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Default July 2001: Road to Bash at the Beach

Quote:


June 18th, 2001

From the Betty Engelstad Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Attendance: 3,194

Announce Team: "The Professor" Mike Tenay and Bret "The Hitman" Hart

The Ultimate Fan Series kicked off with a nice victory for the second seed K-Nections when AJ Styles' aerial style prevailed over the 'old school' approach of Uncrewed's Crew's Steve Corino. (B-)

Post-Great American Bash, a furious Scott Steiner destroys equipment backstage. (B+)

Fit Finlay got the Sin-free Society off to a good start with a win over Disco Inferno, who wouldn't be dancing when he saw the angry looks on the faces of the rest of the Whole F'n Package. (C+)

Rob Van Dam interview; requests no dq match against Jeff Jarrett. (B-)

24 hours after he lost the final encounter to Sting (and shockingly shook his hand), Ric Flair got in the win column via submission when he locked Big Vito in the figure four. (C-)

Stunned Heenan interviews Flair, who disagrees that he's a changed man but professes his respect for Sting; Sting comes out and says he knows better than to trust Ric, but he respects him in spite of that. (B-)

The Sin-free Society discuss Finlay's win; Storm vows to beat Lex Luger in their next match after next week's bye. (C-)

Championship Pedigree are the lowest seed in the UFS, but their debut outing was a successful one thanks to Jamie Knoble, who scored a big pinfall win over former cruiserweight champion Chavo Guerrero Jr. of Satyr's Hopeful Few. (B-)

Kanyon to DDP after Great American Bash: "I underestimated you tonight, but it won't happen again." (B+)

With the lovely Tammy Sytch watching on, Chris Candido had a relatively easy night against Jason Jett. (C)

Championship Pedigree promo; they may be the underdogs, but it won't stop them from going all the way. (D+)

Rey Misterio Jr. interview: "Mike Awesome hurt me last night, but I've been knocked down before, and I always get back up!" (C)

Terry Gordy continues to pursue one last hurrah, but it was not to be tonight against opposition like Lance Storm, who forced the veteran to submit to the Sharpshooter. (B)

Arn Anderson acknowledges Scott Steiner has a legitimate grievance, but also points out the deliberate low blow when the ref was down. "So long as it isn't a series sweep, Scott Steiner and Booker T will wrestle at Bash at the Beach as part of the Ultimate Fan Series--but the world heavyweight championship will not be on the line." (B+)

Shane Helms is adamant that the dropkick to the groin at Great American Bash was accidental; Kidman is skeptical. (C-)

Scott Steiner had all kinds of aggression to work out (even more than usual), and he did so by dismantling Bam Bam Bigelow with a bevy of suplexes before making the big man quit unless he wanted his neck broken by the Steiner Recliner. (B)

Steiner on microphone after the match: "If Double A doesn't put the title on the line at Bash at the Beach, he'll need to find a new champion after I cripple Booker T!" (A)


Show Grade: B+
Quote:


June 25th, 2001

From the Summit County Arena Complex in Tallmadge, Ohio

Attendance: 2,800

Announce Team: "The Professor" Mike Tenay and Bret "The Hitman" Hart

In the opening match of the evening, Mike Awesome powered his way past Alex Wright to pull Uncrewed's Crew into a 1-1 tie with the K-Nections. (B)

Scott Steiner promo about hearing Booker T will be in the building tonight: "If he ain't here to give me my title, I'll send him away for good!" (A)

With Jeff Jarrett on color commentary to shoot down the idea of a no dq rematch, Rob Van Dam frog splashed his way to victory against fellow ECW alumnus Cash. (B-)

RVD again pushes for rematch, Jarrett refuses: "I ain't throwing the rulebook out the window against a bingo hall reject like you!" (C)

Steve Corino interview; bemoans the "new-school hijinks" used by AJ Styles in their match last week. (D)

In cruiserweight tag team action, the Jung Dragons came away with the win against Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo. (C+)

While chatting with Buff Bagwell before UFS match, Lex Luger spots Sting and Ric Flair talking; approaches, asks Sting how he could ever trust Flair after their history; Sting repeats that he doesn't trust him, points out people ask him the same question about Lex. (B)

