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Unread 01-27-2017, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default October 14th, 2001: Halloween Havoc



October 14th, 2001

From the Binghamton Events Center in Binghamton, New York

Attendance: 7,500

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





Official Theme Song:



Quote:
Jamie Knoble vs. Mike Awesome

I made a last-minute switch and had this match open the show instead of Kidman vs. TAKA. Knoble and Awesome gave me no reason to second-guess myself on that one, because this was a very good opener. This was another David vs. Goliath story, but it differed from Awesome's previous matches with Misterio. The story with Rey was all about him using his high flying moves to try and combat his much larger opponent, but tonight Knoble was using technical wrestling holds. He targeted Awesome's legs quite a bit, but the big hold he kept trying to get on was the guillotine choke. Tenay and I brought up him using that hold to get the better of Awesome in a backstage altercation and really put it over as a dangerous submission. He was never quite able to get it fully applied despite multiple attempts, and an Awesome Bomb spelled the end of the match. It was another good match regardless, and showings like this will help ensure that I keep trying to find things for Knoble to do.


Grade: B
Quote:

Kevin Gaines and the team members of the K-Nections came to the ring to accept the Ultimate Fan Series trophy. Gaines thanked the wrestlers for giving it their all and bringing that trophy home, and said he hoped to have a chance to defend the trophy in the next UFS competition.

Then it was time to address the title shots. Everyone already knew that Booker and Sting would fight later in the night for the world title shot, but Gaines made sure to point out that the loser was not going to leave empty-handed because they would still receive a United States title match. As for the other titles, he'd taken the opinions of AJ Styles and Alex Wright into account. Wright chose to pursue the tag team titles, reserving the right to name his partner at a later date. AJ also wanted to go for the tag team gold, but he already had a partner in mind: he and Sting had worked so well together in the final tiebreaker match that he wanted to try and win the title alongside the icon.

AJ and Wright thanked Gaines for listening to their input, for drafting them to his team, so and on and so forth. They weren't very good here, but the segment picked up when Booker took the microphone and started berating everyone on the team. He called Alex and AJ "suck-ups", Sting a thief for trying to steal his title match, and Gaines an idiot for not giving him what he deserved. When he started reminding everyone that he had never given up in his title match with Scott Steiner and yet never received a rematch, Sting cut him off and said everyone was tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. He did well on the mic tonight, helping to make up for what had been a slow start to the segment.

"It isn't about what you DESERVE, it's about what you EARN. You want a chance to regain the world heavyweight title? Meet me in this ring later on tonight and EARN IT! But you better bring your A-game, because it's....SHOWTIME, FOLKS!"



Grade: B
Quote:
AJ Styles (w/Stacy Keibler) vs. "King of Old School" Steve Corino

AJ stayed in the ring after the ceremony for his match with Corino. Stacy Keibler joined him, but she was in the background for most of the match while the spotlight was on Styles versus Corino. That's where the spotlight belonged, and these two guys delivered a very strong match. It wasn't too far behind the top couple of matches of the night, and that's with both of these guys only being on the low end of the midcard spectrum popularity-wise. Imagine how good this could be if we go back to it later on when both guys are (hopefully) closer to main event level.

They told a fun story of AJ's flashy athletics vs. Corino's more ground-based, "old school" style he brags about so much, but the match would be decided by shenanigans. Corino shouted something derogatory at Keibler, and the ref had to physically restrain her from getting into the ring (which I'm sure he enjoyed.) As that was going on, Corino knocked AJ out with the trusty old school foreign object to steal the pin.



