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Default February 2002: Road to SuperBrawl XII

Quote:


January 28th, 2002

From the Hammond Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana

Attendance: 4,500 (sell-out!)

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

Scott Steiner opens the show in the ring with the World Heavyweight title around his waist. He says "that old bastard" Arn Anderson tried to get him to return it, but if RVD wants the belt back, "he can come and take it from me like a man!" Steiner invites anyone from the back to come out right now and find out why he's still the man in WCW. (A)

Ah, poor young Jimmy Jacobs. He was wrestling on live TV for the very first time, but the youngster could only do so by answering the challenge of Scott Steiner. Predictably, he was massacred. The Steiner Recliner ended the match after a few minutes of the small youngster being tossed around the ring. (C)

Exclusive Sin post-show footage; an angry and fired-up Ric Flair finds Chavo Guerrero Jr. in the back and tells him he's going to prove to Bischoff that he's far from finished, and Chavo will help him do it. Tomorrow (tonight) on Nitro, they're going to use their tag team title shot and take those belts from True Heroes! Chavo agrees! It's our main event tonight on Nitro! (B-)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #3 Straight Edge Suckas vs. #6 Satyr's Hopeful Few
Both Alex Wright and Vampiro had a good chance to rebound here and put their failed title challenges from 24 hours ago behind them. It was a back and forth match, but despite coming tantalizingly close to victory several times, Alex Wright was defeated by the Nail in the Coffin to put the Suckas down in the series to begin with. (B)

Arn Anderson interview; he confirms to Heenan that last night's negotiations were a success. He says that you can expect to see the newest acquisition in WCW very soon, possibly even tonight. (B-)

Uncrewed's Crew backstage segment; Lex Luger tries to convince his best friend that they're the team to beat, but Sting looks wary about being with Chris Candido and TAKA considering their representation. Eric Bischoff smiles and tells Sting that if he plays ball and does his part to ensure a win, there will be a place for him in the new age the Empire is going to help usher in. (B)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #4 The Dead Jesters vs. #5 Uncrewed's Crew
TAKA had a size disadvantage against Shane Douglas, but the reigning Cruiserweight champion was able to do a lot to offset that by using his quickness and aerial ability. Douglas adapted to the style of his opponent and wrestled a more physical, power-based match than usual. It gave him the edge late, and Bischoff looked to aid his client with a cheap shot while Douglas was on the floor and the ref's back was turned. But Sting ran down from the back and got in front of Bischoff, saying he didn't want his team to win matches this way! Douglas returned to the ring and was able to defeat TAKA with the Franchiser, giving the Dead Jesters the first win. (B-)

King Corino takes the ring to make a formal request of the WCW front office: "Due to his unprofessional actions last night that prevented me from carrying out my obligations as an official and recognized color commentator, I demand that Bob Backlund be banned from ever again appearing at a WCW show!" (C)

American Dragon interview; he admits that Shane Helms might have had a point, and he still has some learning to do before he can consider himself a championship-caliber competitor. He hopes to take a step forward as a member of the defending UFS champions, the K-Nections. (C-)

One night after a convincing win over 3 Count, Doomsday took care of business against Mark Jindrak and Shawn Stasiak, a double chokeslam finishing Stasiak off. (C+)

Backstage altercation: Stacy Keibler says AJ Styles got lucky against Kaz Hayashi last night and challenges him to a rubber match next week, which AJ accepts. (C)

Kanyon is again approached as he sits in the hallway, and this time all the members of Salvation are there to make their recruitment pitch. Isaac notices that Kanyon still has the Mortis mask he gave him last night, smiles and says all he has to do is put that mask on once again and all his struggles will become a thing of the past, especially since he wound up on the same UFS team as Vampiro and Destroyer. "Together, we'll be unstoppable!" (B)

The Natural Born Thrillers and Jamie Knoble do a backstage promo for the UFS. They have no idea who their unknown fourth teammate that was taken in the first round is, proving that the Wild Cards team name is well deserved. Knoble says he'll do his best to shock the world by defeating RVD to give them a win when their series with #1 The K-Nections begins next week. As the segment ends, Shane Helms can be seen watching in the distance and looking very disgruntled. (C)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #2 The Agents of Chaos vs. #7 The League of Extraordinary Grapplers
Our final UFS match of the night pitted veterans Rick Steiner and Diamond Dallas Page against each other. Both of these guys have been around long enough not to be surprised by anything, so it became a battle of wills more than anything else. DDP eventually saw his opening, hit the Diamond Cutter and gave the Grapplers a 1-0 lead. (B)

