OK, switching up the format a little bit to make it easier to read. Let's begin...
Monday Night Nitro (11-6-00. Live from The United Center in Chicago, Illinois): The show begins with a shot of the ring, surrounded by members of the WCW Security Team. WCW CEO Ric Flair makes his entrance to a mixture of boos and cheers. Flair welcomes the fans to what he hopes will be an exciting, problem free edition of WCW Nitro. He mentions last night's ECW PPV which also took place in Chicago and tells the fans in attendance who also went to that show that the opening act is over so get ready for the main event WHOOO! Flair introduces the new commissioner of WCW, his best friend..."The Enforcer" Arn Anderson. Arn comes out and shakes hands with his best buddy. Arn says there's a new sherriff in town and he's not here to play friendly with you- whether you're jerking the curtain or are a five time world champion- everybody will be treated equally.
All of a sudden, we hear someone trying to lead an ECW chant and interrupts Anderson's. Flair angrily rips the mic away from his buddy and addresses the fans. Flair says that we'll see none of that crap and if any of those thugs try to get into the ring and mess with any of tonight's match ups, then he'll see it to personally that they be hauled away to the big house by Chicago's finest. He says that's if they get there- he's surrounded the ring with members of the finest security team in wrestling and if any of those punks even have the idea of trying to play to with one of the big boys then they'll be in a world of hurt. Ric notices Paul Heyman in the front row and points him out. He calls him Paul E. Dangerously, says he wasn't good enough to cut it as a manager so he decided to form his own pissant promotion. His guys are not even worthy of being in the same ring as the men of WCW. He references Mike Awesome and Lance Storm saying that they got the hell out of ECW the first chance they got. Heyman points to Scott Hall, who is sitting next to him. Flair says Scott Hall's a bum and they can have him. Flair says ECW is filled with hasbeens and never will bes. This prompts the ECW wrestlers seated in the front row to hop over the barrier. A bunch of WCW come out to fight them off.
Flair tells everybody to stop dead in their tracks. He doesn't want anymore of this crap, he doesn't see any one of his guys injured in a street fight with a bunch of hoodlums. Flair says he'll give Paul Heyman ten minutes on the mic tonight if the ECW guys take the next bus back to whatever Motel 6 they're staying at and never show up at a WCW event uninvited again. After a few seconds of talking it over with his men, Heyman accepts and the ECW guys head for the exits.
Later that evening, Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Goldberg. He asks him about the attack at Halloween Havoc '00 by the ECW wrestlers. Goldberg says he isn't even going to waste his time on those punks. It was a bunch of overzealous fans who like to call themselves wrestlers cheapshotting him from behind, nothing more. Goldberg just wants to focus his attention on his opponent at Mayhem on November 26th, Lex Luger, a real professional wrestler and keeping his streak alive.
At the top of the hour, Pamela Paulshock brings out Paul Heyman, owner of ECW to address the audience at The United Center and watching at homes around the world. Heyman asks Paulshock who she slept with to get her job. Heyman says say what you want about that carnival barker Scheme Gene Okerland but at least he paid his dues. Heyman says that's what he's going to talk about tonight; paying your dues. The men and women of ECW have more than paid their dues. They've bled their way across North America, fighting everywhere from dog racing tracks to VFW halls to sports arenas, and yes, bingo halls. They've risked life and limb not for the almighty dollar but for a sense of respect, the ability to say that they're the better man.
The ECW fans are nearly as passionate for the sport as the wrestlers are. They will follow them to the death. Just like the wrestlers, they refuse to play by the rules and conventions. WWF and WCW have seen this and they have tried to their damndest to stop them. They've stolen some of Heyman's best wrestlers from under his nose and watered them down. They offered Mike Awesome, his World Champion, all of the money in the world to jump ship and join WCW. Mike Awesome was a killer! The most dangerous man in the sport and they turned him into a Fat Chick Thriller and a David Cassidy wannabe! WCW doesn't care about being innovative- all they care about is trying to recapture the past. Look at that vampire Kevin Nash trying to suck the heat off of a bunch of 21 year olds. Heyman mentions Goldberg trying to recapture the past by redoing his streak. No wonder why people are changing the channel!