Grade: B
Quote:

The moment Dustin Rhodes entered the ring for their match, Vampiro went out the other side. He met up with Father Isaac in the aisle, and Vampiro said that there would be no match tonight. Dustin called him a coward and demanded that he meet him in the ring for this match, but Vampiro reminded him that Dustin had asked for the match and Commissioner Arn Anderson signed it, but he himself had never given his approval. What they wanted was salvation, Isaac said when Vampiro handed him his mic, not destruction, no matter how much Dustin may seek it. Rhodes continued to call Vampiro back so they could settle this like men, but Vampiro and Isaac left ringside without another word. I thought Dustin was really good here in his delivery as a no-nonsense man's man, and I was also impressed with some improved facial expressions from Isaac that should help him become a more convincing actor.


Grade: C
Quote:

I allowed Kevin Gaines to choose anyone in the company to shoot an angle with, and he very quickly emailed us back with Midajah as his answer. I wonder why. He did a little bit of playful flirting with her as she stood alone at the backstage interview set prior to a scheduled Scott Steiner interview. She responded with some bland and meaningless words that did nothing to help the segment, but got a wicked smile on her face as she looked past Gaines. Can you see where this is going?






Scotty stormed onto the set and told Kevin that he had two seconds to get the hell out before he made sure that he had to do the next UFS draft "from a wheelchair with one of them Shane Hawking voice box things." Gaines was supposed to act scared as he ran off, but I don't think much acting was required. Scott then decided that he was going to talk about DDP, because who needs Bobby Heenan to do an interview? (Probably best if we keep those two apart anyway.)

"When someone tries to take what's mine, I make 'em hurt, and I make 'em hurt bad! I woulda snapped that kid's pencil neck, and I WILL do it if he ever tries to talk to my freak again! And Diamond Dallas Trash, that's exactly what I'm gonna do to you tonight! You wanna take my title, huh? Well you can't have it, because it's MINE! You can't take anything that's mine, and I don't wanna take anything that's yours because you don't got anything in that trailer park that I give a damn about! So tonight I'll just take what's left of your sorry ass career!"

This guy is crazy. He also happens to be entertaining, and his wild ranting actually worked pretty well in context here with the really personal feud.



Grade: B+
Quote:
Billy Kidman (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. TAKA (w/Tammy Sytch)

I moved this match out of the opening spot because I wanted Kidman and TAKA to try and excite the crowd with a fast-paced match with lots of high spots, and I felt that sort of match would work better closer to the middle of the show. Billy's already shown me that he works well in this style, and I wasn't surprised to see that TAKA was right at home too. Both guys impressed the crowd with some flying, including a diving crossbody from the top to the floor by Kidman and a springboard moonsault from TAKA.

Tammy Sytch provided a distraction that helped stall Kidman's momentum, but Torrie Wilson was there to neutralize her after that. As those two women argued with each other on the floor, TAKA's tornado DDT attempt was countered into Kidman's sitout spinebuster for a near-fall. Kidman went up top for the shooting star press, but the escalating confrontation between Torrie and Tammy caught his attention long enough for TAKA to cut him off on the top rope. He hit a super hurricanrana, then delivered the Michinoku Driver to make his WCW PPV debut a success.



Grade: B
Quote:

Cameras followed a frantic Chavo Guerrero Jr. as he ran down the backstage hallways calling for Arn Anderson. The commish broke off from whatever he was doing and asked Chavo what was going on. Chavo (rather poorly) shouted for Arn to follow him, then started running back the other way. Arn was baffled but followed him anyway. After a bit of very exciting running, we arrived on the scene...






Ric Flair was face-down on the floor in front of his private dressing room, apparently unconscious. Arn shoved his way through some of the preliminary wrestlers who'd crowded around and crouched down to check on his best friend. Ric was unresponsive, so Arn asked if anyone saw who did this. Chavo explained that he and Ric had been talking earlier in the night about their plans to challenge for the tag team titles, but when he went to meet up with him again he found him like this. None of the prelim guys had seen anything, so what happened would remain a mystery now. Ric looked fantastic here. Yes, I know his only role was to pretend to be unconscious, but he did it with such style.