Shane Douglas steps into the aisle after the match, microphone in hand: "DDP, the only reason your team walked out with the win last night was because your bimbo wife got involved and kept me from taking you out. I guess last night, we found out who wears the pants in the Page household!" DDP predictably takes offense and chases Douglas to the back. (A*)

Rey Misterio Jr. and Booker T take part in a joint chat session for WCW.com. Rey says he respects Booker's ability but is disappointed that he only views the United States title as a stepping stone. The title means a great deal to him and he'll defend it against Booker with all his might at SuperBrawl. Booker says that he respects the importance of the US title and was proud to wear it in the past, but after the way he had the world title stolen from him in July and still has not received a rematch, he'll do anything he has to do to get the title back. (B-)

Ric Flair had his sights set on the world tag team titles, but Eric Bischoff's presence on color commentary did not go unnoticed by the Nature Boy. He shot more than a few angry glances Bischoff's way, but since Eric stayed where he was and nobody else from Empire showed their faces, he was free to focus on the task at hand. Between the decades of big match experience of Flair and Chavo's agility and technical wrestling, they presented an interesting challenge for the champions. In the end though, Flair was taken out of the picture with a double dropkick and Guerrero was given a Heroic Finish, an ending that greatly amused Bischoff from his seat at the desk. (B)


Spotlight Segment:




The main event was over, but the champs planned on doing a little gloating before we went off the air. Punk took the mic and said that if anyone has any doubt over who the best tag team in WCW, or indeed in the entire world is, they need to have their heads examined.

"True Heroes isn't just a catchy name we started using for marketing purposes; it's a fact! Forget all the tag teams that have ever come before us, because you are looking right now at the greatest tag team there's ever been! Or to borrow a little phrase that the guy in the shades over at the commentator's desk used to use, we are the best tag team that there is, was, or ever will be!"

Punk looked good here, which was no real surprise. Honestly I think Lance was even better this time though. He might not be as flashy on the mic as Punk, but I thought his delivery was good tonight.

"If I could be serious for a minute, I would just like to say that if you're a tag team back in that locker room thinking of trying to take these championships away from us, do yourselves a favor and don't bother. It doesn't matter if you are a makeshift combination like we've defeated the last two nights or an experienced team like the so-called Thrillers we took these belts from. Either way, you simply don't possess the skill, the chemistry, the intestinal fortitude or the integrity to defeat the True Heroes. You people watching can either like it or hate it as you please, but you'd better be prepared to accept it, because we will be YOUR World Tag Team Champions for as long as we feel like it!"

That would've been a fine place to end it, but we weren't done just yet. The lights suddenly went out, bathing the arena in darkness. When they came back on, two figures were standing in the aisle.












Matt and Jeff Hardy! That got a pretty nice reaction. The Hardys weren't necessarily main event guys in WWF, but they were still popular enough that I think they can slot right in as upper card guys for us. Anyway, after the initial hubbub died down Matt started talking. He talked about 'politics, lies and deceit' nearly killing his love of professional wrestling, an obvious reference to the behind the scenes stuff between he, Lita and the McMahons. I gave him freedom to speak for himself as I usually do for most of the guys, but I thought he spent a bit too much time dwelling on this stuff and it dragged the promo down. He did eventually move on.

"But none of that's why me or my brother are here. We didn't leave our old jobs and come here to WCW because of political BS. We came here because tag team wrestling isn't an afterthought here in WCW! Tag teams don't get the time of day up in 'Big Mac Land', but tag team wrestling gets a chance to shine here in WCW! There's no question that the tag team division here in WCW is the strongest anywhere in wrestling, so this is the place for us to be, and these are the belts we need to chase! Storm, Punk, you're on notice boys, because the Hardys are here to prove we're the best!"