He says that his wrestlers were not going after the Sean O'Haires, the Mark Jindraks, The Billy Kidmans, or even The Booker Ts. They're going after the establishment, the wrestlers that have hogged the spotlight for the past ten years. Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Ric Flair, Sting...those guys deserved it at one point but now it's time to give it over! And if they aren't willing to step aside, there are plently of guys in ECW and WCW willing to knock 'em out of it! Heyman asks the fans to make their choice; if they want to see more of the same, keep tuning into Nitro and Thunder...but if they want to see the most exciting and revolutionary names in wrestling... check your local listings and tune into ECW Hardcore TV! Heyman says the choice is theirs and thanks Flair for giving him this time and for the years of entertainment he's provided.
Heyman heads to the back and he's greeted by Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash on the entrance ramp. Heyman exchanges heated words with the duo. Heyman backs off and ends up back in the ring. Page grabs him and hits him with The Diamond Cutter and Nash hits The Jackknife Powerbomb. Paramedics rush out to attend to Heyman. While being taken to the back on a stretcher, Heyman gives the double bird to the cheering fans in attendance.
Thunder 11-8-00 (United Center in Chicago, Illinois): During a matchup between Lance Storm and Meng, a concessions worker hops over the guardrail. A few security guards to stop him but the concessions worker fights them off and climbs in the ring. He tries to fight Meng but his blows are to no avail on big man and Meng locks him in The Tongan Death Grip. Storm pulls Meng off and holds the concessions worker down until police can show up. While Meng is distracted, Storm lets go of the concessions worker and the worker rips off his disguise to reveal that he's ECW World Champion and former partner of Storm's, Justin Credible. Meng turns around and gets hit with stereo superkicks by Credible and Storm and the two engage in a beatdown of the veteran. Storm and Credible embrace and Storm grabs the mic and tells the audience while WCW may have taken Lance Storm out of ECW, you can't take the ECW out of Lance Storm.
Ric Flair grabs the mic after a commercial break and announces that you will never ever see an ECW wrestler in a WCW ring again, even if he has to hold WCW events in empty arenas with armed guards surround the building! And you will never ever see Lance Storm in a WCW ring again...period. He's fired!
ECW Hardcore TV, The Weekend of 11-11-00: The show opens with an address by Paul Heyman. Heyman announces that he's placing three $100,000 bounties on the careers of Kevin Nash, Diamond Dallas Page, and Goldberg. These bounties aren't just available for ECW wrestlers, they're avaialble to any wrestler; ECW, WCW, WWF. He wants these men out of wrestling and he's willing to pay the price.
Later in the show, we see David Flair in the front row enjoying the show. As Sabu enters for his return match against Balls Mahoney, he notices the young wrestler and begins mocking him. David Flair shoves Sabu. Sabu challenges Flair right then and there and Flair agrees. Paul Heyman walks out and asks Balls Mahoney to step out of the ring. Flair hops over the barrier and into the ring. Sabu quickly overwhelms Flair and dominates the impromptu match. Sabu viciously assaults Flair with a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat, bloodying the son of The Nature Boy and hits a moonsault on Flair through a ringside table. After being pinned, Flair is taken out on a stretcher and Sabu hits another moonsault on the young wrestler which causes the stretcher to collapse. Having seen enough, Tommy Dreamer runs out. Sabu, expects Dreamer to join in on the assault only to be decked. Dreamer ends up helping Flair to the back to the beratement of Heyman and the ECW announcers.
Monday Nitro (11-13-00, The London Arena in London, England): The show opens with CEO Ric Flair coming out and grabbing the mic. He welcomes the fans to the event and says it's great to be back in London, England, one of the great cities in the world. He should be having the time of his life...but something's weighing on his mind. Something has upset him greatly. This weekend, his son David Flair participated in an unsanctioned match in that little beer league known as ECW. The man he fought doesn't belong in the wrestling ring, he belongs in the mental asylum! Now as a result, his son is back home clinging for his life. He's tried to ignore those punks in ECW...but he can do so no longer.If they want a fight, Ric Flair is going to give it to 'em!
At first, he was going to try to ignore. Hope that they would realize that all that they would turn back, realize what they were doing was stupid and go back to hitting each other with cheese graters in front of 500 people in a bingo hall in Philadelphia. But they kept tugging their chains and now they've woken a sleeping, angry giant! WHOOO! Ric Flair tells Paul Heyman and the rest of his punks that it's time to go to school! This is where the big boys play! Flair says they can't afford the plane fare over here but next week, they can take the Greyhound to Augusta, Georiga, Flair Country WHOOO! for Monday Nitro and try and mess with WCW!
