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Default September 2001: Pre-Fall Brawl News and Notes

There have been quite a few noteworthy happenings this month, but the biggest is obviously the backstage scandal that arose just a few days ago.

Matt Hardy walked in on quite the surprise in his hotel room. His girlfriend, Amy "Lita" Dumas, was in bed with another man. And not just any man, but the heir to the throne, the golden boy himself, Shane McMahon. Word has it that the only reason Matt didn't punch Shane's lights out (and no doubt get himself fired and thrown in jail in the process) was that his brother Jeff held him back. Based on what I've heard about him, Jeff Hardy being the voice of reason shows you just how screwed up the entire situation was. Not that I can blame Matt; if that'd been me I would've kicked the crap outta Little Mac.

I could've sworn Shane was already married, but I could be wrong on that. Or maybe he's just following in his old man's footsteps in that regard (not that I have any moral high ground to stand on when it comes to fidelity.) Obviously this has caused a ripple effect throughout the WWF locker room. Both Matt and Jeff are furious with Lita and Shane, and they aren't too happy with Vince or Stephanie either after they learned that this affair had been going on for months, and the other McMahons both knew about it and helped cover for them. I hear that the Hardys tried to quit but were threatened with legal action if they didn't honor the remainder of their contracts. I'm not sure how much time they have remaining, but I have to imagine they'll be hitting the open market sooner or later.

In other rather significant news from the WWF, a reliable source told me that Vince wants to transition away from Steve as the face of the company and go with Rocky instead. On one hand I understand it; he's seven years younger, and Steve has probably been wrestling on borrowed time ever since that horrible injury he got working with Owen. But Rock already seems to have one foot in Hollywood, so how much can he rely on him? And even when he's been around he's barely worked this year. He's had all of three televised matches in the four months since we've come back, and hasn't worked on PPV since WrestleMania.

Vince put on what is traditionally the second biggest show of the year, SummerSlam, in front of over fifty thousand people in Yankee Stadium. He went back to the Steve/Christian matchup in the main event and they delivered another fantastic match, though it wasn't quite as good as the serious MOTYC they had at Judgment Day. Benoit beat Kurt Angle in an awesome technical match in the semi main, and Hunter dropped the IC belt to his old DX buddy Billy Gunn. Days after the Shane/Lita story broke in the sheets and on the internet, she was defeated by Chyna in a women's title match. I wonder if they were going to have her win the title there but changed their minds once the story hit to avoid accusations of nepotism? Alleged face of the company Rocky was at the show but only appeared in a backstage skit with Austin and Undertaker. Matt Hardy worked the show as well. I figured they'd have him drop the European title, but he actually held onto it when he and Marty Jannetty worked a no contest. This was a great show overall; another in a string of them, as much as it pains me to say it. We have our work cut out for us.

In other McMahon news, Stephanie got a boob job. No comment. She wasn't the only one in her relationship making "enhancements" though. Hunter has looked noticeably more jacked than usual recently. I wonder how that happened.

Smackdown got moved to a later time slot on Japanese network Nippon TV, who apparently were unhappy with the ratings the show was getting in its old slot. Hey, a chink in the armor! I'll take what I can get.

I was always planning on bringing in my old Hart Foundation friend and brother-in-law Jim eventually, probably as a manager when his daughter Nattie was ready to come to the main roster. I was pretty surprised when he called to tell me he was planning on going to Mexico full-time as a manager for CMLL. I did make him an offer in response but he decided to accept the CMLL deal instead. I'll have to figure out something else for when Nattie comes up, but I wish Jim the very best.

Maybe New Japan hasn't completely given up on Kazuyuki Fujita just yet. His IWGP reign ended abruptly, but they gave him a big make-good by having him beat Riki Choshu in the finals of their annual G1 Climax tournament. Also on that show, popular tag team champions Kojima and Tenzan turned heel to the shock of the Japanese fans.

NJPW bought struggling promotion BattlARTS, but their intentions were far from altruistic: they bought the quasi-shoot company solely to disband it.

Terry Gordy couldn't wait to begin his retirement. Just weeks before he was going to hang the boots up, he asked to be let out of his contract early so he could go home, which I had no problem doing. Initially I was going to use his retirement as a vehicle to build CM Punk, but plans changed when I went with the Punk/Lance Storm team.

