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Default December 2001: Road to Starrcade, Part II

Quote:


December 10th, 2001

From Bender Arena in Washington, D.C.

Attendance: 4,500

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

Disco Inferno looked to avenge his loss to American Dragon, but he won't be dancing any time soon after Dragon once again made him submit to Arms Across America. (C+)

The Steiner Brothers barge into Arn Anderson's office; Scott complains about being forced to wrestle his brother tonight and calls Arn "as crooked as any of these damn politicians here in Washington!" When Arn refuses to call off the match, Scott says that they'll just refuse to fight each other. Arn throws a wrench in that plan by saying that if Rick can defeat Scott tonight, he'll get the next shot at the world title after Starrcade! (B)

Fit Finlay approaches Jamie Knoble backstage; he's not through with Knoble yet, and if Jamie's going to team with Alex Wright maybe he'll find a partner of his own to take them out. (C)

The tension was thick with Shane Douglas serving as guest commentator, but he stayed put and DDP stayed focused and defeated local Sonjay Dutt. (B-)

DDP pulls Douglas' headset off and drags him over the announce table! He pummels Douglas, who is unable to mount much of a defense before the fight is broken up. (A)

AJ Styles interview: "I don't care if Stacy Keibler wants to move on to manage someone else, but I'm not about to let her or Kaz Hayashi get a win on the biggest night of the year at my expense!" (C-)

Sting showed off many of his signature moves before finishing Flash Flanagan off with the Scorpion Deathdrop. (B-)


Spotlight Segment:




Sting was celebrating his win, until...







Booker T snuck through the crowd, spun Sting around and hit him in the head with his brother Stevie Ray's old weapon of choice, a slapjack! Mike and I noted that Booker had been given the night off again this week, but obviously he'd turned up anyway in order to get the drop on Sting. He used the slapjack a few more times on Sting's ribs and back, then pulled him up to his feet and gave him the Book End. Referee Charles Robinson got a punch to the face for his troubles when he tried to break it up, which I said would surely earn him a large fine from Arn Anderson. Uncaring, Booker went to the top rope and dropped the Harlem Hangover on an unmoving Sting.

Most of the fans booed his actions, but Booker was fully embracing being the villain. He smiled, and even mocked a few jeering fans as he walked back up the aisle. A handful of smarks were cheering him because it was the 'cool' thing to do, and Booker acted like he was going to high-five one such smark who was holding up a 'Shane is More Xtreme than Matt!' sign, only to suddenly feign like he was going to punch him in the face. The dude flinched back, and Booker laughed in his face. He came across like a world class prick here. Maybe it was all just acting, or maybe he was channeling some of his real frustration towards me into his performance. Whatever it was, it was exactly what we were looking for. This was a very good and heated attack, and probably would've been even better if we'd stretched it out for a few more minutes.



Grade: B+


Cameras capture the Steiners chatting backstage. Scott tries to convince Rick to "take it easy so I can focus on Starrcade", but Rick's having none of it. "You've had your chance, Scotty! This is mine, and I'm not wasting it!" (B)

Sean O'Haire and CM Punk went one-on-one, and much like in the match between their partners last week, there were plenty of outside shenanigans. A Lance Storm distraction looked to be the deciding act, but then Chuck Palumbo returned fire by laying Punk out with a big boot while the ref was occupied with Storm, and O'Haire hit a springboard clothesline to pick up the win. (B-)

Chris Candido & co send in a recorded message; Candido has a big smile on his face as he promises that no one will want to miss the next phase of the plan next week on Nitro. (B-)

Vampiro wasn't smiling as he and Dustin Rhodes come nose to nose backstage. Vampiro vows that Dustin will regret "assaulting an innocent man" last week. Dustin laughs at Isaac being called innocent, or a man, but welcomes Vampiro, Destroyer or anybody else who wants to stick up for that lunatic. (C+)