Out of nowhere, we hear the ECW TV theme and Paul Heyman enters. Heyman tells Flair that he can't act like WCW is the innocent victim. They've stolen talent from under ECW's noses for the past five years. And don't forget that they instigated the fight at November To Remember. In fact, David Flair attacked Sabu, who was minding his own business preparing for his match. What the hell did Sabu do to deserve that? David Flair got what he had coming to him. This causes Ric Flair to snap and hit Heyman with several big chops and then puts him in The Figure Four Leglock. The CEO of WCW has to be pried off by several security guards and referees.
Thunder (11-15-00, Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England): WCW Executive Board Member, James J. Dillon announces at the top of the show an agreement that's taken place between ECW and WCW. Since nobody wants any more of these unruly, unsanctioned brawls inside and outside of the ring, WCW CEO Ric Flair and ECW owner, Paul Heyman have agreed to a talent exchange between the two companies starting November 26th at The Mayhem PPV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Four WCW Vs ECW matches have been signed; ECW Television Champion Rhyno will take on WCW United States Champion Hugh Morrus, WCW Cruiserweight Champion "Above Average" Mike Sanders will defend his title against Yoshiro Tajiri, WCW Tag Team Champions Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak will take on ECW Tag Team Champions The Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke). In the last of the ECW Vs WCW bouts, The Impact Players (ECW World Champion Justin Credible and Lance Storm) will take on The Insiders (Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page). In addition to these four bouts, there will be a bout between two yet to be announced ECW wrestlers.
ECW Hardcore TV (The Weekend of 11-18-00): Paul Heyman addresses the audience again from his office. He thanks James J. Dillon and The WCW Executive Board for giving ECW the opportunity to perform on such a big stage next Sunday. He will not, however, thank Ric Flair. Ric Flair has unfairly verbally disparaged ECW and its wrestlers for weeks now. Heyman wonders who the thugs really are. The past two weeks he, an untrained businessman, has been attacked by wrestlers twice his size for no good reason while his employees were unable to defend him. Well they won't get that chance. On Monday Nitro, ECW will be there and there's nothing WCW can do to stop them!
Heyman also announces the ECW match that will take place at Mayhem. He says Tommy Dreamer has said he is an ECW diehard...but in reality, he's been waiting for the day that he'd get the call to join one of the big boys. He showed his true colors last weekend when he turned his back on ECW and everything its stood for by helping David Flair. Well next Sunday in Milwaukee at Mayhem, Dreamer will get what he asked for when he faces Sabu.
Monday Night Nitro (11-20-00, Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, Augusta, Georgia): Ric Flair starts the show with another speech in the middle of the ring. We see ECW wrestlers seated in a special suite backstage. He welcomes ECW and its wrestlers to tonight's show. He hopes they can get their recent history for one night before WCW kicks their ass on Sunday night at Mayhem! Wooooo!
Paul Heyman interrupts and he says he can't put behind him. He's been brutally assaulted for the past two weeks by two WCW wrestlers without provocation and Ric Flair has the balls to call his wrestlers thugs? Heyman tells Flair that he's going to start the Mayhem a little bit early. All of a sudden, Rhyno runs out of nowhere and gores Flair. Then Sabu, The Impact Players, and The Baldies run out and join in on the assault. The Insiders and The Misfits In Action come out to make the save.
All of a sudden "Enter Sandman" and we see Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman emerge from the audience. They come down to ringside and the brawling stops to see which side the two men will take. To everyone's surprise, Sandman and Dreamer begin attacking men on both sides and a wild three way brawl ensues with Spike Dudley and New Jack running into to join Sandman and Dreamer.
Later on, Tommy Dreamer walks up to Ric Flair backstage. He thanks Ric Flair for all of the years of entertainment he provided to him growing up and he thanks him for giving him the opportunity to compete on such a grand stage. Dreamer says he knew Heyman would hate him forever for helping David Flair but it's not about ECW Vs WCW, it's about right and wrong. Dreamer says he'll love ECW until he dies for giving him everything he has but he's not about to follow them blindly. Flair thanks him and tells him to kick Sabu's ass on Sunday.
WCW Thunder (11-22-00, Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, Augusta, Georgia): Ric Flair announces before the show that he's going to get the party started early and show some of those ECW punks that this is where the Big Boys play. It's easy to punk somebody out from behind but he wants to see if these guys can cut it in the ring. Flair announces that thug Rhyno who hit him from behind will be facing the seven foot tall Sgt. A-Wall and that maniac Sabu will face WCW Hardcore Champion Crowbar.
