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Default November 2001: Pre-Calgary Stampede News and Notes

November 12th, 2001

4:15 pm--approx. 2 hours before the start of Nitro:

"Bret, we've got a sitcha-ation ovah in catering. I could use your help, daddy."

"Sure, Dusty. I'll be right there," I said into my cell phone. Dusty is sort of my de facto lieutenant, handling a lot of the smaller issues that pop up backstage. If he thinks something is serious enough to require my attention, I'm going to drop whatever I'm doing and take care of it.

I arrived to see that the catering table had been knocked over, and food was splattered on the floor. It was easy enough to figure out who'd been responsible for the mess. Bryan Clark was standing to one side of the hallway with a hand to his eye. A bunch of the boys were clustered in between him and the guy on the other side of the hallway, the one who'd obviously given Clark a good shot to the eye. That guy? Clark's regular tag team partner, Brian Adams. Wonderful.

"So what happened?" I asked, looking back and forth between the members of the team formerly known as Kronik, now known as Doomsday.

"He started something with me. I finished it," Adams said. I could see a lot of the boys nodding or muttering their agreement, so apparently this was more or less the truth.

"We're supposed to be a team, but you didn't even stop to check on me when I was down on the floor in New York!" Clark shouted. "Palumbo checked on me, and I barely even know the kid!"

"I had a job to do," Adams said calmly. "Besides, you're fine."

Clark looked like he had an angry response to that, but I jumped in first. Best to try and cut this thing off before it gets any worse.

"Dusty, is it true that Clark started the fight?" The Dream nodded, which was good enough for me. "Okay then. Clark, you're going to pay a fine, and that's the end of it." Clark didn't look very happy with that, but Adams nodded in approval of my decision. "Is this going to be a problem going forward? Are we going to have to split you up? Because I can tell you right now, you two aren't anywhere near as valuable to us as singles as you are as a team. If you can't stand to be in the ring with each other and we have to break the team up, I can promise that neither of you's gonna like the outcome."

"You won't get any problems from me," Adams assured me. "I've got nothing against Bryan." Clark still looked upset, but he nodded.

"We'll be fine," he said. I had them shake hands before we had everybody go and cool off. They always got along fine as far as I can remember back in the WWF days, and even if they aren't necessarily friends, there have never been any real issues between them. Hopefully this'll be a one time thing and there won't be any lingering dislike. Our tag division is thin enough as it is, and I wasn't kidding when I said neither of them would like how their careers went if we had to split the team up.
The WWF taped this week's Raw and Smackdown shows in Japan, and our friends in NJPW apparently didn't appreciate it. They weren't exactly allies as it was but this was the last straw, especially after the WWF deliberately mocked the "second rate" local wrestling in their advertising for the shows. The two companies are now openly hostile towards each other. Fight the power, Inoki! Let's take the monopoly down!

Vince took things a step further in his quest to dominate Japan, as reliable sources told me he wants to drive Michinoku Pro out of business. Why he'd put such focus on them when they're only the fifth biggest group in the country I have no idea. Maybe he thinks Taka is the owner and is trying to get payback on him for "jumping" to WCW. Or on a more serious note, he might smell blood in the water since Great Sasuke, who both owns the company and is far and away the biggest star, just came down with a nasty staph infection that will apparently keep him out of the ring for months.

Summerslam in Yankee Stadium was such a success that Vince went right back there for No Mercy. It was another strong show, with Steve delivering his typical great main event with Kane. "Company leader" Rocky actually got a match this time around, as he beat Raven in another great match in the semi main. Also of note was Matt Hardy dropping the European title to Spike Dudley. Matt's relationship with the Fed must be toxic if they had him lose the title to the least credible guy on the entire roster.

I think most people can see that I'm pretty high on Chris Candido. That made it all the more disappointing when he failed a test for hard drugs (the only thing we actually test for.) I gave him a fine, and he seemed genuinely grateful that I was giving him a second chance rather than firing him. He promised that it would never happen again. Billy Kidman was still on vacation, but he called me a couple of days later to say he was happy I'd punished Candido rather than trying to sweep his failure under the rug. I guess there's still some bad feelings between those two stemming from that minor injury Candido got working with Kidman back before Bash at the Beach.

