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Default December 2001: Starrcade Wrap-up

December 30th, 2001
Ryougoku Sumo Hall, Tokyo Japan
Minutes after the final bell

"Did you see that, boys? Eleven thousand strong. Eleven thousand. At the beginning of the year the old regime would've been lucky to draw half that, but tonight we sold this place out! I'm not gonna lie to you; it's going to be a long road back to even being a serious threat to the stranglehold Vince has got on this entire business. But we've been making forward progress these first seven months. We've got a lot of work to do, but I know we can do it. 2001 was the beginning of WCW's road back to the top, and we're going to take more steps forward in 2002!"
That drew a pretty decent response from the locker room, especially from the younger wrestlers who were naturally more optimistic than those who'd lived through the Russo era. We had a pretty harmonious locker room all things considered. It was definitely a totally different atmosphere than I'd experienced at any time as a wrestler for this company. I could see several of the cruiserweights giving TAKA and Liger congratulations for their incredible performance, which I had been sure to point out during my speech. Sting also looked to be in a pretty positive mood. He's embraced his role and has never made a fuss about not being the top babyface anymore, and I thanked him for his leadership and his selflessness. I also gave some words of encouragement to Booker T, hoping to boost his spirits and get his head back into the game 100%. I'm not sure if he's totally over his moping even now, but he did seem to appreciate my encouragement.

It wasn't all sunshine and roses though. There were a few members of the roster who weren't too thrilled with my booking plans for Starrcade. Scott Steiner was extremely unhappy about putting Rob Van Dam over and losing his top spot, but there's not much that could be done about that. I couldn't afford to make any concessions to him and risk harming the main event or RVD not getting as big a boost from the win as possible, so I essentially told him he was out of luck. He was very angry about that, but given how strongly we've booked him up until now I don't think he has any reason to still be upset when he wakes up tomorrow. Chuck Palumbo was also unhappy about dropping the tag titles, but again, I don't think he has any room to complain with how much we've featured the Thrillers. And then there was Ric Flair. He completely shot down the idea of putting Candido over under any circumstances, no matter how the match was booked or how strongly he was protected, feeling that Candido was nowhere near his level. I understood where he was coming from and we were able to get where we needed to go in the story with a dq finish, so I made that change. Besides, I didn't want to do anything to make him any more upset at the moment.

Speaking of which, Flair was giving me a less than thrilled look, and it changed to an out and out scowl as someone stepped out from the corner of the room and came to stand beside me.


"You think he'll ever get over it?"

"Who knows, Eric?" I said with a shrug. "You're not exactly his favorite person, and the man can hold a grudge. I know something about that." Indeed, I had sympathized with Ric's stance when he tried to talk me out of bringing Bischoff in, but ultimately I put business first and went ahead with it. I'm not Eric's biggest fan either, but I think he's a solid enough promo and the feud makes all the sense in the world with he and Flair's history both on and off camera. Ric was of course unhappy about it, but DDP and Ernest Miller both called to tell me they thought it was a great idea so at least it wasn't a total loss.

"I just hope it won't throw things out of whack around here, or screw up your storylines," Eric said.

"It won't," I said, quite sure of it. "Ric might not like you and he might be irritated with me for bringing you back, but he's a professional. He'll do business. Just try not to do anything to make the tension any worse."

"Scout's honor," Eric said with a smile. We stood in silence for a few moments, watching the locker room and its sense of unity and camaraderie that I'm sure was just as foreign a sight for Eric as it was for me, before he changed the subject. "You know, I was surprised you called me. I didn't think you were my biggest fan."

"I don't dislike you personally. I just don't think you were qualified to run a major wrestling company," I answered bluntly. His smile dimmed a bit. I'm sure my opinion hurt his pride a bit, but I'm nothing if not honest.

"Well I guess it's a good thing I'm not being brought in to help you creatively then," he said with a little chuckle. "Honestly, I think I'll enjoy being strictly a performer. I don't envy you and all the pressure that comes with your job."

I just nodded, not really having anything to say. We fell silent again, but he had something else on his mind.

"Do me a favor, Bret?" he said. I turned to look at him more fully, curious at the more serious tone of his voice.

"What's that?"

"Do what I couldn't," he said earnestly. "I had my boot on Vince's throat, but I couldn't finish him off. One minute I was on top of the world, we were dominant, and Vince was on his last legs. Then it all slipped away, the suits from Time Warner meddled and I lost it all. Despite what you or anybody else might think of me, I love WCW. I poured my heart and soul into this place, and the thought of Vince burning it to the ground makes me sick. So let's kick his ass, alright?"