The fans didn't know who to cheer as the Steiner brothers fought. Rick was true to his word, giving it his all to try and earn a title match, and Scott's ego is way too big to lay down for anybody, so the match was on. Both brothers showed off their amateur skills and suplexes, but Rick made a critical error when he we tried and failed to hit a bulldog off of the top rope. Scott got him to the ground and made him tap to the Steiner Recliner. (B)

Steiner's celebration is interrupted by Bill Alfonso, the manager of Rob Van Dam in his ECW days! Alfonso says that Steiner has no clue what he's in for. Those people in South Philly didn't bow down to Rob Van Dam because Paul Heyman's a great salesman--"they did it because they knew greatness when they saw it, daddy!" He became a star in ECW because he was just that damn good, and Steiner was gonna find it out first-hand at Starrcade! Steiner laughs--then damn near decapitates Alfonso with a huge clothesline! He rips Alfonso's shirt off and chokes him with it for a bit before eventually putting him in the Steiner Recliner! (C+)

King Corino's live chat session for WCW.com is interrupted by a chair-wielding Terry Funk, who tells Corino to "quit playing on your keyboard and fight me like a man!" Corino slinks away, but says he's willing to meet Funk--in the ring, in a wrestling match, like an athlete!--at Starrcade. (C+)

Alex Wright took on Kanyon in a 2/3 falls match. Kanyon took the first fall with the Flatliner, but Wright evened it up with a diving crossbody, which Rey Misterio applauded over on commentary. Wright is attacked by Chavo Guerrero Jr. while Kanyon distracts the ref, and Kanyon capitalizes to win the deciding fall. (B)

Ric Flair promo: "Starrcade, December 30th, Japan. Candido, on the granddaddy of 'em all, the event that the Nature Boy built, I'm taking you to school! WOOO!" (B-)


Show Grade: B






Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Don West

Billy Kidman took care of business against Sonjay Dutt. (C+)

Air Paris is trying to find his footing after the dissolution of Air Raid, but suffered a setback tonight courtesy of Cash and his Money Maker finisher. (D+)

Alan Funk provided a decent challenge, but was forced to tap out lest he pass out in Jamie Knoble's guillotine choke. (C+)

Fit Finlay attacks Knoble in the ring after the match, spikes him with a Tombstone. (C+)

True Heroes interview; despite a "momentary setback" on Nitro, nothing will stop them from rescuing the tag team division from the Natural Born Thrillers' "reign of mediocrity" at Starrcade. (C+)


Show Grade: C+
Quote:


December 17th, 2001

From Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst, Massachusetts

Attendance: 4,000

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

Alex Wright and Jamie Knoble teamed together for the second time, once again coming out on top as they used speed and skill to defeat the physically stronger team of Mark Jindrak and Shawn Stasiak. (B-)

Fit Finlay and Chavo Guerrero Jr. attack Wright and Knoble after the match! As Finlay lays them both out, Chavo challenges them to a tag team match at Starrcade! (C+)

Arn Anderson summons Billy Kidman, Yang, Shane Helms, Cash and 3 Count, tells them they'll be in the first-ever Cruiserweight Shootout at Starrcade (a 6-man match in which everyone's legal at the same time and the first fall wins); the winner will get the next cruiserweight title shot. (D)

He may be 57 years old, but Terry Funk looked as formidable as ever as he dominated local wrestler Jason Blade. (C-)

King Corino sneaks down to the ring to try and ambush Funk, but thinks better of it when Terry sees him coming. Funk dares him to come back and fight, calling him a "yellow-bellied coward!" (C+)

True Heroes backstage promo; they say the tag team division has been stuck in the stone ages for the past year with a couple of one-dimensional musclebound freaks like the Natural Born Thrillers as champions, but the True Heroes will come to the rescue and bring the belts into the current millennium. The Thrillers walk up and dare them to stop talking and prove how great they are, but Storm and Punk back away. (B)