Flair himself comes out to guest commentate on The Sgt. A-Wall-Rhyno match. Rhyno, much to Flair's shock, quickly dispatches A-Wall. Defeating him in under four minutes with The Gore. After the match, Rhyno hits A-Wall with another Gore this time through a table. Luckily before the CEO can run in to mix it up with the ECW TV Champion, Hugh Morrus makes the save himself and gets into a wild brawl around ringside with Rhyno.
Later on, Sabu and Crowbar have a brutal brawl all over the arena. Sabu clearly is getting the upper hand but Tommy Dreamer runs out of nowhere and hits a DDT on the Arabian Madman and Crowbar gets the fluke win. After the match, Sabu goes nuts, taking his aggression out on ringside officials and WCW security guards.
ECW Hardcore TV (Aired The Weekend of 11-25-00): We see a promo cut backstage at The Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center with Ric Flair conducted by Joey Styles. Flair says he cannot believe that he is being interviewed on ECW Hardcore TV. He asks when the show is on and if it's even on a real network. He says him appearing in ECW is like Lawrence Olivier doing a stag film!
Flair says he's excited for Mayhem on Sunday. He says WCW is going to take ECW to school. Big Hugh Morrus, one of the most underrated men in professional wrestling, the most agile big man he's ever seen, is going to destroy that thug Rhyno. Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak are two future World Champions, they are unstoppable right now. The two little pizza men they're facing don't stand a chance. Speaking of World Champions, Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page, two certified superstars of professional wrestling are facing two wannabes. Lance Storm couldn't win a match to save his life cleanly and Justin Credible, their beanpole so-called "World Champion", looks like he should be baking breadsticks at the Olive Garden.
WOOOOO! Flair says he's looking forward to Heyman eating his words on Sunday. Yes and if any ECW wrestler wants a shot at him on Sunday, they're free to take it! Just remember, that he's not afraid to stoop to their low. In fact, he'll stoop to their low and do it better! Don't forget that The Nature Boy is The Dirtiest Player in The Game WOOO and WCW IS WHERE THE BIG BOYS PLAY! WOOOO!
Alright if you haven't already, I advise you to read my last entry. To sum it up, after the cancellation of ECW on TNN in October '00, ECW agrees to a talent exchange with the also struggling WCW.
So I'll basically do written summaries for this first part, but as this progresses, I'll do entire results of cards for PPVs and supershows and what have you.
The story begins at WCW Halloween Havoc '00 on October 29th at The MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show is main evented by a handicap match between the team of Kronic (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke) and WCW's beloved #1 superstar, Goldberg, who is currently fighting for his career. After a couple minutes of tepid action, Goldberg comes out victorious with his career intact much to the fans delight. However, during Goldberg's postmatch celebration, a trio of men slip past security and hop over the guard rails and into the ring. Although identified by the announcers as "overzealous, psycho fans", it's clear to the informed wrestling fan that they're ECW wrestlers Rhyno, Justin Credible, and Sabu. The three men jump Goldberg from behind and assault him viciously in the ring. However, a large contingent of the WCW roster, led by Tag Team Champions, Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak charge the ring to make the save and pummel the ECW wrestlers. Conspicously absent from the mob of WCW wrestlers are some of WCW's established veterans (Kevin Nash, Sting, Lex Luger, Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T). The PPV ends abruptly as local police drag Credible, Rhyno, and Sabu away in cuffs.
The next night on Nitro, it's business as usual. The annnouncers try to ignore what happened after the main event and focus on the current storylines. Their attempt to proceed with business as usual cracks when new WCW Commissioner Mike Sanders references the event in a State of WCW address and specifically mentions Extreme Championship Wrestling, Justin Credible, Rhyno, and Sabu. He mentions that this weekend ECW will hold a PPV of its own in Chicago and Sanders says he and The Natural Born Thrillers will be there and if ECW wants a fight, they'll give it to them and any WCW wrestler who wants to join them will be gladly invited aboard Sanders' private jet to kick some ass at whatever bingo hall ECW is running this weekend.
Later during the event, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair is announced as the new CEO of WCW. During his spiel, Mike Sanders confronts Flair and expresses his disgust at the announcement. He says as long as Ric Flair, Sting, Kevin Nash, and all those old timers keep coming back, there's no room for progress for WCW. Sanders asks Ric Flair where Sting was last night when Goldberg was in trouble? Where Kevin Nash was? Sanders says they don't care about the good of the company, they care about the good of their bank accounts. If he really cares about WCW, Sanders tells Flair that he should be in Chicago on Sunday to take care of business. Ric Flair says he's forgotten more about the storied history of wrestling than Sanders will ever know. Flair says that WCW is where the big boys play, ECW is a pissant pennyante operation run out of a bingo hall in Philadelphia. They're a bunch of violent thugs, not professional wrestlers. Flair says it isn't worth their time to bother with them and encourages WCW wrestlers not to go to Chicago on Sunday and if they do show up there and get involved with ECW thugs, there will be consequences.
