happened to be a black vest somewhere that he could put on now, that's to the good)– Langston is the third member of the new tag champs – The Shield. 

7.       IC Title: Three Way Dance: Nick Nemeth (w/Regal) d. Jack Swagger (w/Heyman) d. The Rock
-The 12th Triple Crown winner in WWF history.

Rock is your first elimination and he goes fairly quickly; he gets in his stuff and then Regal and Heyman give each other what appears to be a signal; Nemeth and Swagger, once the most dominant tag team in a decade, are suddenly Division One again, if only for a moment – and they hit their old spots to lead to Swagger’s getting the fall.

Rock makes what could be his last ever walk up a WWF ramp – pausing before disappearing behind the curtain – and then he’s gone.

Almost.

Between this match and the main event we’re shown “a few moments ago” footage from the back; Rock is saying goodbye to some of the guys, shaking some hands – he’s got his bags, we see him embrace the Usos, he tells them it’s their time now, he gets to the underground parking garage and then the camera changes to the style of all the Shield vignettes.  Rock is attacked by the Shield, they hit their first triple powerbomb spot over a car.  Rock left broken over the hood – and that, perhaps, is our last image of him. The Shield hits the "we take all the turns" catchphrase.  

Back to the match – Swagger is now a Heyman fueled wrecking machine, Nemeth’s the cockiest man alive; Regal and Heyman working as hard as possible on the outside – this a now two year old feud – and a relationship that goes back to the very first day each man entered developmental – and once again, as he has each time they’ve met, Nemeth pins Swagger. 

Heyman quickly takes Swagger away – Nemeth and Regal, on what was otherwise a disastrous night for Underground, euphoric as they celebrate the Triple Crown.

The next night will be the ceremony, and for those of you who are veterans, you know that involves the most recent winner presenting the new winner with the trophy, which he’ll keep like the Stanley Cup until there is another.  That means that Edge will be making his first appearance in WWF since Underground retired him.  But that’s tomorrow. 

8.       WWF Championship Brock Lesnar (w/Heyman and Swagger) d. Bryan Danielson (w/Steamboat and Punk)
Sometimes, you build up to a particular match for a few years and then someone leaves the company right before Wrestlemania 30.

Not that I’m irritated by that.

But sometimes you get this – the first ever meeting for Lesnar and Danielson. 

It’s a brawl, in the style of Danielson/Morishima from ROH.  I’m on the high end of impressed with the real world Lesnar run in this period, so could not more look forward to a match than this one. 

Here’s the finish.  Lesnar’s got Danielson in a submission hold, Steamboat takes the white towel off of his shoulder (the same towel, presumably washed, that ended the Lesnar/Punk match) and double clutches – holding it as Punk watches, not the match, but Steamboat.

Lesnar wrenches in the hold – Joey yells that we’re going to have a new champion – Punk grabs the towel from Steamboat’s hand and throws it in the ring.

Two scenes now unfold simultaneously.  In the ring – jubilation – Heyman, Lesnar, Swagger – Heyman cradles the WWF Championship belt, Lesnar taunts the crowd.

On the outside – Steamboat, almost reflexively after Punk throws in the towel – shoves Punk to the floor. 

There aren’t many stories in Counterfactual history with as much depth as Punk v. Steamboat.

Steamboat looks shocked at his own action – Punk throws his arms up in the air, signifying he isn’t fighting back; the GDI locker room runs to stand between them and to pull Danielson from the ring; Joey Styles doesn’t express any doubt in the result – Lesnar had that hold secured, Brock Lesnar is the new WWF Champion – but JR, in his last WWF words says “I don’t know – I’m not sure what just happened here”

But Joey no sells that and focuses on the ring “Paul Heyman has come to New Jersey and in the biggest moment of his life guided Brock Lesnar – the greatest fighter in the world – to become the 50th World Wrestling Federation Champion – Lesnar and Heyman, on top of the world here at Wrestlemania 29!”

And that’s your show.

I’ll do something next month, probably with pictures, then the build to Summer Slam 2013 in June…

…spoiler alert…the main event’s a rematch in a steel cage….

And then the next TNA show is July, probably, before Summer Slam in August.  Thanks for reading.