Grade: B-
Quote:
Hugh Morrus and Konnan vs. True Heroes

Storm and Punk mocked Morrus and Konnan for coming up short in their tag title match, but now it was time for them to try and back up their mockery and live up to their boastful tag team name. Morrus and Konnan have been working together longer, but it was clear from watching them work how much potential Storm and Punk have. They just work so well together, their mix of talent and attitude making for a world class team.

Morrus threw Punk around for quite a bit, but the tide turned when Konnan was caught with a knee to the back from Punk (on the apron) as he attempted to hit his forward rolling clothesline on Storm (the legal man.) From there a cheap shot knocked Hugh off of the apron, and a tag set up the Heroic Finish. This match wasn't quite as good as it could've been because I structured it pretty heavily in Morrus' favor to silence his complaints about losing, but it did what it needed to do as far as giving True Heroes a high profile win.



Grade: B-
Quote:

Roddy's back, and so is Piper's Pit. Did Bischoff/Russo ever run a Pit? If they did I can't remember. Anyway, he brought out RVD and Shane Douglas for the return of the Pit. I considered building a set near ringside, but with the size of the arenas we're running I thought it'd be better to just put a red cover over the mat and do it in the ring.

Douglas again talked about his shared history with RVD in ECW, this time going into more detail. He talked about how he was not only the biggest star in ECW history, he literally CREATED the ECW championship. He should've been honored and hailed as the legend that he was, but those moronic fans passed him over and fell in love with RVD instead. All those years those people cheered for RVD and treated him like the star of ECW while ignoring the true star who made it all possible. The same thing started happening when Van Dam showed up here in WCW, but this time he wasn't going to stand back and watch it happen. This time he was going to show the entire world what he's known all along: RVD is overrated! That's why he never won the ECW World title that Shane introduced and made prestigious, and it's why he was never going to amount to anything in WCW! Shane was fantastic here; it felt like he really did resent how popular Rob got in ECW. Maybe he did, I don't know.

RVD responded that the reason the people got behind him and not Shane is because he's exciting and innovative, bringing out new amazing moves people have never seen before, while Shane was still doing the same old stuff he did back when "Extreme" was still "Eastern." He could whine about it all he wanted, but he was never going to be as cool as RVD, dude.

That set off some arguing between the two, and Piper continuously fanned the flames. Roddy was great here in his supporting role, throwing in a comment here or there that got the guys further worked up. After he insinuated that Douglas was jealous of Van Dam's popularity, he sat back with a grin and watched as the two fought. Roddy did a little closing monologue while officials rushed out to break the fight up, which was a very funny visual.

"Well that does it for the grand return of Piper's Pit, folks, where it ain't a good night until somebody's been punched right in the noggin! I'm your host, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and I'll see ya again the next time we've got ourselves a little issue that needs sorting out!"



Grade: B
Quote:

"Sugar" Shane Helms vs. Jushin Thunder Liger {}

I had very high hopes for this match. That's why I told Shane and Jushin to go out there and try to steal the show. Both guys did respond well to the all-out nature of the match and provided some solid action, but in retrospect the match probably would've gone over better if it had been five or six minutes longer. That's my mistake I guess.

Helms embraced his heel role with some aggressive tactics designed to get heat, such as pulling on Liger's mask, but he also busted out some nice offense. It was ultimately all about building up to Helms' big finish, the Vertebreaker, which he used to lay Jushin out a couple of weeks ago on Nitro. Mike and I stressed the idea that it was imperative for Liger to avoid that move at all costs, otherwise the match would be over and Shane would regain the title. Liger was always able to avoid it though, and he drilled Shane with a fisherman buster to finish another successful title defense.



Grade: B-
Quote:

The camera crew got a close-up of me at the commentary table as I gave a brief but heartfelt tribute to my dad, and said we were going to honor him with the first annual Stu Hart Classic tournament. It'll be a 16 man single elimination tournament, starting tomorrow night on Nitro and ending at next month's Calgary Stampede PPV. The winner will headline Starrcade in a world championship match.