Soon after, ECW owner Paul Heyman issues a statement on the promotion's website, sending an open invitation to anybody on the WCW roster to compete at the November To Remember PPV on November 5th in Chicago. On that week's Thunder, Flair addresses the challenge and reiterates that anybody who wrestles or participates in any other type of attack against the ECW roster will be punished severely. He also says he's been given word from the WCW Board of Directors that if Mike Sanders shows up at the event, he will be stripped of his position as Commissioner of WCW. Sanders comes out and responds that the position doesn't mean nearly as much as defending the honor of WCW and he will be at November to Remember as will the WCW Tag Team Champions, Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak who have accepted Paul Heyman's open invitation and will compete in a match against an ECW team at November to Remember. Flair then says he'll have to strip them of their titles!
During that weekend's episode of ECW's syndicated show Hardcore TV, Paul Heyman issues a rebuttal to Ric Flair. Heyman says that ECW doesn't only house hardcore wrestlers such as The Sandman and New Jack but superb athletes like World Champion Jerry Lynn and Rob Van Dam. High flyers better than anybody in the joke that is the WCW Cruiserweight division. Heyman also proudly boasts that November to Remember has been sold out for months, something WCW hasn't been able to say about the venues it runs in this country for years. Heyman emphasizes that he did not order the attack on Goldberg at Halloween Havoc but he is not going to condemn. For far too long, ECW has been ignored. Since they haven't been able to get the spotlight they deserve through more passive methods, some of them have decided to do what they do best for attention, by fighting for it. Heyman says he believes ECW wrestlers are the best in the world and if anybody in WCW wants to try and prove them wrong, they are more than welcome to show up at ECW events to try and do so. As Flair once said, to be the man, you have to beat the man! WHOO!
Midway through November to Remember, there has been no sign of any of WCW's rosters. However, right before Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak's scheduled match, a parade of WCW wrestlers, led by The Steiner Brothers, make their way down to ringside to watch the match/protect their fellow WCWers. Amongst these wrestlers is Ric Flair's own son, David. Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak handily defeat their opponents, Christian York and Joey Matthews much to the chagrin of the audience. After the match, Scott Steiner grabs a mic to address the audience. Steiner disparages ECW and its fans in his own inimitable way, prompting ECW fan favorite Tommy Dreamer to come out. Dreamer says he didn't ask for a fight with WCW, a bunch of lunatics did but he can't sit here idly while Steiner tears down the promotion that's given him his livelihood. Steiner says its the only promotion that would hire Dreamer's bitch tittied, wind pants wearing ass. Dreamer says at least he worked for his spot and didn't take any shortcuts. Steiner asks what Dreamer's implying and the fans chant the short cuts that Dreamer is implying. Steiner angrily shoves Dreamer and Dreamer responds by decking Steiner to the fans' delight.
The WCW guys rush in to make the save and attack Dreamer. This prompts the ECW locker room to empty to protect one of their leaders. WCW begins to appear to get the upperhand of the brawl with Steiner placing a bloodied Dreamer in The Steiner Recliner in the middle of the ring. All of a sudden, we hear "Enter Sandman" over the PA and The Sandman makes his entrance with kendo stick and beer entoe. He manages to clear out most of the guys- WCW and ECW out of the ring until it's just The Steiner Brothers and the fallen Dreamer in the ring. The Sandman manages to fight both Steiners off to the back and the rest of the WCW guys quickly follow.
The crowd manages to calm down enough before the main event; a Double Jeopardy match for the ECW World title between Champion Jerry Lynn, The Sandman, Justin Credible, and Steve Corino. Corino eliminates the exhausted Sandman with The Old School Explosion and Credible pins Lynn with The That's Incredible. Corino hits Credible with a superkick and appears to have the victory and The ECW World title when Credible's old friend, Scott Hall appears out of nowhere and attacks Corino and hits The Outsider's Edge on him. Credible covers for the win and The ECW World Championship. After the match, Credible and Hall celebrate in the ring together. Paul Heyman comes out and offers Hall an ECW t-shirt which Hall gladly accepts. Heyman grabs the mic and says that tomorrow night...Monday Nitro will be in Chicago and he and the rest of ECW will be in the audience!