Buff Bagwell was representing the top-seeded Satyr's Hopeful Few, but one running powerslam from Championship Pedigree's Chuck Palumbo finished "The Stuff" and left the #1 seed one loss away from being eliminated in a clean sweep. (C+)

Stacy Keibler tells AJ Styles she was very impressed by his win over Steve Corino last week; Air Paris looks annoyed at being ignored. (D)

Loose Killers promo; DDP says he'll not only start the series off with a win in tonight's main event against Rey Misterio Jr, but also win the United States title. (C)

It was an off week for the Sin-free Society in their UFS series, but that didn't stop Lance Storm and CM Punk from showing a little team unity with a win over The Mamalukes. (C+)

Championship Pedigree promo; they'll throw the entire tournament into chaos by sweeping S.H.F next week. (C-)

Kanyon interviewed about Last Man Standing match against DDP at Bash at the Beach: "I felt the bang at the Great American Bash, but this time I'll be the last man standing." (B)

United States Heavyweight Championship: The title was on the line here per the request of Misterio, who wants to be a fighting champion. It could have been a costly decision as the much larger DDP was able to ground him pretty effectively, but Rey avoided a Diamond Cutter and connected with a Swinging Hurricanrana to both retain the title and give the Dead Jesters a 1-0 lead over the Loose Killers. (C+)

Mike Awesome assaults Rey after the match, then grabs microphone: "As long as you're handing out title shots, Little Rey, where's my rematch?" (C)

Booker T comes to ring, asks both Steiner and commish Arn Anderson out so he can make it official: "I don't want nobody to question whether I deserve to be champ. You want the title on the line at Bash at the Beach? You got it, sucka!" (B+)


Show Grade: B

Quote:


July 2nd, 2001

From the Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho

Attendance: 2,796

Announce Team: "The Professor" Mike Tenay and Bret "The Hitman" Hart

Cruiserweight Championship: Shane Helms was slated to compete against CM Punk in a UFS match at Bash at the Beach provided that series didn't end in a sweep, but tonight he retained his title with a fairly drama-free win over Alan Funk. (C+)

Kidman tells Helms he doesn't believe the low blow was an accident, promises his title hunt is not over. (C)

Stacy Keibler interrupts Booker T/AJ Styles strategy session to wish AJ luck; Booker tells him to focus on their match against the Steiners tonight. (B-)

In a battle of tag team partners, Shawn Stasiak of the Loose Killers defeated Mark Jindrak of the Dead Jesters to even that UFS series. (D+)

Steiner Brothers promo: "At Bash at the Beach the title's mine--tonight I take your pride!" (A)

Lex Luger would have beaten Lance Storm hands down in a bodybuilding contest, but Storm's superior technique drove him to victory tonight and gave the Sin-free Society a 2-0 lead over the Whole F'n Package. (B-)

DDP promo on Kanyon: "You felt the BANG at Great American Bash, and I'll use the Diamond Cutter as many times as I have to to make sure you don't get up!" (B-)

Konnan interrupts Sting interview, tells him he'd better worry about their UFS match next week and not Flair or Luger. (B+)

It was up to Kanyon to prevent Satyr's Hopeful Few from being swept, and he showed his value as the top pick in the draft by defeating Championship Pedigree's Jeff Jarrett and keeping the #1 seed alive. (B-)

RVD attacks Jarrett with chair post-match, tells him he can either agree to one no dq match or suffer repeated beatings from this "bingo hall reject." (C)

Chris Candido interview; will prove his value by defeating Kidman in the UFS next week. (C-)

The Natural Born Thrillers are both involved in the UFS and so have singles matches to focus on, but tonight the champs dominated the overwhelmed team of Chris Harris and James Storm and won in under four minutes. (C-)

Dustin Rhodes comes out to praise Sean O'Haire's limitless potential, but warns him he's due for a wrestling lesson in their UFS match at Bash at the Beach. (C+)

The high octane offense of Rey Misterio Jr. was too much for Mike Sanders to handle. During this match the announce team discussed the US title rematch between Rey and Mike Awesome agreed to by Rey and signed for Bash at the Beach. (B-)

Mike Awesome attempts to assault Rey again after the match, but the champion escapes unscathed. (C+)

Sin-free Society promo; Rick Steiner will sweep the UFS by beating Rob Van Dam next week. (C-)