New Japan ran a big show called Comparison of Greatness. Fujinami retained the IWGP title over Masahiro Chono, but the semi main event where Kensuke Sasaki beat Keiji Mutoh stole the show.

I've signed young Canadian Bobby Roode to a developmental deal. He's a solid all-rounder: decent look, passable worker, okay on promos. Maybe he won't ever excel at anything, but if he can improve further down there and be adequate at everything he could be a solid member of the main roster. His stay down there will probably be shorter than most, because I'm not sure how much more he'll improve down in Wildside.

Another signing for Wildside was Tony Mamaluke. An ex-ECW guy, I brought him in a month ago for what was supposed to be a one night enhancement talent appearance, but during that show I was very impressed with how well he and Johnny Swinger worked as a team. After a few weeks of thought, I went ahead and signed Mamaluke. He and Swinger will be working together at Wildside to get some more seasoning as a team, and eventually I'll bring them up onto the main roster together. With how high my creative team are on Swinger, and with Sting obviously seeing potential in him too since he took him under his wing, I wanted to find something for him to do.

I've sent a group of our lower card guys down to Wildside to work on their skills. Among that list is Kid Romeo, Chris Harris, James Storm and Reno. That should be good for them, but I'll need to sign a couple more guys to fill the void on the main roster as regular jobbers.

During their "warm-up" match on Nitro, Alex Wright and Ernest Miller wound up working pretty well together. That gives me a long-term option to bolster the tag division, but I think we found an even better one for Alex on a house show loop a couple months back. It'll be awhile before I'll be able to pull the trigger on that one in the story though.

I gave Flair, Kidman and Torrie some time off after Halloween Havoc. Flair's vacation obviously is part of the storyline. I didn't have anything lined up for Kidman and didn't want him to become a glorified jobber to the stars, so I figured a month off with his girlfriend would be appreciated. The two of them are already back.

Konnan's upset about all the losses he's been taking lately. I understand where he's coming from, but there are only so many featured spots to go around. I do think he's a valuable member of the roster, so hopefully I can give him a few wins and make him happy.

I expected some resistance from Disco Inferno when I asked him to lose to the unknown American Dragon, but I didn't hear a word out of him. I was later told by someone else that Disco was complaining about it to others but shut up when he saw Dragon, aka Bryan Danielson, staring him down. That's kind of funny considering Bryan isn't someone that most people would call intimidating.

Some of my friends in the WWF told me that Eddie Guerrero seems to have cleaned up his act and gotten his life back together. That's great news if true; he was always a hell of a worker, but he was a mess by the time I got to WCW.

Shane Douglas strained his calf, but worked through it and is now fully healthy again. Of course he's not actually in a match at Calgary Stampede, so it doesn't really matter right now.

AJ Styles took a bad bump in his match against Air Paris and broke his nose. It was nobody's fault so there's no bad blood between the former partners, and AJ's fine now.

After further consideration, the WWF also signed Taylor Matheney from the Tough Enough Show. Another girl from that show, Nidia, recently made her debut with FMW in Japan. Talk about an odd fit.

Missy Hyatt has found Jesus. Not the religious figure, the dude from Los Boricuas. They both work for IWA Puerto Rico, and I guess they're now dating.

A couple of our females in developmental have also found love. My staff down there informed me that Daffney is dating Cassidy O'Riley, and Cheerleader Melissa and Jason Cross are also together. Neither of the males are actually under developmental contract though, so unless I sign them as jobbers or something, the girls will be on their own once I bring them to the main roster.

American Dragon and Chris Candido both came into my office to request raises. I was kind of surprised by both requests, because Danielson's still new and Candido is fresh off of his failed drug test, but I agreed to give them both 75% of their requested raises.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. does a spot-on impression of his uncle Eddie, and he entertained some of the boys backstage with it at a recent show.

Hugh Morrus thinks Johnny the Bull "can't sell to save his life".

Alan Funk recently started using a new spot that showcases his selling ability and should help improve his ring psychology.