Alright part two will be up in the next couple days. Any feedback (negative or positive- just try to make it semi-constructive) is welcome.
I'm starting up this blog again for goofy fantasy booking crap...this time, I hope it won't be so ridiculously detailed oriented and cause me to drop it a week after I started it. Course I could do that again anyways.
I'll be doing WWF/E 2002 by the way. Already have booked most of January and The Rumble!
Hello, welcome to my new blog. I figured if Gary Floyd and Smues have blogs then why the hell can't I have one? Here I hope to kill ten minutes of your day with observations on film, popular music, wrestling,and whatever the hell happens to cross my mind. On occasion, I might indulge in a habit that I find too dorky for my regular posts (well, 99% of the time anyways)...fantasy booking.
I've always been a semi-closeted fan of fantasy booking. I don't usually indulge in this habit on the board due to a lack of interest and a lack of intelligent feedback. Generally, I like to rebook difficult times in wrestling history and I'm going to rebook a once great wrestling promotion on its death bed. That's right I'm going to rebook AWA for the calendar year of 1989.
Let's look at what really happenned... In 1988, AWA joined forces with fellow struggling promotions, CWA and World Class Championship Wrestling. CWA legend Jerry Lawler was even allowed to win the AWA World title from the departing Curt Hennig. After a contentious and unsuccessful venture into PPV in December (SuperClash III), the collaborative effort fell apart. As a result, Jerry Lawler was stripped of the AWA World title on January 20th, 1989. Lawler kept the title belt and continued promoting himself as The World Heavyweight Champion on the independent circuit in an attempt to leverage PPV revenue from Gagne that was owed to him. Gagne was forced to commission a new AWA World Heavyweight title of similar design and on February 7th, 1989, the AWA would crown its new World Champion. How would AWA do this? Perhaps a one night tournament? No...a 18 man over the top rope battle royal would determine the new World Champion! The winner of that battle royal was Larry Zbyszko, longtime AWA employee and son-in-law of Verne Gagne. Zbyzsko wasn't the worst choice they could have went with but while his "human chess match" (IE stalling filled) brand of wrestling and promos may have gotten him heel heat, it wasn't exactly what you wanted to build a promotion around. With a diminishing roster and the focus of the promotion turning to the insipid, nonsensical Team Challenge Series, the promotion took a nose dive and would be finally put out of its misery in 1991.
So let's go back to late January 1989 and see what I have to work with
AWA World Champion- Vacant
AWA International Television title- Greg Gagne (A vanity title created for Verne's baby boy in December 1987. While Gagne wasn't nearly as bad of a worker as the IWC occasionally makes him out to be, he was well passed his prime at this point and by year's end, he (along with the title) would be retired. Even though the reason for the title's creation was somewhat dubious, we need a secondary title and this will do the job. Gagne, though washed up, was still a somewhat formidable veteran and over with The AWA crowd so he'll still be champ...for now.)
AWA Tag Team Champions- Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka) (Even in the dire, dying days of AWA, they usually managed to have some decent tag teams on the roster or at the very least, a good team on top. Badd Company was no exception and they would soon go onto leave for greener pastures. But that won't be for a while so they'll remain the centerpiece of the tag team division. Oh yeah, they have some guy named Diamond Dallas Page as their loudmouthed manager. Wonder whatever happened to that guy?)
Let's run down some of the members of the AWA roster circa January 1989;
Akio Sato: Joined the roster of the dissolution of Central States Wrestling. Again, another guy who was a bit passed his prime but he was still half-decent in the ring so he'll make perfectly competent mid-card material.
The Destruction Crew (Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos): Former AWA job guys who would slowly ascend to the top of the tag team division over the course of the year. I like these guys, I'd repackage them and have them raise hell and beat up jobbers. They'll be the #2 heel tag team)
The Top Guns (Ricky Rice and Derrick Dukes): A salt and pepper pretty boy team. Pedestrian but not entirely terrible. Due to a lack of babyface teams, I'll keep 'em as midcard fodder.
Tommy Jammer: A new guy to the scene. In fact, made his AWA debut in the 18 Man Battle Royal for the AWA World title. This guy kind of sucked but he was somewhat of a rookie so I'll keep him on as a job guy.