Speaking of Punk, he recently came into my office and stated his case for why he deserved a pay raise. He made a solid argument and he's barely making anything anyway, so I gave him the full amount he requested.

Kanyon isn't the only one in the locker room abusing painkillers. Lex Luger is right there alongside him, and since I learned of this just days before the PPV and his scheduled match with Misterio, I let him off with a fine rather than suspension. I considered that a lenient punishment, but he was still upset by it. Just keep it up, Lex, and we'll find out whether Vince is willing to bring you back and send you around the country on a bus again.

Ol' Slapnuts has found a new gig. Well, sort of. He'll be working some independent dates for Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, run by our own Dusty Rhodes. The Dream checked with me to make sure I would have no problem with that and I assured him I didn't. I have no problems with Jeff and I'd be open to bringing him back in the future.

I signed a couple more women to our developmental territory with an eye on eventually bringing a division to WCW. One, Daffney, is already familiar to WCW fans. The other is Allison Danger, the sister of Steve Corino, who was of course very pleased that I gave her a job.

Speaking of Steve, he's adopted my old "chest first whiplash into the turnbuckles" sell. I think it looks great and will really help the realism and psychology of his matches. Vampiro isn't as impressed by Steve, more specifically his charisma, but I don't see the problem.

Ric Flair was really impressed with Jamie Knoble's promo on Saturday Night. He's not a bad promo, and he's a strong worker too. The match with Liger is a great opportunity for him.

Booker's taken over as the head trainer at Shawn's old school, the Texas Wrestling Academy. He assured me he'd only do it on his off days and it wouldn't interfere with his WCW schedule, but I'd be lying if I said I don't have concerns.

I was kind of surprised at how good Paul London looked in his enhancement matches with us given how little experience he has. Fellow TWA graduates Bryan Danielson and Brian Kendrick both raved about him, and I can see why. I might need to consider signing him to an actual contract and having him join them in developmental.

Young indy worker Low Ki is someone else I've had my eye on for a possible developmental deal, but that idea will have to be put on hold indefinitely. He suffered a very serious spinal injury in a recent match for JAPW against someone named Mafia, and reports say he'll be out of action for at least a year. That's a rough break for someone so early into his career.

Karl Gotch recently passed away at the age of 76. Gotch had a hall of fame career, particularly in Japan. They gave him the moniker "God of Pro Wrestling" over there, and not without reason. He trained Inoki and was instrumental in establishing the sport over there, so we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

There were several retirements recently. Tito Santana, Tully Blanchard, Jimmy Snuka, Chris Adams and Bill Eadie all walked away, with "Superfly" opening his own wrestling school.

Pro Wrestling NOAH ran two big shows recently, both of which were headlined by tremendous GHC title defenses for Misawa (over Jun Akiyama and Akira Taue, respectively.)

Would you ignore tips from Dusty Rhodes? Evan Karagis did, and Dusty gave him a ribbing in front of the rest of the boys. That's the American Dream, kid. When he talks, listen.

Sting held a poker tournament before a recent Nitro. Always nice to see a veteran star like Sting being such a positive example for the younger guys.

Flair continues to aid James Storm. He went over some of the finer points of heel psychology with him backstage before a recent show.

Jushin Liger and Nick Patrick had the locker room in stitches before this past week's Nitro. I have no idea what that was about or what those two could have in common, and maybe it's better if I don't find out.

I've signed a guy named Don West, who has been working for years as a pitchman on a home shopping network. He called our office to say he had interest in getting into wrestling, and after seeing a tape of him doing his spiel and convincing people to call in and buy collectible junk I decided to give him a shot. For now I think I'm going to put him with Tony as the color guy on Saturday Night in place of Punk, who was never going to be in that spot long term anyway.

So as I'm sure you could figure out, the Lita/Shane relationship was created by the game. I then gave Matt and Jeff varying degrees of negative relationships with Lita and the McMahon family.

If any of you use imgur: is there any way to give uploads actual logical addresses (so my Ric Flair picture would end with 'Flair.jpg', for example), or is it always going to be random gibberish? Photobucket is starting to annoy me with their constant attempts to get me to upgrade to a paid membership every time I go to upload a file, but I'm not switching to an alternative with impossible to remember filenames.

Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
World Tag Team Championship: Hugh Morrus and Konnan vs. The Natural Born Thrillers {}
The Thrillers are on a role baybay!

Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
Rey Misterio Jr. vs. "The Total Package" Lex Luger
Misterio is absolutely going over but it's unfair that you put him up against MY BOY! AHHH IT'S LUGER! YEAHHH!
I should try and work in some of the hilarious noises Luger makes during matches. "OOOOWWWWFFF! OOOOOOOHHHHHHH!"

The Jung Dragons vs. True Heroes
Punk and Storm are just a fantastic duo. A very charismatic wrestler with Mr No Charisma. A sloppy (still good though) in-ring wrestler with the crispest in-ring wrestler you've ever seen.
They really do balance each other out. In a perfect scenario teaming with Storm will turn Punk from a solid worker into a great one, and Storm will become a good promo guy after being in lots of angles with his more charismatic partner.

Who will Vampiro and Father Isaac offer "salvation" to?
No Idea. Dustin Rhodes?
You may have been onto something considering how many people who predicted after you went the same way.

Originally Posted by Beejus View Post
Scott Steiner - Scotty is on an absolute rampage, and it's awesome. Not quite Mike Awesome, but awesome nonetheless.
Maybe I should give Steiner a '70s throwback gimmick?

Rey Misterio - Lex has to be almost on the outs of his contract, so he puts Rey over.
The painkillers certainly didn't improve his standing any.

True Heroes - I can't seem to find it anymore, but there is a clip from ECW in 99 (I believe) where Storm has "his urine" in a cup. He says that there's no way Tommy Dreamer went from a muscular body to needing to wear a shirt to wrestle in unless he was using a substance. But he has never had to use any substances to get his body, and he can prove it. Of course, Dreamer came out and Lance ended up getting the "urine" dumped on him, but that segment is what I think of when I see he and Punk teaming together here.
Never saw it but I read about it, I think maybe on Storm's old website. If it was on TV, I wonder if it's on the Network?

Originally Posted by Cro Cop Rules View Post
Ultimate Fan Series Finals Tiebreaker: #1 Satyr's Hopeful Few (Kanyon, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Buff Bagwell and Chavo Guerrerp Jr. vs. #2 The K-Nections (Booker T, Sting, AJ Styles and Alex Wright)
Gotta stay with my pick! AJ and Wright would get a great rub from the win. Perhaps Sting and Booker can continue their beef, leading to a triple threat with Steiner or one on one match at Halloween Havoc.
That'd be up to K-Nection (if his team wins.)

Rey Misterio Jr. vs. "The Total Package" Lex Luger
Imagining Rey hitting the 619, only for Luger to sell it by yelling "ouch!" and having a mildly annoyed look on his face.
I'm watching a lot of Luger right now on my Monday Night Wars rewatch, and I'm pretty confident he'd sell it like he'd been shot by a cannon.

Billy Kidman vs. "Sugar" Shane Helms
Shane actually has charisma, and can wrestle Knoble.
Kidman has Torrie though...

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
World Heavyweight Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner {}
DDP losing to Scott is not a bad's a good thing! At least he gets some more time to shine.
It would certainly be better than the crap the WWF actually had him doing at this time.

Rob Van Dam vs. Mike Awesome
Cornette would be throwing a can of Sprite at his TV after watching this build!
I'm not sure how Cornette hasn't had a stroke or something by now with how worked up he gets about everything.

Originally Posted by Satyr24 View Post
The Jung Dragons vs. True Heroes
The New Impact Players ?
I'll take Punk over Justin Credible all day long, but I see the comparison.

Originally Posted by crackerjack View Post
Cruiserweight Championship: Jamie Knoble vs. Jushin Thunder Liger {}
Nice to see Jamie grab this spot. He needs Nidia though
In-game she'd probably only drag him down if all the worker opinions I get about his promo ability are justified. I think he does need a little something to make him stand out though; his character's pretty bland right now.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Now I'm asking for mine and Satyr's sake. Is the winner just determining who gets a World Title shot or are we determining multiple title shots like Tag, US, and Cruiserweight?
Every member of the winning team gets a shot at a championship; only one member of the second place team will get one. The winning manager gets to pick one member of the team to get a world title shot and decide which secondary title each of the others should challenge for. The runner-up will get to pick one member of their team to receive a shot at a secondary title.
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