The most heated exchanges in the main event tag match were between Booker T and Scott Steiner. Neither man gained a clear edge in that battle, but Steiner had more luck against Booker's young partner. Despite great effort from Styles, a Frankensteiner finished him while Rick held Booker's leg. (B-)


Show Grade: B

Quote:

July 9th, 2001

From Reitz Arena in Baltimore, Maryland

Attendance: 3,357

Announce Team: "The Professor" Mike Tenay and Bret "The Hitman" Hart

The Dead Jesters and Loose Killers were locked in a 1-1 tie, and Chris Candido gave the Jesters a huge boost by defeating Kidman after a timely distraction from Tammy Sytch. (C)

Shane Helms comes out to argue with ref about Sytch's involvement; CM Punk appears, tells Helms that he'll have plenty of time to deal with this soap opera drama after his defeat and elimination from UFS on Sunday, if his team even makes it to Sunday. (C)

Ric Flair got in a nice warm-up for his PPV match with Shane Douglas by proving that buff may in fact not be the stuff, because Bagwell tapped out in the figure four. (B-)

Totally Buffed 2-on-1 attack on Flair; Sting makes save, challenges "old friend" Luger to singles match at Bash at the Beach. (B)

Sting remained in the ring for his UFS match, where despite being given a tough time of it by Konnan, he picked up the win with the Scorpion Deathdrop. This will give the K-Nections an opportunity to finish Uncrewed's Crew off if Booker T retains the world heavyweight title against Scott Steiner at Bash at the Beach. (B-)

Heenan interviews Natural Born Thrillers, who say they'll continue to dominate the tag team division no matter what happens in the UFS. (C)

AJ Styles/Stacy Keibler conversation interrupted by Steve Corino, who calls their behavior unprofessional at the workplace. (C-)

Out with the old, in with the new? Alex Wright was one step ahead of Animal from the beginning, winning this match with an exciting attack that the plodding Road Warrior couldn't keep up with. (C)

Shane Douglas warns Ric Flair: "If you want to have any chance at beating me, you'll need to drop this nice guy act and embrace the dirtiest player in the game!" (B+)

Sin-free Society cheer Rick Steiner on for the sweep. (C)

Vampiro (dressed in an all-white suit) vignette: "I was once lost to the shadows, but now I have found...Salvation." (C)

Rick Steiner had a chance to secure a 3-match sweep for the Sin-free Society, but one Five Star Frog Splash from Rob Van Dam kept the Whole F'n Package alive. (B)

Jeff Jarrett reluctantly agrees to no dq match at Bash at the Beach, just so he can get RVD out of his life. (C+)

Arn Anderson warns Scott Steiner not to start any fights during sit-down interview with Booker T later. (A)

Six days before their singles matches at Bash at the Beach, Rey Misterio Jr. and DDP got a leg up on Mike Awesome and Kanyon in tag action when Dallas rolled up Awesome. (B)

Booker and Steiner sit-down interview conducted by me; Booker tries to remain professional, but remark about his recent real-life breakup ignites a show-closing brawl. (A*)


Show Grade: B+

The bulk of our storytelling leading up to Bash at the Beach revolved around the Ultimate Fan Series in some way. One advantage of setting the series up as four singles matches with the potential for a tiebreaker is that it allows us to showcase the entire team in a meaningful match so long as we don't have a three match sweep. We of course took advantage of that, so all four series will be featured at Bash at the Beach in matches where one side can win and the other can force a tiebreaker on the following night's Nitro.

#1 Satyr's Hopeful Few vs. #8 Championship Pedigree: We pushed the upset angle early on here; Jamie Knoble beat Chavo Guerrero Jr., then Chuck Palumbo knocked off Buff Bagwell to put the top seed in the tournament in a do or die situation. Kanyon kept them alive with a win over Jeff Jarrett, but Shane Douglas can secure victory for Championship Pedigree if he beats Ric Flair at Bash at the Beach. The show of mutual respect with Sting signaled a face turn for Flair and a tentative truce between the old rivals, though many fans are skeptical and our storytelling has encouraged that. There was a strong segment on the go-home Nitro where Douglas told Flair that he was truly going to need to be the dirtiest player in the game if he wanted to beat him.