Shane Douglas seemed to revel in humbling Chance Beckett with his superior abilities, but eventually put him out of his misery with the Franchiser. (B)

DDP runs down to the ring after the match to try and get a piece of Shane Douglas! Douglas flees, but DDP chases him around ringside, over the guard rail and into the crowd! The pursuit continues all the way into the parking lot! (A)

Bobby Heenan has a sit-down interview with Jushin Liger (with an assistant translating between both parties, and subtitles on the screen for Liger's comments.) Liger says he didn't know TAKA much from his days in Japan because they were always in different promotions, but his dishonorable reputation was well-known. He looks forward to putting TAKA in his place at Starrcade. (C)

Scott Steiner had hand-picked The Sandman as Rob Van Dam's opponent, and in a hardcore match to boot. Sandman relied heavily on weapons as per usual, particularly his trusty kendo stick (or Singapore cane if you prefer.) RVD is well-versed in that style as well though, and he took advantage of the hardcore stipulations to dust off his Van Daminator kick before ending the match with the Five Star Frog Splash. (B-)

Van Dam is not his usual laid-back self as he demands that Scott Steiner come out so he can make him pay for what he did to Bill Alfonso last week. When Steiner doesn't show up, RVD says he knows he's back there, and if he won't come out there, Van Dam will go back there and find him! (B+)

Dustin Rhodes and Vampiro get into an argument backstage, which escalates into a fight. Dustin gets the better of it and says that the beating will never stop unless Vampiro brings The Destroyer back from wherever the heck they sent him so Dustin can take him out for good. Vampiro agrees, saying Dustin can have The Destroyer one-on-one at Starrcade if he's so eager to be destroyed. Dustin smiles, thanks him, and gives him one last kick to the head before walking off. (C)

Ric Flair was in fine form tonight, styling and profiling in a win over Alan Funk. (C)


Spotlight Segment:




Flair was still in the ring as Chris Candido's face appeared on the video screen. Candido was looking into a handheld camera, with Tammy as the camera(wo)man. He said this was a very special on-location report, as they were going to give the WCW fans a live look inside the training facilities of NWA: Wildside, where the stars of tomorrow are learning the ropes.

Tammy followed behind Candido and TAKA as they entered the building. They shoved past a few confused workers and wrestlers in training, not acknowledging anyone who tried to question them about what they were doing there. They were there with one specific purpose and would not stop until they accomplished it.









Ric Flair's son, David, was going through some in-ring drills, but all action ceased as Candido and TAKA walked into the ring. David clenched his fists, preparing to defend himself, but Candido chuckled. He told David he was a fair man, so he didn't have to worry about being attacked 2-on-1. Unlike his father, who spent his entire career hiding behind REAL tough guys like Arn Anderson and Barry Windham who did all his dirty work for him, he was perfectly capable of taking care of himself. Thus, he was going to give David a chance to take him out, one on one and man to man. If David could so much as get him off of his feet, he and TAKA would leave the building right away. With a wave of his hand, he motioned for David to take his best shot.

Realizing he had no choice but to try, David ran forward and went for a double leg takedown. Candido barely even stumbled before stuffing the takedown, and he then gave David a sharp stomp to the back of the head. Another stomp followed, and another, and another. A couple of trainers tried to intervene but were held at bay by TAKA, leaving Candido free to continue his assault as Tammy kept the camera steady and cheered him on. He pulled David up by his hair and dragged him out to the concrete floor, which he then piledrove him onto! Candido smiled as he got back to his feet, looking directly into the camera.

"You think you're going to take me to school, Ric? Well class is in session, but we're the ones doing the teaching! The CEO knows you, Ric. He knows exactly what you're thinking, and he knows just how to hurt you the most. I could insult you or your legacy all day, but why do that when I can hit you right where you live? I know you might not recognize him because you were never home when he was growing up, but this is your own flesh and blood, Ric, and he idolizes you. He even followed you into pro wrestling, wanting nothing more than to impress you! Are you impressed now, Ric? Are you?"