Stu Hart Classic prediction scores (maximum possible points: 15)

Dead_Jester: 14
Uncrewed: 14
crackerjack: 14

Beejus: 13
jscotty: 13
Rateddc: 13
Nobby_McDonald: 13
Cro Cop Rules: 13
HRTVAndrew: 13

AMarc9-8: 12
Satyr24: 12
evileddie10: 12
K-Nection: 12
chrismday: 12

rjhabeeb: 11
2Sweet: 11
michgcs: 11
BHK6: 11
GingeyOne: 11

smw88: 10
deanohbk: 10
Happy0wns: 10
LordofGustav: 10
Anderz: 10

KnowYourEnemy: 9
Superkickparty: 9
franticloser: 9
Briskout: 9
DGenerationMC: 9
The Lariat: 9

sportsfanmas: 6
Updated standings in prediction contest (two shows remaining):

K-Nection: 48

jscotty: 47
Uncrewed: 47

Beejus: 46

Satyr24: 45
Dead_Jester: 45

crackerjack: 44

smw88: 42
evileddie10: 42

deanohbk: 41

franticloser: 40
michgcs: 40

BHK6: 39

Nobby_McDonald: 38
Cro Cop Rules: 38

Happy0wns: 37

KnowYourEnemy: 36

GingeyOne: 33

DGenerationMC: 32

chrismday: 30

Superkickparty: 28

SomeLazyMagic: 27

rjhabeeb: 25

Rainmaker: 22

The Lariat: 21
Rateddc: 21

Warhawk8492: 19
2Sweet: 19

AMarc9-8: 18

LordofGustav: 17
Briskout: 17

Wolfman84: 16
Anderz: 16

StarshipAwsome: 14

HRTVAndrew: 13

Armando Payne: 7
Texasrangers13: 7

sportsfanmas: 6

PopeBrandonBrownson: 5
I caught several errors that I was making as I was adding in the points from the tournament predictions, but there's a decent chance I could have missed a couple others. So you may want to compare your current point totals with what you had after the last show to make sure you didn't wind up getting short-changed out of points. Obviously the 3 point bonuses for those who correctly picked the tournament winner will be factored in after the PPV.

Extremely predictable tournament considering a few people got every match correct and only missed out on the mystery entrant, and probably half of you were only one or two points further back. But as I hinted at in the Road to Calgary Stampede post, the entire tournament would've played out very differently if not for me having to veer away from my original plans.

Originally Posted by Briskout View Post
BONUS: Davey Boy SHOULD be close."
He'll still be in rehab for about six months.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Would somebody tell Scott that Canada does play baseball and did he forget about the Toronto Bluejays and the Montreal Expos? The Bluejays even won the world series in 1992 and 93! How crazy is this guy?
You go tell him. I'm certainly not going to.

Originally Posted by crackerjack View Post
World Tag Team Championship: Doomsday vs. Natural Born Thrillers {}
Hopefully no injury this time.
Hopefully Doomsday doesn't get into a fight backstage.

Originally Posted by KnowYourEnemy View Post
Alex Wright and Ernest "The Cat" Miller vs. True Heroes
Looks like the Tag Division needs some work there, Bret
Bret agrees, trust me. I've been testing chemistry for all sorts of different potential tag team combinations, looking for something positive to build on. The division will hopefully get deeper as we progress throughout 2002, but it looks like it'll be a work in progress.

Originally Posted by michgcs View Post
Cruiserweight Championship: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Jushin Thunder Liger {}
Chavo's always gonna be the loser Guerrero
Clearly the loser Guerrero is the one who played the Gobbledygooker.

Originally Posted by Briskout View Post
I hope Lawler does good work for you. He's had bad chemistry with everyone I've tried to put him up with, which has left me out of three potential storylines for Starrcade.
I already know what Lawler will be doing at Starrcade.

Stu Hart Classic Finals: Rob Van Dam - Booker might complain, but it'll boost RVD up and finalize the Booker turn, although a Booker win would do the same.
It's a lock that Booker will complain if I ask him to put RVD over. He complained about losing to Sting last month, and RVD isn't close to that level.

Originally Posted by Satyr24 View Post
Hope you explain more later
I'm not sure if I'm going to cover it in detail because it could spoil certain things in the future. I did allude to something in a previous post that, if you can go back and find it, will clue you in to what the general issue was.
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