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Default August 2001: Road to WCW vs. The World


July 16th, 2001

From the Bob Martinez Sports Center in Tampa, Florida

Attendance: 3,432

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

The show opened with Rey Misterio Jr. cruising to victory over Shannon Moore in non-title action. (B-)

Booker T approaches Arn Anderson about a championship rematch; Arn lets him know that automatic rematches for ex-champions are not included in the new WCW, so he'll have to earn his way back into title contention. (B+)

Stacy Keibler was on commentary to cheer AJ Styles on, but was dismayed when Steve Corino put his feet on the ropes in order to keep AJ's shoulders down for a three count. (C)

Kidman again expresses doubt about Shane Helms during an interview; Helms, tired of the accusations, attacks him! (C)

The Loose Killers have been eliminated from the UFS, but DDP and Dustin Rhodes put that failure behind them to record a nice win over Mark Jindrak and Shawn Stasiak thanks to the Diamond Cutter. (C+)

Sting checks on Booker T, asking him about the state of his neck after last night; Booker, now knowing he needs to go through the UFS to get another title match, assures Sting he'll be good to go for the main event. (B)

CM Punk mocked the just-reinstated Ernest Miller for his drug test failures while in the process of wrestling and beating him with the Devil Lock DDT. (C)

Candido interview: "You haven't seen anything from the power couple yet!" (C-)

Fresh off his win over Jeff Jarrett, Rob Van Dam kept the momentum going after hitting Rolling Thunder on Mike Sanders. (B)

CM Punk spots Terry Gordy walking by during backstage interview, mocks him for wasting his huge potential and allowing drugs to destroy his career; Gordy takes exception, has to be held back by other wrestlers. (C)

Natural Born Thrillers promo: "Hopefully we can get some international competition in Japan, because we've already beaten everybody here in WCW!" (B-)

Championship Pedigree came so close to sweeping Satyr's Hopeful Few, but the top seed rallied back to force this tiebreaker and finished the job, with Kanyon pinning Jeff Jarrett with the Flatliner while Ric Flair held back Shane Douglas. (C+)

S.H.F. in-ring promo; Flair says they'll style and profile all over the Dead Jesters. (B)

Sting was worried about Booker T and tried to take as much of the match on himself as he could, which meant Scott Steiner and Mike Awesome were able to wear the Stinger down. Booker eventually tagged himself in, and he wound up being the hero for the K-Nections when he downed Awesome with a missile dropkick. (B+)

K-Nections in-ring promo, Booker lays it on the line: "If I gotta go through the Ultimate Fan Series to get my title back, that's exactly what I'm gonna do!" (B-)

Show Grade: B+


July 23rd, 2001

From the Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst, Massachusetts

Attendance: 3,869

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

Elix Skipper proved he was ready for primetime by putting in a solid performance, but still fell to defeat to Rob Van Dam's Five Star Frog Splash. (B)

RVD gets on the microphone to talk about "Mr. Monday Night" and his title aspirations; attacked out of nowhere by Mike Awesome, who lays him out with an Awesome Bomb! (B)

Scott Steiner promo on his upcoming title defense in Japan: "Arn Anderson can give me any challenger from any continent--I'll snap Godzilla's neck if I have to!" (A)

In a battle of youth vs. experience, Dave Taylor's one night return was an unsuccessful one when AJ Styles overcame his mat wrestling and finished him with the Spiral Tap. (C+)

Steve Corino out in aisle after AJ's win, cuts promo on their six man tag team match announced for the PPV: "You better take your mind off playing footsy with Stacy Keibler, because my team will embody the old school spirit!" (C-)

Shane Helms/Billy Kidman in-ring confrontation, Kidman wants title rematch at WCW vs. The World; Arn Anderson interrupts to announce it will actually be a three way title match also featuring Jushin Thunder Liger! (C-)

Stemming from their backstage altercation last week, Terry Gordy and CM Punk met in the squared circle. Gordy's anger fueled him to an early start, but he faded late in the match and was forced to submit to the Second City Stretch. (C+)

Punk taunts Sting after match, declaring he'll prove the strength of his crusade by defeating the icon of WCW in their UFS match at WCW vs. The World; Sting responds, tells Punk he'll have the chance to back up his words in Japan. (B+)

Booker T interview talking about importance of winning the UFS so he can get another world title shot; Lance Storm interrupts, tells him to get serious, because he's not getting past him at WCW vs. The World. (B-)