#2 The K-Nections vs. #7 Uncrewed's Crew: It was very interesting how everything came together here. I was always going to feature a Booker T/Scott Steiner rematch in the main event of this show, and it just so happened that they wound up on opposing teams in the first round. At first we had Arn Anderson declare that Steiner was not owed a title rematch and so this match would be for the UFS only, but like a true babyface, Booker later requested that the title be put on the line as well so he could erase all doubt. AJ Styles beat Steve Corino in the first match of the series, Mike Awesome beat Alex Wright to even it up and then Sting dispatched Konnan, so the K-Nections advance if Booker retains.

#3 The Sin-free Society vs. #6 The Whole F'n Package: Who the hell did Scott Caan bribe to get into this competition? At least he didn't bring Arquette with him. I was tempted to just sweep the Ready 2 Rumble "star's" team right out of the tournament when Finlay beat Disco Inferno and Lance Storm carried Lex Luger to a passable match before beating him, but I went ahead and had Rob Van Dam beat Rick Steiner to keep it going. Now it's down to CM Punk versus Shane Helms, with Punk having an opportunity to win the series for his team.

#4 The Dead Jesters vs. #5 The Loose Killers: Misterio retained the US title over DDP in a somewhat disappointing match to start the series, but Shawn Stasiak got the better of his regular partner Mark Jindrak to tie it at 1. Chris Candido defeated Billy Kidman with help from Tammy Sytch, so Sean O'Haire can win it for the Dead Jesters if he beats Dustin Rhodes.

We kept the Rey Misterio/Mike Awesome feud going, primarily by having Awesome try to attack Rey with varying degrees of success. The David vs. Goliath story will continue here, and the title will once again be on the line.

Kanyon admitted that he underestimated DDP and wrote him off prematurely, but vowed it wouldn't happen again. A rematch was quickly announced, and playing off of the countout end to their first match, we made it a last man standing. If these two guys can repeat their performance from last month, they may very well steal the show.

Rob Van Dam demanded a no disqualification match with Jeff Jarrett, who at first refused, continuing the thread of him being afraid to fight RVD. Van Dam attacked him after Jeff's match and gave an ultimatum: either fight him on his terms one time and be done, or refuse and continue to catch beating after beating. Jeff reluctantly agreed so he could get RVD out of his life, and we got our rematch.

Sting declared his respect for Ric Flair, even if he didn't trust him. Lex Luger took exception to this and brought up Sting's long history with Flair, warning him he was going to get swerved just like always. Sting didn't think much of Lex's advice, and after saving Flair from a 2-on-1 beating courtesy of Totally Buffed, challenged "fair-weather friend" Luger to a match at Bash at the Beach.

Rounding out the card is a match between AJ Styles and Lance Storm. This isn't something we've built at all or even announced ahead of time. Initially I was going to have Storm wrestle Chuck Palumbo instead, but I think these two can put on a dynamite match, plus the exposure should be good for Styles.







Quote:

Fan Scorecard:

World Heavyweight Championship/Ultimate Fan Series (The K-Nections lead 2-1): "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner (Uncrewed's Crew) vs. Booker T (The K-Nections) {}

United States Heavyweight Championship: Mike Awesome vs. Rey Misterio Jr. {}

Ultimate Fan Series (Championship Pedigree leads 2-1): "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (Satyr's Hopeful Few) vs. Shane Douglas (Championship Pedigree)

Ultimate Fan Series (Sin-free Society leads 2-1): CM Punk (Sin-free Society) vs. "Sugar" Shane Helms (The Whole F'n Package)

Ultimate Fan Series (The Dead Jesters lead 2-1): Sean O'Haire vs. Dustin Rhodes

Last Man Standing: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kanyon

No Disqualification: Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Jarrett

Sting vs. "The Total Package" Lex Luger

AJ Styles vs. Lance Storm

What will be match of the night?

How many championships will change hands?
I decided to try swapping the order of this, with Bret's recap of the month now coming after the shows themselves. This seemed more intuitive to me, but I welcome your input.

I probably should've just included the UFS winner question with these predictions. You can include it here if you haven't already, and you also have the option to go back and change your pick at any point before I post this PPV.

If the UFS concept interests you, note that the field for it this time around was determined by a contest in my previous dynasty. The next UFS field will be determined by the contest that starts at this show and runs through Starrcade, so here's your chance to try and make it in next time!

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-20-2017 at 06:19 PM.
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