"Z Man" Tom Zenk: Future internet icon, making his comeback to the wrestling world after his release from The WWF. Would go onto be the last man eliminated the 18 Man Battle Royal and have a world title feud with Zybyszko before leaving for the greener pastures of the NWA, Given the lack of youngish talent and the fact he's a half decent worker and a native Minnesotan, I'll keep him.
Larry Zybszko: We've gone over him a bit. He may not be World Champion material but with a roster this thin, there's no doubt that he's worth keeping and making an integral part of the promotion. He may have been a bit past his prime but he had plenty of gas left in the tank and was part of one of the biggest feuds in North American wrestling history.
Ken Patera: Coming home after a downright terrible WWF run. He was way way way past his prime but surprisingly, I'm going to keep him. However, there's no way I'm going to keep him as a babyface. He's a natural heel. I'll go into more detail over how I'll use him in Part Two but let's say his...umm...colorful history will be brought up.
Wahoo McDaniel: Another guy way passed his prime. I don't really see much use for him besides putting over younger talent.
Manny Fernandez: What do you know? Another wrestler who's seen better days on the roster? See The Last Entry.
Sgt. Slaughter: Umm..I could say just "See Last Two Guys" but I'll elaboarate a bit. The former WWF main eventer and GI Joe star was slumming it in the AWA. Who knew at this point that he would have another WWF World title run ahead of him? Obviously, I'm going to keep him as a top guy thanks to his name value and the fact that he could still go (Was probably just trying to impress Vince and get the hell out of there ASAP).
Colonel DeBeers: Controversial and tasteless as hell gimmick but I'm going to keep him. Watching these old shows on ESPN Classic, I see that he's quite an entertaining old school heel. I'll probably stick him in a feud with Sgt. Slaughter for the time being.
John Nord: Beloved doofus and Bruiser Brody clone. Works best as a goofy babyface or wildman heel. Given the lack of credible babyfaces roster, I'll have him as the former.
Scott Norton: Relative newcomer. Had a great look, will definitely keep him and build him up as a monster heel rather than the flapjack loving lumberjack that the AWA used him as in reality.
Brad Rheingans: Bland but technically proficient veteran. The type of fucker that Verne goes gaga over. Perfectly competent mid-card guy.
The Guerreros (Hector, Chavo, Mando): Probably the most exciting guys on the roster, ringwork wise. Some combination of them will be in contention for the tag team titles.
The Texas Hangmen: Generic masked heels. Will be used as a stepping stone for babyface teams before they go onto face Badd Company.
Kokina Maximus: The future Yokozuna was then weighing in just under 400 pounds. Would be main-event material eventually but that was a few years. Still a valuable addition to the roster.
Baron Von Raschke: Way way way past his prime. But still over enough to be used occasionally as a special attraction.
If I forgot someone, they probably aren't important enough to factor into my booking plan. Now, that's not the greatest roster obviously but its not completely without potential. Plus The AWA still had a weekly nationally televised show that promotions would covet. Still getting the AWA to recapture even a fraction of its past glory will require some outside talent being brought in.
Now this is the portion of fantasy booking most people have a problem with. They like to crow about how it wouldn't be possible to bring wrestler X into *insert name of promotion here) because such and such of a reason. Well they call it fantasy booking for a reason. I like to keep it realistic though so I'm not going to try to bring The Hulkster back to AWA or make a run at Ric Flair because that would be ridiculous.
So here are some guys (or tag teams) I'll bring in who the AWA actually might have had some semblance of a shot at getting in January 1989...
Big Van Vader: Formerly known as an indistinguishable AWA babyface, Leon "Baby Bull" White, Vader had reinvented himself as a monster heel in Japan. He had famously squashed wrestling legend Antonio Inoki in his home court, The Sumo Hall. I'll be using him as a mysterious virtually indestructible monster superheel. More along the lines of his Darth Vader helmet spewing character.
The Killer Bees: Both guys are former AWAers and a well established tag team in the wrestling world. The AWA desparately needed another good babyface tag team and these two were probably the best on the market (Yeah The Bulldogs were still on the market but Dynamite was broken down at this point and they really hated each other).
Scott Hall: Another former AWA guy, on his way to an indistinguished run in NWA. Even at this point, I think if booked properly, Hall could have been a main eventer. And he'd be a fresh addition to a stagnant group of top babyfaces.
Don Muraco: Like Patera, he's another guy who was way past his prime- workrate wise but was definitely worthy enough for a career resurrection as a heel. He was always entertaining on the mic as a heel and the AWA was in desparate need for entertaining guys at this stage.