Grade: B-


Show Grade: B+






Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Don West

Arn Anderson announcement: Matt and Jeff Hardy are the two UFS wildcards, with Matt on the #8 seeded Wild Cards team and Jeff joining the ranks of the #4 Dead Jesters. (C)

Kaz Hayashi warmed up for his rematch with AJ Styles by defeating young local Jimmy Jacobs. (C)

Kidman interview; he promises he's not finished with TAKA and warns Eric Bischoff there will be consequences if he tries to bully Torrie again. He also promoted his UFS match against Lex Luger next week on Nitro, saying he'll prove that strength isn't everything. (C+)

Chris Candido made short work of Air Paris. (C-)

AJ Styles interview; he looks forward to beating Hayashi on Nitro and putting this entire thing with Stacy behind him so he can move on with his career. (C-)

Our main event was fast-paced and competitive, but American Dragon was able to outwrestle Elix Skipper and force him to submit in the end. (C+)


Show Grade: C+
Quote:


February 4th, 2002

From the St. Joseph Civic Arena in St. Joseph, Missouri

Attendance: 3,800 (sell-out!)

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

The Hardys made their in-ring debuts in WCW. Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak tried to play spoiler, but the Hardys were not to be denied. They won the match with their Extreme Combination (Matt's Twist of Fate followed by Jeff's Swanton) on Stasiak. (B)

Backstage promo: True Heroes sarcastically applaud the Hardys for their victory but say that they can't just come in here and demand a title match. If they want to become contenders they'll have to do so by proving themselves in WCW rather than relying on a past reputation built in a "second rate" tag team division. Doomsday approach and Brian Adams says they agree with the champs--but they've done all of those things already, and they want a title match! (C+)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #4 The Dead Jesters vs. #5 Uncrewed's Crew (The Dead Jesters lead 1-0)
Billy Kidman obviously gave up a lot in size and strength to Lex Luger, but he was able to use his speed to great effectiveness as Luger struggled to keep up with his pace. Unfortunately for Kidman, TAKA (who was announced as defending his cruiserweight title against Kidman in a rematch at SuperBrawl) came out and rammed his head into the ring post as he recovered on the floor, allowing Luger to finish him with a running forearm. (B-)

Shane Helms backstage interview; he complains about being left out of the UFS. Vampiro approaches and leads Helms away, saying they have something to discuss. (B-)

Locker room: The rest of Uncrewed's Crew are pleased to have evened their series up at 1 win apiece but Sting disapproves of the way it happened. He questions Lex on how he can be happy to win that way but his question falls on deaf ears. (B)

The decisive third match between AJ Styles and Kaz Hayashi featured more of the same great high flying action we witnessed in the first two matches. It was AJ who broke the deadlock by utilizing a new addition to his offensive arsenal, the Styles Clash. (B)

Backstage: the Steiners and Mark Jindrak wonder about the state of Dustin Rhodes, who hasn't been seen since being put through a table by The Destroyer at Starrcade. Will he turn up to take part in the UFS as a member of the Agents of Chaos? "He better show up or I'll whip his ass, then beat up his fat daddy too!" Scott Steiner screamed. (B-)

Spotlight Segment:



Prior to the next scheduled match, a UFS bout between CM Punk and Kanyon, Father Isaac came to the ring with a microphone. He was decent here as he talked about the history between he and Kanyon, who he recruited to his cause years ago as the masked Mortis. His vision of what this man could be and what he could accomplish were not realized back then, but that was because in his hubris he thought he knew it all. He failed Kanyon back then, but he was a different man in a different place now after having found Salvation. He was now equipped to lead Kanyon exactly where they both believe he can go, which is to the very apex of World Championship Wrestling. But first, Chris had to accept Salvation himself. He had to shed this false mask he'd worn for the past few years as he struggled to find himself, remember his true face and rediscover his true identity. And now...he'd done exactly that!








"Kanyon," now back in full Mortis gear, slowly walked to the ring and joined Isaac. Unlike the first go round with this gimmick where Jim did all the talking for him, I'm letting Chris speak this time. He did an absolutely fantastic job at adopting a darker, creepier edge to his promo to go along with putting the mask back on.

"I once was lost, but now I am found. I spent years struggling, trying to deny who I really am. No longer will I wear the false face of Chris Kanyon, because Mortis is who I am and who I have always been deep down inside. I used to ask 'Who's better?', but the question will soon be 'Who's left?', because I am going to cut a path of destruction through World Championship Wrestling!"