Who knew I could ever find such common ground with Eric Bischoff? I grinned and held out my hand, which he shook with a smile.

"It's a deal."

Hall of Champions:

World Heavyweight Champion:

Rob Van Dam

Won: December 30th, 2001 from Scott Steiner at Starrcade in Tokyo, Japan

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
Scott Steiner: July 15th, 2001-December 30th, 3001 (168 days)
Booker T: March 26th, 2001-July 15th, 2001 (111 days)

United States Heavyweight Champion:

Rey Misterio Jr. (2nd reign)

Won: October 14th, 2001 from Kanyon at Halloween Havoc in Binghamton, New York

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
Kanyon: August 5th, 2001-October 14th, 2001 (70 days)
Rey Misterio Jr: May 13th, 2001-August 5th, 2001 (85 days)
Booker T: March 18th, 2001-April 30th, 2001 (44 days)

Cruiserweight Champion:


Won: December 30th, 2001 from Jushin Liger at Starrcade in Tokyo, Japan

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
Jushin Liger: August 5th, 2001-December 30th, 2001 (147 days)
Shane Helms: March 18th, 2001-August 5th, 2001 (140 days)

World Tag Team Champions:

True Heroes (Lance Storm and CM Punk)

Won: December 30th, 2001 from The Natural Born Thrillers at Starrcade in Tokyo, Japan

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
The Natural Born Thrillers (Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire): January 14th, 2001-December 30th, 2001 (351 days)

Originally Posted by KnowYourEnemy View Post
I knew I should have photoshopped a "if Steiner wins, we riot" sign for the event! I forgot R-V-D was Cena's opponent at that one night stand.
If you'd managed to do that in Japanese I would've been VERY impressed! I guess they'd be more likely to bring a banner than a sign though...

Originally Posted by LordofGustav View Post
All i can say this was an impressive Starcade! RVD will be the leading the torch of the future of WCW. So, the Monday Night Wars... continue...

Now to respond to your comments, you forgot to mention the sadomasochistic paladin, who's also more WWF style.
That's the plan at least. We'll see how he does.

I didn't forget Darkness. I just figured she'd enjoy being ignored.

Originally Posted by Briskout View Post
I was wrong on Steiner keeping the belt somehow but I'm ok with that! That felt SUPER huge and it'll be great to see what's next for the main event scene, on all ends. Steiner has been SUPER STEINER for those WCW 2001 guys so...

With that being said, Booker getting the win makes sense opposite Van Dam as it continues his quest. When Booker finally wins (yes he complains about losing but with how you written him, he needs to get his hands on it) it'll be great to see the manic retention go on.

Finally - Bischoff is horrible. And great. It literally screams old WCW so much but it comes at a point where Bischoff has been off TV for so long that it is fresh, especially with Candido & TAKA and I can't wait to see the magic you write with Bischoff. Bischoff as RAW GM was beautiful so hopefully you can tap into the same Bischoff when you write his promos.
Scotty had a great run, but I'm not sure how much longer it could've gone on. This felt like the right time to make the switch and try and get RVD over big.

Booker's been a headache backstage, but I can't afford to let him go or even de-push him really. Still plenty in store for him, and his obsession with regaining the world title will continue.

So Bischoff was not the original plan. My idea from conception until about three weeks before Starrcade was to use DiBiase in that role, in kind of a nod to my readers from TGAAB where he was pretty much universally considered the star of the show. I just happened to set a search filter for non-wrestlers with good entertainment skills, saw Bischoff, and it was like a light bulb went off. All the pieces fit, especially with his history with Flair, and I think he's going to be much more natural fit for the role going forward. I honestly didn't care for Eric in WCW, but I LOVED his Raw GM run. That was the last heel authority figure character I actually enjoyed, so I'll definitely look to recapture some of that magic here even if he's a manager rather than a person of authority.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
First of all that was a great show! Secondly how the heck did RVD and Steiner have A performances and tank that grade to a B???? That is incredibly odd to me that can happen.

Loved the whole card all around and I can't wait to lead the K-Nections to another victory!!!! .....I kid....Lightning won't strike twice I guarantee it.
Now you understand my frustration with how TEW handles psychology, or more specifically on how huge the penalty is on otherwise great matches that come out on the wrong side of the pass/fail psychology test. It's stupid, especially when one of the guys in the match (RVD) has a B grade in psychology. The only positive is it seems like workers improve psychology at a much greater and faster rate in 2016 as opposed to 2013, at least so far.