Candido laughed as Tammy turned the camera off, and we switched back to the arena. Ric was standing in the ring, practically losing his mind.

"YOU'RE A DEAD MAN! YOU'RE DEAD, CANDIDO! I'M NOT GOING TO BEAT YOU AT STARRCADE! I'M GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS! YOU'RE DEAD!"

So I think this was a nice way to advance the storyline, and a great idea in concept. Unfortunately the execution was a little lacking. While some of Candido's content was good, he left out some key points I wanted him to emphasize. David's only real role was to sell, but he's not all that good at that and it showed, plus I just don't think the fans care much about him. And while Ric sold his anger well at the end, it would've been better if he'd said something more substantial than just "YOU'RE DEAD!"



Grade: C+


A video recaps Booker T's downward spiral after losing the world title to Scott Steiner, with his obsession with getting the title back putting him at odds with Sting. (A*)

AJ Styles and Kanyon locked up in the night's main event. Both men pulled out all the stops and worked a relentless pace as they executed many of their big moves one after another. Kaz Hayashi and Stacy Keibler appeared at ringside during the match. Whether that threw AJ off or not we'll never know, but Kanyon was able to avoid a Spiral Tap and win a hard-fought match with the Flatliner. (B)

Kanyon post-match promo: "Rey, you betta be watchin' what I've been doin' ova the past two weeks. Two straight main events, two straight wins for Kanyon! Who betta? NOBODY!" (C+)

Officials and fellow wrestlers are close behind RVD as he tries to find Scott Steiner backstage. Eventually Steiner pokes his head from around a corner and taunts Van Dam. "That skinny geek and his crooked, nasty teeth had no business being in the ring with the champ, just like you! And if you come fight me right now, I'll do the same damn thing to you!" Van Dam tries to force his way to Steiner, but the mob succeeds at holding him back. He screams for Steiner to come and fight him, but Scott just laughs and walks away as Van Dam futilely tries to break free so he can get revenge for his friend and former manager. (A)


Show Grade: B+






Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Don West

Elix Skipper picked up a win over Chance Beckett. (C-)

Alex Wright and Jamie Knoble interview; they accept the challenge of Guerrero and Finlay for a tag team match at Starrcade. (C-)

American Dragon continued his recent winning ways against Jason Blade. (C)

Shane Helms interview; he'll easily win the cruiserweight shootout and use it as a stepping stone to becoming a 2-time cruiserweight champion. (C)

In a cruiserweight shootout preview, Yang came out a winner against 3 Count's Shannon Moore. (C)


Show Grade: C
Quote:


December 24th, 2001

From Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu, Hawaii

Attendance: 2,158

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

Jamie Knoble and Chavo Guerrero Jr. had a nice opener featuring high flying and technical exchanges, but it was interference from Fit Finlay that enabled Chavo to get the pin. (B)

A brief establishing shot of RVD and Scott Steiner is used to announce that they'll be stepping into Piper's Pit tonight, six days before Starrcade. (B)

True Heroes in-ring promo before their match; they suggest the entire tag team division watch this match closely so they can get a good look at the team that'll be leading the way to a golden age of tag team wrestling in 2002. (C+)

Punk and Storm backed up their words with a dominant win, though Air Paris and Jason Jett aren't exactly comparable to the Natural Born Thrillers. (C+)

Bobby Heenan tries to get a comment from the Thrillers, who just grunt and say they'll send their message the same way they've sent it all through 2001: by dominating inside the ring. (C+)

Scott Steiner promo: "RVD better watch his mouth and show the champ some respect tonight, or there ain't gonna be a title match on Sunday because I'll break him in half tonight just like I did to that skinny geek who used to manage him! And if Piper runs his mouth, he's gonna need that skirt because he'll be cryin' like a girl after the beating I'll give 'em!" (A)