Grade: B

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #3 Straight Edge Suckas vs. #6 Satyr's Hopeful Few (S.H.F. leads 1-0)
CM Punk didn't look comfortable having to wrestle the Mortis persona after having prepared for Kanyon. He did a good job adjusting to the change with some effective mat wrestling, but he was unprepared for the more aggressive and strike-heavy attack his opponent used. A brutal kick scrambled Punk's brains, and the Flatliner put S.H.F. one win away from advancing. (B+)

Backstage altercation: while being held apart by security, DDP tells Shane Douglas that if he wants to complain about Kimberly, how about she stays at home and they fight man against man at SuperBrawl? (A*)

One week before a UFS showdown with Sean O'Haire, Rey Misterio Jr. stayed one step ahead of Elix Skipper and pinned him with a diving seated senton. (B)

Misterio has his hand raised--and is attacked by Booker T! He's driven back-first onto the steel ring steps with the Book End! (B)

Interview: Ric Flair is frustrated at coming up short in the tag team title match last week, but vows that he's not done as a championship-caliber wrestler just yet. He's got this year's UFS to look forward to, and he'll do his part to help the League of Extraordinary Grapplers advance! (B)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #1 The K-Nections vs. #8 The Wild Cards
This wasn't a title defense for Rob Van Dam, but the stakes were still extremely high. Jamie Knoble brought his A game to the ring and was able to efficiently ground RVD with mat wrestling holds centered on the champion's legs. This both limited Van Dam's mobility and decreased the effectiveness of the kicks he loves to throw, making it a sound strategy indeed. It all led up to Knoble going for the guillotine choke submission he favors as a finishing hold--but Van Dam countered it into a Northern Lights suplex to secure the pin! (B)

Post-match: Scott Steiner comes to the ring with RVD's World Heavyweight Championship around his waist and tells Rob that if he wants the belt back, he can take it right now! RVD smiles, shrugs and says material possessions never meant much to him anyway, so Scott can keep the belt for now. He'll be taking it back in a few weeks anyway, because he'd already gone to Arn Anderson and gotten him to agree to sanction a rematch between them at SuperBrawl in his hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan! Steiner smiled and said that was great to hear, then took the belt off and tossed it at Van Dam's feet. "Keep that thing warm for me for a couple weeks, and then I'll take it back after I beat your ass in front of your momma, your friends and all the girls who rejected you in high school because you were never a genetic freak like me!" (A*)


Show Grade: B+






Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Don West

Fit Finlay didn't have much trouble defeating Jason Jett. (C)

Sean O'Haire cut a promo about his UFS match next week, promising to show Rey Misterio Jr. just what he's made of. (C)

The search for a third bandmate continues, but tonight 3 Count was victorious against The Mamalukes. (C-)

Lance Storm promo; he says that Sting may be an alleged icon, but he's a true hero and he'll prove it by outwrestling him in their UFS match next week. (B-)

Disco Inferno fell to defeat thanks to Alex Wright and his German suplex. (C+)


Show Grade: C+
Quote:


February 11th, 2002

From Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Florida

Attendance: 4,500 (sell-out!)

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

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #2 Agents of Chaos vs. #7 The League of Extraordinary Grapplers (L.O.E.G leads 1-0)
The Agents lost their first match, but the other team members had to be feeling confident about not falling into an 0-2 hole with responsibility resting on the massive shoulders of Scott Steiner. Fit Finlay engaged Steiner in a spirited technical wrestling bout, but Big Poppa Pump took control late with his strength and finished the match with a spinning belly to belly suplex. (B)

After the match, Steiner grabs a mic and introduces a video package of him taking a tour of Battle Creek, Michigan, site of SuperBrawl XII and home of Rob Van Dam. He converses with a few locals in the streets, pretending that none of them have any clue who RVD is (even though more than one did in fact say they knew who he was.) Steiner calls the entire city a dump, "but at least they'll be able to say they got to see Big Poppa Pump take back his world heavyweight title from that flash-in-the-pan nobody Rob Van Dam!" (B+)

Arn Anderson summons True Heroes and Doomsday to his office; as a result of some recent wins, he agrees with Doomsday's claim and is giving them a shot at the titles at SuperBrawl. Punk and Storm complain, but Doomsday just glare at them menacingly until they leave the office. (B-)

Chavo Guerrero Jr. put on a clinical performance in a win over local cruiserweight Blitzkrieg. (B)