Grade: B
Quote:

Doomsday vs. The Natural Born Thrillers {}

Mike and I made sure to talk early on about how this was going to be a very physical match, with little or no actual "wrestling" being done. That's exactly what it was and what it was supposed to be. Essentially these two teams spent the entirety of the match beating the crap out of each other. This was pretty much the definition of what Jim Ross would call a "slobberknocker." Sure, there was very little rhyme or reason to what they were doing, but I don't think any of us expected that anyway. I did notice Bryan Clark kind of lagging here at times, so age might be catching up to the 37 year old. Adams looked fine though.

All four guys fought out on the floor, with the referee struggling to get control of the match. At this point the Thrillers gave Clark a double suplex on the floor, and it was immediately obvious to all of us that something went wrong. Thankfully the referee took control of the situation right away and signaled the other three guys to leave Clark alone and skip to the planned finish, which merely meant that Adams had to continue to brawl with O'Haire and Palumbo until the ref ended the match in a double disqualification. Obviously my concern was with the health of Bryan Clark, but I was going to have to focus on my on-screen job and trust our medical staff to deal with it.



Grade: C+
Quote:

Heenan caught up with the crew as they were about to leave the building in their limo. Candido humored him for a bit by answering some of his questions, revealing that their pursuit of power had only just begun. When Bobby asked about their recent flaunting of wealth (not just the limo, but also an expensive dress Tammy was wearing), she smirked and said it was none of his business. Bobby's next question was cut off by a voice in the limo calling out, telling them to cut it short and get in so they could take care of other business.


Grade: C
Quote:
Winner gets the UFS World Heavyweight Championship match:
Sting vs. Booker T


A couple of things became apparent pretty early on in this match. One, age is catching up to the Stinger. He's not as bad off as Flair yet, but he's definitely nearing the point that we'll no longer be able to rely on him for main event quality matches. Two, the fans weren't sure how to react to Booker, and that hurt the match. That was partly by design, as we've had him showing some selfish tendencies but he hasn't gone out and out heel. While I think that's made the story more intriguing, it meant that the crowd reaction wasn't as loud or as passionate as it otherwise might have been.

This match was about the story more than the actual in-ring action. Booker continued to show a bit of an attitude as he fought, with some more aggressive maneuvers and cocky behavior. He also worked more methodically, showing some improved technical skills as he controlled the middle part of the match with mat wrestling. Sting worked his normal style, and the fans still popped when he gave Booker a gorilla press and did his Tarzan-esque chest thumping pose. When he went for the Stinger Splash, Booker countered with a well-timed Harlem Sidekick. He hoped to end the match with the Book End, but Sting caught him by surprise with a small package to suddenly win the match and the title shot!



Grade: B-
Quote:

DDP got backstage promo time. It started with him pacing back and forth before he finally stopped and turned to regard the camera. This wasn't a flashy promo; he spoke with a quiet intensity that I think really fit what we were going for. He said that the bad blood between he and Scott Steiner ran back a long time, ever since Steiner disrespected his wife. That was a big reason she was no longer in the business, but tonight he was going into that cage and fighting not for himself, but for her.

"Kimberly, I know you aren't watching, but I'm gonna make us proud tonight! I'm gonna finally shut Scott Steiner's mouth--or should I say I'm gonna use that steel to rip his face up so bad that he CAN'T open his mouth? And when it's done, I'm going to silence anyone who thinks DDP's best days are behind him when I walk out a four time heavyweight champion of the world! BANG!"

This was a really effective promo. Page sold the personal nature of the feud well, and he also continues to get better as this character who's looking to prove he still has one more run at the top left in him.