The Cruiserweight Shootout was previewed with a 3-way tag match. You'd think 3 Count would have the edge as the only actual tag team in the match, but it was Yang who won the match for himself and Billy Kidman after pinning Cash. Shane Helms shook his head in disgust at his partner's failure. (B-)

Tammy Sytch distracts Jushin Liger in the backstage area as he's having his picture taken for the Starrcade event program, setting up an ambush from TAKA and Chris Candido! Liger is hurled back-first against the wall and left laying. (C)

Dustin Rhodes confronts Vampiro and a returning Father Isaac, asking if The Destroyer will actually show up at Starrcade or if this is just more mind games. They laugh in response, and The Destroyer himself steps into the camera shot and stands behind them. Far from being intimidated, Dustin smiles and says he's happy to see they're men of their word for a change. (C+)

Young Johnny the Bull got a huge singles opportunity, but the aggressive style of Booker T was just too much for him. (B-)

As Booker's hand is being raised, the lights go out! When they come back on, a spotlight reveals Sting standing in the rafters, baseball bat in hand! Sting points the bat in the direction of the ring, leaving Booker shaking his head before making a quick exit. (B+)

Ric Flair was banned from the arena for the night, but he sends in a predictably angry video from his home in Charlotte. "Candido, I'm not shouting this week, but don't for one second think that I'm any less angry! You wanna come after me, that's one thing. But when you miss with my family, THAT'S crossing the line! I won't be stylin' or profilin' at Starrcade, I won't be the life of the party like I usually am when I go to Japan. This Sunday, Candido, I'm not the Nature Boy, I'm an angry father who's going to kick the hell out of the man who assaulted my flesh and blood! I'm going to pay that piledriver on the floor back, with interest!" (C+)

King Corino made quick work of Chance Beckett. (B-)

Corino doesn't have long to enjoy his win, because Terry Funk runs down wielding a bullrope! Corino hightails it to the back to avoid the crazy Texan. (C)

DDP cuts an in-ring promo, calling Shane Douglas a coward for asking for the night off tonight. He says that Douglas was afraid because he knew what would happen if he got his hands on him, but all he's doing is delaying the inevitable. "Tonight, Sunday, Hawaii, Japan, none of it makes any difference to me. Your time is coming, 'Franchise!'" Douglas appears on the video screen from his home, says he asked for the night off because he'd be caught dead before he set foot on that overrated tourist destination, Hawaii. "Be grateful that I'm not there, Page. That means you've got six more days to pretend you're some kind of working-class people's champion, but after Starrcade when I show the world how overrated and undeserving you've always been, the truth will win out!" (A)

Rey Misterio Jr. joined up with fellow aerial master AJ Styles tonight to take on Kanyon and Kaz Hayashi in the main event. All four men were invested in this match even with Starrcade being mere days away, as they were hoping to pick up a big win and ride a wave of momentum into the premiere event on the wrestling calendar. It would be Rey who did so after pinning Hayashi with a twisting hurricanrana. (B-)

Spotlight Segment:




I gave these guys a full ten minutes for this, which is by far the longest non-wrestling segment we've run yet. Knowing he had plenty of time, Roddy began by talking about just how important Starrcade is. He mentioned his own history at Starrcade.

"Starrcade, man, it's different. The very first Starrcade, I had the single most brutal match of my entire career when I fought Greg Valentine in a dog collar match. That nasty sonofagun hit me with the chain of that collar so hard that he broke my left eardrum, and to this day I can still barely hear outta that ear. But I won the fight, and it's one of the proudest moments of my career. Another of my proudest moments came at Starrcade in 1996, where I proved I was always better than that dang Hulk Hogan when I put him to sleep in the main event! Starrcade, it's the night where legends are made, boys. You've gotta dig deep, but if you can deliver in a big way at Starrcade, especially in the main event, you'll create a moment that will live forever!"