King Corino comes out and complains about not getting a response from the office about his formal complaint against Bob Backlund. Backlund comes out and taunts Corino, again calling him a chicken. Corino eventually agrees to a match at SuperBrawl, saying that if the office won't get rid of "Bobiatric Backlund" he'll just have to do it himself. (C)

In-ring promo: DDP is waiting for an answer from Shane Douglas. Douglas responds on big screen, says he accepts on the condition that Page is a man of his word and leaves Kimberly at home at SuperBrawl, "but I doubt you'll actually do what you say, since your career has never meant a damn thing without her there with you." (A*)

American Dragon in-ring promo is interrupted by Marc Mero, who says he's the hottest independent wrestler in the world today. Mero challenges Dragon to a match right now so he can teach him a lesson and also prove to WCW management that he deserves a contract; Dragon accepts the challenge. (D+)

Marc Mero saw this as an opportunity to get his name back in the national headlines, but if he expected to use American Dragon as a stepping stone he was in for a disappointing night. Dragon outwrestled his more experienced opponent and made him submit to Arms Across America. (B)

Hardys interview: they actually agree with True Heroes. They need to prove themselves here in WCW and work their way up the tag team rankings, and they look forward to doing exactly that. (C+)

Spotlight Segment:



We put together a pre-taped sit-down interview with Mike and Eric Bischoff. The idea of it was to discuss what Eric hoped to achieve with the Empire and how it would differ from his aims with the nWo, but Mike spent way too much time harping on the nWo without getting to the point of the interview. Eventually Eric had to jump in and cut him off.

"Mike, haven't you been paying attention to anything I've said since I came back? The New World Order was about a hostile takeover. It was about me getting fed up with the stuffy old traditionalists who resisted my attempts to make WCW the brand name of professional wrestling and deciding that if they wouldn't support me, I'd just create a bigger and better organization that would turn the entire wrestling industry on its ear. The Empire's aims are completely different. We aren't here to declare war on WCW; we're here to help it!"

Mike was supposed to voice his skepticism about Eric's attentions, but he did so in a way that put more of the focus on the names of the past, the Hogans and Savages and Halls of the world. That's not what I was looking for (doubly so since Hogan and Hall had just returned to the WWF at the Royal Rumble; not exactly something I wanted to draw attention to.) The nWo history was supposed to be a starting point for this segment, rather than the focal point. It was again up to Eric to try and get the attention back on his current group.

"Mike, Mike, Mike. Please shut your mouth and try LISTENING for a change. This is NOT the New World Order, understand? The nWo's claim to fame was showcasing the biggest stars in the history of wrestling, the Hogans and Nashes and all the other various names you've mentioned and keep mentioning. But that was the past, Mike, and this is the future. And THAT is what The Empire is all about: the future. I'm in the process of amassing a collection of young men who are just hitting their stride. People have whined and complained for years about me not giving opportunities to young talent, conveniently ignoring the fact that it was ME who gave names like Misterio, Guerrero, Jericho, Benoit, Giant, Malenko and a whole host of others their first national exposure in the United States.

"Those people are going to have to eat their words, because if the nWo gave the spotlight to the iconic figures of the past and the present, the Empire will create the icons of the future. I will create the next generation of franchise players who will ensure the long-term survival of WCW. Some people may be skeptical of me, and they may question my intentions. People like Ric Flair will even call me 'poison'. I don't care about any of that. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, so all of my critics can look back in a year, or two years, or five years, and they'll see that Eric Bischoff's Empire was the single greatest thing to ever happen to World Championship Wrestling."



Grade: B-


Norman Smiley got a win over Mike Sanders via Norman Conquest. (C)

Backstage segment: Shane Helms is with Mortis, Vampiro, Father Isaac and Buff Bagwell. It's announced that The Destroyer has "gone on sabbatical", and Helms is taking his place on Satyr's Hopeful Few. (B-)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #1 The K-Nections vs. #8 The Wild Cards (K-Nections lead 1-0)
Rey Misterio Jr's United States title was not on the line, but this was still the biggest singles match of Sean O'Haire's career. This was the classic struggle of speed and agility vs. size and strength. Rey is accustomed to taking on and defeating larger opponents, but on this night O'Haire caught him out of mid-air, hotshot him across the top rope and delivered the Widow Maker for the three! It was a big statement win for O'Haire, but it also evened this UFS series. (B-)