Sean O'Haire got the Dead Jesters off to a good start in the UFS semifinals against Satyr's Hopeful Few by shrugging off Buff Bagwell's power game and finishing him with the Seanton Bomb. (B-)

Chuck Palumbo out to congratulate his partner; Arn Anderson tells the Thrillers they'll defend the belts at WCW vs. The World against veteran Japanese team Gedo and Jado. (C)

Vampiro vignette, introduces his 'spiritual savior', Father Isaac (formerly known as James Mitchell.) (C)

Rick Steiner dominated for the majority of the first match in the UFS series between the Sin-free Society and K-Nections, but Alex Wright stunned him with a diving crossbody and held him down just long enough to get the win. (C-)

Backstage, Ric Flair ignores Chris Candido in favor of Tammy Sytch: "After I style and profile against this Nature Boy wannabe in Japan, you're welcome to party the night away with me, honey! WOO!" (B)

Kanyon challenges Rey Misterio Jr. to put the United States title on the line in their UFS match at WCW vs. The World; Rey accepts. (B-)

The world title wasn't on the line, but Scott Steiner still fought like a champion against Hugh Morrus. Morrus was no pushover, but the Frankensteiner spelled his end. (B)

Arn Anderson informs Steiner that his challenger at WCW vs. The World will be the legendary Keiji Mutoh! (A*)

Show Grade: B+

July 30th, 2001

From Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia

Attendance: 3,434

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

AJ Styles had the opportunity to give the K-Nections a 2-0 lead, but Fit Finlay was able to ground the flyer and pin him after a Tombstone to pull the Sin-free Society into a 1-1 tie. (C+)

Scott Steiner promo on Keiji Mutoh: "Muta, Mutoh, facepaint or no facepaint, it don't matter, because Big Poppa Pump's gonna beat you up so bad you'll never show your face in the WCW again!" (C-)

Mike Awesome beat the holy heck out of Air Paris in a one-sided buttkicking. (C)

Awesome explains that he attacked RVD because he needs to prove his toughness after losing to "Little Rey" and he was always better than RVD in the Land of Extreme; RVD comes out, challenges him to Extreme Rules match at WCW vs. The World. (C)

All three men in the cruiserweight championship triple threat chose a partner tonight, with Jushin Liger and Kaz Hayashi prevailing over Billy Kidman and Jamie Knoble and Shane Helms and Shannon Moore with a Liger Bomb on Moore. (C+)

Natural Born Thrillers interview on Gedo and Jado: "You might be Japanese veterans, but to the Natural Born Thrillers you're nothing but victims!" (C-)

Hugh Morrus and Konnan defeated Hell Raiser and Johnny Swinger. (D+)

Vampiro and Father Isaac vignette; they'll bring their salvation to the live fans when Nitro returns in two weeks. (D)

Totally Buffed approach Sting about Ric Flair; he blows them off and says he's only worried about the UFS. (B-)

Chavo Guerrero Jr. got Satyr's Hopeful Few on the board in the semifinals by utilizing his speed and skill to defeat the larger Mark Jindrak, tying the series with the Dead Jesters at one win apiece. (C-)

Chris Candido (w/Sytch standing in silent support) tells Ric Flair the power couple will not tolerate disrespect like he showed last week. (C+)

Sit-down interview with Misterio and Kanyon conducted by me; winning the US title was highlight of Rey's career and he's not ready to give it up; Kanyon says his Cinderella run is coming to an end. (B-)

Sin-free Society partners CM Punk and Rick Steiner joined forces tonight to defeat The Mamalukes. (C)

Sting confronts boastful CM Punk; they go back and forth about respect, experience, evolution and conviction. (B)

International superstar Keiji Mutoh had a stern test in the form of Lance Storm. Storm's technical wrestling pushed Mutoh to the limit for over twenty minutes, but Mutoh finally put him down for the count with his new finishing move, the Shining Wizard, which made Booker T smile over on commentary. (B)

Scott Steiner confronts Mutoh in the ring; staredown to end show. (C)

Show Grade: B-

Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and CM Punk

Jim Duggan couldn't punch his way to a win over the old school tactics of Steve Corino. (C-)

Corino and AJ Styles announce their six man teams: Corino with Fit Finlay and Minoru Tanaka, AJ with Alex Wright and Hiroshi Tanahashi. (C-)

With Tammy Sytch watching, Chris Candido made an example out of Lash Leroux in a warm-up for WCW vs. The World. (C-)

Jamie Knoble interview discussing his aspirations of eventually becoming cruiserweight champion. (D)

Alex Wright took out James Storm in fairly easy fashion. (C-)

Show Grade: C-
Japan is a great region for us. According to our metrics it's second only to the US itself as far as our popularity goes, and our deal with tv asahi to broadcast Nitro and our PPVs (not to mention the just-returned Saturday Night) allows us to reach a far greater audience there than anywhere else, the US included. Looking to capitalize on this, I went ahead with plans to run a PPV event in Japan titled WCW vs. The World. I took advantage of our partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling to bring in several of their guys for this show, allowing them to use some of our guys on a few of their shows in compensation.