RVD nodded in understanding, but Steiner told Piper he didn't need a history lesson. He didn't need to make himself a legend, because he was already a legend! Unlike either of the two clowns standing in the ring with him, he was the world heavyweight champion! Piper had always been better at running his mouth than busting heads, and that's why he never won a world title in his overrated career.

"And you, Jean-Claude? At least Rotten Roddy here could talk a good game, but you can't even do that! All you got are them flips and those weapons. Those 200 geeks who packed into those bingo halls thought you were the man, but there's a reason you spent all them years down there instead of makin' real money here or in the WWF. You were the big fish in a tiny little pond down in ECW, but deep down you knew you couldn't cut the mustard against real athletes! Me, I'm not some sawed-off little midget with a Napolitan complex who throws crappy suplexes like Taz; I'm the real deal! When I suplex you, you don't get up!

"I'm not like that fake Indian, Sabu, who falls flat on his face anytime he tries to do anything athletic! I'm the guy who invented the Frankensteiner that all those little cruiserweights stole from me! You ain't gonna have some classic match with me like you did with Jerry Lynn, because unlike that little wimp, when I hit people they get hurt! And I damn sure ain't like you, ROB-VAN-DAM. I ain't gotta point at myself every two seconds so people don't forget who I am, because I'm a real star! I been a major league player my whole life! I'm one half of the greatest tag team in history, and now I'm the greatest world heavyweight champion ever! I'm the genetic freak, I'm Big Poppa Pump, and I RUN WCW! You think you're takin' this belt from me on Sunday? I'm gonna beat you up bad, even worse than I did to that pencil-neck, bad-breath geek that used to manage you! And I know ECW already went outta business because it was a bush league promotion nobody gave a damn about, so you're gonna have to find a new bingo hall to hang out in. Because after Starrcade, everybody's gonna know that ROB-VAN-DAM ain't nothin' but a flash-in-the-pan chump who don't belong in the major leagues, never mind bein' in the ring with the greatest wrestler in the world today!"


Scott was fantastic here. That wasn't a real surprise, but I was more concerned to see if RVD could hold up his own end on the microphone. And we were about to find out, because it was time for his response. He wasn't his usual laid-back self; he had a serious scowl on his face as he spoke, and there were no 'R-V-D' hand poses or any of his normal gimmickery. It was all business tonight.

"Steiner, everybody knows I love to put on a show that the fans will remember, but Starrcade isn't about that. Not anymore. When you put your hands on my friend Bill Alfonso, you made this about more than a match, more than a chance for me to prove that I'm a one of a kind athlete and the greatest talent in the world today. You made this about more than the world heavyweight title. You made this about revenge. I may be a chill guy most of the time, but when someone attacks my friends I get angry real quick! I'm going in to Starrcade not only to prove that I AM for real and that I DO have what it takes to be the world champion, but I'm also going in to make you pay! If you think I'm all about flips and acrobatics, you're in for a big surprise on Sunday, dude. I'm going to beat you up, but I know that the best way to hurt you isn't just to beat you up, it's to take away that world title belt you love so much. And that's how I'm really going to avenge Fonzie; by taking that title away from you!"

Rob may not have knocked it out of the park like Scotty did, but it was still a good performance. After some more bickering, Piper began wrapping the segment up. He did a hard sell for Starrcade and told fans they'd be stupid to miss this show, where we'll find out who will be leading the way as WCW champion in 2002. Steiner gave RVD one last look of disdain before leaving the ring, but then he threw the ring announcer out of his chair and brought the weapon back into the ring with him! He snuck up from behind, preparing to ambush RVD with the chair. He swung for the fences, aiming at the back of RVD's head...

...but RVD ducked! Steiner was stunned that he'd anticipated it, and had no time to react before quick as a flash, RVD kicked the chair into his face with the Van Daminator! Rather than doing his 'R-V-D' pose, Van Dam picked up the belt which had come undone from Steiner's waist , stared down at it for a minute, then dropped it across Scott's chest. This was an absolutely electric segment. Starrcade, here we come!