Rey's night goes from bad to worse when Booker T attacks him for the second week in a row! A Harlem Hangover is landed on a defenseless Rey, and Booker raises the US title in the air and places his boot across Rey's chest. (B)

Rob Van Dam interview; he shrugs off Scott Steiner's 'tour of Battle Creek' we saw earlier. "He'll get to see Battle Creek at its finest at SuperBrawl, courtesy of Rob-Van-Dam!" (A)

Moments before he goes out for the main event, Sting urges the rest of Uncrewed's Crew to stay in the back. "Unlike the rest of you, I actually want to win on my own!" (B)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #4 The Dead Jesters vs. #5 Uncrewed's Crew (series tied 1-1)
Whoever won this main event between Lance Storm and Sting would give their team a chance to close the series out at SuperBrawl. Sting did great early on, but Storm was able to control the middle of the match with some methodical mat wrestling. He tried to blast Sting with a superkick, but the veteran caught his foot, took him to the mat and slapped on the Scorpion Deathlock to win the match. (B-)


Show Grade: B+






Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Don West

Elix Skipper picked up a win over Blitzkrieg. (C+)

Mark Jindrak and King Corino had some tense words in the locker room ahead of their UFS match this coming Monday. (C+)

With Billy Kidman watching from commentary, TAKA cruised to a non-title victory against Jason Jett. (C+)

Bobby Heenan interviews American Dragon and Chuck Palumbo about their UFS match next week. (C)

Marc Mero had another shot to impress WCW management and again came up short thanks to Jamie Knoble's guillotine choke. (B-)


Show Grade: C+
Quote:


February 18th, 2002

From Talmadge L. Hill Fieldhouse in Baltimore, Maryland

Attendance:

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

Billy Kidman prepared for his cruiserweight title shot on Sunday by defeating local talent Sonjay Dutt. (B)

Eric Bischoff steps into the aisle and tells Kidman that it's time for a little preview of Sunday--TAKA tries to hit a springboard dropkick from behind, but Torrie Wilson warns Kidman in time for him to turn around, catch TAKA and plant him with the BK Bomb! Bischoff scowls at his failed plan as Kidman dares him to come into the ring himself. (B-)

A True Heroes backstage promo is interrupted by Doomsday. Brian Adams tells them that at SuperBrawl, "your delusions of grandeur will have a doomsday of their own, just like your tag team title reign." (B-)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #2 Agents of Chaos vs. #7 The League of Extraordinary Grapplers (series tied 1-1)
What an opportunity this was for Mark Jindrak. It was also the first time we'd seen King Corino wrestle in several weeks, and Bob Backlund sat in on color commentary to get an up close look. Backlund vowed to give Corino the wrestling lesson of his life this Sunday, but Corino got his hand raised tonight once he delivered a piledriver to Jindrak. (C+)

Vignette: "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels is coming soon, and he proclaims himself "God's gift to the cruiserweight division!" (E+)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #3 Straight Edge Suckas vs. #6 Satyr's Hopeful Few (S.H.F. leads 2-0)
The Suckas had a big hole to try and crawl out of, but they had the biggest weapon in their arsenal to rely on tonight in the form of their first round pick, Booker T. Buff Bagwell looked to use his strength to make it a clean sweep for the Hopeful Few, but a missile dropkick gave Booker the win and kept the Suckas alive heading into SuperBrawl. (B)

Booker T is having his hand raised when Rey Misterio Jr. attacks! This is clearly out of character for Rey, but he's obviously had enough after being attacked by Booker for the last two weeks. Booker tries to escape to the floor, but Rey dives over the ropes and wipes him out with a plancha! (B+)

In Arn Anderson's office: With Scott Steiner leading the way, the other three members of the Agents of Chaos request a replacement for Dustin Rhodes since "nobody's seen that dumb redneck since Starrcade." Arn says that unlike the situation with The Destroyer, he has received no notification from Dustin or anyone associated with him that he is pulling out of the UFS, so no replacement can be named. If Dustin doesn't show up for his scheduled match with Ric Flair at SuperBrawl, they'll lose the match (and thus the series) by forfeit! (B-)