Grade: A
Quote:

Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Kanyon {}

Just like in their first match at WCW vs. The World, there was a good news/bad news situation here with Rey and Kanyon's instinctive chemistry to bring out the best in each other as opponents being at least partially negated by some subpar psychology. Another minus this time was a rough outing from Kanyon, who hurt the momentum of the match a few times with some poorly delivered moves. A powerbomb lift into a front facebuster was particularly botched, but at least Rey didn't get hurt off of it or anything. Yet despite that, this match was better than their first in Tokyo. In fact it was not only the best match on the show to this point, but one of the best matches we've run since our relaunch.

Psychology issues aside, I thought they told a neat story in there with Rey doing his aerial stuff and Kanyon counteracting it with his innovative offense. They did several intricate spots where Rey would take to the air and Kanyon would catch him and execute a cool-looking throw. After one such counter, Kanyon had Rey up on his shoulders in electric chair position for the electric chair facebuster that's long been one of his signature moves, but Misterio flipped the match script by twisting around on Kanyon's shoulders and hitting a hurricanrana. Ref Charles Robinson counted once...



twice...




three times! Rey regains the United States title!



Grade: B+




Bobby interviewed Rey in the ring after the match. It might've been a bad idea to throw Rey straight into an interview after that lengthy match, because he was terrible. He was supposed to talk about how he was excited to have regained the title and prove that winning it the first time was no fluke, but he kept tripping over his own words and saying things that made no sense. Bobby, ever quick-witted on the microphone, smoothly jumped in and took over, saving Rey from drowning on live TV. Rey's still a work in progress on the microphone, but we're going to keep giving him promos. Practice makes perfect, and he'll need to keep improving if he's going to reach his full potential in the company.


Grade: C
Quote:

Steel Cage:
Diamond Dallas Page vs. "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner (w/Midajah) {}


We aired a lengthy video as the cage was being set up, recapping the bad blood between Steiner and DDP.


Grade: A


DDP attacked Steiner the moment he stepped through the cage door, and we were off. Page dominated the early part of the match with punches, kicks and chokes before sending Scott face first into the cage. Dallas continued to control it until Steiner used his hands to block another trip into the steel, elbowed him in the ribs and introduced DDP's face to the cage for the first time. Around and around we went, with both guys being sent into the cage several times as the momentum shifted back and forth. The steel cage was the perfect gimmick to give this match some added juice that more than made up for some sketchy psychology at points. The cage fit the narrative perfectly with the (legitimate) dislike between Steiner and DDP, and Scott also looked right at home in this type of match.

DDP's age does hold him back a bit at this point, but it wasn't enough of a negative to drag this match down. This was definitely better than their match last month, and also one of the very best matches we've put on. There have been a couple about on the same level, but only Steiner's match with Keiji Mutoh in Tokyo was clearly better.

Steiner was smiling and flexing after scraping Page's face into the cage and drawing blood. After whipping Page back-first into the cage, he dropped him with a belly to belly suplex. That led to the Steiner Recliner, with DDP bleeding as he tried to fight his way out ala Austin in our match at Mania 13. DDP stubbornly fought through the pain and crawled his way to the ropes, with Mike and I claiming that he was so driven by his hatred of Steiner that it was helping him dig deeper than ever before. Of course since it was no disqualification, Steiner did not have to release the hold, nor did he. He ignored the referee's counts and warnings, because what was Nick Patrick going to do, physically pull him off? The match couldn't officially end since Page was in the ropes, but DDP had already gone limp by the time Steiner released the hold. Scott kissed his bicep and posed for Midajah's approval, deciding to take his time and really embarrass his rival before getting around to pinning him.



Page hit a low blow from his knees! He wasn't as down and out as we thought! The crowd really popped for that, and popped even bigger as Dallas swooped in for the Diamond Cutter!



But Steiner blocked the move and gave DDP a shove in the back, sending him crashing into the cage! There was no flexing or playing to Midajah now; he hauled DDP into the air and spiked him into the mat with the Steiner Screwdriver! That was all she wrote on this match and this feud, which ended with a bang (pun fully intended.)



Grade: B+


Show Overall Grade: B+

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-27-2017 at 08:46 PM.
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