Grade: A*


Show Grade: B+






Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Don West

Doomsday effortlessly dominated Alan Funk and The Wall. (C-)

True Heroes mock the Natural Born Thrillers backstage, but want no part of an actual fight once the champions approach. (B)

American Dragon might not be on the Starrcade card, but he continues to build momentum with win after win, and tonight was more of the same against Flash Flanagan. (C+)

Chris Candido interviewed by Bobby Heenan; he scoffs at Heenan's suggestion that he'd bitten off more than he can chew by going after Ric Flair's family, and says that making Flair furious was the entire point. (C+)

It'll be The Destroyer taking on Dustin Rhodes at Starrcade, but tonight it was his ally Vampiro picking up a win against Jim Duggan. (C-)


Show Grade: C

It may not have been my original plan for the show, but I have high hopes for Steiner vs. RVD. The promos have been good, especially the Piper's Pit on the go home show. Holding this show in Japan should be a boost for this match in particular, because our TV coverage there has given Van Dam such exposure that I'd say he's currently a much bigger star there than he is in the US.

Misterio and Kanyon had a good match at WCW vs. The World, and a great one at Halloween Havoc. We're going back to the well one more time at Starrcade, and I think it's a strong candidate for match of the night if the main event doesn't click the way I'm hoping it will.

The Thrillers have dominated the tag division all year since winning the belts in January. They're the only champions from before my purchase and re-launch that still have their gold. Our tag division was pretty thin when I took over and it still is in many ways, but True Heroes are breaking through as a top flight heel team. I think this has a good chance to be the best tag title match we've put on, and it should be a preview of what I hope will be a tag team renaissance next year.

Jushin Liger has been a consistently strong in-ring performer for years. He and Chavo stole the show last month in Calgary. Now he's working with TAKA, and it's in Japan where they're both far more over than they are in the US. If this isn't the second or third best match of the night bare minimum, I'll be shocked. This match may honestly have the highest ceiling of any on the show.

I know some people expected Sting and Booker T to headline this show. I didn't think that would be wise as I don't know if Sting would be up for such a role physically at this stage of his career, but in terms of pure star power this is probably the biggest match on the show. Their popularity alone should do a lot to offset any workrate issues.

The promos between DDP and Shane Douglas have been nothing short of fantastic. I think they've both done really well in their respective roles of people's champion and heel who's bitter at the way his career has gone. Let's just hope the match can live up to the hype.

We've gone to great lengths to try and elevate Chris Candido. I honestly didn't have huge plans for him when I first signed him, but here we are, with him working with the biggest star in WCW history at Starrcade. Some of the later angles have underperformed and the interest in the storyline has fizzled a bit as a result, but I think the intrigue over the identity of the "CEO" should help.

The continued attempt to offer "salvation" to Dustin Rhodes leads to Dustin against The Destroyer. I had to book this build on the fly since the former Mike Awesome was suspended for most of it, but I think we've done okay and are where we need to be to move this forward.

After retiring Jerry Lawler, Steve Corino has taken on the moniker of King for himself. Terry Funk is here to stick up for the old-timers and teach Corino to respect his forefathers. Simple enough build, but it should be a nice little mid-card match even if Funk doesn't have it physically anymore.

Continuing on with the Knoble/Finlay program from last month, and working in a dispute between Alex Wright and Chavo Guerrero Jr. over the future of the tag team titles, allowed us to get all four of these guys on the show in a tag team match. I'm high on all four, so I definitely wanted to work them in.

Stacy Keibler has a new client to guide, and she'll be leading Kaz Hayashi against her ex-client AJ Styles. Should be an exciting match from an in-ring standpoint at least. This will likely open the show.

I'm not a fan of big multiperson matches in general, but I think the shootout will lend itself well to the cruiserweight division. With all six guys legal at all times, this will be big moves and high spots galore.