Backstage: Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Shane Helms have some harsh words for each other. They've battled over the cruiserweight title in the past, but on Sunday they'll meet in the UFS when Helms has a chance to secure a spot in the Semifinals for Satyr's Hopeful Few. (C)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: #1 The K-Nections vs. #8 The Wild Cards (series tied 1-1)
Would skill and agility or size and strength prevail tonight when the American Dragon took on Chuck Palumbo? Some nifty takedowns and submission holds had things going in Dragon's favor, but all it took was one massive boot followed by a running powerslam for Palumbo to have his hand raised for the Wild Cards. (B-)

Kimberly allegedly won't be in attendance at SuperBrawl, but she's in the building tonight--and Shane Douglas corners her backstage! He threatens her, saying that "bad things will happen" if she makes a liar out of DDP and shows up on Sunday. When Dallas returns, he predictably launches to his wife's defense. The two enemies brawl in the back, with Douglas claiming the upper hand by first kicking Page below the belt, then ramming his head against the wall! (A*)

Ric Flair green screen promo: he trashes Eric Bischoff's sit-down interview with Tenay last week. "You can feed these people lies all you want to, Bischoff, but I know that you don't give a damn about Candido, TAKA or the future of WCW. You have only ever cared about yourself!" He also comments on the Dustin Rhodes situation, saying he hopes Dustin shows up so he can style, profile and earn the series victory for the Extraordinary Grapplers! (B-)

The Cat may think he's 'the greatest', but he was no match for Mortis tonight. The masked man wins with the Flatliner. (B)

Bobby Heenan interviews the Natural Born Thrillers; they boast about being difference makers for the Wild Cards by winning both their matches, and say that even if Matt Hardy doesn't hold up his end of the bargain and end the series at SuperBrawl, they'll just take care of business in the tiebreaker the next night on Nitro. (B)

Sting and Lex Luger argue backstage about working together with Eric Bischoff. Luger says he understands Sting's hesitation, but they all have the same goals and should work together so they can advance. Sting has no time for that, telling his friend that if he wants to play nice with Bischoff that's his business, but he has never trusted that snake and never will! (B-)

On Sunday Matt and Jeff Hardy will be in singles competition for their UFS teams, but tonight they teamed up to take on their respective SuperBrawl opponents, AJ Styles and Chris Candido. There was no question that the Hardys would be working as a unit, but Styles and Candido just couldn't get along. Eventually Candido walked out on his partner, leaving AJ easy pickings for a Swanton Bomb from Jeff. (B+)


Spotlight Segment:




We filmed another live chat thing where Rob Van Dam and Scott Steiner answered questions posed by fans on WCW.com. Rob was laid-back and calm as usual. When asked why he didn't show much anger in the ring, his answer was typical RVD.

"I get asked that question a lot, dude. So many other wrestlers don't understand why I don't get all mad and scream about what I'm going to do to my opponent like pretty much everybody else does. That may work for most people, but not for Rob-Van-Dam. I don't need to get angry to be the best; I'm the best because nobody else can do the things I can do. Guys like Scott Steiner scream about all the terrible things they're going to do to me, but we all remember what happened at Starrcade, right? He found out that just because I live a life of zen doesn't mean I can't put on a show and achieve success in that ring unlike anybody else. Now he's talking again about what he's going to do, about how he's going to embarrass me in front of my hometown and take the belt back. But me, I don't need to talk all about what I'm going to do or how badly I'm going to beat Scott up. I'll just go to the ring, give my family and friends the show of a lifetime, and prove why you only need three letters to spell world heavyweight champion: R-V-D-."

Pretty typical promo here. I know it's a love it or hate it character in a lot of ways, but this is who RVD is, for better or worse. His delivery wasn't anything special here, but it wasn't bad either. Scotty was a different story. This was one of those nights where he was entertaining in that train wreck sort of way, where he ranted and jumped from one topic to another with no real reasoning. He talked about being the REAL hero of Michigan, which somehow went into talking about he was the Detroit Pistons of the NBA, a winner, while RVD is like the NFL's Detroit Lions, a loser and an embarrassment to all of Michigan. ...Okay?

"The night you beat me at Starrcade was the luckiest night of your whole damn life, boy! In a hundred million years you could never beat me again! I don't care if you wrestled me every night since the dinosaurs were walkin' the earth 'till the day we start a colony on Mars, you'd never beat me a second time! At SuperBrawl I'm gonna whip your (censored) in front of your own momma, and everybody's gonna forget all about Rob-Flash-in-the-Pan-Van-Dam! And if you keep lookin' at me with that stupid smile on your face, I'm gonna pick up that computer screen and smash it over your damn head!"