I wanted to get a bigtime Japanese star to headline the show with Scott Steiner, and I don't think I could've done any better than Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh is not only a huge star in Japan with some recognition globally from his Great Muta days in NWA, but he's still an elite in-ring wrestler. I have very high hopes for this match.

Each of the semifinal UFS series are tied heading into the PPV, and any of the teams could potentially advance to the finals here and now if they win both of their matches on the show. Satyr's Hopeful Few will send Ric Flair against Chris Candido, and we had Flair flirt a bit with Tammy to add some heat to that match. Then it will be a matchup of first round picks, as Kanyon wrestles Rey Mistero Jr. of the Dead Jesters. That match will present a chance for one of the teams to win the series, but it'll also be for Rey's United States title, what with him being a fighting champion and everything.

Sting of the K-Nections takes on the Sin-free Society's CM Punk in what should be a very interesting match. Those guys had some strong verbal back-and-forths on Nitro, but now it's time to see what they can do in the ring. This is the biggest match of Punk's career by far, so here's hoping he'll be up for the challenge. After that it'll be Booker T continuing on his path towards a hopeful world title rematch as he wrestles Lance Storm. Lance honestly outshone Keiji Mutoh in their match on Nitro, so I think he and Booker could potentially steal the show.

The trip to Japan couldn't have come at a better time for the tag team division, because we're pretty thin on credible challengers for Palumbo and O'Haire. Gedo and Jado obviously don't match up physically, but that's never been their style anyway so it shouldn't hurt the match. They've got tons of experience together and are capable workers, so this could be the best match of the NBT era.

We pulled the trigger on the Shane Helms heel turn at the expense of Kidman, and the logical progression from there would seem to be a title rematch at the PPV. I did consider that, but I decided to take advantage of our trip to Japan and include the legend Jushin Liger for a three way championship match. Liger is still one of the absolute very best in the world, so adding him to the mix should give this a big boost.

An angry Mike Awesome decided to take out the frustrations of his losses to Rey Misterio by assaulting another crowd-pleasing high flyer in Rob Van Dam, and it set up an Extreme Rules match between two guys who made their names in ECW.

I wanted to feature the AJ Styles/Steve Corino story on the PPV, but I also wanted to get some other guys into the mix. Alex Wright and Fit Finlay were inserted, and then I decided to work a couple more NJPW guys onto the card. Hiroshi Tanahashi is still pretty low on the New Japan totem pole, but he's a really good worker already and shows tons of potential as a future star for them. Former IWGP Junior Heavyweight champ Minoru Tanaka is more established, and he'll round out Corino's "old school" team.


Fan Scorecard:

World Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh vs. "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner {}

Ultimate Fan Series (tied 1-1, will be third match in the series): "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (Satyr's Hopeful Few) vs. Chris Candido (The Dead Jesters)

United States Heavyweight Championship/Ultimate Fan Series (tied 1-1, will be fourth match in the series): Kanyon (Satyr's Hopeful Few) vs. Rey Misterio Jr. {} (The Dead Jesters)

Ultimate Fan Series (tied 1-1, will be third match in the series): Sting (The K-Nections) vs. CM Punk (The Sin-free Society)

Ultimate Fan Series (tied 1-1, will be fourth match in the series): Booker T (The K-Nections) vs. Lance Storm (The Sin-free Society)

World Tag Team Championship: Gedo and Jado vs. The Natural Born Thrillers {}

Cruiserweight Championship: Billy Kidman vs. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. "Sugar" Shane Helms {}

Extreme Rules: Rob Van Dam vs. Mike Awesome

AJ Styles, Alex Wright and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Steve Corino, Fit Finlay and Minoru Tanaka

What will be match of the night?

How many championships will change hands?

BONUS (worth three points): Who will be the next World Heavyweight Champion?

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-21-2017 at 09:51 PM.
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