Quote:

Fan Scorecard:

World Heavyweight Championship: Rob Van Dam vs. "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner {}

2/3 Falls match for the United States Heavyweight Championship: Kanyon vs. Rey Misterio Jr. {}

World Tag Team Championship: True Heroes vs. Natural Born Thrillers {}

Cruiserweight Championship: TAKA vs. Jushin Thunder Liger {}

Sting vs. Booker T

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Shane Douglas

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. Chris Candido

Dustin Rhodes vs. The Destroyer

Terry Funk vs. King Corino

Alex Wright and Jamie Knoble vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Fit Finlay

AJ Styles vs. Kaz Hayashi

Cruiserweight Shootout, featuring Billy Kidman, Yang, "Sugar" Shane Helms, Cash, Shannon Moore and Evan Karagis

What will be match of the night?

How many championships will change hands?

Will we learn who the "CEO" is tonight?

Who is the CEO? (answer even if you answer no to the previous question)

TIEBREAKER: How long is the main event (minutes and seconds)?

General diary comments/questions/critiques:




Here it is! The tiebreaker will be used if necessary to determine UFS participants/seeding, so make sure not to miss that question if you're within shouting distance of the top 8!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briskout View Post
Great set of shows setting up the Granddaddy. I LOVE the spotlight segment, it highlights the important stuff and even if I skim a show, I still am going to know the major stuff. I really hope you're not done with Lawler / Corino now, Lawler can be a good mouth piece long term. Looking forward to Starrcade and to see how difference ours will be!
Lawler would have value, but I just don't really have a place for him right now. His contract will expire in January, and I'm leaning towards not renewing it. He'd be a great candidate to bring back if I ever decide to take Bret off of commentary though. Fair to say our Starrcades will be very different, especially now that you've got Eddy. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Love Spotlight Segment and loving this build to Starcade so far! I'm shocked that Terry Funk is not retired in your game because almost any RL mod I've booted up he is usually one of the first to try to do so. I think you gave King a good swan song but he may have some use for you in a Paul Heyman type of role in the future.

Loving the new direction of how Corino and Terry has turned out though. These two have put on some great matches in the Indies and I'm curious of how that will reflect here.

I'm impressed with the Shane Douglas coming out party as well. He is becoming a man among boys on that microphone and it seems only Sting and Steiner can touch him right now.

I'm even more impressed of how my boy AJ styles is hitting B grades with jobbers constantly. If his mic work catches up soon he will be a huge player for you in catching WWF.
If it were my mod I'd make sure Funk's retirement age was as high as the game will allow. I'm pretty sure that guy's going to wrestle forever. He's (rightly) in terminal decline though, so that match probably won't be great.

Douglas' segments are even more interesting since his entertainment skills are okay, but nothing special. Maybe it's the other guys boosting the scores?

King could definitely have value in the future in a few different roles.

AJ is helped by my product being based more on performance than popularity. That should make it easier for the likes of him, Danielson, Punk, etc. to put on great matches before they reach legitimate main event levels of popularity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michgcs View Post
Haven't finished reading it yet, but I love the Spotlight Segment. I have a version of that in my game ("Must See TV") when I really, REALLY want to flesh out a particular promo.
Yep, that's where I got the idea from. I'm pretty sure I've stolen more from you than from anyone else at this point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Did RVD's trophy look similar to this.....



Congrats on this and most likely many more of these to come!
I think this diary might've won in December as well, but don't quote me on that. I don't generally acknowledge these things in here because I don't want it to seem like I'm trying to solicit support (and it's not REALLY why I do this anyway), but I do appreciate people liking my work enough to nominate and vote for it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttj0001 View Post
Finally caught up. Love it so far. Really enjoying the way you're writing Scotty.
Thanks! Writing Steiner is fun, though I constantly have to watch what I say so I don't take it too far into the Attitude Era territory Bret hates so much.
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