Steiner got up from his seat and did in fact pick up the computer monitor as if he was going to use it as a weapon. RVD got up from his own chair and assumed a fighting stance; he might be laid-back, but when it's time to fight he's never going to back down. Arn Anderson hurried into the mix and hollered for help, and a swarm of wrestlers heeded the call and came in to separate the two and protect the SuperBrawl main event. Scotty's insanity inside, this was a very strong segment to close out the go home show.



Grade: A*


Show Grade: B+






Taped immediately after Nitro

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Don West

American Dragon bounced back from his Nitro loss with a submission victory over Sonjay Dutt. (C+)

Bobby Heenan interviews "God's gift to the cruiserweights", Christopher Daniels. (C-)

Rick Steiner squashed Air Paris. (C+)

Backstage: 3 Count announce "open auditions" to join the band. (E+)

Cash gave a strong performance, but Alex Wright claimed victory with his German suplex. (C+)


Show Grade: C
It was only a matter of time before we ran the RVD/Steiner rematch, and here we are. Hopefully this one won't fall apart like the Starrcade match.

I'll be honest: the Booker T/Misterio segments haven't been as great as I'd hoped for. I still think the match itself should be good though, and the story is interesting. The Clash of the Champions main event setup plays really well into Booker's storyline obsession with getting the world title back, and made this the perfect time to use his UFS title match.

Will Doomsday spell doom (heh) to the reign of the True Heroes? I considered giving the NBT their rematch here, but decided to go this route instead since neither Adams or Clark were drafted by any of the UFS teams.

The non-finish of last month's Kidman/TAKA match allowed us to prolong that feud for another month. Should be another good one.

Will the defending champion K-Nections be knocked out of the UFS in the first round, by the #8 seed at that? AJ Styles tries to prevent that outcome in a match against Matt Hardy. Despite the face/face setup, I think the action will be strong here.

Dustin Rhodes fights for the survival of the Agents of Chaos against the L.O.E.G and their first pick, Ric Flair. But will Dustin even show up? And if he doesn't, why would I be cruel enough to make him eligible for drafting?

Can you dig the Straight Edge Suckas? Chavo Guerrero Jr. needs a win to keep them alive. He was supposed to wrestle The Destroyer on this show, but surprise surprise, Awesome's suspended again. Shane Helms is about as good a replacement as Satyr24 could hope for under the circumstances.

Sting might not approve of the tactics employed by his teammates, but Uncrewed's Crew is a win away frm the Semifinals. Chris Candido will hope to end it against the Dead Jesters' wild card pick, Jeff Hardy. (Not bad value considering he didn't take a chance on that wild card spot until the third round!)

DDP and Shane Douglas have continued to deliver fantastic angle after fantastic angle. Will I end the feud here? That was the plan at one point, but these guys have done so well together in these segments that I'm not sure now.

Corino's got a clean bill of health now, so we can run the match with Backlund this month. I wonder if Bob can actually still go? Guess we'll find out. Not like this needs to be a classic anyway.







Quote:

Fan Scorecard:

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

United States Heavyweight Championship: Booker T vs. Rey Misterio Jr. {}

World Tag Team Championship: Doomsday vs. True Heroes {}

Cruiserweight Championship: Billy Kidman vs. TAKA {}

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: AJ Styles (The K-Nections) vs. Matt Hardy (The Wild Cards)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: Dustin Rhodes (Agents of Chaos) vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (The League of Extraordinary Grapplers)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: Chavo Guerrero Jr. (Straight Edge Suckas) vs. "Sugar" Shane Helms (Satyr's Hopeful Few)

Ultimate Fan Series, Opening Round: Jeff Hardy (The Dead Jesters) vs. Chris Candido (Uncrewed's Crew)

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Shane Douglas

Bob Backlund vs. King Corino

What will be match of the night?

How many championships will change hands?

Will Dustin Rhodes show up?

Will Kimberly show up?

General diary comments/questions/critiques:





I'll respond to comments/questions in the news post; the "Road to" posts are quite long enough as it is, I think.

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-24-2017 at 08:46 AM.
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