Davey Boy Smith: Was just starting to become a singles star with Stampede. I figure there needs to be somebody on the roster who can hang with all of the hosses I have. He also hasn't yet seen the peak of his wrestling career.
Jerry Lynn: Considering he's another Minnesotan, he's a perfect fit for the roster. Lynn had just debuted at this point so I'll use him as cannon fodder at first and slowly move him up the card.
Eddie Guerrero: The Andy Gibb to his brothers' Bee Gees. The tagalong little brother who slowly starts making a name of his own in wrestling.
Coming up at some point this week...Vol. 2---I'll be highlighting the major feuds and title changes leading up to SuperClash IV in December.
If you managed to read all of this beast, I'll give you a cookie.
In case, you think I've forgotten. Here's my first real entry of my blog. Today, I'll share a few music videos with some brief comments.
Here's the late Harry Nilsson singing "1941" on a 1973 BBC Special. This is an autobiographical song off of his Beatles influenced debut, 1967's Pandemonium Shadow Show. Nilsson is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. One of those jack of all trades artists- he could do it all from whimsical nonsense to schmaltzy ballads to country rock to driving hard rockers to well orchested McCartneyesque baroque pop such as this. Nilsson also produced some of the greatest trainwrecks in popular music history.
Speaking of artists who have produced their share of trainwrecks, let's talk about The Beach Boys
This is the band doing the title track off their 1968 album Friends. The album is notable for being the last album until 1977 where Brian Wilson would serve as the dominant creative force, writing or co-writing every song on the album. Friends is also notable for being The Beach Boys least popular album to that point, peaking at #126 on The Billboard Albums Chart. This album was just not made for 1968. In a summer of revolution- the young people of America had little use for The Beach Boys, their lush harmonies, and their dopey naivete. And the album was just flat out too weird to be welcomed with open arms by popular radio. You've got the weird basic sex education lesson "When A Man Needs A Woman", "Be Here In The Mornin'", which predates Prince in terms of vocals by dudes creepily sped up so they sound like women by about twenty years, a tribute to an erotic masseuse ("Anna Lee The Healer") and some crappy Mike Love led songs about The Maharishi.
Perhaps the most notable track on the album is the bossa novaesque "Busy Doin' Nothin'", a window into Brian Wilson's crumbling psyche. It's a record quite literally about doin' nothing. Even when he was going batshit insane, Brian Wilson still could produce some damn fine pop tunes.
Next- Kamala At The Book. I'll book a year in wrestling history and hopefully you'll read it.
Alright folks, I'm back with some fantasy wrestling stuff far too dorky even for the wrestling sections of this book.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be exploring an interesting "What if?" What if, after the cancellation of ECW on TNN in October 2000, World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling agreed to a talent exchange? In addition to featuring each others talent on their respective shows, what if Paul Heyman was named head booker for WCW and color commentator for its flagship show Monday Nitro?
Now this would be an extremly unlikely scenario for a multitude of reasons but hey it's called fantasy wrestling and for the next few weeks, I'll explore the possibilities of this scenario and book the company from the initial invasion till the planned Big Bang PPV that was scheduled to take place on May 6th, 2001 before WCW was bought by Vince McMahon.
Before we start though, let's run down the champions and top five contenders for both companies, shall we?
WCW World Champion- Booker T
Top Five Contenders
1. Scott Steiner
3. Lex Luger
4. Kevin Nash
5. Jeff Jarrett
WCW U.S. Champion- Hugh Morrus
1. Lance Storm
2. Buff Bagwell
3. Bam Bam Bigelow
4. Sgt. A-Wall
5. Disco Inferno
WCW Cruiserweight Champion- Mike Sanders
1. Kwee Wee
2. Elix Skipper
3. Rey Mysterio Jr
5. Lieutenant Loco
WCW Tag Team titles- Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak
1. The Insiders
3. The Filthy Animals
4. The Perfect Event
5. The Boogie Knights
ECW World Champion- Jerry Lynn
1. Rob Van Dam
2. Justin Credible
3. Steve Corino
4. The Sandman
5. CW Anderson
ECW Television Champion- Rhyno
1. Yoshiro Tajiri
2. New Jack
3. Spike Dudley
5. Super Crazy
ECW Tag Team Champions- Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke)
1. Yoshiro Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck
2. Danny Doring and Amish Roadkill
3. Spike Dudley and Balls Mahoney
4. Christian York and Joey Matthews
5. Chris Chetti and Simon Diamond