It certainly won't with that kind of pessimism! Take a page from your #1 draft pick and find your inner balance, dude.

Originally Posted by franticloser View Post
Man have I never felt better about being wrong, this was such an awesome show! Blew me away and looking forward to what you got planned.
The interesting thing is that I don't have things plotted out in my head to a great degree like I usually did in TGAAB. I have some plans of course, but there's more up in the air than I'm used to. That's probably a good thing since I usually changed my mind in TGAAB anyway!

Originally Posted by michgcs View Post
I actually felt good with most of my picks so was bummed to see that I wasn't able to catch up in the UFS contest. Still, that was a top-notch show, and hopefully RVD's run will do wonders in the Monday Night War.

R-V-D is the W-H-C!
You'd feel worse if you'd missed out on an 8th place tiebreaker! That definitely happened last time, and I think it might've in the first contest as well. I'm glad we avoided that this time, because I'm sure that sucks for whoever is on the wrong end of it!

I hope so too, but we'll see. He's had nice gains in most of the areas that would've held him back (microphone, charisma and psychology), but I'm hoping there's further improvement to come. His charisma's good enough where it is now, but I need the other two stats to keep growing.

Originally Posted by Beejus View Post
Really good job with Starrcade, new champions all over the place! The CEO took me by surprise, and in a good way. I think one thing I'm most interested in though is who the new debut from the WWF is going to be. Bret is definitely gearing up for a big fight with Vince in the future, whether the battleground be Japan or America.

I would just hope that RVD doesn't end up tanking most of your PPV main events, though. But it seems like you definitely have the backup roster to make up for it even if he does slip during the bigger matches.
At one point I was thinking about having Rey regain the US title at Starrcade as well, so just imagine if that had happened!

Indeed! I'd get crushed in a national battle right now, but we'll see what happens with Austin's health and Rock's movie career. You take one or both of those guys out of the equation and suddenly the mountain doesn't look anywhere near as steep.

I'm worried about the main events with RVD too. His psychology is actually slightly better than Scott's and continues to show signs of improvement while Scott's has remained static throughout, so that could be one major point in his favor if he can keep at it.

Originally Posted by evileddie10 View Post
Great show. Gutted to miss out on the fan series by 2 points. CM Punk is now 1/3 of the way to being a WCW Triple Crown champ! :-D The Feds defection is interesting, if I had to guess it would be a canadian, don't know why, thinking Christian. Whilst it could be a Hardy, I feel like that would be too obvious with the Shane O'Mac drama. Christian is also someone who is underrated and his run just before TNA was great in my opinion.
There's always next year! And last time you gave us the beginning of True Heroes!

Another way to look at it is if Storm wins the world title he'll have held every title in the company, including the cruiserweight (the hardcore too, but we're going to pretend that never happened.)

Getting Christian would be a MAJOR coup, especially when you see how high he is on the Power 500! He's awesome, and is just the kind of signing Bret would covet. The Shane situation obviously gives me an "in" with the Hardys that I don't have with anyone else. I doubt anyone will be shocked if they show up in WCW, but on the other hand I'd be stupid NOT to go after them.

Originally Posted by smartman View Post
The horrible "lack of psychology" penalty doesn't affect the individual wrestlers' performances so that's how. Along with him running a much pop>perf fed, of course. Still surprising that it got a B and not a B+ as that's normally where exceptional matches that get smashed with that penalty end up (84-88 range).

That was an amazing card TFC. Heck of an attendance too being overseas and all. Can't wait to see where the now-resurgent WCW goes in 2002.
Do you happen to know what the "magic number" is to avoid that penalty? Is it just when someone hits a B+ psychology grade, or is there a specific number to shoot for?

And that's with Japan's economy and wrestling industry BOTH in the crapper! Imagine what kind of attendance I might be able to draw in the future, when those two things rebound and my popularity has gone up even further! Starrcade in the Tokyo Dome feels like a realistic goal in the future, though maybe not in 2002.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
I haven't ran a big company in TEW 2016 yet so I have yet to run into this wall. That seems like a really harsh penalty in my opinion though. I could have sworn that TFC mentioned that Bret's WCW was more performance based and that is why you see guys like AJ Styles pulling off B matches with jobbers.
It's performance over popularity, yes.

This isn't new to TEW2016. It was this exact thing that really hurt Anderz' Starrcade main event in the finale of Race to the Top, and that was with Arn and Tully both having an 82 score in psychology.

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-23-2017 at 10:35 AM.
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